I've fallen a little bit very behind with the draft workout process. The Hornets have continued to bring in many prospects, and thankfully, Jim Eichenhofer has continued his coverage of it. We last left off with Day 1. So, let's kick it off with some Day 2 coverage, specifically my favorite quote of the day:
Q: Which players do you compare yourself to in the NBA in terms of your style of play?
Lester Hudson: I would probably say Baron Davis. A scoring point guard who can rebound, get teammates open looks and do it all.
Hahahaha. Good one. Comparing yourself to Baron Davis is, um, probably not the best way to endear yourself to Byron Scott. Obviously, Lester meant it in the best way possible, but still funny stuff.
On to Day 3. New Orleans brought in three swingmen, each of whom may be a first round selection: Courtney Lee (W. Kentucky), Kyle Weaver (Wash. St.), and Gary Forbes (UMass). You can get a quick rundown of their stats here. Jim Eichenhofer details why Forbes has been rising in mock drafts:
The workout included the presence of UMass forward Gary Forbes, who was named by various websites as the MVP of NBA pre-draft camps in Portsmouth and Orlando. Forbes piled up 30 points in 25 minutes during one game in Orlando.
In addition to that, two fellow workoutees (?) gave Forbes some props:
Q: Who is your draft sleeper, a guy who is not getting much publicity right now but has a chance to be a very solid player in the NBA?
Kyle Weaver: I would say Gary Forbes. He’s a good player. I didn’t really hear much about him during college, with me being on the West Coast and him being on the East Coast, but I definitely think he’ll be a sleeper. He’ll be able to creep up on some guys.
David Padgett: I’d probably say Gary Forbes from UMass. He worked out with us today and he was on my team in Orlando. He’s a great player and I think he’s going to have a long career.
You gotta think the Hornets will take a long, hard look at this kid.
Day 4 saw few viable prospects, but New Orleans did bring in Kansas PG Mario Chalmers. I actually had a chance to attend a Kansas game this season; Chalmers was impressive all game long, and with the clock winding down in the 4th in a tight game, he drilled a 30 foot trifecta at the shot clock buzzer. Let's just say I really like this guy. He reminds me of Chauncey Billups more than anyone else.
Overall, it seems that the prospects were very impressed by the atmosphere at the Hive and their interactions with the coaching staff. Simply put, prospects want to go to New Orleans right now, a definite change from a few years ago. This quote (again from Jim Eichenhofer's Official blog) sums it up:
Q: What do you know about the Hornets?
Reggie Williams: I know they have a very good young team and a good organization. I got to speak with the General Manager (Jeff Bower) before the workout and he is a great guy and I really liked Coach Scott and the whole coaching staff. They have created a great environment here, everyone is loose and has fun, but definitely know he means business.
I really don't know what we'd do without Jim... heh.
On to non-workout news: Chris Paul ranked 5th in jersey sales for the 2007-2008 season. Here's the top 10:
1. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
3. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
5. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
6. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
8. Shaquille O’Neal, Phoenix Suns
9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
10. Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards
3-time NBA champion Byron Scott is feeling a little bit conflicted. On one side, he's got his Showtime Lakers allegiance. On the other, he's got some love for good ol' Collier Brown.
"I still bleed a little purple and gold," Scott said.
But it wouldn't exactly pain him beyond repair if the Lakers' dreaded, historical rivals -- the Boston Celtics -- won the championship this season, an occurrence that virtually is assured now that the Celtics own a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. No team has come back from such a deficit to win the NBA title.
Blasphemous as that might sound to a Laker die-hard, Scott simply joins the rest of us around New Orleans in wishing the best for P.J. Brown, a 14-year veteran and former Hornet who joined the Celtics for the second half of the season in what might be Brown's best -- and last -- chance to win a ring.
Oklahoma City's support of the Hornets' franchise won't soon be forgotten, at least not by CP3. Paul is headed there later this week to host the 3rd annual Chris Paul Basketball Camp. A look at what will go down:
The camp will include four 3½ hour sessions, two morning and two afternoon sessions at each site all three days. Campers will receive T-shirts, an autographed Chris Paul photo, a camp basketball and other giveaways.
The Topeka Capital Journal has a great piece on Julian Wright. Tully Corcoran, among other things, mentions that Wright will be playing summer ball again this year even though he isn't a "fringe" player. A taste of the rest:
During his two years at Kansas, Wright was always a genuinely genuine guy, the occasionally perplexing combination of a uniquely talented and brilliant college basketball player who also bowled with dorks at the student union (nothing against student unions. Or dorks). And I always wondered how his personality would work in the NBA. He seemed like he could be taken advantage of.
He was in Lawrence this week to help at Bill Self's basketball camp, and he convinced me that I was wrong.
I wrote about an upcoming film about New Orleans basketball a few weeks ago. It's now been renamed from 'Patriots' to 'Hurricane Season.' While that's, in my opinion, a much cooler name, the real news is this: CP's gonna be in it! ("Minimally", but still)
Chris Paul and Caron Butler had never been in a movie before shooting their cameo for the upcoming film Hurricane Season... But that didn't bother the two first-time thespians. "We freestyle," Butler says. Butler and Paul had the enviable task of playing themselves in a scene where they are interviewed during halftime of the championship game.
This last bit of news really irks me.
Though Chris Paul has emerged as the game's best point guard, Jason Kidd is expected to remain the starter at the Olympics. Colangelo says Kidd is a favorite because of his knack for making the right pass at the right time. Plus, he brings this impressive stat: an undefeated record in international competition.
Are you kidding me? So Chris doesn't have a knack for "making the right pass at the right time"? And why the hell is that undefeated record an "impressive" stat? He plays on the same team as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard.... ugh. Just ugh. That article also mentions that CP has had difficulties guarding big foreign guards. That's a legitimate concern. But seriously, worse than Kidd? Did Colangelo not hear about that one Hornets-Mavericks series? A straight-up slap in the face to CP.