Well would you look at that, the NBA schedule is released and Christmas in July has officially arrived. Seriously, after last summer’s lockout deprived us of knowing about all 1,230 games the regular season has in store this has been a long time coming. Sure, we knew about how Miami would play Boston in the Ray Allen Bowl on opening night. Now we get the whole platter, and it includes Mavs/Lakers and Wizards/Cavs also on Oct. 30 to bookend the champions’ start. And the next night is — well, let’s just say we hope you didn’t have any Halloween plans. Nine games take over the slate that day, with offerings like Tim Duncan vs. Anthony Davis, a Memphis/Clippers rematch from the playoffs, and the Lakers in the nightcap against Portland. Five games arrive on Christmas, the most anticipated of the group is Miami vs. Oklahoma City. Brooklyn gets a home game on Christmas against Boston, too, which will give a national audience to an overhauled team playing in one of the nicest arenas in the most boring uniforms. But we digress — that should be a great game to peep, too. We could spend all night talking up this schedule’s ins and outs and games to watch, but we’ll save some of that for tomorrow on the site. What games you y’all excited for most? … Quick hits: The Suns lost their president, Brad Casper, who resigned to focus on being on the board of directors for Grand Canyon University. … Brendan Haywood will be playing in front of his home-state fans as a Bobcat this next season, and Ramon Sessions joins him after he opted out with the Lakers. Hope you’re ready for some heavy lifting, guys. … Omer Asik was introduced as a Rocket officially today. That courtship seems a lot longer than almost a month old. … Joakim Noah went on ESPN Radio on Thursday and proclaimed that a lot of people are counting out the Bulls. “Right now, people are sleeping on us…” he said, which of course everyone is doing this season. Has Joakim seen the moves his team made by signing Kirk Hinrich, Marco Belinelli and Vladimir Radmanovich? That will put a fanbase to sleep faster than Dramamine. We understand they have cap flexibility for next summer, when Derrick Rose should be completely healthy again, but Bulls fans have to feel like a lot of the progress Tom Thibodeau made with the team the last two years has been undone. … It feels sometimes like a few places break news around the Internet and everyone else gobbles it up, then spits it out for their own needs. This is taking it to a whole new level, though: Sportscenter apparently did a word-for-word copy job on a RealGM.com post about Dwight Howard. Deadspin brought up how it would have been the No. 1 no-no in college to do that, but we’re pretty sure our middle school English teacher would have taken us to the principal’s office by our ear for a lift like that. … Rucker Park, aka all that is holy in playground hoops in NYC, is in the news for something other than the latest can’t-miss prospect. Five people were shot (thankfully no one died) after a bad call led to a gunman firing during a game on Wednesday night. One of the people who escaped unharmed was Nate Robinson. Make no mistake, hoops is what drives us and probably you, too, if you’re reading this. Nothing, though, is worth shooting up a game for. … More terrible news came last Thursday out of Chicago’s South Side when Iona recruit Michael Haynes was shot and killed after trying to break up a fight. He was a teammate of DeAndre Liggins at Chicago’s Corliss High and lost the city title to Derrick Rose‘s Simeon squad that year at the United Center, the Sun-Times reported. By all accounts he had taken a long route to Iona after a couple high schools, a prep school, UTEP and a junior college, Indian Hills. The 22-year-old’s dream was to play college hoops at the DI level. It’s messed up he won’t have that chance. Ex-Cal point guard Jerome Randle pretty much summed it up on Twitter: “Prayers goes out to Michael haynes family…….this kid was just playing in the pro am with me, now hes gone. Damn y’all need to stop dis.” … We’re out like your Halloween plans.
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