Friday Night Lights

08.25.07 10 years ago 6 Comments

Friday night we were up at Rucker Park for the Elite 24 high school all-star game. We haven’t been up to Rucker as much this summer and in year’s past, but last night’s game was definitely worth the trip. For starters, the park was yammed; like standing-room-only, kids-hanging-off-fences, Fat Joe-couldn’t-even-get-a-seat yammed. And with good reason, because the game was crazy. Not much defense going on, as the White team beat the Orange team 169-164. Seriously, they hit 80 before halftime. We’ll have a full recap up on Monday, but here’s the short version: Brandon Jennings (19 pts, 23 asts) is worth the price of admission alone; Lance Stephenson (38 pts) has LeBron-like potential as a powerhouse wing, and his jumper might be better; Jrue Holiday (24 pts) is gonna keep UCLA in the title picture even if Kevin Love isn’t around to do it with him; and Tyreke Evans (26 pts) had the crowd standing up every time he touched the ball in the second half … Big-name ballplayers in the house included Baron Davis, Rafer Alston, Marcus Williams, Special FX, Circus, Half-Man Half-Amazing, Jessie Sapp, Quinton Hosley, Steve Burtt and Pearl Washington … Earlier in the day we spent a few hours with Marcus Williams as part of a special project we’re working which you’ll be able to see soon enough. During some downtime, Marcus was shooting around and couldn’t miss. “Wasn’t shooting one of the knocks on you coming out of college?” we asked him. “Yeah,” he shrugged. “I just didn’t have to shoot in college.” Props to Marcus for being a trooper and helping us out despite suffering a bad sore throat … You’ve seen the way Kobe has been getting after it on D in the Olympic qualifying tournament, right? You don’t even know the half. Word is that before Team USA’s opener against Venezuela, Mamba was actually studying game film of opposing point guard Greivis Vasquez, who played at Maryland last year. Just what a college sophomore needs — the best player on the planet not only on his butt like cowboy jeans, but treating the assignment like it was the NBA Finals. Greivis told the L.A. Times, “I don’t know how to explain it. That was amazing.” He added, “All of a sudden, he was guarding me like it was the last game of his life. I’m 20 years old…It was tough…But tomorrow’s another day. It’s all good. I’m glad it happened.” … At least Vasquez had it better than Andy Rautins. The Syracuse sharpshooter was scheduled to drop buckets at the Carrier Dome next season, but after tearing up his knee (ACL and MCL) in Team Canada’s first game against Brazil, he’s expected to be a medical redshirt and miss the season. We saw the injury when it happened: Rautins was trying to keep up with Leandro Barbosa when Leo cut hard to the rim and Rautins just fell to the ground screaming “Oh $#%&!” over and over again. We read later on that some of his teammates heard Andy’s knee “pop” from the bench … Canada’s coach, Leo Rautins (Andy’s dad) is upset because he thinks the injury could have been prevented. In between the Mexico/Puerto Rico game and the Brazil/Canada game, the teams only had eight minutes to warm up instead of the usual minimum of 12 minutes. Given that — according to the Toronto Sun — Andy said he felt tight before tip-off, did the short warm-up play a factor? “If that were the U.S. it wouldn’t have happened,” Leo told the paper. “That’s what bothers me.” … Reggie Miller decided against coming back to the Celtics. “That’s it,” he told the Indianapolis Star. “Physically, I know I could have done it. But mentally, when you do something like this, you’ve either got to be all in or all out. And I’ve decided I’m all out…So never, ever, ever again. If anybody is ever interested in me playing again, please don’t call.” Honestly, we think Reggie could have done better in his comeback than guys like Allan Houston and Penny Hardaway. Unlike those two, Reggie didn’t leave the game due to injuries. He was healthy pretty much his whole career, he was always in great shape, and he’s only been away for two years … So how will Boston keep building now that the Reggie Plan is busted? We’ve heard the names Allan Houston, Dahntay Jones and Ruben Patterson being floated … Or what about Gary Payton? Pat Riley basically said GP won’t be back in Miami this year … We’re out like The Glove …

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