- Bill Simmons may not be happy Joe Dumars is in the Hall of Fame, but the people in his hometown of Natchitoches, Louisiana certainly are. Here's an appreciation of Joe. D's induction from Natchitoches, with a nice story of how Dumars helped his hometown college feel at ease during their recent appearance at the Palace during the 2006 NCAA tournament.
- Michael Jordan has famously called Dumars the best defender he's ever faced. But would Dumars' defense still be legal in today's NBA? Henry Abbot from True Hoop points to explanation of why it wouldn't be.
- He's gone but not forgotten: vote for the picture of Ben Wallace blocking Shaq's dunk attempt in the Eastern Conference Finals as being NBA.com's best picture of the 2005-06 season (or at least better than the run-of-the-mill Kobe picture that it's up against). Man, that was a sweet block, though I'm not convinced that NBA.com picked the best angle.
- SLAM has taken on the task of ranking the league's top 50 players. It's an arbitrary task to be sure, but it's also given the opportunity for some notable bloggers to take a turn in the spotlight, from the basketball blog godfather Henry Abbott to everyone's favorite J.E. Skeets . And did you see who's nestled in at No. 49 between No. 50 Boris Diaw and No. 48 (and Central Michigan Chippewa) Chris Kaman? That's right, our (former) boy Darko.
- Also spotted on True Hoop: interesting viewpoints on Dave Cowens, the newest addition to Flip Saunders bench. Basketbawful takes issue with his promotion back to the big boys league after a dismal 5-23 season in the WNBA while Charley Rosen calls him the dirtiest player of all time:
[The] dirtiest player in NBA history was Dave Cowens. Yes, he was skilled. Yes, he was tough. Yet his all-out aggressiveness was frequently mindless and downright sadistic. (In a bar-fight while he was in college, Cowens once bit off a large piece of an antagonist's nose.) Cowens, more than any of his predecessors, was considered by his contemporaries to be the one player whose over-the-top brutality was most likely to send an opponent to the hospital.
- Losing Ben Wallace was a blow, but just how bad has Detroit's summer been? According to ESPN's Marc Stein, their offseason moves rank 11th out of the 15 teams in the East. Who had the "best" summer? The Miami Heat, who haven't added a single player but were able to re-sign Dwyane Wade and Alonzo Mourning.
- Bonzi Wells was once considered one of the league's top free agents, especially on the heels of a spectacular offseason. Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix asks: so, uh, why is he still unsigned? The Nuggets appear to be interested in him, and at least one writer things the Timberwolves should be. (Last two links via HoopsVibe)
- Last but certainly not least: MGoBlog previews Michigan vs. Notre Dame. This is going to be huge!