Nov 22, 2013, 7:32 PM EDT
Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form.
• James Harden is being sued for allegedly punching a Lakers fan. First off, I know how annoying Lakers fans can be but you still can’t just haul off and slug them. It’s the law. Anyway, his alleged incident happened outside an LA nightclub when the Harden was in an SUV, rolled down the window to greet fans, the heckler says he yelled that Kobe owned him, so Harden punched the guy. There were no criminal charges, just a lawsuit from the alleged victim. Take this with a whole lot of salt, who knows what the reality is.
• How little Div. III liberal arts school Pomona College came to rule the NBA — that is where Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer and Grizzlies GM Jason Levien are from. So is Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard who wrote this story. So is my wife, who found me this story… but that’s not why I’m running it. Well, not the only reason. It’s a really good story.
• Great bit of work by Tom Haberstroh at ESPN — while Andrea Bargnani‘s shooting numbers are not terrible, the team’s defensive numbers and really just about every measurable stat falls off the chart when he is in the game. That includes Carmelo Anthony‘s shooting — when Bargs is off the court Anthony shoots as well as he did last year.
• If you haven’t heard Brian Shaw tell the story of the car accident that changed his life, you need to.
• How the Memphis Grizzlies got their grit and grind back, via Sam Amick at the USA Today.
• There may soon be a new basketball league out there, made up of recently retired NBA players.
• Jerry West, in praise of Oscar Robertson.
• Leandro Barbosa has signed to play in his native Brazil, but his deal does have an NBA out.
• Former players union head Billy Hunter used to invest union money with a company called Prim Capital, the owner of said company has now pled guilt to defrauding the union.
• The NBA is now partnered with Diageo — the makers of Ciroc and Crown Royal — for a sponsorship deal. So expect to see a lot more of those brands’ ads during games (among other places).
• The NBA is working in Nigeria with Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, as well as Africare and ExxonMobil, to create a program called “Power Forward” — a youth engagement initiative that will use basketball to develop health, leadership and life skills in Nigeria. Sounds like a good cause, I hope it finds success.