Just moments away from another trip to Sin City, The Realests decided to sit down our newest road dog, Henry Abbott from TrueHoop, to get his thoughts on the NBA Finals, 2007 Draft, The Realests and much, much more.
Enjoy (Editor’s note: our favorite parts are bolded for easier reading).
Realests: First question: NBA Finals prediction? Do the Cavs have any chance?
TrueHoop: I'm a big believer they do. They play great D. They are 3-1 against SA over the last two years. Bruce Bowen looks like a little gnat against LBJ and in the lane. Duncan looks mortal against James.
Realests: What are the chances Bruce Bowen seriously injures LeBron?
TrueHoop: I think it's unlikely. Everyone will be looking for that, you know?
Realests: We know you are a huge Blazers fan. Do you hold yourself and your daughter's good luck charm personally responsible for getting the No. 1 overall pick?
TrueHoop: Look, I know it makes me seem like a total egomaniac, but I can't shake the feeling that the good vibes from me and a million other Blazer fans totally changed things. I have that good luck charm here, and I worry that if something happened to it, something might happen to Greg Oden.
Realests: What did you think of your colleague Jon Barry when he suggested you trade the pick for some "veteran guys"?
TrueHoop: I am totally in favor of getting some experience on the team, but not with that pick. I don't want to import a massive star. Roy, Oden, and Aldridge should command the ball. But I would love to have Tayshaun Prince or someone like that to round things out, and deliver the wisdom without needing the ball a lot. Plus, this is a magical pick. Wouldn't trade it for anyone.
Realests: Speaking of the Pistons, what do you think about Rasheed for Randolph rumors? Or do you think it will take Prince?
TrueHoop: Portland fans are very demanding of their team. They LOATHE what Bob Whitsitt did, and their love of the Blazers is conditional on that never happening again. What did he do, exactly? Hard to say, but I think Portlanders largely agree that his biggest crime was bringing in Rasheed Wallace. He'll never play in Portland again, even though, with different fans, I might make that trade.
Realests: Moving ahead to the NBA Draft. We notice that NBADraft.net's first European player being taken is Rudy Fernandez at No. 18. Is there a lack of Euro trash this year or have GMs finally realized how overrated they are?
TrueHoop: I don't think anyone thinks it's overrated. This or that player might have disappointed, but in the big picture, the MASSIVE influx rides on. (In the Finals: Ilgauskas, Parker, Ginobili kind of counts, Varejao, Pavlovic, Oberto.) This is just the year that all those high-schoolers had to wait a year, so the lottery is stuffed with guys who would have gone last year.
TrueHoop: He should train to be a ref if he wants to be on the court in the Finals.
Realests: We first read about Worldwide Wes on your web site. Who is more powerful: William Wesley or David Stern?
TrueHoop: David Stern, probably, but it depends what you want to get done. If you want players to begrudgingly do something, Stern has the hammer to make it so. If you want players to believe in something, William Wesley can talk them into it (if it's one of the players who listens to him). In some settings, that makes Wesley more powerful, I guess, because in the end it's the players who have the power, and Wesley has access to their hearts.
Realests: How many hours do you dedicate to the blog and how many articles do you read each day?
TrueHoop: Oh, I work from 9 - 6:30 or so on a regular day, and then I often watch games and blog a little more in the evening. There are always phone calls and emails. I try not to work weekends, as I have little kids and a great wife, but sometimes do. So, the time is ... non-trivial. As for the number of articles, I at least peek at more than a thousand a day, easily. Thanks to the magic of RSS, that doesn't take too terribly long.
Realests: Two-part question: Would you describe how you got picked up by ESPN and do you envision The Realests as part of the Worldwide Leader some day?
TrueHoop: Wasn't looking to sell it, honestly. They called and said they were wondering what my plans were for the future and all that kind of stuff. It took some figuring ... no one knew how to buy a blog, what it was worth, what the editorial process would be and all that. But, over the course of a year we hammered out every little thing, and then I gave my life savings to my business partner, my attorney and accountant. Pretty hot, though, all in all, I'm not complaining. And you should see the post-it notes on my wall: "JOB #1: GET THE REALESTS"
Realests: You have no idea how happy that makes us. What team showed you that they have the potential to break out next year? I know that's kind of hard to assess because there hasn't been free agency or the draft yet.
TrueHoop: PORTLAND! That's my homer answer. Without a ton of thinking, how about Utah, Chicago, healthy New Orleans, Philadelphia if they keep Andre Miller and draft well, and Seattle.
Realests: Philosophical question: What do you think the chances are of the universe imploding when the two biggest floppers in the league - Ginobili and Varejao - collide tonight?
TrueHoop: The best possible highlight would be ZERO contact and both players on the floor.
Realests: What will the league do in the offseason to crack down on the epidemic of flopping? Will there be suspensions or fines next year?
TrueHoop: I don't know what you can do. Maybe fine and suspend based on instant replay after the game? 'Cause if the referees can tell what's going on, they can already adjust accordingly.
Realests: As Michigan alums, we have Wolverine center Courtney Sims going mid to late first round in the draft. Where do you have him going in your mock draft? Tread carefully....we have a lot of Michigan readers coming to our page....
TrueHoop: Oh man, I think he'll be top ten for sure. No, I'm kidding. If I had that kind of knowledge I'd be living on the beach in Hawaii, like Chad Ford. Where Courtney Sims will end up is WAY beyond my realm of expertise. I'm way stronger on stuff like Brazilian home remedies that helped Leandro Barbosa get drafted.
Realests: We appreciate the honesty. Who do you think has the best "Who-Me?-That-Foul-Was-On-ME?!?!" face?
Realests: We couldn't agree more. OK, last question: We have always had a sneaking suspicion that Greg Oden is LeBron James' father. Do you see the resemblance?
TrueHoop: I'm against the government collecting and analyzing our DNA. But in certain cases, it probably should be done.
Realests: Thanks so much for your time - we really appreciate it. Best of luck with the Finals and we'll let you know when we hear from the ESPN brass about being picked up.
TrueHoop: Nice. Thanks a lot for having me. It was fun.