Friday, June 30, 2006

You Tube

You probably saw that Bill Simmons AKA The Sports Guy posted his favorite 33 YouTube links on I'm gonna give you one right here that I think is better than any of his.

Latrell Sprewell, The American Dream.

2006 Draft

Yes, I went. I posted my notes on it from the Garden on I'm sure you can find them.

Monday, June 26, 2006


It's the week of the '06 NBA Draft, and mock drafts are everywhere. I'd be remiss if I didn't join in, despite the fact that I have no idea what the hell is going to happen. Basically I don't know anything about the European players, none of the college guys seem like sure things, and with high-school players as ineligible as I am, it just doesn't promise to be all that interesting anyway (except, of course, for the anti-Dolan forces that are coalescing in New York at this very moment). Honestly, with the World Cup going on, I care about the NBA Draft less than I ever have before (and this with my Bulls having the second overall pick). But what the hell.


NEEDS: Well, if you have the No. 1 pick, and it wasn't given to you as an early Christmas present by Isiah Thomas, you probably need everything. This is pretty much true, as the only place the Raprots are set is at power forward, with Chris Bosh and Charlie Villanueva. What the Raptors really need is a star to help at the gate, which they won't be finding in the Draft. (And, as Bosh gets closer to becoming that star, he's probably busy planning his exit strategy.) If the owners were smart, they wouldn't worry about attracting fans. That way the Raptors will become the Oklahoma City Drillers in no time.


THE REASON: The alleged best players in this draft are power forwards, but none of them are proven. And the Raptors have a scout named Larry Siegfried, so Roy seems like the right choice.


NEEDS: What the Bulls don't need is more youth, but when Isiah Thomas offers you a first-round pick, you take it. What they really need is solid frontcourt scoring (since Tyson Chandler is never gonna do it) and a star-quality veteran with playoff experience. What they should do is undo the Chandler deal and offer the No. 2 back to the Clippers and get back Elton Brand. Although even Donald Sterling isn't THAT dumb. Still, trading the pick would be wise if (as part of a package, obviously) it could bring in someone like Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O'Neal or even Vince Carter. That would get them further along in the playoffs—and they still have another potential lottery pick next year regardless. Thanks, Isiah!


THE REASON: Everybody loves Tyrus, so if the Bulls decide not to keep him, they'll be plenty of takers. And if they keep him, he anc Chandler should prevent EVERYONE from scoring inside. Now, if they could only find a way to score themselves.


NEEDS: In just their third year, the Bobcats have roughly three locks: Raymond Felton, Sean May, and Emeka Okafor. Given their short draft history, they probably would have taken Joakim Noah if he came out, but he didn't, and there really aren't any Gators available worth considering this high. So they'll have to do without a college champion this year. What they should do is see who new employee Michael Jordan likes, then take virtually anyone else.


THE REASON: Bernie Bickerstaff may not be able to get a champ, but he can go with a proven player from a proven program. Also, apparently Jordan wasn't impressed by his workout. Unlike, uh, Kwame Brown's.


NEEDS: Someone without a police record. And who isn't a point guard.


THE REASON: With Roy gone, take the next available somewhat local hero. Besides, the wispy mustache and long hair should evoke memories of the glory days of '78.


NEEDS: Another 6-8 athlete for Billy Knight's ongoing experiment.


THE REASON: At 6-10, Aldridge doesn't fit the height requirement, but even Billy Knight wouldn't pass on him here.


NEEDS: Latrell Sprewell's head on a stick.


THE REASON: ESPN's Chad Ford has him going first overall, but then again he liked Darko Milicic. Provided Bargnani isn't the next Nikoloz Tskitishvili, he can help make up for the absence of Kevin Garnett, either due to trade or homicidal rage.


NEEDS: To figure out how to win before Paul Pierce is old and grey and not walking through that door. (Do you think Antoine Walker waited a day to call him and gloat, or did he ring him directly from the locker room?)


THE REASON: A semi-local based point guard who knows how to win? Makes sense to me.


NEEDS: A trip to Oz to get Yao a heart (all kidding aside, he's getting there) and T-Mac a back (can the Wizard do that for a brotha?). jeff Van Gundy could use some better hairplugs, too, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

THE PICK: MOSES MALONE, Petersburg High School

THE REASON: Because I've stopped caring about this draft and there's still half of the lottery to go. Terrific.

I might get back to this later, but I doubt it.


A short congratulations to the Miami Heat—the first team of absolute mercenaries to win the NBA Championship. I know, all NBA teams add players to help them towards titles. But the Heat are the first I can recall who added SO many ready-made pieces the same year they won it all. Jason Williams, Antoine Walker, Gary Payton, James Posey. Even coach Pat Riley, who as team president replaced previous coach Stan Van Gundy...with himself.

It's funny. Mark Cuban gets a lot of press as a billionaire and free-spender, but as NBA owners go, he's not even all that rich. Heat owner and cruise ship magnate Mickey Arison is worth roughly $6 billion—three times more than Cuban. He's the kind of guy who can afford to have Shaquille O'Neal as a second option. Of course he's also the kind of guy that no one had really laid eyes on until he was accepting the trophy at center court. Cubes, not so shy.

Of course, Cuban makes up for his relative financial shortfalls by placing the team first—spending untold amounts on keeping the players happy, and hanging around the bench like a 12-year-old kid at his first game. He's genuinely taken in by the spectacle of pro sports, and it's safe to assume that he'll do his best to have the Mavericks right back in the Finals next year. That's not to say the Mavs will definitely be able to handle the Spurs and Suns again, but you can bet Cuban will give them all they need.

Will the Heat be as hungry next year? Dwyane Wade will be, but everyone else? Shaq, sure. As befitting someone who wants to be known as the greatest of all-time, he would love to add more rings to his collection (and separate himself further from Kobe Bryant in the process). But what of this year's additions? Payton, Williams, Walker, Posey. Do they want more? Or is the one year of work/reward enough? Will they be willing to do what it takes to stay ahead of the pack, to once again handle Detroit (and maybe a VERY hungry LeBron James?). I don't see it. In fact, the Heat seem to me to be the first championship team in recent memory who won't be the favorites going into next season. Who, in fact, were probably being written off for '07 before they even started celebrating '06.

Unless, that is, they get the same refs.