Shanoff's Wake-Up Call: Still USA Oops

Today's Calls: USA Hoops vs. USA Oops, Joe Alexander vs. Russell Westbrook, Shawn Marion vs. Jermaine O'Neal, Dan Haren vs. Ben Sheets, Felix Hernandez vs. Johan Santana, Don Imus vs. Pacman Jones, Michael Strahan vs. Terry Bradshaw, Sean Avery vs. Anna Wintour and More. ↵

↵The Opening Pitch: Are we going to see another Olympic display of USA Oops? ↵

↵

↵The Beijing roster is star-studded, that's for sure. But, as we learned in 2004, stars don't equate to strategy. ↵

↵

↵Here's my problem with USA Basketball's star system: Where are the pure shooters? Michael Redd, Kobe Bryant ... and ...? ↵

↵

↵It's like they already forgot the lesson of Athens: Not just that Larry Brown was an awful coach or that LeBron-Wade-Melo didn't play enough. ↵

↵

↵It's that the international style demands players who can drill their jumpshots; on this roster, I just don't see enough of it. ↵

↵

↵(I'm not saying that Mike Miller is the difference between gold and bust for USA Hoops, but 1-2 more shooters would have helped.) ↵

↵

↵I have said since last summer that Kobe being on the team -- that alone -- should be enough to regain gold for the U.S. ↵

↵

↵But if they fall short, it will be because they went with a marketing strategy, rather than a winning strategy. ↵

↵

↵ ↵

↵

↵NBA Draft: Who's hot? Beyond Rose and Beasley, the 1st round is a jumble of competing opinions, but there are two names you keep hearing that everyone loves -- Joe Alexander and Russell Westbrook. ↵

↵

↵Alexander appears to be wowing every team he works out for, with his insane intensity and equally insane athleticism. In my latest mock draft (final edition coming tomorrow), I have him going no later than No. 6 to the Knicks. ↵

↵

↵Westbrook has been given the label "Next Rajon Rondo," ironic given that Rondo's own draft stock sank like a stone, before playing alongside 3 Hall of Famers turned him into RONDO. I have Westbrook going no later than No. 7 to the Clippers. ↵

↵

↵With 2 days to go, I could see teams wanting to trade up to get either of them. Then again, could one team end up with ... both?! Hmm ... ↵

↵

↵Hot Rumor: Knicks trading David Lee to the Grizzlies for the No. 5 pick and a bad contract? With Nos. 5 and 6, NY could have BOTH draft studs, Westbrook AND Alexander. ↵

↵

↵Mock Draft coming tomorrow, and expect an increase in misdirection and rumor-mongering in the next 48 hours. ↵

↵

↵MLB Instant History: Ben Sheets is at the top of his game. Last night, he pitched a CG 4-hitter (1 R, 7 K) to run his record to 9-1. ↵

↵

↵Dan Haren isn't bad, either: He out-pitched Josh Beckett and handcuffed the Red Sox in Fenway, allowing 2 H and 0 ER in 7 IP in a 2-1 W. ↵

↵

↵Milestone Watch: Felix Hernandez became the first AL pitcher to hit a grand slam in 37 years -- off Johan Santana, no less. ↵

↵

↵Interleague: Perhaps the Royals should petition to be relocated to the NL. They are an MLB-best 10-3 in interleague games this season. ↵

↵

↵"Willie did a good job," says Mets owner Fred Wilpon, a bit of a mixed message. One thing is clear: Wilpon puts it all on Omar Minaya. ↵

↵

↵Curt Schilling's shoulder surgery went well: He could be pitching by January. (The lingering question: Will he even want to be?) ↵

↵

↵College World Series: Game 1 goes to Georgia, which came back from a 6-3 deficit in the 8th behind MLB Top 10 pick Gordon Beckham's 2-run HR. The pressure is on Cinderella Fresno State to win 2 straight. ↵

↵

↵Don Imus on Pacman Jones: "What color is he?" [African-American.] "There you go. Now we know." ↵

↵

↵I'm not quite sure in what context that isn't off-putting at best, more classic Imus race insensitivity at worst. ↵

↵

↵Imus painfully tried to clarify: "I meant he was being picked on because he is black." ↵

↵

↵You'd think the guy would know better. But that's the problem with racists: Their linguistic problems tend to be pesky. ↵

↵

↵More NBA Rumors: Pacers trading Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto for TJ Ford? I'm trying to conceive how JO and Bosh would work together. ↵

↵

↵Shawn Marion will not opt out of his deal with the Heat: It doesn't mean he won't still be shipped out; an expiring contract (even one at $17.8M) is the most valuable currency in the NBA. ↵

↵

↵Brandon Jennings vs. the NCAA and NBA, Cont'd: I continue to be obsessed by this story. OK, so I'm settling in on a totally new idea: Forget Europe. Forget the NBDL. Go "indie." ↵

↵

↵Convince 9 fellow prep All-Americans to skip their one-and-done college year to form a pre-NBA "dream team" that does three things: (1) Train for the NBA; (2) Barnstorm the country; (3) Cash endorsement checks. ↵

↵

↵Raise a ton of money by exchanging equity in the team's revenues -- plus a small slice of the future value of their first, predictable NBA deals -- to investors to hedge their risk and generate income. ↵

↵

↵Any incoming college freshman who thinks they are going to turn pro after one year is kidding themselves if they think a year of college is better to develop them as a pro than a year as a pro. ↵

↵

↵Shaq rap rips Kobe? "You know how I be/Last week, Kobe couldn't do without me." ↵

↵

↵A for Braggadocio, C for meter (even taking into account it was a freestyle). File this under: NON-story. ↵

↵

↵NFL: SN's Top 100 Fantasy ranking is out, and while I have no qualms with Tomlinson over Peterson for No. 1, it is an absolute joke that they have Darren McFadden all the way down at No. 61. In SN's rankings, he isn't even the top-rated RB on his own team?! (Justin Fargas: No. 60). ↵

↵

↵Sports Media: Michael Strahan is going to Fox, not a bad complement to Howie, Jimmy and Terry. ↵

↵

↵Olympics: Once-exiled goalie Hope Solo is on the US Women's Soccer roster, and Brianna Scurry is not. But will Solo's teammates embrace her? ↵

↵

↵NHL: Barry Melrose will coach the Lightning, as has long been expected (and bringing a huge amount of star power to the team). ↵

↵

↵More NHL: Sean Avery's summer internship at "Vogue." (h/t: McErlain) ↵

↵

↵The Last Word: The SN college football preview issue is out! Long before I was part of SN, the Sporting News college football preview issue has always been my annual go-to preseason source to get ready for the season. The 2008 edition is out today. You can check out all the different covers here. I'm so obviously partial to Region No. 8. ↵

↵

↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.