Draft ties broken, let Lotto fever begin


Parity, pretty cool when you flip on League Pass and know that just about any team can beat just about any other team in the NBA that night.

Pain in the, um, rear when figuring out lottery odds. A host of NBA teams ended the season tied, so a bunch of coins had to be flipped to determine an order of finish. That order impacts lottery odds or draft position after the lottery, depending on how bad a team was last season.

From the NBA, here is who called tails and won (because it never fails, never):

* Golden State (26-56) won a tiebreaker with Washington, so the Warriors get the four-spot odds, the Wizards fifth.
* Philadelphia (27-55) won a tiebreaker with Detroit and will get the six spot odds, and the Pistons are seven.
* The Los Angeles Clippers (29-53) won a tiebreaker with New York so the Clippers will be in the eight slot, and the Knicks still will not draft because Isiah Thomas traded this pick away to the Jazz. Franchise killer, that man.
* Memphis (40-42) won a tiebreaker with Toronto, which means the Grizzlies are in the 12 spot and Miami in the 13 spot because Toronto traded its pick. Not like they need it.
* A three-way tiebreak at 50-32 now goes like this: Boston drafts at 20, San Antonio at 21 and Oklahoma City at 21. Don’t you have the feeling that the Spurs and Thunder will still make better picks?
* Utah (53-29) would draft 23, if they had not traded their pick to Minnesota (not that it matters since the Jazz have that aforementioned Knicks pick), Atlanta will draft 24, then Denver would have been at 25 but they traded their pick to Memphis.

Okay, time to start lighting candles at your lottery alter. I’m looking at you Timberwolves fans, you know you’ve go one.

Players’ union, NBA to set up cardiac screening for retired players

2015 NBA Finals Cares Events
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First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.

Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.

The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.

Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”

“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”

The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.

It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.

I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.


Stephen Curry drops 30 on Portland in preseason (VIDEO)

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Somebody is in midseason form.

Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.

Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.