- Henry Abbott, TrueHoop, NBA
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Twitter makes clear that NBA players were fascinated by an ESPN documentary about players going broke.
John Hollinger (Insider) on Kyrie Irving: "I'm still big on the Irving bandwagon. Who wouldn't be after he ranked fifth among point guards in PER as a 19-year-old rookie? But I'll say this: When they're replacing you with Ramon Sessions for defensive purposes, that might be a sign you have work to do. As good as Irving was on offense, he was a horrifying, flaming train wreck on defense."
On NBA.com Cavs rookie Tyler Zeller is telling how the NBA really is: "I don’t know the area too well yet, but I have found the important places, like Target and the grocery store. We have a chef at the gym, so breakfast and lunch are provided. For dinner, I’m on my own. Sometimes I get lazy and throw a frozen pizza in the oven, other times I try to cook. I do a lot with hamburger meat and eggs, my special ingredients. I tried to make pancakes for the first time a couple weeks ago, which was interesting. I didn’t believe it only takes two minutes to cook a pancake. The first one was perfect, but I fried the second one because I insisted on waiting three or four minutes!" (Via Cavs: The Blog)
The case that fans are fine with an entire season of tanking. Some may be, and it's tough (but not impossible) to argue with a front office that prefers losses. The whole darn point of professional sports, though, is to see the best doing their best. So while some fans may be okay with some teams trying to lose some games in the name of long-term strategy, they'd always prefer seeing the most competitive game imaginable. And that's where, much as the team's actions can be understood, the league's cannot. There is simply no reason to stick with any plan (in this case, the reverse-order draft) that inspires a fair chunk of the league to mail it in.
In which Greg Monroe attacks his coach with a microphone, or something.
Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tells the story of Will Waller. Waller was once a basketball player of near infinite potential. But he was mixed up in gangs, was shot and badly injured. Now he's confined to a wheelchair and, he says, better than ever on the court. "The difference between me before the wheelchair and me after the wheelchair, especially after I’d gone down to Illinois, is that I was the hardest-working guy on the team. Nobody was going to outwork me. I’d become addicted to success. I’d finally learned that cause- and-effect relationship between hard work and results. It really fueled this desire to win and compete and this willingness to work harder than the rest."
More hard work than giggles: LaMarcus Aldridge on a rebuilding Portland team.
Cory Higgins, Andray Blatche, Austin Daye, Tyrus Thomas, Travis Outlaw, Michael Beasley, Chris Kaman ... just some of the names on a list of players who hurt their team's offenses the most last season. This is built on box-score statistics. Would be interested to see if plus/minus similarly finds offenses were impaired by these players.
A lot of talk about the NBA, the lockout and competitive balance is about sharing power between rich big city teams and smaller city less rich teams. It's not entirely unlike the problem the Founding Fathers faced in handing out power in creating the federal government. Which brings us (really, trust me, it does) to the electoral college. The question in the NBA is do you have more power running a big market team or a small market one? The question in politics is do you have more power as a big state voter in California, or as a small state voter in Missouri? The answer is ... that's tricky as all get out.
Not even Homeland Security can stop the Hornets this season. They're loaded!
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