Friday Roundup – Baby Edition

Nate Robinson Autographs Baby

July is crazy busy. So busy with live AAU events and Summer League that it’s not always easy to stop and put together a post. So here’s some stuff that matters (or is just dumb, or interesting) from the notebook for today.

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Kyle Wiltjer is headed to Gonzaga. After announcing last month that he was leaving the Kentucky Wildcats, there hasn’t been too much in the way of news, but now Wiltjer has found his next basketball home.

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The Fayetteville Flight ABA team, arguably one of the more successful ABA teams, is holding their annual mini-camp on August 17th.

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Best story of the day is that Nate Robinson is willing to autograph just about anything, even a baby.

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In perhaps a telling sign as to how worried the NCAA is about having to pay their employees, stemming from a current lawsuit against them brought by former players, they have stopped EA Sports from putting their logo on their collegiate basketball game. Of course, EA can still make a game with college programs because the licensing of the colleges is not owned by the NCAA.

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Keith Olbermann is coming back to ESPN, this time to host a late night program. On the conference call announcing the move, ESPN suits and Olbermann both talked about trying to create the ‘must watch’ television that ESPN was built on. They talked about the contentious breakup that led to Olbermann’s original departure and about how he doesn’t want that to be the end of his story with ESPN. These are good goals, and the type of goals that the network and it’s talent should be shooting for. But the ESPN that Olbermann returns to is very different than the one he left in 1997. See, even though Disney owned ABC, which owned ESPN, the influence of Disney on ESPN didn’t officially get under way until 1996, about a year before Olbermann left. Since he’s been gone, Disney has completely revamped ESPN – first by merging graphics, hosts and executives between ABC Sports and ESPN, then in 2006 closing down ABC Sports entirely. The ESPN of today is much different – a turnstile of mostly nameless talking heads with little soul or personality, nobody watches SportsCenter the way they used to. If Olbermann is going to succeed, he’s either going to have to bring back some of the old ESPN magic or find a new way to make the vanilla programming style of Disney’s ESPN work.

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The Charlotte Hornets held a name-change tribute party that people thought was lame but later turned out pretty okay. I’m glad the Hornets name is coming back to Charlotte, but the team isn’t losing because of the name.

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Finally, we all know by now that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are headed to play for the Brooklyn Nets. But the back story is that when Paul Piece knew he was going to be traded he talked Garnett into coming along.

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Have a nice weekend and follow us on Twitter @bball_elite

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