NBA Draftyness Continued…

Posted in Basketball at 10:08 pm by

28) Dallas, Maurice Ager, SG, Michigan State

29) New York, Mardy Collins, PG, Temple
30) Portland, Joel Freeland, PF, Gran Canaria
31) Portland, James White, SG, Cincinnati (highest pick ever for a former Ze recording artist)
32) Houston, Steve Novak, SF, Marquette
33) Atlanta, Solomon Jones, C, S. Florida
34) Clippers, Paul Davis, C, Michigan State
35) Toronto, P.J. Tucker, SF, Texas
36) Minnesota, Craig Smith, PF, Boston College
37) Minnesota, Bobby Jones, SF, Washington
38) Golden State, Kosta Perovic, C, Partizan Belgrade
39) Milwaukee, David Noel, SF, North Carolina
40) Seattle, Denham Brown, SG, UConn
41) Orlando, James Augustine, PF, Illinois

ClipperBlog’s Kevin on the Knicks’ 20th pick, Renaldo Balkman :

Both Justin (who had to go up to the Egyptian for some function) and I saw Renaldo Balkman live at the Great Alaska Shootout last Thanksgiving weekend. Balkman had a nice game against Marquette, but seemed to find himself out of position on the floor constantly — which is a product of not having a position. He turned the ball over eight times against eight assists and was in foul trouble throughout the invitational. It’s a lousy pick for the Knicks who, unless they’re wed to Nate Robinson, could’ve used Marcus Williams. Watching Balkman for a full week from the fifth row in Anchorage, there was nothing that screamed NBA career, even thought he shot at a high percentage against the likes of Alaska-Anchorage and Monmouth.

Spalding has introduced a new, official composite ball for NBA useage. Aside from giving Will Leitch the excuse to use the line “You’re Not With Me, Leather”, the Association’s Brett Edwards might not be purchasing one in the near future.

The features of the new ball include “a new design and a new material that together offer better grip, feel, and consistency than the current leather ball,” as well as “moisture management that provides superior grip and feel throughout the course of a game.”

Whatever. Funniest part of the press release is where they assure us that the ball has been tested thoroughly, by using it in All Star Weekend activities, and the fact that “NBA retired players Steve Kerr and Mark Jackson participated in testing the new ball as well.”

Oh good, with Mark Jackson testing it we can see how the ball will perform when handled by an overweight point guard who makes crosses to praise God during game play, and with Kerr testing it we know that the ball handles well when used by a slow white guy who can’t dribble and just jacks up 3s. Hell, if that was the criteria, they might as well have had me test it.

Of the Sonics’ selection at no. 10 overall, Saer Sene, Supersonic Soul’s Paul Merrill writes,

Wait a minute, didn’t we already draft this guy? Like four times? I guess you can never have too many 7-foot “projects” that no one has ever heard of.

Raptorblog’s Scott Carefoot sounds like he’s ready to check out one of the CBC’s many entertaining Wednesday night offerings :

Russ Granik comes out to announce the second round of the draft for the last time. He always reminded me of the stripper that comes on stage after the feature dancer and right when last call is announced. I’ve always kind of felt a little sorry for him.

Take A Good Long Look, Isiah

Posted in Basketball at 8:52 pm by

The gentleman on the right is LaMarcus Aldridge, the highest draft pick in Texas Longhorns history. Barring a mooted swap with Portland, he’ll be suiting up for the Bulls next Autumn. Eddy Curry, however, is all yours! Nice work.

(ADDENDUM – Portland steps up to get Aldridge, Chicago has the rights to Tyrus Thomas, plus the Bulls acquire Viktor Kyrapa as part of the deal.)
Your draft results thus far :
1) Toronto – Andrea Bargnani, F, Benetton Treviso
2) Chicago – LaMarcus Aldridge, F, Texas (rights traded to Portland)
3) Charlotte – Adam Morrison, F, Gonzaga (highest Gonzaga player selected since John Stockton)
4) Portland – Tyrus Thomas, F, LSU (supposedly grew 8 inches between his sophmore and senior years of high school — imagine how tall he’d be had he never graduated!…negotiating rights held by Chicago in exchange for Aldridge)
5) Atlanta – Shelden Williams, F, Duke
6) Minnesota – Brandon Roy, G, Washington (traded to Portland)
7) Boston – Randy Foye, G, Villanova (traded to Minnesota via Portland)
8) Houston – Rudy Gay, F, UConn (rumors of a trade to Memphis flying around)
9) Golden State – Patrick O’Bryant, C, Bradley (a smart move — a team full of perimeter threats that sorely needs an inside presence, one they aren’t likely to get from Adonal Foyle)
10) Seattle – Saer Sene, F, Senegal (lots of talk about a 7’8″ wingspan, but I am assuming he has arms rather than wings)
11) Orlando – J.J. Redick, G, Duke (I’ll drink to that!)
12) New Orleans – Hilton Armstrong, C, UConn
13) Philadelphia – Thabo Sefolosha, G, Angelico Biella
14) Utah – Ronnie Brewer, G, Arkansas
15) New Orleans – Cedric Simmons, F, NC State
16) Chicago – Rodney Carney, F, Memphis
17) Indiana – Shawne Williams, F, Memphis (groans are heard in the Knicks war room, and not merely because J.D. is tuning his guitar)
18) Washington – Olexisy Pecherov, PF, Paris Basket Racing
19) Sacramento – Quincy Douby, SG, Rutgers
20) New York – Renaldo Balkman, F, South Carolina (the crowd is booing, presumably they know that Isiah has not drafted Ronaldo Blackman. Balkman hasn’t turned up, perhaps warned that he might have to attend a J.D. & The Straightshot gig after the draft. Stephen A. is “almost speechless”, the key word being “almost”.
21) Phoenix – Rajon Rondo, PG, Kentucky
22) New Jersey – Marcus Williams, PG, UConn (amazing, the Nets have not attempted to trade the 22nd and 23rd picks)
23) New Jersey – Josh Boone, C, UConn (shot-blocking demon, has also chosen to skip this beauty pageant. I like him already!)
24) Memphis – Kyle Lowry, PG, Villanova
25) Cleveland – Shannon Brown, SG, Michigan State

26) Los Angeles – Jordan Farmar Superstar (above, left), PG, UCLA
27) Phoenix – Sergio Rodriguez, G, Adecco Estudiantes

(UPDATE : Houston have completed the deal, sending Rudy Gay and Stomile Swift to Memphis in exchange for Shane Battier).

(UPDATE II : Philly and Chicago have swapped the rights to Sefolosha and Carney)

(UPDATE III : Boston are sending Randy Foye, Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz to Portland in exchange for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a 2008 2nd round pick).

Meet The (Crossdressing) Mets

Posted in Are You A Boy Or Are You A Girl?, Baseball at 5:44 pm by

Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful.

swiped from the Daily News’ Adam Rubin.

A-Rod Goes Boom, Sterling Strikes Again

Posted in Baseball, Sports Journalism at 5:05 pm by

Yankees 4, Braves 3 (12 innings)

I hate to repeat myself, but sometimes I’m left with no choice.

Dear Mr. Sterling,

Your frequent outpourings of emotion on behalf of your employer are neither unexpected or without precedent in your chosen field. That said, repeated references to home runs hit by Alex Rodriguez as “an A-Bomb by A-Rod” only serve to diminish the suffering and devestation experienced by those who were victims of a genuine atomic blast.

I do hope you’ll take this into future consideration.

Thank you.

A Loyal Listener.

Other than that, Suzyn Waldman’s postgame wrap was unusually informative, in that we’ve learned John Smoltz “still has the groin.” Were he functioning without one, then, I think Suzyn would really have a story.

Ben Schwartz On The Cubs, The Tribune Co. And Obscure Art Films

Posted in Baseball at 2:23 pm by

Ben writes,

The Tribune has declared it’s own ‘buyback’ program of its stock a major success, and despite the urging of major shareholders in LA (who most likely have been taking their financial advice from my posts here) to sell the Cubs, the Trib has chosen to keep them and base it’s new financial structure on pissing me off. As far as buyback plans go, I just finished watching Batman Begins in which Bruce Wayne pulls the same move on his own corrupt company and it proved devastatingly effective. I advise anyone wanting more info on money matters to watch this movie.

As far as the Trib™s most profitable product this year, the Cubs are currently downsizing their win column with another losing streak. What™s news is that Jim Hendry is now refusing to say whether or not Dusty Baker will be managing the second half of the season. And like other Republican organizations these days, Hendry and the Trib Co. refuse to use a timetable.

Today at Wrigley, Carlos Marmol has held the Brewers scoreless through 4, as the Cubs lead, 1-0, courtesy of a Juan Pierre solo HR off Dave Bush in the 3rd.

MLB’s Hallion Auditions For FIFA Gig

Posted in Baseball, Hockey at 2:11 pm by

A hotly disputed (OK, blown fair or foul call by umpire Tom Hallion in Texas’ 5-3 loss to San Francisco last night sticks in the craw of the Fort Worth Star Telegram’s Jan Hubbard.

If the Rangers miss the playoffs by one game, or lose the division title by one game, they will look back at the night of June 27 with even more anger than they felt Tuesday.

If it’s any consolation, Texas will probably miss playoffs by more than one game.

SportsTicker is reporting the NHL’s Rangers and Islanders are in negotiations to play a January 1, 2007 game at Yankee Stadium.  I guess it’s never too cold outside to boo A-Rod.

Chien-Ming Wang and John Smoltz are currently dueling at the Stadium, with the Braves holding a 2-1 advantage in the top of the 7th.  Following a nifty Andy Phillips scoop of a low Derek Jeter throw from deep in the hole between 3rd and short, Gary Thorne and Buck Martinez praised Jeter….for thanking Philips.

“So many professional athletes today,” intoned Thorne, “…I’m thinking of the NBA in particular, because it drives me nuts…guys make great passes, great assists….never acknowledged.  A guy goes in, slams it, never points to the guy who set him up, there’s no ‘hey, nice play, I appreciate it.’…it’s part of being a good teammate.”

Indeed, the next time someone argues that Jeter is a sucky shortstop, just quote Gary Thorne and cite the Captain’s sense of etiquette.

Johan Santana has allowed pair of doubles and one walk this afternoon against the Dodgers, as the Twins lead, 6-0. Joe Mauer has a pair of hits (single, double, one RBI) and his batting average stands at a ridiculous .392.  That said, Minnesota are unlikely to gain ground on the AL Central-leading Tigers, who are currently up, 5-0 over the Astros after 7 innings. Closing in on his 10th win, Justin Verlander has struck out 7 and given up just a pair of singles and a Jason Lane double.

D’Alessandro’s Mock Draft

Posted in Basketball at 12:23 pm by

From the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro…and I’m only listing 1-5, read the rest yourself.

1. Toronto, LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas : Most refined big in the field, but a deal remains very possible.

2. Chicago, Tyrus Thomas, LSU : Bulls’ chance to get bigger, tougher and upwardly mobile.

3. Charlotte, Rudy Gay (above), UConn : Perfect fit with young frontcourt; may be the best player in draft.

4. Portland, Adam Morrison, Gonzaga : No way he gets past this point. Wait ’til they find out he can’t defend.

5. Atlanta, Shelden Williams, Duke : Another year goes by without a point guard. Adds muscle, though.

With all due respect to D’Allessandro, I’m pretty sure the Blazers know about Morrison’s D. But I still suspect they’ll grab him if he’s available.

D’Alessandro has Bragnanni slipping all the way to the Rockets at no. 8, and predicts the Spartans’ Shannon Brown and ‘Nova’s Kyle Lowry will still be around when the Nets make their picks at 22 and 23.

On behalf of all white basketball players with tremendous flair and a crap work ethic, I’d like to nominate Basketbawful for sensitivity training.

In the event, however unlikely, that Phoenix sends Shawn Marion and their no. 21 pick to Seattle for Rashard Lewis, Danny Fortson and the no. 10 pick, here’s something for Suns fans to remember Shawn by :

The Morning Journal’s Bob Finnan pours cold water on the first round pretensions of Texas’ Daniel Gibson.

One NBA source said he’d be shocked if the Cavaliers took Texas point guard Daniel Gibson with th 25th pick.

”He’s not a first-rounder in anyone’s mind,”
the source said. ”There was some question whether he was going to stay in the draft. The world could be wrong and the Cavs could be right. Maybe the rest of the league is missing the boat?

”If you get a player of any ilk in this draft, you’re OK. Gibson (above) is barely 6-foot-1. That would be really out of the box.”

If Gibson was picked with the Cavaliers’ 42nd overall pick, that would make more sense.