Harvard graduate. Rags-to-riches basketball phenomenon. Apparel giant? That is the latest audacious accomplishment Jeremy Lin wants to achieve thanks to a reported line of licensed merchandise he’s working with Nike to develop, a line that would specifically outfit Harvard. Sports retail analysts broke it down by saying Haw-vud students are 18 percent Asian, and that that Asian market sees the college and NBA as being separate right now — two separate circles he has the unique capacity to join together in the world’s first nerd/NBA Venn diagram. Now, before you scoff at this know that Nike’s involvement would mean high-level products — they’re not going to let the world’s premier university (AKA, one of the world’s elite brands) look bad. Nike, we bet, sees two different circles in the Ivy League, too, and will subtly try to mix them. They’ll make the athletes look like they just walked out of a Jordan Brand commercial, while probably mixing together a casual line that looks as bespoke as Roger Federer at Wimbledon. Could be a vey interesting partnership. … Who else would you give their own school line to? We’d love to see suddenly high-fashion Tyson Chandler‘s Dominguez High line. Or what about “Kris: by Kris Humphries” a line for looking good and playing well in those cold Minnesota winters? Just a couple suggestions. … Flopping in the NBA is defined kind of how the Supreme Court termed obscenity, when it said, “I know it when I see it.” We all know flopping is the exaggeration to make a non-foul into a foul at its most basic level, but it also comes in so many forms that there’s no hard and fast way to define what a cookie cutter flop is. They come on offense and defense, on ball and off. We can all agree they’re terrible for basketball, though, like a hammer chipping away at its integrity. Well, Wednesday the NBA went after the perpetrators when it announced a $30,000 max fine for whomever violates their definition. They said they won’t likely publicize the fine, though, which seems like it hurts the message. Players get a stern wag of the finger the first time, a $5,000 fine for a second, $10,000 for a third and $30,000 for a fourth. Any more and it could mean a suspension, but that wasn’t specified. Of course, the Players Association filed an appeal right afterward. Be sure to watch our site tomorrow to hear if we think this is actually going to help or be simply window dressing. … Pretty sad news out of Memphis, where a VP of basketball operations was found dead in his apartment today at just 56. … Hit the jump to see what strategy the Hawks are cooking up …
… Picture where you were in the first week of July. If you’re an NBA nut you were glued to your laptop and especially Twitter because of how fast free agency was moving. Jason Kidd switched sides in a matter of hours in Dallas! So imagine being someone with a very strong interest in free agency because you’re a player, such as Al Horford, and being stuck in South America with a less than optimal Internet connection to follow it with. Horford basically had to get called by his dad every time something went down, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Now that they’re in camp and they can see the new additions mesh with the standbys, Horford and Josh Smith are apparently “drooling” over what Devin Harris, Louis Williams and Jeff Teague can offer in the way of an up-tempo lineup (the paper also reported they ran all their sets with an 18-second clock Wednesday) They’re thinking Zaza Pachulia can step in at center often, which pushes Horford to the four more than he’s used to, and getting Smith at three. You can with without size now, the Heat have shown, but you have to have excellent players who are excellent at being flexible. We have our doubts with Atlanta’s lineup over quality and flexibility. Even though we love Ivan Johnson, we’re not sure he’s the guy to step in at four for long minutes, even if he came into camp in damn good shape. … The Trail Blazers are making media stand in a designated area after practices (press box, for real), allowing players to cruise to the locker room and training room without talking to the media. How are we supposed to get more Adam Morrison soundbites during camp now? … On the way to play in Dirk Nowitzki‘s native Germany in preseason games, Chris Kaman and Brandan Wright boarded the plane despite early injuries. We truly do want to see Dirk and Kaman work together for the first time since the ’08 Olympics, but this is a bad sign when they’re questionable to board a plane. … We’re out like a flopping warning.
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