The dichotomy of reclusive Blazer owner Paul Allen, as told in an excellent L. Jon Wertheim Sports Illustrated profile: "The largest of the three ships, Octopus, measures 413 feet and is fully loaded with a basketball court, a glass-bottom lounge, a concert space seating 260, a submarine and helicopter landing pads. The yacht has a full-time staff of 60 that includes -- potential pirates take note! -- several former Navy Seals. It reportedly costs upward of $4 million just to paint. Having invested an estimated $500 million in the DreamWorks movie studio, Allen often attended the Cannes Film Festival. He would dock Octopus offshore and host parties that quickly became part of Hollywood lore. 'It would be easier to name which stars weren't there than which ones were,' says Niall Harbison, who did a recent stint as Allen's personal chef aboard the yacht and now runs the website ifoods.tv. 'It was no expense spared. Best music, best wine, fresh fish flown in from Japan. But you wouldn't see much of [Allen]. I'd finally find him watching sports, and he'd ask me to make him a cheeseburger.'"
Plenty of NBA players are freaked out these days. It started with Antoine Walker and Eddy Curry being robbed at gunpoint in their homes. But now this Sean Taylor shooting a lot of players feeling targeted. One suggestion I have heard is that more players should invest in professional security (instead of that provided by childhood friends) and should coordinate efforts with the local police department. I know, what 25-year-old in their right mind would invite the cops over, but I think it's a savvy move. And you know the local police department would love to make an ally of a famous resident.
Fashion wars: Brad Miller vs. Beno Udrih.
Baron Davis credits yoga, diet, and working out with keeping him healthy in recent years.
Jim O'Brien doesn't normally complain about the referees. But last night, he did.
D.J. Augustin, formerly known as the guy who gave the ball to Kevin Durant, is looking like a real NBA prospect.
Thoughts about how best to, and not to, use LeBron James on offense.
I love these wacky Peja Drobnjak commercials. But I glad I am not the guy who had to explain the concept to Peja: "So, Peja, baby, we thought we'd to a whole series of commercials based on your ridiculous accent. And our general finding that people from -- where are you from, again? -- are hilarious almost no matter what they say. And we'll pay you. Cool?"
ESPN's David Thorpe calls Juan Carlos Navarro the best rookie at the moment: "He's terrific when he gets 30-plus minutes; the Grizzlies are 2-1 with him as a starter. He followed his 28-point performance -- on only 14 shots -- against the Wizards with a gritty, 16-point, 11-board showing in a big win in Jersey on Tuesday. If he can maintain these minutes, he will put up enough numbers to compete for rookie of the year. ... When I watch Navarro play, I think of a young Mike Bibby. He's a creative shot-maker brimming with confidence. Navarro has some toughness to his game, too, and plays with passion. The Griz are simply better when he's in the game."
Jeff McDonald in the San Antonio Express-News: "Heading into tonight's game against Washington at the AT&T Center, the Spurs are giving up 92.86 points per game, fourth fewest in the NBA. However, in terms of field-goal percentage defense - the number Popovich considers to be the best barometer of a team's defensive standing - they rank 26th at 47.5 percent. That rating, Popovich says, is 'God awful.'"
Mike Barrett, Blazer broadcaster, on the fact that his team is not on TV in a lot of households: "The situation, with many of you not yet getting Comcast Sportsnet, sucks, plain and simple. No one thought we would go this long without a carriage deal in place for satellite providers and other cable systems around the state. It's terribly frustrating, as you know. I also know that Comcast doesn't want this either, and they're still negotiating with the satellite providers. Given what they've invested in the channel, and the rights to the Blazers, the motivation is certainly there to get a deal done. If you believe they're somehow benefitting, financially, from the way the situation currently stands, they aren't. I don't know any more than that, and I wish I did."
The Heat finally make major lineup changes, and win big.
If Earl Watson wants to get traded, SonicsCentral's Brian Robinson suggests that he start speaking out about keeping the Sonics in Seattle.
Basketbawful: "In their last four games, the Pacers have beaten the Hornets (10-6), Mavericks (9-5), and Nuggets (9-6), all without Jermaine O'Neal. The Pacers' record without their 'best player' this season is 5-1. I'm telling you, this team is better without O'Neal. Memo to Larry Bird: Trade him. Give him away. Let Danny Granger, Jamaal Tinsley, and Mike Dunleavy Jr. lead you to the Promised Land. The sad thing is, I'm being completely serious."