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The Downbeat: Basketball's Fun But Something's More Important

What can you do to help the victims of the Moore, OK tornado?

Let us pause to remember OKC.
Let us pause to remember OKC.

If you haven't heard by now OKC was ravaged by tornados. Including one awful one in which at least 51 people are have been killed. It's an awful state of affairs right now in the city of Moore, Oklahoma. This area has a very special place in my heart. I served an LDS mission in Oklahoma. One of the areas I served in was South OKC and Moore. That being said there are a number of things you can do to help the people in the afflicted areas.

If you are looking to make sure a friend/loved one/acquaintance is safe in the are you can search a register of people who have listed themselves as safe and okay.

Next if you'd like to send aid you can donate to Red Cross in a number of ways. Those include

  • Calling 1-800-REDCROSS
  • Texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation
  • Or by visiting the Red Cross website and donate there.
These are the times where we as human beings need to band together and take care of our own. Having lived in this area I can tell you that some of it is middle class and lower income families. I know that whatever is donated will be extremely appreciated and necessary. It took 4-5 years to put that area in Moore back together after the 1999 Tornado. This recent tornado was much more powerful and did a lot more damage. This area will need as much help as it can get. We all pay money for ridiculous things. Whether it's for an ESPN Insider account to Angry Birds games w/o ads to Hulu plus when it's free on our computers already. This goes to helping someone rebuild their whole livelihood. Let's do this. Let's be good citizen and take care of our small market brother and sisters in Oklahoma. Please keep everyone in the Midwest right now in your thoughts and prayers. A lot of these states have been hammered. In fact as I write this the area in which I live in Indiana is under a Tornado Watch.

In addition, Welcome To Loud City has a great updating post on what is going on locally in Oklahoma. Give it look.

Stay strong you guys. When I'm in the area we'll go to Ted's Mexican Restaurant. My treat.

Most of you have heard a ton of coverage of the NBA Draft Combine from Amar and I. There's still a lot more of that to follow albeit not in it's intense frequency (we'll be writing 1-2 posts a day this week compared to the 8-9). But there has been some excellent coverage as well that I'd like to share. After all, there were some excellent bloggers/writers who had their professional eyes on the court. Amar and I noticed Tony Snell of New Mexico really having an excellent combine. I honestly dismissed my thoughts because of my inexperience. He seemed impressive to me but I wasn't sure if I was just naive. But then Chad Ford dropped this tidbit about Tony Snell.

New Mexico small forward Tony Snell also appeared to make the leap this weekend from interesting prospect to potential first-round pick. He still has a long way to go as far as proving to scouts he can play with consistent effort, but the raw athletic ability and elite size for his position, combined with smooth shooting touch really improved his stock. I've heard his name as high as No. 21 to the Utah Jazz.

Thurl Bailey has a new job. He was brought on as the state of Utah's new Refugee Ambassador. Honestly, Thurl is a class act and this sounds like something he'll excel at.

Former Utah Jazz great Thurl Bailey has been named the state's refugee ambassador.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced Bailey's new position Monday. He'll be a liaison between the governor's office and the estimated 50,000 refugees who live in Utah.

The state's largest refugee communities are from Iraq, Burma, Somalia and Bhutan. Each has about 5,000 people. There many other smaller refugee communities.

Herbert says refugees need help finding work, learning English and acclimating to life in the Utah. Refugees are people forced to leave their countries due to persecution based on race, religion or for political reasons.


Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer is reporting that the Charlotte Bobcats might be interested in trading down. In fact, many teams in the lottery past the 4 spot are not very enthused about this year's draft. Mr. Bonnell writes:

I spent Thursday and Friday at the NBA Draft combine. These things become numbingly repetitious , so when an oddity sticks out, you tend to notice. Here’s what I noticed: The Charlotte Bobcats, a team assured of drafting no lower than fifth in the first round and having no second-round pick, seem oddly curious about players projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round.

They interviewed Duke center Mason Plumlee, Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams and Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyck. It’s a stretch to draft any of those guys in the top-five.

This might be just zealous due diligence. General manager Rich Cho is meticulous to a fault, so chatting up too many draft prospects could be in his wheelhouse. But there was something that raised my radar about how curious the Bobcats seem to be about players who could be drafted 10th through 20th.

So I asked several writers covering teams with similarly high picks if they thought their general managers were receptive to trading down. "Absolutely," I kept hearing.

No one is particularly excited about this draft. I’m not saying it’s a write-off, but it’s clear what you historically expect to get with the third, fourth or fifth pick is not what this NBA draft figures to produce.

Read more here:

Tonight is the NBA Lottery Selection. If the Jazz win the NBA Draft Lottery with Randy Rigby, what should Randy Rigby's next move be? Vegas? Hot Sauce Wing Challenge? Let us know!