The Facilitator: 5/1/08

The NBA has been moving and shaking in the last few days. The Mavs and Spurs are redundant, the Celtics and Pistons resilient, and the Hornets for real.

But I’m not here to talk about that. Too many people already touch on the wins and losses. Same same. Instead, here are the highlights from my day off catch-up of my RSS Feeds:

  • “God could care less whether I can shoot a jump shot.”  –Ray Allen

    One of the many gems from Jackie MacMullan’s article on Ray Allen’s borderline OCD (nod to Bill Simmons’ latest batch of The Links for this one).

    Just as interesting is the window into the rituals of many other NBA players that the article touches on. Apparently Ray Allen got a good chunk of the young Sonics to follow his routine, including Luke Ridnour. I think Ridnour needs a refresher.

  • Josh Howard’s comments on pot smoking may or may not have effected the Mavericks outcome in the playoffs (I personally think Chris Paul made the Mary Jane uproar a moot point because he would have torched the Mavs either way, and I’m sure most of the players went home feeling like they needed a puff after the series anyway).

    But, it turns out that the Howard drama didn’t stop there. According to Jeff Caplan of, Howard threw a 28th birthday party for himself after their Game 4 loss, specifically after former coach Avery Johnson had asked the team to refrain from extracurricular activities. The article is worth reading (full article found here), especially in light of the Avery Johnson axing (nod to Dime for this beat).

    Also, does anyone else smell another Dirk Nowitzki retreat coming on? I think we should start a poll to choose his vacation spot this summer. He did the Outback last year, maybe some spiritual rekindling in the Himalayas this summer? Or, perhaps, a combination of the weight room and man camp?

  • Tough Juice has Gilbert’s back. I’m talking about the game-winner he hit last night, yes, but moreso, the trash he talked to LeBron in addition to it:

    “Let’s make the series interesting,” he said, as LeBron laughed. “Let’s take it back to D.C.”

    And, of course, LeBron missed (and not, LeBron, it was not a foul).

    Mike Wise’s article also delves into how beloved Butler is by his teammates and the origins of the “Tough Juice” moniker if you don’t already know how it came to be (another nod to Dime–they’re making a bobblehead out of me today).

  • Finally, J.E. Skeets, on the blog Ball Don’t Lie (full post here), quotes Craig Ehlo (yes, this Craig Ehlo) as saying that he thinks Mark Cuban will offer the Mavs coaching job to Bobby Knight. Bobby Knight?!?!?!? No chance in hell, I say.

    More importantly, though, is the fact that Craig Ehlo is now giving NBA insight. Or, at least insight into matters other than being the other guy in all those Jordan highlights. Maybe someone should ask him about the relief he felt from those Gatorade commercials where they CGI’d the endings of all those famous sports plays and MJ missed the jumper.

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