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Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 12:27 pm  |  18 responses

Wedgie Evans, Moneyball and Sarunas

Today’s news and notes from around the NBA…

by Lang Whitaker

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’ve never been there. You know they don’t let Black people in the governor’s mansion in Alabama — unless they’re cleaning.” — Charles Barkley.

THE LINKS
• The Cavs have addressed the team’s needs by signing…a 35-year-old, six-foot-tall shooting guard? That’s right, it’s time for the David Wesley era to begin in Cleveland. The Plain Dealer story is pretty negative, from the lede to the mention at the end about Wesley’s involvement in the auto accident that killed Bobby Phills. Cavs beat writer Brian Windhorst says he heard from people in Houston that David Wesley looked done by the end of the season, though he doesn’t neccessarily agree. (Windhorst also says he was bitten by Lucious Harris, but I think/hope he’s being figurative there.)

• The Nuggets and Wedgie Evans have apparently agreed to a five-year contract. Despite his Nutcracker routine in the Playoffs, I’ve always though Evans was way underrated.

• Meanwhile, the Rockets have signed Casey Jacobsen and Matt Haryasz, who both played in Europe last season and, more importantly, both played at Stanford. I wonder if this has anything to do with Houston’s GM-in-waiting, Daryl Morey, who was a statistical analyst for the Celtics and has been credited with developing a “Moneyball” approach to basketball. In “Moneyball,” the Oakland A’s place a lot of importance on guys who test well and may be smarter than the average baseball player. Will the Rockets now only sign guys from top academic schools? They got Battier, right?

• Charles Barkley sounds serious about this running for governor thing, although he notes he can’t run until 2014.

• Long feature on Sarunas Jasikevicius, with details on his summer wedding. Apparently he wore a white suit and entered the ceremony to the melodramatic strains of “(I Had) The Time Of My Life,” from Dirty Dancing. And we owe it all to you, Sarunas. Nobody puts Sarunas in a corner! Nobody! They’ve also got a shot of his new adidas signature shoes, which appear to be Gilbert Arenas’s new Gil-Zeros but with Sarunas’s nickname embroidered on the back. I’m pretty sure this is just a way for adidas to motivate Gilbert. (Sarunas looks kind of like Matt Damon there, doesn’t he?)

• If you’re a Joe Dumars fan (this means you, Chad Ford), you’ll enjoy this extensive first-person series the Detroit Free Press is running. Here ya go: part one, part two, part three and part four.

• David Aldridge breaks down the top suitors interested in buying the Sixers.

• Pau Gasol has broken the bone in his foot that connects to the pinkie toe, and he’s going to be out three months. The Grizz say tough break.

• The Kings tell Bonzi Wells thanks but no thanks.

• Canzano links to this video of a Portland TV reporter showing off her skateboarding skills. Awesome.

• It’s been four years since Wyc Grousebeck and his people bought the Celtics, and they insist they’re going to continue to improve. They never address how having Danny Ainge making basketball decisions relates to that goal, though.

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  • http://nba.com Nadav

    Where’s the Sarunas link?

    (His wife is an ex Miss Universe. That’s dope.)

  • Delicious J.

    re:Portland TV reporter

    She should have respected the game- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dHYTD8l5JY

    But Lavin should have at least helped her up.. dammn.

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Hopefully, the fact that Saras’ shoes are mid/highs will make Gilbert feel a little better, since he rocks the lows exclusively. You neglected to mention that to me, Lang.

  • Alex

    Hahahhahah. That Portland link made my day.

  • Shiz

    Can we get a “Barkley in ’14″ t-shirt somewhere? I’ll gladly be a part of that campaign party. I’d vote for Chuck in a heartbeat.

    First Alabama, then the entire country!! And we all know how Chuck gets down. If he doesn’t like what you’re tellin him, you might hop a flight out a plate glass window.

    Fuck gov., vote Chuck into the White House ASAP. Hell he cant be any worse than the idiotic good ol boy we got in there now.

  • sixthman6

    who wants a “hairy ass” jersey??

  • albie1kenobi

    when i sign players on nba 2k6 or college hoop 2k6, intelligence is always on top of the list. i mean, to make it to the nba, one has to be physically capable; but to separate from the rest, you also need to have the brain and mental game that goes with it, because that’s how you can maximize your potential. best anti-example? Kwame Brown.

  • http://nba.com Nadav

    Eh…How do you know Kwami is not intelligent?
    What does any of us know about the intelligence of strangers for that matter, including NBA players?
    Last season Kwame showed flashes of what he could provide. Too bad for him, when he was drafted, he was thrown into a lose-lose sitzaytion. First ever #1 high-schooler, MJ’s first pick and so on. I believe in Kwame.

  • DBlizzy

    Yeah Lang you missed the fact that his are mid-cut, I’m sure Gil won’t mind just because of that fact(hint of sarcasm). The Matt Damon thing is on point though!!!!!

  • RFK

    Uh…Battier? Academic? Duke’s a fantastic basketball team but their basketball team is an academic fraud. Their graduation rates are closer to Kansas or USC than Northwestern or Penn.

    http://stanford.scout.com/2/520523.html

  • http://www.myspace.com/tripledubs TripleDouble

    re. Portland skteboard reporter….

    Classic. No reaction he just stares at her, haha, no assistance at all. That is awesome.

  • sixthman6

    I think lang meant top academic colleges, not top academic basketball teams…

  • Tim Dogg

    Actually I thought Sarunas’ picture looked like Matthew Lillard, of Scooby Doo and Scream fame.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Good call on Lillard, and don’t forget he was in Summer Catch, too.

    And the Sarunas link is here…
    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060905/SPORTS04/609050370/1088

  • Boing Dynasty

    Nadav,
    “What does any of us know about the intelligence of strangers for that matter, including NBA players?”

    Sometimes we know more then we would like to, Eddie Griffen?

  • JB21

    Moneyball is definitely not about finding the smartest Baseball player, Billy Beane is in love w/ Nick Swisher b/c he reminded him of Lenny Dysktra, not exactly the most intelligent guy. Moneyball is about Economics & Baseball and about getting the most out of your dollar. Billy does that by finding loop holes in the system, and by finding stats that are underrated & undervalued in the Baseball market.

  • albie1kenobi

    true, i may not know if Kwame’s really intelligent or not, for all I know he can be a genius at finance or molecular cell bio. BUT, we are talking about basketball here, and his basketball intelligence is lacking. little nuances such as position on boxing out and rotating on defensive end shows how much basketball IQ you have, regardless of your athletic ability and your skill level. Kwame is slow at learning the game of basketball, doesn’t mean he can’t learn them eventually, but he’s nowhere near basketball smart right now.

  • http://mygirlfriendiscrazy.com Carlos(mexican not argentine so im not a homer)

    To whoever defended Kwame Brown’s intelligence. Please take a look at the following quote from Brown which was said prior to the start of the 05-06 season.

    “This is my first summer [with] no trouble. I ain’t go to jail for speeding. Didn’t go to jail for DUI. I didn’t break my foot. I didn’t break my other foot. I’m one step ahead of the game already.”
    – Kwame Brown

    Kwame Brown plays uninspired basketball. Even when he has a nice offensive game he still manages to look lost, confused, and slow on D. If i had any authority in the dictionary world i would incorporate the word kwame to refer to someone who is unmotivated and indifferent. He isn’t a rookie anymore, and he still plays like a bum. He can’t blame doug collins and MJ for squashing his self esteem anymore

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