After flirting with Coach K (and his UNC rival), the Lakers finally make the smartest move and get a two-ring coach.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
Kobe? Kiki ... Kiki? Kobe ... Call
this week's meeting the "Uma-Oprah" introduction of
the sports world.
The Nuggets signing Kobe is a terrible idea --
even ignoring the elephant-in-room irony of Kobe
relocating to Colorado. Kobe in Denver would
short-circuit Carmelo Anthony's Top 50 future before
it ever really starts.
Jordan-Pippen II? Hardly. Melo is a
Batman, not a Robin; he'd likely end up resenting Kobe
as much as Kobe resented Shaq.
Now, how about Melo-for-Kobe, straight up?
Before you spark the "Rocky Mountain high" jokes,
admit the Lakers would have to consider it. It
would actually be a better fit for both
Denver could still go after a complementary player --
imagine Kobe with K-Mart? That's as good a 1-2
punch as Yao and T-Mac.
L.A., meanwhile, would have a young star to re-build
around -- a star who is much more likely to play well
Carmelo for Kobe: Win-win.
Nuggets' Cap Room
Let me return to reality: So what
should Denver do with all its cap room? The hot rumor
is throwing a crazy amount of cash at Manu Ginobili.
But they really have three options, all much more
Carmelo-complementary than Kobe:
He can pass, rebound, defend and do everything you
want a shooting guard to do -- except shoot. But love
Great power forwards are standard equipment in the
West, and -- no offense to Nene -- Denver needs one to compete.
Q Richardson/Darius Miles
Apparently conjoined. Quentin is underappreciated and
has the right complement of skills, but this is
clearly the third choice.
So how to spend that money?
Love Ginobili, but Denver should go hard for Martin
and maybe sneak away with a bargain in
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
Cardinals: Have won 5 straight; NL's best record, 5-game lead|
Dodgers' Eric Gagne: New save streak begins (1 in a row!)
Freddy Garcia: Trade to contender, now new deal (3y/$27m)
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Barry Larkin's retirement: Tells Reds he may keep playing|
Marcus Vick: Like being a Jackson sibling, he's no Michael
Freddy Garcia: Loses to Angels (8 IP, 7 H, 4 R)
See Roy Williams' reaction to being
approached about the Lakers job by UNC buddy/Lakers GM
Mitch Kupchak? Williams squelched it (but not because
of a terrible fit in the NBA, which it would be). Here
was his reasoning:
"I couldn't tell Coach [Dean] Smith that after one
year I'm leaving."
Not to read too much into this (or take
it too far out of context), but does that mean that if
Williams had been at UNC for, say, three seasons, he
would have entertained the offer?
AL Wild Card
Too early to break it down? Going back
to last August, the Red Sox and A's have developed one
of the most underrated rivalries in baseball.
Credit the similarly Moneyball-ish front offices,
Boston's perennial status as the AL East bridesmaid
and the A's patented second-half playoff
The drama comes early this year, where the Red Sox
pummelled Barry Zito and the A's 11-0, bringing them within two of the A's for
the WC. Tracking this battle the rest of the
Casual Olympics fans, if you dip your
toe into one sport this month before the real action
in August, make it this week's U.S. Swimming Trials.
But no star system here: The top two finishers in each
event go to Athens. Period.
You'll get a glimpse of two once-in-a-generation
phenoms: Michael Phelps (good enough for an
ESPN Mag cover) and Natalie Coughlin, profiled
last week in the New Yorker.
ALF: Talk-Show Host?
Even before those collect-call ads, you saw
this coming, didn't you? If only they would bust out
Willie as the guest sidekick and the Ockmonics as the
Textbook example of "wishful thinking": Knicks boss meeting with Kobe Bryant
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Page 2: The Parasite That Ate New York|
|Gammons: MLB notes|
|IN: NFL training camp previews|
|Handicapping the HR Derby|
|Appropriate for AL's MVP|
|Coming easy to him now|
|If his back holds up|
|Barry ... no!|
|Will Bonds participate!?|
HR Derby lineup: With "500 Club" members Sosa, Junior
and Raffy (plus guys like Vlad and Thome), this may be
the best derby ever ...|
The NCAA has Mike Williams' reinstatement application.
No need to wait; this is a no-brainer (then again, it
IS the NCAA) ...
If Ohio State was smart, they would hire Xavier's Thad
Matta in the same conversation they interview
Time to rev the Johan Santana bandwagon? Pitched first
career complete game and a career-high 13 Ks (Didn't
we do this last July?) ...
Let's be very clear: "Streetball" cred is nice, but
money is better. Rafer Alston near $29 mil deal with
Tour de Lance Watch: Only days in, he's already
gaining on the leaders. Yes, I know -- call you when
they reach the big hills ...
Gaining "umpathy": Thanks to Davis, Polk for the
hospitality as I umped their annual summer softball
game on the Shea Stadium field ...