Friday Bullets

  • A TrueHoop reader posed a fair question: Last season the Timberwolves were 32-50. In their first season post-KG, might they be better? The roster is not terrible, to be honest, and as Randy Foye, Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, and Rashad McCants will presumably all be better than ever thanks to another year of maturation. And now they have draft picks and cap space on the horizon.

  • Now that the Warriors did not get Kevin Garnett, what's next? (Austin Croshere?) I am curious. No one I have talked to thinks they ever really wanted to keep Brandan Wright, but maybe I'm wrong about that. Are they still in the mix for Yi Jianlian? Some thoughts.

  • Through the years there have been many reports of NBA players using marijuana. And sometimes I think to myself: if you're high as much as some people say NBA players are, can you play basketball at a high level? Isn't pot the opposite of a performance enhancing drug? It's a question I really don't know the answer to, but I do know that the best team in a high profile DC softball league is called the "One Hitters" and is made up of people who are against the war on drugs. Via Boing Boing.

  • Stephon Marbury trashes Kevin McHale, and worries for his cousin Sebastian Telfair who is now playing for him. The New York Post's Marc Berman reports: "Marbury's dislike for McHale stems from his Minnesota days. Marbury felt betrayed after he was dealt by Minnesota, and McHale leaked Marbury was jealous of Garnett."

  • If this happened in basketball people would FREAK OUT. Based on a YouTube video of his awesome skills, a nine-year-old living in Australia is recruited by England's Manchester United. The team says they recruit about 40 players that age every year. Thanks to Alonzo for the heads up.

  • A little peek at Yi Jianlian's 28-point game in the Stankovic Cup, whatever that is.

  • Oh, you "David Stern fixed everything" conspiracy theorists are going to looooooove this.

  • Another call Danny Ainge has to make.

  • Great look at the many Olympic qualifying tournaments going on around the globe.

  • Jamaal Magloire, bandleader. Looks like fun. Too bad this isn't on YouTube.

  • Karl Malone is reportedly now in the college recruiting game.

  • Fantastic and PG-13 (for language) look at Anthony Mason's place in Knicks lore. As someone who lived in Manhattan during Mason's heyday, I can tell you that it's no exaggeration that he's one of the most beloved players in Knicks history.

  • There are a lot of stories around the web about the NBA schedule. I look at most of them and think: is this fascinating? They're still playing 82 games each, right? Every player is still due in every other city at some point. Does it really matter if it's November or March? Isn't this just a big spreadsheet? Kind of a housekeeping thing? Can anyone get fired up about this? Yes. Yes, people can get fired up about the schedule.

  • Complete Kevin Garnett press conference video.

  • The pronoun test. When coaches or players talk about the organization they play for, do they say "we" or do they say "they?"

  • A survey of incoming rookies. Al Horford is called "most ready to contribute," Kevin Durant is the big favorite for rookie of the year, new Knick Demetris Nichols is voted one of the best shooters (after Morris Almond), and Al Thornton is called most athletic.

  • Josh McRoberts gets a poor romantic review.

  • What an Italian economist has to teach us about the Boston Celtics.

  • UPDATE: If you assess rookie point guards who got a big jump in minutes their second season, the future looks bright for Rajon Rondo.

  • UPDATE: Michael McCann of the Sports Law Blog takes a serious look at Roy Tarpley's sad story, and concludes: "I find the EEOC's decision -- which enables Tarpley to sue the NBA within the next 90 days -- interesting because it suggests that the NBA and other pro leagues have to be careful when banning players for life when the root of the players' problem is a medical one. Although alcoholics and drug addicts are often blamed as 'choosing' to engage in destructive behavior, recent studies on how the brain works suggest otherwise (see a post we have up on The Situationist entitled 'The Science of Addiction, the Myth of Choice'). That's not to say Tarpley shouldn't be held responsible for the consequences of his addition (certainly, driving a car while intoxicated deserves punishment), or that he didn't deserve a punishment of a certain length of time, particularly after repeated failures, but it does suggest that when leagues kick players out for life, they need to be careful in evaluating the underlying causes of certain behavior and the potential that the players can eventually get better, as Tarpley seemed to do."