Bill Simmons has started his campaign for the Timberwolves GM position and he’s got a plan – the Thunder model: “Guys I would build around: Jefferson, Love, Brewer, Foye, 2009 No. 1 pick. My game plan: Emulating how Presti rebuilt the [Thunder].” Seriously though, consider me as part of Simmons’ street team. I think it’s a great idea. This is one of those things that people can’t really decide if he’s completely serious or not, but I think he his. And I think he’d do a pretty good job. The guy knows basketball. He just does. Heck, he’s got a 700 page book about it coming out in a few months. Of course it could just be 700 pages of Teen Wolf and Shawshank analogies, but still. So much of being a GM is making well-executed moves that are crafted with purpose and vision (see: Presti, Sam). And I think Simmons could follow that route. As penance, you can make me assistant to the traveling secretary. I’ve always been jealous of George Costanza’s job.
Ah, bad news for Team Simmons: “The Minnesota Timberwolves have offered a contract to former Pacer’s executive David Kahn, and according to conflicting reports he could be named the new Vice President of Basketball Operations or he could carry some other title, with Fred Hoiberg being named VP of Operations. Neither the Wolves nor Kahn have been able to be reached for comment. However it seems Kahn will be joining the Wolves in a senior leadership capacity.”
The Thunder will play a preseason game against the Spurs in Austin: “The Oklahoma City Thunder will play the San Antonio Spurs in a preseason game next season in Austin, Texas. The Oct. 20 game will be played at the Erwin Center. It will serve as a homecoming for Thunder star Kevin Durant, who played one season for Texas before entering the NBA. The Oklahoma City franchise selected Durant with the second overall pick in the 2007 draft. The Longhorns retired Durant’s No. 35 jersey in February during a halftime ceremony of a game against Texas A&M.”
Blake Griffin is Twittering. A few *stellar* entries (no false alarms here – this one is for sure real): “out in L.A. for the weekend just had a late birthday celebration for my brother at my agents house. happy bday taylor… Whats up everybody. Had a yogo session this morning, a four hour photo shoot now we’re headed to the jimmy kimmel show. Just another day…” He’s following three people – some athletes thing, whatever “excelsm” is and Kim Kardashian. I know, weird.
Classy newspaper blog that Seattle PI is. Classy: “Sadly, the contest was only open to Oklahoma residents. Just another slap in the face to Sonics fans who surely could have come up with better seven-word salutes. I just spent all of 30 seconds coming up with my own entries: Boo hoo, we still can’t win games… Only Stern loves Clay more than me… I’ll do anything to leave Oklahoma City. I’m guessing you can do even better. Feel free to submit your own entries in our comments section, but keep it clean.”
A column from John “Buzzkill” Rohde: “What many fans fail to acknowledge, somewhat inexplicably, is that leaves an 88.1-percent chance the Thunder will not get the No. 1 pick. Barring a deal, there is an 88.1-percent chance Blake Griffin will not be on the Thunder’s roster next season. How’s that for being Thunderstruck? The quicker Thunder fans accept these odds, the better off they’ll be come draft day on June 25. Only twice in NBA history has a team with the No. 1 pick traded that selection. No one comes close to Griffin in terms of potential this year, which means the cost of getting the No. 1 pick figures to border on ridiculous – especially for the franchise located 23.19 miles away from where “The Terminator” played college ball.”
Anybody see Derek Fisher last night? Holy Ronnie Lott. My favorite part was how he tried to pull the “older brother” move where when you’d hurt your little brother and he started balling, you tried to act hurt. Obviously didn’t work as Fisher got ejected. Fisher tried to argue a little, but seriously, what was he thinking? He made Luis Scola look like a dinky receiver getting lit up on a crossing pattern and then he tries to say he didn’t do anything wrong? I bet it was one of those things that .005 seconds after Scola hit the floor he thought, “Crraaap… why did I do that?”
I guess Steve Aschburner was happy with Fisher’s play. For some reason, he wants to see some blood in the playoffs: “The competition of the NBA postseason is legit. The skill level, breathtaking. The drama played out on the scoreboard and the game clocks, compelling. But the great thing about a genuine dislike in a long series or, better yet, through the renewal of irritations, slights, bruises and rivalries that develop and fester over years, is that they add zest to all of the above, for the participants and the viewers alike. If it wasn’t for bad blood, a bluesman would say, the NBA playoffs might not have no blood at all.”
Also, did anyone notice how stinking high Shannon Brown jumped when he tried to block Kyle Lowry’s fast break layup? I rewound it three times, paused and actually went and grabbed my wife and made her come look. Of course she didn’t care, but I had to show someone. Good to know KD noticed as well: “Shannon Brown jus almost hit his head on the rim..pause…he got bungy cords for legs”
Draft Express has updated their mock and has moved Hasheem Thabeet up to three and now OKC takes Jordan Hill with James Harden going five. Why? Whyyyy? WHYYYYYY!!?!?! (/Nancy Kerrigan) But they do have the Thunder taking Sam Young with the Spurs pick, who I absolutely LOVE. So that’s good.
ESPN asked 10 NBA “decision makers” about the draft and Blake Griffin is the absolute consensus No. 1: “Oklahoma sophomore forward Blake Griffin will be the unquestioned No. 1 pick in the NBA draft. Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio, Connecticut junior center Hasheem Thabeet, Arizona State sophomore guard James Harden, Arizona junior forward Jordan Hill and USC freshman guard DeMar DeRozan will all go in the top 10. Those opinions stem from a poll of various decision-makers from 10 NBA teams that will make picks throughout the first round. They were asked to give their thoughts on this year’s NBA draft, as well as whom they see as the draft’s top 10 players. The consensus was that this draft begins with Griffin and, for some, ends there. He’s the only player who has the can’t-miss label. Every other player seems flawed to the point where a number of the decision-makers surveyed said they are concerned that the expectations of the lottery picks will be skewed. A number of the NBA personnel contacted said they fully expect the lottery picks of this draft to be just role players, maybe not even starters.”