Bill Russell (left) at the March on Washington in 1963. (Photo via Wikipedia)
A look around the league and the Web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out.
C: The Basketball Jones. After Wednesday's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the March on Washington, Justin Tinsley looks back at how Bill Russell experienced the moment, "just feet away from Martin," and the role the Boston Celtics legend played in the civil rights movement.
SF: For the Win. Sean Highkin put an inordinate amount of work into helping you determine which jerseys you should and should not buy for every NBA team, so the least you could do is read the section on your favorite team to see if you disagree with him.
SG: Fear the Sword. Conrad Kaczmarek digs into why he chooses to feel optimism about the Cleveland Cavaliers despite all the reasons not to, in a post that gets at the difference between being a team blogger and being an objective journalist. It's a neat read.
PG: Bloomberg Sports Stats Insights. I'm not sure it gets at everything a player contributes, but the newly minted "Offensive Total Burden Ratings" stat does offer an interesting way to look at which players do the heaviest lifting for their teams' offenses. (Thanks, Jared Dubin.)
6th: ESPN Los Angeles. D.J. Foster looks at what he terms the "best-case scenario" for Pau Gasol this season and the changing reality of the Los Angeles Lakers: "Now a little older, and with a little more scoring responsibility, the goal for the Lakers accompanying frontcourt players should be to complement Gasol, and not the other way around."
7th: GQ. A couple of days late on this, but I enjoyed friend Bethlehem Shoals' exploration of the ends, or apparent ends, for Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Lamar Odom. (Well, "enjoyed" might not be the right word, especially with respect to the section on Odom; the point is, this is good reading.)
8th: Green Street. When healthy, Avery Bradley has shown he can be one of the league's best backcourt defenders and, at times, a solid complementary offensive contributor. "When healthy," though, is the key, and as he enters his first season without the likes of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett at the helm of the Boston Celtics, the question is: What would a full season of Bradley look like, and how much of an impact could he have for Brad Stevens' team? (CelticsBlog has more on what figures to be a big year for Bradley's NBA development.)
9th: Posting and Toasting. Dylan Murphy takes a look at how the New York Knicks might look to deploy offseason acquisition Andrea Bargnani, focusing on how the former Toronto Raptors big man and No. 1 overall pick might function in a role similar to that played by Steve Novak over the past two seasons.
10th: Oakley & Allen. Dana Barros pops for 50 points in 1995, as soundtracked by Dana Barros rapping. Now how's that for a slice of fried gold?
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