Along with covering Stephon Marbury’s econo-sneaker launch, the New York Post’s Marc Berman dropped the following tidbit in Thursday’s edition. Enjoy the last sentence.

While the Sixers vied for a sign-and-trade for Jeffries, Philly weeks ago approached the Knicks, asking Thomas to make an offer for rejuvenated Chris Webber. A source said Isiah Thomas has been discouraged by James Dolan to add significantly to the payroll after the Jared Jeffries’ splurge ($30 million, $30M luxury tax). Hence, his offer was weak – Quentin Richardson ($32M, uninsured), Maurice Taylor’s expiring pact and Malik Rose in one scenario for Webber and another player, a package that would not increase the Knick payroll. Obviously, the Sixers passed. But watch out at the trade deadline if the Knicks are in contention and Dolan reopens the vault.

Blazers mouthpiece Mike Barret
t reports that Portland purchased a blender for LaMarcus Aldridge, shown above right, being touched by David Stern. (link courtesy True Hoop). LaMarcus, had you stayed in school, I’d have sprung for this. (Note to the UT Athletic Department : just kidding)

Nets owner Bruce Ratner is said to be bringing the pro volleyball tour to Coney Island. Having axed Arena Football, NBC must be very confident of the public’s desire to see Von LMO in a speedo.

USA Basketball has shown their commitment to solid D for the upcoming World Championships….by cutting Bruce Bowen. Who knew Ray Allen had so much influence?