Posted on: September 15, 2011 10:32 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2011 10:34 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There was a report earlier Thursday that Dan Gilbert, along with Suns owner Robert Sarver, kind of sort of derailed some growing momentum in the NBA's labor strife. Well, Gilbert responded to that via Twitter. Shocking, I know.
Boy, his rants are a lot more fun when they're in a funny font.
But I have no idea what a "bloggissist" is, but it seems to me like it's a cutdown of some sort. Here's the thing with this whole labor mess: There's a lot of chatter, a lot of spin and a lot of rhetoric coming from about 25 different angles. It's hard to know what's real, what's stretching the truth and what's straight up propoganda.
Writers and "bloggissists" kind of trust readers to be able to sort through the crap and decipher what's legit and what's not. A solid report from a solid reporter like the one from ESPN LA claiming Gilbert and Sarver led the way in shooting down some momentum is believable. Was it likely sourced from a certain side of the aisle? Yeah, most likely. But I doubt it's complete fiction.
Besides, here's what's sad and pathetic: That the NBA is actually in jeopardy of missing games. Try as you might Dan, but you can't dupe NBA fans into believing that whatever battle you're fighting is worth losing games.
Posted on: September 15, 2011 7:10 pm
Posted by Royce Young
There was a reason for all the budding optimism surrounding Wednesday's labor meeting. There was a little momentum and by a lot of indications, the players and owners were closing the gap to a degree.
But after a five-plus hour meeting in New York, a lot of that optimism was squashed. The reason? Two owners didn't like the way things were heading, according to ESPN LA.
That, is kind of hard to swallow. Especially knowing that Gilbert was a soft cap lover as long as he had LeBron. And knowing that Sarver is one owner that doesn't have much of a reputation for caring about his team, instead only about profits.
Now, it might be a bit strong to suggest the two owners "killed" a potential deal because there is still some separation, but they certainly caused a major bump. Still, this is kind of good news. The players and owners are getting close on money, which is a major hurdle. If they can just get lined up on systematic details, we'll get a deal. And that could happen in any meeting.
Maybe next time Sarver and Gilbert don't get their way. Maybe next time, the other heavy hitters come together. Billy Hunter spoke of a divide between owners and while David Stern tried to brush it off, he acknowledged it. The owners are looking at losing a substantial amount of money in a lockout and playing the hardline, stubborn card might not be wise right now. For owners like Buss and Dolan who are making money, I'm sure it would be easy to grow annoyed with that kind of edged approach.
But keep hope. Like I said, while it's bad news, it's also kind of good news. There's movement towards... something. Eventually someone will get overruled and a deal will be struck. It's just a matter of how long all this hardline posturing is allowed to go on.
Posted on: July 9, 2011 3:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:39 pm
A look at what is at stake for the NBA's Central Division if a whole season was lost due to the lockout. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Talk of losing an entire NBA season is a bit ridiculous. But it's a possibility. And with all this hardline talk going on, it seems like neither the players nor the owners are wanting to budge. There's incentive for teams to get a deal done and not just for the money, but because a year without basketball and more importantly, basketball operations, could greatly affect each and every NBA franchise.
Earlier this week, we took a look at the Southeast Division and the Atlantic Division. Let's continue this series with the Central Division.
The Bulls won the Central by a preposterous margin in 2010-2011, stacking up a league-high 62 wins and burying their division mates by a ridiculous 25 games, by far the biggest margin of any division winner. Nothing has happened yet this offseason which suggests next year's results will be any different. Even if the Milwaukee Bucks return to full health or the Indiana Pacers make a key free agent addition or the Detroit Pistons finally emerge from their slog or the Cleveland Cavaliers successfully start the Kyrie Irving era, the only thing stopping the Bulls from running away from the competition again is an injury to Derrick Rose. The Bulls are, by far, the most talented and deepest team in the division. They have the reigning MVP, Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year. They're poised to be championship title contenders for the next five years.
With so much going for them, the Bulls clearly have the most to lose in a lockout. If a season is lost, that's a title chase that evaporates. Perhaps most important, the Bulls would lose that visceral desire for redemption that comes with the ugly end to their season. It was a disappointing, frustrating loss to their new archrivals, the Miami Heat, in the Eastern Conference Finals. The pain of that loss subsides with time. It's ability to serve as unifying inspiration will fade too. The Bulls want revenge and they want rings. The pieces are in place. Besides aging teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs, who face the possibility of their championship window closing, the Bulls don't want to sit around and wait. They created some amazing chemistry last season, built strong trust bonds. Losing a season risks all of that.
The upstart Pacers are up to something: they finally committed to Frank Vogel as their coach, they brought on former Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard to serve as Director of Player Personnel, they made a solid draft day trade to acquire point guard George Hill and they sit on a mound of cap space ready to make a splash in free agency. The Pacers risk two things if a season is lost. First, a critical development year to see how their young pieces are able to gel together. Second, A feeling of certainty in terms of team expectations.
Indiana has assembled some nice, young talent: Roy Hibbert, Darren Collison, Paul George, Tyler Hansbrough and Hill are all 25 or younger. Depending on how they use their cap space and whether they decide to move Danny Granger, that has all the makings of a promising core that could reliably make playoff runs for the foreseeable future. But the group needs time to spend together, reps to get things right and an evaluation period to see whether all four belong long-term. They look great on paper but more data -- playing together -- is needed. A lost season risks that and potentially stalls the development of those younger guys.
The real risk is free agency. Indiana has just $36 million committed in salary next season, meaning they have one of the smallest payrolls in the league. They also have an expiring contract in James Posey to move and potentially could move Granter if they were looking to make a major splash. Their combination of flexibility and talent on-hand is near the tops in the league when it comes to rebuilding teams. A delayed season pushes that promise back and while teams with space are definitely sitting in a better position than teams without space, it's unclear what additional rules might be in place that inhibit free agent movement. If you're the Pacers you'd prefer to be able to chase a guy like David West now without any messy collective bargaining negotiations getting in the way. Put simply, the Pacers are a team on the rise, but a lot has to go right for young teams to reach their potential. Even minor things can throw a team off course. The less variables, the better. Unfortunately, the CBA is a major, major variable.
This team is just confusing. The Stephen Jackson trade made a bit of sense, given that the Bucks needed a serviceable alternative to Brandon Jennings at point guard and got one in Beno Udrih, but this group isn't going anywhere meaningful, not even if Jennings and center Andrew Bogut are fully healthy.
About the only thing lost in a lockout for the Bucks is another year for Jennings to bloom. His sophomore years was sidetracked by injuries and poor outside shooting, and he questioned his teammates' desire to win at the end of the regular season. Other than Jennings, Larry Sanders and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could use more developmental minutes but the rest of the roster is essentially veterans who have reached their potential.
From a cynical standpoint, Bucks ownership could be cheering a lost season because it would mean cash savings on ugly deals for Jackson and big man Drew Gooden. Is it worth saving the combined $15 million that will go to Jackson and Gooden in 2011-2012 to lose a year of floor leadership training for Jennings?
The Pistons are another confounding mess, but at least it feels like they've turned a corner thanks to the sale of the team, the departure of reviled coach John Kuester and the drafting of point guard Brandon Knight and wing Kyle Singler. Last year was one, long, ugly grind. 2011-2012 figures to be a step in the right direction.
Knight slipped out of the top five of the 2011 NBA Draft because of questions about his position. Is he a pure point guard? Can he run an NBA offense? Will he be able to execute something besides the pick-and-roll game? His future is incredibly bright but as a one-and-done player he absolutely needs as much playing time as possible to get a feel for the NBA style and to get comfortable with the ball in his hands and a team of professionals that look to him first. There's no other way to learn the point guard position than by on-the-job training, and recent success stories like Rose and Russell Westbrook only reinforce that idea. A year away from the game at this stage would be a critical loss for Knight and the Pistons, and that's a major risk.
The same is true, to a lesser degree, for big man Greg Monroe, who came on strong in the second half of his rookie season and appears to be a potential core piece going forward. 2011-2012 is all about letting Knight and Monroe build up a chemistry together
A lost season would certainly be welcomed by ownership here too because Richard Hamilton, Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva all failed to live up to their big-dollar contract figures last season. Hamilton and Villanueva, in particular, seem like lost causes. Weighing the savings from these deals versus the lost development of Knight, the Pistons should probably be pretty close to indifferent when it comes to losing a season. They need work, they know they need work and the rebuild can only come as these big contracts get closer to their conclusion and become more tradeable. Still, it would seem to be better to continue that journey with Knight getting more familiar and comfortable day-by-day, month-by-month than it would having him workout solo in a gym somewhere. If you've committed to a rebuild, start it immediately.
Last but not least, we have the Cavaliers, the NBA's second-worst team from last season, who endured an embarrasing 26 game losing streak to set an NBA record for consecutive futility. There's significant light at the end of the tunnel for the Cavaliers, as they have an owner committed to spending money to win, the 2011 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving, and Tristan Thompson, who was taken No. 4 overall.
Cleveland is in much the same position as the Pistons: the biggest risk from losing a season is the lost reps that Irving won't get running the show. There are always some bumps and bruises for a young point guard transitioning from college to the NBA, and the potential for struggles is even more pronounced in Irving's case because he missed much of last season, his freshman year at Duke University, with a foot injury. Time away from the game is not good. The shorter, the better. Irving was clearly the most NBA-ready point guard in this year's draft crop and the Cavaliers would be smart to turn the keys over to him from Day 1, even with veterans Baron Davis, Daniel Gibson and Ramon Sessions on the roster as well.
That raises a secondary risk of the lockout season for the Cavaliers: losing positional clarity. Cleveland clearly needs to move one, if not two, of their point guards to clear the deck for Irving and surround him with some solid complementary pieces. A lost season just delays that process. Saving the money from Davis' contract is tempting, but it's a non-factor for owner Dan Gilbert who would just as soon pay that tax to watch his young team start the rebuild. Along those same lines, an entire season lost could mean the Cavaliers aren't able to move Antawn Jamison's $15 million expiring contract, a nice trade asset that could potentially bring a rotation player in return.
Tags: 2011 NBA Lockout, Andrew Bogut, Antawn Jamison, Baron Davis, Ben Gordon, Brandon Jennings, Brandon Knight, Charlie Villanueva, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert, Darren Collison, Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons, Drew Gooden, George Hill, Indiana Pacers, Kyrie Irving, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA lockout, Paul George, Richard Hamilton, Roy HIbbert
Posted on: June 13, 2011 2:27 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 2:45 pm
John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, declared the Dallas Mavericks "Honorary Ohioans" after their 2011 NBA title. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Revenge for "The Decision" now bears an executive seal.
John Kasich, Governor of the state of Ohio, took the unusual step of honoring a team with no geographical ties to his jurisdiction. On Monday, one day after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, Kasich's office released a press release noting that the governor had issued a resolution that declared that the Mavericks, their friends, family and fans are now officially "Honorary Ohioans."
Why would he do this? Retribution, of course.
The Heat were led by Ohio native former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who opted to take his talents to South Beach last summer rather than return to play for the Cavaliers. In return, fans in Ohio booed him mercilessly during his two return visits to Cleveland and openly rooted for the Heat to get bounced from the playoffs.
The resolution specifically praises Dallas' "loyalty, integrity and teamwork" and specifically praises Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki for choosing to re-sign with the Mavericks last summer. Kasich's resolution bears the official seal of Ohio, bestows upon the Mavericks "all privileges and honors" that goes with the title "Honorary Ohioans" and is signed at the bottom.
You know who definitely finds this hilarious and awesome? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who issued his own decree on Sunday night.
Below is a small version of the official resolution. Click here to read the whole thing.
Hat tip: IAmAGM.com.
Tags: 2011 Finals, 2011 Heat-Mavericks, 2011 Mavericks-Heat, 2011 NBA Finals, 2011 NBA Playoffs, Brendan Haywood, Caron Butler, Chris Bosh, Corey Brewer, Dallas Mavericks, Dan Gilbert, DeShawn Stevenson, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, Eddie House, Erick Dampier, Erik Spoelstra, Finals, Ian Mahinimi, Jamal Magliore, James Jones, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Jason Terry, Joel Anthony, John Kasich, Jose Barea, LeBron James, Mario Chalmers, Mark Cuban, Mark Cuban, Miami Heat, Mike Bibby, Mike Miller, NBA Finals, NBA Playoffs, NBA Playoffs, Pat Riley, Peja Stojakovic, Rick Carisle, Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler, Udonis Haslem, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Posted on: March 30, 2011 12:15 am
There's what they said after Cleveland beat Miami Tuesday night, and then there's what they really said. Post-game comments deciphered.
Posted by Matt Moore
What he said: "NOT IN OUR GARAGE!" (On Twitter.)
What he meant: "NOT IN OUR GARAGE! AGAIN. WHERE GARAGE=OUR $100 MILLION ARENA WHERE I MAINTAIN HIGH TICKET PRICES FOR YOU TO WATCH A 15-58 TEAM."
What he said: "We got what we deserved."
What he meant: "We got what LeBron deserved. Or what Bosh deserved. Or what I deserved for calling plays for Chris Bosh."
What he said: "We really didn't have a great chance in this game because we didn't defend. Our identity is a little bit lost now."
What he meant: "We really didn't have a great chance because really, when Ryan Hollins is dunking on you, it might be time to pursue another line of work."
What he said: "First time we played these guys, we didn’t give fans what they deserved. Tonight was our way of saying thank you for hanging in there."
What he meant: "First time we played these guys, we got ran out of the building, but it was okay, because LeBron hugged me. Tonight was our way of saying thank you for hanging in there by having attendance drop while we lost the most consecutive games in NBA history. Oh, and after the game, LeBron hugged me!"
What he said: "The fans were unbelievable, I've always said that."
What he meant: "The fans were unbelievable, I've always said that. You know what's also unbelievable? Giving a max contract to a power forward that snagged four rebounds against the 25th best offensive rebounding team in the league. That's pretty unbelievable. It's also unbelievable that I want to give a speech about not getting the help I need against a team I left because I wasn't getting the help I need. I'd say it was ironic if I could stop the tears."
What he said: "We're playing for something bigger."
What he meant: "We're playing to get knocked out in the second round by Boston. So pretty much the same thing I was playing for last year."
Posted on: March 29, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 10:17 pm
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Miami Heat Tuesday night, getting revenge on the player who left them in free agency last summer.
Posted by Matt Moore
That's why they play the games.
The now-15-58 Cleveland Cavaliers got revenge on the player who left them in the most devastating way possible as the Cavs beat LeBron James and the Heat 102-90 in Cleveland Tuesday night.
You couldn't have scripted the performance any better for the Cavs. LeBron James finished 10-21 with 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, with three turnovers. And he had probably the best night of any Heat player. The Cavs played the kind of game you need to play to win a game like this, getting out in transition and knocking down threes. Anthony Parker was 4-4 from downtown, Ryan Hollins and Alonzo Gee received multiple alley-oops from Baron Davis, J.J. Hickson had a double-double with 21 and 12, and Ramon Sessions spelled Baron Davis (who had a throw-back night) with a solid 11-6-6 in 26 minutes.
For the Heat?
The box score is actually kinder to them than the game would suggest... and the box score is an autopsy report. Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 13-34, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, and 4 turnovers. Bosh, in particular, had yet another in a very long line of disappointing performances inside. The game actually turned back in the Cavs' favor after a Heat run when Ryan Hollins blocked Bosh twice on one possession. It was that kind of game. Bosh fell down repeatedly, failed to finish at the rim, and was completely outmuscled by Hickson and Hollins. You know, those dominant beasts of the paint.
This game speaks to the high level of play in the NBA across teams. The worst team in the NBA at the moment, record-wise, the Cleveland Cavaliers, have knocked off the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks, and now the Miami Heat. The Cavs have a long way to go to rebuild and find themselves back in a place of contention. But until then, Tuesday night will stand as the high point of the season, when the fans got to rally behind a total team effort, against the individual-centric Heat offense and deliver a blow for their pride, for their city, and for the hurt they suffered after "the Decision." Baron Davis wasn't in Cleveland for that, but he was a hero. Ramon Sessions wasn't there, but he was a hero.
The Cavs still lost twice to the Heat this season, once in Cleveland. The Cavs are still the worst team, record-wise, in the NBA. The Heat are still headed to the playoffs and the Cavs to the lottery, James to the second-round, most likely, and the Cavs to vacation in May. But for a night, the Cavs proved that they are professionals, and on any given night, they can compete with the best. That's what makes sports great.
Enjoy the win, Cleveland. You earned it.
Just don't publish the headlines in Comic Sans, okay?
Posted on: March 29, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 29, 2011 3:23 pm
Miami Heat forward LeBron James was delayed by parking garage officials when he attempted to attend shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena. Posted by Ben Golliver.
LeBron James, the self-dubbed King of Akron, did not receive the royal treatment upon his second return to Cleveland on Tuesday. James, who decided to leave the Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat last summer, was reportedly held up by parking garage officials when he attempted to attend Miami's Tuesday morning shootaround at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Heat Index reports that the delay stemmed from the fact that James did not request "private car access to the underground garage" -- something that is regularly given to visiting players -- in advance as required by arena policy.
James was delayed in getting into the arena for the Miami Heat's shootaround Tuesday morning when he arrived with a driver and a second car at the entrance of the Cleveland Cavaliers' underground parking garage.
Cavs officials said James eventually was cleared to enter the building, but several people with him were not. The two cars then left, and James alone returned a short time later and was allowed in, officials said.Obviously, this was no accident or miscommunication.
If you're a security guard making minimum wage (or close to it) at a basketball arena and LEBRON JAMES shows up, on schedule, to attend a scheduled morning shootaround and your records don't show his name on the list, 999 times out of 1,000 you're going to let him in so that your boss doesn't find out that you delayed James from his shootaround and cans you on the spot. Also, one of the few benefits of that job is a working walkie-talkie or radio, which is crucial in the event that something potentially headline-worthy or dangerous might happen. That James eventually left the scene tells you everything you need to know about where the chain of command stood on this one.
That James' entourage was not allowed to enter the arena with him is a particularly fitting detail, as most accounts of James' time in Cleveland have his friends being able to do whatever they want, whenever they want. This has all the markings of a very obvious, very petty move by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Something like, "You snub me in free agency, you play by the rules when you're in my house and your friends can rot in..."
You'd like to think Gilbert is above this sort of thing, but he recently heckled an excellent writer, Kelly Dwyer, with some sophomoric stupidity on Twitter and, of course, there was that whole Comic Sans incident which is too gruesome to recall in detail. Really, this is par for the course. He's probably in his office right now cackling about the headlines, failing to realize they make him look terrible. Get over it, man.
Posted on: January 12, 2011 9:58 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2011 10:10 pm
LeBron James claims he had "no intent" when he tweeted that "Karma is a b****" after the Los Angeles Lakers destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Posted by Ben Golliver.
On Tuesday night, shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers, we noted a tweet from Miami Heat forward LeBron James which read, "Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!"
Although James did not explicitly make reference to the Cavaliers or owner Dan Gilbert, it was widely assumed that James was referring to his former team and/or owner, Dan Gilbert, with whom he messily split this summer when he opted to take his talents to South Beach and team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Before Wednesday's game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Miami Heat, James backed away from the perceived sentiment of the tweet, claiming that it wasn't intentionally directed at the Cavaliers or Gilbert. The Sun-Sentinel reports that James said that he had "no intent" with the tweet and implied that the entire episode was a poorly-timed misunderstanding.
"It was just how I was feeling at the time," he said. Yet he added in the same breath, "It wasn't even a comment from me. It was someone who sent it to me and I sent it out."
"I don't think it was no intent at all," he said. "I think everyone looks into everything I say. Everybody looked too far into it. It wasn't no intent at all."
"No hit toward that organization. I've moved on. Hopefully that organization has continued to move on. But I'm happy where I am as a Miami Heat player."James, who posts under the Twitter username @KingJames, has more than 1.24 million followers on the social networking site.
Of course, this isn't the first time James has tried to wiggle out of a controversy of his own making. James drew criticism in December for advocating contraction, and then drew more ire when he backed off his statements by claiming he didn't know what the word "contraction" meant.
While the assumed intent of James' tweet was completely classless, his failure to take responsibility for his words is perplexing. He can't possibly expect everyone to believe this was simply a coincidence, especially given the immediate and national outcry the tweet provoked, and the fact that he didn't bother posting a clarification.
If the tweet wasn't accidental, and it's impossible to believe it was, what are our alternate explanations? Perhaps this song-and-dance is all a game to James? Perhaps he enjoys the thrill of watching his words sweep the country and provoke strong reactions? Perhaps he's reserving his right as a human being to make flip comments and settle scores without needing to explain them in minute detail to a national audience?
Who knows. But the episode goes down as another black mark on James' reputation, both for the vindictiveness of the original message and the feebleness of his unbelievable explanation.