Blog Entry

Finals over, now time for main event

Posted on: June 18, 2010 6:33 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2010 8:00 pm
 
LOS ANGELES – At the risk of looking ahead before the party at Ron Artest’s house is over, it’s time to consider how different the NBA landscape will look the next time someone hoists the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Everyone but Gregg Doyel seemed to enjoy the epic, seven-game series given to us by the Lakers and Celtics. In fact, the series was ABC's most-viewed Finals and Game 7 was the most-watched NBA game since Michael Jordan's last championship shot in 1998 against the Jazz. At a time when owners and executives are understandably nervous about what the future will hold under a new collective bargaining agreement, it didn’t hurt for the sport to put its best foot forward for two weeks in June.

The momentum will carry right into the draft next week, when the NBA welcomes its next potential superstar, John Wall. Then, the main event: free agency, beginning July 1. The decisions and alliances that will be made during the first week of July could shift the balance of power and change the sport for the next decade.

Will LeBron James stay in Cleveland, to be joined by Chris Bosh or another high-profile free agent in a sign-and-trade? Will he form an alliance with Dwyane Wade in Miami, Derrick Rose in Chicago, or a superstar-to-be-named-later in New York? Will Kobe Bryant, fresh off his fifth title, push for a sign-and-trade scenario that would add Bosh to the Lakers’ embarrassment of riches?

The possibilities are endless, though Bryant was in no mood to contemplate all of this after celebrating his second straight title Thursday night. Asked by an enterprising reporter about the daunting possibility of facing a team with, say, LeBron and Wade in next year’s Finals, Bryant shot back, “What is it with you? You want to just emotionally drain me? I don’t want to think about that. Those guys, I’ve seen those guys up close and personal. I don’t want to think about playing against both of them at the same time. I want to enjoy this for a little bit.”

Not for long.

Once the free agency dust settles, the focus will shift from the Summer of LeBron to an army of lawyers, actuaries and accountants who are wrestling with the 800-pound gorilla in the room: the collective bargaining agreement. As thrilling as the Lakers-Celtics series was, it only underscored how concentrated the power – and titles – are among the big-market, high-revenue teams. Despite the fact that the players will include a plan for changing the league’s revenue-sharing model when they submit a proposal to the league in the next two weeks, sources indicate that NBA negotiators remain adamant that revenue sharing will not be part of the bargaining process. Months after getting an early start on negotiations, the owners and players still disagree on the validity of $400 million in losses stated by commissioner David Stern. Any way you slice it, it’s going to be a long, ugly fight with the goal of preventing a work stoppage when the current agreement expires on June 30, 2011.

Which brings us back to how things will look the next time the confetti is falling as Stern hands over the championship trophy 12 months from now. Stern’s NBA could be embarking on the most impactful era of basketball since Jordan retired, with big stars in big markets and world-wide interest in the sport perhaps even surpassing the Jordan era. And this could also be true next June: The NBA could be days away from a lockout that would kill all the momentum.

These are important times with a lot at stake, and with no time to do what Bryant pleaded with reporters to let him do: Enjoy it for a little bit.



Comments

Since: May 4, 2007
Posted on: June 22, 2010 9:42 am
 

Finals over, now time for main event

While I agree that the next big thing is always lurking in sports coverage, I do think that this particular NBA finals shoulders some of the blame. It was probably the worst officiated finals ever and made for a flowless, disjointed looking style of play between both teams and the play was sloppy on top of that. Then the Kobe story line was the dominant headline, is he the best isn't he the best, and it never really caught on because Kobe isn't universally loved or even liked.  Kobe didn't go out and light it up in the least and he being the biggest superstar in the series it dwindled interest I'd say also, nobody played great for either team. I'm an NBA junkie and I was force feeding myself these games, it wasn't that entertaining.



Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: June 20, 2010 4:22 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

The King is coming to New York. The NBA is like a soap opera and you can predict everything as it happens. I knew the Lakers where going to come back from being down 3-2 to the Celtics...but predicting where Lebron is going is tricky. So at the end of the day, I have to go with my gut instinct. I believe that Lebron will come to the Knicks along with Chris Bosh and some other free agent that comes to the Knicks via trade this summer. I am a huge Knicks fan since the days of Oakley, Ewing, Kiki, Derek Harper, Trent Tucker on to Sprewell, Houston, now the likes of Gallinari, Chandler, and the soon to be King of New York Lebron James.
Lebron would not only love New York the city but he is probably the only player besides Kobe Wade, Melo that could bring a different buzz to the Garden on a consistent basis. Durant and other up and comers would crack under the pressure to play in the biggest stage in the basketball world. Its hard to capture the crown in New York and carry a whole city on your back. The Knicks dont need a superstar player they need a superhero that will not only be the best Knick on the team but he will also have to be the face of New York too. Pressure is the key here and not ability of win games. Anyone can win reg. season games, but the Knicks will get a King James that not even Cleveland fans seen before. He will become more everything and having the Knicks fans behind him or booing him and his new team when they lose will make him that much a better player. Ask Patrick Ewing what pushed his career? Playing in front of Knicks fans and having their support or playing for a team with no buzz in the atmosphere. Its a feeling that Lebron is looking for that only New York can provide. By New York I mean the New York Knicks and not the New Jersey Nets. The Nets got no history and to save them would not mean so much than bring NYC back to the discussion of top teams in the NBA. I could just hear the Garden now.

2011 Knicks Roster with Donnie Walsh moves to fill the bench and other pieces and the additions of Lebron and Bosh will suprise all of you non believers. It was already written. Its our time Knicks fans...we waited long enough!!! lol




Since: Mar 28, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2010 3:54 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

 Bottom line is that LeBron has to figure out a way to win a title or else his reputation will go down dramatically



Since: Feb 2, 2010
Posted on: June 20, 2010 2:47 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

sorry to break it to you but his best fit is in chicago with rose and noah. Dirk is getting older and nothing can math the young talent in chicago. With Lebron there chicago will have another dynasty with many championships to come. And chicago has enough money to go out and get bosh or another big named free agent along with James.



Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: June 20, 2010 2:16 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Are you serious? THAT has been what Riley has been preaching down here for the last year. That is his vision. His selling point is that the players can take a little less money in Miami and still come out the same because we pay no tate tax here.



Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: June 20, 2010 11:07 am
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Heck, we all know where King James is going to end up!!  It is the party capital of the NBA....SALT LAKE CITY AS A MEMBER OF THE UTAH JAZZ.Cool

HAHA



Since: May 28, 2009
Posted on: June 20, 2010 2:30 am
 

Count me for not enjoying it...

Game 7 was flat out ugly. Don't give me the defense excuse, this was pathetic, terrible offense.
The rest of the series wasn't much better. The NBA is a stale, me first, superstar call driven league with a prolonged mail-it-in season that is an injustice to the people who buy tickets.
Ugly, boring, zzz....



Since: Jun 16, 2010
Posted on: June 20, 2010 1:24 am
 

???

Stokomo,

I agree with you about the football part, BUT:

"We as fans want everything served on a platter and a crystal ball that will tell us the champion of next year before the off-season can play out, nevermind the heat from the championship just played. Someone once told me to enjoy what you have accomplished before you start another task"

The sentences above does not sound right together. Perhaps, the writer of this article is not in favor of the Lakers, those who oppose the Lakers would undoubtly look into the future, because, simply, they want thier team to make it, and not another team, or in this case, not another back-to-back champion that bored the crap out of me. And besides, we fans don't accomplish anything from their win, in the NBA or any pro sports, no one other than the fans, lose (the amount of money spent towards them). So it is only natural for us to see the next big thing, simply because it is not our win, but the Lakers franchise only. 



Since: May 3, 2008
Posted on: June 19, 2010 6:31 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Lebron and Dirk are the perfect fit. LeBron and Danilo Gallinari, a younger Dirk with more early success and potential is even a better fit.



Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: June 19, 2010 5:48 pm
 

Finals over, now time for main event

Bosh 2 LA 4 Bynum = fatality Agreed, Jigga.  There's only so much ball to go around in LA.  Kobe and Pau need their touches and then a third guy will step up here or there.  Adding a superstar like Bosh to replace a guy like Bynum, who understands and embraces his role in the offense, would be disasterous.  I like Bosh as a player, I think he's an extremely talented guy and would love to have him on my team if the circumstances were different, but I just can't see this one happening unless the Lakers are looking to create a Big 3 that they don't need.  Honestly, I think Gasol took the "Bosh to LA" talk seriously and showed a new, more aggresive style of play in the playoffs.  As if to say that he can be the guy they think they'd be getting with Bosh.  As long as Gasol stays on his game, Bosh is unneeded.

The guy the Lakers need to bring back is Fish.  That's priority #1.  The Lakers don't need another superstar, they've proven the last two seasons they can get it done without one.


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