We tend to highlight the Rashard Lewises and Eddy Currys whose contracts, concocted largely in part by NBA front offices, lead to pro ball purgatory (i.e. the NBA Lockout). However we often lose sight of the other end of the spectrum on the road to a new CBA: second round draft picks. USA Today published a piece on second round rookies like Travis Leslie, Isaiah Thomas and Josh Selby and how they’ve managed their finances, or relative lack thereof, until play resumes. They’re far from struggling but it’s evident the negotiations serve as a roadblock to them getting a shot at a contract. Second round picks, as you already know, don’t get guaranteed roster spots like their first round counterparts. So their basketball futures are hanging in the balance while the league’s in hibernation. Josh Selby shared some insight on what he’s done to make ends meet: “My uncle, who’s my manager and Carmelo’s Anthony‘s adviser, he’s been putting me in situations where I can get some pocket change, going to certain games, playing in money tournaments.. That’s what I have to do to get paid right now. It’s the hard way. It keeps you on your toes. It keeps you humble.” … Maybe it was just us, but watching Carmelo Anthony play in some of these summer league games just hasn’t looked right. He’s looked out of shape, a little soft and without any explosion. In a way, the news that he had double surgeries in May on his elbow and knee actually works out well. At least now we know why he looked the way he did. The elbow surgery was relatively minor, while the knee procedure was only an arthroscopic surgery used to clear out some irritation. It’s nothing that should affect him long-term or even next year. Then again, Carmelo also told Newsday’s Alan Hahn that if training camp started on time, he’d come in lighter than he’s ever been as a Knick at 230 pounds so maybe our eyes are deceiving us … While Baron Davis is busy telling the world that he can’t wait to take him under his wing, the 2011 No. 1 selection Kyrie Irving had a few words with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Tom Reed on his offseason plans. Cleveland’s new pride and joy’s keeping it relatively low-key all while sneaking a few classes in towards his degree. “I’m going to try and stay in school as long as possible until the lockout is over… My dad still stresses education in my life. Me finishing up my sophomore year would be great, but me being able to play in an NBA game would be better.” Plus he’s not interested in playing overseas since he’s got a deal and doesn’t want to “risk injury”, a wise move considering his foot ailment at Duke … Steve Blake is at work this summer to try to come back next season with more arc on his shot and an understanding of Mike Brown‘s new system. He also says that the Lakers had unbelievable chemistry off the court, which is always interesting to hear out of Hollywood. Blake says no one is easier to play for than the Zen Master, and that it’s amazing playing next to Kobe and D-Fish. We think it’s kind of funny how so many people (Bill Simmons) constantly try to scheme up ways to show that Kobe’s teammates hate playing with him when pretty much everyone outside of Smush Parker recently have said what Blake did … NBA 2K12’s a week away and we’ve got our consoles ready. Everyone in the office is talking junk. 2K Sports’ Development Insights run the gamut chronicling all the new animations, features and changes done to this year’s game. Nevertheless, the game won’t ship with any rookies and won’t yet have the dynamic player ratings since there’s no season. Some people have to have their basketball at any capacity. Does a game without rookies dead that excitement? Are you still going to get it on release day? … And recruiting analyst Dave Telep tweeted this yesterday: Gym scuttlebutt over the weekend says that Anthony Davis at UK is 20 pounds heavier. Lining up to be freshman monster. That’s a scary thought for college basketball … We’re out like Rudy Fernandez.
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