Wednesday Bullets

  • L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers talks ruptured achilles with Elton Brand: "Elton Brand and I were arguing Tuesday. Brand played Chris Kaman one-on-one a few weeks ago, lost, but just won't accept the fact he got whooped by the Clippers' big stiff. 'We were playing the best of five, I had won the first two and was driving for the winning score in the third game, but they didn't call the foul and he came back to win that one,' Brand said. 'But I was up 4-0 in the next game and driving to the hoop, when bam, like the sound of a drum,' his Achilles' tendon ruptured. That makes it pretty simple -- Kaman won because they had to cart off Brand. Call it a forfeit, a TKO, a complete collapse -- no matter, Kaman won. 'No way,' Brand still insisted, talking by phone from across the country after having almost a dozen staples removed from his foot and now hopping up and down on a new cast at the mention of Kaman's convincing win. 'It's a game to be continued.'"

  • The amazing story of former NBA player Joe Pace. After falling out of basketball and into addiction, he lived on the streets (in part, with support of clothes and gift certificates from his friend and former teammate, Mitch Kupchak). Now Pace is scraping by, making robots from trash-picked electronics, and dreaming about running a high-concept basketball boot camp.

  • ESPN's Chris Sheridan on Team USA: "The senior U.S. team's opponent, a squad comprised of younger American NBA players, was poised for an upset victory as Al Jefferson grabbed the rebound, was fouled and went to the line with 1.5 seconds left, needing only a free throw to clinch the win. But after missing the first attempt, Jefferson was told by his coaches to miss the second intentionally, removing the remote possibility of a four-point play at the buzzer. Jefferson did as ordered, and when the ball caromed off the rim and was grabbed by Anthony, four senior team players -- Anthony included -- yelled and/or signaled for a timeout. 'Timeout!' Anthony yelled again in exasperation, only to have the referee stare at him with a 'You've got to be kidding me' look on his face. (Under international rules, only coaches can call timeouts, and only in dead ball situations). The final 1.5 seconds ticked off the clock, and the unthinkable had happened: Team USA had lost, looking particularly bad in the process."

  • IMG Academy's Dan Barto: "Kevin Durant got cut [from Team USA] because USA basketball was too scared to step on the toes of veteran and marketing superstars. Shame on Jerry and Mike for not enacting a vision of what USA basketball should be; offering hungry and talented players rather than 'comfortable' stars who are often more concerned about issues other than just winning."

  • "If your mental is weak, you're done." Scenes from an upcoming documentary about hardcore pickup basketball in Albany.

  • Stephon Marbury as shown on Channel 9 in Albany, and transcribed by Newsday's Alan Hahn: "We don't say anything about people shooting deers and shooting other animals. You know what I mean? From what I hear, dog-fighting is a sport. It's just behind closed doors and I think it's tough that we build Michael Vick up and then we break him down. I think he's one of the superb athletes and he's a good human being. I think he fell into a bad situation." Stephon Marbury's credibility is low at the moment, and dog fighting is not great any way you slice it, but he's darn right there's some hypocrisy. More on that.

  • Jason Terry is certainly not crazy, and doesn't think Michael Vick is either. He tells Dallas Morning News columnist Tom Moore: "Terry and Vick became close when the guard played for the Atlanta Hawks. He proudly owns three or four Vick jerseys and doesn't intend to get rid of them. Terry is disheartened by what has happened, but calls Vick a stand-up guy. He intends to write his friend a letter or visit him before the Mavericks open training camp. 'He does tons of work in the community in Atlanta and has done it for years,' Terry said of Vick. 'This is an example where he's made a mistake. Now, how he rebounds from that will define his career. We all make mistakes, small or large. This is one of those things, man. It's a test. My opinion of him will never change regardless.' Terry understands not everyone holds the same opinion. He argued with members of his inner circle about Vick the other day. But again, Terry understands that all of us have made mistakes and fallen short. His focus is on lifting people up. 'That's why we're out in the community doing these camps with these kids,' Terry said. 'We let them know the decisions you make, the choices you make, the people you decide to hang around with all have a direct effect on you. You want to be careful.'"

  • Great shot.

  • Men in makeup, talking trash about dance moves.

  • Selena Roberts of the New York Times (Select) does an eloquent job making the point I was struggling to make yesterday.

  • Proposed nickname for Kevin Durant: Crazy Legs.

  • Sean Deveney of the Sporting News: "Remember, Colangelo's expressed goal at the time was to break USA Basketball of its 'Dream Team' habit, by building a team of players who want to represent their country, while accepting jobs as role players and understanding the nuances of the international game. At his opening press conference, Colangelo praised the commitment and continuity other teams have from tournament to tournament. 'Stars do not necessarily make great teams,' he said. 'And so, the goal here is to pull a number of players into a process, that we start developing as a national team, a reservoir of players to select from who get indoctrinated into a system, into a program, and they're going to play together, stay together. That's how you win. That's how teams win.' It doesn't seem that we've been getting that. Of the 12 players who were on last year's World Championship team, only three -- LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard -- are on this year's team. Of course, no team for any country is going to be the same from year to year. Injuries and coach's choices ensure that. But, three players? Almost all of the guys who gained experience playing together last year in Japan are going to be home watching this one on TV. Where is the co
    ntinuity in that?"

  • Not sold on those fancy insoles that are supposed to make you jump higher.

  • Latrell Sprewell has his boat repossessed. That's not good. (Via I Heart Celtics) If you're boat shopping, though, presumably you can now choose between Sprewell's million-dollar Italian yacht and Michael Vick's $20,000 fishing boat.

  • Reggie Miller's mind: still not made up. (The strangest possible way I could have written that, but I kind of like it.)

  • If you know what you're doing -- and it's not easy -- you can get this website to play an interview with Sarunas Jasikevicius, who is frustrated with the Warriors, says a lot of NBA teams are interested, and has been rumored to be heading to Greece to play for Olympiakos.

  • Sources tell Percy Allen of the Seattle Times that Scott Brooks and Mark Bryant will join P.J. Carlesimo's staff in Seattle. So many people have told me great things about Scott Brooks.

  • Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald on the flap in Seattle whereby minority owner Aubrey McClendon said they bought the team to move it to Oklahoma: "Tim Ceis, the Seattle deputy mayor, had this to say, 'It leaves me with the sense that they were never being entirely genuine.' Ceis is the local official who publicly derided the Sonics' importance to the local economy once discussions with Bennett over a new arena reached the public dispute level. As always, in between this disingenuous ownership group and a deputy mayor who is so deft at shooting himself in the foot, Sonics fans are taking the biggest hit. Bennett has given the city a deadline of Oct. 31 to reach agreement on a new arena, or he formally asks the NBA for permission to move the team. The team is under lease at Key Arena through 2010, and breaking that contract will be expensive. Stern normally doesn't back down when it's time to keep his owners in line. This will be an interesting test."

  • The Basketball Jones podcast is back, funny as ever, and still not rated G.

  • Trouble getting NBA TV. I have heard this from several people.

  • UPDATE: NBA TV reportedly on the brink of being sold, possibly to Time Warner.