Baron Davis Does Not Like O.J. Mayo

August 15, 2007

McDonald’s All-American and prized USC recruit O.J. Mayo hasn’t even played a college game yet, and he’s already garnered quite the reputation for poor sportsmanship and prima donna behavior. It’s one thing to create some controversy on the interwebs, but it might be a little out of line when you piss off an established NBA star and, as it happens, Los Angeles golden child:

Word is pickup basketball at UCLA got heated Monday when Golden State star point guard Baron Davis engaged in some trash-talking with heralded Southern Cal freshman point guard O.J. Mayo. Davis got upset with Mayo after he didn’t respect one of Davis’ calls. Word is Davis, a native of Los Angeles, told Mayo that he doesn’t know who he is other than the fact that he wasn’t from Los Angeles and he also needed to respect a veteran’s call.

People, respect the call! You do not want to get on the bad side of The Beard.

On the other hand, from Bull Durham to Michael Jordan/Kwame Brown, one of our most favorite things ever is when veteran players put cocky young guys in their place. Call it schadenfreude.

Baron: Who’s OJ Mayo? [Denver Post Blog, via The FanHouse]


Luke Whitehead, Unexpectedly Rappin’

August 15, 2007

It wasn’t too long ago that Luke Whitehead was one of the marquee high school basketball players in the Bay Area. After his time in the San Francisco sun, he went on to a solid four-year career at Louisville, where he became best known for falling on his head.

At the end of his senior year, Luke declared for the NBA Draft, but no team was willing to roll the dice on the onetime Cardinal. In June 2006, he was drafted in the seventh round of the NBA’s D League by the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Sadly, the Skyforce was not with Luke–see what we did there?–and he was cut in December of the same year.

So, since hoops didn’t quite work out, he did what anyone would do: he turned to rap. Luke can now be known by his alias in the hip hop community. Enter … L-Dubb:

Wow, that was unexpected!

The best part of the video is the 0:16 squat at center court with two fingers pointed to a cartoon bird. That’s street cred, yo.

What To Think?

June 29, 2007

Ever since last night’s stirring chain of events, we’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster.

At first, we were utterly depressed, resigned that the Warriors were inevitably going to opt for another big white guy to join the likes of Mike Dunleavy, Troy Murphy and Todd Fuller.

Then we were absolutley elated when they chose Marco Belinelli out of nowhere. Mully, you sly fox you. The Italian guard appears to be a perfect fit in Nellie’s system. He shoots well (and often), can spread the floor, can finish on the break and might be the next Manu Ginobili.

Then we almost jumped off a bridge upon hearing that the W’s traded Jason Richardson for … Brandan Wright? Huh? Are you kidding me? Why would they trade a fan favorite, a loyal player and a pretty damn good scorer for an unproven, skinny kid who can’t shoot?

Then we were confused that the second round pick played on the national team for a country called “Gabon.” Cue the Googles. Turns out it’s a real country … in central Africa, FYI.

Then we were mad about the Wright move again. Isn’t the time to win now? He might be good later, but he was widely regarded as one of the top players not ready to contribute right away. Baron can’t hold up for more than two more years, wethinks.

Then we understood the move a bit. It gives the W’s a lot of cap space, and even though one might argue that J-Rich is the kind of player you make cap space for in the first place, perhaps the flexibility will allow the W’s to make a splash in the FA market this year or next. Rashard Lewis would certainly look pretty in a City throwback. As would Gerald Wallace.

In the end, we’re still not sure what to think about the Wright-Richardson trade, but we are sure of four things:

1. We’re firmly entrenched on the Marco Belinelli bandwagon.

2. Monta Ellis better step up.

3. The Warriors are not done wheeling and dealing.

4. We’ll miss Jason.

Nostalgia: The 1995 Draft, Revisited

June 27, 2007

This media-roundup video of the 1995 Draft is a little long, but full of gems, including the debate between Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace and “the safe pick,” Joe Smith. It’s downright painful at some points.

Aside from a young(er) Gary Radnich and a Mark Ibanez sighting (!), our favorite part is this Greg Papa quote: “People want to get Karl Malone and Derrick Coleman and all these great power forwards.”

Yep, Derrick Coleman: great power forward.

Our NBA Draft Wish List, Picks 6-10

June 27, 2007

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The interwebs are completely abuzz with news, notes, rumors and the like regarding Thursday’s NBA Draft. With the NBA playoffs (Warriors aside) evolving into a snoozefest, the draft is the last hope for entertainment for basketball lovers everywhere … at least until the fall. So, we’d like to present a version of the draft that is sure to provide maximum entertainment. Sure it won’t happen … but you can imagine if it did!

6. Milwaukee Bucks: Andrew Bogut is severely disappointed that none of the options are Australian, let alone old enough to drink, thus robbing him of a potential drinking buddy. Following their course, the Bucks opt for yet another safe pick, Georgetown’s Jeff Green.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves: Kevin McHale announces that he made a promise to big man Spencer Hawes, saying that he’s got “a good feeling” about the 7’1″ white guy who barely averaged six rebounds a game. Upon hearing that Minnesota A) drafted Hawes and B) failed to get a deal done, Kevin Garnett suddenly disappears, like the world movers in Atlas Shrugged … what?

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Our NBA Draft Wish List, Picks 1-5

June 26, 2007

Kevin Durant

The interwebs are completely abuzz with news, notes, rumors and the like regarding Thursday’s NBA Draft. With the NBA playoffs (Warriors aside) evolving into a snoozefest, the draft is the last hope for entertainment for basketball lovers everywhere … at least until the fall. So, we’d like to present a version of the draft that is sure to provide maximum entertainment. Sure it won’t happen … but you can imagine if it did!

1. Portland Trailblazer: As soon as David Stern utters the words “Kevin Durant” on the podium, a symphony of murmurs and oohs/aahs spreads across the draft room. The camera inexplicably remains on Greg Oden, as smoke visibly emanates from the ears of the 40-year-old center who was widely regarded as the #1 pick. Durant happily struts on stage to greet Stern, but once the commissioner gives him the Blazer baseball cap, the lanky teenager buckles from the weight of the hat. Meanwhile, Portland GM Kevin Pritchard talks to Stuart Scott on ESPN, explaining that they couldn’t pass on Michael Jordan again, and that Greg Oden seemed too much like Sam Bowie. Durant goes on to become an evolved version of Glenn Robinson, while … Seattle Supersonics: Fresh off his snub from Portland, Greg Oden refuses to smile for the next ten years. He goes on a workout regimen the likes of which Roger Clemens, Jerry Rice and the U.S. Marines have never seen. The following season, rookie Oden dominates the league, including a 40-point, 20-rebound game against Portland in which his vicious dunks injure the entire Blazer frontline. Oden goes on to win eleven championships (tying his idol/mentor Bill Russell) as he establishes himself as one of the best players of all-time.

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Koponen! Koponen!

June 9, 2007

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Several weeks ago, we reported on the rapidly rising draft stock of 18-year-old Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen. Well, now that draft workouts are in full swing, the suave Scandinavian is continuing to impress NBA scouts. Here’s what ESPN Insider and draft guru Chad Ford had to say about Koponen’s recent performance at a two-day, ten-team workout camp in Orlando this week:

Almost every team was shocked at how well Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen handled the workout. Only 18 years old, he was put up against college veterans like Taurean Green, Aaron Brooks and Sean Singletary.

Koponen, according to multiple team sources, stood out with his poise, shooting and ability to adapt his game to the speed of the workout. One executive went so far as to say he saw enough to rank Koponen as the fourth-best point guard in the draft. Others said that he was on par with [Florida point guard Taurean] Green, who also played well in the workout.

Koponen will skip the Reebok Eurocamp to continue individual workouts, and it looks like he may have a good shot at sneaking into the late first round. All of which makes it hard to understand why the Orlando pre-draft camp selection committee excluded him from the camp.

Koponen currently plays for the Honka Espoo Playboys in Finland (really). The 6″4′, 195-pound point guard has the size and strength to make it in the league and despite being only 18 and having no college experience, has been repeatedly described as “polished.” It’s pretty impressive that the Finn can hold his own with the college-tested point guards. Plus, he looks like one of the Hansen brothers. Hooray Suomi!

Workout season requires sorting fact from fiction [ESPN Insider]