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June 26, 2014

LeBron, 'Melo free-agency betting odds; plus Napier big shot in Heat war for LeBron; U.S. advances, Belgium next; also I bugged Big 3 lunch, Cats & more

1) It is FRIDAY, JUNE 27. In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Billboard slams LeBron's loyalty, vote-Giancarlo campaign, U.S. World Cup poll result, Futblog! and more. 2) Join us on Twitter @gregcote. Also Vine and Instagram.

"He keeps crying about other teams helping the Heat. Somebody hand poor Bill Simmons a hanky." --Greg Cote

Betting odds on LeBron, 'Melo, rookie of year: From our friends at Bovada today, LeBron James is a prohibitive 1-6 favorite to re-sign with Miami, with his going to Cleveland next at 5-1. Carmelo Anthony is even 1-1 to land in Chicago, then it's 2-1 to re-sign with Knicks, 5-1 Heat and 11-2 Houston. Rookie of the year odds find Jabari Parker (5-1) and Andrew Wiggins (11-2) near co-favorites, with the Heat's Shabazz Napier tied for eighth at 12-1. 

HEAT DRAFT-NIGHT TRADE FOR NAPIER A PLEASE-STAY GIFT TO LEBRON: From across the Miami bow came an undisguised volley in The Battle for LeBron James last night when the Heat's draft-night trade with Charlotte brought point guard 1aa1ashabazzShabazz Napier of UConn. It would not have been any more obvious if at the Heat draft table they'd held up a sign that read, 'This one's for you, 'Bron.' Napier is a favorite of LeBron's, and based on the kid's shirt at right, the feeling is mutual. Said Napier: "For one of the best players in the world to be intrigued by my talent is something so special to me. I appreciate it." Only Napier's lack of height (6-0) kept him from being perhaps a top-10 pick. He finally went 24th to Charlotte, with Miami giving up its 26th and 55th picks in this draft, a 2019 second-rounder and cash considerations to get him. They were smart to. Beyond the considerable LeBron factor, he fits a Heat position need. (Sorry, Mario and Norris). "Shabazz Napier is a winner, he’s a two-time NCAA champion and he’s one of the elite players in college basketball," said Heat potentate Pat Riley. “We feel very fortunate we were able to acquire him and we feel like he fits in extremely well. He has a high motor, high basketball IQ, is a great shooter and has great character." Napier despite his height and position averaged 5.6 rebounds as a senior and was a first-team All-American. He also avearged 40.5 percent from 3-point range as a senior, a welcome number for a Heat team needing to retool its long-range game. This was a smart trade toboth fill a need and to make LeBron happy. And isn't that the whole idea right now as Mr. Opt-Out sashays into free agency? Riley normally doesn't care much about the draft, but he did this time, and all knew why.

1aa1abrazilwcFUTBLOG! USA ADVANCES IN WORLD CUP DESPITE LOSS. "LET'S GOOOOO STATES!": FUTBLOG! is the official World Cup post of this blog, a continually updated daily dose of the month-long soccer spectacle in Brazil. See earlier posts for earlier daily results and group-by-group preview.

World Cup Day 15 / Today 6-26: Match of Day: Germany 1, United States 0 (Group G): The bad news: The United States got dominated pretty thoroughly yesterday by the Germans, 1aa1aletsgostatesespecially in time of possession and ball control. The good news, the only news that matters: Even in losing Team USA advances to the round of 16, the knockout round -- the general measure of a successful World Cup for the States. The Americans'  earlier 2-1 win over Ghana and 2-2 draw with Portugal left the U.S. with four points and big hopes entering this group-play final. Team USA would have advanced with a win or draw, or with a loss if it enjoyed the final goal-differential (tiebreaker) edge over the winner of Ghana-Portugal. And that happened. The U.S. was plus-2 over Ghana and plus-5 over Portugal. That meant astute American fans were rooting for Portugal, which won, because of the greater margin of error. My impartiality, of course, was out the window as always. "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Or, as I and my Twitterers like to say, "Let's Gooooo States!"

Other matches:

Portugal 2, Ghana 1 (Group G): One of these teams could have advanced because of the U.S. loss, but neither did what it needed to. Ghana was minus-2 goals vs. the U.S. so would have had to win by two goals here to knock out the Americans. Portugal was minus-5, too much margin to reaslitically make up even in victory. That's why American fans were rooting for Portugal.

Belgium 1, Korea Republic 0 (Group H), 4 p.m.: Belgium already had clinched advancement but sealed the group win and facingf the U.S. next. South Korea could only advance if Russia had beaten Algeria and the Koreans made up a 1-goal tiebreaker differential to the Russians. Didn't happen.

Algeria 1, Russia 1 (Group H), 4 p.m.: Algeria would advance with a win or a draw so got what it needed. Russia needed a win. Sorry, Putin.

World Cup scoring statistics through today and through group play: 48 matches, 136 goals, 2.83 per.

ROUND-OF-16 / KNOCKOUT ROUND OPENING MATCHES:

Saturday 28th: Brazil vs. Chile; Colombia  vs. Uruguay.

Sunday 29th: Mexico vs. Netherlands; Costa Rica vs. Greece.

Monday 30th: France vs. Nigeria; Germany vs. Algeria.

Tuesday 1st: Argentina vs. Switzerland; United States vs. Belgium.

LEBRONMANIA UPDATE: BIG 3 MEET, EAT SALADS!: Security was high at Miami's Soho Beach 1aa1asohobeachhouseHouse this week as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh met -- no, had a summit! -- for lunch. Undisclosed sources reported they all had salad. I managed to bug the table but one of the Big 3 must have put his man-purse on my hidden mic because most of the conversation was useless, muffled garble. But I did make out this one mid-lunch exchange, which sheds exclusive light on the free-agency plans of the Big 3 and thus of the Heat's future:

LeBron: "I dunno, man."

D.Wade: "For real."

Bosh: "Mmm. This tart raspberry vinaigrette marries so well with a mesclun-arugula mix."

Reports of the summit naturally caused a social media firestorm. I love that the three had such high security and guarded their privacy with such care. Dear Big 3: IN the future, if you really want privacy, may I suggest you consider NOT MEETING IN PUBLIC. You ever consider a nice catered lunch at one of your mansions? As opposed to, say, making a midday spectacle on South Beach? The answer to that rhetorical is that they obviously love the spotlight and attention. And, Lord knows, we give it to them.

HOCKEY TALK! BIG WEEK FOR PANTHERS: Everybody's talking about the World Cup or the Heat and 1aa1agallantLeBron so naturally my latest column today is on ... hockey. OK so I don't lead the league in timing. Sue me. Actually my timing isn't bad. This has been huge week for the Panthers, first introducing a new head coach, Gerard Gallant, and now holding the No. 1 pick in tonight's/Friday's NHL draft. Of course both those spotlights are for the wrong reasons, since new coaches and high draft picks both are indicative of losing, an unfortunate Cats pattern for too long. Click on Trying to Turn A Corner for my column on the state of the Panthers, and the onus on general manager Dale Tallon. Gallant is pictured, looking like he wants to beat somebody up. Quick aside: What are the odds that one sports town would have major head coaches named Golden and Gallant? I'm just asking.

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Might be looking at a delay or reschedule for USA game torrential rain is causing all kinds of problems. Field conditions are unknown because no one can go anywhere. Follow Taylor Twellman on twitter to see some of the pictures of the flooding. USA in great shape to advance they are fortunate this game doesn't hold more weight.

Yeah a late first round pick is going to convince LeBron to stay. Delusional. There are better pg's in this draft.

Mr. Opt- Out. Wow Greg is one bitter man about Lebron exercising his collective bargaining rights.

I wonder if Cote will commit suicide if his "Man-Love" object leaves.....

Greg,

So, The Herald put you on an expense account to eat at Soho Beachhouse? Lebron looks like a guy who would order the Kale salad - chicken, apples, bacon, parmegiano, and Bosh must have ordered the Quiona - corn, hearts of palm, tomatoes, cilantro, while Wade certainly must have had the butter lettuce, avo with goddess dressing.

Now as for you, I hedging my bet on the burger with fries, with a side of chicken and ham croquetas.

Am I right?

"The Malvinas are Argentina's! The Malvinas are Argentina's!"

BB, I woke up this morning and there was a crowd of Argie stiffs all dressed up in that powder puff gay blue and white shirts screaming crap about the Malvinas on the street in front of the Hotel California. I had to sick Winston my English Bulldog on their sorry ass and turn on the water hose. The Manhattan Beach PD gave them all the bum's rush and put them east of the 405 freeway where they belong.

Don't send anymore of these ass clowns over to my house anymore, BB.

Get used to it they are going to get a lot more rowdy over the next few weeks. Powder Blue power!

The Miami Sperm Whales heh heh SPERM Whales heh heh heh...

shadow..
my point was many players have changed teams, been the object of trades and have tested free agency.
it is not a sign of disloyalty at all.
lebron could've held cleveland hostage the way carmelo did denver, but he played out his entire contract.
we all know dan gilbert is the reason lebron left; he was unwilling or incapable of getting the cavs over the hump, so lebron left.

Nice to see US advance...

(the real) david in los angeles,

it is not consistent when we are in the era of opting out or becoming a free agent (all at the whim of the player) to lump in your list players who were traded, many against their will. the world of sport went upside down with the introduction of free agent and the demise of the reserve clause (courtesy of walter o'malley nad andy messersmith, who only wanted an extension of his contract which the dodgers didn't want to give him). the discussion of sports has devolved from what happens on the field/court to what is signed on the contract.

THE DETERMINING MOMENT FOR THE USA...

was when the ghanain decided to let a ball last touched by a teammate travel 30 yards to the line and then allow it to go out of bounds for the corner that gave the USA the win. horrible mistake that cost ghana a tie and allowed the americans to start off with 3 points that they really didn't deserve. however, that is history and an own goal today didn't help ghana much either. belgium up next for the gringos in a winnable game; belgium is good but not a top tier bunch. the USA might even make it to the quarterfinals, where no doubt they will face a tougher bunch than the belgians.

Another massive snooze fest. 1-0. Yawn!

I have now watched or at least had the TV turned on for at least ten games and I have seen two goals scored. TWO!

One thing I have to give credit to soccer, when the action sucks make sure that you keep it brief. At least the games are over in an hour and a half. Much appreciated.

Belgian beer, waffles, babes. Good stuff.

LeBrron who?

Darn typo!
LeBron who?

Wow, and here I thought that the defining moment for the USA was when George Washington crossed the Delaware.

Are you keeping up with your meds, Shad?

Only in a crazy sport do you get waxed by the Germans by what apparently is a huge pole axing in soccer, One nil as the chumps like to say in jolly old England, and they still advance on in the tournament.

So let's recap. We beat some natives in loin cloths. Tied some Portogie who have not been relevant in world affairs since Henry the Navigator 600 years ago. And now we get spanked by the Krauts and everyone is cheering like we won the Super Bowl.

"I kick a touchdown. I kick a touchdown." Boy somewhere, someplace, Garo Yepremian is smilling.

Oh yea, there's nothing wrong with the partying on the stands it's the action on the field that I'm talking about. Hell, if you drink enough booze even snail racing seems great.

Yes, there are fine cheeses and meats in this world. I shall erupt in rapture when offered them.

Well, you may find soccer boring and that is certainly your right but I would in turn say that most of the world would also find our "national pastime" to be an absolutely dreadful and painfully boring game. For those who didn't grow with it, baseball would likely be a painful viewing experience---and one that goes on and on and on far longer than any soccer match.

There are three things in life that love most; watching snails sprint, watching 1-0 snozzers in the afternoon specially after a big lunch and spending time in Ali-Babbas Cave along with the 40-thieves.

By the way, Mr. Woodcock...not to crank you up...but, how can Henry the Navigator be out there doing his thing 600 yers ago if Cristobal Colon landed in the Bahamas (near where KingJames vacationed) roughly...500 years ago? Just wandering?

InsureThisOnline,

prince henry the non-navigator sent his charges around the southern tip of africa to reach asia; columbus was looking for a shortcut to asia by going east. de gama reached asia via an all-water route in 1498, a few years after columbus hit what he thought was india. at this point in the historical timeline the iberians were the major players in world exploration. so much so that they needed the pope to set a line dividing up the "new world" with the treaty of tordesillas. depending on which history book you read it was either spain and portugal asking the pope to mediate or the pope deciding an "intervention" was needed. Mr. Woodcock generally has his facts down pretty good.

should have read "1488", not "1498" concerning vasco getting to india via the south and then NE after reaching the cape of good hope.

Ernest Borgnine was the first European explorer to discover the New World

Woodcock, how many scenarios in the NFL, NBA, and MLB have occurred where a team makes it into the playoffs despite losing their last game because another team that could've kicked them out also lost its last game? What the hell are you talking about??? You seem to have some anger issues. Seek help, my friend. BTW, I watched the US-Ghana game and I don't recall them playing in loin cloths.

And Insure, Woodcock is a dope but unfortunately his math is about right with Henry the Navigator. Mr. Naviagtor did his thing nearly a century before Old Chris Columbo. Henry's exploits came in the early 1400s, and had much to do with paving the way for later explorers, such as Columbus, who will of course make his "discovery" in the late 1400s.

Is this Ira Fistel?

Are you still trying to ask me why the Patriots used to wear red jerseys instead of blue ones? Patriots and Red Coats I believe you used to say....

He he.

Wow, que clase de nalga.

Suffice to say that Mr. Insure knows "nothing of my work."

Just ask OC.

He he.

Oh by the way, soccer still sucks donkey dicks.

Wait, wait, wait, let's see I think someone just scored.........................................................................Nope, that was a replay of the one goal that Ghana scored two weeks ago.

Oh wel, la di da da da......

Hey The Shadow does Know...quite a history lesson 'most impressive'. And who among us would say that every now and then we get a geo-political enlightenment on the blog. I stand corrected...

Well Woodcock, there is still a reason for you to be watching, just now in each of the games going on, the camerman had superfine Korean fans on camera, and in the other, a really superfine Russian. That should certainly make your wood cock.

I think Cote had his scenario wrong above. Ghana didn't need ro win by 2. In fact, when it was 1-1 while-1 for us, it became mega-stress and. If Ghana would scored, they'd advance over us by having scored one more goal. When the Ghana keeper barfed right to Ronaldo, that gave us the stress relief we needed, right Woodcock?

The only things bad about the World Cup are the dives, cheats, and poor officiating. At least 3 teams (Croatia, Bosnia, England) are wrongfully eliminated. Perhaps as many as 5. Most games are exciting and action-packed..or at least dramatic. The best part is the worldwide atmosphere unmatched by any other sport.

There hasn't really been much cheating so far. Mostly by Brazil's Neymar, Fred and Marcelo. Dicosta from Spain. The French dive vs the Swiss and even worse, the wickedi intentional elbows by Neymar and the French guy yesterday. The latter better be suspended. The Italian cheaed a lot, but nothing significant as usual..that's why they didn't advance.

Mr. Woodcock,

Regarding the question I have discussed with you in years past (see Mr. Woodcook's post of 4:18pm) as to why on God's green earth, when they were picking uniform colors in the early 60's for the New Emgland Patriots would they pick red tops!!! That's exactly what their name sake "The Patriots" were shooting at once they saw the whites of their eyes. The Red Coats...the Brithish Army regulars. Without much doubt one of the top 10 of stupid things in sports. Which is why I use to make fun of those NE teams. May I say in this forum, that shortly after I send them a letter letting them know about their 'fumble' of sorts, as you know it to be true Mr. Woodcock, they changed their tops to 'Patriot Blue'. And that as they say is the rest of the story...

I actually think the US played better, at least in possession, in 2002,2006,2010 than now. Almost every game was dead even. Czechs scored early in the 2006 opener which threw thevUS off right there. Then we got cheated vs Itsly, 2 red cards and a denied game winning goal. and a phantom PK vs Ghana. In 2002 we were an uncalled handball on the goal line away from heading to OT with Germany in the QF. 50-50 chance in shootout puts us in the semi's.

2010, we were consistently robbed vs all our games except England. The Ghana 2nd round game was dead even , possesion and shots. The difference was who gets it in goal . We hit the post, then, Ghana scored.

This time, we've been dominated twice.

Russians muffed this game. If it's the same goalie they had in game, he botched it again,

Algeria has a chance at revenge from 1982 against Germany.

Johnny I have zero problems with the World Cup. The fans, the chicks, even the freaking horns, it's the action ON the field that I have a problem with.

Right, right, Johnny. What ever you say. WTF?

Insure, they should have kept those old Patsy reds. Ever since you started with this crap someone finally listened in Bean Town and changed to the correct blue colors and since then they have kicked our ass royally. Frankly I blame you for their success at our expense.

You sir are a modern version of Benedict Arnold!


So let's recap. We beat some natives in loin cloths.

Posted by: Mr. Woodcock. | June 26, 2014 at 02:41 PM
-----------------------------

Well, most of those "natives in loin cloths" happen to be extremely well-paid players for clubs across Europe who are likely living a far more cosmopolitan and wealthy lifestyle than you.

Mr. Woodcock,

Benedict Arnold? What does one thing has to do with the other? We are speaking about one thing and you come up, as a diversion, about a guy who was a general during the American Revolutionary War who originally fought for the American Continental Army but defected to the British Army. While a general on the American side, he obtained command of the fortifications at West Point, New York (future site of the U.S. Military Academy after 1802), overlooking the cliffs at the Hudson River upriver from British which occupied New York City, and planned to surrender West Point to the British forces. After the plan was exposed in September 1780, approximately. Is that what you usually do here; divert and when all else fails divert again? There is nothing like bleeding orange and white...

Brendan The Navigator discovered The New World long before any of the other explorers. Of course he was an Irishman. Johnny you of all people should know diving is a part of the game. I am surprised you haven't accepted it by now. To enjoy soccer you have to check that at the door. It's not a topic worth discussing. If by chance the US beats Belgium a swift defeat awaits likely at the hands of Argentina I am afraid.

I wish the Dutch had never sold New Amsterdam (York) and the British had won the war. This would have been a saner country.

brendan the navigator? hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.. in his leather boat, no less, huh?
sorry, baby. the vikings beat your irish here, no matter what the myths say..

Shabaz Napier picked by the Hornets but apparently headed to the Heat. A great pickup for the Heat. Napier is an immediate upgrade at the point position. Riley is starting to put the supporting cast together to bring the title back to Miami.

How do you know it's a myth?

Agree. Napier is solid. He was head and shoulders over all players in the finals. Sayonara Mario!

Rotten Tomatoes, I agree with you and guess what would be legal in New Amsterdam?

About the Brits, not sure we'd be saner, but we'd have a better health care system. And more likely be able to afford better universities. However, I don't want to be driving on their side of the road and the one roundabout we have at Hollywood Circle is enough for me.

"Hey, everybody, there's Big Ben,,,they everybody, there's Bg Ben," etc, etc.

Big Ben. Parliament!

So based òn my prediction yesterday that Lebron & co would go to whatever team gets this UConn guy I never heard of (only because I don't follow NCAA hoops), that means they will stay in Miami.

Charlotte got a steal in the trade. And supposedly Napier may have lasted til 26th anyway. If he's so great, why did 23 teams pass him up? Am I missing something?

I think the Heat need to add a really good veteran.

Trivia time: Name another Napier?


Hint: He was a cousin of the nitwit Neville Chamberlain who trusted Hitler and let WWII happen

Answer: Yes, Alfred in "Batman" ..Alan Napier

Tom I resect you as a Heat fan FZB and others too. If LeBron stays you guys deserve it. I just don't think it's happening. OC you got the guy I hoped Boston would get in Randle. Marcus Smart looks like great pick for the C's. Rondo is getting traded.

Really, Reality, how crass to equate money with class. Not only would they never be allowed into any one of the many social clubs of which I am a member but you sir have as much chance to just as much as set foot at the club to wash dishes as an antelope has to drive a tractor.

Boys, Vikings? Irish? Chinks? The Ruskies? Those guys just got liquored up and were blow of course and landed here and dropped dead. The real discoverer of the New World was Cristobal Colon. The Giant. If it weren't for him the natives would be wearing loin cloths walking around everywhere not only on the soccer pitch.

Tom I resect you as a Heat fan FZB and others too. If LeBron stays you guys deserve it. I just don't think it's happening.

Read more here: http://blogs.herald.com/random_evidence/2014/06/xxx-xxx-x-x-xusa-germany-panthers-heat-draft-x-x-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.html#storylink=cpy

dude, you have NO EVIDENCE it isn't happening. like tom perfectly said, you don't WANT it happening.
the teams you think could get him would be giving up a lot to do so, weakening their line-ups with no guarantees.
unless he goes to the spurs, his best chance to go back to the finals is with the team that's been there the last 4 years; the ONLY team that's been there the last 4 years.
and that team just got quicker and younger at the 1.
drafting napier was a great move; he's a great passer, amazing at the pick and roll and shot 40.5% from 3.
he's a 2 time champ, spent 4 years in college, (a rarity now), and was coached by jim calhoun AND kevin ollie.
3 point guards were taken ahead of him, but so what?
(one team, the celtics, already HAVE a point guard in rondo, so good move ainge).
lebron wanted it as well, and that certainly doesn't hurt.

wade, haslem AND bosh are opting out.
then they sign for less, (including lebron), and we bring in more pieces like we have every year.
then baby and other heat haters resume frothing at the mouth again, talking about how great their teams used to be, (lakers and celtics), while miami continues it's run.
look on the bright side baby, (and OC):
as dolphin fans, you've been trained perfectly in how to bemoan the present while glorifying and yearning for the past..

one MORE thing, baby:

you're hinging your hopes against PAT RILEY; you know, the guy who just orchestrated a trade for the player he wanted with the team, (charlotte), he just smacked the snot out of last month.
a team fighting to get to where miami is..
the man is a ninja; bet against miami at your own peril.. lol

Riles just showed Lebron that he has been listening to him.Respect comes in various ways.Seems only logical that Wade Bosh and Haslem opt out now.(This weekend).Riles started the retooling last night - and it was clear to see he had James on his mind first.Birdman will likely stay.Difficult to predict at this point money-wise who else the Heat can complemnt the team with.Mickey s not from Russia so it won t get too crazy or saliva drooling.

If Micky wants a championship team he has to be willing to pay for it. That means paying a hefty luxury tax. The dude is worth $7 billion. He can afford it. There needs to be a sharing of the burden. Arison and Riley should not expect the players to bear all the financial burden. At the end of the day that is what will determine whether the Big Three return. If Wade and Bosh choose not to opt out, it's over. If they do opt out, they'll all be back with some new effective weapons around them.

boys,

mr. napier almost singlehandedly won the title for uconn. hit crucial shot after shot and ran the show, even better than kemba walker who had jeremy lamb to complement his efforts. aren't tony parker and chris paul six feet tall? granted that at this point it would unfair to compare him to them who have played in the league abd starred; but six feet is not a liability on offense, where the heat certainly need a ballhandler. now guarding westbrook and rondo is a different story.

IF FORM HOLDS...

it will be brazil vs. germany in one semifinals, and the dutch and argentina on the other side. unreal that saturday four south american teams will face off; add argentina, USA, costa rica, and mexico and you have half the round of 16 coming from the western hemisphere. as they have been saying for a while (except for korea/japan 2002), the europeans don't win out of europe and the do win playing in europe. a brazil/argentina final is what the big boys (read sepp blatter) want:neymar vs. messi. however, holland and the germans have been playing better. this has been a very good tournament nad if ann (the skank) coulter hated the game, i am thrilled. she is vomit.

Using advanced metrics OK State point guard Marcus Smart is rated 1st in all categories. He's 6'4" plays like a linebacker and is a shut down defender. They have clearly sent a message to Rajon Rondo that he isn't in their plans. Rondo is a great player and passer but he is in the last year of his deal and may want max contract money. By drafting Smart they are signaling to Rondo that they don't think he's a max contract player. They can likely get a good return for him looks like Sacramento is the destination they are going after Josh Smith as well. Good move by Ainge I think if he can pull it off david. He did bring the Big 3 together that should have resulted in 2 championships excepting for a K. Perkins injury.

dave, they just drafted Julius Randal, a player most had going #1 overall when the collegiate season started. They have a healthy Kobe coming back, a soon to be traded Steve Nash, who would then free up a portion of that $9.7M, a total of two other bench-types under contract, for what may be a $45+ M war chest.

Do you really think that organization will stay down long? Really?

OC david is doing what BB does. He's writing what he hopes for not necessarily what will happen. That said, a grossly overpaid and diminishing Kobe does hurt the future prospects of the Lakers. just sayin.....

Well OC, the Lakers took a page out of the Woodcock draft manual and "Negron'd Up!"

Un bestia. And from Kentucky, if you haven't been paying attention, and I know that you haven't OC contrary to what the other, ahem, bloggers think, Kentucky has been stock pilling talent for the last few years like chord wood.

They were very lucky to get this kid. The Lakers obviously have always had someone up there looking out for them.

Did you see that there was a turkey sighting on the blog yesterday? Most impressive.

Wassup, Insure!

Disparaging remarks about Ann Coulter will not be tolerated.

She speaks to me.

Tom, you underestimate Kobe Bryant at your own risk. He many not be playing above the rim like he did 20 years ago but his experience and toughness makes up for a lot of his diminishing skills. Can he take them to the promised land without help of course not we just saw what happened in the NBA finals. But can he come back and be a productive all star for the Lakers, you bet. Kobe is not the Lakers biggest problem their problem is sitting on their bench right now, a bigger collection of stiffs you will not find even sitting on the Coral Park High School team bus.

I don't think Tom is underestimating him just saying he makes too much money and I agree with him. His All Star days are likely over.

Tom, Kobe may not be what he once was, but most Laker fans would still consider having him in our team as a huge plus. A second to none work ethic, an abhorrence to losing and a championship heart remain even when that physical edge diminishes.

I'm glad you included the word "probably" in there, BB.

Make that - likely.

He turns 36 this summer there just aren't that many 36 year old NBA All Stars.

Big Baby,

ann coulter smells from here to eternity. and you know where "here" is.

BB, just watch what will happen next. Kinda like Payton Manning being told is too old and not "likely" able to come back from injury.

Woody

Kobe is a great player but he's not what he was. And now after the injury he's probably even less. On top of that he's eating up over a third of the cap. That is the problem. If he really wants to win, he needs to free up some of that cap space.

Woodcock, your statement about the bench is all wrong. They have no one there! They have Sacre and Marshall, and Nash. That's it. Nash will be traded before the season starts, and the other two will either sit there for depth, or used to package a trade.

After they sign Randal, that Lakers will have only five other players under contract.

Make that four players under contract.

shadow I know you vote democrat but didn't know that you were a CNN liberal.

Who's taking Nash in a trade?

they are running retirement documentaries about him

Chump change is what the Lakers are paying Kobe. They just gave him the NBA version of a gold watch. The Bulls did the same with Michael. And rightfully so. The guy has been a great, great, great, employee.

Like I said, OC, "We just Negron'd Up!"

7. Los Angeles Lakers: Julius Randle, Kentucky, PF, 6-9, 250, Fr. .
Jeff Eisenberg's analysis: Ask any of Kentucky's opponents what they feared most about the Wildcats this past season, and their answer will be the same: They did not want to let Randle destroy them on the offensive glass. He ranked fourth in the nation in offensive rebounds and second in defensive rebounds, while also displaying an ability to score through double teams on the block and sink an occasional mid-range jumper. One concern about Randle is that his broken right foot hasn't healed properly and may require surgery this summer. The other is whether he can continue to rely on overpowering defenders in the NBA the way he did in college. Randle has a strong upper body and uses his frame well to create space around the rim, but diversifying his arsenal of post moves would help, as would improving his ability to use his right hand rather than exclusively relying on his left. Marc Spears' grade: A.

I wanted Boston to take Randle. You could see Bill Simmons likes him too after LA took him he didn't even want to discuss it he clearly wasn't happy.

Hopefully he flames out in LA.

What the Lakers have been lacking for years and years is a good power forward.

Gasol has been very good no?

Ann Coulter is just mad because her penis isn't big enough...

Wake me up when football starts....

I wouldn't use an article Bill Simmons wrote to line the bottom of my bird cage...

You too a CNN liberal OB? geez nothing like an Ann Coulter comment to bring people out of the woodwork.

OB Simmons is a great writer and author. His website is good too. He loves the NBA and is passionate about it what is wrong with that?

Big Baby,

"CNN liberal"? yours truly is a fan of ron paul, even as unelectable as he might be. CNN-never watch it unless it's on in the doctor's waiting room; same for FOX-bill reilly, sean hannity, rudolph guliani, your girl ann- what a disgusting cast. of course the silver haired homo from CNN is on that no-watch list, along with wolfie blitzer. i am a subscriber to "the new republic", so what brand do i carry- independent fan of michael savage, the only radiohead to whom i listen; the rest are all stupid. julius randle was a great pick, if healthy- as a freshman, a man laying with the boys underneath the boards.

My Simmons criticism is that he sometimes writes too much or goes on too long about a subject when he writes. He's pretty good on tv.

They didn't have a cap when Michael got the $30 million. Different world in the NBA these days.

I also agree with BB. Unless the Lakers pay someone to take Nash no way it's happening. And if they do pay someone to take Nash does that count against their cap? Nash has already said he's not retiring and letting the Lakers off the hook. From what I can tell the Lakers are on the hook for $34 million in salaries for next year which means they have about $30 mil to spend. Not much when you only have 4 players under contract and one of them probably won't play (Nash who is due $10 mil).

Lakers are in a tough spot with Kobe.

BB,

That seems to be your defeciency....you listen to too many talking heads. These people that are "so called" experts are paid to give there OPINION - NOT FACT.
If you would spend your time calling them out for every idiotic thing they said I would respect you more than just taking everything they say as gospel.

I'm with Shadow....Ron Paul fan even though he is un-electable. Watched CNN once during the gulf war in '91 thats about it.

And as far as Coulter, she just says things to sell papers. Controversy sells any way you slice it.

BB,

You are also one of these people who likes to use "labels" - "conservative/liberal/far right/far left/neo-con"...etc....

ITS CALLED COMMON SENSE - Thats the one "label" that we as the american public never hear enough of; because of these divisive "labels" the media like to use to be able to sell papers to a certain demographic.

Ron Paul should be un-electable he's 78 years old.

At least if you're talking recent elections.

So what if he's 78 ?? Reagan was 80+ you moron....
& if your a fox loving coulter card carrying person you should love Reagan...

Paul is un-electable because he scares too many people who hold the purse strings...

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