By Dan Shanoff
Page 2 columnist

As the NBA season tips off this week, where do you stand on the hot-button issues that will be debated at your office water-cooler? Argued with your buddies at the bar? Pulled out during yet another attempt to impress on that first date? You don't want to get caught dealing in last year's conventional wisdom.

Hop aboard the Kings bandwagon if you want to, but for a couple of extra talking points, check out the 2002-2003 NBA season "What's Hot, What's Not" List below:

What's Hot, What's Not for NBA 2002-03
Category Hot Not
Hardware lock for MJ Sixth Man Award Finals MVP
Arena noise-maker Thunder Stix Cowbells
New Clippers

What-are-you-thinking? acquisition Shawn Kemp (It's always Shawn Kemp)
Impact free agent Keon Clark Calbert Cheaney
Prep-to-pro worth props Amare Stoudamire Tyson Chandler
Is it a contract year?
Jerry Stackhouse

Juwan Howard
Trade bait
Gary Payton

Latrell Sprewell
Arena music

Skill for wannabe 10-day-contractors Can you play point guard? Midrange jump-shooting
NBA factory Argentina Big East
Second-wind vet Kevin Willis Kendall Gill
Growth stock Richard Jefferson Jonathan Bender
Darius Miles' "Cavs 21"

Kobe Bryant's "'MPLS' Lakers 8"
Violation Defensive three seconds Illegal D
Early-season revelation Bobby Jackson is better than overpriced Mike Bibby Dirk Nowitzki still can't play defense
Lakers' tenuous grasp Shaq's toe Playoff cool
Role player Playmaking PG Short SG
Laughingstock strategist George Karl Byron Scott
NBA Finals MVP candidate
Hedo Turkoglu

Rick Fox
Needs more pub
Bostjan Nachbar

Yao Ming
Owner Mark Cuban Charlotte wannabes
Friend-wowing fantasy-draft pick Troy Murphy Mike Dunleavy
Nickname inspiration Puns on surname Alliteration
Goal of offseason acquisition Tire out opposing PGs Clamp down on Kobe
Soothing team presence Popeye Jones Charles Oakley
Foreign stud Manu Ginobili Peja Stojakovic
Frustrated star Jalen Rose Steve Francis
Double-wide on wrist

On elbow
Hair style
Cropped short like Kobe

Floppy like Nash
Requisite scoring punch Inside-outside Three-headed monster
Fun to watch

Reffing controversy Foul calls Buzzer-beating shots
"What?? No call??"-type shot-taker Paul Pierce Kenyon Martin
Break-out All-Star Desmond Mason Tim Thomas
Rematch Christie-Fox II ("It's the Wives' Turn") Howard-O'Neal/Harrington II ("Contract-year Madness")
Popular pick for champs

Contrarian pick for champs Spurs Anyone from the East

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "What's Hot, What's Not" trend-spotting list appears Thursdays. Got inside scoop on an up-and-coming trend? Want to declare something passé? Send this glimpse of your hipness to Don't forget to check out the NHL season preview Hot 'n' Not List!