Posted on: October 7, 2010 4:14 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Right now, Don Nelson has it good.
He's living in Hawaii basking in the glorious sun as the NBA's all-time winningest coach. He has a nice buyout from the Warriors and at 70 years old, you'd think he's walking into the perfect retirement.
The problem is with guys like him though, sometimes it's just too hard to say goodbye. Once the game is in you, it's part of you.
Nelson's son Donnie, who is the current general manager of the Dallas Mavericks (yeah, you forgot that, didn't you?) talked to Chris Tomasson of FanHouse and said that it might not all be over quite yet for his father.
"Never say never,'' Donnie told FanHouse. "I thought when he was the godfather (in Dallas after handing the coaching reins to Avery Johnson in March 2005), I thought that was the perfect existence. But he wanted to coach again. With him, you just never know.''
As everyone knows, at least five coaches will be fired this year. The NBA turns coaches over like pancakes. It's a revolving door and there's some owner or general manager that would love to extend an arm to Nelson. Total speculation here, but say the Raptors. Young team that's bound to struggle this year. Lots of athleticism. Maybe the fanbase grumbles. So Bryan Colangelo decides to bring in Nelson and his exciting offense to let DeMar DeRozan and Leandro Barbosa run wild. I'm not saying it's happening because Nelson hasn't indicated he wants to return, but it's not hard to picture.
Or what if Nelson simply returned to the bench in a mentorship role for another coach, much like he did in Dallas? As much Heat as Nelson took for the way things went in Golden State, he still is the NBA's winningest coach ever. That counts for something, I think.
But in my mind, it's over for Nelson. The Warriors kind of went to a ridiculous state of limbo under him and he basically crushed young talents like Anthony Randolph and Brandan Wright with some of the head games he played with them. I really don't know why anyone would want to go the direction of Nelson, but you know someone will. That is, if he decides sipping margaritas on the beach in Hawaii isn't good enough for him.
Posted on: October 7, 2010 9:28 am
Bulls thinkin' 'bout Dampier, Wizards thinkin' 'bout a name change, and Kidd thinkin' 'bout playing till he's 40, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
Peja Stojakovic says health will determine if he plays past this season , the final year of his contract. He wants to get through just one year pain free. It's something we rarely consider with these players, treating injuries like they're some sort of outside clamp that prevents them from playing instead of actual pain the players are experiencing.
With Boozer on the shelf, the Bulls are taking a long look at Erick Dampier, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com . The Bulls waived Chris Richard this week, which is surprising considering their lack of frontcourt depth and the job Richard did in limited minutes.
Marcin Gortat is not going to suddenly get quiet about the issue: he wants a bigger role, now. Unfortunately for him, the Magic are pretty much like "Deal with it, baldy ." Gortat signed a huge contract with the Mavericks last summer but the Magic matched it in restricted free agenc and here we are. For some reason the Magic think having a severely disgruntled Polish guy called "The Hammer" on their team is a good idea.
So this is pretty awesome. Ted Leonsis, the new Wizards owner, posted 101 things the Wizards have put in play to try and improve the fan experience at Wizards games. Some of the smallest details are covered, like how fresh the hot dog buns are. But hidden in there is the following: Changing the name back to the Bullets. Status? "Under consideration." Hold your breath, Bullets fans.
The Hawks exercised their option on Jeff Teague, which should surprise absolutely no one. Teague's locked up through next year, if there is a next year.
Kevin Garnett "went to a dark place " after last year's Finals, which is just classic over-the-top Garnett talk. He was pretty much a wreck after losing that series, leaving you to wonder how he deals with life in any sort of way whatsoever.
Rudy Ferandez' agent went absolutely psycho-hose-beast on local radio, basically pulling a "Leave Britney alone" speech for Fernandez. The kicker is when asked why Rudy wants to go home: "There's friends, there's family, he's a shy guy. He's special." And also a Fraggle, apparently.
Josh McRoberts had an outstanding line last night and the bandwagon is starting to Heat up. McRoberts has already filled into the starting PF spot for the Pacers, and with little competition, will probably hold onto it. A star is born? Maybe?
Jason Kidd wants to play until he's 40 , which is just ridiculous and yet completely believable on all fronts. Oddly, he's already a defensive liability, but the Mavs are thinking about moving him to shooting guard. Which could end up disastrous, but hey, you never know with Kidd. Dude's a survivor. He's going to make it. He's going to work harder. Keep on survivin'. What ?
This Nets-Knicks rivalry gets more entertaining every day .
Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Blazers, Boston Celtics, Bulls, Carlos Boozer, Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Hawks, Hornets, Indiana Pacers, Jason Kidd, Jeff Teague, Josh McRoberts, Kevin Garnett, Magic, Marcin Gortat, Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, Pacers, Peja Stojakovic, Portland Trail Blazers, Rudy Fernandez, Shootaround, Trail Blazers
Posted on: October 4, 2010 2:52 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Mark Cuban's celebrity profile has been rising for years. Just recently, he's appeared on Dancing with the Stars, Entourage and is working on putting together a new Apprentice -like reality show. He's well entrenched in the business of Hollywood.
And Cuban is where he's at because he's a genius investor and businessman. Not only is he one of the best owners in professional sports, but he owns a ton of other ventures and companies, one of those being 2929 Entertainment, a production company that produced Good Night, and Good Luck as well as the other end of the spectrum with a show like Nash Bridges.
But Cuban's 2929 is part of a major settlement that with pay Don Johnson who played Bridges and was a co-owner of the show, more than $51 million. Johnson argued in court - successfully, mind you - that he was owed a ridiculous amount of money because of international syndication and that Cuban didn't share those profits.
So you've got this, the insider trading case that was recently revived, his inability to get Turtle to let him in on the Avion tequila business - Cuban's taking some hits right now. What's that? That last one's not actually real? Oh.
Johnson said of the settlement, "Nash Bridges was my idea. Mark Cuban's company and [the other parties involved] took all the profits from the show's syndication. I feel vindicated that they are all being held responsible."
And this concludes your incredibly random NBA story of the day.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 4:01 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 4:29 pm
Mavericks journeyman forward will miss 2010-2011 season to support wife through illness for second consecutive season.
Posted by Matt Moore
Less than a month after a feel-good reunion , the Tim Thomas-Dallas Mavericks reunion is over. Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas reports that Thomas has informed the Mavericks he'll miss the 2010-2011 to continue supporting his wife with an undisclosed illness, the same situation that forced him to miss almost the entirey of the 2009-2010 season.
The Mavericks are working with the league to void the $1.35 million contract they agreed to with Thomas for this season. The Mavericks now have a month and a half and two roster spots available. It's deeply regrettable, and there is a lot of discussion that this might be the end of Thomas' career. Life gets in the way. Hopefully, Thomas' wife will recover from whatever she's facing. The Mavericks' season is important to them and their fans. But not nearly as this reminder that athletes have lives with serious complications and struggles to overcome that have nothing to do with conditioning or jump shots.
F&R wishes the best for the Thomas family.
Posted on: September 15, 2010 7:06 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I honestly wonder when we'll move past LeBron and "The Decision." I'm just as guilty as anyone, sitting right here about to write another post about it. But when people pile on LeBron, since he's taking mental notes and all, it makes for good material.
And outspoken owner Mark Cuban - who is obviously very high profile - is the latest to do so. Cuban talking LeBron? That's like a blogger's Google search dream.
Cuban went on The Dunham and Miller Show on 1530 The Ticket in Dallas Wednesday and shared his thoughts publically on Lebron and "The Decision" for the first time. And as you'd expect, it's interesting stuff. The Dallas Morning News transcibed the exchange in which Cuban calls the one-hour announcement "the largest public humiliation in the history of sports."
“LeBron has every right to go wherever and do whatever, whatever team he wants to," Cuban said. "Going to the Heat was his choice, those guys working together. I don’t even have a problem with the three of them working together, as long as they follow all of the
Cuban's opinion isn't anything new. Most everyone is actually fine with the fact LeBron went to Miami. Some think that it was a cop-out move, but most agree LeBron can do what he wants. It's just in the way he did it . The largest public humiliation in the history of sports? That's certainly strong, but off the top of my head, I can't think of many things worse than LeBron's shaming of Cleveland and Ohio.
And that's true in a lot of things in life. A choice can be a good one, a fair one, a smart one, but a lot comes down to how you do it. In LeBron's case, not many out there think "The Decision" helped him in any way. It was his choice and his move to make. He made it. He just didn't have to go about it in the way he did.
Cuban is one of the brightest businessmen out there. And in his mind, he saw LeBron's "decision" as a poor business move. Not many thought about "brand equity" but Cuban feels like LeBron could have lost billions there. That's billions with a "b".
Of course Cuban has no problem in LeBron changing teams. Well, I take that back. Cuban has some problem because he wanted LeBron to play for his Mavericks. He even mentioned that in the interview. But in an overall sense, Cuban doesn't care. Just like the rest of us, he was put off by the whole production of it.
Posted on: September 7, 2010 9:21 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:54 pm
Reggie believes in Wade, Thomas believes in loyalty, and Butler believes in Burger King.Posted by Matt Moore
Reggie Miller believes the Heat are still DWade's team . Miller's probably on target here, but the fact that this is debatable is an interesting thought exercise. After all, we say we determine the quality of a player not by his performance, but by how many rings he has. Wade is the only one of the Miami Triad to have a ring, and yet LeBron is burdened with leadership of the squad. It's possible that this whole thing could only serve to show us how we've been underrating Dwyane Wade the past few years.
In a summer that put a very large nail in the coffin of loyalty in sports, the Mavs' actions towards Tim Thomas remain a hand propping it open. Art Garcia spoke with both Thomas and the Mavs , and both sides used the Magic word, loyalty, in their joint decision to add Thomas to the Mavericks' roster this season after his wife's illness forced him away from the game. We'll see if both sides remain loyal if Thomas does well enough to earn more money next season, or poorly enough to force the Mavericks' hand at the trade deadline.
Derrick Rose has been obsessing over improving his three-point range shot. The Bulls were one of the worst offenses and one of the worst perimeter shooting teams in the league last season. They were simply without a perimeter threat. They brought in Kyle Korver to fix that problem. But Rose is taking that burden upon himself and working to improve it while he's with Team USA. Giving that kid range makes him essentially unguardable. Yikes.
A list of NBA pairings that should happen, including Greg Oden and the Phoenix training staff .
Caron Butler owns six Burger Kings , mostly due to the fact that he used to work at one. Do what you know, I suppose.
It's time to put childish things away and start acknowledging the potential that lies in Miami.
Larry Drew says the Hawks are going to switch less , which is a terrific idea. The switching killed the Hawks against the top teams in the league. Surprisingly, it worked against the Celtics, because they weren't fast enough to make the Hawks pay. But against Orlando, the Magic shredded them off switches by forcing penetration in the interim and creating space, the building block of their offense.
Kobe's ready to go at it again . Raise your hand if you're surprised.
An interesting look at who the Magic's rival is now. The Heat-Magic rivalry has several factors boosting it. It's an in-state rivalry, Dwyane Wade has killed the Magic (on a performance, not win-based level) over the years, and the teams play four times a year. The fans say the Celtics, but we'll see what they say by the end of the year.
In case you've been missing them, check out our Pop Quiz series .
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Posted on: August 20, 2010 4:56 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 4:58 pm
Posted by Royce Young
If you ask Sam Presti what he thinks of three of his Thunder players competing in the World Championships, he'd give you the scripted answer. He'd say how he's excited about the opportunity for them, how he's encouraged them to play hard there and how he thinks the competition will only make them better.
Actually, Presti pretty much already said exactly that. “We know that, more than likely, our guys are going to be playing somewhere during the summer, whether it’s in a gym in L.A. or D.C. or wherever it is,” Presti said in an interview with thunder.nba .com. “But given the opportunity to compete against the best players in the NBA in a structured environment is really a great development opportunity for the guys as a whole and it’s certainly better than any pick-up game they can find elsewhere.”
But I'm guessing if you could really ask him and get a candid answer, he'd probably say he's a bit terrified. Excited for them no doubt, but certainly nervous. And you can bank that he's definitely not the only one.
With injuries piling up for NBA stars that are competing this summer internationally, the fear for coaches, GMs and fans rises as well. So far we've seen a sprained ankle for Stephen Curry, a dislocated finger for Danny Granger, an ankle injury to Anderson Varejao , plus there are potential for incidents like we saw yesterday with Nenad Krstic . Plus, the worst yet, a broken foot for Rodrigue Beaubois. Any time players compete, the chance for injury or issue is there.
Take the Dallas Mavericks for example. Other than Beaubois' injury, the Mavs have reason to squirm a bit. Tyson Chandler was one of the Mavs biggest moves of the offseason . And with the rash of problems with Team USA's big men, Chandler is the only center on the roster. That means if coach Mike Krzyzewski wants to have an actual center on the floor, Chandler would have to go the distance. That sound you just heard was Mark Cuban throwing up.
Chandler is a player that can barely go to his mailbox and grab his mail without getting hurt. And between practices, exhibition games and then actual games in Turkey, Chandler might pile up half a season of work before the season even starts. Plus, add in the fact that other teams know Chandler is the only big man on Team USA's roster, the fact other countries tend to play a little rougher against Team USA and the fact that international play can tend to get a little nasty, and you've got three strikes to be concerned about. And that's just with Tyson Chandler.
But what are teams supposed to do? Tell their guys they can't play? Of course they have to protect their investments and the best interests of their respective organizations, but you can't stop a player from playing for his country. This isn't North Korea. But at the same time, you can bet Cuban has Coach K on speed dial and has probably offered his opinion once or twice on Chandler's contributions.
There are lots of NBA players playing in the World Championships this year, as is the case now in international basketball. But for the most part, it doesn't matter if they're playing in Turkey or not, basketball players are prone to playing basketball. Whether that be on the blacktop or on the hardwood, injury risks are there all offseason . But it's not just the injury but the fatigue of playing a couple hundred extra minutes. Players might be worn down heading into training camp, a time they're supposed to be at their freshest. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks senses that concern.
“Well they’re definitely going to need some time to just decompress and relax because it’s going to be a very high-intensity tournament,They’re going to play basketball all year long. Kevin, I wanted him to take a couple of weeks off and he took two days off," Brooks said in an interview with an OKC radio station. "There’s going to be a little bit of time where I’ll say ‘OK, you guys gotta rest,’ and maybe I can rest them a few days during that month of October, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get those guys to sit out of things.”
Kobe Bryant talked about the kind of wear and tear he felt after playing 82 games, then another 30 or so in the postseason and then another 15 in the 2008 Olympics. He only got about a month off to recover before he was revving back up for the 2008-09 season. Players like Rajon Rondo and Lamar Odom went deep into the postseason and are experiencing that long summer. Will it effect them during a back-to-back next February? Eh, hard to say. In fact, probably not. These guys are world-class athletes in world-class shape. But mentally it can tax on a player and the perception can be that all those games have caused someone to lose a step.
The ultimate fear is what happened to Beaubois. A serious injury that could potentially have an effect on the upcoming season. I'm sure Mark Cuban had a moment of "Why in the heck is he playing in this dumb thing?" But then again, Darren Collison was injured playing pickup ball. Making it through the summer unscathed is something GMs and coaches cross their fingers for, but international competition or not, risk for injury is there. But in the case of this summer, the Worlds just present more opportunity than usual.
Playing for country is almost a duty to some of these players. It seems like lip service when people like Kevin Durant say it's a dream and the ultimate pinnacle in basketball is having a gold medal placed around your neck while your anthem blares. But to these guys, it's means something. That doesn't mean there not risks involved and that front offices and fanbases can't be fretful. But if you want your players to get better and satisfy their ambitions to wear their country's colors, you've just to cross your fingers, say a little prayer and hope come October, everything is the way it should be.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 12:05 pm
Forward signs with Mavericks after half-season away on personal reasons.
Posted by Matt Moore
I'm not sure at what point Tim Thomas became the veteran forward you root for and stopped being "the lazy dude that cashed in on one good playoff season" but it happened. Thomas was a phenomenal disappointment in Philadelphia, Milwaukee, New York, and Chicago, wound up being a huge part of the Suns' playoff run in 2006, then reverted back to form with the Clippers. But with the Mavericks last season, he was experiencing a bit of a career rennaissance. He shot better than he had in nearly a decade, was playing solid defense, and was a good veteran option off the bench.
Then, a personal situation that has as yet not been reported developed with his wife, and Thomas was forced to leave the team after only 18 games to be with her. But with that situation resolved, he's back with the Mavs . It's kind of a feel-good story when you look at all the factos, and if Thomas can return to his production last season, he could help the Mavs challenge again in the West. His services were certainly needed against San Antonio, whose depth caused major issues for the Mavs.