Wednesday Mini-Bullets

  • Yi Jianlian signs with the Bucks. Great blog coverage from Just Another Bucks Fan.

  • Agent Aaron Goodwin on InsideBayArea.com, discussing the NBA's rookie wage scale (without which he would have negotiated huge salaries for rookies like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant): "Is having a rookie wage scale fair to the rookies? I'd say no. The theory behind the implementation of the rookie wage scale in the NBA was that by limiting the amount paid to rookies, there will be more money available to spend on veterans. Traditionally rookies, who are not members of the union at the time the collective bargaining agreement is executed, are sacrificed for the benefit of veterans who are members of the union. From my standpoint, I don't see a problem when some rookies are paid more than veterans right from the get-go. Prior to the rookie wage scale, I had situations where Gary Payton made more money in his rookie year than any other point guard, and Jason Kidd was one of the highest paid players in the league as a rookie. There was some resentment from veterans toward these guys, but every player wants to make more than the other guy, be it a veteran, rookie or whatever."

  • TrueHoop reader Sadaqat: "Ironically, Boston needs some youth. And I hate what they are doing. Mortgaging everything for a title. If they do win one, it should have an asterisk. This wasn't a real team it was a bought team."

  • Last summer Team USA was captained by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade. Now people like Jason Kidd, Chauncey Billups, and Kobe Bryant are the daddies. Rather than replace those young stars as captains, Coach Mike Krzyzewski opted not to name any captains at all. Credit James and Anthony (Wade is hurt and not playing) with taking that in stride.

  • After the draft, people met Morris Almond and thought: Does he know he's an NBA player? The guy just has no attitude whatsoever. No aura. No airs, and maybe just a smattering of graces. He admits in a Heath Hamilton article in Houston's Examiner News that he has to remind himself that he's big-time: "[He] finds it odd when people stare at him or ask if they can have a photo taken with him. 'I have to start realizing that I'm an NBA player, too,' Almond said. It's a strange feeling, but he has to get past the aura professional athletes seem to emit. 'You have to realize these people are normal guys like you and me.'"

  • Hard to notice, but Deron Williams had a good game against Puerto Rico. Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune: "It was a 39-19 blowout when Williams checked in with 5:23 left in the half, but the U.S. had yet to truly open up the game. Instead of settling for jumpers, Williams forced his way to the elbow against Puerto Rico's zone and fed Dwight Howard for a dunk inside. That play probably won't show up on the highlights, but its importance was magnified by what followed for the Americans. Williams pushed the ball after a long miss by Puerto Rico and drove all the way for a layup. The shots then seemed to come easier for everyone. Williams assisted on two LeBron James' three-pointers, recognizing he was in rhythm. James and Bryant then hooked up for an alley-oop dunk that left them bumping chests at midcourt. That officially ended the competitive portion of the game. ... Williams finished with eight points, seven assists and three fouls in 13 minutes, making all four shots he took. The U.S. outscored Puerto Rico by 21 points in the short time that Williams played, which has to say something about his game."

  • Eddie Griffin's funeral.

  • Greg Oden does not need a shirt to be on TV. (Via Blazer Blog)

  • A lot of sports is about measuring risk. Drive hard to the hole or pull up? Hold out for a better contract or accept the one on the table? Do what the coach says even though you disagree, or throw your weight around? Good NBA players are good risk takers. New research shows that being comfortable with one kind of risk doesn't necessarily make it so with all kinds of risks. For instance, you might be willing to drive hard to the hole, but not willing to stand up to your overbearing boss.

  • Where do we stand on socks pulled up high? (Author Dave Eggers once described one of his characters having his socks "Van Horned" up around his knees. Great term for that.)