by Lang Whitaker

OK, two things to mention today before we get rolling…

1) If you’re still sleeping, check out the new SLAMonline message boards. There’s some cool stuff getting talked about over there. Who’s your favorite player? Your favorite team? Your favorite hoops shoe of all time? Go make your case.

2) If you haven’t signed up for the new SLAMonline newsletter, get on the ball. The sign-up box is on top of our homepage. The first newsletter went out earlier this week, with original content and great stories you might have missed from the week that was. The second edition will be going out tomorrow, so hurry up and get with it.

I watched a lot of that Kings/Pistons game last night, and the Pistons just seem like a mess right now. Lots of jumpers, not much happening defensively (on one play Mike Bibby drove through everyone right to the rim, and he could barely walk). What’s going on in Detroit?

At least Sheed didn’t get thrown out.

QUOTES OF THE DAY…
HECKLER: “Rasheed, you’re 0-for-8.”
RASHEED: “I don’t care if I’m 0-for-1,000, at least I’m not wearing a pink and lime green shirt.”

“We’ve been healthy, we’ve been lucky to win some games. It’s hard to win the Kentucky Derby with a jackass. You’ve got to have some thoroughbreds.” — Jerry Sloan.

“It’s nice to see a 1 [in the win column] because the 0 sucks.” — Doc Rivers.

“When he’s better than the guys I’m playing and he gives us a better chance to win, he’ll play more.” — Jeff Van Gundy, on Steve Novak.

“I didn’t get to elbow him, I didn’t get to push him, trip him, hit him.” — Jason “The Greater” Collins, on playing against twin brother Jarron “The Lesser” Collins last night.

THE LINKS…
• Adam Morrison goes for the postgame chewing tobacco. Guess being near Tobacco Road is a good place for him, then.

• Not only did the Celts get their first win last night, but they had to deal with threats made against their dance team. How’d you like to be the security guard pictured here? Looks like he’s really watching that dance team.

• Voters in Seattle pretty much made sure that the Sonics won’t be able to build a new arena downtown, which means the suburbs are calling. Meanwhile, the Sonics couldn’t use Mickael Gelabale because he had double-vision. Maybe he was watching the Collins brothers play in the Nets/Jazz game.

• The Mavs are still scuffling. Dallasbasketball.com tries to find answers.

• Check out the note at the end of this story about how Isiah Thomas “chewed out” George Karl during summer league stuff a few months back. Wonder how Karl kept a straight face?

• LeBron says he wasn’t trying to start anything by leaving the court early in Cleveland’s loss to the Hawks, and then compares NBA games to Rock-N-Jock.

• Joe Johnson for MVP?

• Al Jefferson could be out anywhere from two weeks to six weeks after undergoing an appendectomy last night. I had an emergency appendectomy about a decade ago and it’s no fun at all. And if he’s back playing in the NBA in two weeks, it’s a miracle.

• Bob Hill has had it with D-Wade. Say something about his hair, Dwyane, say something about his hair!

• Maybe the new team captains are the Nuggets problem.

• Did you know Eric Musselman once fired Flip Saunders?