For the first time since perhaps the days of the Human Highlight Film, people soon might actually want to go to Atlanta and check out the Hawks. The basketball team, stuck in the longest “decent but never good enough to scare anyone” mode of any NBA team, possibly ever, is apparently going to go after Dwight Howard if he becomes available as a free agent next summer. Since Howard can’t make up his mind and new Orlando GM Rob Hennigan struggles with the idea behind the word “trade,” the chances Howard plays out the year in Disney World, the Magic have the most dysfunctional NBA season we’ve ever seen, Dwight beats up three or four different Disney characters and ends up FINALLY leaving next summer are looking stronger than ever. The Hawks selfishly hope so. They’re home to the big man, and one of their best players (Josh Smith) happens to be one of Dwight Howard’s best friends. Atlanta tried to get him last summer via trade, but HOOPSWORLD reports that the Magic weren’t quite ready to start over. Thanks to GM Danny Ferry, Atlanta now has the money to sign him outright, and even added another one of Dwight’s best friends – Anthony Morrow (ironically, he also came in the Nets deal). Could a team revolving around a frontline featuring Howard, Smith and Al Horford (they might not be able to keep him if they picked up Howard) compete for a title? If we were building a team from scratch in this day and age where everything revolves around dribble penetration and breaking down a defense, we’d probably start with the perimeter game. But athletically, those three guys together are probably more impressive than half of the teams in the NBA. They’d make Atlanta the best defensive team in the league, and a nightmare to score against … The U.S. National Team continues their quest for gold this afternoon against Australia, and even though Patty Mills and Co. are going into the game just hoping they don’t shrink-wrapped into elimination, there’s a little game within the game going on. Pau Gasol, who is tied with Mills as the leading scorer in the Olympics at 20.6 points a night, is looking to tie Oscar Schmidt, a Brazilian legend, by leading the Olympics in scoring for a third time. Mills is going to get more attention by that USA defense than Ines Sainz in a New York locker room, and if the Americans do indeed cut the head off the snake, Gasol could be on his way to the record. Some media is speculating the Americans will put Kobe on Mills, which is just an awful idea. What about Chris Paul? Or Deron Williams, for short instances? Bryant is a far cry from the menace who dominated defensively with the USA Team in the 2007 and 2008 summers. Mills would blow by him. If they really want to put the clamps on the man who runs it all for the Aussies, just throw LeBron on him and watch Mills’ game melt away … Keep reading to hear what Avery Bradley said about Ray Allen …
Rajon Rondo might not be willing to give Jesus Shuttlesworth any compliments, but his new backcourt mate, and the guy who replaced Ray Allen is. When he first arrived in New England, Avery Bradley‘s jump shot felt like a knuckleball. Before long, he was starting to hit a shot here and there, and then by the time he took over the starting gig for good in March of this year, the dude was no longer shying away from jumpers. In fact, in April, he shot 55 percent from deep. He can thank Jesus for that. Every day, Allen would help him out, give him pointers, tell him how to be more consistent. After a while, almost by osmosis, Bradley started to develop the same type of shooting habits as Allen: arriving early, leaving late, working like a maniac until everything was perfect. The biggest thing that was stressed was to always shoot the same exact shot no matter where you were on the court, which you’d think would be one of the first things a player might learn. You’d be surprised. Bradley isn’t the only one who grew up shooting set shots instead of jump shots … It doesn’t get much better than having the chance to play ball with President Obama and Michael Jordan, and according to a release from the Obama campaign, if you have $3 to spare, you’ll have your chance. Donate to Obama’s campaign and you’ll be put in a pool and have the chance to meet and shoot hoops with not only those two legends, but also Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Sheryl Swoopes, Kyrie Irving, and Alonzo Mourning … Jalen Rose, another old timer, was in the news yesterday after calling out reporters for being lazy and nicknaming the Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnasts as the “Fab Five.” We responded by putting together five of the worst NBA nicknames of all time … Rony Seikaly, the former NBA player turned bootleg Benny Benassi, recently released another hit single. It’s called “MILF.” Watching the maturation of the former NBA center as he went from being a decent player with greasy hair to a guys who spins records about hot moms in techno clubs is probably one of the most awkward transformations we’ve ever seen out of an NBA player. Seikaly and Stephen Jackson should start touring together … And a couple of new hires in the NBA: the Jazz officially announced Dennis Lindsey as their new GM … And the Blazers finally have a coach: former Atlanta and Milwaukee head coach Terry Stotts … Also, Ghostface Pryzbilla has agreed to sign on in Milwaukee, which suddenly doesn’t have enough chairs on the bench to seat all of their mediocre big men … We’re out like songs called Milf.
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