Tuesday Links


Because the internet is a big place, and you probably missed something.

-The Spurs are reportedly in the mix for Josh Smith. San Antonio’s front-line has been lacking in athleticism for some time, so while Smith’s on-court personality wouldn’t seem to fit the traditional Spurs mold, he’d provide a much-needed jolt of length and pogo-stickability in the middle. Also, Gregg Popovich has a long history of getting the most out of mercurial talents (See: Stephen Jackson), and the atmosphere of the Spurs locker room might be the shot in the arm Smith needs to take his career to the next level. Two major caveats: The Spurs would be renting Smith without any guarantee of a long-term commitment, which would fly in the face of their usual modus operandi, and San Antonio would likely have to give up their few young assets, including Kawhi Leonard, to get the deal done.

-Royce White will make his debut for the NBDL’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers tonight, as they host the Maine Red Claws at 8:30 PM ET (Minor League team names > Major League team names, in all sports). The 16th overall pick in last year’s draft has attracted a maelstrom of controversy since refusing to report to Rockets training camp, citing mental health issues that turned out to be an anxiety disorder exacerbated by airplane travel. Chuck Klosterman wrote a fantastic piece at Grantland a few weeks back trying to unravel the complexities of a difficult situation, but ultimately fell short of capturing the full measure of the man. For anyone following Royce’s twitter feed, he can come off sympathetic one moment, petulant the next, but always defiant. Through it all, there’s a consistent undercurrent of iconoclastic demagoguery, as if White is trying to start a revolution all by himself. He’s leading the charge for a more nuanced understanding of mental health issues while also gathering supporters using the hashtag #AnxietyTroopers:

Whether you agree with White or not, he’s undeniably interesting, and I hope he can find his way back to the Rockets soon. I’d like to see him play, and I’d like to see what he does with a much bigger  pulpit.

-Derrick Rose isn’t even close to a return to the court, which is a serious bummer if you were hoping the Eastern Conference playoffs would be competitive this year. Derrick adds that he’s not going to return until he’s at “110%”, a quote that demonstrates a disturbing lack of Simpsons cred.

-J.A. Adande and Israel Gutierrez spend a few thousand words comparing LeBron James to Michael Jordan, which is just about the most ESPN thing ESPN has ever done. I’d almost prefer a giant banner on the front page with “SLOW NEWS DAY” in block letters over these circlejerky time-wasters. And I like J.A. Adande.

-Girls night! The Minnesota Timberwolves, in an effort to get a little more estrogen in the seats, are offering special Ladies Night packages for tomorrow night’s game against the Jazz. For only 18$, you’ll get a ticket to the game, a beer, glass of wine or soda (based on what little I know about women, very little soda will be drunk), and free digital copies of HBO’s “smash hit” Girls. The whole package sounds like something an old white executive guy thinks women want. Win A Date With Ricky Rubio night would put a lot more butts in seats.

-Larry Bird’s son was arrested on Sunday in Indian after allegedly attempting to run over his ex-girlfriend. Luckily, nobody was hurt, which hopefully means he veered away at the last moment or something and didn’t actually try to kill his ex. Because nobody wants their son to be known as Rae Carruth-esque.

-Finally, in honor of Bill Russell’s 79th birthday, the music for today’s column is brought to you by a fellow native of Oakland, Green Day frontman Billie Joel Armstrong. Enjoy your day.


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