Here We Go Again

The NBA is on it’s way, which means the trade rumours have already arrived. The curtain has dropped. The spotlight is on. The show has began. And with the show comes the drama.

Dallas Ditching Chandler?

On the first day that free agent contracts could be discussed, Tyson Chandler took away one thing from the day. He was getting traded. “I really think I’m going to be on a new team come training camp,” Chandler told ESPN.com on Wednesday. He believes Dallas won’t offer him the long term extension that he deserves. And he does deserve it. For three years in a row the Dallas Mavericks were 1st round dropouts. Disappointments to their city and to the NBA. But when Tyson Chandler came to town he changed the whole team. He brought height, he brought hustle and most of all motivated the team to play defense. It’s no coincidence that last year the Dallas Mavericks were 7th in points allowed per 100 posessions in 2010-2011 and were 12th, 15th and 17th the three years before that. He provided them with an inside presence in the finals and deserves a contract. His biggest worry is that Dallas may sign Nene over him. Nene and him are the two most coveted free agents this year.

Nene Fever:

The big man on the free agent campus this year is Nene. Teams from all over the league have shown interest in him. Dallas, Golden State, New Jersey, Denver, Houston, Indiana, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Portland were all teams who made contact with Nene’s agent on Wednesday. A perfect fit for Nene would be teams lacking an inside presence. Teams like Golden State, Denver and Houston. The Nets have shown interest in Nene due to Deron Williams’ statements that he would be far less inclined to re-sign a long-term deal with the Nets if they don’t immediately improve their roster.

Ron Artest…. I mean Metta World Peace:

It has been reported that the Los Angeles Lakers may waive Ron Artest….. I mean Metta World Peace’s over-priced contract. Although, the small forward is one of the best defenders in the league and filling the void later with other players is very difficult considering the type of defender he is. On the offensive side, he is in decline. Last season he averaged 8.5 points and it’s clear that his age may be taking a toll on his body and his speed. He doesn’t have the strength he once had (and I might regret this) but he’s become a  liability on offense. Letting go of his 3 year 21.5 million dollar contract would be a relief, causing the Lakers to save up to 27 million dollars in taxes and salary through 2013-2014.

Hollywood Wants Superman:

A minute doesn’t go by when we don’t wonder how many championships Shaq and Kobe could’ve won together had their problems not gotten in the way. Finally, years later Superman may be coming back to Hollywood. Not the one who has the superman logo on his bed. The one who wore the cape during his slam dunk performance. Jim Buss has said that he would trade Andrew Bynum “for the right deal.” The right deal or the deal that involves Dwight Howard? But Andrew Bynum may not be what the Magic are looking for in a replacement for Dwight and rumour has it that Andrew Bogut would be a better fit for them. I disagree but a three team deal has been circling, sending Dwight to the Lakers, Bogut to the Magic and Bynum to the Bucks. The Clippers also seem willing to do whatever it takes for Dwight. The Clippers have tons of young depth with players like Eric Gordon, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu and can provide more assets in a trade with the Magic. Although, Dwight and Kobe together may look like a championship on paper. In reality they wouldn’t gel. Dwight loves the ball down in the post, he takes it in all day. And why wouldn’t you when you’re the most dominant player in the NBA. Then there is Kobe, who loves the ball on the perimeter and taking it to the hole. They are both types of players who demand the spotlight and I can’t see it working out.

Blazers and Brandon Roy:

A source had said that the TrailBlazers had waived Roy but team president Larry Miller firmly stated that, ”We have not, and regardless of what’s been said by John Canzano and others out there, (made a) decision on amnesty as of yet,” On January 17th of last season Brandon Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery on both knees. He returned to the lineup on February 25th and scored 18 points off the bench. The rest of the season was a quiet one for Roy, he came off the bench for the whole season and averaged 12.5 points as supposed to his career average of 19 points a game. His future looked grim, until the playoffs came around and  Portland needed someone to step up. Brandon Roy came off the bench in Game 3 against the Mavericks and scored 16 points in 23 minutes. Larry Miller added, ”With everything that Brandon has done for this organization, there’s no way we would make a decision like that without having conversation with him, without evaluating where he is.” I wouldn’t give up on Roy yet, his knees may let him down at times but he showed that in big situations he can shine. He knows how to win and he is a valuable piece on any team.

Celtics Discussing Rondo Trades:

Just to be clear, the Celtics don’t want to get rid of Rondo. He is the future of their organisation and will be their saviour once Pierce, Allen and Garnett are gone. However, the Celtics are exploring options in exchange for Rondo. Danny Ainge said, “I don’t make any comments on trade rumors. I’m just not commenting on any of it. Everybody knows how valuable Rondo is to our team. I’ll talk to Rondo, but I don’t want to talk about it publicly.” I sense insecurity in the Celtics front office. They realise that their Big Three aren’t big news anymore, they are getting older and soon they won’t be able to compete with the up and coming talent in the league. Additionally, they realise Rondo isn’t the best Point Guard out there and it makes sense for them to get better. Rumours have circulated that a Rondo for Paul deal may be developing, although they are very vague rumours.

Grizz and Gasol:

After last years semi-breakout season for Marc Gasol teams are showing more interest in him now that he’s a free agent. He provided Memphis with defense, hustle and a quick inside presence that Tim Duncan and the 1st place Spurs couldn’t handle. The Grizzlies organization have shown interest in keeping him. “Obviously, we want to sit down and try to make a deal with Marc,” Heisley said. “I’m committed to keeping him.” Gasol has made it clear that he would like to return to Memphis this season. However, they may not have enough money to satisfy Gasol after agreeing to contract extensions with Zach Randolph, Rudy Gay and Mike Conley. All we know now is that the Grizzlies want Gasol and Gasol wants the Grizzlies. Personally, I would love to see last year’s team come back stronger this year and make it back to the playoffs. Every time they stepped onto the floor, the game was bound to be exciting. They were the most energetic team in the NBA and it was a joy to watch them burst through the playoffs and surprise everybody.

The Process

The excitement of the new NBA season is overwhelming and provides an energy that has been lacking around the basketball community for months. It did come as a surprise to most – the lockout ending. It was only two weeks ago when the NBPA decided to sue the owners.

After that incident, the optimism from weeks prior was put aside. Heads went down and everything seemed to go downhill. The season seemed like a long shot and everybody was getting used to a basketball free world. Only today did we receive a statement saying that both sides have reached a tentative agreement.

This week both sides met on Friday in secret for 15 hours trying to compromise and conclude with a deal. 15 hours of discussion and debate payed off when they believe they found gold with this deal. Of course both sides still have to ratify this deal. 15 of the 29 owners need to approve for this deal to go through. There is still more to do but for now the NBA is very much revived.

Training camps and Free Agency are set to begin on December 9th with the almighty tip off starting on Christmas Day. The sides that we all called greedy and selfish have put their differences aside and have reached a deal. And no matter how much they put us (the fans) through, we are grateful to have the NBA back in our lives.

Back in Action

Thank goodness! The NBA is back and threatening to overshadow Santa himself. There could be no better Christmas present than to see the revival of the NBA after a very dark couple of months.

When that first whistle blows in stadiums across the country, the return of the NBA will be official. The crowds will gather from MSG in the East to Staples Center in the West. The thrill of basketball will re-energize the nation and bring back something that his been dearly missed in our lives.

So this is cheers to a new season and let the games begin!

50/50

Congratulations, to the players and the owners for their 100th day anniversary of getting absolutely nowhere. Let’s all hope that this unhappy couple work out their problems soon, because there is nothing more aggravating than watching two partners argue over custody of… money.

Talks are in a stale mate situation since the players refused to meet with the owners unless the topic under discussion was a 50/50 deal. I guess for now it’ll be which side breaks first. The 50/50 deal was first thrown into the open as an idea, a simple idea that nobody had even mentioned. Equal distribution of the money had never even passed through either sides minds, so it was put off to the side. Obviously, the owners got thinking and realised that the 50/50 deal would benefit both sides the most.

That got me thinking as well, I looked at the 50/50 proposal from both vantage points and came to the conclusion that a 50/50 deal makes the most sense for both sides.

What the players and owners both don’t seem to understand is that they need each other for the other to have a job in the first place. They need each other like T-Pain needs auto-tune, like Harold needs Maude, like Shrek needs Donkey. There are no owners without the players and in turn there are no players without the owners.

The owners need the players for their organisation succeed, they need the players to bring them the fans and to bring them the championship. The players need the owners for a team to play on, for them to get paid and for them to have a career. For either side to get more money, it just seems like one partner is cheating on the other. And in this marriage there is no such thing as disloyalty.

To be completely honest, I think one of the main reasons a 50/50 deal makes the most sense is because no side will take less then the other. The players and owners could discuss ways to resolve the conflicts for ages and we still wouldn’t have an NBA season because no side seems willing to take any less then the other. We might as well call it even instead of missing a whole season. Besides that obvious reason, I think that the 50/50 deal makes the most sense due to what each side needs from the other.

The NBA is a very organised system. Owners invest in teams, they sign players, the players get paid by the owners and then us (the fans) go to watch the players play. If we broke it down you’d see that no side has the upper hand in this deal.

Without the owners the NBA is just a bunch of extremely talented basketball players either dominating European or Chinese basketball, or playing semi-telivised charity games all year in stadiums that can’t accommodate all the fans who love basketball. Without the owners the players have no money, at all. They are just normal people. The owners fuel the players careers, there are no players without the owners.

Without the players there is no excitement, there is no basketball, there is no NBA. Owners have no careers if there are no players. The players are the ones who risk their bodies, every day. They are the ones giving 100% of their energy every night to put on a show for the millions who love the NBA. We (the fans) love the NBA because of the excitement, the suspense, the talent, and the atmosphere. All those things come down to the players putting on a show.

Although, the players are the ones we love the NBA for, behind closed doors the owners are the ones responsible for most of it. Nobody has any leverage, each argument either side makes for more money can be matched by the other.

When there is no winner, there is either a tie or two losers. It just depends on how they look at it. Hopefully the verdict will be announced soon so we can get back to what really matters. Basketball.

What Happened to the NBA?

Here we are, 90 days into the lockout.
Each day has begun with a sense of hope of optimism and ended with disappoinment. Now we hear that David Stern is saying that the fate of the NBA season is depending on this weekend’s talks. I am no longer disappointed with the NBA but irritated with the players and owners’ union.

The lockout in simplest terms is due to greed. The players want more money, the owners want to pay the players less.

Don’t we always hear players talk about playing basketball because they have a passion for the game, they have a competitive drive, they have love for the sport. How are we supposed to believe that when they would rather make more money then do the thing they love.

I’m 100% correct in saying that every single NBA player is a millionaire. I just can’t grasp the fact that money is what is holding the NBA season up. If Derek Fisher (the president of the players union) is making 4 million dollars a year, does one or two million a year more really make a difference. 12 NBA owners rank among the 400 wealthiest Americans. Yet, owners want more money. The owners and players are making more money in a year then average families would make in a lifetime. Everybody is just too caught up with money, fast cars and the Hollywood lifestyle that they all seem to have forgotten why they started loving basketball in the first place. Kids like myself look up to players because they’re supposed to be our role models. They play the best sport in the world and through years of hard work and commitment, they have become the best at what they do. But I have lost a little respect for those involved in the players and owners union due to the fact that we’re still praying for a deal.

What ever happened to the good old days where NBA players and owners genuinely enjoyed being apart of the NBA – the place where “amazing happens”. Well right now the NBA is the place where disapointing happens.