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NBA News Round-Up: James Harden Trade Review, Kobe Bryant is a Top 5 Player and More

Welcome to another day of the Hurricane Passes … er … Sandy Pa … Bullet Passes. Sorry, I have hurricanes on the brain and out my window and probably in my basement soon enough. Regardless, I am here giving you today's news only 36 hours before the tipoff of another fabulous season. Until then, you are stuck with me and my sarcasm and pop-culture references. Enjoy yo'self!

Obviously, the big news of the weekend was James Harden getting traded to the Rockets in the middle of the night -- kinda like the NFL likes to move franchises. And, of course, the move was not without its reactions and backlash; reactions tended to be from the players.

Most of the backlash was at Harden for being "greedy" and not taking the four-year, $54 million contract OKC offered him. But it's not like Harden said "trade me now" or "I don't want to be here." Nonetheless, people decided it was Harden's fault in some way. And for those of you who see it that way, maybe you should listen to Tom Ziller first. (REY-REY'S NOTE: Also, you should read WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!)

Or you can just roll with Jeff Zillgitt and the "it's all about the money" theory.

And then there is Chris Bernucca, who rips the Thunder for being more concerned about making money than winning a title.

And since we are talking about money and contracts here, why don't we talk the NBA's worst contracts?

I once had a bad contract with this escort in Ohio but we will get to that later … or not.

Speaking of Ohio escorts …

We are on the verge of a new season; we all have some questions. Who will be MVP? Who will win the scoring title? Who will win the championship? LeBron James hopes his name is at the end of all of those questions and Bill Simmons is going to tell you why LeBron's quest for immortality is so important.

You see what I did there with the escort thing and LeBron? Scott Raab would be proud. Speaking of which, if you haven't read "The Whore of Akron," you should.

Staying on LeBron, James and the Heat will meet up with their Eastern Conference rivals -- the Boston Celtics -- tomorrow. The Celtics will not only see former teammate-now-turncoat Ray Allen on the Heat sideline and will probably also see red. Allen seems to think otherwise.

Apparently, the Miami sun has baked Allen's brain into forgetting how much Kevin Garnett now hates him.

The Washington Wizards' Martell Webster slept in his car over the weekend after he left his keys in Kansas City of all places. Lucky for him, his wife loves him.

We have all heard rookie-hazing stories from sports and I don't really have a juicy one, but I have a mildly entertaining one from Kings forward, Thomas Robinson.

At least, SLAM Magazine still has Kobe Bryant in the top five for player rankings. Chances that is good enough for the Mamba? Zero.

And last, but not least by any means, a largely slimmed-down Eddy Curry will be starting for the Dallas Mavericks on opening night. No, this is not some big joke or a large pun; this is huge news for the big guy, who has been fighting hard to stay in the league. He does look good, and with some luck, maybe he will find a place to latch on to for a few years.

And that's it for the Passes today. Just remember: I love you, you love me, we're a great big NBA family. Now, have a good one! And there goes my car down the street. Nice; didn't know Hondas doubled as boats.

Birthdays for October 29

Player Name (playing years)

Bolstorff, Doug 1957-1957
Garmaker, Dick 1955-1960
Holub, Dick 1947-1947
Raiken, Sherwin 1952-1952
Singleton, Mckinley 1986-1986
Stroud, John 1980-1980
Vranes, Danny 1981-1988

Payton Wales is our loopy TNLP scribe in charge of links. Catch his writing at TheProBasketballTalk.Com and follow him on Twitter at @PaytonWales.

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