Bloggers with their own TV show. The technical snafus were in a tie with Dan Steinberg's ridiculous fedora and the impromptu appearance of a block of cheese for funniest moment.
Look, I was on the Basketball Jones podcast this morning with J.E. Skeets and Tas Melas, and I managed not to swear the whole time. (Skeets told me that in a later segment, he did drop some f-bombs, just to keep it "street.") My big thought: wasn't this the season Kobe Bryant was supposed to prove to the world that he was all about the team?
Ross Siler on Bryant last night: "If you subtract his burst in the first two minutes, Bryant would have had 34 points on 11-of-29 shooting."
Nate Robinson has a Nike deal, and is entitled to all kinds of free shoes. But Nike is all out of the discontinued model he likes the best so he is having his friends scour ebay for them.
Ray Allen shuts it down for the season, telling Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times: "I would be coming off a game when I would have 38 points and I'd be limping out of the building." Allen is due for surgery in Los Angeles as soon as his surgeon can get him on the schedule. (Without Allen, the Sonics were hammered by the Spurs 120-79, and worst of all Mike Seely (PG-13) says the Sonics actually played hard. The Sonics hereby join the full-on race for lottery balls.) Can Paul Pierce be far behind?
Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty has ten reasons why Ron Artest is not going to retire: "...this is another stream-of-consciousness, spur-of-the-moment thought from Ron's head. We all have thoughts like these -- 'I'm going to quit my job and go to grad school' or 'I'm selling my stuff and moving to Canada.' Except we don't broadcast these thoughts to everyone in the world."
ESPN Insider Chad Ford: "As the last second ticked off the clock, Oden rose and rose and stretched and stretched, blocking Ramar Smith's last-second layup with the tips of his fingers. Ohio State had survived for another day and Oden had saved the season. It may be remembered as the critical event in Oden's draft candidacy this year. Whether or not Smith's shot was going in or not is irrelevant. What amazed scouts was how someone so big could make a block like that. For the first time all season, Oden played with a little reckless abandon. Maybe he was holding back all season, protecting his right wrist from further injury. Maybe we haven't even glimpsed what Oden is capable of doing. And maybe offensive prowess isn't everything. Maybe dominant defenders can also change the game."
I was not worried about Mike James as an advice columnist (he's moonlighting at SLAM) until I learned that James has no fear, whatsoever, of screwing up somebody's life. I feel telling people how to live their lives is something that should be done... carefully.
Time for Adam Sandler to do a low-budget, independent, arthouse movie. The Phoenix bench, according to Tim McMahon, is "about as deep as your average Adam Sandler movie."
Here's an idea: give Mike Krzyzewski a year off from Duke to focus on Team USA. Could be invigorating for both programs. The only problem is: what's he going to do all season long, when his Team USA players are tied up with NBA teams? You only need to scout Macedonia in person so many times.
Ira Winderman: "At $20 million a year for this and the next three seasons, O'Neal can be a hard sell at times. But now, with the Heat slumping, with three losses in its last four, all against potential lottery teams, the question is whether O'Neal, at this stage of his career, has more than two or three good weeks in him at a time."
There is such a thing as being too intense. Avery Johnson talks to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News: "I remember Pop [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] used to make me get away from it even as a player, because he thought I was too intense sometimes. He would have practices without me. He would tell my wife to come on the road. I would want to stay in my room and just watch film, but he would make me get out in his own way. I'm so consumed with it. Sometimes, it's good for me to pause."
Who bumps William Wesley from his courtside Nike seats at a Cavaliers game? Nobody. Except, says Brian Windhorst, Warren Buffett: "Mr. Buffett sat in Nike's courtside seats by the Cavs bench with LeBron's money man, Maverick Carter, some of Buffett's family, and Lynn Merritt, who is a big Nike executive. It was so A-list, that the second biggest power broker in the building, Wes Wesley, got bumped from his usual spot. He had to settle for seats right next to the Nuggets bench. Guess he wasn't in St. Louis like Pat Forde said he'd be. ... During the game, Mr. Buffett wanted a Diet Pepsi and ordered one from a vendor. But guess what, no cash. Merritt had to fork over the $3. I hope he expensed it to Phil Knight."