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Friday, Oct. 25


THREE-DAY WEEKEND

M E D I A W A T C H
Caron Butler's tough times only made him stronger.
(Fernando Medina, NBAE/Getty Images)

TAKE IT TO THE (MAGAZINE) RACK
SLAM's 2002-2003 NBA Preview! is on newsstands now with a caveat from Editor-in-Chief Russ Bengtson.

In his opener "The Sixth Man," Bengtson talks about how far ahead the mag's copy needs to be finished and that a lot can happen between then (when they close) and now (when we read).

(Hilariously illustrating that fact are the old Brian Winters pictures complete with Fu-Manchu moustache. And, in the ultimate of all inside jokes, Winters is wearing No. 21. When his career ended in Milwaukee, the Bucks retired his No. 32. Old school, indeed.)

You'll find 12 of the NBA's newest players on the fold out cover, with features on three inside on Jay Williams, Mike Dunleavy and Lang Whitaker's look at the long, hard road Caron Butler had to the NBA.

They also preview the divisions and look at players in each of the four divisions, the best being Scoop Jackson's paean to The Admiral. They also profile Antonio McDyess, but that's the only time fate crosses them over.

And as a bonus, for hoops history geeks like me, is a Q&A with Dolph Schayes, the NBA's all-time leading scorer when he retired in 1964. Particularly interesting is his take on the "Havlicek stole the ball!" play.


After tonight's eight preseason games, arenas go dark for three days.

No NBA for three days? That's almost too much to bear.

Well, as we've said before, Click and Roll is here to provide a service. We have a list of things you can do during these three days which will seem long, desolate and sometimes desparate:

  • Stock up on groceries, because after these three days, the NBA doesn't take a day off until Dec. 24
  • Which reminds us, get your holiday shopping out of the way. Stores are crowded on the 24th
  • Purchase NBA League Pass (Silly me. What am I saying? you bought that back in August!)
  • Batteries, because you're gonna wear out the remote
  • Call a loved one ... and remind them not to bother you during games
  • Fabreeze for the couch and/or easy chair. Trust me on this one.
  • Volunteer to teach kids how to play basketball
  • Join a fantasy league

    Is there anything we forgot? Let us know how you'll spend your free time until the season tips off on Tuesday with Philadelphia at Orlando at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT. We'll print the best ones on Monday.

    FASTBREAKS

    ESPN.com and ESPNMag.com published their season preview on Friday featuring unique scouting reports featuring comments by Bill Walton. Marc Stein talks about why it's important the Kings and Lakers don't like each other. (ESPN.com)

    Oh yeah, by the way, the preseason ends with a bang as the Lakers host the Kings on Friday. (L.A. Times)

    It will be the second game of ESPN's debut doubleheader on Friday. In the first game, the Wizards visit Boston, and some Celtics are excited to see MJ in action. (Boston Herald)

    Speaking of which, being a Wizards (né Bullets) fan is always entertaining, but not always for the right reasons. (Washington Times)

    Jason Kidd is one hot commodity. (NY Daily News)

    Dan Dickau has already made quite an impression in Atlanta. According to one ATL magazine, the rookie from Gonzaga will lead the league in stolen hearts this season. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

    At least one man thinks the Cavs can make it to the postseason. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

    Rockets fans like Yao. (Houston Chronicle)

    (An aside: Please, please no more "Ming Dynasty" headlines in newspapers or lead-ins on TV. We get it already.)

    Why was Lee Nailon waived by the Hornets? Marty Burns of CNNSI.com tries to get to the bottom of it. (CNNSI.com)

    The Timberwolves and Kevin Garnett are discussing contract extension. Let's just say that KG doesn't need to buy lottery tickets. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

    Reggie Miller's time these days is spent treating a bum ankle. (Indianapolis Star)

    Gary Payton and the Sonics aren't assisting each other at the moment. (The News Tribune, Tacoma, Wash.)

    And finally, who will point the way for the Trail Blazers? (The Oregonian)

    Rob Peterson, NBA.com

    Wednesday, Oct. 23


    MAMA SAID BOX YOU OUT

    Sounds like the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the world, will try to satisfy his basketball Jones in the NBDL.

    M E D I A W A T C H
    Yao Ming checks out the latest edition of Click and Roll.
    (Chen Xioawei, NBAE/Getty Images)

    TAKE IT TO THE (MAGAZINE) RACK
    Short people got no reason to love this week's Sports Illustrated when it hits mailboxes and newsstands. If anything, SI's NBA Preview Issue shows the NBA is a big man's world and we just ask: "How's the weather up there?"

    With Houston's 7-foot-5 Yao Ming on the cover, the issue's focus is on big, ("The Next Big Thing") really big.

    The issue contains three excellent features. SI examines how Yao's game may be as large as he is ("The New Mr. Big"). Another looks at the Bulls' precocious pair, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry ("The Start of Something Big") and we get a glimpse of what makes Sacramento's Vlade Divac ("The Big Show") so sly.

    And because no one has been able to take the Big Aristotle down, SI turns to mad science to build Mr. O'Neal's ultimate nightmare player: Frankenshaq!

    (Also, check out two things: A digitized image of Yao standing next to NBA Commissioner David Stern and the "ESPN The New Home of the NBA" advertisement with Mike Tirico sleeping in the bottom bunk and Yao Ming on the top bunk. What's Yao reading? Why it's the "All-Pro Basketball Stars 1978" with Dr. J in 'fro-effect on the cover.)

    Coming Friday, Click and Roll breaks down SLAM's 2002-2003 NBA Preview!


    Roy Jones Jr., the undisputed Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, has been added to the Mobile Revelers' training camp roster. Jones Jr., who has some of the quickest hands in the world, will try his luck at point guard.

    "I love the game and getting this opportunity makes me want to get better," Jones said. (Mobile Register)

    And if you're thinking to yourself, if Roy Jones Jr. can make a training camp roster, I can too, well, walk the walk. The Asheville Altitude, Fayetteville Patriots and Hunstville Flight have open tryouts on Oct. 26 and 27. (NBDL.com)

    BASKETBALL'S BEEN BARRY, BARRY GOOD TO HIM

    When you break down the numbers, just who is the best in the NBA at each position?

    Well, if you check this out, you may be surprised to find who tops each list, especially at shooting guard. Hint: He's a guy who digs Pez. (USA Today)

    NORTH VS. SOUTH

    We'll talk about the Lakers and Kings rivalry a lot this season because, 1) they're as fun to watch as they are to read about in the papers and, 2) they genuinely don't like each other.

    One of the best hoops scribes, Sports Illustrated's Jack McCallum, answers this season's five most pressing questions, including one about whether the Lakers-Kings is a true rivalry. (CNNSI.com).

    Meanwhile, Sean Deveney breaks down how these two teams were built. (The Sporting News)

    Speaking of the Lakers, we all knew Shaq would miss some games. So, it's time to get acquainted with the guy starting in Shaq's place, Soumaila Samake. (ESPN.com)

    TO THE LETTER

    We received a letter from Bishoy Habib of Winter Park, Fla. (just outside Orlando, say "Hi" to my friends at Rollins College): "Make sure you guys include a lot of information about T-Mac and Amare Stoudemire, because those are my 2 favorite players."

    You got it. Here's a story about Suns rookie Amare Stoudemire's hard-knock life. (USA Today)

    Meanwhile, the hard working staff of Suns.com took a look at Stoudemire's progress right after training camp opened. (Suns.com)

    Remember, you can e-mail us anytime.

    ODDS AND ENDS

    George Karl doesn't want to talk about last season. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

    Don't expect Keith Van Horn and Byron Scott to be on each other's buddy lists. (NY Post)

    For Nene Hilario, it's amazing how much of a difference an interpreter makes. (Rocky Mountain News)

    Would someone please turn up the Heat? It's cold in here. (Miami Herald)

    Greg Ostertag, the guy who dropped this offseason's best dime, is working his way back in the preseason. (Salt Lake Tribune)

    Rob Peterson, NBA.com

    Monday, Oct. 21


    WHILE YOU WERE AWAY

    Preseason is a time to get in shape, workout the kinks on both ends of the floor, work in new players and determine the rotation. It's also a time for players to get injured, and unfortunately, some seriously.

    M E D I A W A T C H
    Steve Nash's teammates tried to determine if the black T-shirt was the most formal thing Nash had in his closet.
    (Sam Forencich, NBAE/Getty Images)

    TAKE IT TO THE (MAGAZINE) RACK
    In the Sports issue of GQ (we read it for the articles), Mavericks guard Steve Nash is quizzed about his "style," which can be described as college-student-rolling-out-of-bed-at-noon-in-the-clothes-he-went-to-bed-in-after-partying-all-night-style.

    You can almost hear Nash was answering the magazine's questions in his robe with his mouth full of Cap'n Crunch. When he was asked when was the last time he wore a suit, Nash replied: "Actually, a few weeks ago for a fund-raiser. But I did wear a camouflage T-shirt and flip-flops with it. So it wasn't necessarily that formal."

    In the same issue, writer Peter Richmond and NBA legend Bill Walton give 25 reasons as to what's better, basketball or hockey. Walton does a fair job of defending us basketball lovers. His best retort comes after Richmond praises hockey for having sudden death in the playoffs: Thank goodness someone discovered a way to end this travesty of tedium.

    Two players went down with season-ending injuries over the weekend.

    Timberwolves guard Felipe Lopez's season ended when he tore ligaments in his knee when he collided with Paul Pierce on Saturday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

    Also on Saturday, Pistons forward Don Reid was lost when he tore his Achilles tendon in a game against the Heat. (Detroit News)

    Which begs the answer to this question: Would you rather be undefeated in the preseason or healthy for the regular season? The Nets answer this one. (New York Daily News)

    The Kings also answer that question. Meanwhile, check out the item at the bottom. Scot Pollard and his wife are new parents. Congrats! (Sacramento Bee)

    Meanwhile, winning seems to offer a temporary panacea. A recent 3-0 road trip had Knicks fans giddy with excitement at a recent open practice. (Newsday)

    THE BUTLERS DID IT

    In an unusual, and unavoidable, development, Pat Riley will rely on a couple of Butlers, Caron and Rasual, to provide impeccable service on the floor this season. (Palm Beach Post)

    Still, Riley is unsure who will start this season. (Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel)

    EMPLOYEE NO. 8 MAKES WINNING PRIORITY NO. 1

    In a bit of good news for Celtics fans, Antoine Walker has taken the lead in showing Vin Baker the ropes. (Boston Globe)

    ESPRESSO YOURSELF

    Remember those reports regarding Magic Johnson buying a part of the Sonics? Uh, never mind. (Los Angeles Times, second item)

    . . . AND FINALLY

    What's Kobe doing here? (ESPN.com)

    Rob Peterson, NBA.com