- Beckley Mason, NBA
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You might be shocked to see where Michael Jordan lands on the top 100 career salaries in NBA history.
Noam Schiller of Magic Basketball reflects on Dwight Howard's Orlando Magic team that made the 2009 Finals: "That Finals squad, although ultimately not successful, undisputedly changed the NBA. The three-pointer finally completed a three-decade journey from new-rule gimmick to a legitimate primary weapon. Rashard Lewis, an All-Star wing player in Seattle, became Rashard Lewis, All-Star power forward, essentially cementing the stretch four as a league wide requirement. Yet none of that happens without Dwight, the defensive blanket and offensive focal point. He was the anchor that stabilized a structure that should have collapsed at any given moment."
Dwyane Wade on whether Derrick Rose needs to recruit another star to play with him in Chicago: "'When I came into the league (in 2003), when all of us came into the league, you never can tell me that this day would come where I play with guys like LeBron (James) and Chris (Bosh) because I wanted to be the young gun. I wanted to be the one who leads my team to a championship, I had that mentality. And then you get to a point where you understand, even with me winning a championship in my third year, it took Shaquille O'Neal, it took Gary Payton, Antoine Walker, James Posey, all these guys to make it possible. This league is very good and you're not going to win it alone. So when you've had a very good team like Derrick has had, you don't need to recruit, but when you've hit rough stages and injuries hit and all these things, and you have a year like we had where we won 15 games (in 2007-08), and now we've got to rebuild back, it becomes a little different.'"
The Arizona Republic's Paul Coro talks to Phoenix Rookie Kendal Marshall about what he learned during the NBA's Rookie Transition Program: '"The female species are a lot smarter than us so we have to realize maybe it's not always that we're the best-looking guy they've ever seen,' Marshall said. 'Maybe there is some incentive behind it. At the same time, there are great cases where guys have happy marriages. They've shown us both cases. We just have to be smart (and realize) that people don't always have our best interests in mind.'"
ESPN's David Thorpe previews three Rookie of the Year candidates (Insider) and says this about my pick for the award, Damian Lillard: "If he gets the green light to make plays, like John Wall, Westbrook, Rose and Kyrie Irving, then undoubtedly we'll see a great number of stellar scoring and passing nights from Lillard. Next to a post presence like LaMarcus Aldridge and veterans like Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews, Lillard will be able to generate offense through his teammates more than most rookies will be given the chance to. This means his chances at scoring more efficiently are strong. He has the potential to average 16 points and six assists per game with a steal or so thrown in there, too."
Good news for Clippers fans: Willie Green shot 54 percent on corner 3s last year.
Kevin Durant's movie, Thunderstruck, isn't terrible. Seems like this is a good time to reflect on the fact that Durant, he of "small market" stardom, is the basis of a movie at all and that the movie is named for a team in Oklahoma City. That team just extended Serge Ibaka and sounds ready to dive into the luxury tax to keep James Harden, another young star. Hardly sounds like the behavior of a small market franchise to me.
Whether Michael Beasley excels in Phoenix may hinge on whether he plays like a power forward or a wing.
2dEthan Sherwood Strauss
2dHenry Abbott and David Thorpe
2dHenry Abbott and David Thorpe
3dEthan Sherwood Strauss
8dHenry Abbott and David Thorpe