GET OUT THE VOTE
Meanwhile Dan Patrick grabbed a little quality time with Commissioner Stern. No word as to whether they had this conversation in their bathrobes while waiting for Wally Szczerbiak to pretty up in the bathroom. (ESPN.com)
CALL IT A COMEBACK?
He can hear you. We're convinced of it.
Every time there are whispers, every time someone runs a three minute feature on how Jordan shouldn't become Willie Mays with the Mets, every time a celebrity friend says: "He's done," more often then not, Michael Jordan proves to everyone there's still a little left.
It's understandable. Jordan went 4-for-14 in the Wizards' 74-68 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday. After all, Jordan's career high is 69.
Which makes this all the more interesting. The last time Jordan was on a team that scored 68 total points in a game that counted, he and his teammates lost to Indiana 72-68. That would be Indiana University on March 22, 1984 in the NCAA tournament, and Jordan was a Tar Heel.
After one game, there was panic. Settle. One game does not a season make. The Wizards and Jordan, who had 21 points, bounced back with a 45-point trouncing of the Celtics on Thursday, 114-69. (Washington Times)
So, as long as we remember that Jordan isn't the MJ of old, just an older Jordan who will be more up and down than the days when he could go up and seemingly never come down, we'll be able to keep things tight.
For every fan who wants Finals tickets printed RIGHT NOW after their team won on opening night, and for fans who broke bones jumping off a bandwagon after their team lost the season opener, we have a word of advice:
Take a deep breath. We admire the passion, but it's only the first week. Titles aren't won when your team is 1-0 and they're not lost when a team is 0-1.
We're here for you.
Then again, there are the Lakers. The claws are out in Los Angeles and with an 0-2 start, the Lakers aren't using them on opponents, but on each other. (ESPN.com)
Look! Out on the floor! It's a power forward! It's a shooting guard! It's Baron Davis wearing a cape?
Egads! In the first game in their new home against the Utah Jazz, the New Orleans Hornets took the floor for pregame introductions wearing silver capes.
(Luckily for those involved, I couldn't find an image of the Hornets in their capes anywhere. No photos, no video, nothing. As soon as the intros were finished, the Hornets players couldn't get them off fast enough.)
But it happened. People were there. They wrote it down. Let's just say the reviews were mixed at best, with future Hall of Famer John Stockton giving the look, well, an incredulous look. (FOXSports.com, Salt Lake Tribune)
We promise. We'll never speak of it again.
We're all for Free Flight, the view the basketball gods must have as the camera hovers over the court. We also dig FloorCam, where a hole is cut out of the floor and camera placed inside. The perspective was quite striking in the Lakers-Blazers game on Wednesday. Sometimes, fans don't get the perspective on TV as to how big these guys are. FloorCam gives you that.
The only innovation that caught us off guard was the in-game slow motion camera. The game would be moving at full speed, and then, all of a sudden, everything was moving in slow mo. At first, I thought my digital cable was on the fritz. Not so. I just wonder if they can use that camera in basketball, especially on the break, when the game moves so quickly.
Who is Colin Pine? And how did he go from the State Department to the NBA? (Houston Chronicle)
How do two rookies who speak different languages get along on the court? Denver's Nene Hilario and Nikoloz Tskitishvili make it work. (Rocky Mountain News)
Rob Peterson, NBA.com
Let's look at some of the "What it feels like to ...":
In a playoff game? (C&R: Uh, no.)
(C&R: Oh, who hasn't been there?)
(C&R: We wish.)
(C&R: Does calling play-by-play over the phone to a sibling count?)
(C&R: Do you even need to @^%$! ask?)
(C&R: This is a touchy subject for the Kings and their fans, but one current Kings player has.)
(C&R: Nope, can't say that we have.)
(C&R: We have a favorite team, but we won't tell you which one it is. And it's not the same as Summer's.)
(C&R: We know it has no place, but one Kings fan held up a humorous sign during the Kings season opener: Beat Up L.A.)
Have you ever drained a last-second shot? Have you ever missed one? If you have, let us know and give us a shout. We'll use some of the best in the next Click and Roll.
(And if you've ever signed a check for millions of dollars, do you mind if we call you "friend?")
The NBA got cheeky with its scheduling, and we like it, as the New Orleans Hornets host the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. One man remembers what it was like when the Jazz were New Orleans' team. (Times Picayune)
NBA.com also had a chat with Bob Remy, New Orleans' first official scorer when the Jazz were in town, and who is now the new official scorer for the Hornets. (NBA.com)
Two heads are better than one when it comes to hoops. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
The Lakers got their rings, but it still was a tough night: a loss and no Chick Hearn. (L.A. Times)
Who is Pat Burke? Find out what this guy is doing starting for the Magic at center. (Orlando Sentinel)
As the Wizards look into the their crystal ball, they see success, especially with No. 23 coming off the bench. (Washington Post)
It can't rain on Yao Ming's parade, or can it? (Houston Chronicle)
After a winter of extreme discontent, Ray Allen and Anthony Mason are singing Kumbaya in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
For the Nets, making the playoffs is passť. It's the Finals or bust for them. (New York Post)
It's a long way from Coffeyville, Kan. to the home of Starbucks for the Sonics' new starting power forward, Reggie Evans. (Seattle Times)
According to this man, it's time for the Pacers to grow up quickly. (Indy Star)
When one uses angels as divine inspiration, one will roll the eyes toward the heavens. Clippers coach Alvin Gentry is glancing in the direction of Anaheim. (L.A. Times)
Rob Peterson, NBA.com
ONE MORE DAY
But from when the Lakers-Kings dust-up (more on this later) finished until Tuesday night, you had 72 hours to do with what you wish. We made our own suggestions and we asked you what you were going to do. Here's how fans around the world prepared for Tuesday's opener:
Jesus from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico says: I will go to the park near my house before the NBA storm comes here.
reda of Dearborn, Mich. gets in the Click and Roll for kissing up (flattery will get you everywhere): "I'm spending my free time on NBA.com."
Jamie from Montreal, Quebec also drives down Flattery Lane: "I'm gonna stay at my computer all 3 days on the NBA.com website clicking the "refresh" button every 30 seconds."
Steve from Minnesota may need to see a marriage counselor after this season: "I will spend my free time with my wife because when the season starts it's all over with."
Anthony from Donora, Pa. may be asking for the impossible: "I plan on reading up on my Sixers and hoping nobody else gets hurt during these three days off." (No one did and Allen Iverson is even going to practice.) "Also making sure that my fantasy basketball team's lineup is ready for the season." (Philadelphia Daily News)
We appreciate your feedback, so give us a shout.
We've made light of the fact that the Kings and the Lakers have a budding rivalry that could turn acrimonious during the season.
Still, no one expected frustrations to boil over into fisticuffs in the preseason as they did on Friday night.
Goodness, gentlemen. Couldn't you wait?
Rick Fox, who tussled with Doug Christie on the court and in the tunnel, apologized for his behavior.
We can only imagine what will happen when these teams meet for the first time on -- yikes! -- Christmas Day. Let's hope the Kings and the Lakers are not serving up any holiday punch.
You may think you know more than the officials (as I think I do; and nothing is as silly as a grown man yelling at a television), but you don't. (ESPN.com)
Philadelphia has its own Big Three. (Philadelphia Daily News)
Teams have yet to get into the zone. (ESPN.com)
While they're reaching for the stars, this year's edition of the Knicks will keep their feet on the ground. (New York Times)
On Nov. 9, No. 34 goes to the Compaq Center rafters. (Houston Chronicle)
Pacers coach Isiah Thomas answers his critics. (Indy Star)
For the Hawks not to need to shell out a Benjamin, a Jackson and a Lincoln (equals $125) to each full season ticket holder, they'll need to follow these five -- ahem -- easy steps. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Someone once said 90 percent of life is just showing up. If so, Heat center Ken Johnson has this thing figured out. (Palm Beach Post) Bryce Drew has more heart than you can imagine. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
To win a title, it takes two to tango. (Bergen County Record)
Where, oh, where have all the centers gone? (San Antonio Express-News)
Rob Peterson, NBA.com