The Links: Yao’s New Endorsement, Jermaine O’Neal Is Fine(d)

by Lang Whitaker

Look what happens: The new season starts and everything gets crazy. I had to go out of town over the weekend, got back in town late last night, am going back out of town later today, come back later this week and then take off again later this week, then come back and then it’s Thanksgiving. Whew.

I didn’t see much basketball over the weekend, aside from stuff that was on ESPN, which isn’t a lot. Michael Redd went for 57, and the main stuff on SportsCenter was football.

Anyway, I’m behind on my NBA reading, which means you’re behind on your NBA reading…so let’s get to it…

“Every time I score on him I was happy like a kid, like a kid getting candy on Halloween because it’s really too hard to score on him, too hard. He’s just great.” — Yao, on Shaq.

I’d beat the sh*t out of somebody. Really, I would…murder them…There’s certain things you don’t do.” — Isiah Thomas, on how he’d react if he played against someone he suspected was dirty.

“It was early fourth quarter when I had 37 or something like that…I thought something is going on.” — Michael Redd.

• I know Yao is popular but…someone in China wants to register a line of women’s “sanitary” products and disposable underwear in Yao’s name? I can immediately think of about 20 jokes, but I’m just going to let them go for now.

• Remember how Bonzi missed a lot of training camp with “personal reasons”? The Philly Inquirer says those reasons could have been Twinkies and Ding-Dongs.

• Sebastian Telfair suffered from shortness of breath and a coughing fit over the weekend, which led to a trip to the hospital. He was diagnosed with bronchospasm, which I’m pretty sure was an animal in Jurassic Park II.

• Jermaine O’Neal was fined $5,000 for wearing his wristband too high. Also, check the note at the end about Jermaine not being invited to play for Team USA, and the harsh quote from Jerry Colangelo. I will say that Jermaine was in Vegas during the USA trials, and I even saw him in the stands during a few games.

• The NBA is still investigating Bruce Bowen, who the Knicks allege is trying to injure other players. I don’t know if he is or he isn’t, but you figure after it happened in New York, maybe Bowen would be more careful about it. But apparently he wasn’t.

• Drama in Seattle, but this time it’s on the court. Love that Bob Hill says he can’t be concerned with his player’s feelings. Really?

• Michael Redd reflects on his 57-point night.

• Derek Fisher is the new player president.

• The Mavs are officially off the schnide.

• Did anyone else realize Marc Jackson is injured with “multiple hamstring injuries“? I’m not doctor, but don’t you just have two hamstrings? This sounds like an injury Jerome James could aspire to.

• Richard Jefferson could make a quick return from injury, in part because the Nets say he’s a fast healer. Has there ever been an athlete who was injured who didn’t immediately announce afterwards that he was hoping to return quickly because he’s a fast healer? Maybe they’re all just regular healers but doctors are bad at estimating healing times. Well, except for Eddie House.

• Another thing I don’t understand, and it involves the Nets: All this talk about how the new ball is the reason Vince got a lucky bounce last night. Look, weren’t there plenty of crazy bounces before the new ball came into play?

• A lot of people were upset by the death of Gerald Levert, but perhaps none moreso than Eric Snow and Donyell Marshall.

• Is Ben Gordon returning to the bench?

• Peter Vecsey is loving the Isiah Thomas era.

• Are you ready for Redick?