Wednesday Bullets

  • Dirk Nowitzki has the five rings of the Olympics shaved into the side of his head. Word is his German teammates may follow suit. That is fun.

  • Fascinating look at what's going on at web addresses you'd intuit would be associated with various Sacramento Kings. Very few players actually have web sites up and running. Many of the domains are owned by squatters, or in one case a bail bondsman. Not having a site, even if you're a wealthy celebrity, made a modicum of sense some time ago when web development was an expensive hassle. But in the ara of blogs a couple of grand, some free or cheap software, and some eager beaver young writers can give you a hopping online social scene, and a direct connection to the people who will buy your jerseys and come to your charity events. Get on it!

  • You'll want to be a bit of a researcher to make the most of this, but here are some stat geek stats for Team USA that will be updated after every game. So far, it looks to me like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been the biggest factors in Team USA's wins.

  • Kobe Bryant talking about his parents, and especially how his mother's great effort smoothed the transition of a childhood move to Italy.

  • D-League President Dan Reed blogs about a new program that lets NBA teams send a basketball staffer to the D-League with their star player, talks about how D-League teams are like NBA teams but the decimal points on the dollar figures is one notch over, and he adds this: "Although there is a lot of commotion about Europe right now, in our seven years we have produced 5 times more NBA players than any other professional basketball league in the world, including any of the top European leagues."

  • Dave from BlazersEdge has a theory that elite teams get better pace in their schedules, with rest days where they are more useful. Anyone know a way to test that theory against the data?

  • 5,300+ words, plus a scrolling table, on the idea that to win the MVP award, your team must win at least 50 games. The upshot: Kobe Bryant has won the precise number of MVP awards that he has won: one.

  • A conversation about NBA names gets a little touchy, and is PG-13. It's also mildly scholarly, for an instant or two. UPDATE: There is a pertinent factual issue with this discussion. That character in Donte Greene's name that touched it all off is not an apostrophe, as it may appear sometimes online. It's an accent. And the reason a lot of websites don't use it is because accents, in html, can get squirrely. For instance, they can appear as apostrophes.

  • Musing that casinos could stop carrying NBA games in their sports books, in response to post-Donaghy bettor fears that the game might be rigged. (Warning, this was written by a Las Vegas-based, seemingly heavily pro-casino writer.) There is no evidence that it is even under consideration, but how freaking ironic would that be? After all the hand-wringing about Las Vegas being too dirty for the pristine NBA, now there is at least the idea out there saying that the NBA could be too dirty for Las Vegas!

  • Kwame Brown, as quoted by Keith Langlois on Pistons.com: "'I can sit here and spill out all kinds of stuff, injuries or what have you,' Brown said for the reasons his career has stalled. 'But I'm not going to do that. The past is the past. I'm not going to disrespect my new organization by saying anything that sounds like an excuse. This is a first for me - I was able to pick and choose from a couple of different teams. This is where I wanted to go and this is where I decided to be and this is my home now.'" (Via Detroit Bad Boys)

  • Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: "An interesting tidbit about the Heat's waiver claim of swingman Bobby Jones: Because Jones doesn't begin to collect salary until the start of the season, and because his guarantee date is not until Aug. 15, Jones essentially is currently a member of the Heat at absolutely no cost. He, however, cannot be immediately dealt because of the NBA's 30-day rule after waiver claims."

  • A bunch of fancy numbers showing that how well your top three players play explains two thirds of your wins. The same article points out that, by Wages of Wins numbers, Chris Quinn was among Miami's top three last year.

  • The power of a superstar, and Memphis' long-term plans.

  • More scuttlebutt about Jason Kidd as a candidate to go to Europe.

  • Eric Musselman on Team USA: "With the opening ceremony of the Games only two days away, there still needs to be some sorting out at the point position. Team USA is still playing three point guards, all of whom are used to having the ball in their hands and running an offense at the NBA level. I don't think that can last. It will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the minutes at that position. The ability to defend quick, penetrating point guards will be a key. Patrick Mills got in lane yesterday and Carlos Arroyo hurt Team USA on penetrations in the past."

  • In Olympic soccer, only players under 23 (and three wild card oldies) can compete. What do you think about something like that for basketball? Ross Siler wants to see that.

  • And they say blogging will be the death of journalism ... Any journalism experts out there want to react to these practices by one of the owners of the ex-Sonics? (Via SuperSonicSoul)