It’s been at least a decade since we made it through the NBA Playoffs without a controversial call, and this year was no different. Even with all of the advanced technology, the replays and the added pressure refs are under to get it all just right, the reaction to nearly every game – and this is a major downside of Twitter – was to skin and sell the referees body parts. With OKC and Miami in the Finals, the two best teams, but more importantly the two most exciting teams, hopefully we can just focus on the ball. However, it will help to have Steve Javie around. Yep, the retired ref was hired by ESPN as a rules analyst for pregame and postgame coverage of the NBA Finals. He says he’ll be fair. He’ll rip his former colleagues when necessary, and explain all of the challenging calls to dumbfounded fans. We can’t wait to see him try to defend calls associated with Nick Collison. All in all though, Javie will be TV’s secret weapon when it comes to Finals coverage. He’s always been level-headed and articulate, and we expect him to be a huge help to fans everywhere … Yesterday, we dropped a list of 10 reasons why the NBA Finals will be awesome. Between the obvious scenarios – LeBron vs. Durant – and the not so obvious this is going to be a great two weeks of basketball. We’re going to hold off on our predictions until later today, but we think we can speak for pretty much everyone that this was the series most fans were waiting for … One more note before we finally put the Celtics to bed. Game 7 of that Eastern Conference Finals garnered the highest preliminary television rating for an NBA playoff game on cable since records started being kept in 2003, a 9.1 overnight rating. In Boston, the game actually had a rating of 21.7. What? That’s just insane. One more time with us: WHAT LOCKOUT? … GQ released an oral history of the original Dream Team yesterday, and it was pretty dope. One of the standout quotes? Chris Webber (who was on the college squad that beat the Dream Team in one scrimmage) recalls first meeting Larry Bird and riding to the arena in a limo with him. Bird schooled the young fella on everything from the Pistons to his favorite moves. Webber was hyped. Then as they were getting out, the Legend told C-Webb to get his sleep because he was going to bust his ass “and you’re going to remember it the rest of the week.” Damn. That’s classic Bird … We’ve actually already seen the anticipated “The Dream Team” documentary from NBA TV, and while the hyped unseen practice footage (what everyone is flipping out about) was interesting, it wasn’t over the top incredible. Of course, it was only short glimpses. Mike hit a few shots; Magic ran his mouth; Laettner got exiled to the sideline. It was like the footage that surfaced from the night of BIG‘s murder and everyone was hyping it as something it wasn’t. Instead, we just got a lot of loud noises and a couple of dope sidelined cars. The documentary is still awesome though – they got nearly everyone to sit down for interviews – and all of you should check it out … Keep reading to hear what top five draft pick is most likely to be traded …
Kevin Garnett said what? Well, he didn’t actually say it, but Chris Mannix of SI said yesterday morning on the Dennis & Callahan show that he’s heard from sources close to KG that the big man may actually be considering retirement. That would shock us, if for only the fact that Garnett still hasn’t calmed down, even at 36. We’ve heard San Antonio and Dallas are both definitely interested, but it sounds like the only way he’ll come back is if it means a return to Beantown. That’s not so bad. Even if Ray Allen leaves, the Celtics can sign KG to a one or two-year deal and still be contenders in the East … As we wrote in our latest mock draft, we’ve been hearing all year how much Cleveland loves Harrison Barnes. Loves him. It doesn’t hurt that he’s best friends with Kyrie Irving. But now, HOOPSWORLD is reporting the Cavs may actually trade the No. 4 pick. Alex Kennedy tweeted that they offered the No. 4 and 22 picks to Portland for the No. 6 and 11. Why? They could still probably get Barnes at six, and perhaps someone like Perry Jones III at 11. ESPN also reported they made a huge offer to New Orleans for the first pick (Anthony Davis), pulling a Mike Ditka by offering all four of their selections. The Hornets told them to hit the bricks … ESPN is reporting Memphis’ Michael Heisley has entered into a sale agreement with Robert J. Pera, founder and CEO of the Ubiquiti Networks, for the Grizzlies. Pera is only 34 and made Forbes’ list of the 10 youngest billionaires in the world. Reportedly, the sale amount was around $350 million. It’s a good thing he has some dough left over, because he still owes Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol like, a gazillion dollars … Who caught Game getting dropped on his ass recently in the Drew League? When you get put on your booty like that, it’s time to hand in your jersey and take a hike. He’s just lucky this didn’t happen about eight years ago, when someone would’ve yelled “OMG!” and everyone would’ve stormed the court and caused a ridiculous 30 minute delay. Jayceon probably would’ve started writing a diss record on the spot … And over the weekend, police in Atlantic City started arresting people all over the place in a prostitution sweep. In all, 28 people were arrested. Temple basketball player Khalif Wyatt was among them, the same guy who dropped 17.1 points a night last year. No word yet on whether he scored that much this weekend … We’re out like Game’s ankle insurance.
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