Posts Tagged ‘Jim Calhoun’

Hangtime podcast (episode 155) hail to the huskies … featuring Emeka Okafor

By Sekou Smith,

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS —  One shining moment?

How about four since 1999?

That’s what Emeka Okafor and all of the other players, former players, coaches, fans and alums of the University of Connecticut are thinking these days. UConn is back on top of the basketball world (men’s and women’s) for the second time since 2004, when Okafor was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.

It’s their time to shine.

“I got the baby in a UConn onesi,” Okafor said on Episode 155 of the Hang Time Podcast: Hail to the Huskies, where talked all things UConn with one of the greatest players in the storied history of the program.

All of the NBA veterans who played under Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun or alongside his successor, Kevin Ollie, know all about the UConn pride that swells at times like this. So it only seemed right to track down Okafor, who experienced the championship double-dip as a player in 2004 and now gets to marvel at it like the rest of us all these years later. The Phoenix Suns big man hasn’t played this season while rehabilitating a herniated disc in his neck.

We also handed out some awards for seasons well done (Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Blake Griffin, Joakim Noah and many others are involved), discuss the Hall of Fame class of 2014 (Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond and former NBA Commissioner David Stern headline), the looming end of the Joe Dumars era in Detroit and other hot topics around the league, while also trying to get to the bottom of this lingering foolishness that has become the “Braggin Rights” this season. (it’s a c-o-n-spiracy folks, I promise!)

Dive in for more on Episode 155 of the Hang Time Podcast, Hail To The Huskies … Featuring Emeka Okafor!


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of,  Lang Whitaker of’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

The Sunday Read: Not Nyet

The Sunday Read is a look at the best Sunday columns around the NBA.

New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and general manager Billy King seemed to make it clear on Wednesday. The Nets were walking away from the Carmelo Anthony situation, and they weren’t looking back.

But Benjamin Hochman of the Denver Post is having a hard time believing the oligarch. He writes that the Nets still need ‘Melo, and that will keep them in the conversation

So Prokhorov took a defiant stand. For a day, he made the Nets appear powerful. He made it seem like his team didn’t need Carmelo and all the trade stress. He even took some swipes at the frustrating process of setting up a meeting with Melo — “Maybe he sent me an e-mail, but I don’t have a computer,” the billionaire said. “Maybe the carrier pigeon got lost.” (I can see Prok- horov’s yes man laughing uproariously at the joke, explaining to his boss, like Kenny Bania would on “Seinfeld” — “That carrier pigeon stuff was gold, Proky! Gold!”)

But let’s look at the Nets. They’re moving to Brooklyn in 2012. They desperately need a face of the franchise, a transcendent player who will help the team win — and help the team sell seats and suites.

Melo, meanwhile, wants to play in New York, and the Nuggets all-star admitted he would, indeed, meet with Prokhorov — thus allowing the Nets to make their sales pitch.

And now, if the Nets are truly out of the picture, the Nuggets could, theoretically, move Melo to the Knicks. This would crush Proky. Not only would the Knicks become one of basketball’s best rosters, but they would then completely overshadow the Nets — even more than they already do.

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John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.