by Lang Whitaker

Monday, and there’s not a lot going on in the NBA today.

The big news around here is that the Mets swept the Braves this weekend, which has all the Mets fans around here walking around like they just won the World Series. It’s sort of cute, actually. Hey, if my team had been owned by the same franchise for 15 consecutive years, I’d probably take three consecutive wins as a sign from God, too.

Sam’s so excited he actually declared the NL East race over. I reminded him that there’s still two months and 60 games remaining, and that there are teams other than Atlanta they could keep an eye on, but he didn’t want to hear it. Another friend of mine emailed me to say Carlos Beltran is to the Braves as Chipper Jones used to be to the Mets, which is so short-sighted that it’s comical.

But whatever. Let’s talk again in October.

For now, let’s hit The Links…

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“As kids, we all watched the ’92 Olympics with Michael Jordan and wanted to be a part of it. Now I’ve got my chance. One of my biggest dreams growing up was to be an Olympian. I had a poster with Michael Jordan, Magic, Bird, Barkley, Ewing…they’re leaning over the fence and you can just see their names on their uniforms. I had a Penny Hardaway no. 6 Olympic jersey, a Grant Hill jersey…now it’s my turn. Someone’s going to be wearing my jersey.” — Gilbert Arenas.

THE LINKS
• Right after the Sixers announced that Allen Iverson is off the trade block, word broke this weekend that the entire franchise might be for sale. The Sixers have denied the report, although if they team were for sale, it would make sense that they’d want to sell with Iverson attached to help inflate the price tag.

• After spreading cheer and goodwill last week, Canzano is back and suggesting the Blazers trade for Allen Iverson, which seems like just asking for trouble.

• If you don’t believe Gregg Popovich used to work in military intelligence, read this story about the Spurs assigning the code name “John Mason” to a foreign prospect, unaware they chose the name of the P-P-P-P-P-P-P-Pistons PA announcer. Great story.
Jared Jeffries proves himself a masochist, saying he hopes the Wizards don’t bring him back next season so he can be a Knick. The Wizards may turn to DeShawn Stevenson.

• The Cavs are still at a stalemate with Drew Gooden, so they’re now looking at Wedgie Evans and Lorenzen Wright. Sounds like the Sonics will sign Chris Wilcox this week, and the Clippers are taking a ride on the A-Train.

• Any piece that begins with Eric Musselman shirtless by the pool in Vegas worries me. If you can make it past that lede, it’s a pretty interesting story with good Arenas stuff (is there any other kind?) in there.

Interesting stuff about the lucrative deal a couple of former ABA owners made with the NBA, except I’m pretty sure I linked to the exact same story a year ago.

• Bad news in Charlotte: Bickerstaff was arrested and charged with a DUI. Only upside for BETcats fans is that it wasn’t Bernie that was popped but his son John-Blair, which still isn’t good news for anyone.

• Long Q&A with Mike Fratello in which he divulges nothing, not even letting us know if he’ll go back to the perm he had while coaching the Hawks.