• Take a Thursday evening detour with two all-time greats. There's plenty of memorable footage of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson going head-to-head, but this game-long recap captures their second meeting -- an otherwise unremarkable occasion. As it turns out, even ordinary performances from a rookie-year MJ and a 25-year-old Magic make for essential viewing.
Video via Ethan Sherwood Strauss.
• This Sunday might as well be a national holiday, as AMC's Breaking Bad comes to its thrilling conclusion. To get you geared up for the final episode, Harrison Barnes -- as he has done all season long -- breaks down last week's episode with Jesse Taylor of Warriors World. (Warning: Some serious spoilers lie on the other side of that link.)
• Experience a paintball match through the eyes of Roy Hibbert.
• Kevin Draper reflects on the relationship between fan and team via the Warriors faithful's booing of owner Joe Lacob:
Being an owner of an NBA team means being a vassal with a large fiefdom -- and the fans are your serfs. After thirty years of being treated as ATM machines, happily forking over their hard-earned cash despite the take-for-grantedness of it all, on one night last year Warriors serfs revolted. Knowing no other way to properly display their unhappiness, they reluctantly interrupted the coronation of Chris Mullin and turned to the last arrow left in their quiver, seizing upon a public appearance by Joe Lacob to boo like no other fanbase has booed before.
Warriors fans unleashed a lifetime’s worth of pent up disappointment in a single moment. Booing opposing players, referees or the Los Angeles Lakers has always felt artificial, like most people are just going along because it is expected of them. But this was jolting, visceral and authentic. More than anything, the booing was an authentic expression of the indignity of fanhood, the closest thing to a fan revolt that we’re ever likely to witness.
• Corey Maggette might be an NBA player this season after all.
• Enjoyed this breakdown of the primary responsibilities of a point guard through the lens of Boston's Rajon Rondo alternatives.
• Thus far, new Sixer Royce White has gone about his business as if he were a typical NBA player. He reportedly will participate in Philadelphia's media day and training camp. (via PBT)
• The Knicks might not be an ideal situation for him, but I'm still convinced that Cole Aldrich -- who bounced through three teams in his three NBA seasons before landing in New York for training camp -- has the size and defensive chops to be a useful NBA player. He doesn't have the capabilities of a star or even a starter, but there's room in the league for a 6-foot-11 big who can rebound and impede an opponent's progress.
Also, we have a marginally related phrase from that piece, on Aldrich's statistical comparisons (courtesy of Mike Kurylo): "No, Dwight Howard or Yao Ming aren’t appearing on this list, but this group is far from Olowokandiland." Love it.
• When asked about Kevin Durant's assertion that he should be considered a top 10 player (at Dwyane Wade's expense), James Harden essentially opted for a no comment. He did, however, chime in to explain why his defense was so crummy last season (via Jason Friedman of Rockets.com):
Last year everything was new for me: playing that amount of minutes and having to do so much on the offensive end. My defense was slacking, I can admit that. In my previous couple years in Oklahoma City my defense was very good. So I’m trying to get back to good principles, good habits, and being more solid guarding the ball -- that's what I’m working on.
• This piece by Marc Berman of the New York Post offers further insight into the replacement of Knicks GM Glen Grunwald, though not enough to make the decision any more sensible.
• Grizzlies owner Robert Pera will play Tony Allen in a one-on-one game for charity
. Show of hands for those who think Pera will get a single bucket.