Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007 at 4:30 pm  |  27 responses

The Links: Kung Pau, AI and Melo

Today’s news and notes from around the NBA…

by Lang Whitaker

Was sitting here this morning in the relative early morning quiet of the SLAM Dome and a fire alarm went off. It only rang once, but then a series of strobe lights started blinking away. Someone down the hallway asked aloud, “Does this mean we need to get up out of here?” Then a construction worker came hustling down the hall with a walkie talkie, saying, “What happened!” Always something fun going on around here.

I’m still a little shaken from “24″ last night. I won’t spoil anything here, but I was convinced it was going to be one of those set-up episodes where not a lot happens but it gets a blockbuster episode ready. And then the last 10 minutes happened. Amazing.

Hey, wait a minute! Melo and Iverson played together last night! This is a basketball site, isn’t it? Why aren’t we all over this story?

OK, I just mentioned it. Look, this is a marathon, not a sprint. And last night Denver played the worst team in their conference. Let’s give Melo and AI some time to play together before we all rush to judgement.

For some reason ESPN is treating Melo/AI like it’s the Superbowl. But for my money, the biggest NBA story right now is Pau Gasol wanting out of Memphis. This guy is a seven-foot power forward who can shoot, rebound and is one of the best post players in the world. And suddenly he’s up for grabs. I can think of about 29 NBA teams who could use him, too.

More on Kung Pau later. For now, you get Links…

“It is like asking a doctor to be a lawyer.” — Vassillis Spanoulis, on Jeff Van Gundy asking him to focus on being a jump shooter instead of a driving guard.

“(Spanoulis) says, ‘I was McGrady back home.’ Great. McGrady is McGrady here.” — Jeff Van Gundy, on Rockets guard Vassillis Spanoulis.

• Love this story out of Houston, as much for the content as for the way it’s written. Rockets rookie Vassillis Spanoulis is upset that he’s not playing, so he vented to the local paper. The local paper then went to Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, who vents right back. So often these days beef gets squashed before we get to hear all the details. Lots of funny stuff in this story, though.

• Are the Bulls the leaders in the Gasol trade derby?

• The Magic are going to look into trading Fran Vasquez, the Spanish forward they drafted in the 2005 lottery and then couldn’t get to come to America. They figure they should move him because his deal in Spain runs for two more years. So why would another NBA team trade for him?

• Jerry Sloan not only instituted a midnight curfew for the Jazz, but he also apparently has them flying on the JR Rider Cropduster (see the note at the end of the link about their plane). Wonder if they’d move AK47 for Kung Pau Gasol?

• This is amazing: Tim Duncan has never lost a game to the Boston Celtics. Ever.

• Anyone notice that Nate Robinson doesn’t have a dunk all season? To be fair, it’s hard to dunk while you’re hanging around beyond the three-point line.

Behind the scenes of Melo’s return last night. And George Karl has a good point, doesn’t he?

• Kwame Brown has apparently gone out to eat with Cake Man in Los Angeles and settled their dispute. Phil Jackson says he’s not sure if that’s factual because it came from Kwame.

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  • Tricky Ricky


  • DubsGonDoIT

    I want a review from Omar on the new Ya Boy mixtape “The Rise”. I just heard it this morning & it’s definitely a classic from the West.

  • JJ


  • Bryant Reeves

    “Phil Jackson says he’s not sure if that’s factual because it came from Kwame”
    Why isn’t everyone dumping on Gasol right now? He broke his leg playing for Spain, doesn’t hear any negativity from Memphis, can’t play – griz obviously lose, then complains that his team is terrible and that he wants to go. Seems like Gasol just might win Jackass of the year.

  • JJ

    Thus, the question mark.

  • Matthew

    JR Rider Cropduster… Had my ass laughing out loud. And Vasquez, like Redick, will never play for the Magic. Too bad they drafted both in the first 15 picks. Damn shame. Dwight can’t do it all but that boy sure is coming close. One more thing, somebody needs to get Steve Blake some tat’s so he can fit in w/ his new backcourt ‘mates.

  • Duckets Ruckus

    Anytime the letters JR Rider are formed together liek that it brings a smile to my face.

  • Sparker

    maybe vasquez would play for toronto?

  • jay

    no kob news..what up with that?? well hangin 42 on the warriors is hardly news worthy even for a die hard kob fan..lang you the man! speaking of which yeah the nate news is pretty interesting..i wonder if the fight will hurt melo?? i doubt it! he was the first news item on SC last night! go figure! with yao out..i hope josh howard makes the all star team. he deserves it though the west forwards since that is where he was listed not a guard is loaded. even a guard he would have trouble..the west is that deep. adding AI to the mix does not help matters! when is kob going back to 8??

  • Bryant Reeves

    any time the letter l-i-e-k are formed together it makes me cringe

  • Matthew

    Yeah, trade Vasquez to T.Dot for Bosh and then send Gasol there too and the Spanish National Team could be numero uno in the atlantic division. I don’t think even w/ Gasol though they’d beat the tandem of Dwight and Chris B. On second thought, nobody would beat that tandem.

  • chiqo

    nate robinson hasn’t had a dunk all year but he had the nerve to try and throw himself an alley-oop in that one game earlier this year? hilarious. it’s also hard to dunk when you’re suspended.

  • Reggie Evans

    Kwame is releasing a “If I Did It Here’s How It Happened” book regarding the cake incident.

  • Shiz

    Vassilis “Billy” Spanoulis: 10 million strong…??

  • boston’s finest

    yeah tim duncan owns boston. 96 draft we got billups instead and ron mercer, whose been mia since jersey dropped him

  • Shiz

    And G. Karl’s “good point” may have been in admitting he’s no math wiz… George, its over. Stop politickin cuz ya boy was wrong and got what he deserved. Garnett took one of those “back up, nigga!” punches; more of a defense mechanism than an actual attack. Plus he didn’t connect with nothin but air. Melo waited for the right moment and cold-cocked son. I see a difference.

    And seriously, George got one of the biggest mouths in the League. Why wont he just please worry about the Nuggets…he’s starting to remind me of Bob Hill. We should just take those two and put em up in the balcony like those old guys from The Muppets.

  • KMG

    “(Spanoulis) says, ‘I was McGrady back home.’ Great. McGrady is McGrady here.”…LOL, that Van Gundy is riot. Damn shame he left the Knicks.

  • http://yahoo.com DP

    gasol to lakers. play wit it.

  • Simon

    so what did Kwame order for dessert?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    Reggie Evans = Best response in here.

  • Julian

    josh howard has to do a lot more to get on the western all-star team…i dont think he’s there yet, especially considering who he’d have to be voted in over.
    as a chicago fan id love to have gasol on the team, but man, i’d hate to see duhon, safolosha, or tyrus thomas go; especially thomas. that guy’s a powerhouse in development…and duhon is about as solid as you can get for a backup point guard. what else could the bulls do to get gasol? send some draft picks and throw in sefolosha?

  • http://www.myspace.com/russellkeewatin Chief

    I think the point that Karl is trying to make is that if you are going to punish players for punching, than it has to be always the same.
    Seems more like a business move to keep KG playing so the T-Wolves stay afloat. Because he is the only player that attracts fans while the Nuggets actually had a chance to stay afloat while Melo was gone.
    Some David Stern Bullshit.

  • next

    kg’s punch was defense mechanism? more like some weak ass pussy move for all his tough talk bout bringin clips and ammunition. showed up w/ a water gun it seemed. i woulda suspended him more for even bringin such weak crap to a game, but really, george karl has a very good point.

  • http://www.myspace.com/russellkeewatin Chief

    DP no more play wit it. I thought we were done with that when the Top 50 ended. Let us blog in peace.

  • Shiz

    you can tell KG’s punch was a defense. He didn’t throw it with any ill intent. And I never said that KG was the ruffest tuffest dude either. But more importantly, why is G. Karl trying to “make a point” AFTER Carmelo gets back? Shouldn’t you do your politicing while a guy is suspended? And now you guys are telling me that a whiffed punch, thrown while backpedaling is the same thing as cold-cocking someone with their hands down….Ooookay…The Wolves are so far gone past “staying afloat” its sad…Hell KG might welcome a little R&R.
    The difference between Melo’s riff and KG’s was the fact that the punch connected. Thats why you get 14 games. If Kermit Washington had missed when he hit Rudy T he probably wouldn’t be so infamous in basketball corners…but he did and almost paralyzed Rudy. THATS the difference between a “thrown” punch and a “landed” one…This should be easy…it is easy…you guys r trying to make it more of an issue than it is…

  • http://www.ist-forums.com Kyle

    Vassilis Spanoulis? Please. Tracy McGrady back home? Please. But then again, he did have that clutch 3-pointer vs. Team USA in the FIBA series.

  • ballivier

    Well, actually Lil’ Nate had a dunk this year: