“We got much better on paper. Paper doesn’t win games. We have work to do.”
- Golden State’s Andrew Bogut.

Well said.

“We got Pau for virtually nothing, so history does repeat itself.”
- The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on landing Dwight Howard.

Wow! Take that Andrew Bynum!

“I certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships. If you’re sacrificing time away from my family and myself for the benefit of winning championships, then winning a championship should happen every single year.”
- Kobe’s wife, Vanessa.

No pressure, Kobe.

“You shave the ice, put some juice on it and then sell it for four bucks. It’s 95 percent profit.”
- Former coach Don Nelson has become one of the premier entrepreneurs on Maui, Hawaii’s second largest island. One of his pursuits involves selling ‘shave ice’ in a shop that he just purchased.

Nothings changed then; he’s still ripping people off.

“I think long-term if you’re an Orlando Magic fan today is a day where you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Because we’ve had three stars in our time, in Orlando, we had Shaquille O’Neal who went free agency and left. We had Tracy McGrady and he forced his way out and I was the beneficiary of that. Then third you had Dwight Howard who forced his way out. You have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Because even if we get the guys are we going to be able to keep the guys?”
- ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.

That’s a fair question.

“I was more than upset. I thought he was coming (back). I was pissed. J-Kidd’s a big boy, he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of right now, I wouldn’t put J-Kidd’s number in the rafters. I like J-Kidd. He’s a good guy. But I just thought that was wrong. You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban on Jason Kidd leaving for New York.

What’s wrong with these rich pricks? Do they think they own these guys?

“None. You got it. Absolutely none. I’m out every night with my family, drunk as a skunk. Wait until you see me tonight. I’ll get in at 6 a.m. and you all are invited to come out with me. We just roll out the damn ball and that’s it. You got it. I don’t know how you figured that out.”
- Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, clearly irked when a reporter asked how much coaching he really has to do with players of that calibre.

Coach K is a cack.

“My style is definitely unique. I would say I’m a progressive and polished hipster. When it comes to suiting up, I would say I’m the perfect representation of London-meets-Milan.”
- Brooklyn’s Kris Humphries.


“Scola gives us a griminess and a crustiness that we need.”
- Phoenix GM Lance Blanks on new acquisition Luis Scola.

Yeah, he is a bit crusty.

“Some cheeses you eat don’t process at all. Research it. Some cheeses can sit out over night and become razor sharp.”
- The Lakers’ Metta World Peace on Twitter.

Nothing escapes this dude.

“Dwight should wear a Superman outfit, a cape, gold teeth, and a backpack saying “I Love the Pussycat Dolls.”
- Metta again, with some insight on how Dwight Howard will fit in LA.

An absolute nut cracker.

“The way I look at it is if that’s the case (people are mocking me), then—and no disrespect—you’d have to be an idiot. That I won some contest to be in the NBA? Or that I don’t have to fight every day? That I’m not the first guy on the floor and the first in the weight room and the last to leave? That I haven’t been waking up 5:30 my whole life to train? I’d have to think you’d are an idiot to think I’m a joke. They might, which would be disappointing. Maybe it is that. But I know why I’m here.”
- Free agent Brian Scalabrine.

We feel ya Scal, but you’ll always be the carnival act; just the way it is. Now hang em’ up.

“It’s a nice size. It’s big enough for me and probably about six or seven of my friends. We all go in there and we shoot on the goal that I got hanging up in there. We might bet for pushups or you gotta go jump in the pool when it’s ice cold outside. It’s pretty big. I take naps in there too. I got a bed that was in there. I took it out but I’m gonna put it back in….Well I mean that’s the main theme of it, my sneaker closet. But I just try to do some cool stuff, put a bed, a TV in there, things of that nature. I just like the feel of it.”
- Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson on his walk-in sneaker ‘closet’.

Sure, why not?

“Right now with the talent we have, what it says on paper is championship all day. But it’s a matter of us going out there and doing it.”
- New York’s J.R. Smith.

Is he looking at the same roster we are?

“No question, I see him as another star. That guy should dominate the league.”
- Hakeem Olajuwon, after working out with JaVale McGee this offseason.

He might need a brain transplant first.

“It’s going to be a lot more exciting and a lot more fun to know that everything’s going to be run through me……I felt like I was coming home. I’m super excited. I thought it was time for a change.”
- New Sixer Andrew Bynum.

Careful what you wish for, Andrew.

“If it happens, it happens. I’ve got to move on with my life. I know I want to play basketball. If I physically can’t play basketball, then I’ve got to move on … I’ve still got to wake up tomorrow. I’ve still got to live. One day, I’m going to want a family and I’ve got to provide for them. So if basketball doesn’t work out, you gotta keep it moving. I actually want to be a [high school or middle school] gym teacher. I feel like they have the best job ever. You think about it, they get their weekends off and they get to wear sweats every day to work.”
- Greg Oden, when asked what he will do if he can never play professional basketball again.

Sad; if not for injury he would have been dominant (defensively).

“I didn’t want to get in, because I was so scared of KG [Kevin Garnett] yelling at me if I messed up. I would sit on the sideline. I might not even get in the whole practice, because I didn’t want KG to yell at me.”
- Boston’s Avery Bradley, talking about practices in his rookie year.

Looks like it paid off.

“LeBron made it easier. He didn’t talk about it one time. That was cool. A guy that has achieved so much this past year, all he was worried about was Team USA. He never talked about it.”
- OKC’s Kevin Durant, when asked if LeBron talked some trash to him during the Olympics over the Heat’s win in the Finals.

That is pretty classy. Imagine Kobe, or MJ keepin’ their trap shut? No chance.

“I’m pretty, a hundred percent, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be in Oklahoma City. I’ll let my agent and Mr. Presti and [Thunder owner Clay] Bennett discuss all that, so I’ll let them handle that and stay out of it for right now and worry about the USA Olympics…..I love winning. We have some great guys over here, something special, something I don’t think any other team in the NBA has – young guys who got drafted basically together, year after year after year. We’ve got something special, so I’m focused on what we have and trying to win a championship with these guys.”

And this:

“I only focus on playing. I want to keep playing with the Thunder. I feel like home and the team is special. My teammates are like my family. We can do big things. We’ll see what happens.”
- OKC’s James Harden on his future.

He’s not going anywhere.

“She’s a Melo fan.”
- New York’s Carmelo Anthony, after getting a hug and some words of advice from the First Lady after a game with Team USA.

There aren’t many.

“Let’s be frank about it. When it comes to the Knicks, we’re talking about one particular point in time. We’re talking about the whole ‘Linsanity’ thing. That’s when it started. That’s when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish.”
- Melo again, attempting to pinpoint when the “Anthony is selfish” theme began last season.

Sure, blame Jeremy Lin….I can’t stand this guy.

“A lot of guys cry in this league these days. I try not to get caught up in that. The management in Orlando let him get away with it. Most times, they put kids in timeout. They never put him in timeout. He just kept crying and got his way. Now he’s in LA with Kobe so they got a chance to win a couple championships in the next two or three years. They could have traded him and got something better for him last year. I think they just tried to play along. They just pleased him anyway they could but he never did anything to please them.”
- Charles Oakley, on Dwight Howard.

He doesn’t mince words, Oak.

“It’s a typical lack of understanding from someone who has no sports knowledge, who has never coached or played, who has never been in a lockeroom….it’s a naivete. I’ll stand on the relationships with players based on the results we got. I think Alex’s comments are based on the fact that Dwight and maybe others didn’t like me…and thinking somehow that’s important. When Bob left, it really became Alex over everything. The Dwight thing was so big….in an effort, I guess, to make Dwight happy and everything else, we compromised a lot of the culture and values we had before that. It’s always a mistake when you compromise those things…everything goes South. It was no longer a team-first thing … It was inevitable things would not go as well.”
- Former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy unloads on Orlando CEO Alex Martins.

Get this guy on TV ASAP.

“I think the interesting one coming up in the future is going to be Derrick Rose. I think Derrick Rose is a great, great representative of our league, and he’s a great player. And he’s got good players around him, very good players around him, but if (the Bulls) can’t get another star there for him is he eventually going to look around and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got to work this out on my own and I’ve got to find somehow to get somewhere else so that I will have a chance to play with another star.’ The league has changed. The league has changed. It used to be the stars wanted to sort of have their own team, they certainly wanted good players around them, but now everything’s changed. I think it started with the Celtics, bringing (Kevin) Garnett, (Paul) Pierce and (Ray) Allen together and everybody saw that and decided, ‘Look, this is the only way we’re going to win.”
- More nuggets from Stan Van.

From Rose’s words and actions that would seem unlikely, but in today’s NBA I suppose you never know if these guys will flip flop. And with a rat shit offseason (I still have no idea why they didn’t pursue Dwight) Chicago certainly isn’t helping their cause.

“There’s the lucky leprechaun and he’s spinning the Larry O’Brien trophy, which we will win this year. If I looked at our team and what they accomplished last year, they’re one game away. They’re one game away from going back to the NBA Finals, and I think they win it. This year, put a little ‘Jet Fuel’ into the mix, and I think we have the team.”
- Boston’s Jason Terry.


“You’re playing chess with it. If they were to take that approach to wait and I’ve had a great season, hopefully it would spark some interest across the league for the future and the price would drive up. If I were the Warriors, I’d offer a reasonable amount and sign me up now.”
- Golden State’s Stephen Curry, advising the Warriors to pony up now for an extension or risk being ‘Lopezed’ (i.e. having to grossly overpay) in free agency next summer.

Considering his injury history, that’s a big call for the Warriors. But he’s right; some dopey GM will get wacky with a silly offer next summer if they don’t sort it out soon.

“If you want toughness, I’m the guy you’re looking for.”
- New Warrior Carl Landry at his introductory press conference. In recent years Landry has suffered a gun shot wound, and had his teeth knocked out by Dirk Nowitzki’s elbow, and he came back quickly from both of these incidents.

A great addition; the Warriors finally have a roster that fits together, one that isn’t made up of midgets, and for the first time that I can remember, is not heinously flawed. There’s finally reason for optimism in the Bay Area. (Ash, you may have jumped ship at the worst possible time. Although, who am I kidding, injuries will probably screw them again)

“Watch your money, and watch out for women.”
- New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, on the advice he received from his Olympic teammates in London.

That could be a t-shirt.

“The female species are a lot smarter than us so we have to realize maybe it’s not always that we’re the best-looking guy they’ve ever seen. Maybe there is some incentive behind it. At the same time, there are great cases where guys have happy marriages. They’ve shown us both cases. We just have to be smart (and realize) that people don’t always have our best interests in mind.”
- Phoenix rookie Kendall Marshall, on what he learnt at the NBA’s rookie transition program.

Is it predatory women or boneheaded players who are the bigger concern?

“He’s not the best, but he’s in the top five. There are a lot of great point guards in the league, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Steve Nash. There are a lot of great guards in the NBA so for him to say he’s the best is a pretty bold statement. I’d say that I am in the front end of the top 10.”
- Miami’s Mario Chalmers when asked about Rajon Rondo’s claim that he was the league’s top point guard.

It’s good to be confident but that’s delusional.

“Chris has definitely hit me up for all my hunting contacts. He wants to bag a white-tail deer and go hog hunting. So, I’m working on that.”
- Mavs’ GM Donnie Nelson on new addition Chris Kaman.


“Yes, I will rap at his concert. I am in rehearsals now 10 hours a day and plan to demand joint billing.”
- Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, on his plans to get involved in the series of sold-out concerts this fall by Jay-Z to formally open the $1 billion Barclays Center.

He’s got a sense of humour the big Russian.

“I die for Manu (Ginobili). Manu die for me.”
- Argentina’s Andres Nocioni on teammate Manu Ginobli.


“I wanted to give him a good reason to flop”.
- Nicolas Batum after his infamous punch to the groin of Juan Carlos Navarro when France met Spain in London.

That’s gold!

“On the one side, it’s terrible to get whupped like that. But on the other side, it was something impressive to be a part of – impressive to witness in person.”
- Nigeria’s Koko Archibong after their 83-point loss to the Team USA.

I like his honesty.

“You have to pick your poison and decide how you want to die.”
- Lithuanian coach Kestutis Kemzura on Team USA.


What it’s like to be the old guy on the team? “I’m where everybody wants to get to. I just happen to be still playing.”

Can you learn anything from these young guys? “No.”

You know everything? “I don’t know if I know it all, but I know more than they do.”
- Kobe Bryant answering some questions on his Team USA colleagues.

He sounds like a prick (which he sort of is) but it’s true I suppose.

“The way that we’ll put it together, Steve’s going to have an opportunity — he’s going to quarterback the team — and so he’s going to have an opportunity to come down the floor every possession and in early offense play pick-and-roll if he wants to. It’s up to him, based on where he decides to take the ball or a call that he makes or an action that he does, it’s up to him to get us into some of the looks of the Princeton offense.”
- Lakers’ coach Mike Brown on what to expect from the Lakers’ offense.

Sounds good in theory but Kobe Bryant might put the kibosh on that.

“These haters can’t hold me back!!! These haters can’t hold me back!!! These haters can’t hold me back!!! These haters can’t hold me back!!!”
- Utah’s Mo Williams on Twitter.

Clearly, the ‘haters’ are in his head.

“My man read the scouting report: Let John Wall shoot.”
- A high school student comments after watching a friend take it up to John Wall in a one-on-one game at a Reebok camp.

This young guy clearly knows his stuff (i.e. that Wall is a crappy shooter). Wall shot 7.1% from 3-point range last season. And no, that’s not a misprint.

“At the end of the day, it didn’t come down to money. It came down to the best situation for me, as a person and as a player. I wanted to go somewhere I could win and have success. I wanted to go to a situation where playing basketball would be fun and I would enjoy doing it. You can go to a team that’s not as a good so that you thrive a little bit more, even though you’re losing, but that’s not fun to me. I wanted to go to a place where I could win.”
- Ronnie Brewer on signing a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum (about $1.2 million) with the New York Knicks.

The steal of the offseason and it’s not close.

“I want to play more than what I played last year. If it’s starting, cool. If it’s coming off the bench, cool. I don’t mind. I just want to play more. I don’t want to sit on the bench no more. I just want to play more. I’m starting to get used to the NBA now. As a player, you have that certain pride about yourself. As a player, you want to finish games. You want to stay in the game.”
- Utah’s Derrick Favors.

He deserves major minutes this season, and really, they should be thinking about moving Al Jefferson to clear a path for him.

“Dr. [Brian] Cole, the Bulls doctor [who also performed the subsequent surgery], came up to me and told me it was torn. I couldn’t believe it. That’s the closest thing to death, the closest to death I’ve got to right there, where it just seemed like the wind and everything was taken out [of me].”
- Chicago’s Derrick Rose on his injury.

Dramatic, but for someone who lives and breathes basketball you can understand it.

“I was pissed at him. I was pissed at him for his reasons for leaving. But what people don’t get: I wasn’t pissed at him for leaving for Miami. I could care less he went there. And that’s a fact. With the fans, I know it was: How could he go to Miami? But once he decided he didn’t want to stay with us, he has the right to go wherever he wants…..For a week or two, I was really disappointed, pissed, because I thought it was for all the wrong reasons. It was more about himself, his team. And then I realized: Well, it should be about himself. It was free agency. I wasn’t thinking right….If Ray came back, it had to be because he was thinking, ‘We’re going to work this [stuff] out, and we’re going to win.’ And if he didn’t come back, it was because he thought he couldn’t work it out here. What they’re asking him to do in Miami, he just couldn’t do in Boston….But here’s what wasn’t going to change: The ball’s not going to be in Ray’s hands more, the ball’s going to be in Rondo’s hands. That’s not going to change. Now that you’ve voiced you should have the ball more, or you want to start, or you want more freedom in the offense, that’s not going to go away. It’s going to be the same stuff. If he comes back, it’s going to be because he’s figured it out. If he leaves, it’s going to be because he didn’t get over it. Whatever he decided, his decision was right.”
- Boston coach Doc Rivers on Ray Allen’s departure.

This seems to be a touchy subject in Beantown.

“People can use all the Rondo stuff – and it was there, no doubt about that – but it was me more than Rondo. I’m the guy who gave Rondo the ball. I’m the guy who decided that Rondo needed to be more of the leader of the team. That doesn’t mean guys liked that – and Ray did not love that – because Rondo now had the ball all the time. Think about everything [Allen] said when he left, ‘I want to be more of a part of the offense.’ Everything was back at Rondo. And I look at that, and say, ‘That’s not Rondo’s fault.’ That’s what I wanted Rondo to do, and that’s what Rondo should’ve done. Because that’s Rondo’s ability. He’s the best passer in the league. He has the best feel in the league. He’s not a great shooter, so he needs the ball in his hands to be effective. And that bothered Ray. And not starting [games] bothered Ray. I did examine it, and the conclusion I came back to was this: By doing the right things, we may have lost Ray. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve been a hypocrite. In the opening speech I make every year, I tell the team: ‘Every decision I make is going to be what’s good for the team, and it may not be what’s good for the individual.’”
- More from Doc, on why Allen left the Celtics.

This little bust up really is fascinating. But to me, it’s simple; Ray Allen should have left. The Celtics tried to trade him in 2011 and actually did trade him to Memphis at the deadline last season (for O.J. Mayo), but the Grizzlies pulled the plug at the last minute. So, the Celtics have tried to move him the last two years and now they’re expecting Ray to show loyalty? Get real. It was best for both parties to go their separate ways. It’s just a pity that only one side can recognise that.

“You know what? There’s a lot of stuff that goes on in NBA locker rooms that don’t even get talked about. I had beef with a number of players that just don’t get talked about. And the reason I say that is that it’s nothing that’s new. It’s every year. You’re around each other all the time and sometime you have disagreements. That’s just the nature of it sometimes when you got strong personalities in one locker room. You’re going to have differences. You’re around each other 24/7, bus, plane, lunch, dinner. I didn’t see nothing any different that went on with Ray and Rondo that went on with me and KG or me and Brandon Bass or stuff that has been going on over the years.”
- Boston’s Paul Pierce weighs in on the supposed Allen/Rondo feud.

Good point.


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