TrueHoop: Jamaal Tinsley
- Joe Johnson made his return to Atlanta last night for the first time since the Hawks shipped him to Brooklyn. Bo Churney of HawksHoop writes that however outsized Johnson's second contract with the Hawks might have been, if you zoom out and look at the landscape from afar, you'll see the impact Johnson made in Atlanta: "Joe Johnson isn’t LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or Chris Paul. You can easily argue that he was never a top ten player in the league, and point out that he only garnered two total MVP votes in his career. But what you have to acknowledge is that Joe Johnson revitalized a franchise that had fallen into the fiery pits of NBA hell. In the six years before Johnson arrived, the Hawks only won more than 30 games twice, and were in a certain type of futility that resulted in a 13-69 record in the 2004-05 season."
- Many gifted transition players are guys who phone it in during a defensive possession just waiting for the moment they can take off and run the break. They're basketball's equivalent to people who aren't listening so much as waiting for an opportunity to talk again. As Zach Harper of CBS Sports writes and illustrates, Corey Brewer isn't one of those guys. Brewer is an elite base defender in the half court who can leak out in transition as well as anyone.
- Carmelo Anthony had a cameo on "Nurse Jackie" a while back. Here's his audition still from London for "Downton Abbey."
- Orlando's Arron Afflalo is a solid NBA player, but he's not exceptional enough to subsist on his midrange game.
- Garbage in, garbage out -- true in information technology and on the basketball floor. Ian Levy takes a studied look at how shot selection correlates with offensive efficiency, and why the Mavericks struggled offensively prior to their current winning streak.
- Andrew McNeill of 48 Minutes of Hell after the Spurs' drubbing of the Grizzlies on Wednesday night: "It’s games like these that make me think that it would take a hell of a haul to trade Stephen Jackson. Jack thrives in games like these where the game gets physical and the Spurs are looking for someone to stick their chin out and challenge someone. San Antonio needs his toughness in these games. Jack had eight points and five assists against the Grizz, hitting 2-of-5 3-pointers."
- Adam Koscielak of Gothic Ginobili on Shannon Brown's dribble fetish: "Even the folks at the weekly pickup game I wrote about last week have more awareness than [Brown], and there's no shot-clock to respect, nothing to stop them from doing them but the purity of the game. They seem to embrace it. In a way, it's impressive that Brown -- despite all the pro experience, despite his two championship rings -- still manages to dribble the shot-clock out like that. It's impressive that his teammates and coaches still trust him enough to give him the ball. But the most magical fact of all is watching what exactly Shannon Brown does with that ball. Puts it between his legs, plays around with it, throws it behind his back, dazzles with it -- ... and ends up going absolutely nowhere. He rarely gets layups. If anything, he'll hit a lucky pull-up jumper that he'll follow with a brick or five."
- Stephen Curry re-aggravated his ankle injury, Jarrett Jack is gimpy -- and now the feel-good Warriors and their depth are being tested.
- The Lakers haven't been very animated this season, something this video from Michael Smith seeks to correct. Smith also explains why the Lakers' road to the postseason is so rocky.
- Marquis Daniels' GMC Savana has party lights, a cutting-edge A/V system, seats that can accommodate the Bucks' platoon of young 7-footers and a lot of loose change lying about.
- On egraphs, Reggie Evans wishes a fan a happy 27th birthday with a personalized audio message, in which he also asks for some dental advice.
- From this day forward, Jamaal Tinsley would like to be known as "The Listener."
- Wages of Wins is helping to raise money for cancer research, which increasingly relies on quantitative analysis not entirely unlike what we're seeing in basketball, one reason the fundraiser are asking donors to offer a "guess for which player will have the largest Points over Par game and which game" on Thursday or Friday's NBA schedule. The winner will have his contribution upgraded to the next donation tier.
Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
- An interesting account of what went on in the Pacers' war room the night of the 2001 draft, and how the team landed the then-coveted Jamaal Tinsley. (Hat Tip: Indy Cornrows)
- The final post in a series of pieces of how the Grizzlies can get from here to there: "It opened with a blog defining what people should think about in regards to the team's record. Second I discussed Zach Randolph and his role in in making the season a success. Part 3 looked at Rudy Gay and what he needs to accomplish this season. Part 4 dealt with the three headed alien monster known as the Grizzlies Centers."
- Bret LaGree of Hoopinion notes the tonal problems in LeBron James' autobiography: "Now maybe LeBron James has been enrolled in a mediocre Creative Writing program quietly working toward an MFA in the off-season and perhaps I'm making my own assumptions about class and race but these passages (and there are many, many more like them throughout the book) lack verisimilitude. I don't doubt that Akron's decline was visible to a child nor that young LeBron rode his bike a lot nor that Swensons made a tasty burger and kids like drive-ins. None of this, though, is expressed with any sort of immediacy or authenticity."
- The Knicks have kept their powder dry this offseason in anticipation of next summer's free agent bonanza. Howard Beck says that's put a crimp in their prospects for success in 2009-10.
- Michael Wilbon writes about a former NBA player serving in Iraq: "[Tim James] enlisted in the Army about a year ago at the age of 31, having fulfilled one dream, the one of playing in the NBA, but still looking to fill the second, the dream of serving his country."
- Both Teams Played Hard is up to No. 13 in its logo-ranking project.
- Off-season optimism followed by disappointment in New Jersey -- a familiar sequence in New Jersey. Nets are Scorching catalogs past seasons when bullish Nets fans were let down mightily.
- The 1996-97 Philadelphia 76ers -- what could've been.
- The Nets become the first NBA team to sign a sponsorship deal for their practice jerseys. Brett Yormark, president of Nets Sports & Entertainment, says: "This is an integrated deal but it is not a day-of-game type of deal ... It is an upsell of an existing partner but does not include any arena assets. The branding is not between 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Izod Center."
- Rip City Project is the first media outlet to report that Jeff Pendergraph will undergo hip surgery.
- Could this be Geoff Petrie's final season in Sacramento? Tom Ziller asks: "My central questions in this matter: has the game passed Petrie by? Can the Kings do better?"
- Ziller also finds an awesome picture of Fugazi's Guy Picciotto performing a show upside-down through a basketball hoop.
Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
- The Blazers have found an individual to accept their money. The Sixers drafted Jrue Holiday out of UCLA, but will clearly need to fortify things at the point.
- Will Big Ben return to Detroit and retire as a Piston?
- Third Quarter Collapse notes that Matt Barnes listed Stan Van Gundy as one of the primary reasons he chose Orlando: "Are you hearing this? Are you believing this? Van Gundy, the man whom some Magic fans wanted fired after his team blew a 14-point, 4th-quarter lead to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, is now almost a big a draw for free-agents as Dwight freakin' Howard is." Whatever unfair stigma Van Gundy carried into the late spring, it's fair to say that label has expired. As Ben Q. Rock states in the post, Van Gundy has joined the ranks of elite coaches, and a difference-maker for guys exploring their options around the league.
- Nets owner Bruce Ratner -- now accepting investors. Dave D'Alessandro of the Newark Star-Ledger says that if and when a suitor legitimately emerges, the team is likely Brooklyn-bound: "So far, nobody's buying. But according to numerous officials throughout the organization, Ratner may soon find someone to help alleviate the team's crushing debt load and facilitate the construction of the Atlantic Yards project, and the candidates range from the former CEO of Yahoo to a billionaire industrialist from Russia -- each of whom would still move the team from New Jersey."
- Zach Randolph says that the Grizzlies are "embracing me like no other team had." I can't decide if this says more about Randolph or the Grizzlies.
- Tim Donahue of Eight Points, Nine Seconds on the Pacers finally extricating themselves from Jamaal Tinsley, and turning the page on a rough patch in the franchise's history: "There is a sense of overwhelming relief flowing throughout the Pacer faithful. With Jamaal's departure, the team is rid of the last of the players identified with the utter embarrassment that has befallen this franchise in the five years since the infamous Malice in the Palace in November 2004."
- Basketball Reference has added transactions to each player's page. Hooray! No confirmation as to whether Tony Massenburg's page required BBR to acquire additional server space.
- Rajon Rondo's jumper: Not improving. The silver lining, according to Zach Lowe, is that Js represent a smaller slice of Rondo's overall shot selection.
- Smart post by Zarar Siddiqi of Raptors Republic on Toronto's point guard platoon of Jose Calderon and Jarrett Jack.
- If you're keeping score at home, Basketbawful's epic Livin' Large series has a new flow chart.
- Video from day one of USA Basketball mini-camp [Hat Tip: Brandon Hoffman]
- First Blake Griffin strains his shoulder, and then he gets his first lesson in Los Angeles parking lot etiquette: "Don't u hate when ur waitin for someone to pull out of a parking spot and someone else comes and takes it? That just happened to me!"
The Lakers need Lamar Odom as much as Lamar Odom needs the Lakers. Jarrett Jack heads to Toronto, while Eddy Curry remains unmovable. And the big powers in the East make some tweaks to their benches.
Kurt Helin of Forum Blue & Gold: "Don't delude yourself into thinking the Lakers are better off without [Lamar] Odom -- the best proof is that last season he led the Lakers in +/-, the Lakers outscored opponents by 16.4 points per 48 minutes when he was on the floor. Second was Kobe [Bryant] at 12.1. The simple truth is that good things happened for the Lakers when he was on the floor. He came up big in the playoffs. His versatility cannot easily be replaced. There are some intriguing pieces on the Heat roster ([Mario] Chalmers, for one) but any move the Lakers make here is not going to make a title more likely. Can the Lakers win a title without Odom? Yes, but the margin of error is now non-existent. [Andrew] Bynum has to be healthy and playing at his peak. Artest has to fit in swimmingly. Bench guys like Sasha [Vujacic] and Jordan [Farmar] cannot struggle for long stretches. Everything has to go right. And that's a lot to ask."
Mike Kurylo of Knickerblogger: "When the Knicks acquired Eddy Curry, he was supposed to be the future of the franchise. Although there were signs that he would never reach that level of play (namely every stat but fg% and pts/36), his size and flashes of scoring lead many to believe in his potential. In 2009 Eddy Curry had his most disappointing season, playing a grand total of 12 minutes and scoring only 5 points. Immediately after the season ended, Curry vowed to get in shape, and immediately began twittering about his work out regimen. In the weeks since, his private trainer 'leaked' that Curry lost 30 pounds, and Eddy appeared before the Knicks brass at the summer league. It appears that Curry is doing what he does best. He appeals to the optimist in Knick fans, while producing almost nothing."
Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds: "In the end, however, Jarrett [Jack] isn't worth $5 million a year - at least not to a Pacer team that still has [Jamaal] Tinsley's devastating deal on the books, will be paying Mike Dunleavy to rehab his knee for at least another six months, and is significantly overpaying for the production of both Troy Murphy and TJ Ford. I really liked the fearlessness and aggressive penetration Jack showed so consistently last season, but Bird was right to let him walk for that price. It would have been great to keep Jarrett around at something like three years/$12 million, but he played his way into a better offer from Toronto and no Pacer fan should fault him for that."
(Photos by Noah Graham, Jeff Zelevansky, Harry How/NBAE via Getty Images)
Oh man, this Jamaal Tinsley story is not good.
Mike Wells and Francesca Jarosz of the Indianapolis Star have an especially thorough version of events:
Sgt. Paul Thompson, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, said the incident began at the nightclub Cloud 9, 5150 W. 38th St.
Members of Tinsley's group said people in another group harassed them about Tinsley's expensive cars -- a Mercedes, Rolls-Royce and Dodge Charger -- and the amount of money he made.
Tinsley's group left the club and headed for Tinsley's Downtown condominium but soon realized they were being followed by a gray Chrysler and a dark pickup truck, Thompson said. They pulled into the Conrad Hotel because they thought it would be safer, he said.
The shooting began about 3:40 a.m., after both groups reached the hotel, Thompson said.
After [Pacers equipment manager Joe] Qatato was shot, he went inside, where Conrad employees called emergency medical services and police.
Qatato had been sitting with Tinsley in the player's Rolls-Royce. A Methodist Hospital spokesperson said Qatato was released Sunday afternoon after being treated. Tinsley, in the front passenger seat, was not injured.
Two of the three vehicles in Tinsley's group followed the shooters to Monument Circle, and James Tinsley returned fire. It was not known whether anyone was hit. James Tinsley had a gun permit, Thompson said.
Jamaal Tinsley was not involved in the chase, Thompson said.
No Conrad employees witnessed the shooting, but a few were on duty inside the lobby when it occurred. Those who assisted Qatato were not allowed to comment due to hotel policy.
At least three bullets struck Tinsley's Rolls-Royce, including one in the windshield and two in the driver's door window. The Charger had five bullet holes, Thompson said.
Pacers.com has a lot of coverage of this story, too, although they left out the part about two of Tinsley's cars making the outing to Monument Circle to fire off some shots into the night.
The reaction from the team is all along the lines of: this is what happens when you're out late at night. And perhaps going home earlier just solves a lot of these kinds of problems.
But clocks everywhere protest that the time was not entirely to blame, and those clocks may have a point. Another important part of staying out of trouble is trying to stay out of trouble.
As the Associated Press points out, Tinsley has been making this kind of news lately:
He was present when [Stephen] Jackson fired a gun into the air several times before he was hit by a car at Club Rio in Indianapolis in October 2006.
Tinsley and another Pacers player, Marquis Daniels, both face charges stemming from a bar fight almost a year ago.
A grand jury indicted Tinsley on a felony charge of intimidation and misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and intimidation in connection with a Feb. 6 fight at the 8 Seconds Saloon. Their trial is scheduled to start Jan. 14.
First of all, the Pacers may be spinning this as if Jamaal Tinsley was a victim in this instance. Fair enough. But all those in his cars who allegedly went hunting the bad guys vigilante style, and his brother who police say fired off into the Indianapolis night? That's not my idea of victimhood.
There are a lot of big questions. (Why out so late, why partying with guns, why not hire real professional security, why not party at home with people you know and trust, and if a Rolls Royce will get you shot -- why not drive a Honda?) But the one that I have not seen answered is: when were the police called? If you are harassed and then followed by two cars, surely seeking out the parking lot of a luxury hotel is not as good a move as calling 911 and asking to be directed to the nearest law enforcement officials.
I know, I know, I know, there are a thousand reasons why young black men don't trust the police and the reasons for that are long-term, ugly, and mutlifaceted. There are novels and term papers galore on that subject.
But if I were a high-profile athlete, I'd put machismo aside and try to develop some kind of relationship with the local police, for instance by hiring some off-duty officers as security. Not only are they trained professionals, but they are also good friends to have who know how to get a good response when it's time to call the local police.
In an era when more and more athletes seem to be targets of various different kinds of attacks, you want your local police department taking a personal interest in keeping you safe.
Instead, according to a big USA Today story on how athletes are coping with this new reality, a lot of athletes are seeing these headlines and talking about getting bigger, meaner dogs and guns.
I'm thinking that making every decisions with safety in mind, and working with real deal security professionals and the local police, could keep a family a lot safer than a big mean dog.
In the meantime I'm just thankful that nobody was killed, hoping that Joe Qatato makes a full and speedy recovery, and wishing we knew better how to prevent these kinds of incidents.
UPDATE: Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star says Tinsley has been a revelation this season:
I'm sure most of you are going to think I'm out of my mind when I say this, but Tinsley has been a completely different person this season. Not only is Tinsley putting up good offensive numbers, he's also got a different demeanor around the locker room, on the practice court and in games. I've talked to and learned more about Tinsley in the past two months than I have in the previous two-plus years I've covered him.
UPDATE: An Indianapolis TV station has released transcripts and audio of "the 911 call" associated with this incident, which came from a worker in the lobby of the Conrad Hotel who evidently had an injured Qatato in his lobby by the time he talked to any emergency services people. That would seem to suggest (but certainly not prove) that nobody called 911 from one of Tinsley's three cars before, during, or immediately after the shooting.