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: ESPN.com. The NBA's decision to fine Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes $25,000 for using inappropriate language, most notably the N-word, on Twitter after being ejected from Wednesday's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder indicates the thorny position in which the league finds itself, according to J.A. Adande: "[...] the league is trying to tiptoe into someone else's civil war."
PF: Pardon the Interruption and Inside the NBA. Michael Wilbon and Charles Barkley share their thoughts on Barnes' tweet and its aftermath, striking one similar note: discomfort as black men with white people attempting to frame or dictate whether and how black people can use the N-word.
SF: ESPN Los Angeles. Despite his apologies to the Clippers organization and Clipper fans for his actions and subsequent social-media outburst, Barnes is not apologetic about using the N-word generally speaking, and says he will continue to use it: "The word I used is a word that's used on the court, used in the locker room, used amongst my friends and family; it's a regular word to me. I think my mistake was using it in a social manner, which I regret and I apologize for it. But you guys have to get used to it."
SG: Blog a Bull. Fresh off a tantalizing week of college basketball in the Windy City, Zach Lee considers an enticing asset owned by the Chicago Bulls thanks to the 2010 trade that jettisoned Tyrus Thomas: "Would it benefit the Bulls more to collect this year's top 10-protected Charlotte pick than it would to wait for the promised land of an unprotected 2016?"
PG: Suns.com. Brooklyn Nets head coach and former All-Star point guard Jason Kidd has some very high praise for the Phoenix Suns' lead-guard pairing of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic: "They might be better than me and [Kevin Johnson]."
6th: The Score. Mark Deeks explains how the New York Knicks' decision to give noted brother-tattoo-haver Chris Smith a guaranteed contract — a deal widely believed to have been done as a favor to big bro J.R. Smith — is evidence of a brand of nepotism both more common and most costly than you might think.
7th: The Triangle. Jason "@netw3rk" Concepcion revisits Jeremy Lin's departure from New York amid the roiling emotions evoked by his Madison Square Garden return in the Houston Rockets' Thursday night win, and comes to the conclusion that the messy, painful breakup of two summers ago was ultimately the best thing for all parties.
8th: Inside SoCal. Mark Medina sits down with freelance photographer Lori Shepler, the shutterbug behind "Gasol: Life/Vida," a photography book offering an inside look at Pau Gasol's life with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Spanish national basketball team, about what it's like to spend 5 1/2 years documenting the experience of one of the basketball world's most singular personalities.
9th: MinnPost. Britt Robson takes stock of the Minnesota Timberwolves' strong start to the season, attempting to identify which elements contributing to their 6-3 opening are most likely to persevere throughout the 82-game slate and which ones figure to fall off.
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