• Want to get really depressed? NBA TV is airing Game 7 of the 2010 Finals right now! I’m watching The Naked Gun instead, and damn if the baseball scene in that movie isn’t one of the funniest extended sequences in movie history, even 23 years after its release.
Speaking of the Finals, I took the Ron Artest issue of ESPN The Magazine with me on the subway on my way out last night. I wasn’t expecting much from Ron-Ron—just enough to entertain me while waiting for the E train—but he delivered a couple of tidbits about trash talk in the Finals:
“Against the Celtics in the Finals, Tony Allen got in my face, but I don’t got the time for Tony Allen.”
“Now, if you’re a star and you’re talking trash, I’ll talk back. All series long, Paul Pierce was talking: ‘You’re a bum, you can’t score, you can’t guard me, I’m busting your ass.’ Everything.”
There was a time, maybe 15 years ago when I was a teenager, when this would have annoyed me.
It’s the NBA Finals and you’re wasting mental energy trying to come with one-liners!? But this is apparently a way NBA players get their competitive juices flowing and try to unnerve opponents, even in the biggest games.
• Sources who are either bluffing or don’t know what they are talking about tell the Plain-Dealer’s Brian Windhorst that Shaq is considering the notion of a big-money contract in Europe. Ha.
By the way: Is “Plain-Dealer” the best newspaper name in the U.S.? I’ve always liked the Detroit Free Press, too.
• Windhorst also reports that the Cavs still have a $1.03 million qualifying offer out to Jawad Williams, a name a few of you have mentioned as a possible C’s target despite his career 39 percent mark from the floor. The qualifying offer means Cleveland has the right to match any other team’s offer for Jawad, so he’ll be a Cav next season.
• Phoenix is interested in Matt Janning (among many others) as a possible back-up to Steve Nash’s back-up (Goran Dragic). I mention this only because the occasional commenter will write MATT JANNING!!!!!!! in any post about whom the C’s should target as a minimum-salaried free agent.
• You can add ex-Miami swing man Yakhouba Diawara to the Minimum Bin, according to the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman. Diawara is working out in Miami’s gym, hoping to get a contract, but the Heat aren’t interested.
Diawara is one of the worst offensive players in the league. Let’s leave it at that.
• For the true die-hards, ShamSports has published both a list of just about every free agent that remains available (including Tweety Carter!) and updated the site’s essential salary database. Go there.