9/02/2005 10:13:00 AM|||Kurt|||Basketball has seemed very trivial these last few days. One of the things little discussed on this site is that I’m a big believer in volunteering — that living in a well-off nation as I do and in the manner I do is of great fortune, and I should give back. For the past few years I have done that by giving what free time I can (and money I can) to the Red Cross. I already know several people sent from Southern California to parts of Louisiana and Mississippi, and many more will follow them. If I could, I would. But what we can all do is try to help people in need on this end. You can donate to the Red Cross, or you can donate through a host of other reputable organizations that will ensure your money will go to the right place. Help with what you can — to me helping out those in need is a basic quality of humanity. A few Laker/NBA notes: • The latest Carnival of the NBA is up at the new and good Sacramento Kings blog. Not only is the Carnival worth reading, check back to this site during the season because Tom's blog may be new but he is doing good work. • In case you didn’t see it, the Laker assistant coaches this season will be Brian Shaw, Kurt Rambis and Frank Hamblin. Why do I think Shaw is the coach in waiting when Phil steps down? • Yao signed a max deal to stay in Houston. This should not be a surprise. Don’t expect Amare or LeBron to leave their situations either (not impossible but not likely). Having cap space available in a few years is a good thing, but in today’s NBA climate it seems better suited for filling in pieces than getting a core player. • I don’t really get the rumor of Earl Watson going to Denver. Oh, I get why he'd do it — they are offering him the most money. I’m curious how he will fit in Denver, however. Would Andre Miller start at the point but spend time at the two when Boykins and Watson come off the bench? • Tomorrow night at 5 p.m. (Pacific) you can find me with a beer in my hand, sitting with friends in an Irish pub watching Notre Dame football kick off the season. Hoops is still my favorite sport, but there are few things I look forward to as much as watching football with friends.|||112568175655079648|||Fast Break