Tag:Los Angeles Clippers
Posted on: August 19, 2010 6:18 pm
Edited on: August 19, 2010 6:30 pm
 

How much is enough with Donald Sterling?

Clippers owner somehow outdoes himself in bringing disgrace to the league each year. How much is enough for David Stern and the rest of NBA ownership?
Posted by Matt Moore


A lot of complaints are made about NBA ownership. "My owner spends too much", or, more often, "spends too little." "They meddle too much." "They're too much of a distraction." For being the guy paying the bills, we expect an awful lot from them, even if it's fans' money supplying the money for those checks. But for the most part, NBA owners do all right. Their biggest crime most often is wanting to win, and thinking they have a good idea of how to go about that.

And then there's Donald Sterling.

Sterling, an NBA owner for 29 years, has been a disgrace to the NBA in every sense of the word. Most often, refusing to invest in order to compete is the charge against him. Which isn't exactly anything new in the NBA. Except that he operates in the top market in the league, capable of clearing a profit with even the slightest of relative investments. In the past six years, he's done more to try and break that trend, investing in a new practice facility and increasing the roster payroll, even if it was on marginal-to-hopeless players that have resulted in sub-mediocre performances.

But that's not the real problem with Donald Sterling. Nor is his rampant history of morally reprehensible behavior, from housing discrimination to alleged racist employer policies to sexual harassment . Even those allegations aren't strictly outside the lines of what we've seen from NBA ownership. The combination of the two puts him in the top five of worst NBA owners , but it's stuff like the interview with T.J. Simers of the LA Times this week that really push him over the top, that make him excel at being the absolute worst owner in the National Basketball Association, nay, all of sports. For a brief recap: Sterling doesn't know the names of the players he signed, it wasn't his idea to sign them, and he loves the way his picture looks in the paper.

I could lay out for you why the quotes he supplied Simers are so terrible, how they hurt the future of the franchise, how it immediately puts the new Clippers acquisition on edge, feeling unwanted by an owner who doesn't even know their name. But really, Kevin Arnovitz did that and did it as effectively as one can. Arnovitz takes one of my favorite approaches, likening the situation to terms you and I can relate to, a boss who doesn't even deign to know your name.

Instead, I want to ask a different question.

Why, in the name of Larry Bird almighty, does David Stern allow this to go on?

"What's he supposed to do?" you ask. How could the commissioner put any pressure on his ownership, who he represents most of the time? The answer is that owners come and go, but the Commish perseveres. And if we've seen anything, it's that David Stern has been ready, willing, and able to take care of messes in his own house and then make sure the spill doesn't happen again. Unless it's Sterling. In which case Sterling has simply designated him as the messy one, given him his own room in the basement to trash, and then soundly ignored the problem child. But the behavior Sterling acts out, in public, isn't just harmful to the Clippers franchise, a science experiment gone wrong from the start ("Oh, they used to be in San Diego, and before that they were in Buffalo, but then the owner wanted to swap with the Celtics' owner, so they did that. And they play in the same building as the Lakers, but really it's a shared kind of deal."). It's harmful to the league. And that's the kind of thing that shouldn't be allowed to happen. Be it Stern, or the rest of the ownership group (particularly Jerry Buss who pulled Sterling into this mess in the first place), someone needs to get involved.

The league has responded harshly, and swiftly, to any player that runs amuck and damages the value of the NBA brand. Yet this owner who repeatedly makes an outright disgrace of professional sports ownership continues to not only hammer whatever fledgling, starving fanbase they have, but to fans of all sports as well. The NBA is a worse league with Donald Sterling as an owner, more so than any other big boss in the league. For decades, the league has put up with all of it. The penny pinching. The lawsuits. The terrible decisions. The disgraceful quotes. The coaching carousel. The time has come. There is no longer a place in the NBA for an owner like that. Removing him would be a difficult, painful process that would need to be carried out behind closed doors.

But with the players and ownership headed for an all-out rumble in less than twelve months over the new CBA, is Sterling a cancerous asset the league wants to try and cover during negotiations? This isn't Mark Cuban, wily renegade media figure. This is Donald Sterling, toxic PR disaster zone. The NBA has welcomed in newer ownership comprised of smart, prolific businessmen, and while there will always be bad apples among those successful enough to purchase an NBA team, surely Sterling has injected too much rot in the franchise and in the league to be allowed to run free as he has.

The question is, how much is enough when it comes to Donald Sterling?

The answer so far is that the NBA is taking the same stance as Sterling has regarding his team's acquisition failures this summer. It's not their idea and not their fault.


Posted on: August 17, 2010 8:39 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 10:16 am
 

Shootaround 8.17.10: New uniforms for everyone

Posted by Royce Young
  • An extremely smart look at Tim Duncan v. Karl Malone in the greatest power forward of all-time discussion: "When you look at Karl Malone’s stats compared to Tim Duncan it is hard to make the case that Duncan is a better player that Malone. Why? Because it is hard to make the case that many players are better than Karl Malone by looking at the stats. He is 2nd all time in career points and 3rd all time in win shares (an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player) with more win shares than everyone but Kareem and Wilt. Tim Duncan would need 6 more years of his average production to equal Malone. As it currently stands he is still isn’t within shouting distance of the Mailman. However, any Duncan supporter might bring up the fact that of course Malone’s career numbers would be better because he played 19 seasons."
  • JaVale McGee makes a common statement: "Reporters who never played the game of basketball or never succeeded in it… Shouldn’t b able to report on it #FACT"
  • Scott Carefoot for The Basketball Jones on why you shouldn't sleep on Blake Griffin: "He’s not just a great dunker, of course, or else he wouldn’t have been the first overall pick. He’s also a highly productive rebounder, he’s a very good ballhandler for his size, and everybody who knows him claims he has a great attitude and work ethic. Plus, he’s had a full season to study the pro game from the sidelines so he should be prepared for the speed and flow of the NBA when he returns to the court."
  • Sam Amick of Fanhouse talked with Ron Artest: "I'm always hungry. That's the good thing about me. Every year I'm hungry. That's the good thing about me is I don't have to get any more motivated. There's nothing anybody can do to motivate me. I'm already there 100 percent. ... That's the good thing about being me. I'm going to work hard every day." Hey, what's the good thing about him?
  • Big Baby Davis says he's ready to grow up and change: "This is the year of finally hitting that line of maturity, of finally becoming that player that I knew I could be." Throughout my career, my three years being here, it's been up and down. When I play, you've seen glimpses, like, 'Wow, this guy could start. Or come off the bench.' Glimpses up and down. But this is the year of Glen becoming that whole player that 10 years down the road, eight years down the road, will hopefully be an All-Star."
Posted on: August 10, 2010 5:56 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 5:58 pm
 

5 can't miss national TV games in 2010-2011

Posted by Matt Moore

The story of the 2010-2011 national television schedule is about what you'd expect. Lots of Heat, lots of Boston, lots of Lakers, and the rise of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Boston Celtics surprisingly lead all teams in national television appearances across NBATV, ESPN, ABC, and TNT with 33 appearances. The Miami Heat, no shock, are second, with 29 appearances, while the defending champion Lakers appear 27 times. That number is likely to increase signficantly with NBATV's fan night. The Orlando Magic also appear 29 times, compared to the East's three-seed Atlanta Hawks, who appear just 14 times. Of the 15 games on ABC, 14 feature the Heat, Celtics, Lakers, or Magic.

New York appears 18 times, while Phoenix has certainly earned some faith from the producers, landing 25 national appearances. Oklahoma City were the big winners, with 24 big-time appearances, and the first post-Christmas ABC game, facing the Heat at home. It's a big win for a small market club.

Of course, most other small-market clubs didn't fair so well. Indiana is without a single appearanc. Charlotte and Memphis have 6 each, New Orleans 7, and Milwaukee only has 8, despite being playoff or near-playoff teams. This is in contrast to the Clippers, the freaking Clippers, getting 12 appearances. Win total didn't have much to do with these decisions.

Your top five nationally televised games not on Christmas, Opening Night, or MLK Day:

  1. Heat at Magic, November 24th, ESPN: The Sunshine Massacre. The Heat's primary weakness, true size, is tested against Dwight Howard while Jameer Nelson could have a huge game against Mario Chalmers.
  2. Lakers at Thunder, February 27th, ABC: Welcome back, Lakers. They barely got out of the Sooner state with their playoff lives last April and the Thunder should be improved. Kevin Durant will likely take this one personally, while Kobe loathes challengers to his throne.
  3. Heat at Cavaliers, December 2nd, TNT: "Peace? Peace. I hate the word. As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee."-Cleveland
  4. Blazers at Jazz, April 7th, TNT: Let's imagine Greg Oden stays healthy. Let's imagine Al Jefferson stays healthy. Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap. The Northwest Division is a bloodbath.
  5. Lakers at Celtics, February 10th, TNT: It's refreshing when the networks give you two seldom-seen teams that never match up. It's a once-in-a-lifetime type game, really.

Posted on: August 6, 2010 3:38 pm
 

Offseason Reviews: Pacific Division

Posted by Royce Young



Los Angeles Lakers

Added: Matt Barnes (free agency), Steve Blake (free agency), Shannon Brown (re-signed), Theo Ratliff (free agency)
Lost: Josh Powell (free agency), Jordan Farmar (free agency)

Philosophy: "Maintaining excellence."

The Lakers didn't accomplish a ton this offseason. But when you're already the best team and you got a little better, that means you done good. Matt Barnes is obviously an interesting addition because of his past relationship with Kobe. But if the Lakers had a chink in the armor, it was the bench. Sasha Vujacic is being actively shopped and Luke Walton is expected to miss most the season. So Barnes will see ample minutes off the bench.

Steve Blake is a brilliant signing because as we saw last postseason, Derek Fisher is getting older. He still produced, but can he put in another full 82? Blake is a reliable point guard that can shoot. Add in Brown who's a nice third point guard that can slide over to the 2 and the Laker bench got a lot stronger this offseason.

Despite what occurred in Miami, the Lakers didn't slip behind anyone. They are still a matchup nightmare for anyone and added pieces that fit, rather than brute talent.

Grade: A

Phoenix Suns

Added: Josh Childress (free agency), Gani Lawal (draft), Matt Janning (signed), Hedo Turkoglu (trade), Hakim Warrick (free agency)
Lost: Amar'e Stoudemire (free agency), Taylor Griffin (waived), Jarron Collins (free agency), Leandro Barbosa (trade), Lou Amundson (free agency),

Philosophy: "Hanging on."

Losing Amar'e Stoudemire was a blow. A big blow. The Suns have been hanging on by a thread to Stoudemire the last two seasons and finally lost him. They replace him with Hakim Warrick who is really Amar'e Lite. It's a worthy replacement, but nothing to the level of Stoudemire.

Trading Barbosa to grab Turkoglu helps the Suns positionally, as Barbosa was nothing more than a bench player and Turkoglu will play a larger role. Is he an improvement? Eh...

Josh Childress was a really solid player for Atlanta and was great overseas, but there's no telling how he'll integrate back into the NBA. The Suns had a difficult offseason because any time you lose a player the caliber of Stoudemire, it's tough to rebuild. They need someone, anyone, to step up and play better than expected. Maybe that's Earl Clark. Maybe Robin Lopez keeps improving. Maybe Nash makes Warrick look better than he is. They might survive this season on Nash alone, but rocky roads might be ahead for Phoenix.

Grade: C

Golden State Warriors

Added: David Lee (trade), Jeremy Lin (undrafted free agent), Ekpe Udoh (draft), Dorell Wright (free agency), Charlie Bell (trade), Dan Gadzuric (trade)
Lost: Anthony Randolph (trade), Corey Maggette (trade), Anthony Morrow (free agency), Chris Hunter (free agency), Anthony Tolliver (free agency), Devean George (free agency), C.J. Watson (free agency), Ronny Turiaf (trade)

Philosophy: "Crossroads."

The Warriors aren't a franchise that the NBA needs to do well. It can survive just fine without GSW booming. But it's certainly a franchise that when it's doing well, the NBA is more fun. And last season, they were the haven of D-League All-Stars and basically just ran in place all year.

The biggest move this organization made this offseason wasn't the acquisition of David Lee, albeit that's a significant move. Instead, it's the transfer in ownership from Chris Cohen to owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber. By their talk, they plan on restoring the Warriors through smart, calculated moves. They're willing to spend and they want to win.

The Warriors had a nice draft taking Epke Udoh sixth, though he did hurt his wrist. But Udoh is a potential interior force with a gifted skillset. Adding him and David Lee really solidify a frontcourt that should be able to compete against most others in the West.

Honestly, one of my favorite moves the Warriors made was moving Anthony Randolph as well. Not for their sake, but for the sake of NBA fans everywhere. Hopefully now that Randolph is in a new situation, he can blossom into the talent we all thought he could be.

Grade: B+

Los Angeles Clippers

Added: Rasual Butler (re-signed), Al-Farouq Aminu (draft), Randy Foye (free agency), Ryan Gomes (free agency), Eric Bledsoe (draft), Brian Cook (free agency)
Lost: Travis Outlaw (free agency), Steve Blake (free agency), Mardy Collins (free agency), Steve Novak (free agency), Brian Skinner (free agency), Bobby Brown (free agency), Drew Gooden (free agency)

Philosophy: "OK, for real this time."

Last season, the Clippers made a chic pick for a turnaround season. Then top pick Blake Griffin got hurt, Baron Davis didn't play as well and Mike Dunleavy coached the first half of the season.

And while hopes were high last year, the Clippers didn't do a ton to improve. They basically just took a step sideways and hope to NOW make that improvement with virtually the same roster. They won 29 games last year and while Griffin is obviously a great talent, is he really going to be a 10 or 15 win improvement?

They didn't lose a ton and didn't add anything other than a shooting guard to play behind Eric Gordon, a lottery pick at small forward (which was a huge need though), and a backup to Baron Davis. Bledsoe and Aminu are really nice draft picks, but this team boasted about being on its way back sooner than later. Right now, it appears the Clips are still building rather than being ready to make actual noise.

Grade: C

Sacramento Kings

Added: Samuel Dalembert (trade), Hassan Whiteside (draft), DeMarcus Cousins (draft), Pooh Jeter (undrafted free agent), Antoine Wright (free agency)
Lost: Andres Nocioni (free agency), Jon Brockman (trade), Sean May (free agency), Ime Udoka (free agency), Dominic McGuire (free agency)

Philosophy: "Small transitions."

The Kings are a roster in transition. They basically tore the building down and are now re-constructing the frame. The core, long-term pieces are being placed, but now it's filling out a roster that complements those pieces.

The big move was drafting DeMarcus Cousins fourth overall. A player many considered to be the most talented player in the draft, the Kings are prepared to weather some potential character flaws because of talent.

They also traded for Samuel Dalembert, giving the Kings a formidable frontcourt. Cousins, Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Dalembert make for a nice lineup.  But other than the frontcourt moves, Sacramento basically held firm on waiting for Tyreke Evans' eventual leap into stardom. This is an improved roster, but it's not there yet.

Grade: B-
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: July 15, 2010 11:48 am
Edited on: July 15, 2010 11:49 am
 

Jefferson likely headed back to Spurs

Posted by Royce Young

Richard Jefferson made big news when he opted out of a contract that would've paid him around $15 million this upcoming season. His reasoning? He was after a long-term deal before the new collective bargaining agreement drops. He hoped to make up his losses in the long run.

That sounds like a great plan except for one small, but key part: He hasn't been able to find a team.

Now comes the report from Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio News-Express quoting a source that says the chances of Jefferson returning to the Spurs are at 95 percent. Those sound like pretty good chances to me.

Jefferson arrived in San Antonio last season from Milwaukee and most agreed it was a major deal for the Spurs. But Jefferson was disappointing in a contract year (averaged just 12.3 ppg), so common sense said he wouldn't exercise the opt-out. He's 30 and while he surely has a few good years left, fetching anything near the $15 million he was set to make was just not going to happen.

Right now, the other primary option for Jefferson is probably in Los Angeles with the Clippers, but as Matt Moore pointed out today , the Clips are working out Tracy McGrady and likely wouldn't offer Jefferson the long-term deal he's after. They just drafted Al-Farouq Aminu who plays small forward and obviously they already have Eric Gordon, so it's not likely the Clippers are in play anymore.

Posted on: July 15, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: July 15, 2010 10:29 am
 

Clippers thinking McGrady

Posted by Matt Moore

The Clippers are considered one of the most woe-begotten teams in the NBA. So naturally, they're pulled towards one of the most woe-begotten players in the NBA.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Clippers are taking a good long look at Tracy McGrady, the former Rocket All-Star wing who finished play with the Knicks last season. McGrady, 31, is said to have piqued the interest of LA officials who are in need of a scoring swingman with Travis Outlaw departing for New Jersey.

McGrady showed flashes with the Knicks that he had a heartbeat, but also flat-lined after any sort of extended minutes adventure. Physically, there' just not much left there after more surgeries than Robocop. But the Clippers are willing to take a chance on him, because he provides an affordable (read: cheap) alternative that brings name value. It's not a solution to their problems, but really, what is?

McGrady is also interested in signing with the Heat, and the Bulls have considered adding McGrady as well.

Posted on: July 3, 2010 10:21 am
Edited on: July 5, 2010 12:52 pm
 

Free-agency day 2 winners and losers

After the second day of the most important free-agency period in history, and one of the wildest, who were the winners and losers?

Winners:

New York Knicks: From worst to first in 24 hours, folks. Yesterday the Knicks were losers , having not made a dent in LeBron James and looking at the up close side of panic. But Friday, everything turned around for them. Their meeting with Dwyane Wade went well enough to get Wade to say he was "intrigued." And as close as these free agents are playing their cards to their vests? That's a huge win right there. Then, the Knicks advanced talks with Amar'e Stoudemire after the Suns basically let him walk, and came to a "broad agreement" with him , KB reported.  Huge upswing for the Knicks Friday.

Chicago Bulls: Any time you get one of the top free agents in the field who isn't one of your guys to provide a second meeting, along with the third best player? That's a win. Huge win. The Bulls jumped hard into this pool and made an impact. If they can convince LeBron James today to buy-in with Wade, they'll have pulled off one of the biggest gambles in NBA history and be the impact team for the next decade.

Los Angeles Lakers: Signed Steve Blake to a 4-year, $16 million deal, which essentially means that combined with Derek Fisher's expected one year, $2.5 million contract, they'll have their starter and backup point guard positions improved and solidified for $6.5 million. It's good to be on top.

Losers:

Miami Heat: Pat Riley made an impassioned plea   to LeBron James based on sacrificing to win championships, and the Heat have met with every available free agent except Dwyane Wade. So far, there have been no reports that anyone is "leaning" towards Miami aside from a few Chris Bosh rumblings. Meanwhile, Wade was "intrigued" by New York, and took a second meeting with the Bulls. Not a great day for the Heat, but they didn't lose much ground, it seems like.

Los Angeles Clippers: In a stunning turn of events, absolutely no one is talking about the Clippers' meetings having any effect whatsoever on any of the top free agents. It's almost like a lifetime of misery and bad luck compounded by having the worst owner in the NBA has negatively impacted their chances at getting a top free agent in the most competitive class ever. Huh.

Phoenix Suns: I like Hakim Warrick. You'd probably like Hakim Warrick. He works hard. He's tall. He's talented. He's not Standing Tall and Talented. He's not Amar'e. The Suns watched as arguably their best player (considering Steve Nash's age) walked away from the table, likely headed to New York. Even though the Suns chose to go this route and were proactive in their approach, it's still a rough day for the Suns, who had an era end for them today.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com