DONUT 1: So Kobe put in some overtime last night after a loss to the Heat. Stayed in the gym for an extra hour to work on shooting.
And of course, because it's Kobe, it's the Top Story of the NBA day. "It's why he's a winner!'' and all that crap.
Here's a story: Why didn't any other Lakers join the workout? And because they didn't, is that a sign of why they are NOT winners?
DONUT 2: P.S.: In covering the Dallas Mavericks' win over the Knicks last night, The 75-Member Staff congregated at the DB.com Tower in downtown Dallas until 4 a.m. And after I sent them all home (in cabs, because they were drunk on the power of the internet), I put in an extra hour of typing practice.
Welcome to Dallas, Kobe.
DONUT 3: Speaking of knowing how to manipulate the media, here's a new Charles Barkley vs. Billy Packer Feud! Yay, just in time for March Madness!
How much you wanna bet that Barkley and Packer do not dislike each other? How much you wanna bet that this feud will last, oh, say, a month? How much to you want to bet that it will climax with a Billy Packer appearance on the TNT set?
Somewhere this morning, Mark Cuban is wondering how he can call both Barkley AND Packer "jackasses'' so he can get in on this.
DONUT 4: OK, so we've all had our little fun with the "soft'' thing. Are we done now?
Truth is, between being mentally soft and physically soft, every NBA team probably "goes soft'' at least 20 or 30 times a year.
You know. In the games they lose.
"Only in Dallas" is this a highly sensitive issue, says owner Mark Cuban. But he's wrong. A Dirk-led team hears it. But so does every other team that falls short of a title. Didn't the Knicks look rather "soft'' on defense? Wasn't Bosh "soft'' in Toronto? You know who is really "soft''? Whoever's in last place today.
My man Tim MacMahon writes this morning that the Mavs will "have to prove themselves against the Los Angeles Lakers to really rid themselves of the soft rap. They get a shot at L.A. on Saturday night ... (and then) beat L.A. in the second round -- assuming the Mavs avoid another first-round stumble -- and suddenly the skeptics become believers.''
Respectfully ... that's all false.
So if Dallas beats LA on Saturday, Dallas is no longer soft? But if Dallas loses, is Dallas therefore re-established as soft?
See how silly this is? No, you don't yet see how silly this is? Let's try some more:
If the Lakers lose to Dallas, are the Lakers soft?
And one more:
If the Mavs beat LA in Round 2 of the playoffs -- thus signaling the Death of Softness -- but then lose in the West Finals to the Spurs, you know what some dopes are going to call Dallas?
Yes, you do.
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DONUT 6: Just Me & Roddy B, the way God intended my time in the Mavs locker room to be:
DONUT 7: Chuck Greenberg is out as Rangers CEO and it almost feels like a dare to DFW media to write something negative about Nolan Ryan.
DONUT 8: Boy, I like how Rick put it right into words, calling out the offenders last night, reflecting on the previous evening in N.O.:
"A guy (Belinelli) throws Marion out of bounds and he got a $10,000 fine,'' Carlisle said. "West took a cheap shot at Dirk and threw him over the bench. ... Those kind of things come to me. I just know that in this league that it's so competitive that your posture and disposition and approach have got to be absolutely focused.''
But you don't throw a punch. So what do you do? You respond to having a team "take liberties'' with you with "posture and disposition and approach and absolute focused,'' yes.
But by God, you also do what Brendan Haywood did last night, raking over the top of 'Melo -- arms, shoulders and face -- to prevent a bunny. You do what Corey Brewer did repeatedly, irritating the Knicks with pesky hustle and initiated contact.
Big Wood and Brewer didn't throw punches. But they were body blows just the same. And maybe if you demonstrate "disposition'' on a regular basis, the self-styled bullies think twice before cowardly shoved from behind.
DONUT 9: Please join our Dallas Mavericks FISH Facebook Page ... prizes to be won, fun to be had, friends to be made! C'mon! I seem nice! We'll probably hit 500 friends today or tommorow, at which time somebody is going to win Mavs tickets on me. ... so come aboard!
DONUT 10: I don't mean this necessarily in the statistical sense, more in the vibe sense: I've never seen Carmelo play a game against the Mavs and seem less significant.
The 5-of-15 for 18 points was underwhelming. I do believe 'Trix troubled him some. But it wasn't just that. There was disinterest on the part of 'Melo, I thought.
Character flaw or singular fluke? New York gets to find out, long-term.
DONUT 11: Hottest shirt among Mavs fans? I would say it's the Fish-tested, Dirk-approved 'TAKE THAT WIT CHEW!' from the DB.com Store!
DONUT 12: Darren Rovell reports that Knicks season tickets next year will rise by an average of 49 percent, which is probably the largest jump in sports history.
DONUT 13: "Perspective'' is cliche and "prayer'' is not everyone's way. But as we watch the disaster unleash itself in Japan, perspective and prayer are probably the best we have to say and do.