James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom is passionate about the Kings, to the point of having berated Mayor Kevin Johnson at a recent city council meeting. But at a fancy Sacramento restaurant last night, he ran into Mayor Johnson and, among others, Clay Bennett, and had cordial conversations with both. "My impressions of Clay Bennett after last night are as follows -- he is a person just like anyone else. He is not the devil, he is a business man and honestly I found him to be very engaging and friendly. He is much bigger in person, but his mannerisms were slightly disarming, sort of a southern/mid-western gentleman type. Like Mayor Johnson, Clay Bennett seems like a guy I could sit and have a drink with."
John Hollinger says that 2-pointers have been hard to hit in the playoffs so far, so teams should consider shooting more 3s.
If not to embarrass you in front of tens of thousands, what are teammates for?
For no good reason, a funny line from David Shields' 1999 book "Black Planet": "The Sonics are worse than any team I've ever seen at making good ball-fakes. When Gill fakes a pass or Kemp fakes a shot, my daughter, Natalie—one-and-a-half—wouldn't fall for the fake. When back-up point guard Nate McMillan passes to someone, he always makes sure to look directly at him. The Sonics seem to feel that pretending to do something and then not doing it is sort of an unmanly thing to do."
A camera is not a powerful enough instrument to capture Dwane Casey.
Nick Wrenn, an English editor at CNN.com, is distraught at the lack of passion in the stands of American stadiums. It's nothing like home, for him: "The TV cameras scan faces in the crowd, but here you see no casual relaxed smiles, cheery waves and flirtatious kisses. Instead you see torment, fans with their heads in their hands, faces contorted with tension and worry. And yes, there will be tears. More than 70 percent of British fans have cried at some stage during a game, according to SIRC's 2008 study."
After decades spending hundreds of millions to create one of the most reclusive existences in global history (welcome to my well-staffed yacht, just off Helsinki, with its own submarine!) Paul Allen says he's eager to bump into any and all of us at an event in Seattle.
In 2004, the Pistons won the title, apparently by killing offense for the whole NBA.
Tayshaun Prince, in a timeout, ostensibly listening to his coach, was actually doing the wave with a New Jersey audience. Really -- worth a read.
This animated GIF is more fun if you pretend Andre Miller is ripping out a tooth, not just his gum.
Ron Artest says "Sacramento will be in Sacramento" next year, which must be a relief to those who live there and don't want to move. And Tim Leiweke -- a heavy hitter of the stadium world, whom David Stern holds in high regard -- says he's behind Jerry Buss's efforts opposing a Kings' move to Anaheim.
Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated makes a great point ... that Andre Iguodala's offense just isn't all that great, and he makes a ton of money. Counterpoint would be, I guess, that if his game were reversed, if he was a top-five offensive player and a ragged defender, he'd be widely considered underpaid, right? "It’s tiresome, but the postseason has reminded everyone why we keep talking about Iguodala trades. Philadelphia paid Iguodala like a top-tier star, and he’s not one. He is an all-world defensive player — third on my unofficial Defensive Player of the Year ballot — and few players provide his combination of defense, passing and ball-handling. His defense is so good that he is indeed one of those players who is more valuable than his basic statistics indicate. But I don’t care how great you are on defense. A star player cannot score 19 points in three playoff games, on 7-of-25 shooting, and put up a single-digit Player Efficiency Rating in that span. Star players just don’t do this. I get that Iguodala has been dealing with tendinitis in his right knee, and that LeBron defended him for most of those three playoff games. It was telling, though, that in crunch time of Game 3, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra felt comfortable shifting LeBron onto Williams (and sometimes Jrue Holiday) and allowing James Jones to check Iguodala. Williams is a key crunch-time player for the Sixers, but he’s dealing with a hamstring issue, and that’s just not the kind of move an opposing coach makes if he is worried at all about the guy making $13.5 million on the other team." And he traveled.
The Mag's "Player X" talks about talk: "Legend has it Gary Payton, who vets say talked an endless stream of trash, once told Jordan that he drove a better car than MJ. 'The cars I got are just like yours,' Jordan replied. 'Except mine were free.'" Also, love this: "The Lakers aren't as good at it, but the defending champs have an edge over most other teams because Kobe can talk with the best of them while he lights you up and Ron Artest is just weird. One reason he's a great defender is he'll get way too close and whisper in your ear."
Concerns about Avery Bradley's posture when speaking to Rajon Rondo.
Kyle Korver would love to be able to move like Derrick Rose, which puts him in a pretty big club.