After all the Michael Beasley turmoil this off-season, and talking to so many people he's close to ... I have to say that I am 500% rooting for that guy to have a great year. He's mega-talented, and could be an MVP-type NBA player. It's a good thing for people to achieve their potential, and Chris Sheridan's (Insider) report from Heat training camp says that Beasley has been an absolute beast so far. For instance, on their tough sprint testing, he beat last year's time by ten seconds. I hope it's a sign of good things to come.
The L.A. Times has sources who say the Lakers and Kobe Bryant are homing in on a contract extension.
Kobe Bryant vs. Derrick Rose, in video game trash talk. Rose "can't even get to the second round."
Congratulations to Rob Neyer, Jamie Greenthal et al for launching the SweetSpot Network, which is sort of like the TrueHoop Network, but for baseball.
Remember Wayne Winston said that every lineup with Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Pau Gasol was really really good? Consider that Andrew Bynum wants to be on the floor to close games. Phil Jackson is unconvinced. And, thanks to loose ligaments, Bynum's knees have been called "ticking time bombs," which doesn't seem like a nice thing to say to somebody. UPDATE: Also worth noting, John Hollinger's projection system projects Bynum to contribute more than Kobe Bryant or any other Laker this season.
According to PER, Boris Diaw played better in Charlotte than he did earlier in Phoenix. Was that an aberration, or did the new situation make a permanent improvement? Should we expect the "typical" Diaw this season, or the new one?
Bret Lagree of Hoopinion with observations from Hawks' training camp: "Josh Smith would play hard every minute of every game if he got to play against Mike Woodson. ... Jason Collins can dunk in an empty gym. I would have lost that bet."
Thunder co-owner Aubrey McClendon has sold off more assets.
New insight into whatever it is that's bothering Monta Ellis.
Arash Markazi of Sports Illustrated: "For an interview with SI.com the other day, Artest hired Natalin Avci, a 23-year-old Turkish model he had met recently in a hotel lobby, and a camera crew for a photo shoot for the heck of it. 'The only purpose is to have fun,' Artest said."
The Suns are thrilled with that they've been seeing from Channing Frye.
Richmond, Virginia is a complicated town for Allen Iverson.