“Man In The Middle” author John Amaechi is covering the Olympics for the BBC and after encountering the Rocky Mountain News’ Chris Tomasson, alluded to some weirdness with members of the U.S.hoops contingent (“I ran into Kobe, and he was surprised to see me. It didn’t go well”). Via his own blog, however, Amaechi appreciates the props from U.S. TV folks (“Craig Sager is not one to dodge the bar tab!”) and occasionally delves into the sort of introspection we’re probably not gonna see from a retired Shaquille O’Neal.

I miss being in shape. If it wasn™t for the total indignity of it all, I might consider going on the biggest loser or some similar show to embarrass myself into losing some weight.  Maybe I should just have my jaw wired?  No, wait, that won™t work.  I can get whole chicken wings through the gaps in my teeth…instead, since I live in LA part time, maybe I™ll go the Star Jones route?  I mean stomach staples, not a gay husband (allegedly.)

I didn™t realise how much of my identity was/is tied up with the trappings of the game.  I spend a lot of time criticising athletes and former athletes for the same thing, but in my case, instead of women and adulation, I was hooked on being toned – and I am jonesing something fierce right now!

It™s ironic that when I was in shape – when I had 7% body fat – NBA fans called me fat – and I believed them!  Looking back, I should have had thicker skin back when my skin was thinner.

Just days after Stephon Marbury (accurately) described himself as being a bit ahead of his time with his well-documented desire to play in Italy, the Boston Globe’s Marc J. Spears quotes an anonymous source as claiming Marbury will never play another minute in a Knicks jersey. “There’s no place but America where you can make 20 million dollars for free” said Marbury to the Post’s Marc Berman, and there’s no company quite like Cablevision, where that $20 million will somehow emerge from the pockets of average schmoes, many of ’em far too smart to have ever paid for a Knicks ticket.