Courtney Lee is the next guy in line to replace Ray Allen in Boston, but could only come via a sign-and-trade that might also send Marcus Camby to the Celtics. One, Lee would do well in that situation, and Two, Camby would make that team older than pictographs. … We need our basketball fix, bad. So of course we were watching Nigeria take down the Dominican Republic in Olympic basketball qualifying live from Venezuela. You had Al Horford and Francisco Garcia for the DR facing off against Ike Diogu and Al-Farouq Aminu for Nigeria, the surprise of the tournament after beating Russia last week. The guys in green and white came through again with Diogu ripping off 25 points, including a three late that helped seal the win and the final spot in the Olympics with the 88-73 win. Lithuania, Russia and Nigeria are now headed to London from the qualifying group. Aminu had five blocks in the game. You know college coaches were hoping the DR would pull off the win because they were coached by John Calipari. The evil genius (or so everyone outside Lexington believes) will now have time to be on the road recruiting in August with some time off. His appearance on the sideline also made for a pretty hilarious contrast between Nigeria’s coach, who had jogging pants on with a stock Nike polo, while Cal was going sportcoat over some slacks. We also don’t think Cal would have done the Bernie in a celebratory circle with his team after the win like Nigeria’s boss did. He was taking cues from Nigeria’s crowd, though, which had stuffed its section in Caracas’ gym and was going crazy. Nigerian players were jumping into the crowd after the win like it was a college football game or something. … The Trail Blazers went more than a year without a GM before hiring Neil Olshey. What most teams take for granted — a GM, president, coach and owner all in place at the same time — isn’t the norm in Portland. Not only do they still not have a permanent coach, but president Larry Miller resigned with two years left on his contract to go work for Jordan Brand as president. In effect, he’ll work one suburb to the west away and be doing the same job he had from 1999 to 2006. It was obvious he wasn’t the most camera-ready guy when he had to take the heat a GM normally would have, but he did work as a very nice middleman between Paul Allen and the rest of the franchise. The search begins for another key part of the Blazers’ organization. We’ll get back to you in 2013 when that job is filled. … We’re out like Calipari.
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