Houston Thinks They Have An All-Star; Durant Is Taking Over

By: 08.28.12

While some NFL fan bases are already throwing in the towel after a few preseason games — hello, New York Jets — August is still a time for optimism in the NBA. Right now you can look at just about every NBA roster and see something to like, and with more than half of the league making the playoffs, last year’s worst team can start to look like this year’s postseason surprise … Which brings us to the Houston Rockets. After swinging and missing in aggressive trade pitches Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol over the past year, the Rockets have put together a collection of talent that could sneak up on the Western Conference. Maybe. General manager Daryl Morey says he’s aiming to have an All-Star or two on Houston’s roster this year, and he’s not talking about an established All-Star he’s going to land in an upcoming deal we don’t know about. Morey specifcially mentioned Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik as potential All-Stars. Well, now that Dwight Howard is in L.A. and the Spurs finally admitted Tim Duncan is a center, Asik is gonna have a tough road ahead of him even if he puts up great numbers. As for Lin, he has a chance to be voted in as an All-Star starter. But with Yao Ming, at least most of the time it was deserved. What kind of numbers would Lin have to put up for you to be OK with him getting an All-Star nod over, say, Russell Westbrook or Chris Paul or Tony Parker? … If we had to bet on anybody making the All-Star roster for the Rockets this season, we’d actually pick Kevin Martin. His name has been thrown around so many trade scenarios lately that you’d think the Rockets don’t value him, but the guy is a natural-born scorer. That is if he doesn’t lose a lot of playing time to rookie Jeremy Lamb … You know it’s glacially slow in the NBA when Anthony Tolliver and Josh Harrellson are among the top newsmakers of the day. Does anybody not related to them really care which team lands them in free agency? Maybe if you’re in like a 35-team fantasy league it matters, or if you’re their landlord you wanna know if rent is gonna be paid. Anyway, Harrellson is still visiting with teams but his name keeps getting tied to Miami, and Tolliver is rumored to be on the Hawks’ radar … Hit the jump to read about Kevin Durant’s ambition. …

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Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (photo. Dorothy Hong)

The Lakers are finally planning to unveil a statue of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar outside Staples Center. So since it’s a 120 percent certainty that Statue Kareem will be taking a sky hook, our question is this: Will they go with completely-bald Kareem, or ‘fro-and-mutton-chop Kareem? … In case you didn’t know why we think so many athletes secretly hate fans, here’s another example: Kobe Bryant recently had to settle a lawsuit brought by a Memphis Grizzlies fan who claimed Kobe assaulted him when Kobe went into the crowd after a loose ball during a 2005 game. The fan in question actually died three years after the incident (not as a result from anything to do with Kobe), but his family was still pursuing the case until now. It’s like getting mad because you got wet when you went outside in the rain. If you sit courtside at an NBA game, you might have a 6-6, 200-pound man land in your lap. That’s the price of not opting for the cheap seats … The Kevin Durant world takeover is in full swing: First basketball, then Hollywood, now music. On the heels of his movie Thunderstruck being released, Durant talked to Washington Post writer Michael Lee about putting out a CD of his own music. “I have some resources and some nice people that’s going to help me out,” KD said. Isn’t it crazy how much things have evolved from the early-90s when Shaq was doing this? Back then it was a huge deal that a BASKETBALL PLAYER was doing MOVIES and MUSIC! Now it’s pretty much part of your rookie contract to do one or the other. One more way that Shaq, in his own underrated style, changed the culture of basketball … It’s gone around the news cycle that Dirk Nowitzki said on Twitter that he’s playing at least two more seasons, and that he won’t jump to a “super team” to win a chip on his way out. Well, Dirk only said, “I bleed blue.” So go ahead and start the rumors: Dirk to the Knicks in 2015 … We’re out like Patrick Sparks …

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