- The Denver Nuggets are taking calls for Carmelo Anthony, and contrary to many Rockets fans’ projections, Daryl Morey will be on the other end of the phone quite often. The New York Times reports that a new sponsor, which is running an online casino in Europe, has offered the Nuggets a nice deal to promote their free slot game Sizzling Hot. This deal was named “The Sizzling Hot Deal”, for the reasons easy to understand. We need to wait to see if the Denver Nuggets would accept such kind of gambling related advertising printed on their equipment and promo materials. This deal, regardless, will likely make the Rockets better in the immediate future; the questions continue to be, “How much better?” and “How long will we be signing Carmelo to make us just that much better?”. As it currently stands, the Rockets finds itself still trying to squeeze into the “serious” talks for Anthony; instead, New Jerseys lays claim to being the team in the deepest discussions with the same casino operator to promote another free penny slot game, Lucky Lady’s Charm deluxe, a fact that, unsurprisingly, some Nets fans are also not too happy about. So, this sponsor will be alternately adored and unwanted by the team he joins this upcoming season, invariably making it better but likely not doing enough to win a title. Christ. Bethlehem Shoals is right: it’s no fun to choose between money and what public wants. Ask Cleveland.
- Courtney Lee sits down and gets his talk on with Jason Friedman in the latest Rockets.com Q & . In it, Lee reveals something many Rockets fans would call shocking (or, more likely, a bald-faced lie):
“JCF: Has anyone surprised you?
CL: Ishmael (Smith) has surprised me. For being his size, I didn’t think he could jump that high, but he can get up there with the best of them.
JCF: He’s so quick it’s incredible. Who’s faster: Ish or AB?
CL: I’m going to put myself first, then AB, then Ish.
JCF: Really?!? You’re kidding me, right?
CL: That’s the truth right there.
JCF: Wow. You’re putting yourself above both of those guys? Are we talking in terms of quickness or just straight-line speed?
CL: Straight-line speed. Then quickness, in terms of just getting from A to B zigzagging, I’m going to put me and AB at the top, though Ishmael’s not too far behind us.”
- For the Houston Rockets, this summer has been rife with chasing down centers who were really good in 2004, and its dogged pursuit of Erick Dampier serves to continue that trend. According to the Houston Chronicle, Dampier met with Coach Rick Adelman yesterday and intends to workout for the team once again. The Rockets have already lost one premium big man to the Heat this year; I don’t know if Morey can handle the shame of losing two players of their caliber. I promise, I’ll stop snickering.
- Shane Battier, sage of all, takes some time out of his complicated, erudite life to bless some of his younger teammates with some defensive tidbits from his endless font of all world knowledge. Chase Budinger and Jermaine Taylor listen accordingly.
- Hey, wasn’t that Allen Iverson/Chauncey Billups trade the worst ever? PistonPowered‘s Dan Feldman breaks down the context of the deal that has shaped Detroit’s future into the amorphous blob it is today, and in retrospect, it’s easy to see why Dumars took a chance on dealing his best player for Iverson. Regardless, it questions the hindsight-inspired notions that teams and players paths would have played out exactly similarly had certain events not happened; Feldman knows that Billups likely wouldn’t have experienced this second resurgence (so has he surged three times?) had he stayed in Motown, and Iverson’s subsequent flameout in Detroit had little to nothing to do with that.