Posted on: April 1, 2011 9:33 am

Report: Irving leaning towards entering draft

Kyrie Irving is reportedly leaning towards entering his name in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Posted by Matt Moore

Kyrie Irving had a great season for Duke. That you can say that considering he missed almost the entirety of the season with a foot injury shows you just how good he was. When Irving returned for the NCAA tournament, there was concerned he would be rusty. Instead, he was his usual brilliant self. Duke's early exit from the tournament thanks to Derrick Williams and company for Arizona was the only thing stopping a fairytale story. But having missed so much of the season, would Irving want to wait to assure himself the top pick? Would the likely lockout prevent him from making the jump to the pros this soon?

Apparently not. 

ESPN reports that Irving is "leaning strongly toward declaring for the NBA Draft."  With Jared Sullinger stating publicly and emphatically that he's returning to Ohio State, it would pretty much be down to a two-man race for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. From there it would really just end up as a question of need for the team in the top spot. 

The lockout complicates matters here. If Irving does declare, he'll be drafted before the current CBA expires, but will not have his contract negotiated until after the lockout. So the question of whether he'll be under current or new salary structures for rookies is unclear. An interesting note, however. NBA players are paid on various calendars, but in most cases, rookies don't receive their first check until November. So should a lockout extend for six months, say until the beginning of 2012, Irving would only really lose two paychecks in that scenario, as opposed to six. 

Irving has the complete package. Prior to the summer of 2010, Brandon Knight was considered the top freshman point guard and expected top overall pick. But Irving absolutely exploded in summer play, and then showed even more on the national stage at Duke. He's at an elite level in terms of touch, speed, agility, handle, and play-making ability. He doesn't have John Wall's vision, but he has a better jump shot to start. He's a total package, provided that his foot checks out after a physical. 

Should the Cavaliers land the top spot based off what will be the worst record in the league, it's easy to see them passing on Irving. Not only do they have salary tied into Baron Davis and Ramon Sessions, but going for a big is the more traditional route. The Kings, however, would likely love to find Irving available. That scenario could lead to Tyreke Evans moving to small forward, creating a devastating lineup of Irving, Marcus Thornton, and Evans, with DeMarcus Cousins down low. That's Thunder 2008 stuff. 

Irving could still decide to return next season, should his foot have issues, draft evaluations come back lower than expected, or Coach K pulls some Magic, again.  But with Austin Rivers as widely acclaimed entering the season, the logical choice is to make the jump, take the money now, and ensure a high pick. Irving looks every bit the next NBA star. 
Posted on: March 29, 2011 4:27 pm

Coach K blasts Jalen Rose over Duke comments

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski blasts Jalen Rose over his comments made about the university. Posted by Ben Golliver. jalen-rose

Just when things had quieted down after weeks of outrage regarding comments made by former University of Michigan basketball player Jalen Rose about Duke University, Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski has stepped into the fray to prolong the back and forth.   In a documentary movie, Rose, a member of Michigan's famed Fab Five, referred to black Duke players as "Uncle Toms" and said that he felt the university didn't recruit inner city players.

ESPNChicago.com reports that Krzyzewski called those comments "very insulting" and "wrong" and went on to take shots back at the Fab Five's success at Michigan, questioning whether they left a legacy.
"We were very successful against them and, to be quite frank with you, we recruited Chris Webber," he said. "I didn't recruit Jalen Rose because we had Grant Hill and I'm happy with that. We didn't look at the other, Juwan Howard [because] we knew he wasn't going to come to Duke. The other two kids we didn't think were the caliber that could play as well as Thomas Hill and Brian Davis and Billy McCaffery. They're good kids. They were good kids."
"They had a heck of a run but, they didn't leave anything, they didn't establish anything there," Krzyzewski said. "The guys that I had established something that Jay Williams continued to do 10 years later -- the standards of what it meant to be a Duke basketball player."
Coach K has every right to be angry. Obviously, Rose's comments in the documentary were meant to reflect how he felt as a teenager, but whether they are past or present thoughts it's reasonable for Coach K to view them as an attack upon his integrity. 

His response, though, leaves a lot to be desired. The digs at Rose and his teammates for not being good enough to be recruited by Duke were probably best left unsaid. Really, that pettiness is beneath Krzyzewski, who is a living legend and simply didn't need to make those personal statements to defend his program's general recruiting strategy or decisions. His record of success speaks for itself.

But Coach K really loses his way when he attempts to deny the Fab Five's legacy and impact -- "They didn't leave anything" -- by pointing to Michigan's basketball struggles. Rose and company clearly left a legacy that extended far outside the UM basketball program, one that continues to influence NBA players to this day. To not acknowledge that decades-long legacy's impact upon thousands (millions?) of young black men unintentionally makes Rose's greater point for him. Yes, Coach K helps us conclude, there was a divide between the world Rose lived in and the world Duke and its head coach occupy. And it apparently still exists.
Category: NBA
Posted on: March 24, 2011 12:17 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 12:18 pm

Lakers were close to pulling Coach K from Duke

Coach K nearly went to the Lakers in 2004. Is there a chance he takes a second look in 2011?
Posted by Matt Moore

In 2004, the Lakers came calling on Coach Krzyzewski for head coach. It didn't work out, the Lakers hired Rudy Tomjanovich, Phil Jackson returned in 2005, in 2008 they got Pau Gasol, wam bam, possible three-peat, ma'am. But on Wednesday, Coach K spoke to the media, and revealed that the closest he's ever come to leaving Duke was to take over the purple and gold. 
On Wednesday, during a news conference leading up to the NCAA West Regional at Honda Center, Krzyzewski, 64, again reiterated his love for Duke and said he's not interested in leaving. However, he did say that of the three times he almost left to coach in the NBA, the Lakers' offer was the one he took most seriously. "They were great with me," he said. "I could not give up what I've got, what I have at Duke. It just wasn't worth it."
He added: "I'm good with where I'm at, I'm too old to do anything else."
via NCAA tournament: West Regional notebook - latimes.com.

K is an indication at Duke. The mere thought of him pacing another sideline, without the Crazies is baffling. But let's go ahead and put this out there. Should Duke win yet another national championship this season, which is infinitely possible, granting K the opportunity to walk out on top, and should Phil Jackson hold true to his word of walking after this season, leaving a remaining championship roster of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Andrew Bynum, Ron Artest, Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, the list goes on and on...


Dr. Buss gets an all-world coach who fits the high level of prestige necessary to coach a team like the Lakers. Coach K gets a veteran, established championship-worthy roster to make the jump to the NBA, ensuring a smooth transition instead of risking failure. Kobe Bryant gets a coach he respects and has played for in the Olympics. Makes a lot of sense, right?

But if Coach K doesn't want it, he doesn't want it. Sometimes comfort and legacy outweigh ambition and opportunity.
Posted on: March 16, 2011 7:20 pm
Edited on: March 16, 2011 7:28 pm

LeBron picks OSU... also Duke in tournament

LeBron James picks Ohio State... and Duke in his NCAA brackets. 
Posted by Matt Moore

LeBron James did something outrageously duplicitous Wednesday, which will likely spur fans of his in Ohio in light of a shocking betrayal. No, not that one. Another one. A new one. Kind of. 

Remember how we told you that LeBron picked Ohio State in the NCAA tournament? Well, on Wednesday, LeBron revealed his bracket on his website, and um, well, er...
He picked Duke

Specifically, he picked Duke over Ohio State in the Final Four, along with Lousville over Pitt, with Duke toppling Pittsburgh in the Final. Typical. He picks an east coast team over his home-state Buckeyes. When asked about the pick Wednesday, LeBron told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel "I got two brackets. My heart wants Ohio State, of course." 

Perhaps the bigger revelation here is that LeBron is one of those annoying dudes who fills out more than one bracket, covering his bases while still trying to act bold about his favorite team. If that's his favorite team this week. Those people are so annoying, constantly working out multiple entries with different picks in the hopes of scamming home the prize money. What kind of a person does that? 

This kind of person, that's who. That's right. I love the multiple brackets. It's like playing some sort of choose-your-own-adventure game, only you get to lose $40 instead of just $10 because you managed to not pick the one 12-5 upset. It's a brilliant game of contingencies and why wouldn't you want to increase your odds by increasing your own number of entries? After all, you're increasing the prize pool at the same time. Screw you for judging us. LeBron is a saint to speak out for us, the multiple-bracket-enterers. 

You're going to throw things, now, aren't you?
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 5:17 pm

NBA F&R Interview: Carlos Boozer wants one back

The Bulls newest star talks about Jerry Sloan, championship dreams, and the one game he wants another crack at. Posted by Matt Moore

Carlos Boozer has taken his new role as a leader of the Bulls by the horns. (What? Why are you looking at me like that? Is there some sort of pun in play? Hmm?) He's been vocal about setting high expectations for the team, has been a visible presence in his new city, and is putting himself forward as the new cornerstone of the franchise beside Derrick Rose. This weekend, he's the guest commissioner at Gatorade's Replay Series Season 3 event, which features two teams replaying a game which ended in a shroud of controversy, something Boozer's been no stranger to in his career and that he continues with his championship goal declarations in Chicago. CBSSports.com spoke with Boozer today about what stands in the way of that goal, going from small market Salt Lake City to big city Chicago, his time with Jerry Sloan, and the one game he wants back. 

Matt Moore: You got a lot of publicity for your comment about competing for a championship. What's going to be the biggest challenge in pursuit of that goal you're setting?

Carlos Boozer: That's what we play for, every NBA player. I'm very vocal about it. I want a ring, and my teammates want a ring. I think the biggest challenge will be coming together with our team chemistry. We also need to work to be a good, consistent defensive team. Also, continuing to see how we respond when we have a couple losses or if we're up and down. Can we fight back up and have that courage and confidence to keep going? In playoffs, we need to see how we fight back in a series. We'll learn a lot about our team, but the goal has to be a championship. That's what we all work for.

MM: Have you already noticed a huge change in going from a small market like Utah to Chicago?

CB: Oh, yeah, it's a lot different. I think I've been able to work my butt off and become a good player. The media coverage is a lot more intense than Salt Lake City. It's great, though, this is a great sports town, with the Blackhawks, the White Sox, the Cubs, the Bears, and obviously the Bulls. I'm looking forward to being a part of it. 

MM: What's the biggest thing you'll take away from your time with Coach Sloan?

CB: Everything. He was phenomenal for me. He called and I talked to him just last week. He was able to turn our team into a contender, even without Karl Malone and Stockton. He really managed the transition of that team to the current one. I think after the Malone era, they were looking for an identity, and we came in and turned that into a contender. He really helped bridge the gap between the Karl Malone era to the early 2000's and 2010's. It's a tribute to him and his coaching that his teams have that kind of consistent success. 

MM: Gatorade is allowing teams to go back and have another shot to replay their greatest wins and most bitter defeats. What game do you want back?

CB: The great thing about this is, Gatorade's been able to give guys games we want to replay. For me, the game against Indiana, when I was a junior in college, what turned out to be my last game at Duke. In Rupp Arena, we were in the Sweet 16 against Indiana. There was a kid had seven 3s in second half, named Tom Coverdale. We were down by 4 at the end, and my teammate Jay Williams hit a three, and got fouled. I grabbed the rebound, went up between two Hoosiers, both of which were grabbing my arms. I thought I got fouled, there was no call, I missed the shot and we lost the game. I wish I could have that one back. There are a lot of games that stand out. This gives them a chance to replay it, especially the two teams playing on Friday. There was a tip at the buzzer, and one feels it was before the buzzer and the other after.

These guys have been training for 8 weeks. They've met with nutrition specialists, and have been going to the Gatorade Sport Science Institute . I'm an honorary commissioner for the game, and I'm looking forward to it. It's fun to be a part of it.

MM: You've got Noah down low, Rose has been working on his three-point shot, and you added Kyle who you've played with. How do you like the balance on this team?

CB: We've got a lot of balance, a lot of depth. I think up front, I think Joakim and I have a chance of being a more dynamic frontcourt, along with Kurt Thomas. In the backcourt, Derrick Rose is one of the more dynamic scorers in the league. We've got Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver, who you mentioned for defense and shooting. I think we'll be better than what a lot of people think. We have Luol Deng on the wing, which is great to have. But we have to go earn our respect. With the talent that we have, and the hunger we have, I think we're ready to really push for a championship.

Thanks to Carlos for his time and Gatorade for its assistance with this interview.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com