Sunday, November 8, 2009
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Friday, October 30, 2009
5). Donaghy’s botched book deal could help NBA (FOX Sports.com, Oct. 30).
The stars are still aligned for a thrilling 2009-2010 NBA season. Disgraced former referee Tim Donaghy had hoped to rain on the league’s parade this season with his tell-all book titled “Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA.” However, the book's publisher appropriately pulled the plug because of “concerns over liability.”
4). Rondo, Rose making their points (ESPN.com, Oct. 29).
Who’s the best point guards in the NBA? Most discussions pit Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams. In ’09-’10, the Celtics’ Rajon Rondo and Bulls’ Derrick Rose (photo above) appear primed to enter into that conversation. In debut victories for their teams, Rondo had 10 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 swipes while Rose had 13 points, 7 dishes and 7 boards.
3). Nuggets get season started right with Melo (Denver Post.com, Oct. 29).
Denver Nuggets’ All-Star Carmelo Anthony (photo above) looks like he can taste a NBA championship now. The third wheel in the 2003 NBA Draft, which included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, sniffed it in ’09. In the first two games, Melo was stronger and smoother than ever, tallying a total of 71 points.
2). Online Gambling: LeBron James will never win a ring in Cleveland. (Eye on Gambling.com, Oct. 30).
1). Opening-night doubleheader is Turner’s most-watched ever (NBA.com, Oct. 28).
It’s not a big surprise. These are the results when you broadcast a Game 1 (Celtics vs. Cavaliers) with potentially six NBA Hall of Fame players on the floor and then follow it up by showing the defending champs receiving their rings before the start of Game 2 (Lakers vs. Clippers). Turner's previous doubleheader record was back in '96, featuring the Suns vs. Cavaliers and the Bulls vs. Lakers, when M.J. still laced up his sneakers.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Los Angeles Lakers: 39%
None of these teams: 27%
Next question: What one-two punch featuring Shaquille O'Neal (photo above) will go down as the best?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Apparently there was no way Stern was going to screw up the drama and action for the league or its fans this season.
Expectations are the highest in recent memory, so evidently Stern knew he needed his full-time guys on board to shore up things for this highly-anticipated 2009-2010 NBA season.
How could his league stage possibly one of its most exciting, memorable seasons in decades with scab referees jogging up and down the court?
For sure, there are plenty of intriguing questions and subplots entering into the ’09-’10 NBA campaign.
Yes, K.G.’s back. When Kevin Garnett (photo above) was healthy last season, the Boston Celtics were virtually unstoppable, racing out to a ridiculous 27-2 start. They added Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels in the offseason. So now what?
In Los Angeles, new acquisition Ron Artest says if the Lakers don’t repeat, blame it on him. With still the best player in Kobe Bryant, best coach in Phil Jackson and best set of complimentary players in the game, their chances look good. But is that hunger still there?
Big Shaq’s never been one to stay quiet or disappoint fans. This season Shaquille O’Neal has stated his mission with the Cleveland Cavaliers is to win a ring for The King, LeBron James. Who’s to say he can’t? He teamed to hoist NBA trophies with equivalent superstars, Bryant (2000, 2001 and 2002) and Dwyane Wade (2006).
In San Antonio, the Spurs (photo above) fell short on their traditional odd-year championship title (’99, ’03, ’05 and ‘07) in ‘09. So they reloaded in the offseason by acquiring Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess and rookie DeJuan Blair. But now can the aging Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili stay healthy?
Don’t sleep on the defending ’09 Eastern Conference champion Orlando Magic who for some reason still seem to get little respect. The Magic appear poised to redeem themselves after falling short 3-1 during the 2009 NBA Finals in June. In addition to Vince Carter, they acquired Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass. But is that enough?
Then there’s still that “Who’s the best player on the planet?” debate. Kobe battling King James in the ’10 NBA Finals is quite viable… Also, there’s that “Which future NBA Hall of Famer will get his fifth championship ring first?” question. Bryant, O’Neal and Duncan equally have legit chances this upcoming year.
Appropriately, the 2009-2010 NBA regular season will start strong out the gates. On Tuesday night, a TNT doubleheader will feature the Celtics vs. Cavaliers in Game 1 and then the Lakers vs. Clippers in Game 2.
Which begs yet another question; will Baron Davis and 2009 NBA first-round pick Blake Griffin turn things around for the young Clips, who went 6-2 in the preseason?
Sunday, October 18, 2009
To show some commitment to the replacement crew, NBA Commissioner David Stern has put the hammer down in the preseason on coaches and players who publicly criticize league officials. Last week, three coaches were slapped with hefty fines for comments they made about the officiating.
For years, NBA officials have been criticized for making questionable calls. However, this is by far their worst yet.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
While the general managers were on point with some calculations, they totally missed the mark on others.
Here are All Net’s 1st authentic predictions for the upcoming year.
Which team will win the NBA 2010 Finals? The Cleveland Cavaliers.
Kobe & Shaq (2000, 2001, 2002), D. Wade & Shaq (2006), LeBron & Shaq (2010).
The Big Three gets big sparks from Richard Jefferson (above photo) and rookie DeJuan Blair and dethrone Lakers in Game 7 of Western finals.
Even with injuries, the Wiz had no business going 19-63 last year and rightfully revisit playoff form.
Baron Davis likes what he sees in his squad, and Griffin’s the No.1 reason why.
Which player is likely to have a breakout year in 2009-2010? Michael Beasley.
King James will be first player to grab award in back-to-back seasons since Steve Nash (2005, 2006).
Superman misses a repeat trip to NBA Finals in ‘10, but keeps terrifying opposition in the paint.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Over the past few seasons with Golden State, Jackson has righted the ship from the Detroit malee and other off-court incidents, proving he can be a team captain and go-to-guy in any given situation.
So despite Jackson’s apparent prima donna talk, there’s legitimacy in his words and his stance against the Warriors. He simply wants to win, and the Warriors have shown no inclination in doing that since upsetting the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs.
Since '07, Jackson has watched in disbelief as many of his buddies from the roster, like Baron Davis, like Al Harrington, like Jason Richardson and like Matt Barnes depart via trade or free agency to other NBA organizations.
Last season, the Warriors went a pathetic 29-53 and from the sounds of their training camp mess this year may be even worse.
Last month, Jackson was fined $25,000 by the league for publicly demanding a trade.
In actuality, the entire Golden State Warriors organization should be reprimanded for screwing up one of the most promising, exciting squads in the game two short seasons ago.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Here are All Net’s top 10 teams for the upcoming 2009-2010 NBA season with their ’08-’09 regular-season records in brackets.
10). New Orleans Hornets (49-33). The Hornets absolutely needed to acquire (but couldn’t afford) more support for NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and David West. They traded Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor to become a tad bit more offensive. But with the aging Peja Stojakovic, 34, putting in only 13 points a contest, the Hornets simply lack the consistent firepower on a nightly basis to bang with the Top Dawgs.
9). Denver Nuggets (54-28). Can they duplicate last year’s amazing run? That might be a daunting task. After acquiring a true floor leader in Chauncey Billups, the Nuggets tied their franchise record of 54 regular season victories in ‘09. Billups and Carmelo Anthony will continue to shine, so it’s up to their big men Kenyon Martin, Nene, and Chris Andersen to come through again if the team hopes to duplicate their Western Conference Finals appearance or advance beyond it.
8). Atlanta Hawks (47-35). Jamal Crawford's a nice touch to the already talented Hawks roster. With his acquisition, the team has a legit scorer to complement fellow backcourt stars Joe Johnson (above photo) and Mike Bibby. The problem, though, with the Hawks still lies in the frontcourt. With no true proven center on their current roster, the athletic Hawks just can’t physically counter the brute force of Orlando’s Dwight Howard or the Cavs’ Shaquille O’Neal in the paint.
7). Portland Trailblazers (54-28). Crafty veteran point guard Andre Miller adds valued experience to the young, promising Blazers this upcoming season. Brandon Roy has established himself as a perennial NBA superstar. The bench has established itself as one of the deepest, featuring Rudy Fernandez of Italy. Now the time’s ripe for oft-injured center Greg Oden to show his full worth as the No. 1 selection in the 2007 NBA Draft. If he does, the Blazers could pose big problems for the Mavs and Spurs.
6). Dallas Mavericks (50-32). No one’s talking much about the Mavericks these days. That could be a good thing for them. When expectations were high, they always disappointed their fans. This season has to be the final ride for point guard Jason Kidd, 36, (above photo driving) and maybe even Dirk Nowitzki, 31. The squad inserted much needed quickness and depth in the lineup with Shawn Marion and Drew Gooden. It’s just a matter if all these old men can stay healthy or not for 82 games and a playoff stretch.
4). San Antonio Spurs (54-28). Though The Big Three (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili) were scheduled to return, the Spurs recognized the necessity to get better to remain an elite team in the league. Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, Theo Ratliff along with rookie DeJuan Blair shore up a great supporting cast for the Spurs. But it’s how the team’s youngest star Parker will productively integrate these new guys which will ultimately decide how far the Spurs will go this season.
1). Los Angeles Lakers (65-17). The Lakers have the best coach, player and team in the league. Yes, starter Trevor Ariza departed, but Ron Artest can quickly fill that role. At this juncture in his career, Artest wants to win and that’s what the Lakers do. So despite some anxiety, Ron Ron won’t be a distraction at all. Back-to-back titles would virtually be a wrap if the Lakers could get steadier production from big fellas like Andrew Bynum and Josh Powell. The team’s Jekyll and Hyde play is a concern. There are just too many potentially good squads in the NBA for that inconsistency in ’09-10.
Monday, September 21, 2009
"Breaking it down by the numbers, it seems more likely that Kobe Bryant will be the first to win his 5th NBA championship ring. However, with all three of these teams vying for the crowns - and potentially the strongest team in the field, the Boston Celtics, also in the mix – anything can happen.” First to 5: Kobe, Shaq, or Duncan? (Associated Content)
Thursday, September 17, 2009
9). Brandon Roy, 25, Portland Trailblazers. B-Roy (photo above) possesses the all-around skill set to eventually creep inside our list of Top 5 current NBA players in the game. He can do it all on the floor and loves being the go-to-guy in tough, pressure situations. Playing in Portland thankfully hasn’t dimmed the spotlight on his rapid climb to the top of the league.
8). Chris Bosh, 25, Toronto Raptors. Bosh is another big name free agent who should be available next offseason. He averaged 22.7 points and 10 boards a night in ’08-’09, but a more defining year as that “franchise player” would do wonders for his marketability. The agile, lanky Bosh epitomizes the evolution of the NBA big man with his crisp inside as well as outside game.
7). Carmelo Anthony, 25, Denver Nuggets. Melo still displays the smoothest game in the NBA today. Everything looks so natural and effortless on the court. The addition of veteran PG Chauncey Billups to the Nuggets last season will only further enhance his overall game in ’09-‘10.
6). Chris Paul, 24, New Orleans Hornets. Forget Kobe and LeBron, Paul (photo above, dribbling) is the most exciting player to watch in the league right now. Hornets head coach Byron Scott may be forced to release the reins if he hopes to contend with the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets in the West. That would be nothing but sweet music for CP3 fans.
5). Deron Williams, 25, Utah Jazz. Yes, Williams gets the slight nod over Paul from a pure physical standpoint. Both young, cagey PGs seemingly have eyes in the back of their heads and are exceptional floor generals. But at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, D-Will is the better overall defender and offensive threat.
3). Dwyane Wade, 27, Miami Heat. D. Wade (photo above) is a lot closer to the No. 2 spot than most may realize. Last season was his best to date, coincidentally coming in 3rd in the Most Valuable Player voting in May. His teammates need to contribute big early in the season, so Wade can save his heroics for down the stretch.
1). Kobe Bryant, 31, Los Angeles Lakers. He’s closing in on our list of Top 10 NBA players of all time. A fifth championship ring this season would only boost his legacy. Some say Kobe’s slowing down. We say he’s conserving energy for crunch time.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Kobe Bryant or LeBron James.
This debate was seemingly raging highest during the course of the 2008-2009 NBA regular season.
A highly-anticipated 2009 NBA Finals showdown of the sport’s two biggest heavyweights might have provided a little insight, but Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic spoiled the suspense by knocking out King James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
On the September issue of Pro Basketball magazine, the Cavs phenom and Los Angeles Lakers superstar are pictured side-by-side with the huge headline “LeBron vs. Kobe. Who’s better?” underneath them.
Inside the hoops publication, writers Michael Murphy and Eddie Sefko articulately editorialize who they think is the superior ballplayer in the game today.
Murphy chose LeBron. Sefko picked Kobe.
However, at this juncture in both superheroes’ respective careers, is there really a debate?
Kobe, 31, is entering his 14th season. LeBron, 24, is set for his 7th year.
Sure, LeBron’s currently putting up sick, mind-boggling numbers. He averaged 28.4 points, 7.2 assists and 7.6 rebounds a game in ‘09. But at this stage in his NBA career, Kobe could care less about statistics and accolades.
Kobe shines four NBA championship rings, while LeBron sports zero and has only one NBA Finals appearance.
According to former Lakers general manager and NBA legend Jerry West, LeBron has the potential to be the greatest ever to play the game.
“Even though it’s hard for me to be objective, because I brought Kobe to Los Angeles, I do think LeBron has surpassed Kobe as a player,” West said last season about LeBron who captured the 2009 MVP award.
But my question to West is, what weaknesses has he seen within Kobe's game lately for him to get surpassed by LeBron?
LeBron led his squad to a 66-16 mark last season. But, Kobe’s Lakers went 65-17.
In watching Kobe, he hasn’t slowed a bit to me. As crazy as it sounds, his overall game seems to be improving.
In 2008, Kobe hoisted his first NBA MVP trophy and in 2009 he finally got that monkey off his back by winning his first NBA championship without former sidekick Shaquille O’Neal.
It seemed West based his opinion on the future potential and the physical makeup of LeBron rather than the now factor and unheard of mental toughness of Kobe.
"He's just too big, too strong, too quick. And he has incredible body control,” West added about LeBron who's 6-foot-8 and 250 pounds.
Well, what about winning championships, staying power in the league and mastering the mental approach of the game a la Kobe?
While good rap for sports talk radio stations and sports sections of newspapers to compare two unbelievable athletes, this hyped debate over the past few seasons of who’s better between Kobe and LeBron is an open-and-shut case to me.
Not as earthshaking but much more pragmatic debates for this upcoming NBA season should instead be: King James vs. Superman (Dwight Howard) or even Kobe Bryant vs. NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
As remarkable a basketball player LeBron is right now, he just hasn't elevated to Kobe’s status yet.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
3). David Robinson. The Admiral was a beast for the San Antonio Spurs for 14 seasons. Offensively, he was a terror facing the basket as well as playing with his back to it. On the defensive end, Robinson had surprisingly agile feet for a big man and was a superb shot blocker and rebounder. He played in 10 NBA All-Star games and won two championships.
2). John Stockton. He simply epitomized his position. Smart. Crafty. Relentless. Stockton may be the best point guard ever to play the game. He ended his historic 19-year career with the Utah Jazz as the NBA all-time leader in assists and steals. Unfortunately, Stockton never won a championship ring despite all his contributions to the sport and the league.
1). Michael Jordan. What more can be said? Because of his superior basketball skills and personal charisma, it’s hard to envision another current or future NBA player touching him as the greatest to ever lace up sneakers. His career highlights speak volumes: six NBA titles, five NBA MVP trophies, 14 All-Star appearances and one NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
I guess everyone has too much free time on their hands to stay clear of the news cameras.
The 2009 NBA offseason was definitely no exception. Here are five of the most ridiculous stories surrounding the NBA to emerge over the summer.
5). Davis’ laptop stolen.
Is Los Angeles Clippers’ star Baron Davis (photo, left) still crossing his fingers?
According to his attorney, Davis’ jacked laptop computer contained a “variety of private images of (him), his associates and his colleagues.”
Seemingly so distressed about the thievery, Davis summoned his attorney to immediately send out letters warning media outlets they’re subject to litigation if the point guard’s embarrassing files and photos are published or sold to another party.
The two-time NBA All-Star apparently must have some heavy personal stuff stored on that hard drive.
4). Jefferson gets cold feet.
Calling off a wedding’s nothing new. But hours before the $2 million occasion? That’s heartless.
Although the San Antonio Spurs’ newest key acquisition Richard Jefferson disputes the timetable and the actual cost of the event, he can’t dispute the coldness and shamefulness in his actions.
“He called two hours before the wedding. It was nuts,” one of Jefferson’s close friends told the New York Post.
Jefferson can’t be all bad, though. He did reportedly give his jilted bride a make nice “six-figure” sum to move on without him in her life.
3). Miller called homewrecker.
Former NBA long-range bomber Reggie Miller better watch his back from now on.
Sure, the TNT analyst was unscathed this time around, but most men usually don’t play around when it comes to boneheads flirting with their women.
So what Reggie’s the 12th leading scorer in NBA history and drained the most threes ever in the league?
He could still catch a beatdown.
According to the restraining order filed against him, Miller waited over an hour in a grocery store parking lot for the engaged woman and sent her 53 text messages in a four-hour span.
Reggie called it simply flirting, but it sounds more like simply stalking.
2). Dirk’s ex-fiancée gets 5 years.
Poor Dirk Nowitzki (photo, right). It seems he just can’t win.
In spite of his efforts of continuously leading the Dallas Mavericks to the playoffs and one of the top records in the NBA every season, the 7-foot German still hasn’t captured that elusive championship after 11 seasons in the league.
Now, his ex-lover is sentenced to five years in prison. To make matters worse, the 39-year-old convict may be pregnant with his child.
At 31-years-old, Dirk’s playing days are dwindling in the NBA. So now there’s a chance the longtime Maverick could retire heartbroken as well as title-less.
1). Nike seizes dunk tapes.
LeBron James may well be the best basketball player on the planet, but even he’s not immune to being posterized.
At first, Nike officials confiscated the dunk tapes, claiming it was against the rules to videotape after-hours pickup games at LeBron’s camp. Then, the sports appeal giant returned the seized tapes, reiterating it didn’t take them because the Cleveland Cavaliers’ superstar was dunked on.
So what was it?
If the tapes were swiped because of camp policy, then why were they returned? Or, as one of the videographers implied, were the tapes snatched per LeBron’s request?
Whatever the case, in the end it made the royal King James look more like an everyday sore loser on the playgrounds than the 2009 NBA Most Valuable Player.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Here are five of the most intriguing NBA stories since the Los Angeles Lakers handled the Orlando Magic in five games to capture the 2009 NBA championship at the beginning of summer.
5). Rose cheated on SAT.
Should we really be surprised? Probably not. But it doesn’t seem fair.
Michael Beasley averaged 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.8 minutes a game during his rookie campaign with the Miami Heat last season, but because all the hype he generated as an All-American at Kansas State haters viewed his inaugural season as a disappointment.
I just wished Steph would’ve kept his emotional breakdown in the closet rather than exposing it to the entire world to see.
Remember this now-deranged crybaby was a two-time NBA All-Star who averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists during 13 years in the league. He was billed as the savior and one of the top ballers to come out of New York City.
The 2009 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers acquired Ron Artest. The runner ups Orlando Magic obtained Vince Carter.
Monday, August 24, 2009
According to dime.com, Iverson may be a close to a deal with the Bobcats in which he would reunite with his former Philadelphia 76ers coach who he had a tumultuous relationship with for six seasons.
If Iverson or Brown had better viable options this NBA offseason, I’m sure neither would be so quick and willing to embrace this possible reconciliation.