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.
PF: Miami Herald. A couple of days old, but I really enjoyed this Dan Le Batard column about, among other things, the weird misogyny that often seems to undergird criticism of LeBron James: "Female dog. Female body part. No balls. Little girl. Menstrual cramps. Made you wonder who those angry Twitter users hated more — LeBron or women."
SF: Grantland. A great read from Jonathan Abrams on how the paths of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis coincided in Seattle, diverged as the Sonics circled the drain before new ownership's Oklahoma City sell-out, and came back together in Miami.
SG: The Triangle. I like the stuff the other guys wrote, too, but Shea Serrano's texts with Gregg Popovich are my favorite.
PG: The Los Angeles Times. A great tick-tock story by James Rainey on how the bidding for the Los Angeles Clippers unfolded, ending with former Microsoft Steve Ballmer bidding an NBA-record $2 billion for the franchise.
6th: ProBasketballTalk. Dan Feldman on one of the more difficult parts of parsing reports that the Cleveland Cavaliers will offer All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving a maximum contract extension this summer — namely, that not all max deals are created equal.
7th: Talking Points. Tim Kawakami's No-Defense Team is an annual treat, and the 2013-14 model prominently features the aforementioned Mr. Irving, among other luminous sieves.
8th: Cowbell Kingdom. With top prospects Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker skipping the 2014 pre-draft combine and reports circulating that some agents are refusing to have their players work out for certain lottery teams, James Ham makes a somewhat immodest proposal — combine participation, among other things, should be mandatory: "The league mandates a rookie symposium, but they can’t mandate an entrance exam to get into the league?"
9th: ESPN.com. Dean Oliver on the things that Phil Jackson needs to understand about the difference between his new job and his old one.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Kawhi Leonard
- LeBron James
- Dan Le Batard