June 28, 2005
David Stern:
"With the first pick..." The NBA Commissioner should try not to gloat too much as he watches the final 18-year-olds cross the stage to meet him.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Bogut-bashing is bogus.

"Big White Stiff": Is it racist? Probably, if your argument is that he has no NBA future simply because he's white and a 7-footer.

Some critics just don't see any cachet in post players. They compare him to other No. 1 big duds, 'Kandi or Ellison. Bogut is better than that.

The better comparison is to Elton Brand: Very skilled, if not spectacular. (20/10? Why not?) But some want more out of their top overall picks.

It drives them crazy that a No. 1 might simply be solid, even though John Hollinger affirmed Brand as the top talent in his 1999 draft class.

Make no mistake: Marvin Williams is great; he's the most talented player available.

But Bogut is the best big man in the draft and will be a solid pro; hey, if Jamaal Magloire can be an All-Star center from the East, Bogut is set.

Bogut is winning me over with his confidence: First, he brought a résumé (yes, a paper résumé) to his workout with the Bucks.

But he's a talker, too: On Monday he told the media he likes Milwaukee because "there's a lot of beer and cheese there." Points there.

And I love the fact that he is willing to lobby for himself, noting that his vertical is only one inch behind Marvin Williams'.

Here's how it nets out: The Bucks seem to think "Best Center Available" trumps "Best Player Available." Or maybe that's the same guy.

Strangely, many of those griping about Bogut are the same ones who backed Emeka Okafor last year, ripping Orlando for taking "project" Dwight Howard first.

If the Bucks take Bogut No. 1 overall (7:30 pm, ESPN), it wouldn't be a bad move. For the Bucks' needs, he's as worthy as anyone, including Marvin.

...And not nearly as bad as the critics will be howling.

More NBA Draft
End of the "18 Era": No more LeBrons or Kobes; the new NBA age limit sees to that. That doesn't mean there isn't a last gasp of intrigue surrounding the preps.

Here are the Top 5, listed with comps (both good and bad):

Gerald Green:
The next: Tracy McGrady?
Or the next: Qyntel Woods?

Martell Webster:
The next: Paul Pierce?
Or the next: Eric Piatkowski?

Andrew Bynum:
The next: Baby Shaq?
Or the next: Lorenzen Wright?

Monta Ellis:
The next: Mike Bibby?
Or the next: Keyon Dooling?

Williams sib pride: Venus exorcises Serena-ousting Craybas
Angels: CA appeals court rules team can use "L.A." in name
Coach K: Would coach Team USA (Colangelo: Hire him today!)
Larry Brown to Cleveland: Cavs owner confirms it's a no-go
Bobby Valentine: Disses the baseball World Cup. How lame!
John Rocker: Released by independent Long Island Ducks
Andray Blatche:
The next: Kevin Garnett?
Or the next: Darius Miles?

To the rest: Enjoy the NBDL!

Yankee Mess
"My patience is a little short..." The Boss wants solutions. His choices, at this point, as he brings execs down to Tampa today:

Fire someone: On any other team, it would be the manager. Why not Torre? Because he's untouchable. And because even the Boss isn't that crazy (but it must drive him even more batty that he can't).

Trade someone: Does any single Band-Aid fix (like Mark Kotsay or Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt) even begin to fix the situation to the point the team will contend? There's the rub....

Hurt someone: Hey, where's that Cashman kid at...?

MLB Monday Wrap
Burnett to O's? Let Trade-Deadline Rumor-Mongering begin! O's fans would love a deal (seems like a high price for a rent-a-player).

Julio Franco rules! 46-y.o. hits a PH grand slam to lead the Braves past the Marlins. He's 46 and more effective than Giambi.

Yanks win ugly again: When you're struggling like the Yankees are, cheap Ws are still Ws. As they say: "A balk's as good as a hit."

Angels win 7th straight: As usual, thanks to Bartubby Colon (10th straight W vs. TEX) and the Most Vlad Player (3/4, HR, 2 2Bs).

Indians finally solve Sox: Blank 'em to snap Boston's 7-G W streak. Where was this Kevin Millwood last week when Cleveland needed it?

Political baseball: As reported in WashPost, shame on some GOP congressmen for threatening MLB for considering a Nats' ownership group with George Soros.

Rogers to miss today's start: Would-be All-Star broke his non-pitching pinkie after punching a water cooler during a start 11 days ago.

MLB Aces High
Looking for All-Star SPs? The "Big Four" would-be starters ID'ed last week all throw today: D-Train, Rocket, Buehrle, Halladay.

Let's make it easy: Following last week's formula based entirely on morning-after Instant History, the two with the best work today get to start.

Of course, competition counts: If Willis can handle the sizzling Braves, that's a lot more impressive than Clemens' beating the Rockies (even at Coors).

NBA Draft Viewing Game
Back by popular demand! What to do during the rapid-fire 5-minute wait between picks? As you sift through the TV analysis, try this game (soda for the kids, please):

Cliché (No. of sips)
"Upside" (1)
"The next..." (1)
"Best player available" (1)
"Need pick" (1)
"On the clock" (1)
"On the board" (1)
"Intangibles" (1)
"Tweener" (1)
"Sleeper" (-1)
"Athletic"/"Ath-a-letic" (2)
"Length" (2)
"Should've stayed at..." (3) "Needs to hit weights" (2)
"Weight problem" (3)
"Good character" (3)
"Questionable character" (-3)
Any Euro-bashing (5)
Any Duke-bashing (8)
"But I could be wrong" (10)

Jeremy Roenick:
Wow, J.R.: It's not like there were that many NHL fans to begin with, and you managed to alienate the few that remain. No, in fact: YOU kiss OUR rear.
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie live!
NBA Draft
Gammons on MLB
NBA Draft Cliches:
That's what NBDL is for?
Ugh: The new "athletic"
No bigger curse
As if teams REALLY care
Code for: "Who?"

Quickie Mock Draft:

1 MIL (Bogut); 2 ATL (M. Williams); 3 POR (Trade - D. Williams); 4 NO (Paul); 5 CHAR (Green); 6 UTAH (Frye)

7 TOR (Webster); 8 NYK (Bynum); 9 GSW (Granger); 10 LAL (May); 11 ORL (Warrick); 12 LAC (Korolev)

13 CHA (Felton); 14 MIN (Graham); 15 NJ (Wright); 16 TOR (Vazquez); 17 IND (McCants); 18 BOS (Villanueva)

19 MEM (Jack); 20 DEN (Ellis); 21 PHX (And'kevicius); 22 DEN (Ilyasova); 23 SAC (Ukic); 24 HOU (Garcia)

25 SEA (Simien); 26 DET (Hodge); 27 UTAH (Lee); 28 SA (Gelabale); 29 MIA (Walsh); 30 NYK (Taft)

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