Monday, June 28, 2010

Quick Draft Wrap Up With Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy of Hoops World took the time to answer a few questions about the 2010 NBA draft for us. We thank him for taking the time!

1. For basketball fans like me who don't really watch much college ball, how

would assess the strength of this draft class? Sounds to me like there's some

solid role players and contributors, but not tons of stars to be had.


There's no question that this is one of the deepest draft classes in

recent years. It's really hard to tell how many stars will emerge in this

class because so many underclassmen left school early. Who knows how good

players like Eric Bledsoe, Daniel Orton, Xavier Henry, or Hassan Whiteside

can become? They left school early to avoid a potential lockout next year

but if these players had developed and gotten more exposure, many experts

agree that these are lottery talents we're talking about.


Outside of the unproven players with a lot of upside, there's no question

that a lot of these guys will be impact players at the next level. One

executive recently said that there was no drop off in talent at number

eight to number twenty-two in this draft. Others said that there was a lot

of first round talent available in the second round. This may not be a

class that contributes a ton of stars to the league but there's a good

chance we see many of these players on NBA rosters for years to come.

2. Any thoughts on the Kevin Pritchard firing? How odd was it that he did

the draft knowing he would be fired after?


I knew that Pritchard would be fired shortly and that Portland was already

searching for his replacement but I could not believe the team chose to

fire him an hour before the draft. Their timing really surprised me and it

was somewhat ironic since the draft, in recent years, has really been

dominated by Pritchard's moves. I give credit to him though, he did an

excellent job landing Luke Babbitt, Elliot Williams, Armon Johnson, and

Ryan Gomes despite the circumstances.


3. Who's that second round pick that is most likely to be a glue guy in the

league?


Darington Hobson is the player to watch, in my mind. Several teams tried

to move up and select him in the first round but couldn't work out a deal.

He slipped to Milwaukee at thirty-seven but he's going to an excellent

glue guy. He has played with Brandon Jennings in the past and his biggest

strength is ball movement so Scott Skiles is going to love him from day

one. He has the work ethic and decision making necessary to make it in

this league. He'll contribute as a rookie but his biggest contributions

will likely come down the road when some of Milwaukee's other wing players

are gone and he gets some more minutes.


4. Could John Wall and Gilbert Arenas play together? Lots of people say no,

I personally feel like it could work. Couldn't Gilbert be a catch and shoot

guy, then take over the ball when Wall sits?


At this point, Gilbert Arenas needs to adapt his game to John Wall rather

than vice versa. Wall is the new face of the franchise and Arenas needs to

realize that. In the past, if you didn't fit in with Arenas then you were

on the trade block but that's not the case anymore. I think they'll be

able to work together once roles are defined. Wall is a great point guard

and while he may be great with the ball in his hands, he doesn't

necessarily need it to be effective. I think Arenas will provide scoring

and thrive outside of the distributor role and if they can get on the same

page, they could be one of the best backcourts in the league.


5. In watching the draft, what's your favorite moment of that night? I

mean, besides the Sexy Silver fan chants.


I had gotten close with a lot of the players in the class, more than

usual, so hearing their names called had to be my favorite moment. Meeting

a lot of these guys throughout their college careers or during workouts

this summer, it's great to see them finally reach their goal and have all

of the hard work pay off.


Covering it for HOOPSWORLD was great. I had never been a part of draft

coverage and breaking down each of the picks, running the Draft Diary in

the days leading up, and analyzing the picks on my Twitter was a lot of

fun too.


But Al-Farouq Aminu's glasses and Wesley Johnson's pants are up there as

well.


Alex Kennedy is an NBA writer for HOOPSWORLD.com and can be heard on ESPN 1040 in Tampa. Also, follow him on Twitter.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The NBA Season Went Out With A True Bang

Tough defense. Nothing easy. Enough banging down low to make Tila Tequila jealous. This was the culmination of what was a tremendous series and season. I went in a Lakers fan, but, in all the finals series I've watched in my young life, I've never had more respect for the opponent of my team than the Celtics. Going into game seven undermanned and seemingly outmatched down low, Rasheed Wallace and the whole team didn't give up. Some shots just didn't fall for them. They were still right there and that's why they've earned a hat tip.

One other thing about last nights game: best defense-centric game I've seen. Typically these grind it out games where offense is porous lose the love and fire I have for that game. Not this one. I can't tell you how much I jumped around in my house, both in frustration and appreciation. When it all ended, I couldn't have enjoyed it more. I was up the entire game and I felt that it was more than worth it.

Nearly surpassing the game were the sights of the celebrations. The embracings of Sasha and Kobe, and others were quite funny, especially when they were in slow-motion. Ron Artest had hilarious moments to say the least, as I posted earlier. All of his emotions made me realize just how much he wanted it and how appreciative I was of where he's come. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a special time for his career.

Again, I want to give it up to the Celtics. They played hard and aren't winners on paper, but they're winners in my book. Going out with honor and without sacrifice is as much a personal win for them as it is a true disappointment that they didn't win. Doc Rivers, you did all you could. If this is the end of the line for him, he can rest assured knowing he put it all on the line for this team. Same goes for Rasheed. Great careers that would be a shame to see end.

I want to thank all my readers this season, also. I love you all.

Photo by: Christian Petersen
Photo from: Yahoo! Sports


Couple more videos for your viewing pleasure:



Video: Ron Artest Postgame Presser

This is greatness, wow. I love it!

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Lakers Anthem 2010

This is a new song about the Lakers and 2010 NBA finals. Prideful for Lakers fans, that's for sure.


The artists in this song are: DJ Felli Fel Ft. Ice Cube, Ray J, Chino XL, Roscoe Umali, Lil Rob & New Boyz.

Song found via Hip Hop Early.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why CNN Should Apologize To Basketball Purists

I've never really been a fan of CNN. Sure, they inform, but, they over do coverage on the biggest stories and fail to broaden their news reports. Now, they are truly disappointing me. Why? Because, LeBron "The Constant Distraction" James is being interviewed on Larry King Live this Friday. The idea is not bad to me. The timing, on the other hand, couldn't be worse.

CNN's PR people obviously don't know what starts on Thursday night. I'll let them in on it: the NBA FINALS, the climax of the season, the two best teams fighting it out, doesn't feature LeBron, kick off the night before. I know what the true intent of this interview is. While CNN will also discuss LeBron's "success" as an athlete (though he's really won nothing without a ring), the July free agency madness will be what everyone wants to hear about.

I don't blame the people for wanting to hear where LeBron's mind is on his free agency. I would love to know where LeBron is going too. But when the best basketball is being played, I want to hear nothing of it. LeBron's status shouldn't be discussed until the finals are over.

The media these days has come to prove that this won't really happen. If I had it my way, the LeBron coverage would not happen until after the champion is crowned. Instead we hear many false rumors about free agent summits and that LeBron favors Cleveland. Blah, blah, blah!

My respect for CNN is at an all time low. True basketball fans who love every part of the game are being cheated here. The top focus ought to be on the two best teams battling for basketball superiority, not seemingly daily deviation to where a 25 year old (and his friends) will be playing next season.

When you look into a phrase dictionary next, look for a picture of LeBron next to "pointless hype".