By Rob Peterson, NBA.com
CLEAR YOUR SLATES
Meeting the fiancÚs' folks? Forget it. They'll be your in-laws forever.
Your first child's first piano recital? Ah, the kid needs a little more practice and Norah Jones wins all the Grammys anyway.
Giving a speech at the Harvard Business School on the brilliance of Keynesian economic theory, especially in times of international unrest? Drop it and head to The Red Line to watch the third Kings-Mavs contest of the season (9:30 p.m. ET, TNT). I mean, what's more important than watching the Western Conference's two best teams duke it out on national TV? Nothing, especially with the Kings having already walloped the Mavs twice before, once on Jan. 15, 123-94 and once on Feb. 4, 110-109.
If they win Thursday, the Kings will hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Mavs. And when it comes to claiming the top spot in the West, that tiebreaker may come in handy.
On Sundays, most NBA beat writers put together notes columns that focus on news outside of their beat.
So you can imagine what the talk was in many of the papers around the country: Thursday's deadline deal between the Sonics and the Bucks.
We looked at the deadline deals on Friday. (NBA.com)
The dust hadn't settled before everyone began to weigh in, including the principals themselves.
Even Sonics owner Howard Schultz penned an open letter to Sonics fans. (Seattle Times)
As with everything these days, the Bucks-Sonics trade was about, well, the stars' bucks. (CNNSI.com)
After Allen's near triple-double in his Sonics debut on Sunday, some in Seattle suggest Allen needs a nickname. The writer suggests "Sugar" Ray Allen, which would be appropriate considering that some called Allen "The Candyman" when he was at UConn because he had a sweet game. (Tacoma Tribune)
Meanwhile, in Milwaukee, they're saying Payton and Sam Cassell could be a neo-Clyde Frazier-Earl Monroe type of backcourt, according to Milwaukee GM Ernie Grunfeld.
"Both of these are big point guards - Gary is 6-4, Sam is 6-3 - and they're both offensive-minded point guards. It reminds me a little of Walt Frazier and Earl Monroe, where you didn't know which one was the point guard, which one was the shooting guard.
"They were just guards."
So, here's our compilation of various facts and tidbits about the league's best starting backcourts.
Chattiest BackcourtBucks, Cassell and Payton -- NBA officials and opponents will be getting an earful from No. 11 and No. 20
Quickest BackcourtRockets, Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley -- Their speed creates matchup problems throughout the league
Shortest BackcourtSixers, Allen Iverson and Eric Snow -- With Iverson at 6-0 (if that) and Snow at 6-3, the Sixers get it done with Iverson's speed and Snow's defense
Tallest BackcourtBlazers, Bonzi Wells and Scottie Pippen -- Pippen at 6-8 and Wells at 6-5 give teams fits at both ends of the floor
Youngest BackcourtNuggets, Junior Harrington and Vincent Yarborough -- Harrington is 23 and Yarborough is 21 (Honorable mention: Cavs. When they start Dajuan Wagner (20) with Ricky Davis (23), the Cavs are the youngest)
Oldest BackcourtJazz, John Stockton and Calbert Cheaney -- Cheaney at 31 is a whipper-snapper compared to Stockton (40)
Most Prolific Scoring BackcourtLakers, Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher -- These two combine to average 41.4 points per game, just a smidge ahead of Tracy McGrady's and Darrell Armstrong's combined 41.2 points per game for the Magic.
Most Prolific Passing BackcourtBucks -- Together, Payton and Cassell combine to dish 14.6 assists (yeah, we know they've played one game together)
Most Prolific Rebounding BackcourtCeltics, Paul Pierce and Tony Delk -- Pierce and Delk combine to grab 11.3 boards per game
Backcourt of the FutureTie, Warriors and Rockets -- While some would say the Rockets' backcourt has arrived, Francis and Mobley are still relatively young. As for the Warriors, with Gilbert Arenas and Jason Richardson, the last two winners of the got milk? Rookie Challenge game MVP, the future is bright indeed (if they can re-sign Arenas in the offseason).
WHO'S BETTER? WHO'S BEST?
Earlier this year, we (Click and Roll and it's loyal readers) debated on who was better: Tracy McGrady or Kobe Bryant.
We still completely haven't figured it out.
But did you see what Tracy McGrady did this weekend with 98 points in two games and an amazing triple-double against the Nets on Sunday? (Orlando Sentinel)
We won't give our opinion. That's for you to discuss among yourselves.
Talks of trades hurt a lot of feelings in Atlanta. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
In January, Click and Roll noted that Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury were publicly at each other's throats after Suns rookie Amare Stoudemire had a breakout game in Minneapolis. Well, on Feb. 23, the two teams had their first meeting since that cold January evening and here's how the principals handled it. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
Many of us fondly remember our college days, none more so than Christian Laettner. (Washington Post)
Seems like Eric Musselman is getting the hang of this coaching thing. (Washington Post)
The Pacers have lost four consecutive games and they can't shoot straight. (Indianapolis Star)
Yes, Drew Gooden was destined to become a basketball player. (Orlando Sentinel)
Where do the Lakers, Phil Jackson and Shaquille O'Neal go from here? (L.A. Times)
Knicks great Patrick Ewing will have his number retired on Friday. According to one report, it should be a dreamy night. (N.Y. Post)
Just one man's opinion on this season's MVP race. (San Antonio Express-News)
Being a rookie is tough. Dajuan Wagner is finding that out. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
Philadelphia center Todd MacCulloch is in a tough spot. Let's hope he gets well as soon as possible. (Philadelphia Inquirer)