Tag:Chris Paul
Posted on: August 6, 2010 8:27 am

Shootaround 8.6.10: Mason signs with NY

Posted by Royce Young
  • Tom Haberstroh for ESPN.com making a case that Carmelo Anthony is not a max player: "If the New York Knicks, rumored to be the favorites to land Melo if he decides to leave Denver, are expecting salvation from Anthony next summer, they're going to be very disappointed with their investment. It would be a much a wiser move to throw that cash toward the pursuit of Chris Paul, a real max player."
  • Ziller of NBA FanHouse has a set as well and the US comes in No. 2 : "That the United States is the overwhelming Vegas favorites at the Worlds is a sign the betting public has no short- or long-term memory. Hasn't Team USA already proven chemistry can't be conjured in two months? Remember, the first travails of the Redeem Team ended up defeat (and some would say humiliation): in 2006, when LeBron James , Dwyane Wade , Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant first got together, Greece knocked them out of contention in the semifinals of the World Championship."
  • Sebastian Pruiti of NBA Playbook does a pretty outstanding job of breaking down a fast break: "In my opinion, a good outlet pass is the key to a fast break.  If the rebounder can get the ball out to the point guard on the run, you got the makings of a fast break because the point guard doesn’t have to slow down to make the catch and he can put pressure on the defense.  A bad outlet pass can force a point guard to break his momentum to make the catch, and that allows the defense to get back on defense."
  • Rob Mahoney of The Two Man Game with a look at positional classification : "To those still clinging to what they know, I’d ask this: what’s a power forward? What characteristics link Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Rashard Lewis, Lamar Odom, Reggie Evans, Tyrus Thomas, and J.J. Hickson? Not rebounding. Not scoring. Not skill set. Not height relative to their teammates. Not even the spaces they occupy on the floor. I’m at a total loss as to the criterion that would group that bunch together, which makes the assessment “Player X isn’t a real power forward” pretty much worthless. I think I know what it means, but without the ability to define the contemporary power forward, how could I really know for sure?"
  • Shaq might be making just the veteran minimum but don't feel sorry for him too long. Last year, he generated $15 million in endorsements and experts say he should make more in Boston: “Shaq is a marketing giant,” said John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University. “He will benefit from the Hub’s strong media presence, where there’s money to be made on local endorsements.”
Posted on: August 3, 2010 7:44 am
Edited on: August 3, 2010 10:15 am

Shootaround 8.3.10: Pau Gasol has clown shoes

Posted by Matt Moore

All the news that's fit to sprint... get it? Get it? Okay, I'll just get to the bullets now.

  • New Suns head of basketball ops Lon Babby is looking for a "basketball genius" for his GM position. Oddly, Kevin Pritchard is not on his list of candidates. But Washington Wizards exec Tommy Shephard, along with former Hornets GM Jeff Bower and Cavs assistant GM Lance Blanks are on the list. So a guy involved in an expensive operation that resulted in one of the biggest firesales in recent memory, the man that orchestrated the run that drove CP3 to a trade demand, and a guy whose franchise is pretty much akin to smoldering ruins are on the list. That said, often these contexts hide genuine talents, so these candidates may reveal genuine success in their midsts.
  • Amar'e's search for his roots continue . This is a pretty culturally relevant escapade, and one that doesn't feel disingenuous, based off of what we know of Stoudemire. This is the same player who reads Sun Tzu and ponders philosophy while writing poetry. STAT's a deep dude, and his new ties to New York are pretty exciting in terms of what he could bring culturally as a basketball player, even if his "Hebrew" ties are overstated.
  • Mike D'Antoni will miss Team USA's trip to Turkey. He'll be replaced by Raptors head coach Jay Triano. Which is only slightly like going from a Lamborghini to a Volvo. Does Triano really have the experience needed to.. you know what? On It should bshort notice, with Coach K at the helm? We'll be okay with what we can get.
  • Kyle Weaver won't be scrapping for an NBA roster, he's signed in Israel . Weaver had the talent, but after scraping by at the bottom of OKC's roster, likely wanted the security of an overseas deal. Maybe he'll bump into Amar'e at some point.
  • The decision of what to do with Erick Dampier is a complex one for the Cats, and not one that will likely make Damp feel very loved. The options according to Bobcats Baseline are trade him for a roster-need at point guard or some other position, or waive him to take the sting off the salary. Waiving Damp makes the most economic sense. No deal the Cats will make with Dampier will really net them assets to ensure the playoffs or a deep run. These are hard times. The Bobcats need to make sure their finances are in order before they start building towards a championship. Moving Tyson Chandler was a good start. Waiving Damp would give them even more flexibility.
  • At The Hive discusses three Chris Paul misconceptions. As they want to wrap up talks on Paul since he doesn't look to be moved before the season starts, they do close by adding that New Orleans looks to be in trouble regardless of how things turn out. The one thing that could turn this whole mess around is if Dell Demps can develop Marcus Thornton and trade Peja Stojackovic's contract for high return. A move to make the Hornets contenders again could quell CP3's big dreams.
  • It should be noted as we approach the Nike Summit that Austin Rivers, Doc Rivers' son, was very impressive last weekend in AAU Play. Daddy done right with teaching that kid. He's got range, good athleticism, and great confidence on the floor. Probably understands self-motivation, too.
Posted on: July 29, 2010 2:45 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2010 3:07 pm

Report: Paul decides to stay put

Posted by Royce Young

Following his Monday meeting, Chris Paul and the Hornets released a statement saying things went well. Everyone kind of rolled their eyes and didn't think much of it because that's what players and PR people do. Ken Berger told us exactly that very thing shortly after the meeting went down.

But according to one report, Dell Demps must've made a nice impression.

An article from the Times-Picayune says after hearing Demps' plan for retooling the roster, Paul is "on board with the team's direction and will not seek to force a trade."

Demps must have one heck of a plan then. In the article it gives a hint on the direction:
Demps said they plan to put the necessary pieces around Paul by coming up with creative ways to make trades. Sources said Paul is confident Demps will be able to make the necessary moves on a roster that has remained stagnant during free agency. Backup center Aaron Gray remains the Hornets' only signee this offseason.
What necessary moves? Sign Shaq? Go after Tracy McGrady? I don't get it. He obviously must mean wait for the trade deadline or next offseason, because pickings are slim right now.

But not so fast there. Berger continues to hear differently on Paul's intentions from his sources. He sends along this info:
While Demps may have bought the organization some time to deal with the Paul dilemma, a person with knowledge of the point guard's strategy said Thursday his desire to be traded before the start of the season did not diminish based on Monday's 90-minute meeting. Both sides agreed to stay quiet about what was discussed in the meeting, but the person familiar with Paul's situation said his camp "wants him moved" before the season starts. But with no games until November, Paul's operatives are willing to give the Hornets' new decision-making team "air to breathe to work on it," the person said.

The NBA's memo Tuesday warning teams of stiff penalties if they tamper with Paul means that Paul's new agent, Leon Rose, ultimately will need the Hornets' cooperation to broker a deal. With two years left on Paul's contract before he can opt out, the extent to which Demps is willing to engage in serious trade talks will be the next shoe to drop in the Summer of CP3 saga.
So this isn't over quite yet. In fact, it might just now be getting good.

The Times-Picayune story says the Hornets won't listen to any offers for Paul. Also mentioned is this quote: "Chris never said anything about a trade, '' a source close to Paul said. "All he said is that he wants to win. He does so much in the community. He hasn't built those courts around (town) for nothing. Of course, he wants to be here.''

Which I find odd because Paul publicly said he'd be open to a trade if the right situation presented itself. This sounds like positive spin from Paul's camp so in order to not come out looking like a bad guy. Not everyone wants to walk down the road LeBron did just to get a shot at winning. Besides, there have been multiple reports saying CP3 would like to be traded to a contender. Multiple high-profile, plugged-in insiders have reported the same thing. There's definitely some smoke here. And this report from the Times-Picayune might just be an effort to put out some of the fire.
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:35 am
Edited on: July 29, 2010 9:57 am

Shootaround 7.29.10

Posted by Matt Moore
  • Those same Knicks fans need to be patient with Anthony Randolph. Randolph's major problems involve when he's defended or challenged. But the only way he's going to improve on those things is to play, which he seldom really got to in Golden State. Don Nelson's doghouse is the death of talent, and Randolph was in and out of it for two years. Not to the extent that Brandan Wright has been, but still fairly held back. D'Antoni doesn't sound like he'll be doing the same.
  • Mikael Pietrus was a huge part of the Magic's championship run a year ago. But when the Magic brought in Matt Barnes, he was put on the backburner due to defensive concerns. With Barnes on his way to La La Land, the Magic will need more from Pietrus, and SVG is cashing in on that need. He headed to Paris to "hang out" with Pietrus for a few days. No word if they had a romantic walk through Paris or not.
  • The Pacers are shopping point guard T.J. Ford and forward Mike Dunleavy. Dunleavy has always been protected on account of head coach Jim O'Brien's love of his work ethic. But after multiple injuries, and with the team finally taking steps towards a youth movement, Dunleavy has become expendable. In a point-guard needy league, Ford still has value, so the Pacers might be able to get good value out of a contending team looking for depth, or a rebuilding team looking for stopgaps.
  • In a Pro-Am in NC this week, projected #1 pick in the 2010-2011 draft Harrison Barnes didn't look dominant . Who knows if it was simply the atmosphere that gave Barnes pause, but expectations are certainly higher for the Iowa product.
  • The Wolves inked Serbian big man Nikola Pekovic, a move many say is the best one the Wolves made this season. Not that that bar is incredibly high.
  • Bloggers try and outbid one another to acquire Chris Paul from a Hornets blogger. The winning bid? The Detroit Pistons. Which just goes to show you how much talent the Pistons have and how perplexing it is that Joe Dumars continues to wait for the mood to be right or whatever.
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 4:29 pm

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Posted by Matt Moore

Hey, what haven't we written about for thirty seconds? I know! LeBron!

Today's tale is especially gooey though. It involves chap stick, champagne poured out, women in a bathtub, and the continuing self-demolition of LeBron James' public persona.

Arash Markazi is a columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com . Last weekend, while King James and his merry men were partying in Vegas, Markazi was invited along for the festivities. This isn't anything new. Media members are occasionally privy to such events as part of a profile, but the events are almost always considered off-record. Markazi was apparently not under that impression, at least when he filed.

Markazi's story went up this morning at this link (link now = very dead). Within the hour, it was taken down again. Whoops. Something went up that shouldn't have. Unfortunately for the poor folks at ESPN.com's editorial department, in this day and age, someone managed to extract a copy of it.  And it now lives on the Internet forever , among the weeds.

So what was it in that article that brought so much attention?


There's nothing in the article that is particularly shocking. Millionaire 25-year-old parties like a rock star, par-parties like a rock star. The problem is that it represents yet another blow to the hollowed out wreckage that is LeBron's public image. Furthermore, even though hardcore NBA fans, media, and personnel are fully aware that this is the kind of life James leads, it's still not the image he wants to project to the mothers of the ten year olds buying his shoes/lunchboxes/cereal/colognes. So what does the article say exactly? Let's go to the tape!

Want references to scantily clad women? You got it!

"The waiter bringing him his cup of green tea with a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon juice makes the cut, as does the scantily clad brunette with a tattoo of a heart on her right shoulder. She wants to take a picture with him. "I can't right now," says James. "Maybe later, upstairs, I'll remember you're the one with the tattoo."
And then later:
Bottle after bottle of "Ace of Spades" champagne is delivered to the table by a waiter flying down from above the dance floor like some overgrown Peter Pan on a wire. One time he's dressed like a King, another time as Indiana Jones and another in a replica of James' No. 6 Miami Heat jersey. James, who can hardly see the flying figure through his tinted glasses, almost gets kicked in the head on the waiter's last trip down. He looks at the girls around him and says, "I wish they'd have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy."
Well, hey, LeBron's not married. Not really any of our business. But it certainly doesn't paint the image that James wants to in light of the backlash he's faced since "The Decision."

The article features an inside look at how James behaves in close company. Not only James, in fact, but head of LRMR marketing Maverick Carter, who has emerged as the the dominant force behind James' decisions since hitting free agency. So a man of that kind of power, responsible for the business decisions of one of the most powerful people in sports today is probably reserved and in control, right?
Carter, LeBron's childhood friend and manager, begins dancing around James like Puff Daddy in a Notorious B.I.G video. A giant red crown-shaped cake is brought over to James while go-go dancers dressed in skimpy red and black outfits raise four lettered placards that spell out, "KING." Carter grabs a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a quarter of it on the floor and raises it up before passing it off.
Well, okay, that's a different approach.

Want to know exactly how ridiculous the entire spectacle is? Glen Davis thinks LeBron was acting a fool. That's right. The guy nicknamed "Big Baby" who was compared to Shrek thinks James is over-the-top:
Toward the end of the night, Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis walks past James' party and looks at the scene up and down several times like a painting in a museum, soaking in the images of the go-go dancers, the "King" sign and the costumed man delivering bottles of champagne.

Davis shakes his head and walks on.

James dances on the couch and sings along with the music blaring from speakers all around him.

I'm not even going to touch the flying waiters in Indiana Jones outfits. (I thought they named the hooker Indiana. Or am I getting that quote wrong?)

Allright, but the story was only up for a few minutes and then taken down. Surely no one's had time to already start making fun of...

Oh .

Oh, and that .

Oh, geez , the "nexus of insane wealth and mega-celebrity." Well played, SBNation.com. 


For James' part, Darren Rovell is reporting that his team has said they did not have any part in the piece getting pulled. And ESPN has come back with an official quote , first reported by Rovell, and told to FanHouse and our own Ken Berger:
"The story should have never been published. The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.”
Oh, so that's what happened. A story outlining the most powerful figure in the NBA whose public image has been tarnished outlining his rather opulent weekend in moderate detail just got slipped onto the server.

That guy that lost the iPhone 4 is going to have nothing on whatever poor guy screwed this up.

We shouldn't overreact to this, there should be nothing in this article that stuns us. James does nothing illegal, inbibes no illegal drugs, says nothing of real controversy. He's just your average, run-of-the-mill, mega-star with millions of dollars being treated like a god in the most opulent place on Earth. He's a lot like you and me, actually, if we routinely faked playing basketball in casinos and hung out in places with naked women in bathtubs with rose pedals as decoration (my wife prefers paper lamps). Really, part of LeBron is inside all of us. I'll let you figure out which organ that is, in particular.

(Image via: Ball Don't Lie )
Category: NBA
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:29 am

Shootaround: 7.28.10

Posted by Royce Young
  • Oklahoma City will waive Kyle Weaver, reports Marc J. Spears . After the Thunder signed Royal Ivey, Weaver was in a tight spot. The roster was at 16 and Weaver just didn't have a role. Weaver is being released because his salary of $935,484 becomes guaranteed on Aug. 2 if he's still on the roster. He should be able to easily find work overseas if he can't land with an NBA team. According to Spears, Maccabi has already offered him a deal.
  • Shoals and Ziller have nine trade demands that nearly shook the foundation of the NBA , but didn't: "Not only did Barkley successfully demand a trade in 1992, but he lobbied for help all through the late '80s. Only an embarrassing season involving heavy doses of Hersey Hawkins and Armen Gilliam gave Sir Charles the political capital needed to enact change, which came in the form of a trade to the relatively loaded (but still imperfect) Suns. Barkley is one of the few pre-millennial stars to request a trade for on-court reasons; remembered more as a surly malcontent, doesn't Barkley instead represent the ideal of the perfectly hellbent-on-winning competitor?"
  • Team USA will make roster cuts today. As Chris Sheridan of ESPN says , he feels like there's some debate going on as to who to keep: "To me, this is a clear sign that there is an internal debate raging over which four players to cut. When I spoke to team director Jerry Colangelo after the Team USA intrasquad scrimmage Saturday night, he was adamant that the decision would be made Monday, and the roster would shrink to 15"
  • Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe says the Celtics need a few more pieces and lists Shaq, Delonte West and Roger Mason as options: "The speculation that hasn’t died down since the start of free agency revolves around Shaquille O’Neal’s interest in the Celtics. The 38-year-old center wants to play for a contender, and even though Ainge wouldn’t directly address the team’s interest in O’Neal, he said, 'we’ve had some discussions.'"
  • Coach Scott Brooks on the Sports Animal in Oklahoma City talking about Team USA participation leading to some tired legs: "It’s not going to be easy to win the gold. It’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of energy, but our guys are young and they’re excited to play. They’re going to play basketball all year long. Kevin, I wanted him to take a couple of weeks off and he took two days off. ... There’s going to be a little bit of time where I’ll say 'OK, you guys gotta rest,' and maybe I can rest them a few days during that month of October, but it’s going to be like pulling teeth to get those guys to sit out of things." (Via Sports Radio Interviews )
Posted on: July 26, 2010 8:41 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2010 8:42 pm

CP3 isn't the first to ask for a way out

Posted by Royce Young

Chris Paul publicly backed off any trade demands today in a statement via the team and Twitter. He said the meeting went well and hoped to spend his whole career in New Orleans.

OK then, that wraps it up. Let's go home boys.

Or not. As Ken Berger reports , most of that stuff is probably just positive PR spin and the trade discussions will rage on. And plus, the NBA frowns upon this sort of thing so much that, it fines players that announce trade desires publicly. So it's in CP3's best interest to play it cool and keep quiet, even if he's dying to break loose of NOLA.

The thing is, CP3 is far from the first that's wanted out. Some have already drawn comparisons to Kobe Bryant's Laker saga from two years ago where he wanted out of Los Angeles and was very nearly dealt to the Bulls. But as is the same with Paul, the Lakers had the trump card because Kobe was still under contract and LA didn't HAVE to do anything.

But other than Kobe, who else has asked out? What other situations are there that are at least somewhat similar to CP3?
  • One of the more famous example and honestly, maybe most relative to CP3 was Charles Barkley's trade demand in 1992. The team that drafted him, the 76ers, had just missed the playoffs with a 35-47 record. Barkley was upset and asked out. The team obliged and he was shipped to Phoenix. Barkley then asked again for a trade, as he was seeking one last shot at a title. Before the 1996-97 season, Barkley demanded a trade to the Rockets, who already had Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. He got the deal, but not the ring.
  • Stephen Jackson demanded a trade from Golden State in 2009 and was fined $25,000 for his public statements. He said he was fed up and added, "I mean, you gotta hear it some way. You want me to send you an e-mail, Facebook or something? I'm a grown man, I have six kids, I'm married now, so I speak my mind. I thought I had freedom of speech but obviously I don't." Jackson was shortly traded to Charlotte.
  • In 2007, Nazr Mohammed then with the Pistons basically just said trade me or play me. He backed off the demands but was eventually traded to New Orleans. And we all continue to chuckle at the fact Nazr Mohammed once demanded a trade.
  • In 2008, Devean George - yes, Devean George - wanted a trade out of Dallas. He called on the same line as many others: trade me or play me. Eventually the Mavs brokered a deal with New Jersey to bring Jason Kidd to Dallas, but because it was going to cost him money, George vetoed it. George didn't get traded but as you can see, as drifted off into NBA obscurity. 
There's certainly precedent set for Paul in asking for a way out. In mosy cases, the team ends up obliging the request because of chemistry fears and it's never good to have a disgruntled player. That doesn't mean Paul will end up leaving NOLA, but if we learned anything here today, it's that CP3 isn't the first to ask for a way out and he won't be the last.

Posted on: July 26, 2010 6:24 pm
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