Happy Friday. And welcome to The Five. This week's version runs the gamut, from the surprising to the expected to the embarrassing to the controversial.
1) Klay Thompson visualizing his next contract
Klay Thompson always comes to training camp with an addition to his game. Watching him go to work as a member of Team USA during the FIBA Tournament, it's easy to spot his next point of emphasis.
He's taking it to the rack, driving and dunking and even handling the business end of alley-oop passes.
Drafted in 2011 largely on potential, Klay entered the league as 3-point marksman. In Year 2, he added a defensive mentality. In Year 3, there was a visible reduction in his mental lapses. Year 4 looks to be the season of sailing into the paint.
Through eight World Cup games, Thompson is Team USA's third leading scorer (12.8 points per game), behind James Harden and Anthony Davis -- but ahead of Warriors teammate Stephen Curry.
It's safe to assume Thompson, in the last year of his rookie deal, is visualizing the possibilities his next contract, being negotiated between the Warriors and agent Bill Duffy.
2) A chance to replace future Hall of Famer Jason Kidd
Former East Bay resident Jason Kidd has his reasons for leaving his old job as coach of the Nets to accept a similar position with the low-profile Bucks. Ex-NBA player Lionel Hollins replaced Kidd and moved into his former office in Brooklyn.
But anybody meeting certain income requirements can move into J-Kidd's former apartment. All it takes is something in the neighborhood of $2 mil per year.
Kidd and his wife, Porschla, have decided to rent their place at the fashionable Aldyn in Manhattan. They're asking $22,000 per month. Hey, it has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a chef's kitchen, views of the Hudson River and, of course, some spectacular amenities within the building, including a Pilates Room and a Kinesis Room. And, of course, a full-size hoops court.
Kidd is 22 years and many paychecks removed from those the days when I bought him Subway sandwiches for lunch.
3) Say Goodnight, Mr. Big Shot
Every professional sports league has a few players that go beyond professional. They embody a certain dignity. Chauncey Billups was such a player.
The veteran point guard announced his retirement this week and, yes, he turns 38 on Sept. 25. He's a five-time All-Star and was the leader of the 2004 Pistons -- the least decorated championship team in recent years -- winning NBA Finals MVP.
"It's just time," Billups told Yahoo Sports.
[NEWS: Chauncy Billups retiring]
Beset by a variety of injuries, Billups played only 61 games over the past three seasons and had settled into an unofficial assistant coaching role. Pistons owner Tom Gores said the man known as Mr. Big Shot for his tendency to drain clutch baskets has shown "leadership, dedication and excellence both on and off the court."
I don't know Billups is a Hall of Famer, but I'm not going say he doesn't belong.
4) Danny Ferry will help us evolve
When occupied by the outrage accompanying our moral sins, we often overlook that ignorance and stupidity provide power for human evolution. It is our unawareness that eventually creates the dialogue that pushes us toward enlightenment.
Odd as it seems, we should thank Hawks general manager Danny Ferry for his contribution to sports and, perhaps, society. Previously known as a sub-mediocre NBA player and a mediocre GM, Ferry's silly offhand comments about Sudanese player Luol Deng opened a door that should remain open forever.
The NBA, if not society in general, is one giant leap closer to banishing stereotypes.
5) One man relieved Ray Rice, Hawks execs dominating headlines
While the sports world and beyond fixated on the news created by NFL star Ray Rice and the Atlanta Hawks front office, Greg Monroe had a week he wishes never happened, seven months after an incident he'll always regret.
The Pistons big man was arrested Feb. 13 near Detroit for DUI and pleaded guilty in April. The police report, released Tuesday, after the NBA slapped Monroe with a two-game suspension, will provide teammates with joke ammo for years.
Yes, Monroe failed the field sobriety test. Worse, he missed a letter when reciting the alphabet. Worst of all, the report said he "urinated on himself" while being booked.
My mother had a two-word term for someone so inebriated. You can use your imagination.