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NBA News Round-Up: Lakers Injuries, Heat Roster Moves, Gangnam Style, Betty White and More

Hello and welcome to another day of Bullet Passes. We have an event-filled day for you here, starting with the final emergence of Dwight Howard. Howard played in his first game as a Laker last night and made his presence very well-known right off the bat. Howard's first points as a Laker? An alley-oop from Pau Gasol. It announced the big man’s arrival to LA in his typical boisterous fashion.

I honestly thought Howard wouldn't return until at least mid-December. The fact that he is ready to go at the beginning of the season has me elated as it should the rest of the NBA. Not just because it's the Lakers, but because we get to see a team be its greatest from the outset. We get to see what they really are made of from beginning to end. This team has the chance to be historical, along with the Miami Heat, and that makes me salivate at the prospect of this season.

Howard is already giving NBA fans a glimpse of what he is capable of with the Lakers and he has only spent 33 minutes on the court. His 19 points have brought a phenomenal amount of expectation and excitement to the league and I for one cannot wait to see how this season plays out.

And now for the Passes.

*Not everything was roses in Los Angeles last night as the team ended the night with two injury scares to two starters. Steve Nash sprained his ankle early in the fourth on a collision with Isaiah Thomas but managed to return to the game while Metta World Peace dislocated his right middle finger in the same quarter. Both players look to be fine and should play in the next preseason game.

*If you didn’t read our site earlier today, you probably missed the news that Amar’e Stoudemire will miss the next 2-3 weeks due to a ruptured cyst in his knee. It's sad to see such a great player struggle the past few years with injuries and underperform when they reached such great heights before. Even sadder is the fact that you are not reading our site and I am linking to our own news because you are too lazy to click an extra button or two. Sad!

* Speaking of sad, it appears Stephen Curry aka Mr. Glass is at it again in Golden State. And by at it again, I mean his ankle is sprained for like the 500th time in his career. Seriously, the kid sprains his ankle so much it should be one of his stat categories.

*The Miami Heat waived center Mickell Gladness and forward Robert Dozier. Only reason I'm bringing this news to you is because both men have awesome last names and I kind of wish they were mine.

*OK, I feel like those last few Bullets were ultra-depressing, so let’s get a little bit happy. Since Gangnam Style has taken over the country, it's not hard to find a bunch of different people spoofing it. What you probably never expected to see was 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert doing the dance in the middle of an Indiana mall. But that is exactly what the big man did this past week. Gotta give the dude credit, he does a pretty good job of it.  And to think I nicknamed him Tall For Nothing back in his Georgetown days.

*Better get used to the thought of seeing Betty White’s face on Deron Williams’ arm. No, the two are not dating, but the Brooklyn Nets star will be getting a tattoo of the Golden Girl on his arm for a deal he made with a charity. Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars was raising money for Autism on Saturday night, where Williams made a deal that if they raised $100,000, he would get a tattoo of their choosing. Betty White was the choice. Yes, it's only temporary, but still pretty cool, even for a guy that uses a Sharpie to draw in his hair.

*In other funny news ... wait ... sorry, I read the headline and it said “Kings” and “versatile” so I just assumed. In all seriousness, though, James Ham of Cowbell Kingdom thinks the Kings have a versatile team and it will be good enough to challenge all opponents this year. And once you read his reasoning, you will probably think the same too.

*Chalk up another NBA conspiracy theory. Apparently, Jeff Van Gundy thinks there was a conspiracy between the NBA and ESPN to not hire his brother Stan who was fired in May by the Orlando Magic. Yup, that's the reason. Or maybe they just realized he had a face for radio and a voice for Smashing Pumpkins songs. Either way, enjoy the conspiracy.

*There's no conspiracies down in Charlotte, just a lot of blood, sweat, guts and dunk contests going on at practice as’s Ben Swanson gives you some of his observations from this past week.

*With Dwight Howard gone and Coach Van Gundy fired, it seems the Orlando Magic have little to work with this year as they start their rebuilding process. Even worse, they have a bit of a problem with the culture within the organization as well as with the fans. It's not hard to see why after what has happened the last two years as well as this being the second time LA has taken one of their star attractions. So how do you rebuild from that? Well, Evan Dunlap of SBNation’s Orlando Pinstriped Post thinks the rebuilding starts by rebuilding the culture and not with stars and winning games. He might just be onto something. Now if only he were in Charlotte.

And that's it for today, my friends. Of course, we will be back tomorrow and raring to go but until then, have a good one.

Birthdays for October 22

Player Name (playing years)

Bobbitt, Tony 2004-
Butler, Mike 1968-1971
Crow, Mark 1977-1977
David, Kornel 1998-2000
Glover, Dion 1999-
Martin, Slater 1949-1959
McInnis, Jeff 1996-2007
McNeill, Bob 1960-1961
Miller, Anthony 1994-
Petrovic, Drazen 1989-1992
Samb, Cheikh 2007-2008
Warren, Willie 2010-2010
Wetzel, John 1967-1975

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

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