Excellent move by Stu Jackson, as reported by Marcus Thompson II in the Contra Costa Times: "With four seconds left in overtime, Delaney called an offensive foul on the Warriors' Monta Ellis, who collided with the Lakers' Derek Fisher and fell to the floor before the ball was in-bounded. Kobe Bryant, who was intentionally fouled on the ensuing Lakers possession, then knocked down two free throws in a 123-119 Los Angeles victory. Many, especially Warriors fans, thought if there was a foul at all, it was committed by Fisher. Stu Jackson, the NBA's executive vice president of basketball operations, agreed. 'We did review,' Jackson said. 'The call was incorrect. After looking at the play, the foul was on Fisher and not Ellis. It appeared that Fisher pulled Ellis down.' Jackson said the league informed the Warriors of its analysis. Delaney also was informed, though Jackson kept the discussions with the respected referee confidential."
This time of year, lots of people say they love college basketball, but insist they still hate NBA basketball. M. Haubs of the Painted Area: "This Harris Interactive poll (hat tip: 'PurpleEagle') offers a basic measure in simply tracking which sport Americans call their favorite through the years. Pro basketball has dropped like a stone from 13% and third place in 1998 to 4% and a tie for sixth place in 2008. Now, we're pretty clearly on the record here in believing that the NBA is a vastly superior product to watch than NCAA basketball, even at tournament time. That said, we love and respect the game on all levels -- we watched some NBA, some NCAA D-1, some NCAA D-3 this weekend and appreciated pieces of all of it. What befuddles me is how so many basketball fans out there -- on a 0-100 scale of watchability -- fervently believe NCAA hoops is a full 100 and the NBA is an unquestioned 0, and it damn near cracks me up how so many seem to willfully ignore spectacular NBA basketball. It's at times like these, after the Lakers-Warriors home-and-home shootouts (among several other great NBA games in the last week), that I just need to ask: How can you be a basketball fan and not like this? How? I acknowledge that it is so, but I just don't understand."
David Berri counters with some data showing the NBA is not doing badly: "The NBA set an attendance record in 2006-07. TV ratings are up this year. And this is a league in decline? I think the data clearly rejects this argument."
A pretty sober assessment of Marc Iavaroni's job security, or lack thereof, and the notion that Larry Brown might be his replacement.
More of those fancy shot charts, these one showing where the most effecient scoring is from (hello, three-point line) and where shots are most commonly blocked.
D-League player Rod Benson on Yahoo: "I still remember when we were in Trieste, Italy. Our team got into a fight with the Italian team were playing against. Later that night, everybody had their stories about what they did during the fight. There were only two stories that never added up once we saw the tape. The first was Leon Powe's story about 'two of the biggest guys holding him back.' Leon was the largest guy there by far, so we were all wondering who in the world could hold HIM back. When we saw the video, we saw that Leon was clearly free to hit whoever he wanted and just stood there. That was probably a smart move even though we did laugh at him for it."
If you want to follow that whole Shaquille O'Neal/Pat Riley scrap -- with a cameo by Steve Kerr -- read this.
Dave D'Alessandro of the Star-Ledger: "The Commish had his conference call about the overseas venture today (the Nets and Heat play in Paris on Oct. 9th, and in London three days later), and we might have actually paid closer attention if he didn't start referring to his teams as 'international brands,' which might be the two most despicable words in our language outside of 'political strategist.' Then the call devolved into a blatherfest led by desperate, marauding Knicks writers who have run out of people to ask stuff about Donnie Walsh, they were deftly stonewalled by the Commish, and in the end we got to hear about how proud everybody is to be associated with EA Sports."
Hilarious series of photos: Don Nelson teaches defense to Monta Ellis.
Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer: "The drumbeat blaring for Maurice Cheeks to be named coach of the year is getting louder with each victory. It's the last thing Cheeks is thinking about. Still, with the extremely low preseason expectations from outsiders and what the Sixers have achieved, there is no question Cheeks will get his share of votes. The final 10 games will not only shape the Sixers' postseason position, but also determine if Cheeks will make a late push for the award. The fact that this discussion is even taking place, especially since the team was 18-30, shows how Cheeks kept the Sixers focused when they were traveling many bumpy roads."
David Waldstein of The Star-Ledger: "Whether they manage to claw their way into the playoffs or not, the ultimate story of the 2008 Nets will forever be the trauma caused by L'Affair Kidd. As we enter the last furlong of the season, the Nets hover precariously on the brink of failure today because of Jason Kidd's unwavering desire to leave the team, and although things are looking better recently, the full recovery may not come until next year. 'I'm not going to lie,' Richard Jefferson said yesterday, 'we were dead men walking with the Jason Kidd situation.'"
Art Thiel of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Lost in the parsing of each David Stern utterance, and obscured by the tremblings of politicos facing twin terrors of re-election and recession, is a simple fact of Seattle Center life. Since KeyArena is a civic landmark unlikely to be torn down in the lifetime of any current elected official, it's going to have to be upgraded sooner or later for whatever purposes the public and the market deem worthy. With or without the NBA, the building will continue as it has for 46 years to house sports, concerts, meetings, graduations and the events that filled far more dates than the Sonics, although it will do so less competitively each passing year."
Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog: "Let it be resolved that the 2007-2008 season isn't a setback for the franchise. A pause button was pressed. Next season, the Clippers will feature a formidable 4-5 frontcourt presence; Cuttino Mobley will be the 4th, and possibly 5th offensive option – which isn't a bad thing. Barring injuries, the bench should be more than adequate. And there's been a notable ancillary benefit to the wretchedness this season: The development of one Al Thornton, a wing player who will undoubtedly be one of the better value players in the game over the next four seasons. Woody Allen in Annie Hall said: 'I feel that life is divided into the horrible and the miserable. That's the two categories ... The horrible are like, I don't know, terminal cases, you know, and blind people, crippled. I don't know how they get through life. It's amazing to me. And the miserable is everyone else. So you should be thankful that you're miserable, because that's very lucky, to be miserable.'"