Portsmouth means a chance for seniors, something to do for scouts

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I think of Portsmouth and I think of breakfast at Friendly Toast and the beer sampler at Portsmouth Brewery. Or getting a late snack at the Friendly Toast after having too many Portsmouth Brewery samplers. But that’s me.

For a lot of college seniors with dreams of playing in the NBA, Portsmouth means the Portsmouth Invitational and a chance to be seen by top scouts. It all starts Wednesday.

Seniors can get overlooked, or picked apart. The top of the draft is freshman (John Wall) to juniors (Evan Turner). There’s a sense that if you’re still in college as a senior, you’re not NBA material. Which is wrong.

But the Portsmouth Invitational has gone from a premiere showcase to something scouts attend because not much else is going on. Sadly, now, even the top seniors — the ones most likely to get drafted — skip the event. But as Chad Ford points out at ESPN.com John Salmons, Carl Landry, Jason Maxiell, Willie Green, Chuck Hayes and Wes Matthews have gone from Portsmouth to the NBA in recent years.

It’s a chance. The scouts will be there and be watching. Stand out and you get some workouts, or a Summer League invite. It’s a foot in the door, and that’s all you can ask. From there these guys have to earn it.

Report: Lamar Odom found unconscious, taken to Las Vegas hospital

Lamar Odom

Let’s hope that this is not as bad as it sounds.

Lamar Odom, whose NBA career was cut short due to his challenges with drug use, has been taken to a Las Vegas-area hospital after being found unconscious at a brothel in a city not far outside the city, according to the report from TMZ.

Lamar Odom is fighting for his life after falling into unconsciousness at Dennis Hof’s Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada … TMZ Sports has learned.

Sources at the Love Ranch tell us … 35-year-old Odom arrived at the Ranch Saturday and was partying with the girls for days. A source at the Ranch said Lamar was taking an herbal substitute for Viagra. We spoke with Hof … who tells us Tuesday afternoon, a woman went into Odom’s room in the VIP suites and found him unconscious.

Odom spent 14 seasons in the NBA, starting his career with the Clippers and going on to be a key figure in the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers title teams. He won Sixth Man of the Year in 2011.

While famous in basketball circles — and incredibly well liked by players and media, he was one of the funniest guys in the league — he became a pop culture sensation when he married Khloe Kardashian. However, it was about that time that his drug use started to take a toll on everything in his life. It was not long before he was traded to Dallas, and things started to truly spiral out of control for him. He went for treatment after that, but never returned to the NBA.

We will have more as the story develops. Our thoughts are with Odom, and we hope he pulls out of this.

Jazz waive Jack Cooley and J.J. O’Brien

Jack Cooley, Jordan Mickey
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Jazz said Tuesday that they have waived forwards Jack Cooley and J.J. O'Brien.

Cooley played in 16 games with the Jazz last season after being called up from the NBA Developmental League. He averaged 1.7 points and 1.6 rebounds. Cooley’s fate with the team seemed to be decided when 7-foot center Jeff Withey signed a multi-year free agent deal in August. The 6-9, 260-pounder was in his second NBA season.

O’Brien was signed as an undrafted rookie Aug. 28 and played in one preseason game with the Jazz.

The Jazz roster now stands at 18.