He only had half of the elite eight, but Spartan Boy came back strong to win the TrueHoop Group of the ESPN Tournament Challenge. The same bracket had him tied for 158th in Bill Simmons' group. Which officially makes the TrueHoop group more user-friendly, I guess.
This is a handy diagram of how much a trillion dollars is. It's really designed to help people understand what the government has been doing lately. But it also includes an illustration of what $100 million looks like. $100 million is an NBA amount of money. That's in the ballpark of what LeBron James gets from his shoe endorsement, and there have been a few players paid that much in a contract from an NBA team. It's also just a fraction of what it costs to but an NBA team. So, if you were to get that much money in crisp new hundred dollar bills, what would it look like? According to this website, it weighs about a ton, and will just fit onto a pallet that a forklift could carry.
Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus takes a stab at creating a new and better pace measure, and among the lessons is the idea that good defense is not necessarily defense that makes opposing offenses slow. Some of the NBA's most efficient defenses are among the quickest.
Lamar Odom practices with Andrew Bynum, says the youngster looks "awesome."
Jannero Pargo on video in Europe doing his Kobe Bryant impression. Note how careful he is to travel multiple times per possession.
I think we can all agree that Ty Lawson was right to go back for one more year at North Carolina. Good call, Mr. Lawson.
Ooh, poor Rick Kamla. He goes on TV to make fun of the Pistons for playing Will Bynum, and then, of course, Bynum sets a Pistons team record for points in a quarter. Luckily there were bloggers on hand to document the whole thing.
When Kevin Garnett is out, the Celtics' rebounding percentage only drops a few points. But look closer -- that few points is enough to take them from elite rebounding status to near average.
When you watch Cops, who do you root for? Reminds me a bit of Tom Farrey's ESPN profile of Carmelo Anthony a couple of years ago: "'Drug dealers funded our programs,' [Anthony] says. 'Drug dealers bought our uniforms.' They were just about the only guys in the hood with the cash to outfit a team. They did it for three years beginning in late elementary school, he says, and never asked Anthony for anything in return, like carrying product. 'They just wanted to see you do good.' When the cops took over the nearby rec center and nailed a Police Athletic League sign on the front, Anthony and his friends boycotted. The goal may have been to clear out the dealers, but to him it felt like one more act of harassment, another form of bullying by some Charm City cop who doesn't especially trust loitering young black males. More than once, Anthony says, men in blue left him black-and-blue. 'Nothing major,' he says. 'They'd just choke me, drag me around.' It was enough to seal the kind of resentment that could one day lead to five minutes of face time on a fire-starter DVD."
Funny take on how Gregg Popovich might react to this Manu Ginobili news.
We really should all celebrate the Z-car of NBA charts, thanks to Tom Ziller and Bethlehem Shoals at FreeDarko. My favorite line comes near the end: "Per audience request, here's Anthony Randolph's profile. We flipped it on its side and added some pentagrams to make it even weirder than it already is."
The Portland locker room when the team learned they had made the playoffs, as reported by the Oregonian's Jason Quick: "With [Jerryd] Bayless sitting next to him, [Martell] Webster's eyes got big. He was marveling at the part of Bayless' quadricep that outlines the inside of his knee. It looks as if a 22-ounce steak from Morton's had been attached to his leg. Webster started his giggle, and got everyone in the locker room to look at Bayless' leg. All the while, Bayless sat, expressionless. Meanwhile, Webster and Fernandez tried flexing their legs in order to see their muscle. No matter how hard they tried -- and they tried multiple times strenuously -- Martell and Rudy couldn't get their legs to bulge like Bayless'. As everyone was flexing and laughing, [Head Coach Nate] McMillan busted out of his office in a way that everyone took notice. By the time he had taken one purposeful stride, McMillan started clapping. 'Here we go!' he said, grinning ear-to-ear. 'We're there! We're there!' McMillan had just received word that Phoenix had lost. The Blazers were in the playoffs. Everybody was somewhat taken aback. It's not often you see Sarge like this before a game. By his third step he had reached where I was standing. Like a linebacker, he gave me a forearm shiver, knocking me off balance. Sarge kept marching through the locker room, giving quick, sharp high-fives to Bayless, Webster, Rudy and Nicolas Batum. On his way back to his office he stopped in front of me and extended his arms like an angel. 'Give me a hug!' I didn't know what to do. Reporters are supposed to remain impartial, and unbiased. Would this violate that space I'm supposed to keep? At the same time, I have the coach, in front of a locker room of players, standing there with his arms extended. So ... I hugged Coach."
Doc Rivers is disappointed Dennis Johnson didn't make the Hall of Fame.
Basketbawful: "Passer's remorse (pas'-uhrz ri-mors') noun. An emotional condition whereby a pickup baller experiences an immediate and gut-wrenching sense of regret after making a pass."