What is a Hot Link? Well, to most people, it’s a type of spicy hot peppery smoked sausages often found at barbecues in Texas and South America. Here in Stacheketball, it’s a list of links from this week’s best of the NBA Blogosphere.
Cavs: The Blog: John Krolik touches on a variety of topics related to the Cavs winning the lottery with the Clippers’ pick, including his belief that Kyrie Irving should, without a doubt, be the pick, and that he should be a star. Not sure I agree that the Clippers’ decision to make the trade was done in the interest of the short term and at the expense of upside (ridding themselves of Baron Davis’ contract provides significant flexibility going forward), but it’s obviously a big moment for the fans of Cleveland.
HoopsWorld: I did my best to quell some of the hysteria over the Cavs’ improbable lotto win at ClipperBlog, but found the most common question among the commenters to be: why didn’t the Clippers put protections on the pick? The answer — aside from the obvious possibility that Cleveland might not have agreed to the trade if the pick were protected — is that NBA rules prevent teams from going consecutive years without first round picks. The Stepien Rule, as it’s known, came about, ironically, because of former Cavs owner and de facto G.M., Ted Stepien, needed to be protected from his own terrible judgment.
A Wolf Among Wolves: Timberwolves G.M., David Kahn, found himself in the spotlight again, and again for the wrong reasons. His comments about the the last two lottery winners being represented by a widow and a child that suffers from a nerve disorder were questionable, but it may have been more than a conspiracy theory/joke gone wrong. Ultimately, it follows his pattern of deflecting blame for past, and possibly future, draft failures.
Canis Hoopus on the connection between David Kahn and Birtherism. The takeaway? Even if Kahn was onto something about the draft being rigged and even if he nails this pick, there may not be anything he can do to convince Wolves fans he’s capable of running an NBA team.
HoopSpeak: Somehow, the Bulls have managed to take what their coach, Tom Thibodeau, says and allowed it to fuel their success. Anthony Bain presents this phenomenon in an excellent graphic representation.
RFH Collective: After game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Scott Simon finds it appropriate to look to 300 and the Battle of Thermopylae for insight.
DraftExpress: Now that the draft order is set, the first mock draft, from the best in the business.
TrueHoop: Kevin Arnovitz, as usual, takes time out of his busy schedule doing top-notch beat coverage of the Heat to address an issue that is far more important than any outcome of any game. Suns president Rick Welts came out of the closet, and should be in line for a significant increase in quality of life because of it. It’s an issue that hits home for Kevin, and, thankfully, one that the NBA and many of its current and former players are being proactive about addressing. This is a wonderful trend that hopefully continues. Even though Charles Barkley says that he played with gay teammates and doubts that a player would suffer from coming out, it’s refreshing to see such noticeable public faces of the league taking such a positive stand.