Wednesday And-1 links: Some rumors, Shaq, flu game talk

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Here is our daily look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT).

Those rumors of a Monta Ellis to the Nets for Brook Lopez trade? Not much to them.

Milwaukee will apparently listen to trade offers for Andrew Bogut. Not sure they will get anything near what they think he is worth.

The Timberwolves called the Nets to see if Anthony Morrow was available, but the answer was no.

In an interview with VIBE, Shaquille O’Neal says Steve Nash should not have two MVPs. I agree, and I also agree there is no way Shaq should only have one.

Speaking of MVP, who do you think should get it this year? Vote here at NBCSports on our MVP tracker.

The Knicks are seeing a big boost in online traffic since Jeremy Lin became the show.

Phil Jackson talks about his memories of Michael Jordan’s flu game.

Hornets coach Monty Williams says not to compare the Derrick Rose Bulls to the Jordan Bulls yet. I’m not sure why people need to be reminded of that.

Kobe Bryant in a Nike ad made to look like a ‘70s Italian crime film.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman had enough with the mental lapses on Tuesday night — when JaVale McGee fouled Drew Gooden on a three-point attempt, he benched McGee for the rest of the game. He said they are done using youth as an excuse.

Danilo Gallinari said he could be back with the Nuggets by the end of the week.

From the twitter account of TVSportsratings: Between ’02 and ’12, median age of NBA All-Star audience dropped from 38 to 33. Between ’01 and ’11, MLB grew from 46 to 52.”

Breaking down what has gone on with Amare Stoudemire’s game.

Ekpe Udoh is an enigma — he doesn’t do much on the court, but his +/- numbers are amazing.

Nicki Minaj apparently makes fun of Chris Bosh crying in her latest song. After suffering through her All-Star Game performance, I’m pretty done with her and whatever she says.

Joe Johnson missed the All-Star Game but may not miss any more Hawks practices or games due to tendonitits in the knee.

Manu Ginobili went through what Gregg Popovich described as a “partial practice” on Tuesday. So I guess no contact. Either way, don’t expect him for a few days.

Zach Randolph practiced but did not go through any contact with the Grizzlies Tuesday.

Ronny Turiaf is meeting this week with doctors to see if his hand is healed and he can get cleared to return to the Wizards.

Interesting article about bringing wifi into sports arenas for the fans to use.

One of my favorite things from All-Star Weekend in the arena caught on tape — inflatable mascots. I’m not sure why, but they are always funny. Check out the video:

 

James Dolan’s MSG threatens to sue Steve Ballmer’s Los Angeles Clippers

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This story requires a little background.

The Forum in Inglewood was best known for decades as being both fabulous and the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, back from the Jerry West era and through Magic’s “Showtime” teams. Then in 2001 the Lakers moved downtown to Staples Center, and after that the Forum went through some rough times. It was a number of things, including a mega church for a while, but mostly it was empty. Then several years ago the Madison Square Garden company (owned by Knicks owner James Dolan) bought the Forum, fixed it up, and started booking it again. Now the Forum is one of the hot major concert/event spaces in Los Angeles again, and it’s about to get a boost because it’s adjacent to where Stan Kroenke is building the new Los Angeles Rams stadium. Hello gentrification!

Now enter Steve Ballmer. The Clippers’ owner wants out of Staples Center and the Lakers’ shadow, so he has proposed to build his new arena in Inglewood in another space adjacent to the Rams stadium — land that MSG used to lease. As you might imagine, Dolan’s MSG is not thrilled — they are already battling with Staples to fill their space, now a state-of-the-art arena is moving in down the street.

In a proxy Knicks/Clippers battle, MSG may sue to Clippers and Inglewood in an attempt to block the new building. Here is what Dolan’s attorney in the case, Marvin Putnam, told the Daily Breeze in Los Angeles.

“The mayor made it extremely clear that he needed that piece of land back for a kind of ‘Silicon Beach,’ ” said Marvin Putnam, a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins, which filed the damage claim that serves as a precursor to a lawsuit. “They’re attempting to flat-out trick people.”

(Inglewood Mayor James) Butts declined to comment, and there is no proof that he made those statements. But when Madison Square Garden Co. relinquished the parking lease to the city, its approved contract states that the land would not be used for anything that would hurt the Forum’s business, according to documents.

Right now the Clippers and Inglewood are in an exclusive negotiating agreement to come to terms on the sale and plans for the property. Putnam told the paper — and the Inglewood City Council — that if the deal goes forward they will sue to block it.

It’s impossible to say how this will turn out, although as a former government reporter I will say these cases tend to be decided in favor of the side about to spend a ton of money on a new building.

 

Jaylen Brown’s #drivebydunkchallenge video is awesome

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I love the drive by dunk challenge (if you prefer, the #drivebydunkchallenge), it would be the best thing on NBA Twitter this summer, if it wasn’t for Kyrie Irving.

But the best one yet comes from Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

He steals the ball, and the best part is the guy who comes over like he’s going to stop Brown from throwing it down.

Nets’ Jeremy Lin: ‘We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says’

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The Nets went 20-62 then traded their best player (Brook Lopez) for a worse player (D'Angelo Russell). Brooklyn’s biggest free-agent signing this summer (Otto Porter) plays for the Wizards. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Caris LeVert are nice developmental pieces but hardly seem on the verge of breakthroughs.

Still, Nets guard Jeremy Lin expects big things next season.

He set expectations in an Instagram Live video (hat tip: AJ Neuharth-Keusch of USA Today):

We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else says.

The Nets are on the right track given their asset constraints. Though worse than Lopez now, Russell – eight years younger and on a low-paying rookie-scale deal – is more valuable. Brooklyn made the favorable swap by absorbing Timofey Mozgov‘s awful contract, a wise use of assets considering the difficulty of attracting free agents. An aggressive offer sheet for Porter was a reasonable swing in that situation, as well.

But that’s all helpful in the long run. In the short term, the Nets are almost certainly stuck as lousy. Maybe they can sneak into the playoffs in a weak Eastern Conference, but even that is a huge longshot.

Not that Lin cares what I say.

Check out Top 10 blocks from Summer League (VIDEO)

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When you think of Summer League basketball, sharp defensive rotations is not the first thing that comes to mind. Defense, in general, tends to be an after thought.

But there were some great blocks.

Here are the top 10 blocks from the Las Vegas Summer League. Enjoy the flashes of defense from Vegas.