Thursday Bullets

  • David Thorpe just called with a great idea. Instead of the All-Star Game, the NBA should have a mid-season elimination tournament. Two teams get a bye in the first round, so it's essentially like the Sweet 16. Amazing. Let's not forget this idea. It is so brilliant, because it gives also ran teams a shot at something big. As Thorpe points out, Andre Iguodala could get hot and Philadelphia could be unstoppable. And all those elimination games, that's a thrill. It's a no-brainer.

  • Marc Stein confirms Matt Watson's theory that the timing of Terry Stotts' firing was related to the fact that Larry Krystkowiak had the chance to be head coach at the University of Utah, and the Bucks, who planned to fire Stotts eventually anyway, were worried their favorite assistant coach would leave.

  • Ken Berger points out that Ian Thomsen predicted practically everything that happened with Isiah Thomas and Larry Brown. Then he warns Michael Jordan not to get romanced by Brown's charms. By the way, did you notice that Larry Brown is openly flirting with the Bobcats (click the link above)? Um, hello... he's getting paid by the Sixers right now. No one else can get away with that.

  • Portland rookie Sergio Rodriguez is still pretty green, but unbelievably gifted. You should watch him. But he doesn't play all that much, which drives a lot of people crazy. Dave from BlazersEdge speculates as to why, and I fear he's right: because when you have ball-dominating, fast-breaking Sergio in the game, you're not maximizing the talents of Portland's two best players, Brandon Roy and Zach Randolph. I'm so hungry to see a Phoenix-style team built around Sergio Rodriguez, but I fear this problem is not going away. When he flourishes, I fear, it will be somewhere else. Also, Phoenix really should not have given up this pick for cash. With Rodriguez, the Suns could spell Nash without ditching their style of play.

  • Yesterday I linked to a Chicago Sports Review article about white people being scared of the NBA. Today the CSR considers your comments.

  • Via FreeDarko, a bunch of photos of NBA players with random people off the court.

  • Everybody likes the new Gilbert Arenas commercial.

  • Tim McMahon points out that the Mavericks are 0-2 since Mark Cuban went on national TV and said, essentially, that he thinks last year's NBA Finals were fixed. Oh boy.

  • Apparently there were other games last night, too. Including the Clippers who failed in a big comeback against Houston. ClipperBlog: "We also saw the featured clip on Elton’s reel: With one minute left in the game and the Clippers down one, Brand has the ball a bit off the left elbow out on the wing. With his left hip facing the basket, Elton dribbles with his right against Yao Ming. Alston, whose man is Daniel Ewing at the top of the arc, is cheating to his right over on Elton. After Alston shifts his weight back to his left leg, Elton ignites, then explodes past Yao through the gut of the lane with a single dribble, upward for the slam. Rather than try to shoot over his much larger defender, EB uses his speed and agility to get around him. More than that, though, Elton does what guys like him are supposed to do when their team is down one with a minute left. Elton takes over."

  • Brian Windhorst with a glimpse of the downside of being LeBron James: "Anyway, so he walks by after getting his 30-minute long massage and just nods to Cavs PR chief Amanda Mercado, who says: 'Hold on, everyone, he's got to go to the bathroom.' This is weird for two reasons: 1. That LeBron has non-verbal communication about his bathroom plans down with Amanda and; 2. It feels weird to be waiting for a guy outside a john. Damon Jones, amused by the whole scene, demands we report on James' visit to the can. 'C'mon, ya'll, you better get in there and find out if it is No. 1 or No. 2. Wait, hold on....' Then Damon gets up and follows LeBron in, emerges a few seconds later and reports: 'Oh, No. 1.' I can't be sure, but I thought I saw a guy jot something down on his notepad. Then again, I am the one blogging about this, ahem, crap."

  • See if you can guess who Shawn Marion thinks you should vote for as defensive player of the year.

  • Kobe Bryant is angry. He does not want to be seen as a dirty player, and it's something he's thinking about.

  • Chris Clarke told you Shaquille O'Neal is not done.

  • When we watch sports, what are we watching? Depends who is doing the watching, it turns out.

  • Bonzi Wells says he's healthy, but Jeff Van Gundy isn't playing him. Keep an eye on this. It could get ugly. I have a feeling Bonzi might be the kind of guy who, if you have him on your team, you might just want to play him so he doesn't make himself a distraction. Or, maybe he has grown up some. Maybe.