Indy’s Stephen Jackson (above), Jamal Tinsley, Marquis Daniels and Jimmy Hunter had a spot of trouble at a strip club early Friday morning, and the New York Post’s Peter Vescey denounces the Pacers as ” a team with a treasured tradition that has become impossible to enjoy or embrace the last two years.”

Naturally, to preserve their eligibility as stereotypical, hot-blooded, professional athletes, the four non-practicing adults came packing the standard accessories – (three licensed) hand guns, (a petit passel of) marijuana and a severe shortage of smarts, according to reports.

Throw in three local yokels (one disabled with fingers missing from both hands, so the story goes), to the mix whose lives would be made taking down/out an NBA player or two, and it’s hard to envision a problem arising in such a refreshing environment.

Words were exchanged in the club. The beef was taken outside. Jackson was punched in the face by one guy while another tried to run him over. The Pacer paradigm allegedly retrieved his 9-mm handgun and fired a shot into the air before being hurled over the hood, possibly the whole car. A security camera only caught so much of the action. Five more shots were fired – in the air – Jackson, bloodied, limping and in need of medical attention, reportedly told police.

Shame on Jackson for putting himself in a position where he’s “forced” to use his gun!

Shame on Jackson, Tinsley, Daniels and the outward bound Hunter (I sniff a handy scapegoat), for not understanding the naked truth; they owe it to their team to protect its honor and their bodies, as opposed to viewing others!

Meanwhile, anything they can do outside, they certainly can do in the safety of their own home. If the urge to scope strippers is irresistible, take a cue from rappers and simply install a pole in their rec room.

Shame on Rick Carlisle! Obviously, his practices aren’t tiring enough.

According to the Boston Globe’s Peter May, Michael Olowokani (currently in Celtics camp without a guaranteed deal) told teams he’d show up if they merely covered his costs. Other than the part about his showing up and costs being covered, it sounds like a great deal.

The New York Times’ Howard Beck
is at Knicks’ training camp in Charleston, SC, and reports on Isiah Thomas’ unusual attempts to foster team bonding.

On Wednesday night, the team watched part of Spike Lee™s Hurricane Katrina documentary, œWhen the Levees Broke. Thomas said the entire room was silent for several minutes afterward, and Lee was in tears.

Thomas explained the value of the exercise: œIn order to get to know your teammates, you™ve got to be able to have those discussions about things that you don™t normally talk about, things that are taboo ” race, religion, politics. The film gave us a way ” and gave them as teammates a way ” to start addressing each other and talking to each other about those sensitive subjects.

I’m impressed by Zeke’s enlightened approach, and look forward to seeing how the team responds to future screenings of “Disclosure” and “Love & Basketball”.