Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 2:54 pm  |  93 responses

Links: What I Learned About The NBA This Week

Fri-Day! Yes! (Also, brawls and free stuff!)

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…

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    What I learned about the NBA this week? That Lamar Odom is one procastanating motherfu*er who is holding up the future of two franchises and making me as a fan of one of them not care if he does decide to come back here or not. Also, if that game in the video was NBA sanctioned, there’d be NOBODY left to play the balance of the game or field a lineup for the next few on the schedule. ALL them dudes left their benches!

  • http://www.milliondollamindz.com Milliondollamindz

    What i have learned that this upcoming Nba Season is going to be real interesting..

    Lakers vs C’s Finals if everyone stays healthy

    A Point Guard will be ROY in 2010

    Grant Hill aint trying to Win..

    Big Baby got some interest ?

    Kentucky University is the new fab 5 ?

    Blake Griffin lived up to the Clippers Kurse hype ?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Oh yeah…..I also learned that Blake Griiffin has the freakish athletic ability to have an early playing career not too disimilar to Kenyon Martins.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    stupidbary? steph is funny

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    You know, that picture of the latest SLAM being held up in a crowd in Hong Kong at the Kobe event is going to piss off a ton of readers in THIS country who haven’t seen the issue yet in stores or mailboxes.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    when i retire, its gonna be the biggest celebration of all time.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    The Steph Ustream is unbelievable. Know he’s singing Beyonce.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy


  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i learned that lebron “once” partook of the herbal sacrament. while there is nothing wrong with that, it is just the latest in a line of things “wrong with” lebron. i dont wear brongoggles, but i cant hate on him too much. the one thing the media loves more than a child prodigy is one they can tear down. that process is currently ongoing. to be fair to the media, lebron had his part in it. mostly by ignoring orl after being defeated in the playoffs. BUT, the most important thing ive learned is ustream gave steph his own channel or something. ustream, twitter, etc has changed the nba. from charlie v and shaq, to was it sean may? increasingly, players are breaking news themselves, and that is a drastic change.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i really hope that long ass post i just typed will appear shortly, cuz i dont remember it all, and dont feel like redoing it. dammit.

  • JB

    What I learned is that all the Warriors have to look forward to us AR eventually being a super star elsewhere unless Cohan actually sells the team to Larry Ellison.

  • riggs

    already have a google voice account (back when it was called grandcentral) , and i agree with its awesomeness

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i dont know why your brother said that. im not stupid. im not crazy.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    AWESOME! looks like my super long post about what i learned about the nba, etc. has vaporized into the ether. fun! all that effort for nothing. twitter, shaq, charlie v. breaking news themselves, steph ustream, new media, blah blah.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Steph is now listening to Ashanti and Ja Rule. Wasn’t it about the same time in history that Steph AND those two were relevant?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Steph says has a cologne on the way. If his shoes were 15 dollars could his cologne be more than a buck?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i guess you cant get mad at your critics, cuz youre here.

  • Josh B

    As a blazers fan I learned that sending out letters threatening legal action during the season is the best way to ensure a super boring off-season.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    yea, i heard him say he has cologne coming out soon. its gonna have to be awful. but lang will wear it every day.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Someone just asked him what his GPA at Gerogia Tech was? His answer………”I don’t know!”

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    my sat scores? bad

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    “My SAT scores? Bad!!” LMAO!!!!!!!!! This cat is the best!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    im goin into my crazy mind.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    tnt? nah, the guy said i cant talk. i need to practice and get better.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    tour of the house?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    This could go on for the entire event. Hope Lang doesn’t mind.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    this is seriously cutting into my call of duty time

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    its about steph, i think he wouldnt mind. i typed a long post about what i learned but wordpress ate it. so theres that.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    his chains clanking on the mic have gotten really old.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    @Tarzan: Eau de Steph?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    haha he just hopped on his counter to try to prove he can still dunk

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    lang, did he already tell you the name? or did you recommend it?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    great, he took the chains off now hes holding the mic one inch away from his mouth.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    He did dunk on his fridge. I like how he’s wearing Celtic game-issued shorts around his crib.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    russ and je skeets are askin bout stephs non eating.

  • http://www.shoes-base.com JOY

    russ and je skeets are askin bout stephs non eating.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper


  • Krishan

    Wow steph has a geeky laugh

  • Krishan

    Oh sh1t i just saw russ’s name pop up

  • Nadav

    I prefer “long time linkstigator/contributor”

  • Krishan

    What the f*ck is up with the illuminati conspiracy questions? Jesus wept these internet nerds

  • Krishan

    What the f*ck is up with the illuminati conspiracy questions? J3sus wept these internet nerds

  • Stargazey

    I learned that the no one wants to sign with the Knicks.

  • Stargazey

    Lmaoooo, “I don’t want to work for ESPN, I want to OWN ESPN.”

  • Momma No Like Cold

    “Deep thoughts” by Stuart Smalley (err…Langster)

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned that the Links are back in full effect (let me win!).

  • Teddy-the-Bear


  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned that LeBron James is going to New York in 2010.

  • Bad Newz Baller

    Lakers got better?! haters hate it!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    dumb momma no like cold, youre as confused as an unfrozen caveman lawyer.

  • Izzo

    Things I learned about the NBA this week:
    -Stephon Marbury is my favorite basketball player, this has nothing to do with how he plays basketball.

    -Dot Com and Grizz now work for Kevin Durant.

    -Why TMZ breaking basketball stories is the most natural thing in the world.

    -Mike Dunleavy approached the TLC network to make a show following the Clippers’ 2010 season to replace John and Kate Plus 8. The network responded by saying “Even we wouldn’t stoop that low”.

    -Tyler Hansbrough is technically just as athletic as Blake Griffin the same way I was technically the same color skin as Michael Jackson.

    -Steph ‘just being himself’ is similar to an average male being under the influence of low grade horse tranquilizers and what Phish fans call ‘gooballs’.

    -Being rail-thin somehow equates to a prospect ‘having a great upside’ and ‘solid all round game’.

    -The Summer League usually gives some semi deserved shine and credit to players who wouldn’t quite be able to produce that performance in the Lig but still have an impressive offensive game. Unless your name is Adam Morrison, then you get nothing because you once grew a moustache.

    -Mark Madsen’s agent texted me about the Telfair/Smith etc trade before he texted Mark Madsen.

    -Even though he’d never condone it, Cheap Trick’s Surrender is the unofficial soundtrack of Stephon Marbury’s life: “Steph is alright, Steph is alright,he just seems a little weeiird.”

  • Izzo

    One thing I learned about Slam commenting section this week:
    -Don’t bother breaking your points into easy to read paragraphs.

  • badnewzb8ller

    I leared that being a Clipper fan is much more painful then getting dumped by my gf this week. These tears are conflicting!

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    I learned that despite refs being more dubious than ever, Kobe getting his first post-Shaq ring, dunkgate, the Artest et Al. free agents to contenders bonanza, and the Stephon sideshow, the most interesting storyline of this basketball summer was/is still whether a skinny shaggy-haired Spanish teenager will actually decide to play in the NBA.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned who Allen Iverson’s true fans are, and sadly, there aren’t many left.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned that Yao Ming is the best offensive center in the league.

  • Lz – Cphfinest3

    I learned that no matter what people would like to make him into, Dwight Howard as a player is closer to being a bigger, stronger, more athletic version of Ben Wallace than being Shaq.

  • http://myspace.com/winstonandthetelescreen Winston and the Telescreen

    I learned this week that a basketball fan musicians dream is to be signed on to Ron Artests label!

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Izzo, since when have you lived in the US?
    Otherwise, Izzo FTW. I think.

  • doyouwantmore

    I learned this week that Lang is racist against Canadites.

  • Oli

    @Eboy: Stern would never suspend anything “JORDAN”
    @ Lang: You were thinking of JR Rider, right? Could you please “Ask Chuck” to do a “Where you been?” on JR? That’d be awesome!
    I don’t qualify since I’m from Germany but I’ll contribute nonetheless:
    I learned TWICE this week that “Him” is actually a nickname. First Griffin, now Steph (He’s just him”).

  • izzo

    Hursty:I did it for giggles, not prizes.

  • zyup

    LOL the link pic looks like Hadadi is about snap the other dudes neck

  • Piggy

    What about the intials “AC”?

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned that Ron Artest is the last enforcer left in the league… I miss the Oak tree!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned how the Knicks do math:
    Need for point guard + Plethora of point guards in Draft = Jordan Balkman– oops I mean Jordan Hill.

  • Eric

    What I learned this week is just a re-confirmation of what I’ve been majoring in for the past 3 years.
    When Supply > Demand, no matter the commodity, the Price will drop.
    Odom tried to use his skills as leverage and the demand(he thought) from other teams but after Portland signed Dre and with Miami offering less money, he has little leverage and probably will re-sign with the lakers for one of their previous offers.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    I learned that the Lakers will have a geriatric dude starting at point guard next season, apparently, now that Andre Miller is off the table.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    I’m sorry, I should have said a geriatric dude WHO SUCKS…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    (not to be mean or anything, but just for the sake of clarity, since Andre Miller is no spring chicken himself)

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq

    I’m sure someone will say “but Tariq, Andre Miller also sucks!”… “Touche, imaginary interlocutor, touche.” But no, Dre does not suck. He is quite serviceable.

  • jose

    I learned that teams w/ question’s dont want The Answer…and it is possible to be traded to 3 or more teams in a single off-season(Q-rich)hmmm. maybe Q and A.I shuld be on the same team..

  • http://www.anwilson.blogspot.com rainman10

    This week I learned that LA and SA are probably the only teams that will finish ahead of Portland in the west this year. I learned that David Lee should never have to wait this long to get the money he deserves. I learned that Lebron fans are more annoying than, dare I say it…Kobe fans.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned how bad the city of Cleveland is from Mike Polk’s tourism videos. NBA.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I learned that the best player in the NBA is still Kobe Bryant… Sorry I couldn’t contain myself, but its the truth, and I don’t care who disagrees.

  • Kene

    I learned that an unseen video is waaay worse than a seen poster.
    I learned that Coach K probably wishes KD had gone to Duke
    I learned that KD’s nickname is Baby Ice. ‘Baby Ice’? Isn’t that pretty much a snow flake? Not gangsta.
    I learned that A.I’s still waiting on an answer. Any answer. From any team.
    I learned that, with the way the luxury cap is falling, all those teams saving cap space for 2010 might end up only being able to afford Smush Parker.

  • jose

    i just learned that smush parker still exists….

  • kash

    What did I learn about the NBA this week?
    That Mark Cuban “know[s]a Nellie hug, and that was not a Nellie hug.” ROTFL…

  • The Ghost of Wilt Chamberlain

    I’m not living in the US, yet, and therefore not in the running for a prize, but I just learned that since I moved from Australia to Israel I can finally access NBA online and be able to watch more than two games per week! What I really learned is that every cloud has a silver lining.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    I learned that Andrew Bynum looked much more excited about hoisting a Playboy model than “winning” a chip.

  • Dave

    What I learned from the Nba..

    Marbury is more entertaining of the court than on it
    The Knicks can’t hold on to good players word to Ariza
    Lebron James is Human
    Shaq is Raw is WAR!!! yes he is gonna host!
    Dwayne Wade doesn’t give in to peer pressue
    Kobe bryant plays 2k9 for the 360
    Lebron smoked weed and so did I but it still didn’t help me with getting any assists or dimes well just dimes

  • http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/482871/cj_king.html CJK

    I learned that Ricky Rubio doesn’t like basketball.
    I learned that the D-League is the only place where the Warriors and Clippers will ever have MVP candidates.
    I learned that LeBron should be the least respected player in the league: he smoked pot in HS, and more importantly, failed to hide mankind’s (or at least Jordan Crawford’s) greatest achievement from public eyes.
    I learned that some teams will probably fold after the summer of 2010, since DWade and LBJ cannot be shared amongst 20 teams.
    I learned that Quinton Richardson shouldn’t buy a house.
    Most importantly, I learned that Stephon Marbury should replace Ernie Johnson on TNT.

  • badnewzb8ller

    i leared that you cant teach height, no wonder i failed that class! i wanted to be the next Earl Boykins! i leared that there is only 1 guy in the league whos last name starts with a Q

  • tm

    i learned that jordan crawford should be happy he wasn’t at a charles oakley camp or else he would have been flat on his ass instead

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    “• 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.” What have you done Lang?

  • http://www.anwilson.blogspot.com rainman10

    The Charles Oakley camp takes place in a boxing ring.

  • http://leogau.com Leo

    I learned that no one respects Knicks players. Still.

  • http://leogau.com Leo

    I learned that anyone in a Knicks uniform is unwanted. And that some things never change.

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    I learned that while the NBA is about Read to Achieve, the WNBA promotes illiteracy through their halftime shows.

    I also learned that while the internet is a global medium, SLAM still chooses to discriminate those who live outside the US (kidding)

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    also LOL@ La Di Hadadi

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    OK, cutting you guys off. Will pick three winners in the next day or so and list winners here on SLAMonline. Thanks!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Blinguo

    Late but I still want to participate, irregardless of prize packages.
    – I learned that GM’s and owners are trying to exploit Iverson to sell more tickets than a dead Michael Jackson. As its reported in every story quite openly. — I learned that Adrian W is wrong again, sorry Russ, for his ‘Starbury = waste of talent now lonely e-geek column.’ Again w/ the waste of talent line? His most talented team was Matrix part 1 before the ego and Amare no apostrophe and 70% Penny. And that team wasn’t going to be beating the Spurs or Lakers for a West champ trophy and trip to the Finals.
    — But its cool JE Skeets is on the opposite end of it, treating it as he’s the newest new jack (& “most interesting man in the world”) to use the internet to talk to fans directly, being as open as possible, breaking down borders to talking to these guys. Hell some snarky wanna be reporter or a fan with legit questions like, Why isn’t the Celtics offer enough? or This Championship minded team the one you’ve been looking for all your career, is the one you’re not going to come back to next year? – can ask them and get a response almost immediately – no agent spin angle involved. (didn’t watch to see if anyone asked) — And from the Starbury site-store, he has some book recommends as well as every Bow Wow album and all the Michael Jackson compilations, an interesting mix.

  • sush carter


    The NBA, where being put in a box happens.