Tag:Isiah Thomas
Posted on: March 31, 2011 2:51 am
Edited on: March 31, 2011 11:29 am
 

Isiah Thomas on Melo going to NY, other things

Posted by Royce Young



I'll cut right to it: Go read this piece on Isiah Thomas at FoxSports.com. It's terrific. It's a wide ranging feature that basically sums up everything about Thomas in a couple thousand words. Some good, some bad and some strange.

One question that was asked of Thomas was his involvement in getting Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. There was a lot of speculation that was the case as well as solid reporting on it too. Thomas, who of course was once the general manager of the team and is still close friends with owner James Dolan, was said to be quite wrapped up in the Melodrama.

And right before the deal was done, he didn't deny involvement. When he was asked in this most recent interview, he toed around the question carefully.
“I do have a lot of friends,” he says carefully. “And I am asked to advise in a lot of different scenarios. Players, coaches, and ... ” A very long pause. “I won't comment on the Knicks situation, but I do like helping the Knicks, and I do want them to do well.”
I kind of wonder if the Knicks were 17-4 with Melo instead of 9-12 if Thomas would be ready to take a little more credit for it. Of course he has to tread carefully with his dealings with the Knicks as he's still a college coach at Florida International and was already turned down by the league when offered a consulting job with the Knicks.

But the strangest moment of the interview came when Thomas was talking about how badly he wanted to get back into the NBA. He's convinced he soon will be, mainly on the legs that he has lots of friends. And at one point, he pushed the writer interviewing him to call up one of those friends on the spot. Problem was, the one he wanted him to call was one that was going to tell it like it is -- Charles Barkley.
We sit by the Biltmore pool and talk, and after a while I ask him for phone numbers of people who can speak to his situation. I ask him what Charles Barkley would say.

“Here's his number. Call him and ask him.”

I tell him I will.

“Call him now.”

I squirm. Reporters aren't crazy about conducting interviews in front of a story subject. For one thing, if Charles Barkley says bad things about Isiah … well, that could be awkward.

I start to dial and Isiah says, “Don't tell him I'm here! I want to know what he says,” and the full extent of Isiah Thomas' exile hits me.

Here is this accomplished, wealthy, famous, Hall of Fame athlete — and he needs me to tell him what Charles Barkley thinks about him. Exiled indeed.

But still, why not call? Isiah Thomas is dumping numbers on me, including for people, like Barkley, who might very well rip him to shreds. That speaks volumes about his comfort level with being analyzed and discussed. And it's not like whatever Barkley tells me won't appear in this story anyway.

It's going to be public and published, and Isiah will surely read Barkley's comments. Isiah knows this. Barkley, if he takes my call, will know this. I know this.

The phone keeps ringing, but Barkley doesn't answer, and so I hang up, relieved. I send a text instead. I feel like I'm off the hook, and then the phone rings.

“Hey, it's Charles.”

So, with Isiah listening intently, I ask if Isiah belongs in the NBA, as a coach or general manager.

“He's coaching right now,” Barkley says. “He got fired, and when you get fired you don't just go get another job. He's a great guy and I like him, but he made some bad decisions with the Knicks, like I think everyone knows. He has a job now, so that should be his No. 1 priority. Gotta do that.”

I hang up. I tell Isiah what Barkley said. His face falls.

Wildly interesting stuff. And a view into the weird world of Isiah Thomas. One of the all-time greats searching for approval from peers. He's still confident in himself, as he always has been. We all know his record of good and bad and as you'll see in the interview, he's not shy about sharing them, especially the good.

What to make of it all though? I don't really know. With everything on the Isiah Thomas resume, it seems hard to imagine him returning to the NBA soon. He obviously wants to though. But, like Barkley said, he has a job to do now with Florida International, one that he's not doing a very well with (FIU went 11-19 this season) and one that he already tried to divert attention from with the Knicks consulting thing.

Like he said though, having friends in high places is certainly a nice thing to have in your pocket. And it's pretty clear Thomas is still buds with James Dolan. Make of that what you will.


Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:20 am
Edited on: March 7, 2011 8:33 am
 

Shootaround 3.7.11: Heat collapse again

The Miami Heat choke again, the Los Angeles Lakers don't show class (?), Chris Paul is going to be OK and a whole bunch more in a Monday morning roundup of all the latest NBA happenings. Posted by Ben Golliver. shootaround
  • Yahoo! Sports writes that Miami Heat forward LeBron James points the finger at himself for another Heat late-game loss, this time to the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. "I told my team I’m not going to continue to fail them late in games,” James told reporters in Miami. “I put a lot of the blame on myself.”
  • The Arizona Republic notes that Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash passed Isiah Thomas to move into sixth place on the NBA's all-time assist list. Nash said: "He was my No. 1 player. Isiah was my idol and the player I tried to emulate, because he was my size and didn't dunk the ball. I used to try to play like him."
Posted on: February 26, 2011 10:58 am
Edited on: April 25, 2011 11:25 am
 

Chris Paul and the Longevity Effect

Chris Paul is a fierce winner as well as arguably the league's best point guard. But are his career goals holding him back until the playoffs come? And wait, he think he's most like Isiah Thomas? We break down Ken Berger's interview with CP3 for this week's "In the Moment." 
Posted by Matt Moore




Chris Paul has always been a bit different from his contemporaries in one distinct notable aspect. He wants to win. More than anything else, more than the fame and fortune, he wants to win. Of the players representing this "brat pack" like conglomeration of All-Star friends including LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, no one wants to win as badly as Chris Paul. Wade wants to win, that much is evident. He's driven. But he's also a business unto himself, and a fashion and media star. He's basically building an empire the way LeBron wants to except without all the negative public reaction and bad decisions. But Paul? Paul wants it more. It's why his trade demand from last summer has simmered into a cool and patient wait to discuss his options, why he's consistently playing through pain, and why the Hornets are back to being a top team in the West, within sight of a first-round homecourt advantage. 

It's the biggest x-factor in the free agent movement expected to occur. Dwight Howard wants to win, but has shown little of the focus and responsibility necessary to take a franchise like Orlando on his admittedly massive shoulders instead of bolting to somewhere he can get that smiling face even more air time. Deron Williams is apparently simply more driven to be happy than anything else, as he left a team that has consistently moved to contend because they were tired of his complaints. But Paul? Paul can be satisfied with winning. That's what matters to him. He wants all the rest of it, the money, the notoriety, the parties, the endorsements. But in his list of priorities, building the Chris Paul Empires comes after winning. Not just a championship. Consistently. As much as he can. He's a fiend for it. It's what makes him such a tremendous player, even more than the brilliant vision and astounding precision. 

Take for example his interview with Ken Berger for CBSSports.com's In the Moment series:



"I think it's just guy's trying to win. This league's getting dangerous. There are a lot of really good teams at times at the top. You just want to put yourself in a good situation, in terms of longevity and things like that. Guys just want to win multiple championships if at all possible."

That's Paul talking about  all the superstars teaming up in Miami, New York, etc., a trend that began in 2007 with the formation of the Boston Big 3, and continued with the addition of Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers. And that's how Paul sees things. Not in the context of parties, endorsements, fun and games. For him it's all about victories and championships. The days of being willing to wait until you're an established veteran are over. In an era of players wanting what they want, when they want, how they want it, Paul's only concerned with winning. If that means bolting to a big market to play with better players than former All-Star David West and talented center Emeka Okafor, so be it. the Hornets have to prove to him they can win. 

That's probably partially because unlike his contemporaries, even injury-rattled Dwyane Wade, Paul has felt the drag of poor health, even this season. Chris Paul is simply not at full strength, is obviously struggling. It's been evident from his explosiveness right down to how he's functioned in crunch time. Friday night's coaster win over the Wolves was an easier time of it for Paul than he's had as of late. Hornets blog At The Hive noted this recently, before the All-Star break: 

f you're a Hornet fan, you're probably terrified. I know I am. The guy that was blazing his way to Best Point Guard of All Time status as recently as 2010? He quite literally stood around doing nothing for multiple possessions, multiple minutes a time. He ceded control to Willie Green (who was fantastic), to Trevor Ariza, to anyone he could see. Multiple times, he stopped mid-drive to throw awkward, forced passes to teammates behind the three point line who weren't expecting it. Multiple times, he brought the ball up, handed off to a teammate, and went and hid in the corner till the shot clock expired. 
We got a flash of the old Chris Paul for sure. His move in the second quarter where he crossed inside out from the baseline, drove the lane, looked off two defenders, and slipped the ball to Jason Smith for the slam? Surreal. Absolutely surreal. Nobody else in the NBA makes that play. 
But that's exactly what makes this new Chris Paul so difficult to stomach. We know his game and his limitless potential. We've seen him drag this team from nothing to the brink of everything. We know who Chris Paul is supposed to be. We may not see it on every play, the way we did in 2007-2008 or 2008-2009. But it's still there. There's a reason Chris Paul is still far and away the NBA's leader in win shares over names like LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant. Chris Paul, from November to January, was still amazing, and if we're being fair, that should carry far more weight than one god-awful road swing. 
But to be a fan is to concentrate, to a large extent, on the here and now. And at present, the here and now is not pretty.
via On Chris Paul - At The Hive.

At the Hive went on to say they expected the return of "the real Chris Paul" on Wednesday following the All-Star Break, and sure enough, since the break Paul has averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds, 9 assists in two games, both wins. Granted, they were over the Clippers and Wolves, but you've got to start somewhere. 

The bigger issue is that it's not like Paul hasn't shown his "real" self this season. He's flourished at times. He's been an MVP candidate, for crying out loud. But for those who have intently watched the games, his deference late in games cannot be denied. We're not just talking about throwing to the open man for the assist instead of going to the jumper or floater. We're talking "walk the ball up, give it to David West, and go stand in a corner." In key situations, Chris Paul should always be initiating the offense. Always. That this has happened consistently despite bursts from Paul shows an ongoing issue, one that won't be solved with a four day break and a few easy wins over lottery teams.

And with Paul's drive, it leaves you to wonder how healthy he is. Then again, it could be Paul's simply learning what Wade has learned, like Kobe Bryant before him.  There are times to kick it into that higher gear, and times to coast. Paul knows the Hornets are a lock for the playoffs. Resting his body is really the better option. But with his attitude, with his drive, it must be killing him to hold anything back. But at the same time, that word, longevity, keeps creeping into Paul's words. Consider this quote from In the Moment about what point guard he most thinks he's like. 

"Definitely Isiah Thomas, maybe a little bit of Allen Iverson the way I go at the refs at time. Those guys are unbelievable. I think the thing about those guys is that they did it for a number of years. I think that's what I always admired the most about John Stockton. I came in the league, I looked at his steals record and assists record, and I wanted to try and break it. Man, that guy never missed a game. That longevity is something ghat pushes me. I look at Steve Nash, how he remains healthy. I look at Jason Kidd, not only has he been in the league a long time, he's still productive. I don't want to be one of those guys who's in the league, year 17, and I'm not productive. "



BREAKING NEWS: CHRIS PAUL COMPARES HIMSELF TO ISIAH THOMAS, IS OBVIOUSLY HEADED TO NEW YORK!

Sorry, just had to screw with the New York media a little bit. Ka-ching. 

But you notice that whole paradigm Paul's expounding. Wanting to play long-term. Wanting to be around for years. Wanting to still be productive when he's older. The only way to do that is to hold yourself back. It's what makes fans sour on the NBA so much, stars who no longer burst out of the gate, no longer kill themselves every single game. It happens to all great players. It'll happen to Blake Griffin. And it may have happened to Chris Paul. 

But the real question that will decide not only Chris Paul's future but possibly that of professional basketball in New Orleans, is what Chris Paul shows up in the playoffs. Our bet?

The one that wants to win, no matter who's on his side. 

Posted on: February 20, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Knicks release statement for Melo damage control

Knicks release statement assuring they are in "constant communication" and that no outside individuals are involved in Carmelo Anthony trade talks. World raises eyebrow, says "Uh-huh."
Posted by Matt Moore

The New York Knicks released a statement Sunday affirming that they are all on the same page regarding the Carmelo Anthony discussions, are working together, and that no outside influence is involved in the ongoing talks. The release actually never specifically mentions who they're talking about, as is typical of this bizarre circus that has enveloped All-Star Weekend. From the release: 


“We want to make it abundantly clear that we have been in constant communication throughout this process and the three of us are in complete agreement with everything that we are currently working on. Together, we will do what is best for the long-term success of the franchise. In addition, we want to make it clear that no one from outside our organization has been involved in this process in any way. We will have no further comment at this time.”

The release comes hours after Ken Berger of CBSSports.com among others reported that Isiah Thomas has been brought back into the fold on the Melo negotiations, and has in fact undercut Donnie Walsh's attempts to maintain leverage in the negotiations. The phrase "amateur hour" was used by one source to Berger in regards to how Knicks owner James Dolan has taken Walsh's legs out as Thomas appears to have more and more influence in the conversations. This release will do nothing to stem that tide of opinion. Why?

Because who puts out a release to say it's not so?

The interesting cut of the release is the second to last line, stating "no one from outside the organization has been involved in this process in any way." The curious question there is exactly whether or not Thomas is "outside the organization." The league denied a request from the Knicks to allow Thomas to serve as an advisor while head coach of Florida International University. But Dolan has maintained that he has and will continue to seek counsel from Thomas as a trusted advisor. 

Dolan's continued reliance on arguably the worst executive in the history of professional sports management is boggling.  Even for an owner who hasn't shown himself to be the most patient, the most rational, the most deliberate owner out there, keeping Thomas after he nearly single-handedly brought the Garden to ruins is beyond comprehension.  There's no explaining it, not after it took Walsh nearly two and a half years to bring the Knicks back to a point where they could look to the playoffs again.  This is the kind of whim that can bring an organization back to rubble after just getting its foundation up, and that's evident by Berger's report that Walsh is reconsidering his long-term place with the Knicks should the pattern continue. 

Even if the situation is overstated and the release is on point, it's a damaging development. The Knicks have had to release a public statement to confirm that their president of basketball operations and head coach are still in charge of basketball decisions and that there's no rift. How are the Knicks going to maintain leverage in the fiercest trade negotiation we've ever seen if they're constantly having to cover their flank from talk of subversion by their former executive?

Forget Carmelo Anthony, forget revenue sharing, a change in BRI, 2012 free agency or any of that. What the Knicks organization really needs is a swift slap to the back of the head. 
Posted on: February 16, 2011 3:42 pm
 

Isiah Thomas doesn't deny involvement with Knicks

Posted by Royce Young

As Ken Berger reported Wednesday, there more be more complication the Knicks acquiring Carmelo Anthony than just coming to terms with the Nuggets. New York might have to come to terms with its own front office first.

Berger noted that there's some potential dissention between president Donnie Walsh and owner James Dolan to the point where Dolan may try and go over Walsh's head to get Anthony now while Walsh may prefer to hold out for free agency. And one of the people Berger noted that might just be involved is Dolan's buddy Isiah Thomas.

Berger writes, "Thomas still has Dolan's ear, is as power-hungry as ever and would love nothing more than being able to paint himself as the savior in New York. Even if it meant undercutting the man who saved his career in Indiana and who treated him with dignity and respect upon replacing him with the Knicks."

And now according to the New York Post, Thomas went on radio in Miami Tuesday and didn't deny any of the things Berger pointed out. Thomas didn't deny that he's advising Dolan on moves the Knicks should make, especially when it comes to landing Melo.

This whole thing makes me feel uncomfortable. First there was the effort over the summer with the Knicks trying to hire Thomas as an advisor, only for the league to determine it wasn't proper because of Thomas being a college basketball coach. Except he's still advising . He might not be doing it in an official capacity, but like Berger said, he still has Dolan's ear.

Thomas said on the radio show: "Everyone agrees they need to keep improving to get to a championship level. I don't think anyone's saying this is it. I do think the organization wants to improve to get better and get to the next to level. But for me to speculate on this Carmelo situation, I just don't think it would be proper to insert myself in such a public way knowing what I know. ... In order to get to a championship level, which every team aspires to get to, you try to get the best players and try to get as many as you possibly can and see if you can win it."

Isiah wouldn't go on record as to what he's doing precisely and wouldn't comment on if he'd ever return to the organization at some point.

"You ask me to be as honest as I can and I will be brutally honest with you," Thomas said. "I don't think anyone will say where they will be five years from now. But where ever I am in five years, I will be physically and emotionally prepared for whatever challenge is presented to me."

The whole Isiah Thomas situation in New York is really one of the weirdest things ever. The Knicks are just now finally recovering from Thomas's frivolous and wild spending, as Walsh has worked extremely hard to even give the Knicks an opportunity to land Melo in free agency. If Isiah were still in charge, New York wouldn't have had the chance at Amar'e Stoudemire, much less Anthony.
Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Friday 5 with KB: Nuts and bolts




Posted by Matt Moore

In today's Friday 5 with KB: All-Star snubs, the upcoming CBA talks, and the league's policy on, ahem ... man-parts.

1. Interesting note from Donnie Walsh yesterday, mentioning that he's more concerned about the trade deadline, among other things, rather than his contract future. Your Post-Ups today cover Walsh's situation in detail, but it still begs the question: Do you think the Knicks are making a move before the deadline? (Shotout to Antonio on Twitter for the question.)

I think the chances are fairly high -- great than 90 percent -- that the Knicks make some sort of trade before the deadline. Not necessarily a Carmelo trade, although that's still possible, but some kind of trade to either give Amar'e some help in the front court, upgrade backup point guard, or replenish future draft picks that were lost in Walsh's monumental effort to get the Knicks under the cap and with roster and cap flexibility for the next two years. Walsh totally deserved the two-year contract extension Jim Dolan just gave him. Wait, what? Dolan hasn't even decided whether to exercise Walsh's option, which comes due April 30? Oh. Oh, that is really bad. Please refer to Post-Ups later in the day Friday for an explanation of Walsh's limbo and where the 'Bockers stand in trade talks.

2. Well, Ken, the coaches didn't heed your words. They took Tim Duncan over LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. Was that the most egregious selection or was there another that bugged you more?

I felt really good about the rest of the picks -- both mine and the coaches', since other than Duncan they were the same. At the end of the day, it's hard to get too bent out of shape over an immortal player getting a lifetime achievement vote to the All-Star team. So I won't be mad about Love getting snubbed until the commissioner snubs him as Yao's injury replacement. Then I'll be mad at the commissioner. It would've been nice to find a spot for Aldridge, too, as well as Josh Smith. Those were the most deserving guys who didn't make it, in my estimation.

3. So the CBA talk is in two weeks at All-Star weekend. Some are predicting the apocalypse. Some are predicting a peaceful, productive meeting. We had a phalanx of All-Stars blow off the day of service to make a statement at the bargaining table last year. What do you think we're going to get this year?

Probably a lot of rhetoric, and a lame/tame bargaining session that will mostly be symbolic. Not a whole lot of actual negotiating and work will get done due to the nature of the weekend. It seems like time is running out, but actually there is still plenty of time left for the lawyers and number-crunchers to figure all of this out. So in terms of developments, I'd like to see a small concession or baby step forward by each side. For example, if David Stern says the owners won't lock the players out immediately on July 1 if there is reasonable expectation of an agreement, and if Billy Hunter says the players are willing to give up the mid-level exception, those would be small but important signs of good faith on both sides. If both sides remain absolutely entrenched in their positions, the All-Star bargaining session and accompanying news conferences will be a waste of time.

4. Tom Thibodeau's defense has been so superb this year. And he hasn't been at full strength outside of more than a few weeks. Are we overlooking Chicago penciling in Miami or Orlando for the Eastern Finals? 

Given Orlando's defensive struggles and identity crisis at the moment, I think it's fair to say that the Bulls shouldn't be overlooked as a candidate to upset Miami and meet the Celtics in the conference finals. Chicago has the two ingredients that could pull that off -- outstanding team defense, as you mentioned, and an outlandish talent in Derrick Rose, who is good enough to win a playoff series by himself. Having said that, I plan to be in Boston next Sunday for the Heat-Celtics, and I fully expect that to be a preview of the conference finals.

5. Kevin Garnett tapped a guy in the man parts. Eddie House intimated that he has sizable man parts. Kevin Garnett was neither fined, nor suspended. Eddie House was fined. Does the NBA need to re-examine its junk policy or am I completely nuts? 

I have not queried Stu Jackson about the, um, nuts and bolts of these decisions. But knowing how the league office views such things, I believe the distinction was that Garnett's actions came during the course of a basketball play -- defending a 3-point shot, however dirty those defensive tactics were. Garnett got ejected, and that punishment fit the crime. (Easy for me to say.) House's actions fell under the category of excessive celebration and unsportsmanlike conduct -- similar to barking at the opposing bench or standing over a fallen opponent and talking about his mama. So that's the difference.

Have a burning NBA question you need answered? Email us at cbssportsnba@gmail.com, or drop Ken a question for the Friday 5 on Twitter at@cbssportsnba . 
Posted on: February 3, 2011 2:21 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 5:56 pm
 

Knicks fined $200K for illegal workouts

The New York Knicks have reportedly been fined $200,000 for conducting a series of illegal workouts.

Posted by Ben Golliver. isiah-thomas


Back in October, we noted a Yahoo! report that laid out a series of improper draft workouts conducted by the Knicks. At the time, the NBA vowed it would conduct an investigation. The New York Times reports Thursday the NBA has assessed a six-figure fine to the Knicks for the workouts, but has not stripped the team of any of its draft picks.
The N.B.A. has fined the Knicks $200,000 and one of their scouts $20,000 after concluding that the scout, Rodney Heard, conducted workouts of college prospects that violated league rules, according to two people made aware of the league’s actions.
The Knicks hold the option of imposing further discipline on Heard, who joined the organization when Isiah Thomas was the team president. Significantly, Thomas, who now coaches at Florida International University, was not cited by the N.B.A. in the penalties it handed down.

The league determined that Heard conducted secret workouts before the camp, presumably to give the Knicks an edge in determining whether a prospect was worth drafting.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com provides these additional details.
In an investigation aided by the NBA's outside law firm, the Knicks were found to have conducted illegal pre-draft workoouts with Brandon Rush in 2007 as well as Ekpe Udoh and Tory Jackson in 2010, according to a league source familiar with the findings. The league could not uncover any proof that Heard or any Knicks officials conducted such a workout with Wilson Chandler, the person said.
Rush, a star at Kansas University, injured his knee in the unsanctioned workout and was later drafted by the Trail Blazers in 2008. Udoh was drafted by the Warriors in 2010. Jackson, who played at Notre Dame, is not in the NBA. If Chandler, who was drafted by the Knicks in 2007, had been found to have participated in an illegal workout with the team that drafted him, the Knicks would've faced a more severe penalty, said the person familiar with the league's findings.
Given that the workouts occurred over multiple years, reportedly involved a player the team eventually drafted and also involved a player who eventually lied about taking part in them, I argued for a stiff penalty: a seven-figure fine plus forfeiture of picks.

While the league's ruling does fall in line with other previous pre-draft tampering fines -- including a $200,000 fine to Denver Nuggets coach George Karl for attending a workout where his son was playing -- it seems much too soft given the full set of reported circumstances. For less than half the price of a second-round draft pick's contract, the Knicks were able to get additional, strategic information on potential players for multiple years. That is a competitive advantage and certainly against the spirit of fair play.

Despite the sticker shock, this is a best-case scenario for Knicks president Donnie Walsh, who needs all the draft picks he can get. The Knicks were recently determined by Forbes to be the NBA's most valuable team and money isn't really an object. 

That raises the question: What is stopping this from happening again?
Posted on: November 23, 2010 8:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Shootaround: 11.23.10: 99% likely to fail

Vince Carter comes up lame, the Miami Heat are struggling, a few New York Knicks analyzed, Steve Francis heads abroad, and a whole lot more. Posted by Ben Golliver

  • Orlando Magic wing Vince Carter went down during Monday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs and told reporters after the game that he he felt "sharp pain go through my knee, under the kneecap." That doesn't sound good. 
  • Here's the stat of the night for you from Miami's surprising double-digit home loss to the Indiana Pacers: "The Heat bench played a total of 74 minutes on Monday night and scored a whopping 4 points. The last time they did that? Nearly a decade ago, when the Heat bench mustered only two points in a January 2001 loss against -- guess who -- the Indiana Pacers." 
  • Kevin Pelton shows some love for New York Knicks rookie Landry Fields. "This year's standout has been New York Knicks guard Landry Fields, who has excelled as a starter from opening night. Fields' polished game was no secret among Pac-10 fans, but he got little national hype because he played for an undermanned Stanford team that finished tied for eighth in the conference. Fields has exceeded even his collegiate performance, especially on the glass. He's grabbing 20.6 percent of available defensive rebounds, which is phenomenal for a shooting guard (the average for the position is 11.0 percent) and nearly identical to his defensive rebound percentage as a senior in college."
  • Pacers blog IndyCornrows.com isn't nearly as excited about the win over the Miami Heat as you might expect. "Jim O’Brien urged that they caught Miami on an off night, saying it could be fool’s gold. While the possibility exists, O’Brien will always speak cautiously. O'Brien sips his glass half empty to not allow his team to gain complacency, it was more than fool’s gold: it was a stout defensive effort by the Pacers. Words have been expressed more often to give credence to the team’s defensive efforts, but tonight featured a culmination that resulted in not only a solid road victory, but a definitive win, led by a trio of much maligned Pacer members."
  • Isiah Thomas is at it again, talking about his sexual harassment case and overdose on sleeping medication.
  • These NBA labor negotiations sound like they are off to a great start. Not. Union chief Billy Hunter says a lockout next season is 99% likely to occur and goes on to say everything is working as it's supposed to, with the NBA generating profits at a solid clip. "Our contention is that the system that was put in place delivered everything it was supposed to deliver,” Hunter said, referring to the initial framework adopted in 1999. “The players never got a cent more than they were supposed to get. And ironically, if you review the press clippings from that era, you will see that the deals that were struck were lauded by the N.B.A. as having been major successes for the owners. So why now at this stage are we now saying that the system doesn’t work and it’s got to be overhauled?”
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com