The first Josh Childress highlights from Europe, from an exhibition game in which he scored 14 points. Olympiacos won. One block-run-dunk play was really special.
Jared Reiner will be in the Sixers' camp, trying to make the NBA. He has long been one of the best bloggers of all basketball players, and writes about it for DraftExpress. He's especially looking forward to playing with one guy: "Reggie Evans played with me at Iowa, so I know first-hand that the word Reggie-ness should be added to the dictionary for the way he plays. In my opinion he doesn't play dirty, he just plays a bit harder and grittier and more pain-inflicting than most. I remember him ruining, for lack of a better word, all of our scrimmages and practices back at Iowa with Reggie-ness. It sounds crazy, but I am actually looking forward to playing with him again. Sure, he loves pranks and making people look and feel foolish, but he has this drive that, in my opinion, fuels competitiveness."
The people at Massmatics have a nice little (PG-13) tale insults, put-downs, insecurity, and being young and making friends on the basketball court. It starts like this: "I remember when I met my buddy Mike for the first time. It was summer and I was eleven. Me, my ma, and my sister had moved to an apartment across the street from the middle school. We had lived in a house before but now we lived in this apartment. I could see the outdoor basketball courts from my room. It was late, like ten thirty or something, and Mike was shooting all by himself. The lights from the softball field, where the bar leagues played, illuminated the courts. I wanted to play him one on one. I grabbed a basketball from the floor. I had like fifteen. I would go up to the courts and steal basketballs while the older kids played full court. I don't know why I did it. I couldn't help myself. As soon as I had my hands on a basketball I had to take it home. I made sure I found one with enough air and finally decided to take a black one that I am pretty sure somebody had gotten from Pizza Hut. It had a lot of air in it and I liked to dribble so that was best. I headed over to the court. My ma was asleep. I locked the door behind me, and ran across the street."
There's a lot of video out there of people playing basketball at work. Learn from my mistake: If you're the new guy in the office, don't break the high-end Nerf hoop your bosses love. They will tease you about many years after you have stopped working there.
Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers talk to the media about the incident at the Rookie Transition Program. Asked if he hid when security came in, Michael Beasley actually responds "I don't know." Beasley has signed a deal with adidas, and his camp is saying that he has always loved adidas, despite all the photos of him in Nike.
You don't have to have terrible contracts to have a high payroll on a mediocre team. In fact, you can have a number of good contracts, and few unlucky situations.
Speculation, from Charlotte, that the Bobcats might really be able to get Carl Landry. I suspect Houston will match. You don't let a good second-year big man -- one who was a key part of a playoff run as a rookie -- walk because you don't want to pay him $3 million a year. From Charlotte's end, this is a perfect example of the kind of stuff you get to do when you're under the cap. Sometimes teams like that can nab a guy.
Mike D'Antoni says the most surprising player so far has been Jared Jeffries.
Wendell Maxey Jr.: "I couldn't believe my eyes. It all happened so fast. Travis Outlaw took about five to six steps backwards, ran forwards and jumped in the air. Over a dude. No basketball. No hoop. Just an NBA player jumping over a dude. The dude had to be about 6-2&.just a guess&.but an accurate guess. But still, Travis got up there real quick, glided through the air and stuck the landing. He left the dude in awe. That made two of us." (Via BlazersEdge)
Iranian center Hamed Haddadi may have immigration delays that will keep him from the opening of training camp in Memphis. By the way, to me "Haddadi" is clearly one of the best names anywhere. Who's your Haddadi?
Mark Cuban's blog as odd predictor of John McCain's campaign.
David Berri of the Wages of Wins on Jason Kidd in Dallas: "What does efficiency differential tell us about the Kidd acquisition? At the time of the trade Dallas had a differential of 4.3. When the season ended, the team's differential stood at
4.9. For a team to increase its differential from 4.3 to 4.9 in just 29 games, that team would have to post a mark of 6.0 in the final games of the campaign. In other words, the Mavericks clearly improved after Kidd came to town."
Does the Oklahoma City Thunder have any current rivalries? They seem to think so.