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News » Griffin among rising stars at Summer League

Griffin among rising stars at Summer League

Griffin among rising stars at Summer League
LAS VEGAS - Hasheem Thabeet's week at the NBA Summer League began when he learned from Memphis teammates there was a barber available to make him look good on the court. Thabeet thanked them and sat down for what he thought would be a trim.

When it was over, Thabeet looked in the mirror. He had a Mohawk.

Last Tuesday, Warriors forward Anthony Randolph scored 42 points to tie the NBA Summer League record that had been shared by Marcus Banks and Von Wafer.

Randolph barely had time to catch his breath before another Anthony — Warriors swingman Morrow — shattered the mark by scoring 47 points Thursday.

Randolph was a good teammate. With the fans chanting for Morrow to score 50, Randolph also wanted it to happen.

"I told him, 'You needed three more points,'" said Randolph, who led the summer league with a 26.8 scoring average while Morrow was second at 24.7.

If Golden State had any more games left, rookie guard Stephen Curry could have taken aim at the record. He scored 27 points in the second half of one game after having just two at intermission.

In the end, though, it was a good summer league to be named Anthony. Two other Anthonys, Chicago's Roberson and New Orleans' Tolliver, averaged in double figures.

Biggest surprise

And you thought that after Billy, Richie's brother Chuck was the best Cunningham ever to play basketball.

Turns out that distinction might end up going to Dante Cunningham, who wins honors for the biggest surprise of the summer league. Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 forward, was taken by Portland with the No. 33 pick in the second round but looked at times like a lottery pick.Cunningham averaged 18.3 points and 5.8 rebounds.

He showed that once again the Trail Blazers are masters on draft night, if not necessarily during free agency.

Best son of a coach

For those who thought Coby Karl was placed on Denver's summer team simply to give head coach George Karl a reason to stick around and watch all five of his team's games from the stands, try again.

Coby, who played sparingly for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2007-08 before spending most of last season in Spain, averaged 15.0 points and shot an impressive 61.5 percent for Denver.

"It would be something that would be a great gift," the dad said of the chance of becoming the first father ever to coach his son in an NBA regular-season game.

There is precedent for that in other pro sports. John McKay, coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, managed to keep son J.K. McKay on the roster from 1976-78. And Cal Ripken Jr. (as well as brother Billy Ripken) played baseball for dad Cal Ripken Sr. with Baltimore in 1987 and 1988, although one thinks the superstar son might have had more to do with that one.

Most notable ejection

No wonder NBA discipline czar Stu Jackson showed up at the summer league. One never knows when there could be trouble.

There were four players ejected from games, with San Antonio's Ian Mahinmi, Chicago's Taj Gibson, Phoenix's Robin Lopez and Cleveland's David Harrison all getting heave-hos.

Harrison's was notable because he continues to torpedo his NBA hopes after being a first-round pick in 2004 and playing four uninspiring seasons for the Pacers. Harrison got two technicals in his final game, one for complaining to officials and another for getting tangled up with Detroit's Austin Daye, with a double technical being assessed.

The 7-foot Harrison usually was overweight during his Pacers stint. He played in China last season and said he did come back to the U.S. in April weighing 250 pounds because "the food wasn't good'' there.

But Harrison hasn't wasted any time making up for it. Since his return, he said he's gained 20 pounds while not playing much basketball, and it showed with the Cavaliers.No doubt Harrison visited a few buffets in Las Vegas, although he probably didn't hit the Chinese section.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: July 20, 2009


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