It’s Not The Economy Stupid But It’s Not What’s Said To Be Causing The Mess With The NBA !
I’ve never been overly enamored with the NBA All Star and NFL Pro Bowl …. games . In light of this weekend’s events and the absolute nonsense of what’s said to be taking place proves absolutely nothing at all will have been achieved . David Stern and the league hierarchy seem to be of the perception that this mid-season showcase simply brings the fans closer to the game and their heroes . When one bears in mind the idiocy of what took place in the off-season and I now understand the real reason why the league and in particular the union seeks to have the fans seem all the more intertwined with the game. The league mandated lockout did more harm than good in terms of the fans’ affinity for the NBA .
Slide show for your perusal .
With the alleged accord between both parties and wherein the teams’ owners now appear to be all the more happier, I can’t help but wonder what this now means for teams such as the New Orleans Hornets , Charlotte Bobcats and Sacramento Kings ! The trio of NBA franchises have been amongst the most poorly supported within league and are not that competitive within their respective conferences and divisions .
The Miami Heat seen as the prohibitive favorites within the Eastern Conference and they currently sit atop Southeast Division . And with LeBron James , Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh ….. playing at a heightened level there’s a belief that the triumvirate and team would like to make up for the loss in last season’s NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks . Perhaps that series’ defeat may well have been one of the biggest upsets in Finals’ history .
The Heat’s head coach Erik Spoelstra and his coaching assistants are under a great deal of scrutiny as too is the organization’s president Pat Riley who through his protegé orchestrated and assembled the team in its present guise along with acquisition of Bosh and James back in 2010 built what they felt was a roster capable of winning multiple titles . No offense to LBJ but we’re still waiting for that first of the presumptive six or seven titles that he felt that they were capable of winning !
With the Heat now a profitable and going concern after four consecutive seasons of multi-million dollar losses that cumulatively exceeded $145 million collectively , there was a reason why Pat Riley knew that something had to be done lure the fans back to AA Arena in Miami , Florida . Team owner Micky Arison , the multi-billionaire CEO of Carnival Cruise Lines has been known to spend lavishly but when it came to the Miami Heat , he knew that something had to be done not just from a competitive standpoint but also from a personnel and financial standpoint . Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to live up to the lofty expectations of the Heat fans and in particular the NBA analysts now jumping aboard the Miami Heat bandwagon .
Now while the Miami Heat are said to be riding high for the Orlando Magic it has been anything but that . Inconsistency and the lack of cohesiveness from the players has simply set tongues wagging as to whether or not the organization is now ready to give up on the season and perhaps trade their All Star center Dwight Howard before at the trade deadline on the 15th March , 2012. Such has been the speculation with head coach Stan Van Gundy and GM Otis Smith not publicly commenting on the matter but clearly something may well happen between now and the deadline concerning Howard’s future.
Now should Dwight Howard become a free agent he is likely to be most prized of those coming to the market . And amongst the teams that no doubt will be interested will be the Los Angeles Lakers , New Jersey Nets , Chicago Bulls and quite possibly the Dallas Mavericks . That being said Orlando Magic CEO Alec Martins may well feel that it would not be in the organization’s best interest to let the play go elsewhere , with history possibly repeating itself . Shaquille O’Neal , a one time player with the Magic having been drafted number one overall in 1992 NBA Draft by the franchise , by then general manager John Gabriel . During O’Neal’s playing …… career with the organization there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind the he was their most respected player and best offensive weapon during his tenure with the NBA franchise .
It’s extremely hard to imagine how the center can remain with the franchise when one bears in mind that successive general managers in John Weisbrod and Otis Smith have at best made some disastrous trades and draft picks that simply haven’t panned out for the organization. So much so , that it must not only team’s fans wondering what the hell is going within this basketball franchise but ultimately is said to be making the decisions . And when one considers some of the disastrous contracts taken on-board most recently by the Magic in terms of Gilbert Arenas and Quentin Richardson , one would have to question the motives and the productivity shown by the players in during that period . At the same time you would most certainly have to look at the on the job performance of Otis Smith because clearly he is now in way over his head ! During his tenure by way of success one could best describe the Magic’s record as amenable but in no way could you make the assertion that it has been stellar !
As a fan of the NBA from afar with no real affinity for either the Miami Heat or Orlando Magic I do believe that both franchises have served the state of Florida well . But herein lies the caveat of the idiocy that seems to have arisen and that is in many fans’ eyes the Miami Heat as in some way preordained and have in some way a god given right to be seen as champions . Take into account that this team in its present guise has yet to have won anything , and if anything last year’s team … failed miserably when …. all was on the line and a great deal was at stake . Need I say anymore on the matter ?
If Dwight Howard were to leave the Orlando Magic for no matter what the alleged trade might be , it would have irreparable repercussions and ramifications for the franchise beyond what most could very well imagine . The player is and has always been the biggest draw for this organization ever since he was drafted by the Magic as the number one overall pick in 2004 . And during that time the player has become one of the most reliable and productive players and centers in the NBA . Is it possible that Howard will remain with his current team ? Well that’s dependent upon who you may well choose to believe at this juncture . The loyal Orlando Magic fans want the player to remain with the organization but it has become abundantly clear that this team in its present guise clearly isn’t good enough to challenge the likes of the Chicago Bulls or the Miami Heat . within the Eastern Conference much less the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder , Dallas Mavericks , San Antonio Spurs , Los Angeles Clippers , Los Angeles Lakers and the Memphis Grizzlies for that matter !
It wasn’t that along ago where might not have questioned such a trade but given what has transpired with regard to the trade of Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers . It has left Paul’s former team a shell of its self and nowhere near competitive as an NBA franchise . At the same this league owned organization sits adrift within its division with and no end in sight as to its mediocrity . What might be even more asinine has been the insinuation by David Stern is that the franchise is a viable concern with a great fan-base . Is he fu@#king kidding or what ? The team barely or rarely attracts anyone at its venue for their scheduled home games and the players at present are about as competitive as an NBA D League franchise taking on one of their illustrious counterparts . The commissioner only recently has attested to the fact that the Hornets’ franchise now in transition will be sold . But in reality what prospective owner would be at this point be willing to purchase one of the league’s worst teams and least supported franchise and one which is nowhere near as competitive as the commissioner is trying to insist . Never mind the fact that any prospective owner may well seek to relocate the New Orleans Hornets altogether . It’s not as if that has been a guarantee that David Stern is now said to have sought from any of the so-called potential bidders that he and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver are said to have met privately to discuss the potential sale of the NBA franchise.
Throughout the league lockout , Stern , the league hierarchy and franchise owners have pled poverty but at no time have they chosen to make their financial statements open for public scrutiny . Even when in arbitration ,the documents seen by the arbitrator were nothing more than pro-forma statements as to the league’s finances but in large part they gave no real indication as to the length and depth of financial morass that the NBA claims it had on its hands. With projected losses this season for the league, that is said to be in the range of $400 million to $475 million it is hard to see how any potential suitor for the New Orleans Hornets would be interested in buying that franchise , at what is sure to be an inflated price sought by the NBA.
Once the NBA’ s mid-season showcase has ended , it will be interesting to see what transpires between now and the trade deadline transpires as there are bound to be several trades that will take place . Most certainly there are a number of teams looking to position themselves in a position to seek a playoff berth . As to the impending future of Dwight Howard a great deal obviously will be dependent upon the player’s own wishes more than anything else . But it is my belief that unless the front office of the Orlando Magic can prove to their All Star center that it is their intent to win an NBA title by way of improving their roster then there is no way in hell that the player will choose to remain with the only franchise that he has known and played for during the course of his professional career.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the NBA All Star Game what were your impressions overall ? Also which teams to your mind has been of the biggest surprise at the halfway point of the season and what do you hope to see over the remainder of the NBA schedule ? Do you believe that at the trade deadline Dwight Howard will remain a player with the Orlando Magic ? Plus as a potential suitor for the New Orleans Hornets would you be keen to be an owner of that particular NBA franchise ? Simply chime in with your thoughts as to the points raised within this piece .
Picture and slide show details
(1) ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 26: Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic and the Eastern Conference dunks against Blake Griffin (32) of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Western Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Pool/Getty Images ….
(2) (2) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference drives for a shot attempt during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The Western would go on to defeat East 152-149 in the NBA’s mid-season showcase event. Photo by Jeff Haynes-Pool/Getty Images ……
(3) LeBron James (6) of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference attempts a dunk during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……
(4) Blake Griffin (32) of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Western Conference attempts a shot against Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……
(5) Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Western Conference drives against Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat and the Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …. …..
(6) Eastern Conference’s Dwight Howard (12), of the Orlando Magic, and Dwyane Wade (3), of the Miami Heat, talk at mid-court during the second half of the NBA All-Star basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in Orlando, Fla. The Western Conference won 152-149 . AP Photo/Chris O’Meara …..
(7) Kevin Durant (35) of the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Western Conference holds up the MVP trophy after the West won 152-149 against Eastern Conference during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images …..
NBA 2012 All Star Game result Western Conference defeats the Eastern Conference ….. 152-149