Berry Tramel with a nice column on George Shinn: ”But Shinn showed us how much fun pro basketball could be. His Hornets, not always a winner on the court in any of their three homes and not always a winner at the box office in Charlotte or New Orleans, always were an entertainment winner. Shinn showed Oklahomans that a night in an NBA arena was a night of merriment, no matter the score. From Hugo to the Honeybees to the video-screen antics, the Hornets provided a big bang for the mighty big bucks required of an NBA ticket.”
John Hollinger looks for the best point guard in the league but also looks ahead: “Fortunately, we aren’t lacking for candidates to take over. In addition to the players above, up-and-comers such as Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Milwaukee’s Brandon Jennings, Golden State’s Stephen Curry, and (if you consider him a point guard) Sacramento’s Tyreke Evans figure to muscle their way into the argument in coming seasons.”
The art of selling a flop. With tips for drawing fouls from Russell Westbrook: “My one-dribble shot-fake. I dribble and pump before slightly jumping into my guy. I’ll say this: It’s better to jump straight up and rely on your man bumping you.”
Orlando is to host the 2012 All-Star game. Next year is at the Staples Center.
Rudy Fernandez could be on the block: “According to The Columbian newspaper in Oregon, Blazers GM said Rudy didn’t ask for a trade in the team’s exit interviews, but the 6-foot-6, 25-year-old “expressed displeasure” with the way he’s being used.”
Dime looks at the top eight freshmen in the draft: “Xavier Henry: After gracing the covers of many national publications before the season, Henry never wowed people like we thought he might. Nonetheless, his body is NBA-ready and so is his game. Had Kansas not lost so early in the Big Dance, you’d have to think that a lot more people would be talking about him right now. Who knows, maybe he’ll drop down like Paul Pierce did and be one of this year’s biggest sleepers.”