3 Commissioner David Stern appears serious about creating European-style basketball academies for young, elite players in the U.S.; witness his tour last week of IMG Academies in Florida. It's a fruitful area for examination—though including shoe giants Nike and Adidas in the study group, as the NBA is doing, seems misguided.
2 One season after getting rid of Ron Artest, the Pacers are dealing with the ongoing unpredictability of swingman Stephen Jackson. Jackson is often compared with Artest as a nice guy with a dark streak. But if the Pacers want to unload him down the road, they will have a hard time. "Artest is a big-time player who can control a game," says one G.M., "whereas Jax isn't remotely worth the trouble."
1 The heat has been coming down on LeBron James for the Cavaliers' tepid play, even though he's averaging 26.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists. That's unfair. James desperately needs the contributions of injury-prone guard Larry Hughes, who is just starting to get back into shape after missing 10 games with a sprained right ankle.
ONLY ON SI.COM Original pieces from Jack McCallum every Tuesday and Thursday at SI.com/nba.