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Karl Malone, Jon Stewart, and David Blaine Walk Into A Bar in Iraq... - The Downbeat - #542

   This here Karl Malone is going to be taking himself overseas to participate in the USO:

Two-time NBA MVP Karl Malone will join Admiral Mike Mullen as he wraps up his four-year appointment as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff this summer by leading his final USO entertainment tour overseas.

Ensuring all Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors, coast guardsmen and reservists are touched, Mullen will bring along "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, NBA Hall of Fame power forward Malone and illusionist David Blaine as Mullen makes his way to two countries in just seven days.    

I wonder what Malone will be doing with the troops.  Taking them hunting and fishing?  Delivering some elbows to insurgents?  Put them through Karl Malone boot camp?

I would also love to see Jon Stewart have Malone on his show.  Hopefully he's doing one from overseas.

  Your lockout updates:

NBA sides to resume talks on Monday -
A person with knowledge of the plans says NBA owners and players will resume talks toward a new collective bargaining agreement Monday, a month after the lockout started. Though representatives from the sides have been talking and met on multiple occasions since July 1, this will be the first meeting to include Commissioner David Stern, union executive director Billy Hunter, owners and players, the person told the Associated Press yesterday.

Where The NBA Lockout Will Be Won -
You think these owners care about the PR implications of the lockout? The league definitely cares, and David Stern has been a veritable churchmouse. (So far.) The union's leadership cares; not an iota of anger comes across in most Derek Fisher or Billy Hunter interviews. But the owners? This is 100 percent about adjusting the system in their favor; some need it for survival, others to justify their investments in the league. PR victories be damned if you can get $500 million in salary concessions.

This is a real battle for money, and the best thing the players can do individually is not try to sway a skeptical, bored and annoyed public. The best thing the players can do is show the NBA that they do not need the NBA. Deron Williams showed his new boss that he can make money without a Nets jersey. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Derrick Rose made a reported $400,000 each to play two exhibition games in the Philippines. The NBA nor those players' teams saw a dime. You think Jerry Buss, Clay Bennett and Jerry Reinsdorf like to see that? 

  Moni has a nice round-up of things ranging from Hayward's interview on ESPN700 and all of the Jazz players at P3.

  More Karl Malone.  The Basketball Jones has their list of the top PFs of the past 30 years and rank Malone second:

Malone is arguably the best player in NBA history without a ring, which is a bittersweet thing to say. He was so great, but just not great enough. Still, did you see all of the stats in the previous paragraph? Geez. Plus, Malone has one of the best signature dunks in NBA history. Play on, playa. If the Mailman had a couple of those titles that he was close to, he'd probably take the top spot on this list.    

Even if you didn't click through, you probably know who number one is.  Tim Duncan's per game stats are comparable to Malone's.  He also has the edge in some areas, namely blocks and rebounding.  What makes the difference of course is Timmy's four championships.  If Karl had two, then maybe he gets #1 on this list and moved up on the all-time great list.

  I think that Derrick Favors needs to change his twitter handle from @dfavors14 to @DFavorsMLIA.  Some of you may be familiar with the website  It's kind of the antithesis to FML.  If he doesn't want to change his twitter handle, then he should at least tag his tweets with #MLIA.

Most players, NBA or otherwise, tweet pictures of their cars, who they run into, who they're rubbing elbows with, etc.  Favors is the exact opposite of that.  He might not attract any non-Jazz followers that way, but it seems to fit his personality to a tee.  He also has the default twitter background to boot.  Here are some of the "highlights":

Man im bout to make me a big pitcher of kool aid when I get homeless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

About to eat at red lobster...I wonder what should I get...less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

Up early... Gotta get my mom car cleaned upless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

The official Derrick Favors..... Follow meless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply