ESPN's Andy Katz has sources saying the NBA wants Billy Donovan's severance agreement with the Magic to include a clause that he won't coach in the NBA in the next five years. That makes sense to me: you don't want someone under contract with one NBA team to be a target for another NBA team -- even if he does something else in between.
The Akron Beacon-Journal's Brian Windhorst: "It occurs to me that the Spurs, all-heralded as they are, may be in for a bit of a surprise with the Cavs. They have not faced a defense this good in a long time. The Nuggets don't play defense at all, the Suns are better than before but really just want the ball back, and the Jazz are good for a Western team but still the middle of the pack. I'm not saying they can't handle it, I'm just saying."
San Antonio whiz kid Sam Presti will reportedly be offered Seattle's GM position, and candidates for Seattle's coaching spot include P.J. Carlesimo, Rick Carlisle, and Dwane Casey.
Former UTEP assistant coach Rus Bradburd, who went on to write a book about coaching in Ireland, is speaking in New York alongside Rick Reilly and others tomorrow night. He was also interviewed by Carl Bialik, and echoes what a lot of people think about what's wrong with the NCAA: "College sports is conflicted. The people who make the decisions-the coaches, the NCAA, the presidents-want it to be pro sports only for the bosses, but amateur sports for the workers: the players. But the only thing any fan cares about are the players. It's a huge labor scam, and the reason it works is that the labor force is gone quickly...off to the pros, or done playing. So, I think they should either go one way or the other: Either pay the players what the market commands, or make it completely a wealth-sharing and community-based collective. But the NCAA won't do either." Here's my thought though: if the best players hardly go to class already, and then they start getting paid to be there ... what's the whole enterprise doing on a college campus? Paying the players might make sense, but it makes all too clear that these are not students. My hunch is that this big-dollar corporate entertainment enterprise never belonged in academia anyway.
Darren Rovell of CNBC has sources saying that Kobe Bryant has re-signed with Nike.
I was thinking about the opening tip of a basketball game. You win it, and you get the ball to start the game and to start the fourth quarter. You lose it, you get the ball to start the second and third quarters. I asked ESPN's John Hollinger if, in fact, there was any point in winning it. His response: "There might be some very, very small advantage to winning the opening tip. For instance, you might be 1% or so more likely to draw an opponent's second foul before he drew it on you, since most fouls are committed by the defense. Also, some teams are able to score quickly in transition after winning the tip (Hawks had a great alleyoop play off of this). But you're right, big picture, it's essentially worthless. Exception, obviously, is overtime. Then it very much matters." Another thought: analyzing a correlation between winning game-opening jumpballs and wins probably does not tell the story, because that might just be a measure of which team has a center who is taller, has longer arms, jumps better, and/or has better timing. That kind of player can change games in a lot more ways than getting jumpballs.
I have heard from a bushel of sources that Portland has been offered some very fancy All-Stars for that top overall pick in the draft, and has turned down the offers. Dave from BlazersEdge is asking his readers if there's a player out there they'd trade the pick for. Some say LeBron James. Some say Tim Duncan. Dwyane Wade's name is out there. But others say there is not one player in the NBA they'd trade that pick for.
Michael Jordan acknowledges the achievements of LeBron James. I can't shake the feeling that he agreed to this interview on the condition that the writer also dedicate plenty of column inches to Jordan's motorcycle racing team.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, smiling through the tears.
Ever think about where trade rumors come from?
Tim Kawakami says Cleveland is the second-worst NBA Finalist in decades. UPDATE: A response.
The Cheikh Samb update you have all been waiting for.
Steve Kerr says goodbye to his readers on Yahoo. Also, for the second time he addresses his new position as "general manager" when it has been reported elsewhere as GM and president.
Brian Robinson of SonicsCentral: "If Clay [Bennett] does file for relocation in November he will likely do so with at least two interested parties willing to try to buy the team or contesting that they have potential arena solutions, largely privately financed, that he has never fully explored. Will David Stern and the NBA be willing to move a 40 year franchise under those circumstances? That is the real question many people are asking."
Jerry Stackhouse reportedly says he would play behind Maurice Ager if that's what it took to stay in Dallas.
Video of the Pistons talking about the disappointing end to their season.
Thirty years ago today the Portland Trail Blazers were world champions. The Portland Tribune's Dwight Jaynes: "What I most remember about that day in 1977 was what it did for my city. And how, for the first time in my life, people who lived in Portland could truly feel like world champions. For those of you who weren't around back then, the championship parade the next day choked downtown - brought it to a grinding, screaming, ecstatic, happy standstill. The fans wouldn't stay on the curb, crowding the cars and greeting their heroes until it all just stopped. They estimated that 250,000 people were there, but it seemed like more. People who weren't living here at the time can't possibly understand the impact this ev
ent had on Portland." I wrote an article about that team that's reprinted on the Blazer website, amid all kinds of remembrances and video clips.
UPDATE: 50 dubious moments in Raptor history.
UPDATE: Kevin Martin, pleasing the people.
UPDATE: An arrest in the murder of former NBA player and probation officer Howard Porter.