You worry about LeBron, I'll worry about 2much4u and Mookie

June 30, 2010

While the rest of the world wonders what's up with LeBron, D-Wade, Dirk and Co., here in Pacerland I'm much more interested in Mookie, Finesse, 2much4u and Born Ready.

On the eve of rookie and free agent camp – one of my favorite segments of the seemingly never-ending NBA year – I assembled a list of facts, some fun, some arcane, some obvious, some oblivious, in hopes of enlightening you a bit as to the guys wearing Pacers (workout) uniforms for the next 10 days.

  • First-round pick Paul George has become, ironically, famous for being anonymous. I can't imagine any No. 10 pick in recent memory with so little background information available. Google his Wikipedia page and the first result that appears is for a Canadian environmentalist of the same name.
  • The only information on Pacers Paul George's Wikipedia page is one sentence explaining he's a professional basketball player drafted by the Pacers. If you search his name in Facebook, you get "Which Beatle Are You?" If only his first name was John and his last Ringo, then we'd have something. I've found more info on guys in the witness protection program.
  • There's probably been more written about George on in the last few days than in the entirety of his career. And there will be more. George has agreed to write a blog about his rookie season exclusively for our site.
  • George has worn 24 ever since he was a youth when he was nicknamed "2much4u."
  • Second-round pick Lance Stephenson is quite the celebrity in New York, where he earned the nickname "Born Ready" from the Rucker Park P.A. announcer and starred in an online reality show of the same name.
  • Stephenson played for the same high school (Lincoln) that produced Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, and led the team to an unprecedented four straight city championships.
  • Magnum Rolle, the second-rounder acquired from Oklahoma City, led LSU with eight rebounds (in 14 minutes) as a freshman in a 59-45 Final Four loss to UCLA in 2006. If he makes the roster, he'll be one of seven Pacers with Final Four experience (joining Tyler Hansbrough, Brandon Rush, Mike Dunleavy, T.J. Ford, Roy Hibbert and A.J. Price).
  • Rolle was born in Freeport, Bahamas, and his first sport was soccer. He didn't play basketball until his freshman year in high school.
  • Rolle is a distant cousin of NFL players Samari, Antrel and Myron.
  • After transferring to Louisiana Tech, Rolle competed against George and in fact eliminated his Fresno State rival 74-66 in the first round of the WAC tournament.
  • Forward Adam Koch was part of Northern Iowa's captivating early run in the NCAA Tournament that included a 69-67 stunner over No. 1 overall seed Kansas in the second round.
  • You probably already know this, but forward Marcus Landry, who has the most NBA experience of the free agents (18 last season, 17 with the Knicks), is the younger brother of former Purdue standout Carl, currently with Sacramento.
  • Former Syracuse center Darryl Watkins' middle name is Finesse but his nickname is Mookie.
  • Richard Hendrix, who was named the top newcomer in the Spanish ACB League last season, was an AAU teammate of D.J. White during his high school days.

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