Monday Bullets

  • A stunning mask, made entirely of Air Jordan sneakers. Also, a blanket made of Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant jerseys.

  • Dave from BlazersEdge on young people who get in trouble: "When you're twenty it seems like so many possibilities are open to you that any given outcome is almost a matter of chance. It also seems like you have so much life (so many lives?) to live that you can tread multiple paths and still come out whole enough to find one you'll be happy to live with. Add a decade or two of life and you start to realize that neither is true. Once your life starts flowing down a certain channel it's far more difficult to get out and find a new one than it was to fall in. You don't often get do-overs either. You blink and what seems like a momentary decision has become a binding habit. The more you struggle to get back the farther it drags you along. You wish you could smack that twenty-year old who thought he had all the choices and time in the world."

  • Every now and again, the rumor goes around that Mike Woodson is going to be fired. (It has never been true, obviously, in the past.) By his tone, I'm guessing Woodson has heard the same rumors.

  • A hall in Massachusetts gets an expensive facelift, thanks to an upcoming visit by Michael Jordan.

  • Deadspin headline, in reaction to the report that Kurt Rambis had hired Bill Laimbeer: "Timberwolves Cornering The Market On Scrappy White Guys You Probably Hated In The '80s." And the followup: "Tom Chambers should probably check in with his agent."

  • A dark view of the Warriors.

  • I was going to write that this was 3:21 I won't get back, but this 3:19 pretty much makes up for it. I'm only out two seconds.

  • This might be the first crossword puzzle ever devoted to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

  • A blogger who misses all those newspapers that are going away.

  • If you ran the Spurs, would you trade for Stephen Jackson? He is owed an awful lot of money for his age, but that big Tim Duncan clock is ticking, and winning now is clearly the name of the game. Another way of looking at the Spurs: They have long been the NBA's leaders in thinking long-term, developing culture, letting good players go rather than overpay them etc. But now their smart long-term plan is to think short-term, and presto, they're in the mix for the same compromised players lots of other teams dabble with.

  • Next season, when somebody catches fire in a game, I'm going to try to remember to link to this as a metaphor. "As you can see [the flames from my hands] can be very small and controlled, or very big and scary."

  • If you know what the word "retrodicting" means you'll learn a lot from this post about team efficiency.

  • Sham Sports with a fascinating note: "The Grizzlies' contract of Marcus Williams is for the minimum salary of $855,189 ($825,497 on the Grizz's cap), with guaranteed compensation of $500,000. The remaining $355,189 becomes guaranteed in 15 different stages; on 15 separate dates throughout the season, Williams has to turn up weighing equal to or less than 207 pounds, and a body fat amount of less than 10%. Each time he does so, he's guaranteed an extra $23,679."

  • The rules of mini-golfing with Michael Jordan.

  • Oregonian writer Jason Quick, quoted by Rasheed Malek of SLAM, on Greg Oden: "It seemed like he was always fighting an uphill battle with his stamina because of all the little dings and injuries that put him on the sideline. As a result, he was a little slow moving his feet on defense, which led to some silly fouls, which led to foul trouble and some really short nights. His offense needs a ton of work, but right now, the team just wants him to be a defensive presence. I think he can be a huge defensive factor, simply because for stretches last season he was an immovable defensive force inside. In particular, I can remember games at Toronto and New Orleans last season when his presence impacted the way the game was played. Still, if we are being frank here, I should be able to recall 50 games when Oden was a huge factor. Overall, he was a disappointment, and I think Greg would tell you that himself. I haven't seen or talked to Greg this summer, and I've heard varying reviews from his participation in Las Vegas with Team USA ... Some people thought he looked quicker, some people thought he was still out of shape. So I'm intrigued to see what Greg Oden shows up to training camp. I will say this: I think Greg cares a ton. Everyone who has trained him raves about his work ethic and I think he took all the criticism and failures last season personally. I think he will be better -- much better -- this season."

  • This writer says he plans to dedicate the writing on his grave marker to the sports teams he loves. Is he joking, do you think, or does he take his sports way more seriously than I do?

  • UPDATE: Shaquille O'Neal says that if he trained every day at nearly any sport, he could be the best in the world at it. That's probably true of basketball, too, huh? Ba-dum-bum.

  • UPDATE: Looking for signs of Carlos Boozer in the current Jazz promotional campaign.