Friday, October 30, 2009

This week's top 5 stories in the NBA

Here’s a look at five headlining NBA stories from the week of Oct. 25:

5). Donaghy’s botched book deal could help NBA (FOX, 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 (, 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, 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, Oct. 30).

Apparently some critics are already writing off the Cavaliers (1-2) and the LeBron-Shaq experiment. Yes, the Cavs were badly exposed against the more athletic frontcourt of the Celtics and Raptors. But did you really expect they would go 66-16 again or the transition of the 7-foot-1, 325 pound Shaquille O'Neal would be easy? I thought the NBA season's 82 games, not two.

1). Opening-night doubleheader is Turner’s most-watched ever (, 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

'All Net' readers pick Lakers to repeat

Before the tip-off of the NBA preseason All Net asked its readers, "Who will be the NBA champions in 2010?"

The answer's in, and the winner's no surprise to hoist the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy (photo above) in June 2010.

Here's how it broke down:

Los Angeles Lakers: 39%
None of these teams: 27%
Cleveland Cavaliers: 15%
Orlando Magic: 10%
Boston Celtics: 7%

Next question: What one-two punch featuring Shaquille O'Neal (photo above) will go down as the best?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

High expectations for '09-'10 NBA season

NBA Commissioner David Stern’s no fool. He knows full well what’s in store for the 2009-2010 NBA season.

Over the last few weeks, Stern apparently must've worked behind the scenes and on Friday the NBA and regular refs finally ironed out a new two-year deal just in time for Tuesday night’s opening tipoff.

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

Locked-out NBA referees made wrong call

Apparently the regular NBA referees were oblivious to the fact the rest of the country’s in a recession or that the national unemployment rate’s a staggering 9.5 percent.

If they did know, why in the heck did the union reject the NBA’s final contract offer last month?

The country’s harsh economic conditions simply made it extremely difficult for the regular NBA refs to have any leverage in negotiations with the league.

Now the 57 officials are locked out for the first time since the '95-'96 season, and most NBA fans, one group who could’ve possibly been sympathetic to their cause, are seemingly unsympathetic to it.

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

Predictions for 2009-2010 NBA season

The 8th annual GM survey results were released earlier this week for the 2009-2010 NBA season.

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).

Which team will win the Western Conference? The San Antonio Spurs.

The Big Three gets big sparks from Richard Jefferson (above photo) and rookie DeJuan Blair and dethrone Lakers in Game 7 of Western finals.

Which team will be the most improved in 2009-2010? The Washington Wizards.

Even with injuries, the Wiz had no business going 19-63 last year and rightfully revisit playoff form.

Who will win the Rookie of the Year award? Blake Griffin.

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.

With personal issues aside, Beasley (above photo) is a projected starter after improving his all-around game in the offseason.

Who will win the 2009-2010 MVP? LeBron James.

King James will be first player to grab award in back-to-back seasons since Steve Nash (2005, 2006).

Who will win the Defensive Player of the Year award? Dwight Howard.

Superman misses a repeat trip to NBA Finals in ‘10, but keeps terrifying opposition in the paint.

Who will win the Coach of the Year award? Jerry Sloan.

Sloan deserves one and finally gets it as his no-frills team surprises folks in perhaps his last season.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blame Warriors, not Jackson for this mess

Out of the four major professional U.S. sports leagues, the NBA probably boasts the most prima donnas.

The latest NBA blabbermouth to show seemingly ingratitude and disrespect to the league and his current team is the Golden State Warriors’ swingman Stephen Jackson (above photo).

Yes, this is the same Stephen Jackson who participated in the Malice at The Palace and was suspended 30 games in ’04.

Yes, this is the same Stephen Jackson who has played for five NBA teams during only nine seasons in the league.

Yes, this is the same Stephen Jackson who’ll sink 7-for-8 from 3-point range one game and then clink 1-for-10 the next.

Jackson’s a good NBA player. Not a great one.

For his career, the versatile guard/forward averages 15.8 points and close to 4 boards a game. He’s never been an All-Star. However, he was a vital component in the San Antonio Spurs’ run during their 2002-2003 championship season.

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.

Now he’s fed up.

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.