Drew Gooden is my kind of guy: Hair thinning to the point of having to shave the whole dome. Lang Whitaker of SLAM spills the beans that Gooden's macho, Jordanesque hairline had earned him the nickname "Recede Wallace." Also, an update on Gooden's ongoing adventures in facial hair, currently culminating in "The Johnny."
Speaking of classic NBA facial hair, former Piston Fu Manchu master James Edwards has talked to Matt Watson of Detroit Bad Boys, and says the Sonics leaving Seattle is like one of your kids dying. He also has an amazingly cool and subtle shot to the Bulls they had such an intense rivalry with: "I didn't really hate them," he says, "but I think they hated us." It's like, get off my leg, little dog.
You watch the Rockets last night? There was a lot to like. Aaron Brooks could not be more fun to watch. He has the advantage that he moves faster than actual humans, and likes going to the rim. Ron Artest is always fantastic when his three is falling. And despite a flood of turnovers, Yao Ming managed to score plenty. The team played so well that on the road in Dallas, they didn't even really need Tracy McGrady down the stretch, and he got to play cheerleader. The big things that worried me though, and I just rewatched the video to confirm it: With Artest on the floor, Houston got Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady the ball where they wanted it most only once in a while. Meanwhile, Ron Artest went on more than a few dribble adventures, the vast majority of which ended badly. This team looks great thanks in no small part to fantastic role players like Brooks, Carl Landry, and Luis Scola. But I suspect there will be ball-sharing issues as the big three figure this out.
The Warriors and former coach Mike Montgomery are reportedly squabbling over money. The Warriors are doing a great job of bunching all their bad stories (Bye, Baron Davis! Oops, Monta, what happened? All kinds of contractual hardball ...) into one season.
They have been saying that Kevin Martin -- shooting guard leading a bad Kings team -- is a lot like Mitch Richmond. Here's the case from a Kings fan that, fingers crossed, he's more like Reggie Miller.
David Berri of the Wages of Wins: "Much to the disappointment of their fans, an owner can oversee a team that fails year after year. And after all this failure, the value of the franchise only increases and the team is persistently rewarded (with draft picks, revenue sharing, etc...). In sum, socialism cannot be found in the proposed policies of presidential candidates. But it can be found in American sports."
A scout worries that the Suns' new approach could end up marginalizing Steve Nash.
Last year, Scott Skiles pulled Tyrus Thomas almost the instant he got his second foul. He took him out of the rhythm of the game, and the effect was often to diminish his import as a player. The irony, of course, is that at the end of games, Thomas would almost have only three or four fouls ... so what are you protecting him from with that benching? He's not fouling out! Anyway, it's happening again in Milwaukee. As BrewHoop points out, Andrew Bogut got his second foul early and was a non-factor much of the game. Of course, Bogut finished with just four fouls.
Bethlehem Shoals of FreeDarko is asked by Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog to tell the difference between "swag" and "swagger": "'Swagger' to me indicates some kind of motion, like if not actual 'swaggering,' then doing something else with 'swagger.' But 'swag' is both more psychological, and so confident it doesn't even need an extra syllable or a physical act to make its point. It's a state of mind, not a public performance."
TrueHoop reader John e-mails: "The most hilarious/enraging thing you posted today was Winderman and Beasley's contention that working from 8 a.m. 'til 4 or 5 p.m. was really hard. I've composed a haiku called "The Beasley": "8 to 5 is cruel/No other worker must do so much/My X-Box suffers"
Ross Siler of the Salt Lake Tribune points out something that we can expect to see a lot of this season: "The game-turning play, though, probably was Chris Andersen's lane violation, which gave Kyle Korver a second chance at the foul line with 12.5 seconds remaining. Andersen appeared to stick his foot in the lane almost from the time Korver raised up to shoot. Korver said afterward a warning about lane violations had been issued before the call. Karl noted that the NBA was trying to clean up the end of games. From the points of emphasis video we've seen, that has more to do with players grabbing jerseys on inbounds plays in the final seconds. Those are going to be away-from-the-play calls this season. But Karl's points was interesting nonetheless." This is interesting, now I think about it. The ends of games, in the Tivo era, have looked pretty darned sloppy. Referees have plainly blown some big calls. Classic bit of blame-mongering, though, for the league to turn their mistakes into a warning to the players that they had better clean it up.