TrueHoop: Clyde Frazier
- Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford tells the Washington Post's Michael Lee, "I don’t tell nobody, but I feel like I can be better than Michael Jordan."
- Nicolas Batum -- absolutely killing it in EuroLeague play. Nick Gibson of Sheridan Hoops: "Batum threw up a ridiculous line of 26 points, seven rebounds and eight assists with a pair of steals and a ranking of 36 (think of ranking as a poor man’s PER, without the per-minute and pace adjustments). Those stellar numbers were enough to earn him the Euroleague’s Week 2 MVP award."
- SportsFeat unearths a 1977 article written by Woody Allen about Earl Monroe for Sport magazine: "What makes Monroe different is the indescribable heat of genius that burns deep inside him. Some kind of diabolical intensity comes across his face when he has the ball. One is suddenly transported to a more primitive place. It’s roots time. The eyes are big and white, the teeth flash, the nostrils flare. He dribbles the ball too high, but with a controlled violence. The audience gets high with anticipation of some new type of thrill about to occur." (Hat tip: David Roth)
- Grantland's Men in Blazers will match your devotion to an NBA team to a soccer club you can root for while the lockout continues.
- Ira Winderman asks whether zone defenses in the NBA stifle individual brilliance. Perhaps, but the isolation and clearout-heavy NBA of the 1990s was painfully boring at times. Strategic intrigue brings a lot to basketball, a game that thrives on individual talent but also the choreography of fine-tuned team play.
- LeBron James, Clyde Frazier, Sarah Palin, Rob Mahoney, John Wooden and Basketball Prospectus all in one place -- on The Painted Area's 2011-12 Basketball Books Overview.
- A brief history of the 3-pointer at the Los Angeles Clippers' site, which means prominent placement for one Eric Piatkowski.
- Some old-time Washington, D.C. hoops legends rally around an old friend, now in prison, who was once of the District's can't-miss prospects.
- Andrew Sharp of SB Nation thinks there's something disingenuous about Michael Beasley's claims that he was exploited and betrayed by his former agent and AAU coach: "He felt betrayed when he found out that his agent had been taking care of his mother? He didn't think it was suspicious when his mother moved to Kansas State with him and had a new car and house when she got there? And this 'betrayal' just happens to crystallize after Bell had negotiated the parameters of a shoe deal for him, but before he signed it and would've paid Bell a hefty commission?"
- The gray wool suit -- an essential for the civilized man, but might be a bit toasty for Dwyane Wade in Miami. In the accompanying interview with GQ, we get a glimpse of how Wade stocks his wardrobe with the help of his iPad: "So how does Wade put his looks together? With the help of his stylist, Calyann Barnett. Barnett's star client loves getting dressed but hates shopping—he can't exactly roll up to the Miami Bloomingdale's—so she sends photos to his iPad and fills up his new 800-square-foot closet."
Whose MSG performance was more impressive? How long did it take for the Phoenix Suns to bury themselves in Oakland? Is Clyde Frazier a secret literary critic? The universe's great questions are answered at the TrueHoop Network.
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm: "Did I enjoy James' more? Yes. Would I have enjoyed Kobe's more if the games had been reversed? Yes. It's not about the personalities, it's about the fact that the complete and total basketball game is something that really floors me and it doesn't get much more complete than 50 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
But Bryant scored 61, did it efficiently, in every conceivable way, and often with a defender's hand in his face. Similarly, while Byrant obviously forced it as much as James did, the results were better and therefore he's excused for them.
But man, James went Nova tonight.
While Kobe's was all about bringing death and destruction the doorstep of his enemies, James tonight was just about exploring the concept of basketball...There was a joy to LeBron's performance, that, even though it was forced to many degrees, is the kind of infectiousness that can change a culture. James is changing our culture of basketball, with each game and each center of dominance."
Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns: "Two minutes and 38 seconds.
That's how long it took for the Warriors to jump out to a 17-2 lead and how long it took for any momentum from the Suns' 48-point blowout on Monday to putter out.
That's how long it took for the Warriors to hit five three-pointers and six shots in all, how long it took for Kelenna Azubuike to score 11 points, how long it took for the Suns to commit two turnovers and miss three shots and how long it took for Terry Porter to call two timeouts.
Two minutes and 38 seconds is all it took for the Suns to have no chance in an eventual 124-112 defeat that is sure to put another nail in the coffin of the Phoenix Suns as we know them today."
John Krolik of Cavs the Blog: "I love Clyde Frazier. He is a national treasure. For all the opposing broadcaster love for LeBron, few of them put in the necessary effort to put their adulation in couplets. I want Clyde to critique my short stories. 'It was very niiiiice, with this char-act-er arc, I liked how he's decidin' while you're providin'…context. I think the symbolism here was…resplendent.' I'm really not being sarcastic. Clyde and Jalen Rose are the two NBA talking heads who always seem really happy and satisfied while they're doing their jobs, like they just ate thanksgiving dinner right before they went on the air."
THE FINAL WORD
By the Horns: How the Bulls are like Animal Kingdom.
Daily Thunder: The limits of Earl Watson's "pesky, body-up, lean on you defense."
Queen City Hoops: Ode to Gerald Wallace.
(Photos by Nathaniel S. Butler, Rocky Widner, Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)