Friday Bullets

  • This is amazingly cool. Someone recreated LeBron James' amazing 29-of-his-team's-last-30 (from Game 5 of last year's playoff series against the Pistons) in video game format. Oddly fun to watch, and many of the plays look just like the real thing.

  • Similarly, remember when Dirk Nowitzki killed that bug in a press conference? Now that's a video game.

  • The Suns should hope Shawn Marion gets disgruntled more often. In his first game since a public trade request, he played 27 minutes and had 18 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks, while taking just ten shots.

  • SLAM has a new part of their website where you can read some favorites from the archives, like profiles of high-schoolers Dajuan Wagner (complete with William Wesley mention), LeBron James, or Kevin Garnett.

  • John Canzano of the Oregonian wrote, essentially, yet another story about how terrible Zach Randolph's entourage is, and how glad he is that they are gone. The article also quoted Greg Oden saying that this was the first NBA game he had been to, but could it be so? You're telling me that when I met the man on the sidelines just before Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Cleveland, he didn't then stick around to watch the game?

  • Big, interesting article about the potential for concussions to have devastating long-term effects on the brain.

  • David Stern thinks the World Championships of basketball should be called the World Cup of basketball, and I could not agree more. In fact, we were talking about that here ages ago. Stern has various other criticisms of FIBA, too.

  • Oh boy. That's hilarious, tasteless, and juvenile.

  • The physical comedy of Shaquille O'Neal.

  • The Nets will be a hot property in Brooklyn, for sure. They will lure some free agents. But LeBron James and Kobe Bryant? Keep dreaming, Nets fans.

  • Remember when the NBA mandated rigorous heart screening for every player, a few years ago? There were a lot of groans at the time, but the case of Etan Thomas is a real indication that it was certainly a good move. So many athletes through the years -- most recently Jason Collier -- have lost their lives to these kinds of maladies. Here's a great article about the Etan Thomas situation -- although without real news of how his surgery went yesterday at the Mayo Clinic.

  • Chris Herrington of Beyond the Arc: "In one of the new television commercials to promote the upcoming Grizzlies season, forwards Rudy Gay and Hakim Warrick are shown playing a game of one-on-one, trading step-back jumpers and blow-by dunks. You might assume that the activity was choreographed for the camera, but apparently not. Turns out it's a real game, played to 21 by ones and twos, with the winner getting to choose the team's entrance music for the first preseason game. (When you hear Jay-Z's 'Show Me What You Got' on October 15th, thank Rudy Gay.)" Other new Grizzlies commercials.

  • ESPN's J.A. Adande gets up close and personal with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle SuperSonics.

  • Chris Mannix of SI.com talks to a scout about the Knick big men Zach Randolph and Eddy Curry: "Then there is the matter of defense. 'Randolph doesn't play any,' the scout said. 'Neither does Eddy.'" Alan Hahn of Newsday: "Zach Randolph had a good line (15 and 7) for just 20 minutes of action. But you can see that as hard as he works, he doesn't have great defensive instincts. Marcus Fizer, who is a load at 6-8 and easily 270 lbs, was bodying him around and getting position."

  • The Painted Area on the NCAA vs. the NBA: "I actually think that the NBA Playoffs and the NCAA Tournament complement each other beautifully. The NCAA Tournament is a boy's game, where a team can ride a wave of emotion and a barrage of 20-foot three-pointers, and go on a magical run of upsets and narrow wins. Every game is a Game 7, your grandma has a bracket, and that's all exciting enough to compensate for the fact that the play is increasingly subpar. The NBA Playoffs, meanwhile, are a man's game - as utterly rational as March Madness is wildly emotional - where teams have to prove that they are better than their opponents over a sustained period, and players have to show superior mental toughness, to contain themselves when the emotions are most highly charged. To me, both events have their charms and both events suit their sport, even though one (the NCAAs) is not geared to determine the best team, and one (the NBA) is." I renew the call for a mid-season single-elimation NBA tournament to replace the All-Star Game.

  • The case that there's some ("reverse") prejudice in the assumption that a bunch of white Wisconsinites can't support an Asian player like Yi Jianlian.

  • Johnny Ludden, one of the NBA's great beat writers, leaves the San Antonio Express News for Yahoo.

  • Future NBA stars, by the numbers.

  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel with a Dwyane Wade update: "Dwyane Wade pushed back his earliest poss
    ible return date to the third week of November, saying he would need at least one week on the court after being cleared for contact. That would mean he would miss at least 10 games in his recovery from May knee and shoulder surgeries."

  • Stephen A. Smith talks to the Nation of Islam Sportsblog about the way the Pacers are marketing themselves: "... to answer your latter question directly regarding appealing to a white audience, if that's their audience, what's wrong with it? Just like politicians, no franchise is bigger than its constituency. If Indiana's fan base is majority white and you're asking them to pay their hard-earned dollars to patronize your product, then they have a right to want what they want and expect you to give them what they want. We all need to realize that and act accordingly. And if we have a problem with such a mantra or edict, then go work in a place or for an organization that mirrors you own individual belief system."

  • Pacers not drawing a lot of fans to Conseco for their first preseason game. Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports: "How many of you made it to Conseco Fieldhouse for the preseason opener? It couldn't have been a lot of you by the number of empty seats at the Fieldhouse. I didn't want to talk too loud at the game because I didn't want the fans on the other side of the court to hear me."

  • Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger, on the Nets: "We don't know whose idea this was, but the players had to sit still for nearly an hour to hear a lecture from sports psychologist Bob Rotella after practice. He's mostly a mental coach for golfers, which makes sense: We always thought people who play golf should have their heads examined."

  • Old school Chinese basketball vs. Yi school Chinese basketball.

  • UPDATE: Fancy video editing can make dreams come true.