Well, there are certainly worse ways to open up a new arena. The Barclays Center opened for business Friday in Brooklyn with a Jay-Z-headlined show. We felt like we were there thanks to all the updates and photos we saw blowing up social media. One thing everyone was jacked for — because a HOVA performance bringing down the house is standard — was the Nets jersey that debuted on HOVA when he took the mic. It felt like we were there — and we were, too, with our guy Patrick Cassidy showing the first official BK Nets threads as they debuted, too. Deron Williams was tweeting from his suite, we heard there was a sign to owner Bruce Ratner that said “Welcome to the house that Bruce built,” and the whole thing seemed crazy to know it’s actually here, a pro team in Brooklyn. The honeymoon period is bound to end soon with the team and its building, but you can’t ask for a more buzzworthy start. Oh, and the NBA store is going to sell limited edition No. 4 Jay-Z jerseys every time he performs at Barclays. … Kobe absolutely made the day of one of his biggest fans during a taping of Ellen. The video is priceless. Kid gets his submission tape played — he can’t believe it — is pulled out of the crowd — can’t believe it — then has a shoot off with Bean Bryant — still can’t believe it. Asked if he’s going to win he says, “not a chance.” … Andrei Kirilenko did a Google Hangout today with Minnesota Timberwolves fans. He talked about a whole lot of reasons why he wanted to go there, with Rick Adelman and Alexey Shved and his family persuading him to do it. So $20 million didn’t mean a thing? “I mean that definitely is a great contract. What can I say? It’s not the only contract I was offered,” he said. No joke, when a fan asked him about his favorite memories from Utah we’re positive that he said that John Stockton was always “busting his nuts on the floor.” The eyes of the moderator sitting next to him grew up pretty big. … We wish John Wall a fast recovery from an injury that could keep him out a dozen or so games to start the regular season. His doctor found the beginnings of a stress-related injury on his left kneecap. It’s a huge blow for the Wizards, whose best two players are out for training camp with Nene injured, too. … Hit the jump to hear about the “young” guy on the Knicks roster …
Well, it’s all done but for the paperwork: The Knicks are bringing in Rasheed Wallace for real. Wallace got his physical with the team Thursday after working out for them on Saturday, according to The New York Times, whose best detail is actually this: Sheed will be the FOURTH oldest player on that roster, behind Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby and Kurt Thomas. That locker room trash talk about mid-90s college basketball is going to be intense around the Knicks this season, for sure. … Raja Bell won’t be attending training camp as he awaits a buyout in Utah now for the third month. … Friday was media day for a number of teams ahead of training camp but the best comment by far was Kevin Garnett‘s quote about Ray Allen, a guy who is persona non grata in Boston. KG: “I don’t have Ray’s number anymore. I’m not trying to communicate with him.” Ray just might want to pull a move out of Brick Tamland‘s book from “Anchorman” and just lay low for a while if he has to go around Boston because no one wants him around it seems. We are still surprised there’s this much animus toward a guy who can’t really play defense and — as last year’s playoffs showed — if he gets injured is more vulnerable to get targeted on the court than a limping animal is on the safari. … It wouldn’t be almost training camp if teams weren’t trying to climb the proverbial mountain already. Count Erik Spoelstra as a coach who won’t be uttering the word “repeat” anytime soon this season, instead talking about going up that title mountain again from the bottom (with Shuttlesworth, too, just in case you missed it Boston). Win another and LeBron James is one his way to becoming the best ever, because it’s part of our five-step regimen to take over the NBA for good. … If a repeat doesn’t work out for Miami’s players, they could be investors in the newly formed Bikini Basketball Association. We’re serious. There are going to be seven teams including the Miami Spice and the, uh, Orlando Lady Cats. … Finally, Lamar Odom wants to apologize to Dallas fans and owner Mark Cuban. We have been watching his signing in LA with the Clippers for a while, wondering how it will all go down after a disaster in Big D last season. A disaster so bad that even his in-law Kardashians know it was a bad PR move. So he told Ric Bucher, unprompted today, he wanted to let his temporary home know he was upset with how he acted. A little too late? It’s just interesting he said it, period. … We’re out like Bill Self‘s fat new $3.8 million per year deal at Kansas.
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