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Karl Malone Is A Good Villain - The Downbeat - #489

Karl Malone is going into the heart of the beast, Houston, this Sunday for his Skechers promotion. He speaks with CBS Houston about the NBA and drops gems like these:

"I'm a good villain."

"When I stepped on the court, I really didn't like anyone but my teammates. I respected the players on the other team, but I really didn't like them."

"He ain't no damn hero."

His favorite PG, "Michael Westbrook."

It's no unbelievable function (really though, what is?), but he drops some good bombs as he talks about the Big Three in Miami, what went down with the Jazz, and the Lakers' troubles.

moni transcribes Oscar Robertson's interview from KFAN yesterday. A couple of my favorites,

On Deron Williams, "[B]ecause he played in Utah he didn't get the hype the kid down in New Orleans got, or Jason Kidd." -

The "kid down in New Orleans" has a very "team down south" feel to it. That would have been a little more fuel to the fire. Alas... Also, I like the random Jason Kidd mention. Kidd has played well this year and has had a stellar career, but I find it funny that he didn't mention Rose, Westbrook, etc.

On triple-doubles, "When I did all those things, no one mentioned it at all. No one ever said a thing about a triple double. When Magic started playing with Bird, all of a sudden the triple double was so important to the point where they changed what an assist was. Today, if I throw you the ball and you dribble it four or five times and score, that's considered an assist. Years ago, it was not."

The whole interview has a very "get off my lawn" tone to it and it's great. Even if assists are watered down as he mentions, it's still remarkable that nobody has averaged one for a season again.

moni has much more on her post.

I forgot to mention this yesterday, but it looks like Kevin O'Connor will represent the Jazz once again at the draft lottery. He's taking a big chance here. If the Jazz somehow land in the lottery, then all will be forgiven. If the Jazz stay put at #6 and #12, then there will be a bit of groaning from fans hoping to finally get a break. And if the Jazz manage to slip in the lottery, O'Connor may as well stay in NJ. That will be three strikes in the lottery for him.

I still feel like we could finally luck into the lottery though and still be on the outside looking in as we miss out on #1 and #2. Cue Alanis Morrisette:

You win the lottery,
And land number three
And isn't it ironic
Don't you think?

There really is no consensus pick after the first two. So it should be no surprise that players are going to shoot up and down the draft board and in mock drafts. Someone that's making a bit of an impression though and improving his stock is Kawhi Leonard. Would you take him with the 6th pick? He's working out this week and has drawn interest from all of the lotto teams. From Hoops World,

That's the case with Kawhi Leonard, who is climbing draft boards and solidifying himself as the best small forward in this class. Every top team - from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Toronto Raptors to the Washington Wizards - has expressed significant interest in Leonard.

Leonard is currently working out at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas and he's improving each and every day. He has turned heads and he has all of the trainers and prospects singing his praises.

Given that the international players haven't been able to come over and work out yet, it's no surprise that players like Leonard would be moving up. He is impressing but we might be reading similar things about Euros when they come over in a few weeks.

If the Jazz were to take Leonard at #6 though, would they still be able to pick up a solid PG at #12?

Friday poll...