Free Darko’s mock draft: “21. Oklahoma City – Einiosaurus: You want to know how comfortable Einiosaurus is in his own skills? It has a hooking bottle-opener nasal horn, two superorbital horns, and two frill spikes … and Einiosaurus doesn’t eat meat! Like Kevin Durant, Einiosaurus could gore you on every possession, but holds it back, waiting for the right opportunity. (Serge Ibaka and Russell Westbrook could learn something from Einiosaurus.) The “Buffalo Lizard” should study under Nick Collison in order to learn the ways of the rebound and the drawn charge, though the next time Einiosaurus hits the deck will be the first.”
Patrick Hruby of ESPN looks at some of the Jedi mind games Phil Jackson has played: “Translation: Kevin Durant may be the Next Big Thing, but he hasn’t done anything yet, which means you should look the other way when Ron Artest mugs him, the same way you let the Bad Boy Pistons mug Michael Jordan with near-impunity, even celebrating the fact on the cover of Sports Illustrated.”
More excellent information from KD: Q: wats the funniest thing that has ever happened while you were on the court? KD: farted so bad, fans smelled it.” One has to wonder if this was the same game he had to poop. (puts on investigative journalist hat)
I didn’t see it myself, but multiple people told me that Bill Plaschke said yesterday on Around the Horn that the Thunder are the West’s second best team. That’s fun.
A mock draft from The Sprots Xchange has OKC taking Gordan Hayward at 21: “The leader of Butler’s surprising NCAA tournament run does most everything well and should find a way to fit into the Thunder’s talented young lineup.”
An interesting look at the Thunder’s use of digital media: “Another evident thing about the Thunder is the passion of their fan base. That’s carried out in two features on the Thunder site: The roar of the crowd after the season ended, and a mini-documentary on a watch party outside of the arena. It’s pretty inspiring to think that this energy is so strong even when it is not attached to a big play, or to success in a moment.”
Could the draft lottery be phased out?: “Before the lottery, David Stern met the media, and described recent talks the Board of Governors had about alternatives to the lottery, which people have long grumbled about either for not adequately dissuading tanking — most NBA observers think that’s alive and well — or for rewarding good teams with great picks, while the worst teams pick lower. “There did not seem to be any appetite for a change at this time,” he explains. Stern says he thinks the League addresses tanking “well enough already. I think the results of the lottery, if anything, are causing teams with the worst record to feel as though a paucity of wins is not being adequately recognized and compensated. So for us, it works well. It’s taking care of the main reason for which it was enacted.”
Tom Ziller’s mock draft, 2.0: “21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky: I consider the Thunder taking Orton to be Sam Presti’s “Jerryd Bayless pick.” Orton gets terrible reviews on his work ethic and smarts. But the team spirit in OKC is fantastic, and peer pressure can be wonderful thing in the right hands.”
So I predicted the lottery winner last night with this tweet: “I just played ESPN’s Lottery Machine 35 times (for obvious reasons) and on the 35th time, the Wizards won. Enjoy DC John Wall.” I AM A GENIUS.