Tyson Chandler’s lockout prediction: “I don’t know. I don’t know when it’s going to end. This may drag on for a long time. What I will say is that it’s unfortunate that the league has taken this stance that has taken the game away from our fans, as well as our players. It’s untimely, coming off some of the highest ratings that we’ve had in the NBA Finals. League revenue is up. Attendance is up. Excitement about the league is up, thanks to young players, trades, player movement. Even with us becoming a Cinderella team. There’s a lot of excitement around the league. It’s unfortunate the league would take this stance to take the game away from the fans and players at this point in time. Very unfortunate situation. We have to see how it’s going to go.”
A word from D.J. White on the trade: “I looked at it as ‘it’s part of the business’. No hard feelings at all,” White told HOOPSWORLD about the trade. “I’m still in contact with those guys. We had a special bond. I was pulling for them during the playoffs.” However difficult it was to leave the only NBA team he had known, White embraced the move. “It was an opportunity to get on the court and further my career,” he explained.”
A heckler got after Michael Beasley last night in NYC. And unlike KD, evidently he didn’t keep his cool. Via ESPN New York: “The latest stop on Kevin Durant’s tour of the New York City streetball scene nearly turned ugly on Thursday night when fellow pro Michael Beasley got into an argument with a heckling fan and pushed him in the face with an open hand. An irate Beasley was restrained by tournament security as the game at the Dyckman Tournament in Washington Heights was delayed for approximately 10 minutes. Many at the game were taken aback by the Minnesota Timberwolves forward’s animated reaction to the crowd’s taunts. “He has to know he’s going to hear (heckling) up here,” said one tournament official. “Doesn’t he know he can get sued for doing that?” Shortly after the game, Oklahoma City Thunder star Durant tweeted, “Yo dyckman was too crazy … I had fun but we lost … my time in new york was cool … ”
Zach Lowe of SI has Serge Ibaka 67th in his top 100 players: “With Jeff Green gone and Kendrick Perkins aboard, it is time for Ibaka to fulfill his potential as a super-Varejao. He’s not there yet, on either end, but expect Ibaka to show off some new stuff by the middle of next season. He already has the cutting/crashing the offensive glass part of it down, and he has developed a reliable mid-range jumper — though he got a little gun-shy with it at times in the playoffs. He doesn’t have much of a one-on-one game, in the post or otherwise, but that will come as his footwork and confidence improve. The same is true, in some ways, on defense. We know what he can do as a shot-blocking help menace, and his quickness makes him a decent pick-and-roll defender. But he’s vulnerable in the post against bulldozers (Zach Randolph) and tricksters (Dirk Nowitzki), and “stretch fours” with three-point range were able to lose Ibaka now and then in half-court sets. Still, the smart money is on continued improvement and a run at top-50 status or better a year from now.”
Dan Feldman for Basketball Prospectus: “Basketball is a Southern sport. James Naismith invented the game in the Northeast. Before the Seattle SuperSonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008, no region had more NBA teams in any of the previous 40 years than the West. And the Midwest’s urban areas like Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee fit the stereotypical images of basketball hotbeds. But when it comes to producing NBA players, the South reigns supreme. The South has generated more NBA players than any region every year since 1963.”
Crazy picture: Bricktown about 15 years ago.