Thursday Bullets

  • Joe Fingerhut, a young man from St. Louis, whose dad raised him on loving the Celtics, decided to take his dad to a Celtics/Pacers game for Christmas. As a special treat, Joe wrote all kinds of letters, e-mails and faxes basically begging to be able to have a minute of Larry Bird's time; the game would be a dream come true if they could meet the Legend while there. Eventually, Fingerhut writes in a great retelling of the whole happy tale on his blog, the phone rang: "Hello, this is Joe. Hi Joe, this is Larry Bird of the Indiana Pacers. (Silence--breathless, out of breath, unable to speak, not thinking. . .) Hello? YES! I am here, hi! Are you serious?)

  • This fall, the Supreme Court will hear a court case called American Needle vs. the NFL. I read a lot of stuff about it, so you don't have to! The skinny: It could affect the NBA in various profound ways. At issue is whether a major sports league like the NFL or the NBA is one entity, or a collection of individual entities. If it's one thing, then that entity enjoys exemption from anti-trust law, which empowers the NBA to impose things like age limits without fearing certain kinds of lawsuits. Michael McCann makes a fascinating point, however ... if the NBA is one entity, then NBA players may be entitled to a percentage of revenues from ventures like NBA China.

  • What we learned about NBA prospects from watching Eurobasket.

  • Ben from BlazersEdge: "When asked about his team's offensive efficiency, Pritchard smiled and pointed at ESPN's John Hollinger, stating that Hollinger was 'the expert in the world' when it came to efficiency. In my opinion, not enough reporters chuckled knowingly in appreciation at this insider hat tip."

  • Thanks to that old shin injury, Tyler Hansbrough won't be 100% for training camp.

  • Vlade Divac, quoted by Marc Stein: "People here [in America] are making a big deal about ring or no ring. I was playing against the Lakers and I remember someone [in the crowd] shouted, 'How many rings you got?' I told him one. He looked at me [funny], so I said, 'I got one in '89 when I got married, I got a ring from my wife.' That's the most important thing."

  • James White, dunk machine bench-warmer, is a Nugget.

  • Oklahoma City Thunder, the hedge maze.

  • Everyone is very excited about the Nets' new potential owner. Me too! While I am against a lot of the shenanigans involving eminent domain and the arena, I'm fired up to see the Nets create a lot of excitement. Just one little consideration, for NBA owners, 23 of whom must approve the sale: In welcoming the richest "oligarch" to the NBA ranks, kindly reassure me that Mikhail Prokhorov is not one of those Russian power brokers whose enemies in the press seem to get murdered? I'm kidding. Mostly. And, some are worried about all the public subsidies in that stadium project potentially paying off to a foreign corporation.

  • High hopes for Jrue Holiday.

  • Is that Gilbert Arenas in that photograph? My answer: No. Certainly not. That's no NBA physique.

  • What do stromtroopers do on their days off? A photo essay. Looks to me like they're rehearsing to be an NBA halftime show. (Via Kottke)