October, 5, 2012
By Henry Abbott
- I know, they're manipulative tycoons and all that, but there is something touching about the genuine-seeming friendship between Mikhail Prokhorov and Bruce Ratner. They're on Charlie Rose talking about the Barclays Center and a lot of other stuff, and they talk about their first meeting. Prokhorov says Ratner was soft spoken, before adding with a smile: "how little I know how tenacious he is." Ratner said it was a cinch to decide to become partners. "We just kind of knew," he explains, "it was in the air." Prokhorov, whose career is based on a number of longlasting partnerships, calls Ratner his "best partner."
- Jordan brand made this crazy video of Chris Paul. Or really, it's not Chris Paul. It's 90, count 'em, guys who look like Chris Paul. Very cleverly done. The thing is, you can find 90 doubles for a 6-foot-ish athletic-looking guy, but good luck finding 90 lookalikes for, say, one-of-a-kinds LeBron James or Dwight Howard. And for personal grooming reasons alone there sure aren't 90 James Hardens or Joakim Noahs.
- Gregg Popovich gave the Spurs DVDs of the presidential debates to watch, which is cool in and of itself. But cooler still is the little observational detail at the same link: The Spurs have put lines on the court marked with the letters "KM." On the Spurs Nation blog, Dan McCarney explains: "A mysterious ‘KM’ could be seen marked on the Spurs’ two practice courts in blue tape on either side of the paint when training camp opened on Tuesday. Strips were later added stretching diagonally from foul line to baseline -- forming a trapezoid, not a parallelogram, as Bonner astutely corrected a member of the media. 'I learned that from my daughter’s Sesame Street shape book,' he said. Bonner revealed the identity of the mystery initials and stripes -- the Karl Malone line, a visual guide for defenders to indicate when they should body up or play their opponent to drive the ball." UPDATE: Ryan Schwan of Hornets247 drops more knowledge about the elections and the "KM" line: "On "Real Training Camp" for the Hornets Monty Williams opened the session with a question about who watched the presidential debates, followed by an exhortation for his guys to watch them and know what is going on. He also pushed them to understand the union, talk to Roger Mason and rep Jason Smith and that they needed to be informed. And a little later, when instructing one of the players he pointed to an odd blue diagonal on the floor and called it the 'Karl Malone line.' Williams' pedigree is showing."
- The NBA teaches funny lessons. For all the talk of teamwork, very often the adulation and contracts go to the high-scoring ballhogs. Aaron Brooks says that he has always deferred to teammates, except for one season when it was all about him. That, of course, was the season he won the NBA's Most Improved Player award.
- Owner Ted Leonsis had all kinds of things to say in a Michael Lee Washington Post article about the Wizards, including that he felt bad that at times last year when, because of injuries and rebuilding, the Wizards fielded a team with $15 or $20 million in total annual salary. Leonsis also added this: "That’s the thing about sports. It’s the hardest industry, business I know. What other business do Ping-Pong balls drive a lot of your success, and make your investment worth more or less?" That's coming from a guy whose team has won the lottery recently, too. Here's great video and excerpts of nearly everything Leonsis had to say.
- When Andre Iguodala moved to Denver, he moved somewhere known to have a better climate, overall, than Philadelphia. Today, however, he points out on Twitter that there's snow on the ground in Denver while in Philadelphia today will be about 80 and sunny. It's not always sunny in Philadelphia, but it is today, even if Iguodala is not missing much.
- Maloof talk on 30 Rock.
- The Black Mamba -- now with promising applications in healthcare. Seriously. This won't hurt a bit.
- Rajon Rondo, NBA MVP. Is that too crazy to even consider?
- Check out Kevin Durant's shirt.
- Long seen as a forward Terrence Williams, according to Lawrence Frank, is really a point guard. Frank coached the Nets when they drafted Williams 11th overall in 2009. Now Williams is fighting for his NBA life with Frank's Pistons.
- John Hollinger (Insider) on young Bobcat, and second overall pick, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: "They took the right guy at No. 2. Kidd-Gilchrist was the lowest-risk player in the draft with two eyebrows. Athletic wings with size almost never fail; throw in the sterling grades everyone gives for Kidd-Gilchrist's intangibles, and he seems unlikely to become one of the exceptions. Additionally, he was the youngest player in the 2012 draft and, thus, has the greatest scope for improvement. His jump shot is a problem, but he's not Ben Wallace either: He shot 74 percent from the line at Kentucky, and drew heaps of free throws along the way."