Wednesday Bullets

  • TrueHoop reader Brandon suggests that Anfernee Hardaway is not worth nearly what he once was worth. Instead of "Penny," he suggests, we should call him "Peso" Hardaway.

  • You have to respect Jim O'Brien for this lovely comment. He's out pressing the flesh with Pacer fans something fierce. Here's how the Indianapolis Star's Amy Hyerczyk recites one key message, as recalled by local Kiwanis member Greg Fennig: "'He sat down with a bunch of us at our table and asked us what we thought was most important for him to be successful,' Fennig said. 'We all just kind of sat there, scratching our heads, not sure what to say. He responded with one word: love. He said that it will be about getting the guys to respect each other and care about each other and work together. Those are the critical elements.'"

  • The current Dime magazine (this article not online, sadly) has an Austin Burton profile of Caron Butler. Brace yourself for profound honesty from Butler about the dark days of his youth as a member of Racine, Wisconsin's Gangster Disciples. It has this eye-popping quote: "Basketball took me all over the world, farther than selling narcotics took me." He also admits that he never was all that into basketball until he did some long hours locked up in solitary confinement while doing time for a gun charge. Then he started hooping hard in the lock-up -- winner took Little Debbie cakes -- and when he got out he joined an AAU team, determined never to make it back to a correctional institution. Very good read, and I salute him for his honesty.

  • If you're in the Boston area, you can go see Sonny Vaccaro speak at Harvard Law School tonight.

  • Logos on caskets and urns. Baseball people take things so seriously.

  • You have to wonder if Greg Oden will return with that killer attitude. So far, so good.

  • The best high-school players of recent history.

  • The scoop on Rudy Fernandez.

  • I once read the book Swee' Pea, about Lloyd Daniels, a great player, but one of the most addiction-prone humans ever to step on a basketball court. At one point, they even sent him to play in New Zealand where, at the time, apparently, there were no drugs. So he reportedly drank INSANE quantities of beer instead. Now Lloyd Daniels' agent is talking about him.

  • Brandan Wright blogs on AOL about, among other things, Greg Oden: "I am pretty good friends with Greg Oden, though. I hung out with him a bunch at the rookie photo shoot. He's a really cool, really quiet guy. He's nice and down to earth too. We talked a bunch, played video games, typical guy stuff. His whole situation is really unfortunate. Injuries and surgery are part of the game; it's just one of those unfortunate things. But I think Greg will come back strong. He has to be patient with the process, though. It's tough to sit out for a long time and then have to come back like you've never been gone. What's most difficult is he's going to have to be a rookie again next season. I think a big thing about your rookie year isn't just playing the games but learning about all the off-the-court stuff. Unfortunately, he's going to have to wait to learn a lot of this stuff. But I'm sure he'll be fine. (I've been lucky. The worst injury I've ever had is a sprained ankle. I hurt my hip a little while ago, but it's totally fine now. I've never even had to have surgery or anything. Knock on wood ...)"

  • Why doesn't Hassan Adams have a job?

  • This American Life is a fantastic radio show, and they just rebroadcast a 17-minute long interview with Luis Da Silva, who starred in those Nike ballhandling commercials six years ago.

  • Keith Bradsher in The New York Times: "... the N.B.A. plans to announce Wednesday the formation of a Chinese subsidiary. To head it, the league has chosen Timothy Chen, chief executive of Microsoft's China operations and one of the best-known business executives in China. For the N.B.A., China is a growth opportunity. It is already the N.B.A.'s largest market outside the United States. Nearly a third of the traffic to NBA.com comes to the Mandarin Chinese side of the site."

  • Forget the salary cap. For some teams, the challenge is to keep certain players under the calorie cap.

  • This is ridiculous. (If Portland thought Greg Oden was going to get injured, why would they have picked him?)

  • Guess which NBA rookie had a million questions for Bill Russell? That's right, Joakim Noah. Memo to everyone else: if you ever wanted a winner of a role model ...

  • Bill Laimbeer and Swin Cash (who shared a table at an All-Star media session in Las Vegas, and were both very smiley at the time) are now locked in a player vs. coach spat for the ages.

  • The Madison Square Garden case rolls on.

  • Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko makes a convincing case (language!) that Vince Carter is not built, mentally, for basketball. But then he shows us video of a game-changing alley-oop windmill dunk, and all is forgiven.

  • Etan Thomas on the bad doings in Jena, Louisiana.

  • Comparing Jason Kidd and John Stockton. Did you know Stockton only ever had one triple double?

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel talks to an anonymous NBA scout about Charlie Bell: "... the scout said Bell not only sets up well as the primary
    backup at shooting guard to Dwyane Wade, but that he could also envision Bell closing games alongside Wade because of his defensive tenacity -- sort of a Damon Jones who can play both ends of the court. The scout said there is no way first-round pick Daequan Cook would emerge, in the short term, anywhere close to Bell's current level. The scout, though, warned not to overstate Bell at point guard, rating him as little more than a fallback option. He said a Bell/Smush Parker combo in the absence of Jason Williams would not be enough to guide a contender. But he also said Bell is a far superior player to Parker on both ends of the court, going as far as to question why the Heat was so quick to sign Parker or why it even tapped into its mid-level exception for the former Laker."

  • UPDATE: Re-capping the argument that Allen Iverson is not an efficient NBA player, in a column that the New York Times never ran.