September, 22, 2010
By Henry Abbott
- The name Lynyrd Skynyrd is -- who knew? -- a mocking tribute of a high school basketball coach named Leonard Skinner.
- David Berri says that the best power forward in Blazer history was not my candidate, Maurice Lucas, but Buck Williams. The difference, fair or not, is that Lucas was the inspirational leader of a title team, while Williams was a role player on a two-time runner-up. No, that doesn't prove Lucas was more productive. Yes, I think it does give Lucas a special place in history, and a reputation that may extend beyond his production.
- On that note, who's the best Magic center of all time, Shaquille O'Neal or Dwight Howard? Or how about the best small forward: Grant Hill or Hedo Turkoglu?
- And in Minnesota, Stephon Marbury and Isaiah Rider are the all-time starting backcourt. "All the people that voted for both Stephon and J.R.," writes Ben Polk of A Wolf Among Wolves, "should be punished by being forced to actually coach that terrifying team for a year."
- For the Sixers, a team with so much history, the best five ever conversation is serious.
- The Spurs appear to be shopping for a top-shelf wing defender.
- The Celtics aren't the only elite defensive team that lost their defense-focused assistant. Will the Thunder be as good without Ron Adams?
- Ethan Sherwood Strauss, on Hoopspeak, makes the case that the Celtics are better off with all those superstars in one place in Miami. His reasoning? Because now the Celtics have less competition for Eastern playoff spots, as the Cavaliers and Raptors have been weakened. "Toronto could have made the 2011 Playoffs. Cleveland would have made the 2011 Playoffs. In this scenario, Miami may have returned with another free agent in tow. Three playoff contenders became one, two teams nixed before the first game. There is opportunity in destruction. There would have been a very real chance of a Boston lottery trip. The Cs won 50 games while battling the inexorable march of age. One year later, they’re worse. Kendrick Perkins’s knee twisted and morphed into the O’Neals, a downgrade in everything but name recognition. Recognize that they’ll suck. Remember that Thibodeau now coaches the Bulls."
- What happens when teams trade for big-time scorers? Vince Carter, Grant Hill, Penny Hardaway and the like provide some context for a Carmelo Anthony trade.
- Sebastian Pruiti spends forever breaking down NBA plays in detail. And he says this Rodrigue Beaubois backdoor lob may be his favorite of them all.
- Michael McCarthy of USA Today on the NBA's new more form-fitting uniforms (like the ones worn in February's All-Star game): "'We haven't come across a single player who's said, 'I'd prefer to wear something that isn't as comfortable, that's heavier and doesn't dry as quickly,' ' [NBA VP Sal] LaRocca says. The NBA will start selling replica and swingman jerseys for $45 and $80, plus new, boxed, numbered, limited editions for $350. Those prices are within $5 to $10 of last season's, LaRocca says. Adidas won over some players skeptical about the slimmer-cut uniforms by pointing out it will be tougher for defenders to grab and hold tighter-fitting jerseys than the baggier ones worn by many players. 'Our philosophy is you can't grab what you can't hold,' says Blasingame. 'Right now, with the baggier jerseys, especially come playoff time, people are grabbing and holding and everything else.'"
- YouTube offers a nice little documentary about team Lithuania's performance in this year's World Championships. If a little voice inside of you just piped up and said "cool, I'm going to watch that" then congratulations, you're a total hoops dork. Or Lithuanian.
- Is this goodbye? Boston's going to miss Brian Scalabrine.
- The D-League Draft is coming up on November 1, and somebody will get to be the next Chris Andersen or Mikki Moore, who were both once top overall picks.
- The Heat are hardly the NBA's first superteam.
- Sounds like Rudy Fernandez plans to report to Blazers camp.
- Pape Sy may have the best name in the NBA, but is it reasonable to expect him to be able to play here?
- Credit the Hornets with being able to get a sit-down interview with Chris Paul, something the Nuggets have not been able to do with Carmelo Anthony.
- The case that the Nets shouldn't give up too much for Carmelo Anthony.
- Dr. J. on a skateboard.
- Who will be the Mavericks backup power forward?
- Arsenalist Raptors Republic on the state of the Raptors: "Either the players didn’t deliver, or the GM put the wrong players together, or the coaching was way off."
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar almost played his college ball at St. John's.
- Ted Leonsis, Wizards owner, does not want you to think about the past. At all. Unless, by "the past" you happen to mean 1978, in which case carry on: "THIS SEASON -- that is what sports is all about. That is what I believe. I can’t get dragged into could haves and would haves and the past. I must think about our fans; our franchise; and my promises to everyone. We need to build together a promising future. We need to craft a team that is capable of winning an NBA championship. We need to replicate the feeling and memories in DC from 1978 and the last ring that was won by the franchise for the fan base. We are only looking one way -- forward."
- In a new book Jay-Z will explain the meaning of some of his work. He's important enough to basketball that I can't wait to read that.
- The last time Doug Collins coached an NBA team with a winning record was 1996-1997. That probably doesn't mean anything, but if you expect to find yourself in an insult contest with him soon, take notes.