You Want An NBA Storyline …………………… ?

You Want An NBA Storyline …. ?

It’s been something of an anticlimax to the say the least as the NBA season has got off to a rather inauspicious start. The Miami Heat of late has been the storyline that everyone wants to follow as the ‘Big Three’ have become the talk of the town . LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade have made the Heat relevant once again. That being said to my mind the story that has me wondering how asking what else can befall a team has been that of the Houston Rockets . It’s hard to comprehend the misfortune that has beset this team as having lost All Star center Yao Ming for the season to a recurring injury . While much of this has been happening the one constant to this all has been the play of Kevin Martin and the fact that without him the Rockets would simply just another byline to the NBA season.

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The troubling here there though has been the fact Yao hasn’t played a meaningful game in over a year and the danger is that his career now seems to be on the verge of being at end. Barring a miracle I seriously doubt that we’ll see this player back on a basketball court in a competitive NBA game. Say what you will but Yao Ming had his admirers as well as his detractors . At his peak, he was certainly one of the most admired but also one of the best centers in the game but herein lies the caveat to this all once injiries started to befall the player , you simply knew that it was only a matter of time before things would go south for both he and the organization . What now happens for the Rockets is now merely dependent upon the players and their desire play the remainder of the season with the zeal one would come to expect of a team looking for some type of redemption. If nothing else they owe it to themselves and their fans.

The NBA Western Conference has now become awash of the unexpected and as the plot thickens the idiocy surrounds the sudden lull in the play of the Los Angeles Lakers . Don’t be fooled by anything you’ve heard or read at this point of the season teams will have their ups and downs and it’s how they respond that will define them. The Lakers have rebounded back and Kobe Bryant and his teammates seem to now back in the driver’s seat and their resolve will be to play the games as they come and then in the postseason show the NBA world why it is they’re the reigning NBA champions . If nothing else you simply have to respect that pedigree and until they’re toppled off the pile then due respect has to be given .

The Lakers’ neighbors within the Staples Center the Los Angeles Clippers and their sudden recognition around the league. No one person is more responsible for this other than Blake Griffin and his play through much of the season so far . In the same way that Dominique Wilkins came to be known as the “Human Highlight Reel” , Griffin has single handedly made that nom-de-plume his very own this season with his spectacular dunks. Unfortunately for the Clippers and their fans this hasn’t resulted in that many wins and at the same the Clippers still remain the same old Clippers. I’ve often maintained that when an organization simply lacks the will and ambition to win then whatever befalls that team is simply one of its own making. Is there now a more despised owner in professional sports than the Clippers’ Donald Sterling ? OK, so we could add the Redskins’ Daniel Snyder , Pittsburgh Pirates Bob Nutting and last but not least Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

I understand that the business of sports is primarily about making money and any bye product sought is to win championships but what can be said as to morass that continually extends and surrounds the Los Angeles Clippers ? Someone needs to explain to me at what point will their fans simply say enough is enough ………? It’s apparent that NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league hierarchy isn’t overly concerned as to the mediocre plight of the Clippers under the tenure of Donald Sterling. But then again simply but as long as the league is reaping the vast rewards of the billions of dollars that unyieldingly comes into its coffers he’s not going to be concerned. For Stern the storyline here is that of the attention gained by the likes of the Heat , Boston Celtics and Lakers . If they’re being repeatedly on by the press then Sterling’s concerns aren’t that great but then again this is the same individual who last season issued the statement that the $250 million paid to a number of teams should not be viewed as a bailout because of those teams’ financial plight due to the economic climate. Kind of makes you wonder what perception the commissioner is trying to create with that rather asinine statement ?

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Clueless in Phoenix as that appears to be the situation with the Phoenix Suns at present under Alvin Gentry as the Suns’ coach. Ever since their most recent trades with the team acquiring Vince Carter and a number of other players which in turn sent Jason Richardson to the Orlando Magic . This team can’t find a win much less play a lick of defense and statistically they rank in the bottom half of the league with that rather dubious distinction. And now with rumors circling that the franchise may well be willing to offload Steve Nash with a view as building for the future , the question being asked is where they go from here ?

With the competitiveness of the Western Conference where week in week out it’s something of a dog fight one could say that last season’s Western Conference finalist’s this season appears to be something of a regression back to the ways of old. In all likelihood if Gentry is unable to have the Suns playing with any semblance of a will to win then team owner Robert Sarver will look to bring in a coach who can take the team back to the heights and expectations that he feels befits the organization .

There’s reason at present for noted film director Spike Lee and avowed basketball fan to be happy as his New York Knicks are once again relevant . Coach Mike D’Antoni and his coaching staff has the team playing with a great deal of resolve within the NBA. Amar’e Stoudemire , Raymond Felton , Landry Fields and Wilson Chandler have been playing at a pace that not many may well have expected. And those in attendance at Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks’ home games have to be more than pleasantly surprised but also extremely excited.

With what we’re now seeing within the Eastern Conference there’s no reason to believe that the Knicks cannot play themselves into contention within the conference and garner their first playoff berth in almost a decade. At their current pace the Knicks are on target to win 47 games, albeit that a sub .500 record or slightly above can garner a playoff spot within the conference. If that’s not enough of an indictment as to how bad the conference can be, then simply look over the past seasons and the records of the teams that have prevailed within the conference in garnering a postseason berth ? It hasn’t been uncommon for the teams ranked four through eight to have a record barely above .500 (41-41). It remains to be seen if this season we can see a vast improvement of the teams in the lower half of the seedings within the conference and how they may well fare. If nothing else the remainder of this season will be proof of that and what we ought to expect from some of those teams within the conference.

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Picture gallery . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

Should the Knicks make the playoffs there’s a distinct possibility that Mike D’Antoni could very well be in with a chance of winning the NBA’s Coach of The Year Award . Given what he’s been able to achieve in assessing and building this team with the help of President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh this has been a season of redemption for the Knicks and their long suffering fans . One can only hope that barring injuries they can remain on course of achieving their goals .

Chime in with your comments as to your thoughts on the NBA season and any of the topics raised within this piece .

NB: NBA Conference Standings ..

Latest NBA news …..

>

NBA Divisional Standings ….

NBA Statistics ….

NBA win streaks by conference and division

Alan aka tophatal ……………………….

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Faran W

Eye candy ……………. Faren Williams

More of Faren….. as you know doubt like it ?

Faren

That’s a body worth watching from any view ! Faren’s that is !

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Lupe Fiasco feat’g …… Matthew Santos …….. ” Superstar”

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The Other Lopez Boy ………………

The Other Lopez Boy

Well now that we know the New Jersey Nets won’t be making the postseason . Lets look at what the other Lopez is doing in the NBA ? It’s not often that you have siblings competing in the same sport at the same time. Though it’s not a rarity but seldom does it happen where the siblings are said to be comparable in talent. In the case of Brook and Robin Lopez , such was the scenario. case.

Brook  & Robin  Lopez
Brook & Robin Lopez of the New Jersey Nets and Phoenix Suns. Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by their respective teams out of Stanford University. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Robin Truman ...............

Both were drafted out of Stanford , with Brook going to the Nets and Robin going to the Phoenix Suns . Both were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NBA Draft by the aforementioned teams. Each has had their share of struggles acclimatizing with their respective teams and to the rigors of the NBA. Now in their sophomore season they’ve begun to make strides and are contributing to their teams. Though in the case of Brook and the Nets those contributions won’t be recognized in terms of anything tangible by way of on-field success for the team . For Robin on the other hand , he and the Suns are proving to be major threat in the Western Conference of the NBA, as they strive for a playoff berth.

Courtesy of New Jersey Record Herald & News

Nets shock first-place Celtics

By Al Iannazzone

Boston- As the Nets exchanged high-fives and patted each other’s back after an unexpected job well done, Rasheed Wallace removed his headband and slammed it to the floor before walking off in disgust.

The Celtics didn’t want to be that team, but they were. The Nets were going to break through at some point and get a victory over a good team and that time came Saturday afternoon and that team was the Celtics.

Showing tremendous and surprising poise, the Nets didn’t buckle under the pressure of Boston’s fourth-quarter comeback and a deafening arena. The Nets stood tall down the stretch and finished off a stunning 104-96 victory inside TD Banknorth Garden.

“To finally break through against a good team like this shows us what we’re capable of,” Brook Lopez said after leading the Nets with 25 points.

“This is a big win for us,” said Devin Harris, who celebrated his 27th birthday with 23 points. “Hopefully it’s a building block for us.”

In the other locker room, there was frustration, a feeling the Nets know all too well.

“I got nothing to say,” said Kevin Garnett, who scored 26. “I feel disgusted.”

The Celtics (36-21) were humiliated Thursday, losing by 20 here to Cleveland on national TV, but this tops that.

Playing without Paul Pierce, the Celtics opened a 12-2 lead. They were outplayed badly from there as the Nets (6-52) were more aggressive by far. The Nets took the lead at the end of the first quarter and never relinquished it, building an 18-point edge in the fourth.

Last week, the Nets squandered an 18-point lead in a loss to Memphis, and fourth quarters have been their enemies lately. But they wouldn’t let up this time. Their assertiveness showed from the line, where they took 41 foul shots, 30 more than Boston.

The Nets go for their first two-game winning streak this season – a real possibility – tonight with Washington visiting Izod Center. Four wins in their remaining 24 games and the Nets will avoid matching or setting the record for the most losses in NBA history.

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New Jersey Nets center <strong> Brook Lopez </strong>(11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their <strong> 104-96</strong> win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears  courtesy  of  Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....
New Jersey Nets center Brook Lopez (11) slaps hands with teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts during the fourth quarter of their 104-96 win over the Boston Celtics in an NBA basketball game in Boston Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Winslow Townson....

For the Nets and their entire front office this has been a season which they’d rather no doubt forget. Losing their first 17 games , the team now sits with a 6-52 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. Atop of the table within the division are the Boston Celtics (36-21) . For Nets’ President of Basketball Operations Rod Thorn and the team’s GM Alex Diaz , this can’t have been what they had envisaged for the team at the start of the season. And it certainly hasn’t helped their cause that the organization is said to be financially ‘cash strapped’
because of the development of the development of the commercial venture which will house the team when they proceed to move to Brooklyn, New York. Bruce Ratner the one time team owner and now a minority stake partner in the team, has done as much as he can to bring the franchise on par with the likes of the New York Knicks , Los Angeles Lakers , Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics as a competitive and financial powerhouse within the NBA. I ought to take that back with regards to the Knicks as they couldn’t spell the word competitive much less play competitive , if you spotted them the letters ‘C’, ‘O’, ‘M’, ‘E’, ‘T’, ‘I’ and ‘V’ ! For Russian energy tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov , who recently acquired a majority stake in the New Jersey Nets, he wants nothing more than success for the organization. And he’ll no doubt do whatever it takes to make sure that becomes a reality for the organization and for its fans.

Nets’ coach Kiki Vandeweghe has struggled to gain any semblance of cohesiveness from the team. And with that ‘ 6-52’ record now becoming a yoke around the team’s very neck.. It’s hard to see what else Vanderweghe and his coaching staff can do at this juncture. There’ve been very few bright spots for the team and the fans to be proud of ! There have been glimpses of what one could expect from the team in the future in the play of Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts , Josh Boone and perhaps the team’s best player , Devin Harris . But it is the immediacy of the ‘here and now’ that is really of importance and not about ‘what might be’, as to the team’s impending future. They may well choose to become a part of the ‘LeBron James’ sweepstakes, once that particular show gets on the road this upcoming off-season. No doubt Lebron will be willing to listen to all offers that’ll be forthcoming his way. One has to remember that, ‘LeBron’ now sees his himself as something of a ‘global commercial icon’ first, rather than as a ‘basketball player’ in the NBA. And if he’s to truly maintain that status, though Cleveland has served him well, it doesn’t match the bright lights and big city atmosphere that can he had in New York and at the same time ‘catch the eye’ of the corporate behemoths of Madison Avenue.

While the malaise of the Jets continues , the Phoenix Suns have quietly gone about their business within the Pacific Division with unassuming confidence under the guidance of their coach Alvin Gentry . And should the team make the playoffs , as I fully feel that they will ! Then it is my belief that Gentry ought to be considered one of the prohibitive favorites for the accolade of NBA Coach of The Year . Quite surprisingly he seems to now have the team playing not only with confidence but showing at times that as and when needed, they can play a modicum of defense. Which has always been the ‘gripe against the team’. It’s one thing to put up 100 points on the scoreboard but it doesn’t help when your opponents put up anywhere between 110-120 points and ends up winning the game. It certainly doesn’t serve you well as the losing team. And it’s something that Gentry’s predecessor Mike D’Antoni didn’t seem to understand.

<strong> Robin Lopez </strong> (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  The  Suns   would   go  on  to  defeat  the  Clippers  <strong> 125-112 </strong>  . photo appears  courtesy  of   NBAE/  Getty  Images/  P Molumby ...........
Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns puts a shot up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA Game played on February 26, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns would go on to defeat the Clippers 125-112 . photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ P Molumby ...........

The biggest surprise to my mind as far as the Suns’ organization goes. It may well be with the firing of D’Antoni and the installing of Gentry as the team’s coach . Steve Kerr as the team’s general manager may not only have saved the Suns’ season but his very own position within the organization. As I felt sure that were they to fail then owner , Robert Sarver , would have ‘no choice’ but ‘to fire’ the much beleaguered executive. Now with the team playing as they are and with wily veteran and two time league MVP, Steve Nash playing as he has been. Then there’s every reason to believe that the team could make some noise in the playoffs. ‘And as Nash goes, so does the team’ .

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Lopez leads streaking Suns past Clippers

Phoenix (AP)—Robin Lopez went to the free-throw line two points from tying the family’s single-game scoring mark.

He didn’t get it, but his career-best 30 points and 12 rebounds were more than enough to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Los Angeles Clippers 125-112 on Friday night for their fifth straight victory.

“I wasn’t even aware of it,” said a smiling Lopez, whose twin brother, Brook, leads the fraternal competition with a 32-point game. “I was just trying to catch (teammate) Goran Dragic’s 32 points.”

Lopez made 13 of 16 shots for the Suns, who beat the Clippers for the seventh straight time.

“To shoot that efficiently tells me I’m doing my job out there,” Lopez said. “That shows how much faith my teammates have in me and my coaches have in me.”

Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and Grant Hill had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Suns, who won for the sixth time in seven games since the All-Star break. Phoenix has won 12 of its past 14 overall.

Eric Gordon scored 25 points, Travis Outlaw had 16 and Craig Smith had 16— 14 in the first half—and for the Clippers, whose three-game winning streak ended.

“They stretched us out pretty good,” Gordon said. “We were playing good defense, then they stretched us out and started knowing down a lot of 3s. We just couldn’t score as much as they did.”

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And while Nash has been playing his customary role , it’d be remiss not to mention that both Amar’e Stoudemire and Robin Lopez have been playing very well for the team. Some might even view Lopez as the ‘heir apparent’ to Stoudemire, should the veteran no be re-signed by the team in the off-season. He becomes a a free agent and can opt out of the final year of his contract which pays him an ‘understated’ $16.97 million . But that asides , it has been the surprising play of the former Stanford Cardinals’ player that has the Suns’ fans rejoicing and hoping that finally this might be their year. As to what might transpire during the postseason , we can only wait to see. But as things are now proceeding it appears that it is the other Lopez boy who seems to be having his day sun while the other seems to be languishing in the Nets own personal form of hell and purgatory all rolled into one.

Somehow this might all seem unfair to some ? One sibling is having the time of his life , while the other can only wish that the Nets could have a life , rather than one of sheer embarrassment and ridicule. At the end of the however , it is what you tend to make of it that in essence defines your character and you also as a person.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal

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Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes …….’If You Don’t Know Me By Now’

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Both  Sportschump  &  I  <strong> love  our <em> 'milque-toast' </em>  as well  as   Denise  Milani  !</strong>   And   there  ain't   nothing   wrong  with  that  at  all  !
Both Sportschump & I love our 'milque-toast' as well as Denise Milani ! And there ain't nothing wrong with that at all !

Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please……. Just Don’t Do It !

Say It Ain’t So R.C ? Say It Ain’t So ? Not My Beloved Spurs …..Please Don’t Split Up ‘The Big Three’ ! Don’t Do It …..Please …… Just Don’t Do It !

Just when I thought that things couldn’t get worse in the world of sports, insofar as the teams that I support. The whole damn carpet gets pulled out from underneath me with one big earth shattering utterance. And then finding out that this scenario is fomenting around the front office of my beloved San Antonio Spurs. What’s that you might ask ? Well according to well placed sources and now reports. It is being alleged that Spurs’ GM R.C Buford in conjunction with the team’s coach Gregg Popovich are considering acquiring Suns’ longtime center and power forward, Amar’e Stoudemire. Great you might say ? But my question is, who do the Spurs relinquish in order to obtain Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns ? At first thought , I felt upon reading the story that there’d be no way in hell that the either Burford or Popovich would think of ‘splitting up “The Big Three” ! But that may well be the case, as the supposed options are that it’ll be either Manu Ginobli or Tony Parker leaving the team. What in the wide world of sports is going on here ? Have they both lost their friggin’ minds ? I love both ‘Pop’ and ‘RC’ to death, as they are ‘the architects’ of the team’s undoubted success over the last decade and a half. But this is just about to send me right over the edge and into an abyss of despair. I cannot envisage either of the two players in question not being on this roster playing for the organization. But if it’s meant to be , then so be it ! And I am saying this all, rather reluctantly. If it brings another NBA title to the organization then I may well overlook this all and just chalk it up to overzealousness on my part.

Antonio McDyess (#34) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Antonio McDyess (#34) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

If push comes to shove, then it may well be that Ginobli will be the pawn that’s given up in order to acquire Stoudemire from the Suns. If any of you have read my most recent NBA piece, (click here) in which it dealt with the ineptitude shown by the Phoenix Suns under the guidance of their GM, Steve Kerr and that of their renowned owner , Robert Sarver. Then you’ll be fully aware as to what I’ve been talking about. For all sense and purpose in the evolution of things. If R C Buford can be considered to be one of the most astute and knowledgeable general managers around the NBA. Then Steve Kerr would be considered to be most certainly amongst ‘the worst’ of the general managers in the entire NBA. Just look at his assemblying the Suns’ roster and their recent personnel decision making and maneuvers and one can well consider why Suns have underachieved and continue to do so to this day. And it hasn’t , with them naming Alvin Gentry to take over from Mike D’Antoni, who was fired by the organization after a rather disappointing season. The fault of which is by no means was D’Antoni’s alone. It was a collective collapse allround from within the organization from top to bottom. Much of it constructed with the sheer ineptitude shown by ‘the team’, as well as that of their front office.

George Hill (3) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots over Derrick Rose (1) of the Chicago Bulls in a game that was played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs would go on to lose the game to the Bulls 98-93 that was played on 25th January, 2010.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Spurs consider bidding for Stoudemire

By Adrian Wojnarowski

Another intriguing suitor could emerge in the bidding for Phoenix Suns star Amar’e Stoudemire(notes): the San Antonio Spurs.

Multiple league sources say the Spurs’ front office has researched and debated pursuing Stoudemire to play alongside Tim Duncan.

There are questions for the Spurs to answer: Would they be willing to part with the personnel – including possibly Manu Ginobili – to make a deal happen?

Do the Spurs want to re-sign Stoudemire to a contract extension and swell their payroll?

Do they believe Stoudemire could be the difference for their fifth championship?

All questions with no clear answers for the Spurs – yet.

Nevertheless, the possibility of an athletic, offensive force like Stoudemire has become too irresistible to easily dismiss. The Spurs (25-18) have lost five of their past six games, and have fallen into sixth place in the Western Conference.

“They know they’ve got to do something,” says a source familiar with the front office’s thinking. “They feel like they’ve got to at least look at this … and they are.”

The Miami Heat are exploring the possibility of a deal, but Pat Riley also knows he can keep Dwyane Wade and sign Stoudemire as a free agent this summer. Miami’s president doesn’t have to make a trade now. Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Detroit and Minnesota are among other teams with an interest with Stoudemire.

For Phoenix and San Antonio, there could be a different urgency. The Suns are motivated to move Stoudemire out of a growing belief they’ll never come to terms with him on a contract extension. Stoudemire can opt out of the $17.7 million owed him next season. Suns owner Robert Sarver has been in constant cost-cutting mode, and although he does want to keep Stoudemire, it’s become increasingly unlikely that will happen.

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In order to read Adrian Wojnarowski’s article
in its entirety just click on the link provided
herein
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 John Salmons (#15) of the Chicago Bulls drives down court against Manu Ginobili (#20) of the San Antonio Spurs on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
John Salmons (#15) of the Chicago Bulls drives down court against Manu Ginobili (#20) of the San Antonio Spurs on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

San Antonio has been playing quite well at present, given in fact how competitive the entire Western Conference appears to be on year in , year out basis. And within the division where the Spurs play , things aren’t the less difficult at all. Within the Southwest Division they’re aligned alongside the Dallas Mavericks (30-15), Memphis Grizzlies (24-19), Houston Rockets (24-20), New Orleans (24-20) and the San Antnio Spurs (25-18) themselves, with a recrord that would garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. The division makes for one, that is as combative and competitive as it appears to look at first glance. This may well be in terms of ‘from top to bottom’ the most competitive of all the divisions within the entire NBA. It’s certainly not lacking in class, in terms of either the talent to be seen or the overall caliber of the teams.

San Antonio Spurs’ General Manager, R.C. Buford speaking with the convened press at the team’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas.

Amar’e Stoudemire is in the last year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. But it appears as such that he’s reluctant to re-sign with the Phoenix Suns. What one might choose to read into that, is open to a great deal of debate and speculation. But given the situation there in Phoenix , where other Stoudemire , Steve Nash and Grant Hill. The team is a relatively young one that Kerr may well now feel that it’s best to build for the future , rather than carry on with certain remants of the past. Most certainly Nash and Hill aren’t getting any younger and in all reality the window of opportunity for this team to have won an NBA championship passed by a number of years ago. Such has been the inconsistency shown from the teams making their presence really felt in the postseason. That with each passing effort , it has been repeatedly deja-vu all over again. And much of that and the failings of the team can be squarely laid to rest on the shoulders of Steve Kerr.

 Tony Parker<strong> (#9)</strong> of the San Antonio Spurs jumps to pass over Taj Gibson <strong>(#22)</strong> of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Tony Parker (#9) of the San Antonio Spurs jumps to pass over Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

While no disputes the fact that Stoudemire would be a good fit for the Spurs. There’s no denying that the Popovich and Buford might well be giving up far more than is needed to acquire the Suns’ player. Unless the deal involves multiple players or quite possibly a third team needs to be involved to facilitate such a deal. Then we may well see nothing at all go down . But the fans of this particular flame that has started this rumor continues to go on unabated. As alluded to earlier, Stoudemire is in the final year of a contract that pays him $17.7 million for the 2010 season. Though it’s not known whether or no the Suns do have a desire to re-sign the player. There does appear to be a reluctance on Amar’e Stoudemire’s part to remain with the team. He knows that he can test the .’waters of free agency’ at the end of this season. There, he will be amongst a ‘crop of top-line’ of marquee names , of which are LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson will be the most desired of all, alongside Stoudemire, himself.

Tim Duncan (#21) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Tim Duncan (#21) of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Taj Gibson (#22) of the Chicago Bulls on January 25, 2010 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

While I for one won’t deny that Stoudemire would on the face of it, be a good fit for the San Antonio Spurs. My reluctance just doesn’t stem from the fact that I don’t want to see the triumvirate of Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker broken up. It also comes from the very fact that the Spurs may well be giving up far more than is necessary in acquiring the player. Granted , it may not only be Ginobli that’ll be part of the mix should this deal go down. But for all essence and purpose , Ginobli is the bait that is being dangled by Buford and Popovich as they supposedly go about trying to acquire the All Star center and power forward. It may well take an additional number of players to facilitate the deal or quite possibly a third or fourth team to enact a multi-player deal. Whatever now takes place, this could very well be the first salvo being fired as a number of teams jockey themselves with an eye to the trade deadline and beyond.

Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich speaks with the convened press concerning the team’s NBA draft picks of last season .

If I were as such just a bystander in all of this with no real affiliation other than being an NBA and a sport’s fan. Then I would look at the proposed deal and say ….’wow the Spurs intend to give the Lakers a run for their money’ ! But I am not, I’m an ardent and an avowed fan of this team and while I see the deal’s advantages. I also see its inherent dangers and the possible seismic shift that it could bring should things not work out right. But when you’ve got a coach with the pedigree of Gregg Popovich and a General Manager as astute as R. C. Burford , then I guess that I shouldn’t really have to worry ? Or should I ? What do you think ? All I know is that this roster when they’re playing at their optimum level , they are good enough to derail the ambition of the Los Angeles Lakers and ‘any other team’ who might stand in their way !

My sentiments concerning what may well be the imminent departure of one of my favorite Spurs’ players can be summed up in this TLC song …….’Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls’.


<strong> OK , so  Denise  Milani  doesn't  have  anything  to  do with  the  NBA or the   San  Antonio  Spurs.  </strong>  But  this  is  my  site  and  I can  do  as  I please  when  it  comes  to  showing   <strong>'a  fine   buxom   female'  !</strong>   What   do   you  want  a   picture   of   Rosie  O'Donnell  to  get  off  on  ?
OK , so Denise Milani doesn't have anything to do with the NBA or the San Antonio Spurs. But this is my site and I can do as I please when it comes to showing 'a fine buxom female' ! What do you want a picture of Rosie O'Donnell to get off on ?

All photos appear courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images or courtesy of the Associated Press

The One Trick Pony ………….. They Will Never Contend For An NBA Title …………Phoenix Suns Come On Down Your Time Is Up ……….

The One Trick Pony ………….. They Will Never Contend For An NBA Title …………Phoenix Suns Come On Down Your Time Is Up ……….

Isn’t it strange you support a team and they’re expected to contend. Year in year out during the regular season, the Phoenix Suns play at a heightened level but in the end they just continue to disappoint. And it certainly hasn’t helped that Suns’ GM, Steve Kerr continues to concoct a team along the lines of a mad scientist. I look at him and then I see the Gene Wilder character ‘Dr Victor Frankenstein’ from the Mel Brooks’ comedy classic ‘Young Frankenstein’ (1974).

Amare Stoudemire (#1) and Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns fight for a rebound with Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of   NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry  Gossage  .........
Amare Stoudemire (#1) and Robin Lopez (#15) of the Phoenix Suns fight for a rebound with Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry Gossage .........

The situation now surrounding the Suns hasn’t been helped by the cluelessness shown by the team’s owner, Robert Sarver. He’s been pretty much asleep at the wheel, as the team has failed to fulfill their promise . From the ‘failed Shaquille O’Neal experiment’ to the very fact that the players on the team simply don’t believe that there’s a need to play defense. There’s no denying that on the offensive side of the ball they’re amongst the highest scoring teams in the NBA, statistically. But when it comes to defense then this team takes something of a front seat when it comes to this sole statistic. Now with the team coach, Alvin Gentry, you have someone who is very good when it comes to the X’s and O’s but as ‘a motivator’ and ‘a coach’ who’s able to get things done. He’s not the right candidate to meet the demands of the task needed to put this team over the top ! .

Louis Amundson (#17) of the Phoenix Suns pulls down a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.  photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/  Barry  Gossage  ........
Louis Amundson (#17) of the Phoenix Suns pulls down a rebound against the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ........

Courtesy of and Yahoo Sports

Suns seeking trade offers for Stoudemire

By Adrian Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports

After recent discussions with Amar’e Stoudemire’s agent that didn’t appear to destine a contract extension, the Phoenix Suns have increased their efforts to trade the All-Star forward, league sources told Yahoo! Sports on Sunday night.

League executives say the Suns have become more active initiating talks over the past few days, and believe the franchise will take the best offer for Stoudemire before the Feb. 18 trade deadline. The Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets and Detroit Pistons are among multiple teams that have a strong interest in Stoudemire, sources say. The Arizona Republic reported Sunday night that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have also inquired about Stoudemire.

Suns general manager Steve Kerr met with Stoudemire’s agent, Happy Walters, on Thursday, and league sources say there was little sense an agreement could be reached before the trade deadline. With Stoudemire able to opt out of the final $17.7 million season of his contract, the Suns don’t want to risk losing him for nothing in free agency this summer.

As they did when shopping Stoudemire last season, the Suns want a combination of young talent, salary-cap relief and draft picks for him. Some teams are hesitant to trade for Stoudemire for fear he won’t want to re-sign with them this summer. The Minnesota Timberwolves lead that group of teams, sources say. The Wolves are mostly eyeing small forwards, including the Memphis Grizzlies’ Rudy Gay, the Bulls’ Luol Deng and the Washington Wizards’ Caron Butler . No one is untouchable on the Wolves roster, sources say.

With Stoudemire having undergone knee and eye surgeries in recent years, there are differing perspectives on his market value. Nevertheless, Stoudemire has made a strong comeback from eye surgery this season – averaging 20.9 points and 8.6 rebounds – and impressed rival executives and scouts. Stoudemire has been inclined to use Pau Gasol’s(notes) three-year, $57 million contract extension as a parameter for negotiations, and more than one league executive believes that circumstances will result in Stoudemire getting richly rewarded this summer.

If LeBron James and Dwyane Wade don’t leave Cleveland and Miami this summer, teams like Chicago, New York and New Jersey may be apt to turn to Stoudemire as an alternative. After James and Wade, Stoudemire is part of a second tier of free-agent stars with Toronto’s Chris Bosh and Atlanta’s Joe Johnson.

“Someone will pay him the max – or very close,” one Western Conference executive predicted.

As it stands now, it appears unlikely that will be the Phoenix Suns.

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Goran Dragic (#2 )of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears   courtesy of NBAE/Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage ...........
Goran Dragic (#2 )of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry (#30) of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ...........

In the Western Conference the team has to contend with ‘the very best’ of ‘the best’, in terms of ‘the cream’ of the NBA rosters. And then within their own division of the Pacific Division , they have to contend with the reigning NBA champions in the Los Angeles Lakers , as well as a somewhat resurgent Los Angeles Clippers . And clearly if the Suns are to contend within the conference and their division they’re going to have a play a form of basketball that will be demanding and at a consistently high level. Anything short of that and the team and organization will have failed to live up to their perceived expectations for the season. Granted , on the roster they have a perennial All Star and future ‘Hall of Famer’ in Steve Nash. And with Grant Hill now playing solidly and very much in the mold that we once expected of him, from his early years with the Detroit Pistons. One could surmise that the Suns would be a formidable challenge for any team in the NBA. Nothing could be further from the truth. Their 26-19 mark within the conference at present, would only garner them the seventh seed within the Western Conference. Closely followed behind the Suns are the Houston Rockets with a 24-19 record. And it clearly has to be of great concern for Alvin Gentry and his team. Any further slippage in the standings and we could just see the Suns missing the playoffs altogether. But would also be predicated on the form of the teams just below them as well as those above them in the standings.

Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors drives against Grant Hill (#33) of the Phoenix Suns in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.   photo  appears   courtesy  of NBAE/ Getty Images/  Barry  Gossage ................
Corey Maggette (#50) of the Golden State Warriors drives against Grant Hill (#33) of the Phoenix Suns in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage ................

With the NBA trade deadline looming large, a number of teams around the league are either positioning themselves to make a big splash or the customary salary dump , in order to prepare for next year. And if the rumors are to be believed then the Phoenix Suns are prepared to listen trade offers for their power forward and center , Amar’e Stoudemire. As to the reasons why the team now envisage it a need to trade away the player is open to a great deal of conjecture and speculation at this juncture. Obviously if Stoudemire were to come to the market then there would be a number of teams around the league eager to pursue a deal for the player. Especially those with the ambition of making a run at a playoff berth and who are within shouting distance of such a spot. Amongst the teams said to be interested in the player are the Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves and the Chicago Bulls. The player is due to earn $17.9 million for the 2009-10 season and he will be able to opt out of the last year of his contract. It may well be that the Suns’ hierarchy now sees that is in their best interests to see what they can get for the player via trade, rather than seeing him go elsewhere having no wish to remain with the team or sign a long term contract with them.

Steve Nash (#13) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy  of  NBAE/ Getty  Images/  Barry  Gossage  .........
Steve Nash (#13) of the Phoenix Suns drives against Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors in an NBA Game played on January 23, 2010 at U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. photo appears courtesy of NBAE/ Getty Images/ Barry Gossage .........

A loss of this magnitude could very well set the organization back a number of years. But it may well be that Kerr and Robert Sarver view it that another change in course is needed and that they ought to be building for the future. They have an aging veteran in Steve Nash, who’s about to complete his ‘fourteenth year’ in the NBA. Never mind the fact that Grant Hill can’t continue to just show the fans rare glimpses of brilliance. That in ofitself won’t be enough to ward off any hatred that the fans may well now see as a betrayal if Amar’e Stoudemire r were to be traded away at this juncture. It creates the perception to the fans that Gentry , Kerr and Sarver are essentially giving up on being competitive for the remainder of the season. Granted, if they can get obtain the right mix of lottery picks and young talent from a trade of Stoudemire. Then this may well go some way dispelling those unfounded fears. But Steve Kerr’s track record in recent years, I for one feel that he’s now facing an uphill battle in dispelling those perceived fears of the fans ! It’s not as if he’d been completely upfront as to the reasons why the O’Neal experiment failed. What with that and the firing of Gentry’s predecessor , Mike D’Antoni , it has essentially given the perception that the organization has no idea as to where it it is going and nor have they a formula as to how to get to where they want to be.

Alvin Gentry, right, smiles after being introduced as the Phoenix Suns' interim coach by general manager Steve Kerr, left, Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, in Phoenix. The NBA basketball team fired coach Terry Porter on Monday.  photo appears  courtesy of  Associated Press / Rick Scuteri  ..........
Alvin Gentry, right, smiles after being introduced as the Phoenix Suns' interim coach by general manager Steve Kerr, left, Monday, Feb. 16, 2009, in Phoenix. The NBA basketball team fired coach Terry Porter on Monday. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Rick Scuteri ..........

Now all that remains to be seen is whether or not the Phoenix Suns pursue the trade of their All Star as they look to compensated equitably. Or will they look to see if they can persuade Stoudemire to remain with the team and make one last onslaught at winning an NBA championship ? From where I stand, that horse bolted from the stable a long time ago. Neither Steve Kerr or Robert Sarver for that matter, bothered to look and see that this particular ‘one trick pony’ as in the Phoenix Suns had in essence become an old nag on its very last legs. This team has absolutely no chance of winning an NBA championship ! At best, all they’ll be able to do is to put up a commendable effort in the postseason before the inevitable seems to happen. And that’s for them for them to get blown out of the building much like when a sandstorm hits a barren desert landscape and just raises everything in its path. That is in essence is what the Phoenix Suns has now become !

Billionaire mogul and business entrepreneur , Robert Sarver seen here at a business symposium

NBA Western Conference Standings Click the link provided to see the standing in its entirety.


1 Los Angeles Lakers (33-11)
2 Denver Nuggets (29-14)
3 Dallas Mavericks (29-15)
4 Portland Trailblazers (27-18)
5 San Antonio Spurs (25-17)
6 Utah Jazz (25-18)
7 Phoenix Suns (26-19)
8 Houston Rockets (24-19)

Click here to view the Phoenix Suns’ roster.

Can we say that Victor Frankenstein and Steve Kerr do indeed have something in common ? Allegedly brilliant minds both but they either tend to surround themselves with incompetency or they just tend to have a knack for performing incompetently themselves ?