Don’t start to cash that check , when you have no money in the bank or the words to back it up
Sputtering along and granted, it’s still early days yet , but the teams will be soon set in their mode , and the NBA season will truly have kicked into gear once we enter the Christmas week with a slew of game encapsulating that period from the 22nd of December though to the 29th of December , 2012. The reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat , somehow inexplicably lost to the lowly and some might say the inept Washington Wizards (2-13). In garnering their second victory of the season, in defeating the Heat 105-101 at the Verizon Center , in Washington , DC this past Tuesday , 4th December . It should not be viewed as a complete shock given the somewhat complacent manner of this Heat team as of late .
Wizards’ coach Randy Wittman and his coaching staff will have their work cut out for them over the course of this season. Given the infrequency of their wins and their poor showing in the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference , one has to wonder whether or not the fans will have to endure a year of complete ineptitude from the players on the roster . With a truncated season for the 2011-12 season , the fans had were imbued in having to witness the Charlotte Bobcats finish the season with a 7-59 in what was at the time , a reduced schedule from the customary eighty-two games , to sixty-six games. The common feeling around the league amongst the NBA pundits and fans alike , is that the Washington Wizards will be a seriously challenger to the Bobcats’ season of ineptitude .
The big story, in the infancy of this NBA season , has been the rise of the New York Knicks(13-4) and their flying start right out of the gate , which has seen this Mike Woodson coached team seated atop of the Atlantic Division , with the franchise also holding the best record in the Eastern Conference , by a mere 0.15 percentage points over the Miami Heat (12-4) . There now seems to be “a major buzz” about the New York Knicks this season , as Madison Square Gardens is packed to the rafters, with eager Knicks’ fans looking to see how this Carmelo Anthony , led team will seek to acquit themselves against an opponent . So far , so good , with Anthony being ably assisted by seasoned veterans Marcus Camby , Rasheed Wallace , Jason Kidd , and Kurt Thomas . At some point in the Knicks’ season , these very same veterans will begin to ache , as their aging bones will being to feel the toll of an arduous eighty-two game schedule . It would be remiss to suggest that will be the only issue to trouble the Knicks over the course of the season . Compounding this all , may well be how the team seeks to use Amare` Stoudemire , as the player has been plagued by injuries in the infancy of the Knicks’ sojourn. Coming off the bench , would provide the Knicks with a good backup to what is many ways is beginning to look somewhat of a capable bench , but the team would need to have a vested interest in seeing Stoudemire adopt this new-found role, without protest . Something, that I am not so sure that the player might willingly accept without some future guarantee from Woodson and GM Glen Grunwald that they are amenable to see him return to a starting role for the franchise .
The Knicks face a stern test when they are scheduled to meet the Miami Heat in a Eastern Conference matchup this Thursday, at the Heat’s Miami venue , the AA Arena , in Miami , Florida. Some might see this as something of a precursor to a possible Conference Finals’ series . Both teams come with highly potent offenses , but the Heat , has that added advantage of being a more coherent defensive unit overall . And with the Miami Heat still “ smarting” after their embarrassing loss , suffered at the hands of the Washington Wizards. As Carmelo Anthony goes , then so does this Knicks’ team , and it will be incumbent Anthony’s leadership qualities to take the Knicks to their desired destination , and that is a NBA title and raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
While the New York Knicks have been on the move , their new neighborhood crosstown rivals the Brooklyn Nets (11-6) have made themselves heard around the league . Head coach, Avery Johnson knows that with having two prominent All Stars in his roster lineup , great things will be expected from Deron Williams , Joe Johnson and the team at large . Newly housed in their home venue the Barclaycard Center in Brooklyn . There’s a feeling that the NBA needs a budding rivalry in the nation’s largest ad market that would rival, that of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers during their heyday. However, a rivalry of that magnitude would mean these two teams being credible and perennial contenders for the NBA title . In reality , would anyone now be prepared to state that the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks are bonafide candidates for an NBA championship ? ? The Nets are coming off a hard fought 117-111 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder . It will be games such as this that the Nets will have come big in , in order to be viewed as viable contenders.
At 14-4 , the San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the Western Conference but statistically in terms of percentage points the Memphis Grizzlies (13-3) are viewed as the team with the better record. With both of these teams in the Southwest Division , a budding rivalry now seems to be in the making , and there seems to be no love lost , between the two sets of fans , in showing their allegiance to their respective teams. Gregg Popovich , of the Spurs and his opposite number , Lionel Hollins of the Grizzlies , are keenly aware of the expectations from both of their teams. And while Popovich has that legacy of success with the franchise , Hollins is seeking to establish a foundation upon which his team can build for the future. . And the Grizzlies have proven to be formidable this season , having established a rhythm , and along the way defeating the Miami Heat , Los Angeles Lakers , Denver Nuggets , Houston Rockets , Oklahoma City Thunder and the New York Knicks . The Eastern Conference may well have the balance of power but within the Western Conference , it is here where the fans get to see a high-caliber of basketball being played and that is without deference to the West’s rivals in the East.
In light of David Stern’s idiocy, in rendering a fine of $250,000 on the San Antonio Spurs after Gregg Popovich’s decision, in not suiting up four of his regular season starters for a game against the Miami Heat , the decision speaks volumes of the commissioner’s autocratic rule ! Now in light of that fact , I find it somewhat asinine that the NBA Commissioner can be so intransigent and at times, act as petulant as a child , merely because he’s not the center of attention, with regard to matters concerning the NBA not involving the players. Stern has in essence, become a “ publicity seeking whore” of the highest order ! In doing so glosses over many of the acute and dire issues that still currently affects the NBA , its brand and financial viability. Furthermore , he has never sought to have the fans’ best interests at heart , more often than not , siding with the league hierarchy and owners on issues that directly and indirectly , affects the fans . And it now appears , that the commissioner will do whatever it takes, to coerce the city of Sacramento to make a grave decision that will affect that municipality long-term , as it seeks to resolve a long-standing issue as to how best to retain that city’s NBA franchise , the Sacramento Kings .
Courtesy of USA Today
By Tim McGarry USA Today
NBA Commissioner David Stern recently floated a proposal to restrict NBA players over the age of 23 from participating in the Olympics. Kobe is not a fan of the idea.
“It’s a stupid idea,” Bryant told local news reporters at the reception to welcome them to Manchester in advance of Thursday night’s exhibition game against Team Great Britain. “It should be a (player’s) choice.”
Asked how much he and his Team USA teammates have talked about Stern’s proposal since getting together in Las Vegas on July 5, Bryant said: “Our discussion is this: Basically, it’s just a dumb idea and we (discuss) it that way.”
Stern’s proposal, similar to the system currently in place for Olympic men’s soccer, would establish an age cap and allow teams three over-age players.
Meanwhile, the FIBA World Championship would be open to all other NBA players. Unlike the Olympics, NBA owners would receive a share of the revenue when their players participate in the FIBA World Championship. Kobe’s response:
When asked if he understands the concerns of NBA owners, Bryant scoffed, saying such reservations are motivated by owners merely wanting “to protect their investments.”
If the proposal passes, 2012 could be the last time the NBA’s top talent comes together to represent the USA in the Olympics.
The ball’s in your court, Mr. Stern.
The front office of the Sacramento Kings have long-sought a replacement for the archaic and run-down Power Balance Arena( Pavilion) in downtown Sacramento. But at no time have owners , Joe and Gavin Maloof , expressed any wish to either facilitate their assistance in aiding financially, the city in such a project. Instead , the Maloofs have tried to suggest that the city’s council have proven to be intransigent , and likewise the municipality’s mayor, former NBA star , Kevin Johnson , has expressed his doubts, that the Maloofs have dealt with his executives and its residents honestly , concerning the franchise’s desires to remain within the city of Sacramento . The Kings are indeed a large part of the Maloofs’ business interests , but the franchise in recent years, because of its lack of competitiveness and profitability has become something of a financial drain on the family , not that other parts of the Joe and Gavin’s business concerns have fared that well, in what has been a dour economic climate all-round . Yet , there has been the belief, that the NBA franchise has been mismanaged and more often than not, completely neglected by the owners as well as by the senior executives entrusted with the day-to-day care in running the operations of the Sacramento Kings . And I think that we can all agree that this episode will not end nicely for the city of Sacramento if they seek undertake the use of public and private funds to assist a group of multimillionaires to aid them in building a venue for their uncompetitive and unprofitable sport’s franchise . Things like this never end nicely , especially in wake of the city of Sacramento’s ongoing financial budgetary crisis but yet they ever uninformed and anally retentive fans of the Kings believe it to be a good thing to undertake such an endeavor . I’ll say this once , and once only , ” you idiots deserve what you get at the end of the day , because you are pretty much , devoid of any real intelligence ” !
David Stern talks out of both sides of his mouth, and he is and has disingenuous to a fault , that , he now makes some of the most corrupt and deceitful politicians to be found up on Capitol Hill, seem like young acolytes or choirboys . Hold it for one moment , why is that priest raising his cassock and asking that young boy to kneel ? Stern ”talks a good talk” , but rarely does he ” walk the walk”, and realize what is happening in the real world . Here is an individual who is the league hierarchy’s chief executive earning in excess of $20 million a year , which is on par with some of the highest paid players in the game , but yet, he had the audacity to seek concessions from the union ( NBPA ) , without seeking from the team owners and their front office executives any initiative , where they would also seek to pare down their capricious spending when it came to team payroll and other ostentatious spending . When I last looked placing ornate gold leaf hand rails in an executive sky-box suite did not make an NBA franchise a great deal more competitive ! But who am I to question how the NBA conducts its business ? I know I am a paying fan who’s now being placed over a barrel while Stern places a projectile in my rectum for good measure in terms of product that’s now being placed on the NBA basketball courts around the league . And can someone explain to me , why it is the NBA has a “soft salary cap “ ( this season $58.044 million) when so many of the teams in the league refuse to adhere to it , as best they can ? But yet, you now have Dallas Mavericks’ , owner , Mark Cuban , now complaining as to the fact that his franchise has been forced to pay in excess of $73 million over the past three years , because of this league mandated rule . . Hey , Mark, you paid for your championship , now how about you , inspiring the front office to go about the business of rebuilding that franchise and turning it into a championship caliber team , and stop with your f##king bitching and whining !
It seems even with the hiring of Mike D’Antoni , to succeed the recently fired Mike Brown , things are still not yet back on an even keel for the Los Angeles . An ailing Steve Nash , fit or not , I don’t believe will be any of any great benefit to a team that has been errant and lackluster , disinterested in playing the games , albeit that they are being handsomely rewarded . To my mind , D’Antoni’s free-flowing style of coaching and what he demands of his players , is not the game I feel that the Lakers are uniquely attuned to ! A fit Nash, or not , the point guard is not the player he was four years ago , six years ago , let alone his recent form with the Dallas Mavericks .
Currently playing sub .500 basketball (9-10 [.474]) , to suggest that the team is struggling Los Angeles Lakers , as they try to adapt to D’Antoni’s style of play , is to witness a sense of insecurity from these players . Kobe Bryant, may well have joined a select group of players to have scored 30,000 points over the course of their careers , but at the end of the day the fans are not going to be in the least bit concerned about Bryant’s latest achievement , if the Lakers fail to make the postseason. The achievements of Kobe Bryant have already cemented his legacy, as a Future Hall of Fame inductee . Yet , that is for the future , it is the immediacy of here and now , that concerns the Lakers’ fans the most . A recent 103-87 victory over the New Orleans Hornets , for the moment , gives the Lakers a boost of confidence , but up next , they face the Oklahoma City Thunder in a Friday night game to be played at the Chesapeake Energy Center, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma . It’s pretty safe to suggest that Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook , Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka will be looking to inflict even more pain upon the beleaguered Lakers . Your thoughts , on this all ?
Accentuate the positives , but also eliminate the negatives . Well I guess, that’s how you could adjudge the Orlando Magic’s off-season , in light of the upheaval that took place within the organization . Gone are , former head coach , Stan Van Gundy , GM , Otis Smith , and the team’s former celebrated center , Dwight Howard , who now finds himself in “Tinseltown” playing alongside , Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers . Replacing Van Gundy , is first-time head coach, Jacque Vaughn , with Rob Hennigan , being promoted from within organization to succeed Otis Smith . Overseeing this all was the Magic’s CEO Alec Martins , who, himself was asked to take over the CEO role, by owner , Rich De Vos , after De Vos’ son-in-law , Rob Vanderweide , stepped down to seek outside business opportunities. I guess that was De Vos’ cordial way , of telling Rob , ” go fuck yourself and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out , after you , Smith and Van Gundy created all of this goddamn drama “.
The departure of Howard was not surprising , only the fact that it took so damn long , given the player’s animated and often petulant behavior . Good riddance to a self-absorbed asshole such as Dwight Howard ! Great player , when he sees the need to be , but he has never been that much of a leader , or a great motivator to begin with . And one, but can only hope that with the retirement of Kobe Bryant , Howard can at least show that he is prepared to assume the role of a leader, on what may well be viewed as a championship caliber team . But given the Lakers’ recent penchant for drama , I am not so sure that the Los Angeles Lakers will returning to an NBA Finals anytime soon , and the same has to be said for the Orlando Magic. The “ window” of opportunity for the Lakers is almost closed , and even with heralded arrival of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, only a fool would even consider them to be a clear-cut favorite to come out of the Western Conference as champions . Orlando , for its apart starts afresh , with their rookie head coach, the acquiring of a few free agents , holdovers from last season and the players obtained in the NBA Draft .
The Magic’s most experienced players , determined by their years in the NBA are Al Harrington , Hedo Turkoglu , and Jameer Nelson. However, in terms of determining the team’s best player, were you to adjudge it on scoring , then , Arron Afflalo would have to be deemed to have assumed that role . Coming off an away game 81-87 loss to the Utah Jazz , the Magic (7-11) now find themselves 5.5 games adrift of the Miami Heat (12-5) within the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference . And clearly, as Jacque Vaughn tries to find his footing as a rookie coach , then so too, will this Magic team as they look to make some headway this season . Are they capable of making the playoffs ? Who can say , at this juncture , because they have nothing to lose if they are not at least prepared to try. And one of the continued adversities for the Orlando Magic as a franchise , is that having built a relativity new venue which is less than three years old , is the very fact that now , in terms of attendance , the teams has one of the lowest attendance rates in all of the NBA . And this certainly doesn’t bode well from a financial standpoint for the organization or the ambitions of executives envisaged with the task of making this brand a profitable concern. Lack of a real fan-base , a somewhat inconsistent and uncompetitive team, and there you have a recipe for disaster . Yet these are the things that David Stern refuses to address , but yet he has the audacity to rebuke well-respected coaches and the organizations they represent for the most innocuous of things. Somehow not only the commissioner trying to write a check that even he can’t cash , in spite of his annual salary , but so too are a number of franchises around the NBA . And you wonder why at times why the fans become disengaged with the brand ?
Plainly put, it’s me mentality that now exists within the game and how it’s being sold as a consumer product to the fans and public alike . Within the NBA it is no longer about the teams but more about the league’s superstars , their agents and the entourage that simply makes sure that their profile is always kept high. Unfortunately, this is the road that the league chose to go down and now there is no turning back . !
Picture gallery .
Over the past eight years do you believe that the fans’ best interests have been served by some of the decisions made by the NBA Commissioner , David Stern ? And do you believe that his successor , Adam Silver , the current Deputy Commissioner , will bring about some much-needed changes to the league , and how it essentially operates as a business entity , as well as, from what we see competitively happening on the courts today ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) MIAMI, FL – DECEMBER 6: J.R. Smith (8) of the New York Knicks gets pumped up after a play during a game on December 6, 2012 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. The Knicks would go on to defeat the Heat 112-92 . Photo by Gregory Shamus/NBAE via Getty Images …
(2) New York Knicks players give high-fives to Raymond Felton (2) during a timeout in the final minutes of an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Thursday, Dec, 6, 2012, in Miami. The Knicks won 112-92. AP Photo/Alan Diaz …
(3) Miami Heat’s LeBron James (6) is fouled by New York Knicks’ J.R. Smith (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec, 6, 2012, in Miami. The Knicks won 112-92. AP Photo/Alan Diaz ..
(4) WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 4: Martell Webster (9) of the Washington Wizards celebrates a win against the Miami Heat after the game at the Verizon Center on December 4, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Wizards defeated the Heat 105-101 . Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images ….
(5) Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) is greeted by point guard Chris Duhon (21) at the end of the first half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Hornets in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to break …….. 30,000 points during the half. AP Photo/Gerald Herbert ..
(6) Sacramento , CA – FEBRUARY 28: Sacramento Kings owners Joe Maloof, left, and Gavin Maloof, right, celebrate with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson during a game against the Utah Jazz on February 28, 2012 at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California. The city of Sacramento and the Maloofs are still in the midst of a contentious battle with neither side seeking to back down . Johnson believes the Kings’ owners to be lacking in good faith , and goodwill, concerning a proposed venue to replace to the now aging Power Balance Pavilion , that is home to the NBA franchise . The Sacramento Kings , are now amongst the least supported teams in the NBA , and it has been this way for a number of years . With the decline in attendance, has also come declining revenues , and now an uncompetitive team, which is mirrored in their NBA standing . Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images @ copyrighted material all rights reserved
(7) Deron Williams (8) of the Brooklyn Nets addresses the crowd with commissioner David Stern before the game against the Toronto Raptors at the Barclays Center on November 3, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City . Getty Images North America / Elsa Amendola …
(9) Orlando Magic guard Arron Afflalo (4) loses control of the basketball as Utah Jazz’s Mo Williams (5) and Marvin Williams (2) watch during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Salt Lake City. The Jazz won 87-81 . AP Photo/The Desert News, Ben Brewer …
(10) Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson (14) drives to the basket as Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) defends in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Salt Lake City. The eight-year veteran point guard is seeking to establish himself as the Magic’s on-court vocal and team leader in the aftermath of the crazed departure of former teammate, Dwight Howard . AP Photo/Rick Bowmer ..
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