Wednesday Bullets

  • Every time a top free agent signs with a team that is not based in Cleveland, Cavalier fans lose a little more hair.

  • Andrew Bogut is reportedly close to a contract extension with Milwaukee, and is setting the market high for pretty good young big men.

  • There are two ways to look at this. One is that TrueHoop is the opposite of sexy. Another is that without ever posting a single photo of anyone in a bikini, it's nonetheless almost as sexy as Deadspin, which has had writers on assignment for Penthouse.

  • Seattle season ticket holders, feeling misled by written assurances from Clay Bennett that the team would remain in the region, are about to have their day in court.

  • TrueHoop reader Patrick has been trying to explain to me, by e-mail, why it is that so many college basketball fans hate Duke so much. Elton Brand has bolstered his case. "I know there are a lot of players that go for the money," he writes, "but [Carlos] Boozer and Brand are probably the highest profile Duke players currently in the NBA and they have now both been involved in two of the stickiest 'team betrayals' in the past few years."

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel promises that either Shawn Marion or Udonis Haslem will be dealt soon: "The Heat simply cannot afford to have so much at one position and so little at center and point guard."

  • Ever wonder what a meeting between a top prospect and a sneaker company looks like? To me, it looks tense.

  • Brian McCormick: "Apparently, Golden State signed Corey Maggette who happens to play the same position as the Warriors top two players, Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis. While many Warriors' fans have clamored for more rebounding and interior defense, this move is smart. Phoenix, in its attempts to win a championship, nullified its competitive advantage by attacking its weaknesses, which moved it closer to the rest of the pack. Like most teams, Steve Kerr wanted to address his teams weaknesses. However, a better move is to bolster one's strengths."

  • Remember when Steve & Barry's were going to forever change the sneaker landscape with Stephon Marbury sneakers? I don't know that Nike ever really quaked in its high-tops. They rode out the storm, and now Steve & Barry's is filing or bankruptcy.

  • All the photos you could possibly ever want of Gilbert Arenas in Asia.

  • If a player is coming off a rookie contract, and you want to keep him, you give him a contract extension, not a qualifying offer.

  • ClipperBlog's Kevin Arnovitz with an Elton Brand post-mortem. I saw Kevin when the Finals were in L.A. weeks ago, and even then he was blatantly worried that Brand would bolt.

  • I find this shocking, but it could be true. The Nets reportedly expect more than a third of their season ticket-holders to keep their season tickets even when that means driving to Brooklyn for each game. Some percentage of current season ticket holders are presumably already based in New York City, so this could be closer for some of them.

  • David Thorpe and Chad Ford talk off-season basketball at length. Interesting stuff.

  • Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress on the summer league play of Oklahoma City TBD Russell Westbrook: "Westbrook was nearly impossible to keep out of the lane when he put his mind to it. His terrific first step, combined with his nose for the basket and surprisingly effective crossover to get his man off-balance got him into the paint time after time, allowing him to show off the breathtaking leaping ability finishing above the rim that we've all come to know and love over the last season. He showed a good demeanor on the floor, knowing when to try and make things happen individually and when to settle in and get others involved, even if it's clear that he's no finished product as far as his playmaking skills are concerned. Westbrook was fairly effective running the pick and roll (surveying the options nicely and finding open teammates on the drive and dish), and generally didn't seem to have much of an issue getting his team into their offense once he settled in. He wasn't immune to taking some bad shots from time to time, but you certainly could have expected a lot worse all things considered. He hit one NBA 3-pointer even (but bricked other shots and some free throws) and also played his typical fantastic defense, being a menace on the floor with his athleticism, but smart and active enough to take advantage of it effectively."

  • James White promotes Rod Benson's YouTube work at Raptors mini-camp.

  • When sports leagues tinker too much with the rules.

  • Excellent Kelly Dwyer column about Latrell Sprewell, Shawn Chacon, and how we all react to basketball players.

  • Harvard Business Review on how mental toughness drives athletic success.