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Links: NBA tiers ladder and some great life advice

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Friday always comes so quickly.

NBA: Detroit Pistons-Media Day Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

7 takeaways from early going of 2016-17 NBA season

Matt Moore of CBS Sports has his “unofficial NBA tiers ladder update” up for all to enjoy:

Top rung: Clippers, Cavaliers, Spurs, Warriors

Runners-Up rung: Hawks, Raptors, Hornets, Bulls, Jazz

The Pretty-Good rung: Rockets, Thunder, Pistons, Lakers, Grizzlies

The Messy Middle rung: Celtics, Heat, Bucks, Knicks, Nets, Blazers

The Not-Good rung: Nuggets, Pacers, Wizards, Kings, Wolves

The Bottom rung: Sixers, Pelicans, Magic, Suns, Mavericks

The Heat and Nets (combined record of 7-15) are in the ‘messy middle’ while the 6-6 Pacers are in the ‘not-good’ rung. But I’ll definitely take ‘pretty-good’ for the Pistons considering no Reggie Jackson so far this season.

NBA Champion Andre Iguodala tells founders aim to be rich, but not famous

In recent years Golden State Warrior Andre Iguodala has gotten involved in venture capital. Sound investment and life advice from Andre:

Iguodala’s investment strategy is simple, but holds key lessons for traditional venture capitalists nonetheless. He doesn’t invest in what he doesn’t understand and he also has an interest in supporting startups founded by underrepresented minorities.

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When he takes meetings with founders, Iguodala said that he finds it easy to find common ground. Similar to how he was told countless times that being an NBA player was an impossible dream, he finds that most founders are trying to achieve something that seems unreachable. The one aspect of Silicon Valley culture he says he can’t relate to is the thirst for fame and media coverage. Living his life in the spotlight, Iguodala says he craves the anonymity that comes with a career outside of sports.

“I’d rather be rich and not famous than to be famous and rich,” he said. “You should try and have good intentions in everything that you do. Chasing fame is not a good intention and you end up in the wrong crowds.”

Stan Van Gundy comes clean amid ‘posse’ spat: I’m guilty

Some of you have been following the whole Phil-LeBron posse story, yeah? Here are some introspective comments from SVG on the matter:

Phil Jackson didn’t apologize for using the word “posse’’ in describing LeBron James’ management team, but forever outspoken Pistons president and coach Stan Van Gundy did it for him.

Before facing the Knicks on Wednesday, Van Gundy owned up to using the phrase “posse’’ in a similar vein in regards to black associates, saying the Jackson incident served as an epiphany.

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“It makes you all think,’’ Van Gundy said. “I think we’ve all got to become aware of our language and attitudes. I’m going to be perfectly honest here. I’ve used that word before. OK. When all that came out, I had to ask myself: Have I ever used that word before with a white player? The answer is no.

“You have to be aware of your own biases if you want to overcome them,’’ Van Gundy added. “I took that seriously. I understand why it’s offensive. I’ve never used that word publicly, but I have used it in talking to people I know. It has never been in conjunction with a white player.”

“At the time you’re going to call out other people on attitudes, you have to be willing to look in the mirror and call yourself out.’’

Hasheem Thabeet still on his return-to-the-NBA grind

Remember former No. 2 draft pick Hasheem Thabeet during Pistons’ training camp in 2014? His last season of competitive ball was actually spent with the Grand Rapids Drive. Not a lot of us remember much of that. For Thabeet though, he’ll always remember Joel Anthony being brought in (via trade for Will Bynum) to take his spot.

Via The Undefeated:

Can you reflect on your final NBA days?

I was traded to Philly [from the Thunder], then waived. I’m like, ‘What happened?’ I’m kind of down, feeling down. I just went home [to Oklahoma City], I was just hanging at home, you know. After I went through it, I go to Detroit training camp. Did great at training camp, and then before preseason games going, before game one, they bring in Joel Anthony, who wasn’t even in camp.

I was like, ‘What? I was here the whole time.’ I was so hard on myself that I wanted to go back to Tanzania. If I go back home, I can still live great. I’m already doing well for myself. I have businesses going on. I can go back home, and live and be great. I’m like, ‘Man, I’m too young. Learn the game.’ I love the game. I love my teammates. Even when I wasn’t playing I would hang out with Kevin (Durant). We would talk about all the games. I’m in it, but I’m not in it. I’m having all kinds of struggles over there, and one day I’m like, ‘I’m still here watching these games those guys they are playing. I can compete with these guys.’

Just another day at the office:

What was the darkest time over your NBA career?

I played for four teams in seven years, which is not bad, because some guys get traded around all the time. But the way the trades were happening, I had no idea why I would go. I guess that’s part of the business. I was nervous in Memphis. The last day of trade deadline in Memphis was a day off. I say, ‘You know what, it’s a day off, let me go to the [Grizzlies] facility.’ I go in for treatments, blah, blah, blah. I go in for a workout, I worked out, trade deadline is at 2 o’clock. I drive home at 1:30 and get a call on my way home saying, ‘You’ve been traded.’ I’m like, ‘What? I was just there, and everybody was normal there.’

LeBron James criticized for sitting so early in the season

LeBron took the Cavs’ previous game against the Pacers in Indianapolis off. It was the second half of a back-to-back, and LeBron needed rest even though the season is only about an eighth finished.

Indianapolis based sports columnist Bob Kravitz wasn’t a big fan of it:

Remember the old days when Larry Bird and Magic Johnson routinely took the night off three weeks into the season so they could properly maintain their bodies and get the proper amount of beauty sleep?

No, me neither.

Somewhere, Cal Ripken, Jr. is smirking.

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This is why there's such a disconnect between pro athletes and ordinary working people, and why that chasm is getting greater. So many millions of people in this country work a 40-hour work week, or work two jobs, or even three, and struggle to feed their families and stay financially afloat while working themselves half to death. So you'll pardon them if they see a multi-zillionaire taking the night off to get proper rest and react by going slightly ballistic.

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Beat the Cavs! And then Pistons fans can have a comfortable weekend and Cavs fans can pout around.