THE END OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT: There is a rap video about Gregg Popovich. Really.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Miami Heat superstar LeBron James after a win in Charlotte at which the Bobcats introduced wrestling legend “Nature Boy” Ric Flair:
“When I was a kid, I loved wrestling. He was one of the guys I loved, too. I think he’s one of the creators of what we call swag these days with the Rolexes and the stretch limos and all the girls and all that stuff. He’s one of the creators of swag.”
LINE OF THE WEEK: Danilo Gallinari, Denver at Dallas, Dec. 28: 34 minutes, 14-23 FGs, 7-11 3-pointers, 4-4 FTs, eight rebounds, three assists, one turnover, 39 points in a 106-85 win. Gallinari went for a career high as he upstaged the home season debut of Dirk Nowitzki, one of his idols while growing up in Italy.
LINE OF THE WEAK: O.J. Mayo, Dallas at Oklahoma City, Dec. 26: 37 minutes, 1-7 FGs, 1-5 3-pointers, 1-3 FTs, three rebounds, five assists, one block, one steal, six turnovers, four points in a 111-105 overtime loss. Mayo matched his season low in points as he completed an awful four-game stretch in which he shot 10-of-40 with 18 turnovers.
TRILLION WATCH: The clock was running down at the end of the third quarter Saturday night, so Hawks guard DeShawn Stevenson had to shoot, misfiring on a 3-pointer. That was a shame, because Stevenson cost himself a virtually unimaginable 15 trillion. He would have easily unseated recently waived Nets forward Josh Childress, who still has the “best” mark of the season with an 8 trillion vs. Boston on Nov. 15, even though he doesn’t have a job. But this week was about keeping up with the Joneses – Dahntay and Dominique in Dallas, both of whom had 4 trillions Sunday vs. San Antonio. Rockets guard Daequan Cook matched their non-effort with a 4 trillion at Chicago on Christmas.
GAME OF THE WEEK: LA Lakers vs. LA Clippers, Jan. 4. For decades, the Clippers have been Jerry Lewis alongside the Lakers’ Dean Martin. But they are the best team in basketball right now, and a win over their hallway rivals would force many folks to re-assess NBA supremacy in Tinseltown.
GAME OF THE WEAK: Cleveland at Charlotte, Jan. 4. In the 2012 calendar year, the Bobcats somehow had losing streaks of 16, 23 and 18 games, the latter ending today when they beat the Bulls in Chicago. Cleveland’s all-time record of 26 straight losses remains safe.