Notes on the National Basketball Association ...
• A.I. Ready To Hit The Road. So the smart money has Allen Iverson going to Minnesota (good choice), Dallas (somewhat less likely), Denver (longshot) or Boston (huh?). But at any rate, he seems to have played his last game for the 76ers. Why? Well fortunately, Stephen A. Smith is here to make sense of it all. In what may seem to be another installment of Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks, Stephen A. gets the lowdown on the situation in today's Philadelphia Inquirer (no word on if it was written on his Blackberry). Key graph:
Today, the primary concern should be preventing Iverson from becoming Charles Barkley, Part II, making sure the Sixers don't let go of their latest mercurial star for a bag of cheap beans thrown in the trash after Thanksgiving.
The metaphor is clear. Iverson shouldn't, um ... what? All we can say of that graph is that it's something we would expect to read on the Barbaro message board. Cheap beans in the trash after Thanksgiving? What does that mean?
• Hey. Were You Aware That The Lakers Are In First? We know we're not used to thinking of the Lakers as a possible championship team, but now that Kobe's got his rear in gear, shouldn't our notions on LA shift from neutral to "hey, this could happen?" Bryant had 34 points as the Lakers beat the Spurs 106-99 on Sunday. LA is now 14-6, in first place in the Pacific Division, a half game ahead of the Suns.
• And Speaking Of The Suns ... Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Phoenix over Charlotte 114-84. Shouldn't that be the third-quarter score, though?
• Chances Are, You Don't Know Jack. We'll admit it: Before now we didn't know a lot about Jarrett Jack. But without Zach Randolph, the Trail Blazers are glad he exists. Jack had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists as Portland beat Toronto 93-83.