The bouncing ball and the NBA

The bouncing ball and the NBA

By Tophatal

The NBA season is but a mere eight days old , and already we have seen the rise of the Houston Rockets and the effect that the James Harden trade had added excitement to this franchise . And now with it comes the expectation of tangible success , as Kevin McHale and this team are riding on the crest of a wave.

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It is still early days yet , but there are no real early surprise as the season unfolds, It is still early days yet , but what has come to the fore , have been the number players now on the NBA injury , which in certain instances will deal a great blow to the championship aspects of so many teams. As of Wednesday night, the New York Knicks (3-0) remained the NBA’s lone undefeated team , as they lead the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference by 1 ½ games over the Philadelphia 76ers (2-2). My own inclination is while the season still remains in its infancy , we are unlikely to see any real surprises . Questions will undoubtedly abound , as to how effective the rookies will be , and the sort of impact they are like to have for their respective teams. With the New Orleans Hornets’ Anthony Davis already sidelined with a concussion , it now also begs the question how safe is the game of basketball within the NBA ? This season , a strict new criteria has been initiated by the league hierarchy , which already has a number of coaches questioning the over-zealousness of the league. Hornets’ head coach, Monty Williams hinted that he was not entirely happy with the fact that Davis would have to miss two games , but also with the league’s new stance on concussions. Far be it for me to suggest , but I would have thought more prudent to err on the side of caution , rather than risk the health , livelihood and the investment placed upon a player, rather than reinserting the athlete back into a game, when he has not been fully cleared by a medical professional !

If the fast start of the Houston Rockets has come as a surprise , then most certainly the fact that the New York Knicks, apart from being unbeaten , it is the fact that the team is playing solid defense over a forty-eight minute period , and that they are doing so without the aid of Amare’ Stoudemire , who remains sidelined by an injury. In Stoudemire’s absence, others have stepped up to the plate , to aid Carmelo Anthony in the team’s offensive productivity , while Tyson Chandler leads the defensive efforts on this roster. It seems somewhat idiotic at present that there would be calls for Amare Stoudemire to be traded at this point of the season , when the trade deadline is not until early February , but there is a thought that the return of the power forward would upset the cohesive flow of the team. Clearly, head coach, Mike Woodson at present, is unwilling to address the issue , while the front office led by GM Glen Grunwald remains mute on the subject. Any proposed trade of Stoudemire to begin with , is littered with pitfalls , as the player is still owed in excess of $62 million over the three remaining years of his existing contract. The sheer idiocy of the fans and analysts alike , who raise such a premise , when having no full knowledge of the inner workings and the business side of the NBA, is a clear indication , as to why this country finds itself in such an economic mess . Sheer stupidity, not only runs amok within the federal government , but also within a large majority of a clueless sporting public , whose IQ is barely above that of a gnat.

So all is not quite right in ‘La-La Land , as the beleaguered Los Angeles Lakers (1-4) now find themselves at the base of the Pacific Division , looking up at divisional leaders , the Golden State Warriors (3-2), who are followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (3-2), Sacramento Kings (2-3), and Phoenix Suns (2-3), in that order . With all of the hoopla made after the big splash with the Lakers’ acquiring two-time league
MVP
, Steve Nash and three-time Defensive Player of the Year , Dwight Howard , all the elements were said to be in pace for this team to be dominant within their division and the Western Conference. An out of shape, Dwight Howard reported for duty , chiming in that he was ready to bring a great deal of success to a franchise that has simply known nothing but success for the greater part of its existence. Nash, the “ ageless wonder” , remains sidelined by a leg injury (leg contusion & swelling of the knee) that is taking longer than anticipated to heal.

If there is said to be one coach who will be under a great deal of scrutiny this season , then it will have to be Mike Brown of the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers’ issues last came to light , with the team’s dismissal in the 2012 NBA Playoffs , by the Oklahoma City , who would go on to be the 2012 Western Conference champions , and losing finalist to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals of last season. That disappointment spoke volumes as to the deficiencies of the team in 2012, and why GM Mitch Kupchak and Lakers’ SVP, Jim Buss made the decision to revamp the roster . Success, and by that I mean the Los Angeles being viewed as a perennial contender and going deep into the playoffs , is the deepest desire of the owners of the franchise, with the ultimate goal of being crowned NBA champions.

Kobe Bryant , seasoned veteran, current face of the franchise , and elder statesman of the team, still remains eager to win , and like his younger counterpart LeBron James . That appetite, and zeal to be viewed as amongst the very best to have ever played the game, winning multiple titles , remains at the forefront of their reasons to be playing, and entertaining the fans. Between the pair, Bryant and James have won six NBA titles , four league MVP awards , and three NBA Finals’ MVP awards , and Olympic gold , representing Team USA at the Olympics.

What we have witnessed from the Lakers through their first five games , have been the defensive deficiencies of the team . Mike Brown’s failure , and that of his coaching staff , in trying to instill this trait in his players , has been the primary reason behind many of the Lakers’ lackluster performances this season . Metta World Peace , one time Defensive Player of the Year, has lost a considerable step or two , as a defensive stalwart, and as an offensive presence. While I have always been a great admirer of the Los Angeles Lakers from afar , I now get the feeling that as Kobe Bryant approaches the twilight of his career , this franchise will simply lose traction as a perennial contender for postseason honors ! When Kobe has an off-night, there is no one , that you could actually point to , and state categorically , that player will actually lead by example and pick up the slack. If you clearly believe that I am wrong in that context , then clearly state your reasons why ?

As an impassioned fan of the San Antonio Spurs , it is my hope that the team will have learned profound lessons from their experiences of last season , and specifically from the events that led to their ouster in the conference finals to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Gregg Popovich , remains the quintessential coach , admired by his peers and fans alike. Popovich , is amongst the four current head coaches in the NBA, with an NBA title on their resume`. Rick Carlisle , Erik Spoelstra , Doc Rivers , and the current Spurs’ coach , are the only individuals with that distinction currently coaching in the NBA. It certainly now gives credence as how thin the current makeup of the coaching fraternity just happens to be within the NBA. And one should consider the following of the twenty-two NBA finals decided since 1990 , fifteen of those finals have dominated by the presence Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich , finally holding aloft the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the culmination of those Finals. What says about the dominance of these two individuals as NBA head coaches , certifies the fact, that both will be future inductees into the Basketball Hall of Fame .

The knock against the San Antonio Spurs in recent seasons , is the very fact that , Tim Duncan , Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are getting old , and have lost a step or two . Last I looked , this trio, as part of this franchise, are one of the nascent reasons behind some of the Spurs’ most historic moments ,while along the way , since the triumvirate have been together , they have guaranteed the fact, each year over the past decade ,with the exception of the curtailed seasons , they have finished with an above .500 record and have averaged 50 plus wins in each of the seasons mentioned . No other franchise in NBA history can match that feat , in having established such a run.

The makeup of the Spurs’ roster this season , is a blend of youth and experience. Team GM, R C Buford , team owner,Peter Holt and Popovich have established a successful franchise, that still remains the envy of the NBA . . Buford through judicious choices in the NBA Draft , and making the most of the free agency market over the years has been able to assemble a roster that he and Popovich believes will be competitive over a long and arduous season. The team’s choice in this year’s Draft was Marcus Denmon , taken as the 59th pick overall in the third round of the NBA Draft by the Spurs. Denmon is likely to spend some time in the NBA Development League , honing his game before that expected call-up to contribute as a starter on the team. Marcus Demon will be assigned with the Spurs’ D League affiliate , the Austin Toros . Taylor Jenkins and his coaching staff will seek the young rookie’s skills , as they have previous done with DeJuan Blair , Gary Neal and Tiago Splitter , players who are currently on the Spurs’ roster, and proving to be invaluable assets for the team this season. If the team is to prevail over the course of the season , then it will be incumbent for the Spurs to get consistent performances from their heralded trio , as well as from the role players on the roster.

Defending NBA champions , the Miami Heat are the prohibitive favorites to make a successful defense of their title . And it is hard to against the grain , when you consider how talent laden that roster now happens to be. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade , Chris Bosh and Ray Allen , not only add versatility to the makeup of that team , on the bear face of it this might just be a better roster than the Heat team that decisively defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder. . Head coach , Erik Spoelstra , under the watchful eye of his mentor and team President , Pat Riley have molded a resilient team of seasoned veterans with a splattering of youth . Now with their being repeated conversations, that the team is capable of surpassing the Chicago Bulls’ 72-10 record , from their championship winning season of 1995-96 . Are we as such putting the cart before the horse ? Now as good as this Heat team might appear to be on paper , does anyone truly believe that with LeBron James leading this roster , they would be able to challenge that Bulls’ mark ? Never mind the fact that the quality of the rosters then and now would have to be taken into account . What thoughts if any , do you have on the matter ? ? People also seem to be forgetting how dominant that Michael Jordan led team just happened to be , and that is with no disrespect to this current Miami Heat team. . I do believe that the Miami Heat can make a serious assault on that record , but in the end they are liable to fall short .

There seems to be this continued asinine assignation within the world of sports that municipalities are there to provide the billionaire and multimillionaire owners with the facilities needed to house their various sports’ franchises. Nowhere is this more prevalent than each of the four major professional sports __ specifically within the NFL , NBA and Major League Baseball . And along with it comes this apathetic absurdity of the fans who believe it appropriate that municipalities’ resources , be used to build such venues . Someone needs to ask Michael Bloomberg , if he still believe it was money well spent , in spending $775 million to build Citi-field , home to the New York Mets , a venue that in 2012 was never filled to capacity for any of the team’s home games . In light of that, we now have the continued idiocy of what has been an ongoing situation in Sacramento , California between the city , led by its mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson , as he tries to appeal to sense of fairness , from the egotistical traits of Joe and Gavin Maloof , co-owners of the Sacramento Kings’ franchise .

Groveling , as Johnson has been repeatedly doing , as he has not dealing from a position of strength , shows he, and the city of Sacramento , to be in a desperate situation . What might be even more unpalatable about this unsavory affair , is the very fact that the Maloofs have been duplicitous during this whole episode , while David Stern monitors this all from afar. One should remember the events now taking place , are almost an exact repeat , in the chain of events in Seattle that led to the departure of the then, Seattle Supersonics , who, having been purchased by Clay Bennett , were relocated to Oklahoma City. It should be remembered , at the very beginning David Stern and the owners promised that the franchise would not be moved outside the confines of Seattle . Yet lo and behold once the powers that be in Oklahoma City, threw its hat into the ring , with a sweetheart deal of deferred taxes for the proposed new franchise (Oklahoma City Thunder) , all bets were off with the city of Seattle . It should be noted that the commissioner interjected himself in the midst of those deliberations , repeatedly siding with Clay Bennett , rather than being an impartial bystander . A $25 million payout was made to the city of Seattle , and off went the Sonics, to their new-found home. The rest as they say is history , with a forlorn city left with nothing but a white elephant , that once housed an NBA franchise .

For the city of Sacramento, with its own budgetary woes , as the nation is in the midst of an economic blight , shows a lack a of unpreparedness , initiative but above all a complete lack of common sense on the part of the leadership hierarchy of the city, itself. If Johnson feels that his city should be using their much-needed resources to aid a billionaire family such as the Maloofs , without their being any reciprocal offer from the franchise , then whatever the fallout may well be from this all , it will not be of any benefit to the city, while it remains in the midst of a financial crisis of its own making , and further looking to embarrass themselves and their residents, with their continued groveling and ass kissing of Joe and Gavin Maloof. The Sacramento Kings have been hemorrhaging red ink all over the damn place , as this once proud franchise has become a comical caricature of sheer incompetence while being completely mismanaged both on and off the field of play. There is no accounting for apathy or stupidity, but it now apparently, is the norm within the city of Sacramento, amongst its politicians and most certainly amongst the fans, as they consider being screwed over repeatedly by the Sacramento Kings’ ownership group. Couldn’t happen to a bunch of more misguided souls !

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Picture gallery.

At this point of the NBA season , what if anything has been the biggest surprise to you ? And which teams do you believe will be amongst the league’s big contenders over the course of this NBA schedule ? Chime in with a thought as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below.
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(1) Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) is fouled by Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried (35) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Houston. Denver won 93-87 . AP Photo/Pat Sullivan …

(2) New York Knicks’ Rasheed Wallace (36) celebrates with Tyson Chandler , right, at the end of the third quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, in Philadelphia. The Knicks won 110-88 . AP Photo/Michael Perez …

(3) PHILADELPHIA – NOVEMBER 5: Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks shoots against Dorell Wright (4) and Thaddeus Young (21) of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 5, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images …

(4) The Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire , left, smiles along with Raymond Felton during Media Day at the New York Knicks training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle ….

(5) FILE – This July 11, 2012 file photo shows Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown, left, and owner Jim Buss laughing during a news conference at the basketball team’s headquarters in El Segundo, Calif. A report from USA Today says the Lakers have fired Brown after a 1-4 start to his second season in charge of the team. The newspaper report Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 cited Brown’s agent, Warren Legarie, as the source of the information. AP Photo/Reed Saxon …..

(6) Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak talks about the NBA basketball team’s firing of coach Mike Brown, during a news conference in El Segundo, Calif., Friday, Nov. 9, 2012. Assistant coach Bernie Bickerstaff will coach the Lakers against the Golden State Warriors later Friday while the club’s top brass searches for Brown’s replacement. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes …

(7) In this photo taken Oct. 21, 2012, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant passes the ball as a fan holds up a sign regarding Lakers coach Mike Brown during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings in Los Angeles. The Lakers fired Brown on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, after a 1-4 start in his second season in charge. Prior to the start of the preseason , former Lakers’ great , Magic Johnson , indicated that the the franchise needed to win and win big this season , as Mike Brown would be under an all too public microscope, because of the mere fact that was thought to be a deeply talent laden team . Looks can be , oh so deceiving , and the Los Angeles are simply proof of that . With the rumors now seeming to foment that Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak will seek to gauge former head coach Phil Jackson and his interest in returning the team, that he guided to five NBA titles during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill …

(8) Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) looks for an open teammate past Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Johnson (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game , Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Miami. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

(9) From left to right Joe Maloof , Sacramento mayor , Kevin Johnson and Gavin Maloof , are seen here prior to an NBA game in 2011 . The Kings’ ownership and the city of Sacramento are in the midst of what best can be described an acrimonious deliberation process concerning the retention of the franchise and the building of a multimillion dollar facility in a joint public and private enterprise partnership for the Sacramento Kings. At present the franchise plays in the Power Balance Pavilion Arena in downtown Sacramento , California . The venue is now twenty four years old , and in need of a major upgrade, however, the franchise ownership group is unwilling to pay for the renovation in partnership with the city. AP Photo / Mark Hall ….
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NBA related links : Kings reportedly talking to Virginia governor about relocating

Pacers’ Granger has knee procedure , to miss three months

Monty Williams fined over remarks on concussions

Lakers’ guard Blake fined $25,000 by league

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NBA posts within this site & NBA pieces

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NBA news & …….. archive news

NBA important dates

2012 NBA Draft

NBA schedule 9th November

NBA results 11/08/2012

NBA standings by division

NBA standings by conference indicating margin differentials

NBA transactions

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NBA team valuations’ list

NBA top salaries

NBA team salaries

NB: Note there is a ‘ soft salary cap’ mandated by the league hierarchy of $58.044 million for the 2012-13 season

NB: At the time of my beginning to compile this article , I was not aware that the Lakers had just fired the team’s head coach Mike Brown , after franchise’s disastrous 1-4 start to the season . For more details on the story please click on the links provided below.

Los Angeles Lakers news & news features

Lakers’ news courtesy of Yahoo.com

Lakers fire Mike Brown after 1-4 start

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Hot chic pic of the day Tahiry Jose`

I’m all about the Benjamin’s but f#ck this !

I’m all about the Benjamin’s but f#ck this !

By Tophatal

So with the opening week of the NBA only three days away , the salvo heard around the league is that of the Oklahoma City Thunder trading away their Sixth Man of the Year , James Harden . The player who won Olympic gold , being a member of Team USA at the London Olympics , was also a member of the Thunder’s roster who lost a lopsided series (4-1) to the Miami Heat , in the 2012 NBA Finals . The deal involved Harden as a center piece of what has to be said , is something is a lopsided trade that favors the Oklahoma City Thunder .

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In what appear to be too long a protracted deal between Harden’s agent Rob </a</a</a</aPelinka and Sam Presti, general manager of the Western Conference champions . The agent sought a max contract , befitting of his client, that would see the player being offered a 5 year $60 million deal . However, it appears that the small market Thunder , in spite the rise in their acclaim fan-base and growing prominence within the league, the decision was made to deny Pelinka’s request on behalf of his client. With the deal now a nonstarter , the Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey approached the Thunder with a way out that appeared amenable to all of the parties concerned. Morey’s offer was a trade of the expiring contract of Kevin Martin and the franchise’s 2012 first round draft pick ——- Jeremy Lamb , in exchange for James Harden. Also thrown in to further “sweeten “ the deal, would be the fact that the Thunder would get two first round draft picks for 2013 and 2014. Anyone with an ounce of common sense , can see that the Oklahoma City Thunder has gotten the better end of this deal. Harden, may well be going to play alongside Jeremy Lin , but the move only marginally makes the Rockets better. In return , coach Scott Brooks gets a proven scorer , in Kevin Martin , and a player in, Jeremy Lamb , a focused young rookie , who has proven his worth as a member of the 2011 NCAA national championship team , the U Conn Huskies. Whether or not the addition of Lamb and Martin , gives a new resolve to Kevin Durant , Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka , remains to be seen . Anyone who believes that this trade makes the Oklahoma City Thunder , considerably weaker, then they should consider asking themselves what are gains and then disadvantages to this deal?

This trade may well prove to be fortuitous for the Oklahoma City Thunder , but at the same time , one has to question what this now does to the dynamics as it relates to the makeup of the roster , from last season to now ? Harden , Kevin Durant , and Russell Westbrook made up a formidable offensive threat with their scoring capabilities , and the intangibles brought by Harden on both ends of the floor . The addition of Martin provides an additional scorer for the team , and with Jeremy Lamb beginning to show that he is capable of playing the NBA , after a successful career with the U Conn Huskies’ program , it would appear that Sam Presti , could very well be unto something in terms of this trade.

As many of you might have been recently be made aware , NBA Commissioner , David Stern , will step down from his position , a role that he has held for the past three decades. The commissioner, intends to step down in February , 2014, and will be succeeded by his deputy , Adam Silver. In the three decades that Stern has presided over the league , the NBA’s revenues have grown exponentially , as the values of the teams within this enterprise, have risen to unprecedented heights. The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks remain two of the leagues more forceful franchise , while also being amongst the most valuable .

While I have admired Stern from afar as being the consummate businessman , in recent years many of his decisions have become a boon to the NBA franchise who now struggle to eke out a profit . And seated at the head of the table, are the New York Knicks , who are followed by the Lakers in terms of profitability and revenues . In recent years, a number of teams have struggled due to their not being fiscally responsible. David Stern would have us believe that the problems that have ensued primarily came about due to a dour economy , but when question as to why the franchises have significantly chosen to increase their budgetary expenditure with regard to team payrolls , while not making an attempt to rein in costs, the commissioner’s response have been somewhat nonsensical and almost unbelievably naïve . Yet , somehow Stern , the NBA hierarchy and team owners have a fashioned a response to so many of their woes, by apportioning blame upon the NBPA (Players’ Union) for the league’s ills. The NBA’s handling of their forced lockout that curtailed and cut short the season from 82 games to sixty-six , left many wondering, if David Stern’s ego had got the better of him. And even after an agreement, which many of the league’s top analysts believed to be amenable , there still remains a growing distrust between Billy Hunter’s members and the league hierarchy.

Big bold season ahead for the 2012-13 season and with a rash of offseason moves made by the teams, and now the questions being asked . Can LeBron James reign supreme over the league once again, winning the NBA’s biggest individual awards, while leading the Miami Heat in making a successful defense of their NBA title? And will Derrick Rose make a successful return to the NBA, while the Chicago Bulls looks to redeem themselves after last year’s postseason demise in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Rose’s injury , and coach Tom Thibodeau’s indecision during that series , led many to believe that the Bulls’ run would be short-lived.

This season, the Chicago Bulls will be without Rose, for their first twenty to thirty five games , as he seeks to make a full recovery , having undergone knee surgery. While the Bulls’ best player remains sequestered on the sidelines , it will be left to the likes of Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson, Richard Hamilton, Kirk Hinrich , and Luol Deng , to take up the slack and steer the team back to winning ways. Bulls’ owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM John Paxson were no doubt tremendously disappointed in the way the team succumbed the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs in losing that first round series 4-2.

The common feeling amongst the fans and most NBA analysts, is that the Chicago Bulls will remain legitimate contenders , but a stalwart such as the Boston Celtics , alongside the New York Knicks , Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets will be part of the Eastern Conference’s postseason fare during the 2012-13 schedule.

Of the teams mentioned perhaps the most intriguing might just be the Brooklyn Nets . Having removed from New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York, into the NBA’s newest venue , the Barclaycard Center , an almost $600 million edifice , built with the height of opulence, for even the most discerning of fans. Team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , general manager Billy King and head coach Avery Johnson have seen fit to revamp the roster with the addition of a number of free agents along with the team’s insertion of their draft choices . The biggest acquisition made was that of Joe Johnson along with the $60 million still owed to the player over the three remaining years of his existing contract. I’ve read a number of pieces breaking down why the Nets will be a force to be reckoned with this upcoming season . The consensus is that this remains Deron Williams’ team, whose leadership skills and arguably his playing ability will have to be at his optimum best if the Nets are to mount a serious challenge against the Bulls, Celtics and Heat , this upcoming season. If the Nets can prevail over the Big Three within the conference , as well as the other contenders within the Atlantic Division , the franchise’s domiciled division.

Now while a great deal of the offseason news tribulations of a number of franchises were well chronicled , perhaps the biggest story, just happened to be the Lakers’ acquisition of Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic . Howard , was not the only All Star to have joined the renowned Los Angeles franchise , as Mitch Kupchak engineered the smooth maneuver to obtain p two-time league MVP Steve Nash. Nash’s acquisition will give the Lakers one of the best back-courts in the NBA , with the former Phoenix Suns’ point guard joining Kobe Bryant, to create a formidable force for this team. Head coach, Mike Brown, for his part knew that this team failed miserably last season , with far too much pressure being placed upon the lofty shoulders of Bryant , while many of his teammates stood idly by. Having won five championships with the franchise, Kobe Bryant remains hungry for that sixth championship ring, that would place him alongside his idol , Michael Jordan , whose six championships with the Bulls , six Finals’ MVP , and six regular season MVP awards , cements Jordan as the greatest player to have ever graced the NBA stage. Bryant will upon his retirement will be a shoo-in for the Naismith Hall of Fame .

The Western Conference , this season I believe will be a monumental dogfight between the Los Angeles Lakers , Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs . As the Western Conference champions , the Thunder will have a tough task on their hands to make a successful defense of that title. As teams chase postseason glory , it will incumbent upon the coaches , general managers and the league hierarchy itself to provide the NBA fans with a product that they will find to their liking. A truncated season in 2012 , led to poor play in a number of games , but what cannot be denied is the very fact that injuries played a large part in determining the season. David Stern tried to suggest that was not the case , even in light of the evidence that suggested to the contrary. The commissioner has served the NBA well , working in conjunction with major corporate sponsors , some of which are amongst the biggest companies on the NYSE and that venerable publication Fortune Magazine. But it was undoubtedly Stern’s keen instinct to realize an asset and then use that asset to great effect. Michael Jordan , was “ King Midas” , for the league, as the player’s fame and notoriety was elevated . The commissioner made sure that he was able to ride on Jordan’s coattails, as the NBA brand became a worldwide phenomenon , easily outstripping the popularity of the NFL, and what was said to be America’s pastime , baseball(MLB) . Granted, the NFL, remains a $7.5 billion business annually, in terms of its revenue , while baseball peaks at $7 billion , with the NBA’s own revenues topping out at $4.345 billion . But by for sheer brand recognition , it is the NBA that now has the clout that the NFL and baseball could only wish they possessed. I would have mentioned the NHL , but that remains a sport that repeatedly over the past two decades has shot itself in the foot , and seems completely bereft of common sense and amongst its hierarchy , franchise owners and union (NHLPA). Beyond that , there is not much more that needs to be said , concerning the sport of ice hockey, as the hierarchy enforces their a league wide lockout in the past two decades. And the fans of hockey don’t seem to feel slighted by this idiocy ? I guess not , if they remain not only silent with their apathy to begin with ! NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and his union counterpart , Donald Fehr , Executive Director of the NHLPA , might just be , two of the dumbest executives , in all of professional sports ! Your thoughts on this ? .

Queue the season , and on opening night 30th October, 2012 and there are three games on the opening day schedule. The Cleveland Cavaliers will play host to the Washington Wizards , at Quicken Loans Arena , in Cleveland , Ohio. The second , of the trio of games will have the Miami Heat taking on the Boston Celtics at the famed AA Arena , in Miami , Florida, with the final game , pits the Dallas Mavericks —– against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center , in Los Angeles , California,.

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Picture gallery .

With the regular season due to begin this Wednesday , what do you hope to see this upcoming season within the NBA ? And have you been entirely happy with the tenure of David Stern as the NBA commissioner ? Do leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow details for your perusal.
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(1) In this May 3, 2012 photo, Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden (13) grabs a loose ball against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 3 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs in Dallas. The Thunder have traded Sixth Man of the Year Harden to the Houston Rockets, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb , two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal that was completed Saturday night, Oct. 27, 2012. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez …

(2) In this Oct. 1, 2012, photo, Houston Rockets’ Kevin Martin poses during the NBA basketball team’s media day in Houston. The Oklahoma City Thunder have traded Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Rockets, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions. The Thunder acquired guards Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb, two first-round picks and a second-round pick in the surprising deal that was completed Saturday night, Oct. 27, 2012. Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan,File …..

(3) In this Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 photo, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, left, and Kevin Durant, right, wait to come back into an NBA preseason basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, in Tulsa, Okla. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki …

(4) Sam Presti, general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder seen here announcing the trade that would send James Harden and two role players from the Thunder’s staff to the Houston Rockets , in exchange for Kevin Martin , Jeremy Lamb and two first round draft picks from the 2013 and 2014 NBA Draft. AP Photo/ Greg Edelson ….

(5) From left to right , NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver , is seen here with David Stern , commissioner of the NBA. Stern recently announced that he would be stepping down from his current role , effective in February, 2014. The commissioner has held that position for an astonishing thirty years , during which he has led the institution from a small multimillion dollar concern , to a now mutli-billion dollar industry , with satellite offices globally and commercial tie-ins with several Fortune 500 Companies . Getty Images / Chris Graythern …..

(6) Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose , left, speaks during the NBA basketball team’s news conference, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, in Deerfield, Ill. AP Photo/Charles Cherney …

(7) Another “Fab Five” ? In picture are , foreground Kobe Bryant , Metta World Peace, background , left to right Steve Nash , Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol . The quintet pictured , are seen at the Toyota Center , training facility for the Los Angeles Lakers , in El Segundo , California . GM Mitch Kupchak , and head coach Mike Brown hope that with the franchise’s offseason moves , this will be enough to make the Lakers a formidable force to contend with this season within the NBA . AP Photo / Emilio Etchevarria ….

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NBA pieces related within this site

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Williams: Felton better point guard than Lin

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