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As the NBA season approaches and training camps have begun, newest New Jersey Net, who recently celebrated his 25th birthday, Anthony Morrow took time out and shared with me a little about his life on and off the court.

Starting at the age of 4 Anthony had a desire to play basketball. He said he admired and wanted to model his game after Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan.

Morrow started his career off in Golden State with the Warriors but it wasn’t an easy road there. Going undrafted Morrow said, “It’s a chip on my shoulder I’ll never lose.”

After signing with the Warriors, Morrow got his first start against the Los Angeles Clippers scoring 37 points on 15-20 shooting. When asked about his emotions before tipoff and the rest of the game he said laughing, “I just knew that I had gotta my legs back from training camp and I felt great, didn’t know it would turn into what it turned into though.”

We then started talking about his new team, The Nets. The Nets had only won twelve games the previous season. That didn’t seem to bother Anthony’s mind state coming to the team. “Just knowing that now everything is new and we’re all excited and competing and having fun making each other better.” How did Anthony describe new coach Avery Johnson? “I can do that in one word, intense.” Morrow explained. Avery Johnson has been known to be a defensive minded coach one thing that seemed like a good thing to Morrow who said becoming better overall especially defensively were one of this main focuses of improvement for this season.

I asked him what his funniest moment in his NBA Career was and he responded, “Missing a summer league practice with the Warriors and being terrified that I would get cut on the spot, it’s funny now but it wasn’t then.” Laughing as he finished the answer.

After discussing basketball I went to the off court Anthony Morrow. What interest’s Anthony Morrow. “The Bible, Xbox, my mom’s cooking, watching Yo Gabba Gabba with my daughter, football, just hanging out with my friends.”  To go along with his mom’s cooking which he said anything she cooks is his favorite meal Anthony said he would want Michael Jordan, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey as dinner guests.

Inspirations are something most athletes use as motivation. Morrow said his parents were his inspirations.

Anthony has a good taste in music. Being from North Carolina when asked about listening to rising star J Cole, Morrow answered loudly, “YESSIR, he reps North Cack (Nickname for North Carolina). I listen to his mixtape a lot.” He is also fond of Atlanta’s rapper Young Jeezy saying if we were to look through his iPod that Young Jeezy would be an artist that we’d find a lot of music from.

Morrow also has a great interest in sitcoms. His favorite he said were “Martin, Fresh Prince, Living Single, and Seinfeld are a few.” When I asked which one would he like to be on he responded strongly, “MARTIN”.

As our talk came to a close Anthony had a message he wanted to send out to Nets fans. “I’m excited to be here, I’m looking forward to interacting with them and playing for them.”

Anthony Morrow is titled in the category of one of the best pure shooters in the league which goes well with his nickname “Amo”. With a new season ahead Nets fans should be ready to watch Morrow shoot the lights out in the Prudential Center.

Follow him at @BlackBoiPachino.

-Tim Dimas

@TimmyD_WJSU

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Nets future

Though draft night was two nights ago I didn’t get my chance to give my insight on the drafting of former Georgia Tech Freshman Derrick Favors.

When David Stern stepped to announce the New Jersey Nets pick (3rd overall) three names, ironic I know, came to my mind. DeMarcus Cousins (5th overall to the Sacramento Kings) Wesley Johnson (4th overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves) and Derrick Favors. The Nets choose Favors and all the suspense of Nets fans were over.

Derrick is a young and raw talent that will need molding if he is to be a NBA power forward but the Nets think they can do it. Favors averaged 12 points per game for GT to go along with 8 rebounds. Nothing mouth dropping but solid numbers. Favors is coming to a team that unless they sign a top free agent PF could get the nod opening day and play down low with Brook Lopez.

I look forward to seeing Favors up close and in person next year and hope that the Nets can groom him the right way. He has the talent and athleticism to be great but he has to show he wants that to happen. I hope LeBron James sees what the Nets see and decides Favors was a great choice that will with Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee and the rest of the Nets team help him win a championship. (Yes I had to add LeBron. It’s all NBA Fans care about right now)

-Timmy Dims

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A second round pick in the NBA draft two years ago which most experts said was a steal for the New Jersey Nets is on his way out of Jersey and into the woods of Milwaukee.

Earlier this week news broke that Chris Douglas-Roberts, aka C-DR, would be traded come draft day to the Bucks for a future second round pick. Douglas-Roberts spent his last year with the Nets playing on an on and off basis that made you question why was this happening. When ever he was in a game he’d be a nice spark plug off the bench. For a team that only won 12 games why would you sit your spark plug.

C-DR a fan of Twitter would always tweet his emotions and let people know he wanted to win. I never did and will never have a problem with it. As an athlete you have the desire to win every night and when you don’t you will be upset. I had and still have a lot of respect from the longest last named player in the NBA. He loves his fans and loves the game of basketball. One of the first NBA players I had the privilege of interviewing. Soft spoken and upfront kind of guy.

Today on Twitter he thanked the Nets organization and all the fans and let people know the decision of trading him wasn’t due to him  being a problem in the locker room or on the court. He said he worked with the team for the trade to happen and is very happy to have landed with the Bucks.

I personally am upset with the move but it is a business but as a fan of C-DR I will continue to root for him next year as he and Brandon Jennings take the back court for the Bucks. Good luck Chris and as always keep working hard…YES YES

-Timmy Dimas

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Here’s Tim Dimas’s feel on what the draft outcome will look like this year:

#1 Washington Wizards

John Wall, Kentucky, PG

This should come as no big surprise. John Wall is the consensus number 1 pick by all draft experts. The 6’4″ John Calipari cropped point guard is already the leading candidate for the Rookie of the Year Award. Washington is getting a face of a franchise player and if they keep Gilbert Arenas expect him to slide over to the shoot guard position to fit his scoring ability much more and let Wall run the team at the point guard position.

#2 Philadelphia 76ers

Evan Turner, Ohio State, SG

Lots of talks have been about Derrick Favors going here but the 76ers would be dumb not to take Turner. After last season they need to rebuild and why not do it with the second best player in the draft which is Turner. 6’7″ Turner is a Point Forward. Good hands on the ball and can rebound with the big boys. Andre Iguodola I have a feeling is on his way out of Philly so Turner can step it and possibly be the corner stone of this 76ers franchise.

#3 New Jersey Nets:

DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, PF

This was a big toss up for myself. Wesley Johnson, Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins all bold well for this spot but I think the Nets go with DeMarcus Cousins. They spent the #11 pick last year to grab Terrence Williams who is a small forward that equal of Johnson and I think Cousins is more NBA ready then Favors and the Nets need ready over waiting after a 12 win season last year. Cousins 6’11” help Kentucky all season long and even though his question of character and work ethic is there I believe he will be better suited for the Nets over Favors.

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves

Wesley Johnson, Syracuse, SF

Best pick here for the T’Wolves. Wes can offer a lot to a team that has Al Jefferson, Kevin Love and Jonny Flynn in the long run. The 6’8″ small forward showed a lot of NBA readiness last year for the Orange and would be a great fit to this young athletic team that still has Ricky Rubio waiting overseas to come and join the team. Rumors have said for the Detroit Pistons to get Al Jefferson from the T’Wolves and if that does happen look for the Wolves to take Derrick Favors or DeMarcus Cousins, who’s ever available at this point.

#5 Sacramento Kings.

Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, PF

Favors is raw but talented. The Georgia Tech standout would be a nice compliment to last years Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans. Samuel Dalembert who was recently acquired from the 76ers will be a good mentor for Favors on defense. Favors is an athletic and strong big man who has comparisons to Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic.

#6 Golden State Warriors

Ekpe Udoh, Baylor, PF

Very long and lean forward with a great set of skills. Blocking shots are one of his fortes. The 6’10” Forward could cause problems in the post for teams in more ways then one. First off his ability to take a step back shot from mid range and if that isn’t there, he can draw defenses away from Stephan Curry leaving the lethal shooter to spot up and knock down 3’s. Solid pick for a rebuilding team.

#7 Detroit Pistons

Ed Davis, North Carolina, PF

The Pistons are left with no big men down low. With Cousins and Favors off the board Ed Davis is their next best pick. Very craft when he gets into the post and has a great offensive game. Needs to get a little bigger to back down other forwards in the post. Very energetic and strong role player. Won’t be a star though.

#8 LA Clippers

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest, SF

Clippers have their point guard in Baron Davis, shooting guard in Eric Gordan and power forward in last years number 1 pick, Blake Griffin. What they are missing is someone to help run the wings and that is where Aminu comes to play. When it comes to the word athleticism only one word can stand in front of it, freak. Defense is one of the best in the draft. Only knock on Al-Farouq is his ability to create and hit shots.

#9 Utah Jazz

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky, PF

With the uncertainty of soon to be free agent Carlos Boozer, The Jazz need to make a play to replace him. Paul Millsap will be most likely be given the starting role and Patterson can come off the bench and be the Millsap off the bench. Patterson a little small at 6’9″ for the power forward position but with his soft hands, strong post moves and good feel for the offensive game Patterson will be a strong player off the bench. Very high basketball IQ and is a hand in shooter face kind of defender. Will make it very tough for other forwards to get to the basket.

#10 Indiana Pacers

Greg Monroe, Georgetown, PF/C

The Indiana Pacers have a lot of question marks on this team but adding Monroe with Roy Hibbert down low won’t leave anything to worry about in the post. People might disagree and say Hibbert should mean no Monroe but hey the Spurs took Tim Duncan when they had David Robinson already but it worked out. Twin Towers in the middle of the paint, defense does win games last time I checked. Monroe bestows a little athleticism but good feel on the offensive side not only with scoring but distribution of the ball to other players.

There are more picks to be made, decisions needed deciding. One thing is clear in this years NBA Draft. Lots of players can contribute to teams as starters or off the bench.

-Tim Dimas

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Here are Dan Martin’s picks for who will go where in Thursday’s NBA Draft:

#1 Washington Wizards

John Wall, PG, Kentucky

Wall is the clear-cut pick to go #1 and is the prized gem of this draft. At 6’4″, he has size for a point guard and his quickness both off-the-dribble and on defense is unmatched. The most criticized part of his game is his turnover problem, something that would seem key as a floor general at the next level. But, that is something Washington should be able to coach him on and I expect him to be successful in the NBA.

#2 Philadelphia 76ers

Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech

Many analysts project Ohio State swingman Evan Turner to go to the Sixers, but, with Andre Iguodala already filling that role, I expect them to go in another direction with Favors. Elton Brand, who was signed a few years ago to be a solid Eastern Conference power forward, has been hampered by injury and ineffective for most of his time in Philadelphia. Favors fits well into the 4, bringing athleticism and scoring potential packing into a muscular 6’10”, 245 pound frame. If the Sixers move out of the #2 spot, look for them to trade down and gain picks or players, while still getting their man.

#3 New Jersey Nets

Evan Turner, SG/SF, Ohio State

With Favors off the board at #2, things work out well for New Jersey at #3. Finishing with just 12 wins last season, they were hoping to get the #1 overall pick or, at worst, the #2. Falling all the way to #3 is quite the stroke of bad luck, but if Turner can fall into their laps, they’ll be more than pleased. Standing 6’7″ tall, Turner has the ballhandling skills and quickness to play either guard position and small forward. He is an inherent matchup problem when he steps out onto the floor and plays solid defense. He has been criticized for his lack of touch on his jump shot and his susceptibility to turnovers. But, of any player in the draft, to me Turner has the best chance of turning into a player to build around and eventually lead a team to a championship. Inserted into a line-up that already features Devin Harris and Brook Lopez, along with a lot of cap space to work with in free agency, the Nets could significantly improve on those 12 wins from last season.

#4 Minnesota Timberwolves

Wesley Johnson, SF, Syracuse

The rebuilding period in Minnesota officially began with the deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston in 2007. Though they gave away the man who had been the face of their franchise for a decade, they got in return another big man who could fill the same role for the next 10 years: Al Jefferson. Since aquiring Jefferson, the T’Wolves have added around him fellow big Kevin Love and formidable Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn. This year, it seems like Minnesota will be fishing in the Syracuse pool again, hoping to catch talented swingman Wesley Johnson. With him in the mix, the Timberwolves would continue to build a strong core of young players that should translate into wins in the coming future. Rumors have been circulating that Minnesota is looking to aquire the 10th pick as well from Indiana, in exchange for Flynn, the 16th pick and the 23rd pick. Remember, 2009 first round pick Ricky Rubio is still playing overseas, so he could join the Timberwolves in the future to fill Flynn’s spot. Trade or not, Minnesota will be looking to make noise in this draft.

#5 Sacramento Kings

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Kentucky

At 6’11” and almost 300 pounds, DeMarcus Cousins is undoubtedly a big man. But, at the #5 pick, Sacramento is hoping he will make a big IMPACT as well. In his one season at Kentucky, Cousins showed his ability to be a true big man, rebounding the basketball and taking up space inside. Many analysts say taking Cousins is rolling the dice, and it is, as much is based on potential. He has been cited for lapses in work ethic, as well as being 20 pounds overweight. His back-to-the-basket game still needs work, but scouts like his upside. Much of where DeMarcus Cousins’ career heads is based on how much work he puts into it. At #5, though, he is a good fit for Sacramento, who is in dire need of a big man.

#6 Golden State Warriors

Ekpe Udoh, PF, Baylor

The Golden State Warriors have been historically known for having bad drafts, as is evidence by the fact that, of their last five first round picks, only one (Stephen Curry, 2009) has averaged more than 10 ppg in a season in their careers. The Warriors hope not to blunder again, most likely going with Baylor big man Ekpe Udoh. Largely unknown until Baylor’s run in the NCAA Tournament, Udoh is a prolific shot blocker, averaging almost 4 per game last season, to go along with a nice mid-range jumper on the offensive end. Golden State drafted intelligently last year, taking Stephen Curry, and hope to build around him this year by adding Udoh.

 #7 Detroit Pistons

Greg Monroe, C, Georgetown

Much like the 76ers, the Pistons, a powerhouse in the Eastern Conference in recent years, has now entered the rebuilding stages. After dealing Chauncey Billups to Denver, the core of the championship team of 2004 was gone, along with the previous departure of Ben Wallace and an aging Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. In this draft, Detroit is looking to build around a star big man, as Houston did with Hakeem Olajuwon back in the day. Problem is, I can’t see Greg Monroe as having nearly the career of Olajuwon. There are many doubts as to whether Monroe’s game will translate to the NBA level. To his credit, he is a magnificent passer and shot-blocker, two things that are effective at any level. The real question is whether or not he will be able to work well in the paint against other players of his size and caliber. He has been criticized for lack of “killer instinct”, often called soft and disinterested. But, there does appear to be upside to Monroe’s game, especially if he is under the right tutelage, which Joe Dumars and a class Pistons franchise can offer.

#8 Los Angeles Clippers

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Wake Forest

With Blake Griffin coming back from injury for the start of the 2010 season and skilled guard Eric Gordon leading the attack, the Los Angeles Clippers are molding their image to be a run-and-gun, up-and-down, athletic attack that will put points on the board in a hurry. That is why, at #8, they’ll look for another versatile swingman to fit into the mix, taking Wake Forest forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Though he lacks the ability to create his own space and hit the outside jumper, he will get major minutes and a prominent role if the Clippers want to run. Also remember, “The Other” LA has quite a bit of cap space to play with this free agent season.

#9 Utah Jazz

Luke Babbitt, F, Nevada

In another Isiah Thomas blunder from long ago that is coming back to bite the Knicks, the Utah Jazz get the #9 overall pick from New York. With this, they will most likely take lefty 3-point shooter and swingman Luke Babbitt from Nevada. Averaging 21.9 points per game in his sophomore year, many scouts compare him to Chris Mullin. He has the ability to hit all different kinds of shots from every range. The biggest question, though, will be where he fits into a lineup. To0 small to guard a power forward and not quick enough to guard the athletic swingman-type, Babbitt will have to find his niche. But, for Utah at #9, he makes sense.

#10 Indiana Pacers

Patrick Patterson, PF, Kentucky

Coming in as, in my opinion, the most underrated player in the draft, the freakishly athletic Patterson would be a perfect fit for the Pacers if they don’t deal their pick at 10. After Jermaine O’Neal’s departure, the Pacers have been devoid of a very talented player at the 4. Enter Patterson. With a polished and fundamental post game to go with an NBA-ready body, the Pacers would benefit from the combination of him and center Roy Hibbert down low. The one knock on his game is his inability to face up to the basket. But, with his footwork and ability to run-and-gun, as he did with John Wall at Kentucky, Patterson is the complete package. That will make him the third Kentucky player drafted in the top 10.

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With many players being drafted primarily on potential, the true fruits of the 2010 Draft may not be known for a few years. One thing is for sure, though. As in any draft, there is talent out there. Some will win, some will lose, and each team is hoping to find the diamond in the rough.

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And so another bright spot for New Jersey Nets fans this week.  After witnessing the hiring of Avery Johnson, who in my opinion was the best option, Nets fans have another reason to be happy. The Nets have a chance to grab the second best player in the draft at the number three spot. Who? None other then Evan Turner.

News was just broken that The Philadelphia 76ers had traded long time center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. The move now raises the question will Philly be going for Derrick Favors, Forward out of Georgia Tech, instead of Evan Turner.

Chad Ford of ESPN has had on his draft board Favors over Turner at the number 2 spot in the draft where the 76ers are scheduled to pick. The move today even more solidifies the decision for the 76ers. For the Nets this is a moment of joy… but only a moment because there is no clear cut decision that Philly will take Favors.

So for now Nets fans, lets enjoy our Little General, Avery Johnson and next week be prepared to usher in a new era of youth that may or may not include Ohio States standout Evan Turner.

-Timmy Dimas

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If Izzo heads to the NBA he won't be cutting down anymore nets.

ESPN 1050NY is reporting that sources close to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo say he is leaving East Lansing and is headed to the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Honestly, this comes as a great surprise because, with all the success he has had at the college level, why would he go down what seems to be the dark road that many have gone down before with little success, the college to pro transition?

Ask John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and Tim Floyd how hard it is. Guys who have been well-regarded in college just can’t seem to find their footing at the pro level. Maybe it’s the difference in player personality, maybe it’s the level of competition, but there is something that just doesn’t translate.

There are two important things to consider. Firstly, why would he want to leave? With Lucas, Summers, Roe, and Green all returning to Michigan State, it seems they have a solid shot at winning the National Title. Clearly, if these reports are true, college has lost its allure to Izzo. If there is any chance to win it all again, this year is the year.

The other thing is this: what does it mean for the LeBron sweepstakes? LeBron has said nothing about hand-picking a coach or GM, and, outside of the Larry King interview, has not tipped his hand about where he may land.

In my opinion, Izzo would be going to Cleveland in hopes that LeBron will stay, but Izzo’s presence will not influence James as to where he will go. One must remember, in 2000, Atlanta offered Izzo a job and he turned it down. That was clearly because there was no chance to win. But, the thing is that, if LeBron leaves, Cleveland becomes that 2000 Hawks team. Izzo would really be rolling the dice.

Coach K was smart to turn down the Nets job this year, and it would be prudent for Izzo to stay where he is and make a run at the National Title this year.  But, the bright lights of the NBA and the prospect of coaching LeBron may be too strong to refuse this time around for Coach Izzo.

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