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Friday’s Lay-up Drill

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Things are slow here at DBB because things are crazy here at Watson, Inc. But you're used to this by now, huh? Here are some links to peruse at work while pretending you didn't mentally check out for the weekend at lunch yesterday:

  • As you may have heard, Natalie from Need4Sheed held a contest recently in which she invited several of her readers to watch a game from the Pistons.com suite, complete with a pre-game tour and chance to watch the team warm up on the floor. That game was Wednesday against the Heat, and judging from the pictures it looks like an awesome time.

    As I alluded to on Wednesday, a DBB night is in the works for next month -- details will follow soon, I promise. In the meantime, kudos to the Pistons for reaching out to us -- there aren't a lot of franchises (in any sport, really) who embrace bloggers like this.

  • Wednesday's game was the backdrop to the Shaq-for-Marion trade being officially announced. I was at the game for HOOPSWORLD and among the scrum of reporters hounding Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade for their reactions:

    Like Riley, Wade seemed disappointed in losing O'Neal but also understands why the deal happened. "Of course, more than anything, Shaq is a friend, like family to a lot of us, especially to me. So we're going to miss him for what he brought us as a person," he said. "As a teammate, what he brought to our team, my four years here it's been unbelievable, so we thank him for it. But on the other end, this is a business at the end of the day. And both teams made decisions they thought was best for both teams."

    "I think no one's bitter on either end," he added. "I think Phoenix is happy, I think Miami is happy with the trade, and I think Shawn and Shaq are happy. I love Shaq and our relationship will not stop, we're just not playing [together] anymore. We had a great four years."

  • Charles Barkley gets all the credit, but Ernie Johnson is the glue that makes TNT's Inside the NBA so great. J.E. Skeets of Ball Don't Lie blog (I'm still getting used to typing that) interviewed EJ earlier this week. Consider it mandatory reading for fans of the show.
  • Rip Hamilton has eyes only for Kobe Bryant in the three-point shootout:

    "The greatest thing about it is they put Kobe in the three-point contest and he can't shoot better than me. He never could beat me in a shoot-out, ever, so this is my opportunity to let him know he can't shoot better than me."

    Trouble is, Kobe is thinking about skipping the All-Star Game and Tramp Ball Contest weekend due to a pinkie injury. Yes, a pinkie injury.

  • Gilbert Arenas on the dangers of shaving, um, down there.
  • PistonsNation caught up with former Piston Will Blalock, who returned from a stint overseas and is now suiting up in the D-League.