Thursday Bullets

  • Dave from BlazersEdge on Mike D'Antoni and Avery Johnson: "If I were a Mavs or Suns fan I'm pretty sure I'd be screaming loudly about these developments. I know it's easy to get myopic, especially when you're wishing for rings and get an early vacation instead. But come on&doesn't ANY franchise want a long-term, signature coach at the helm anymore? Are they all disposable? And if they are, what does that say about the importance of the position? Bottom line: these two guys didn't get all stupid overnight. Maybe their front offices did though. Have fun on the spiral downward. Too bad for the guys you'll blame for that. If experience is any guide, in another three years you'll be pining to have this caliber of coach back. But at that point you won't be able to hire one."

  • Lots of Cavalier fans have emailed me that they are tired of seeing LeBron James dribble the ball for twenty seconds and then launch a three. Now, granted, in many other games, James has hit that shot, and then everybody loves him. But he missed it last night, in a big game. You can blame Mike Brown. But then again, if LeBron James wants the ball and a green light to shoot, don't you have to give it to him? TrueHoop reader Remington blames James: "I watched a hero get taken down a peg last night. For the first time since he came into the league, I can honestly say I am disappointed in LeBron James. I've watched, as everyone else has, this kid live up to the hype. His playoff triple-double debut. His single-handed onslaught against Detroit last year to make his first of what I'm sure what be many Finals appearances. But last night, with a chance to send the trash talking, hard-fouling, dirty Wizards home ... he just simply didn't. I watched him play with no sense of urgency. I watched him settle for long jumpers and force bad shots. In the fourth quarter, I watched him flip the switch and turn a deficit into a five point lead and I felt a sense of relief. And then I watched him dribble out the clock and launch a deep contested 3. Then I watched Washington claw its way back and snatch the game away finishing the game on a 6-0 run. For the first time I sat and wondered why LeBron wasn't driving and dunking on everyone's heads in the final two minutes. Putting the exclamation mark on what's been a ridiculous series of unnecessary drama. But no. He settled. And that disappoints me."

  • In this highlight reel, watch as LeBron James dunks with seven minutes or so left in the fourth quarter. As James is on the drive, something wicked seems to happen between Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Darius Songaila, and Songaila comes away hurting. Songaila had earlier popped James in the jaw, and this looked like tit for tat.

  • Mark Cuban sniffing around the Cubs, and talking about Avery Johnson. Part of me wishes he had made a point of being there in person when Johnson was fired.

  • Here's a longish article about autograph hounds, with no mention that surely a large percentage of these adults, standing in the hail, intend to sell these autographed items.

  • Warren Buffett recently found that he pays a lower tax rate than his receptionist. Then a business school professor found the same thing. On the Freakonomics blog, they are asking readers to assess the same thing for themselves. I'd be fascinated to see someone in the NBA pick up this theme: who pays a higher percentage of income in Federal Tax? LeBron James, or a Cavaliers' receptionist?

  • Looking ahead to a Jazz/Lakers series (What say you, Houston?) by breaking down every game the Jazz and Lakers played this season.

  • This Costas Now segment is totally PG-13, even though it's a panel discussion about media theory. The main event is Will Leitch of Deadspin vs. Buzz Bissinger (he has edited countless fantastic books, some of which I own and kind of worship). My general thought here is that Bissinger and even Costas (confusing "posts" with "comments") demonstrate they're not super current on sports blogs, and focused on the most outlandish things they could find. Then Bissinger made judgments about the whole category based on those outlandish findings. Who speaks for the most outlandish things in the traditional media? My sense is that what you think of sports bloggers likely hews very closely to what you think of youngish sports fans generally. Rip them as a group if you want, but I'm thinking there's richer communication to be had by seeking common ground.

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel on Shaquille O'Neal: "Remember, he makes his free throws when he has to. Unless, he doesn't."

  • LeBron James got his turn as King Kong on a magazine cover. Now David Stern strikes the pose.

  • The case against shaking up the Denver roster.

  • Brian Windhorst of the Akron Beacon-Journal on how the Cavaliers game ended: "LeBron drew contract to be sure on his last shot but it was a fair no call. Darius Songalia didn't jump or even hit him on the upper body, he got off a fair try. Though the scene was a little wild. All the Cavs were standing on the court like they'd heard a whistle and so were some of the Wizards. Then the refs all go to the center of the floor, look at each other for a minute and then walk over to the scorer's table. Everyone in the arena thinks they are going to review it like the Philly game but, nope, they were just asking for their jackets. It was funny sort of, the whole arena didn't get it was over until they took the jackets."

  • Some fun post-game Wizards video where you can see the same thing. People didn't know the game was over.

  • If you're wondering what Toni Kukoc is up to these days, here he is.

  • Michael Grange of the Globe and Mail: "Jack McCallum, who wrote the book on the Suns, cites Chicago (really?) and New York as possible landing spots and downplays Toronto as a soft landing, writing: 'There has also been whispers of D'Antoni's taking over in Toronto, where Sam Mitchell's coachin
    g future is an ongoing discussion and where Bryan Colangelo, D'Antoni's former boss in Phoenix and still a close friend, is calling the shots. But Toronto doesn't seem as comfortable a fit for D'Antoni as Chicago or even New York. Don't look for that to happen.' I accept McCallum's take, because give his relationship with a lot of principles involved here, he would be in a good position to know, but his logic is flawed. I can't see any way how Chicago or New York are suited to his style more or less than the Raptors would. Can you?" UPDATE: More Grange, this time on Sam Mitchell, Bryan Colangelo, and "Golf-Gate."

  • An NBA shooting coach in action.