Monday Bullets

  • Now that Red Auerbach is no longer with us, the NBA is asking you to vote for All-Star cheerleaders. (Did anyone run this by Jerry West? Is Tex Winter on board?) Ron Hitley will tell you who to vote for: "Feel free to disagree with my selections, but I think my abundance of first-hand experience with beautiful women makes me an expert on things like this."

  • Detroit is a state of mind. A bunch of Pistons fans go to Chicago wearing head to toe anti-Ben Wallace gear. Everyone is very nice to them, and that makes them hate Chicago even more. By the way the Bulls won by a country mile.

  • Yet another call to scrap the dunk contest and replace it with a game of HORSE. My idea, and I want millions if it takes off: strap a cordless microphone on every player, start each player with $20,000 cash, and let them make whatever bets they want with each other. $5,000 I can hit a half-court shot before you. $10k says the judges will like my tomahawk jam more than yours. $20,000 says I can shoot 50% from the free throw line blind-folded. That kind of thing. To keep everyone from talking at once, I guess they should be paired up, which would require some kind of elimation tournament. If they had this, it would be the must-see event of All-Star weekend. It's like poker meets basketball.

  • Something about Rick Fox naked in a hot tub.

  • As long as we're way off base and not talking about actual basketball (I swear, I'm looking for actual basketball news), you might as well consider Unsilent Majority's report of the Gilbert Arenas birthday party: "At first it was just like another night at a club, only people were dressed to impress. The main bar was a [eff]ing disaster and it took about a half hour to get a drink. The bartenders were only paying attention to people getting bottles of champagne. The crowd was great, more sideboob than you could shake a stick at. Obviously predominantly Black but the number of Persian girls was out of control... the presence of the occasional middle-aged rich white couple gave the whole thing the most delightful ghetto bar mitzvah vibe. Especially with the dress code. So I guess Gil is now a man!" More on the party.

  • Jermaine O'Neal is not happy. Mike Wells with some perspective.

  • Basketbawful: "Midway through the third quarter, Manu Ginobili hit a nice driving layup to give the Spurs a 76-73 lead...and Bill Walton once again lost his mind: 'The Spurs are literally unbeatable!' The Spurs would go on to be literally beaten 90-85."

  • A Nike executive says, in essence, that LeBron James is more likeable than Kobe Bryant. Listen the whole segment of "News and Notes" from a few weeks ago, which features Lynn Merritt and Maverick Carter (friend of LeBron James of CEO of LRMR--an upstart marketing agency with a website I once made fun of).

  • Mark Blount is playing well for the moment.

  • Kings.com wants you to write in Kenny Thomas as an All-Star. LouisMG of Sactown Royalty checks the numbers: "Did you know that KT, as we like to call him, may just be 8th on the Kings in points per game, but is second on the squad in both fouls and turnovers per contest? He's also made fully half of his free throws on the season, ahead of only Vitaly Potapenko, who still has yet to reach the charity stripe in the 2006-07 campaign."

  • The Miami fans in the comments of Ira Winderman's blog are fascinating. Lots of different emotions here. Is it a title team with injuries? A title team destroyed? Bad leadership? Bad roster? What the heck is going on? Digital Cubano says: "I think there is something else to it. I'm just hoping and waiting for Ira to break it. C'mon crackerjack: earn that Pulitzer!"

  • Speaking of bewilderded fans, here's Kevin from Clipperblog on a "soul-crushing" season: "While Dunleavy and Baylor have done a nice job taking care of the northern and southern spots on the personnel map, they've basically designed a team with no superlative east and west players, nothing on the wing that can propel a team into any sort of dynamic attack. I like Maggette only a little bit more than Dunleavy does. We agree that Corey isn't the answer. But, for crying out loud, Coach, since that guy isn't the answer, show us someone who is, because you [and I don't mean, you, Coach; I mean everyone except Jerry Sloan] cannot win important basketball games in the NBA without a swingman who can score at will."

  • If you think NBA players don't work hard, you're wrong.

  • Sam Cassell alien head video game, via Globetrotter and BobcatsPlanet.

  • Wages of Wins assesses which teams are real contenders this season.

  • Maurice Cheeks welcomes Larry Brown back to Philly, even though Brown has little value to the Sixers unless he takes Mo's job.