Good morning. Let’s basketball.
FREEDOM: There’s an active lawsuit that could nuke the NCAA’s punitive transfer eligibility rules. College coaches are aghast at the prospect of transfers without penalty and so-called "college free agency." To me, this is just another (potential) result from the NCAA’s longheld lack of respect for student-athletes’ wishes and needs.
DUDE: The NBA tacked 10 more games onto Mitch McGary’s five-game drug suspension. He appears to have failed to comply with the NBA's rehabilitation program procedures -- so this isn't an additional failed drug test, he just didn't submit to future tests or something along those lines in a timely manner. Get it together, Mitch. One more slip-up and the Thunder have the right to waive him owing no further compensation.
NORTH CARO-BYE-NA: North Carolina’s pro-discrimination law, unaffectionately known as HB2, already cost the state the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend. Now the NCAA has yanked its championships and tournament games out of North Carolina due to the law. (This is notable because the NCAA had previously said it was not considering moving already-scheduled events, just taking HB2 into consideration for future events.) In addition to a couple rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Greensboro, this move will cost the state soccer, lacrosse, tennis and golf championships. The ACC seems to be moving toward relocating some of its conference championship events, too.
AN IMPORTANT MATTER: Jared Dubin on the 11 types of basketball nicknames and why we need to do better.
YEAH, BUT COULD THEY BEAT THE SIXERS? Ricky O’Donnell makes the case that this year’s Duke team could be better than the recent 38-1 Kentucky squad that starred Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker and Willie Cauley-Stein.
SPEAKING OF THE (BLUE) DEVIL ... If NBA scouts want to see those illustrious Duke prospects practice, they’ll need to attend the program’s first-ever pro days, because Coach K isn’t letting them in any other time.
NO PRESSURE: Shaq compares Ben Simmons to LeBron.
HEY YOU: Are you reading Kevin Pelton’s team previews, the ones with the deep-dive player analyses? YOU REALLY OUGHT TO. Here’s the Thunder edition, for example.
PODCAST WORLD TOUR: Prada and Epstein visit the upstart Jazz next.
Happy Wednesday. See you next time.