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Friday Bullets

7/27/2007
  • The case that the NBA needs to develop relationships with illegal bookies who hear about betting scams first (and reportedly already inform the authorities in Nevada). Also, a former mobster admires the handiwork of whoever was pulling the strings in the referee scandal.

  • Michael McCann of the Sports Law Blog points out that a really rigorous review of NBA practices -- while perhaps painful -- would be better for the NBA than getting Congress involved.

  • Pat Riley has not had good luck with foreign players in Miami. Perhaps Juan Carlos Navarro can balance the ledger, if Miami can pry him away from Washington.

  • Dajuan Wagner: Not quitting.

  • Allen Iverson isn't happy that the referee scandal makes the whole league look bad, but he is happy that for once it's not a player getting scrutinzed.

  • ESPN's Chris Sheridan, who has been plenty critical of Team USA in the past, expects this squad to cruise to victory in this summer's Tournament of the Americas. He also has roster thoughts: "Here is my early pick for what the 12-man roster will look like: Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Kobe Bryant, Tyson Chandler, Kirk Hinrich, Dwight Howard, LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Mike Miller, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and Michael Redd. If you exclude the players who missed last weekend's minicamp, that means I'm picking Shane Battier, Kevin Durant, Tayshaun Prince, J.J. Redick and Deron Williams to be cut." Sheridan also points out this article from the Toronto Sun which suggests there's at least a tiny chance Steve Nash might suit up for Canada. No one asked Nash, though.

  • Dwyane Wade's lousy summer playing GM.

  • In a conversation with ESPN's Marc Stein, Suns owner Robert Sarver defends his team's handing away all kinds of draft picks and Kurt Thomas in cost-cutting moves: "I'll be [called] the cheap baker all the time, but it's not true. Based on the NBA statistics that were done by [the league's] consulting firm, we're the 24th-best market in the NBA from a revenue standpoint. It's hard for us to have the second-highest payroll, but we can have the ninth- or eighth- or seventh-highest payroll because our fans really support us. But we have to work within those constraints. We want to be good long-term. Our goal is to have sustained success, so we have to kind of balance our budget a little bit. I think by and large our fans understand. Our fans pay to watch Steve and Amare [Stoudemire] and Shawn [Marion] and Leandro [Barbosa] and Raja [Bell] and Boris [Diaw]. Our core is still together and by picking up Grant, I think we're better today than we were a month ago. And that's what's important."

  • Lots of talk of very fancy suites at Nets games in Brooklyn, including the words "courtside suite." Courtside suite?

  • Kevin Durant's summer, minus the misses. Via SonicsCentral. And to make you feel old, realize that only three Sonics were even born before 1980.

  • Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon-Journal: "If you have a question about the Cavs or the NBA, send it to me and I'll try to answer it. Want to know about how the salary cap works, how trade exceptions are used, what exactly qualifying offers are, how do you match salaries in a trade, what BRI is, what rumors are true or false, what sort of gum the Cavs have in the locker room, whatever. If I don't know the answer, I'll try my best to find it out."

  • Undrafted players have a way bigger presence in the NBA than I ever would have imagined. That's pretty cool.

  • Taking a crack at that elusive objective measurement of an NBA player's defensive ability. By this measure, at 82Games.com, Tim Duncan is the best in the NBA, followed by Tyrus Thomas, Renaldo Balkman, and Manu Ginobili.

  • Not that Emeka Okafor.