Al Jefferson is fairly famous for having one of the best right hands in the game. But what about the left, and what about defense? Jefferson tells Timberwolves.com's Mike Trudell he has has been working on both of those a ton this summer. He also admits that at times last season, he was simply tired on defense, so conditioning has been a key. Then Jefferson talks about meeting his new teammate, Kevin Love: "He's very smart. I figured that out right away. He just knew what to do: where to flash in the high-low, how to get the board and throw and outlet ... That's something you can't teach. I mean, you can teach it, but it might take guys years to get it. I don't even think I have it yet. I met him for the first time this past weekend, and he just told me, 'You're going to love playing with me.' And I said, 'Yeah I can see that already.'"
Remember Bol Kong? (Video highlights and a mini-documentary) He's one of the very finest players in Canada, where he has lived since he was seven. He has been trying for some time to get a visa to accept a scholarship offer from Gonzaga, but the word is now that he won't be able to get that visa. Sudan is seen as a sponsor of terrorism, which makes visas tough. He aspires to the NBA. I have heard rumors that he has given up on getting the visa to play in the U.S. this year, and has decided to play for St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia. I talked to St. Francis Xavier, and they acknowledged the rumors, but say there is nothing to report at this point. If he becomes a highly sought NBA prospect, I wonder if other forces -- Better lawyers? Politically connected bigwigs? -- will come to bear on the immigration process.
If you're ready to endure some mad flash to get to the community page, you can see some details of Chris Paul's upcoming Winston-Salem Weekend. It's this weekend, and it's a big deal -- building houses, basketball clinic, dinner with bankers, a bowling tournament that'll be on TV -- and everybody is invited to church on Sunday.
Josh Childress has reportedly moved to Athens, where it didn't take him long to find the T.G.I. Friday's.
Dwyane Wade tells ESPN the Magazine about the most promising player he faced in the Olympics: "The new guy from Spain that went to Portland -- Rudy Fernandez -- he's an unbelievable talent. The way he shoots the ball and how athletic he is, I'm sure Nate McMillan didn't want him to play like that against us, but I'm sure he was smiling on the inside." Wade also picks who has the biggest ego: Charles Barkley or Shaquille O'Neal.
Andrew Bynum holds a press conference announcing that he is 100% healthy. Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold: "If I wanted a max deal, this is exactly the press conference I would hold."
Terry Porter talks about limiting Steve Nash's minutes.
The composite ball gets the heave ho, even from the D-League.
Some free advice for Michael Heisley.
Channing Frye, on his blog, addresses his arthroscopic ankle surgery: "Yesterday, I had my first surgery, other than my eyeballs earlier this summer. In a short period of time the Blazers staff helped me to identify the problem and quickly schedule surgery to allow time for healing and rehab, in order to get back out on the court. Though no one ever wants surgery, I feel better for having taken care of the ankle before the season got started."