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: HoopSpeak. “I’m pretty good at understanding what’s not good, so I’m not going to [do] it." Leave it to Andrei Kirilenko to offer just about the best description possible of what makes him such a unique all-around marvel on the basketball court. Steve McPherson's drops that great line, plus many more jewels, in a very fun and enlightening feature on the Minnesota Timberwolves forward, back in the NBA after a year away and acting as one of the few constants for a team that's been beset by injuries and volatility this season.
PF: The Diss. On the occasion of another Martin Luther King Jr. Day chock full of NBA basketball — an "informal Diet Christmas," as he calls it — Jacob Greenberg considers the decision to start off the day with a spotlight game in Memphis, the site of Dr. King's assassination, and what he views as an incomplete depiction of who Dr. King really was and what he really promoted at the time of his death. An interesting, thought-provoking read that also gives me the opportunity to share one of my favorite videos — Ill Doctrine maven Jay Smooth's 2008 reminder of 10 other things Dr. King said.
SF: SB Nation. Amid news that the sale of the Sacramento Kings to the a Seattle-based ownership group intent on moving the team to Washington to bring back the Sonics is all but a done deal, Tom Ziller tells the Maloof family exactly how he, and likely most other Kings fans, feel about their actions in this ongoing debacle. This isn't mere spleen venting — it's what happens when research, experience and talent meet justifiable anger. As I've said before, I'm glad Tom wrote it; I'm just sad that we've got occasion to read it.
SG: Grantland. Another year, another round of Josh Smith trade rumors. In the final year of his contract, with relations between Smith and the Atlanta Hawks always tenuous and possibly getting even shakier, Zach Lowe breaks down what would have to happen for Smoove to be traded, which teams would have the best shot at adding the near-All-Star big man, and the likelihood of any such deals actually taking place.
PG: Washington Post. A closer look at the Monumental Network, the about-to-launch website and digital content provider undertaken by Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, which Leonsis calls "a precursor to a much bigger media play for us" — eventually, he wants his own regional sports network. If he gets it, what might that kind of cash infusion eventually mean for the Wiz?
6th: Dime. The movement to get San Antonio Spurs sharpshooter Matt Bonner into the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout at All-Star Weekend in Houston next month has some very rad indie-rock-related supporters — The Arcade Fire, The War on Drugs and more. (Not that it's news that Bonner has cool music industry friends.)
7th: HoopChalk. The Miami Heat routinely carved up the Los Angeles Lakers' pick-and-roll defense during their big win last Thursday night — how did they pull that off? Jared Dubin breaks down the Lakers' strategy and execution, with a special focus on the role played by center Dwight Howard.
8th: The National Post. Bruce Arthur on Steve Nash and the Lakers, both of whom are running out of time. Read.
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