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Toronto Raptors VP Maurizio Gherardini Interested in Marco Belinelli

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"Danilo Gallinari is available during the next draft. Is he a player who can fit in with the Raptors? 'Gallinari is an optimal player. The problem is that we pick 17th this year and by that time Gallinari will have been selected by another team.' Could you make a trade to ensure a higher draft pick? 'We can, certainly, but that would not guarantee that we’d get Gallinari. Last season we tried to do the same thing to get Belinelli but it didn’t work out.' But Belinelli isn’t playing for Golden State. Considering him doesn’t seem to be out of the question. Wouldn’t you like to bring him to Toronto and have him play alongside Bargnani? 'Belinelli is a very talented player who can do well in the NBA. However, just like Bargnani, he has physical strength issues. I’m convinced that he’d integrate well in a situation such as Toronto, and that here he’d have more opportunity than he had at Golden State.'" -- Mario Cangnetta for Tandem

Agent says Baron may opt out of Warriors deal [Inside Bay Area]

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"After weeks of informal conversations, Davis' agent, Todd Ramasar, met with Warriors officials Thursday to discuss a potential contract extension for his client. But the talks failed to provide any satisfaction for Davis, a two-time All-Star who just turned 29. In fact, the sides were so far apart in what they perceive as Davis' worth that Ramasar brought up the specter of Davis using his opt-out clause to void the final year on his current deal and become an unrestricted free agent as of July 1. "After sitting down with the Warriors organization (Thursday) regarding Baron's future, I don't know what direction the Warriors are going," Ramasar told the Times. "Baron is adamant about remaining a Warrior but based on my conversations with the team (Thursday), we have to consider all of his options." A source close to Davis said it's now a 50-50 chance that the Warriors' captain, coming off a season in which he averaged 21.8 points, 7.6 assists and 4.7 rebounds, will not remain beyond next season after various contract offers that were so low as to be practically hurtful." -- Geoff Lepper [Inside Bay Area] Also see: Unhappy with the Warriors’ low-ball offer? OK, Baron, then just opt-out [Talking Points with Tim Kawakami] | Playing with Fire [Inside the Warriors]

OPEN THREAD: Day 21 of the 2k8 NBA Playoffs

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Thank god Boston came back into some kind of form. Not particularly because I want them to win, but more so because I couldn’t take another garbage game like Game 1 of the series. I was pretty much...

OPEN THREAD: Day 20 of the 2k8 NBA Playoffs

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You won't be seeing this tonight... Yet another way to... "Make It Rain!" But that doesn't mean it ain't worth the jump! It's the 20th day of the 2008 postseason and hoops junkies worldwide...

Contradictions of Basketball and Hip-hop

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In this older ESPN article, Todd Boyd, scholar and cultural critique, breaks down their entangled histories. As much as David Stern has tried to surpress it, you can't deny the force of hip-hop and black cultural and political formations in the public sphere!

OPEN THREAD: Day 19 of the 2k8 NBA Playoffs

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  LeBron James nearly had a quadruple double!12 points9 rebounds9 assists10 turnovers...   76-72. That was the final score. Are you serious? Ray Allen scores 0 points? LeBron James and Paul...

Will Blazers Shop For Free Agent Point Guard? (Baron Davis)

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"Baron Davis, Golden State – unrestricted (early termination option): With the way the Warriors season ended – with Davis watching from the bench in the second half a before their season finale – his relationship with head coach Don Nelson appears in tatters. Now Davis, according to multiple sources, could be the odd man out with the Warriors clearly looking to make Monta Ellis the primary scoring focus next season. Does this mean Davis (21.8 points, 7.6 assists per game) will opt out and decide to leave Golden State? If there was ever a time it could be this offseason. His stats are as impressive as ever (ranked second in league in steals per game – 2.33, sixth in assists per game, eighth in total points – 1791) and unlike some past seasons, Davis started all 82 games for the Warriors and the health concerns that once hampered him have disappeared. Although Davis (who is due $17 million next season, a hefty price tag Portland is sure to shun) has already said he wants to stay and "win a championship" with the Warriors, but hasn't officially said he'll return."-- Wendell Maxey [Hoopsworld]

Kobe Bryant Wins NBA 2007-08 MVP

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He was straight robbed in 2005-2006 when the voters made Steve Nash the worst 2 time MVP of all time, but this year he couldn't be denied. Kobe Bryant is the NBA's 2007-2008 Most Valuable Player and deservedly so. While the media and public at large were fawning over a young center who only played 35 games this year (what if they had Jason Kidd right now instead?) and complaining about the lopsided Pau Gasol trade (Gasol missed 10 games as a Laker), Kobe was bringing it and leading his team to the #1 seed in the West.

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