From Dexter Fishmore, Silver Screen and Roll: I’ve received some more details about the draft-night trade of Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Denver Nuggets. We knew the Lakers received a second-round pick in return, but it wasn’t clear which year’s draft the pick would be drawn from or whether any limitations were attached. This afternoon, Lakers spokesman John Black filled in the picture for me: the pick is for 2013 and is top-40 protected. If Denver’s second-round pick in 2013 falls in the top 40, the Lakers will instead receive the Nuggs’ second-round pick in the 2014 draft. This news makes me feel better about the trade. Chu Chu’s about as obscure as prospects come, and given that he was taken with the 56th pick, it figured that what the Lakers got back would be token consideration, at best. Instead, there’s a non-trivial chance the acquired pick actually turns out to be a useful asset – or at the very least, marginally more useful than Chu Chu or anyone else the Lakers could’ve grabbed at his spot in the draft.
From Steve Aschburner, NBA.com: The latest round of NBA bargaining talks began Friday morning with a flood of about 40 players into the meeting in midtown Manhattan wearing identical gray T-shirts over their street clothes. The message, in bold yellow type beneath a silhouette of multiple players standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the front: “STAND / 2011 NBPA Summer Meeting NYC.” With the threat of a lockout looming once the current collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday, it was important to the players both to express their togetherness and to actually attend a session in the process of proposals and counter-proposals that will decide their professional fates. “The message is just solidarity,” said Billy Hunter, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. That’s what STAND meant when the day began. Nearly five hours later, as owners, players, lawyers and staffers scattered for the weekend, it might have been shorthand for: Still Talking, Although No Deal.
From Tim David Harvey, Lakers Nation: “He was one of the most spectacular shooters the game has ever known”-Jerry West, HOOP Magazine, 1992. This years All-Star weekend was big for all of the NBA, right down to the logo. Los Angeles hosted the game at the STAPLES Center and the home-team Lakers used the weekend to unveil their latest statue. Joining Magic Johnson, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky and Oscar De La Hoya was Mr. Clutch himself, Jerry West. Now with all due respect, where respect is due, the Lakers had someone East of West too. Standing right next to the fire of Jerry was the ice of Elgin Baylor, one of the coldest players to ever grace a basketball court. Baylor’s influence has been huge. R&B superstar Ginuwine was even named after the megastar. The singer even dropped his latest album entitled ‘Elgin’ this year. How fitting. Before revolutionary forwards like Pau Gasol, before Shaq and Kobe, before ‘Cap and Magic, before Wilt. Even before fans chanted West’s first name like Springer audiences, before even purple and gold. Straight out of Minneapolis, right to Los Angeles, Elg was there in blue and white, with stars around his Lakers shield. Los Angeles’ first officer was a force, making Laker fans feel better about Mikan’s retirement. Taking them higher, right before the days of the ‘Stilt’.
From David Brickley, Laker Nation: As Laker fans know Paul Sunderland followed Chick Hearn on T.V in the 2002-03 season, and Joel Meyers was the Lakers radio play-by-play man. In 2005, Sunderland was fired. The Lakers promoted Meyers up to T.V. and hired 26 year-old Spero Dedes to take over radio. Dedes was a man that understood the legacy of Chick Hearn, calling Chick the gold standard for not only Lakers broadcasts, but in all of sports broadcasting. He realized the legacy of the job, and never forgot the man that once called 3,338 consecutive Laker games. In 2009, we talked about following the legend of Chick Hearn, “Sitting in that chair, believe me there is not a night when I walk into Staples Center, and I don’t try to kind of pause, and realize where I am, and where I’m at, to be able to sit in that chair.” Dedes said. Anybody that heard Dedes on the radio as they were driving home from work or going out to grab a bite during a Laker game understands his talent.
From Mike Bresnahan, LA Times: So much for Pau Gasol getting traded to Minnesota. Anybody who believed that rumor should trade themselves to the Mojave Desert without water for a few days. Draft day came and went without any Lakers deals, but there’s still time for change before the league disappears like a mirage next Thursday when its labor contract expires. Who will be on the Lakers’ roster when next season begins? Here are one man’s estimates. Players from 2010-11 roster (chances of returning next season): Kobe Bryant (100%) The franchise player isn’t going anywhere for too many reasons to list, starting with his attraction among Lakers fans (merchandise + tickets = $$$) and ending with a hefty contract that pays him $83.5 million over the next three seasons, way more than any other player in the league.
From David Borges, Journal Register News Service: Kemba Walker wasn’t the only former UConn player to be selected in the 2011 NBA Draft Thursday night.??At around midnight, with the draft winding down and just three selections remaining, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver called out a name no one expected to hear.??“With the 58th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers select … Ater Majok,” Silver announced.??Even in a draft full of international players few people have heard of, this was a shock. Majok, of course, was the much-ballyhooed UConn recruit from the Sudan via Australia who never really panned out for the Huskies. He played one ill-fated season with the Huskies (2009-10), but prior to the start of the 2010 season, he abruptly left the program.
Spero Dedes is the best young sportscaster I have ever heard. He knew the game, he knew the Lakers and he was as impartial as they came for a home team announcer. I gave him the same respect I gave Vin Scully. I would rather turn off the TV and listen to those two on the radio than to listen to most TV announcers. Now we have to listen to two homers who never add value to the broadcast. Spero will be sorely missed.
I always found Spero to be a consummate pro, but he was almost clinical at times–even his excitement sounded tightly modulated. That being said, he’s a hell of a talented broadcaster and he’s got a great career ahead of him.
I even like the Lakers’ stance of requiring someone to devote themselves only to the team and not work national broadcasts. It’s a big part of what made Chick (and continues to make Vin Scully) such institutions. Hard to be a pillar of the LA sports community when you’re off doing the ACC football game of the week.