Tag:Derek Fisher
Posted on: December 6, 2010 7:31 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:17 pm

NBA suspends Brian Cook, Andre Miller

The NBA announced in a press release that it has suspended Los Angeles Clippers center Brian Cook and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller for rough play on Sunday night. Posted by Ben Golliver

Earlier today, we discussed the rough play between the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland Trail Blazers in the Rose Garden on Sunday night. After reviewing the tape, the NBA has issued suspensions to two players: Los Angeles Clippers center Brian Cook, who was assessed a flagrant foul 2 for a hit on Blazers center Joel Przybilla, and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Andre Miller, who rammed into Clippers forward Blake Griffin. Here's the release from the league.
NEW YORK, December 6, 2010 - Brian Cook of the Los Angeles Clippers has been suspended two games without pay for his Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two against Joel Przybilla of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Andre Miller of the Trail Blazers has been suspended one game without pay for making excessive and unnecessary contact with Blake Griffin of the Clippers, it was announced today by Stu Jackson, NBA Executive Vice President Basketball Operations. Upon postgame video review by the league office, Miller was assessed a Flagrant Foul, Penalty Two for his actions.
The incident involving Cook occurred with 4.5 seconds remaining in the third quarter of Portland's 100-91 win over the Clippers on Sunday, December 5 at Rose Garden. The incident involving Miller occurred with 7:06 remaining in the fourth quarter of the same game. Cook  will  begin serving his suspension tonight when the Clippers host the Sacramento  Kings  at  Staples Center.  Miller will serve his suspension tomorrow when the Trail Blazers host the Phoenix Suns at Rose Garden.    
The suspension will end Miller's consecutive games played streak, which had been the longest in the league, at 632 games. Incredibly, Miller had not missed a game since the 2002-2003 season. San Antonio Spurs forward Bruce Bowen found himself in a similar situation back in 2008 . With Miller's streak concluding, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Derek Fisher will take over the title of longest consecutive games played streak, with 433 straight games. It's also tough news for the Blazers, as they face the Phoenix Suns and premier point guard Steve Nash Tuesday night, when Miller is set to serve his suspension. Second-year point guard Patty Mills is next up on the depth chart and is likely to get the start. In case you missed it, here's the video of Cook's foul on Przybilla.  It's surprising that Cook received a two-game suspension, because Washington Wizards forward Hilton Armstrong received a one-game suspension just last week for a very similar play. Here's video of Andre Miller bowling over Blake Griffin, courtesy of Brandon Mitchell . Amazingly, Miller was not whistled for a foul on this play.
Posted on: November 23, 2010 9:40 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:01 pm

NBA players face financial learning curve

NBA players face a tough task in preparing for a potential lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver billy-hunter Aside from the deep panic that's enveloping South Beach, the headline of the day is the latest verbal volley in the public negotiations between the NBA and its Players Union. Billy Hunter, executive director of the players association, declared that there's a 99% chance of a lockout coming next season, given the strict concessions expected from the players by NBA owners despite rising profits, as covered thoroughly by Ken Berger and others over the last few months. Hunter tells the New York Times that the players union has created a "$175 million war chest to help players in need," which shows great foresight.   The Wall Street Journal reports that players union executives, like president Derek Fisher, are thinking outside the box when it comes to financially educating their colleagues, including the recording of podcasts and distribution of instruction manuals to increase financial awareness. Is it working?     
When asked how the union is encouraging younger players to save money, J.J. Hickson, a 22-year-old first-round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers, said: "I don't know anything about that saving stuff."
Oh boy.  I come not to demonize Hickson for his honesty, but to note that his straightforward admission serves as the quintessential example of why NBA owners are playing hardball, despite rising league-wide income. Their stance comes from one recently taken by NHL owners: war chest or not, there is a breaking point financially for professional athletes, and it comes far earlier than the breaking point financially for owners of professional sports teams. It's a guarantee that Hickson and players like him will know more about "that saving stuff" one year from today than they do now, by necessity, if there's a lockout. And what they find out might not be pretty. That's what owners are banking on.
Posted on: November 15, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Kobe Bryant, labor leader

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is taking up the player's cause in the NBA collective bargaining negotiations. Posted by Ben Golliver kobe-bryant
Kobe Bryant's reputation as a basketball player is secure. If he walked away from basketball today, he would leave as a legend. A generation-leading, annual all-star game attending, gold medal-winning, MVP, Finals MVP and five-time NBA champion, Bryant has done everything there is to be done on a basketball court. He's already a top five guard of all time, will likely retire as one of the top 10 NBA players ever, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, no questions asked. But CBSSports.com's Ken Berger reports that Bryant is ready to break some new ground, joining Laker teammate and player's union president Derek Fisher as a leading voice for the players in the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations, a dispute that threatens the 2011-2012 NBA season. 
Bryant, the highest-paid player in the league under what is likely to be his final contract, is scheduled to join Michael Jordan as the league’s only $30 million players in the final year of the deal in 2013-14. Asked where he stands in the labor dispute that could be more punitive to stars like Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose – who likely won’t get new contracts until a new CBA is in place – Bryant said, “I’m going to fight for our players.” 
“It’s about making sure we have the best deal going forward,” Bryant said. “That’s my stance and that’s not going to change. I’m not going to waver. It’s about taking care of the generation that’s coming after us. That’s what the guys before us tried to do, and that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m not going to waver from that.” 
On the court, Bryant doesn't give his opponents an inch and he doesn't stand slights from anyone without exacting some form of revenge. And "slighted" is exactly how the players should feel given the owners' recent rhetoric surrounding salary cuts, roll backs, a hard cap and potential contraction in the face of increasing basketball-related income.  Really, the owners are engaged in Kevin Garnett style huffing and puffing, demeaning the players by dragging the negotiations to needlessly sensational levels.   The most obsessively driven NBA player since Michael Jordan, life is a competition for Bryant, so the current labor strife is a natural fit for his personality, even if he's chosen, like Jordan, to generally steer clear of hot topics and controversy, especially since the incident in Colorado. Good on Bryant for taking this step to stand up for his fellow players, following in a line of superstars that traces back to Bob Cousy, who championed for a player's union, and Oscar Robertson, who helped establish the legal basis for free agency in the NBA.  From this point forward, everything Bryant does and says should be viewed as historical positioning. A quest to top Michael Jordan's six rings, a climb up the all time scoring list, a second gold medal as part of the 2012 Olympics team: all will help his case when it comes time for history to compare him to the league's other super-superstars. Leading a labor charge, or at least throwing his heft behind it, is worth brownie points in bunches when it comes to the big-picture. Reaching a labor deal would have a practical payoff for Bryant too, of course. Should the Lakers win their third straight title this season, the 2011-2012 season, the one that's in jeopardy due to a potential lockout, would be Bryant's first chance at a seventh title, which would surpass Jordan's mark. Whatever Bryant's motivation for entering the debate -- his own self-interest, the common good of the players, or both -- it isn't as important as the fact that he has spoken up. Players around the league idolize and fear him, and his words therefore carry more cachet than any other player's. Bryant talks; everyone listens. NBA owners may be about to find out what NBA coaches have known for more than a decade: you don't want to anger Kobe Bryant. 
Posted on: November 15, 2010 8:09 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:46 pm

Shootaround 11.15.10: Suns scorch Lakers

The Phoenix Suns get red hot from outside, Ken Berger checks in with the latest CBA negotiation updates, Evan Turner dorks out again, the Randy Foye / Brandon Roy 2006 draft night trade gets a second look, and a whole lot more. 

Posted by Ben Golliver
  • CBSSports.com's Ken Berger with the latest on the NBA's collective bargaining negotiations: "Commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver will match wits with union chief Billy Hunter and president Derek Fisher of the Lakers on Thursday, Fisher told CBSSports.com. Fisher, who will be in Minneapolis on an off-day during the Lakers' road trip through the Midwest, will participate via conference call."
  • Denver forward Gary Forbes has been the subject of lots of Twitter jokes because his name sounds more like an investment advisor's rather than an NBA player's, but he's been a nice early spark for the Nuggets. Nuggets.com offers a nice profile, and discusses his battle with Type 1 diabetes.   
  • This video won't help Philadelphia 76ers rookie Evan Turner's cause against his critics, who hammer on his nerdiness. Turner sits in a dark room and discusses his basketball cards. "Did you collect cards as a kid?," Turner is asked. "I sure did," Turner replies. "I collected a lot of them." Steve Urkel status. Told that one of his rookie cards is worth $120, Turner replies, "That's a cool thing. I just hope the value doesn't drop." Get excited, Philly!
  • ESPN Radio "personality" Colin Cowherd, who has been immensely critical of Washington Wizards point guard John Wall for his pre-game dancing and supposed lack of leadership qualities, "has sold his life story to CBS for a sitcom deal," reports HollywoodReporter.com.
  • Way back during the 2006 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers thought they got a steal when they traded Randy Foye to Minnesota for Brandon Roy. Moves like this by general manager Kevin Pritchard earned the term "Pritchslap" in Portland. But StarTribune.com notes that Minnesota was willing to do the deal, in part, because of concerns over Roy's knee. "One of the reasons the Wolves traded Roy for Foye and cash is their doctors deemed Roy's knees too much of a risk. Now, Roy is struggling with his health -- his left knee, in particular -- and he suggested recently that his most athletic days are behind him." Roy did more in his first four years in the league than Foye will do in his entire career, but his recent injury struggles are casting the trade in a new light. 
  • ESPN.com reports that second-year New Orleans guard Marcus Thornton, who was recently placed on the inactive list because the Hornets have brought in so many other guards, may be on the trading block. "The Hornets aren't eager to part with the 23-year-old, but word is they are prepared to do so if a suitable offer materializes. One problem, though, is that Thornton on his own can't bring much back in return since he's making only $762,195 this season. The flip side: Thornton will undoubtedly appeal to several teams because he produced like a starter as a rook and costs so little."
  • In other New Orleans Hornets end of the bench news, forward Joe Alexander got waived, reports Nola.com. “Joe was in a tough spot,” [Hornets coach Monty] Williams said. “He didn’t get a chance to play as much, and I just felt like he was going to need to go somewhere else and play so he could further his career.
Posted on: November 4, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2010 1:49 pm

Bynum will start when he gets back

Posted by Matt Moore

Andrew Bynum should be back soon. No, really. Quit looking at us like that. He's seriously on track this time. It's different this time! Honest!

Anyway, the question is, with Lamar Odom playing lights out, and the Lakers, you know, destroying everything in their path, Will Bynum start when he returns? Well, it would interrupt chemistry, and Odom's definitely earned the minutes, and you don't fix it if it's not broken, so naturally yes! He will start when he gets back. From ESPNLA :
"We like what we see from these five guys [in the starting lineup]; however, there are extenuating circumstances with Drew," Lakers head coach Phil Jackson said. "He has a knee that [puts him] in a situation [where] he's got to get himself prepped before a ballgame. He wears a brace because of it and, as a consequence, once he's warmed up you hate to have a guy sit down for 15 minutes and cool off and have to start all over again."
So thanks for everything, Lamar, but we kind of need Bynum to keep that knee warmed up for the ten to fifteen minutes he's available.

I'm kidding, of course, it's a reasonable approach, and besides, Odom's never chafed at coming off the bench. This team is deep enough, they could have a gigantic asteroid smash through their chemistry and still beat most opponents by 15. That's how good this Lakers team is. And when Bynum gets back, they'll be even better.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 11:55 am

Lakers Ring Ceremony: A visual retrospective

Lakers receive diamond-drenched rings to celebrate championship, fifth for Kobe Bryant.
Posted by Matt Moore

It was a sweet set of memories, each more delicate than the last. A team, brought together by fate, forged in the fires of comradery, celebrating their triumphant... okay, that's enough of that. So the Lakers got their rings last night in what was really a pretty cool little ceremony where they all introduced one another. Here's what happened, in a set of images to last a lifetime.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 5:19 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2010 7:23 pm

The Laker Manifesto

This is the way your season ends. This is the way your season ends. This is the way your season ends. Not with a burn, but in gold. Posted by Matt Moore

You see that?

That's theirs. It was theirs last year. It's theirs this year -- tomorrow night, actually . And unless Boston figures a way to play better and stay healthy, or the Triad is actually as good as advertised , then it'll be theirs again this year. They are that good. They are that strong, that experienced, that focused and that deep. But most of all? They're that good.

And here's how it will happen.

This locker room, from all indications, is not unlike your typical successful business office. It's not a monkey bars meet-up like Oklahoma City, nor is it some sort of Reservoir Dogs luncheon like what I experienced in the Heat locker room. It's just like a succesful office. Guys hang around the water cooler, yucking it up about Monday Night Football or the obnoxious dude down the hall. There's a comfortable familiarity, everyone knows each other and Christmas parties are a blast. Everyone gets along, outside of the Slovenian dude who keeps blasting Drake at high volume on Fridays and can't figure out how to work the printer. Someone brings doughnuts, the kitchen's usually pretty clean, everyone pulls their weight, and the chatter about Glee is both in-depth and hilarious.

And everyone's afraid for their jobs except the two guys with corner offices.

There's a level of excellence demanded of this team, and it starts and stops with Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant. That mindset -- the professional, hyper-achieving without sacrificing the mind concept -- is what permeates. It makes the team disciplined and proficient, and it makes most of its players terrified of the day when they slip up in front of the bosses. You will not fail, because Bryant and Jackson will not allow you to fail.

The Triangle really isn't the right fit for most of this team. That's not only pretty certain, it's painfully obvious. Shannon Brown, when released from the shackles, looks like a dynamic, powerful, well-intentioned guard. Within its confines, he's like an ADD kid trying to sit through The English Patient . Lamar Odom? Everything he does is largely outside of the triangular box, filling in the gaps and playing loose within the margins. The only players that really benefit from the system are Kobe, Pau Gasol and Derek Fisher. Phil Jackson does too, of course. Because Jackson doesn't have to spend the time running out variation upon variation. It exists upon itself and all he has to do is teach it right. This isn't because he's lazy, far from it. It allows him to work on what is most important. Getting their minds and souls in the best place to compete. Sometimes that means kicking the dog down the stairs and to New Jersey to play backup point guard. And sometimes that means questioning the player in the press in order to get him to have the best run of his career, like Ron Artest. It's a balance that allows for focus.

Are there questions? Sure.

Starting and ending with Bryant's knee. It's not 100%, not close to it. But the man won a title with nine fingers and 1.5 knees. So I wouldn't let your breath out when he has the ball, kiddos. If there's one thing Bryant's shown, it's that he adapts. Constantly. Growing a post-game, grinding out the mid-range jumper, bombing from downtown. He'll do what the team needs, what he needs. There's no quit in Mamba, but there is a gigantic set of fangs.

Also, this team coasts. For days and weeks. Long stretches when they simply could not care less. Lazy passes, weak defense, a lack of hustle that would put Jerome James to shame. They know they don't have to care, and they don't. To the point where it's entirely possible they won't have the top seed in the West, depending on whether the team stays healthy. But they'll be there, and that's all they need.

The team relies on an absurd level of talent. While people scoff, cough and vomit towards the Triad in Miami, the Lakers employ two Hall-of-Famers, three quality starters (at least for the two weeks Fisher is awesome per year), a talented, if oft-injured, legitimate center in a league that doesn't feature many. Matt Barnes and Steve Blake, starters on other teams, are the seventh and eighth men on this one. It's a team loaded for any opportunity and its personnel fits its needs. Blake can spot up and run the offense (to the degree the Triangle needs running from the point). Barnes plays defense and will basically be a poor man's Odom. And the starting unit is so loaded, it doesn't matter.

Gasol may shoulder more of the load this year, and that's fine, since many considered him the best big in the league last year. That fadeaway touch jumper from the mid-block? You can't stop it. Usually, the only thing keeping Gasol from posting huge numbers is his comrade in arms taking jumpers.

And Kobe will shoot. That's who he is and his ego won't let him do anything else. He'll fire until there are no more bullets left. Then he'll throw the gun. No other player so often garners condemnation for his shot selection, then completely backs it up by nailing the game winner. He'll put his team in a position to lose by firing off-balance J after off-balance J, then hit the running game winner and come off smelling like roses. He played horribly in Game 7 of the Finals and still came off the hero. Because for all the misses, he's still the guy you want shooting and still the guy that can drop 50 if things go his way.

Fisher is a massive liability at both ends of the floor ... until he's not. Bynum is a half-player that cannot be relied on to make the tough play ... until he does. And no player better symbolizes the kind of transformation wearing the yellow and purple can have on you more than Ron Artest. From Crazy Pills to mental health spokesman, gunner without a conscience to brilliant complementary player, from loose cannon to lovable winner. This is what L.A. can do for you, what Staples Center and Lawrence Tanter can do for you, what the gold of a championship team can do for you.

And it will do it again.

Get excited about Miami's superstar power. Get riled up about Boston's defense, or the seemingly endless wave of up-and-comers. But know this.

Tomorrow night, the reigning champions will receive their rings, the second of three they intend to get. They have the pieces, they have the board, they have the plan, they have the manifesto, they have the leaders.

Now all they need is the game.

Posted on: September 16, 2010 1:35 pm

Gamesmanship in basketball

Posted by Royce Young

There's been a ton of chatter today about what Derek Jeter did last night against the Tampa Bay Rays. If you didn't see it, basically, a pitch tailed inside on Jeter and hit the knob of his bat. But the way it happened looked as if it hit Jeter's elbow and the umpire bought it. Jeter went to first in a very important divisional game his team was trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning.

The whole thing has sparked a lot of discussion about the difference between cheating and gamesmanship. And I'm not sure there's any more of a cloudy line than between those two. Baseball has its encyclopedia of unwritten rules and gamesmanship has been a part of the game for a long time. Stealing signs, spitting on the ball and all that stuff.

I'm bringing this back to basketball, I promise.

For instance, flopping. We all know what it is and we all despise it to varying degrees. Some players have reputations for it, some players make it a point not to do it. But is it cheating or gamesmanship? Basically, it's the same thing Jeter did last night in Tampa. He did what he could to get to first base. By flopping, you're doing what you can to try and score points. Both are the goals of the game.

Flopping is something seen by most as disrespectful and low class. Instead of playing the game straight up, you've got to take to acting and antics in order to gain an advantage. You work the officials by over-exaggerating fouls. But is that really cheating? Or is it just smart? Working around the rules to manipulate officials in order to score more points? Isn't that what Jeter's being praised for today?

Or what about at the free throw line? It's common for players to put their hands up when their opponent is taking their free shots. But typically, they wait until the last minute to raise their hands, trying to distract the guy at the line. Or how players will swap sides on the lane right before the free throw shooter gets the ball from the referee. It's an effort to try and disrupt rhythm and focus. Cheating or just playing the game?

What about players screaming "AND ONE!!!" to try and coerce a ref into blowing his whistle? Or things like stretching rules like traveling and carrying? Or an opposing bench yelling or waving a towel as someone attempts a 3 in the corner? Couldn't all these things be considered "cheating?"

I for one, despise flopping. It's why a lot of Americans hate soccer and it's a lot of the reason Manu Ginobili isn't very well-liked outside of San Antonio. It cheapens the game and it's just a low-brow effort to try and gain an advantage. Man up and play. As a basketball fan, is it annoying to watch? Absolutely. But is it cheating? No way. It's completely fair to do and if a flop wins your team a game, it's a smart play. It might hurt your reputation as a player, but if you don't care, by all means.

As long as you put competitors in competitive situations, they're going to look for an edge. Steroids is the extreme example and that's where the line is blurry. What about what the Patriots did taping the Rams' walkthrough? All of that stuff is kind of hard to define.

There are different levels of cheating and depending on how you want to define it, I suppose what Jeter did could be seen as such. But this is a game. Nobody says you have to be honest on the field or court and nobody says you can't can stretch some contact, or milk an injury. Cheating is breaking rules. What Jeter did, was a smart player taking advantage of a situation.

Fair or not, still doesn't mean I approve of flopping though.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com