Thursday Bullets

  • The media turns its focus to Tim Donaghy. He fights back with sprinklers (or maybe it was the butler). Also, the bookies involved are reported to be alumni of Donaghy's big ol' Catholic high school in Pennsylvania. Much talk that they were not really mafia, but then how did the FBI find out about this?

  • An interesting look at how Donaghy might be charged. How bizarre are our laws that he would not, according to this report, be charged with anything for actually gambling unless he did so on an interstate telephone call.

  • Everyone in Tim Donaghy's childhood neighborhood seems to have a lot of respect for his father. Him? Not so much.

  • That massive set of thoughts about how the future of the league might be affected by this Tim Donaghy scandal was only about half of the responses I got -- many after it was published. One late one that I really find worth reading is from ESPN's David Thorpe: "I am worried about how the rest of the officials in this league, and in college and high school games for the forseeable future, will deal with yet another reason to doubt their competence and neutrality as they go about their jobs. The level of filth that will spew from the mouths of 'fans' toward the guys and girls in stripes will reach new lows, making a very difficult job even more difficult. Most of the officials I know at all three levels are professional and serious, but they are indeed human, so I will not be surprised when some crazed person in the crowd goes overboard in his fulmination and compels an official to react -- creating a scene where the officials and the crowd are the story and the players and coaches are not. My other, long term concern is that by itself, this is not a 'league killer.' But coupled with something else, like, discovering major drug or steroid usage amongst the players (or any other high-major news story) and we may see the equivalent of walkout/lockout, with corporate and general fans simply choosing to spend their money and time supporting another sport, sickened by the combination of supremely negative news. Every NBA player, coach, referee, and executive must understand that another major slipup could push the snowball over the ledge and begin that slippery slope towards relative obscurity. The league was saved by Magic and Bird (and Dr. J and Jordan too) just a few decades ago, and little in this world is permanent."

  • Also, thoughts about the long-term survival of the league from the blog Indy Cornrows: "I'm also confident in the league thanks to a case study in my family room. Just tonight my six year old son was playing an imaginary game, announcing the action as he played. Since he's watched the Team USA game several times now, his games have expanded past Jermaine O'Neal, Deron Williams, and LeBron James. Now he includes Chris Bosh, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and all the rest. He's figured out which NBA teams they all play for and what their numbers are. Meanwhile, my three year old runs into the room as if being announced and says he's Donyell Marshall. I have no idea where that came from and yes, I'm worried. But the point is, these kids love basketball, like millions of other kids around the world. They can't decipher the difference between college and pro ball. It's just basketball and it ain't going anywhere because we love it."

  • The blog "the Sports Law Professor": "Time to get a grip everyone. A game fixing scandal is not that big of a deal. But if it becomes one, what I fear is not the scandal but the measures that the NBA (and potentially other sports leagues) will take in response. If this scandal leads to the demise of the NBA, it won't be because of the rogue actions of a particular referee. It will be because David Stern, perhaps pushed by an irate Congress or an over-reactive public, makes a profound error in judgment." That's just the beginning.

  • A very solid look at how the big money behind the NBA is apparently not at all scared, at this point. UPDATE: The same article says a Michigan group is looking into buying the Portland Trail Blazers. What? UPDATE: Denials from Portland's current ownership.

  • Bob Johnson, Bobcats owner, is becoming a movie mogul.

  • Top ten signs a referee is fixing games, from David Letterman. Funny! Unless you're in San Antonio.

  • Grassroots efforts to keep the Sonics in Seattle are picking up steam.

  • There's a hard "g" sound in "Donaghy." Really.

  • Just for straight basketball insight, the blog Blazers Edge is as good as any journalism out there. Consider these thoughts about the signing of Steve Blake. You might disagree with Dave, but you have to acknowledge that he's watching carefully and knows a thing or two.

  • I know you have been wondering how to draw a picture of Monta Ellis.

  • Ron Hitley of Hornets247: "In other news, Jannero Pargo may be going to Olympiakos, which is in Greece or Greenland or one of those places. To quote this source ... ' µ¾ÉÀÁ±³¼±Ä'º® ÀÁ¿ÃÆ¿Á¬ Äɽ µÁŸÁ¿»µÍºÉ½, ­Çµ' ±Áǯõ' ½± "È®½µ'" Ä¿½ ¬Á³º¿, ¿ ¿À¿¯¿Â Ʊ¯½µÄ±', À»­¿½, ½± ¼·½ µ¯½±' ÄÌÿ ±Á½·Ä'ºÌ ÃÄ¿ µ½´µÇ̼µ½¿ ½± ¼µÄ±º¿¼¯Ãµ' ÃÄ·½ "ÅÁÎÀ· º±' ÃÄ·½ "»»¬´±.' Indeed."

  • Kyrylo Fesenko -- Promising, massive, coachable, and, most importantly for columnist Kurt Kragthorpe, quotable.

  • Matt Geiger might get a heliport. I feel small.

  • It has been said many times that Kings fans are the best fans in basketball. This is one fan's description, on the blog Sactown Royalty, of how he came to love the team: "I saw a lot of games in the old arena, but I began sharing season tickets the f
    irst year of the present ARCO. Joe Kleine was entering his third season and was due to have a breakout year. He was coming off an 8 pt., 6 reb. year, and added 30 big blocks (Joe was a believer in quality over quantity). My fellow ticket holders in section 215 (I did not become section214 until years later) decided that we would hoist our beverage every time Joe did something good, yell 'Joooooe!!!' and take a big swig. Halfway through the season we realized that Joe was keeping us way too sober, the Kings were losing way too much, and Magic and Bird only came to town a few times a year, so we adapted the rules. Whenever Joe did anything we would drink. Joe throws an in bounds pass -- 'JOOOOOE!!!' Joe takes off his warm ups without falling down - 'JOOOOOE!!!' The seeds were sewn and the roots began to take hold. This was my team and would be for life. You had me at Joe Kleine." Any questions?

  • J.J. Barea is said to be likely to return to the Mavericks, but I pray he'll go somewhere -- anywhere -- where he will actually see playing time. He's fun to watch.

  • Chris Paul reportedly plays basketball for the first time this summer, and it's in one of those hot and sticky motion capture suits. A little NBA-level two on two broke out. And Steve Nash is learning to box. Look out, Robert Horry.

  • The curious world of Chinese sneaker companies sponsoring NBA players to wear sneakers that aren't even available in the United States. When there was a rumor that Yao Ming's teammate Shane Battier might be traded away from Houston, and Yao, it was reportedly a potential nightmare for his shoe company Peak, which uses Battier to sell shoes in China.

  • You know how a lot of NBA stars settle into a routine of using the same phrase again and again when talking to the media? (Clyde Drexler, as I recall, was a "no doubt about it" guy.) In this Nike video about his summer workouts, Brandon Roy identifies a host of different things (summers, his son, lifting weights, working on the track) that are "everything" to him.