Saturday, June 13th, 2009 at 2:03 pm  |  16 responses

Finals Links (Ed.’s Version)

What I’m reading at the Finals.

by Ben Osborne

Because I’m a newspaper nerd (one of the few left, especially in the under-35 set), I derive great pleasure from one of the perks of both NBA-hosted events and decent hotels: lots of free newspapers.

Every morning that I’ve ever stayed in the “NBA Media” Hotel the road for an All-Star Game or a Finals, I always make my way to the media workroom, where I can always find that day’s version of the local paper. For the past four mornings that’s meant a nice free copy of the Orlando Sentinel, a sweetly named paper that, while owned by the struggling Tribune Corp., and sporting the tell-tale signs of said struggles (crappy paper, light on ads, $1 cover price), is doing a nice job covering the biggest local story possible: the city’s lone pro team playing in a Finals for the first time in a decade and a half.

Combine the NBA-sponsored Sentinel with the free copies of USA Today and the Wall Street Journal this Marriott hotel provides, and it’s a newspaper lover’s dream. Throw in my laptop with its online access to the LA Times site and all the online-only articles about the Finals, and as Lang said yesterday, finding stuff to read about the game we love has never been easier. Well, I can make it a bit easier: I can find it for you.

With Lang and Mutoni presumably enjoying nice weekends, and me still here in O-Town consuming the news, I figured I’d make like them and hit you guys with a bunch of good things to read on this, perhaps the penultimate day of the 2008-09 NBA season.

I’ve stubbornly said Lakers in 6 all along, and something tells me that can still happen, but obviously no one can be shocked if this thing does end tomorrow. Here’s some of what people are writing about it for now…

From the Sentinel’s website:

Magic fans are setting records with all the money they’re spending on food. Not sure if this should be taken as a compliment.

A photo gallery of celebs from the games here. A bit heavy on Rihanna and her crazy ‘do, no?

This guy is now calling the Magic’s coach Stan Van Goofy, which both speaks some truth and has a local tie-in.

Are the Magic’s struggles Jameer’s fault? Well, he’s not inserting himself into the games, I know that much.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Yesterday’s WSJ had a q+a with Magic architect Otis Smith. Dude’s had some good luck, but don’t all successful GMs? I have no problem with the props he’s getting of late.

One thing the WSJ does now is predict scores. I’ve seen a lot of these scores be way off. Today’s version is with me, though—it likes the Magic to win tomorrow, 98-97.

From USA Today:

Phil Jackson on the brink of a remarkable record. As someone who loved following Phil and the Bulls in the ’90s, I’m happy to see him get a lot of good press.

From the L.A. Times:

A good friend of mine, who loves the Lakers, calls Derek Fisher glue. He has certainly held together a lot of big moments for the Lake Show.

And some other good stuff I saw on the web…

Bill Simmons’ diary of Game 4, from end of 3rd quarter to end of game. I’m with him that the line between Laker comeback and Magic collapse was very close.

Our man John Krolik gives Kobe some love.

The worst of Game 4.” Funny.

As for SLAMonline’s original coverage of the Finals, there will be a lot more of that soon, too. We should have new pieces up by Vince Thomas and Joseph Vecsey later today, and I’ll get the Game 5 Live Blog cranking tomorrow afternoon.

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  • http:///www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    In other news, Brandon Jennings called Rubio “all hype”.
    Heated rivalry in 3..2..1…

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq Al Haydar

    I enjoy Bill Simmons, but his lack of objectivity can get a little annoying sometimes. Oh, how I pity you and your 37 Boston championships this past decade (in all sports).

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariq Al Haydar

    Simmons blames this impending Lakers championships on the economy (!)

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Uh-oh, Ben’s Linkstigating! When I was at a Marriott in L.A. they asked what paper I’d like delivered to my room. I asked if I could get the local paper, the LA Times, and they said no, only USA Today or WSJ. Wouldn’t it be smart for the local papers to cut a deal with local hotels to have their papers provided also? Then again, this is the newspaper industry we’re talking about.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Kwame/Javaris has had a great finals

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    but seriously, how does memphis contemplate trading gasol to chi for some combination of deng, thomas, nocioni, gordon, etc. then all of a sudden say, ” you know what, lets just give him to la for a couple scrubs who we wont even keep for a year” sure, teams trade guys to save money, but not of pau’s caliber, and not for trash, and not to a already pretty good lakers team. this is not sour grapes, that trade was beyond insane, and just goes to show that the league truly has the lakers back 100%

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Lang that annoys me all the time. The free sentinel is only cause the nba is smart or cause the sentinel cut a deal with nba. The hotel has only been giving out the national papers.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    i love how i typed a long post then poof off into the ether

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    how does memphis go from contemplating what combination of deng, nocioni, thomas, gordon, etc they want from chi for gasol, then say, “you know what, we dont want any actual nba players or anything, lets just trade him to la for some scrubs that wont be here next season”. sure, teams trade players to save money, but not one of pau’s caliber, and not for extreme scrubs, and not to an already pretty good lakers team. that had to have been the most one sided trade in team sports history. im sure jerry west and stern worked closely on this one. just further proof that the league has the lakers back 100%

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    newspapers are full of liars, just another thing i learned from the wire

  • Debarge

    No doubt… Brandon had some real serious things to say about Rubio. I cant wait to see the two of them go at it in the league. I think b/c I’ve only seen rubio in the 2008 olympics, I’ll put my money on BJ, just from what I’ve seen until Rubio shows other wise (Here in the states)…

  • Boing Dynasty

    Tarzan, i dunno, the VC for Aaron/Eric Williams and the right to pay Alonzo Mourning 20 million dollars to go away is pretty close.

  • JR

    tarzan –

    contemplating all or some of those bulls dudes, perhaps, but what was really ever on the table? how good has deng been? he costs 50-60m. Gordon isn’t cheap. i know the economy sucks and now they don’t have to pay max money to Gasol (a dude that wasn’t winning games for them anyway and who had made, what one all-star team for them?) i know they also got over 16M in expiring contracts (mckie and kwame), i know they got a young starting seven footer (marc gasol), I know they got some cash, and I know they got 2 first round picks, and one 2nd rd pick. Seems to me with all that money they saved, once they figure out their coaching and ownership situation, they should have a extra draft picks and a TON of cash to sign free agents

    Somthing Like OJ, Harden, Gay, Odom/Rasheed/Boozer,and /Gasol…

    or Conley, OJ, Gay, Odom/Sheed/Boozer, Thabeet/Conley..

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton
  • http://www.slamonline.com Blinguo

    And in 5 years, they’ll trade away Marc get the draft rights to another younger Gasol brother that appears out of nowhere (But Chad Ford will say he’s known em since ’01). Paurc Gasol. Unlike The King, Gasol will never leave that Memphis building.

  • Czar Ruke

    Any buzz on that wade/boozer photo? Boozer in Miami would be interesting.