Notes at 3 a.m.

Kurt —  June 15, 2006

You can tell the draft is getting close by the volume and insanity of rumors are starting to fly all over the Web. DraftExpress, which has some of the best player breakdowns and the seemingly most logical mock draft, got into it this week with a few doozies, such as KG to Sacramento for essentially a 10-pound bag of shit.

There are some Laker rumors in that story as well and I’m not really going to get into refuting all of them, save to say the Lakers are not going to trade Odom for Chicago’s two first round draft picks in an poor draft year. Look at it this way — when was the last time Phil Jackson said, “Man, I’ve got too many versatile veterans on this team, I need some kids.”

That said, the rumor mill does have Jackson liking Brandon Roy. I get that — I’ve said here since before March Madness that I liked him and thought he’d be a great triangle fit. But if the Lakers go after him, I expect it will be with Mihm (who in a radio interview the other day Mitch K. basically referred to as the third center) and fillers, not Odom. You just don’t trade a top-30 NBA player for a couple of rookies.

• Jones on the NBA has been watching Kareem Rush workout and says he is fit and ready to play somewhere. He also says that the Bickerstaff comments about Rush’s work ethic were bullshit.

• Hoopsanalyst has started a series of draft breakdowns, starting by looking at the thin point guard class. Plus, there is a statistical breakdown of the Euros expected to be picked in a couple weeks.

• About the NBA Finals: Commenter John in Vancouver made a good comparison — was the Heat’s win in game 3 the “Kobe game” from the 2004 NBA finals? You remember, the one where he tied the game by hitting a three with 2.1 seconds left in regulation then took over in overtime to give the Lakers their only win against the Pistons

Count me in the group that thinks the fact it took a superhuman effort from Dwayne Wade for Miami to just eek out a win against the Mavs is not a good sign for them.

• The Lakers increased ticket prices again this year. In other news, the sun rises in the east.

• I don’t come to these type of decisions quickly, but I think it may be time for Bruce Arena to go as head coach of US Soccer. The game plan he employed against the Czechs was odd at best, and apparently the players were quite confused by it. Why are Beasley and Donovan are being put in more defensive positions?

Arena deserves a lot of credit for building the core of US Soccer up to what it has become, but he is not the man to take it to the next level. The US needs to look for its Phil Jackson, someone who can come in and mold the assembled talent into something more than the parts. Arena appears incapable of that.