WHO'S DA MAN?
There can be no void, no rest, no vacuum. Someone must be the best!
So, smarty pants, you're saying to yourself, who is the best?
Ah, well, this reporter says it's Tracy McGrady. (Toronto Sun)
What does all this mean? It means you have plenty of time to formulate an argument as to who is the best player in the NBA. Why? Because, after this edition of NBA.com's Click and Roll, we go to once a week: Tuesdays.
Yes, it gives you five whole days to come up with something better than: "Allen Iverson! Enough said." I promise you we will delete anything with "enough said" in the response.
So, who is the best player in the NBA. Send your player and your reasons to NBA.com's Click and Roll and we'll print the best responses.
THE INTERNET, EH?
We put the World in World Wide Web. No mention of NBA.com's Click and Roll, however. (We need a publicist!) (New York Times)
A BOOTH MOVEMENT
Easily, the biggest surprise of the week, was Memphis hiring Hubie Brown to coach the Grizzlies. At 69 years old, Brown, who has been a television analyst for the past 16 years, hasn't been a coach in the league since The Cosby Show was the No. 1 show on TV.
So, what to make of this? I won't analyze because there are plenty of people willing to do that for us. Like a columnist in Memphis. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Or the columnist in Philly. (Philadelphia Daily News)
Others say it's not a generation gap, it's a canyon. (CBS Sportsline)
And Brown won't be as much a father figure as he will be a drill sergeant for the winless Grizzlies. (CNNSI.com)
Which means we would like to be there for the first conversation between Hubie Brown and Jason Williams. Then again, maybe we don't. (ESPN.com)
CASH AND CARRY
Youngsters going pro early is one thing, but Pay-Per-View high school games? That's crossing a line, according to one Philly columnist. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Are the Clippers distracted by all that free agent talk? Mmmmaybe. (L.A. Times)
THE SIXTH SENSEI
The Nuggets are taking training to a "Hai-ya!" level with martial arts. (Rocky Mountain News)
MORE HOOPS STUFF
While taking opponents to school this season, Stevie Franchise learned from the game's best professors when he was injured last season. (Houston Chronicle)
The Celtics and the Sixers are good enough to hate each other again. Ah, that's the way it should be. (Boston Herald)
Just what is high sticking when it comes to a 7-7 guy on ice skates? Hmm? Anyone know? We'll see when former NBA player Manute Bol laces up his skates for the Indianapolis Ice of the Central Hockey League. (ESPN.com)
Have a pulse? You too could be a Knick! (New York Times)
Yee-haw! Why did Rodney White have a great game last Saturday. You just need to saddle up and ride, er, read this. (Rocky Mountain News)
He'll come back to you. They always do. (Charlotte Observer).
Back to our argument about the best basketball town, which sprung from the contention that the best players take the most shots (yes, we made a leap) and that guys from Philly have often taken a lot of shots in the NBA. CNNSI.com's Jack McCallum breaks down the frequency with which Allen Iverson chucks up the rock. (CNNSI.com)
And because we received a silly amount of responses, we created a separate page for them. So, check them out there.
Many of you have asked about the Donny challenge. I have received some encouragement.
Albert from Oxnard, Calif. said, yeah, play.
"Here let me put it in a short sentence: if I were to be called out by someone, regardless if it was Kobe or Shaq, let alone Donny, I would do it and in a sec. So, yes do it.
P.S. If you want to play him two-on-two, well, hit me up and well show them what's up. Peace!"
Thanks for having my back, Al. I got you too.
And, of course, Donny wrote back.
"Yo! its Donny, and yeah, I think you should find a way to hoop against me, but I'm tellin' ya it ain't gonna be pretty. Lace em up and lets do it!"
All right, so as not to carry this out any further (and because it doesn't really have anything to do with the NBA), Donny and I will set something up, at my own expense, and we'll let NBA.com's Click and Roll readers know how it goes. It may not be until next year (holidays, you know), but I'll work to get it done. (For all I know, Donny's 6-foot-6 and has scars on his forehead from hitting his nugget against the rim.)
And remember, people, this is just for fun, no wagering.
Rob Peterson, NBA.com
HOOPDIE DAMN DO!
We received a ton of e-mail (thank you, all) regarding the best basketball town in these United States. Your responses were impassioned, inspired and a few, incoherent.
We love the mail regardless. Remember when we said we'd be able to easily figure it out over the weekend? Ha! That was meant to be tongue in cheek. But the Philly fans were out in force. And because of the volume, we need a day or two to sift through the pile.
In the meantime, we'll print a couple and allow the argument continue as to what is the best basketball city in the U.S. And remember, we're talking about growing up in that town. We threw Iverson in with Philadelphia. We know Iverson grew up in Newport News, Va., but Iverson just seems to have adopted the Philly style as much as Philly has adopted him.
Sam from Durham, N.C. contends that New York City is the Big Apple of his eye when it comes to hoops:
"Is there really any question? It's gotta be NYC. Chris Mullin, Connie Hawkins, got the ball rolling, and the current breed of NYC point guards have kept it in motion. Kenny Anderson, Jamaal Tinsley, Rod Strickland, Starbury, etc.
"Not only has this city produced an abundance of quality players, it's also responsible for creating a distinct style of basketball: flashy dribbling, dazzling passes and in-your-face trash-talking. Of course, it doesn't hurt that MJ, the king himself, was born in Brooklyn."
A compelling case for New York, indeed. Philly was also well represented as Rob from Philadelphia said:
"Definitely Philly. More greats have rolled through our town then anywhere else. Who else had a player score 100 points in a game? NO ONE! Oh yeah, and also because the players would always hit up Pat's or Geno's after the game."
(Pat's and Gino's, there's one debate we don't want to get into.)
And then there's the case for the West Coast. L.A.? We had one, but Lee from Oakland gives a shoutout to Oaktown:
"The best basketball city in the United States has to be Oakland, California because of these people: Bill Russell, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, Antonio Davis, J.R. Rider and the newcomer Drew Gooden."
Then, there's my favorite letter from Donny in Philly:
"Philly has the best ballers. If you don't believe me then come on over and play me and find out the hard way."
A challenge has been issued, the gauntlet thrown down. Should I take Donny up on it? E-mail NBA.com's Click and Roll and let us know if you think I should find a way to hoop against Donny. Also, keep those e-mail coming about the best basketball town.
STOP PLAYING WIT ME
Going for the gold. First it was Kobe, now it's Paul Pierce. (Boston Globe)
Kenny Anderson has found it rough in the Emerald City as of late. (Tacoma News Tribune)
Are the Nets resting on their laurels already? (New York Daily News)
Cavs' rookie Smush Parker has a great name, but does he have the game? (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
For the first time since he headed south to Florida, Tracy McGrady will face the Raptors minus Vince Carter. (Toronto Sun)