In the words of David Brent, “there’s been a rape up there.”

The NBA Players Association has filed unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB over the NBA’s new ball and the league’s recent tendency to tee-up anyone who coughs. They might have a case where the ball is concerned —- both Jamal Crawford and Nate Robinson can vouch for the neuvo rock being almost impossible to pass.

Speaking of which, the Knicks are trailing the Pistons, 56-49 at the half. While Eddy Curry was the recipient of some measured praise in today’s New York Times, his competent drumming play in the first half tonight isn’t quite enough to compensate for the clinic Chauncy Billups (14 points, 10 assists) is putting on. No evidence thus far of ‘Sheed’s newly patented “D-Wade flop”, but the time and place for that sort of thing was yesterday in Miami.

After a brutal home professional debut last Saturday (3 points, fouling out) former Longhorn Brad Buckman has been redeedmed somehat in the Toros’ D-League clash with Anaheim. Buckman has 8 first half points with Austin trailing, 30-26, with 4:57 left in the 2nd quarter. I’d love to tell you more about it, but some asshole in a bull costume wants me to do the Hustle with him. I don’t wanna say this game is poorly attended, but there were about 5 times more humans at Dead Meadow’s show earlier today.

(UPDATE : Austin 42, Anaheim 42 at the half. The classy halftime entertainment tonight is a karaoke contest ; a young women in a wheelchair just delivered a rendition of the Scorps’ “Rock Me Like A Hurricane” so turgid, I think Klaus Meine wants to hop in a time machine and retire the day after ‘Virgin Killer’ comes out. Note to James Dolan — this sort of thing isn’t nearly as awful as the Knicks City Kids.)

(UPDATE DOS : Anaheim 107, Austin 105, O.T. Crazzzy stuff. Before fouling out in overtime, Brad Buckman stole an inbounds pass in the final seconds of regulation setting up a game-tying layup by Brock Gillespie. Prior to that Buckman had almost as many crucial rebounds in the 4th quarter as he did missed foul shots. A B.J. Elder 3 tied the game at 105-105, but Anaheim’s Andre Owens drilled a 15 footer from the right side with 0.48 left on the clock. Jamar Smith scored 29 points and hauled in 11 rebounds in the Toros’ 3rd loss in 3 games. I’d be more explicit about the way Anaheim nearly let this one slip away, but the Arsenal’s Larry Smith and Reggie Geary are sitting about 3 feet away from me and this wouldn’t be a great time for me to complain about privacy at a public eatery.)

Earlier tonight, Agent Zero (33 points, 10 assists) won the battle and the war against his Xbox bud The ‘Stache (24 points), as the Wizards stomped the Bobcats, 121-109.