- Who needs Ben Wallace when you’ve got Jason Maxiell? This guy provides one of the greatest sparks off the bench I’ve seen for quite some time — he takes his undersized 6’7″ frame into the post, and plays like he’s 6’11″ night in and night out. J-Max hit the game-winner against the Sonics on Sunday when Rasheed Wallace was sitting out with sore ankles, and scored 11 points in Thursday night’s win over LeBron and the Cavaliers. A fourth quarter run led by Chauncey Billups pushed the Pistons over the Cavs, and gave the Pistons victory number 16. At 16-8, Detroit holds a 1.5 game lead over the Chicago Bulls in the Central Division.
- The NBA may be reverting to its previous, and more entertaining, state. After the players’ association filed grievances over the new microfiber composite ball and the crackdown on technical fouls, the league announced that they will make the switch back to leather ball sometime after the year 2007 begins. Before the NBA decided that changing the ball without consulting the players was a bad idea, Rasheed Wallace had this to say on his thoughts about the new ball:
The new ball sucks. Dictator just went on and threw it out there [without] asking guys and testing it. That ball sucks. They had some Spalding guy create quote-unquote microfiber and all that. You got guys who never played the game before who want to change the ball.
You can read all five questions of the interview on ESPN’s Daily Dime.
- Dale Davis was acquitted of his assault charges, which essentially means that Miami police tasered him without a valid reason. Good thing they didn’t taser Dwayne Wade, or the NBA might have gotten upset at someone touching their favorite superstar.
- Speaking of Flash, the Miami guard was named 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. As much as that sickens me, Wade took full advantage of the officiating bias that was given to him, and made some spectacular players en route to the 2006 NBA Championship.
- Carmelo Anthony won the “Ron Artest of the Week Award” for his efforts in upgrading a minor riff-raff between the Nuggets and Knicks at Madison Square Garden into a full-out brawl. After Mardy Collins put a hard foul on J.R. Smith, tension and confrontations ensued, and just as the heat was beginning to die down, Melo clocked Collins, and it was on. 10 players were ejected, and seven players were suspended — including Carmelo (the league’s leading scorer is out for 15 games), Nate Robinson (10 games), and J.R. Smith (10 games) — in addition to the half a million dollars in fines assessed to both teams.
- Allen Iverson was finally traded. Iverson and Ivan McFarlin (you’re not alone if you haven’t heard of him before) head to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two 2007 first-round draft picks. Despite sitting out games while on the trading block for the 76ers, Iverson led the Eastern Conference All-Star Voting for the guard position. Once Carmelo gets back in action, I look forward to the Nuggets putting two of the league’s premiere scorers in uniform — it will be… interesting.