Who’d Have Thought That ?
By tophatal ……….
So the Jeremy Lin story continues unabated and last night proved a point that this story might just have quite a way to go before it all “peters” out . With the score tied at 87-87 (points) apiece apiece and the game winding down the Knicks’ point guard let go with a three-point attempt over the flailing hands of Toronto Raptors’ guard Jose` Calderon which resulted in a game breaking victory for the Knicks and bring their consecutive win streak to now six games . What might be even more unbelievable was that before Lin was installed unto the roster the team’s three biggest stars Carmelo Anthony , Amare` Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler who collectively this season will be paid in excess of $49.6 million while the Lin will earn a mere $766,500 for the 2011-12 season .
Slide show for your perusal .
Give Jeremy Lin’s exploits through these series of games and the fact that the Knicks are now on their longest winning streak of the year , it begs the question why wasn’t he inserted into the starting lineup when the team’s two point guards , unproductive Baron Davis and Mike Bibby were either said to be ailing or simply not living up to expectations ? Instead , the New York Knicks’ head coach Mike D’Antoni experimented with having Carmelo Anthony play the position rather unsuccessfully and most definitely not instilling any confidence by way of his teammates . From my own standpoint, I have always felt that D’Antoni at best was no more than a marginally adequate NBA coach at best ! And given the predilection of his teams over the years merely to play offense it should come as no surprise as to the early struggles of the team this season .
The fact that the Knicks eked out a 3 point margin of victory over a woefully inept Raptors’ team coached by Dwayne Casey led by Jose Calderon and Andre Bargnani are a mere indication why this franchise are something of a lukewarm draw for the fans in attendance at the Rogers’ Center in Toronto , Ontario. The Raptors as an organization have never won a divisional title and have never gone deep into the NBA postseason .
No doubt while there is a loyal following for the Raptors consider this , this was the first sellout for the team since their opening day game of the 2011-12 season . Kind of makes you wonder if there’s still an appeal for the NBA north of the border ? With the relocation of the Vancouver Grizzlies to Memphis , Tennessee to be renamed the Memphis Grizzlies it has to said the NBA hierarchy led by David Stern now has to be seriously thinking about whether or not this franchise is still a viable concern for the league. The organization currently under of the umbrella organization Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Inc under its President …. Larry Tannenbaum have steadfastly refused to discuss the relocation of this franchise and perhaps with good reason but at the same time with this team simply struggling to gain traction within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference .
Raptors’ GM Bryan Colangelo will have a hard time trying to lure even the most established of stars North of the border to play for the organization and that is spite of the environment within the locale. And given the lack of success by the franchise I simply don’t believe that there will be an uptick wherein their fortunes will change overnight !
Now don’t get me wrong but I’m not about to count out the Los Angeles Lakers as of yet but given the inconsistency of the team this season and the very fact that Mike Brown now looks to be out of his depth . Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak and Stephen Buss , son of the team’s owner Dr Jerry Buss may well have felt that Brown was the trendy choice ahead of then Lakers’ assistant coach Brian Shaw , a protege` of Phil Jackson . Mike Brown having succeeded the franchise’s 11 time NBA champion was a hard titanic act to follow .
Perhaps it is a bias thought to my premise but I certainly felt that Brian Shaw was more deserving as a successor to Phil Jackson but perhaps for the sake of change on the part of the Lakers’ hierarchy Mike Brown was seen as their choice . With a core built …… around ……. Kobe Bryant , Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum this team has struggled throughout much of their season not only within the Western Conference but also the Pacific Division .
Having taken care of the Atlanta Hawks in a hard-fought victory the Lakers still find themselves two games behind the division leading Los Angeles Clippers (17-9) as of the 14th February 2012 . The troubling situation for Brown has been the productivity of the team’s point guards this season as both Derek Fisher and Steve Blake have proven to be ineffective , leading to Mike Brown bringing in Gilbert Arenas for a tryout to see what the seasoned veteran can provide by way of productivity for the franchise. Given the player’s last stop on his somewhat varied career I seriously doubt that the meager returns that were obtained by the Orlando Magic for the salary received by Arenas has me wondering whether or not this is simply an act of desperation on the part of Mike Brown and Mitch Kupchak !
The play of the point guards within the NBA and specifically the Western Conference have been productive by enlarge . But clearly the Lakers have issues with the lack of productivity at the position . With the All Star Game merely a week away from this Sunday to be staged at the Amway Center in Orlando , Florida , home to the Magic. It could very well be that Mitch Kupchak will approach a number of his peers to gauge their interest in formulating a trade for an unrestricted free agent point guard . What the Lakers would be prepared to give up even as part of a salary dump or perhaps a player simply superfluous to their needs remains to be seen. They were many who felt that David Stern’s position in vetoing the trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers in a multi-player deal was somewhat intrusive by the commissioner . But what many failed to realize was such a trade would still be a detriment to the New Orleans Hornet as a franchise . And although , Stern granted his approval for Paul to join the Los Angeles Clippers it still has left that franchise (Hornets) in a rather precarious situation. With there being little support for Hornet by way of attendance and the continued struggles of the team from a competitive standpoint I have yet to hear a clear and succinct answer from anyone concerning how any trade would be to the betterment of this franchise ! Dell Demps the general manager hasn’t been able to provide an answer and it is clear that the commissioner for all of the pretense in his demeanor he also is without a clear answer .
The New Orleans Hornets still remains in league hands with the franchise’s ownership situation still unresolved since the sale of the Hornets by George Shinn after minority stakeholder Gary Chouest was unable to come up with a successful buyout of the organization . David Stern has only recently made it public that the league hierarchy is slowly whittling down the prospective suitors for the team . One of Stern’s biggest wish is for the franchise to remain in New Orleans but given the lack of support for this team and the low attendance levels for their home games I think it remote a chance that the Hornets will remain within the confines of New Orleans for the long-term ! This was the same stance taken originally by the commissioner before the back door and surreptitious dealings engineered by Stern and Clay Bennett that led to the relocation of the Seattle Supersonics from the city of Seattle to Oklahoma City to be renamed the Oklahoma City Thunder . Does anyone truly believe that the Hornets will remain within the Crescent City for the foreseeable future ?
If the Lakers are unable to find point guard via a trade then it is my belief that the team will simply look to use a player by committee approach to best fit the role , with there being some added responsibility being placed upon the already burdened shoulders of Kobe Bryant , as he seeks a sixth NBA title during his illustrious career . The player for his part hasn’t been overly vocal as to the woes of his team but it is now becoming abundantly clear that the multiple All Star clearly isn’t happy with the situation now befalling this franchise.
It would be presumptuous to consider to write off the Los Angeles Lakers as of now but with there being little more a little more than two months left in the regular season there is still a great deal to play for between now and the end of their NBA schedule . All that is needed is for the team to hit a rich vein of form , thereby retaining that momentum and that should prove to be enough to at least garner them a playoff berth , if not the division itself .
I’m not so sure as to what’s happening with the New Jersey Nets but with the fallout that’s now taking place within that particular organization . It is becoming abundantly clear that Deron Williams is not about to resign with that franchise . And granted , team owner Mikhail Prokhorov is now back in his native Russia seeking his country’s presidency but even he now has to be concerned with the plight of this team . A perceived trade that would have brought NBA center ……. Dwight Howard fell apart when the franchise’s own main piece of that puzzle in Brook Lopez went down injured . Since then , it has been mere conjecture and speculation as to what move will be made next by GM Billy King and the front office .
Avery Johnson, as coach of the New Jersey Nets is certainly in a battle merely to get this team to play with any type of resolve . Beyond Deron Williams and Marshon Brooks , Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar there has been little to suggest that this band of players can contest their division (Atlantic Division) much less the Eastern Conference by enlarge . The troubling situation for the Nets , specifically Prokhorov and the multi million investment made by the owner not merely in the organization but also the Brooklyn Barclays Center Atlantic Yards Development ……. ____ the future home for the franchise , with the draw being a vibrant commercial and resident real estate venue ……….. the thought ____ the envisioned “jewel in the crown” is meant to be this NBA franchise that now is struggling in terms of overall attendance . This has me wondering , if the team is uncompetitive then how will the front office seek to lure fans to their proposed new state of the art venue ? Granted, with the retail outlets , said to be at the centerpiece of the development , it is hard to see how the New Jersey Nets can still be seen as a selling point to a passing observer as a form entertainment when they continue to struggle to draw fans .
Now while the NBA season itself of late , has been about the heroics of Jeremy Lin and the win streak of the New York Knicks , the plot-lines and side stories in the background will no doubt soon come to the fore . It will be interesting to see what transpires and specifically how David Stern deals with many of the underlying issues . His lack of candor concerning the fate of the Sacramento Kings and their situation only gives further credence that should the situation not be to his satisfaction, he along with the franchise’s ownership will seek to uproot that team and relocate them elsewhere. The city’s mayor, Kevin Johnson , if anything should be clear of one thing , and it is that whatever assistance provided by the league hierarchy will be nowhere near enough sort by himself and his council members . Don’t believe me ? Then simply peruse the incidents that arose before the Sonics made their move out of Seattle , leaving the city somewhat dumbfounded and looking like complete idiots !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply chime on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent with regard to the subject matter .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin (17) celebrates with teammates Tyson Chandler and Landry Fields (2) after his game-winning 3-pointer against the Toronto Raptors in an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn ….
(2) Toronto Raptors coach Dwayne Casey shows off his NBA championship ring after being presented with it prior to an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in Toronto on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn …..
(4) LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 14: Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Vladimir Radmanovic (77) of the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on February 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 86-78 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ….
(5) Head coach Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers shouts instructions in the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center on February 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 86-78 . Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ….
(6) Josh Smith (5) of the Atlanta Hawks shoots over Pau Gasol (16) of the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on February 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images …..
(7) Memphis Grizzlies’ Marreese Speights , right, runs into New Jersey Nets’ Johan Petro , of France, during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Newark, N.J. The Grizzlies defeated the Nets 105-100 . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …. …..
(8) Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, left, loses the ball as he runs into New Jersey Nets center Shelden Williams during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, in Newark, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ……..
(9) New Jersey Nets head coach Avery Johnson talks with Deron Williams (8) in a timeout against the San Antonio Spurs during an NBA basketball game in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. The Spurs won 103-89 . AP Photo/Rich Schultz ……
(10) Nets’ coach Avery Johnson , left, is seen here alongside team owner Mikhail Prokhorov, center, and GM Billy King during a brief interlude at the team’s training session . Prokhorov seeks the Presidency in his native Russia as an independent candidate hoping to beat Vladimir Putin and succeed incumbent Alexander Medvedev . AP/Getty Images/ Sharon Messer ………
(11) An artist’s rendition of the Barclays Center Atlantic Yards Development that will be the future home of the New Jersey/New York Nets . The venue will house what will be the NBA’s newest facility as well as multiple upscale retail and commercial residences , as well as two luxury hotels , a theater multiplex and a number of commercial businesses . Prokhorov is a major stakeholder in this enterprise having bought that stake from Bruce Ratner the real estate mogul and a minority stake owner in the NBA franchise . @ Manning Inc . All rights reserved . …..
😉 ………. 🙂
NBA attendance figures : Attendance averages 2011-12
Common ……… feat’g ………… Kanye West ……. “The Food “
Elisha Jade . A fine piece of a## if I may say so myself !
A lil’ bit more of Elisha Jade for your edification . I do hope you like this small pictorial ?