by Marcel Mutoni

Good morning.

My name is Marcel Mutoni. Most of you know me from my original SLAM blog “Mutoni’s Spot” and some might know of my work at AOL FanHouse. I’ll now be doing most of my writing here. Shout outs to everyone who was involved in the site redesign, and special shout out to the creative genius that is Stephen Goggi for creating the ridiculously dope banner we’ll be unveiling a bit later today.

I am both honored and a tad scared to be writing a column whose banner is shamelessly biting my favorite TV show, and arguably the greatest TV show ever created. (Whoops, was that a hint?)

I’ll be updating this space throughout the day from Monday-Friday with news, notes, rumors, and whatever else I can get my hands on during my stroll through the Internets. So, without further ado, let’s get to it:

-Some highly-publicized rooks got their first taste of NBA life this weekend and it wasn’t pretty.

Up first is superstar-in-the-making Kevin Durant. DeSagana Diop will have none of your foolishness, Kevin:

“Everybody gets their shot blocked. This is the NBA,” Durant said after his debut. “I can’t get down on myself just because he blocked my shot. I got to keep going. It was a great block. I thought I was clear for the layup, but he came over and blocked it.”

(If I were Diop, I would start preparing for vicious posterization once the real season begins…)

-KD finished with 18 points (on 5/17 shooting) in his first Summer League game. Seattle fell 77-66 to Dallas.

-After finally meeting with the Bucks brass, Yi Jianlian (aka Eazy Yi) was also rudely welcomed to the NBA by Rudy Gay. So mean.

-As for Greg Oden, he fouled out in his Summer League debut. Dude committed 10 fouls in less than 20 minutes of burn, which is amazing in and of itself. People in Portland are attributing his poor showing to fatigue:

I also think his sinus infection is bugging him. He is not in good shape right now, in part because he spent so much of his pre-draft time flying around the country for various meetings, interviews and appearances. He has spent little time working out, and it’s showing.I think fatigue was part of the reason he was in such ridiculous foul trouble on Friday against the Celtics. He had 10 fouls – the maximum allowed in summer league play – and many of them were the result of reaching, or not moving his feet quick enough. That tells me he is tired.

I’m attributing Oden’s clumsy play to the fact that he’s about the same age as Bill Russell and probably has trouble keeping track of his personal fouls. Keep your head up, Greg.

-Think people in Orlando are mad at G-Hill for bolting town? At least one assh*le columnist is:

Goodbye, Grant. Good luck. And now, sadly, there’s a little piece of all of us that says good riddance. Hope you enjoy that $93 million. Hope you and Steve Nash hit it off and become best buddies. Hope you get your ring. Godspeed to you, Grant Hill. Break a leg.

-According to a report in the NY Post, Isiah isn’t willing to deal Double Double machine David Lee for Ron Ron. Maybe Zeke isn’t as crazy as we sometimes make him ought to be.

-On a completely unrelated note: I saw “Transformers” this weekend. It was precisely the kind of mindless Hollywood entertainment that I fully embrace and am more than willing to shell out $12 for. That being said, I now have an uncontrollable urge to purchase a GMC truck.

Back with more a bit later…