It’s weird how this whole Tim Donaghy thing resurfaced when it did. Last August, it was like the NBA had gotten a gift when Donaghy pleaded out and the gambling scandal kind of drifted away before training camp; since the last thing the League wanted was that story hanging over its actual season. So then the NBA turns out this amazing ’07-08 run, and then right in the middle of its dream-scenario Lakers/Celtics NBA Finals, guess what everyone is talking about on the sports-channel argument shows? Donaghy, crooked refs, allegedly fixed playoff games and gambling … Between “Rogue Isolated Criminal” and “Singing Cooperating Witness,” David Stern has named several fantasy basketball teams for years to come … Paul Pierce‘s bad knee is a distant memory for the Celtics now that they have Rajon Rondo‘s ankle to worry about. Rondo did come back to play after he turned the ankle in Game 3 but didn’t do much, and you know how downtime can make an ankle injury even more painful. Hopefully for Boston, their point guard can go tonight, because less Rondo of course means more Sam Cassell. For what it’s worth Rondo told the L.A. Times that he almost fell out bed yesterday when he tried to put weight on it, but now he “can walk on it.” … Do you think Pierce is a better scorer than Larry Bird? Do you think Kevin McHale is the best low-post scorer of all-time? Some of the Celtics fans in the Dime office think so, and one of our guys thinks that means they’re going insane … If Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom aren’t going to step up, Sasha Vujacic will have to come through with another big game tonight if the Lakers hope to tie the series up. Yesterday someone in the office said they could see Vujacic averaging 15 points a night sometime in the next 2-3 years and becoming a Manu Ginobili-ish sidekick for Kobe. Do you think Sasha will ever be that good? … And with all the scrutiny being thrown Gasol and Odom’s way, how come no one’s calling out Derek Fisher? Where has he been during this series? … We caught some of the Bulls’ introductory press conference for new head coach Vinny Del Negro, which was one of the most honest pressers we’ve seen in a while. GM John Paxson admitted the Bulls don’t have superstar talent, but they do have good players who “lost their spirit” this season. Later on, Del Negro said, “Do I feel totally prepared right now? No.” Perhaps the new honesty policy has something to do with the fact that this organization realized they’re awful at keeping secrets … What moves would you make this summer if you were running your favorite NBA team? We asked the question HERE. Now if you’re the Raptors, priority #1 is clearly to lock up restricted free agent Jose Calderon, which also comes with the inevitable T.J. Ford trade. Now we’re hearing that the Raps may let Jorge Garbajosa walk, as some Spanish media outlets are reporting that Toronto is negotiating a buyout of Garbo’s contract. Jamario Moon‘s emergence at small forward probably makes Garbajosa expendable in the Raptors’ mind, but for a team with an obvious deficiency in the toughness department, keeping Garbajosa seems like a must. The guy is a warrior who basically played on a broken leg just to rep his country in last summer’s European championship … So Anderson Varejao is too injured to play for Team Brazil this summer, Sasha Pavlovic is too injured to play for Team Serbia, and the Cavs aren’t letting Zydrunas Ilgauskas play for Team Lithuania because they’re too worried about his back. Man, LeBron has some squad around him, doesn’t he? Oh, and Daniel Gibson might leave as a free agent … Unless they can find some way to dump one or two of their monstrous expiring contracts (i.e. Wally Szczerbiak or Eric Snow), the Cavs won’t be in the Monta Ellis sweepstakes this offseason. One team that reportedly will be going after Monta is the Grizzlies. What do you think of a lineup of Mike Conley at the point, Monta at the two, Rudy Gay at the three, Hakim Warrick and Darko up front, and Mike Miller as the sixth man? That’s not a bad foundation … In Dime #41 (the “Best Season Ever” cover) we featured Andre Iguodala, who we shot wearing some of his customized threads in Philadelphia night spot “G.” Check out the behind-the-scenes video HERE … So the NBA made some changes to its D-League affiliation system — they say — due to expansion. One of the changes? The Sonics‘ minor-league affiliate, which used to be the Idaho Stampede, is now the Tulsa 66ers. That’s right, the Tulsa, OKLAHOMA 66ers. Real subtle move there … We’re out like Garbo …
Smack / Jun 12, 2008 / 3:32 am
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