Getting ready for the Olympics, marking the ’08-09 NBA calendar, and who wants Larry Hughes?

08.07.08 9 years ago 60 Comments
Andrei KirilenkoAndrei Kirilenko (photo. Gary Land)

We’re almost there. Whether you’ve been waiting four years (since Athens) or just a couple of months (since the Celtics hoisted the trophy), it seems like it’s taking forever for the 2008 Olympics to arrive. Opening ceremonies finally get underway Friday morning, and the men’s basketball tournament tips off Sunday, with Team USA taking on China in their opener. And what better way to come across as the Big Bad Americans by serving the host country a 40-piece on Day One? … The NBA will be well-represented at the opening ceremonies: Dirk (who just got the Olympic rings cut into his head) is carrying the German flag, Andrei Kirilenko will lead Russian delegation with the flag, Manu is doing the honors for Argentina, and of course Yao will bear the flag for China. Plus NBA alum Sarunas Jasikevicius will also be toting Lithuania’s flag to lead his country’s delegation. In case you’re wondering, 1500-meter runner Lopez Lomong will be Team USA’s flag-bearer … Who would come away with the gold if there was an NBA-only Olympic Games? We asked the readers who would win in boxing, track & field, weightlifting and a few other events: Ron Artest, Nate Robinson and Shaq were popular picks in the ring, while Monta Ellis and Rip Hamilton got a lot of votes on the track. What about an NBA decathlon? We’re liking Shawn Marion, Kobe or LeBron in that one … For the rest of the NBA not involved in Beijing, the ’08-09 schedule was released yesterday. Opening Night features three games: Celtics/Cavs (ring ceremony) and Lakers/Blazers (Greg Oden‘s debut) on national TV, along with Bulls/Bucks (Derrick Rose‘s debut and, not that anyone really cares, Scott Skiles going against his old team) on the undercard … Christmas Day, essentially the beginning of the NBA season for the mainstream very-casual fan, has five games on the slate: Magic/Hornets, Spurs/Suns, Cavs/Wizards, Blazers/Mavs, and the main event, Celtics/Lakers. Check out the some other schedule highlights HERE, i.e. the first Chris Paul/Deron Williams head-to-head, Baron Davis‘ return to the Bay, and the unveiling of Houston’s new Big Three … Rebuilding or not, Vince Carter wants to stick around and lead the Nets. “I’m going to make the best of it. This is my opportunity to step up and be a leader on and off the court,” Vince told the Bergen Record. “It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to and something Devin (Harris) is looking forward to — to get an opportunity to show what he can do, not only as a basketball player but as a leader.” Could these Nets steal a playoff spot in the East? … The latest numbers on a Sixers deal for Andre Iguodala are rumored to be five years at $70 million. Too much for Iguodala, or a bargain for Philly? … According to some Chicago papers, the Bulls have found some teams interested in trading for Larry Hughes. Really? With that contract? Hughes is on the books for more than $26 million for the next two years, but he did play in 68 games this season, which is like Ironman status by his standards. This 100 percent sounds like something involving the Knicks, though … Has Elgin Baylor been asleep all these years or something and he just woke up? The Clippers can’t stop making moves this summer, yesterday picking up Steve Novak from the Rockets for a 2011 second-rounder. Either Novak plays Redick-level awful defense or Rick Adelman just doesn’t like him, ’cause he never got the kind of PT in Houston fit for someone who T-Mac once called the best shooter he’d ever seen. Although Marcus Camby or Chris Kaman is gonna be the starting four in L.A., there isn’t a “true” PF on the roster, so maybe there’s a better opportunity for Novak … The Bobcats signed Shannon Brown, continuing their tradition of bringing in players who won big in college. Every NBA locker room is full of guys talking smack about their colleges, but no one can mess with the ‘Cats. They’ve got six dudes who won national ‘chips (Okafor, Felton, J-Rich, Sean May, Derek Anderson and Nazr Mohammed), another who made it to the national title game (Ryan Hollins), and another who got to the Final Four (Brown). Then there’s national P.O.Y. Adam Morrison and ACC P.O.Y. Jared Dudley, both of whom carried their teams to some impressive records. One of these days, all of that should lead to some NBA success … Speaking of national championships, Kansas just inked Bill Self to a 10-year, $30 million deal. And you wonder why some college coaches can’t resist breaking the rules, don’t mind dealing with one-and-dones, and basically live in their offices … Nothing to do with basketball, but we have to say we’re glad something finally happened with Brett Favre. Some of us in the Dime office had been boycotting all sports programming since it had become unbearable to watch. The trade hopefully means we’re done with “BREAKING NEWS” reports that Favre put on blue socks this morning, so maybe he’s leaning toward playing for the Panthers. Of course being in NYC, it’s gonna be a zoo here the first day Favre arrives and for his first game with the Jets … We’re out like Larry Hughes …

Around The Web