5 days sans pay for Minnesota’s Eddie Griffin. Who knew that Astroglide was on the Association’s banned substances list?

The Luol Deng-Highbury item was just one of the weird hoops/footy crossovers I’ve had to navigate through today. David Beckham was presented with a Kobe Bryant jersey on “Good Morning America” (the outdated no. 8, too), NBA TV has been touting Trajan Langdon’s solid campaign for CSKA Moscow…and of course, the Austin Toros beating the Anaheim Arsenal last night, 104-87, behind 25 points from B.J. Elder.

I was lucky enough to be on hand for the Knicks’ closer-than-it-should’ve-been defeat of the Sixers Wednesday night, and Philly looked almost as lost without A.I. as Denver seems with him. Not that I wanted to see the Knicks run up the score or anything, but I’m worried about Jerome James’ fitness. No playing time = dangerous atrophy. It must be that sudden getting-up-and-down that scares the MSG medical staff.

More grim stuff from the Garden tonight, as Charlottte have just gone on a 10-0 run to close out the first half with a 52-51 lead. Emeka Okafor has blocked 7 shots in 30 minutes, which means he’s on pace to match Eddy Curry’s annual total in one game. The Knicks’ Quentin Richardson — terrific against Philly the other night — has 12 points and 9 rebounds.

No Mas — a blog that regularly puts alleged peers to shame (present company included), had the unique pleasure of chatting with Chocolate Thunder on the great man’s 50th birthday.

NM: Where is Lovetron exactly?

DD: Lovetron is a planet that is one million billion light years away. I go there in my mind to, you know, get away from the day-to-day.

NM: Anyone else we might have heard of who’s been to Lovetron?

D: Oh yeah. World B. Free. Artis Gilmore. And lots of beautiful women. That was my whole thing, taking the ladies out there. That’s why, when I go there, I travel in an invisible transporter, so everybody can see all the fine women I travel with. I like to show them off, you know. Back in the day, Lola Falana was often to be seen in my spaceship.