NBA General

Around the Rim: It’s Showtime!

Out for a month+

1. Lame-ar Odom
The Los Angeles Lakers are currently leading the Pacific Division by ½ game. Now that Lamar Odom is expected to miss at least a month of action, the Lakers can expect to fall a bit in the standings. Phoenix is finally getting going after a slow start and the Clippers are playing unusually bad compared to recent years. Both will try to take advantage of the Lakers misfortunes, but Kobe Bryant will have something to say about that. For some reason, I don’t think Kobe will have a problem hoisting up an extra eight to ten shots per game. But Odom was the team’s leading rebounder and assist man, that’s a role that will probably not be taken over by Bryant. The Lakers will have a difficult time continuing their winning ways without the team’s second best players as they go on the road for 15 of their next 25 games.

2. Artest’s Advice
Allen Iverson got some support from someone else who knows what it’s like to demand a trade and then have to wait for the process to unfold, Sacramento King Ron Artest. The NBA’s bad boy said that he can sympathize will Iverson during this ordeal, but he also said that A.I. should get the trade over with as soon as possible and get back onto the court. Artest sat at home for nearly a month before Indiana shipped him to Sacramento. But if Artest is hoping that Iverson will join him with the Kings, he might want to think twice. Team owners, Joe and Gavin Maloof, both said that the team was not interested in a trade for Iverson. But, then again, the two high-rollers also said Artest wouldn’t be coming to Sacramento either. The next day, Artest was posing for pictures in his new Kings jersey.

3. Golden Nuggets
Where does Golden State keep getting these guys? First it was Monta Ellis. Then it was Andris Biedrins. Now, it’s some guy named Matt Barnes. Not to say that these guys aren’t good to begin with but, Barnes has averaged 4.3 points and three rebounds per game over his past three seasons in the league. Last night, however, Barnes exploded against Sacramento for 32 points and 11 rebounds. Baron Davis is doing a great job of distributing the ball to these relative unheard-of’s, but the credit has to be given to coach Don Nelson. Nellie has always been superior at getting the most out of his talent. This year in Golden State has proven no different. Unfortunately, you can squeeze every drop of game out of this roster and they’re still going to miss the playoffs.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Matt Barnes vs. Sacramento 44 min, 32 pts (FG: 13-22, 3FG: 6-9), 11 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Los Angeles Lakers (15-6) @ Dallas (14-7) Dallas has been struggling of late after running off a 12 game winning streak. They are 2-3 since then but can find comfort in the fact that they are 8-3 at home. Los Angeles has been mediocre on the road this season where they are 3-3. This will be the first game for the Lakers without Lamar Odom and you can expect to see a show from Kobe Bryant in his absence. Don’t forget that last year Kobe scored 62 against Dallas, and he didn’t even play in the fourth quarter.

Buzzer Beater: Scott Padgett sure does know how to bum out a home crowd of 18,392. Last night with 1:16 left in the game, Padgett went to the line with two shots and his Rockets trailing the Lakers, 94-92. Padgett proceeded to brick both attempts which lead to an eventual 102-94 loss for Houston. If he plans to ever average more than 12 minutes per game, he has to produce when given the opportunity to do so. However, after that showing, he had better get comfortable on the bench. Enjoy riding the pine, Padgett.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Plentiful Points

Friendly fire

1. Subject to Change
Most statistical categories have been lead by one player for the majority of
the first month of the season. Dwight Howard leads in rebounds, Steve Nash
in assists, Emeka Okafor in blocks and Ron Artest in steals. But the NBA’s
best scorer has been a tossup to say the least. Carmelo Anthony, Allen
Iverson and Michael Redd are all averaging over 30 points per game and have
each lead the league in scoring at some point this season. Four more
players are scoring to the tune of at least 27 a night; Joe Johnson, Vince
Carter, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. There’s also a guy in LA who has been
pretty hot lately. Look for the see-sawing to continue throughout the year;
the league has too much firepower to be dominated by one player all season.

2. KO’d
Dikembe Mutombo’s elbows are notoriously brutal and have been known to put
opponents to sleep. And on Saturday, teammate Tracy McGrady found out first
hand when he took an accidental shot to the dome in the first quarter that
kept him out of the remainder of the game. McGrady lay on the ground
semi-conscious for a while before making a failed attempt to walk to the
locker room under his own power. Eventually, T-Mac was drug away like a
punch-drunk boxer by a fellow Rocket and the team’s trainer. Maybe Mutombo
should begin concentrating on a possible UFC career once his playing days
are over. With the proper training, a Mutombo elbow could become as lethal
as a Chuck Liddell right hook. And I seriously doubt that anyone could
match his reach. Watch out Tim Sylvia, Mt. Mutombo could come swinging at
you next.

3. His Name? Number Two.
Don Nelson has been waiting for his 1,200th victory his entire career, what
are a few more games. Nelson has been stuck at 1,199 since last Monday when
Golden State defeated San Antonio. Ironically, a week later, the Warriors
travel to SA for a chance to snag the milestone win, and snap a two game
losing skid in the process.

Whoa, Nellie? I don’t think so. Nelson is still going strong after an
incredible 28 years of coaching in the NBA. He is second to only Lenny
Wilkins in all-time coaching victories and, while it would take at least
three more seasons, Nelson has a reasonable chance to end his career with
the most wins in the history of the league. If that doesn’t motivate a head
coach then nothing will.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Joe Johnson @ Portland 45 min, 33 pts (FG:
14-22, 3FG: 4-8, FT: 1-1), 6 reb, 6 ast, 1 stl

Monday’s Game to Watch: Indiana (9-9) @ Los Angeles Lakers (11-5) The
Lakers are 9-2 at home on the year and are currently on a streak where they
have won seven out of nine. Kobe Bryant has been torching opponents over
the span and will look to continue his great play tonight. Indiana has lost
two in a row but the team can finally begin to rely on Jermaine O’Neal again
who is slowly returning to his All-Star form of old. If O’Neal continues to
progress, Indiana could create some noise in the East.

Buzzer Beater: The Charlotte Bobcats are the best of the worst in the
league. While the Pussycats only have five wins on the season, they hold
surprising victories over Cleveland, San Antonio, New Jersey and Detroit.
That’s pretty impressive for the second worst team in the NBA. Charlotte is
full of holes, but at least they can raise their level of play to match that
of the big boys.

Golden State Warriors

Nov 4 in Sports History: Latrell Sprewell chokes PJ Carlesimo

Damn I’d like to choke him again

In 1997: Latrell Sprewell of the Golden State Warriors was suspended for one year by the NBA for assaulting his coach, PJ Carlesimo. During a practice, Carlesimo supposedly criticized Sprewell’s passing, and after Carlesimo confronted him, Sprewell choked his head coach until he was pulled off by teammates. He later came back to practice and took a swing at Carlesimo. Not only was Sprewell suspended, but he was cut by the Warriors and his contract of four years, $32 million (that he had just signed in the offseason) was terminated. The suspension would later be reduced to 68 games (remember, he had a family to feed). Sprewell would not play a game (due to the lockout the following year) until he became a member of the New York Knicks in February of 1999. ( file/Sprewell)

In 1968: Due to a lack of offense in Major League Baseball, the Rules Committee lowered the pitcher’s mound from 15 inches to 10 inches and the strike zone was modified from shoulders-to-knees to armpits-to-knees. In the “Year of the Pitcher,” the league batting average dipped to a paltry .236, runs scored per game were just 3.4, only three players drove in more than 100 runs, Bob Gibson of the Cardinals had a 1.12 ERA, Denny McLain won 30 games for the Tigers, and Don Drysdale of Los Angeles set a record by pitching 58.2 consecutive scoreless innings. The following year–aided by expansion, as well–saw the overall batting average increase by 20 points and scoring increased by 20 percent. (, The Baseball Encyclopedia).

In 1956: Wilt Chamberlain made his college basketball debut for the University of Kansas as a sophomore (the rules at the time prohibited freshman from playing on the varsity). If you thought Greg Oden, the Ohio State phenom, was impressive in his debut on Saturday (14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists), get a load of Wilt‘s numbers. He scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds in a win over Northwestern. He would go on to average 30 points and 20 rebounds in his career at Kansas, and he led the Jayhawks to the 1957 NCAA title game. He also won the high jump at the Big Seven (the conference which precluded the Big 8 and Big 12) Track and Field Championships. No word on how far along the number of women (of the 20,000) the “Big Dipper”’s odometer was at this time. (

NBA General

Around the Rim: Gold Rush

1. He’s Back
For a team that is coming off of back-to-back 34 win seasons, the Warriors look ready to take the next step. And for any team coached by Don Nelson, that means they’re on the verge of potential playoff disappointment. Nelson is known for his fast paced style, and this group is no different as Golden State is third in the league in points per game. So far, that has netted him a 9-6 record, including upsets over Dallas, Detroit, Sacramento, Utah and San Antonio. His brand of ball will get wins, but just as it was in Dallas, Nellie won’t be able to take this group over the hump. On the bright side, Nelson has turned pine riders like Monta Ellis and Andris Biedrins into hot commodities with rising stocks. Don’t forget that Nelson was the mechanic responsible for fine tuning the German engineered Dirk Nowitzki. Just ask Avery Johnson, he knows how smooth that ride is.

2. Enough Already!
The situation in Chicago has become more unbelievable than Ben Wallace’s free throw percentage. The head butting has got to stop and frankly it’s up to the coach to step back on this one. Scott Skiles needs to ease up and let Wallace wear his headband, play his music, tape his ankles or anything else that will keep his big ‘fro motivated. Skiles is trying to flex his muscle and legitimize his authority but he’s putting his own job in jeopardy in the process. Just let Ben be Ben; that is the reason you acquired him, right? At this point, winning is the only thing that should matter for the Bulls and that will be a lot easier with a little harmony amongst the troops. If Skiles will bend a little for Wallace then the four time defensive player of the year just might fully emerge in Chi-town.

3. Locked Up in Los Angeles County
While one Mike Dunleavy is being booed with regularity in Golden State, another is being praised a little further south for his accomplishments in the City of Angels. Mike Dunleavy Sr. has been given a four year extension worth over $21 million by the Clippers. And why not lock in Dunleavy now? The historically pathetic franchise has improved every year under his reign and now gets consideration as the best team in Los Angeles. Donald Sterling appears to finally be committed to winning after being notoriously cheap over the years. If the Clippers are able to improve on their current, mediocre record then the team could see their second consecutive trip to the playoffs. Any coach capable of an amazing feat such as that deserves $21 million in their checkbook. As far as the booing of Mike Jr. goes; that will take a separate miracle.

4. Miller Time
In the midst of trade rumors swirling around him, Mike Miller went out and showed the league that he’s more than just a pretty set shot. Last night in Denver, Miller dished out a career high 14 assists to go along with 13 points and seven rebounds. The assist total is well over his career average of 2.7. While nobody is going to be confusing Miller with Steve Nash anytime soon, the total is impressive for a 6-8 small forward who has no post game from which to pass out of. If Miller is to be dealt; he hopes that this performance will catch the eye of a contending team looking for the missing piece.

Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Michael Redd @ Los Angeles Lakers 42 min, 45 pts (FG: 16-30, 3FG: 5-9, FT: 8-10), 8 reb, 5 ast, 4 stl, 1 blk

Wednesday’s Game to Watch: San Antonio (11-4) @ Utah (12-3) This is fairly simple. It’s the two best teams in the Western Conference; Utah is 7-1 at home and San Antonio is 7-1 on the road. Obviously, somebody’s impressive streak won’t hold. This is a playoff caliber game six months early.

Buzzer Beater: Forget Ben Wallace, Shane Battier has been the most influential off-season acquisition this season. He’s not putting up the huge numbers synonymous with a major player but he doesn’t have to with Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady snatching all the stats. The unselfish Battier provides a perfect compliment to the two All-Stars by setting picks, making extra passes and playing tight defense. And his presence on the court has to be respected by opponents, giving T-Mac and Yao the extra space needed to exploit their defenders.

NBA General

Around the Rim: West Coast Players

Soon to be Road Warriors

1. Home Cookin’
What ever happened to those purple jerseys the Lakers use to wear? Or the blue ones that the Warriors wore? Well, those are LA’s and Golden State’s road uniforms and they’ve been collecting dust for most of the season. With ten home games already in the books, Golden State leads the league, just ahead of Los Angeles’ nine. So far, the Lakers have taken advantage of the circumstances, going 8-1 at the Staples Center. The team opens the season with 17 home games compared to only seven on the road, with one “road” game being against the in-city rival Clippers. However, after that span, the Lakers get to rack up the frequent flyer miles with 20 of the next 28 games coming on the road. The Warriors are in a similar situation by starting the season with 16 of their first 23 in the Oracle Arena, followed by ten of the next 13 on the road. Looks like those dark colored jerseys will get some use after all.

2. Statement Game
Orlando took a three game win streak and the best record in the Eastern Conference into Salt Lake City on Monday night; they left with a victory and dealt the Jazz their first home loss in the process. It was just the third loss of the season for Utah but their second in a row. The Magic led at the end of every quarter behind the output of the young kid with veteran skills, Dwight Howard. Howard put up another double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds. The Magic are the surprise team in the East this year and already sits four games ahead of second place Atlanta in a struggling Southeast Division. And early on, it sure appears as if the Eastern Conference really has only three true Finals contenders; Orlando, Detroit and Cleveland. The health of Grant Hill will prove to be critical for the Magic organization this season, more than ever, as another ankle injury could end his career. As far as Howard goes, if he keeps up at this pace he’s going to be a rebounding champion, legitimate MVP candidate and possible conference champion before he turns 22.

3. Triple-Double
While it’s still early in the season and there are still months to go, Jason Kidd is coming awfully close to averaging a triple-double. Who knows if this could be maintained over the entire season, but in 13 games, Kidd is averaging 12.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 9.2 assists. The scoring should remain constant; the assists could easily top ten with the firepower on the Nets. The toughest obstacle for Kidd is going to be improving his rebounding average by two boards a game. His current average is a career high and that is 1.6 rebounds higher than his career average. There is no comparison should Kidd replicate the feat performed by Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 when he averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 boards and 11.4 assists. Regardless, to average any triple-double would be one of the most spectacular seasons in the history of the game, and just having the talent to even come close to such an accomplishment is amazing in itself.

4. Double-Double
While nine out of the top ten scorers in the league are guards or small forwards, don’t be fooled into thinking that the big men aren’t ballin’ this season. According to the statistics, this is the best crop of big men in, at least, six years. This year there are 11 players that average a double-double in points and rebounds. Seven of the 11 have numbers better than 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. When compared to past seasons, the increased production from the paint patrollers is undeniable. In 2005-06, six players averaged double-doubles while only three pulled down at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. 2004-05: seven 10/10; two 20/10. 2003-04: nine 10/10; five 20/10s. 2002-03: five 10/10; three 20/10s. 2001-02: six 10/10; two 20/10s. 2000-01: nine 10/10; six 20/10s. Carlos Boozer and Kevin Garnett currently lead the way with 11 double-doubles each, followed closely by Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan and Dwight Howard with ten each and Chris Bosh with nine. Am I the only one seeing double now?

5. See-Saw Battle
Thanks to a 45 point game by Allen Iverson at Miami on Monday night, the NBA now has a new scoring leader. The effort put Iverson at 31.7 points per game for the season, six-tenths of a point ahead of Denver’s Carmelo Anthony. AI has put up quite a three game streak, starting with 46 against Chicago, followed by 31 versus Cleveland and now dropping 45 on the Heat. But don’t get too comfortable with Iverson’s status, Anthony has a game tonight against Memphis and Melo has put up nine games of 30 or more in his last ten contests. It’s likely Iverson will return to second on the list by tomorrow.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Dwyane Wade vs. Philadelphia 45 min, 33 pts (FG: 10-18, 3FG: 0-1, FT: 13-14), 7 reb, 13 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Minnesota (6-7) @ Houston (9-4) Houston is shaping into one of the elite teams in the western conference thanks to a dominating season by Yao Ming. It finally seems that Tracy McGrady is content to lower his numbers in order to improve Yao’s production, and it’s paying off in the win column. The Rockets are currently 5-1 at home. Kevin Garnett has the Timberwolves’ hopes and dreams sitting squarely on his shoulders, again. Minnesota has to get more help for KG if they are going to make it to the post season. But for tonight, you can expect another box score busting at the seams for Garnett, who leads the team in every major statistical category except assists.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Chicag-Oh, No!

Seemed like a good idea

1. Wallowing Wallace
Ben Wallace is usually a hard working, no-nonsense kind of guy, but it seems like something has been bugging him since joining the Bulls. His numbers aren’t career lows but they are down across the board from what he averaged during his time in Detroit. He is averaging lows in minutes (33.9), points (5.5), rebounds, (9.2) and blocks (1.5). Wallace is currently tied for 17th in the league in rebounding, sandwiched right between Andris Biedrins of Golden State and Chris Wilcox of Seattle. Not the usually company that Wallace keeps. And in 13 games, Wallace has posted three games of only five rebounds, one of seven and one of eight. Oh, and he had the worst night of his career as a starter in Philadelphia on Friday when he failed to record a single point, rebound, block or steal in only 20 minutes of play. Throw in a 4-9 record that includes a recent six game losing streak and the benching of Wallace by coach Scott Skiles for refusing to remove his headband during Saturday’s win over the Knicks, and Chicago might be starting to regret their $60 million off-season decision.

2. Suns Rise
It took the Suns nearly a month, but for the first time this season Phoenix has a winning record after they went to Portland and defeated the Blazers 119-101. With the win, Phoenix moves to 7-6 on the season and the team has now won six out of seven, including their current four game winning streak. The team chemistry is finally developing now that Amare Stoudemire is close to 100 percent and beginning to return to his All-Star form. The byproduct is that the team is able to pull out the close games they were losing earlier this season, in fact all but two of the Suns games this year have been decided by ten points or less. Having a winning record is a long awaited accomplishment for the team, but they are still sitting at fourth in a very tight Pacific division. Phoenix is off until Wednesday when they begin a three game home stand against the Rockets. However, after that the team will head to the east coast for a grueling road trip consisting of five games in seven days.

3. Coach Cassell
Sam Cassell has expressed great interest in becoming a head coach once his playing days are over and he could only hope to replicate his career as a player. The alien-faced point guard has been a winner everywhere he’s played; he won championships in Houston, took Milwaukee to the Eastern Conference Finals, took Minnesota to the Western Conference Finals and has been instrumental in turning around a once floundering Clippers franchise. The 37 year old veteran signed a two-year, $13 million contract with the Clippers this past summer and says his playing future is uncertain after that. It’s obvious that Cassell knows the game, and his experience would prove valuable to any team. He’s basically a coach on the floor right now and he has absolutely no problem getting into the face of any teammate that isn’t pulling their weight. Cassell possesses all of the tools needed to become a great leader on the sidelines. If it’s any indication, point guards have faired pretty well as head coaches. Current PG’s turned HC’s, Isiah Thomas, Doc Rivers, Avery Johnson, Scott Skiles and Maurice Cheeks have all taken teams to the playoffs at some point in their coaching careers, unfortunately they have a combined record of 45-63 in the post season.

4. Who He?
There have been several players to emerge from nowhere for their teams this season but none more so than Monta Ellis and Kevin Martin. Ellis was drafter 40th overall by the Warriors and only played in 49 games during his rookie year, starting three. In his sophomore campaign, he is averaging 17.6 points, 3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He also posted back-to-back 31 point games earlier in the month. Division opponent Sacramento has their own relatively unheard of guard. Martin began to make his presence felt in the league last season when he averaged 10.8 points and had an impressive run in the first round of the playoffs against San Antonio. This year, Martin leads the Kings in scoring at 24.9 points per game. That’s good enough for 14th in the league, ahead of names like Kobe Bryant (23.8), Tim Duncan (22.8), Kevin Garnett (21.5), Tracy McGrady (19.2) and Jermaine O’Neal (18.2). Not too shabby for a kid that averaged 6.9 points over his first two seasons.

Sunday’s Player of the Day: Raja Bell @ Portland 41 min, 30 pts (FG: 10-19, 3FG: 7-12, FT: 3-3), 2 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl

Monday’s Game to Watch: Orlando (10-4) @ Utah (12-2) It’s a clash between the conferences two best teams. Orlando is only 3-3 on the road but is currently riding a three game winning streak behind the defensive prowess of Dwight Howard and the back court production of Grant Hill and Jameer Nelson. Utah is a perfect 7-0 at home and will be looking to bounce back from a road loss to Golden State. It’s going to be a battle of young studs when double-double machines Howard and Carlos Boozer match up in the paint.

NBA General

Around the Rim: Drama in Dallas

I got your money Nellie!

[Editor’s Note: Around the Rim is a new daily NBA blog written by Clay Whittington.]

1. Cuban Millions Crisis
On Monday, Don Nelson returned to Dallas as coach of a different team, but he still had the same old relationship with his former boss Mark Cuban. And that is, none at all. The two no longer speak to one another and according to Nelson, Cuban still owes him $6.6 million. Apparently, the relationship turned sour after a bitter negotiation over Nelson’s last contract, prompting the two to cease any personal association with one another. Nelson was named as a consultant but once personnel moves were being made without Nelson’s involvement, he decided it was time to leave. Cuban has been quiet about the situation, “I have nothing to say at all. He coaches the bad guys now.” Has Cuban turned over a new leaf? Are we seeing a more reserved, more mature Mark Cuban? Unlikely.

2. Cuban Conspiracy Theory
Cuban raised eyebrows on opening night when he decided not to unveil the team’s western conference championship banner against rivals San Antonio. Cuban played the move off as a gesture to the fans, allowing them to enjoy both an opening night and a championship celebration. Now, with the emergence of Nelson in Golden State, the picture is becoming clearer. Cuban, who is known for his brash behavior, simply passed up an opportunity to rub his success in the faces of the Spurs for an opportunity to rub his success in the face of his former coach. The ceremony was to serve as a reminder to Nelson of the achievement gained upon his departure. With David Stern cracking down on “whining” in the league, these types of nonverbal gestures could prove to be more advantageous for the calculating business guru. Cuban will always get the last word in whether it’s spoken or not. Don’t mistake a quiet Cuban for a changed Cuban.

3. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
It’s only the first week of the season but Allen Iverson is already having a great season. With 34.0 points a game, he is leading the NBA in scoring, but the points aren’t surprising. What is, however, is the accuracy with which he gets them. A career 42 percent shooter, he’s currently shooting 49 percent from the field and an eye-popping 55 percent from behind the three point line. And don’t try to call him selfish anymore. His assists are up to 9.7 per game, another career high. The injury prone Iverson continues to put his body on the line for his team, leading the NBA in minutes per game and free throws attempted. On the flip side, one of Iverson’s signatures has always been his turnovers and this year is no different as he dubiously leads the league in that category as well with 5.33 per game. Will any of these numbers hold over a full season? Time will tell, but with A.I. in MVP form and his team jumping out to a 3-0 start for the first time in six seasons things are definitely looking brighter for Philly fans.

4. Second Home Coming
The New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets will have their second home opener of the season tonight. The team brings a 3-0 record to their home away from home as they play Golden State in Oklahoma City. Chris Paul led the team to a victory over Houston in New Orleans on Sunday. David Stern emphasized over the weekend that the Hornets will return to The Big Easy full-time next season. Over the past two seasons, Oklahoma City has proven to be hungry for professional sports and their commitment to the Hornets franchise has created an opportunity for the NBA to set up shop in the Heartland. Coincidentally, the Seattle Sonics were recently purchased by an Oklahoma City-based ownership group; an acquisition that has Sonic fans sleepless in Seattle.

Monday’s Player of the Day: Zach Randolph @ LA Clippers 38 min, 35 pts (FG: 11-17, FT: 13-15), 13 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk

Tuesday’s Game to Watch: Minnesota (2-2) @ LA Lakers (3-1) The Lakers are perfect at home on the year as former MVP, Kevin Garnett, comes to town. Kobe Bryant has been quiet in the two games he has played this season, taking only 25 shots total, but he will look to explode against the T-Wolves after losing in Seattle. Lamar Odom has been sporadic since Bryant’s return and appeared more comfortable as the lead role in the opening game that Bryant missed.

Golden State Warriors

Odds and Ends: Chris Mullin is also living in the past

Not to be outdone by their Bay Area neighbors the Raiders, the Warriors today announced that Mike Montgomery will leave the team and Don Nelson will take over sometime this week. The last time the Warriors made the playoffs (1994), Don Nelson was their coach. Maybe Chris Mullin is going to suit back up.

In other news…

[The Jets Blog]: Mangini Announces Pennington as the Starter

[Bfloblog]: JP Losman named Bills starter

[Out Route]: Joe Horn is a great guy

[MSNBC]: Authorities confirm Pavano car crash

[Press Telegram]: Matt Leinart has impregnated someone

[Cincinnati Enquirer]: Carson Palmer just shot up 100 spots on the fantasy draft board