The Links: Ronaldinho meets Michael Jordan; Jay Williams sent home

by Lang Whitaker

So I’ve decided that from now on, I’m going to do my best to throw a little bit of something in The Links each day so that they’re not just a bunch of Links and Quotes.

I missed a few days last week because my doc finally cleared me to do some traveling after my elbow/staph infection issues cleared up. Wifey got invited out to a conference in Vegas, so I tagged along and went out there to gamble and chill and eat good food. The coolest thing we did was on Friday, when we took a helicopter flight down into the Grand Canyon. I was pretty nervous, just because it seems like you always hear about helicopter accidents at the Grand Canyon. It didn’t help when the pilot informed us that we’d hear music in the headsets while we were in the air, and the first song that came on as we lifted off the ground was Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly.” Couldn’t they have played a song that’s a little more positive? How about “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing?” Anyway, it turned out fine. Very, very cool and totally worth doing, if you’re ever out there.

Let’s hit The Links…

The style that we’re playing now, we don’t really play with a point guard.” — Isiah Thomas, on the Knicks’ new uptempo offense. Strangely, they start two point guards (Marbury and Francis).

Guys are not corn-fed anymore. You don’t have many of the Karl Malones.” — Nate McMillan.

“Six weeks? Forget six weeks. He healed in six hours.” — Vince Carter, on Marcus Williams’ bad wrist.

• One thing that went down when I was out of town was this whole Sebastian Telfair mess. I can’t really tell what’s happening and what isn’t happening, but I do know that Doc Rivers shouldn’t have lied to everyone about the incident. And I saw a few people in the comments said I should say something about “my boy” Bassy. Truth is I don’t really know him at all. Yes, I wrote that cover story on him last season, but that was the first time I ever met him. He did ride in my Dad’s car over to the photo shoot, though.

• And did the Celts almost pull the trigger…er, I mean nearly trade for Carlos Boozer last year? The Jazz say nope.

• Lots of funny stuff here about the Lakers picking on Andrew “Socks” Bynum.

• At the end of Sam Smith’s most recent column, he writes…

“Slam magazine is publishing some lyrics from Ron Artest’s new rap CD that apparently discuss drug use and violence. Wow, who’d have thought it?”

What, that Ron Ron would discuss drug use and violence? Or that SLAM would publish the lyrics?

Actually, I don’t think SLAM published the lyrics. Our own Sam Rubenstein published some lyrics right here, but SLAM the magazine didn’t publish the lyrics. Which means Sam Smith is reporting incorrect information. Shocking, isn’t it Mark Cuban?

• Eric Musselman apologized and got all teary-eyed.

• Michael Jordan, meet Ronaldinho.

• According to Lawrence Frank, it was one of the toughest things he’s ever done, but they did it anyway: The Nets waived Jay Williams. It was a great story throughout training camp, but I saw JWill play at the Garden last week, and he’s not even close to being the player he was a few years ago. He’s still effective, and I thought he might make the Nets as their third point guard, but he just can’t move well enough to keep up with anyone. And watching Nate Robinson fly past him over and over last week just wasn’t fun for anyone. Hopefully Jay is still improving and we’re not seeing the finished product.

• I know it’s only the preseason, but I’m keeping a sharp eye on the Pistons. Something just doesn’t feel right there, especially when they’re getting blown out.

• The Sixers have fewer people bidding for them, but one of the groups remaining includes Will Smith and Julius Erving.

• Same story, different city: The Nuggets are hoping that JR Smith will step up and take playing basketball seriously.

• Love for Joe Johnson.

• The good news? The Magic have a veteran tutoring Dwight Howard and Darko Milicic. The bad news? That veteran is Tony Battie.

• Gotta like Mike Fratello coaching the ballboys in Orlando.