Monday Morning Musings On The NBA Lockout, The D-League, Javaris Crittenton And The Mad Ant

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 13: NBA D-League player Rashad McCants arrives at The 2011 ESPY Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on July 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

The NBA lockout is in full effect, as everyone that's reading this already knows, I guess. What they might not know, however, is that the lack of news due to said lockout makes it pretty difficult to put together a decent post to start off everyone's work week.

That said, it seems the next best thing is to go around the web and scoop everything that I haven't yet mentioned on Ridiculous Upside into one handy post to keep everyone updated and elated on Monday morning. The alternative was either posting my own rendition of Sunday Morning Coming Down with "Monday" substituted for "Sunday" (watch for it on iTunes) or an 800-word column wondering why Rashad McCants showed up at the ESPYs.

First up, I want to talk about me, want to talk about I, want to talk about number one, oh my me my, what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see, I want to talk about me let's talk about the D-League. More specifically, let's take a look at CBS Sports' Ken Berger's thoughts on how to "make the D-League relevant."

I've touched on this before with my concept of each team having three hybrid roster spots for players they could shuttle between the NBA roster and the D-League. It would not only enhance player development but also could be a cost-saving measure for some teams. Rather than having the 35th pick in the draft wasting away at the end of the bench eating up valuable cap space and making NBA rookie wages, players who aren't ready would go to the D-League, get coached by like-minded coaches, and make a multiple of the current D-League salary but substantially less than current NBA rookie scale.Alan Hahn of Newsday has been a strong proponent of an expanded version of this concept, advocating for teams to have the ability to send a draft pick to the minors a certain number of times during the first two or three years of his rookie deal. For most NBA-ready lottery picks, it would never be an issue. But there are too many players getting drafted and either being thrust into roles they're not ready for or languishing on the bench rather than developing with valuable minutes in the D-League. This would be good for the D-League, too -- basketball-wise and financially.

Berger's plan isn't exactly a new idea as it's been talk about on this very site multiple times -- and I believe colleague Matt Moore also mentioned it over at Hardwood Paroxysm during his tryst with the NBA Development League -- but it's something I can agree with as well. Aside from it not being relevant already, of course, because then what would that make me?

I wrote up the story regarding former D-League player Javaris Crittenton's murder charges on Friday night, and well, it's still a bit jarring to me. I never got to know Crittenton on any sort of personal level while he was in Bismarck, but y'know, it just doesn't seem like a former first round pick with his whole career in front of him should be capable of such a thing ... and that's before I even factor in the horrifying fact that the victim was a mother of four.

Anyway, I wrote up a short column over at SB Nation over the weekend pulling in some thoughts from others that have already written on the subject in case anyone was looking for additional information regarding Crittenton's history.

Last, but not least, let's take a look at something a bit less depressing to talk about -- the Mad Ant's latest commercial.

The premise might be good enough to get him on ESPN, but I think it might be time to hire some full-time actors if they want to really take this thing to the next level. The CGI was great -- they made it look like Steve Gansey can actually throw a football when everyone knows he spends all his time GTLing and shooting jumpers -- but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of on-screen presence from Garrett "G-Money" Martz. The fact that Audrey pretended she didn't even notice a hulking Mad Ant sneaking up right behind her was disappointing as well, especially considering it seemed stolen straight out of John Francis Smith's playbook.

I think I'll only be excited to watch another Mad Ant commercial if it stars either Joey Meyer or Sebastian Pruiti.

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