DONUT 1: SIMPLY THE (THIRD) BEST
This all seems terribly subjective to me (and maybe that's part of the fun); I'm not sure how we objectively rank NBA "neighborhoods,'' for instance. But they did give Mavs fans a 5 out of 5 ... so we're good to go there.
DONUT 2: KERR-LESS
As his Golden State Warriors march on, their coach Steve Kerr, continues to deal with a back issue so serious that he seems unlikely to return to the team during this postseason.
The Warriors now say he's has had a "spinal cord leak procedure'' on his back.
Kerr did not travel to Salt Lake City for the Warriors’ 102-01 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night that gave Golden State a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference second-round series, as assistant Mike Brown continued in his stead. And with all due respect to Brown, that may speak to the true greatness of this bunch.
DONUT 3: PLAYER BY PLAYER
We've got our Player-By-Player season in review stuff here, starting with Dorian ("The Chip") Finney-Smith, Salah ("The Bliss'') Mejri and Nico ("The Menu'') Brussino. Stick with us ... we'll get to 'em all!
DONUT 4: DEVELOPING STORY
Today begins a two-day scouting event -- the eighth annual D-League Elite Mini Camp -- which in a very real sense marks the semi-official opening of "scouting season.'' This Chicago-based camp, which includes two Texas Legends players (Jameel Warney and CJ Williams) and is supervised by Legends head coach Bob MacKinnon, features about 40 of the D-League’s top guys and puts them in front of NBA scouts.
Next up: The NBA Scouting Combine, which starts Tuesday, also in Chicago.
DONUT 5: A FULTZ CHALLENGE?
I continue to be told by NBA people that Markelle Fultz is presently the clear No. 1 when it comes to the upcoming draft. The wildcard guy up top? Kansas' Josh Jackson, largely due to the fact that he's the only non-PG in that early bunch. So if your team also has a point guard, and you have a very high pick ... do you think about Jackson as being on the same level with Fultz? And do you envision him as being more helpful to you that the Ball Family?
DONUT 6: FAKE ANTI-LEBRON
You will recall LeBron James playfully grabbing that bottle of beer during a win over the Raptors. What you might not know, not being based in Cleveland and all, is that Great Lakes Brewing Co. tried to use the photo -- and therefore James’ likeness -- to promote one of its lagers.
Besides that action not exactly being legal, there are two other problems here. In addition to the NBA being very sensitive about alcohol endorsements, there is the fact that the Cleveland beer company once sold a brew called “Quitness,” making fun of LeBron's 2010 departure from the city.
So it's all shut down ... except for the fact that the brewery, however briefly, got its desired pub.
Oh, and maybe a lawsuit, too.
By the way, any media guy who is still doing the "LeBron Sucks'' schtick? You're embarrassing yourself.The Cavaliers swept the Raptors as he averaged 36/8/5 for the series and shot 57 percent. For the playoffs, he's a 34/9/7 guy on 56-percent shooting. Thanks to him, the Cavs are 8-0. Thanks to him, Cleveland won't play again until May 15 at the earliest.
They've earned their rest. And James' critics should give it a rest.
DONUT 7: REAL ANTI-MELO
Michele Roberts, the National Basketball Players Association executive director, believes Knicks president Phil Jackson is trying to run Carmelo Anthony out of town.
"I think Phil was deliberately trying to shame Melo out of the city," she said in an interview with The Vertical, adding that that some players are unhappy that the NBA hasn't responded to Jackson's clumsy remarks. ... Remarks, that, by the way, caused DB.com to get with Mavs officials for their thoughts on a Dallas trade for 'Melo. That exclusive is here.
DONUT 8: STIFFIN' GRIFFIN?
The story is entitled, "WHY THE CLIPPERS SHOULD RESIST RE-SIGNING BLAKE GRIFFIN THIS OFFSEASON.'' Yeah, it's in all caps.
No, I didn't read it. I was too busy talking to myself, saying, "Good. Can MY team sign Griffin then?''
DONUT 9: JUGGLING BULLS
Then comes word from Chicago that the Bulls are sticking with Rondo but maying not sticking with Jimmy Butler. Yes, I did go ahead and read this story. And yet came away, again, mumbling to myself, "Good. Can MY team have Butler then?
The NBA has announced that 17 teams are joining the "NBA 2K League.'' And no, I don't completely understand it. But I know Mark Cuban invested in the concept of "esports'' a few years ago, and I know the Dallas Mavericks are among the 17 teams involved now ... So I guess I better get to figuring it out.
DONUT 11: LIL' BALLERS
Father of the Year candidate LaVar Ball is at it again, debuting his family's new shoe line. A pair of his Lonzo Ball shoes, repping his eldest son, who is bound to be a high lotto pick, costs $495.
He is well within his rights to overcharge for these "black nurses shoes.'' ...
And he is well within his rights to insult his potential customer base ...
And hey, it's fun to dream big, so he's well within his rights to say, "All the other people on the outside is saying I'm costing (my sons) millions; you god dang right I'm costing them millions because it ain't about millions with us. It's about them B's -- billions.''
No, the puzzlement for me comes in the form of the observers who are fawning all over Mr. Ball for his alleged P.T. Barnum-level skills.
Three points (while attempting to be deferential to Rovell, who knows far more about this sort of thing than I do): One, "retweets'' are not sales. Two, as proof of that, my understanding is that during this opening flurry that included three days of free advertising via ESPN "reporting,'' the Balls sold a few hundred shoes. And three, it's an insult to the Kardashians and to President Trump and to everybody in between to suggest that a guy with fewer Twitter followers than I have is suddenly re-inventing the world of marketing, PR and sales.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD
But just in case ... Sure, I'm in.