John P. Lopez of the Houston Chronicle talks Eddie Griffin with John Lucas: "For two years during offseasons, Griffin could be found working out under Lucas' watchful eye. Lucas counseled him before and after workouts. During NBA seasons, he called Griffin on the road with the Minnesota Timberwolves. 'He was doing really, really good,' Lucas said. 'In March when the (Timberwolves) let him go, he kind of got away for a while. I pushed. But Eddie wanted to be left alone. One of the hardest things about the disease of alcoholism is it's cunning, powerful and awful. Drinking wasn't the solution. The problem was his life. But drinking was where he ... ' Lucas paused in mid-sentence. The last time Lucas saw Griffin was less than two months ago. He asked how Griffin was doing and if he was willing to come work out. He saw that distant, detached look. 'I've been beating myself up that I couldn't do more after two years,' Lucas said. 'I've been beating myself up that I didn't fight harder. But when somebody is fighting to get away from you, eventually they're just going to go.'"
Worth reading this article for insights from Calvin Murphy, who had been working out Eddie Griffin every day this summer, and said he was doing well.
Yesterday we were wondering why free agent Ruben Patterson has not been signed yet. TrueHoop reader Brad has some ideas: "Citing all his difficulties would be onerous, but most strikingly, the man cannot dribble. One memorable six-game stretch in 2005-06 saw Ruben, usually while on the fast break, dribble the ball off his head ONCE PER GAME. To restate this, there were six consecutive games in which Ruben, while attempting to perform a seemingly rudimentary task, dribbled so poorly that the ball made contact with his HEAD (6 feet and five inches above the ground). I have the video evidence ..."
If the U.S. meets Brazil in the FIBA Americas final, there will the New Orleans Hornets (Tyson Chandler and Marcus Vinicius) on both teams. But neither plays much. Ron Hitley of Hornets247: "It would be great if Brazil and the US meet up in the final of this thing and we could hype it up as this big Tyson vs. Marcus showdown and then neither of them gets to play and we'd be all disappointed and stuff."
Reggie Miller, as reported by Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, says he will not be Boston's fourth banana. "Earlier today (Thursday), I was ready to come back. I was going to do it. But then I flew back here, I thought about it, I talked to a lot of people, and honestly, most people told me I should come back. Charles (Barkley), Mark (Jackson), Doug (Collins), they all said I should do it. And when I was back in Indy this week (for the Peyton Manning charity bowling event), people on the streets, they'd tell me to do it. But as the day went on, I just realized I wasn't ready mentally to put myself through the grind again.''
SLAM's Lang Whitaker: "The details of last night will remain a secret between myself, Russ, an NBA player, a handful of other people who entered and exited our crew throughout the evening, a limo driver, a blackjack dealer, and a series of the world's flashiest clubs and ridiculous hotel suites. I'm sorry, but I'm invoking the 'What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas' rule here." Rule #1 of the "What Happens" rule: If you are dropping titillating details on your widely read blog, you have already broken the rule.
Stephon Marbury: You have 3,000 more pairs of shoes you can spare? And, in praise of Stephon Marbury's current state of mind. (Language alert.)
Pat Riley is talking like a man who is not about to win a title: "The attitude will not be the old Riley way in terms of work ethic because the players can't do it, can't take it. Six, seven, eight players cannot endure that craziness, those practices, and I don't want them to get hurt." Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald also reports that the Heat have signed Alexander Johnson, who was productive when he saw minutes in Memphis.
Not so great to be on the cover of the Sacramento Kings media guide.
Got an hour? Why not MAKE 1,338 free throws. This guy did, and he's in the Guinness Book of World Records for it, but not on CNN. Barack Obama, on the other hand, made just one jumper and boom, he's on international TV.
The Spurs sign Ian Mahinmi, whom they drafted in 2005 in front of a stunned audience. People tend to think he's not ready yet, but if the Spurs don't think he's being developed properly in France, I could see bringing him over to keep an eye on things.
NCAA head Myles Brand was recently reported to have said that only six Division I athletic departments have shown a profit during the past six years. David Berri of the Wages of Wins investigates: "It certainly is possible that what Brand says is technically true. The accounting data from the NCAA Division I athletic programs might consistently show that these programs lose money. But when we consider the revenue and costs streams of these programs, the accounting practices of the universities, and the rush of programs to move up the affiliation ladder, it's hard to conclude that Brand's statement gives you an honest picture of the financial health of Division I athletics."
Thoughts on China, Seattle, the NBA, and the new world order.
Kevin Pritchard says in a podcast that Darius
Miles is working out twice a day in Portland, with Robin Pound, who helped rehab Amare Stoudemire, as well as team trainer Jay Jensen. Miles is trying to get his weight down. As long as they're working hard and putting the team first, Pritchard says the team will give any player the benefit of the doubt. Also updates on Rudy Fernandez and Petteri Koponen, and the news that the Blazers have hired a full-time shooting coach.
Basketbawful on one of the dumbest things about pickup basketball: "Pickup basketball typically employs a simplified scoring system so that it's easier for players to track the score. If you're an experienced pickup baller, you know that simple math becomes difficult, even impossible, when players are in the heat of battle and on the verge of total fatigue (which for some out-of-shape players is the first trip down the court). For that reason, conventional baskets are worth one point and three-pointers are usually worth two points. Unfortunately, there are serious drawbacks to making the three-pointer worth double a normal basket. Players are much more likely to bomb away from downtown without regard to common sensibility. After all, hitting 25 percent of your twos is like hitting 50 percent of your ones, right? I promise you that if half-court shots were worth three or four points, people would start gunning from there, too."