Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — A year ago, Kyrie Irving was the consensus No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.
This time around, Irving was on hand at the NBA Draft Lottery only as an interested bystander. Decked out in a black suit and bow tie, the NBA Rookie of the Year was hoping his Cleveland Cavaliers would defy the odds and land a second straight No. 1 pick even though they entered in the No. 3 slot.
Instead, the Cavs will pick at No. 4, behind New Orleans, Charlotte and Washington.
NEW YORK — Anthony Davis has already won an NCAA championship in New Orleans.
Now he will try and win an NBA title in the Big Easy, too.
“It’s like karma,” the 6-foot-10 Kentucky freshman told ESPN after New Orleans won the rights to the No. 1 pick in the June 28 NBA Draft. “You know, won a national championship there so that’s always exciting,
“I just can’t wait to get down there if I get drafted No. 1 and do what I have to do to make my team win.”
Davis was named the National Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four in New Orleans after averaging 14.2 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.7 blocks on the season.
New Orleans beat out Michael Jordan and the Charlotte Bobcats for the No. 1 pick. New Orleans entered with the fourth-best chance at No. 1 (13.7 percent) and Charlotte, which had the NBA’s worst record, had the best chance (25 percent).
NEW YORK — To the surprise of virtually no one, NBA Commissioner David Stern believes the league will win the Bird Rights arbitration hearing regarding Knicks Jeremy Lin and Steve Novak on June 13.
“We believe that the position that we are espousing here is the one that the contract says is the one and that the arbitrator will confirm,” Stern said Wednesday in New York. “And whatever the outcome, it won’t affect the rivalry between the Knicks and the Nets.”
The hearing will determine if the Knicks hold the Bird Rights to Lin and Novak, both of whom were claimed off waivers.
NEW YORK — NBA Commissioner David Stern is hoping for some renewed “sparks” in the Knicks-Nets rivalry once the Nets move to Brooklyn next season.
“I am hoping for more sparks, a few verbal, some buildup,” Stern said Wednesday at the NBA Draft Lottery. “We are going to have two spectacular new buildings in New York City and we are going to have two very aggressively managed teams.”
While the Knicks have a trio of stars in Carmelo Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler, plus international sensation Jeremy Lin, to play in the renovated Madison Square Garden, it remains unclear just who will be on the Nets roster at the Barclays Center.