You know, I was a bit humbled by this tweet. It had crossed my mind many times as to why Blair had seen virtually no playing time throughout the playoffs, and I simply assumed he was hurt without looking further into it. The Spurs have been fantastic without him, especially since Matt Bonner, Boris Diaw, and Tiago Splitter have played so well his relative positions. Clearly, the reasons for Blair’s absence are deep, but I would never question Coach Popovich. I’m sure his reasons are justified, but it is certainly a curious case.
Today’s news around the league was dominated by the results of Wednesday night’s draft lottery. Some seem to believe in conspiracies, while others laugh at the notion. You can find all kinds of opinions about it below.
- The New Orleans Hornets acquired the No. 1 lottery pick on Wednesday night, giving the franchise an opportunity to draft a franchise-level player in Anthony Davis, and perhaps draw up a new logo as well. The problem? Though they are in the process of selling the team to Tom Benson, David Stern and the league still own the team. For that reason, as Adrian Wojnarowski reports, many that actually work within the NBA believes foul play was involved: The reaction of several league executives was part disgust, part resignation on Wednesday night. So many had predicted this happening, so many suspected that somehow, someway, the Hornets would walk away with Davis. That’s the worst part for the NBA; these aren’t the railings from the guy sitting at the corner tavern, but the belief of those working within the machinery that something undue happened here, that they suspect it happens all the time under Stern.
- The executives privately had their say about the results of the draft lottery, and they were not the only people within the league to openly question what happened. Through twitter, here are some thoughts of a number of NBA players themselves, from IamaGM. Richard Hamilton of the Chicago Bulls had this to say: Who thinks the lottery was rigged?
- As our editor-in-chief would tell you, however, NBA commissioner David Stern would be committing a felony if he rigged the lottery, and the guy does not want to be using soap on a rope for 15-to-20 years. OK?
- And finally, Zach Lowe of SI.com may have broken things down the best to debunk all the conspiracy theories. RealGM also took a poll asking if the NBA could clear its image if they simply televised the actual draft lottery. See the results here.
- Anthony Davis, though sure to become a player for the Hornets soon enough, is not even in the league yet. Still, it didn’t stop him from talking about shutting down one Kobe Bryant in the near future, writes Mark Medina of Los Angeles Times: “[Kobe]’s a monster. So I just want to go out there and play my hardest,” Davis said Thursday on the”Dan Patrick Show.” There’s a lot of guys that can’t stop Kobe. So if I stop him I could be one of the guys that say, ‘I shut Kobe down’.” ”Be careful what you ask for Anthony,” Patrick told the former Kentucky standout. “He listens to the show and he has a great memory.” Retorted Anthony: “Tell him, I’ll be waiting.”
- Chesapeake Energy Arena is set for tonight’s contest between the Thunder and the Spurs. You do have to wonder, though, if the Thunder are resigned to the fact that they don’t have much of a chance in this series, at least this season against this Spurs team. Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman, perhaps feeling what Al Jefferson felt in the first round of the playoffs, certainly sounded mentally defeated in this piece: Nobody in OKC wants to hear it, but it’s not the Thunder’s time. That seems clear not just because of what happened in San Antonio the last few days, but what’s happened in San Antonio the last few weeks. Popovich has produced an epic team. The Spurs have won 20 straight games, the fourth-longest win streak in NBA history, and he’s done it with adults.
- If there is one coach you do not want to mess with, it is Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. As Trey Kerby of The Score writes, Tony Parker learned his lesson the hard way about Pop, receiving a notable threat from the sometimes-frightening coach.
- Remember Brandon Roy? The once-dominant shooting guard of the Portland Trailblazers is rumored to be making a comeback as soon as next season despite retiring due to a degenerative knee condition, according to Chris Palmer of ESPN: Someone who could help the Lakers: Brandon Roy. Based on what I’m told he could be back in the league next year.
- The Brooklyn Nets hoped for the best in the lottery, but their worst nightmare came to fruition once their pick was determined. Michael Scotto detailed the situation for ReamGM: Just before the NBA Draft Lottery results were unveiled, ESPN’s Heather Cox asked Nets representative Irina Pavlova what the move to Brooklyn meant for the franchise.“It will be a true renaissance,” said Pavlova. That was before the Nets worst nightmare became a reality as NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver unveiled the team had drawn the No. 6 overall pick.
- If you missed Rajon Rondo’s epic performance in Game 2, you can relive it through this video:
For yesterday’s blog, click here.
For Tuesday’s blog, click here.
James Park is a regular contributor and blogger for SheridanHoops.com. You can find him on twitter @nbatupark.
Just a great piece of writing today by Zach Lowe on SI.com that should quiet all the conspiracy theorists (although, of course, it will not).
Among the details reported by low were the winning ping-pong ball combination (6-4-9-7), and the fact the Cleveland Cavaliers were in the mix to win the lottery for the second straight year. But they needed a 3 to come up on the final ping-pong ball, and when “7″ came up Hornets general manager Dell Demps initially thought it was a “1″ and looked dejected.
Lowe also reveals that Demps kept the four winning ping-pong balls as a souvenir, and that a Hornets combination came up in drawing No. 3, and a Bobcats combination came up in drawing No. 4. So they did it a fifth time.
An excerpt: “Acting Trail Blazers GM Chad Buchanan, who was sitting behind Demps, was the first to congratulate his Hornets counterpart. Buchanan himself had just gotten the good news that Brooklyn’s first-round pick (No. 6) would be going to Portland via the Gerald Wallace trade. The Nets would have kept the pick had it landed in the top three, a one-in-four scenario. Golden State owner Joe Lacob was also in a happy mood. The Hornets-Bobcats-Wizards ordering meant that no long shot leapfrogged the Warriors and that they would finish at No. 7, right where they had to be to avoid giving their pick to Utah. Golden State had a nearly 73 percent chance of finishing in the top seven, but Lacob had to sweat it out in lockdown until the machine spit out a Wizards combination. Lacob is still smarting from accusations that Golden State tanked late in the season to increase its chances of ending up in the top seven. The Warriors lost 17 of their last 20 games, traded their leading scorer (Monta Ellis) for an injured player (Andrew Bogut), deactivated Stephen Curry and David Lee because of injuries and handed heavy minutes to untested rookies down the the stretch. Lacob points out that one of the Warriors’ three victories in that stretch was a 21-point rally against the Timberwolves on April 22 — “a win that could have cost us, big time,” Lacob told SI.com. The Warriors needed to win a coin flip with Toronto after the season to secure the No . 7 spot in the lottery odds instead of No. 8. “There was no chance we were trying to lose games on purpose,” Lacob said. “It just didn’t happen.”
I highly recommend you click through and read Zach’s entire account.
First of all, the draft lottery was NOT fixed.
NBA commissioner David Stern would be committing a felony if he rigged the lottery, and the guy does not want to be using soap on a rope for 15-to-20 years. OK?
So lay off the conspiracy theories. Your time would be better spent perusing our first Mock Draft, now that the order is known.
It is idiocy in its finest form, and a few other choice words that I uttered in this video with CineSport’s Noah Coslov.