He might be saying he has nothing to prove, but someone is definitely playing like he’s a little pissed off he went so Bambi on us last spring. Pau Gasol had his third straight big game yesterday, dropping 21 points in an easy 17-point win for Spain over Britain. His little brother chipped in 18 and 11. If the elder Gasol keeps balling like this well into the season then perhaps Ron Artest is on the money when he says the Lakers will win the title. Actually, if both brothers keep this up, we could be looking at a very interesting Memphis/L.A. playoff series should they meet at some point. The problem with that World Peace prediction is we need to remember the first half of last season. Despite the weak way he finished, Gasol was a flat-out monster during the first few months of the season before wearing down. If he’s playing so great right now, could it happen again? The real beast of the day was Andrea Bargnani going off for 36 points in Italy’s 71-62 win over Latvia in what was probably the best game of his life, rebounding from what was a tough shooting night (3-14) against Dirk and Germany … Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting DeJuan Blair has signed a deal with Russia’s Krasnye Krylya Samara that includes an opt-out. Legitimate questions will follow this. Why would a man with no ACLs willingly risk his NBA career? You can look at it that way or say he may only have a limited pro shelf life, so he better make the loot when he can … If you want to someday intern with us, you need to learn these words. The definitive Dime flossary … We posted a piece yesterday asking who the better player was: Stockton or Isiah? and saw the final tally somewhat even. For us, it’s Isiah all day. He competed just as hard, was an infinitively better scorer, was just as good defensively and perhaps the biggest mark of all, he won and did it as his team’s best player. Thomas was one of the most ruthless competitors of all-time, and it’s a shame how he’s constantly overlooked in the game’s history. You can blame part of that on Michael Jordan. If those two didn’t hate each other, there’s probably an 85% chance that Isiah Thomas would’ve been on the Dream Team. At the time, NO ONE thought Stockton was a better player. But Isiah was his own worst enemy, and when so much of your legacy revolves around what others say and think about you, that hurts in the long run. All in all, Thomas was just better. While Stockton was a very good-to-excellent player throughout his career, Thomas was the truth all the time … Rasho Nesterovic is retiring. We could’ve sworn he retired a few years ago. Instead, he had just gone home to play ball and we barely ever heard from him again. As it is, he had a better-than-average NBA career. Who remembers back when he was supposed to be the answer for Minnesota next to KG? … How crazy has the reaction been for our newest cover boy, Aquille Carr? It’s popping off right about now. Even the Crime Stopper can’t believe it, telling ESPN that now there’s no turning back. Dwight Howard, O.J. Mayo, Tyreke Evans and Lance Stephenson are his measuring sticks… the only high schoolers we’ve ever put on the cover solo … We’re out like Rasho.
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