LAS VEGAS - It's always great to hear what general managers, scouts and coaches have to say about the NBA draft ... after the fact. These guys all lie. These guys had it right all along, of course. But while the Kings supposedly "surprised" the experts by selecting Jason Thompson so early (with the No.12 pick), the former Rider standout has been quietly amassing admirers.
More than a few general managers and scouts approached me today and spoke glowingly of Thompson. One Eastern Conference GM, whose office is located within the same area code as Thompson's alma mater, described the 6-foot-11 rookie as "smooth, efficient, and knows how to play." He further insisted that most of his peers projected that Thompson would be taken between 12-18.
Like I said. All these guys lie, anyway.
Only in Las Vegas ... or maybe Europe
While walking into the Thomas & Mack Center earlier today, I actually saw someone take a last drag on a cigarette, and then, without extinguishing the flame, toss it into a plastic garbage can. Being from California (OK, via New York and Las Vegas), I was dutifully appalled. And conscientious. I peered into the garbage can and made sure the cigarette had been doused by the sodas and assorted dead pizza, fast food, etc.
No sign of the mentor
Reggie Theus had hoped to get together with Jerry Tarkanian, but said his former UNLV coach was spending time in San Diego. "Tark's not crazy," quipped Theus, who was the most talented prep star successfully recruited by Tarkanian. "He knows where to go to get out of this heat."
After driving around in the 110-plus temps these past few days, I vow to never again whine about the Sacramento climate.