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Monday, Dec. 1


Rose's time in Chicago often left him scratching his head.
(Brian Barbineau/NBAE/Getty Images)

HOLIDAY EXCHANGE

First go the coaches. Then go the players.

On Friday, while most of the country was still picking turkey out of its teeth, the Bulls hired former Suns coach Scott Skiles. And everyone was all smiles, according to one report, after the first practice which Skiles conducted. He didn't even yell once. Awww.
-- Chicago Sun-Times

But over the weekend, the Bulls and the Raptors were yelling "Hooray!" after pulling off the long-rumored and much-awaited trade with Jalen Rose and Donyell Marshall heading north of the border, while Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams go to the Windy City.
-- Chicago Sun-Times

One Chicago columnist thinks it makes the Bulls better, one thinks it makes the Bulls worse and does so with a particularly harsh prediction.
-- Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune

"It looks like it's time for Bulls fans to learn how to spell 'Emeka Okafor,'" wrote the Tribune's Sam Smith. Ouch! But, Sam, have you seen the Magic?

But we digress. Of course, in Toronto, the locals feel that they fleeced the Chicagoans, while another columnist thinks the two teams traded grumpy Guses.
-- Toronto Star, Toronto Sun

Basically, the scoring-challenged Raptors (last in the league at -- shudder -- 78.0 points per game) get a scorer in Rose and the young Bulls get a combined 19 years experience in the post.

Then again, if you want a truly cynical take on the trade, read that.
-- CBS Sportsline.com

Meanwhile, this brings us to this week's e-mail question, where we definitely throw caution into the wind: What trade would you like to see your favorite team make to make itself better? And people, this is based on what your team needs, not your wants.

We know we'll get some crazy responses, but we'll only print the best in next week's Click and Roll.

Backcourt (the week that was)
Frontcourt (the week that will be)
Dec. 1: McDyess makes his regular-season debut for Knicks
Dec. 2: New-look Raptors in Philly
Dec. 2: LeBron visits 'Melo in their final meeting this season (9 ET, NBA TV)
Dec. 3: This time, Lakers visit San Antonio (8:30 ET, NBA TV)
Dec. 5: A dozen exciting games on the NBA slate for Friday

THE PHILADELPHIA SCARY

Before the Pistons visited the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on Nov. 26 to take on the Sixers, Pistons coach Larry Brown, formerly of the Sixers, had some reservations about returning to the City of (Sometimes Not-So) Brotherly Love. Not for him, but for his family.

That's right, when it's time to return to Philadelphia, hide the women and children.
-- Philadelphia Daily News

Then again, this San Antonio columnist still remembers, and not so fondly, the Brown era in San Antonio.
-- San Antonio Express News

Still, one Philly columnist had the guts to say, "Thanks, Larry."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer

When Brown did make his appearance, his former players diffused the potentially ugly matter by embracing their former coach.
-- Philadelphia Daily News

"The beginning of the game made it for me," Brown was quoted after the game. "I don't know if I've ever been more moved in a game. People that mean something to me really extended themselves. From that standpoint, it doesn't get any better than that for me."

And while there were some Sixers faithful who gave Brown the business, one veteran Philly scribe said he has heard worse.
-- Philadelphia Daily News

The Sixers gained their revenge on the floor, winning 90-86.

THE NUMBER(S)
.588, .510 and .430
-- Allen Iverson's shooting percentage, the percentage of his team's points (50 of 98) and the percentage of his team's shots (34 of 79) in his 50-point game against Atlanta on Nov. 29.

MEN BEHAVING BADLY

Two players lost a lot of money (well, it seems like a lot of money to me) this week.

First, Dallas' Danny Fortson will be about $208,000 lighter after his three game suspension for shoving Suns rookie Zarko Cabarkapa while Cabarkapa was in the air. The rookie landed awkwardly, broke his right wrist and will miss six to eight weeks.
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Fortson apologized, but with a slight "shove means never having to say you're sorry" vibe.

"It was a bad play, I admit that," Fortson said. "I really didn't mean to hurt the guy, but who's going to believe that?

"I'm just trying to play hard. At the same time when you play hard, you can make mistakes and look like you're trying to do something intentional. It's a bad deal, but I've committed fouls harder than that."

Meanwhile, the Sixers' Allen Iverson was fined $10,000 for showing fans in Milwaukee who's No. 1.
-- Philadelphia Inquirer

TIP-INS

Remember the hype around the 2003 NBA Draft surrounding the invasion of young foreign players into the NBA? As a wise old MC once said: "Don't believe the hype." Instead, believe the hype about the Americans.
-- New York Times

Well, believe the hype about this Yank youngster.
-- Memphis Commercial Appeal

Cha-ching! Nice -- ahem! -- work if you can get it.
-- Boston Globe

Two things you should never believe: The check's in the mail and the dreaded "vote of confidence" for the coach. One columnist asks: "Why?"
-- New York Post

ESPN.com's Marc Stein chews the fat about some players who once had more than enough to spare. Combined, the men Stein chooses for his All-Weight Loss Team dropped the equivalent of a Michael Jackson.
-- ESPN.com

He makes music. He designs hip-hop couture. He runs marathons. But now P-Diddy faces his toughest challenge yet: making people forget about those God-awful alternate garbage-bag-lining gray Mavericks uniforms.
-- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Clippers, who we noted (and then ESPN noted; we love being ahead of the curve) hadn't lost a game in the U.S. at one point, have been finding the going rough in the paint without the injured Elton Brand.
-- Los Angeles Times

How are things going in Minnesota these days? Uh, we'll get back to you.
-- Fort Worth Star Telegram

Hey, look! It's Rod Strickland!
-- Orlando Sentinel

Ever wonder what one of the finest outside shooters in the game is doing these days? He's taking it to the bank.
-- New York Times

MOURNING MAIL

The outpouring of affection for Alonzo Mourning has been staggering since it was announced that he couldn't play because of his debilitating kidney disease.

So much so, that many have offered a kidney for Zo.
-- New York Times

As this Orlando columnist said, don't laugh at these kind gestures.
-- Orlando Sentinel

Even Click and Roll received letters from fans conveying their desire to donate to Zo.

"I am seriously interested in giving him one of my kidneys," wrote one fan. "It would be a shame to see one of the best players ever sit out of the game that he loves so much."

Wrote another: "My blood type is O-positive. If I can be of service to Alonzo Mourning for a kidney transplant, I would be happy to help. I donate plasma and I'm very active. I never get sick, and I do not indulge myself in risky behavior."

One man even wrote about how he lost his father and wouldn't want Zo's kids to lose theirs.

The letters we received were very touching. But, like most requests we receive for players' e-mail addresses (we don't even know them) or tryouts with NBA teams (we can't get you those either, so please, stop asking), Click and Roll's mailbox is probably not the best place to send your offers to donate organs.

But as Maureen Dowd, op-ed columnist for the New York Times noted in a recent piece, there are plenty of average Americans in need of organ transplants daily.
-- New York Times

And if you are truly, truly serious about organ donation, please visit The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network site or the United States government's Organ and Tissue Donation site. They should be able to answer your questions and possibly turn you magnanimous gestures into life-saving ones.

-- Rob Peterson, NBA.com