So it's New Year's Eve. I stayed up way too late last night. Told myself I was going to do a full post today. Yet now I'm feeling exceptionally tired and lazy. So all you get is a few tidbits from the Celtics-Blazers game. (Okay, okay. I'll also mention that the T-Wolves built a 29-point lead against the Mavs...and lost.) The first of which is the mere fact that Boston lost in Portland when the Blazers were without Brandon Roy (strained right hammy). But, okay, get this: The Blazers had six players on the floor during one second-quarter sequence. They didn't notice it. The refs didn't notice it. KG sure noticed it. Didn't matter, though. Portland scored -- which'll happen when you have an extra-man advantage -- and was then assessed a technical foul. But, by rule, the basket they scored counted. Bizarre.

On top of that weirdness, we were treated to more superdickery from Garnett. First, he tried to elbow Travis Outlaw in the head after Outlaw flushed on him...

...then, a few plays later, he elbowed LaMarcus Aldridge. Twice. What the hell, KG?

Hey, don't drink and drive and/or do anything douchy tonight, people!

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I just stumbled onto this awesome video of the late, great Boston Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most absolutely laying waste to the Detroit Pistons. My personal fave: "OH, THE YELLOW, GUTLESS WAY THEY DO THINGS HERE!" Barack Obama's first act as Leader of the Free World should be to pass a law which states that every dictionary in every country on this planet and any other from now until the end of time should have a picture of Most next to the word "homer." And if some foreign dictionary doesn't have the word "homer," it should be added along with a picture of Johnny. Anyway, here's the footage:

Most's hatred wasn't limited to the Pistons. He enjoyed railing on any and every Celtic opponent, particularly the Lakers: He called Kareem Abdul-Jabbar "Kareem Puff," referred to Magic as "Crybaby Johnson" and described Kurt Rambis as "something that had crawled out of a sewer." He also nicknamed Washington Bullets players Rick Mahorn and Jeff Ruland "McFilthy" and "McNasty" and dubbed Isiah Thomas "Little Lord Fauntleroy." Moreover, Most liked to project his feelings onto the Celtic coaches and players (Johnny often claimed that the always-calm K.C. Jones was "furious" over this or that call) while depicting standard fouls as "bloodbaths" or "vicious muggings." And people today complain about Tommy Heinsohn.

Here's some more Johnny. And a little more. And, for the sake of comparison, some Tommy.

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It's like a Special Education gym class...

Ricky Davis: The Clippers signed "Get Buckets" as a free agent last July and former Vice President of Basketball Hell Elgin Baylor was totally sort of positive: "We believe he will be a good addition. His versatility and ability to shoot from the outside will spread the floor and help our low post players." Sadly, there's no such thing as a "good addition" when it comes to the Clippers, and "Grits N Gravy" is currently getting paid $2.3 million to sit out with a sore knee. As it stands, Davis has appeared in only 13 games and is averaging 4.3 points on 27 percent shooting. Mind you, Davis is only 29, which means that, in theory, he's in his prime.

But whatever. We all know "Mongoose Quick Rick" sucks. That's not news. What is news is Ricky's five-game suspension for violating terms of the NBA's drug program. Basically, he couldn't stay away from the ganja. (Josh Howard feels your pain, Ricky.) According to, "The suspension will begin Tuesday night when the Clippers face Sacramento." So, whew, he'll be eligible to return to the Clippers' lineup as soon as January 8 in San Antonio. Which is great, since they Clips probably couldn't beat the Spurs without him.

Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy's "team statement generator" said: "We've been informed of the league's action concerning Ricky Davis and we will comply with all terms of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement. Beyond this statement, we will have no further comment on this matter." We can only assume that by "Ricky Davis...will comply with all the terms of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement" he actually means that "Ricky will continue to toke up and we just hope he isn't caught again any time soon. But if he is, well, meh. Whatever."

Bonus footage: Here's video of Ricky's infamous "shot at the wrong basket" attempt at a triple double. Watch the whole thing. You'll either be glad you did or hate yourself for it.

He said / He said: As reported here yesterday, Stephen Jackson proclaimed to the world that Baron Davis allegedly wants to return to the Golden State Warriors. (Which would be a classic "out of the frying pan and into the fire" situations, but that's neither here nor there.) Of course, I also noted in my writeup that "Jackson is so nutty that he's as likely to have gotten that information from a sock puppet as the actual B-Diddy." Well, there might be some credence to that sock puppet theory, because Davis now says that he never said what Jackson said he said. Here's the clarification:

"No, I don't want out," he told The Times on Monday at practice. "I don't know what Stephen Jackson got from my conversation. That never came out of my mouth.

"I'm here. I'm here doing the same thing I did at Golden State. The first year I got to Golden State it was rough. It was a tough season. We were figuring each other out, figuring out the system. That transition year is always a tough year."

He did confirm some elements of Jackson's account.

"We talked about how I miss playing with him. When you see people, you miss what you had," Davis said. "Obviously, in no way shape or form am I ready to jump ship.

"That's not why I came here. That's not why I committed to come here. I'm committed here to turn this thing around. I like the talent on this team, I like the promise.

"The team is going to get better. My job is to continue to get better and make this year as positive and productive as we possibly can."
So there you have it. Captain Jack was just being Captain Jack. Please disperse. Nothing to see here. You'll notice, though, that his carefully chosen words were lukewarm at best, and there's nothing whatsoever in his comments to suggest that he's loving it in L.A. So let's just say I'm not convinced that B-Dizzle is going to retire as a Clipper.

Premature Expectations, Part I: The Atlanta Hawks just wrapped up an eight-game homestand in which they went 7-1, which upped their overall record to 20-10. According to the AP game recap, that means the Hawks have reached 20 wins before New Year's Day for the first time since the glorious 1987-88 season, when they went 50-32 and were good enough to lose in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in dramatic fashion. So now the talk is about Atlanta seeking their first 50-win season since 1997-98*. Said Marvin Williams: "I've never been on a 50-win team. The guys are really looking for it."

Here's the thing: Eight-game home stands are pretty rare. In point of fact, Hawks coach Mike Woodson couldn't remember another homestand that long in his 26 years as an NBA player and coach. Now the Hawks, who are 6-8 on the away from home this season and have lost three of their last four roadies, are entering a January stretch in which they have to play nine games on the road sandwiched between some pretty tough home games (including contests between Houston, Orlando and Phoenix). I'm not saying they can't continue their winning ways. What I am saying is that it's very early, and I've seen teams with a lot of early home games wilt and wither as the season progresses. I just don't think this is a 50-win team. I'm calling mid-40s.

*It astounds me that that '97-98 team won 50 games with a starting lineup of Mookie Blaylock, Steve Smith, Tyrone Corbin, Christian Laettner and Dikembe Mutumbo (and with Alan Henderson being their best player off the bench). Even more amazing is that their 50-32 record was only good for FOURTH in their own division, behind Chicago (62-20), Indiana (58-24) and Charlotte (51-31).

Premature Expectations, Part II: After Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points on 13-for-19 shooting on Sunday night, many people declared that 'Melo was back. But let's face it, folks: He did that against the Knicks, who wouldn't play defense even if you threatened to throw their grandmas into a pit full of cannibal lumberjacks. Mike D'Antoni teams are great for the padding of stats. Think back to when he was coaching Phoenix. It seemed like ever All-Star-caliber player (or even near All-Star-caliber player) had a season-high against that...and his influence is so powerful that's still happening. But I digress... after his "comeback game," Anthony scored 16 points on 4-for-17 shooting and had almost as many turnovers (3) as rebounds (4). And two of his shots were blocked. Said 'Melo: "The shots I made yesterday weren't going it. Just one of those days." Yeah, that'll happen when there's an actual hand in your face and stuff. Look, Carmelo is a fantastic scorer and all, but his elbow issue strikes me as one of those lingering injuries that can hamper a player for most of a season. So don't expect him to be truly "back" any time soon. (Sorry if you drafted him for your fantasy team.)

The New Jersey Nets: Okay. This is past sad and getting into pathetic territory. The Nets dropped yet another home game, this time to the Chicago Bulls, a team that had lost seven straight on the road (and 14 of 17 this season) and hadn't won in New Jersey since 2001 (which totals 13 losses in a row there). The Nets -- 5-12 at the Izod Center, the second-worst home record in the East behind Washington's 4-12 -- have now lost four in a row at home and seven of eight since Devin Harris' "We knew we were going to be a playoff team" proclamation. And they aren't dropping squeakers, either. During this stretch they've lost to the Wizards by 20, the Knicks by 12, the Raptors by 22, the Jazz by 11, the Rockets by 23, the Bobcats by 8 and now the Bulls by 13. You'll notice that four of those teams are sub-.500 (and three of them are VERY sub-.500). And the Bulls were without starters Drew Gooden and Luol Deng. Damn, man.

What does Vince Carter think about the New Jersey's home struggles" Said Vinsanity: "I try not to worry about it." Well, good. I'd hate for it to be weighing on his mind or anything. Nets coach Lawrence Frank said: "Mentally, we have to be more consistent at home. You can't let your guard down and lose your focus simply because you're home. You have to have the same spirit, energy and toughness you have on the road." That's...amazing insight, Larry. Look, can we all just admit that maybe, just maybe, Frank isn't that good of a coach. He couldn't win in the East with Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. He can't get this year's team to win at home. He's now 183-193 since winning his first 13 games as New Jersey's head man. At best, Frank is a shining symbol of mediocrity. I'm just sayin' might be time for a new direction.

The Klahma City Thunder: The Suns lost Steve Nash (back spasms) only nine minutes into the game, but, of course, it didn't matter. The Thunder made The Big Geritol look like the Shaq of '93 as the big man went off for 28 points (10-for-12 from the field, 8-for-12 from the line), 12 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocked shots. This dropped them to 3-29 on the season.

The Phoenix Suns' Defense: Lost in fervor over Nash's injury and Shaq's turn-back-the-clock performance was the fact that Phoenix allowed the Thunder -- a team that, on average, scores 93.2 PPG on 43.7 percent shooting -- score 102 points on 53 percent shooting. So, you know, I'm glad to see Terry Porter's defensive mindset it taking hold in The Valley.

Shaq: He played great. He's having a very good season (16.9 PPG, 8.8 RPG, 59 percent shooting). Heck, he's even having his second-best season at the line (59.2 percent). He is a vital and important part of what the Suns are doing. However, he should not be the team's focal point on a nightly basis. In fact, he can't be. I mean, they rarely even let him play back-to-backs anymore. But, according to the Big Broken Record, coach Porter needs to call his number, you know, basically on every play.

"I've been telling them all year: 'When they get it to me and let me do what I do, I can still put up those numbers.' Just because I'm 35, sometimes they think that he's old, he can't do it. Guys were looking for me, and I was just doing what I do. I've been doing that my whole career and I think that's how this team should play, especially the way I'm shooting free throws now. It should be an inside-outside game. I've been in the league 15 years and I've been in (the Finals) six times, and that's the way you get there. I think once we do that and develop some consistency and stop turning the ball over, then we'll be all right."

Has there been a season in his career when Shaq HASN'T uttered some version or other of this particular monologue? About the only time I can remember was when he was in Miami and Dwyane Wade was constantly stroking his enormous ego. I guess that's all he really needs: Constant validation. Like my pet octopus.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Any team that loses to McHale's Navy gets a WotN mention. Particularly when they hold the Timberpups to only 8 points in the second quarter. Speaking of which...

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Sure, they won, but they won ugly. Real ugly. After starting 10-for-11 from the field, they missed 19 of their next 22 shots. They converted only one field goal in the second quarter, which -- you guessed it! -- set a new franchise low. Their 8 second-quarter points and 32 first-half points were both season lows. Oh, and they missed all 12 of their threes in the first half and finished a season-worst 1-for-15 from distance. As coach Kevin put it: "We sent basketball back to about 1952 in that second quarter." Yup. The only thing missing was a peach basket.

The Memphis Grizzlies: Did I mention they still lost despite Minny's ineptitude? Figured I should mention it at least twice.

The Houston Rockets: They lost to the Caron Butler-less (and still Gilbert Arena-less) Washington Wizards, a team that entered the game with a 5-23 record. And this happened in Houston. And yes, Yao, T-Mac and Ron-Ron all played. Although not well: The Medium-sized Three shot a combined 16-for-46 and committed 9 turnovers. McGrady, who played so poorly you would have thought it was a first round playoff game, said: "We just thought that we could turn it on in the fourth quarter and win this ballgame against a team that doesn't really show that they are as good a team. It really backfired on us." Well. That just goes to show you can never underestimate the lack of heart of a non-champion.

The Philadelphia 76ers: So much for my theory about the Sixers getting back to their running (and winning) ways with Elton Brand out. They've lost four in a row and have only scored 100 points once in that span. Now, in all fairness, they've been forced to play Boston, Denver and Utah in that stretch. But hey, losing is losing. Bonus stat: Philly was 1-for-9 from threeland.

Reggie Evans: The Nut Burglar got T'd up last night for spanking Kyle Korver. Oh yes he most certainly did.

Look, Reggie, it really would be best if you stayed away from your opponents' man regions. Thanks.

Kevin Fehr, Phil Robinson, Steve Javie: How is it that the three blind mice all missed this four-step travel by Thaddeus Young? HE TOOK FOUR FULL STEPS, GUYS. It wasn't even a close one. I mean, his first step was OUTSIDE the three-point arc. Don't take my word for it...

The Toronto Raptors: Another night, another loss, this time to the (at the time) 9-win Warriors. Of course, the Raptors are a 12-win team. Yikes. What a waste of talent. And Jose Calderon knows it. "We're getting closer, but we've got to start winning, too. We can't be getting closer every day and losing. It's good. We're going to keep working together for sure, but we’ve got to start winning games."

Jermaine O'Neal: He was limited to only nine minutes of lack-tion due to, yes, flu-like symptoms. One way or another, The Drain finds a way to miss PT.

Lacktion report: Chris has chimed in with another report on the night's most meaningless performances:

Nuggets-Hawks: While Denver's Chucky Atkins refused a 2.5 trillion treasure through one assist, the Hawks ran over Enver's lack of D and had enough time to give three players the chance at their own trillions, with one successfully attaining 14-figure wealth. Solomon Jones and Mario "The Mario" West each reached +1 (2:05/foul and 1:53/giveaway respectively) while Acie Law was Atlanta's breadwinner of the evening, notching up a 1.75 trillion.

Magic-Pistons: The Magic cooled off a bit in Auburn Hills, with Marcin Gortat notching key stats in ineffectiveness: In 4:50 of lacktion, he managed +5 via a missed shot, a block against, and three fouls -- averaging more than 1 SD marker per minute!

Suns-Thunder: Steve Nash's 9 minutes playing through pain nearly put him on the lacktion segment -- a +1 that was interrupted by 2 assists before he left the game. However, after a first quarter in which Klahma seemed to be working very hard at getting their O's back, they started to be the "almost" team the rest of the way, running out of steam gradually to the end. Speaking of almosts (and with the Suns playing, the reoccurrence of that word is no surprise), we had two near-sucky performances interrupted by brief productivity: Nash's teammate Robin Lopez negating a foul with a blocked shot in 3:11, and Klahma's Nick Collison getting one assist to cancel out 3 fouls in 4:36.

Grizzlies-Wolves: In the "OJ Mayo Trade Matchup," the inevitable mediocrity of this not-so-hyped battle showed up loud and clear in the box score. Greg Buckner (a familiar name in the lacktion recaps) had a rebound to cancel out two personal fouls in 9:13, but Memphis teammate Marko Jaric decided not to be so altruistic. Jaric channeled his inner Gordon Gekko and acquired for himself a cool 2 trillion! For Kevin McHale's Navy of unwilling conscripts, Brian Cardinal took a foul and bricked three times from downtown for a +4 in 6:04.

Sixers-Jazz: In late-game garbage time, Kareem Rush spent over five minutes working on a +1, only to end his shot at lacktion with a rebound and more productivity for the rest of his ten-minute stint.
Kobe Bryant: Mamba called Luke Walton at 4 a.m. and said in a silky-smooth voice: "Hey Luke, baby. It's me. Stacy. I just wanted to call to say you really suck." Luke repied: "Wha, what?! You know you're not supposed to contact me in any way!" To which Kobe responded: "Naw, dog, it's just. Me. I was kidding." Then Luke said: "Were you kidding about the sucking part too?" And Mamba said: "No."


Sadly, B-Diddy's life hasn't been all roller skating
and boom boxing since he arrived in L.A.

Well. That didn't take long. Tom Ziller reported on NBA Fanhouse that Baron Davis told Stephen Jackson that he wants to come back to the Golden State Warriors. Because, you know, his time in Oakland ended all sunshine and giggles.

According to Captan Jack: "That's all we talked about. I went to his house, spent some time with his mom and his grandmother. He wants to come back. And if he wants to come back, I want him back. I think that would be great for us. Coach loves him. Him and (guard) Monta (Ellis) have good chemistry. If they could work that out, that would be great for the organization."

Forget the fact that it's never, ever going to happen, and that Jackson is so nutty that he's as likely to have gotten that information from a sock puppet as the actual B-Diddy. However, this is -- if it is indeed true -- yet another example of a top-notch player wanting the frick out of Clipperland. Remember back in 1994 when Ron Harper was due to become an unrestriced free agent at the end of the season? He was fined and suspended for stating the obvious truth: "I'm just doing my jail time. In about 65 or 70 more days, my time is up and I'll be out on GB, good behavior."

And those comments were nothing compared to what Lamar Odom had to say at the end of his tenure with the other L.A. team. Here's a sampling:

"I feel like my relationship with the Clippers is over. I don't really feel like they committed to me. If they were, this wouldn't be going on like this. I just feel like this is my time and my place and my chance to get out of there.

"At the end of this year, I pretty much wanted out. I'm tired of not having a place to practice, a place to get better. I think it's just my time to get out of there. I've been trying to express myself as humble as possible, but I just want to get...out of there.

"I know they did the thing with Elton Brand, but that was the obvious. They had to do that. I don't want to go through this again with the perception of Lamar Odom and having to win [Dunleavy] over and try to show him that I'm a good dude.

"I don't see how far we could go. From my understanding, no one wants to hire a disgruntled employee or bring a disgruntled employee back. I would not be happy coming back. I think my career is going to take off with the Heat. I'm running in muddy waters with the Clippers.

"This is about me coming to play for a coach that I should have been playing with a long time ago, since my rookie season. He tried to make the moves to come get me then [in a trade], and now it's time for him to come get me out of the basketball hell."

Asked if he was worried the Clippers would match the Heat's offer simply out of spite, Odom said: "To sign somebody back out of spite is gutless and is sorry. I just want to get as far away from the Clippers as possible."
Of course, that situation was mitigated somewhat by the fact that Odom is as crazy as an athlete's foot sandwich. But he wasn't exactly wrong either. Being on the Clippers really IS basketball hell, one unusually successful season a few years ago notwithstanding. Many players have been a Clipper. But nobody -- and I mean nobody -- ever willingly chooses to remain a Clipper. Let me put it this way. There are exactly five teams in the NBA that don't have a single retired jersey number: The Charlotte Bobcats, the Los Angeles Clippers, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors. You'll notice that the other teams are relatively recent expansion teams. The oldest of them, Toronto, is 11 years younger than the Clips (since they've been in L.A. anyway). And considering how many extremely high draft picks they've had over the years, that's astounding. It may take a few years, but eventually everybody wants out of that nuthouse. Which is why it was so strange to read that Jason Williams retired as a Clipper. Of course, he never played a game for them.

Anyway, Davis made his bed. Now, for good or ill, he's gonna have to squirm in it.

Update! Basketbawful reader Drake also pointed out that, in 1985, Bill Walton agreed to buy out part of HIS OWN contract with the Clippers to facilitate a trade to the Celtics. (Can you imagine Antoine Walker doing something like that? Ha!) And Wild Yams said: "You forgot to add what the late, great Malik Sealy said after he finally got away from the Clippers in 1997: 'It's good to be back in the NBA.' The Clippers: They are who we thought they were." Yes they are.

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Author's note: I received many great nominations and contributions over the holidays, but I was taking a few much-needed days off, so I didn't have time to sort through them all. Sorry 'bout that. But I still love you more than anyone else will ever love you. Know that.

The Chicago Bulls: It was a rather painful day-after-Christmas trip to Miami for the Bullies, who scored 77 points (their second-lowest scoring output of the season), shot 37 percent (their third-worst shooting effort of the season), had more turnovers (15) than assists (11) and managed only 13 points in the fourth quarter. It was their 13th loss in 16 road games. Oh, and according to the Yahoo! box score, Aaron Gray (12 points, 11 rebounds) was their top performer. And, uh, you're not going to get very far as a team when Aaron Gray is your top performer. I'm just sayin'.

Derrick Rose: The Great Poohdini scored 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting and finished with 5 turnovers to only 3 assists. Meanwhile, he got outplayed by his former college rival Mario Chalmers (16 points, 6-for-9, 5 rebounds, 6 assists) and current ROY rival Michael Beasley (who scored 8 of his 14 points in the decisive fourth quarter).

Meaningless "controversies": Miami was up 13 with 30.9 seconds left when Heat coach Eric took a 20-second timeout to pull Dwyane wade, Udonis Haslem and Mari Chalmers. And the Bulls were pissed about it. Said Andres Nocioni: "There was nothing good about calling that timeout. I feel it was out of place. That is something only done to disrespect the opponent." Added Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro: "I don't know what they were doing. There's 30 seconds to go in the game. They're up 15 or 13 or whatever. But, whatever, we'll play them again."

Spoelstra, of course, tried to deflect the criticism. "That is a common practice in the NBA. I wanted to get our guys out, just in case something crazy would happen, and it allowed them to get their subs in, too. I don't know why they're all fired up. If they want to make a big deal about it, whatever." Two coaching quotes, two whatevers. So, you know, whatever. (For the record, video showed that the Bulls weren't trying to sub anybody in. Sorry Eric. Why not just admit you wanted your guys to get an ovation? It's okay. Basketball is entertainment and you were entertaining your fans. So what?)

The New York Knicks: The Minnesota Timberwolves got a late Christmas gift from the Knicks, who let the Wolves snap their 13-game losing streak and gave Kevin McHale his first coaching win of the season. In New York. It was the fifth straight defeat for the Knicks, who gave up 120 points and 51 percent shooting (54 from downtown). Minnesota had seven -- yes, seven -- players in double figures. Three of 'Wolves eclipsed the 20-point plateau and another almost did (Randy Foye had 19 points). And Mike D'Antoni made another point guard look like Steve Nash. Only this time, instead of Chris Duhon, it was Sebastian Telfair, who finished with a season-high 20 points and 8 assists for McHale's Navy. When asked what the Wolves did to catch fire, D'Antoni said: "Nothing really. They just stood there and took wide-open shots. We just were really bad defensively."

Kevin McHale, relief machine: Suffice it to say, McFail was pretty relieved to get that first win and break the losing skid. "The guys have been playing hard and we really needed this one. At the end of the game I said, 'Thank God,' and I meant it. Anything worth having in life takes some faith. And when that faith happens, it's a beautiful thing. And they've got to have faith that when they go out and play hard, good things are going to happen for them." Like you getting fired at the end of the season maybe...?

Sebastian Telfair, grammar machine: Regarding the status of his cousin, Stephon Marbury, Telfair said: "We all want our ending stories to be a certain way. I mean, he’s still healthy. I think this is a chapter in his book and hopefully he smartens up and creates his own ending and don't let nobody else create it for him." Yes. We could all use some smartening up, couldn't we, Sebastian?

The New Jersey Nets: The Bobcats got that elusive third road win of the season, and it's not surprising that it happened in New Jersey...where the Nets are now a sad-as-a-drowning-kitten 5-11 at the Izod Center. The Nets also fell a game below .500 with the loss and are now 3-7 since Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team."

The Indiana Pacers: They lost yet another close game, this time to the Grizzlies after building a 17-point lead. It didn't help matters that Danny Granger -- who had 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting -- missed the final 10 minutes after getting a concussion...from colliding with teammate Jarrett Jack with 10:08 to play. "I tried [to return to the game], but they wouldn't let me come back. I got hit so hard, it was kind of black. I just stayed down. When I got up, I felt dizzy." Isn't that just so Pacery? If I had been asked before this game to vote on which team was most likely to lose their best player to concussion caused by teammates running into each other, it would have been the Pacers fo' sho'. Oh, and the D'Antoni like "efense" might be a problem: The Pacers are now 2-17 when opponents score 100 points or more.

The Detroit Pistons: It took an off-balance runner by Allen Iverson with 0.2 seconds left for the Pistons to notch a home victory against the 3-win Thunder. 'Nuff said.

The Houston Rockets: Their 79-point effort was highlighted by 15-point fourth quarter in which they shot 2-of-14 and didn't hit a field goal in the last eight minutes and 47 seconds. And it it was possible to double-highlight something, this game would have been double-highlighted by the combined 3-for-21 shooting of starting guards Rafer Alson and Tracy McGrady. Said McGrady: "I think we left [our offense] back in Houston."

The New Orleans Hornets: One day after losing to the Magic 88-68, they beat the Rockets 88-79. Ugh. And if you peruse their schedule, you'll notice a lot of similar scores. I kind of hate that this young, running team that should be lighting up the scoreboard is developing that icky "mid-1990's New York Knicks" feel.

The Philadelphia 76ers: They were up by 17 points midway through the third quarter of their game against the Nuggets in Denver...then fell apart down the stretch. They were outscored 37-22 in the fourth quarter. After giving up a go-ahead dunk to Kenyon Martin with 9 seconds left, Andre Iguodala got called for travelling. The Sixers were forced to foul to get the ball back but still would have been within 3 points with 2.9 seconds left -- assuming Chucky Atkins made both free throws, which he did -- but Andre Miller got T'd up and thus gave the Nuggets another free point that put the game out of reach. Miller admitted he was trying to delay Atkins free throws when the technical was called but then added: "I didn't do nothing or say nothing." And I think that double-negative pretty much says it all for you, Andre.

Nuggets coach George Karl provided the best postscript to the game when he said: "The thought that comes to my mind is, bad teams lose games they're supposed to win, and good teams win games they're supposed to lose." And nobody knows more about bad teams losing games they're supposed to win than coach Karl.

The Dallas Mavericks: The Jazz were missing their top three scorers and rebounders -- Carlos Boozer (quad), Paul Millsap (knee) and Mehmet Okur (back) -- and beat the Mavericks anyway, thanks to career-high scoring "outbursts" from Kosta Koufos (18 points, 8-for-11) and Kyrylo Fesenko (8 points, 4-for-5).

Dirk Nowitzki: The Fouling Dutchman got bounced with 9:48 to go after he kinda accidentally-on-purpose flailed one of his chicken wings into Matt Harpring's face after some jostling under the basket. As Fesenko put it: "I get the rebound. I maybe push [Dirk] in the back a little. Then probably Matt pushed him a little. I don't think it was something really brutal. It happens all the time." Here's a nice little breakdown of the action:

Boy, Dirk really seems to hate the Utah Jazz. Anyway, not only was Nowitzki bounced from this game, he also earned a one-game suspension.

Update! Andrei Kirilenko: Okay. In all fairness to Dirk, I should add, in the first half, AK47 dropped like he got shot by an AK47. Which is pretty shameful. Ivan Drago does not approve.

The Sacramento Kings: They fell victim to Jermaine The Drain (36 points, 15-for-19) and dropped their fifth straight game. The Kings are now a Nets-like 5-10 at home. Oh, and they've not lost all 19 games this season in which they've led after three quarters. Seriously.

Jack Armstrong, unintentionally dirty quote machine: From Shayan of Time Intact: "I'm watching the Raptors-Kings match, and Jermaine O'Neal is having a hell of a game. Raptors tv analyst Jack Armstrong, talking about O'Nean's inside presence, says 'look at where he's doing it...DEEP! All those inside shots, talk about goin' to town!' Then within a minute, Raptors coach subs O'Neal to which Armstrong states 'Triano's giving O'Neal a blow.'" You just can't get that kind of stuff on nationally broadcast games. Unless Reggie Miller is announcing.

The Boston Celtics: One day after their Christmas day showdown with the Lakers, they built a 14-point lead against the Warriors before melting down in the second half and eventually losing 98-89. The C's were outscored 35-17 in the fourth quarter and looked like they were playing immediately after their fifth helping of Christmas turkey. (Which Big Baby Davis probably was.) Said Doc Rivers: "I was worried at halftime when I saw we were shooting 56 (percent) and they were shooting 39 and it was a 12-point game. I was completely concerned about it. ...Once they start making shots, it's tough to turn them off, and we couldn't make anything." From 19-0 to 0-2. That's the NBA for you...

Friday lacktion report: From Chris:

Bulls-Heat: Yakhouba Diawara apparently is the Miami human victory cigar, racking +1 (a bricked three) in 4:28 of on-floor lacktivity.

Bobcats-Nets: Charlotte's Sean Singletary fouled twice, turning a near 3 trillion into a +2 in 2:59. Trenton Hassell put up a truly unimpressive performance as a starter for the Nets, only to avoid a massive payday of 19 trillion via one rebound and an assist (as well as one foul); his sleep-inducing stat line no doubt was one of the big factors in the Bobcats pulling out a victory.

Wolves-Knicks: Non-defensive basktball has been the name of the game for those dwelling in Mike 'antoni's Madison Square Garden, as witnessed by Anthony Roberson's +1 in a little over 1:25 - his bricked three attempt helping him to end up with a -3.

Thunder-Pistons: Kwame Brown did avoid an official lacktivity score, though it wasn't for lack of trying - one rebound helped him miss out on a potential 3 trillion fortune, in a game where Klahma almost generated enough offense to beat the Pistons (outscoring Detroit by a point in the final quarter, only to lose by two). Hey, wasn't Kwame a #1 overall pick once? Lacktion statistics and #1 overall picks usually don't mix, but in this very special case, we nearly got to see them combine in one gravity-defying black hole of fail.

Pacers-Grizzlies: Quinton Ross's team may have won, but the Grizzlies' conquest of the Pacers had very little to do with him - a full 11 minutes of lacktion generated +3 through a couple of bricks from downtown, and a personal foul.

Jazz-Mavericks: One night after the Mavs took over late in the 4th against the Blazers, Mark Cuban's personal basketball playset seemed to run out of energy, and two spectacularly bland performances from the bench were not positive factors: DeSagna Diop giving Dallas a 4 and a half trillion, and teammate Shawne Williams bricking a three for +1 in over a minute of lacktion.

Celtics-Warriors: In Boston's two-game holiday skid, the bench has not been particularly effective. Brian Scalabrine avoided a +1 in 4:07 through a rebound, but next to him on the pine, two Mario Brothers developed: 15 seconds each for Patrick O'Bryant and Gabe Pruitt.

Vince Carter, quote machine: After the Nets' 114-103 overtime win in Charlotte, Vinsanity said: "It's kind of an 'us against the world' mentality. Coming into somebody else's building and wanting to get some's good for us. Winning games like this, I don't care who the team is, will help." The Nets are now 10-4 on the road...and 5-11 at home. So methinks it's high time to focus on getting some homekill, Vince.

The Chicago Bulls: The good: They shot 54.4 percent from the field and matched their season-high in scoring with 117 points. The bad: They also allowed season-highs in points (129), field-goal percentage (56), field goals made (49) and assists (33). Said Andres Nocioni: "It's personal, you know? Everybody needs to take the challenge. If we don't play 'D,' we will be out of the playoffs for sure. Today was terrible, terrible defense. We need to stop the ball one-on-one. Then nobody helps or crowds guys or takes a charge. So everybody can drive the basket or get offensive rebounds. It's energy. It's attitude. And that's it." The Bulls were outscored 56-38 in the paint. It's the 10th time this season that Chicago has allowed an opposing team to score 50 points in the painted rectangle.

Larry Hughes: You'll notice you can't spell "team" using any combination of the letters in "Larry Hughes." And with good reason. Hughes was aghast at not starting against the Hawks on Saturday (in place of the injured Luol Deng). Forget the fact that the guy who did start, Thabo Sefolosha, scored 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. That's not the point. Me, me, me is the point for Hughes. And he let people know about it after the game. ""I don't accept it, but I deal with it. I've said what I needed to say (to GM John Paxson and coach Vinny Del Negro]. Hopefully, it gets better moving forward. If it's justified, it's justified. But you can look at whatever you need to look at as far as production. I think it's in my favor. I'm not a spot-minute guy. I don't play well in that situation. If you want me to produce, I have to be out there. I can make a difference at both ends if I play." Yeah, well, thanks for that, Larry.

The Thunder versus the Wizards: From the AP game recap: "The Thunder entered with an NBA-worst 3-27 record, with the Wizards at 4-23. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there had never been an NBA game matching teams with individually lower winning percentages-.100 for Oklahoma City and .148 for Washington—and each squad having played at least 25 games." So it truly was the worst game ever. NBA action. It's FAN-tastic. As an aside, the Wizards got their fifth win of the season while the Thunder remained stuck on three wins. Said Thunder interim coach Scott Brooks: "It's no fun having three wins, but it's important we stay together and we continue to compete for one another. Not one guy in this locker room is a loser." I beg to disagree on that point, Scott.

Al Jefferson, quote machine: Regarding his team's 118-94 loss to the Magic, Big Al said: "I'm not going to say we lost focus. I just feel like we gave up. I think we felt a little fatigued and we just gave up on it." Telling the media you're team quit. That's Leadership 101, people. Look it up.

The Bucks' shooting: Brrr! It was a winter wasteland in Milwaukee, where the home team shot 30 percent from the field (24-for-79) and only 8 percent from downtown (1-for-12). Andy Bogut was 6-for-15, Michael Redd hit only 2-for-11 and Tyron Lue missed all seven of his shot attempts. It got so bad that Bucks coach Scott Skiles put in a lineup of Malik Allen, Joe Alexander, Tyronn Lue, Dan Gadzuric and Ridnour with 3:40 left in the third quarter...and left most of the starters on the bench the rest of the way. Said Skiles: "Because I'm putting the other guys in doesn't mean I'm giving up on the game. I still intend to win the game. It can be very confusing on certain nights of why certain guys just don't have it, but it does happen in the NBA." It's true. He wasn't giving up on the game. But he WAS sending a message to his starters. Play better or you won't play at all. And you know, that type of “motivation” works SO very well with pro ballers...

The Houston Rockets: For the second straight game, the Jazz were without their top three scorers and rebounders -- Carlos Boozer, Mehmet Okur and Paul Millsap -- and yet it still took two overtimes for the Rockets to prevail. At home. Sure, they were without McGrady and all, but that only meant they probably shot a higher percentage from the field.

The San Antonio Spurs: I'll let the headline from the AP game recap tell the tale for me: "Spurs need 2 overtimes to beat Grizzlies." And the game took place in San Antonio. Oddly, it was the third double-overtime game the Spurs have had this season. They've won them all.

Saturday lacktion report: More from Chris:

Thunder-Wizards: Robert Swift was in a giving mood today, producing a 5 trillion -- not generous enough to give back Klahma's O's in a loss, but enough that Clay Bennett would be rather pleased with this determined acquisition of dubious earnings.

Bulls-Hawks: Joakim Noah and Cedric Simmons became the latest captains of industry, each giving Chicago quite a bit of wealth (Noah with 5.5 trillion and Simmons with 4 trillion). Lindsey Hunter's bricked three gave him a +1 in 5:16, creating a trio of lacktivity for the Windy City. On the other side of the court, THE Mario West avoided his namesake by actually making a field goal in 38 seconds of floor time, while Solomon Jones averted his own Mario through one steal in 50 seconds (negated by a turnover, but still).

Grizzlies-Spurs: Memphis's Greg Buckner earned a +3 in a full 11:54 of lacktion (brick, rejection, foul) -- and in a game decided by 3 points in double-overtime (with Popovich's squad gaining the upper hand), Buckner's on-court mediocrity probably wasn't what the Griz needed to pull off the upset.

Raptors-Blazers: Jake Voskuhl for the dinos had only 18 seconds of lacktion and a +1 (foul) midway through the game - and lo and behold, it would stay that way all night. Just when it seemed he'd be the only one for Toronto mentioned in this here segment, Kris Humphries stepped onto the hardwood in some final-stanza garbage time, contributing a 35 second Mario to the mix.

The New York Knicks: They followed up getting torched by the Timberwolves by getting lit up by the Nuggets: Denver shot 57 percent and scored 117 points. Carmelo Anthony came out of his offensive coma to score 32 points on 13-for-19 shooting...which, obviously, is much easier to do when you're wide open all night. It was only 'Melo's third 30-point game of the season. And, get this, after the game, Mike D'Anonti was talking about -- are you ready for it? -- defense. "We've got to play defense. There's no doubt about it. I know I joke around a lot about it, but the only way we're going to win is to get better at it. I've always felt like we're going to score no matter what. I don't care who's on the floor, we're going to score. So now we've just got to find a way how to stop people." Sounds like a broken record to me. Sounds like a broken record to me. Sounds like a broken record to me...

The Los Angeles Clippers: Facing the Dirk Nowitzki-less Mavs at home...the Clippers lost by 22. They are who we thought they were. Mind you, the Clips were without Zach Randolph (bruised knee), Chris Kaman (left arch) and Ricky Davis (bwahahahaha!). And they want you to know that's what was up. Said Baron Davis: "We need our team to be 100 percent healthy to play at our highest level." Added coach Mike Dunleavy: "This really shows the absence of our low post game, with Chris Kaman and Zach Randolph both out. Many of our shots were forced, and that may have been due to the lack of conditioning from the time off." So it's not anybody's fault. Just so you know.

The Indiana Pacers: If you follow this blog, you've probably noticed an ongoing theme in which the Pacers lead most of the game only to lose it at the end. Well, I hate to shock the hell out of you, but it happened again against Hornets. Indy were up by as many as 12 points early in the third quarter before choking up the lead. Still, Danny Granger (34 points, 12-for-23) tied the game by hitting a couple free throws with 27.8 seconds left. But then David West hit a 17-foot fadeaway jumper with 2.5 seconds to doom the Pacers to yet another come-from-ahead loss.

The Yao Watch: Oh! We might be making a comeback! Czernobog caught what I missed: Dr. Yao had five of his shots blocked by the Jazz! And let's not forget about this block by LeBron that happened while I was "getting a blow":

The Sacramento Kings: Okay. So we know the Celtics were angry about losing two in a row, including that Christmas day loss to the hated Lakers. But they beat the Kings by 45...IN SACRAMENTO. "Ouch" doesn't begin to cover it. More like, "OH GOD! OH GOD! IT HURTS! KILL ME...PLEASE!" The Kings shot 28 percent for the game and hit only 19 field goals. That's the fewest shots made by the Kings in the shot-clock era and the second fewest allowed by the Celtics. The 45-point margin of victory matched the sixth biggest by the Celtics, who also pounded the Knicks by the same margin last season. The last time the C's spanked somebody worse than that was a 153-107 smackdown of the Baltimore Bullets on November 27, 1970. It was Sactown's sixth straight loss and 16th of 18 overall. Said Bobby Jackson: "This is frustrating going through things like this. We can't keep making excuses. That's just it. I'm embarrassed. I hope everybody else is embarrassed, too. That was just ridiculous the way we came out and competed tonight. I wouldn't even say competed. We didn't even show up."

The Golden State Warriors: After their inspired effort against a drained Boston team, the Warriors let the Lakers score 130 points on 51 percent shooting. Way to build on success, Warriors. Said Stehpen Jackson: "Our defense wasn't even close to what we had against Boston and it definitely showed. We didn't approach the game the same way we did the Boston game. We had more intensity, were up for that game and we weren't today." How bad was it? Sun Yue played more than six minutes. Oh yes.

Kobe Bryant: After the game in the Lakers' locker room, Mamba turned away from Lamar Odom to address Luke Walton. Said Mamba, gesturing to Odom. "He doesn't like you." Luke tried to apologize, but Mamba went on: "I don't like you either. You'd better watch yourself. I have the death sentence on 12 systems." Luke replied: "I'll be careful." To which Mamba said "YOU'LL BE DEAD!" and slapped him. Then Luke cried.

Sunday lacktion report: Still more from Chris:

Mavs-Clippers: Dallas's Antoine Wright dominated garbage time lacktion in negative statistics through a +6 (three bricks, one shot blocked, and two personal fouls) in a whole 10:14; for the home team, Steve Novak shows up again with nearly 1.5 trillion.

Celtics-Kings: Now that I'm back in Sactown after Christmas, I got a chance to peruse the local broadcast of what turned out to be some severe bawful. Kenny Thomas accrued a 21 second Mario for the home team. (Donte Greene had a +2 in 1:21 but then got three more minutes of playing time late in the 3rd, making a shot, ultimately ending up with 7.) As the failfest at Arco continued during the 3rd quarter (where Suckrament was outscored 25-14), the commentators on Comcast Sports California had enough:

"You think it can't get any worse...but it's worse"

"We've been doing this for a long time, I don't recall the Kings ever being down 40 at their home floor."

"The Celtics are a good team, but STILL, they shouldn't be up by 40."

Radio guy Gary Gerould and the TV commentators now telling prattle tales about Michael Phelps showing up as the celebrity guest de jour.

Now early in the 4th -- with a full 10 minutes left -- Brian Scalabrine is already in as the world champs celebrate yet another easy victory (which is a huge relief after two straight tough losses). He would end the night having played out the rest of the period, actually racking up 3 rebounds and a steal.

Cameraman now focuses on Phelps not even paying attention to the snoozefest. That's the best thing they can show us? Hell, he's dominating the "images of the game" segment. Wow.

Game over at 108-63, a 45 point loss; the Kings just set a record for futility with only NINETEEN made field goals for the night, with John Salmons' 11 points (only 2 of 9 on field goal attempts) serving as the team lead, nobody else in double digits. Not just that, Suckrament managed a high of a mere 17 points in both the first and second quarter, following that up with not-so-high-powered numbers of 14 and 15 points each in the final half.
Earl Boykins: Basketbawful reader Your Favorite Sun left this in a comment, from the Eurobasket news:

"It wasn't without consequence Christmas game for Virtus Bologna. Earl Boykins (168-G-76, college: E.Michigan) was scoreless in 17' with only a field goal attempted. The pointguard, in the past days, asked to come back home for 4 days to have some Holydays, but the team denied his request. So, his bad performance, was seen like a kind of strike. Boykins - started likewise to the Usa after the game - and Virtus Bologna will part away in the next days. When agents and team staff will find a deal."

Take your pick -- awful because of:

(a) Earl's lackluster performance,

(b) It may have been intentional retaliation for not being allowed to go home for Xmas, or

(c) The Babel Fish translation?
Hey, YFS, you forgot (d) All of the above. And my answer is most definitely "d."

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Okay, people. Here's something you can give me that will only cost a few extra clicks with your keyboard-callused fingers: Vote for Basketbawful in the 2008 Sports Blogger of the Year Tournament running over at Busted Coverage. But hurry. The first round ends Friday night at 11 p.m. EST.


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I found this via Deadspin: A young Chinese girl lost her legs in a car accident and her parents replaced them with...a basketball. And in case you're wondering: I'm being deadly serious here.

Fortunately, she now has prosthetic legs.

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Dunleavy's obviously thinking something that rhymes with "row spit."

The Golden State Warriors: Well, Nellie turned the defensive reins over to his assistants...and the Warriors surrendered 113 points despite the fact that Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu and Keith Bogans combined to shoot 7-for-28. It might have been a good idea to get a hand in the face of that Jameer Nelson kid. He went 9-for-9 for his 22 points. Of course, it would have been an even better idea to shoot better than 31 percent from the field as a team. Their 81 points ties the second-lowest output the season, the lowest being a 79-point "effort" at Memphis back on November 3rd. Yeah, yeah, Captain Jack and Bad Porn are still out, but excuses are like belly buttons: Everybody has one and they all have slimy tentacles creeping out. Or is that just me?

Keith Bogans: Uh, yeah. Remember how I mentioned he was part of that 7-for-28 shooting triumverate? Well, his contribution to the cause was an 0-for-7 clunker, including 0-for-5 from distance. And he finished with more blocks against (1) than points (zero) in his 22 minutes. I know somebody who's going to be asking Santa for a jump shot for Christmas...

The lack of respect: ...for Jameer Nelson. He earned Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors and this story credits him for playin on...the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm not bitter that the guy who wrote that story got paid to do it or anything. Except I totally am. But I'm probably not as upset as Jameer's mom. Many thanks to Miguel for the head's up.

The New Jersey Nets: Let me sum this up for you. They lost by 23 points at home. That means they finished 1-3 in their three-game homestand, and two of those three losses were by 20+ points. They are now 5-10 at home and fell a game below .500 with this latest defeat. Better yet -- or worse yet, depending on your point of view -- is that they're only 2-6 since December 9th. And in case you've forgotton (and I'm sure you have), that's when they were a season-best three games over .500 and Devin Harris said: "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Stat curse, baby! 'Cause now the Nets are a precarious one game up on the suddenly sorta surging Milwaukee Bucks. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

(Oh, and by the way: New Jersey's defense gave up 114 points on almost 60 percent shooting to the Rockets. Kinda hard to win when your defense is spread wide open like a $100-per-hour "escort." Or so I've heard.)

Anyway, Vinsanity had this to say after the game: "This was a tough one. This was a tough night for us. We definitely needed a win. This was an opportunity for us to see where we are and how far we have come." It sure was. And I guarantee that the conclusion you can draw from it is 100 percent accurate.

Devin Harris and Vince Carter: Speaking of circumstances under which it's hard to win, you can't usually have your two big guns misfore all night (only 7-for-24 between them) and combine for only 20 points. And mind you, they began the night with a combined scoring average of 47.3 PPG, which made them the highest scoring backcourt in the league. Let me put it this way: Keyon Dooling had more assists (5 to 4) and almost as many points (17) as the both of them. As bad signs go, that's a notch above "penis on fire."

The media: The Rockets-Nets game was, for some bizarre reason, billed as a battle of Yao versus Yi. Uh, everyone's aware that Yao's probably the best center in the game right now while Yi's a 10-points-per-game roleplayer, right? Did Yi become an All-Star while I was in the bathroom or something?

The craziness of confidence: Houston's Aaron Brooks tied his career high by scoring 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting, including 4-for-7 from downtown. He accidentally banked in his first three and, despite the fact that it was a garbage shot, that boosted his confidence. Said Brooks: "If I can bank a three, then I know I can make the next one on my own." At first, I wanted to mock the kid, but then I thought about my own experiences in pickup basketball. And sure enough, when I thought about it I realized that hitting garbage shots -- and I've "wished in" a great many of them -- always makes me feel like I'm about to go on a streak. And I'm not the only one. I've seen other guys do the same thing. It's counterintuitive but indeniable: Hitting a lucky shot makes you feel, well, lucky. And half the game is 90 percent mental, you know?

The reactionary media/fans/etc.: I saw this story in the L.A. Times yesterday (via TrueHoop) where Magic Johnson -- apparently mirroring the feelings of experts and fans everywhere -- said the Lakers are kinda sorta in trouble and need to get tougher. Maybe. But seriously, what's the panic? The Forum Blue and Gold are 22-5, which, last time I checked, is pretty damn good. But I guess that's what happens when two other teams (the Celtics and Cavs) are also off to historically awesome starts. So the Lakers are "only" on pace for 69ish wins? That's a problem somehow? You know, much as I enjoy watching Lakers fans squirm, the realist in me feels the need to point out that many teams have won a title despite falling short of the 70-win plateau. Like, all but one of them. Meanwhile, many other teams have shot out to fast starts and faltered in the playoffs (including the 1981-82 Celtics, the last Boston team to win 18 games in a row).

I refuse to believe that the only cause for joy and/or optimism is a team being virtually undefeated by the end of December. (Although, doesn't 22-5 pretty much qualify as "virtually undefeated"?)

The Memphis Grizzlies: They can hardly be faulted for losing to a superior Lakers team. However, the loss was their third straight to finish off a season-long five-game home stand. So that's kind of a bummer. Oddly enough, of those three losses, the Griz stuck closer to the two really good teams (New Orleans and L.A.) than the bad one (Charlotte): Memphis lost by 29 to the Bobcats while finishing within single digits of the Hornets and Lakers.

Kobe Bryant: I don't even have to make one up today. This is from Basketbawful reader Josh: "Just watched the Lakers beat the Grizzlies...I'm embarrassed for Kobe and all his fans. The Lakers were up by 7 points with 5 seconds left when Kobe got a steal and, instead of dribbling out the clock like any NBA player with an ounce of class would do, Mamba sprinted down for a highlight dunk. Which he didn't get off in time, but they gave him points for it anyway. This is something I've come to expect from Kobe...and from the NBA." Agreed. It was pretty classeless to dunk on an opponent when the game is essentially over. Scan it for yourself (at the 2:15 mark).

Basketbawful reader Dan did notice, however, that Kobe had a career-high 23 assists last night. Or so it seems...

bryant_assists[1] (2)

The Sacramento Kings: Another night, another double-digit loss for the crownless Kings, who have lost four in a row and 17 of 20 since starting the season 4-5. How toothless are these tigers? Gregg Popovich didn't even bother to coach against them last night. Seriously. Said Pop: "I did nothing to earn my money. They (the players) coached. They communicated. They changed defenses, called plays. I just substituted players." Playing the Kings? Just show up and win. It's easier than growing Sea Monkeys.

Brad Miller: The source of many trade rumors finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers and 4 fouls. So much for establishing trade value, huh?

Brandon Roy: After going off for a career-high 52 points against the defensless Suns last Thursday, Roy got a double-dose of "hand in the face" against the previously defenseless Nuggets, who held him to 3-for-11 shooting. Roy, who finished with almost as many fouls (5) as points (8), said: "It was a lot of everything. It was getting into foul trouble and, really, it was just their night."

It was also a case of -- and you should be taking notes on this if your name is "Terry Porter" -- putting extra defensive pressure on a primetime scorer. George Karl alternated defenders and doubled Roy every time he touched the ball. Said Karl: "Give him two. Whenever he touches it give him two players." Sometimes it's just that easy. Of course, Karl also noted that: "Foul trouble helped us, too." Added Chauncey Billups: "To be successful against a player like him, it has to be a team effort. Dahntay (Jones) started off great on him, J.R. (Smith) had some good minutes on him, so it was a team effort." You, uh, get all that, Terry?

Greg Oden: The Next Great Center had another one of those "Greg Ostertag: 2.0" games last night: 10 points and only 3 rebounds in 21 foul-plagued minutes. Oden picked up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the second half and sat on his extra-large bum until there was 9:52 left in the fourth. He eventually fouled out with 1:31 to go and the Nuggets up by 6. Said TNGC: "I really couldn't get into a groove. It's hard to get into a groove when you get called for fouls and have to be taken out." Fair enough. But still...3 rebounds in 21 minutes when you're the biggest guy on the court? And only 1 of those boards came off the defensive glass. If the Vanilla Godzilla wasn't such a team-first guy, this would be killing him.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Okay, let's all say this together and really, really loudly: They are who we thought they were. The Clips have now dropped two in a row after winning five out of seven. And last night they lost by 22 at home to the Raptors, otherwise known as "The Sucky Team That Lost To The Thunder A Few Days Ago." Fail. Oh, and Clipper fans nearly suffered a coronary when Zach Randolph, the prime mover of the team's mini-revival, left the game early in the fourth quarter after bruising his left knee in a collision with Jake Voskuhl during a Bosh layup. (See what happens when you play defense??) The good news is that X-rays were negative and he's considered day-to-day. Said Z-Bo: "Hopefully it's just a bone bruise. I'm just going to ice it in the next couple of days." The Clippers don't play again until Sunday, so Randolph probably won't miss any time.

The Davis Watch: ClipperBlog noted that Baron Davis shot 20-for-71 on the team's recent four-game road trip. I did a little extra number crunching to discover that B-Diddy is 51-156 over his last eight games. That's 32 percent "accuracy"...which would be a failing grade in any class that doesn't grade on a curve and even in some that do. We are now keeping an eye on Boom-Dizzle's shooting.

Al Thornton: Dear Al, Chris Bosh would like you to, in the future if you would be so kind, watch where the hell you're sticking your fingers. Thank you.

Raptors Clippers Basketball

[The pic was sent in by Shayan of Time Intact.]

Lack-tion report: Basketbawful reader Chris chimed in with another report on last night's un-movers and non-shakers: "Channing Frye (+2, 4:31) and Jerryd Bayless (+4, 3:11) were not positive factors for Portland in their loss to the Nuggets, while Chucky Atkins across the court avoided an 8 trillion through one steal. Also, Mardy Collins earned a +1 for the Clippers in 4 minutes of lacktion."

People who need to get over it already: From Basketbawful reader Dumbgenius: "Bawful, I'm sour graping, but I just have to mention this...I've been hanging out with this gal for a while now and I scammed my way into a date with her the other night. Turns out she's of the "Haven't gotten over my ex yet' variety, which to me is like, whatever. When she told me his name I nearly popped a vein. THOMAS ISAIAH." Sweet Birdmas. You need to find that guy and falcon punch him just on principle.

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The Los Angeles Clippers: Yeah, they beat the Pacers in Indiana, but they had to go to overtime to do it...and the Pacers were severely shorthanded. Danny Granger, Troy Murphy and Marquis Daniels were in the hospital with viral infections and T.J. Ford was unable to start due to a sore left groin. (Ford did play, however, and finished with 17 points, 5 turnovers and 4 fouls). So sure, they won, but it shouldn't have been that hard. Said Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy: "I'm happy we won. I'm disappointed in a sense because we were playing a team that has a lot of guys out, and it took us until way late in the game where we were competitive and we could really win it."

The Indiana Pacers: They could have won despite the missing bodies, but they committed 26 turnovers that became 29 points for the Clips. Giving your opponent 29 extra points usually leads to bad things. Meanwhile, the "We like to lose the close ones!" Pacers dropped to 0-4 in overtime games this season.

Jeff Foster: Uh, Jeff...what are know what? Never mind.

Clippers Pacers Basketball

Pic provided by Shayan of Time Intact.

The Washington Generals Wizards: The Istari fell to 3-10 under interim coach Ed Tapscott by losing at home to the Elton Brand-less 76ers. Washington had a 43-34 rebounding advantage as well as a fourth-quarter lead, but as the AP recap put it: " obstacle is too big to overcome when facing a Wizards team that is 4-20 and has its third five-game losing streak of the season." The Wiz were outscored 25-17 in the final period thanks to a steady diet of clunky jumpers. Tapscott didn't turn to Antawn Jamison or Caron Butler down the stretch, and Butler used a little passive-aggressivity to let everybody know he wasn't happy about it. "I'm an observer on the court saying the same thing. I execute the offense that's drawn up in the huddle."

Tapscott, for his part, blamed his team for crumbling under pressure and funking out by shooting from the outside instead of taking it hard to the cup. "When you're under stress, under pressure, you tend to revert to things that you've done before. Now if you have enough pain doing those things it'll alter what you do, and we're going through that pain right now."

So, the players are blaming the coach and the coach is blaming the players. Oh this is going to work out just swell...

Update! Wizards' starting lineup announcer: Kaan from Turkey wrote in to point out this juicy morsel from the AP game recap: "The Wizards starting lineup announcer remains in a slump as bad as the team's. He announced Jamison as being from 'UConn' instead of the University of North Carolina. A few games ago, he had Jamison coming from 'North Carolina University.'" Dude. You have ONE JOB. Get it right.

The Dallas Mavericks and Mark Cuban: The cowboys fell victim to a classic "See what you lost" revenge game. Devin Harris typed in IDDQD and went off for 41 points, 13 assists, and 3 steals as his new team beat his old team 121-97. Here's video of the New Jersey fans chanting "Thank you Cuban!" when Harris was removed with 2:11 remaining.

And here, courtesy of Stephanie G, is a beautiful animated .gif of Mark's reaction:


Of course, in true Mark Cuban fashion, he had to try and get the last word: "I guess when you don't care about your own team you talk about someone on the other team, right? I guess that's what Nets fans are all about. I think the goal of everybody in New Jersey is to be a general manager. So I can understand why they want to share their expertise." Gee, Mark, that's pretty glib for a guy who ditched Steve Nash right before his back-to-back MVP seasons, then used the Nash money to give Erick Dampier a $73 million contract, traded Harris for the rapidly aging Jason Kidd, committed $32 million to DeSagana Diop this summer, etc. I'm just sayin'...

The New York Knicks: This is what happens when a team with an obvious talent deficit runs the D'Antoni "Outscore the other guys" system: Some nights they win, some nights they lose...very, very badly. This was one of the latter cases. At home, against the sub-.500 Bucks, the Knicks shot 38 percent, committed 23 turnovers and got crushed 105-81. New York scored a season-low 15 points in the first quarter and finished the first half with only 37 points. In other words, they wouldn't have outscored the Klahma City Thunder. Said D'Antoni: "I definitely think we weren't ready to play. It is inexcusable to not be ready. I don't care what happens. We haven't obviously grasped that totally." Hey, who's responsibility is it again to get the team ready? Oh yeah...

Al Harrington: Big Al got stuck in traffic on his way to Madison Square Garden...and wasn't available until seven minutes into the first quarter. Said Harrington: "It was crazy. It took me 3-1/2 hours to get here. I was just sitting in the car all that time." Here's a hint, Al. Check the traffic report and leave extra early when the weather is bad. Didn't your mom teach you anything? Thanks to Dr. Hank Pym for the tipoff.

The Chicago Bulls: The Bullies where the latest hunk of flesh to get tossed into the Boston Celtic meat grinder. And while there's no shame in losing, there is some shame in letting a team shoot 60 percent from the field. And, mind you, the C's were shooting around 70 percent before Doc Rivers cleared the bench and allowed garbage time to ensue. Now, granted, Drew Gooden left the game for good after spraining his ankle in the first quarter and Tyrus Thomas did not make the trip after sustaining a concussion against the Clippers on Wednesday. But were the Bulls really a Gooden/Thomas combo away from competing? Ben Gordon seemed to think so. "Playing against a team like this, you need all your guys. Drew's a big part of what we do. We tried to give them a little resistance but we just didn't have enough manpower." Whatever helps you sleep at night, Ben.

The Golden State Warriors: After watching the Hawks ring up 115 points on 52 percent shooting and falling victim to a blitzkrieg by Flip Murry (14 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter), Don Nelson's will finally broke a little: He announced that he's putting assistant coaches Keith Smart and Sidney Moncrief in charge of the team's defense. Said Nellie: "I'm not tough enough anymore. I'm getting soft as I get older and I feel like I haven't done a very good job defensively this year." Nelson named Smart his "defensive coordinator" and Moncrief the "assistant defensive coordinator."

Naturally, Nelson hadn't mentioned any of this to his players. Said Jamal Crawford: "This is the first I've heard of it. I hope it works. We need to get better." Well, that's true.

Daequan Cook and Mario Chalmers: Each of them had a three-pointers waved off in the first half of Miami's win over the Lakers because they stepped out of bounds before shooting. Keep an eye on the sidelines, guys.

Vladimir Radmanovic: He was stunned when he lost his starting spot to Luke Walton -- and he wasn't the only one -- but his less-than-five-minute stint against the Heat sort of showed why: He missed his only shot (a three) and finished with 2 turnovers and zero-for-everything-else. He was so frustrated that he reportedly required a pep talk from Phil Jackson. You know, the guy who recently benched him and once referred to him as a space cadet. You know you're confidence is low when...

The Toronto Raptors: They lost. To the Klahma City Thunder. The Thundercats had lost 8 in a row overall and 11 straight at home. And this was their third win of the season. What more can I say? Nothing, really. So, again courtesy of Stephanie G, here's Raptors Fan Bingo!


Bonus quote from Jose Calderon: "This wasn't our best game. It was one of our worst." Huh. What's Canadian for "Thank you, Captain Obvious"?

Here's a little extra vitriol from Shayan, who covers the Raptors at Time Intact: "Stick in a fork in me, I'm pretty much done. The Raptors lost to the Thunder. The lowly, NBA worst Thunder. OKC was so happy to get a win that Desmond Mason said after the game: "It felt like we won a championship." There was even confetti falling from the rafters. So I guess you could stick them in the WotW too. But you have to put my Raptors in there. This is rock bottom. And downright embarrassing." Fans giving up. It's never pretty.

Marc Gasol: Uh, I don't know if anybody's noticed, but Pau's baby bro lost his starting job to, gulp, Hulko Milicic. But he sure showed whoever's-coaching-the-Grizzlies-these-days by shooting 3-for-10. So, you know, suck it, coach guy!

The Memphis Grizzlies: Well, let's see...they're STARTING Hulko Milicic, they let Boris Diaw score a season-high 26 points, and they lost 113-83 at home to the Charlotte Bobcats. So, uhm, yeah.

The Detroit Pistons: They dropped a double-overtime home game to the still Carlos Boozer-less Utah Jazz. Mehmet Okur got in the night's second-best revenge game by finishing with 26 points and 12 rebounds. (He's now 8-1 against the Pistons since leaving Detroit after the 2004 NBA Finals.) Paul Milsap looked like, well, Carlos Boozer with 24 points and 12 rebounds as Utah pounded Detroit's small ball lineup. Not that Pistons coach Michael Curry was conceding anything after the game. Except the game itself, that is. Said Curry: "I thought we won that battle. Yes, they posted us up a few times, but we were able to get Allen and Rip free. AI had 38 and Rip scored 30, and I'll take that." Uh, yeah, Mike...BUT YOU LOST. I'm just sayin'.

Rasheed Wallace: I guess the Free Darko guys must have stat cursed him with that whole "He plays better after picking up his first technical" thing, because 'Sheed shot 4-for-10 and fouled out after picking up his 10th tech of the season. Dude! It's a contract year! It might be time to zip it, you know?

Mikki Moore: Dear lord! Sactown's backup big man had 5 fouls and zero rebounds in 20 minutes. Zero rebounds...he's seven feet tall! Wow. When he said he inherited basketball skills from his 93-year old grandmother, Lily, he wasn't kidding, was he?

Here are a couple bonus fun facts about Mikki: His real name is Clinton Renard. He got the nickname "Mikki" because he because he loved to eat "Life" cereal as a kid. (Anybody want to tell him it was "Mikey" and not "Mikki"? Yeah, me neither.) His mother's name is Clynta Spear. No, she is not a professional wrestler. Or a porn star. As far as I know.

Carmelo Anthony: A few years ago, people were hailing 'Melo-verus-LeBron as the next Magic-versus-Bird. Turns out it's more like Kent Benson versus Larry Bird. While LeBron (33 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists) was leading his team to a 105-88 win over the Anthony's nuggets, Carmelo was scoring 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting, committing 5 turnovers and fouling out with five minutes to go. Sorry, 'Melo. You're not a Jedi yet.


Gerald Wallace, bitter machine: His team (the Bobcats) lost at home to the Golden State Warriors due mostly to a 50-point tantrum by Jamal Crawford. It snapped Charlotte's two-game winning streak, and, yeah, Wallace was a little bitter. So, natch, he took a few parting shots at Crawford. "Basically you've got a guy out there with his confidence as high as the sky and he's only playing one end. He's only playing offense, so what can you say?" I can say: Meow! Saucer of milk, table two, please!

The Los Angeles Lakers: They lost back-to-back games against the Heat and Magic. Sure, they had a chance to win both games at the end, but it's still a winless weekend for a team many people consider the best in the league. In other news, the Magic have made it to 21-6 without many people noticing...

The Philadelphia 76ers: The Pacers were without Danny Granger (viral infection), Troy Murphy (ditto), Marquis Daniels (also ditto) and Maceo Baston (lower back strain) and therefore dressed only nine players. Didn't matter. They still beat the Elton Brand-less Sixers in Philly. Said Andrea Iguodala: "It's tough. We're short-handed, too, but it's a game we should have had. It was one of our tougher losses this year and the games you've got to get." Regrets and excuses. That's the 2008-09 Sixers for you.

Tony DiLeo, "Huh"? machine: Regarding the Pacers-Sixers game, Philly's interim coach said: "I think it was a heartfelt game by both teams." Aw! That's so cully-wulligans!

The Minnesota Timberwolves: Their 109-102 home loss to the Rockets was their 12th consecutive defeat. For historical perspective, the last time the 'Wolves dropped 12 in a row was at the end of the 1992-93 season (and not the 1993-94 season as the Associated Press reported). Minny is now 0-7 since Kevin McHale assumed command of the ship. Which be sinking, by the way.

The Yao Watch: Yao "only" had one shot blocked, but he was manhandled all night by Al Jefferson (34 points, 13 rebounds)...despite the fact that Al gives up 8 inches and 55 pounds to Shaquie Chan. In fact, Jefferson posterized Yao twice. Brutally. Here's one of 'em.

Shane Battier, Rick Pitino machine: After beating the Timberwolves, Battier said: "Listen, the Boston Celtics are not giving that lead back. The Lakers are not giving that lead back. And Cleveland is not giving that lead back. Those are the three teams we're chasing right now and if we ever want to get on their level, we need to do what they do." I dunno, but that sure reminds me of Pitino's famous "Larry Bird is not walking through that door..." speech.

The New Jersey Nets: Their loss to the Heat dropped them to 1-2 on the current four-game home stand...and 5-9 at home overall. It's "Home Suck Home" for the Nets this season.

The Sacramento Kings: They had a pretty decent chance to beat the Hornets in New Orleans, but they crowned themselves by turning the ball over 18 times, which led to 25 points for the buzzing bugs. And 8 of those TOs were steals handed off to Chris Paul. Memo to the Kings: You need to be careful with the ball around that guy. Sacto also got outscored in the paint 48-28, and that usually says something about which team was being the aggressor.

The Toronto Raptors: Make it five losses in a row for the 10-14 Raptors. It's their second five-game skid this season. And they're 2-10 in their last 12 games. You can, in part, blame the current loser's streak on...

Chris Bosh: Bosh started out the game 1-for-7 and finished with 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting. He's now 22-for-70 over the last four games. So much for all that early-season "Bosh for MVP" talk. Right now I'm not sure he's even CMVP (Canada's Most Valuable Player.)

The Los Angeles Clippers: Just when you think things are looking up for The Other L.A. discover that they are, indeed, who we thought they were. The Clips concluded their winless weekend by 34 to the Bucks in Milwaukee. The Team of Sour Destiny shot 34 percent and fell behind 62-32 by halftime. So, you know, if you were waiting for a Clippers Renaissance, you'll have to wait a wee bit longer.

The Utah Jazz: After their 106-98 loss to the Bulls, everybody was talking about their inability to stop Ben Gordon (26 points, 8-for-17) and Derrick Rose (24 points, 10-for-17), but the real story was turnovers. The Jazz committed 20 of 'em, which gave the Bulls an extra 29 points. Kind of a difference maker, wouldn't you say? Said Jerry Sloan: "They just outworked us. Twenty turnovers for 29 points. That pretty much is the difference in the ballgame. We got a little bit 3-point happy shooting the basketball coming down the stretch."

Meanwhile, Carlos "I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless. I am going to opt out, I don't see why I wouldn't." Boozer had a third MRI on a quadriceps tendon injury that had forced him to miss the last 17 games. And Jazz owner Larry Miller, in his weekly radio appearance on KFNZ 1320 AM, said that Boozer's comments were "one of the top 10 stupidest things I've ever heard." And, dear readers, this is a guy who put up with almost 20 years worth of Karl Malone's bipolar that's really saying something. Miller also added that: "Carlos knows better," Miller added. "He told [Jazz general manager] Kevin [O'Connor] he just screwed up, but that doesn't fix it, so what do the fans think now?" Well, for starters, they're probably thinking, "So THAT'S why the people in Cleveland hate him so much..."

The Denver Nuggets: Their winless weekend ended less-than-mercifully in Phoenix, where the Suns got 8 straight points from Steve Nash in the final three minutes to seal the deal. Is that popping noise the sound of the Chauncey Billups bubble bursting? (Speaking of which, Mr. Big Shot was 6-for-16 and committed 7 turnovers. But he wasn't the Nuggets' biggest problem...)

Carmelo Anthony: As bad as he looked against Cleveland, he looked even worse against Phoenix...and Grant Hill's bulldog defense. Said Suns coach Terry Porter: "Old man Grant did a heck of a job on that young fellow Melo, really making him work for a lot of things tonight and didn't give him anything easy." No kidding. Anthony finished the night with 10 points on 3-for-13 shooting and had more turnovers (4) than rebounds (1) and assists (2) combined. He also had two of his shots blocked.

The Phoenix Suns defense: Check it: Denver's 101 points were the fewest allowed by Phoenix in 12 games. No, really. Imagine what they'd be giving up if Terry Porter wasn't so committed to defense.


Pic provided by Sturla.

The Detroit Pistons: The Genteel Boys slipped ever closer to the dreaded .500 mark after a loss to the Hawks in which Mike Bibby caught fire like he was shooting around by himself in a high school gym: The Hawks guard was 10-for-13 and 6-for-6 from downtown. And Pistons coach Michael Curry was, you know, quick to blame his players. He noted that Allen Iverson lost Bibby on four of his three-pointers and added: "It was just mental lapses. You can't ball-watch and Allen struggles ball-watching sometimes. Bibby made him pay." He's right, of course, but calling AI out to the press is a good way to lose AI. In other news, Detroit is now 0-6 on Sundays...and 14-5 on Monday through Saturday.

Richard Hamilton: The Phantom of Auburn Hills got the bronze boot with 1:14 remaining when he cussed out an official for not calling a foul on Mike Bibby, who elbowed Rip in the head. Said Hamilton: "I don't deserve to get kicked out of the game for that. There's a lot worse stuff being said out on the floor. I was in the wrong for saying what I said, but not by any means do you get kicked out of the game for that." Only, uh, you DID get kicked out of the game. Which hopefully serves as a lesson to you.

The Boston Celtics: By winning their 18th straight game, the Celtics are flirting with a dangerous (potential) repeat of history. As most media outlets have noted, the 1981-82 Celtics also won 18 consecutive games. What I haven't seen noted is this: That was the season immediately following the first title of the Larry Bird era. And the Celtics, despite the streak and the fact that they finished with the best record in the league, did not repeat thanks to an injury to Tiny Archibald (separated shoulder) in the Eastern Conference Finals. This is, of course, the season immediately following the first title of the Garnett era in Boston. Chi-chi-chi ah-ah-ah...

Glen Davis: Big Baby missed Boston's thrashing of the Knicks due to whiplash and a concussion suffered during a mid-afternoon car crash on the Mass Pike while on his way to the game. Details are scant at the moment, so it might not be his fault. Still, it's just been that kinda season for Baby, you know?

Yi Jianlian's age: He might be 21 instead of 24. Or is it 24 instead of 21? OH. MY. GOD. Does anybody care? Yeah. Yeah, I didn't think so.

The Washington Wizards: They've lost six straight, nine of 10, and 21 of 25. And they tied a 42-year-old franchise record for worst start: The 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets also began the season 4-21. Historic fail.

Ed Tapscott, quote machine: Regarding his team's extreme suckability: "Problems compound themselves. When you've got a bad streak going it's almost like instead of finding the lucky penny, you find the slug." Oooookay.

The Jason Kidd circle-you-know-what: After Kidd led the Mavericks to a win over the hapless Wizards by 6 assists in the final six minutes, everybody in the Dallas locker room was lining up to provide him with some, ahem, oral service. Said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle: "The something that was going on was Jason Kidd. It was beautiful basketball to watch." Added Jason Terry: "The greatest point guard in the world. The best who's ever done it. He can always impact the game even if he doesn't score any points. He had so many assists. In the last four minutes of the game, he totally controlled the game." Wow. He controlled the game against a historically lousy team. I'm impressed. No, really. So impressed I was almost able to overlook the 1 point he scored on 0-for-7 shooting (including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc and 1-for-2 at the line).

Look, I know the Mavericks all want Kidd's ego to recover from that whole "Devin Harris totally destroyed him in his New Jersey homecoming game" and all, but come on.

Mike Brown, identification machine: After his Cavs throttled the Thunder, he waxed romantic on his star player: "LeBron is just LeBron. He has been marvelous this whole trip. He has been marvelous the whole year. He's leading this team the right way, more importantly than scoring. I don't even know what he scored tonight. I thought his composure and his leadership was key throughout the entire game, especially in the second half." Schlurp, schlurp, schlurp. Hey, thanks for letting me know who LeBron is, Mike. He's LeBron! Speaking of which...

LeBron James: The King has graciously informed the world that he would be willing to "consider" signing an extension with his team this summer. "I definitely want to keep an open mind; I will look at everything. [The extension] is a good point. I think me and my group have pretty much made good decisions so far and we'll look at the options and go from there." It certainly took him long enough to let us all know that Cleveland may (or may not be) in the future plans of him and his group. Bet that announcement shriveled the testes of Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh though, huh?

Kobe Bryant: Basketbawful reader Zimmerman wrote in with a little behind-the-scenes info on Mamba's continuing torment of The Son of Walton: "Kobe gave Luke Walton DVDs for Christman...but they were rentals. And there were late fees on them." Worse yet? This was one of them:

Mario Brothers: Mario "The Mario" West (Hawks) had a 48-second Mario against the Warriors (which followed up his four-second Super Mario of four days prior); DeAndre Jordan (Clippers) had a six-second Super Mario against the Pacers; Sean Singletary (Bobcats) had a 28-second Mario against the Warriors; Kosta Koufos and Ronnie Price (Jazz) both had 45-second Marios against the Bulls, making them Mario Brothers; Darnell Jackson, J.J. Hickson and Tarence Kinsey (Cavaliers) all had 38-second Marios against the Thunder, making them Mario Triplets.

Suck Differentialists: Javaris Crittenton (Wizards) +1 against the Sixers; Vladimir Radmanovic (Lakers) +3 against the Heat; Yakhouba Diawara (Heat) +1 against the Lakers; Kris Humphries (Raptors) +3 against the Thunder; Adam Morrison (Bobcats) +3 against the Grizzlies; Jawad Williams (Cavaliers) +1 against the Nuggets; Royal Ivey (Sixers) +3 against the Pacers.

Trillionaires: Darnell Jackson (Cavaliers) had a one trillion against the Nuggets; DeMarcus Nelson (Warriors) had a one trillion against the Bobcats.