Darnell Mayberry’s fluffy profile of a recent Maryland native/recentLonghorn toiling in Seattle (“somewhere there’s a blueprint, waiting on Kevin Durant to dissect its details and pursue its path. It leads to stardom.”) provides ample backup for Clay Bennett’s promise the Oklahoma City journalism business community is fully committed to their Sonics.

The New York Post’s Marc Berman describes Isiah Thomas’ recent mood as “morbid” and “morose”.

Before yesterday, Thomas rarely talked about anything, at times his evasive answers barely audible as he stared sullenly at the floor. He didn’t bring his wife to the trial, not wanting to expose her to the circus, and she has apparently sworn off games this season.

Some people will do anything to avoid running into Jerry Ferrera.

Berman’s Post colleague, Peter Vescey, takes note of Kobe Bryant blowing off the Lakers’ final exhibition game against Sacramento, and concludes the Andrew Bynum Diss Machine will be traded by Opening Night.

When a professional athlete – from superstar to superstiff – foregoes a freebie to Las Vegas, red flags go up all across the painted ponderosa.

Home of all that is virtuous and vacuous, not to mention (but I will anyway) the Pacman Jones Hospitality Center and Water Park, Las Vegas, at last survey, is where 93 percent of the NBA rank and file get their mail sent.

While injured teammates Lamar Odom and Maurice Evans sat on L.A.’s bench dressed in business casual, Bryant did not make the arduous hour trip from Los Angeles, excused due to a purported sprained right wrist.

Excuse me, but there are just two ways to judge Kobe’s no-show. Either he was exercising a last-ditch effort to disrespect the team and force a trade, or a deal is so close that management didn’t want to risk him getting hurt.