Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:54 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 10:09 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
Unrestricted free agent guard Delonte West is transforming his NBA lockout blues into lockout rap.
WEEI.com reports that West, who averaged 5.6 points and 2.7 assists in 18.9 minutes for the Boston Celtics last season, is planning to release a rap mixtape called "Lockout." On Friday, he debuted an album preview video which includes snippets of two songs, "It's Bout 2 Go Down" and "Mr. Magnificent."
The preview shows West posing for pictures at various Washington, D.C. area landmarks, including the Washington Monument and Barry Farms basketball courts. The video is heavy on beats and light on rhymes, but West can be heard saying, "Your patience paid off / I made off, like Madoff / man, man, I'm laid off."
Whatever it takes for West to stay out of trouble. We keep hearing that there will be a wave of basketball players heading overseas to play, but perhaps the real exodus will be to the recording studio. Ballers always want to be rappers, after all.
Here's the album preview video courtesy of YouTube user KayeMDMV.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:25 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
NBA legend Michael Jordan graced the cover of NBA 2K11 last year and, by all accounts, that decision was a smash success, as the game reportedly sold more than five million copies internationally.
As a follow-up, 2K Sports will be putting the Chicago Bulls guard on the cover of this year's edition, NBA2K12, along with two other extremely recognizable faces: Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird and Los Angeles Lakers guard Magic Johnson. That's right: triple the pleasure, triple the fun.
USAToday.com has more.
CNN.com reports that the triple cover concept could be a first for a sports video game.
Argent said the three covers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions will be shipped in equal numbers to each retail location in the U.S. He said all other platform versions and non-U.S. locations will only get the Jordan cover.Each of the covers -- pictured above -- features an action shot of the Hall of Famer performing a signature move. Jordan is shown driving to the rim; Bird is pictured shooting a pull-up jumper; Johnson is swinging through with a baby hook shot. Each player's name and jersey number appears at the bottom.
An interesting question: How much was the decision to use the trio influenced by the fact that the NBA is currently in a lockout that could easily extend well past the game's launch date? Was it safer to pick NBA legends to avoid a controversy or is this simply a testament to Jordan's massive, enduring popularity?
Original pictures via Darren Rovell on Lockerz.com.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 5:16 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 5:54 pm
Posted by Royce Young
With everything regarding "next season" in the NBA, you've got to add a disclaimer that the lockout could very well wipe out all of these games. So with the 2011-12 schedule being released, I suppose it's realistic that this might just evolve into the 2012-13 schedule if things go bad.
But if you're an optimist in these negotiations, you've got 2011-12's lineup, which means you have to start getting ready. Clearing your schedule on a holiday isn't really a challenge and you're most definitely not going to miss opening night, but what about the can't-miss, super-showdowns littered throughout the schedule? Here are 20 games you absolutely cannot miss.
Nov. 2: Cleveland at Boston
And thus kicks off top pick Kyrie Irving's NBA career. Too bad for him it comes in Boston against one of the best defensive teams in the league. It might not be a pretty start for young Kyrie, but it'll definitely be a learning experience. And a quick welcome-to-the-NBA moment.
Nov. 2: Houston at Sacramento
Jimmer Mania will finally get off to its NBA start and the league was kind enough to let it begin at home. You can be sure Sacto will be buzzing but not just over Jimmer. There could be a little optimism for the Kings are Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and company might have a little something brewing this season.
Nov. 2: Atlanta at Minnesota
Before there was Jimmer Mania, there was Rubio Fever. Kevin Love will finally be able to believe what he sees as the floppy-haired Spaniard takes the floor with the Timberwolves for the first time against the Hawks.
Nov. 2: Memphis at Clippers
The Blake Show returns. Enough reason to be excited about this one.
Nov. 3: Orlando at Miami
The first showdown. It could be Dwight Howard's beginning to his farewell tour and one a few games against the Heat he has left. But there's never any love lost between these two Florida squads and with an early leg-up at stake, you can be sure this game will be intense.
Nov. 16: New York at Denver
Melo returns. It won't be near as monumental or should I say, angry, as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but you can be sure that Nugget fans will be ready for it. Carmelo made it very clear that he didn't want to be in Denver and I'm sure fans there don't appreciate that. Plus a bonus: Unlike the Cavs, the Nuggets shouldn't suck.
Nov. 18: Miami at Cleveland
LeBron returns, again. It's the third time he's played in Cleveland since "The Decision" and some of the sting certainly has worn off, at least in that fans won't be buying tickets ONLY to yell at LeBron. But you can be sure that an unusual amount of Maverick blue will be littered throughout Quicken Loans Arena.
Dec. 1: Miami at Boston
LeBron and Wade return to the scene of one of their greatest crimes. The Heat opened the season in Boston and took an embarrassing, humbling loss at the hands of the Celtics but got revenge in the postseason, besting the Celtics in five with the final game coming on the parquet. It's not exactly a rivalry, but the Heat don't enjoy the Celtics and the Celtics certainly don't enjoy the Heat.
Dec. 8: Lakers at Miami
I'm not totally sure, but I think Kobe is still in American Airlines Center shooting. Kobe loves beating LeBron and you know the feeling is mutual. Two of the league's biggest, most visible teams with the two biggest, most visible stars. If you aren't watching, I have to wonder what the heck you could possibly be doing.
Dec. 23: Oklahoma City at Miami
LeBron and Kevin Durant. Two of basketballs most enjoyable, explosive talents that are always easy on the eye. The Thunder have always been painted as the anti-Heat, but the young kids from OKC don't care about making a statement for the little guy. There may be a good storyline, but it's more about a really good Eastern team versus a really good Western team.
Dec. 27: Clippers "at" Lakers
By no means have the Clippers caught up to the Lakers, but there is a chance that this team could be pretty decent. After a horrific start to last season, the Clippers put together a solid last four months of the season. Some might be looking at this game as a changing-of-the-guard type of affair -- which it's not -- but the Clippers could definitely raise some eyebrows.
Dec. 29: Dallas at Oklahoma City
The first Thunder opportunity for payback and redemption comes almost two months into the season. It’s a long time to wait, but you can be sure the Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center will be amped about this one. The last time the Mavericks were in Oklahoma City, they broke the Thunder’s heart with that ridiculous 15-point comeback. No way Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Thunder fans have forgotten.
Jan 14: New Jersey at Utah
It'll certainly be more unceremonious as Melo's return to Denver which was more unceremonious as LeBron's return to Cleveland, but Deron Williams coming back to Utah will definitely have the attention of Jazz fans. There's some that still blame Jerry Sloan's retirement on Williams and that whole situation didn't sit well in Salt Lake. Williams will likely feel some anger from Jazz fans, even if it's not entirely deserved.
Jan 19: Chicago at Miami
A rematch of the Eastern Finals. Derrick Rose's last memory of the Heat is LeBron and Wade storming back in Chicago and stealing Game 5 when the Bulls had it all but won. These two teams will likely be the class of the East and with this being the first meeting of the season, somebody's going to make a statement.
Jan. 29: San Antonio at Dallas
The old champs versus the new ones provides a new twist to an old rivalry. These two Texas titans have never gotten along and have had some pretty awesome games over the past decade or so. You can be sure that for once, Dirk and the Mavs will have a bit more swagger in Dallas as the Mavs take the floor against Tim Duncan and the Spurs. Funny how a ring can do that.
Feb. 12: Chicago at Boston
It's the Thibodeau Bowl. The Celtics might be aging but you know they aren't going to just hand the East over. The Bulls are rising and you know they want to rub last year's triumph over the Celtics in the regular season in their face.
Feb. 17: New Orleans at New York
Take a good look at Chris Paul and wish, Knicks fans. You know he's a free agent in 2012 and you know he'd look pretty nice alongside Amar'e and Melo. But he's on the other side right now and there's a pretty good chance he's going to drive you crazy, at least on this night.
March 11: Boston at Lakers
It's the league's best rivalry, maybe sports' best rivalry. Every Celtics-Lakers game is an event. I don't think I even need to give you reasons why this game is huge.
April 1: Memphis at San Antonio
It was stunning at the time, but after watching the Grizzlies rip through the Spurs before bowing out to the Thunder in seven-game, it felt like we should've seen this coming. And this was with the Grizzlies missing their best scorer in Rudy Gay.
April 8: Lakers at Oklahoma City
The Lakers visit the Thunder Nov. 23 for the first time, but go almost four months between trips as they return with just a week left in the season. That’s a bummer, but there’s a chance this game could have major Western playoff seeding implications. The Lakers always bring out the best in Thunder fans, but if the stakes are raised, it’ll just be that much better.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Shaquille O'Neal makes fun of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Shaquille O'Neal is getting his television commentary career off to a fast start, wasting no time hopping aboard the Chris Bosh Punchline bandwagon.
The Associated Press reports that O'Neal took a swipe at the oft-lambasted Heat forward during a televised special announcing the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the 'Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA Finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year."Not particularly original work by O'Neal, but it's good to see that he won't be in the tank for his former team. Sure, he might be pandering to public sentiment but it's definitely better than hearing him defend LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company.
Best case scenario: O'Neal and fellow commentator Charles Barkley get into a mano-a-mano competition to see who can give the Heat a harder time. Both have shown the ability to be a bit merciless, and certainly that will appeal to the wide swath of NBA fans who enjoy watching the Heat struggle.
O'Neal's Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. O'Neal was limited by injuries and was only able to play 12 minutes total in the series, scoring two points and grabbing zero rebounds. The injuries and his age led him to decide to retire in June.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 3:57 pm
Posted by Royce Young
With everything regarding "next season" in the NBA, you've got to put the disclaimer on it that the lockout could very well wipe out all of these games. So with the 2011-12 schedule being released, I suppose it's realistic that this might just evolve into the 2012-13 schedule if things go bad.
But if you're an optimist in these negotiations, you've got 2011-12's lineup. You can start planning your evenings around big games, TNT double-headers and of course, the NBA's showcase games which come on opening night, Christmas (only three games!) and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Let's take a look at those.
Chicago at Dallas (8:00 ET, TNT)
The champs will be handed their rings against the MVP and the Bulls to kick off the 2011-12 season. Honestly, the Mavs' ring ceremony may be better entertainment than the game. Mark Cuban has hinted at doing something bigger than just rings, so we'll see what he has in store, if anything. It'll be an emotional night in Dallas as the Mavs raise their first championship banner into the rafters as Dirk, Cuban and Jason Kidd all soak it in and get handed a ring.
Houston at Utah (9:00 ET)
Not a marquee game and it's really just kind of filler, but it'll be our first look at the remade Jazz with Enes Kanter and Alec Burks against the Rockets without Yao. Not necessarily a game full of stars, but it's two teams looking to get off to a good start on the path to a playoff push.
Oklahoma City at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 ET, TNT)
The young Thunder travel to L.A. to take on the veteran Lakers to finish up opening night. It's Kendrick Perkins versus Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, Kevin Durant against Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook against whoever the Lakers try and stick on him. The Thunder and Lakers always play entertaining games as evidenced by their opening round series in 2010. Maybe there's a chance that either Durant or Kobe will catch fire and push Michael Jordan's opening night record of 54 points. At least that could be in play with these two terrific scorers facing off.
Boston at New York (12 ET, ESPN)
It's not Christmas Day basketball without the Knicks. Actually, I don't know if that's totally true, but it's somewhat of a tradition to kick things off after present opening wraps up with a day game at Madison Square Garden. This one features a rematch of the opening round of the playoffs last season with the Knicks hosting the Celtics. The Knicks have a bunch of star power and should be improved from last season. The Celtics are the Celtics and will be good. There's a chance that this game could reasonably feature two of the top three or four teams in the East. Which of course would make Christmas afternoon at MSG that much more fun.
Miami at Dallas (2:30 ET, ABC)
Feels like these two teams have a history or something. Did they play recently? The league loves to come back with a Finals rematch on Christmas and not only is this going to be a good game featuring two good teams, but these organizations really don't care a lot for each other. It's in Dallas which is an edge, but it'll be the first time LeBron steps on the floor with Dirk after the wrenching defeat in Miami in six games.
You can be sure that both teams will approach this game almost as if it were more important than just a late-December regular season game. It's bigger than that. Maybe just in terms of pride, but for two teams that aren't keen on each other that just finished up facing off for the title, Dallas against Miami on Christmas could be one of the NBA's premier games this season.
Chicago at Los Angeles Lakers (5:00 ET, ABC)
The reigning MVP taking on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers in what'll certainly be a majorly hyped showdown. Both teams will be at or near the top of their respective conference and both teams might be looking at the other as a potential Finals opponent. The Lakers have had a history of big letdowns on Christmas, but Kobe said emphatically last season that the Lakers need to get up more for those games. Well, here's another chance, this time against the suffocating Bulls and their MVP point guard.
MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
Chicago at Memphis (1:00 ET, ESPN)
Completely fitting for the game to be in Memphis. Honestly, I think it should become league traditional that the showcase game in the afternoon happens there. But not only will it be a special day in Memphis, it'll have two pretty darn good teams. The surging Grizzlies will host the Bulls in a game featuring two terrific front courts and a couple of scrappy defensive teams.
Oklahoma City at Boston (8:00 ET, TNT)
Two contenders, yes, but the hook to this one honestly might be that it's Kendrick Perkins' return to Boston. He was adored by fans, coaches, player and the front office, so no doubt it'll be emotional. Then once that's out of the way, we'll have a game with two really good, fun teams.
Dallas at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 ET, TNT)
One of the West's most underrated rivalry games closes it all out. Late last season, the Mavs and Lakers scuffled a couple of times which led people to assume the Mavericks were soft as the Lakers pounded them in an important game. Didn't matter obviously in the end, but no doubt the Mavs haven't forgotten.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 10:49 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 10:56 pm
The Boston Celtics are reportedly close to a "lucrative" new television deal. Posted by Ben Golliver.
The rich get richer.
Th NBA's most decorated franchise is about to re-up its local television deal, setting itself up for a long line of nice pay days.
The Sports Business Journal reports that the Boston Celtics, winners of 17 NBA titles, are close to completing a 20-year deal with Comcast SportsNet New England for their local broadcast rights.
The Boston Celtics, one of the NBA’s storied franchises, are finalizing a lucrative media rights package with Comcast SportsNet New England that will extend their current deal by 20 years with a big jump in its annual rights fee, as well as give the team a stake in the network.Given that the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a reported 20-year, $3 billion dollar TV deal back in February, it's no surprise that the Celtics were looking for a little more green. By comparison, the Portland Trail Blazers, winners of just one title and located in a much smaller market than Boston, bring in roughly $12 million per year on their deal.
Much like the Lakers, the time is right for the Celtics to negotiate a new deal. With their most recent title still fresh in the memory and the prospect of age catching up to the Big Three, there's a decent chance that Boston is "selling high" on its future value, despite the ongoing lockout.
If you're CSNNE, your No. 1 priority is locking down the Celtics long-term. The insanely popular franchise will surely have some peaks and valleys in the coming years as they transition into the post-Garnett/Pierce/Allen era, but the franchise's prestige and ownership structure will ensure the Celtics shouldn't ever be too far from the top.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:39 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 8:49 pm
Two more Christmas Day NBA games have reportedly leaked. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Sunday, we noted that one of the five NBA games scheduled for Christmas Day had leaked in advance of Tuesday's unveiling. The Miami Heat will reportedly face the Dallas Mavericks in a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals.
On Monday comes word that two more of the five games have leaked.
First, Newsday reports that the New York Knicks will host the Boston Celtics in Madison Square Garden.
Then, the Los Angeles Times reports that the Los Angeles Lakers will host the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center.
So far, no major surprises, as all six teams that have leaked were shoo-ins to play on Christmas due to either their major starpower, big market geography, or both. That the Bulls and Lakers face off in an inter-conference rivalry is a nice twist, but nothing to write home about.
The Orlando Magic -- led by Dwight Howard -- and Oklahoma City Thunder -- led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook -- are also virtual locks to play on Christmas Day, and both made it last season as well. The Los Angeles Clippers didn't play on Christmas last year but are a very likely candidate, thanks to the league's up-and-coming marketing monster, Blake Griffin.
That makes nine spots -- five from the Eastern Conference and four from the Western Conference. The big question remains who is the 10th team. If the Magic face the Thunder, then the last team will need to host the Clippers because the Lakers will be occupying the Staples Center. In recent years, the fifth and final Christmas Day game has been a Pacific time zone affair, meaning the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors or Sacramento Kings could host the Clippers if Orlando and Oklahoma City do face off. Selecting any of those three teams would also provide a balance between teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences.
OK, OK, enough speculation. We'll know the full schedule tomorrow.
Posted on: July 17, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 12:04 am
The Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat will reportedly have a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals on Christmas. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Assuming NBA commissioner David Stern doesn't turn into the Grinch who stole Christmas, the NBA reportedly has firmed up at least one match-up for its annual winter showcase. The Miami Herald reports that there will be a rematch of the 2011 NBA Finals on Christmas Day.
According to a league official, one of the two Heat-Mavericks games is being planned for Christmas in Dallas, likely at 2:30 p.m. The schedule will be announced shortly, though labor problems could shorten the season.Scheduling a rematch of one of the most-watched and enjoyed NBA Finals in recent memory on Christmas is a no-brainer. It's a great reward for the winner to play host during one of the league's most-watched days of hoops.
Last year's slate of five games looked like this.
If you add the Mavericks into the mix, that leaves only two open spots. One of those two spots surely needs to go to Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers. History has dictated that the late game takes place in the Pacific time zone, meaning the Clippers could play either the Trail Blazers, Warriors or Sacramento Kings. Given their uptempo style and new coach Mark Jackson, something makes me think the Warriors will get the nod.
Here's how I would lay out the Christmas Day schedule: