The NBA is headed toward a nuclear winter, according to comments made by Commissioner David Stern on Monday following the players rejecting the latest proposal to end the NBA lockout. The D-League will continue to operate as planned, however, so I figured we had better get something up on Ridiculous Upside this morning before everyone decides to quit professional basketball altogether.
I have been promising power rankings for the past week, but that won't happen quite yet as there are a few teams ready to make their first round of cuts. Just on the off chance that a player I figured would contribute this season is released, it probably won't hurt to hold off on those rankings for a couple more days.
In lieu of that, there have been quite a few interesting stories coming out of training camp. Below are some quick excerpts from the best articles written over the weekend.
"(Curry's)been terrific and his work ethic so far has been great," MacKinnon said. "We've talked about it and the thing that I believe is important for him is consistency. The people that are scouting him are looking for a consistent approach day in and day out and I think he's at the point in his life that he's understanding that now."
Bjorkgren said that Ubiles got off to a tentative start in camp but has improved every day.
"He continues to get more aggressive," Bjorkgren said. "He's getting more aggressive defensively. He's taking the ball to the rim offensively. He's been shooting a lot of 3s. He's good. He's got a lot of potential."
Ubiles says he's determined to make the most of that potential.
"I'm just trying to correct the things I didn't do well, come back the next day and focus on what I think I need to get better at," he said.
"I like athletic teams and commit to defense and rebounding first," explained new head coach Dave Leitao. "[I like players to] have that mentality, so if we are really structured on that end of the floor, then we can allow for some freedom, a lot of freedom, on the other end of the floor. So on offense, we put them in positions to be successful and let their talent take over."
"I can see a championship-caliber team," point guard Walker Russell Jr. said. "We've got enough pieces to be a championship team. We've got a great core of guys coming back, and I'm real excited.
"It's about time Fort Wayne starts to get some wins. We've always looked good on paper, but it's time to put it all together now."
Donald Sloan (23 years old, 6-3, 205, Texas A&M) - "I saw it in the Pan-Am trials. Didn't get to see much of him last year (playing for the Reno Bighorns), but he's a real point guard. The more and more I talk to other personnel and people throughout the league, a lot of guys come into this league and they have to be combos. A lot of guys who are twos trying to be ones because of their size, but he's a real point guard. I like his demeanor. Athletic, explosive and he sees the floor well."