The NBA is getting a WWE feel to it beyond the NWO comparisons. If there is a mega baby face in this NBA it is Kevin Durant. In a summer where many peoples reputations have taken hits. Kevin Durant's list of people singing his praises grows. He will be the leader of a Team USA that is far from at full strength. Durant will be the leader of what overall is a very young team U.S.A. They will be challenged up front, with no Bosh or Howard. So it was no surprise that Kevin Durant was the star among stars, in the U.S inter-squad game with 28. For the details on others check this out from the Associated Press.
Most thought Lebron James and Chris Bosh were jerks in how they handled their exits to Miami. In fact, the Bosh rewriting of history continues in Miami. He sure never looked as unhappy as he comes off in media coverage now. Here is a big spread on Bosh in Miami Hearld titled From Raptor to Rapture. Seriously can Miami be anymore cheesy about this? I am sure they can. After all this is the same city that held Shaq a parade when he came.The Miami party continues on till tip off of the NBA Season and beyond. While others outside of Miami may paint Bosh and James as scumbags, it is hard to top Chris Paul.
A meeting is suppose to be taking place today. In that meeting Chris Paul is expected to confirm he wants out in New Orleans. He and his agent seem to have a plan to cut and run on New Orleans. Paul has been rumoured to have his own dreams of building a big 3 in New York with Amare and Carmelo. The only problem is your not a free agent. In fact Mr. Paul is not a free agent for 2 years. But Raptor fans know all about a star player pushing his way out of town....See Vince Carter. Still this leaves an even worse taste in my mouth. Paul was one of the faces of this city, that helped give the city hope after Katrina and the devastation. The Hornets have not had the success of the Saints, winning the Super Bowl this past season. Perhaps that may be part of Paul wanting out, who knows. Safe to the the Saints will always be number 1 team in New Orleans. If Paul follows through on this, he will become an even bigger heel than James. It is one thing for Lebron to leave Cleveland, it is quite another for Paul to leave New Orleans. The city still faces challenges now with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But Paul is no longer the smiling face that helped rebuild this community.
The Front runners in the Paul Derby seem to be The Knicks and Magic. The Lakers are also said to be on Paul's short list. Other teams in the mix include the Mavericks and Trailblazers. It will be interesting to see if New Orleans will get strong armed into trading Paul away. Many feel that Darren Collison is ready to step in and be a starter in the league. But that being said do you really want to trade you star player with a gun placed at your head? It really is a no win situation for the Hornets.
The Raptors have been quiet of late. Antonie Wright is no longer a Raptor. He signed with the Kings over the weekend. It seemed pretty clear from the start the Raptors had little to no interest in keeping him. I was never a fan of him in his short time here. He was a guy never short on words. But very short on action for me. He talked like he was some kind of leader on this team. I would suggest he was a leader in his own mind. Billed to be a defensive stopper coming in last season. He fell short of that and short at a lot of things. He is rapidly becoming a NBA journeyman, as the Kings will be his 4th team, after stops in New Jersey, Dallas and here. The only free agent the Raptors had beyond Bosh that they appeared to have interest in was Amir Johnson. Raptors went above and beyond to sign him. Patrick O'Bryant was at summer league on another team's roster this year. Can you say hello D-League? While Rasho Nesterovic is not likely to be back as well.
Welcome to the last week of July. Hard to believe isn't it? Raptors will need to make some moves before the season you have to figure. Everyone just try to stay cool while you wait. It is hot out there.