Welcome to another edition of 7 Dayz of NBAz, DNB readers! This week, there weren't a ton of great stories in the NBA as most of the focus was on the NBA Finals, so let's start there.
Miami and OKC
Oh boy. Every NBA fan's dream Finals match-up came to be. We were almost stripped of this series when Miami went to seven games with Boston, but thankfully they persevered and gave us a delightful match-up with the Thunder.
The series stands at 2-1 in Miami's favour, despite the general consensus that Oklahoma City has the better team. Lebron James has been phenomenal this series, as has the unheralded and often criticized Russell Westbrook. It saddens me that we take Lebron James for granted, and I genuinely hope that the Heat are able to take the series to silence some of his loudest critics. The Thunder will be terrific for many years to come. Lebron realistically has a window of three to six years before Wade becomes nearly obsolete.
The Heat play at home next game, and while the atmosphere isn't great in Miami, this should allow them to take a 3-1 lead. I'm hoping it doesn't, but hey, I'm just glad we're getting at least five games of this.
Both Erik Spoelstra and Scott Brooks have come under a lot of pressure to win, and while the series remains close neither has been exempt from the criticism that maybe they aren't the best coach for their team.
Spoelstra has supposedly been on the figurative hot seat since Miami's big 3 came together, despite Pat Riley's insistence that his position is safe regardless of what happens in the playoffs. After last year's unexpected loss to Dallas, one would have to assume that Riley may have to reconsider his position on the matter if the Heat lose to Oklahoma City this year.
Scott Brooks was the NBA's golden child as far as coaches go until this year, despite winning Coach of the Year in 2010. A funny statistic? Six of the last eight COY winners were fired within two seasons of winning the award. Brooks, much like Spoelstra, has been criticized for poor offensive sets and erratic personnel decisions. He's done well given the roster he's been given, but you have to wonder if there's a better coach available.
Neither are likely to be fired this offseason, but it's likely that the outcome of this year will be the second last straw for Spoelstra and Brooks. They're terrific coaches. The NBA is an unforgiving business.
David Stern Versus Jim Rome
Oh boy. If you didn't hear about this gem, you've missed out. We've always known that Stern is a wry, sarcastic, and often bitter man, but I don't think anyone expected him to do anything like this.
Jim Rome, a respected radio personality in the United States asked David Stern about whether or not the NBA draft lottery was rigged. He made sure to explain to Stern that this wasn't his opinion, but was a common one amongst fans. Regardless, Stern was not impressed at all.
"Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"
Cold. Uncalled for, even. But utterly hilarious nonetheless. Click here to listen for yourselves.
Dream Team Documentary
Many books have been written about 1992's Olympic Dream Team, but never were we afforded such a great presentation of the team that forever changed the landscape of international basketball as we were when NBATV released this incredible documentary.
For years, we knew that it was difficult to assemble the Dream Team. For years, we knew about them losing a scrimmage game to college players. For years, we knew that they dominated their competition in the Olympics. But we didn't know what happened behind the scenes.
The documentary looked at the relationships between the players, coaching staff and fans rather than the traditional overview of what transpired in Barcelona. Michael Jordan took the reigns from a reluctant Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing were great friends. John Stockton explored the streets of Barcelona without being recognized by fanatics. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen took their game against Toni Kukoc and Croatia VERY seriously. Charles Barkley did what he wanted and frankly just didn't care what anyone thought.
It's strange that the NBA waited 20 years to release this film, but I'm thankful they did. It was one of the best basketball documentaries I've ever seen, and many people agreed it should have been much, much longer.
It's still running on NBATV from time to time in Canada, and will likely be available for purchase on NBA.com. I highly recommend you all watch it.
Raptors Looking For A Wing
Colangelo alluded to being willing to trading the pick shortly after the lottery, and last week rumours surfaced from many sources that he was in fact seeking an established wing player. Two names stand out: Rudy Gay and Andre Iguodala. To a lesser degree, Luol Deng was also mentioned in trade rumors.
The Raptors are aware that they already have one rookie coming into the 2013 NBA season, adding to a plethora of young talent already present on the roster. Casey wants to win now, and believes that the team is a lot closer to competing for a championship than last season's record showed. Colangelo agrees, as do I. So why continue a rebuild? Fill some holes and go for it, right?
All of the aforementioned wing players offer something dramatically different to the Raptors, and it's nearly impossible to speculate which one will be acquired. However, one thing is clear: Colangelo is very serious about getting one of those three players, and knowing him, he'll get one.
A package for any of the wings would likely include the pick, a young piece or two, and possibly a small piece of the core. Ed Davis, James Johnson, and Jose Calderon are names we hear very often, but recent rumblings about DeMar DeRozan have taken some Raptors fans by surprise.
I'm no NBA general manager. I acknowledge that Bryan Colangelo has made some questionable decisions in the past but also recognize that he's fully committed to this rebuild and wants to do it right. I trust him. You may not, but I do. The draft is only a few weeks away, guys. I'm eager to see what transpires.