The pride and the passion ..

The pride and the passion

With so much happening over the last few days within the sports’ world, fans have not had enough time to collect themselves and to digest all of the information and news emanating from each avenue. The NBA Draft came and went , with little of note beyond the New York Knicks and in particular Phil Jackson proving that he is simply no better or worse than Isiah Thomas as an NBA executive. Granted, Thomas was able to achieve a great deal of havoc within and outside of the organization without having much success on or off the court. In the case of Jackson , he set about presiding over one of the worst seasons ever witnessed in the history of the New York Knicks.

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Phil Jackson and the coaching staff , then set about making their picks in this draft , taking as the fourth overall pick from the first round, Serbian Kristaps Porzingis . To understand the decision, one would also to have to acknowledge the fact it was deemed bewildering by the franchise’s fans who yearned for a player would be able to have an immediate impact for the Knicks. Porzingus in most circles is considered a project and not much else beyond that.

If the New York Knicks are to succeed, then they are going to need players, who are ready to play in the league and not be developed over the course of the next two to three years .

Given the fact beyond Carmelo Anthony, there seems to be no one else on the current Knicks’ roster able to provide the team with anything meaningful by way of productivity , and it easy to understand the bewilderment of their fans and the lack of progress seen or otherwise throughout much of last season with the New York Knicks.

With the choice of Porzingis in the first round by New York, then to be followed by their trading of Tim Hardaway Jr to the Atlanta Hawks for Jerian Grant , acquiring Willy Hernangomez from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for two future second draft choice and money. Somehow, it is hard to explain what Phil Jackson and the front office hope to gain from the acquisitions much less the draft choices , given the poor coaching acumen shown by head coach Derek Fisher and his coaching staff. Fisher for his part has been unable to explain, why it was the team failed to meet his expectations and that of the fans. Granted, Carmelo Anthony missed a sizable chunk of the regular season schedule, managing to play in only forty games during this past regular season.

Anthony has never provided much leadership on the court, simply being nothing more than an offensive minded player . Yet, it is now being reported the former NBA scoring champion is disgruntled at the moves made by the organization. Is it really that much of a surprise to begin with ? Never-mind the fact Carmelo remained with the Knicks in the pursuit of money , rather than seeking to fulfill a goal of playing for a contender. Regrets , most definitely, but the idiots providing the player with their input, as well as the Knicks’ front office, have provided nothing but comedic value to the season , along with the player’s own asinine insistence he remained in New York to fulfill his ambition of winning an NBA title. Four decades and counting, the New York Knicks have barely sniffed or touched the Larry O’Brien Trophy , while being able to call it their very own and signifying themselves as champions.

Injuries asides , there should be no excuses made for the team’s lackluster performances and poor record, but it remains one of the main focal points of another pitiful season, one of no passion from the players, much less among the coaching staff or from within the front office. Team owner James Dolan remains an executive who seems disinterested, simply knowing the franchise remains the most valuable and profitable of the NBA’s thirty teams.

The NBA hierarchy tries to make more out this annual farce, with the NBA Draft barely drawing any notice among the viewing public by way of its broadcast with ESPN or the league’s own cable outlet , the NBA Network. Yet for all sense and purpose the NBA makes more of it than is utterly necessary. In the aftermath of witnessing a less than exhilarating NBA Finals , where the Golden State Warriors had the better of their opponents the Cleveland Cavaliers and the asinine apologies being made by the LeBron James’ supporters. It begs the question , where does the league now go from here ? Six NBA Finals’ appearances for the four-time NBA League MVP and two wins , has now left many wondering if the ten-year veteran will win another NBA title. Clearly , without a team to complement his skill-set, James cannot do it all by himself , in spite of the ongoing ridiculous comparisons being made with Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Apathy and clear stupidity seems to be the norm among the protagonists of that particular debate.

I have often been told athletes now compete for the glory , but in the world of professional sports , it now has become about the “ bling-bling” , selling an image , brand management , fame and fortune . In the world of the NBA , it has become paramount and one of the primary reasons the league has become stale and vapid . Current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver may well be pursuing ideas, seeking to realign the league’s image , but I believe his predecessor David Stern placed the league on its downward slide , with it all taking shape over the past two decades. There is no pride or passion within the NBA and it has become a soulless entity , without character and a real identity.

With Golden State having claimed their first title in four decades , the franchise will now set about the task of improving for next season . Two key pieces are already in place with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson seen as the keys to the Warriors’ long-term future. Golden State Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr has the backing of an organization ambitious to build upon this season’s success . Owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber , alongside consultant Jerry West have laid a formidable foundation from which to build upon and made the Warriors a desirable destination for a free agent to seek out winning an NBA title.

From my own perspective I believe the franchise will be a prohibitive favorite to win the title next season, even with the odds-makers in Las Vegas bearing down on the Cleveland Cavaliers , simply because of the LeBron James’ factor. Predicated upon what the Cavaliers’ front office is able to achieve , re-signing Kevin Love is most certainly a pressing need for the Eastern Conference champions, but it is nowhere near a forgone conclusion , Love wishes to remain in Cleveland. Cleveland’s needs are many and it remains to be seen what decisions are likely to be made by GM David Griffin and head coach David Blatt.

Warriors’ GM Bob Myers after his successful season at the helm of the organization had a very good draft class and it will be interesting to see how the new rookies acclimatize themselves to being members of an NBA championship team , even if they are likely to be losses from the team’s roster. The nucleus of the team will remain intact as Golden State looks to make a successful defense of their title this upcoming season.

A woefully inept season after the era of LeBron James and the success attained has left fans of the Miami Heat feeling bitter and sour. Now it appears the organization might well be willing to move on after what appears to be conflicting rumors concerning the long-term future of Dwyane Wade. The former Finals MVP has been nowhere near the player who brought the franchise their first NBA title and with it being the ” Pride of South Beach” . Wade might well have been part of Miami’s two later successes, but much of that can be put down to the exploits of his former teammate and close confidante LeBron James. And as close as the two players are said to be , I wonder if Wade was made aware of James’ intent to leave the Eastern based franchise at the end of the previous season after the disappointment of losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals.

During the off-season, Pat Riley and his closest advisers within the front office will have several meaningful decisions to make concerning Wade and several of the other Heat unrestricted free agents. Riley will have to consider the cap as well as whether or not it would be in the best interests of the Heat to retain a player who in recent years has become injury prone and less of a contributory factor , lacking leadership and a proven offensive weapon, beyond Luol Deng and the sporadic play of Chris Bosh , who like Dwyane Wade has his best years behind him , far behind him, that he can barely see it from the view of a rear-view mirror. In some respects the roster of the Heat might well have gotten younger , but several of these players have yet to show the ability that they are capable of playing in this league. Erik Spoelstra and his coaching staff will be back at the drawing board searching for answers once again after such a disappointing season.

It will be interesting to see if Dwyane Wade joins LeBron James in Cleveland or jumps to another contender, either in the East or Western Conference. Wade’s years of earning a top-notch salary have now passed and the thought appears to be he is likely to sign a minimal deal , one likely to be in line with a player of his experience and not much else beyond that.

As an avid San Antonio Spurs’ fan the disappointment of seeing the team bow out in the early stages of the NBA Playoffs was not only disappointing, but I felt the team lacked direction heading into the postseason. Granted , Kawhi Leonard coming off a sensational season and his Finals’ MVP run , a great deal more was expected from this Gregg Popopvich coached team.

The aging wonder , Tim Duncan is still able to play at a high level , even if he has lost a step or two. Teammates , Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli are still able to work their wizardry when called upon to do so. But now is the time for the young guns on the roster to step up and take the lead , if the success of the franchise is to continue.

Five-time championship winning head coach , Popovich has written his legacy in the record books and his achievements speak for themselves. Peter Holt and RC Buford have been no slouches with their wizardry and custodianship of the Spurs’ franchise. The two are indelibly linked with the head coach , the famed trio now on the roster alongside perhaps San Antonio’s best player in its history , The Admiral , David Robinson .

I certainly believe the San Antonio Spurs will be able to challenge for postseason honors this upcoming season given the consistency shown by the franchise over the last eighteen seasons. They are likely to be seen as one of the favorites within the Western Conference alongside the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies , Los Angeles Clippers and the reigning champions , the Golden State Warriors. San Antonio simply went about their normal business during the draft , as they have often done over the past few years , managing to pick up players who are then able to the readiness of the team. Nikola Milutinov and Cady Lalanne have become the newest members of the Spurs and it will be interesting to see their development within the organization , with their being placed within the development structure of the franchise before making their professional debuts within the NBA during a regular season game.

Picture gallery. By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture alongside a narrative.

Do you believe the state of the NBA is one of the teams lacking passion and a great deal of pride ? Or has it more to do with the state of the game being one of sheer greed and a lack of insight , leadership within the union , hierarchy and the owners ?



Editor’s advisory notes


NBA news

2015 NBA Draft and draft board

2015 NBA free agents

NBA teams’ projected payroll (2015)

Highest paid players (2015)

This month in NBA history

On this date in the NBA

Author: tophatal ...........

An avid sports' fans that's all !!!!!

13 thoughts on “The pride and the passion ..”

  1. A$s kissing has reached a new level of stupidity among members of the press , analysts and apathetic fans who are about as knowledgeable about the NBA as a piece of dried up fecal matter .

    LeBron James .

    LBJ can’t win a third ring and it now appears he will opt out of the final year of his contract . Cavaliers’ fans are now in for a rude awakening if he bolts from the franchise for a second time . James remains a gutless piece of crap in spite of his exploits on the court.

    Consistently making comparisons concerning LeBron James’ greatness as a player by comparing him to Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson . Last I looked after their respective appearances in their first four NBA Finals’ appearances, both Hall of Fame inductees had already amassed more than two NBA series’ victories . The same cannot be said of James even at this stage of his career.

    LeBron James may well have a competitive drive but in recent years , it has also been rivaled by his lust for money . Having already earned over $400 million from endorsements and career earnings combined . It seems somewhat redundant to even remotely suggest his opting out of the final year of his contract has nothing to do with money at all, or does it ?

    Magic and Jordan . Is there anything else that needs to be said at this juncture ?

    So can we now stop with this rather idiotic , benign and nonexistent debate ?

    Dwyane Wade is not worth a three or four deal paying him in excess of $60 to $70 million . Wade has yet to play more than fifty games a season over the past four years .

    Dwyane Wade seen here with Miami Heat Team President & part-owner Pat Riley

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

    Miami Heat news

    Tophatal ……………..


  2. So what now for the Los Angeles Lakers ? We know the front office remains clueless and they haven’t had a draft pick worth a dam in over a decade . Even the player thought to be the best player for the franchise over the last decade wasn’t even a draft choice by the organization but came by way of a trade ,

    Bear in mind it wasn’t Mitch Kupchak who engineered the deal to acquire Kobe Bryant , but Jerry West the current architect of the championship winning Golden State Warriors . Yet Lakers’ fans as dumb as they are , remain in hope that Jim Buss , Jeanie Buss and Kupchak actually know what the fu#k they’re doing .

    For the past two seasons the Lakers have been a complete mess both on and off the court . and there is nothing likely to change this upcoming season . Kobe Bryant will not play more than fifty games this season as he remains so fragile from a health standpoint , perhaps even more so than Derrick Rose .

    Los Angeles Lakers news

    Tophatal ………….


  3. This past season the Orlando Magic once again proved why they were among the worst teams in the entire Eastern Conference , with a pitiful display throughout the regular season . The front office remained in complete disarray and the interim stature of coach given to James Borrego quickly disappeared with his then being let go , leading to the hiring of Scott Skiles and his second run around with the team in his current capacity .

    Hard to envisage where the Magic will likely end up within their division much less the conference this upcoming season .

    Beyond Ben Gordon and Victor Oladipo , there isn’t a great deal to this roster by way of competitiveness. The Magic’s draft class was simply understated and I seriously doubt they will get a solid contribution from any of their players chosen .

    Orlando Magic news

    Tophatal ….


  4. With Brooklyn Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov still contemplating the sale of the franchise which over the past three seasons has been hemorrhaging blood . There seems little doubt Prokhorov has become dissatisfied and tired of losing . Never mind the fact GM Billy King has proven to be an unmitigated disaster in his capacity as a front office executive.

    Nets’ GM Billy King and team owner Mikhail Prokhorov . The duo have simply bungled their way to ineptitude since Prokhorov acquired the franchise.

    I was once told by a patron of this site , it would be in the best interest of Prokhorov to simply spend money to obtain players in order to win a title . Something not achieved by the franchise during its existence . I should have bore in mind this idiot also is a keen supporter of the New York Mets , a franchise still looking for a first World Series’ appearance and triumph in over three decades. Easy to understand why there are idiot sports’ fans within the state of New York who are simply obnoxious and damn clueless when it comes sports’ economics and sports in general.

    Deron Williams is not only overrated as a point guard , but it is becoming abundantly clear he is also overpaid in that capacity as a player while also being unproductive .

    One of the most overrated players in the entire NBA , Nets’ point guard Deron Williams . He lacks leadership and the will to win . Williams and Joe Johnson are a complete waste of space and a damn joke !

    Brooklyn Nets news

    Tophatal ……………..


  5. Far be it for me to suggest, but with the Minnesota Timberwolves obtaining the overall number one pick in this past NBA Draft. It still signifies nothing other than the fact they will remain a work in progress under part-owner and head coach Flip Saunders .

    Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor(left) Chip Saunders .

    There was a distinct reason why the Timberwolves performed so poorly last season where they had one of the worst records in the entire league .

    Defensively and from an offensive standpoint the team was simply mediocre .

    Karl-Anthony Towns and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver .

    Kevin Garnett may well be back with the organization where he showed why he would become a perennial All Star , but even with the drafting of Karl-Anthony Towns the franchise will be in for a tough time this upcoming season . I would be pleasantly surprised if they can win more than 30 games this upcoming season.

    Tophatal ………..


  6. Is it now time to start to take a look at the plight of both the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers ? Both have some serious needs and issues concerning potential free agents and the cap levels , albeit that the 2016 season will give a number of teams some added flexibility because of the potential growth in revenues which is expected to increase by on average some thirty percent .

    Act like fools or show some maturity . Which is it with these two ? DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul.

    If the rumors are to be believed then it looks as if the simmering row between Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan could or will lead to Jordan’s departure as an unrestricted free agent . Paul can either seek to patch things up with his teammate or let things play out in the market . Doc Rivers is known to be impressed with DeAndre Jordan’s play over the course of this season . Furthermore , it would be foolish of the franchise and front office to allow a dual role player to depart under such circumstances because of bruised egos .


  7. If there is known to be one NBA franchise in transition , then it would have to be the Chicago Bulls after the firing of Tom Thibodeau and the hiring of Fred Hoiberg as his successor. GM Gar Forman and Head of Basketball Operations and former Bulls’ player John Paxson will have a great deal to mull over concerning impending free agents cap availability but most of all what will they do concerning Jimmy Butler who had a breakout year with the Bulls.

    Gar Forman & John Paxson

    Jimmy Butler of the Bulls.

    It is imperative Chicago signs Butler to a long-term deal , one that pays him handsomely , given the now uncertain health of former League MVP Derrick Rose whose best years would appear to be behind him .

    Hoiberg, formerly introduced as the Bulls’ new head coach.

    Mike Dunleavy, Nazr Mohammed and the versatile Taj Gibson would appear to be the players thought to be most vulnerable and likely to be moved. Though Paxson and Forman may well seek other ways to fulfill their ambitions of making the Bulls more resilient and competitive this upcoming season beyond their recent draft choices

    Chicago Bulls news


    Tophatal …………


  8. It would be fair to suggest that over the past four seasons one of the most disappointing teams in the Western Conference has been the Portland Trailblazers . This past season the Trailblazers once again failed to deliver during the NBA Playoffs as they fell in the early stages of the postseason.

    With frustration said to be setting in , it appears they are likely to lose their best player , five-year veteran LaMarcus Aldridge, as he seeks to enrich his status as a marquee free agent. Portland’s front office , I believe will do as much as they can to counter any offer , knowing full well the can offer the player a max-deal if he chooses to resign with the team .

    LaMarcus Aldridge I believe wants to play for a legitimate contender , but with only he and Damian Lillard seen as All Star caliber players on the roster . The common thought appears to be, unless the organization and coaching staff makes a bold attempt to sign a player of merit , then Alridge will likely leave the franchise .

    Aldridge (left) and Lillard .

    From my own standpoint , I believe this would be to the detriment of the team. but I completely understand that LaMarcus Aldridge is ambitious and wants to win an NBA title , fulfilling every player’s dream once they enter the league. It is after-all the ultimate goal as a professional athlete , winning a professional title.

    Portland Trailblazers news

    Tophatal ……….


  9. Yearning for a team rivalry in the NBA ? You won’t be witnessing one anytime soon in spite of the idiocy of the fans with their recent calls of it possibly happening with LeBron James while he was with the Miami Heat when it was thought the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant would provide such a rivalry . It won’t be happening anytime soon and it will be to the detriment to the NBA in general .

    Rivalry ? What rivalry ? Kevin Durant and LeBron James .

    The only real competitiveness at present encompasses the top teams in the Western Conference while in the East the teams there are simply mediocre and banal. It was the primary reason the Cavaliers had their @ss handed to them in a six-game NBA Finals’ series, that wasn’t even remotely close . Begs the question why all of bull#hit appeal concerning LeBron James and his alleged greatness ? After-all, we have seen him at his best and at his worst when faced with real adversity . Unless he’s surrounded by the complement of players , he is not going to win another title , much less three needed to surpass Magic Johnson or to equal the six held by Michael Jordan. So much for the idiotic comparisons being made to the two Hall of Famers .

    Steph Curry and Klay Thompson .

    The NBA over the past two years has been nowhere as competitive as some have claimed it to be in spite of the claims being made in the press and the idiot on air NBA analysts .

    Golden State Warriors as the reigning NBA champions remain the clear favorites seeking to make a successful defense of their title. I believe with Klay Thompson and Steph Curry leading the charge for the team, they will prove themselves worthy of being the best the West has to offer !

    NBA news



  10. With a swath of signings taking place as several players coming to terms with teams and new deals in place . Several NBA franchises are now left wondering what went wrong and why in terms of their failing to sign a major marquee free agent.


    Team owner , James Dolan , Phil Jackson and Knicks’ GM Steve Mills

    The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are left chasing their tales in the wind with both sets of general managers and ownership groups looking positively stupid and without a clue. So much for idiots claiming Phil Jackson was and would be building for the future . One more year of ineptitude now seems likely with the current coaching staff and new roster in tact as the case maybe.

    For the Lakers, even with statements attributed to SVP Jeanie Buss and the failing of both Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak to achieve anything of note during this stage of the season . It has to be said . the Lakers are likely to be equally as abysmal this upcoming season as they were last season , if not more so .

    Lakers’ co-owners Jeanie & Jim Buss

    NBA and news

    NBA transactions

    Tophatal ….


  11. Perhaps someone can explain what the Philadelphia Sixers are seeking to do after such a disastrous year . GM Sam Hinkie is clueless and it’s plain to see team owner Josh Harris is equally as dumb as the general manager .

    This past season the Sixers were absolutely pitiful and there ought to be no excuses made . Idiotic fans suggested the Philadelphia Sixers tanked trying to obtain the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft . Didn’t work out and they still ended up with a pick not seen as worthwhile as Jahlil Okafor will be something of a long-term project. . Bear in mind also, they lost Joel Embiid to an injury and the rookie was sidelined , leaving the team to viewed as utterly hopeless alongside a coaching staff without a clue.

    From my own standpoint, I do not hold out much hope for the Sixers given their poor play all round last season. The coaching remains abysmal and the team as a whole remains uninspiring .

    Philadelphia 76ers news

    Tophatal ………


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