Ball Don't Lie - NBA

Each weekday morning, BDL serves up a handful of NBA-related stories to digest with your Asian brined pork loin with gingered yams and five spice apples.

Frank Isola, New York Daily News: "LeBron James, the most famous Yankees fan living in Ohio, says he will not be attending Friday's victory parade in lower Manhattan. 'No, my parade starts at eight at night,' LeBron told Cleveland reporters, referring to Friday's game with the Knicks. James makes his one and only visit to New York on Friday (of course, his official visit is July 1st when he is scheduled to become a free agent.) 'I've thought about playing everywhere,' James said prior to Thursday's game with Chicago. 'At one point in my life, I've thought about playing every team in the NBA.' James did admit that the league would be better off if the Knicks were a contending team. [...] 'I think the league is doing just fine, but with the Knicks being good, the Celtics being good, the Lakers being good, it makes the league that much better. I'm talking as a fan now, please understand.'"

Ailene Voisin, Sac Bee: "Kevin Martin leaned against the wall in the Kings' practice facility Thursday afternoon, still very much in shock, his damaged left wrist dangling at his side. Hours earlier, an MRI revealed that the league's third-leading scorer — and the Kings' best player — sustained a hairline fracture Monday night in a collision with the Memphis Grizzlies' Allen Iverson(notes). Martin was presented with three options, all of them terrible: He can wear a soft cast and attempt to play, risking further injury and possibly a complete break. He can undergo surgery and have a screw inserted to stabilize the bone, with recovery projected at six to eight weeks. Or he can have the arm casted and hope that the wrist heals itself during a comparable six- to eight-week rehabilitation period."

Kevin Ding, OC Register: "[Ron] Artest said his former Rockets teammates were 'definitely trying to get me ejected' by throwing elbows at him, and he acknowledged he might've indulged the notion if not for a little NBA commissioner/angel appearing on his shoulder. A jolt from Ariza just minutes into the game — after Artest said Luis Scola(notes) already threw one — nearly sent Artest, suspended 72 games by Stern in 2004, back into arrest. 'I wanted to (choke Ariza) because he hit me with the elbow,' Artest said. 'But then I thought about David Stern, and I thought I wasn't going to do this. I got hit with three or four elbows. It's just not fair. I don't want to fight.' Did I clearly articulate that Artest did think about it, though? Let me clarify: He mentioned that he thought in the moment how certain he was that he was stronger than Ariza and contemplated his interest in making someone his 'punching bag.' Yet with Kobe Bryant(notes) interceding and shepherding Artest away, the match didn't light - and Artest was able to joke (I think he was joking) about it all."

Jeff McDonald, S.A. Express-News: "If the new, more collapsible rims introduced before the start of the season are really creating more so-called 'shooter's rolls,' the Spurs haven't noticed. Quietly, the NBA switched manufacturers to bring about the most significant change in that piece of equipment since the advent of breakaway rims in 1981. The new basket system, made by Spalding and called the 'Arena Pro 180 Goal,' collapse from both the front and sides. In the past, breakaway rims have collapsed only from the front. Some shooters report the change has made the rims more forgiving for shooters, deadening shots that used to bounce out. And scoring is up early across the league. Asked about the change before Thursday's game at Utah, coach Gregg Popovich has he hadn't heard anything about it. Neither had many of his players. 'I didn't know,' Roger Mason(notes) Jr. said. 'I really have noticed anything different.'"

Michael Wallace, Miami Herald: "Might I suggest three words to those who have clearly drawn lines and are firmly on one side or the other in this Michael Beasley(notes)/Udonis Haslem debate. Pipe down. Please. Don't get me wrong. Passion this time of year, just two weeks into the NBA season? Perfect. But outright rage in some corners after just five games? Ridiculous. Here the Heat sits, off to a solid 4-1 start entering Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets. And here many in Heat nation stand, picking apart who sits in crunch time at the end of games. While coach Erik Spoelstra's rotation decisions cost him in Tuesday's loss to Phoenix, there was no price to be paid Wednesday in Washington."

Chris Dempsey, Denver Post: "Everyone who watched Ty Lawson(notes) blow by defenders, sprint the ball upcourt and hit 3-pointers that New Jersey's defense conceded in order to keep him out of the lane came away impressed. And a scene that is sure to be repeated this season followed the Nuggets' Wednesday night blowout victory. Denver coach George Karl was peppered with questions about his rookie point guard from a media contingent that seemed shocked at what it witnessed. Odd, because Lawson led North Carolina to the NCAA title a year ago. But Lawson figures to turn heads all season long in his NBA debut, including that of his coach, who detests the reputation he has for not playing rookies, although three weeks ago he defended his right not to play Lawson. 'Just remember, there's not a lot of rookies that have helped teams win 55-60 games,' Karl said then. 'Our job is probably to win 55-60 games this year. There's a difference between being good and being a player that produces winning. There are players that are good but don't know how to win in the NBA, and rookies are usually a lot of those guys.'"

Marc Stein, ESPN: "It's been about a week since we had any certifiable chatter to pass along on the Stephen Jackson(notes) trade front. That's not because the Warriors have slowed the search for trade partners — to the contrary — but because the most interested parties (Cleveland and Denver) are generally high-payroll teams that can't easily absorb Jackson's long-term contract. The Cavs and the Nuggets, furthermore, just aren't teeming with tradeable (and available) assets to hook Golden State. What we can confirm, though, is that Charlotte has to be mentioned more prominently on the list of interested suitors. We've briefly noted the Bobcats' interest in a couple of previous entries, but further checking reveals that the Bobs have seriously explored the prospect of trading for Jackson, apparently undaunted by the fact that they weren't mentioned when Jackson announced late in the summer that he wanted to be dealt to Cleveland, New York or one of the three Texas teams."

John Canzano, The Oregonian: "Blazers front office executives talk positively about their mandatory team-building experience. And maybe they're slapping backs and working more efficiently because they went on desert hikes, climbed walls and sat around afterward talking about what it was like to overcome obstacles together. There's real value in bringing people together. We all know that. And the Blazers understand that better than most professional sports organizations that haven't navigated the field of broken glass that lies behind this franchise. Sure, fans are concerned about the 2-3 start. The Spurs are next. And we're coming to the realization that the expectations for the team weren't out of whack, but the circumstances certainly were. If Miller and Roy are still struggling to play together in December, you can start talking trade of the new guy. And if McMillan continues to dabble in a way that prevents the Blazers from finding comfort, we can begin the dialogue about whether he's the right coach to lead the team into the future. But all that talk today is insanely premature. It makes you want to climb a pole and jump off it."

Jeff Rabjohns, The Indianapolis Star: "Ten years after Conseco Fieldhouse opened its doors, this shrine to Indiana basketball — part museum, part arena — remains one of the most revered basketball venues in the nation and has altered the idea of what an NBA arena should be. The retro-styled home of the Indiana Pacers — a modern venue soaked in history — has influenced other teams to rethink nondescript multipurpose buildings and embrace designs tied to basketball's past. Charlotte, Dallas, Memphis and San Antonio are among franchises that modeled specific elements of their new arenas after what they saw at Conseco. New Jersey, which has a new arena in the works, also is aiming in that direction."

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