A Washington, D.C. pic, some words, and Wizards links in bullets…
[Calvert Street Bridge at dusk - NW Washington, D.C. - photo: K. Weidie]
Mike Prada breaks down a good argument on Bullets Forever about why he’d trade JaVale McGee for the No. 2 pick (Derrick Williams) straight up. I previously made a simple argument of why I wouldn’t do it, but certainly wouldn’t complain if it happened. However, from what I hear, such a deal was never really considered seriously, or even “on the table,” because when conversations headed in that direction, the Wizards were turned away at the door. Indications are that Minnesota has been fielding some very creative and interesting offers for the second pick — which make the rumor of the T-Wolves sending Johnny Flynn and the No. 2 to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan and the No. 5 laughable. Nonetheless, lotta days until draft time, folks, so plenty of time for more rumors to float, and plenty of time for David Kahn to play hardball.
> Check out this feature piece on Trevor Booker that I provided some quotes for.
[The Good Point]
> I continue to take part in the DMV Media Contest run by Ben Standig at CSNWashington. Check the link for the full run-down — tonight in Game 6, I have all the old Wizards (Haywood, Stevenson, Cardinal, Butler, Miller, Bibby, Howard, and Illgauskas) combining to score 22 points.
> When the Rashard Lewis/LeBrona-baby-momma rumors came out, I was like, ‘Huh?!’ -- Lewis seems far from the sort, so my belief levels were very low. Then again, out of many folks, why choose unassuming him to be in the crossfire of lies? Nonetheless, Lewis has denied the rumors (on a Houston radio show, the audio is out there if you search), and I’ll leave it to Michael Lee’s take via Twitter: “I like how Rashard Lewis denied insane rumor he slept with LeBron’s girl by saying NBA is a “small sorority” so he’d never cross that line.”
> DeShawn Stevenson totally could have written some disparaging remarks about LeBron James on FaceBook, because it’s 100% believable for about a million reasons. But alas, he has denied doing so, essentially playing the “I’m technologically illiterate because I am tattooed” card, according to Ben Golliver.
[Eye On Basketball]
> Via Mike Wise RE: LeBron (you’ve probably read this, but for the heck of it anyway):
For example, a player recently told me LeBron had contacted him about possibly joining forces in the offseason, though he was cryptic about where he actually might play. The text began: “Yo, this is King James.”
“I was like, ‘Give me a break. You’re going to call yourself that?’ ”the player said, on condition that his name not be used.
“Do you think Michael Jordan texts people by starting with, ‘Yo, this is His Airness.’ Come on, get over yourself.”
> It’s far too easy to forget that Gilbert Arenas continues to rank highly in clutch playoff shots made. Check out where his 3-7 FG performance when trailing by one or two points, or tied, in the final 24 seconds of a playoff game ranks.
> There has been an explosion of Josh Howard-related items in the media lately, but check out Michael Lee’s piece because his is the best.
> Thanks to Flip Saunders, I’ve become more familiar with the evoking of “basketball gods” — in fact, the term has appeared in several post titles of his blog: Flip said it after Hedo Turkoglu, as a Toronto Raptor, killed the ’09-10 Wizards with late-game heroics; and he’d said it a month prior in November ’09 when a Wizards comeback against the Heat after a very slow start fell short. There have been numerous other occasions since, including from other coaches, such as Boston’s Doc Rivers, as TAI’s Rashad Mobley documented. And now, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, as relayed by ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
I realize that this is more of an interview-podium surprise that might have escaped even the most hard-core Finals consumers. But I’ve found it interesting, after Game 4 and Game 5, to hear both Wade and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle make a “basketball gods” reference, proving that it’s not just us media types who spout this stuff.
This was Wade after a crucial free throw in the final minute of Game 4 bounced in and out: “The basketball gods just had other plans.”
This was Carlisle after the Mavs had about four high-arching prayers from behind the 3-point line — from a variety of shooters including Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Nowitzki — answered in Game 5: “Look, we threw in some difficult shots. But when you play as hard as we’ve been playing, the basketball gods tend to be kinder to you.”
Confession time: I’m struggling these days to give any credence to the notion of hoops-focused higher powers when the prospect of a lockout in two weeks looms over one of the best Finals that I’ve ever attended and threatens to shut down the league when it’s in its healthiest state since Michael Jordan retired.
Yet I suppose we can all be thankful, as a measure of consolation, that we’re getting a really good show in the dreaded event this is the last NBA basketball we’re going to see for a while.
> I gave my opinion to a Raptors blog on the trade value of Andrea Bargnani as it pertains to the Wizards as potential suitors. You can imagine what my answer was, but read nonetheless. Other TrueHoop Network team blogs were polled (eight in addition to me responded), and the answers are a bit funny as a collective unit.
[Khandor's Sports Blog]
Finally, we end with a picture Nick Young on a bed surrounded by a bunch of money, thanks to Gilbert Arenas on Twitter (@agentzeroshow):