Rumors. We complain, but secretly, we love them, right? Especially at this time of year...what else are we going to talk about?
Andrei Kirilenko has expressed uncertainty about whether he will opt out of his $10M contract for next season, a decision he must make by the end of June. Whether the Wolves would try to sign him to a longer deal in the event he does opt out isn't clear. I suspect that Flip would be happy to have him off the books, while it seemed obvious last season that Rick Adelman appreciates him on the court. This could be interesting to follow.
As noted earlier, the O.J. Mayo rumors persist. I've complained about that enough, but Madison Dan helpfully pointed out yesterday that it isn't clear that he's a better player than Anthony Morrow. So there's that.
Flip landed in Venice this morning. Meeting with Pek tomorrow, and is there for the Eurocamp. Lots of interaction with other team executives can be expected, and who knows what new rumors will pop up next week?
Next scheduled Wolves draft workouts are next week:
This week marked the 20th anniversary of the death of Drazen Petrovic, one of the first great Europeans to come play in the NBA. He was an incredible scorer and shooter who had total belief in his abilities. He was a central force on one of the greatest European National teams in history: the Yugoslavian team of the 1980s, along with Vlade Divac, Dino Radja and others. The history of that team, the political turmoil that broke it up and damaged friendships, and the relationship between Divac and Petrovic is told in the wonderful Once Brothers film that Divac made with ESPN.
The USMNT took three points in a road World Cup qualifier last night in Jamaica. Holding a 1-0 lead throughout the 2nd half, the shoddy U.S. defense finally haunted them when they utterly failed to defend a Jamaican corner, which resulted in the equalizing goal in the dying minutes. It looked like the Yanks would have to settle for one point (not a terrible result on the road, but disappointing after holding the lead for so long), until this happened in stoppage time:
Brad Evans! Dubious starter at right back with the winner!
beIN Sport, on the other hand...yikes are they terrible. The production quality, the commentating...oy.
The 4th Amendment has been taking a real beating recently. We should, you know, pay attention to this, because the 4th Amendment is what (supposedly) protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Read the New Republic's summary of Justice Scalia's scathing dissent in Maryland v. King, in which a 5-4 majority of the Court upheld a Maryland law permitting law enforcement to take DNA samples from arrestees and test it in order to attempt to solve other crimes. Though the Court tries to avoid admitting it, this overturns extensive precedent and allows law enforcement to go on warrantless fishing expeditions.
Then, of course, there is the news that data on every phone call you make is being collected by the FBI on behalf of the NSA. Yeah. This is being done in secret, with orders from the secret FISA Court, with secret legal "justification." that we can't know about.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety"-Benjamin Franklin.
The problem here is not only the massive, unchecked, and unspecified collection of data, but the secrecy in which it is procured.
Friends, this matters. We either value and protect the rights we have via the Constitution, which were intentionally designed to limit the power of government, or we don't. We cannot expect those who hold power to be invested in maintaining the limits on that power. At what point, if things like this are permitted, do the words of the 4th amendment (or, in the case of the Justice Department going after AP phone records to find the sources of leaks, the 1st amendment) become meaningless?
Tis the season of Supreme Court rulings, as the term comes to a close. Expect a couple of big gay marriage rulings soon. Hopefully the Court will be on the correct side of history here; in 20 years, this kerfluffle is going be a historical embarrassment. The more laws and amendments (see all of the state constitutional amendments enacted over the last decade) that have to be overturned, the bigger the hassle.
There will also be a very significant ruling over whether human DNA can be patented. This arises out of a case in which a company that markets a test for the likelihood of breast cancer incidence is claiming patent rights not only on their test, but also on the DNA that the test, well, tests. The case, being argued by the ACLU, is Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics. Most observers think the Court will get this one right and rule that genes are not patentable, since they "occur in nature."
Affirmative action in college admissions, which was litigated years ago, is back for another go in Fisher v. University of Texas. Scotus Blog has everything you need. The central question is whether colleges can use race as one factor in the admissions process, in order to foster a diverse student body.
Two musical birthdays today:
Greg Ginn, founder and guitarist for Black Flag, is 59:
Kanye West is 36
Enjoy your weekend, everybody. We'll be back on Sunday with a Finals game two game thread.