I had so much fun reading Kelly Dwyer's homage to Scottie Pippen that I got right back in line and read it again: "Scottie Pippen was a basketball genius, and in nearly 13 years of covering this league in written form, I don't think I've ever used the phrase 'basketball genius' in any way that wasn't the opposite of sincerity. Scottie couldn't articulate it. He probably couldn't draw it up for you, because how can you approximate momentum and attack and improvisation with a dry erase board and pen? He couldn't tell the teammate where to go in the next dead ball, because the 'where to go' and 'what to do' don't matter when you're not stopping or working in a set position. You can try to run, mistake activity for achievement, but you can't hide from what's inside of you. You don't know, like Scottie knows. You don't see what Scottie sees."
Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus measures where Pippen ranks among the greats of the 1990s. One of many interesting observations: "The biggest factor working against Pippen was his relatively short prime."
Matt McHale of By the Horns charts how Pippen ended up in Chicago: "On November 12, 1986, the New York Knicks traded their 1987 1st round draft pick along with a 1990 2nd round draft pick (Steve Henson) to the Seattle Supersonics for Gerald Henderson and a 1987 1st round draft pick (Mark Jackson).Then, on June 22, 1987, the Seattle Supersonics traded the draft pick they got from the Knicks (which would become Scottie) along with their 1989 1st round draft pick (Jeff Sanders) to the Chicago Bulls for Olden Polynice, a 1988 2nd round draft pick (Sylvester Gray) and a 1989 1st round draft pick (B.J. Armstrong, who was traded right back to the Bulls for Brad Sellers, whom Pippen made obsolete)."
Andrew Sharp of SB Nation believes the Basketball Hall of Fame should be expanded to accommodate a "greatest teams" wing.
Economist Tyler Cowen writes that one of the most difficult questions he's ever been asked is "Which is the most underrated statistic for judging the value of an NBA player?" Dave Berri gives it a whirl at The Wages of Wins Journal.
Bret LaGree of Hoopinion reminds us that for all the hand-wringing of the Hawks' propensity to stagnate at key moments, they had the 2nd most efficient offense in the NBA last season, rarely coughing up the ball. How will Larry Drew's blueprint for a motion offense impact that?
Huge congratulations to Zach McCann, founder of Orlando Magic Daily -- the TrueHoop Network's charter Magic blog. McCann has been promoted by the Orlando Sentinel to be a multimedia reporter and will cover the Magic on a full-time basis. This won't be your ordinary beat. McCann will be telling the story of the Magic's 2010-11 season through video, blogging, live chat and social media.
Any media outlet that covers professional basketball seriously would be fortunate to have Eric Freeman in its ranks. The Baseline will be sorely missed.
Someone let NBA Playbook's Sebastian Pruiti loose with FastDraw, the technology many of the league's scouts use to diagram plays on their laptops from the arena. Pruiti diagrams some of his favorite last-possession sets from last season.
It's tough to find good footage of some of the game's historic greats. Bethlehem Shoals and Tom Ziller do a really nice job of bringing Gus Johnson and Walt Bellamy to life, despite not having seen much of them beyond a few video clips.
Jermaine O'Neal hasn't spent a lot of time at the power forward position in recent seasons. Zach Lowe of Celtics Hub wonders if Boston should be concerned.
Fun snapshots from Jazz fan photo night, circa 1988.
Sham Sports offers up some fine print from some of the summer's free agency contracts. Takeaway: There's a whole lot more unguaranteed money on NBA spreadsheets than most of us realize.
Chris Paul pays a visit to Lil Wayne, who is serving time on Rikers Island.
Rockets rookie Patrick Patterson tweets: "Just had crazy eye opener. Post Defense ain't no joke. Look forward to getting better. Had a good workout. Great bunch of guys n leaders."
Morris Almond's general view of tattoos: "I could never be mad at some well done ink. but I never understood the ability to just walk in and get one off the wall."
Dwight Howard is in the market for a live tiger. (Hat Tip: Sports Radio Interviews)