Small thought while watching Kobe Bryant play for Team USA: If I ever have knee trouble, my first call would be to Germany. Essential to the leaping-Bryant story, though, is that he says he has lost a ton of weight. I genuinely believe many players would benefit from being light -- so much easier to be mobile in a game where mobility is darned near everything. Not to mention various longevity benefits to your career and, research shows, life. You can be strong without being heavy.
With LaMarcus Aldridge in his prime and cap space to use, the Trail Blazers were candidates for some serious free agents. As that was going on, though, Kevin Arnovitz reported that the Blazers would either get Roy Hibbert and spend to be good, or get cheap and rebuild with cheap young players and draft picks. They didn't get Hibbert, but they did spend just enough to bring back Nicolas Batum. Dave from BlazersEdge assesses the resulting roster: "Take a long, hard look at that lineup. 15 players, exactly three of which are starters at an NBA level along with one prized rookie. At least 9 of them could reasonably be classified as a 10th player or worse on a decent roster. Portland has as much depth as a Paris Hilton autobiography."
Now riding Segways around Barcelona: Kevin Durant and company.
Kyle Weidie of TruthAboutIt.Net has lots of summer league experiences to share. A favorite: "Sometimes you’ll be interviewing Sam Cassell and Kevin McHale will suddenly pop out of a door right next to Cassell that you thought was a broom closet."
Detroit needs help figuring out who its sports heroes and villains are. If you're a Detroit sports fan, this is a poll for you.
What Brooklyn is really like, and guessing at how the Nets will fit in.
Gilbert Arenas built perhaps the finest swimming pool grotto on the planet. But nothing lasts forever -- it's apparently all for sale now, house included.
Ignoring injuries, the United States could build a second team about as good as the current one.
Just go along with me, if you will, when I say that economists are to politics as stat geeks are to sports. Then consider that, even though in the media it often seems like economists are on both sides of every argument, it's really much simpler than that. A new tool shows that on most issues, most economists see things pretty similarly. Which is pretty much the state of things in stat geekery, too. There are plenty of skirmishes, but everyone knows the Knicks will never win a title built around Carmelo Anthony.
Andres Alvarez of Wages of Wins digs into some data on the power of first impressions: "We love analyzing the NBA around here. When you do that for a while, what quickly becomes obvious is that rationality is not the primary driver for most people involved with the NBA: players will give up money; coaches will irrationally like players; GMs will sign questionable players. It’s also obvious that the people in the NBA are well…people! They’re subject to the same quirks that impact all of us. One of these is the impact of first impressions. And when we look at why Dolan may be feeling hurt by Lin, it may not be a logical reason. It’s simply that his first impression told him that Lin was a low paid role player and during the events of free agency he ended up feeling shocked, upset and yes, maybe even betrayed that Jeremy Lin wasn’t living up to that first impression."