Mark Murphy’s feature on Rajon Rondo and Josh Smith. I knew they were high school teammates, but I didn’t know they were this tight. Scoop Jackson apologizes to Andrew Bynum. Here’s an excerpt from Bethlehem Shoals and Eric Freeman’s piece on DeMarcus Cousins and the MVP award:
I cannot wait to see NBA Intervention, a new offseason reality show where “troubled” stars are saved and mentored by players who resemble them. Zach Randolph will tell Cousins to clean up his condo. Gerald Green will get chained to a shark. Monta Ellis will get a fake ID for himself. This year’s All-Rookie team wil huff a little together and then retire to a co-op
Gordie Jones’ Evan Turner feature is worth a read. In it, Michael Curry compares him to Doogie Howser and says “he wants to be a star yesterday.” Darnell Mayberry’s Q&A with Vince Carter about dunking. And this makes me want to see Carter try some of his old dunks:
“I still can do a lot of the dunks that I used to do. Maybe not as hard or as high. But if it came down to it, I can still probably do the 360-windmill. It just probably wouldn’t be as spectacular, at least in my mind. Maybe to some people because they’ll say, ‘Oh, he’s 35. He can still put his arm in the rim.’ But it’s just I probably wouldn’t be able to put as much arm in the rim anymore. I’ll probably break my arm now. The only thing I probably don’t think I can do it probably the free throw line. Everything else, I think I can do.”
At NBA Playbook, John Bennett looks at how the Thunder shut down Jason Terry last night I really wanted the Mavs to win Game 3 last
Short pre-playoff peep today. But Lee Jenkins’ latest feature is about LeBron James, so today is a good day. Kevin Pelton’s awards ballot. Dan Grunfeld, rightfully pointing out on SB Nation that no NBA player “sucks”. “Stephen Jackson went to Sea World and it was amazing.” Yes, yes it was. The case for Greg Monroe as the MIP. The great Zach Lowe on tonight’s super important Phoenix/Utah game. Michael Hudson on violence in sports for the Classical. Tweet
Holly MacKenzie on Rajon Rondo, his perception, and his place in the C’s locker room. Love all of this. MacKenzie got the best Rondo quotes ever out of Keyon Dooling. Rob Mahoney looking at those Celtics and what was accomplished by keeping the team together. Really good profile of Kurt Thomas, who is still playing at 39 because he’s a basketball junkie. Seth Rosenthal was at Knicks/Celtics and he wrote about it and he is a funny guy. Excerpt:
Shout-out to the two rather obnoxious individuals sitting behind me! One was a Knicks fan who just had to provide running, repetitive, cliche-ridden commentary on everything that took place. I heard dozens of iterations of “Why is Baron Davis even out there?”, “Steve Novak is one of the best shooters in the league. Bar none.” (he really kept saying “bar none”), and “Melo is having the game of his life. One for the ages!” (he really kept saying “one for the ages”). This did not stop. Not ever. The other guy, I guess, wasn’t that obnoxious. He was just a Celtics fan who kept yelling pro-Celtics things (which, I guess, is what Celtics fans do) while failing to grasp the nature of the crowd around him. People kept yelling “PAUL PIERCE SUCKS!”, and he’d reply with something like “HE HAS 40 POINTS! HE’S THE BEST PLAYER ON THE FLOOR!”. We know, sir. That’s why we feel compelled to yell about him. We don’t like him and we’re not really being reasonable.
Beckley and Graydon Gordian get all Spursy on TrueHoop TV. A Western Conference playoff roundtable at Hardwood Paroxysm. Bethlehem Shoals link No. 1: on the battle of old vs. young. Bethlehem Shoals link No. 2: on owners being jerks. Ethan was on The Disciples of Clyde NBA Podcast.
There’s a lot to love about this Kobe Bryant Q&A from Sports Radio Interviews. I cannot overstate how much I enjoy that he started an answer with, “Alright let me give you a Black Mamba answer.” Also, there’s this, on a dinner conversation with Metta World Peace:
I said ‘Metta do you know, first of all World Peace is a hot name, it’s a dope name.’ Then he started looking at me out of the corner of his eye and was like ‘okay where are you going with this?’ I said ‘some people believe for us to achieve world peace the only way that can be achieved is through sheer will and through force of nature so sometimes you just have to go and conquer the territory and that’s when you establish world peace.’ He’s looking and he’s like ‘huh?’ I said ‘man you go out there and kick butt and then you establish order.’ He’s like ‘okay, I’ve got it.’
You should read these Jazz quotes from Brian T. Smith and Steve Luhm. There are eight instances of the word “willie” in this piece. James Ham goes HAM on the insanity in Sacramento. SO MUCH SHUMP. It’s easy to say the Cavs are tanking, but Kyrie Irving participated in shootaround today and he could be back tomorrow. From Steve Aschburner’s John Wall feature, here’s Flip Saunders:
“What we’re going to find out over the next two years is, does he have the ability to develop a jump shot and not be strictly a full-court player, a transition player? Can he be a halfcourt point guard who can run a team? Ultimately, if you’re going to have success, it’s because you have success in the playoffs.”
I’ll keep linking Britt Robson’s power rankings every week until someone tells
Rob Mahoney’s “The Microscope” should be a daily read, so I’m unsure about linking it here all the time. I particularly liked the bit on Ramon Sessions and jump passing from today’s edition. More on the fascinating JaVale McGee from the great Lee Jenkins. A good look at Jordan Crawford from Michael Lee. I’m not sure I agree with this Crawford quote: “It’s not a bad shot until you miss it.” I’d be pumped if Eric Bledsoe turned out to be the next Avery Bradley. Kirk Goldsberry produces some Court Vision charts showing how ridiculous a shooter Kevin Durant is. If you follow Morris Almond on Twitter, then Scott Schroeder wrote your favorite headline today. Learn about the Czech tradition of Easter whipping through Jan Vesely’s latest journal entry. I like Chris Singleton, but he hasn’t had an awesome year. Greg Stiemsma’s weekend block party (via RedsArmy)
Marcus Thompson’s interview with Andrew Bogut. Bethlehem Shoals on Tom Thibodeau. Kevin Garnett on Doc Rivers:
“Man, I’d run through a wall for that guy,” Garnett said. “He’s a player’s coach. Definitely the reason I’m able to be in the position I’m in, looking like I’m half decent in this league. He cares about players’ bodies and time off. All those things are important. I’d go through a wall for that dude. If he asked me to do anything drastic, I would never go into it thinking that he’s telling me something wrong. I hate playing the five, to be honest.”
Jared Jeffries wants to play the Bulls in the playoffs. Rafe Bartholomew on Bobcats/Pistons. Eric Koreen on Amir Johnson. Nima Zarrabi speaks with Alonzo Mourning. Kevin Arnovitz talks to Neil Olshey on the NBA Today podcast. The Ballad of Luke Babbitt Tweet
Dave D’Alessandro on Mikhail Prokhorov. Essential. Brett Koremenos takes a look at Rajon Rondo, the distributor. Royce White has pteromerhanophobia. I’m not going to tell you what that means. Really interesting piece by Scott Howard-Cooper, though. David Murphy’s latest, at Searching for Slava and at Pounding the Rock. Read them both. For TrueHoop TV, Henry Abbott talks to Scott Raab, author of “The Whore Of Akron”. It is difficult to write game previews that are not boring. This Knicks/Bucks preview at Negative Dunkalectics is not boring. I like that Jeremy Tyler is so confident that Mark Jackson doesn’t feel the need to talk him up. Have you noticed how well Kevin Seraphin has been playing? I’d bet that Sam Vincent is not a huge fan of this piece. Tweet
This video interview shows why I am such a big Stephen Jackson fan. Lee Jenkins did a feature on JaVale McGee and I’m going to be honest here: I haven’t read it yet. But, I mean, it’s a Jenkins feature on McGee. It has to be awesome. I can’t wait. From his power rankings, Britt Robson on the Kings’ rookie guards:
Jimmer Fredette was clearly a reach with the 10th pick in last year’s draft. The 6-2 guard is neither tall enough nor quick enough to create his own shot, he can’t dribble or see the court well enough to become a reliable pro point guard, and, despite energetic effort, he is a below-average defender. The Kings hold out hope that the point-guard adjustment is simply a matter of time — they still believe Jimmer can run an offense — but that’s wishful thinking. The Kings should just pretend that their other rookie point guard, current starter Isaiah Thomas, was their top pick and that Fredette was the final player taken in the second round, where Sacramento landed Thomas.
Rick Welts talks about his decision to come out almost a year ago. Rob Mahoney on the Bobs. I almost wrote “Bob Mahoney on the Robs.” Robbie Hummel is preparing for the NBA. Hope he makes it. I am happy that Zac Crain wrote this about Lamar Odom. Colin McGowan on cities, fandom, identity, etc. Just read it. Appreciating Chris Wallace. TBJ’s Leigh Ellis talks to Clyde Frazier about fashion:
Ben Golliver on Kevin Love’s burden in Minnesota. Kevin Pelton on Portland’s new role players. A nice feature on the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second straight time, Isaiah Thomas. The Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month? That’s Kyrie Irving. In this Q&A, Mark Price compares Irving to Isiah (one A) Thomas. Steve McPherson on Ricky Rubio’s passing, plus his five favorite Rubio assists. Jay Caspian Kang on the Grizzlies. Speaking of the Grizz, four minutes into this Gilbert Arenas scrum, it gets good. Zach McCann talks to Shaq about leadership. Shaq has just about completed his doctorate in leadership and education at Barry University and he claims he will be known as the black Tony Robbins. Something odd happened in Portland last night: Account A, Account B. Is this year’s Tony Parker the best Tony Parker? On the end of Linsanity for now: Howard Beck and Will Leitch. Because it’s the NCAA final tonight: How Anthony Davis got here. And here’s Gary Parrish on how Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is overcoming his stuttering problem at the most-covered college basketball school on the planet. Some great quotes from his mom. Tweet
I love Michael Katz’s NBA Nonsense Notebook so much. Also at the Classical, there’s a series on four prospects you should be watching in the Final Four. An excerpt from the piece on everybody’s favorite, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist:
MKG doesn’t take the surly approach favored by other players put into the stopper’s role; there is no sense, in watching him, that it’s at all Kidd-Gilchrist Against the World, or that he’s out there to silence doubters. As with the rest of his teammates on this unusually likable juggernaut, that sour-beyond-its-years cynicism and cockiness is largely missing from Kidd-Gilchrist’s game. It’s hard to watch MKG play and not be struck by his positivity. The Cool Hand Luke smile belies just how hard he’s working, but he’s also clearly having fun.
Today’s edition of The Microscope by Rob Mahoney features Lamar Odom and his headband and some other things. Two podcasts I’m going to listen to: Henry Abbott and David Thorpe talking about player improvement and Raptors Director of Sports Science Alex McKechnie talking about Jonas Valanciunas. Bethlehem Shoals on Andrew Bynum. This Derek Fisher video made me all emotional-like. Ethan, like Zach, says Timberwolves fans should not boo KG. I agree! The cure for writer’s block: The Seven Deadly Ways To Cut an NBA Story Jesse Blanchard is happy that the Spurs traded George Hill for Kawhi Leonard. I am, too, because Kawhi is super awesome. For technique junkies (is that a thing?): The Art of Screening by Mike Procopio. This is just really weird but I can’t stop laughing because apparently I’m a crazy person (h/t 8p9s, TBJ):