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7.11 The Cooler

Lottery picks on display in Vegas, plus the NBA’s best poker player

By 07.11.09
Stephen Curry, Dime #48

Stephen Curry, Dime #48


While the Orlando summer league wrapped up on Friday, the Vegas summer league — the more “glamorous” of the two — was just getting started. Lots of Lottery picks on display: Brandon Jennings had 10 points (3-12 FG) and three assists against Dallas; DeMar DeRozan had 10 points and five boards against the Lakers; Tyreke Evans scored 15 on the Pistons, and Stephen Curry put up 16 points (4-14 FG) with four turnovers and seven fouls against Houston. Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn will also be in action this weekend … That Lakers/Raptors game was an NBA junkyard of “Whatever Happened To That Guy” candidates. Adam Morrison (24 pts), Smush Parker, Patrick O’Bryant, Paul Davis and Mustafa Shakur were all on the court, and some guy named Ben McCauley posted 24 points and 15 boards for the Lakers. At halftime, the Rockets reportedly offered him $5 million a year and a promise to start at center … If DaJuan Summers (24 pts) continues to blatantly outperform Austin Daye (8 pts), will the Pistons just ignore it and give Daye more playing time to save face? You know Joe Dumars had a hard time stepping off the Amir Johnson Is The Future bandwagon … In the Orlando league, Roy Hibbert capped a solid week with 16 points, 11 boards and three blocks against the Magic; Shaun Livingston had 12 points, five boards and four dimes against Utah; and Nick Fazekas had 22 points and nine boards for the Celtics against the Nets/Sixers … Remember that whole Mike Sweetney comeback thing? He started one game for the Celtics, then sat out the rest of the week with a hamstring injury. The joke about Sweets getting hurt while running to Wendy’s before they closed is too easy … Orlando’s big-league squad signed Brandon Bass to a four-year, $18 million deal yesterday. Bass could start at power forward if Rashard Lewis plays the three and Vince Carter plays the two (and if Bass beats out Ryan Anderson); or Rashard could stay at the four, Vince could play the three, Mickael Piertus could play the two, and Bass comes off the bench. Either way, Stan Van Gundy has a lot of options and versatility with his lineups, which is all he can ask for … The Blazers have signed Paul Millsap to a four-year offer sheet worth somewhere between $32M and $36M, which Utah has a week to match. That report came on the heels of multiple reports that the Blazers/Jazz/Bulls trade that would have sent Carlos Boozer to Chicago and facilitated Utah bringing back Millsap wasn’t going to happen. So there’s a good chance Millsap goes to Portland and Boozer at least starts the season with the Jazz before being shopped again near the February deadline. In the meantime, the Pistons should continue to check in with Utah about that Rip Hamilton-for-Boozer idea … Now what exactly are the Suns doing? Steve Kerr said Phoenix was rebuilding following the Shaq trade and when it seemed an Amar’e trade was imminent, but since then he’s successfully outbid the Knicks and Celtics for Grant Hill, and reportedly offered Steve Nash a two-year extension at $11M per. Does that sound like a rebuilding franchise, or one that’s trying to win right now? But at the same time, the Suns have been quiet as far as getting help for that Nash-Stoudemire-Hill core. It’s like they’re being designed to get knocked out in the first round … Did you know Jordan Farmar is playing in the World Series of Poker? Three days into the massive tournament, Farmar is one of about 2,000 players remaining out of the original 6,000-plus, even though he claims he’d never played poker before until recently. But after getting the death stare for Kobe routinely in his short career, Farmar shouldn’t be shaken up at all by Phil Ivey glaring across the table at him … Promise we’re not trying to add extra hype to the Jordan Crawford “LePruder Film” story, but it’s really getting out of hand. People can argue about it all day, but the LeBron loyalists aren’t going to be swayed one way, and the LeBron haters won’t ever waver the other way. When will it go away? In the unlikely event that another worldwide music icon dies any time soon, LeBron may have to take the reigns and overshadow this story himself: Make a “Kobe tape” out in the parking lot of a Cleveland mall saying the Cavs need to ship Lorenzen Wright‘s a** out … We’re out like Sweetney …


TOPICS#KOBE BRYANT#LeBron James
TAGSAdam MorrisonAMARE STOUDEMIREAustin DayeBrandon BassBRANDON JENNINGSCARLOS BOOZERDEMAR DEROZANGRANT HILLHasheem ThabeetJonny FlynnJORDAN CRAWFORDMike SweetneyPAUL MILLSAPRASHARD LEWISROY HIBBERTSmackSTEPHEN CURRYSTEVE NASHTYREKE EVANSVINCE CARTER

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