Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kidd: 6th All-Time in Assists

You know that you have been watching the game of basketball for quite some time when players that you grew up with (When Kidd broke into the league in 94', I was 18) start climbing to the top of several NBA career lists.

One such veteran is New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd who is amidst his 14th season in the NBA. reported that Kidd "entered Wednesday night needing eight dimes to pass "The Glove" for sixth on the career list. He finished with 13 assists against the Pistons, upping his career total to 8,972 dishes."

89 dimes to go for 5th place.

You can bet that's going to happen this year too.

Career assists

John Stockton 15,806
Mark Jackson 10,334
Magic Johnson 10,141
Oscar Robertson 9,887
Isiah Thomas 9,061
Jason Kidd 8,972
Gary Payton 8,966

Now playing: Jars Of Clay - These Ordinary Days
via FoxyTunes

Jason Williams - "We're like some high-paid prostitutes anyway in this league."

What was once never openly uttered, has now finally been said out loud.

Am I surprised? No.

It is amusing though that it took this long for someone to finally say something.

I just didn't expect it to be Heat guard Jason "White Chocolate" Williams.

Longtime Heat beat writer and Sun-Sentinel columnist Ira Winderman wrote:

"The thing about it is how it affects your family," Williams said before scoring nine points in Tuesday's 96-82 loss to the Cavaliers.

With the trading deadline less than two months away, Williams said he can't help feel he's viewed more as an expiring contract than a needed contributor.

"We're like some high-paid prostitutes anyway in this league," he said. "They just use and get rid of us whenever they want."

Williams is in the final year of a contract that pays $8.9 million this season.

"If it happens, it happens," he said.

What Williams doesn't appreciate is being scapegoated.

"Losing, everybody's just going to start to look for reasons why," he said. "Blame this, blame that, blame him, blame me."

Now playing: Jars Of Clay - Sunny Days
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Kidd's total hits 94

With 15 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists last night against the Golden State Warriors; New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd has already recorded his seventh triple-double (94th for his career) in only the second month of the young 07'-08' NBA season.

And it's not even Christmas.


In Kidd's most productive triple-double season (The 06'-07' NBA season with 12), he didn't register his 7th triple-double until the 11th of January 2007.

When asked about his exceptional rebounding skills, Kidd said, "I'm just getting better with age."

Yahoo Sports
also added that Kidd is in line to surpass his idol Earvin "Magic" Johnson in career rebounds as Kidd needs only to add 21 rebounds to his career total of 6,538.

This would place him in "fourth place career among NBA guards in rebounds."

If Magic is currently fourth and J-Kidd fifth.

Who then is one, two, and three on that list?

My money is on Oscar and Elgin Baylor.

What do you guys think?

Now playing: Fergie - Glamorous (Featuring Gwen Stefani)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, December 21, 2007

Basketball Injuries: The Pain of a Sprained Ankle

Caught the tail end of the New Jersey Nets @ Miami Heat third quarter.

With 0.3 tenths of a second left in the quarter, Miami Heat swingman Antoine Wright landed badly on his right ankle (which may effectively keep him out of action for the next few weeks based on the fact that he had to be carried to the locker room by a couple of his teammates).

Watching Wright lying on the baseline of American Airlines Arena brought chills down my spine as I began to recall a similar injury that I suffered to right ankle back in July.

It's no picnic folks. YES Network analyst Mark Jackson wasn't kidding when he said that "your body goes weak" and "you wonder if you will ever walk again" when one suffers such an injury.

At least Wright's ankle was "likely" taped (a standard operating procedure for today's NBA player) when he landed near the base of his opponents foot. Mine wasn't. And I had the misfortune of wearing running shoes in lieu of basketball shoes.

Anyway, here is hoping for a quick and speedy recovery to Antoine Wright.

Shout outs and best wishes as well to Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning who had surgery yesterday on a "torn patellar tendon and quadriceps tear in his right leg."

Congratulations are also in order to New Jersey Nets quintessential point guard who scored his 14,000th career point in their game against Miami yesterday. AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds reported that Kidd is "the third player in NBA history with that many points to go with 8,500 assists and 6,500 rebounds, joining Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson."

Now playing: Ne-Yo - Because Of You
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One more time for Air Jordan?

Charlotte Bobcats Head Coach Sam Vincent is "giddy" these days.

He can envision Michael Jordan (who joined the Bobcats for a workout the other day) playing spot minutes (8-10 per game) as a highly effective small forward.

When asked, Jordan just shrugged it off and doused water in any potential fire by saying, "they can't afford me."

For the man that build the buildings of Nike.

Who set many of the standards for many in the game of basketball.

It may have only been one practice.

But it was fun to see Mike in action again.

Now playing: Huey Lewis & The News - Back In Time
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Head coaches behind the microphone...can they ever be themselves?

With the NBA "trying something new" (An unprecedented move in the regular season--but not in past during NBA All-Star games--wherein mics have been placed on several players.) in terms of broadcasting their live games...

The question has being posed: How will the NBA head coaches react to this invasion of privacy?

Answer: To date, a number of coaches have not welcomed the proposition with a smile and open arms (based on the a number of negative sentiments of the matter), but they will do it anyway because the NBA and their "superiors" would "demand" it from them.

AP Sports Writer Greg Beacham wrote:

"Phil Jackson and Don Nelson became the latest reluctant NBA coaches to wear microphones on the sideline for the television broadcast. While Jackson had done it before, Nelson didn't relish his first time under the mike. "It's going to be hard to be yourself, for sure," Nelson said before the game. "You end up being an artificial person ... (but) my superiors demanded that I do it, so we'll do the best we can. Since four-letter words are about all I know, it's really cutting into my vocabulary."

I just love the candor of Coach Nelson. Don't you?

What if, in the heat of the moment, he blurt out expletives left and right? He loses his cool and engages the referee in a not so pleasant "conversation?" What then? Man, if it says "Parental Guidance" or "Parental Advisory" on the bottom right hand of your television screens, then you will now know why.

But seriously, teams...coaches for that matter have only a minute during a full timeout and a third of that time during 20 second timeouts to consolidate their thoughts and devise a game plan for their next defensive or offensive set.

Will they spend half that time thinking of politically correct terms? Grammar?

I don't think so. This, I believe, was the message that Coach Nelson was attempting to convey when he said, "you end up being and artificial person."

It would be interesting situation though...

Very interesting indeed...

Now playing: Boyz II Men - All Around The World
via FoxyTunes

Miami Heat Defense made D Stevenson feel like Hibachi

December 14, 2007 - Washington 104 @ Miami 91

Much like the struggling Nets, the Miami Heat have yet to hit mid-season form and win games with some semblance of consistency. It could be worse though, they could be the New York Knicks who can't win anything.

Looking forward, I really don't expect anything to change in the near future as the Heat lost (by a lot as they were down between 8-11 points at HOME to the Gilbert Arenasless Washington Wizards) despite having almost their whole lineup ready for action (this is basically Jason Williams as everyone else (outside the regulars) doesn't get off the bench and Smush Parker doesn't seem to exist anymore in the eyes of the Heat brain trust after his $12 dollar valet parking fiasco a couple of weeks ago).

How bad are things down at South Beach? Well, longtime Heat bear writer Ira Winderman put it best.

Winderman wrote for

Stevenson said on TNT's halftime interview, "I felt like Hibachi," a reference to the sizzling streak shooting of sidelined Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas.

Stevenson entered having scored 28 total points on 32-percent shooting in his four previous outings.

With the victory, the Wizards improved to 9-5 in Arenas' absence.

The Heat's defense (D.Wade has to take some blame here with his freelancing defense on Stevenson) actually made another player feel like Hibachi?

That's rich!

It's certainly something that you don't hear everyday (and at halftime to boot!).

But I digress, DeShawn Stevenson has and will be given credit. He can shoot the basketball, especially if there is no one in front of him (See Hibachi vs. DeShawn shoot it out in a February 07' YouTube Clip).

Last night, the defense was at best....token.

Now playing: Usher Raymond - You Make Me Wanna...
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nets, Clips, JKidd's 93rd Triple D, and the need to get that old winning magic back!

December 11, 2007 - The Los Angeles Clippers at the New Jersey Nets in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The first full 07'-08' game that I finally found the time to watch and sadly, it was ugly.

The Nets missed 15 straight shots in the fourth quarter before "garbage time" set in with Jason Kidd getting points number 10 and 11 in the process.

That was basically the highlight of the game. Kidd's opportunity to record his second consecutive triple-double and sixth of this young NBA season.

It looked good in the start. He had 8 assists. 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 10 assists at the end of three. And the difference in the fourth (Kidd finished with 11 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds).


These Nets are certainly a far cry from last year's squad.

Maybe they need to take a page out of the Los Angeles Clippers playbook and "dig in deep" to find something that can motivate them.

The Clips, though last in their division, could have just thrown in the towel this season after Elton Brand tore his Achilles heel and Sam "I Am" Cassell managed to get hurt again. But with the spirited play of Chris Kaman, and new comers Ruben Patterson and Dan Dickau...they give a good give it their all "night-in-and-night-out."

Wake up New Jersey!

You have a full compliment of players and none of them have any significant injury!

There is still time.

But you have to start somewhere.

Why not now?

Now playing: Tevin Campbell - Back to the World
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It is on YouTube! (Shaq takes out Przybilla) And Barkley says his peace!

I knew it! I knew it! Someone did post Shaq's Attaq on poor Joel Przybilla over at

However, since embedding the said video to other sites has been disable by the YouTube user, the link is the next best thing.


Portland Trailblazers center Joel Przybilla basically got hurt in the second Heat possession of the game! It's an amature video from the bleachers section, but you can still make everyone out on the court (well, at least you can tell who Shaquille is among the group...he is pretty hard not to miss).

Well, at the possession goes, Shaq received the ball on the right block and turns right into Przybilla--BAM! Offensive foul. Everything seemed to be ok at first with almost everyone running down court with an exception of a few Trailblazers.

Then looking at the instant replay up in the Jumbo Tron, the ground must have been the last place that Joel Przybilla wanted to be in as Shaq seemed to get entangled with his feet and did one of those wrestling kamikazi dives towards Przybilla and bore down his full weight (well most of it) and the basketball on Przybilla's face--effectively knocking him out of commission for the next few minutes.

Of course, that is not end of it as there are reports that Charles Barkley had said that if that had ever been done to him, he would have had executed some swift retribution.

I'll leave it at that.

You can see the first two minutes of the Miami Heat at Portland Trailblazers match up in the aforementioned video.

And I am glad that Joel Przybilla is ok.

Now playing: Usher Raymond - Caught Up
via FoxyTunes

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Shaq Attaq!!!

Now I've heard it all (wish I could say that I saw it...maybe YouTube has it somewhere)...

Here is what Sun-Sentinel columnist and longtime Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman wrote about the Heat's recent match up against the Portland Trailblazers:

Portland center Joel Przybilla said he still doesn't know what hit him when O'Neal stumbled into him during Thursday's first quarter, knocking him out when the force of the ball and O'Neal's 325 pounds hit him in the face.

"He apologized for it several times during the game," Przybilla said, "but I told him I didn't remember."

The Shaq Attaq!!!

This certainly beats Shaquille taking down a backboard (April 23, 1993):

Sports Illustrated wrote:

Shaq strikes again! O'Neal sends home a dunk so powerful it rips apart the backboard's support braces, causing the Nets-Magic game at Meadowlands Arena to be delayed more than 45 minutes. The backboard, stanchion and base all have to be replaced. "I just went up and dunked and it broke," O'Neal said. "It really came crashing down. The shot clock hit me in the head. It hurt a little bit, but not that much. I have a hard head. It could have been serious, but it wasn't."

Or somebody's teeth (it was that particular player's fault...he tried to take a charge on The Shaq). The name of the player escapes me at the moment (I think it was A.C. Green...can anyone verify this?), but I do remember that player losing two of his teeth and then scampering on his knees trying to recover them underneath the goal support. After collecting his fallen white pearls, the player then sought immediate dental attention.

Man! I love the game of basketball. But at 5'10 1/2, if I see The Diesel coming straight at me--common sense dictates (as well as a need for self-preservation) to run the other way.

Sorry guys, just threw that last part in there. It's my little attempt at humor :)

Now playing: John Mayer Trio - Vultures
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sitting out on purpose? Say it isn't true J-Kidd

How does one measure greatness?

In this day and age, 91 triple-doubles could be a good place to start.

Sure there is Oscar's 181. Magic's 138. But Jason Frederick Kidd, point guard for New Jersey Nets is the only active player in the top three with 91 (the top five for that matter).

Night in and night out, he has a chance to add to his greatness with possibly another triple-double performance.'s John Schuhmann put it best when he mentions that Kidd averages one triple-double "every 10.6 games." He added that Kidd has also "recorded a triple-double in 14 consecutive seasons (each year he has been in the league), which is an NBA record, and against 28 of the 30 teams in the league." Schuhmann ends by mentioning that the Nets floor leader, at the age of 34, hasn't missed a beat as the "past three seasons have been three of his five biggest triple-double campaigns (with a) personal best (of) 12 (coming) in the 2006-07."

In April 8, 2006. I saw my first NBA game. The Nets versus the Cavaliers at East Rutherford. Thought the Nets eventually lost that game in the fourth quarter, Kidd was amazing in 41 minutes as he scored 11 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 10 assists. I was rooting for a "TD" (triple-double) all the way.

Then came last night's infamous "DNP-Migraine."

I've always known Jason Kidd to be a warrior and an extremely fast healer. He is the fastest player I know to ever come back from not only a screw being placed in his left ankle, but also from microfracture knee surgery on his left knee without any of those lingering effects suffered by some of his contemporaries such as former teammate and current Denver Nugget's forward Kenyon Martin, Phoenix Suns center Amare Stoudemire and the Portland Trailblazers forward Darius Miles.

So a migraine keeping Kidd out of a game? And against the New York Knicks at that! An opponent whom he has had a history of success.

This is certainly far, far, far away from Scottie Pippen-esque territory.

Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski added:

"There was no migraine headache holding Jason Kidd out of the New Jersey Nets' loss to the New York Knicks Wednesday night, but a superstar sending a message to a floundering franchise that he's irate with management and teammates, several league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

As the Nets flew back to New Jersey late Tuesday from a victory over Cleveland, sources said Kidd already had decided he would be sitting out against the Knicks in the Meadowlands. Kidd didn't tell Nets officials until Wednesday afternoon, but several people inside and outside the organization were made aware of the meaning behind his sick day.

Kidd's agent, Jeff Schwartz, isn't believed to have formally demanded a trade, but Wednesday's bold act could be the precursor to starting that process. Two sources said Kidd has been a constant text messaging partner with LeBron James since playing with him this summer on Team USA and that the Cavaliers are his preferred destination.

"They've been communicating about the (trade) options that could get them together in Cleveland," one Eastern Conference official said.

As one Nets official confessed, Kidd's absence due to a purported migraine was "very suspicious." No one wanted to believe he would sit out a game in protest, but that's how bad it has become between Kidd and the longtime laughingstock that he delivered credibility to. He has no history of migraines with the Nets, and with the way he traditionally has loved to destroy the Knicks, the timing of a walkout left Nets officials deeply disturbed.

In an act of defiance that has been building for most of this season, Kidd, 34, has grown irritated over his belief that the franchise no longer is chasing greatness while his chance for a championship closes. He called out his teammates two weeks ago in Utah, just days after his bid for a contract extension was spurned by team president Rod Thorn. Right now, the Nets are 9-10 and going nowhere.

Thorn has praised Kidd for a "football player's" mentality when it comes to playing hurt, but the point guard privately is wondering how much more he wants to sacrifice his body for a team mired in mediocrity. So far this season, Kidd has played brilliantly for the Nets, second to Steve Nash with 10.4 assists. He performed with cracked ribs and a bad back a year ago, pushing the Nets past the Toronto Raptors in the opening round of the playoffs by averaging a triple-double.

Yet Kidd has been frustrated with some of his teammates' inability to stay on the floor and play through pain, especially Vince Carter. These days, everything about the Nets bothers Kidd. Everyone had to wonder Wednesday night: Could this have been the beginning of the end for Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets?"

Looking at the positive, if J-Kidd does get traded, an inspired Jason Kidd is always dangerous.

He would also have the opportunity in the future to get a triple-double against his "former" squad--the New Jersey Nets--one of the only two teams that Kidd has yet to record a triple-double against (the other, the Boston Celtics).

Now playing: Samantha James - I Found You (Featuring Celso Fonseca)
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dan Fegan (Anderson Varejao's agent) takes center stage

Came across this very interesting article by Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Branson Wright yesterday (November 28, 2007). Wright brings to light very good points in the Anderson Varejao, Agent Dan Fegan, and Cleveland Cavaliers contract holdout fiasco.

Wright wrote:

"When Anderson Varejao told that he's become so frustrated with contract negotiations that he doesn't want to play for the Cavaliers anymore, many wondered if it was Varejao speaking for himself, or his agent Dan Fegan, who has the reputation as a shrewd negotiator and malcontent.

Former Cavs guard Ricky Davis said he is positive Fegan is behind this stalemate. Fegan was Davis' agent for two years.

"He doesn't need to be an agent," said Davis, about Fegan. "He does dirty stuff, under-the-table things. [Varejao] needs to change agents immediately if he wants to get this thing done."

So far, nothing between the Cavs and Varejao has been done. Varejao has not been with the Cavs all season. He's a holdout because his contract demand -- $10 million per year, at one time -- has not been met. He also turned down a $1.2 million qualifying offer and a six-year deal for about $52 million last month.

This is not the first time Fegan has been part of a controversial contract negotiation. Many general managers, who did not want to be identified, said they do not like to negotiate with Fegan. They also acknowledged Fegan's intelligence.

Fegan, who did not return several calls to his cell phone Tuesday, is a graduate of Yale Law School. He was one of the first agents to take advantage of the one-year opt-out provision, which allows a player to get out of a contract after a year. He was also one of the first to utilize the sign-and-trade provision, which allows a team to sign a player with the intent of trading him to another team.

Fegan represents many players, including Phoenix Suns forward Shawn Marion, Milwaukee Bucks rookie Yi Jianlian and Denver Nuggets forward Nene.

Before training camp, Marion, the highest-paid player on the Suns, was upset the Suns were not willing to talk about a contract extension. Many believed Marion was urged by Fegan. Eventually, Marion eased off his demands.

Yi, the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft, said he would not play for the Bucks if they drafted him. Yi desired a larger market. Again, Fegan was behind the ploy, but just like Marion, Yi eased off his demands and signed with the Bucks.

"He's a crazy guy," said one agent, who did not want to be identified. "He's known for picking up guys in their contract years, and that's taboo in our industry. He did that with so many players, including Varejao. He's not well-liked among other agents. . . . His biggest problem is that he doesn't care about relationships. It can't always be about the money."

The situation between the Cavs and Varejao has been about money. Varejao wants more, and the Cavs want to save money to become more flexible in years to come, especially when LeBron James' contract expires after the 2010 season.

Another agent, who also didn't want to be identified, said there's a bigger issue on the table.

"Fegan's whole reputation is based on what happens with Varejao," said the rival agent. "Fegan's trying to show how tough of an agent he is. Every agent, every GM and every player is watching to see how this works out. If the Cavs budge, Fegan will sign a hundred clients."

That's the flip side. Fegan is respected for his tough negotiation tactics, and many agents admire him. Those same agents also want to see if this holdout by Varejao transpires into dividends.

"If this works, we'll all have our players hold out," said the agent. "It'll change the face of negotiations in the NBA. So what's going on between the Cavs and Fegan is very important because if it works out for Fegan, this will change the whole game. But if he fails, he'll look like an idiot."

Cavs GM Danny Ferry declined to comment for this story."

"It'll change the face of negotiations in the NBA" is hardly an understatement. If Fegan's negotiation tactics do turn out to be lucrative for Varejao (meaning Varejao gets something in the vicinity of the contract that he wants or substantially more than the one-year qualifying offer mandated by the NBA's collective bargaining agreement for players with three years experience), it will open up the doors for other agents to demand...their clients (the players) to hold out because, "if Anderson Varejao can get his money, what more you? Your so much better than he!"

Now that statement is highly exaggerated but you guys get the idea.

So Cleveland...GM Danny Ferry...the ball is in your court.

Don't drop it!

Now playing: Samantha James - Breathe You In
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What if LeBron James was a member of Celtic Pride

I saw this picture today and I just couldn't resist.

It was taken sometime during the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers match up last night at The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

Instead of being clad in wine and about green and white for LBJ?

Pretty neat starting five huh?

Tsk! Tsk! The fantasy implications that would have had...

Now playing: Michael Bublé - Everything
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NBA Trivia: Questions and Answers

As part of my dissertation, I had to come up with several energizers for a two-day seminar that I eventually have to run with some collegiate athletes. Here is some of the stuff that I came up with--a 15-item NBA Trivia sheet.

How many did you get out of the fifteen?

1) Who is Shaquille O’Neal’s All-Star Magic teammate?

a) Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr.
b) Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway
c) Kobe Bryant
d) Glen Rice
e) None

b) Correct Answer: Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal were teammates while playing for the Orlando Magic (93’-94’ until 95’-96’). The duo reunited this year with the Miami Heat (07’-08’)

2) Which players were the NBA's top three rebounders (RPG) in the 06'-07' season, in order?

a) Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, and Ben Wallace
b) Kevin Garnett, Tyson Chandler, and Dwight Howard
c) Kevin Garnett, Ben Wallace and Tyson Chandler
d) Ben Wallace, Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard
e) Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler

b) Correct Answer: Kevin Garnett, Tyson Chandler, and Dwight Howard

06’-07’ rebounding crown was won by former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett with a 12.8 rebounding average. He was followed by New Orleans Center Tyson Chandler (12.4) and Orlando’s Dwight Howard (12.3).

3) Which player won the 06’-07’ Defensive Player of the Year award?

a) Ben Wallace
b) Kevin Garnett
c) Marcus Camby
d) Ron Artest
e) Bruce Bowen

c) Correct Answer: Marcus Camby

As a center for the Denver Nuggets, Camby won the award for the first time in his career with averages of 11.2 points, 11.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals, and 3.3 blocks per game.

4) Who won the Rookie of the Year Award in the 99’-00’ season?

a) Steve Francis (Rockets)
b) Elton Brand (Bulls)
c) Mike Miller (Magic)
d) A and C
e) B and C
f) A and B
g) None of the above

f) Correct Answer: A & B

The Houston Rockets Steve Francis and former Chicago Bulls forward Elton Brand are the third trio to be named Co-Rookie of Year after the Boston Celtics Dave Cowens and the Portland Trailblazers Geoff Petrie turned the trick in 70’-71’. They were followed by the Detroit Pistons Grant Hill and the Dallas Mavericks Jason Kidd in 94’-95’

5) How many active players are among the Top 30 all-time scorers in the NBA?
a) Four
b) Six
c) Eight
d) Two
e) Twelve

d) Correct Answer: Two

Shaquille O'Neal (25,624 --11th) and Allen Iverson (21,586 -- 24th)

6) Who was the first overall pick of the Toronto Raptors during the expansion draft in 95’-96’?

a) Damon Stoudamire
b) Greg Anthony
c) B.J. Armstrong
d) Blue Edwards
e) None of the above

c) Correct Answer: B.J. Armstrong

Taken first overall in the 95’-96’ expansion draft, B.J. Armstrong had made it publicly known that he wanted to play for a contender. In October of 1995, Armstrong got his wish when the Raptors shipped him to the Golden State Warriors in a 5-player deal involving Warriors center’s Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander as well as the rights to three 2nd round picks (Dwayne Whitfield, Martin Lewis, and Michael McDonald).

7) Who is the youngest NBA player in the 07’-08’ NBA Season?

a) Greg Oden
b) Thaddeus Young
c) Spencer Hawes
d) Kevin Durant
e) Al Thornton

d) Correct Answer: Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant (9/29/88) who leads four players born in 1988 (with the other three being 76ers' guard Thaddeus Young (June), injured Kings center Spencer Hawes (April), and Greg Oden (January)).

Clippers forward Al Thornton played four years at Florida State and is one of the older rookies in the 07’-08’ batch at 23 years of age.

8) Who scored the NBA’s 6,000,000th point?

a) Dominique Wilkins
b) Blair Rasmussen
c) Danny Manning
d) Steve Smith
e) Stacey Augmon

e) Correct Answer: Stacey Augmon

On March 23, 1992, Atlanta Hawks rookie guard-forward Stacey Augmon scored 32 points in an overtime victory against the Golden State Warriors (126-125). Augmon’s layup at 7:41 mark of the second quarter accounted for the 6,000,000th point in NBA history.

9) How many jersey numbers are retired at the American Airlines Arena?

a) Two
b) Three
c) None
d) One
e) Four

d) Correct Answer: One

On April 11, 2003, the Miami Heat franchise paid the ultimate tribute to the man known as “Air Jordan” when they retired jersey #23 jersey even though he never played for the Heat.

10) As a follow up to question #9, how many players wore #23 for the Miami Heat before it was retired?

a) Seven
b) None
c) Four
d) Three
e) Five

c) Correct Answer: Four

Only 4 of the 154 players in Heat franchise history have ever worn #23: John Morton (91'-92'), Gary Grant (96'-97'), Rex Walters (98'-99'), and former NBA Slam Dunk Champion Cedric Ceballos (00'-01').

11) How many jersey numbers has Michael Jordan worn in his NBA career?

a) Two
b) Three
c) Four
d) Five

b) Correct Answer: Three

Michael Jordan has worn 23, 45 (during his first comeback in the 94’-95’ season), and 12 for one game in Orlando wherein his jersey #23 was stolen (February 14,1990). Despite wearing an unfamiliar number, Jordan scored a game-high 26 points.

12) In the NBA Finals, who is the all-time leader in three point field goals made?

a) Michael Jordan
b) Scottie Pippen
c) Dan Majerle
d) Robert Horry
e) Steve Kerr

d) Correct Answer: Robert Horry

Affectionately named “Big Shot Bob” by teammate Tim Duncan a couple of years ago, Robert Horry holds the record for most three point conversions in the NBA Finals with 53. Michael Jordan is second with 42.

13) Did Rasheed Wallace play for the Atlanta Hawks?

a) Yes
b) Never

a) Correct Answer: Yes

On February 12, 2004, the Portland Trailblazers sent their disgruntled all-star and shooting guard Wesley Person to the Atlanta Hawks for three players: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Theo Ratliff, and Dan Dickau. Five days later, Wallace was traded again as part of a three-team deal involving the Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics, and Atlanta Hawks.

14) How many NBA Championships has Robert Horry won in his stellar career?

a) Eight
b) Five
c) Six
d) Seven
e) Four

d) Correct Answer: Seven

As a member of the San Antonio Spurs, Robert Horry became one of only nine players to have won seven or more championships in the NBA. Horry also has the distinction of being the only member of that group not to be associated with the Celtics of the 60’s.

15) Who is the all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage in the regular season?

a) Jason Kapono
b) Tim Legler
c) Steve Kerr
d) Reggie Miller
e) Walter Ray Allen

a) Correct Answer: Jason Kapono

Playing the percentages, Toronto Raptors guard-forward Jason Kapono is the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage with a 46.1% clip. Steve Kerr is second with 45.4%.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Yi Jianlian--NBA All-Star?

The proud city of New Orleans. 58 Days to go. NBA All-Star 2008.

The annual (a.k.a. "most likely") West starters most likely Yao Ming at Center (no contest here with an entire country voting for him); Tim Duncan (which was sketchy at first since he was initially listed as a Center. But now since he was able to sequester a reprieve on his All-Star ballot position listing (which would have most likely taken him out of the West starters if he didn't get it since Yao Ming has owned the Center slot since he entered the league in 03') and last year's league MVP Dirk Nowitzki at Forward; and Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady at Guard.

While the annual (a.k.a. "most likely") East starters would be Shaquille O'Neal at Center (no doubt moving to East to South Beach really helped in this department); newcomer Kevin "KG" Garnett and LeBron "LBJ" James as the Forwards; and Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. and Gilbert "Agent Zero" Arenas at the Guard positions.

That is "most likely" and probably how the vote will turn out. New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd (who currently has three triple-doubles this early into the 07'-08' season) should be the most viable replacement for the injured Arenas.

As for the West, I am not a big fan of Tracy McGrady and in all honesty, a natural point guard should start for the West and my vote goes to 2-time MVP Steve Nash (which won't happen because of McGrady's popularity).

Now to the main topic.

Question: Will Milwaukee Bucks forward and China's own Yi Jianlian make the NBA All-Star team?

I say YES!

Not because I'm a fan of Yi (which I am not), nor because the NBA seemingly decided to leave the 20 year-old Jianlian off the All-Star ballot.

Yi Jianlian will make it with his countrymen backing him up via the NBA's online All-Star voting system. They may have taken Yi off the ballot but NBA fans are more educated these days as there is always the "write in player" option.

Yi won't surpass "The Chosen One" LeBron James but he has a shot at Kevin Garnett's starting slot.

Yahoo Sports wrote:

China's basketball press lamented Friday (November 16, 2007) the absence of rookie Yi Jianlian from the 2008 NBA All Star ballot, reporting that the world's top basketball league may fear the voting power of Chinese fans.

Yi's name was absent from the ballot released Thursday (November 15, 2007) in the United States, making it much more difficult for Chinese supporters of the Milwaukee Bucks power forward to vote for him to start in the annual All Star Game.

The 20-year-old rookie has impressed in his first month in the NBA, averaging 11 points and 6.9 rebounds a game and replacing Charlie Villanueva, who is on the ballot, as the Bucks starter.

Yi's absence dominated the sports pages of many Chinese newspapers on Friday.

"The NBA does not dare to put Yi Jianlian on the ballot because the voting power of Chinese fans is too big," Titan Sports Weekly said in an editorial.

"If the NBA put Yi Jianlian on the ballot without careful consideration ... he would surely start for the East.

"The NBA fears that if a guy like Yi becomes an All Star and only scores two points in the game, they would lose the meaning of the All Star (game)."

Wouldn't it be fun to see the system work against the NBA?

So what are you waiting for?

Click here and vote today!

Now playing: Kenny G - The Christmas Song
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Jason Kidd hits 90!

12 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists...just another night's work for the man known as J-Kidd.

After six consecutive losses dating back to the 10th of November, Jason Kidd (along with the return of teammate Vincent Lamar Carter from an ankle injury) led the New Jersey Nets to a 106-101 victory over the Portland Trailblazers in the Rose Garden.

It was Kidd's 3rd triple-double this season and 90th of his stellar career.

Man! As a member of the New Jersey Nets, Kidd has already amassed 52 triple-doubles to this point.

Jason Kidd may never catch Oscar (Robertson is the all-time leader with triple-doubles with 181) or Magic (Earvin Johnson is second on this short list with 138 "TD's") but he is by far the shortest player among the top five in this decorated group (Wilt Chamberlain is fourth with 78, while Boston's Larry Bird is fifth with 59).

I can see Kidd hitting 100 triple-doubles by the end of the year...

So what's next?

Jason catching his idol Magic Johnson at 138?

Well, we all can dream can't we...

One thing is for sure, it's going to be a very exciting matter the outcome.

Now playing: Stan Bush - The Touch
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gilbert Arenas: "Every great player has missed at least one year."


I'm sure the city of Washington, their NBA franchise, and legions of fans are all crying out in frustration just about now. It's like reliving the 06'-07' season's bad dream wherein Caron Butler broke his hand and Gilbert Arenas was literally knocked down soon after with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

What horrendous luck...

AP Sports Writers Mike Cranston and Howard Fendrich had this to say:

"CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Washington Wizards leading scorer Gilbert Arenas underwent two different surgical procedures on his left knee on Wednesday and will miss about three months.

Arenas had been experiencing swelling and soreness in the knee which he had surgically repaired late last season. After sitting out the past two games, Arenas did not travel with the team to Charlotte and underwent an MRI Wednesday morning, which revealed a cartilage tear.

"I'm just going to sit in my sorrows again. I have three months to (be) back positive again, but right now, it's hard," Arenas said in a posting on his blog Wednesday. "I need to start thinking about longevity in my career instead of just this injury right now. Every great player has missed at least one year."

Team physician Dr. Marc Connell repaired a partial tear of the meniscus and performed microfracture surgery on a non-weight bearing bone on the side of his knee.

"It's not as bad as the injury in April, but it's tough," wrote Arenas, who will begin rehabilitation next week.

"We expect Gilbert to make a full recovery," Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld said.

The 6-foot-4 Arenas is averaging 22.4 points.

Wizards center Brendan Haywood said. "Playing without Gilbert Arenas is going to hurt this team."

Arenas began the season by playing as though nothing was wrong, averaging about 40 minutes per game. But after Washington's third game, he said his knee felt stiff, "like a 5-pound weight is on it."

He then had excess fluid drained from the knee for the second time in three weeks on Nov. 7. He played the next night, a loss to New Jersey that dropped the Wizards to 0-4, but had a long conversation with Nets star Jason Kidd on the court after the final buzzer. Kidd offered advice about dealing with a return from surgery.

Arenas stayed in the lineup until missing Saturday's game against Portland, then sitting again Tuesday against Philadelphia. Without Arenas, coach Eddie Jordan said Antonio Daniels will continue to play point guard.

"Every team goes through it, and every team tries to find a way to win on a consistent basis," Jordan said. "We've gotten better at moving the ball."

This whole ordeal has all been a bit new to Arenas -- a three-time All-Star -- whose only previous significant injury in the NBA was an abdominal problem that limited him to 55 games in 2003-04.

He finished third in the league in scoring average in 2006-07 at 28.4 points, but missed the last two weeks of the regular season and all of the playoffs after having knee surgery.

"Gilbert worked extremely hard this summer to be ready for the beginning of the regular season," Grunfeld said. "This is very unfortunate because he was starting to play at a high level prior to the surgery."

"That's the business, man," Haywood said. "Life's not always fair. He's out right now and everybody is down about it. Everybody wishes him the best. Right now all we can do is pray for him and hope he has a speedy recovery."

Jordan wouldn't say whether he'll push management to sign another player."

I guess this will give Gilbert even more time to blog with all of his "cats."

For all you Fantasy NBA players out there--one piece of advice--pick up Antonio Daniels while you still can.

His stock just went up ten fold for the next three months.

Now playing: The Peter Malick Group - Strange Transmissions (Chillout Remix)
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Penny Hardaway: A perfect game

November 15, 2007

That's exactly what Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, the Miami Heat's free agent acquisition, did the other day against the New Jersey Nets wherein he and former Orlando Magic teammate Shaquille O'Neal sealed the Heat's victory (91-87) with "strong fourth quarter play" in East Rutherford, N.J.

AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney wrote:

"The Heat were up five with less than 9 minutes left when Hardaway made a 3-pointer. He knocked down another one about 1 1/2 minutes later, giving Miami a 75-66 cushion with 7:22 remaining.

Sean Williams' bucket cut it to four with 4 1/2 minutes left, but Hardaway answered with another 3 with 4:09 to go. Hardaway hadn't scored more than eight points in a game this season, when he returned to the league after not playing since the 2005-06 season because of leg injuries."

Sun-Sentinel and Miami Heat beat writer added:

"And Hardaway finally made shots, going 6 for 6 (4 for 4 from downtown and 3 of the 4 in the 4th quarter), the first time he played without a miss in his career."

Even with D.Wade back, Penny Hardaway's stellar play (as of late as there have been a number of occasions this year wherein the Heat have had to beg him just to shoot the basketball) might actually score some more points with stern taskmaster and Heat coach Pat Riley.

Ricky Davis, watch your back!

Now playing: Jars Of Clay - Love Song For A Savior
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In the wake of this Marbury-Thomas much are the Knicks actually spending?

A lot has been made of the Stephon Marbury-Isiah Thomas soap opera. But how much are the Knicks actually shelling out for their multi-million dollar roster that has yet to pay dividends in the playoffs (and the regular season for that matter!).

Daily News Columnist Mitch Lawrence wrote:

"The Knicks are on the books this season for a league-leading $95.294 million in players' salaries. But because of the Jerome Williams' amnesty buyout, and for the purpose of the NBA luxury tax calculation, their actual number is $87.655 million, according to official figures obtained from a rival Eastern Conference GM. With the tax threshold set at $67.9 million, and every team exceeding that figure required to pay dollar for dollar over that amount, the Knicks are shelling out an additional $20 million in taxes. That means the roster is costing Jim Dolan almost $108 million. That's $52 million over the league's cap, but who's counting? Bottom line: Fiscal mismanagement still reigns supreme at Two Penn Plaza."

At the end of the day, it will be the New York fans who will pay for Jim Dolan's and Isiah Thomas' frivolous, unconscious, and remorseless financial escapades...

I can't wait to see the Knicks ten years from now...

One can only hope that it doesn't get any worse...

Now playing: Jackson 5 - One More Chance
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Stephon Marbury: Time to move on?

A lot has transpired over the past couple of days in the wake of the Stephon Marbury "excused absence" saga. Below are a couple of in depth articles that I've come across that may pique your interest continuing Stephon Marbury-Isiah Thomas soap opera.

Newsday columnist Barbara Barker wrote:

"After NBA stops in Minnesota, New Jersey and Phoenix -- was supposed to signal a new era at the Garden. Made just a month after Thomas took over the team, the trade was hailed as brilliant by nearly every columnist in New York. Marbury was seen as the guy who could carry the Knicks back to prominence.

With Thomas acting as his mentor, some even believed that Marbury could deliver Knicks fans that NBA championship that had eluded them during the Ewing era. Well, the Ewing era is looking pretty good right now. In fact, even the Don Chaney era is preferable to the mess the current team finds itself in.

Since Marbury came aboard, the Knicks have not won a playoff game but have had four different coaches. And they soon could have a fifth; they are in the midst of one of the worst road trips in the history of the NBA.

Think things can't get worse? Just wait until the Knicks play their first home game in nine days Tuesday against Golden State. The Knicks' public address announcer already has taken to announcing Thomas and his assistant coaches in rapid-fire succession in order to avoid a prolonged boo-fest during a pause after Thomas' name. One theory about Marbury's benching is that owner James Dolan ordered it so Marbury won't face a negative reaction when he is introduced.

"It's depressing to go there," one former Knick said of the Garden. "There's empty seats, and the people that are there aren't happy. It's embarrassing."

As ugly as the situation has gotten, Marbury said before Friday's game that he still considers the Garden his home. "I love New York. I've loved New York when I played with other teams. I'm happy to be here," he said. "I love the fans. I love playing in Madison Square Garden."

Queens Basketball guru Rob Johnson believes the problem is that Marbury is surrounded by an entourage of people who are afraid to challenge him. "Everyone around him is yessing him to death," he said. "No one tells him what he needs to hear."

Until recently, everyone who challenged Marbury -- from teammates to former coach Larry Brown to Anucha Browne Sanders -- found themselves on the outs at Madison Square Garden. And it is that sense of entitlement -- revealed during his testimony at the Browne Sanders trial about having extramarital sex in his truck with a Garden intern -- that ultimately could derail Marbury's New York dream.

Heading into the summer, it looked as though Marbury might turn things around. He was coming off his best season as a Knick and was being heralded by everyone from Oprah to BusinessWeek for the success of his $15 sneaker. But then came the testimony about the tryst in the truck, which was compounded by the fact he left the courtroom smiling and singing to himself.

"That just killed him," one longtime agent said. "The same mothers who were out there buying his shoes aren't going to like the fact he's married and having sex in a parking lot. If I were his agent, I would have gone to the Garden and offered to pay part of a settlement just to keep it out of court."

And now Marbury might be in a mess that no one can buy his way out of, not even deep-pockets Dolan. The Garden, once the only place Marbury ever wanted to be, might be a place he ultimately has to leave.

TNT Analyst and former NBA All-Star Charles Wade Barkley added:

"Stephon Marbury is wrong," said Charles Barkley on TNT. "I like Isiah Thomas, I've been a big defender of his, but Stephon Marbury's track record speaks for itself. If you can't be happy playing with Kevin Garnett, you're never going to be happy. Isiah Thomas made a huge mistake bringing Stephon Marbury to the Knicks, thinking he could change him. Stephon Marbury is who he is."

"Stephon Marbury is one of those guys that when he came to the NBA we said, ‘That guy is going to be a great player, one day, when he gets it,'" he added. "And then five years later you say, ‘He ain't getting it yet. He's never going to get it.' Stephon Marbury is a very talented basketball player who's never going to get it. He's going to do it his way, which is the wrong way. You'd think a guy who has been on four teams would think, ‘I did it my way, but
it ain't working,' and he would change. But Stephon Marbury is not going to change."

Somehow. Someway. Those $15 dollar Starbury's are no longer as enticing as they once were...

Now playing: Alphabeat - Fascination
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Juan Carlos Navarro: Ties NBA rookie record for trey's in a game

November 16, 2007 (New Orleans at Memphis)

Juan Carlos Navarro, 27, the 6-foot-3 rookie guard out of S.F. Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain, is finally paying dividends for the Memphis Grizzlies who conveyed a future first-round selection this year to the Washington Wizards in order to get the rights to sign Navarro.

Despite a heart breaking loss in overtime to the visiting Memphis Grizzlies (120-118 OT), Navarro played his finest game as a member of the Grizzlies, finishing with "a career-high 28 points, going 8-of-9 from 3-point range, part of Memphis' 15-of-24 shooting outside the arc. Navarro tied the rookie record for 3s set by Jason Kidd in 1995 and Chris Duhon in 2005."

The Associated Press added:

"Navarro connected on his first seven shots from the field, the first five from 3-point range to kick-start the Memphis offense."

"I'm happy for my game, for my feeling, but if we lose, it doesn't matter,'' Navarro said. "The rim was very big for me. Some days it's very big; some days it's small.''

Superb shooting by Juan Carlos Navarro! Now all he has to do is prove to Grizzlies Head Coach Marc Iavaroni that he is worthy of more playing time.

However, I think that Villanova's Kyle Lowry, who is more athletic, seems to have the inside track among the Grizzlies glut at the point guard position (Damon Stoudamire, Lowry, and Navarro).

Now playing: Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Phil Jackson: "If I've offended any horses...cowboys...I apologize."

In Houston yesterday, one of the NBA's most decorated coaches admitted he had made a mistake and apologized for his "brokeback" San Antonio comments. It was an apology not devoid of yet another shot at Texans and cowboys (just to name a few), but an apology nonetheless.

I was, however, amused by his insight on the difference between an NBA coach making inappropriate and derogatory statements to that of television personalities such as the Tonight Show's Jay Leno and the Late Show with David Letterman who provide that kind of comedy.

AP Sports Writer Chris Duncan wrote:

"Coach Phil Jackson said he deserved the reprimand he got from the NBA on Wednesday for making a sexual reference in a comment following the Los Angeles Lakers' loss in San Antonio.

The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory on Tuesday night, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

The 2005 film, which won three Oscars, depicts two cowboys who conceal their homosexual affair.

"But in retrospect, it wasn't really funny," Jackson said before the Lakers played Houston on Wednesday night. "When you take it out of context, it wasn't funny. It was a poor attempt at humor and I deserved to be reprimanded by the NBA."

Still, Jackson couldn't resist making another joke as he apologized.

"If I've offended any horses, Texans, cowboys or gays, I apologize," Jackson said.

Jackson thanked beat writers and other journalists who covered Tuesday's game for dismissing the comment as an innocent joke. He said several of them laughed when he said it.

The NBA did not.

NBA spokesman Brian McIntyre said: "The remarks are in poor taste, and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future."

Jackson admitted he should've known better -- that coaches can't get away with the jokes that Jay Leno and David Letterman do for a living on their late-night talk shows.

"It's societal right now," he said. "Some people can do it. Some people can't. That's something that's appropriate for certain categories."

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) president Neil G. Giuliano issued a statement saying: "Phil Jackson's been coaching long enough that he should be able to talk about the Lakers' performance without resorting to cheap gay jokes."

Now playing: The Killers - Mr. Brightside
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stephon Marbury: And he's back...too....but for how long?

At the moment, "tensions between Marbury and Thomas -- Westchester County neighbors who share the same agent," are at an impasse writes AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney.

The prodigal son has returned to the New York Knicks after incurring a fine befitting his annual salary of $20.1 million dollars--a small fortune in itself: $182,800 after an "unexcused" absence in the match up against the Phoenix Suns the other day.

Mahoney wrote:

"The Knicks sent Marbury a letter informing him of the fine, according to a person with knowledge of the penalty who spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday. He requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to discuss it. The Knicks would not confirm the fine.

According to the NBA's collective bargaining agreement, players are docked 1/110th of their salaries for a missed game without a reasonable excuse. With Marbury scheduled to earn $20.1 million this season, that would be about $182,800.

The Knicks hoped their summer of woes would be forgotten once the season started, but instead they've blown up on their first road trip.

Marbury played poorly down the stretch in New York's 75-72 home loss to Miami on Sunday, and the Daily News reported Tuesday the Knicks were trying to reduce Marbury's role or get rid of him entirely.

Marbury is still one of the Knicks' best players, averaging 15.2 points and 6.8 assists."

Marbury's back because a $182,800 pill can be VERY difficult to swallow considering that their are still 76 games remaining in the Knicks regular season schedule.

If Marbury were to miss all of those games, his projected losses would amount to--$14,075,600 (though 77 games, including the recently concluded game against Phoenix).

Well, if he did stick it out and not come back, Stephon would have still made $6,024,400. Not bad for not doing anything.

This situation is not even close to being resolved.

Stay Tuned...

Now playing: Gwen Stefani - Hollaback Girl
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NBA upset about Lakers' Coach Phil Jackson's "Brokeback" comments

The Associated Press reported:

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NBA has spoken with the Los Angeles Lakers about a sexual reference coach Phil Jackson made in a comment following Tuesday night's game in San Antonio.

The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

The 2005 film, which won three Oscars, depicts two cowboys who conceal their homosexual affair.

"The remarks are in poor taste, and the Lakers have assured us such remarks will not occur in the future," league spokesman Brian McIntyre said.

I wonder if they will be fining Coach Jackson...

Probably not...but since the NBA made such a big deal out of it.

The damage has already been done?

Now playing: Baby Bash - Cyclone (Featuring T-Pain) (Radio Edit)
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He is now back! He is now back! D.Wade returns tonight against Seattle

And he's back!

On the six-month anniversary (May 15, 2007) of his shoulder and knee surgeries, Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. has finally given his consent to return to the game of basketball.

His presence will certainly boast the Miami Heat's point production (currently standing at an NBA low 83.3 ppg) as well as lower the chances of the NBA's current cellar dweller--the Northwest Division's Seattle Supersonics (0-8 Win-Loss record; 8-game losing streak) from notching their first win of the season.

Wade was not listed in the Heat's match up against the Sonics which begins tonight at 7:30 pm ET.

AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds wrote:

"It isn't going to be one man that's going to turn this around," Heat Coach Pat Riley said, echoing a line Wade has used in recent days. "He will change the game for us, as he progresses in live action."

While Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said Miami "instantly" gets better with Wade, but he also cautioned that he didn't expect to see the 2006 NBA finals MVP back in top form right away.

"When you miss as much time as he missed, even as great as he his, I don't see him coming back and not missing a beat," Carlesimo said before Wednesday's game. "But when he comes back, I expect them to be what they have been, which is one of the best teams in the East."

The knee was Wade's primary source of worry over the past couple weeks. He had surgery to relieve the condition commonly called "jumper's knee" and said he didn't want to return to the Heat lineup until he was convinced that the joint could hold up to the rigors of NBA life.

Team doctors cleared him for full-contact practice earlier this month and Wade began those workouts Nov. 5, although he was able to participate in certain on-court drills since training camp began about a month earlier."

Welcome back Flash!

Good times are back again!

Now playing: Britney Spears - Gimme More
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Stephon Marbury to Cleveland: A probability though highly unlikely

This early I have heard rumors of New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury joining the Los Angeles Lakers. Now here is another pinning him to the Cleveland Cavaliers for free agent holdout Anderson Varejao.

Akron Beacon Journal columnist and Cavaliers insider Brian Windhorst had this to say on the matter:

"A trade for Marbury giving the Cavs a load of cap room in 2009 do have merit. Here’s what you need to understand as a side point here. The Cavs don’t want cap room. They want expiring contracts that they can trade so they can target a player or two, not bid and overpay for whatever free agent is available. This is how most major transactions are getting done in the NBA these days. So Marbury would actually have value to the Cavs before the summer of 2009, he’d have value a massive expiring deal next year. It would also allow them to move some unwanted contracts now instead of later. Everybody knows the Knicks love bad contracts.

For that reason, I will label a Marbury move has “highly unlikely” but not “impossible.” It’s one of those never say never situations. But don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it."

I concur, Steph would certainly be more of a viable and valuable commodity next season when the tail end of his $42 million dollar contract comes off the books...that is, if the Knicks are willing to "tank" their 2-5 season this early or if there is another brave soul out there willing to give the Coney Island product yet another shot at redemption...

Oh well, Stephon always said that he wanted to go to Europe when his contract was up...

Guess he sped up THAT timetable.

Now playing: Jack Johnson - Better Together
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Coach Tex Winter shares his thoughts on Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum

Not long after the Los Angeles Lakers captured their first championship (1999-2000) since the 1988 season, Fred "Tex" Winter, the father of the triple-post offense (better known as the "triangle offense"), visited Manila, Philippines for a series of lectures and business seminars. It was the first time I had the opportunity to meet Coach Winter, the architect of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers fabled Triangle Offense.

At 78, Winter executed "jump stops" as he would go about the intricacies of his offense. His insight was refreshing and it will always be an experience that I will cherish.

Now seven years later, at the age of 85, Coach Winter is still going strong despite his recurring bouts with shingles. Winter (who is Michael Jordan's longest tenured coach -- 13 years) is scheduled to take his place at the Los Angles Lakers bench, where he has served as an assistant coach since 1999-2000.

Recently, author Roland Lazenby interviewed Coach Winter and the latter had this to say about Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant and the young Andrew Bynum.

Lazenby wrote:

"It’s time for Bryant to realize that being a Los Angeles Laker is the best possible situation for him, time for him to stop pushing for a trade, offered Winter, who over the years has been a mentor to both Lakers coach Phil Jackson and to Bryant himself.

“He should just play basketball where he is,” Winter said. “Los Angeles is a good spot for Kobe.”

Winter has expressed admiration for the Chicago Bulls and their talented young roster, but he never saw Bryant as a good fit there.

“Frankly, I’m not sure how much he’d be able to help that club,” Winter said.

Bryant is simply the best triangle player, born for it, with his mix of physical ability, smarts and work ethic.

“And he knows it,” Winter said. “I wish he would concentrate on playing the game and making his teammates better and not worry about all this other stuff.”

In quiet, low-key ways, Bryant has perhaps moved into the mode that Winter hopes he’ll take. He had effusive praise this week for the work ethic of Andrew Bynum, the young Lakers center who just months ago Bryant had targeted as trade bait. And Bryant has certainly played within the offense and in tune with his teammates in the early going this season.

“He’s trying to do what’s right,” Winter said of Bryant. “He’s certainly working at it. Defensively he’s improved. He’s trying to get better at off-the-ball defense. He’s always been very good as an on-ball defender.”

And Bryant certainly retains his titanium grade confidence, Winter said with a chuckle.

“He hasn’t shot the ball well yet, but that’s not a concern with Kobe. He’s not concerned about anything as far as his play is concerned. He thinks he’s fine, thinks he’s the greatest. Phil has made that remark to him, trying to point out things about his game. But Kobe doesn’t worry. He’s something. He’s got tremendous confidence. That confidence is a key part of who he is.”

So, what is the key for Bryant and this young Lakers team in terms of becoming one of those great triangle teams? As always, it’s execution.

And execution also follows the familiar path: Fundamentals, and more fundamentals. That’s why Jordan and Pippen were so dedicated to working on all the little things in each Bulls practice, passing, cutting, running through the numerous drills that Winter has devised over the years for making players into effective triangle components.

It also means the Lakers need to take on more of a retro Bulls look.

“Remember all the third cutter looks we used to get with Horace Grant?” Winter asked. “Or what about the baseline cuts we used to get with Pippen and Jordan?”

The recent Lakers teams have gotten those passes every once in a while, but the key is their big men, Winter said.

“Their game is not passing; it’s trying to score.”

Whereas the Bulls’ centers were great at finding a Jordan or a Pippen along the baseline, the Lakers centers haven’t shown great effectiveness there. The one center who has potential as a passer is the young Bynum, Winter said.

“He does the best job of the three at seeing the cutter. The centers have to recognize that if the cutter’s not open, someone else will be. They need to get the ball back out and keep the offense moving.”

Tex Winter is certainly one of the best at what he does.

I wish him well and hopes that he stays involved in the game of basketball for many more years to come!

Now playing: Jars Of Clay - Little Drummer Boy
via FoxyTunes

Isiah Thomas vs Stephon Marbury: From bad to worse

Aside from the potential ramifications (I have Stephon Marbury in my Yahoo! NBA Fantasy team coincidentally named (prior to the draft) Starbury) the latest feud between Knicks point guard Marbury and New York Knicks President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Isiah Thomas.

It's an ugly situation with both sides (as well as that of the media) vacillating between confirming Marbury's approved absences to ignoring questions on the subject altogether.

It got even worse when Marbury spoke out against Thomas today and threatened to "tell all."

Not that any revelations at this point would make President/Coach Isiah Thomas any rosier in the wake of testimonies of Stephon Marbury and Madison Square Garden Chairman, James Dolan which contributed to his demise in the Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment case. It's old news.

Now to the Knicks. You guys have already heard it all--the horrific signings and trades that have most likely set back the New York Knicks till the next decade (e.g., Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry, Antonio McDyess, Jerome James, Jared Jeffries, etc.), the disgraceful Anucha Browne Sanders sexual harassment case, and least we forget the laughable Knicks Win-Loss record over the last couple of years despite sporting the league's highest payroll.

How bad can it get?

Daily News Sports Writer Frank Isola had this update which sheds some light on the Marbury-Thomas showdown:

"According to a person close to the team, Marbury's air rage began when Eddy Curry, following a conversation with Isiah Thomas, told Marbury that he and Marbury were being pulled from the starting lineup against the Suns.

Upon hearing that he would back up second-year guard Mardy Collins, Marbury marched toward the front of the plane to meet with Thomas. Five minutes later, an enraged Marbury told his teammates that if he wasn't starting he wouldn't suit up for the game. But it was something else Marbury said that stunned his teammates in the back of the luxury plane.

"Isiah has to start me," Marbury fumed, according to the source. "I've got so much (stuff) on Isiah and he knows it. He thinks he can (get) me. But I'll (get) him first. You have no idea what I know."

It is unclear if Marbury made the same threat directly to Thomas, whose first big move as team president was trading for Marbury. But clearly, the Marbury-Thomas war is officially underway and it promises to get uglier. Early yesterday, Marbury and a friend boarded a plane and returned to New York. Marbury, 30, could conceivably fly to Los Angeles today and rejoin the Knicks for tonight's game against the Clippers. Marbury faces a fine and suspension for every game he misses."

Come on! Mardy Collins (who incidentally left the Suns game after playing 5 minutes with a foot injury)! Nate Robinson! Despite all of his shortcomings and inadequacies (and $42 million greenbacks guaranteed for the next two seasons), Stephon Marbury is the most viable option at the point guard position for the New York Knicks.

The reported benching of Knicks center Eddy Curry also doesn't help matters much.

It is certainly a plethora of madness that will last long after (should it eventually happen) Isiah Thomas' term as President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach expires.

After all, (should the Knicks decide to cut their ties with the aforementioned Thomas and/or Marbury) it would be: a) nothing new; and b) what is another couple of million?

Isola added:

"A buyout is a possibility since Dolan has given lucrative severance packages to Scott Layden, Don Chaney, Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown, Shandon Anderson, Maurice Taylor and Jerome Williams."

There is a precedent to this line of thinking.

Stay Tuned...

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Shaquille: "I don't need earthlings respect"

Despite averaging less than 20 ppg for the first time in his 14-year NBA career, nothing can be said of the effort that Shaquille O'Neal brings every night.

Let's face it folks, we've all been spoiled.

With career averages (including the 6 games he has played in this season) of 25.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game; a lot is expected out of the man who calls himself, "The Diesel."

True, he has slowed down (in 6 games he is averaging career lows in points (15.0 ppg) and assists(1.8 apg). And to some extent--dunks--of which, he only has two as of the recently concluded match up with the San Antonio Spurs) but his presence alone still commands a double-team or two. And let's not forget, even at his depleted state, Shaq is still better than half the starting centers out there in the NBA.

Miami's new starting small forward and former Orlando Magic teammate Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway had this to say about the Big Aristotle.

ESPN's Marc Stein wrote:

"He didn't play in a lot of preseason games. He got injured twice with little injuries to his leg [in October]. And he really didn't practice that much. So I don't see him in any kind of rhythm right now. People on the outside can look at it and say, 'Maybe he getting slower, maybe he's getting older.' But when you're on the inside, you know what's really going on.

"I think [the criticism] hurts him, because he's a guy that's won championships and has been at the top of this game for a long time," Hardaway continued. "But I know he's going to do something about it."

Stein added:

"I'm still the baddest [expletive] in the world," Shaquille O'Neal said. "Yeah, I'm getting older, but Kareem got older. Hakeem got older.

"I don't need earthlings' respect. When it's all said and done, my name will be there and it will be mentioned ... unless you earthlings try to erase it."

That's telling them Shaq!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Franchise, LeBron James and the remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Almost two years in the making by authors Terry Pluto and Akron Beacon Journal's own Cavaliers insider Brian Windhorst, "The Franchise, LeBron James and the remaking of the Cleveland Cavaliers" is now in post-production and will be available in print in the coming weeks.

Windhorst wrote:

"Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst have worked hard on this project for the last 18 months. It is now finished and the first excerpts are available on ESPN, including a chapter about LeBron's Nike deal and about the night the Cavs won the draft lottery. The book is a behind-the-scenes look at how the Cavs got themselves into a position to draft LeBron and how LeBron got himself in position to be one of the most coveted players in NBA history. Plus all the background of the success and all the drama that's happened since."

Pluto and Windhorst have also taken the medium to another level by offering a "behind-the-scenes" perspective of their work via a dedicated blog. This in my opinion would be the equivalent of a spruced up DVD with a multitude of add-on's and specials.

Windhorst wrote:

"This blog will be the online hub to talk about this exciting project. It will be a forum to ask Terry and Brian questions, learn more about the book and the process of writing it, and even read stories and information that couldn't be squeezed in to the final product."

I myself am eagerly anticipating its release.

Are you?

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