Monday Bullets

  • I agree 100% with the eloquent insight from J.A. Adande and others, who say (I paraphrase crudely) of Michael Jordan's speech: What did you expect? He's always combative! We love him for destroying people! He is motivated by anger! Jordan did what he always did! But I'd add one wrinkle. Let's remember where we were. It wasn't just "Jordan unfiltered" time. It wasn't a reality show. It was an induction into the Hall of Fame, a setting generally seen as a call to be graceful, grateful and timeless. My point: Lots of people are harshly competitive. That's not news. But to take this precious half-hour, when the world essentially calls on you to wrap everything in as much love as you possibly can, and build a speech around the theme of "I told you so..." well it's a hell of a lot bolder than saying the same things in another setting. It makes it seem like being like Mike, the dream of so many, doesn't end up taking you to a place that's all that great. You win everything imaginable, and then sit around, decades later, talking about how you got screwed. (More good insight, links, Genghis Kahn comparisons and video.)

  • Also, the true positive legacy of all that winning -- inspiring people to work hard.

  • A genuinely new and unbelievably useful kind of database: Comparing how NBA players defend. Spare your complaints -- everyone knows it's not perfect yet. But it's a fantastic stab at something new and useful.

  • Suns draftee big man Earl Clark (who, incidentally, says he patterned his game on Allen Iverson's) tells Inside Hoops: "If you don't have confidence in this league you'll get ate alive." At least, that's how they transcribed it. Probably worth a follow-up, though, to make certain Clark wasn't suggesting the unconfident would get free samples of this little-known drain-cleaner.

  • David Berri assesses the Charlotte Bobcats' chances of making the playoffs.

  • Remembering 30 years ago, when Abe Pollin took the Bullets on a groundbreaking trip to China.

  • Not many guys in NBA locker rooms have college tuition debt. Most had full rides, or are too rich. But Lester Hudson, trying to make the Celtics, is not one of those guys.

  • Edited video of the much-discussed Peter Vecsey Hall of Fame speech.

  • Kurt from Forum Blue and Gold on the 2003-2004 Lakers: "We were all used to seeing Shaq out of shape, but never like this. Shaq saw his scoring average plummet to 21.5 PPG from 27.5 PPG the year before. In fact, in the Finals the Pistons didn't even bother double-teaming him. It was the first season "the most dominant ever" was not the most dominant ever again. At just 31 years of age Shaq had taken a big step back. At a time when players like Michael Jordan, who take great care of their bodies, are still at their physical peak... Shaq was now a liability on defense and not a sure thing to score in the paint against single coverage."

  • You may know that Josh Smith should not shoot 3-pointers. But even Smith doesn't seem to know he shouldn't be shooting jumpers at all.

  • Robert Horry is a conundrum. He was no superstar, but he was a good, and sometimes critical, player who won a truly astounding seven chamionship rings. What's the best way to honor that? Retired jerseys at the various teams he played for? The Hall of Fame?

  • Assessing the view that the Celtics have trouble against small lineups.

  • Bonzi Wells is using Twitter to campaign for a job with the Heat. Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel: "Twitter has not exactly been kind to the Heat this offseason."