Posted by Kevin Arnovitz
The sophomores just finished their practice, with Cleveland assistant John Kuester running through sets. Right now, Kurt Rambis is leading the rookies through a walkthrough. Rambis' playbook is pretty basic -- a couple of flex sets, two bigs at the elbow in a horns set, etc. Kuester's stuff seemed a lot more complex. It must be challenging to draw up any meaningful x's and o's strategy when you have little more than an hour with a group of budding superstars who've never played together in their lives.
By and large, most of the sophomores were going through the motions. They were certainly attentive and willing participants, but most seemed either tired, distracted, or a little bored. You know who was having the time of his life? Al Horford. The guy radiates light. He tackled the little rebounding drill as if it were moments before Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals. After the practice, he received the media with a big smile.
After being snubbed from the rookie game last season, Al Thornton is thrilled to be in Phoenix. "I should've been here last year, but I guess I had to get better." Ran into Al's dad in the hotel lobby -- the gang is out here from Perry, Georgia to watch him.
Most bizarre sign-of-the-times moment of the session: I'm sitting in the bleachers with Seth from Bright Side of the Sun, both of us toiling on our laptops. Seth has a bottle of Dasani water resting beside him. A young Gatorade official approaches Seth and demands that he remove the label from his water as long as he's sitting in the area.