Tuesday Bullets

  • A few hours before LeBron James' re-return to Cleveland, it's still not a sellout. Last time around, tickets went for record prices, but plenty has changed.

  • Ethan Sherwood Strauss on HoopSpeak: "Some would say that we should have a separate award for the most statistically dominant player. I respond: Would you like to have a dumber MVP debate than the current one? Also, isn’t the single honor straight forward to the sentient? Any reinterpretation of 'Most Valuable' confuses my English-loving brain. When I hear, 'Look, BEST is different from MOST VALUABLE,' it sounds a lot like, 'Look, I think the tone of my voice can render basic words irrelevant.'"

  • Seth Johnston of Portland Roundball Society: "The MVP is an opinion award, remember? There is no clear definition. If there was there would be no debate, which would end all of the fun, all of the frustration, and most of the interest. There are qualities that many previous winners share, but the exceptions are evidence that these are not hard and fast rules. There is no single correct answer. Nobody can be right and nobody can be wrong. Rose is the top scorer on a team that has won a lot of games. He is hardly a radical candidate. Perhaps you think an MVP should have a higher PER, more Win Shares, play better defense, or do something else. All of that is only as right and as wrong as any reason used to vote for Rose."

  • Eddy Rivera of Magic Basketball goes long explaining why Derrick Rose is, to him, not the MVP, and concludes: "The same numbers that showed Michael Jordan should have been MVP nearly every year he played in the NBA are the same numbers that show Rose shouldn’t win the award."

  • John Hollinger (Insider) says the Bulls could be the next coming of the 1977 Blazers -- a playoff-green team that takes home gold: "To find a precedent, we have to go all the way back to 1977 and the Portland Trail Blazers, who won the title in their first playoff appearance as a franchise, despite having virtually no playoff experience at all on the roster -- a combined six rounds of ABA playoff action for Dave Twardzik and Maurice Lucas and 12 games by backup guard Herm Gilliam. So Chicago fans can cling to the fact that teams with an outspoken, long-haired center who won a championship in college seem to be an exception to the rule."

  • Yahoo's Dan Wetzel lays down an amazing tale. It's about hoops, kind of. But it also has this which makes everything else nearly irrelevant: "Elizabeth Boone was 26 that day, mother of three, and had broken nearly every part of her 4-foot-8 body. Her legs were a snarled mess, bent behind her shoulders. Her back was off-kilter, her arms snapped in half. She gurgled blood. But she was conscious. Alive. A 6½-story free fall from a housing project was not enough to kill her. Thabiti stood over her, realized she was going to make it and did the first thing that came to mind: He yelled at his mother. 'Once I figured out she was alive, the anger in me came out,' he said. 'It was like, ‘Damn, what more can a little kid take?’ And so I asked her, ‘Why did you do this? How could you do this?’ I already knew what I was going to have to deal with. Not just the body casts and mental hospitals for my mother, the social workers and the uncertainty for my sister, brother and me. I knew I’d have to deal with the laughter and the ridicule. You know kids. Here would come the jokes, ‘I heard your Mom thought she was Superman and tried to fly; your mom is crazy.’' By the time he heard the ambulance sirens, he had said, and seen, enough. So he took off, running from the crowd down the block and off into his own thoughts, a 12-year-old almost no one thought would survive."

  • So, here I was writing about the collective bargaining agreement when Black Star's "Respiration" came on with some surprisingly relevant Talib Kweli lyrics: "Look in the skies for God, what you see besides the smog/is broken dreams flying away on the wings of the obscene/Thoughts that people put in the air/Places where you could get murdered over a glare/But everything is fair/It's a paradox we call reality/So keepin it real will make you casualty of abnormal normality/Killers Born Naturally like, Micky and Mallory/Not knowing the ways'll get you capped like an NBA salary/Some cats be emceeing to illustrate what we be seeing/Hard to be a spiritual being when s--- is shakin' what you believe in/For trees to grow in Brooklyn, seeds need to be planted."

  • Holy cow. You see Jordan Crawford? Kyle Weidie of Truth About It: "When the Wizards were desperate for offense, Crawford was there. When Utah fans were propelled alive by their team’s attempt to steal the game back from Washington late in regulation, Crawford was pouring ice water down his veins and hitting a tough baseline jumper in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 85. When extra basketball came calling, Crawford was there for two steals that led to four points in the first minute of overtime."

  • Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are part of one of the best offenses in the NBA, but the synchronicity is not all there.

  • Paul Pierce, gum chucker.

  • Ooh, that was an all-time Hollinger Power Rankings game for the Blazers. An eight-point rare road win in San Antonio and those rankings don't know that Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili were all in street clothes.

  • Playing "fact or fiction" with Ricky Rubio.