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Wednesday Bullets

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is on video talking at length about what's afflicting the NBA, NBA players, and black Americans. The video is in several segments. I recommend letting the first one play and then roll into the other four. He's one part old-school "it was better in my day" crank, and another part really smart dude who has read his books and knows his stuff. Asked which of today's players he admires he mentions Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, and Jason Kidd.

  • Brandon Roy hits the big time: the cover of the phone book. Is that big time? Maybe not. But I'll bet you Rasheed Wallace has never been on the cover of a phone book.

  • Might be a little early for this, but here are Tim Legler's Western Conference playoff rankings. Looking at that, and imagining, one thought dominates: we better get to see Phoenix vs. Dallas. Pray that nothing gets in the way of that.

  • Man, what can anyone say about poor Shaun Livingston? I guess "your knee looks like E.T." is as good as anything. ClipperBlog is concerned that this may be career-ending.

  • Bad sports tattoo.

  • Dan Shanoff gets a shout out from a blogger named Gilbert Arenas.

  • Wonder if Jamal Crawford's foot injury does anything to improve Steve Francis's knee? If you know what I mean... (Context.)

  • Ira Winderman says he too suspects Dwyane Wade will skip the surgery to come back for the playoffs. Wade says he will eventually have surgery.

  • Steve Kerr declares Boston the worst team in the NBA. I guess it's kind of evident, but it's still kind of shocking to see such a proud franchise, and one that was anticipating a decent year, all the way down there.

  • Here is the transcript of George Bush's speech in celebration of the Miami Heat's visit to the White House. Sadly, there's really nothing much here to make fun of. He can be unintentionally entertaining. But honestly, it's a pretty good speech.

  • Dissecting a little switcheroo in the Laker lineup.

  • Scott Howard-Cooper writes about breaking up the Kings: "That's not a great place to be, for any team," said Memphis Grizzlies president Jerry West, who faced the predicament while running the Los Angeles Lakers. "And that's where we were. You cannot bring a Band-Aid to cover gaping wounds." West wasn't referring specifically to the Kings, but to the dilemma: How long does a franchise hold on to being decent, with a chance to make the playoffs, and when is it time to swallow hard and begin tearing down from within? "Those are very hard decisions to make for an organization that's used to winning because you know you're going to give up good players with a lot of experience, and you know they will still be good for someone else," West said. "It's painful and it takes a lot of intestinal fortitude to withstand the tough time. "I don't know if there's a magic formula. But you at least have to have a plan. And (Kings basketball president) Geoff Petrie has been great, so I'm sure he has a plan."

  • Nerf hoops in college. When I was in college, we pissed off the neighbors with our loud Nerf games, and even once broke a wall sconce.

  • Gilbert Arenas, on his blog, talks about a nightmare travel day when it took 15 hours to get to Minnesota: "15 hours of traveling, yes sir. What did we do to stay occupied? Complain. I complained for at least 12 hours of it, and the other three I was asleep. After we lost to them, we went to go take a shower and there was no hot water. It’s 20 below outside, and the water was 10 below. How are we supposed to take a shower? I had to get about 12 evian waters and use the warm evian waters to take a shower. Actually I had to re-take a shower when I got back to New York because I felt all itchy from all the soap that stayed on me. It was like my AAU basketball days. Just straight AAU basketball when you go from one city to another city just stinkin’."

  • Blog-a-Bull, not a fan of the three-guard lineup: "You bring in bigger, athletic players, yet the same old Bulls routine of tiny-ball (yes, beyond small-ball) remains. The gimmick works when you're up 20 and want to keep the clock going with better ballhandlers, or down 20 and want to chuck some threes. Not in a close game against a big team like Orlando. I hate this tiny-ball lineup not just because of Duhon, it's more because it screams of conceding a talent gap that does not exist. For once, I'd like to see the Bulls win because they're better. That can be achieved by playing...their better players. Playing guys in their right positions. Instead we get this garbage about having to out-execute teams, out-work teams, out-hustle teams....how about just being the better team?"

  • Brian Windhorst: "LeBron is getting warm. Over the last two weeks he's showed some renewed intensity. A couple of times tonight he actually seemed to get mad and just attack. In those spots, he is quite often unguardable. Just ask Hilton Armstrong." Also, the suggestion that James might be having mixed feelings about Team USA.

  • John Amaechi on The Daily Show.

  • The best yet Kevin Durant story, by Kevin Robbins and Mark Rosner: "The coach put him through shooting drills, passing drills and dribbling drills. An AAU official walked in one day and found Durant in the gym, running and dribbling up and down the scuffed-up court with baby-blue three-point lines, making layups. No one else was around. Durant's grandmother brought supper to him at the activity center. He ate a bite or two, left the plate and sauntered back to the bin of old, smoothed balls. Durant did his homework in the study room, napped behind a curtain in the gym and practiced until past dark. Brown gave Durant a quotation to remember: Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. He made Durant write it 200 times on a piece of notebook paper."

  • UPDATE: Cedric Maxwell apologizes for an insane remark.