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Back to Work Early and Other News

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According to the latest from Arizona Republic's Paul Coro, Steve Nash is already back to work, along with new teammate Grant Hill, rookies Alando Tucker and DJ Strawberry, Sean Marks, and even ex-Suns Eddie House and Pat Burke. Suns fans have got to love hearing the way Steve answers those pesky questions about his "window" slipping away:

"What can I say, I feel great," Nash said. "There's a sense of urgency every year. What's the point of playing if you don't have a sense of urgency?"
And there's more:
"I have no feeling that I'm running out of steam. I'm getting sharper every day and enjoying it rather than coming in and being burnt out or tired to be back. I've been excited all summer to get back."
Nice to hear. Also nice to hear that he'll be heading to China along with Leandro Barbosa and Alando Tucker to participate in the charity game he arranged with Yao Ming. It will be the NBA players against the Chinese national team in Beijing on September 14.

In other news...

  • The NBA has announced that referees will be allowed to use instant replay to review "altercations" and flagrant-2 fouls. That's all well and good, but it doesn't really address what happened at the end of Suns-Spurs Game 4.

  • I was half-kidding back in July when I wondered whether Yi Jianlian's managers would have made guaranteed minutes a part of the deal if he had been drafted by the Suns. It was an interesting question in light of claims that it was concern over playing time and not lack of "glamour" that prompted Yi to hold out on signing with the Milwaukee Bucks. But the idea that a rookie might make demands for a certain number of minutes as a condition for signing seems a little far-fetched, right? Well, maybe not according to ESPN's Ric Bucher, who cites a source claiming that "only personal guarantees by [Buck's owner Herb] Kohl on how Yi will be handled ended the stalemate" and "those guarantees, according to the source, include Yi averaging more than 20 minutes per game and possibly as many as 25". I wonder how Mike D'Antoni would react to an edict like that? As for me, I've said it before: I'm a big proponent of earning your way. If guys like Steve Nash (or Dirk Nowitzki, to whom Yi has been compared) had to do it, so can Yi. But not everybody agrees with that philosophy. Kelly Dwyer filling in for Henry Abbott at TrueHoop thinks guaranteeing Yi playing time is a great idea, because it holds the Bucks GM accountable for making the draft pick. Ok, good point, but I'm sticking to my guns.

  • Speaking of Kelly Dwyer, here's a guy with obviously way too much time on his hands. He's spent much of the week digging back into his collection of DVD's to dreg up old NBA games and blog about them. And he's not just going for the classics either. Yesterday, he went back to 2000 for a Suns at Knicks game, which he says "intrigues" him because of the "nondescript nature of the teams". Curiously, he deemed the Suns-Spurs Game 3 of the 2007 playoffs as not "TrueHoop-worthy". Update: Kelly Dwyer has since clarified his comment a bit. As correctly suspected by reader Jess 13, he was speaking of his breakdown, not the Spurs/Suns Game 3 itself. I stand corrected.

  • Lastly, here's a sad reminder that we don't always get a second chance in life to make things right.