Over the years Packer fans have exhibited a fervor for their team that some would say borders on religious. It seems that the world of football and the world of religion will collide in a different manner at Lambeau Field next month at an event that may well have the best name I have ever heard of for a religious rally; Leap of Faith Lambeau.
Historic Lambeau Field, just this side of heaven for the most devoted Green Bay Packers fans, will replace beers and cheers with prayers and praise on July 7 as thousands of Christians gather for what may be the first faith-based event ever held there.
At least 6,000 people have registered for Leap of Faith Lambeau, a day of worship, prayer, music and teaching, said Pat Boyer, president of Leap of Faith Group of De Pere.
There are about 45,000 seats available, fewer than at the football games. That's because activities aren't being allowed on the field, and part of the east side of the stadium will be used for the stage.
My guess would be that most Packers fans reading this probably just had the same thought; "Thank God they aren't going to mess up the field."
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
On Tuesday I posted about a draft party that Daequan Cook was having that was open to the public. I had a line in the post that read thusly:
"So what will you get for your $20 other than possibly seeing firsthand the dissapointment of an early entry candidate dropping out of the first round?"
I'll admit, I (and many other people) thought there was a chance that Cook could slip out of the first round. Evidently there were some people that did not take too kindly to this opinion. I screen the comments on my posts and today I received two comments on the Cook post (Which is three days old) within a span of 5 minutes, which was odd. Even more odd was that the comments were very similar in tone. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the two commenters are big fans of Daequan, and somehow coordinated this commenting. Anyway, I completely cracked up reading these two comments, so here are the original and the corrected versions of them:
Anonymous: Daequan is get paid going to play in Miami with D wade and Shaq . What does your stupid Blog have to say about that ?
get paid going going to get paid to play in Miami with D wade D-Wade and Shaq . What does your stupid Blog blog have to say about that ?
Stacey: HMM guess there dreams didnt come true u f***in HATER!! Pooh was drafted IN THE FIRST round and actually 21 a number Higher then predicted by the dumb mock draft so F*** OFF! Now he's off to MIAMI where he'll be playing among the likes od SHAQ GRAY PAYTON AND DWYANE WADE!!!
HMM Hmm... I guess there your dreams didnt didn't come true u you f***in HATER!! f***ing hater! Pooh was drafted IN THE FIRST in the first round and actually 21 a number with the 21st pick, Higher then higher than predicted by the dumb mock draft so F*** OFF f*** off! Now he's off to MIAMI Miami where he'll be playing among with the likes od of SHAQ GRAY PAYTON AND DWYANE WADE!!! Shaq, Gary Payton, and Dwyane Wade.
Awesome. I really do look forward to "Pooh" playing with "GRAY PAYTON", which may well be the best Freudian slip I have heard this month.
[Also interesting...Our Book Of Scrap points out a rather interesting trend among the Houston Texans cheerleaders.]
I am going to preface this by noting that this entire situation is very fluid right now. There are a number of rumors circulating at present about the Portland Trailblazers and a possible move they might be making for a small forward. Over at True Hoop Henry Abbott has posted this rather cryptic blurb:
Pritchard's "cap expert," assistant GM Tom Penn, adds that "we have to formally complete the New York trade before we can finish another trade that we hope will happen." Penn estimates that will take a week to ten days for all this to be announced.
Later in the same press conference, someone asks about the teams's decision to draft Rudy Fernandez, and Pritchard says "that's part of the thing I'm not supposed to talk about, so I apologize for maybe letting it out a little bit."
I'm no expert on the collective bargaining agreement, but I'm guessing that this means something has to happen with Channing Frye (moving on?) or Steve Francis (being bought out?) before Rudy Fernandez can be shipped (with Frye, Pryzbilla, Jack, Koponen ... who knows?) somewhere for a small forward.
This actually makes a lot of sense. The Blazers made a ton of moves last night, and it seems like they have about 20 players on their roster right now. It would be logical that they are hording all these players in an attempt to swing a big trade. It also makes sense that such a trade would be aimed at a small forward, since that position is a glaring hole in the Blazers lineup right now. (They started Ime Udoka all last season and Darius Miles is essentially done) So who is the mystery small forward the Blazers are looking to get? None other than Shawn Marion according to Blazers Edge:
New York had agreed to a buyout with Francis. The buyout has Francis giving up his player option and taking about 10-15 million. Francis keeps the money, becomes a free agent, and may sign with another team. The buyout is transferable to Portland, meaning that if Francis signs with another team for the mid-level exception (5 million), the Blazers would only have 7.5 - 12.5 million count against the cap for this year, and nothing for next year. Letting Freddie and Dan expire this year would only have saved us 6.1 million. This way we eat the buyout and dump Zach's ridiculous contract. Francis will never wear a Blazer uni...
... the Blazers are targeting Shawn Marion. In this case, Francis is traded, with the exception, cash, and probably another cheap piece such as Webster or Jack, for Marion. By gaining the Francis buyout and dumping Marion, the Suns gain a ton of cap space, and Francis is a Blazer for about 10 days.
All I can say is, the Blazers would be completely nasty if this were to go down. Think about it, you would be talking about a starting lineup of Jack, Roy, Marion, Aldridge, and Oden. Good grief. If Kevin Pritchard pulls this off he will officially replace Bryan Colangelo as my favorite GM.
During the past three years Phillp Fulmer has seen over a dozen of his Tennessee Vols players get in trouble with the law. (As you can see, here, here, and here) The charges in those cases have ranged from disorderly conduct to aggravated assault, but the latest Vol transgression may well take the cake; walk on wide receiver Justin Jackson has been kicked off the team after being arrested for crack:
Tennessee walk-on football player Justin Jackson was dismissed from the team Thursday by Coach Phillip Fulmer after being arrested and charged Wednesday night with the alleged sale or possession of crack cocaine.
Jackson, who played at West High in Knoxville, transferred to UT from Maryville College. He was a non-recruited walk-on receiver for the upcoming season. The arrest occurred at a East Knoxville housing project.
All I can say is that Phillip Fulmer is really lucky that Myles Brand is in charge of the NCAA and not Roger Goodell.
In examining the picks from last night's draft some of them are pretty simple to evaluate. Greg Oden to the Blazers. Good. Kevin Durant to the Sonics. Good. There were a number of intriguing picks and stories that developed during draft night, so here is a look at some of the most intriguing picks, whether they be steals, terrible picks, or just plain great picks:
The Pick: The Milwaukee Bucks selecting Yi Jianlian with the #6 pick
The Scoop: Leading up to the draft myself and many others pointed out the rather odd choice by Yi Jianlian and his representation not to let Milwaukee see Yi work out. Speculation was that Yi's camp wanted him to play in a large market with a big Chinese population, a description that did not exactly fit Milwaukee. Some even believed that if the Bucks were to select Yi that he would either try to force a trade or go back to China. The truth behind those beliefs is set to be revealed as there are already rumblings that Yi might not only miss the team's training camp later this year, but that he may not even show up for Milwaukee's post draft press conference tomorrow. Something tells me this pick may not have been worth the trouble. By the way, check out this picture of Yi from Time Magazine in 2003 when he was *15* years old. Yeah right, my left foot he is 15 in that picture.
The Pick: The Chicago Bulls selecting Joakim Noah with the #9 pick
The Scoop: I don't often agree with Stephen A. Smith, but I am completely with his analysis on this pick. To put it simply, The Bulls already have what Noah is selling. Isn't Tyrus Thomas the same player except with a slightly better offensive game? The Bulls did not need another high energy rebounder, what they needed was a scorer in the low post. The most distressing aspect of this pick was that there was indeed such a player available in Spencer Hawes who went to the Kings at #10. It isn't that Noah is a bad player, he just does not seem to be what the Bulls needed with that pick.
The Pick: The Washington Wizards selecting Nick Young with the #16 pick
The Scoop: Young fell a bit lower than where many people had projected him to go, but ending up in Washington may well be the perfect spot for him. The Wizards started DeShawn Stevenson at SG this past season essentially on a one year rental. Young is a major upgrade at that spot, and at worst will be the Wizard's 6th man headed into the season. His offensive skills combined with the Wizards up tempo style and hole at the SG spot will make Young an impact player sooner rather than later.
The Pick: Everything the Portland Trailblazers did
The Scoop: The Blazers had an unbelievable evening. Putting aside the Zach Randolph trade, here is a quick rundown of the moves and picks they made: Drafted Greg Oden with the #1 pick, traded cash to the Suns for the #24 pick which they used on Rudy Fernandez, traded cash and the #42 pick to the 76ers for the #30 pick Peteri Koponen, drafted Josh McRoberts with the #37 pick, drafted Taurean Green with the #52 pick, and finally they drafted Demetris Nichols with the #53 pick. It goes without saying that Oden is a great pick. The other five selections however, are what make this draft truly special. Fernandez and Koponen are great talents that can take the time to develop overseas and then come to Portland a few years down the road to contribute. The three second round picks of McRoberts, Green, and Nichols are complete and utter steals. McRoberts is a lottery talent that came out too early, Green was the floor general and leading scorer of the two time national champions, and Nichols was arguably the best three point shooter in the entire draft. To put it bluntly the Blazers' draft picks tonight, the $30 million in contracts that they have coming off the books in two seasons, and the fact that they already have Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge makes this team a championship contender sooner rather than later.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Heading into the NBA Draft last night the media had prepared America for a night full of big name players being traded, and that is exactly what happened. The twist though, was that the three big name players that changed teams last night were not Shawn Marion, Kevin Garnett, and Jermaine O'Neal. Instead Ray Allen, Zach Randolph, and Jason Richardson were sent packing. Here is a look at each of the three big deals and how they work out for each of the teams involved:
Seatle Receives: Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak, and the #5 pick, Jeff Green
Boston Receives: Ray Allen and the #35 pick, Glen Davis
What Gives?: From Seattle's perspective this trade means one thing; Sam Presti and Sonics management want Rashard Lewis more than they want Ray Allen. The trade of Allen opens the door for Lewis to sign with the Sonics during free agency, and with new weapons Kevin Durant and Jeff Green Seattle could be downright fearsome in the next few seasons. Green would be the perfect complement to Durant and Lewis, as he is a player that can make a big impact on the game without taking shots. Green's top notch passing skills will allow Durant and Lewis to quite possibly become the most potent scoring duo in the NBA. I don't really like this trade as much for Boston. The Celtics have already tried pairing Paul Pierce with a high scoring shooter in Antoine Walker, and that duo was never able to get Boston over the hump. I would be afraid that adding Allen's shots to Pierce's might stunt the progress of Al Jefferson, especially since the Celtics had to give up Delonte West who might have been able to keep Jefferson involved in the offense in spite of the 40 shots a night that the Celtics' two stars will require. I thing if Ainge had stayed at #5 and picked a post player to compliment Jefferson (Yi Jianlian? Brandan Wright?) the Celtics would have been much better off in the long run.
Portland Receives: Steve Francis and Channing Frye
New York Receives:Zach Randolph, Dan Dickau, and Fred Jones
What Gives?: From a pure player value perspective Portland got killed in this trade. The benefits of this move for Portland are not in the actual players received however, as the key word for them in this trade is flexibility. Everyone on the planet knew that with Greg Oden coming to town to join LaMarcus Aldridge in the Blazers' frontcourt that Randolph and the four years remaining on his contract were going to be heading out of Portland. Letting go of Randolph in and of itself will free the Blazers' two newest big men to get the appropriate amount of playing time to develop. The deal also grants Portland a great amount of salary cap flexibility as Steve Francis' contract has only two years remaining as compared to the four remaining on Randolph's. The summer that Francis' contract expires coincides with the expiration of Raef LaFrentz's contract, meaning that the Blazers will clear $30 million of contracts off the books after the 2009-2010 season. That kind of cap room is going to give the Blazers the ability to bring in pretty much any free agent they could desire. Who wouldn't want the chance to play with Oden? And as an added bonus, Channing Frye is a great third man for Portland's frontcourt rotation. From the Knick's perspective this trade is fantastic. Pairing Randolph with Eddy Curry? In the East? For only the price of Channing Frye and Steve Francis' terrible contract? Wow. I have not liked a lot of the moves made by Isaiah Thomas in the past, but this one certainly looks like a winner. Curry and Randolph automatically become the most feared frontcourt duo in the East, hands down. Not only that, they are both young and signed through the next four years. This move just might be the one that finally turns the Knicks around. Dickau and Jones are each in the final years of their contracts, so they are essentially throwaways in this trade.
UPDATE: Are the Blazers going after Shawn Marion now? Check here for the latest.
Charlotte Receives: Jason Richardson and the #36 pick, Jermareo Davidson
Golden State Receives: The #8 pick, Brandan Wright
What Gives?: Chris Mullin may not have often gotten the best of Michael Jordan during their playing days, but Mullin completely ate Jordan's lunch on this deal. Let me put it this way; if Golden State could have dumped Richardson in exchange for a 2nd rounder this still would have been a good deal in a lot of ways. Richardson was not performing to the value of his contract, which has 4 years and over $50 million remaining on it. That is certainly not the kind of money you want to pay to a player that just finished a season where he only averaged 16 points per game. Getting rid of Richardson also shows a commitment by the Warriors to Monta Ellis, who will now have an opportunity to show that his breakout season of last year was no fluke. Without Richardson on board the Warriors will also likely be able to re-sign Matt Barnes. So Golden State in one swift move was able to ditch an overpaid player, give an emerging star a bigger role on their team, and give themselves the ability to keep one of their key role players. Oh, and there is also the fact that they also received a prospect that many people had rated as being perhaps the third best prospect in the entire draft in Brandan Wright, a lanky and athletic power forward that will fit perfectly into their system. Are you kidding me? This trade is a massacre of the highest order. Michael Jordan just needs to hang it up as a GM; as an executive he is as dangerous to his own team as he was to his opponents as a player.
Are you planning on going to a baseball game this 4th of July? If so you probably know that almost every game this Wednesday will feature some form of fireworks show to celebrate the holiday. What you may not know is that at some of the games you will be getting more than just a game and a show; you'll be getting swag. (The Pirates hat is awesome) Here is a breakdown of the free stuff coming to a ball park near you:
The Game: Oakland A's vs. Toronto Blue Jays
The Swag: A's Red White & Blue Visor
The Game: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Swag: Shane Co. Cooler Backpack
The Game: Washington Nationals vs. Chicago Cubs
The Swag: George Washington Bobblehead
The Game: Houston Astros vs. Philadelphia Phillies
The Swag: Patriotic Cap and Mini American Flags
The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers
The Swag: Stars and Stripes Cap
The Game: New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins
The Swag: T-Shirt
Coming in to the U.S. Women's Open Michelle Wie had not shot a round under par in her last 20 competitive rounds.
Make that 21.
The Michelle Wie Train Wreck Tour continued today as Wie posted a round of 82 (+11). That is 14 strokes behind the current leader. That is 121st place. Wie is a complete joke at this point. A joke that is being enabled by her parents who are pushing her to play in tournaments she is not ready for, as well as by sponsors who continue to give her exemptions. As for the sponsors, their motivation is obvious. Wie sitll remains the single biggest TV and gallery draw for the LPGA. At this point however, with Wie missing the cut every week (that is, if she does not quit before then) are these sponsors really getting that much of an advantage out of Wie? While Wie might give a moderate spike in Thursday and Friday attendance on site, if she is playing so poorly that she can't make it past the cut and to the weekend then the sponsors are missing out on any real benefit. Weekday TV ratings for the first two rounds of an LPGA tournament are never going to be big. The only chance for a real spike would be if Wie was able to make it to the weekend in contention. Right now however, Michelle Wie is probably only about a year away from joining Anna Kournikova in the pantheon of womens sports has-beens.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Today is the day ladies and gentlemen. We will find out in just a few short hours what fate has in store for the future for many of the NBA's current and future stars. I know that many of the issues surrounding the draft have become rather muddled in the past month or so, between trade demands, rumors, mock drafts, and rampant specualtion about what will happen with just about every single major player in the NBA. To help clear the air on a few things, here is a little primer on some of the major stories that will be sorted out in the next 24 hours:
Who Goes #1?: While there has been a push by some members of the media in the past week for the Blazers to take Kevin Durant with the first pick, I just do not see it happening. And if ESPN's Ric Bucher is to be believed Portland has already told Oden and his camp that the Blazers will be selecting Oden over Durant.
Where Will KG Go?: The Garnett trade rumors have become the largest story in all of sports the past few days. "Proposed" trades have had him landing in Boston, Phoenix, and L.A., with other teams also rumored to be involved as facilitators in those various scenarios. Here is the cut and dry of the Garnett situation; if something does not happen today, it is probably not going to happen at all. In all of the most serious trade rumors the Wolve's desires have been focused on two things. For one thing, they want cap relief. That is why large contracts such as those of Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown, and Theo Ratliff have been discussed so widely in recent days. The motivation for this is obvious. 2008 is set to be one of the most impressive free agent seasons in recent memory, and the Wolves want to put themselves in a position to get in on the action. The second thing that the Wolves desire is a high draft pick in this year's draft. The reason for this is also quite obvious, as even though this draft is perhaps not quite as deep as first advertised it is still arguably the best at the top since the 2003 Draft which saw LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh enter the league. The Wolves already own the #7 pick and acquiring either Boston's #5 pick or the Hawk's #3 pick would allow them to potentially draft two players that could be the cornerstones of their franchise for the next decade. The problem is, after the draft gets going tomorrow that window of opportunity will have evaporated, and the Wolves would have to face the prospect of either getting the best remaining package for KG (likely something from the Lakers involving Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum) or risk getting nothing for Garnett. Which is why in all likelihood, if anything happens it will be before the draft begins tonight.
Oden, Durant, and then...?: What is especially appealing about this year's draft beyond the great talent level present is one simple fact; after the top two picks, nobody has any clue what is going to happen. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. There are too many teams that either 1.) are shopping their picks in trades and 2.) are unclear as to whom they are picking that there is no real consensus as to not only which players will be picked at eahc selection, but also which teams will be doing the selecting. For example, in the past week the #3 pick, #4 pick, #5 pick, #7 pick, #8 pick, #9 pick, #11 pick, and #12 pick have all been involved in multiple (and allegedly serious) trade discussions. And beyond Al Horford at #3 there does not seem to be any consensus as to how the rest of the lottery will play out. (Though it is worth noting that at various times both Brandan Wright and Mike Conley were "locks" for the #3 spot, so take the Horford rumors with a grain of salt) What this all is going to result in is that this draft, between major trades and suprise picks, could literally be the most entertaining draft for fans in recent memory. Buckle up NBA fans, this is going to be a fun ride.
Yi Means Drama In Chinese: Not literally of course, but at the moment Yi Jianlian is the center of a great deal of intrigue as the draft approaches. The fact that he refused to work out for certain teams and rumors that he and his camp have certain teams they will refuse to play for could combine to produce a modern John Elway situation if a team like Milwaukee selects Yi.
In case you hadn't noticed, Daisuke Matsuzaka has absolutely been on fire in the month of June. Going into tonight's game against the Mariners Dice-K had posted a 1.73 ERA in four consecutive quality starts this month, despite only having a 2-2 record over that period. Tonight's game was no different as Dice-K had his best performance of the season, striking out eight and only surrendering one earned run in 8 innings. Dice-K did not get a decision in tonight's game as the Mariner's went on to win 2-1 in extra innings. Dice-K has undergone a dramatic transformation in the month of June, going from an erratic and inconsistent starter in the season's first two months. In fact, during this month Dice-K has arguably been the third best starter in the entire AL. (Justin Verlander and Joe Blanton being the only pitchers ahead of him) Dice-K's strong June performance has greatly improved his measurables on the season, and the comparisons here on "Dice-K is looking like..." have likewise improved. So after tonight's performance Dice-K is looking like...Kenny Rogers.
Kenny Rogers 2006:
The World Series of Poker has exploded in popularity over the past five years. With such popularity comes one sure thing; bandwagon jumpers. Which is precisely why the main event at the WSOP has been flooded with thousands of entrants since the event first began being televised. You can now add Maxime Talbot to the long list of poker hopefuls that will be at the main event next month. Who is Maxime Talbot you ask? He just happens to be a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he has won an entry to play at the WSOP. The best part of this is that Maxime is no star in the NHL, and is making near the league minimum. So it really wouldn't unreasonable for Talbot, with a few lucky cards, to win more money at the WSOP than he will make with the Penguins this upcoming season. So does he have a chance? It that seems he might:
Actually, Talbot is an accomplished poker player. Last year Talbot won a made-for-TV tournament for members of the NHL players union, beating out Los Angeles Kings forward Michael Cammalieri in the final.
I mean, anyone who can take down Michael Cammalieri head to head must be a great poker player right?
Pirates fans have had enough of the losing. Losing players, losing games, and getting nothing but bobbleheads in return. So what are they going to do about it? It appears that some of them are forming a protest. A group calling themselves "Fans For Change" is attempting to stage a walkout during Saturday's Pirates game. While fan protest are nothing new, the fervor and focus of this one seems noteworthy. Consider this excerpt about the group's leader Andy Chomos:
Chomos, one of three men organizing what they hope will be a sizeable fan walkout during Saturday's Pirates game, held a Ronny Paulino bobblehead as he addressed the gathered media.
"Don't let this bobblehead replace the legacy that man created," Chomos said, looking back at the statue. "Bobbleheads, blankets, trinkets. ... We all have enough (stuff) in our house."
The group is calling for fans to leave during the third inning Saturday to protest the team's tendency to peddle nothing but bobbleheads and hope for the past 14 years. It truly is nice to see a group of fans that take their team seriously enough to care about them. I'm just thankful the event isn't planned for Ian Snell's next start.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
As I detailed earlier this month, the heavyweight division in boxing has been in quite a slump. There is news today however, that the tide might be ready to turn in boxing's premier division. Newly crowned champs Sultan Ibragimov of the WBO and Ruslan Chagaev of the WBA have announced that they will have a unification bout in October. The fact that the two champions would be willing to have a unification bout in a fight that will be the first title defense for both fighters is completely refreshing. The heavyweight division has been full of paper champions ever since Lennox Lewis retired, as witnessed by the fact that this is the first unification bout in the division since 1999 when Lewis fought Evander Holyfield.
Though this news would be great for the sport at any point in time, it is particuarly exciting in this present moment. Not only will the WBO and WBA titles be unified by October, but their will also be three other major heavyweight fights in the mean time. Wladimir Klitschko has a title defense July 7th against Lamon Brewster for the IBF title and Oleg Maskaev faces Samuel Peter on October 6th for the WBC belt. In addition to those two title defenses, Wladimir's brother Vitali will finally be returning to the ring on September for a fight against Jameel McCline and if he is able to win that bout he would then get an automatic title shot with the winner of the Maskaev-Peter fight. The aftermath of these four bouts coud finally revive the heavyweight division. Peter is one of the few fighters in the division with a great TV style, and a fight between him and Vitali Klitschko could produce a great deal of pay-per-view interest. A bout between the winner of the Ibragimov-Chagaev fight and Wladimir Klitschko would also produce a great deal of appeal if for no other reason than that three of the four titles would be on the line.
What this all comes down to is that the brave move by the camps of Ibragimov and Chagaev to make a unification bout happen could open the door for a complete unification of the heavyweight belts. That one fight could easily trigger a domino effect that could produce two more unification bouts in 2008, and perhaps even bring about the biggest fight the current boxing landscape (not just the heavyweights) has to offer: Klitschko vs. Klitschko. If Wladimir is able to arrange a bout with the Ibragimov-Chagaev winner and Vitali is able to beat the Maskaev-Peter winner, how could they NOT have a fight to unify the four belts? Even if the results of the fights don't turn out in that fashion, one thing is for sure; the heavyweight division just got a whole lot more interesting.
Is your dream in life to be right next to a person when they experience one of the most embarrassing moments of their life? If so, Thursday just might turn out to be your lucky day. Daequan Cook is hosting a draft party at the Holiday Inn in Dayton, OH, and the good news is that it is open to the public! Well, open to the public which choose to pay $20 to get into the party. So what will you get for your $20 other than possibly seeing firsthand the dissapointment of an early entry candidate dropping out of the first round?
"It will be a light atmosphere," said Dunbar assistant coach Albert Powell, who has helped Cook through the draft process. "There will be finger food, soft drinks and a big-screen TV."
Finger food!!! Score! The other aspect of this story that I loved were the two tidbits of expert analysis that the Dayton Daily News decided to throw in:
In ESPN The Magazine, Chad Ford shows Cook going No. 30 to Philadelphia, accompanied by text saying, "He's got springs, range ... and no clue on how to play the game" and also that Cook has a "weak work ethic and massive ego."
On ESPN Radio on Monday, ex-college coach Fran Fraschilla said he wouldn't draft Cook in the first round unless he had a "gun to his head."
There you go, that's the way to hype up your hometown hero!
In his latest column the always
reliable questionable Peter Vecsey ranks the top twenty prospects in this week's NBA draft. That seems like a simple enough task. Heck, Peter even employed the services of "Jim Clibanoff, President of ClibHoops, a scouting service subscribed to by most NBA teams". After looking at Vecsey's list though, I am stunned by its awfullness. Here are some of the lowlights:
- Durant over Oden at #1...OK, but still questionable given what follows.
- Spencer Hawes and Jason Smith are ranked #8 and #9 respectively, right ahead of Brandan Wright. Umm...Peter?
- #'s 13-15 are Rudy Fernandez, Glen Davis, and Josh McRoberts. At this point it is time to question whether or not Vecsey watched a single basketball game this past year not featuring the Knicks.
- Dominic McGuire comes in at #19 right ahead of #20...MIKE CONLEY? No disrespect to McGuire, but I have not seen a mock draft this side of Pluto that has him in the first round, much less anywhere near Conley's level.
The list feels like an effort by Vecsey to "go against the grain" that went terribly wrong. Either that, or Vecsey is flat out ignorant when it comes to basketball. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the former, but after his Rashard Lewis debacle last week you just never know.
Monday, June 25, 2007
With the NBA Draft fast approaching, I had a thought: what would the draft look like if the teams were drafting bloggers instead of players? Hmm....well....
#1. Portland Trailblazers: Henry Abbott of True Hoop
With the top pick the Blazers have the biggest NBA blogger sitting there, who also happens to be a Portland fan? Could this pick be any easier?
#2. Seattle Supersonics: Bethlehem Shoals of Free Darko
Shoals is the Kevin Durant to Abbott's Oden, as Shoals has all the smooth words to create matchup problems with Abbotts sheer MSM power.
#3. Atlanta Hawks: Natalie Sitto of Need4Sheed
If the Hawks aren't allowed to take an actual athletic forward in this draft, they'll settle for a blog named after one.
#4. Memphis Grizzlies: Matt Ufford of With Leather
Who knew Jerry West was a Stokke fan?
#5. Boston Celtics: Lil Dice of I Heart KG
The Celtics are trying to send a subtle message with this pick.
#6. Milwaukee Bucks: Will Leitch of Deadspin
Wouldn't Will and Andrew Bogut just look precious together?
#7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Tofu Burger of I Can Has Cheezburger?
This is Kevin McHale doing the picking after all.
#8. Charlotte Bobcats: Ken Pomeroy of KenPom.com
The Bobcats like college basketball stars, so this pick fits right in.
#9. Chicago: TJ of Gheorge: The Blog
The Bulls need another big man to go with Ben Wallace. Who could be better than Gheorge?
#10. Sacramento Kings: Big Daddy Drew of Kissing Suzy Kolber
KSK + Ron Artest = Instant Classic.
#11. Atlanta Hawks: Al Horford
Seriously...Billy, I know how much you love the forwards...but for goodness sakes man this a BLOGGER draft!!! At least take a point guard if you are picking a real player.
#12. Philadelphia 76ers: The 700 Level
The 76ers need to bring in someone that will be happy to be with the team and won't get booed. Check and check.
#13. New Orleans Hornets: Goran Anicic of Blog Svakodnevnica
The Hornets hope that if they package Goran with Peja Stojakovic they can make a trade with the country of Yugoslavia and get a non gimpy basketball player in return.
#14. LA Clippers: Mark Lisanti of Defamer
The Clippers pick the L.A. gossip blog mainly to make sure their players stay off of it and the Lakers players stay on it...for all the wrong reasons.
#15. Detroit Pistons: Dan Steinberg of D.C. Sports Bog
Since Free Darko is already gone, the Pistons take one of the best talents available.
#16. Washington Wizards: Mike Prada of Bullets Forever
The Wizards keep it close to home in selecting the Pradamaster.
#17. New Jersey Nets: Tar Heel Fan of Tar Heel Fan
The Nets are looking for any way possible to ensure that Vince Carter stays in town. Maybe this will help.
#18. Golden State Warriors: Atma Brother #1 of Golden State of Mind
A home team blog and a great talent at the #18 pick? Quite a steal.
#19. LA Lakers: Dan Shanoff
With the prospect of losing Kobe, the Lakers needed to use this pick on a blogger that could replace Kobe's star power and put butts in the seats. Shanoff is kind of that guy, minus the whole basketball part.
#20. Miami Heat: The Ladies of Ladies...
What other blogger would the Heat want to bring to beautiful South Beach?
#21. Philadelphia 76ers: Curt Schilling of 38 Pitches
Some people in Philly just can't let go of the memory of what could have been when Schilling was in a Phillies uniform. *sigh*
#22. Charlotte Bobcats: Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report
Rod Higgins was last seen wandering the halls repeatedly saying "proven track record...proven track record..."
#23. New York Knicks:Wizznutzz
Isaiah Thomas has a history of strange picks. The Wizznutzz is nothing if not strange.
#24. Phoenix Suns: Mark Cuban of Blog Maverick
The Suns pick Cuban mainly so that they can ship him off to Europe for a few years.
#25. Utah Jazz: Official Russia
An obvious need pick, as the Jazz truly need to read up in order to understand what on earth has happened to Andrei Kirilenko recently.
#26. Houston Rockets: Don of With Malice...
The Rockets already have China covered, so why not take an Australian living in Japan to complement Yao?
#27. Detroit Pistons: Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports
Man, things just haven't been the same since you left Larry. Why did they hire Flip again?
#28. San Antonio Spurs: Dustyn Winder of Sons of Sam Malone
The Spurs have a history of drafting big timers before everyone else catches on to them. This pick is no exception.
#29. Phoenix Suns: N/A
"No seriously Mr. Kerr, drafting another blogger is not going to put you over the luxury tax. Mr. Kerr? Mr. Kerr, please stop running!"
#30. Philadelphia 76ers: Jamie Mottram of Mister Irrelevant
Who better to take with the last pick than Mister Irrelevant?