John Rohde with a great feature on P.J. Carlesimo: “Had Carlesimo been retained as coach, could the Thunder possibly have gone 50-32 last season? “Coaches are arrogant enough to think, ‘Hey, I would have done better,’ ” Carlesimo said. “But in reality, I might have done a lot worse. Who knows? Any legit coach is going to tell you it’s not about him, it’s about the players.”
Chad Ford with an updated free agent list: “The plot lines are both dramatic and in many ways, intertwined. Can Cleveland hold on to its local star? Can the Knicks score a superstar or two in an effort to bring some honor back to the Garden? Can the Nets, now led by a Russian billionaire, remake the team into a premier destination? Will friends like James, Wade and Bosh decide to hook up together to create an NBA dream team?”
Scott Howard-Cooper for NBA.com recalling a draft combine moment from a few years ago, with a great quote from KD on the bench press thing: “It bothered me,” he said recently. “It really did. I thought teams would pass up on me. That’s all I was hearing — ‘He can’t lift, so that means he can’t take the pounding in the league. He’s not going to last.’ I thought teams would pass on me. It stuck with me for a while, and then I started to work out and feel good about myself. I was blessed enough to be the No. 2 pick. But for a couple of weeks, it hurt.”
Mike Baldwin writing on Russell Westbrook: “Even though he plays on a team that features Kevin Durant, the league’s leading scorer this season, does Westbrook feel there will be times in 2010-2011 that he needs to be Oklahoma City’s No. 1 scoring option? “Not at all,” Westbrook said. “First and foremost, I’m a point guard. Kevin is an unbelievable scorer, one of the best scorers in this game. You have to give guys with great talent an opportunity (to score).”
So this NBA Jam trailer came out back in March and I’m just now seeing it. But within it, you’ll see that Jeff Green and Kevin Durant are part of the Thunder trio. That’s cool.
I’m sure you’ve seen by now, but Phil Jackson is playing his voodoo mind games with Steve Nash now.
I forgot how good the Big Dog was: “If you don’t remember Robinson, a.k.a. “Big Dog” in his prime, he was a BEAST. He dropped 30.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game as a junior at Purdue, swept all the national Player of the Year awards, and was picked No. 1 overall in that year’s NBA Draft. His push for a $100 million rookie contract from the Bucks (he ended up getting like $65M if I recall) actually set the wheels in motion for the current NBA rookie salary cap.”
HoopsWorld revisits their 50 predictions from the preseason: “2.Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will be the only two players in the league to average 30 points per game this season. Incorrect—Only Durant managed to top 30ppg game. James, who finished second in the league in that category, came close with 29.7ppg, but nobody else finished above 29.”
SLAM ranks the top five shooting guard prospects: “A player shooting up the mock drafts is Big 12 Player of the Year James Anderson. Anderson can score from anywhere you need him to, especially via the three-ball or by slashing to the hoop. Most impressive is his ability to draw fouls – he shot eight free throws a game (shooting at at 81% clip) this season. He could be a real find for a team picking just outside the lottery.”