CNBC's Darren Rovell on why agents pay runners: " ... the reason it has been going on for so many years is that organizations like the NBA Players Association that claim to regulate agents don't do their jobs or at least haven't given themselves enough power to do what they promise. Here's your problem, folks. The NCAA is only looking at whether Mayo was ineligible. USC is going to claim that if anything happened, they didn't know about it and in the end, Mayo wouldn't get hurt from accepting gifts. He'll just get drafted based on his skill level. And the agent? The NCAA doesn't care about the agent and doesn't claim to have any jurisdiction over the agent. (It's still not clear if the agency, Bill Duffy Associates, was involved, as has been alleged). What does that mean? It means that technically nothing happened and it falls into a black hole. I'm surprised that Stern didn't point to the Players Association, who really hasn't devoted enough resources or money to tracking down the moves of agents. I can't remember the last time an NBA agent was suspended, save for the time a guy got slapped for talking out against the union during a work stoppage. So, if no one ever pays a price, why would agents stop?"
Billy Donovan wants more rules from the NBA Players Association. I don't think that's the answer, as the NPBA has already shown it doesn't have enforcement in its DNA.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: "Tyrone Corbin, Dwane Casey, Jeff Hornacek and Chuck Person will interview with general manager John Paxson this week at the Berto Center for the Bulls' coaching position in the wake of the franchise gaining the No. 1 pick overall in the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night. Little should be read into Paxson finally conducting interviews locally after traveling to meet with Mike D'Antoni, Rick Carlisle, Mark Jackson and little-known Nuggets assistant Mike Dunlap. That's because Paxson's list of prospects remains long, and he also plans to meet with candidates at next week's predraft camp in Orlando. Throw in the fact Paxson has designs to meet with Lakers assistant Brian Shaw, Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau and other assistants still working in the playoffs, and this search still is expected to last well into June."
My word, I have probably read thirty mock drafts already today. Here's what amazes me: All that matters, in assessing who will be this or that pick, is what is happening in the hearts and minds of the key executives on draft day. (You talking to John Paxson? How about Pat Riley?) Anything else is conjecture. Some people are really connected, in a way that makes that conjecture matter. But wow, this is a lot of conjecture. The workouts haven't even started yet.
Lamar Odom has a new video on his website, about playing with Pau Gasol, and singing.
How New Orleans, and America, came to love the Hornets. A chronology.
Brian McCormick: "For the record, if I am Chicago, I am drafting Rose and hiring a coach committed to an uptempo style who will let Rose develop into a play maker, much like Byron Scott has allowed Chris Paul to develop in New Orleans. Could that guy be Mark Jackson?"
Name the best team Kobe Bryant has ever played on. Lots of votes for the 2000-2001 Lakers.
Ray Allen has not been as good in the playoffs as he was in the regular season. David Berri of the Wages of Wins, however, says that the dropoff from Paul Piece and Leon Powe has been even bigger.
A very strange ranking system says the Spurs will win, or something. If you're going to create something like this, you are permanently banned from making fun of stat geeks, who do this way better.
The Grizzlies' Blog 3 Shades of Blue: "So another lottery has come and gone and Memphis is still waiting to find that franchise changing player."
Did you see that Bill Simmons got to create his own prop bet in Vegas? If I could create one, it would be this: What are the chances that the 2008-2009 rookie of the year will be either Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley? With Greg Oden in it, I'd bet the field, for sure -- and it wouldn't be at all surprised if it ended up being someone else entirely.
UPDATE: Wow. Look at this: TNT cameras are going to follow certain players for entire quarters of tonight's game. You can watch that feed online. What's more, you can vote to tell TNT which players to follow with those cameras. If it's based on votes, get ready for the Kobe cam. Luckily there are eight of them -- one per team per quarter -- so I imagine we'll also see a Manu cam.