<
>

Late Friday Mini-Bullets

  • The NBA Draft is held in what has been called the WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden. But with the government seizing Washington Mutual ... that theater could be getting a new name.

  • Pat Summitt, legendary coach, is ailing from a raccoon attack?

  • Travis Coleman of the Great Falls Tribune tells of a Derek Fisher visit to a Montana Indian Reservation: "After a question and answer session, Fisher said the crowd pushed him to reenact his '0.4 shot' against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 5 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals. 'The crowd pressured me into one badly attempted shot. I don't think I would've gotten out of there in one piece if I didn't attempt one shot. ... I reenacted everything except the make,' he said."

  • Andrew Bynum tells SLAM that he was very surprised to see his teammates lose to the Celtics in the NBA Finals, and points to team defense as the reason. He also talks about working with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "He actually comes over to the house to break down notes that he has taken on me during the games -- what I can do better, things I'm doing pretty well. I think that's the biggest help for me. He teaches me about footwork a lot of the time. I have a really bad habit of going to a side of the basket where I'm supposed to use my left hand and trying to shoot it with my right hand. So, he just constantly reminds me, 'shoot it with the left, it's wide open and an easier shot.' As far as defense goes, trying to get there before plays happen; don't come late; get your body out of the way of an attacking guard so you don't pick up fouls. Just little tidbits and things like that, he just constantly is there reminding me and I think that's a big help."

  • Out for the pre-season with foot pain: Shane Battier. Houston has a lot going for it. But also a lot of question marks for an elite team. (Can Tracy McGrady win the in the playoffs? Can Yao Ming stay healthy? Is Ron Artest going to freak out? Is Rafer Alston the point guard they need?) They can't be happy to hear about foot trouble from one of their players who has not been at all questionable.

  • Mark Cuban has what sounds to me like an excellent idea to create an Exchange Traded Fund to get private investors like himself (he says he's in for at least $50 million) to buy up the debt of all those troubled banks.

  • David Berri's numbers tell us that it's reasonable to expect Dwight Howard to go down as one of the best big men in history.

  • Ken Berger of Newsday: "Speaking of LeBron,Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is at it again, accusing sports writers on both coasts of insulting the city of Cleveland with speculation that LBJ will leave the Cavs in two years. His comments Thursday were almost identical to those he made a month ago. 'People in your profession are very bored on both sides of the country,' Gilbert said. 'There's no basketball going on so they write this stuff.' The only thing I'm bored with is Gilbert being oversensitive and not assigning equal blame to LeBron, who has done nothing to squash the persistent rumors."

  • A nice, tidy little guide to the Italian League. I'd like one of these for every country.

  • There is probably no cooler way to get $500,000 than through a no-strings-attached MacArthur "Genius" Grant. It's not just a windfall. It's a windfall for being a genius! And a former ABA player just got one.

  • DraftExpress's Jonathan Givony and Matt Kamalsky on Al Jefferson's defense: "Does a poor job defending the post, allowing defenders to back him down too often and outright giving up on plays. Will still fall for some fakes, but not as many as he used to. Fights for position, but not to the point that he could get called for a foul. Shows great timing and anticipation when contesting shots, but isn't quite quick enough to be a major factor coming over from the weakside. Gets quite a few of his blocks on the ball. Very instinctive in that regard. A liability when attempting to defend power forwards, which forces his team to play him as an undersized center. Needs to lose weight and improve his conditioning level to help in this regard. Struggles to hedge screens on the perimeter--doesn't recover to his man very quickly. Is limited by the same characteristic when closing out shooters. Takes up too much space down low not to be a solid rebounder." I'm going to be on the court with Givony all next week. How funny would it be to get Al Jefferson to watch video of Givony and write a review of his game?

  • Hamed Haddadi has landed.

  • The Blazers' Casey Holdahl asked Joel Przybilla about the possibility of coming off the bench behind Greg Oden. Przybilla's response: "Winning cures everything. I've been here -- this is my fifth year being here -- and when I first started here, losing sucked. Last year we were .500 and even though we had a good year it still feels like we have a lot to prove. As long as we keep on getting better throughout the year we'll be in a good situation."