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Smack / Jul 20, 2008 / 5:16 am

LeBron Witnesses Summer League, Team USA snubs Jerryd Bayless, and Introducing the OKC Thunder

LeBron JamesLeBron (photo. Mannion)

LeBron was in the crowd for yesterday’s Cavs/Hornets game at the Vegas Summer League, which Cleveland lost after giving up crunch-time buckets to Ndudi Ebi and somebody named Larry Owens (Oral Roberts). Funny how LeBron’s high school teammate Romeo Travis has barely been getting any PT in Vegas, then all of a sudden was in the starting lineup on the day LeBron just happened to show up. And LeBron’s other boy from St. Vincent-St. Mary, Dru Joyce, played about 20 minutes off the bench after being buried in the rotation before LeBron’s arrival. Sorry, but that’s just shameless on the Cavs’ part … We figured D.J. Strawberry might be able to put the clamps on (or at least contain) Jerryd Bayless, but JB carved him up just like he’s murked everyone else in Vegas, finishing with 36 points, 17 in the fourth quarter. Phoenix’s defenders were noticeably laying off of Bayless, who had a number of wide-open jumpers and only got to the line six times, well below his average. Bayless was, in a bit of a surprise though, not one of the VSL players chosen for the squad that will scrimmage Team USA while they prep for the Olympics. We know the select roster had certain needs position-wise, and it’s not too hard to argue that O.J. Mayo — who got picked along with Kevin Love and Robin Lopez — is better than Bayless, but Bayless did everything possible on the court to get the nod. Plus we’re just impatient and would love to see how he would do when he’s going up against Chris Paul and Kobe instead of Drew Neitzel and Dee Brown … Bayless might still get a spot on the team if Kevin Love can’t go. Love went down during Wolves/Bucks yesterday and didn’t return; last we heard it was an Achilles injury (although not a major one). If the U.S. needs another big to scrimmage against, they might as well take Brook Lopez, who was killing in the Orlando summer league … Is Anthony Randolph already better than Brandan Wright? The rook poured in 26 points and grabbed 12 boards against the Raptors in a game where Wright didn’t play. It’s looking at the moment like Golden State’s first five will be Monta Ellis, Stephen Jackson, Corey Maggette, Al Harrington and Andris Biedrins (Monta and Biedrins are expected to re-sign), but Randolph could get a lot of minutes off the bench at the three or the four; maybe more than both Wright and Ronny TuriafJaVale McGee‘s struggles continue. One time during Wizards/Rockets he launched an NBA three that would have been an airball from the high school line, causing everyone on the Wizards bench to bust out laughing — except the coach, who immediately yanked McGee and screamed at him … The Oklahoma City Thunder. That’s reportedly the new name of the ex-Sonics. Not the worst name in the world, but not one that’s gonna automatically move tons of product. We’re assuming the mascot will be one of those unidentifiable alien-ish that has nothing to do with the team name, kind of like the Sixers’ or the Magic’s mascots … The Thunder’s first significant move of the offseason — other than, you know, leaving a city with 41 years of NBA history — was signing C.J. Miles to an offer sheet. At four years and $15 million, we wouldn’t match if we were the Jazz. Jerry Sloan is obviously not a big fan of Miles, who came into last year’s training camp out of shape and pretty much lived in the coach’s doghouse … Germany was upset in the Olympic qualifying tourney semifinals by Croatia. Dirk Nowitzki put up 30 points and 13 boards, but Chris Kaman had a quiet 12 points and three boards. Greece 25-pieced Puerto Rico in the other semi. So the final spot in Beijing will come down to Germany or PR, but PR might have to get it done without Carlos Arroyo, who injured his calf and only played about 10 minutes against Greece … What does the Keyon Dooling trade to New Jersey mean for Marcus Williams? With Devin Harris and Dooling there to fill the top two spots on the depth chart at PG, and Vince Carter and Chris Douglas-Roberts at the two-guard, Williams is the odd man out … Jason Williams and his people are said to be talking with the Kings. It would be weird to see J-Will rocking #55 in purple again, especially considering his game is totally different than it was the first time around. Is White Chocolate good enough at this point to push Beno Udrih for the starting job? … Did you realize that the Knicks owe the Jazz a first-round pick in 2009 or 2010? The whole thing started with the Stephon Marbury trade and somehow ended up with the Jazz owning the pick. So with the way things are looking, Utah gets a Lottery pick to help build one of the West’s strongest squads. Thanks, Isiah … Word around the sneaker industry is that Brandon Jennings is already getting bigger endorsement offers than Derrick Rose (about $1 million a year) and Michael Beasley (between $600,000 and $700,000 per) for shoe deals. We know the whole concept of big men not selling as many numbers as guards, but we thought The Bease would get more than what he’s getting … Paul Pierce was in the building for last night’s big UFC fight card in Vegas where, coincidentally, one of the undercard matches involved a guy named Brandon “The Truth” Vera (who looks like a real-life version of Sagat from the Street Fighter video games). The first time they showed Pierce on-screen he was buried in his Blackberry the entire time, and the next time he was giving Usher some dap before the main event … One of the UFC announcers had this gem while talking about light-heavy champ Anderson Silva (who destroyed his man in the main event after opening a huge U-shaped gash under his eye with one punch): “His precision is really precise.” … We’re out like the Thunder …

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  • Wesley

    FIRST

  • http://hoopstv.com JOB33

    love that last quote
    Thunder is weak..sounds like a developmental league team
    Get a team in Austin and name them the lightning…watch the rivalry unfold

  • Wanderlei Silva

    FIRST !

  • http://deleted SL

    OMG OMG OMG FIRST!

    (lame)

  • YOUNGFED

    I’m kinda feeling the “Thunder”. Thats kinda hot. Also shouldn’t it be we’re out like the Sonics?…Jab, jab, right, left at Austin. lol

    FEDRODOMOUS PREDICTS: Jerryd Bayless or Mayo will get ROY

  • jonny taise

    first!

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    That ain’t right, Fed.

  • JOB33

    Funny how OKC waited until they left Seattle to take a name related to rainy weather, especially since OKC don’t get any damn rain. Maybe they’re paying homage. But just because I said it don’t mean I believe it.

  • rodnets

    OKC thunder is cheap

  • the_don_mega

    aint feelin’ the thunder name as well, kinda weak…
    FEDRODOMOUS… priceless! nice one FED!!!
    that UFC guy needs to be sacked! was it Mike Goldberg?
    ei Dime… who won ya’ll contest?

  • YOUNGFED

    Thats for not giving me the Sheed throwback jersey Austin. (lol) Naw but on the real don’t worry your city probably gonna get an even better team.

  • miamiVIS3

    I personall don’t hate how OKC THunder sounds but it’ll be tough to come up with a good logo and mascot.

  • nicky

    im sorry, but the thunder sounds like a WNBA team

  • http://www.alltexasforums.com rangerjohn

    ohhhhh come on dime if your gonna talk mma you gotta get things right, anderson “the spider” silva is NOT the light heavy weights champ, it was actually his 1st fight ever at 205 lbs, he is the MIDDLE WEIGHT champ (185 lbs)

    the afliction show was MUCH better then the ufc show anyway, the REAL #1 fighter in the world (the spider gets that title some times but it is all hype) FEDOR DESTROYED tim “the maine-iac” sylvia in” 36 seconds. he ruffed him up a little then choked his 6’8″ 260 lb ass out!

    and brandon vera is a nice fighter, who was also fighting his 1st fight at 205 lbs. he is TOUGH at any weight though. coincidentaly brandon vera got beat up by tim “the maine-iac” sylvia about 9 months ago or so.

  • sans

    silva was raw last night

  • the_baconator

    wow. the thunder? that name sucks. why not do something related to the area, like “okc dust bowl” or the “okc dust devils”? or even better, the okc clay bennetts

  • that’s whats up

    I hope the cheerleaders are called the:

    OKC Thunder Thighs

    I like my ladies thick….

  • Ashlov

    Wonder how many fart jokes per game they’ll have. While Bayless has been impressive, this is Summer League, and he’ll have to do that against proven vets every night. Plus, there’s other players above him on the food chain on that roster, so who knows how many shots he’ll get per game.

    I still think Beasley will win ROY.

  • bballinca

    nineteenth, you guys are f-ing lame.

  • http://www.alltexasforums.com rangerjohn (fedor is king)

    go spurs go lol had to

  • mason

    @JOB33

    dude, OKC get plenty of rain. i’ve lived here for 4 years!

  • word

    i can’t believe how the knicks are progressively getting worse as i watch summer league, i predict they don’t make the playoffs, with the bullshit line up they got (minus nate and jamal)and bullshit coach, wow, its like new york wants their fans to hate them

  • word

    damn the nuggets got lofton??

    when the fuck that happen??

    damn i didn’t even kno he declared for the draft

  • miamiVIS3

    @ word
    first of all he was asenior
    second of all he was a free agent pick up

  • Bron42 had springs before slamball

    Thunder does sound like a WNBA team or even worse, a hockey team. Their mascot is gonna be something Gay like Zues or some shit..although that would be kinda hot during the mascot dunk contest. Some big mascot in a toga doin the mcnasty of the tramps lol.

  • http://psinapticapotheosis.org Amar

    re: C.J. Miles — with how Almond is playing in the summer league a vocal majority of jazz fans want the management to match. Miles is 21, and is going into his 4th year in the league, and a contract that is worth only $3.75/yr for 4 is pretty cheap. (jazz pay jason hart almost as much, and harpring twice as much, and they both suck) The assistant GM for OKC was previously the head of scouting for the jazz. there’s a good article about this whole thing @ http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/2008/07/should-be-woo-and-were-not-made-to-woo.html

    re: Knicks unprotected, potential lotto pick in 2010 that is owned by the jazz — yeah, I knew about it, but then again, most jazz fans have known about it for a while.

  • jz_smoove

    the knicks are the most stupidest franchise of our era. the larry brown experiment and the isiah thomas affair did nothing to help in the matter. i had more respect for them during the years the bulls were dismantling them in the playoffs en route to championships.

  • http://www.myspace.com/carli_borikua4life carlos burgos a.k.a daquest?on

    new york should have stayed with larry brown for atleast 2 more years, he has a habit of failing the first year and then improving greatly the next i.e the sixers,pacers and so on and so forth.

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    Wizards and Wizards fans should get used to bone head plays like that.
    I cant tell you how many times Javale Mcgee was on a fast break and he pulled up for a 3. The worst part is he actually made a few of them so now the dope thinks he can shoot. Were talking about a super athletic 7 footer!! Take the ball to the rim you idiot!!!
    He spent a lot of time in Mark Fox’s dog house and will probably spend even more in Eddie’s because the Kid has 0 b-ball IQ. He’s like the big man version of Gerald Green…

  • John Starks

    The Knicks pick is Top-22 protected in 2009, and unprotected in 2010.

    So they can continue per usual this year, but next year they either have to start winning, or more likely, trade for a 2010 pick.

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    …And I would say it is VERY hard to argue that Mayo is better than Bayless.
    Bayless is the anti-Mayo: All the substance and half the hype

  • nick

    mayo does have solid defense. plus i would say mayo is a better shooter however bayless has such incredible speed that his jumper becomes quite effective with the defense having to layoff.

    if they played 1 on 1 it would be very close and could go either way.

  • Borgs

    Breaking News: Chris Kaman is a German Olympian.

  • http://psinapticapotheosis.org Amar

    to me, the knicks downward spiral started when rick pitino was the head coach. sure, they won some games but his evil corrupted the team . . . and eventually doomed them to what they are today.

  • r.o.

    Not related to this, but…did you see the video of Obama shooting hoops with the troops in Afghanistan? After warming up a little, he made a jump shot on the first try and then did the Vince Carter “it’s over” gesture. Classic…the man is sick!

    You can catch it on the Huffington Post.

  • jz_smoove

    pitino is to blame?? haha. some could argue grunfeld, that ended with championship aspirations at least with the emergence of sprewell, LJ and Camby. then all downhill after that. $100M contract to Houston did not help, that was $50M too much for a mediocre player, albeit on the rise. it makes the rashard lewis signing a smart choice.

  • http://greatlivepaper.blogspot.com Big Sneezy

    OKC Thunder? Sounds like a cross between arena football and a monster truck rally.

  • Skeeter McGee

    OKC Thunder honestly sounds like a hockey team, I guess cause there’s a Lightning team in hockey (sorry I don’t give a damn about the sport so I have no idea what city that name belongs to). I can see Nike being like “Great, Durant’s shoes are really gonna sell now…”

  • doc

    @mox sorry to tell you bro but Mayo better than beyless.He scored good in summer league but Mayo got him.Beyless didnt have topass to none of them dudes.I been out here.His game yesterday he shitted on the Suns but he didnt pass 1 time in the 2nd half.Roy and them aint going for that.

  • Joe

    @ doc

    Do you really think that Bayless doesn’t know he is going to have a completely different role on the real Blazers team? He said as much in the interview following last night’s game. In fact, he said he was going to be Brandon Roy’s “caddie” and that with all the scorers around him he will be more than willing to simply set up his teammates.

  • JT$

    How about the OKCity Bombers? Now that sounds explosive! And I dont even like the dude, but Oden is still considered a rook this year, so you gotta throw him in the ROY discussion. Word outta NJ was that Marcus Williams was giving Devin Harris buckets all second half in practice, but Dooling adds them depth either way. I personally think Harris is shite, and Vince Carter definetly shares that opinion.