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Wow. Really Danny? “Which is why the Atlanta Hawks could be in a whole lot of trouble. As a fan and member of the media, I can point out that the Hawks began clearing cap space for a run at Howard and Paul last summer. New general manager Danny Ferry made quick work of the above-average ceiling so happily clung to by his predecessor, but because of that smart decision the team and its fans are facing an uneasy future that could result in a Howard and/or Paul-less training camp. That’s a hard sell to season ticket holders, which is why the Hawks reportedly sent out a letter to potential ticket buyers talking up a future that specifically mentions Mssrs. Howard and Paul.” [Dwyer/Ball Don’t Lie]
“Listen, it’s a player’s league,” Popovich told me on the eve of his last banner raising. “I think it’s very important for a coach to make sure that his players believe 100 percent – and not with lip service – that it’s about them. Coaches are going to do everything they can to create that environment for them. It’s not about creating an environment for us. It’s a privilege to be able to coach these guys. We make enough money. The other stuff is just a waste of time as far as talking about quality of life.” [Wojnarowski/Yahoo]
“I expect Nerlens Noel to be one of the most dominant defensive players of his generation. He has all the tools to be a stopper like the Cavs have never had inside. I’ll go as far as saying that Noel could very well end up leading the league in steals AND blocks. He can defend all the way to the three point line. Has mesmerizing quickness off his feet and quick hands as well, and under the patronage of Mike Brown I have no doubt he’ll become such a good pick & roll defender that he will make Kyrie Irving look good on defense. Having such a player is a game changer in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks are one of the best defenses in the league just because they have Larry Sanders inside. Noel will be even better than Sanders at protecting the rim.
As a defensive anchor, and a guy who will lead by example, Noel will not be a star the way NBA players usually become stars (by scoring an insane amount of points) but will make watching Cavs basketball that much more fun. When it comes to the 2013 Draft, I think Nerlens Noel will be the best player in this class ten years from now. There is sort of an uncertainty around him (only played 27 games, torn ACL, no offensive game at this point) but I think he will overcome that and be remembered as the consensus number one pick he should be today.” [Jackson/Stepien Rules]
Ebay item of the month. You’re welcome. [Ebay]
“Ah, but what about the difficult reception Swisher received last fall from fans, when he struggled in the postseason? Back then, it wasn’t awesome. It was “really tough.” But Swisher didn’t even let a reporter get that question out.
“Oh, man? Live in the now, bro! You’re just trying to stir it up again,” Swisher said, and he was smiling, but his words weren’t. “That was something that happened so long ago, you know, I thought we kind of handled that, kind of squashed that as-is, but to put it in that terms… are you asking me am I nervous about it?” The reporter said he was. And Swisher was back on familiar ground, projecting limitless excitement about the future.” [Megdal/Sports on Earth]