Category Archives: NBA

Thunder youth movement

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. With yesterday’s Serge Ibaka contract extension, the Oklahoma City Thunder youth movement continues.

By Josh Kramer

Most of the attention regarding the Western Conference this off-season has been focused on the newly revamped Los Angeles Lakers.  Rightfully so.  In adding two-time MVP Steve Nash and the best center in the NBA, it appears Kobe has the pieces in place to nab #6.  But who won the Western Conference championship last year though?  Who went to the Western Conference finals the year before? Oh yeah, that team out of Oklahoma City.  With yesterday’s four-year contract extension of 22-year-old swat team captain Serge Ibaka, the youth movement continues on in OKC.

In this day and age defined by free agency, blockbuster deals, and unhappy players, core groups rarely stay together for an extended period of time.  Oklahoma City is looking to defy the odds and build a dynasty out of a group of guys that they drafted, molded, and groomed. Continue reading

Remember Us? Don’t Count out the Chicago Bulls in 2012-2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Bulls have become an afterthought due to Derrick Rose’s injury, but with Tom Thibodeau (pictured above) running the show, don’t count Chicago out just yet.

By Wesley Kaminsky

In the wake of Dwight Howard going to the Lakers, Andrew Bynum going to the Sixers, and Joe Johnson going to the Nets, the 2012-2013 Chicago Bulls lie somewhere in the desert.

This is the team that had the best record in the NBA over the past two seasons and lost their superstar Derrick Rose to a torn ACL in the first round of the playoffs last season.

This is the team that was the biggest threat to Miami in the Eastern Conference before that injury.

Yeah, that team. Remember them? It seems like a lifetime ago in which they were championship contenders. Continue reading

Asik deal makes me sick

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Omer Asik (pictured above) is now making the big bucks in Houston.

By Josh Kramer

Linsanity’s” humongous payday appeared to be insanity.  In reality, that deal was child’s play on the craziness scale compared to what happened yesterday.  The Houston Rockets once again offered up another three-year 25.1 million deal.  This time, to little-known Omer Asik.  Let me repeat that.  Omer Asik, a player who averaged 3.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last year will be making over eight million dollars a year for the next three seasons.

Answer me this:  What is Daryl Morey (Houston GM) thinking?

Believe me, this by no means is the NBA’s version of “Moneyball.”  It is quite the opposite actually.  The three highest paid players on Houston’s roster at the moment are Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lin, and Omer Asik.  Can you say NBDL?  I am not even sure this team could win the D-League championship to be honest.  In its current state, it is that bad. Continue reading

Linsanity turning into insanity?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Jeremy Lin (pictured above) took over New York City this past February. Now he is receiving big contract offers. Is Lin really worthy of 29 million over four years?

By Josh Kramer

The story of Jeremy Lin is truly one of my favorites in sports.  I will be the first one to say that I am a major fan of “Linsanity.”  Everyone loves the David versus Goliath story.  The story where a massive underdog defies the odds.  In this particular case, a guy that defied logic, to accomplish dreams.  Jeremy Lin is truly a role model for all and should serve as motivation for anyone looking to realize their dreams regardless if they deal with sports.

Yesterday, recent news regarding the player who took New York City by storm this past February disturbed me.  Reports were released that Lin felt slighted by the Knicks.  That Lin was surprised the Knicks did not make the first move.  In essence, Lin was offended by what has occurred thus far during free agency.  It should be known that Lin has since refuted these statements saying that he never made them (I hope that he didn’t). Continue reading

Number One

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Steve Nash (pictured above) is joining forces with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. Will he capture his first ring?

By Josh Kramer

9,916 assists.  Eight All-Star Games.  Two MVP’s.  And it all comes down to this.  The man who made the 50-40-90 term (50% from the field, 40% from three-point range, 90% from the free throw line) relevant is going for the only number that matters.  One.  As in “one” championship.  Just ask the “King” what that feels like.

In a shocking twist of events, Steve Nash was shipped off in a sign and trade to the Lakers yesterday to join forces with Kobe Bryant.  Go figure.  Heading into this offseason, it seemed unless the Lakers won the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes (Soap Opera),” Kobe Bryant’s pursuit of number six would be all for not.  Now winning the “Dwight Howard Sweepstakes” might just be a cherry on top.  Kobe is coming for Jordan’s six. Continue reading

Blinded by the Blue: NBA Draft Recap

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. John Calipari (pictured above) once again stole the show at the NBA Draft last evening.

By Josh Kramer

Is anybody else seeing blue?  Eight first round picks came from Kentucky and North Carolina.  Plus, six players out of Lexington were selected on the night (a record). That is a whole lot of blue.  For the first time in NBA Draft history, the top two picks happened to come from the same University.   In addition, the top three picks were not only all freshman, but they were all players out of the SEC East. Go figure.  I thought the SEC was a football conference?  These days, John Calipari is becoming more of a mainstay at the NBA Draft than David Stern.  The following are ten observations from the night in no particular order. Continue reading

Thunder Class

Photo courtesy of caller.com. Kevin Durant (pictured left) and LeBron James (pictured right) shared a heartfelt moment following the final buzzer of Game 5 on Thursday night.

By Josh Kramer

Winning with dignity is sometimes a difficult chore.  But losing with class is far more difficult.  When ones gives 110%, putting their whole heart and soul into accomplishing a goal and then comes up short, facing the music can be tough.  OKC faced the music with flying colors.  Patience is a virtue.  You can count on OKC making more finals appearances over the next five years with this young and talented group.  That is not the topic at hand today though.

Kevin Durant led by example demonstrating class throughout the course of this very difficult five-game series.  At the end of Game 2, he was clearly fouled when attempting a game-tying shot.  Durant did not flinch when dealing with post game questions.  Durant simply said, “I missed the shot, man.”  On Thursday evening, Mike Miller provided the icing on LeBron’s triple-double cake finally helping the King claim his ring.

Towards the end of the game, Scott Brooks made a very heartfelt speech to his team.  Brooks said, “We’re going to treat them like they’re the champions. After the game we are going to walk and shake their hands and acknowledge all of them. They beat us fair and square. However hard that hurts, they still beat us fair and square.”

Brooks’ team fully complied with his message and a very heartfelt embrace between James and Durant was seen by millions of people across the country. Continue reading

A Ringless King No More: LeBron James is a Champion

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The King (pictured above) finally has his ring.

By Wesley Kaminsky

You didn’t want to admit it, but you knew LeBron James would be holding up the Larry O’Brien trophy one day. In fact, you had to know it was coming pretty soon.

It took him nine seasons, two NBA finals losses, two eastern conference finals losses, and three MVP’s, but James has finally reached his goal. A long, overdue goal. A weight off the chest of the guy who guaranteed he would bring multiple titles to Miami.

We all know the story of LeBron, and why there is now this cult as to why it is appropriate to root for him to fail. Believe me, I’m one of those guys. I could write all day about how I feel about the infamous “Decision,” in which LeBron became the most hated athlete in pro sports. I’m not getting into that today.

It’s time to appreciate his greatness. Did I just say that out loud?

After falling just short of winning a championship his first year in Miami, all the pressure was on James in the upcoming season. The Heat had just fallen to the Mavericks, dropping three straight games after leading 2-1, and the blame was all on LeBron. Rightfully so. It was LeBron who shied away from the spotlight in the fourth quarter of many of the games. It was LeBron who didn’t look like he wanted to be there. His poor finals performance fueled his haters and it validated all the criticism that he had been receiving throughout his career. Stuff like, “LeBron doesn’t have that killer attitude.”

Blah, blah, blah.

What you didn’t realize was that it fueled LeBron, and a monster was created. Continue reading

Not this time

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Brian Shaw (pictured above) should be the next head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats. The question is will Rod Higgins and Michael Jordan extend him an offer?

By Josh Kramer

Around this time last year the Los Angeles Lakers were looking for a head basketball coach to succeed the great Phil Jackson.  As you are all well-aware, Mike Brown ended up being the man for the job.  Though Brown did a solid job (according to some), I along with many (including Kobe Bryant) felt another candidate was the man for the job.  Well once again, Brian Shaw is in the running to obtain his first NBA head coaching job.

It is no secret that the Charlotte Bobcats are in need of a lot of things.  After going 7-59 last season and posting the lowest winning percentage in NBA history, there are holes galore.  This is to be expected with a team that posted a winning percentage of .106.  Also, the Bobcats unfortunately will not get to pick the lone guy who appears to be a sure-fire franchise player, Anthony Davis (the New Orleans Hornets will).  And Michael Jordan isn’t coming out of retirement any time soon.

According to most sources, the two finalists to fill the position are Quin Snyder and Brian Shaw. Continue reading

The importance of Chris Bosh

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. At times, Chris Bosh (pictured above) gets lost in the shuffle on Miami’s loaded roster. People are beginning to realize his importance as Miami struggles to survive in the East without the third member of their “Big Three.”

By Andrew Wittry

From the start of the NBA season, the Miami Heat have been the Eastern Conference favorites.  After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals things began to change. Then falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat.  Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to Miami’s “Big Three.” Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality, he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron.

It was not until Chris Bosh had to miss the rest of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals that fans began to understand just how integral he was to the Heat’s success. Without Bosh, the Heat have the dynamic tandem of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, aging forwards, and inconsistent shooters. With Bosh on the floor, defenses have to pay attention to both Miami’s guards and forwards. However, if Joel Anthony is involved in a pick-and-roll offense, defenders can concentrate on James and Wade since Anthony is not a major scoring threat. Even if the Heat are Dwyane Wade’s team, Chris Bosh is a more important player. Without Wade this year in the regular season, Miami went 7-1.  Without Bosh, they were 4-5. Continue reading