In the New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell writes of different kinds of genius -- some that work quickly in youth, and others that take time to sort themselves out. Sometimes there are NBA players, I think, (Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace come to mind) who figure out their careers in the same way that Mark Twain would write a novel: "Galenson quotes the literary critic Franklin Rogers on Twain's trial-and-error method: 'His routine procedure seems to have been to start a novel with some structural plan which ordinarily soon proved defective, whereupon he would cast about for a new plot which would overcome the difficulty, rewrite what he had already written, and then push on until some new defect forced him to repeat the process once again.' Twain fiddled and despaired and revised and gave up on 'Huckleberry Finn' so many times that the book took him nearly a decade to complete."
Antawn Jamison tells his teammate Oleksiy Pecherov on video that he has had a Russian sandwich, and didn't like it. Pecherov says Jamison has never had one, and has never been to Russia. Jamison, trying to win the argument, says that he has been to Yugoslavia. Round one to Pecherov.
A big question of this season is whether or not healthy Dwyane Wade, Shawn Marion, Michael Beasley, and Udonis Haslem will be enough to win. Right now, it's not looking promising.
The history of basketball sneakers, in about two minutes, from Nelly.
Matt from Hardwood Paroxysm on different kinds of NBA fans: "Spurs fans are critical and reserved. Warriors fans are like Tiny Tunes characters. Mavericks fans are like Cowboys fans that need another outlet, that is, insane. Celtics fans and Lakers fans are remarkably alike. Passionate, devoted, self-entitled, and obnoxiously obnoxiously blessed. Meeting a Bucks fans was fascinating. Frank (from BrewHoop) was like most great NBA fans, particularly the ones devoted enough to run blogs. Passionate, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, involved. But to a certain degree, there's a certain sense of reality that sneaks in. A few times when discussing free agency or the viability of Andrew Bogut as a franchise player, he'd mention, 'Well, we're the Bucks.' In a way, this is reflective of what has to change. It's not unique to Milwaukee, the Bucks, or Frank. Charlotte and Memphis face the same issues. But it's something that has to shift for the Bucks. The organization, for its part, seems to be dedicated to the same goal."
Magic Johnson, part owner of the Lakers, is drinking the Trail Blazer kool-aid, saying Portland will make the playoffs this year, and make a run at a title in a couple of years.
TrueHoop reader Guy e-mails: "After seeing a few plays from [Rudy Fernandez] in the preseason game against the Kings I decided to watch the Olympic final again because all I could actually remember from the game was his dunk on Dwight Howard. I began watching and at the start of the second quarter it hit me: Rudy Fernandez did not play at all in the first quarter. I know the Olympics are long gone and the USA players have finished celebrating, but after seeing his destruction of Team USA after this point it lead me to wonder: What if Rudy Fernandez had played in that 1st quarter and started the game? Would he have given Spain the boost they needed? It may be nothing, but I just wonder how a player of his quality could be on the bench for the first quarter. OF THE OLYMPIC FINAL. Where they are playing for GOLD and keeping the cockiness of USA basketball at bay until their next road to redemption."
Scoring more points from the free throw line than the field can be called, I just learned, a Dantley. Adrian Dantley did it many times. And how about Dwyane Wade in his famous ref-friendly 2006 NBA Finals? He must have had a lot of Dantleys, right? Wrong. Not a single one.
These are stretches and exercises you can do with a big inflatable ball. What they don't tell you, unfortunately for Eddy Curry, is that really big guys can, apparently, cause those inflatable balls to explode. (Via Slam)
Chris Herrington of the Memphis Flyer: "Through the first three pre-season games, rookie O.J. Mayo struggled a little with his shot, going 14-41 from the floor and 2-14 from three-point line, a string of performances that didn't look much like the deadly shooter seen in summer league and again in practice. But he found his stroke tonight. Mayo scored 26 points in 30 minutes on 10-17 shooting and 6-8 from downtown. Not only was every make a jumper, only one of the 17 attempts was from within seven feet of the basket, and it was technically a jumper."
A journal from the road, traveling through China with the Bucks. It's a long way to go, and the final destination of all that flying is Yi Jianlian's hometown. Too bad he's not a Buck any more. Two highlights from the layover in Anchorage: They ate hot dogs made of reindeer, which is news if your team mascot is a deer named Bango. And Luc Richard Mbah a Moute got to see snow falling for the first time in his life.
Portland-based rapper with Down's Syndrome. He got his nickname, Laz-D, from high-school classmate Salim Stoudamire. (Thanks Benjamin.)
Remember when Michael Jordan used to be super skinny? Back in the day, in terrible clothes, he made an amazing chip shot on the golf course.
And, remember that skinny Michael Jordan played with George Gervin? The Good Point's Austin Kent recently talked at length with the Ice Man, who is campaigning for people like you and me to get checked for high blood pressure, about his playing days. Kent writes: "... a 1985 trade saw him wrap up his final year with a young Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. 'Michael, I think was a second year guy at that time. That's when I was practicing with him everyday and started seeing that potential and that drive that he had,' Gervin recalls. 'He was unbelievable. We kinda got along, but it was his turn and I knew it. We had some good battles in practice, like the old bull against the new bull, but I knew I was on the downward part of the hill. I knew I had to sacrifice'. Jordan, of course, would succumb to an injury that season, limiting him to just 18 games on the year, 11 in which he came off the bench. From there he could look o
n as Gervin brought an end to a brilliant tenure in the NBA. 'We were in Dallas and he was sitting on the bench and I scored 35 in the first half. At the end of the game I only had about 40 and he started laughing, saying 'old man, you ran out of gas'. I said [back] 'I was just showing you how it used to be''. Though the pair never dominated the league the way one, looking back, would have hoped, considering Gervin was years removed from his prime and Jordan yet to reach his, the fact that the two coexisted on the same franchise is, if nothing else, one of the best 'what if?' paper combinations of all time."
The Onion recently weighed in on the WNBA, with an article called "Breast Cancer Launches WNBA Awareness Month." It begins: "Leading representatives of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation announced Wednesday that the month of October would officially be known as WNBA Awareness Month, and commemorated the occasion by donating $80 million of their funds to promote the early detection and ultimate eradication of the all-female basketball league. Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker of the Komen Foundation was accompanied at the press conference by WNBA survivor Rebecca Lobo, long-suffering WNBA president Donna Orender, and Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie, who has been battling the league for 11 years. Brinker noted that the WNBA has always been a primary concern for the breast cancer community, and said she is committed to using the full force of her breast cancer organization to rid the nation of the dreadful professional league at its every stage -- from its earliest possible appearance in training camp, to preseason and the playoffs, and even during its more-invasive Finals stage when the league is at its most aggressive."
Donte Greene, who plays for the Maloofs who are as invested in Las Vegas as anyone, says he hates Las Vegas. I applaud the honesty.
Bud Poliquin of the Syracuse Post-Standard quoting Steve Nash: "I would have loved to have played for Coach Boeheim and for Syracuse. You have to realize that I was under-heralded when I was in high school and not recruited, so to play for Syracuse would have been a dream come true for me. But we didn't get close at all. Nobody with the Orangemen cared or even saw me play."
Brent Barry to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: "It's depressing that there is no trip to Seattle this year and there is no team in that city. There is a great history and they certainly had some great players there. And now, there is no team left. It's sad."
I like this from a point guard. Jason Quick of the Oregonian on how Steve Blake -- who is about to return -- has handled his injury time: "Blake eschewed the normal place for injured players at the end of the bench and instead sat next to assistants Dean Demopoulos and Joe Prunty. 'I didn't get to run any plays, so the way I'm learning is by watching the guys, and listening to the coaches,' Blake said. 'I'd watch to see where the guards are setting screens, seeing the angles they would take to set screens, and I would listen to Dean, who would turn and make comments to me. And just being up that close, I could hear Coach say things like 'Push it!' ... so I know what types of things he's thinking about.' In fact, McMillan said in the heat of one exhibition game he mistook Blake for an assistant. He turned to him and made a comment about a player, only to do a double-take and notice he said it to Blake."
PG-13 venting at the trials and tribulations of being an NBA fan in England.
Donald Hunt is a very nice man who writes for the Philadelphia Tribune. He's part of a special project, and e-mails: "The Philadelphia Tribune, the country's oldest African American newspaper is leading a grassroots effort to get NBA leggend Wilt Chamberlain on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp. The Tribune is looking to get 100,000 signatures of support with hopes of Chamberlain getting his postage stamp. The newspaper has a petition on its website where fans can go and sign he document online. The petition will be sent to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee. The CSAC is responsible for selecting the postage stamps. So far, the campaign has received support from NBA commissioner David Stern, Philadelphia 76ers owner Ed Snider, 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski, Miami Heat President Pat Riley, former Golden State Warrior head coach Al Attles, NBA legend Earl Lloyd, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and others. Chmberlain is the only player to score 100 points in a game. He is the only player to average 50 points a game. He played for the Philadelphia Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers. Chamberlain led the 1966-67 76ers to the NBA championship. He also carried the 1971-72 Lakers to the league title. Chamberlain would be the first basketball player to have his photo on a U.S. postage stamp."