Tag:Chris Paul
Posted on: December 16, 2010 1:59 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 2:11 pm
 

First All-Star returns are in; any surprises?

Posted by Royce Young

The first returns for the 2011 All-Star teams are in and really, not a lot of big surprises. Kobe Bryant leads the West, Dwight Howard leads the East and for a 10th consecutive year, Brian Cardinal is nowhere to be found.

Looking over the numbers, obviously the first thing that has to stick out is of course Yao Ming and Andrew Bynum being the top two vote-getters at center in the West. Between the two, they've played a grand total of seven games.

This is what irks so many about letting fans votes, but that's just the way it is. Yao has the most populated country in the world voting for him and Bynum has probably the biggest fanbase voting for him. It's the way it works. I'd love to complain and gripe about it and tell you how Tyson Chandler or Al Jefferson should be getting consideration, but nobody's listening.

(Seriously though, neither Chandler or Jefferson were even on the first returns? Really? Chris Kaman, Andris Biedrins and DeMarcus Cousins are but the two most productive Western centers aren't? And Derek Fisher has 81,000 votes but the league's leading rebounder Kevin Love only has 700 more? I hate people sometimes.)

So if the All-Star Game were today, the starters for each conference would be:

EAST
PG: Rajon Rondo
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: LeBron James
PF: Kevin Garnett
C: Dwight Howard

WEST
PG: Chris Paul
SG: Kobe Bryant
SF: Kevin Durant
PF: Pau Gasol
C: Yao Ming

The closest current races are Carmelo behind Gasol and Derrick Rose behind Rondo. Gasol trails Anthony by about 20,000 votes and Rose is behind Rondo by about 75,000 votes.

One mild and pleasant surprise is that Kevin Durant is the second-leading vote-getter in the West behind Kobe. Durant has 470,881 votes to his name right now, still almost 300,000 behind Kobe though. But Durant is well on his way to his second All-Star team and first one as a starter. He's ahead of talented players like Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan. Quite a big year for Durant. From a player known only as underrated and hidden in the league's smallest market to the second top star in the West only behind Kobe is a big step up.

The East though is basically the Miami Heat and friends. LeBron and Dwyane Wade are two of the top three vote-getters with Dwight Howard being second, Rajon Rondo fourth and Kevin Garnett fifth. The "other" guy on the Heat, Chris Bosh, is fifth among forwards right now with 161,801 votes. Interesting players that are ahead of Bosh in the East in total votes? Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Shaquille O'Neal. I guess if you really wanted the spotlight Chris, you should've went to Boston.

Talking rookies, Blake Griffin leads all so far with more than 245,000 votes. John Wall checks in with a little over 120,000 and Cousins has 37,000 in a watered down center class in the West.

Of course, these are just the first returns and things can definitely change. You'll see those kids at games with a stack four feet tall of ballots and then may all have only Derek Fisher's name punched. But more than likely, the two starting units will end up close to what they are now.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 6:27 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2010 6:28 pm
 

3-Up, 3-Down: The top keeps rising

Posted by Royce Young



Three teams that are rising and three that are falling in this week's edition of our Power Rankings:

3-UP

Chicago Bulls (6): The Bulls are quickly becoming a strong riser in the East. They made the biggest jump going up five spots in the rankings. They're winning with a ton of defense and with Carlos Boozer back, are a cool 6-1 and winners of six straight. Now with Boozer playing at a high level, coupled with Derrick Rose's MVP emergence and the fact Luol Deng is a capable third scorer, the Bulls have every right to stake a claim as one of the East's true contenders.

Oklahoma City Thunder (10): Floundering a bit here and there, they have. While the Thunder just rose up two spots this week, they are definitely in the category of rising. Oklahoma City is playing better and have three more home games after blowing the doors off the Cavaliers Sunday by 29 (largest win ever by the Thunder in OKC). Expectations were a bit inflated before the season so some were a little discouraged with OKC's up and down start, but the Thunder appear to be settling in. Kevin Durant is regaining his scoring machine swagger, Russell Westbrook is tearing apart opponents and even James Harden is finding some offensive game.

Milwaukee Bucks (16): The Bucks were a big riser, going up five spots this week. A lot of that is because of their big road win over the streaking Mavericks, but the Bucks are winners of three straight and of four of five overall. Plus, the wins are against quality opponents (Magic, Pacers, Rockets, Mavs). At 10-13, Milwaukee has been disappointing after its playoff run last season, but it appears that the Bucks might be finding themselves a bit lately.

3-DOWN

Phoenix Suns (19): The Suns have slipped five spots and could be heading for an even bigger dip as the schedule doesn't get easy ahead. After a winnable game against Minnesota, the Suns play at Dallas, at Oklahoma City, at San Antonio and home against the Heat. Yikes. They've lost three straight and have fallen below .500 at 11-12. After next week, Phoenix could be multiple games under.

New Orleans Hornets (14): The fall continues. The Hornets are 3-7 in their last 10 and have dropped three straight. And this is after starting the season 8-0 and then 11-1. Consider this fun fact: The Hornets haven't scored 100 points in their last 13 games. Offense is a big issue late in games with Chris Paul desperately looking for scoring options. Trevor Ariza hasn't been the answer and coach Monty Williams continues to sit potential spark Marcus Thornton.

Denver Nuggets (12): This feels like a temporary fall, as the Nuggs have dropped three of four, but all were on the road against decently decent teams. They're quite inconsistent though, so Denver is certainly a candidate to drop multiple games. But at the same time, the Nuggets also look like one of the top teams in the West on any given night, so who knows, they could be headed up. But Chauncey Billups is now battling a wrist injury and with the Carmelo stuff reaching its apex, the distractions could weigh heavily on the Nuggets.

Be sure to check the full rankings out here.

Posted on: December 14, 2010 11:59 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 8:47 pm
 

Jersey needs to bail on Melo

As reports surface that Carmelo may still be amiable to the Nets, we ask the question: should the Nets be amiable to Melo?
Posted by Matt Moore

UPDATE: Now that the Nets have acquired two more picks in order to try and sweeten the deal , the Nets have commited themselves fully to this enterprise. In doing so, they're hedging more of their future on trying to land the forward All-Star, while a source told CBSSports.com's Ken Berger, "they can't get it done." The Nets are like that business owner who's staff is revolting and isn't turninga profit but keeps trying to buy expensive new curtains instead of changing the product to try and lure customers. The crusade continues. At this point, even if they are able to force a trade through, you have to wonder what they're going to be surrendering in terms of future assets.

Reports have come tumbling in with the tumbling tumbleweeds that the Nets are not out of the Carmelo Anthony race. They remain interested in the acquisition of Melo, and officials have met to discuss the matter. 

Here's the thing. 

They shouldn't be. 

(For more on the Melo situation with New York, read Ken Berger's latest update .)

That ship has sailed, and it's time to move on for the Nets. At this point, New Jersey isn't just trying to jam a square peg into a round hole, they're trying to stuff $17 million in there as well. The problem that exists now isn't one of a deal. It's not about trying to convince Denver to take Derrick Favors, two first round picks, and whatever leftover assets they want thrown in. That's not the problem here. It's a problem. It's just not the problem. No, instead, New Jersey is trying to acquire a star that doesn't want to play for them. And if you don't have a star for more than five months, you don't really have a star to start with. 

Throughout this process, Carmelo Anthony has maintained the inside track on the steering wheel of this vehicle (I'm mixing metaphors; roll with it; I'm doing it again). He's been in control the entire way in terms of directing how this thing has been led. If Anthony had decided that Newark, and later Brooklyn, was the right place to plant his flag for the new empire of Melo, all he would have to do is inform Denver that was the case, that he would not re-sign in Denver, and they would likely start extorting the most assets out of New Jersey, including possibly a series of brand new Yo! cars. (Note: They could not actually trade for Yo! cars. But if they could, you can bet Donald Sterling would be dishing for one, possibly in exchange for Eric Gordon.)

What's missed in this situation, as it was in LeBron's situation, is how easy it is for Melo to decide it. Sure, Denver holds his rights, and can ship him off to basketball Siberia if they want (say hey, David Kahn). But they won't. Because doing so damages relations with the next star they try and acquire. It damages relations with all of Carmelo Anthony's agent's clients (and that's a list of people you don't want to alienate). And it damages their relations with their current players who wonder if the same will happen to them. It's not plausible. So you try and make the best of the situation, get what you can, and go forward. 

But Melo hasn't done that. He hasn't assented. He's remained on the fence. He's seeing three teams (at least) jostle and struggle and bend over backwards trying to acquire his services. He's holding his own in-season version of what LeBron did for two weeks in July, holding court. He's just doing it behind the scenes. And he knows where he wants to go. There could be somewhere else he wants to go. But there's not. Because if there was, he'd be there by now. 

Meanwhile, the Nets are hijacking themselves, their season, and their future, trying to figure out how to get Melo. Guys know they could be moved at any time, as soon as Melo gives his OK to an extend-and-trade to New Jersey. But what's worse is that the way that the Nets are still showing interest in a player who isn't 100% interested in them. This isn't to say that players don't change their minds when they arrive somewhere. But it is to say that if you want to build a championship team, you need leadership that wants to take your team, your team  to the title. And Anthony at this point is looking for a comfy situation where he can get good endorsement deals. It's possible that in two years, the Nets will be in a position to offer that. But they can't now. 

Finally, this could end up being a blessing in disguise. In 2012, under whatever bizarre new CBA world we're living in, the following players could be free agents: Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love, among others. While pulling Derrick Rose out of Chicago would require a pretty big crowbar, Paul and Howard have both shown reticence to commit to a team that won't contend. Westbrook may eventually tire of being Robin to Durant's Batman, and Kevin Love ... well, Kevin Love plays for the Timberwolves

There are other options out there, and perhaps by that time, with the team in Brooklyn (no offense to the Garden State), and a more established hierarchy of who to build around, the Nets can move forward. Right now, they're trying to force their way into a superstar's heart. You have to take your opportunities where you can find them. But you also can't force the hot person to date you when they seem so interested in flirting with your sibling. 

Time to walk away, comrades.

Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:50 pm
 

The NBA Quarterly All-Star Teams

Posted by Royce Young



It's never too early to start thinking about the All-Star Game. Well, I take that back. It probably is too early. But I wrote the body of this post before the intro so I'm pressing on anyway.

We're a quarter of the way done with the 2010-11 NBA season. Everybody has at least 20 games under their belt. We've learned a lot. The Heat can be good, the Spurs are great, the Lakers oddly struggle at times, Blake Griffin is exciting and Boston won't let you score... ever.

But on top of that, a few players have started that whole breakout thing. And a lot of the old good ones have stayed really good. The NBA truly has a ridiculous amount of talent right now. Seriously, this is a great time for the league. Except for that lockout stuff but I'm not going to mention that.

So because I think a lot about non-important things like the All-Star Game and Chick-Fil-A sauce, I began to notice how tough it's going to be to narrow down a 12-man roster for both conference. If there were an At The Quarter All-Star Team, it would already be quite a task to select that.

So naturally, here's my At The Quarter All-Star Teams:

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Starters:
PG: Deron Williams (21.8 ppg, 10.1 apg)
I'd say the starting Western point guard spot is the toughest to pick in the whole league. Look at the candidates: Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Stephen Curry. But Williams is the starters right now because he's commandeering an elite Western team, along with having terrific numbers.

SG: Kobe Bryant (26.6 ppg, 4.5 apg)
Kobe is the type of player that will probably be an All-Star Game starter for life since the fans vote make that happen, but it's well-deserved at this point. He's second in the league in scoring and is having a classic Kobe season. Big shots, big plays and big numbers on the biggest stage.

SF: Kevin Durant (27.6 ppg, 7.0 rpg)
By his standards, he's struggled a bit. His percentages are a bit down, he's missed a few games because of an ankle sprain and then a sore knee and he's seen his teammate Russell Westbrook steal some of his Thunder. But KD still leads the league in scoring and is still the leader on a very good Thunder team.

PF: Dirk Nowitzki (24.9 ppg, 7.4 rpg)
If I were voting, Dirk would be getting my MVP vote. Which would be weird because the season's only 25 percent done and I also don't have a vote. But Dirk is having one of his finest seasons and leading the hottest and second best team in the league (tied with Boston at 17-4). The Mavericks have found a new identity behind defense and ball pressure, but Dirk is the same old awesome Dirk.

C: Blake Griffin (20.0 ppg, 11.7 rpg)
Remember when the West used to be so stacked with big men that figuring out the starting front court was a nightmare? It's not that way anyone. There's been a shift to point guard in the West for those issues. But really, who do you start here? The best "center" is probably Tyson Chandler and maybe Al Jefferson right now. Both have been good, but I'm going to fudge and give it to Griffin. His numbers are worthy at 20-12, but he's everything that an All-Star should be. He has the league buzzing, every night is a potential highlight-fest and he's the most can't-miss guy going. To me, if we're selecting an All-Star team right now, he's got to be on it.

Bench:
Russell Westbrook, PG: Westbrook leads Western point guards in scoring, plus he's got better "LeBron" numbers than LeBron at 23.7 ppg, 8.6 apg and 5.5 rpg.

Chris Paul, PG: Weird to have CP3 on the bench considering he's in the top two or three for MVP, but again, the West is stacked. His team's little slide lately isn't helping either.

Manu Ginobili, SG: The best team in the league doesn't have an MVP candidate? Who says so? Because Manu is certainly playing like one, at least in my mind.

Monta Ellis, SG: Ellis barely gets the nod over Eric Gordon who is also having a really good year. They score virtually the same amount but Ellis has simply been a bit more efficient.

Luis Scola, PF: The Rockets may be struggling and disappointing, but Scola hasn't. Coming off a big World Championships where he raised expectations for himself, Scola has lived up to it in every way.

Kevin Love, PF: He's leading the league in rebounding, and it's not close (15.5 per game, Joakim Noah is next at 12.3). This season there have been 11 20-20 games. Love has six of them.

Tyson Chandler, C: The last spot is where things get a bit hairy. Chandler has been having a re-birth of a season with the Mavericks, protecting the rim and playing solid offense. And just barely does he get the nod of Al Jefferson for the lone center on the roster simply because playing both ends counts for something.

Tough cuts: Stephen Curry, Steve Nash, Carmelo Anthony, Rudy Gay.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Starters:
PG: Derrick Rose (25.1 ppg, 8.1 apg)
Rose wondered why he couldn't be an MVP candidate before the season. And there's no doubt he should be, if only he could get his team to win a few more games. But he leads all point guards in scoring (fourth in the league) and is dishing out a career-high assist average. Rose is the total package right now at point and really, one of the top two or three players in the entire conference.

SG: Dwyane Wade (22.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg)
His numbers are down a bit, but there's an obvious reason why. I'll be honest, if there was another really impressive shooting guard in the East, Wade wouldn't be such a lock. But because the East is pretty thin there (Stephen Jackson? Ray Allen? Vince Carter?) Wade is the starter by default.

SF: LeBron James (24.1 ppg, 7.3 apg)
Despite what his numbers say, he's still the most talented and gifted player in the game. And it's not like the stats aren't excellent anyway. He's just set a bar so high for himself there that all of a sudden 24-7-5 doesn't look so great.

PF: Amar'e Stoudemire (25.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg)
Not only are the Knicks winning, but Amar'e has been fairly awesome this season. He's third in the league in scoring and has just broken a franchise record held by Bernand King for most consecutive games with 30 points (six). That's like, pretty good.

C: Dwight Howard (20.9 ppg, 12.1 rpg)
Forget the fact there's not a ton of competition here. Howard has maybe been the most productive NBA player this season. He's scoring at a career-high rate, plus putting up his typical big rebounding and blocked shots numbers. His developing post game is no joke and he's becoming the total package at center.

Bench:
Rajon Rondo, PG: His 14.1 assists per game are obviously eye-catching, but he's also turning it over 4.0 times a game, second in the league.

Raymond Felton, PG: Yep, seriously. He's playing on a winning club and his numbers are great! No really, they are! Look at them, I promise I'm not lying!

Ray Allen, SG: Nothing spectacular from the league's best shooter, but his stats are solid, his team is good and he's already hit a number of big shots just a quarter of the way in.

Danny Granger, SF: Come real selection time, he might get squeezed for a bigger name, but he's made the team once. He's a great scorer and now that he's on a decent team, he's deserving.

Kevin Garnett, PF: As long as he's still moving his way up and down the court, he's an All-Star. Plus, don't look, but he's actually having a pretty darn good season.

Roy Hibbert, C: A chic pick for Most Improved, the 7'3 Pacer big man has a well-developed game. Post moves, power moves and even a distance jumpshot.

Andrea Bargnani, C: Probably a stretch especially since Al Horford likely deserves it more, but Barge Nanny is sixth in the East in scoring and in his last few games has really looked fantastic, punctuated by a 41-point explosion against the Knicks Wednesday.

Tough cuts: Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Paul Pierce, John Wall, Shaquille O'Neal
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:50 pm
 

Chris Paul struggles with New Orleans situation

Hornets star says he can only control what he can control.
Posted by Matt Moore




Chris Paul is having kind of an emotional rollercoaster over the past six months. On the block, off the block, top of the standings, having his team sold to the NBA, might be sold to another city, might stay in New Orleans, might go to Cafe Du Monde, might go to that awesome place across from the House of the Rising Sun (seriously, it exists). But in the meantime, Paul is just trying to stay afloat. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune :

What is your reaction about the sale of the team and all that transpired this week? Paul: That’s craziness. I’ve learned in this league to control what I can control and all of that is how I perform on the court and how our team does. That (sale) hasn’t bothered us that much if you ask me. We have no decision on who the owner is and where we play. We’re just fortunate to get to go out and play.

Is it important for this franchise to become stable? Guys have families and you always want to know where you are going to be and stuff. But at the end of the day, we can control what we can control.
via Chris Paul addresses New Orleans Hornets ownership, attendance, lockout possibility | NOLA.com .

"We can control what we can control." It's similar to when your office is considering layoffs, only instead of losing his job, having his family's stability and career threatened, he may have to pay someone to move his stuff (that would likely be reimbursed by the team as well).

For Paul, it's going to be hard for him not to have one foot out at the moment, to make it clear that no matter how this winds up, he intends on coming out in a winning situation. There's a very real palpable fear for players of Paul's age group (which includes LeBron, Wade, and Dwight Howard) that they will wind up as Kevin Garnett. With a brilliant career wasted in mediocrity and left to fight injuries and fatigue in their thirties to establish their legacies. So while Paul says he's only focusing on what he can control, you can bet that he intends on making the rest of his career something he very much can.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 4:53 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:20 pm
 

Speculation mounts around Hornets future

All sorts of theories are flying about the future of the New Orleans Hornets. Posted by Ben Golliver chris-paul-monty-williams

Given the mess that is the New Orleans Hornets, you have to feel bad for three people: new GM Dell Demps, new coach Monty Williams and all star point guard Chris Paul. The three met over the summer and apparently hashed out a workable relationship, one which kept Paul happy in the short term and led to a strong start to the season, delivering a whole bunch of promise to start the season. Now, with the team's financial records being leaked and a sale to the NBA underway, their hard work and attempts to keep things in house and under wraps are getting blown up in a big time way. It's only been 48 hours since the NBA announced it would take over control of the team, and the speculation and rumors about possible relocation have kicked into full gear.   Here's a rundown, in no particular order. The Times-Picayune reports that Morris Bart, a New Orleans attorney is ready to become a minority partner and hoping for a 10% stake.
"I grew up in New Orleans and I went through the bitterness of the Jazz pulling out and leaving New Orleans,'' Bart said. "I would like to do my part to save the new generation of kids from having to go through that same experience. I'm living here and I think the team has to have local ownership. You've got to have a big fish that can come in and buy 50 percent and then the minority investors can follow along. I feel the NBA strongly wants to keep the team in New Orleans.''
Fletcher Mackel, a sports anchor for WDSU in New Orleans, tweets that he is "hearing rumors about David Filo buying Hornets. He's Co founder of Yahoo!, worth 2.9 billion." Filo has ties in the region, having been raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana and attending Tulane University. KMBZ radio in Missouri is reporting that Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser "says he's been involved in talks to bring the Hornets to Kansas City." Kansas City, of course, has an NBA-ready arena and has been short-listed by multiple media outlets as a possible relocation home for the Hornets. Finally, HoopsWorld.com writes that contracting the Hornets is an option that hasn't been discussed enough.
Commissioner David Stern has refused to rule out contraction as a possible option when the owners meet with the NBA Players' Association to hammer out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) this summer.
The first and perhaps hardest part of the process is finding an owner willing to sell their team to the NBA for eventual dissolution. With the acquisition of the Hornets, the league has already completed that step.
What to make of all of this? That there is local interest cropping up immediately in Louisiana is a good sign. Silence in the short term would have been deafening, and a death blow to hope for basketball fans in the Bayou. That people are interested in saving the team is a crucial first step. As for contraction, it seems like a very unlikely possibility in this situation, given the strong interest from other markets and reported interest from overseas owners regarding buying into the league. By purchasing the team from previous owner George Shinn, the NBA committed significant resources (reportedly $300 million) and will be looking for a return on that investment. It's difficult to see commissioner David Stern wanting to swallow that loss whole, especially if there is foreign demand for the right to enter the NBA.   Finally, we come full circle and return to our sympathies to those currently working for and playing for the Hornets. Single-minded focus is one of the highest virtues in professional basketball. Being able to tune everything out and carry out the task at hand is what separates winners from losers, above-average teams from average teams, and champions from the rest of the pack. What's being asked of the Hornets and their staff between now and whenever the team is sold -- remember, there is no set goal for that to happen, as Stern is preaching patience -- is a nearly impossible task. Focusing amidst such a storm is simply not a workable, functional reality.
Posted on: December 7, 2010 5:25 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:19 pm
 

New Orleans Hornets were bleeding money

The New Orleans Hornets' audited financial records have leaked online, and they paint a horrific financial picture of the franchise's ownership group. Posted by Ben Golliver Audited financial documents concerning the New Orleans Hornets have been published by Deadspin.com, and the numbers are not pretty. Earlier this week, commissioner David Stern and the NBA stepped in to purchase the Hornets after a long-anticipated sale to Gary Chouest fell through. As Ken Berger of CBSSports.com noted yesterday, the move may wind up being a death blow to basketball in New Orleans, because the Hornets were such a money pit and because deep-pocketed owners would be more likely to find a sustainable business model in a different market, as happened when the Seattle SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City. The documents published by Deadspin, an audit conducted by KPMG, only reinforce these grim predictions. They show that, despite turning a profit from June 2008 to June 2009, the ownership group led by George Shinn was up to its eyeballs in deficits. This sheet, for example, shows the ownership's total deficit on June 30, 2009, topping out at more than $83 million. Deadspin also notes...
The team's net cash in operating activities, which represents the "measurement of money [owner George Shinn] is being asked to take out of his pocket to keep operations going," according to sports economist Andrew Zimbalist. In 2008, that amount was $7.4 million; in 2009, $1.4 million (slide 12). Zimbalist points out that "things got much more problematic for the franchise" the following year.

The two obvious questions that arise after reading this document are... 

1) Did George Shinn just fleece the NBA by selling this franchise for, reportedly, up to $300 million? 

2) Can any prospective buyers in Louisiana reasonably be expected to do so much better than Shinn that these huge deficits could be avoided?

To the first question, the league has a vested interest in propping up its franchise sale prices, keeping the buy-in price high to ensure maximum milking from the overseas billionaires who represent the league's future owners. The Hornets might not be worth $300 million, especially after reading these documents and after all star point guard Chris Paul inevitably skips down, but the right to own one of only 30 NBA teams surely hovers around that price. Contingent, of course, on being able to relocate.

To the second question, these numbers paint a pretty grim reality, one that was always assumed, and probably known by those who needed to know or who were interested in purchasing the team. For the general public, however, it casts a cold cloud over the city's chances to enjoy NBA basketball indefinitely into the future.

The only hope for basketball in New Orleans now is for an ownership group to arise that is not only happy to keep basketball in New Orleans out of the goodness of its heart, but is willing to do so while sustaining heavy losses while playing in front of hit-or-miss fan support. Good luck with that. 

This team is as good as gone.

Posted on: December 7, 2010 9:56 am
Edited on: December 7, 2010 10:07 am
 

Shootaround 12.7.10: Where Stern went wrong

Posted by Royce Young
  • Darren Rovell of CNBC on why the NBA messed up purchasing the Hornets: "The last point is the public relations disaster that this could create. If George Shinn and Gary Chouest couldn’t make it in New Orleans, fine. They’d say that and leave. Now it’s the NBA’s business to put this team in the best position it can and if they leave New Orleans it will be the league’s fault, not Shinn or Chouest’s fault, that they left."
  • An editorial from The Times-Picayune: "Mr. Stern and the league played an important role in the Hornets' return to New Orleans post-Katrina. The league also brought the NBA All-Star game to New Orleans in 2008, and metro residents are thankful for that support. The league is appointing Jac Sperling, a native New Orleanian and vice-chairman of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, to run the Hornets. But the new ownership raises questions as to the team's future, especially as the current lease expires in 2014.
  • Magic Johnson should buy the Hornets?
  • At The Hive on why the Hornets aren't the Expos: "The Hornets, however, are a viable, competitive, and valuable franchise. Their only problem is that George Shinn wanted out of the organization quickly, and that wasn't able to be done quickly enough for his desire and still keep the franchise in New Orleans. It's not a team, like the Expos, that were deemed to be of negative value to the league."
  • Noam Schiller of Both Teams Played Hard on MIP candidates: "Russell Westbrook: And who stands above Horford for 2nd in the league in PER? I’ll give you a hint: he plays for the Thunder and he isn’t Kevin Durant. Westbrook has taken his scoring to the next level by using his speed and athleticism to constantly get to the rim, where he either converts his shots at a career high 55.2%, or draw fouls. Russ is getting to the line 9.6 times a night (good for 4th in the league) and making his freebies at a career high 87% clip, combining with last year’s prominent leap-maker Kevin Durant to create the league’s most deadly foul drawing team. If he doesn’t make the all-star team this year, something is wrong with the universe."
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com