Friday bullets

Posted by Brian Windhorst

  • Everything you wanted (or didn't want) to know about Greg Oden's recovery from the man himself. Here's a tip, don't read it if you are on a lunch break.

  • Full Court Press tells us this is a photo of Andrew Bogut's new hair cut. Oh my. Is it possible this is a reaction to getting bashed by Etan Thomas in Slam! or just the loss of an unfortunate bet? Let me just add this, I saw Drew Gooden at summer league last week and to my disappointment he is still sporting the "duck tail" patch on the back of his head. Oh, and Robert Swift of the Sonics not only has a bunch of new tats on his arms, a ponytail, but I believe he is the first NBA player I've ever seen who is sporting a lip ring.

  • Grandmama back to the Knicks? Perhaps says Frank Isola from the Daily News.

  • According to Jason Quick of the Oregonian, Steve Francis will be writing checks to Blazers' owner Paul Allen over the next year. Of course, Allen just gave Francis $30 million. I have heard so many wonderful Allen money-spending stories over the years, many of them are in this great Chris Sheridan piece from last November. The best one I can tell shortly is about the day the Blazers signed Rasheed Wallace to an $80 million deal back in the '90s. I guess the sides were haggling over money and Allen arrived for a meeting to be brought up to speed on the talks. He listened, then told the front office he'd had a good day in the market so make the deal. He'd made something like $1 billion in stock that afternoon. Jeez, that's a good day to ask your boss for a raise.

  • More great off-court drama in China. Yao Ming snaps back at a Chinese newspaper for a column ripping him for doing charity work instead of playing for the national team. The paper then backtracks.

  • Sonics owner Clay Bennett's plans seem pretty clear now. After not speaking since September, he says he'd like to restart talks again with Seattle officials over KeyArena, where he'd said he'll never stay. He also says he wants an arena deal by Oct. 31, which seems impossible. Considering he announced it to the media, it looks from here like he's covering bases and putting the pressure back on the elected officials. That and getting ready to figure out how to get out of the lease, which lasts until 2010. Meanwhile, he is for sure taking the Sonics to Oklahoma City, not Kansas City or Vegas, if/when he leaves Seattle. So here's the question, how soon before Bennett tells the OKC folks that arena isn't swanky enough, either?

  • The Suns are the first NBA team to go full HD for all its games. Can the Mavericks and HD pioneer Mark Cuban be far behind?

  • Not many interim coaches make it long-term in the NBA. Mike D'Antoni is one and Lawrence Frank is another, he's getting another contract extension in Jersey. Fred Kerber of the NY Post tells us this and about another near Jersey trade that never happened, which we seem to hear about weekly.