Pictures, bulleted links, commentary & other stuff…
What are Flip Saunders and Andray Blatche looking at?
Part of me thinks they are looking at a tiny lamb heart, sitting in the palm of Saunders’ hand, barely (magically) holding onto life, while Flip is poking it with a ball-point pin. But I’m probably wrong. They are likely looking at this baggy-clothed Chris Webber from the 90s, perhaps modelling a new concept in comfort garments that eventually led to the invention of the Snuggie or the Slanket. Either way, looks dire.
> Check out some recent contributions from TAI’s writers to ESPN.com’s 5-on-5:
- Me on Shaq’s potential in the television studio.
- John Converse Townsend on best/worst NBA coaching hires.
- Rashad Mobley on the impact of Yao Ming’s career.
> When John Wall was making the 18-hour drive from Raleigh, NC to Chicago in 2007 for Reebok’s Headliner Try Out (where he first made a name for himself), he sported a Mohawk because he and his friends thought the haircut would increase their chances of being picked.
> Maybe your girlfriend, or mother, or relative, or significant other, or your girlfriend’s fashion cinematographer brother, or anyone else who is less than enthusiastic sports (which is, okay… and I don’t mean to start this grouping with the female gender) would disagree, but sports are very important to a city/community and its quality of life. Ted Leonsis says so, and he makes a fair argument.
> So Wes Unseld Jr. is leaving the franchise to work with Golden State. This is not much of a surprise… if he ever wanted his career to rise, he had to find a job outside of D.C. — With ownership changing hands, there often isn’t room for holdovers from previous eras. New people come in, they want to hire their own people… So goes life.
> Most interesting David Falk quote from his appearance on 106.7 The Fan with Mike Wise and Holden Kushner: the one alluding to the NBA being a league for stars and how the best teams have three highly paid stars and low paid guys filling in for the rest. Here’s part of his quote:
“Today, the rank and file is running the union, and there’s a lot more rank and file players — they are passing the rules that disadvantage the stars that the people come to see and buy their merchandise or watch their commercials.”
> Looks like JaVale McGee will be joining Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, Derrick Williams and Derek Fisher for exhibition games in the Philippines on July 23 and 24.
> Speaking of McGee, did his Twitter account, @JaValeMcGee34, recently get into a “beef” with the Twitter account of Mike Wilbon, @RealMikeWilbon? It seems so when Wilbon called McGee and Justin Bieber two of the worst dressed at the ESPYs. And well, McGee responded, partially by essentially calling Wilbon a homosexual for his comments, but using the more vaguely masked “[pause]“.
[Funny Athlete Tweets]
> This NY Times article on the state of Chinese basketball after Yao Ming, in which it’s deduced (at least by my reading) that hope for Yi Jianlian will ever amount to anything is virtually nill, provides a certain appreciation that at least the corrupt AAU development system in the United States is not the illy-targeted attempt to manufacture basketball players in China. Expected to really turn 27 years old in October, Yi still has plenty of time to serve as cover boy for the Chinese national team, it’s just that it won’t mean much unless he’s cutting his teeth in the NBA.
> Anthony Marci, who works with David Thorpe at the Pro Training Center in Florida, has an article on developing an NBA center in which JaVale McGee is discussed. A good take-away: McGee needs to start catching the ball with his back to the baseline, not with his back to the basket, so he can better see what’s developing on the floor, and so he can more easily attack the prime real estate in the middle of the paint. It would probably help if McGee removed his horse-blinders on offense more often, but seems like a good plan of attack for him nonetheless.
> There’s a Q&A with Trevor Booker on the Clemson Tigers official website … he credits Josh Howard with helping him keep his head up through the expected doldrums of minimal rookie playing time.
> Wizards second round draft pick Shelvin Mack is participating against other NBA players, like Gordon Hayward, Lance Stephenson and Zach Raandolph, in the Indy Pro Am Summer League at IUPUI.
> Etan Thomas previously said that the proposal of NBA owners to the players union is akin to the Christmas wish list of a four-year old. I’m not sure if all of this is to say that NBA players are the responsible parents or not. Either way, I will continue to blame both parties equally for the current lockout mess.
> Finally, farewell to Darius Songaila… the former White Knight of the Wizards (at least in terms of the last time Washington was in the playoffs, playing LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers) has signed a one-year deal to play in Turkey.