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Tuesday, February 18
Updated: February 19, 3:40 PM ET
Plenty of Presidents' Day pondering

By Bill Walton
Special to

Red and White, blue suede shoes…I'm Uncle Sam how do you do

  • Where would you rank Tim Duncan on the list of smartest players ever?

    Tim Duncan
    Tim Duncan, right, is enjoying another MVP-caliber season.

  • Who would be on the list at the other end of the spectrum?

  • On a day when New York played at Los Angeles, the nation's largest and most important media markets, ABC wisely chose to broadcast San Antonio at Sacramento. How bad are the Knicks? Yet now they look like they might make the playoffs ... Yikes!

  • I am stunned at how well the Spurs are playing -- but when you think a bit more about it, what WOULD you expect when the rodeo comes to town?

    Gimme five, I'm still alive ... It ain't no luck, I learned to duck

  • I actually did something other than watch NBA TV the other night. I took my bride, Lori, to the movies to see Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine." It's powerfully brilliant. Never forget that sacred cows make the best hamburger.

  • Then driving away from Sacramento, I heard Moore interviewed on "60 Minutes" over the radio. I am often criticized for doing too much. But like every time I speak with coach Wooden, I realize, as I did last night, that I'm not doing nearly enough.

  • And then to hear that U.S. Representative from North Carolina, Howard Coble, feels that in World War II Japanese-Americans were interned for THEIR safety made me wonder how things have all gone so terribly wrong. Lori's parents, both victims of that disgraceful, illegal and immoral action, don't really see it that way.

    Check my pulse, it don't change
    Stays 72, come shine or rain

  • Why isn't Allen Iverson on the U.S. national team? Three NBA scoring titles in four seasons ... One NBA MVP ... one Finals appearance ... a perennial All-Star ... What more does he need to prove? He obviously wants to play.

  • Great homecoming weekend in the NBA: Bryon Russell in Salt Lake City; Tracy McGrady in Toronto; Keith Van Horn in New Jersey; Jerry Sloan to the sideline. Welcome back, Shawn Kemp -- we're pulling for you.

  • Only two days left on The Glove clearance sale.

  • How disheartening and sad: 31 games to play and Nate McMillan is waving the white flag in Seattle.

  • As the trading deadline looms, the most sought after player in the NBA is Alonzo Mourning and his $20 million dollar contract that expires this season.

  • Think the 76ers will make a deal? Philly has done so four out of the last five years.

  • Big week for Yao Ming. Houston at the Lakers on Tuesday. Then at Phoenix on Wednesday for a head-to-head matchup between the NBA's top two rookies.

  • Shaq now faces the ultimate question for everybody. What do you do for chronic pain? Hope it works for you, big guy. It's not an easy decision.

  • The Celtics barely lose at Phoenix when Amare Stoudemire's 25 points and 17 rebounds were decisive down low. Meanwhile, Vin Baker posts a goose egg in four minutes of action. Somewhere, Paul Silas and Bill Russell are scratching their chins.

  • Indiana at New Jersey on Thursday: My "going out on a limb" call for the Eastern Conference finals.

  • Speaking of decisions, what a busy week for former Heat cheerleader Trista Rehn. First, she must pick between Charlie or Ryan in the season finale of "The Bachelorette," then consult with Pat Riley on the trading deadline.

  • I've got a new pay-per-view proposition: Ricky Davis versus Jason Richardson in a dunk-off. The mouth of the Cavaliers refutes J.R.'s title from last weekend. Your move, J.R., although I'm more than a little confused here. It doesn't seem as if they are trying to keep people out of that competition.

    Kevin Garnett
    The MVP stock of Kevin Garnett, right, is on the rise.

  • How much steam has "The Kevin Garnett MVP Express" picked up since the All-Star break: 28, 15 and 6 a night to say nothing of the team's four-game win streak that ended Monday in Utah.

  • I was disappointed that Tractor Traylor didn't make a cameo in the Simpson's 300th episode. Mmmmm, donuts.

  • The class, dignity and brilliance of The Big O at Arco yesterday was a privilege to witness once again. People make far too much out of Oscar averaging a triple-double for a whole season. Look at the numbers: Oscar averaged a triple double for his first five NBA seasons combined -- 30, 10 and 10.

  • Heard on the radio over the weekend that the American Federation of Teachers is upset that one in six people in our great land don't have health insurance while tax cuts for the rich seem to be the solution for every malady. What has happened to our schools?

    Wave the flag, pop the bag ... rock the boat, skin the goat

  • It only took 50 games, but the Raptors finally shot 50 percent from the field. Toronto is now 6-2 since Vince Carter returned to the lineup, starting EVERY game with the exception of the All-Star one.

  • Congratulations to Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner as the movie "Daredevil" debuted at No. 1 this weekend, hauling in $43.5 million dollars. That's only $500,000 less than the balance on Vin Baker's contract for the next three seasons.

  • Ralph Lauren ... Donna Karan ... Vera Wang ... Calvin Klein ... sadness overwhelms me as Fashion Week came to a close last week in New York. I saw a beautiful Phat Farm sweatshirt that was just the thing for Dan Patrick.

  • Congratulations to Glenn Robinson on surpassing the 13,000-point plateau last weekend. How much do the Bucks miss his offense this season? Their TEAM scoring average is actually up from a year ago.

  • The genius of Scott Layden. The Knicks are two games behind the Wizards for the eighth playoff spot in the East. Who wants LeBron anyway?

  • With the lights all shining on Tim Duncan, I pose the question: Who is the sweetest big man in the game? Don't discount Shaq, who rented out an L.A. restaurant on Valentine's Day to serve his lovely bride, Shaunie, dinner. Still waiting confirmation if any member of the Sacramento Kings served as waiters.

  • Do the number of Michael Jackson specials exceed the number of NBA games this week?

  • Despite a combined 27-73 record entering Saturday's Nuggets-Bulls game in Chicago, a capacity crowd of 22,145 filled the United Center to see that masterpiece. I miss the Bulls fans.

  • Pat Riley always said "Rebounds mean rings." Despite owning the best record in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks have been out-rebounded in 21 of their last 25 games.

  • The Indiana Pistons are really trying to disassociate themselves from The Bad Boys. Five technicals in the first quarter, including four in 19 seconds, one ejection.

    Back to back, chicken shack ... son of a gun, better change your act

  • Congrats to Reggie Miller on passing Adrian Dantley to place 16th all-time on the NBA scoring list. Next up is The Chief, Robert Parish.

  • Opposites really do attract. Was that 6-foot-1 guard Earl Watson stuffing 7-6 center Shawn Bradley to earn his ninth block of the season on Friday night?

  • As I scratch my head in bewilderment at how the Cavs can possibly be a woeful 10-43 on the season, I salute 2001 lottery pick DeSagana Diop for scoring his 100th career point in his 69th career NBA game.

  • Advance props to "Hot" Rod Hundley, who will call his 2,500th Jazz game on Wednesday as the Jazz host the Lakers.

  • With Valentine's Day barely in the books, Golden State's Erick Dampier is doing his best to divorce himself from the Warriors by questioning his coach's game plan over the weekend, calling his coach, "Mussel-head." Dampier's having a nice career but, hey, what ever happened to respecting the authority of the coach?

    Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace
    Damon Stoudamire, left, has a great seat for the Blazers' second-half run.

  • The Damon Stoudamire DNP watch is now at four games in a row, 20 for the season. Damon, your contract is yours -- don't let anyone tell you what to do there.

  • Happy 40th birthday to Michael Jordan. My goose-bump-moment of the weekend occurred Friday night in Salt Lake as Jazz fans cheered every time MJ scored a basket.

  • With MJ turning 40, he becomes only the third active player to join the exclusive 40-plus club, joining Utah's John Stockton and San Antonio's Kevin Willis. It marks the first time in the history of the NBA that three 40-year-olds have played in the league at the same time.

  • So, Dennis Rodman is shopping around a reality show based on his life to various networks. Who in their right mind would ever want to see a show about a former NBA player? How boring and unimaginative?

  • On Presidents' Day, I am reminded of what was said by British historian W.E. Lecky about George Washington in 1878: "America found a leader who could be induced by no earthly motive to tell a falsehood, or to break an engagement or to commit any dishonorable act."

    We're all confused ... what's to lose

  • Happy Presidents' Day, Dan Patrick. I'm lighting my votive candles.

    I'm out of duct tape, though -- could you please bring some over?

    Bill Walton, who is a regular contributor to, is an NBA analyst and shares his thoughts on "NBA Shootaround" at 7:30 p.m. every Friday for ESPN.

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