by Lang Whitaker

Let’s start with things I learned this week about the NBA…

• The amount of points you score in an NBA summer league game have an inverse effect on your NBA future.

• Sometimes the dunks we don’t see aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

• If Shaq does it, it’s probably funny. Unless you’re a Lakers fan.

• When a GM says it’s not his job to get involved in a contract buyout, then flies to Spain to get involved in a contract buyout, I tend not to trust him.

• If an NBA player or NBA agent really wants to speak to you on the phone, he’s probably mad at you for some reason or another.

• If you own an NBA team, instead of rebuilding for years on end , maybe it’s a good idea occasionally to just fire your coach instead. It’s definitely cheaper.

• If you’re a free agent and you hear “the Nets are interested…,” that’s code for they like your game but don’t have enough money to sign you.

• You don’t want to have anything to do with the Clippers.

• Every time you get a new tattoo, it increasingly becomes a worse idea.

• The Orlando Magic have one of the strongest rosters in the League. And a coach who made his mark in the Finals by mismanaging his roster.

• These days, there’s always a second video tape out there somewhere.

• If Danny Ferry is the GM of your team, you’re not winning a title.

• Guys who have initials instead of first names are generally more boring than you’d expect.

• Unless the initials are “JR.”

• You still can’t teach height.

• It doesn’t matter how many talented young players the Warriors have on their roster, Don Nelson is still the coach.

• The Lakers got better, not worse. And they were the NBA’s best team last year. So…

• Moving on, If you missed it, my main man Stephon Marbury is broadcasting live until tomorrow morning on ustream. Check it out if you have a day to kill. (And in the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on twitter, so you can see posts like this.)

And look, when Steph first did the live broadcast the other night, there was a load of comments on Twitter about how Steph had gone crazy, etc. But as I told everyone then, and I’ll say it again today as the Steph video plays in the background, he’s not crazy, he’s just 100 percent honest. Actually, maybe that’s 1000 percent. He’s been like this for a decade, as long as I’ve known him. Look at the Q&A I did with him a few months ago — is it really that different?

Steph’s just being himself, and he doesn’t care about trying to be someone else in front of the cameras or in front of people. He’s just him. Which actually sounds like something he’d say.

• Got a press release from the WNBA today about their All-Star Game:

Hot new female R&B group, Richgirl, currently on tour with Beyonce, will headline the half-time show of the 2009 WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, July 25, from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The four member group will entertain a sell-out crowd with two songs including their hit, “He Ain’t Wit Me Now (Tho).”

Guess who else ain’t wit u now (tho)?

• One thing that never ceases to impress me about SLAMonline is you. By “you” I mean you readers and commenters, those of you who spend your days arguing with us and sharing in our obsession for all things hoop. I spend all day on the internet looking for news, stories, fodder, but you guys are still the best eyes and ears a writer could ever have.

For instance, Linkstigator Nadav noticed this on the Reuters photo wire.

Or like yesterday, when I got an email from Linkstigator Andre in Taiwan, where the annual (Farmer?) Jones Cup is going down. And during a game yesterday between Iran and defending champs Jordan, a brawl broke out that included Memphis big man Hamed (La Di) Hadadi.

As taiwanhoops.com reports:

Less than three minutes entering the game, 7-2 Iranian center Hamed Hadadi elbowed Zaid Abbas after pulling down a rebound. Abbas swung back and walked away. Hadadi charged forward, choking and pushing Abbas.

Jordanian guard Osama Daghles ran onto the court and punched Hadadai before a bench-clearing confrontation.

Taiwanese referee Chen Chuan-jen ruled that Hadadi and Abbas would be ejected as well as all players who left the bench area, which would have left both team with four players each.

However, Korean referee Kim Young-woo insisted that it was only an unsportsmanlike foul and overruled Chen. Kim decided that it would be four technical fouls for Hadadi, Abbas and bench of both teams.

The call pissed off Mario Palma, who told Kim that if Hadadi stayed in the game, Jordan would not resume play. Kim rejected the request and Palma ordered his player leave the court in a boycott.

The official score of the game was Iran 20, Jordan zero.

Let’s go to the video!

(BTW, how is Jordan not sponsored by Jordan Brand?)

My point in posting all of that was that it was news, it was interesting, and even though I’m about as plugged-in as one can get, I probably wouldn’t have known about it at all if it wasn’t for you guys. So thank you for that.

Our readers here on SLAMonline are an unbelievably diverse crew. I get emails from kids in school, NBA owners, former referees, all kind of people. One reader I’ve been in touch with recently is a guy who, as it turned out, works with Google, and he was able to hook me up with a Google Voice account. I’ve had my account for about a month now and it’s really amazing (here’s an older link but good overview).

By way of thanking you guys, I’m going to give away 5 Google Voice invites. Here’s what you do: Leave a comment below telling me what you learned about the NBA this week. Make it funny, thoughtful, whatever. You can enter as many times as you want, but you can only win once per person. (Two things: You have to be in the US to sign up, and you need to have a gmail account for it to work).

You’ve got until Monday at noon.

That’s it. Have a great weekend everyone…catch you next week…