Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The NBA notebook …
SALT LAKE CITY ó Kemba Walker and Jimmer Fredette never made it onto the same court during their last year of college hoops. It finally happened behind closed doors at the Utah Jazz practice facility.
Walker and Fredette auditioned for Jazz coaches and team officials Wednesday in a workout ahead of the June 23 NBA draft.
Walker and Fredette are firmly on Utahís draft radar. The Jazz pick at No. 3 and No. 12 and itís expected that at least one of those picks will be used on a point guard to fill the void left when Utah traded Deron Williams to New Jersey last season.
Walker lifted Connecticut to an NCAA championship last season while Fredette led the nation in scoring at BYU with 28.9 points per game and swept nearly every national player of the year award.
Seeing both players on the same court was a dream for many college basketball fans. It never happened in college. Both players came away painting their workout together in glowing terms.
ěIt was great to be able to go against him,î Fredette said. ěThatís what you want. You want to play against the best, at least I do. I want to go out there and compete against the best players.î
CHARLOTTE ó The attention was on Rich Cho as he sat courtside Wednesday morning wearing all black taking in his first pre-draft workout since joining the Charlotte Bobcats.
And while Cho provides a different perspective in owner Michael Jordan’s front office ahead of a critical draft, the old general manager sitting next to him likely had the most insight on this day.
Few in the NBA have seen guard Alec Burks play more than Rod Higgins, who was promoted this week to president of basketball operations. Higgins’ son, Cory, was a teammate of Burks at Colorado.
“He was at a lot of our games, our practices,” Burks said. “I know him a great deal.”
Burks and Providence guard Marshon Brooks ó both in town for a second time after injuries kept them from the court on their first visit ó headlined Charlotte’s six-player audition.
Also on hand were Michigan’s Darius Morris, Julyan Stone of UTEP, LaceDarius Dunn of Baylor and Hofstra’s Charles Jenkins.
TOP TEN LIST
DALLAS ó The latest reward for winning the NBA championship for Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks is reading the top 10 list on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Nowitzki and seven teammates, plus coach Rick Carlisle and owner Cuban took part Wednesday via satellite from the team’s practice court in Dallas. The subject was good things about winning the title.
Shawn Marion got it started with No. 10: “I don’t have to sit here and lie about how winning isn’t important.”
Jason Terry gave No. 3: “Now I can ask Mark Cuban for a raise.”
Then Cuban said: “If you thought I was cocky and obnoxious before ó get ready.”
Nowitzki was No. 1.
The other players were J.J. Barea, Rodrigue Beaubois, Brian Cardinal, Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler.
BERLIN ó German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Nowitzki on winning the MVP in the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA finals triumph.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday that Merkel wrote to Nowitzki to laud him for being “the first German to fulfill this great dream.”