by Lang Whitaker

First of all, sorry for my lack of productivity lately. I had to go to Atlanta for a few days to report for a story in the next issue of SLAM, and then I got back to NYC and found my elbow all jacked up, like it was during the NBA Finals over a year ago.

I apparently have some sort of staph infection in there, which they thought they killed then but now it’s back and it’s mad as heck. So I spent all day yesterday at my doctor’s office getting pumped full of pills and drugs and shots and stuff. Today I’m working but I’m so full of pills that I’m not sure what day it is. I’m trying to stave off a repeat performance of last year’s night in the hospital taking IVs.

Also, Master P showed up here today. Seriously. It may be the drugs talking, but I think he was actually here.

Anyway, lots of news and notes today…

QUOTES OF THE DAY
“Yes, I’m using Just For Men, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Maybe this will get me an endorsement.” — Grant Hill.

“I can shoot for three points, I can do the penetration, I can go inside. And I can get rebounds.” — Walter Herrmann.

“I felt like I needed to get slimmer, work on my body, take a little weight off my ankle, kind of kill two birds with one stone.” — Kendrick Perkins. Or three birds.

“If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it ain’t a damn mongoose.” — Stephen A. Smith on “Quite Frankly” the other night.

They wanted smaller guys…or guys not like me.” — Francisco Elson, on his time with the Nuggets.

“Vince has a plane. You can go wherever you want when you have a plane. You can wake up and say, ‘I wanna go to Vegas.’ And we can go.” — Antoine Wright, on traveling with Vince Carter.

“Nothing really bothers me, because they’ve said so much about us. There was a time when I led with my ego and a lot of that stuff would have bothered me. Being called whipped or soft and henpecked and all of that stuff, it only bothers me when it bothers my wife, when it hurts her feelings. Other than that, that stuff doesn’t bother me because, ultimately, I’m not afraid for my wife to be a strong black woman.” — Doug Christie.

THE LINKS…
• The most disturbing article of the preseason thus far is this story on Jorge Garbjosa, which contains references to Ron Jeremy, porn and hedgehogs. Enough said.

• So much for Walter Herrmann trying to dispel any Fabio comparisons.

Way more info on The Christies than you could ever want to know.

• And big ups to KG for not trying to deny his quotes putting the T-Wolves on blast in this summer’s KICKS issue.

• The Bulls showed up for their first day of practice and…the power went out. Is that an omen of some sort?

• Check the note at the end here: The Cavs are going to break out an all-orange jersey this year. Ch-ching! And Larry Hughes, why are you “flicking off” a bunch of reporters?

• Could Luke Ridnour be on the way out in Seattle?

• Nellie is getting busy in Golden State. First he waived Devin Brown, then he announced that playing point guard will be…Mike Dunleavy! Nellie is nuts.
• Love this picture of Van Grumpy: What, me worry?

• NEW YORK MEDIA WATCH: The Post says the Knicks had to run extra suicides because Jared Jeffries couldn’t hit any free throws. The Daily News says they had to run extra because Nikoloz Tskitishvili’s cell phone went off in the locker room. Wonder who was calling Skita, the D-League?

• Andrea Bargnani is not having it with the media in the T-Dot.

• Hey, did you guys know Mike James is really talkative?

• The Kandi Man showed up in Boston; I’d heard he was going to sign with Phoenix, so I guess that didn’t work out.

• Catching up with the always interesting Grant Hill.

• And Russ, you don’t have to worry about Laettner playing for the Grizzlies.