What we watched: There was something enticingly adulterous about shoving football aside for Sunday basketball. Let's do it again next weekend. Just don't tell anyone, okay?
In other news, if you know who the woman pictured in the photo above is, please let us know. We admire her style.
What we're watching (all times EST, unless noted): Missouri vs. North Carolina in the Independence Bowl at 5 (ESPN2). Houston at Orlando in NBA basketball at 7 (NBATV). Dallas at St. Louis in NHL hockey at 7:30 (Versus). Atlanta at New Orleans in NFL football at 8:30 (ESPN). L.A. Lakers at Sacramento in NBA basketball at 10 (NBATV).
David Stern, the great prognosticator: "Despite so many predictions of the Heat winning the championship, Stern cautioned against ‘mailing the trophy' to Miami before the season. Stern reminded reporters that he said the same thing last season, and the Mavericks surprised everyone with its run to the championship." [Miami Herald]
David Stern, the hypocrite: "Asked how he wants to see Dwight Howard's situation play out and whether he's concerned that Chris Paul sought to leave New Orleans and Howard wants to leave Orlando, Stern said he honors players' right to play where they want. ‘That's the beauty of the soap opera of basketball,' Stern said before the Orlando Magic faced the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Christmas night. ‘As in life, it'll play out the way it plays out, and we'll all be observers of it. I just don't know. But, to me, I am of the view that when somebody has put in his years so to speak that he has earned his free agency. He's free to decide where he'll sign, and he's not under a compunction under our system to re-sign with a team if he doesn't want to.'" [Orlando Sentinel]
Your Little Chinese Boy Singing ‘Hey Jude' Interlude:
Multitasking at its finest: "Rose and Noah trapped a surprised Bryant, whose pass got deflected by Noah and corralled by Deng. The Bulls forward dribbled into the frontcourt, jumped and appeared to land before passing to Rose, but the potential traveling went uncalled. ‘Very close,' Deng said, chuckling. ‘I jumped up in the air and I was like, Yo, Derrick, where are you? So I let it go right before I landed. I shouldn't have left my feet, but he came away with it.'" [Chicago Tribune]
There's a new sheriff in town: "Ask Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew whether he would try to play through a concussion or yank himself from a game, and he'll provide a straightforward answer. ‘Hide it,' the NFL's leading rusher said. ‘The bottom line is: You have to be able to put food on the table. No one's going to sign or want a guy who can't stay healthy. I know there will be a day when I'm going to have trouble walking. I realize that,' Jones-Drew said. ‘But this is what I signed up for. Injuries are part of the game. If you don't want to get hit, then you shouldn't be playing.' Other players say they would do the same: Hide it. In a series of interviews about head injuries with The Associated Press over the last two weeks, 23 of 44 NFL players - slightly more than half - said they would try to conceal a possible concussion rather than pull themselves out of a game. Some acknowledged they already have. Players also said they should be better protected from their own instincts: More than two-thirds of the group the AP talked to wants independent neurologists on sidelines during games." [AP]
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