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TABLE OF CONTENTS

October 26, 2009 | Volume 111, Issue 16

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Shaquille O'Neal Cover - Sports Illustrated October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
Danilo Gallinari describes the pain he felt throughout last season: "It was 24 hours a day. I couldn't sleep. I had to get to the arena four hours before the game just to get ready to play. I...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
with an eight-time All-Star in Vince Carter and a former MVP in Dirk Nowitzki, Nets point guard Devin Harris isn't easily impressed. But there he was shaking his head and grinning during a recent...

October 26, 2009 | A.L.
Brandon Jennings became the first high school player to forgo a college basketball career to play professionally overseas. Whether the 20-year-old makes an impact during his rookie season will...

October 26, 2009 | Ian Thomsen
acclaimed as the heir to Robert Horry, and rightly so: In big games Derek Fisher delivers when it matters most. His two crunch-time threes to seal Game 4 against the Magic in June's Finals were...

October 26, 2009 | Ian Thomsen
most promising visions come true and he helps the Spurs win a championship next June, Antonio McDyess may look back on his traumatic knee injuries with newfound gratitude. "At one point I was...

October 26, 2009 | Paul Forrester
season was erratic at best, and Greg Oden heard about it. Plenty. "[People] were on me, even for things that weren't my fault," says the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, who sat out '07--08 after...

October 26, 2009 | Elizabeth McGarr
forward Paul Millsap returned to Salt Lake City after a weeklong stay with his family in Downsville, La., he knew he had to hit the gym. After all, his family had thrown a homecoming party...

October 26, 2009 | Elizabeth McGarr
are getting up there in age, but that doesn't seem to bother point guard Jason Kidd, whom they re-signed for three years in the off-season. Kidd, 36, sees no problem with a rotation that will...

October 26, 2009 | Lee Jenkins
and Aubrie Warkentien were listing their favorite NBA players, Nuggets shooting guard J.R. Smith would be at the top—which matters because Kreigh's and Aubrie's father happens to be Mark...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
2007--08 season no duo has run the pick-and-roll more effectively than Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler. Two years ago they connected on 107 alley-oop dunks, 70 more than their closest competitors....

October 26, 2009 | LEE JENKINS
seasons, six All-Star selections and two MVP awards, point guard Steve Nash is not supposed to be up for rebuilding. But Nash has never been your typical NBA icon. He signed a two-year extension...

October 26, 2009 | LEE JENKINS
first possession as an NBA player, in a summer-league game in Las Vegas, Blake Griffin ran a pick-and-roll with Eric Gordon and scored on a layup. If the Clippers are going to compete in the...

October 26, 2009 | Arash Markazi
an hour after the Warriors have wrapped up practice, and the only player still on the court is Anthony Randolph. He's at the top of the key, taking passes from a contraption under the rim that...

October 26, 2009 | Adam Duerson
his bond with a group of youngsters that averages a mere 3.6 years of NBA experience (the Baby Bolts, perhaps?), Scott Brooks packed his roller bag and hit the road for his first summer since...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
dictates that a team's marquee player be the last one called onto the court during pregame introductions. It's an honor bestowed on All-Stars, on scoring leaders—and almost never on...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
that ranked 29th in offense signs a career 27.1-points-per-game scorer on the cheap in the off-season. Good move, right? A team without a low-post presence picks up a 20-point, 10-rebound power...

October 26, 2009 | Andrew Lawrence
time Al Jefferson was this svelte was 2006--07, when he had his breakthrough season with the Celtics. After bulking back up to 293 pounds last year to better bang with the likes of Yao Ming and...

October 26, 2009 | Arash Markazi
knew he would be nervous, and as he sat in the visitors' locker room in Portland, ready to make his preseason debut as the Kings' starting point guard, he stared silently at the floor, collecting...

October 26, 2009
SI.COM/VAULT

October 26, 2009 | PETER KING
SI's fearless NFL expert opines on all the latest news, buzz and inside information. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.

October 26, 2009 | SELENA ROBERTS
longtime sports executive of the savviest kind, Dave Checketts understands that power circles actually take the shape of a pyramid. In the NFL hierarchy, no one is above commissioner Roger...

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 | L. JON WERTHEIM
Stadium? Yes. Owner? Check. Now L.A. just needs a team

October 26, 2009 | Peter King
Handicapping the candidates for California relocation

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009
Belgrade police charged Serbia's president with violating antihooligan laws by opening a bottle of champagne at a stadium to celebrate the country's World Cup berth.

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 | Kevin Armstrong
A birth defect couldn't keep Kevin Laue from a college career

October 26, 2009
A look back at a monumentally odd year for monuments

October 26, 2009
What smart fans should do this week

October 26, 2009
Henderson, who has been working on his dreadlocks since 2003, finds the Mohawk a little too eccentric. "I'm tired of being distracted by [teammate] Ray Edwards's head," he says. "[The Chargers']...

October 26, 2009 | As told to Sarah Kwak
The part-time coach stars in out on Friday

October 26, 2009 | Dan Patrick

October 26, 2009 | Edited by ELIZABETH MCGARR
POWERED BY MAXPREPS.com

October 26, 2009 | Puzzle by Mike Baranack
Fill in answers as in a crossword—except the answers are numbers. For rows or columns with multiple clues, enter answers consecutively. The sum will equal the red total at the end of each...

October 26, 2009 | ANDREW LAWRENCE
The Jets are gambling that talented but troubled wideout Braylon Edwards is worth the risk

October 26, 2009 | Peter King
No one ever said that Minnesota had to go 16--0 to make the experiment a success. The Vikings (6--0) take on their toughest opponent of the season in hostile Pittsburgh, where they'll face...

October 26, 2009 | DAVID SABINO
Now is the time to assess which veteran backs still have something in the tank—and which are out of gas

October 26, 2009 | MARK BEECH
Everyone likes what they see of Dion Lewis now. The overlooked Pitt freshman is the country's No. 3 rusher

October 26, 2009 | LARS ANDERSON
If the field doesn't close on Jimmie Johnson in the next two races, he'll cruise to a fourth straight Cup title

October 26, 2009 | JOE POSNANSKI
They're not just a pair of dancers at a New York nightclub; they're the near-nightly story of this postseason, when the Yankees got their old, late-'90s groove back

October 26, 2009 | LEE JENKINS
How much did it mean to Raul Ibañez to finally play for a winner? Enough to make him play through a serious injury

October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009 | JIM TROTTER
In his 19th NFL season is turning a new team on with a strong arm and his timeless magic. Will it last?

October 26, 2009 | MICHAEL FARBER
If it's hijinks you want, forget it. But at 21 has the skill, the grit and the determined demeanor to lead the Blackhawks to the Cup. No foolin'

October 26, 2009 | ALBERT CHEN
Showing it's not all about offense in the Big 12, turned to its suffocating defense to win a slugfest over Oklahoma

October 26, 2009 | JOE POSNANSKI
HE'S 82. HE HAS THE CAREER-WINS RECORD. ISN'T IT TIME TO QUIT? BITE YOUR TONGUE. AS LONG AS HE HAS AN IMPACT AT PENN STATE, ANGELO PATERNO'S SON IS STAYING PUT

October 26, 2009 | IAN THOMSEN
It's been years since the NBA's best teams have been this good. Here's why this is going to be the most exciting title chase in decades

October 26, 2009 | IAN THOMSEN
SI's picks for league honors include some notable repeats but also anticipate that one team will stage a major turnaround

October 26, 2009 | CHRIS BALLARD
LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul are among the players getting an earful from , who has no playing or coaching pedigree but knows just what they need to hear

October 26, 2009 | PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH BY IAN THOMSEN
HOW THEY'LL FINISH

October 26, 2009 | Ian Thomsen
used to ask Anthony Parker to do everything—score, rebound, defend, create for others. He was essentially the LeBron James of the Euroleague years before James became known for his comprehensive...

October 26, 2009 | IAN THOMSEN
more was made of Boston's off-season signing of Rasheed Wallace, Paul Pierce is among several Celtics looking forward to playing with a less-noticed arrival, Marquis Daniels. "Last year Paul had...

October 26, 2009 | IAN THOMSEN
five newcomers to the Magic's rotation jell with the returning veterans sooner than expected this season, credit Jameer Nelson. In August the point guard once again paid for a bonding retreat in...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
point guard Gilbert Arenas, arriving at training camp 22 pounds lighter than he was at the end of last season. There was small forward Caron Butler, who dropped 11 pounds. Shooting guard DeShawn...

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
his seven straight seasons as a double-digit scorer or his three 50-point games, combo guard Jamal Crawford is known for his numbers. But there is one digit that he wishes weren't part of his...

October 26, 2009 | Pablo S. Torre
a time (read: 2000 to '03) when Hedo Turkoglu was little more than that foreign guy on the Kings with Vlade Divac and Peja Stojakovic. But after last season it's fair to say that the Turkish...

October 26, 2009 | Andrew Lawrence
had mentioned John Salmons last February, Chicagoans might have wonderered if you were talking about a new downtown seafood restaurant. The 6'6" Salmons had played with little distinction for 6½...

October 26, 2009 | Paul Forrester
Nightlife. No state income tax. What more could a free agent want? That's the decidedly nonrhetorical question the Heat needs to answer for one of the NBA's most eligible, Dwyane Wade, who is...

October 26, 2009 | Pablo S. Torre
coach John Kuester has a Pistons championship ring from 2004, when he was an assistant under Larry Brown. And yes, power forward Ben Wallace, 35, has returned to Motown after four seasons away....

October 26, 2009 | Chris Mannix
figured he was in for an extended vacation after he was fired by the Wizards last November. It lasted six months—that's how long it took for the 76ers to hire him to replace interim coach Tony...

October 26, 2009 | Pablo S. Torre
15-year-old on the New Jersey AAU circuit, Pacers guard Dahntay Jones chuckled the first time he saw power forward Troy Murphy take the court for the opposition. "Troy played for the Newark Rams,...

October 26, 2009 | Adam Duerson
has been to the playoffs before—three times with the Kings—so when Charlotte's leading scorer called the 2008--09 season "a success story," he had some perspective. The Bobcats, who were 7--18...