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Tuesday, January 7
'Some masterpieces, some disasters'

By Bill Walton
Special to

With some help from Bob Dylan, let's take a look around the NBA and see who is making the most of his basketball canvas this week.

Oh the streets of Rome are filled with rubble, ancient footprints are everywhere

  • The Lakers finally beat a good team, Phoenix. Let's not forget that when L.A. was sweeping to their third straight championship last spring, Shaquille O'Neal had never played better ball than in the final two weeks of that run. He played like that Sunday night.

  • Please name the guys who were drafted ahead of Amare Stoudemire. How many of those guys would you rather have?

    Amare Stoudemire
    Rookie Amare Stoudemire, right, has played like a manchild for the Suns.

  • What do Nene Hilario and Frederick Weis have in common? They were recent Knicks draft choices taken just ahead of Stoudemire and Ron Artest, two guys who couldn't POSSIBLY help this current Knicks squad.

  • Stoudemire is so good that Stephon Marbury and Penny Hardaway are beginning to look like sympathetic characters again.

  • Philly is on the ropes. Allen Iverson just does not look right. Who would have thought that Larry Brown would be longing for the days of Matt Harpring?

  • Brazil's new President daSilva just rejected a proposed expenditure of $750 million dollars for military weaponry claiming that "We have people in our land that are hungry and that this waste is unconscionable with the current state of poverty and need." Like Huey Long, this guy has no chance at survival. Do you think George Bush is aware that poverty and hunger are severe problems in America and not limited to North Korea?

    You can almost think that you're seein' double
    On a cold dark night on the Spanish Stairs

  • If the Blazers played in the Eastern Conference, would they be referred to as the greatest team in NBA history?

  • I see where Damon Stoudamire is pining about a possible trade to New York. I don't think it's the Blazers who are holding this up.

  • Is it too late to put Rasheed Wallace and Bonzi Wells on the NBA's All-Time Team?

  • Scottie Pippen is on a real roll right now. His current level of explosive athleticism is off the charts.

    Got to hurry back to my hotel room -- Where I've got me a date with Botticelli's niece ... she promised

  • I'm going out on a limb here: Mikki Moore will not solve all the Celtics' problems.

  • How are guys who are not in the league because they're not good enough supposed to make a difference when they join in midseason? But then again, there is Sacramento's Jim Jackson.

  • That sure was a classy response to adversity by Artest at the Garden on Friday night. Forget the league's response. Are there not legal ramifications here? And then to have his teammates defend him and back him up? Fortunately Donnie Walsh and Isiah Thomas have a lot more sense than that.

  • If Michael Jordan needs to play 53 minutes to get a home-court victory over the Pacers, without Artest, and who were playing the second night of a back-to-back after losing at New York on Friday, how long can this last?

  • When watching Seattle lose at home to Denver on Friday, collapsing in the fourth and getting blown away by my Nuggets, I was more than a little sad that I wouldn't be spending some quality, personal time with Gary Payton after that fiasco.

    Train wheels runnin' through the back of my memory

    LeBron James
    LeBron James looks more and more like the real deal.

  • What team would LeBron James NOT START for today with the possible exception of the USA National Team?

  • While watching LeBron at UCLA on Saturday, why could I not get Ralph Sampson out of my mind?

  • LeBron needs to learn from John Stockton to never let the show get in the way of the Game.

  • What current NBA players would you not trade for LeBron James?

    Oh, the hours I've spent inside the Coliseum -- dodgin' lions and wastin' time

  • How about those UCLA Bruins? They're 2-0 and atop the Pac-10. All is right in the world.

  • After watching the Lakers shoot 2-for-21 on 3s in their embarrassing loss at Phoenix on Saturday night and then seeing Derek Fisher jack up another bomb on the game's first possession, why did my mind shift immediately to Danny Ainge?

  • The Clippers are playing REALLY well. Alvin Gentry is going straight to heaven.

    Clergymen in uniform and young girls pullin' muscles -- everyone was there to meet me when I stepped inside

  • Phoenix at Portland tonight will be a REAL test for BOTH teams.

  • Is Toronto trying to disband BEFORE the inevitable calls for contraction start coming? You know it's hit bottom when Keon Clark is calling Vince Carter out.

  • Golden State is a better team than both the Lakers and Clippers -- check the standings.

    Newspapermen eating candy

  • When do the Hawks have to make good with the cash on their playoff guarantee? At the end of the season or the day they are mathematically eliminated? Save us all the trouble and give it up now.

    Had to be held down by big police

  • You have to admire the consistency of the Chicago Bulls to say nothing of the near vertical progress curve of all that young talent.

  • When following the news do you ever get the feeling that the country is for sale?

    Someday everything's going to be different
    When I paint my masterpiece

    Bill Walton, who is an NBA analyst for ESPN, is a regular contributor to

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