Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:30 pm
Edited on: April 24, 2011 10:36 pm

Phil Jackson makes joke about New Orleans water

Posted by Matt Moore

We're sure Phil didn't mean it that way. He couldn't have, because meaning it that way would mean a reckless insensitivity to an area ravaged by one of the worst natural disasters in United States history.  There have always been problems in the water supply in a city with the complex and relatively ancient physical infrastructure it struggles with, on top of the delta environment. So this is almost definitely not as bad as it sounds.

From the Los Angeles Daily News
Jackson has made no secret of his dislike for New Orleans, and he couldnt keep his feelings to himself when asked Friday if he might return to the Crescent City to enjoy its delights after he retires from coaching at seasons end. 
"I refuse to comment on the grounds that I might incriminate myself," he said. Pause. 
"Just dont drink the water," he added.
via Lakers NOTEBOOK: Bryant makes call on defending Paul - LA Daily News .

I mean, Katrina was six whole years ago. So, really, why would anyone think of the place where water is still a word that sends fear through the people as they continue to try and recover from one of the worst experiences in American history when Phil says that? 

People are so sensitive... mostly because that's what happens when your entire city gets flooded when the levees overflow after a Category 3 Hurricane hits it. And hey, Jackson was only telling reporters in the second most media-heavy market in the United States. It's a wonder it even got out. The city of New Orleans, it should note, is not amused

Maybe the next time Phil's looking for another addition to his book club, he can check this one out .
Category: NBA
Posted on: October 20, 2010 12:44 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2010 12:46 pm

NBA F&R Podcast: Michael Lee on the Wizards

Michael Lee of the Washington Post checks in on how Arenas and Saunders are getting along, John Wall's influence, and if the Wizards are a playoff team.  Posted by Matt Moore

Michael Lee has seen quite a bit. He followed a terrible Hawks team before joining the Washington Post to cover the Wizards. After a stint covering the league on a national level, he was called back to the beat for the Wizards. This year, the Wizards come off of one of the most traumatic seasons in NBA history. But hope springs eternal with John Wall in town, even as Gilbert Arenas continues his goofy antics. Lee spoke to us about the relationship between Saunders and Arenas, about John Wall's leadership and the trust the team has in him, and if the Wizards can contend for the playoffs this season. 
Michael Lee covers the Wizards for the Washington Post. You can find him on Twitter at @MrMichaelLee.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .
Posted on: October 16, 2010 12:53 am
Edited on: October 17, 2010 3:19 pm

Gilbert Arenas's fine is a drop in the bucket

Arenas fined $50,000 by league for faking injury
Posted by Matt Moore

Gilbert Arenas has paid his debt to society after spending a month in a detention center earlier this year following his sentencing for felony gun possession. Now apparently he's decided to start working on paying his debt to the league, since he keeps finding inventive ways to send them dough.

The Wizards fined Arenas $50,000 for lying to Flip Saunders about an injury in order to get more time for Nick Young on the floor. It's a pretty healthy chunk of change. And it's not the first or last time Arenas has shelled out some dough to the league.

In 2009, Arenas was fined $25,000 for refusing to speak to the media during the preseason. Prior to that he was fined $7,500 for criticizing offiicials. And, you know, all the court fees, lawyer fees, and dough lost during his suspension last season. Add all that up and it's enough to take a huge.... nothing out of his income. Arenas makes $216,227 per game this season. Subtract all the mone he's paid in fines over the past three years from his first paycheck this year and he'd still have over $133,000 to buy all the gold-plated guns he wants.

And that's got to partially be why Arenas fails to change his behavior. Sure, you'd expect maturity, or maybe even simple deductive logic to take some sort of effect, but I think we can agree that ship has sailed. In the meantime, only punitive efforts can hope to alter his behavior, and, well, they're not getting the job done. This isn't to say that Arenas needs to be fined more, or have any harsher punishments handed down. What he did simply wasn't a big deal. But if we wonder why Arenas fails to take anything seriously, why he acts petulant and immature regarding all of these public relations disaster and his lone criminal act which was very much dangerous to himself and others, perhaps it's that vantage point of perspective that he's incapable of reaching. No matter what's happened to him, his life isn't very much different. He gets paid, still, and while losing last year's salary was surely a blow, he is making $17 million this season, which probably makes the recovery path a bit easier.

$50,000 is a stiff slap on the wrist from the Wizards, and yet it's a drop in the bucket, just as this latest silly act was a drop in the bucket of his facepalm-worthy moments.

This is Arenas. And he isn't changing. And all the fines won't even make him blink. Unless, you know, the owners manage to make contracts non-guaranteed. But then we'll have bigger issues because hell will have frozen over.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 4:45 am

Arenas may or may not have faked injury for Young

Wizards guard tells reporters he faked an injury to give younger player playing time. Posted by Matt Moore

Part of the collateral damage of Gilbert Arenas' complete and total public image meltdown over the past 12 months has been the perception of him as a leader. He went from being the kooky but lovable best-player-on-the-team and presumed captain o' swagger to being an immature attention hog with no respect for his teammates or himself. This year he's shown up a changed man, ditching the smiles, saying he's cutting the beard, and talking constantly about it being John Wall's team. He's shown a legitimate commitment to the idea of sacrifice.

Maybe too much.

TruthAboutIt.Net (our winner for Tuesday night's Blog o' the Evening) reports tonight of some comments from Arenas that may wind up putting him in hot water . Before the game, Arenas was announced as out with some soreness in his leg. No biggie, happens all the time. Nick Young took his place and dropped 24, which is great for the youngster who's struggled through most of his career.

Story over, right?

Except not.

Post-game, Arenas told reporters:
“Yea, I told him I’d sacrifice playing tonight so he’d get some time. Because I know he’s kinda frustrated not getting a chance to crank it up at the three position, especially since we’re going three guards. So I told him I’d fake an injury or say something’s wrong with me. So that’s why he said sacrifice.”



Now, in the video over at TruthAboutIt.Net, Arenas has a smile on his face when he tells this to reporters. Maybe he was kidding. Maybe he was jerking their chain, in order to create posts remarkably like, oh, say, this one. It's not outside the realm of possibility that Gilbert Arenas really was hurt and decided to say this because everyone might flip out about it.

Or, you know, he may have actually lied to his coach, faked an injury, and disrupted the coach's plan for the team all because he thought he was doing something nice for a younger player. Both of these scenarios are completely possible. That's what happens when you're Gilbert Arenas. If Arenas is telling the truth and he did fake an injury, that's not going to sit well with Flip Saunders. As TAI author Kyle Weidie discusses, Saunders actually spoke up in defense of Arenas post-game. To mess with Saunders and his plans for the team in that way would be not only irresponsible, but disruptive. And not at all cool.

This could be nothing, it could be something, and we won't really know until reporters are baited into asking Saunders about it in the morning. By then, Saunders could have talked it out with Arenas and come up with reasonable cover,which could also conveniently be the truth. The truth...ahem, about it... is that there are two possibilities here. Either Arenas is actually pulling stunts like this, which would reflect a blatant disregard for authority, or he's kidding about that, which is only going to lead to questions for Flip Saunders, which shows a gaping lack of maturity.

Welcome to the puzzle that is Gilbert Arenas, still, to this day. Have fun figuring it out.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 3:07 pm

Brent Barry lays it out regarding "The Decision"

Former NBA guard and NBATV analyst says he's getting tired of hearing everyone's thoughts on the subject they all say they're sick of.
Posted by Matt Moore

You're probably tired of all the talk of LeBron, already. You were probably worn out on the free agent bonanza well before "The Decision" (but you still tuned in!). But imagine if you were involved in the NBA, worked on NBATV and were a former player. Imagine having to be asked about it every single day for the past three months, while everyone decides to talk about how they too felt that it was gross and not cool at all. Now you've got an idea of what Brent Barry has put up with this summer.

In an interview with NBA blog The No Look Pass, Barry lays out an exactingly well-reasoned approach to the question of talking about "The Decision" and what's worse, LeBron's production or everyone wanting to chime in on the subject:

"I'm actually getting tired of hearing of what everybody thought about it. But I'll give you my two cents' worth. Obviously, the production of it was a little bit too much. I'm still wondering if I'm more upset about the production of the decision part or the post-production in Miami and the show they put in the arena that was a little bit tough to swallow, too. But I don't fault LeBron for doing what it is that he did and wanting to go someplace else and having the opportunity to play with great players. What you kind of play for is to try to win championships and nobody wins them alone. Every year at the end of the season, we talk about great teams and how players step up as role players. Usually the teams in the past 10-15 years it's always been a collection of three or four star players. That's certainly what they have in Miami and they're going to have that for many years to come. We'll see how quickly they can assemble themselves and if they can actually do it in their first year."

Barry's on target here, in a number of ways. For how obnoxious "The Decision" was, hearing everyone constantly reference it and how much it bothered them has become infinitely more annoying. It's like NBA hipsters have taken over the land and are constantly complaining that your parents keep serving them beef. Go somewhere else for dinner, you filthy ruffian! It's also nice to hear Barry, never considered the alpha dog, not taking the easy bait and going after James for "tarnishing his legacy" or whatever ridiculous nonsense is being spouted about a guy who basically just took a different job offer.

Cleveland fans have every right to feel as torn and upset as they want, to constantly revile LeBron for ditching them on national television and damaging their team, their economy, and their self-esteem. But Barry's right in that nothing James is doing is beyond reason or comprehension, and with the season starting, maybe the rest of us should just accept it without admiration and get on to watching the game.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:51 am
Edited on: October 6, 2010 9:41 am

Heat Stroke: Heat-Knicks to go 3D

ESPN plans to broadcast Heat game on ESPN 3D, take overhyped team into overhyped technology scope.
Posted by Matt Moore

Just in case you haven't had enough of the Miami Heat in two dimensions, you'll be able to get them in the third for the first time. The New York Times reports that ESPN will broadcast the first 3D NBA game on December 17th , between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat. The network will air the game on their newest venture, ESPN 3D, not to be confused with ESPN 3, their online component, or ESPN 8: The Ocho . From the Times :
Steve Hellmuth, the N.B.A.’s executive vice president for operations and technology, acknowledged that these experiments produced mixed results. He said producers were still determining how best to shoot games in a way that maximized the advantages of the medium. For basketball, Hellmuth said, this would probably mean fewer of the high, wide shots common in standard broadcasts, and more shots from the “low-slash position,” captured from a camera at the corner of the baseline
Oh, so the game will actually have its own look and feel. Neat. We're pretty excited about this. In fact, we've already put together a list of things we're excited to see in 3D for the first time in this game:
  • Carlos Arroyo's strange, carney hands. We think they'll look like tentacles, only not quite Rondo-esque.
  • Dwyane Wade's various sleeves, braces, and wraps. It'll feel like we're so close we can actually smell the hospital.
  • Amar'e Stoudemire's dunks, which we're pretty sure in 3D could actually give viewers PTSD.
  • Mike Miller's hands. After all, maybe in 3D we'll see what's wrong with them that he keeps passing instead of shooting.
  • Mike D'Antoni's mustache. It'll get us ready to eventually see it in the fourth dimension where it belongs, amid the cosmos.
  • Chris Bosh's defense. Maybe it'll seem more real that way.
  • LeBron James' ego. We're hoping the third dimension actually brings it into the physical dimension and it looks like a shadow player playing behind him.
  • Gallinari, because really, what's better than a 3D rooster?
Posted on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: October 4, 2010 1:10 pm

Heat Stroke: ESPN hits warp speed on Heat

ESPN launching global initiative to track every conceivable detail of Miami's first season with the Triad. Posted by Matt Moore

You knew this was coming. If you're feigning outrage and shock, stop now. ESPN covers big stories with exhausting girth. That's their thing. They take the biggest stories, the ones likely to pull in the most people, and then they swallow them whole in a giant media albatross mouth. So it's only natural that they've now announced their plan for the Heat, and it is similarly behemoth.

You know why? Because we're all reading it. That's why. No matter how much people say they're sick of LeBron James, they're still in love with commenting on James news just to say how sick they are of it. No matter how much we argue they haven't won a single game, the fact is that all their games across the league are selling out and people are predicting record ratings. The Heat are going to sell. And ESPN has taken full advantage of that fact. It started with "The Decision" and it continues with the "Heat Index."

ESPN announced today that they are launching a special coverage initiative called "The Heat Index" which is, honestly, massive. It features now-former Cleveland Plain-Dealer reporter Brian Windhorst, who has covered LeBron since high school, Mike Wallace of the Miami Herald , Kevin Arnovitz, who runs ESPN's TrueHoop Network, and Sebastian Martinez-Christensen to provide ESPN Deportes coverage.

The package itself is huge, with a running tracker of how the Miami Triad stack up against other Big 3's throughout history, Heat-related Twitter aggregation, any Heat content from across ESPN and the TrueHoop Network, 24 hour live streaming feed of LeBron's house, a 3-D hologram display of how much merchandise is being sold at the arena, and health meters attached to the players. Okay, those last three I made up.

When we launched this here Heat Stroke, it wasn't just to bring you Heat news, it was to show you just how completely ridiculous the coverage of this team is going to be on a daily basis, more than any other story in the NBA, including the 16-time-and-defending champion Lakers. That's the irony. We recognize how ridiculous the coverage of the Heat is and will be, and at the same time we're a part of it. Why? Because you want to know.

Everyone's obsessed with this team. They're genuinely excited about the combination of talent on board, or they love to complain about the coverage, and in order to do so, they have to seek it out. Not that finding it is going to be very hard. Get used to it, this is the new NBA world for the next 12 months. All Heat, all the time Until next summer, at which point it's all lockout, all the time.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com