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Tuesday Bullets

  • Mark Cuban previews his legal defense, posting some evidence on his blog that he did not make any kind of confidentiality agreement with the CEO of Mamma.com.

  • Mark Cuban's brother pipes up, says Mark will prove in court that he is not Martha Stewart. I'll stipulate to that right now -- for crying out loud, they don't look anything like each other, and I suspect Cuban doesn't even own a glue gun.

  • A few days ago, I blogged about a fundraiser for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Here's a video from a few years ago about some work the Grizzlies have done with the hospital. Then-coach Hubie Brown is fantastic on the topic. "Jude is my middle name," he writes, "so we go way back."

  • As TrueHoop reader Kyle points out, check out the basketball on the shelf behind the president elect. Can anyone figure out who signed that?

  • There was some high comedy gay pride dodgeball -- I'm not certain the name of the winning team is really printable here -- after the Clipper game last night. Clipperblog describes at the end of this post.

  • Trees don't usually bite men, but most trees are Tree Rollins, and most men aren't Danny Ainge.

  • John Moe of public radio's Weekend America is a lifelong Sonics fan, is thus now a fan free agent. He spent some time being wooed by the Timberwolves, Bucks, Suns, and Grizzlies. Andrew Bogut handled the pitch for the Bucks: "'First of all we got an Australian playing for Milwaukee Bucks. That's the best reason -- multicultural theme. We also got a prince from Africa. If you ever want to go to Africa and be looked after, we got your back there as well. Luc Mbah A Moute is a prince of his village in Cameroon so if you ever head to Cameroon you can get the five star treatment,' said Bogut. 'I can just flash some Bucks gear?' I asked. 'Oh you'll be good, yeah. Probably get a crown,' he said."

  • You get the feeling Allen Iverson is on his team-centric best behavior in Detroit? Against the Lakers he played 41 minutes, but took only 12 shots, and missed only five, while he had four assists. Two Pistons shot more. He had the best plus/minus of any player in the game. UPDATE: I am happily surprised by this: Iverson had killer plus/minus numbers in Denver.

  • Identify the player by their silhouette. Not easy with hints, even tougher without.

  • Basketbawful is distraught that Yao Ming has gone two games without having his shot blocked.

  • Gary Payton tells Gregory Dole, writing for SLAM, about leading Team USA to two Olympic golds: "I was surprised by how cocky the foreign teams had become by 1998. They were telling everyone how the had gotten better and how the US team was not as good as 1992, without stars like Jordan and Barkley and all them. In my mind, I had to make sure the USA won and nothing else was going to be acceptable. In 1999, we had to play ten games in a row to qualify. I told the team at the time that we have to jump on and beat up on every team in the tournament so that the Spanish, Argentines and everyone else would realize that they didn't have a chance. In my mind, that was the difference with the 2004 team. They didn't take the other teams seriously enough. You have to understand that in international basketball, there are no star calls. We don't even get the types of calls that we get in the NBA. International basketball is a much rougher game and the refs let so much slide. The other national teams know this and just play. They don't pout when they don't get calls that they might get from NBA refs. Instead, the other national teams come right back down the floor after a questionable play and treat their opponent even rougher."

  • Steve Aschburner of Sports Illustrated quotes Greg Oden on Rudy Fernandez: "'You see him start to do something and you think, Oh, no!' said Oden, seemingly happy to be discussing a Blazers newbie besides himself. 'Then you stop and say, 'Oh. Good shot, Rudy.' He's been doing that sort of stuff for years.'"

  • USC freshman DeMar DeRozan reminds Eric Musselman of Vince Carter.

  • Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail has noticed that Jermaine O'Neal gets his shot blocked a lot -- a dozen times already in this young season: "The question of course, is does getting your shot blocked matter? It's not ideal, but it's not automatically bad. It stands to reason it's going to happen if you go hard to the basket and defences collapse on you. It means you're creating a reaction. Blocks themselves are a bit bogus as a stat. A drawn charge creates a turnover and adds a foul to the other team this is inarguable good. A blocked shot might get your team the ball and maybe even start a fastbreak -- but seriously, how often has anyone seen that happen. More likely the ball gets knocked out of bounds and the offence gets another shot. Sometimes the ball ends up in the offence's hands and they get a wide open look off a broken play. Sometimes the blocker gets called for a foul. Sometimes he goes for the block and allows an easy lay-up because he left his own man; or the offence moves into the space and gets an easy put back on a missed shot. You might 'change' some shots and teams might shoot a lower percentage as a result, but who really knows. So getting your shot blocked is not the end of the world. What I notice with O'Neal is who blocks his shot, it's often little guys tapping him from behind after he bails out of his move, or has to add another twist or pause because he can't beat the opposing big the first time. If that goes on for a long time, you got problems."

  • Positivity hard to come by in Thunderland.

  • On his NBA.com blog, Tyson Chandler has some pointers about playing DJ while your wife is delivering a child. He's about to have his second, and has learned from the first time around: "With Sacha, my wife had me make a CD with all these calming songs on it. It had this song 'Closer to My Dreams' on it and she wanted that on replay, because she had always dreamed of her baby coming. That song was her motivation, but it just kept playing over and over and over. I had my iPod and my iPod dock there and I started switching to some other slow songs, a little India Arie, a little Maxwell, some Jill Scott, just soft stuff. But I guess I had it on shuffle and somehow, it clicked to some sex song by R. Kelly! I clicked it again, but it went to another R. Kelly song, 'Half on a Baby!' And my wife was screaming, 'Turn that off!' She was screaming at me to get out. She started going crazy because the song was absolutely ridiculous. She almost kicked me out of the delivery room, but she saw that I was about to cry. My mom was consoling me, my wife was kind of looking at me from the corner of her eye and I worked my way back to the top of the bed. But afterwards, we were dying laughing."

  • UPDATE: The idea that the League gives Shaquille O'Neal a wide berth in everything from flagrant fouls to racist commentary. And video evidence that whatever justice Stu Jackson won't dispense, the Utah Jazz will.