NBA Essentials ranks our six favorite stories of the day.

1. Dallas Morning News. Rick Carlisle wants his Mavericks to be a team of jerks. "'How do you get guys to be nasty? Well, I think hating the opponent is a start,' Carlisle said." I wonder if this means the annual Nowitzki-Nash gala is off?

2. Gelf Magazine. "Why stat-heads and scouts need to kiss and make up to advance the sweet science of the NBA." (That's half of a self-link.)

3. Indy Cornrows. Someone out there is willing to defend Jamaal Tinsley and explain why he's in a feud with Jim O'Brien. That someone is ... Peter Vescey.

4. Associated Press, via GSoM. The Warriors are getting rid of mascot Thunder because of Clay Bennett's swag-jack. Team Robert Rovell reveals Thunder might get ditched in China next week.

5. Los Angeles Times. Wait, Lamar Odom is going to L.A.'s point guard now?

6. Fast Break. Meanwhile in Oakland, Don Nelson can't decide who will man the one for the Warriors.

Sports Connection

Connecting you to your favorite North Texas sports teams as well as sports news around the globe.

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