First Cup: Friday

  • Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News: "Bruce Bowen may have been dirty to the other 29 franchises, but not to league officials. By 2007, after he'd irritated Steve Nash and LeBron James, the opinion printed here was this: Bowen, having established the defensive tone that led to three titles, deserved to see No. 12 raised in the arena. Spurs officials are currently noncommittal. Replacing Bowen this offseason has been more pressing than honoring him. So then came Thursday, when Bowen wanted some finality. He thanked everyone, answered some questions and peppered the names of various companies he's worked with. Asked whether his jersey should be retired, he gave the right answer. He said that was never what he thought about. Still, even those words were telling. Bowen had sold himself, just as he had in the community for years, and in doing so he had outlined why a night to retire his jersey makes perfect sense for the Spurs. It would be good business, wouldn't it?"

  • Dave D'Alessandro of The Star-Ledger: "You'd think that maybe -- just maybe -- they'd forewarn him that he was about to become their only marquee guy, the one upon whose shoulders the entire franchise would be resting. Apparently it doesn't happen that way anymore. Devin Harris was in the Cayman Islands when he found out about the Vince Carter deal, pretty much like everybody else -- via a text message. His initial reaction, he admits, was also like everybody else's -- befuddlement. But the Nets were busy dealing with a fair amount of blow-back closer to home to explain why they were stripping Harris of his backcourt partner. Besides, they probably figured the agreeable Harris would buy in. Luckily for them, he did. 'You heard the rumors at the trade deadline, and knew at some point it was going to come,' Harris said Thursday, when he joined his teammates for the fourth and final day of voluntary workouts at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford. 'It made sense the way the team was going, we were going to take the contract and use that money to bring us some younger players.' The Nets received one young player -- Courtney Lee -- in the deal, and he is expected to take Carter's spot alongside Harris. They also took back two veterans with expiring contracts, Tony Battie and Rafer Alston."

  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: "Potentially bad news for Celtics fans: Ray Allen looked very good in yesterday's Deutsche Bank Championship pro-am. Finishing up on No. 9, he drove it long on the dogleg left and hit his second shot long and left of the green. The All-Star guard then got up and down nicely from the fescue for par. That left Allen about 6-over-par by his account. And it begged the question: If his golf game is this good, how badly has he been ignoring basketball this offseason? He laughed and deflected the implication. Allen has worked hard on his game and is very much looking forward to training camp after a break that was longer than the Celtics would have liked. 'The beautiful thing about golf is there are so many hours in the day in the summertime,' he said. 'You can get up early in the morning and work out and then play golf late in the day. It helps me keep that competitive edge and stay in shape. 'It's been great,' Allen said of the offseason. 'I'm in one of the best shapes I've been in at this point in the summer, just from having the time to let my body heal and work out and get certain parts stronger. I've enjoyed this summer.' "

  • Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports: "NBA commissioner David Stern told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday the league will soon follow the NFL in announcing Twitter guidelines and other social media restrictions for its players and coaches. 'Obviously, there is a happy medium between tweeting before the game and tweeting from our bench during the game,' Stern said by phone. 'You want to make sure that pop culture doesn't intrude on what brought us here, which is the game, and that we show the right respect for the game.' The NFL announced its own guidelines on Monday by restricting players, coaches and football operations personnel -- or anyone representing them -- from using social media networks like Twitter and Facebook from 90 minutes before kickoff to the end of traditional media interviews after games. NFL game officials are banned from using social media at all times. Stern described the NBA's guidelines as 'nothing too serious.' "

  • Chris Tomasson of NBA FanHouse: "In one year, Team USA will return to Turkey for the 2010 World Championships. Jerry Colangelo, who has never been to the nation, is eagerly anticipating the event. 'I feel good about where we're at,' Colangelo said. 'We had a terrific summer.' It was a summer in which top players such as LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony finally got a break after three straight offseasons devoted to international play. With the Olympic win having earned automatic qualification for the Worlds, the only USA Basketball senior men's event over the summer was a July camp for which 22 young players were invited in Las Vegas. Now, with NBA training camps less than a month away, it's time for Colangelo to really hone in on the World Championships, which run Aug. 28-Sept. 12, 2010 in Turkey. In an interview Thursday with FanHouse, Colangelo outlined some of the parameters that will be used in selecting the team. 'We're going to look at the national team roster that had 33 names on it, making deletions and making some additions, and we'll come up with about 25 names by late in the fall,' Colangelo said. 'That's around the corner, so I need to start talking to guys that represented us in the Olympics and see where they are for the World Championships.' "