Monday Bullets

  • Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni talks to 3 Shades of Blue's Chip Crain. Crain asks about word that Iavaroni was a "devil's advocate" as the team discussed trading Mike Miller and Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo on draft night. Iavaroni doesn't deny it, but makes clear he is high on Mayo. He also ends up implying there might be some health concerns about Love: "The number one reason for being a devil's advocate was Mike Miller's a pretty good player. I really like him as a person. I thought he embodied what we are trying to do here. It was not I don't like O.J. Mayo. I think that's what happens when you start getting into this. People say that you liked Miller more than Mayo. No, I questioned it because I wanted to make sure what we were giving up makes sense in the future. And like everyone else talking through it you realize it is enough. Mike Miller's deal is coming up in a few years. He's going to be eligible for an extension. We had a player who could be as good and maybe better in O.J. Mayo. We also felt that we felt we had it in our power get more bigs so maybe weren't going to need Kevin Love. Kevin Love also had some knee issues. That was frankly more frightening to people down the road management and ownership-wise than for me who is trying to win next year."

  • Mark Eaton tells SLC Dunk how he ended up with a beard: "I got a few stitches in my chin and the doctor said don't shave for a few days, so I didn't shave for about 10 years."

  • I feel like I have been waiting for Chris Douglas-Roberts to come along for about 15 years. Here is the NBA player who does not play video games, and can't remember the last time he went to a movie theater. Not that I think either of those things are terrible, but who has time? He also tells Ben Couch of the Nets' official website that, as a Detroit guy, he patterned his game after Steve Smith. And if he could take any part of Smith's game? "Probably his jump shot," says Douglas-Roberts. "I've got the trash talking and all that down."

  • I learned from HOOP Magazine that Brook Lopez listens to this Michael Jackson song before every game. The same magazine also has Shane Battier, a guy from suburban Detroit who claims no expertise on the matter, reviewing a ride-on lawnmower. "There was something therapeutic," he writes, "in cutting my yard on a riding mower. It was, dare I say, fun? After I finished cutting my yard, I asked the neighbors if I could cut their lawn. I don't know if the sight of a 6-8 basketball player riding around on a tractor scared them somehow, but I was respectfully declined."

  • If you could take the spirit and playfulness of Rasheed Wallace, take it on the road, and set it to the tune of Elton John, I imagine it could end up sounding somewhat like this.

  • Been meaning to point you to some of the best NBA haikus out there, from SLAM's Russ Bengston. Here's one about Dwyane Wade: "Fall down seven times/Miss the rest of the season/Maybe work on that."

  • Move over, Dalai Lama. The claim that Yao Ming might be not only the nicest guy in the NBA, but the nicest of all human beings.

  • Mark Cuban talks about selling garbage bags.

  • Joe Johnson tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Sekou Smith about what the Hawks can do to improve: "I don't think there's any doubt we'll have a few new wrinkles, starting with a healthy Mike Bibby. He was banged up when we got him [at the trade deadline] and then he got hurt in the first game, so people never really got a chance to see him at full strength. Having played in the Western Conference before I got here, I know how deadly he can be when he's at the top of his game. And this is obviously a big season for him, being in the last year of his deal, so I can only expect big things from him. I think we're going to roll in that respect. I really do." Also, word that Al Horford, Acie Law, and Speedy Claxton all look good.

  • More on the idea that Matt Barnes would start over Grant Hill. A blogger who attended Suns fantasy camp says that's what the Suns' president told the group would happen, as was on TrueHoop last week. The Suns president has now softened his stance, says he was misquoted, and says it could happen down the road. The blogger (kudos to the Arizona Republic's Paul Coro for getting his side of the story) is not backing down.

  • Aubrey McClendon, the minority owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and a heavyweight in the energy industry, is on video supporting compressed natural gas and "the Pickens Plan."

  • After a thrilling loss to Turkey, France still has not qualified for the EuroBasket tournament next summer. Italy still has to find a way in, too. Meanwhile, Poland, Great Britain, FYR of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, Turkey, Spain, Russia, Lithuania, Greece, Germany, Croatia, and Slovenia are all in. The qualification picture.

  • Interesting question for Knicks fans. You have a lot of salary, not a lot of good players, and a need to get under the salary cap in 2010. So the question is ... if, as expected, Jamal Crawford thrives under Mike D'Antoni, then he opts out next summer, is that a good thing? If you let him walk, it's one salary gone. But it's also saying goodbye to one of your only decent players. My thought: If Crawford plays well in the first half of the season, it may make sense to package him with a bad contract in a trade.

  • The Nets, reportedly, had four players in mind with their 21st pick. And all four were available! So they took the biggest one. (Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts are said to have been two of the others.) Meet Ryan Anderson.

  • How many beat writers will be traveling with the Warriors this season? There is said to be the potential that at some road practices or games there will be none. Two will make the trip normally. Meanwhile, all those bloggers want in.

  • A lot of lifelong coaches look down their noses at former players, who often don't know much of what lifelong coaches know. Here's talk of some research showing that former players actually get the best results. My best guess as to why: You have to have a lot of credibility to get fully-empowered professional NBA players to take direction from you over long periods of time, and having won championships and the like is a great way to get that credibility.

  • This is how the world ends, if you're Miami Arena.

  • Mitch Kupchak talks Sun Yue. (Via SlamOnline)

  • Remember when Rasheed Wallace got 40 technicals in one season? As my friend Tony told anyone who would listen at the time, that's a record that will never be broken. It's one of the all-time great performances of sports.

  • Predictions that more people will soon be able to get NBA TV.

  • If you're talking about bringing Lamar Odom off the bench, I'd have to think that one good reason for it would be light a fire under him. When he's good, he's great, but he's often so-so.

  • I can't say I'm shocked that Mark Cuban decided to take down that post with people's private contact information in it.

  • Less than three years ago, Juan Dixon was scoring 20 points or more in 10 out of 23 games. Not even quite 30 for another couple of weeks, he's still looking for a team.

  • Portland fans descend on baggage carousel number ten to greet Rudy Fernandez. However many people are there, I guarantee the number is about double the number that would have shown if not for this. UPDATE: A report from the airport.

  • Eric Musselman points out that LeBron James can be the pick in crunch time pick-and-rolls with Mo Williams. Williams knows how to score in that situation, while switching would be tough because (presumably small) opposing point guards can't be left alone on the enormous James.

  • I remember a time when Damon Stoudamire played in the shadow of his big cousin Antoine. What's Antoine up to now? Here he is. (Some background.) (Thanks Unsilent Majority.)

  • Keeping up with Chris Paul, who might get to rest next year. (Via Ken Berger)