Remember when the NHL almost came to Oklahoma City? Good thing it didn’t writes Berry Tramel: “Ron Norick received an offer from National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman in 1995. Come up to New York, and the NHL would talk about coming down to Oklahoma City. The Quebec Nordiques were moving. Why not to OKC? Sometimes we should thank God for unanswered prayers.”
Have you been looking for a replay of the USA-Spain gold medal game so you could watch Ricky Rubio light it up? Well, I’ve got one. Just click here and take in the sweet moves of Ricky Rubio.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post on the risk of trading a top three pick: “If Washington ends up with four or five, Grunfeld should see if he can find another Jamison or make a move like Boston President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge did two years, using fifth pick Jeff Green to get Ray Allen. After looking back at the history of teams that have traded away top three picks without ever having the player wear their uniform, the success rate both long term and short term often has been horrendous. The moments when teams trade top three picks for veterans and succeed are rare. There are times when a team can land a Mitch Richmond (who was acquired for Billy Owens), but mostly teams wind up with a Roy Hinson (who was acquired for Brad Daugherty). In the lottery era, there have been 14 instances where teams dumped top three picks and more often than not, that team was seeking a do-over. We’re going to look back at all of them, the three hits, the eight misses, the two pushes and the one that is yet-to-be determined.”
Michael Beasely and Mario Chalmers were fined constantly throughout their rookie years. Kind of makes you appreciate the character guys Sam Presti drafted: “The Heat’s patience in breaking two rookies into its playing rotation proved even more trying off the court. Forward Michael Beasley and point guard Mario Chalmers, who both received significant fines from the NBA before the start of the season, were continually fined by the Heat throughout the season for violations of team policy. “Part of being an NBA basketball player is being accountable at all times,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. The number of fines not only caught the attention of Heat President Pat Riley, but had team staffers addressing the rookies during the season about the penalties that were subtracted from their paychecks.” (tip of the hat to JG)
Did you know that Earl Watson is engaged? To a movie star? In fact, actress Jennifer Freeman of My Wife and Kids? I didn’t either. And I’ve never heard of Jennifer Freeman either. But I guess they’re expected a baby soon as well. Congrats to Earl and Jennifer.
A big saaaaaaaallloooooot to Scott Brooks for bartender to raise money for fire victims last night. It looks like he may have found a calling:
Rufus On Fire sees a little Russell Westbrook in Gerald Henderson: “I think I’m paraphrasing FreeDarko, but I can’t find it: Henderson might be another data point used to show that the college game is simply a different beast than the pro game. Russell Westbrook didn’t really produce like a top five pick when he was at UCLA, but his ridiculous athleticism was undeniable, and he’s a good enough point guard to play the role for OKC. To me, that sounds a lot like what Henderson was doing in Durham.”
Sam Amick of the Sac Bee reports that Byron Scott’s job is safe: “Scott, whose team’s humbling five-game first-round series loss to Denver led to uncertainty about his future on the Bayou, is believed to be interested in filling the Kings’ vacancy. But the Hornets on Thursday are expected to hold a news conference in which they will publicly support Scott and declare he will return for the final season of his contract (worth $5.5 million), meaning the Kings have only a short time to bring him their way. Yet according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation, the Kings have not requested permission to speak with Scott and do not appear poised to do so.”
I have been a fan of Eric Maynor all season long and think he could be an excellent back up point man in this league. Draft Express has a nice Q&A with him: “DX: At the college level you were a big time scorer from the point guard position. In the NBA, do you see yourself continuing to be a scorer or will you develop as more of a pass first guard? EM: I think I’m going to establish myself as a pass first guy. You’ve got guys that are all-stars who are putting up 28, 29 points per game. That’s what those guys are paid to do, score. These teams want someone who can get those guys the ball and run a team. They want someone who can get those guys their shots and find them in their sweet spot.”