Welcome to the NBA Down Under Digest, which is a weekly recap of all of the latest developments on and off the court, from the smart moves to the worst of the worst. All of the off season workings of the NBA will be available every Sunday for your reading enjoyment. Let's see what happened this week around the Association! THIS WEEK IN THE NBA Steve Nash's 20 Minute Workout For all of you aspiring NBA superstars out there, we have Steve Nash's remarkable 20 minute work out video on display across the Internet. And as Steve himself would say, "if every basketball player worked out as hard as me I'd be out of a job." I'm sure there will be plenty of these little 20 minute workouts on Steve's Calendar next month when he dons the purple and gold of the Los Angeles Lakers. The workout though is great for anyone who just wants a workout or if you are really serious about your basketball. Rondo's Turn Well if it wasn't enough that Jason Terry picked the Celtics to win the NBA Championship Rajon Rondo has joined the act. I'm just curious who will be next. After all of the Boston Celtics have said they are going to win it, maybe LeBron or Kobe will pick the Celtics to win the NBA Championship. It's fine to have all the confidence in the world, but I'm always just a little bit suspicious when teams are over-predicting that they may at crunch time be under performing. In Rondo's case however he was spectacular in the playoffs last year so maybe I'll give him a pass. Statue Fever Kareem Adul-Jabbar is finally getting his statue at Staples Center, albeit, 23 years late. In any event it's still a good on ya', Kareem. Not to be outdone though, in what I consider to be statue fever, Indiana State University is planning it's Larry Bird statue. Now the statue has been in the works for some time, but it's obvious that Kareem's statue has re-focused Indiana state on the project. No one can complain about Bird's statue however, as Larry Legend led the Indiana State Sycamores to the NCAA Championship game against Magic Johnson's Michigan State Spartans in the 1979 final. Indiana State lost the game but it could hardly be blamed on Bird as he was the whole team. The only issue I have with this whole thing is that Indiana is concentrating on making sure the statue is bigger than that of Magic Johnson. Say what?? Blake Griffin's Knee I just can't imagine what it would be like to be preparing for the Olympics and then have your knee go. If you were in an individual sport you would be devastated, but in a team sport it has to be much worse. Not only did Griffin have to watch his mates kick ass in the London Olympics, he will now get to listen to them talk about their experience and tell him how much they missed him every time they see him. It's not all bad news now though as Blake says his knee is 100 percent. That is good news for his Los Angeles Clipper team mates. He also signed a contract extension that is worth complete bank. The Clippers also did some good in the off season by signing free agents Ronny Turiaf, Grant Hill, Willie Green and Jamal Crawford. They also held on to Chauncey Billups and grabbed Lamar Odom. Tony Parker Can't Blame Soho Nightclub No wonder Tony Parker's eye was almost lost during this brawl. The picture in this article is just a little bit numbing. For those who don't remember Parker was almost out of the Olympics due to an injury he received in a brawl at the Soho Nightclub in New York. The NBA star is currently suing the club for $20 million dollars. The brawl was purportedly between the entourages of Canadian rap artist Drake and Chris Brown, but now the club's attorneys are claiming the law suit needs to be dropped. They contend that it is crazy to think clubs should monitor relationships between its patrons in order to avoid confrontations. NBA Execs Pick Heat, Lakers, Thunder How funny is this? Unless you've been living in a cave and not known that the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder were in the NBA final last year, and that the Los Angeles Lakers got Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the off season, how could you come to any other conclusion than the favourites to win the NBA title were not the Heat, Thunder and Lakers? Not to mention the fact that you are an NBA executive. I guess it's even more amazing why Sports Illustrated would commission a reporter to poll 20 NBA execs and coaches and think for a second they could come to any other conclusion than the one they came to. Scratching my melon in OZ! Pau Gasol in Chad I just love these stories as once again we have another NBA superstar helping the less fortunate. Unfortunately, it just doesn't get reported often enough, so I'm glad I can speak about it here. There are over 18 million people at risk from disease and famine in Chad, many of whom are children. A star like Pau Gasol can draw attention to this type of tragedy by just speaking about it, but he has gone the extra mile and is actually in the country trying to make a much bigger difference. He actually played some pick up basketball and refereed a kids soccer game before meeting with the Chad government. This article is very sad, but quite often athletes fly under the radar with this type of thing and don't get the credit they deserve. Shaq's Number 34 To Be Retired At least Shaquille O'Neil won't have to wait 23 years for his jersey to be enshrined in the rafters in Staples Center. The ceremony will be on April 2nd, at half time of a Lakers versus Dallas Mavericks game. Jamaal Wilkes will also have his jersey retired at the same time. Wilkes wore number 52 for the Lakers and was an important cog of the Laker championship teams of the 1980's. Jamaal Wilkes was known as "Silk" for his silky smooth 20 foot Jumper, which legendary announcer Chick Hearn called the 20 foot layup. Chick Hearn is also in the Hall of Fame as an announcer, and Shaq needs no introduction. Matt Barnes Arrested Matt Barnes is still a free agent, but he is feeling anything but free. Barnes has accused a Manhattan Beach police officer of hating Matt's guts and being out to get him. Barnes was arrested on July 30th for a traffic violation. At the time he said the arresting officer had waited two hours outside his car in order to make the collar. Barnes says the cop is out to ruin his life. I'm not sure how he arrived at that conclusion, but in any event he says he is talking to multiple teams and expects to sign soon.
As always we would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave any comments or opinions you may have. See you next week! Photo Credit: (top) Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images