The NBA shook up the sports world this past week, with the NBA Draft, some serious trades and the introduction of the new NBA Basketball. It’s made out of soy rubber and naturally decomposes after each half. Okay I made one of those things up to complete my list.
First off, letās get to the trades, which saw picks and cash considerations traded back and forth, but also saw superstars heading to new teams. Shaquille OāNeal leaves the Phoenix desert to join LeBron James in Cleveland. LeBron has been begging the organization to bring him another All-Star for the last two years and with the addition of Shaq, things in the East look murkier than ever.
You have to wonder how things will work with an aspiring global icon like LeBron and a class clown like Shaq. But both want to win now, and with LeBronās ability to get to the hoop, and Shaqās ability to bring it down, these two should become fast friends. Plus it should make for hilarious pre-game poses like this and this, and silly videos like this.
Oh, those whimsical Cavs…
There was a rumored trade, between the Boston Celtics and the Detroit Pistons for a package of big name players, but so far it remains just a rumor. Same goes for the Suns and Golden State who could be in line to make a huge swap. New Jersey sent G/F Vince Carter to Eastern Conference Champion Orlando Magic for a package that includes And 1 team captain Rafer “Skip To My Lou–but Don’t You Dare Mess with My Playing Time” Alston. Oh yeah, and did I mention Shaq? Shaq and LeBron! Remember what Shaq did when he teamed up with Dwyane Wade? Thatās what Cleveland execs remember too.
And then we had the Draft. As Iāve said before, I love drafts of all kinds. They provide hope and optimism in the months in between seasons and you get to listen to a bunch of people spout speculation as if it were pure fact. This year, the behemoth of the lottery was Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin. Griffin has the size, speed and athleticism to be an impact player right away, playing with Baron Davis, Eric Gordon and Al Thornton in Los Angeles to help the Clippers get back on track.
Not being a huge college basketball fan, I canāt tell you too much about picks 2, 3, and 4 but respectively, Connecticut C Hasheem Thabeet, Arizona State SG James Harden and Memphis G Tyreke Evans are regarded as NBA-ready talent. I did see a few Olympic games where new Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio was the most impressive player on the court. Anybody that loved White Chocolate Jason Williams will probably find Rubioās game to be equally entertaining and the Minnesota Timberwolves are a franchise desperately in need of a player who helps people remember that the NBA does in fact have a professional basketball team in the greater Minneapolis area. With Rubio set to run the point for the next decade the TāWolves then went right back and selected Syracuse standout Jonny Flynn to fill their point guard opening. Waitā¦what?
Other notable draft selections include last yearās NCAA tournament beast from Pittsburgh and well renowned ACL-less man Dejuan Blair going to the Spurs with the 37th pick. You read that right. The man has zero ACL’s. People seem to love this pick and along with newly acquired slasher Richard Jefferson, San Antonio immediately jumps back into NBA Title mode. And when I say āslasherā I mean heās quick and can score points in various ways. I donāt mean heās some sort of knife weilding attacker. That is not what Iām saying. Iām sure RJeff is really nice, okay? I saw him from far away in a casino once. Relax.
Davidson darling Steph Curry went to the Warriors, but donāt be shocked to see him wearing purple and orange in the next few weeks. All time ACC something leader Tyler Hansborough went to Indiana, which sort of seems like the perfect place for someone that gets cheered against so heavily. I mean itās the Pacers. The last time I knew anything about the Pacers, Reggie Miller was lobbing alley-oops to Rik Smitts in NBA Jam for Sega Genesis.
Milwaukee landed Brandon Jennings. All I can tell you about Brandon Jennings is that he decided to forgo college and played in Europe for a year. Oh yeah, and he has awesome Kid ān Play hair. I watched a documentary about it on television. His year in Europe, not his hair. It did not look like a fun year for the young man, apart from the bazillions of dollars they paid him.
And to sort of wrap this up, the Philadelphia 76ers drafted Jrue Holiday, and if you can think of a better name than Jrue Holiday, then you win a big prize.
Back with more baseball junk after the holiday.