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Archive for October 23rd, 2008

Greg Oden Is Not Hines Ward

Money may be twiddling on Wall Street, but thanks to Greg Oden money is changing hands between NBA players at an alarming rate these days.

Dunk on Oden and get paid. That’s the word on the street. Kevin Martin of the Sacramento Kings got his.

He crossed-over Rudy Fernandez, went down the lane and dunked on Oden (up for discussion – it was more like “between” Oden and LaMarcus Aldridge) nights ago during a preseason game. I dropped a quick postgame email to Sam Amick –the renowned Kings beat writer – and asked how the Blazers looked in Sac town.

He hit me back telling how Martin won a cool $1000 from Mikki Moore for the throwdown. And sure enough, “dunk for dough” made the news. This from the Sacramento Bee (not courtesy of Amick unfortunately):

Martin also won a $1,000 bet with teammate Mikki Moore on who would be the first to dunk on Oden. “I had to go get my money,” Martin said. Asked if he knew Oden and Aldridge would be there when he crossed over Fernandez, Martin laughed.”Them guys have 7-(foot)-5 wingspans, so even if you don’t think they are going to be there, they are going to be there,” Martin said. “I’m glad they were there. I got a little richer today.”

On Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers, Ricky Davis added to the bounty.

This from the Los Angeles Times:

The Clippers’ Ricky Davis, taking a break from his pre-game dinner, came up with another number. Why be predictable and imitate someone else? Davis threw it down: $500 for dunking on Oden. “I’ll leave it up to you all three,” he said. That caught the attention of rookies Eric Gordon and DeAndre Jordan and second-year man Al Thornton.

Gordon apparently wanted the ante at $5000 before Davis laughed the rookie off the bus.

No dunk. No dough. The question now is who is next? And what is the going rate?

I haven’t asked Oden about “dunk for dough” yet – the downer about not traveling with the team and having access on the road will do that to a guy. Perhaps by the time Portland returns home to face the San Antonio Spurs in the home opener , either Jason Quick or Joe Freeman – the Oregonian’s  own – will have beat me to the punch.

I have a hunch Oden will take the Hines Ward approach regardless.

“I’m not worried about what a guy says about a bounty,” Ward said about the reported hit-parade the Baltimore Ravens have out on the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver.

“There’s nothing I can do about it.”

True. But there’s a difference in the Oden and Hines discussion here - besides Hines bringing it upon himself.

If Ray Lewis puts a lick on Ward the end result could be a coma.

“Dunking for dough” will either bruise an ego or cause Oden to be that much more of a beast when guys come down the lane – probably the latter.

I’d buy that for a dollar.

pic via: post-gazette.com

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And then there was one….

Shavlik Randolph earned the title of Portland’s “15th man” today after Luke Jackson and fan favorite Steven Hill were both waived hours before Portland’s last preseason game against the Utah Jazz.

This from the Blazers today:

“We want to thank Luke and Steven for their contributions during training camp and preseason and wish them all the best for the future,” said General Manager Kevin Pritchard. “They’ve conducted themselves as real pros on and off the court and we believe both of them have a bright future in basketball.”

I never thought Randolph would win the hat-trick with three posts here at BTB, but it was well earned.

Here’s where it started….

Then I threw this dandy in the mix….

Then again, I also thought either Hill or Jackson were locks for the final roster spot before camp even got underway. Until along came Shavlik.

You have to wonder where Nate McMillan sat on this debate. My money – which isn’t much – says he was pulling for Hill. The rest of my money – which I’m having to tap my daughter’s piggy-bank for as we speak– says Pritchard wanted Randloph.

Either way, Randolph stays on and will likely fill the void left by Josh McRoberts.

pic via: daylife.com

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