Lots of craziness ensuing around the NBA yesterday, and coming from various corners of the globe. Chris Paul is suddenly the name in everybody’s mouth right now, as he not only wants a trade out of New Orleans, he was apparently kind enough to pull a Chris Bosh and give the Hornets a list of teams they should call first. At last check it was the Magic, Mavericks, Blazers and Knicks, and maybe the Lakers are in there, too. The Hornets have scheduled a face-to-face with CP for Monday, but he might just have a longer list by then … So does this change your opinion of Chris Paul at all? He’s far from the first athlete to request/demand a trade, but he’s one of the few advertised “nice guys” we’ve seen do it in a while. And even Mr. Rogers would be frustrated if he was trying to win and all his team had done was re-sign Aaron Gray … It’s crazy that C.J. Watson is making almost twice as much as Matt Barnes. Granted, they’re both backups now, but Barnes’ deal with the Lakers (2 years, $3.6 million) looks paltry compared to Watson’s 2-year, $6.5 million deal with Chicago. Question: At 30 years old, is Barnes a guy who should be admired for taking less money to play for a winner, or is he just a ring-chaser? And what exactly is the difference? … Meanwhile, Kobe has to be loving this. He’s got Ron Artest and Barnes on his side now; if L.A. picks up Shane Battier next summer, Kobe won’t have to worry about hardly anybody guarding him tough … How do you say “The Answer” in Slovenian? Beno Udrih quit Slovenia’s national squad a month before the World Championship when he found out he wasn’t in the starting lineup. Between Beno and the Dragic/Vujacic beef, there really should be a reality TV camera crew following this team around … And then there’s David Kahn. Minnesota’s GM is building a pretty solid “Teflon Don” resume, and yesterday added to the pile when asked about Michael Beasley. Kahn called Beasley, “a very young, immature kid who smoked too much marijuana (but) has told me that he’s not smoking anymore.” Wow. On one hand, Beasley should be glad Kahn trusts him, but on the other hand, talk about putting somebody’s business out in the street … (Just for argument’s sake, when your buddy who smokes “too much” weed swears he’s done, do you EVER believe him? And would you be more or less likely to believe him if he made millions of dollars and was moving to Minnesota?) … THIS is going to be dope. ‘Nuff said … Did you catch the episode of “Pros vs. Joes” last night? It was three current NFL players versus three former NBA players in an all-basketball challenge: Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith and Rick Fox (whom host Michael Strahan called, “The prettiest Pro we’ve ever had”) versus Donovan McNabb, T.O. and Antonio Gates. Now because the NBA dudes are old and the NFL guys all played college basketball, it was a pretty even matchup … One-on-one, none of the football players could stop Hakeem — who could probably walk into Miami Heat camp and win the starting center job — but Dream couldn’t really stay in front of anybody defensively, either. The 3-on-3 game went into overtime, where the NFL guys won thanks to hitting their threes and being in better shape. Hakeem and Kenny seemed legitimately angry (or at least annoyed) at the loss. Fox seemed happy just to get another hour on TV … We’re out like Beno …
Kobe brings another enemy to L.A.; Chris Paul is making enemies in N.O.
What Unites Us
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