Thursday, December 27, 2007
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. ESPN.com 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.
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
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
Sunday, December 23, 2007
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)
Friday, December 21, 2007
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
Thursday, December 20, 2007
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
Saturday, December 15, 2007
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
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 sun-sentinel.com:
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?
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...
Thursday, December 13, 2007
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
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
I knew it! I knew it! Someone did post Shaq's Attaq on poor Joel Przybilla over at YouTube.com.
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
Monday, December 10, 2007
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
Thursday, December 6, 2007
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. NBA.com'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)
Saturday, December 1, 2007
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.
"When Anderson Varejao told ESPN.com 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 suggest...no 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