Tuesday was “Bring Your Real-Life NBA Player to Summer League” Day, as J.R. Smith, O.J. Mayo and J.J. Hickson suited up for the Nuggets, Grizzlies and Cavs, respectively, for a dose of authenticity. Well, kind of. While O.J. is seriously working on his point-guard skills and J.J. is fine-tuning his game as the probable starting power forward in Cleveland, J.R. was in straight clownin’ mode. The stat line says J.R. only took five shots in 15 minutes (9 pts), but trust us: He was looking to shoot every single time he got the ball. The only time he passed was when he couldn’t find the look he wanted, and he usually called for the ball right back. Denver won in a rout, and while most of us had stopped paying attention by the time it was over, we wouldn’t have been surprised if J.R. left the gym at some point during the game … Mayo struggled again (11 pts, 3-10 FG), turning the ball over seven times versus three assists in an ugly game where Memphis only scored 67 points but still beat Milwaukee. Hickson looked good against the D-League Select squad. He had 18 points and 9 boards, but went 0-for-6 at the line. And they questioned whether Shaq could be a good influence on younger teammates … Which is more crazy: That just a couple years ago Al Jefferson was considered arguably the best low-post scorer in the NBA and now he’s being traded for a Cracker Jack box? Or that Minnesota GM David Kahn has earned a rep as arguably the worst front-office exec in the NBA in about 1/4 of the time it took Kevin McHale? We’re still not sure why it suddenly became so important for Kahn to trade Big Al, but yesterday he dealt Jefferson to Utah for two draft picks and Kosta Koufos. Yes, he traded within the division, too. “Kosta F***ing Koufos” already rolls off the tongue; we think we’ll be hearing it often from Wolves fans when they talk about this trade years from now … Great move for the Jazz, though, who replace one 20-and-10 guy in the paint with a younger version (albeit less effective at Deron Williams‘ vaunted pick-and-roll) who can play the four or the five. When you have Jefferson and Paul Millsap on the floor, who else is going to get a rebound? … If you’re a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, please explain this to us: Why was Zydrunas Ilgauskas‘ departure to Miami met with mostly understanding and some slight regret, but LeBron is having his jerseys burned in the streets? Isn’t Big Z also taking the “easy way out” by signing with the Heat? Since he was in Cleveland (as a player) longer than LeBron, shouldn’t he also be “loyal” to the area? Just wondering … Not long after reports spread that Michael Jordan and Larry Brown had combined to cancel the proposed Bobcats/Raptors trade that would have sent Tyson Chandler and Boris Diaw to Toronto for Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans — MJ didn’t want to give up his center, LB didn’t like Calderon) — the ‘Cats turned around and sent Chandler to the Mavericks with Alexis Ajinca for Erick Dampier, Matt Carroll and Ed Najera. And considering the ‘Cats will most likely waive Dampier to get rid of his $13 million contract, basically Charlotte is losing THREE centers in the name of cap space. Does this open the door for a Jordan/Kwame reunion? How about LB reuniting with Allen Iverson? … Other Vegas stat lines: DeMarcus Cousins went for 19 points and 12 rebounds in Sacramento’s win over the Lakers; and DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points (10-15 FG) in Toronto’s win over Houston, while Patrick Patterson had 14 and 9 rebounds in the loss … One of our summer interns goes to the University of Miami, so while we were watching the Bulls/Nuggets game he was all about his boy Jack McClinton. Eventually that led to an argument: In the history of the ACC, if you could take five players to take a big three-pointer with the game on the line, which five would you pick? … We’re out like Dampier …
Smack / Jul 14, 2010 / 12:00 am
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