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- The 10-man rotation, starring Doug McDermott vs. Hot Doug's (Ball Don't Lie) October 1, 2014A look around the league and the web that covers it. It's also important to note that the rotation order and starting nods aren't always listed in order of importance. That's for you, dear reader, to figure out. C : Chicago Tribune . In order to pay tribute to The Happiest Place on Earth , Hot Doug’s hometown paper of record decided to compare the beloved sausage emporium with Bulls rookie Doug McDermott. We disagree with the paper’s conclusion. Print is dead. PF : CBS Sports . Matt Moore has decided that the Charlotte Hornets is the typical NBA fan’s top League Pass destination. Hmm. Hmm. Hmmmmmm. SF : SB Nation . Tom Ziller discusses the NBA’s worrying and very much avoidable new partnership with “Dr. Oz.” SG : New York Daily News . An allegedly profane Knick “fan” is suing Madison Square Garden after he was fired in the days following his removal from a Knicks game for heckling Carmelo Anthony. PG : Grantland . Zach Lowe breaks down the conundrum with some of the more confusing members of the 2012 NBA draft class. 6th : NBA.com . Jason Kidd thinks the Milwaukee Bucks have to make their hay through defense. Good luck. 7th : SB Nation . Dion Waiters has his YouTube highlight clips on the ready, should you @ reply him with a shot on Twitter. 8th : Hardwood Paroxysm . Charlotte swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has technically improved his literal shooting stroke, but he’s still got a long way to go . 9th : Sports Illustrated . Rob Mahoney with a terrific scouting report on the slightly (relatively speaking) doughy Chandler Parsons. 10th : SB Nation . Get to know your NBA executive junior varsity crew before they’re hired to take over your terrible team. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- J.R. Smith doesn't mind Phil Jackson comparing him to Dennis Rodman, and for good reason (Ball Don't Lie) October 1, 2014You might recall that last week new’ish New York Knicks president Phil Jackson made a slight comparison between incumbent Knick scoring swingman J.R. Smith, and Basketball Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. Here, from an interview with the New York Post , is the stretch: Q: How do you plan to try to get through to J.R. Smith to put an end to all his immature on- and off-the-court antics? A: I don’t know if that’s possible or not. He might be one of those guys that’s a little bit like Dennis Rodman that has an outlier kind of side to him. But I’m gonna get to know him as we go along, and we’ll find a way to either make him a very useful player on our organization, or whatever. “ Or whatever .” During Tuesday’s defense-only Knicks practice , Smith was asked about Jackson’s aside concerning Rodman, who won three championships and three rebounding titles as a member of Jackson’s Chicago Bulls team from 1995 through 1998. From the New York Daily News : “Last time I checked Dennis Rodman’s got what three, four rings?” Smith said Tuesday about the Worm, who actually won five NBA titles with the Pistons and Jackson’s Bulls during his career. “I'm not offended by that. It’s an honor. He’s a Hall of Famer. And to be put in the same words as a Hall of Famer is something special. So I’m not offended at all.” Smith and Dennis share similar 6-6 frames and an ungodly amount of tattoos, but the physical comparisons end there. Though both eschewed major colleges on their way to the NBA, Smith came into the league straight out of high school, Rodman enjoyed three separate NBA careers that in no way resembled Smith’s – that of an all-around defensive stopper in Detroit, a rebound-only maven in San Antonio, and an offensive initiator and glass-cleaner in Chicago. (And, yes, an embarrassment in two stints in Los Angeles and Dallas to follow, and on the public stage in the years since. Sadly.) Smith is a good passer when he wants to be, a good rebounder when he wants to be, and a good defender when he wants to be. He wants to be those things three times a year, while devoting the rest of his efforts to taking wild and sometimes potently successful shots from all over the court. Overall, he remains a helluva player, but he’s also a bit of a hellcat. What they do share, however, is an ability to tweak. Jackson once recalled that Rodman would often show up early for Chicago practice, and then kill time outside the team’s suburban practice facility in order to technically arrive late for practice. Just to try it, just to keep himself interested. And, possibly, just to keep others interested in him. Smith, meanwhile, is the sort of guy that will deliberately un-tie a players’ shoelace at the free throw line, then attempt the same maneuver later in the week after being warned not to, just because he knows everyone is watching. Again, also, possibly to keep others interested in him. Both cases are strange and off and at some times sad, but while Jackson may not dig Smith’s overall game, he’s trying to make the best out of what has been a miserable Knick situation for the last 13 years. It’s also important to note that Jackson didn’t come out and compare Smith directly to Rodman – both in terms of playing style or as his role as Jackson’s newest resident weirdo. “Or whatever,” indeed. Jackson not only had genuine appreciation for Rodman’s gifts as a player – especially as his Bulls were below average (below their championship standards, at least) on the boards with Toni Kukoc at power forward in 1994-95 – but he respected his role in his team’s small community. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Jackson’s book ‘Sacred Hoops’ (or in several interviews prior to that book’s 1996 revision) where he grinningly compared Rodman to a needed member of the Lakota Sioux tribe. Grant Faulkner at NaNoWriMo Blog explains this better than I could : The Fool has many variants in different mythologies and real life. Since I’m a basketball fan, I often think of one of my favorite players, Dennis Rodman. While many were annoyed by Rodman’s antics—his cross-dressing, his late nights of dancing with abandon—Phil Jackson, his coach with the Chicago Bulls, thought his supposed disruptions actually helped the team gel. Jackson praised Rodman because he resembled a Heyókȟa in Lakota Sioux lore. A Heyókȟa was a backwards walker, a trickster spirit. A Heyókȟa spoke, moved, and reacted in the opposite fashion as other people. For example, if food were scarce, a Heyókȟa would complain about how full he was. During a heat wave, a Heyókȟa would shiver with cold and cover himself with a thick blanket. By doing the unexpected, the Heyókȟa asked “Why?” about sensitive topics and used satire to question those in positions of power and authority. For the purposes of this piece, think of yourself as the all-powerful author, who’s lording a logic, a vision, and a bunch of rules over your story. We need the Fool or the Heyókȟa to keep from taking ourselves too seriously (a horrible hazard of revision). So each day when I begin writing, I ask, how would the Fool write this overly ponderous scene? How can I have a character do or say something to shock and challenge? I ask the Fool to help me not care about any taboos or novel rules. I bow to the gods of possible embarrassment. It is warming to believe that every unit needs a trickster spirit to keep a sense of balance, and despite his distractions and disappointments, Rodman certainly played that role to expert precision in his three seasons with Jackson in Chicago. Smith may have annoyed the Knicks last season, but with two years and over $12 million left on his deal (including a 2015-16 player option he may not even pick up in order to make more with another team), he’s hardly a millstone. He can score and keep things entertaining as the Knicks attempt to emerge from the dark. So he might be New York’s Rodman. Or whatever. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
- BDL's 2014-15 NBA Season Previews: Indiana Pacers (Ball Don't Lie) October 1, 2014
- Byron Scott thinks Kobe Bryant is too competitive to become a coach (Yahoo Sports) October 1, 2014Byron Scott made the transition from player to coach. Kobe Bryant might be too talented and demanding to do the same.
- Knicks stress defense, teamwork at West Point camp (The Associated Press) September 30, 2014WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) -- A few days at the U.S. Military Academy can change the Knicks only so much. Notorious night owl J.R. Smith isn't going to start waking up at dawn like a cadet.
- Steady Point for Knicks After a Restless Summer October 2, 2014Jose Calderon, acquired in a multiplayer deal with Dallas, is preparing for his new role by studying the team’s triangle offense.
- New System and Season Bring Carmelo Anthony and Knicks Fresh Perspective September 30, 2014As the Knicks prepared to begin training camp Tuesday at West Point, Carmelo Anthony addressed the news media with a renewed sense of optimism.
- The Maverick Inside the Knicks September 28, 2014At 69, Jackson is a rookie front office guy, unquestionably a power hire yet a member of the Knicks owner James L. Dolan’s team, with all that suggests and ultimately will mean.
- With Players Out of Sight, Knicks Preview New Look September 27, 2014The Knicks are about to draw the curtain on a new system, a new coach, new goals and a new perspective.
- A New Track and a New Tack September 14, 2014James L. Dolan says he is spending less time on the Knicks and more time with his blues band, perhaps a sign that he really will give Phil Jackson a wide berth to run the team.