August, 2, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- The Painted Area is doing something amazing, by leading an internet video tour of the best plays of this year's playoffs. Number 15 is my favorite so far -- that's the play of Goran Dragic's life.
- Does Derrick Rose have new shooting form?
- YouTube offers forth two contenders for world's longest basketball shot.
- Mike Kurylo of Knickerblogger writes a rare thing -- a thoughtful New York-based reaction to LeBron James' decision. He makes a ton of great points, and you should go and read the whole thing. But there's one particularly interesting chess analogy to James and Dwyane Wade deciding to play together: "It would be like Karpov and Kasparov sitting down to play, but Karpov’s queen decides it would be easier to win if she decided to play alongside Kasparov’s queen. LeBron, Wade, and Bosh’s choice could start a trend in the league." This gets to a core issue, in some ways. It's crazy for a chess piece to leave his team to play with his buddies, because chess pieces are made out of wood, glass, stone, plastic and the like. And we have long seen it as a crazy thing for NBA players to do, because that is not what they have done. On the issue of friends as co-workers players have been as silent as chess pieces. But, of course, players are not made out of wood, glass, stone, plastic and the like. They are human beings, like you and me. And there's nothing strange at all about human beings wanting to work with people they like and respect. In fact, it's totally normal. Kurylo also makes one other point I'd mention: "Free agency in a capped league," he writes, "like the amateur draft, is meant to help the weaker teams become more competitive." It may have the potential to have that effect, but let's be clear that the NBA has free agency only because they can't legally get rid of it. There is not a likely legal strategy to abolish it. That's because the government realizes even rich athletes aren't made of plastic or wood, and might need the right to leave a bad work situation once in a while.
- John Krolik of Cavs: The Blog: "It’s fine to boo LeBron James. It’s fine to hate LeBron James. What I’m concerned about is Cleveland becoming a franchise that defines itself by its hatred of LeBron James. It’s something I’ve seen other fanbases do to varying extents in the past, and it was never pleasant to look at. The fact that LeBron acted foolishly in the weeks and days leading to his decision to play for a different team didn’t change my mind about that. So here we are. Cleveland fans (and the owner of the Cavaliers) clearly feel that they were wronged by LeBron James in a major way, and most feel a very deep antipathy for him now. Fighting against this current with a 'Thanks for the seven years of service and all you did for the franchise, LeBron' night upon his return would be foolish. On the other hand, 'Screw You, LeBron night' (orchestrated chants, video segments to incite the crowd, 2-3 play stoppages because somebody threw something at LeBron, et cetera) also wouldn’t be my cup of tea. I completely understand why such a thing would happen, and acknowledge that it likely will. That said, this is a beautiful game played by a lot of good people, and losing sight of that makes for bad sports fandom. Also, going overboard with that stuff could lose Cleveland fans a lot of the good will they’ve gained since the LeBacle."
- All hail Elgin Baylor.
- Video scouting Kevin Seraphin, the Wizards rookie who has been compared to Nicolas Batum.
- Dwight Howard, in a conversation with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "You have to look long term and what’s best for your team. Cleveland got Shaq to match up with the Magic. They also got Antawn Jamison to match up with the Magic. But they didn’t even play the Magic. They played Boston [and lost]. You match up for the league, not just one team."