Monday Bullets

  • Pacers Coach Jim O'Brien is serious about controlling the middle in basketball and in chess. He's way into chess, it turns out. (Via Indy Cornrows)

  • ESPN's Chris Sheridan checks in from Spain where the EuroBasket tournament is underway. I talked to some people in Spain, and they all assure me that Sheridan is right on the money when he says this: "We invite those not easily offended to seek out a full translation of Darko Milicic's rant against FIBA referees last week. Let's just say the rant is so vicious, we will no longer be accepting nominations for this year's version of the Tim Duncan I Hate FIBA award. In fact, we'll go so far as to say Darko's rant will set the standard for ref-bashing for decades to come. Yes, it was that bad." Sheridan also catches up with Sarunas Jasikevicius, who is desperate to be traded away from Golden State to "a team that actually passes the ball."

  • Sheridan also has insight into the Isiah Thomas sexual harassment trial, which Sheridan predicts will be settled before it goes to the jury, because the Knicks are forever paying people to go away. Reportedly the Knicks have already offered Anucha Browne Sanders money.

  • Gilbert Arenas got mad at his significant other for getting the interior of his dad's car all messy. He writes: "She got so frustrated with that, because she came back with, 'I take care of the kids and if you want the car cleaned, you have to clean it.' So we was on 16th and Constitution and she kicked me out of the car and I had to walk all the way to the gym. It was probably a mile, but I had on smaller shoes. You know, I wear 13s, but I had on 12s because they matched the outfit I was wearing so my feet were hurting and I didn't have any cab money to take a cab and that all played a part. So I went on a strike. I think all men should do this when they have a disagreement. This is Relationship 101. When you have a fight with 'the other,' don't answer their calls and don't answer their pages. That usually gets the point across that you're not talking to them. So, I held out for seven days. I went on strike for seven days and stayed at the gym for seven days. I slept in the gym. They got nice couches in there and it just kept me in the gym working on my knee and stuff."

  • Against instant replay.

  • TrueHoop reader Eli went to see Barack Obama: "On Friday I saw him speak at a big thing downtown (California Women for Obama, at the Civic Center), and after introducing all the various dignitaries in attendance, he gave a special shout-out to Baron Davis, who apparently was down there in the corner, and said something about wishing the Warriors much success in this year's playoffs, until the finals, where they will lose to the Chicago Bulls."

  • Warrior fans assess the draft pick that was Patrick O'Bryant. Before the 2006 draft, when O'Bryant climbed draft boards because his physical toolbox was among the best of that crop of bigs, David Thorpe told me he wasn't sold on the kid's "heartbeat." His fanatical need to get better. He might yet get that, I guess, but I'm not holding my breath. When you're assessing players, don't underestimate that hard-to-measure muscle beating in the chest, you know?

  • Flickers of hope for Seattle fans. Washington Governor Christine Gregoire is getting a little involved in Sonic arena talks. Clay Bennett is touring Seattle-area race tracks. Clay Bennett says that, out of respect for the players, he won't apply to move the franchise on the very first day of the season.

  • West Side Doug from Houston emails: "We run every Monday and Thursday night. For the last two Thursday nights Daniel Gibson and Shawn Kemp have been working out. Shawn looks the best I have seen him in years. No fat, very trim. He was working on his outside shot that is not quite there yet. Let me say that Shawn is incredibly approachable and a top notch guy. Just because I thought he was an absolute freak in his day in Seattle does not mean I am biased."

  • Kobe Bryant likes Batman a lot more than Superman. And here's some video of his recent trip to Beijing.

  • Why can't NBA players get more attention for their good deeds? I'll tell you why I don't fawn all over them: it takes a lot of time, access, and work to separate jerks who are mailing it in for the sake of TV cameras from players who are really committed to making the world a better place. I don't want to be another tool showering praise on a faker. But whenever I have some kind of insight that this or that player is really taking something seriously and doing great things, I sure do want to know about it, and have written about many such things in the past.

  • Keeping up with the British National team.

  • Phil Jackson is a good coach, OK?

  • The bad grammar of Doug Christie's attempted comeback. And he has a blog.

  • Jamaal Magloire came in 14th! A ranking of Eastern Conference centers.

  • Kevin Garnett is getting up early and training hard.

  • Amen, Mark Cuban: "Why am I competing on Dancing with the Stars? Because it's an opportunity to have a blast. It's a blast practicing. Two, three, four or more hours just blaze by as if it's just minutes. It's hysterical what they are going to make me wear. Yesterday I felt like they had found Ricky Ricardo's garage sale and bought up his clothes just for me. I'm going to be out there to win, but I promise you no one is going to be having a better time than me. I can promise you that. When I'm 90 years old and talking to my grandkids and hopefully great grandkids, I won't be the grandparent who tells them about the things I wished I had done and how they should experience life, I will be the grandparent with tons of great stories that hopefully inspires them to live their lives to the fullest. That's why I'm doing Dancing with the Stars."

  • The underpaid of NBA.