Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: June 21, 2005
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
No more LeBron, NBA fans.
No more Kobe Bryant.
No more Tracy McGrady.
No more Jermaine O'Neal.
No more Rashard Lewis.
No more Dwight Howard.
No more Shaun Livingston.
All were so "unready" for the NBA at age 18
that they managed to become first-team all-NBA stars,
max-contract players or franchise cornerstones as
The new labor deal avoids a lockout but drains the NBA
talent pool of 18-year-olds. Don't think it doesn't
make a difference.
For the sake of presumptuously "saving" a handful of
unready prep players, the NBA derails the path of
players who have proven to be some of the league's
What's worse is that it isn't simply "19"; it's 19
by draft night, which arbitrarily hurts players
misfortunate enough to be born after June.
What: Like LeBron was supposed to play for free at
Akron U. for a year before averaging 20/5/5 as a
Prep Class of 2006 stud Greg Oden would have been
this year's No. 1 overall pick, and it wouldn't
have been a debate.
Rising high school junior O.J. Mayo would be
the No. 1 overall pick this year, next year, 2007 and
last year, if he could have been eligible.
The NBA is full of scorching arguments and debates. An
age limit of 19 (claiming players unready) isn't one
LeBron. End of argument.
NBA Finals: Game 6
Now we'll see what the defending NBA
champs are made of.
Winning 2 of 3 at home?
Ha! Who can't win 2 of 3 at home? That's no
Now: Winning 2 of 2 on the road, facing elimination
No chance. Even the staunchest Pistons supporters
can't feel good about pulling that off, even if they
continue to insist the team is at its best with its
back to the wall.
Yeah, right. Watch tonight to catch a whiff of the
grim stink of desperation (if the Pistons win) or to
crown yet another title for the most dominant NBA team
since Jordan retired.
NBA Draft Watch
Early-entry pull-out deadline today!
Dee Brown is headed back to Illinois (you can slot him
as an '05-06 All-American right now).
But which underclassmen will win the coveted "Hubris
Brown" Award for sticking around?
Criteria: It's not even being snubbed as a
second-rounder anymore. Second-round "snub?"
"Second" is the new "First," apparently, now that
every smallish scoring guard thinks he can be the next
Gilbert Arenas. (Hi: Louis Williams.)
No, for true "Hubris" status, a player has to
Undrafted. (Cue scary music.)
Draft: Who's No. 1
My "best player available" is Marvin
Williams; I love his game and his potential.
But I'm coming around on Andrew Bogut. Not as the
"B.P.A.," but I've pulled myself from the "Rip Bogut"
camp after reading one detail in Andy Katz's report of
Bogut's workout for the Bucks:
Bogut brought his résumé.
Literally. A paper r&233;sumé.
MLB Monday Wrap
Indians overrated? Too early to devalue
the Tribe's 9-game win streak? Nah: Boston snapped it
Schilling returning? Threw off the mound
and seems eager. "When he starts politicking
to pitch that's good." (T. Francona)
AL West battle: Starting 7 head-to-head games
in the next 10 days, the div-leading Angels stymied
the wannabe Rangers, behind Byrd's 6-hit CG
Nat profit? The Nats will reportedly make a $20
mil profit this year (via Wash Post). Why not plug it
back into payroll right now?
Bonds Watch: When will he be back? From Barry
himself: "I don't want to predict anything too soon."
Gee, thanks. That's helpful.
P2 Sneaker Week
I'm a sneaker fanatic, so all this week
during Page 2's Sneaker Week, I'm throwing in some
Today: Shoe Bracket, Round 1! It's the ultimate
showdown among the greatest sneakers of all time. (See
Big 5 for my all-time top 5.)