Didn’t we kinda sorta predict this? Stephen Jackson hasn’t been practicing up in Milwaukee because of some back spasms, but some are saying he’s been sitting out for entirely different reasons. Reportedly, Jackson isn’t happy with his contract, one that will pay him over $9 million this season and $10 million next season. He wanted an extension in Charlotte – as a 33-year-old, you know the guaranteed years are weighing heavily on him – and the Bobcats decided to ship him out instead of offering one. Jackson hasn’t said a word about it during training camp. Really, the only thing he’s said revolved around a championship, telling reporters if you’re aren’t there expecting to win a title, then get out. But when he was first brought in in June, he said a contract extension was “mandatory.” The ending to this story doesn’t seem promising at all … The Bulls have waived Keith Bogans after he started for them all of last season. Good move or bad one? … Meanwhile, the Knicks are interested in adding Travis Outlaw after he was amnestied by New Jersey. We love to get on the Nets for that deal. But Outlaw for $2.5 million next season – what New York will offer – could turn out to be a steal for a wing player off the bench … You may not know the name, but everyone in the business knows Walter Iooss Jr. He’s one of the most well-known and accomplished photographers ever, and in a new piece he wrote for Sports Illustrated, Iooss Jr. detailed some of the crazier athlete stories he’s ever had. Apparently, he’s not a huge LeBron James fan. Iooss Jr. writes that he’s never been involved with an entourage quite like a LeBron entourage, and that the LeBron of 2003 was completely different than the LeBron of 2010 (the last time he shot him). At a photoshoot, he says “When LeBron arrived, it was as if Nelson Mandela had come in. Six or seven blacked-out Escalades pulled up, a convoy. LeBron had bodyguards and his masseuse. His deejay was already there, blasting. This for a photo shoot that was going to last an hour, tops.” Then the real catch: Iooss Jr. wasn’t even allowed to talk to James directly. There was a middle man who would relay things the photographer said to his subject. Iooss Jr. says nothing he ever did with Michael Jordan even came close to this. Now, this was immediately after “The Decision” so we can understand certain aspects of this. But… wow … To quote Snoop, life’s so hard out here when you living like a … Rocket? Yeah if anyone has reason to be pissed off at the world as the preseason begins, it’s Houston â€“ the team the TNT guys we’re making of to us by saying they’re only the fourth best team in Texas (Kenny Smith: “Baylor’s pretty good…”). They realistically should have a frontline of Pau Gasol and Nene right now. Instead, they’ve aimed their focus onto Samuel Dalembert. That’s a steep drop, and it comes with a price. Dalembert will probably get around $8 million a year, and for his production â€“ which doesn’t really come close to the other top free agent centers â€“ the Rockets should definitely feel like they got left outside of the party … Amar’e Stoudemire on the possibility of the Knicks adding Baron Davis: “This guy’s out for eight to 10 weeks, he’s not our concern at all,” Well okay then STAT. We’re sure Davis is going to love hearing that. In all seriousness, New York better upgrade that backcourt or else Mike D’Antoni won’t have a clue what to do … Most guys get real depressed or feel betrayed when they get traded. Chris Kaman? He had no problem with being dealt from L.A. for Chris Paul. In fact, he said he agreed with it; He would’ve traded himself for CP. We think Kaman is just hyped to get to New Orleans. Seems like he’ll fit in pretty well down there … Keep reading to hear about Kobe Bryant’s divorce and the start of the NBA preseason …
We tuned in to the Detroit and Cleveland game thinking “Hey, it’s Kyrie‘s first game!” Six minutes in, it was 7-6. Sudden reminder that these two teams are really, really bad. But we like that Ben Gordon didn’t lose his desire to shoot over the lockout. We counted three times by the first TV timeout that Gentle Ben rose up on long jumpers. He did miss all three though, which is kinda surprising … Cleveland did go on to win 91-87, mostly because Irving showed he’s going to do just fine, going for 21 points and six rebounds while somehow getting to the line 15 times … The Wizards’ uniforms alone were more reason to watch the Wiz get spanked by Philly 103-78 than that ugly game out in Mo-town. Lou Williams picked up where he left off last year, dropping 19 off the bench while Andray Blatche countered with 18 of his own. Midway through the second quarter, the Wiz’ broadcast team called Jordan Crawford a budding young superstar after he went baseline for a dunk. Calm down now. We’d say he has to become maybe the best player on his own team before he starts talking All-Star, but Jordan thinks he’s the best “Jordan” of all time so there goes that. Outside of Andray Blatche doing whatever it is he does, the only highlight for Washington was John Wall‘s move near the end of the third quarter, crossing the s#$% out of Evan Turner and then smashing on Craig Brackins. Where did all the people who liked Evan Turner more than John Wall go? … The Bulls and Derrick Rose (16 points) pulled away from Indiana late to win by nine, and while it was the two team’s first preseason games, Tyler Hansbrough (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Paul George (17 points, 10 rebounds) looked like they were in great shape … And while the results weren’t positive, we like O.J. Mayo‘s attitude. 15 shots and seven turnovers in 15 minutes? At least we can say he’ll go down swinging, especially in the closing minutes when Mayo missed a number of threes and had a turnover as well as the Hornets won their first game in the post-CP era, 97-90. Is Jarrett Jack going to be a surprise fantasy stud this year? With all the minutes he could get, don’t be surprised if we see a lot of 24, six and six nights like he had in this one … When it rains, it pours. Kobe hasn’t had the best offseason coming off the Lakers’ disappointing finish to last year, and seems to be losing out on everybody for the holidays. Now, his wife Vanessa, is filing for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” TMZ is reporting it’s because Bryant’s been unfaithful. Kobe’s always said he’s leaned on MJ for advice. He’s going to be making that call soon … The Sacramento Kings’ radio producer Kevin Sherrets reports that Jimmer Fredette is starting alongside Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton tomorrow … Gary Washburn from the Boston Globe tweeted that it appears Jeff Green will miss significant time. “Ill let you guess,” Doc Rivers said on how long he’ll be out. The Celtics are supposed to make an official announcement on the situation today … And Scott, the editor of the well-known blog Waiting For Next Year, tweeted this yesterday: [Dan] Gilbert on when Cleveland wins a championship: “It will be one big-ass party, my friend.” We need a sip of what he’s drinking … We’re out like Vanessa.
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