Simmons on Greg Oden

Like many people, Bill Simmons needs to see Greg Oden play with a healthy wrist before making a judgement on his potential. He does give an interesting comparison, as he exlains how Oden reminds him of Robert Parrish.

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ESPN’s Bill Simmons rips LeBron James – Is he right?

Bill Simmons asks some tough questions about LeBron.

To LeBron James, who coasted through the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday and played the All-Star Game with the uplifting, charismatic intensity of a female porn star trying to break one of those “most male partners in one afternoon” records. Could we end up putting him in the “Too Much, Too Soon” Pantheon some day? Will he become the basketball version of Eddie Murphy, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and every other celeb who became famous too quickly and eventually burned out?

Here’s what I know. I had four conversations with connected NBA people over the weekend that centered around the same themes: LeBron isn’t playing nearly as hard as he did last season; it looks like his only goal right now is to get his coach fired; he’s regressing as a basketball player (especially his passing skills and his shot selection); he made a huge mistake firing his agent and turning his career over to his buddies back home (all of whom are in over their heads); he was a much bigger problem during the Olympics than anyone realized; he doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself anymore; he has an overrated sense of his own worth and his own impact in the sports world (as witnessed by the ESPN interview last week when he answered the “What are your goals?” question with two words: “Global icon”); he’s been protected by magazine fluff pieces and buddy-buddy TV interviews for far too long; he doesn’t have the same relentless drive to keep dominating everyone like Wade and Kobe have; and basically, we’re much closer to LeBron re-enacting the career arc of Martina Hingis, Eric Lindros and Junior Griffey than anyone realizes. This will evolve into THE dominant NBA story of the next two months. You watch.

LeBron can quiet Simmons and all of his critics with a great performance in the playoffs, but there is no doubt he needs to step things up. His recent play does not match the hype.

Will Adrian Peterson be the pick?

Consensus seems to be building that the Browns will take Peterson with the #3 pick. Scouts, Inc. at (subscription required) just released its latest mock draft and they also slotted Peterson to the Browns, though they acknowledge he has some durability issues. They have Brady Quinn droping to the Texans at #8. I hope the Browns aren’t thinking of taking him.

Tony Grossi appeared on Les Levine’s show and insisted the Browns would not be taking Quinn, and that he also expected the to take Peterson at this point.

I think the pick would make sense. A stud running back can help the offense right away.

Lebron finally gets going

LeBron finally became more aggressive, and he scored 38 points to lead the Cavs over the Lakers. Maybe he took notice of how Larry Hughes got agressive the night before.

It was a nice win and sent them into the All-Star break n a high note. At 31-22 they are in second place in the Eastern Conference.

More gloom and doom – Foulke retires

Relief pitcher Keith Foulke has retired without throwing a single pitch for the Tribe.

Sound familiar? Will sports fans in this town ever catch a break?

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