Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:42 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 2:37 pm
Posted by Royce Young
We all know professional athletes work out. It's completely necessary now, unless of course you're former major league pitcher David Wells who famously said he didn't. (And it showed.) But it's easy to assume that the guys came out of their mothers' wombs built like statues. In reality, a TON of work goes into it and it's not just on the practice court.
And with someone like LeBron James, he was put together like an NFL defensive end in high school . So again, it's natural to think that genetics just blessed him with a near flawless physique. However, this morning LeBron tweeted about his workout regimen. And it's pretty obvious from just the little bit he shared, that it's not for the faint of heart.
LeBron posted videos of him working out, using something called a Versa Climber, shoulder pressing a ridiculous amount of weight, using a medicine ball and some free motion pull downs. And that was just the first set.
I'm reminded of a quote Kevin Durant (who is famously an extremely hard worker) had to write in a notebook 200 times: Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard . Not a whole lot of people have the talent of a Kevin Durant or LeBron James, but when you combine that with hard work, you get a scary good basketball player.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 9:20 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: September 7, 2010 2:52 pm
Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...
What will the All-Star Game look like?
Los Angeles. City of Angels. Home of the back-to-back NBA champions, the legendary LA Lakers. And in February, home of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game. It's going to be ridiculous, it's going to be over-the-top (more so than even your normal All-Star Game). It's going to be expensive. Really, really expensive. It will also be interesting as next year there are likely to be big changes in the All-Star Game. So what exactly is that game going to look like?
It's difficult to predict, obviously, who will be participating in the game. Even more so than any other episode of predicting the future, there are so many factors that can play into who makes it. Not only things like injuries, team downturns, unexpected rises, and trades, but the popularity contest of the voting system. But there are some things we can examine the possibility of.
For starters, with Amar'e Stoudemire headed to New York, there's a spot down low for the West. You can slide in Tim Duncan, because he's like Johnny Cash. Steady like a freight train, sharp like a razor. Pau Gasol's another lock, as many think he's the best power forward in the league right no w. From there, you've got Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman as the other two bigs from last year's squad. Kaman's unlikely to return with the addition of Blake Griffin, and Randolph's success is tied to an inconsistent Grizzlies team. Meanwhile, Yao Ming returns from injury and will most likely look like a legitimate contender for the starting spot.
But what about Andrew Bynum? We've been waiting for Bynum to live up to his potential for three seasons, and he's constantly referred to as one of the best centers in the league, despite his numerous injury issues. With the Lakers getting older, and Bynum supposedly healthier than he has been in years, Bynum has to be considered a strong contender not just for the backup position, but possibly as a starting center (which would put Tim Duncan at power forward, where he belongs).
Speaking of Duncan, he and Dirk Nowitzki are headed down the stretch and it'll be important to note that one of them is going to take a step backwards. Age demands it. And though Duncan is widely considered the best power forward of all time by those that consider him a power forward, he's most likely to have the dropoff. You saw it at times last season. The writing isn't on the wall, but there's a pen by the chalkboard. Bear in mind we're talking about inches below the greatness he's always provided, but it might be enough with a rising Bynum to shove either him or Dirk out of the starting lineup. And that will just be weird.
This is all before we start trying to figure out the point guards in the West. Steve Nash showing no signs of slowing down. Chris Paul back to full health. Deron Williams healthy with Al Jefferson beside him and more of the offensive load. Tyreke Evans, out of the rookie well and into the general pool. Russell Westbrook, possibly coming on as one of the better slide and dice guards in the league on a team that looks poised to make a run. Stephoe Curry, a rookie of the year runner-up with another season under him and a license to score. This likely means Jason Kidd will not be returning to the team for the 11th time in his career.
And oh, yeah, Kobe will be back in the starting spot. No "probably." He will be.
In the East? Well, the Miami Triad was formed from guys in the East, so they're likely to stay. Even with a downturn in production from sharing the ball, all three should be locks, though it's hard to see Bosh making the starting spot as he was a reserve last season. Amar'e Stoudemire could wind up knocking Kevin Garnett out of the starting spot which would be another changing of the guard. But a more likely scenario is Joe Johnson being unable to reach the starting spot again and moving into the reserve spot as the East looks like the West from last year: four bigs and a guard (Dwyane Wade). Which will be disappointing considering Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo's existence, both of whom are probable to return as starters.
Carlos Boozer, freed from the big-heavy West, may be able to work his way into a spot, and Paul Pierce may be on the bubble. If Andrew Bogut returns healthy, he could complicate matters, along with Brandon Jennings. Basically, point guards are going to massively complicate these rosters.
Sure, some of these players are going to go down to injury, others will have downturn seasons. But there's a strong indication that this might be a year of big changes in the All-Star Game, both with starting rosters and the reserve spots.
But the parties will be awesome regardless.
Tags: 2011 All-Star Game, Al Jefferson, All-Star, All-Star Game, Amar'e Stoudemire, Andrew Bynum, Blake Griffin, Brandon Jennings, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Chris Kaman, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Heat, Joe Johnson, Kevin Durant, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, Lakers, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Pau Gasol, Paul Pierce, Pop Quiz, Russell Westbrook, Stephen Curry, Tim Duncan, Tyreke Evans
Posted on: September 7, 2010 9:21 am
Edited on: September 7, 2010 12:54 pm
Reggie believes in Wade, Thomas believes in loyalty, and Butler believes in Burger King.Posted by Matt Moore
Reggie Miller believes the Heat are still DWade's team . Miller's probably on target here, but the fact that this is debatable is an interesting thought exercise. After all, we say we determine the quality of a player not by his performance, but by how many rings he has. Wade is the only one of the Miami Triad to have a ring, and yet LeBron is burdened with leadership of the squad. It's possible that this whole thing could only serve to show us how we've been underrating Dwyane Wade the past few years.
In a summer that put a very large nail in the coffin of loyalty in sports, the Mavs' actions towards Tim Thomas remain a hand propping it open. Art Garcia spoke with both Thomas and the Mavs , and both sides used the Magic word, loyalty, in their joint decision to add Thomas to the Mavericks' roster this season after his wife's illness forced him away from the game. We'll see if both sides remain loyal if Thomas does well enough to earn more money next season, or poorly enough to force the Mavericks' hand at the trade deadline.
Derrick Rose has been obsessing over improving his three-point range shot. The Bulls were one of the worst offenses and one of the worst perimeter shooting teams in the league last season. They were simply without a perimeter threat. They brought in Kyle Korver to fix that problem. But Rose is taking that burden upon himself and working to improve it while he's with Team USA. Giving that kid range makes him essentially unguardable. Yikes.
A list of NBA pairings that should happen, including Greg Oden and the Phoenix training staff .
Caron Butler owns six Burger Kings , mostly due to the fact that he used to work at one. Do what you know, I suppose.
It's time to put childish things away and start acknowledging the potential that lies in Miami.
Larry Drew says the Hawks are going to switch less , which is a terrific idea. The switching killed the Hawks against the top teams in the league. Surprisingly, it worked against the Celtics, because they weren't fast enough to make the Hawks pay. But against Orlando, the Magic shredded them off switches by forcing penetration in the interim and creating space, the building block of their offense.
Kobe's ready to go at it again . Raise your hand if you're surprised.
An interesting look at who the Magic's rival is now. The Heat-Magic rivalry has several factors boosting it. It's an in-state rivalry, Dwyane Wade has killed the Magic (on a performance, not win-based level) over the years, and the teams play four times a year. The fans say the Celtics, but we'll see what they say by the end of the year.
In case you've been missing them, check out our Pop Quiz series .
Follow us on Twitter at @CBSSportsNBA
Posted on: September 3, 2010 2:04 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 1:18 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Who is most improved?
"Who is the most improved?" is kind of a loaded question. Does it mean simply, who improved the most simply on wins this year versus last year? Does it mean who actually upgraded talent the most? Or does it mean who went from mediocre team to very, very good team?
Posted on: September 3, 2010 9:17 am
Posted by Royce Young
Posted on: September 2, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: September 2, 2010 2:59 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Lisa Leslie is a four-time Olympic gold medalist, a two-time WNBA champion with the Los Angeles Sparks, a three-time MVP and an eight-time WNBA All-Star. She's also the first WNBA player to ever dunk in a game. So yeah, she had a nice career. She's not only one of the most accomplished female athletes ever, but one of the most accomplished professional athletes period. She's part of a group promoting a new college award and had a chance to talk yesterday a little about where the WNBA is today, the positional revolution and yes, about the Miami Heat too.
CBS Sports: You're one of the most accomplished international basketball players in the world with four gold medals. What's been your take on the World Championships this year and the growth of international ball in general?
Lisa Leslie: I think it's phenomenal. Especially for the USA, our guys are only together for a couple of weeks and then they go out there and compete against other national teams who train together year around. Those teams have more time and more chemistry together and then our USA team comes out trying to stop these guys.
CBS Sports: I think by law I have to ask you this: You're one of the all-time greats and with what happened this summer in Miami, what's your perspective as a former superstar player? Would you want to join them or beat them?
Leslie: I think for me, it's a tough call because I think LeBron did what he he thought was best for his career. When you're chasing a championship and you really want to be a legend, you have to win championships in order to have that label. I don't think he thought he could get it done. Me personally, would I have moved? No. I played for L.A. all 13 years and got a chance to win some championships and had the chance to lose some to, but I stayed loyal to where I was.
For him, if that's the best decision for him, he did it and I can respect that because at the same time it's a business and we've seen a lot of organizations move players around and they find out the next day that they're on another team. But at the end of the day, are they going to win this year? No. But I think overall they have a really special team. Dwyane Wade is a phenomenal player and plays really hard. Chris Bosh he is very much underrated and I think people will get a chance to what his skills are. So they're definitely going to be tough to beat.
CBS Sports: Reports have come out that WNBA revenues and corporate sponsorship are up while attendance is down. Is this a glass half full or empty situation here?
Leslie: I definitely think it's half full because we've got great sponsorship this year and good television ratings, but what we could use is a little help from the media, meaning the local media. Maybe showing the WNBA on a daily basis, showing highlights and giving people the option to go out and check out the WNBA teams in their local cities and we don't really have that support right now.
CBS Sports: I don't know if you're familiar with Free Darko, but they had a post up about WNBA, with the example being Lauren Jackson - someone I know you have some history with - about players and appearance on and off the court. They used the examples of Cappie Pondexter and Jackson about how Pondexter has tried to look more ladylike on the court with her style, and Jackson doesn't care about on-court appearance but goes to serious lengths off it with style and even pushing towards sex appeal. What's your take on that sort of thing in women's basketball and women's sports in general? Does trying to look "lady-like" matter?
Leslie: It depends on what type of sex appeal you're talking about. I think it's great for the women to show that they are women and be feminine. And that's something that I've always promoted. I played basketball and had ribbons in my hair and my nails were polished. I started out with what I could control and that's myself and my looks but now in the game, I couldn't really control that. But I'm a huge advocate for looking good while playing good when you step on the court. But in regards to sexuality, that's a whole other topic.
CBS Sports: An interesting topic in the NBA recently has been that of positionality and I think one could make the argument that in 13 years, the WNBA has evolved pretty significantly, especially in terms of talent and versatility. Players like Jackson, Candace Parker, Cappie Pondexter, Tamika Catchings and even yourself all play all over the place and I don't think they really limit themselves to their defined "position". What are you thoughts on positions, especially in terms of the WNBA and how it's evolved there?
Leslie: In actuality, I believe Europe has even been more of a trendsetter than the WNBA. But because most of the WNBA players played overseas, we just learned that a lot earlier. You just don't want to get pigeon-holed into one position. That's why even though I start out at center, I may play small forward, if I get a rebound and you're not there I can bring the ball up. That's because maybe we've had more international experience, I'm pretty sure more than the guys. So with that, I think we learned to be a bit more versatile earlier.
CBS Sports: So what's your take on the WNBA playoffs so far? The Storm are the favorite, but who do have winning?
Leslie: I would have to go with the Storm. They've looked great this year. They remind me a lot of our 2001-02 championship teams with the Sparks. They went undefeated at home which is great. That really helps when you have home court advantage you're more likely to win.
But overall I see Seattle pulling it out. But it's going to be tough to get by Phoenix because they are the defending champs and when Diana [Taurasi] is one, she's on. And then you have to look at New York with Cappie Pondexter who's had the experience of winning as well. It's just exciting basketball. I wish that the American public had more of an opportunity to see it on more of a daily basis throughout the summer so that they could really get behind these teams and these young ladies that are playing exciting and passionate basketball.
CBS Sports: Now you're part of a group promoting a new college award for top performing programs. Talk a little about that.
Leslie: The Capital One Cup is a prestigious new honor that's rewarding NCAA Division I athletic programs for their cumulative on-field performance across multiple men's and women's sports. But what's exciting about this program will also help raise awareness for those sports that don't usually get as much attention.
But it really comes down to the ultimate prize of bragging rights. You want to walk away with this Capital One Cup. And obviously I'm from USC so I'm really pulling for SC or the Pac-10. We're always going against the Bruins, so we want to make sure we get that trophy.
But also, other than just the trophy, they win $200,000 worth of graduate level scholarships for the student athletes. We're excited about that also because we know that not everyone is going pro after college so to have the opportunity to get that money towards scholarships is an awesome idea.
Be sure to visit www.capitalonecup.com to check out the new program that is rewarding college athletes and their respective programs.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 8:06 am
Edited on: September 1, 2010 8:07 am
Evans' J, Love's weird way, and the James kiddos' first day, today in the Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore
The Hawks aren't planning on taking their time with Al Horford's extension. They're planning on offering him a near-max extension before the October 31st deadline, meaning they'll have given up $190 million in salary for two players the year before the CBA dramatically shifts. Horford is an All-Star center, young, versatile, and extremely aware on both sides of the ball. Kelly Dwyer pointed out that the Hawks have some options with Horford. Unfortunately, they seem ready to rush into the breach with wallets wide open. You have to wonder how they're going to find salary room for any of the other players, let alone Jamal Crawford, who also wants an extension... or a trade.
Tyreke Evans has reinvested himself in his jump shot. What's interesting is that he was a terrible shooter (32%) from midrange, 16-23 feet last season, but a very decent one from 10-15 feet (43.2%). As Sam Amick's profile reveals, Evans used to be a tremendous shooter, he just needs to reacquaint himself with his shot. It could be a significant leap forward in his offensive development. Which is terrifying, considering how good he was last year.
A Wolf Among Wolves discusses Kevin Love's Team USA summer, and the fact that he's best suited for a third option role. Which makes sense, since the Wolves have buried him in the past for Darko Milicic and just traded for Michael Beasley who most scouts agree is best suited for the power forward role. You know. Third best option.
It's kind of a shame that Shaq's teams didn't end up meeting the Spurs over the years. Because the Duncan-Shaq rivalry is prett good.
George Karl was surprised at the firing of Mark Warkentien. He speaks highly of Warkentien, as well as Masai Ujiri. You have to wonder just how spread to the four corners the entire Nuggets organization is at this point.
LeBron James is a human . No one really seems to think so at this point, but it's true.
Ersan Ilyasova is tearing up FIBA play . Which could be a good thing for the Bucks as he develops and takes on more of a leadership role. Or it could cause him to wonder why he's been shoved to the back of the line in the Bucks' forward feeding trough with the additions of Drew Gooden, Larry Sanders, and others.
A fascinating look at roster balance on the wings for the Knicks, not in terms of skillset, but shot performance on the right versus the left side of the floor. Interesting note: Ramond Felton took exactly as many shots from the right side as the left, and hit the same percentage.
The numerous discussions of Marquis Daniels have overlooked one aspect: Doc Rivers completely took him out of the rotation in the playoffs, despite him having recovered from injury. The trust is simply not there on a team that depends on it so much.
The Bucks hope and expect Andrew Bogut to be back for the season opener. It's close, but don't hold your breath.
Tags: Andrew Bogut, Bucks, Celtics, Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Ersan Ilyasova, FIBA, FIBA World Championships, George Karl, Heat, Kevin Love, Kings, Knicks, LeBron James, Marquis Daniels, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Nuggets, Sacramento Kings, Shaquille O'Neal, shootaround, Timberwolves, Tyreke Evans