Josh Childress, back in the U.S. recovering from abdominal surgery, talked to Lang Whitaker from SLAM: "[Olympiakos] was great about it. I expected them to be like, Hurry back. But the owner of the team told me, We want to make sure you're taken care of and you do whatever is best for you. It doesn't matter where you do the rehab as long as you get better. He said, We have you for another two years, and we want to make sure you're happy. So that was pretty cool." Also, hats off to Childress' agents, Lon Babby and Jim Tanner, for negotiating a clause in his contract that lets him return to the U.S. for surgery like this.
Rudy Fernandez is not afraid to talk about dunking on people giving him a feeling of superiority. Skinny Spanish rookie talking like that -- it's pretty macho. I like it. Can he win the dunk contest? The conventional wisdom says no. But there is talk of employing his soccer skill, which would be cool. (And the conventional wisdom also used to say there was no life on Mars.) UPDATE: Joe Alexander on not getting selected to be in the dunk contest (as told to Tom Enlund of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel): "I'm going to have own private dunk contest at my house. Just me. I'll be the only one invited."(Via BrewHoop)
ESPN's Chad Ford wonders how long John Paxson will keep his job running the Chicago Bulls.
A new book that I'd like to read, Developing Basketball Intelligence, by Brian McCormick, promises to help players "choose the best option in less time; adapt to ever-changing situations; possess good spatial awareness; know the right play at any moment relative to the time and score ..." etc. All things I never thought you could learn from a book. If it works as promised, my Wednesday night game will never be the same again.
The Celtics were losing. Then Brian Scalabrine entered the starting lineup.
Coach Ettore Messina tells a story about how Sasha Danilovic practiced once with his new understudy -- young Manu Ginobili -- then decided to retire. Ginobili got a ton of minutes, and became one the best players in the world.
Add Greece to the list of rumored next Stephon Marbury destinations.
Video of Monta Ellis working one-on-one against some Warrior assistant coaches. Not full speed, but something.
At some point, Andrei Kirilenko says, he'll be needing ankle surgery. He's missing some games, but getting by for now with cortisone injections. But this could be a factor in the playoffs.
The Oregonian's Jason Quick says that LaMarcus Aldridge was home watching Cleveland vs. Boston on TV, when Nate McMillan called. "He asked Aldridge if he was watching the game, which was early in the fourth quarter. 'Yeah, I'm watching it,' Aldridge said. 'Nah, are you really watching it?' both recall McMillan saying. 'Yeah,' Aldridge said. 'LeBron is killing them for 30 points.' 'Well, you aren't really watching it, then,' McMillan said. Aldridge was confused. He asked McMillan what he meant. That's when McMillan -- who spent the past three summers harping defense to James while serving as an assistant with the U.S. Olympic team -- drove home his point. He pointed out to Aldridge how James was impacting the game both offensively and defensively. Yes, everyone would notice his 38 points scored that night, but equally important were his seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks. A light bulb might as well have popped above Aldridge's head. 'I told him, 'You are right, I wasn't watching it that way,'' Aldridge said."
Mark Cuban has a sneaky and geeky idea about how to build a case against Bernard Madoff.
When there's a Republican in the White House, the Mavericks almost always make the playoffs. When there's a Democrat, they have never made the playoffs.
The Secrets of the City's Britt Robson on the progress of Sebastian Telfair: "Sebastian Telfair's ball-handling and distribution skills are of NBA-starter caliber, so his second straight game of nine assists and one turnover don't surprise and thus don't thrill me much. But after trying too hard to burn Utah for leaving him unguarded, Telfair settled in and hit 7 of his last 11 shot, and, conditioned to the Bassy the Bricklayer, I involuntarily cringe nearly every time he goes up. Telfair willingness to accept the scoring challenge offered up by Jerry Sloan and company is consistent with his recently escalating antipathy with the refs: It demonstrates that his confidence has swollen to the point where he no longer thinks of himself as a role player, least among the starters. The seven field goals were a season high, the 14 attempts tied a season high, and the nine dimes tied for second best in his season, I'm still not sure a gunnin' Bassy is the best idea on a squad that boasts Jefferson and Foye, but point guards have to adopt and maintain a squirrelly attitude, an arrogant generosity, which is about where Telfair was at in Salt Lake City. Almost every one of those shots made good sense."
Pooh Jeter on life in Spain's ACB. He's living in the gym, dreaming of the NBA, playing against a lot of guards whose names you'd know, and calling his mom to figure out how to cook for himself.
Steve Nash on Conan O'Brien. He shows up about 28 minutes in, and says that he's 6-2 "on a good day. On a very, very, very good day." Nash also commends O'Brien for having "such an NBA hairstyle," and talks about the fake teeth he has thanks to Karl Malone.
The state championship that ended with both teams thinking they had won. Can you imagine, you're screaming with joy, hugging your teammates, and then you notice the other team is doing the same thing? It was all a matter of whether a last-second shot was just before, or just after, the final buzzer.
Whit Watson, paraphrasing Stan Van Gundy, who was asked about playing at high altitude in Denver: "I studied exercise physiology in college, and I know for a fact that being a mile high isn't high enough. I once played basketball in La Paz, Bolivia, which is three miles above sea level. A mile high isn't high enough to make a difference."