NBA General

Around the Rim: Ill Will in Indiana

1. Reaction Jackson
Stephen Jackson just can’t get any positive publicity these days. His latest incident involves a heated exchange with Indiana coach Rick Carlisle. Jackson became upset and said something to Carlisle when he was benched early in the second quarter of a blowout loss to the Cavaliers on Saturday. Whatever he said was enough for Carlisle to send him to the locker room for the rest of the game and then suspend him for last nights game. The outburst is just his latest accompaniment to go along with weekly parades through the courthouse and before the judge. “I don’t want people to lump this with other things that have happened,” Jackson said. Sorry, Stephen, it’s hard to lump it into your nonexistent pile of good deeds and behaviors.

2. A.I. to 90210
Since the news of Allen Iverson’s demand for a trade became public, a virtual tidal wave of trade rumors has swept over the NBA. Boston, Minnesota, Golden State, Orlando, Denver, Cleveland, Seattle; the list goes on and on. But one of the more interesting trades resides in the City of Angels, and it doesn’t involve the Clippers. Phil Jackson left the door open to a possible trade for Iverson when he said, “I wouldn’t just say outright we have no interest.” While the scenario is unlikely, the possibility is quite incredible. Two of the greatest scorers in the history of the game together in one of the leagues most storied franchises. Western Conference perimeter defenders are cringing at the thought of A.I. joining Kobe Bryant in the purple and gold and the offensive outbursts that would ensue. The two currently average 57.6 points between them; in comparison, Charlotte only scores 90.5 points per game as a team.

3. Gray Matter
ESPN reporter Jim Gray was one of the first to break the story about the Philadelphia/A.I. split, but he might not have gotten the news from Iverson. Gray went public with the story on Friday after talking with Iverson, or at least someone he thought was Iverson. Turns out that Gray had been talking with an imposter, or did he? Follow me here. On Friday, Gray reported that Iverson said his first choice was Minnesota and the deal was in the works. Later on, Gray received a phone call from Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, who told Gray that he had spoken with an A.I. imposter causing Gray to publicly withdraw his comments. Could it be that Rose created the story about a fake A.I. in order to keep Gray quiet about the deal, and that Gray actually did speak with Iverson? It all depends on who you talk to.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Vince Carter vs. Memphis 40 min, 37 pts (FG: 14-30, 3FG: 9-20), 8 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (14-6) @ Houston (14-6) Tracy McGrady will miss the game tonight, but two MVP candidates aren’t too bad. Yao Ming will have to step up without T-Mac if he is going to keep the Rockets’ impressive home record of 8-1 intact. The Lakers have only played five games on the road this season, going 2-3, but Kobe Bryant has been averaging 29.3 points per game during the team’s last three road games.

Buzzer Beater: He’s often left off the list when people ask who the best coaches in the NBA are. He’s often forgotten about amongst the other veteran coaches like Pat Riley, Don Nelson and Phil Jackson. But last night, Jerry Sloan finally got some recognition for his 22 years of coaching when he picked up win number 1,000. Sloan is one of the finest coaches in the history of the game and until 2004; he had lead the Jazz to playoffs for 15 consecutive years. Who knows, if it wasn’t for Michael Jordan, Sloan might have a couple of championship rings on his fingers.

By Vin

Vin is a Philly boy who shouldn't be invited into your house because he'll judge you on your book and music collection. He owns Dawkins, Utley, Iverson, and Lindros jerseys, which is all you really need to know about him. He can be reached at [email protected].

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