- Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN Staff Writer
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Wizards owner Ted Leonsis: "Last night there was a pick-up game played at Verizon Center on our practice court. There were many NBA players in attendance and a few NBA All-Stars played as well. I stumbled into watching purely by accident. Gilbert Arenas played last night. It was a very good evening of basketball. Gil -- our All-Star --matched up against another NBA All-Star. It was quite a show and quite a display of talent. I won’t comment yet on Gilbert or who was in the gym last night but suffice to say Gilbert looked trim, fit and explosive. His shot was sweet and he did one left handed dunk that was something to see. It had everyone talking. I was impressed and am happy." (Update via an email from Unprofessional Foul: Was it Chris Paul?)
Andrew A. McNeill of 48 Minutes of Hell uses some sharp diagrams to illustrate San Antonio's prompt, low-risk, stay-at-home defensive principles.
On the heels of the presentation of the prestigious Fields Medal to French mathematician Cedric Villani, Tom Ziller of AOL FanHouse asks, "Does defense really come down to atomic physics?"
Steve Perrin of Clips Nation on Eric Gordon's inclusion on Team USA's final roster: "He came in less well known than many of the other players, a fact that Coach K acknowledged last week. But his work ethic in practice and his solid play on the court has given Team USA no choice but to keep him. He may be less flashy than the other guards on the team, but coaches tend to covet solid unspectacular play, especially from their role players. EJ plays unrelenting man to man defense, he doesn't need the ball on offense, he moves the ball well, and in the end Coach K and his staff appreciated the little things he was doing. It hasn't hurt that he has lived up to his reputation as a knockdown shooter."
It hasn't been all confetti and champagne for the Lakers since 2000. Jeff Skibiski of Forum Blue & Gold walks you through the Lakers' 10 most forgettable moments of the decade.
Michael Schwartz of Valley of the Suns says Phoenix could actually field a five-man small forward unit if it wants to: "Such a small forward lineup could put Hedo Turkoglu at the point, Josh Childress at the two, Grant Hill at his natural three, Jared Dudley at the four and Earl Clark at the five."
Dudley asks a pretty interesting question via Twitter: "Imagine if the NBA had Int rules.. U think the All Star teams would be different?"
Jeremy Wagner of Roundball Mining Company on why the grass is greener for Carmelo Anthony in Denver.
Milwaukee did some intriguing things to its roster this offseason -- some of them curious, some of them clever. However we size up John Hammond's maneuvering, one thing is clear: The Bucks should finish at the rim at a measurably higher percentage this upcoming season.
Mark Cuban says it's time to stay liquid: " If you don’t fully understand the risks of an investment you are contemplating, it’s ok to do nothing. In times of massive uncertainty like we are facing today, doing nothing is a valid and IMHO preferable investment strategy. Just put your money in the bank."
Rob Mahoney of Pro Basketball Talk on Andre Iguodala's role on Team USA: "Iggy is easily Team USA's top perimeter defender, but offensively, he moves the ball, is a decent spot-up option (just don't ask him to shoot off the dribble...yeesh), and is a good positional rebounder."
When Gary Grant ruled the world ... for one night.
If the Wizards win 50 games this upcoming season, credit the new red stairs in the Verizon Center.
Via J.E. Skeets, Living and Dying by the Jazz unearths some sharp threads from Jerry Sloan's playing days with the Bulls.
In retrospect, exactly how bad for Cleveland was the Luke Jackson pick at No. 10 in the 2004 draft?
The Warriors have made crafty use of the D-League in recent seasons. Rasheed Malek of Warriors World tells D-League Digest's Matt Hubert: "Players such as Kelenna Azubuike, C.J. Watson and Reggie Williams are some of the players who’ve secured multi-year deals from NBA teams after initially being called up by the Warriors from the D-League. Add in other players such as Anthony Tolliver and Chris Hunter who’ve experienced significant playing time with the Warriors and it’s clear that the Warriors are the model franchise when it comes to utilizing the D-League."