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  1. Video: Welcome to the Kobe System

    Dec 31, 2011, 1:07 PM EDT

    24syste0_large

    In the first of what will likely be a series of videos aimed at selling Kobe Bryant‘s latest basketball shoe, the Nike Zoom Kobe VII, Bryant’s relentless competitive drive and history of success are used as the starting point for the ad campaign, and the result is a hilarious one. If you have to explain…

  2. Roy Hibbert sought out a cameo on Parks and Rec, would have interest in third episode

    Dec 31, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

    Roy Hibbert eating

    If you’re an NBA fan, Parks and Rec (Thursdays on NBC – PLUG LIKE YOU NEED IT) is a great show for you. It has featured Detlef Schrempf, there’s an autographed photo of Larry Bird on Leslie Knope’s office, and last season, Roy Hibbert appeared in two episodes, being paid to “hang out” at the…

  3. 100 early season observations

    Dec 31, 2011, 10:08 AM EDT

    Miami Heat James smiles after making a basket against Charlotte Bobcats during their NBA game in Charlotte

    We lost basketball this year. Precious, sweet basketball. And even though most of the lockout happened in the offseason, those days were still slogs through disappointment and frustration. So to mourn those days and celebrate the first week of professional basketball this season, here are 100 observations on the early season. 1. Lob City’s a…

  4. Rip Hamilton feels like it’s sweet home Chicago

    Dec 31, 2011, 8:30 AM EDT

    Richard Rip Hamilton

    Richard Hamilton is feeling comfortable with the Bulls. Not completely with his teammates yet, that’s a work in progress (albeit one that is making great strides). No, Hamilton is comfortable with the expectations in Chicago — title expectations. “I love it because this is what it’s supposed to be,” Hamilton said after he had 16…

  5. Clippers put on a show, Bulls play defense and get victory

    Dec 31, 2011, 2:17 AM EDT

    Chicago Bulls' Rose tosses the ball in front of Los Angeles Clippers' Paul after the Bulls turned the ball over during their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles

    The Clippers are pure Los Angeles now — entertainment with some basketball thrown in as a bonus. The Clippers are a show and Staples Center was filled and buzzing like a movie premiere — people want to see Chris Paul throwing lobs to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. They wanted and got Derrick Rose vs.…

  6. Video: LeBron to Wade game winning ally-oop for Heat

    Dec 30, 2011, 11:24 PM EDT

    Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat

    Two games in a row it is Dwyane Wade with the game winner. This time he got a little help from the Timberwolves (who played a feisty game to stick with the Heat). It was 101-101 with six seconds left and the Heat ran Wade off a series of picks curling back into the lane.…

  7. Wizards get technical for playing ineligible player. Nice.

    Dec 30, 2011, 10:57 PM EDT

    Flip Saunders

    They are still the Washington Wizards. Coach Flip Saunders sent Roger Mason with 3:27 left in the first quarter, according to CSNWashington.com. He promptly sank a nice little baseline jumper. The problem — Saunders hadn’t put Mason on the active roster. At the first timeout after the bucket the Wizards were assessed a technical. The…

  8. Report: Rose on verge of $250 million deal with Adidas

    Dec 30, 2011, 9:55 PM EDT

    Derrick Rose Playing Fans at 'Run with D Rose'

    Derrick Rose said at the press conference for his recent contract extension that he really doesn’t know how much money he makes. Let me help you out a bit Derrick — you are about to make mountains of cash. Adidas is about to give Rose a lifetime contract worth about $250 million, according to ESPN.…

  9. Paul Pierce to play, start for Celtics

    Dec 30, 2011, 6:59 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics Delonte West, Paul Pierce and Jeff Green walk off the court at the end of their overtime loss to the Miami Heat in Game 4 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston

    UPDATE 6:59 pm: It’s official, Paul Pierce will not only play but start for the Celtics in their home opener against the Pistons, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. Don’t expect 35 minutes of run in his first game, he’ll get eased back in a bit. However, against a weaker team at home is…

  10. Dwyane Wade says Michael Beasley can be great, if….

    Dec 30, 2011, 6:30 PM EDT

    Michael Beasley Dwyane Wade

    The question is not raw talent. Michael Beasley has plenty of that. You don’t get drafted No. 2 overall without signs of serious potential. But Beasley has never come anywhere near that potential. As the Miami Heat — the team that drafted Beasley — are about to take him and his new Timberwolves team on,…

  11. Monta Ellis out Saturday for Warriors, Curry questionable

    Dec 30, 2011, 5:33 PM EDT

    Monta Ellis

    Golden State’s scoring power could be very depleted when Philadelphia comes to town Saturday. Monta Ellis has been given permission to miss the game to attend the funeral of his grandmother who recently passed away in Mississippi, reports Matt Steinmetz at CSNBayArea.com. “Bottom line is he’s a family member going through something right now,” (coach…

  12. Video: Mavs Sean Williams kisses the rim in warmups

    Dec 30, 2011, 4:49 PM EDT

    Sean Williams

    Add that to your list of quirky pregame rituals. That is Mavs reserve Sean Williams. Really the best part of this is the obviously confused Rodrigue Beaubois, who must never have ever considered trying that before, let alone doing it in warmups in front of 18,000 people. Great find by KD at Ball Don’t Lie.

  13. Winderman: Technical fouls more expensive with shortened season

    Dec 30, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

    Boston Celtics v Orlando Magic, Game 5

    The upside of the NBA’s lockout-compacted 66-game schedule? It can shorten the lengths of previously handed-down suspensions, with Andrew Bynum and Charlie Villanueva receiving that benefit of the doubt to start the season. The downside? Less tolerance from big brother, namely NBA czar of discipline Stu Jackson. While much was made publicly of the league…

  14. LeBron James cutting back on three point shots. Way back.

    Dec 30, 2011, 3:48 PM EDT

    Miami Heat James smiles after making a basket against Charlotte Bobcats during their NBA game in Charlotte

    Through the Miami Heat’s first three games, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have combined for zero three-point attempts. Not one. Last season they would have averaged 19 by now. This is not by accident. As part of Miami’s new aggressive, up-tempo style LeBron and Wade are trying to attack the rim, not settle for threes.…

  15. Expect to see more of what Gregg Popovich did Thursday

    Dec 30, 2011, 2:58 PM EDT

    Memphis Grizzlies v San Antionio Spurs - Game Five

    Tim Duncan didn’t touch the court in the second half of the Spurs loss Thursday to the Rockets. Manu Ginobili played the first seven minutes of the second half then sat the rest of the way. Tony Parker sat the last 14 minutes. The Spurs bench and younger legs got more run. The Spurs were…

  16. Colangelo says 2012 Olympic squad “fair comparison” with Dream Team

    Dec 30, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT

    Olympics Day 16 - Basketball

    The 2012 United States Olympic team will land in London the overwhelming favorites for the gold medal. But they will not just be battling Spain — the best team in their way and a legitimate threat — they will be battling history. 2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the original Dream Team — Magic…

  17. Dick Bavetta refereed 2,500th consecutive game Thursday

    Dec 30, 2011, 12:45 PM EDT

    Dick Bavetta

    Make all the “Dick Bavetta used to whistle George Mikan for fouls” jokes you want, this is pretty impressive. From Peter Vecsey at the New York Post: Last night in Orlando, the 72-year-old (his birthday’s Dec. 10) whistleblower worked his 2,500th consecutive regular-season game. Ruminate on that statistic for a second. And now consider this…

  18. Baron Davis may be more than a month away in New York

    Dec 30, 2011, 12:01 PM EDT

    Golden State Warriors v Cleveland Cavaliers

    One thing that has seemed self evident in the Knicks two losses on the West Coast is that they lack a team-organizing point guard. They don’t need Chris Paul or Rajon Rondo level players at the point, but they need someone who better fits Mike D’Antoni’s system and can organize the offense better. The Knicks…

  19. Stan Van Gundy willing to help Thunder out by taking Durant off their hands

    Dec 30, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Orlando Magic v Atlanta Hawks - Game Four

    Selfless. Really, that is the best word to describe Magic coach Stan Van Gundy. Reporters in Orlando were talking with Van Gundy about the alleged rift between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant when Van Gundy came up with an inspired solution, according to the Oklahoman (via Ball Don’t Lie). “I think it’s very serious, and…

  20. Friday And-1 links (and the truth about height measurements)

    Dec 30, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

    Barea of Puerto Rico and NBA team Dallas Mavericks celebrates with his teammates after their win over Mexico during their men's final basketball game at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara

    Welcome to our morning 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). Who are the guys in the NBA not nearly as tall as listed? Well, if J.J. Barea is 6’0” then I am looking down on…

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