Category Archives: NBA
NBA.com’s David Aldridge on the Kings staying in Sacramento after the NBA Board of Governors meeting denies Seattle:
Sacramento pulled it off.
Capping an unprecedented rally to keep its team, the city convinced the NBA’s Board of Governors to reject the potential move of the Kings to Seattle for next season. In a 22-8 vote, the full Board voted against ratifying the $625 million sale of the team to a Seattle-based group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, meaning the Kings will remain in California’s capital city for the foreseeable future.
NBA Commissioner David Stern said he hoped to convince the Kings’ current owners, the Maloof family, to enter into a sales agreement within the next 48 hours with a group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive that would keep the team in Sacramento, and that has committed to building a $447 million arena in the city’s downtown area.
CBS Sports NBA writer Ken Berger on the aftermath of the Kobe Bryant Achilles injury and its implications during his recovery:
Kobe Bryant emerged from the Lakers’ locker room at 10:55 p.m. Pacific Time with his family. He climbed into the back seat of a golf cart, his left foot in a walking boot, dangling off the side.
Someone said, “You’ll get through this, man,” and Bryant replied, “Yessir.” And he was off, driven to the loading dock at Staples Center after tearing his left Achilles’ tendon — in the 3,013th minute of the 78th game of his 17th season of this remarkable career.
“I made a move that I’ve made a million times,” Bryant had said at his locker earlier Friday night, “and it just popped.”
And so much popped with it. The pursuit of a playoff berth that Bryant had so heroically –and now, tragically — fueled was rendered pointless in the wake of this vapid, 118-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors. These 48-minute nights, this stubborn battle to push past limits of pain and exhaustion that should’ve long ago conquered him –- over.
Wright Thompson with an inside private look at the life of Bobcats owner Michael Jordan at the age of 50:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Five weeks before his 50th birthday, Michael Jordan sits behind his desk, overlooking a parking garage in downtown Charlotte. The cell phone in front of him buzzes with potential trades and league proposals about placing ads on jerseys. A rival wants his best players and wants to give him nothing in return. Jordan bristles. He holds a Cuban cigar in his hand. Smoking is allowed.
“Well, s—, being as I own the building,” he says, laughing.
Back in the office after his vacation on a 154-foot rented yacht named Mister Terrible, he feels that relaxation slipping away. He feels pulled inward, toward his own most valuable and destructive traits. Slights roll through his mind, eating at him: worst record ever, can’t build a team, absentee landlord. Jordan reads the things written about him, the fuel arriving in a packet of clips his staff prepares. He knows what people say. He needs to know, a needle for a hungry vein. There’s a palpable simmering whenever you’re around Jordan, as if Air Jordan is still in there, churning, trying to escape. It must be strange to be locked in combat with the ghost of your former self.
Smoke curls off the cigar. He wears slacks and a plain white dress shirt, monogrammed on the sleeve in white, understated. An ID badge hangs from one of those zip line cords on his belt, with his name on the bottom: Michael Jordan, just in case anyone didn’t recognize the owner of a struggling franchise who in another life was the touchstone for a generation. There’s a shudder in every child of the ’80s and ’90s who does the math and realizes that Michael Jordan is turning 50. Read the rest of this entry
ESPN Insider’s Kevin Pelton on the road ahead for the sub par Brooklyn Nets post Avery Johnson:
Via ESPN Insider: Every NBA coach operates with a clock hanging over his head that counts down to his eventual departure — usually not by choice. Such is the nature of a league where only one coach (San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich) has been with the same team for more than a decade. Some clocks tick faster than others, however, and whoever replaces Avery Johnson at the helm of the Brooklyn Nets doesn’t figure to have much time to spare.
There were justifications for making a change after the Nets followed their impressive 11-4 start with a 3-10 record in December. Deron Williams’ criticism of his coach’s offense surely didn’t help Johnson’s cause, and Johnson was never able to get his team’s defense playing at even an average level after building a reputation as a defensive specialist as coach of the Dallas Mavericks. Ultimately, Johnson’s demise was about expectations. Brooklyn ownership didn’t add more than $330 million in future payroll this past summer in order to go .500.
SI’s Ian Thomsen on the mutual respect and bond between under rated Spurs PG Tony Parker and his coach Greg Popovich:
Some NBA coaches wouldn’t know how to say it. Some NBA stars wouldn’t know how to listen. Those people have nothing in common with Gregg Popovich and Tony Parker.
“Pop, he was like, ‘Are you going to shoot sometimes during the season?’ ” Parker recalled. “He was just messing with me. He was telling me he wanted me to be more aggressive.”
Parker had been shooting poorly as San Antonio headed out last week on a six-game trip through the East. Popovich knew what to say and how to say it: He has been coaching Parker for 12 seasons and knows how to criticize his point guard without doing harm to their relationship. Over the first four games of that road trip — all won by the Spurs — Parker was shooting 61.9 percent and averaging 26.5 points. The relationship with his coach continues to grow.
The Lakers pass on re-hiring coach Phil Jackson, Select Mike D’Antoni in hopes of resurrecting their promising season:
Via David Aldridge NBA.com:
Showtime, or a veritable facsimile thereof, won.
In a stunning development late Sunday night, the Los Angeles Lakers opted to sign former Knicks and Suns coach Mike D’Antoni to a four-year deal as their next coach, ending negotiations with 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson. He was believed to be the prohibitive favorite to replaceMike Brown, who was fired last Friday.
D’Antoni and former Lakers, Blazers, Bucks and Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy interviewed with the Lakers over the weekend. But they were fallbacks, interviews done just in case the Lakers, somehow, could not reach a deal with the 67-year-old Jackson, who’d won five titles in Los Angeles during two stints as head coach.
Unable to reach a new extension w/ James Harden, OKC Thunder trade Harden to Houston for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb & Picks:
Via John Hollinger of ESPN Insider:
I gotta admit, I hadn’t seen this endgame coming.
I thought if the Oklahoma City Thunder couldn’t agree to a below-market extension with James Harden, they’d do one of three things:
(1) They’d re-sign him for the max after the season and amnesty Kendrick Perkins, or (2) They’d re-sign him for the max after the season and trade Russell Westbrook, or (3) They’d sign-and-trade him after the season.
Why that? Because all those avenues had the benefit of giving the Thunder another year of contending for a title with their star trio of Harden, Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
Instead, they opted to pull the plug now. Oklahoma City traded Harden to Houston Saturday night, along with Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward, in return for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks. Read the rest of this entry
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade discusses his new sneaker deal with Li-Ning in a recent Q&A with Dime Magazine:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just hate sneakers in general, you probably knew before yesterday that Dwyane Wade was defying conventional wisdom, and signing with Li-Ning. In a conference call last night, Wade himself even admitted with a laugh, “This was the worst-kept secret in the world.” Still, that doesn’t change the significance. At all. One of the NBA’s best players, a cat coming off a NBA championship and yet another All-Star appearance, is signing with a Chinese sneaker company in the hopes of creating something new and unique and cornering the global market.
The new partnership allows the two sides to explore new avenues. They can push the boundaries. I got the chance to catch up with D-Wade to talk about the move, his future, his legacy and what it’s like being a trendsetter…
Dime: Why not? Why make the jump to Li-Ning now?
Dwyane Wade: I just felt for me this is an unbelievable opportunity. As I can say, I had a great time and I learned a lot in my nine years in the Nike umbrella. I’m able to do things that I want to do in a sense, that I’ve never had to do, that I’ve never had the chance to do before. Just going in a different direction and trying to create my own legacy, similar to what Michael Jordan has done of creating his own brand outside of Nike and I’m able to do that, designing my own WADE brand outside of Li-Ning.
Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams with an in-depth feature on the interesting career path of Knicks guard J.R. Smith:
Earl Smith Jr. found salvation in his jump shot. Smith could always shoot, and in basketball a shooter can live forever. In college, he clashed with his coach at New Jersey’s Monmouth University, unable to understand why the second team remained the second team, even when they were routinely drubbing the starters in practice. When he’d finally had enough, he confronted his coach, said everything he wanted to say, and stormed off. That was the end of Earl’s college career. But his shot never left him. He frequented Belmar’s Jersey Shore League for the next decade, making cameos in other semipro leagues, popping up whenever a team needed someone who could stretch a defense.
In 1985, Earl passed on his genes, his basketball acumen, and his name to his first son: Earl Joseph Smith III. He placed toy hoops in every nook of the house. He taught the boy to bend with his knees and push with his arms as he shot. By the time the boy turned 3, he could sink free throws on a regular basis. Read the rest of this entry
SI’s Phil Taylor revisits Reggie Miller’s historic NBA career as the Indiana Pacers legend enters the Basketball Hall of Fame:
For old times’ sake, here’s how it should go when Reggie Miller is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night. As he walks up to the podium, he should flash a choke sign at Patrick Ewing, “accidentally” bump Michael Jordan and intentionally catch his leg on Joe Dumars’ chair to make it look like he was tripped. A video of highlights of his 18-year career should be playing, with a soundtrack of Pacers fans chanting “REG-GIE, REG-GIE,” intermingled with the boos and catcalls from fans of all the teams he bedeviled through the years.
Everyone around him should be a little annoyed, a little amused and generally stirred up, because that’s the atmosphere in which Miller thrived throughout his career, the one he created and used to drive him toward the Hall. He was a deadeye shooter and a cold-blooded clutch player, but as much as anything, Miller was a magnificent irritant who seemed to draw energy from his opponents’ frustration. His most memorable talent may have been his ability to worm his way under the skin of everyone except the Indiana fans who made a skinny Southern California kid one of the heartland’s favorite sons.