No one is leaving

OK, I know this isn’t directly related, but I couldn’t resist. I’m up here in Oakland for the Warriors-Jazz game. Golden State is up by 22 points with 3:45 to go in the fourth quarter and not a soul has left the Oracle Arena. And yes, this is the loudest place on earth. My ears are ringing …

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Kobe reaches out to Fisher

Great story by our old friend Ross Siler in the Salt Lake Tribune today:

http://www.sltrib.com/jazz/ci_5869989

When Kobe Bryant heard the good news Wednesday, that Derek Fisher’s 10 1/2 -month-old daughter had undergone successful treatment and the family was flying back to Utah, the superstar guard sent a text message to his friend from all those Lakers championship teams.
There was a game to be played and, the last Bryant heard, Fisher was going to try to make it. After eight seasons as teammates, coming into the NBA in the same draft class, and countless battles in practice, Bryant offered Fisher the advice he would have given himself.
“I just said, ‘Go at them,’ ” Bryant said in an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune on Thursday. ” ‘Just go out there and go at them and do what you do best.’ I’m sure he got that and understood exactly where I was coming from because we’re cut from the same cloth.”
The news that Fisher’s baby daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with a form of eye cancer hit Bryant especially hard. Not only were he and Fisher close friends on the Lakers, but Bryant is the parent of two daughters, the youngest born just months before Fisher’s twins.
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Dirk beats out Nash, Kobe for MVP

DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki has been chosen as the NBA’s MVP for leading the Dallas Mavericks to one of the best regular seasons in league history, a team official told The Associated Press on Friday.

The formal announcement will come Tuesday at a news conference, said the team official, who requested anonymity because the announcement is pending.

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Pacers can talk to Shaw

Lakers assistant coach Brian Shaw is one of the people the Indiana Pacers will, or at least can, talk to about their head coaching opening. The Lakers granted permission to the Pacers to speak with Shaw. According to the Indianapolis Star, Toronto coach Sam Mitchell is regarded as the Pacers’ top choice, but the Pacers would need permission to speak with him. Former MIami coach Stan Van Gundy is another top candidate, the paper reported.

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Kobe Named to All-NBA team

PHOENIX DUO HIGHLIGHTS ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM

NEW YORK, May 10, 2007 Phoenix guard and two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player Steve Nash and Suns center Amar Stoudemire are the first teammates since the L.A. Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille ONeal in 2003-04 to be named to the First Team, as the NBA announced the 2006-07 All-NBA Teams today.

Joining Nash at guard on the First Team is Bryant, the NBAs leading scorer during the regular season. San Antonios Tim Duncan and Dallas Dirk Nowitzki join Stoudemire in the frontcourt.

A unanimous selection, Nash, who earns First Team honors for the third straight season, led the NBA in assists during the regular season with a career-high 11.6 per game. He became the first NBA player to average at least 18 points (18.6) and 11 assists since Magic Johnson in 1990-91. Nash recorded 15 or more assists 16 times during the regular season.

Stoudemire averaged 20.4 points and a career-high 9.6 rebounds for the Pacific Division champion Suns. He ranked second among NBA centers in scoring behind only Houstons Yao Ming and was one of only three NBA players (Utahs Carlos Boozer, the L.A. Clippers Elton Brand) ranked in the top 20 in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage (.575).

Nowitzki, who also makes his third straight First Team appearance, led the Mavericks to an NBA-best 67-15 regular-season record. He averaged 24.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, a career-high 3.4 assists, and set a new personal best for three-point percentage (.416). He finished the regular season as the only player in the NBA to shoot 50 percent from the field (.502), 40 percent from three-point range and 90 percent from the free throw line (.904).

For the second straight season, Bryant led the NBA in scoring with 31.6 points per contest, while posting 5.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game to earn his fifth All-NBA First Team selection. He became just the second player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in four straight games when he tallied 65 vs. Portland on March 16, 50 vs. Minnesota on March 18, 60 at Memphis on March 22, and 50 at New Orleans/Oklahoma City on March 23.

Duncan earns his ninth First Team selection, the most of any active player, with averages of 20.0 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists. His 1,599 points this season were the most since he scored 1,884 in 2002-03. He scored in double figures 78 times during the regular season.

- more -

The All-NBA Second Team consists of Washingtons Gilbert Arenas and Houstons Tracy McGrady at guard; Clevelands LeBron James and Torontos Chris Bosh, who makes his first career All-NBA team, at forward; and Houstons Yao at center.

The All-NBA Third Team includes Miamis Dwyane Wade and Detroits Chauncey Billups at guard; Minnesotas Kevin Garnett, the NBAs leading rebounder with 12.8 per game, and Denvers Carmelo Anthony, the NBAs second-leading scorer (28.9 ppg), at forwards; and Orlandos Dwight Howard at center.

The 129-member voting panel of writers and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada consisted of national media members and members from each of the leagues 30 teams who regularly cover the NBA. The media voted for All-NBA First, Second and Third Teams by position with points awarded on a 5-3-1 basis.

Below are the results of the voting for the 2006-07 All-NBA Teams, with First Team votes in parentheses:

2006-07 ALL-NBA FIRST TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas (125) 634
Forward Tim Duncan, San Antonio (94) 573
Center Amar Stoudemire, Phoenix (36) 494
Guard Steve Nash, Phoenix (129) 645
Guard Kobe Bryant, L.A. Lakers (128) 643

2006-07 ALL-NBA SECOND TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward LeBron James, Cleveland (64) 494
Forward Chris Bosh, Toronto (8) 234
Center Yao Ming, Houston (38) 333
Guard Gilbert Arenas, Washington 295
Guard Tracy McGrady, Houston (10) 278

2006-07 ALL-NBA THIRD TEAM

Position Player, Team (1st Team Votes) Points
Forward Kevin Garnett, Minnesota (5) 225
Forward Carmelo Anthony, Denver (1) 142
Center Dwight Howard, Orlando (1) 108
Guard Dwyane Wade, Miami (1) 241
Guard Chauncey Billups, Detroit 86

Other players receiving votes, with point totals (first team votes in parentheses): Carlos Boozer, Utah, 127; Shaquille ONeal, Miami, 70 (3); Jason Kidd, New Jersey, 58; Marcus Camby, Denver, 42 (2); Shawn Marion, Phoenix, 41; Allen Iverson, Denver, 39; Tony Parker, San Antonio, 39; Vince Carter, New Jersey, 15; Deron Williams, Utah, 15; Josh Howard, Dallas, 11; Elton Brand, L.A. Clippers, 8; Mehmet Okur, Utah, 7; Baron Davis, Golden State, 6; Michael Redd, Milwaukee, 6; Ray Allen, Seattle, 5; Richard Hamilton, Detroit, 4; Joe Johnson, Atlanta, 3; Ben Gordon, Chicago, 3; Chris Paul, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 3; Paul Pierce, Boston, 2; Ben Wallace, Chicago, 2; Jason Terry, Dallas, 2; Eddy Curry, New York, 2; Luol Deng, Chicago, 1; Chris Webber, Detroit, 1; Jermaine ONeal, Indiana, 1; Pau Gasol, Memphis, 1; Tyson Chandler, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, 1; Manu Ginobili, San Antonio, 1.

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Ronny, Rone, Roni!

Ronny Turiaf’s earned a lot of description in his short time with the Lakers. Passive would never be one of them. Asked whether it’s hard for him to have so much passion while his teammates often appear to lack it, Turiaf said:

“We are all different. We have our own personality. You can’t ask a cat to be a dog. That’s me, being energetic all the time. You don’t know that somebody else, for example Andrew, that doesn’t show a lot of emotion, he might be so fired up inside, but he doesn’t show it, so you don’t know it.

“ I’m not disappointed at all, because I know that my teammates care about the game of basketball and I care about winning. So I know that deep inside, there was fire and they wanted to play.

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Another “Laker for life”

Hmmm, where have we heard that before? I seem to remember Kobe Bryant saying something like that a few years ago, before he re-signed with the Lakers. This time, Ronny Turiaf utters those words….

“My first choice is to be here for the rest of my career,” Turiaf said.“ I don’t control all that stuff. I got the sense that I would be back here next year, but who knows what’s going to happen? I’m hoping to be back, so you guys know I want to be here. So know that and that’s it. Hopefully, I’ll be a Laker for life.”

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No. 19

The exact order hasn’t been finalized, but the Lakers should have the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft. Here’s a list of some of the players who’ve been drafted in that slot the last couple of years:

2006: Quincy Douby, Sacramento
2005: Hakim Warrick, Memphis
2004: Dorrell Wright, Miami
2003: Alexander Pavlovic, Utah
2002: Ryan Humphrey, Utah

Warrik and Wright have turned out well. The rest, well….

OK, now here’s a look at some of the players projected to be available in the 15-25 range of this year’s draft, according to draftexpress.net

15. Al Thornton, Florida State 16. Jeff Green, Georgetown 17. Jason Smith, Colorado State 18. Rudy Fernandez, Spain 19. Nick Young, USC 20. Josh McRoberts, Duke 21. Brandon Rush, Kansas 22. Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington 23. Marco Belinelli, Italy 24. Marcus Williams, Arizona 25. Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech

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