By Ben Golliver
• On 60 Minutes, NBA commissioner David Stern scolds Dennis Rodman for visiting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Zach Harper of Eye On Basketball with the transcript.
Stern: "I think it's ridiculous. I think that if you're going to meet someone with the record on human rights, and nuclear testing in a reckless way, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, and exporting a horrible brand of whatever it is that he's exporting, starving his people, and locking them up, it should be done only in conjunction with the State Department with an agenda. If not, you shouldn't go."
• The Orlando Sentinel reports that Magic guard Jameer Nelson took offense to a recent statement by Dwight Howard in a CBSLA.com interview that his Orlando teams were "full of people who nobody wanted."
“At some point, when are you [Dwight] gonna as a man, when are you going to take ownership and stay out of the media in a professional manner?” Nelson told the Sentinel after Wednesday’s shooatround in Miami.
“I would be less of a man to comment on certain things that people comment on about me and my teammates. We had a great run as a group, as core guys, and he was a part of it [reaching the 2009 Finals] and for him to say things about anybody in a negative manner, that’s up to him.
“That’s his opinion. If that’s how he feels, that’s how he feels.”
• Shaun Powell of SportsOnEarth with an excellent interview of Jerry West.
Q: How would a young Jerry West, naïve but extremely talented, cope in today's NBA with all the money and fame but also the trappings?
A: The social media and the press today would be very tough for me to deal with because when I was young I was so shy and backward that I probably would've said something that would've been blown out of context. As for the other stuff, well that's where being shy and backward would've helped me. I see players walking around today with bodyguards. Maybe they need them, but I would never have a bodyguard.
• We noted how effectively Thunder point guards Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson got to the hoop and finished there against the Lakers on Tuesday night. Zach Lowe of Grantland digs in to Dwight Howard's struggles this season.
In basic terms: Oklahoma City understands it owns the real estate around the foul line against the Lakers. And with Howard a bit hobbled, the Thunder can do any number of things once they get to that real estate -- have arguably the best shooter in the league launch a midrange jumper, blow by Howard with a crossover, or bait him into an ill-fated lunge on a pick-and-roll with a well-timed mid-dribble pause.
• Kevin Pelton of ESPN.com (Insider) writes that Jrue Holiday, Zach Randolph, Joakim Noah and LaMarcus Aldridge are among the NBA's most obscure All-Stars, judging by their ability to generate searches on Google.
• John Schuhmann of NBA.com carves up some local TV broadcasters again.
How has your sense of style changed since you've been in the NBA? It's night and day. It's funny, because now I can tell who's a rookie in the NBA and who's been in the NBA a while by the way they're dressed. Some of our rookies, like Dion [Waiters] and Tyler [Zeller] and Kevin [Jones], they're still figuring out what kind of style they want. They come to games and -- hypothetically -- Tyler will have on a button down, jeans and shoes. Dion will come in some Timberlands, jeans and a Young & Reckless sports coat, or something like that. But then me and Tristan [Thompson] or Alonzo [Gee] or Shaun Livingston, we have Balenciagas on with nice jeans and nice shirts. So you pick up on the stylish things after your first year. That's when you're like, "I know I can't wear this. I know I can wear this." You're transitioning from college or wherever you're coming from to the NBA, and you have a little bit more money in your pocket.