Tag:Mo Williams
Posted on: September 28, 2010 9:41 am
 

Shootaround 9.28.10: Table for three with Cuban?

Posted by Royce Young
  • Want to eat lunch with a billionaire? Jump on Ebay and top the current bid of $2,325 and you can have a nice sit-down with Mark Cuban. The proceeds to the auction are going to the Adrienne Shelley Foundation, a group supporting women filmmakers.
  • Chris Douglas-Roberts tweeted last night: "Now I can jus focus on getting W's & FGM. & STEALS. Y'all know I was top 15 in the league in steals before that guy stop playin me? Smfh!!!" That "guy" was Kiki Vandeweghe last season in New Jersey, if you were wondering.
  • Carlos Boozer on trash-talking with Miami : " We definitely trash talk a little bit, but we're excited. That's what makes the game so good. I'm friends with most of the guys in the NBA and you want to have bragging rights, especially me because I live in Miami in the off-season. So when I go down there, I want to be able to say we kicked their butts. This year, it's going to be different. They're going to want to say they kicked our butts. Those games are going to be lively and exciting… At the end of the day, we know that the Lakers are holding the championship trophy. Championship is going to go through LA. But as a competitor, you want to play against who is supposed to be the best team and you guys, not necessarily you guys, but people are dubbing the Miami Heat as the next best team to the Lakers. As a team that wants to through the best, to be a champion, we look forward to playing the Miami Heat and we look forward to playing the Lakers and Celtics and every other team that's supposed to be better than us."
  • Phil Jackson used the word "collude" to describe how the Heat got together. Matthew Bunch of Hot Hot Hoops looks into it: "Collusion is an interesting and, I’m sure, purposeful word choice. Collusion is an oftentimes illegal agreement among entities to limit market. All acts effected by this means are considered void. Obviously, the matter of the NBA pursuing tampering or collusion against the Miami Heat or its players is virtually dead, but Jackson is always known for playing a psychological game. Sometimes it’s the refs, sometimes it’s the league and maybe this time it’s the league’s fans, painting the Lakers as the good guys against the tainted Heat."
  • Gene Wang of The Washington Post: "Clad in a new No. 9 jersey, a fully bearded Arenas went about his media obligations without so much as a grin. The staid demeanor, like his updated number, represented a vast departure from his former Agent Zero persona, when Arenas carried himself as the exuberant face of the franchise and welcomed the adoration and attention associated with that standing. Arenas did not address specifically his tribulations from last season but mentioned a 'breath of fresh air,' signaling an inclination to redirect his energy toward remaking his image after the franchise reacted to the suspension by quickly removing all likenesses of him from Verizon Center. Part of that purge included an oversized banner hanging on the arena's Sixth Street side and all Arenas jerseys in the team store. 'Any product you own, if something happens to it, you got to do what you've got to do to save your company, so I understand it,' Arenas said. 'Now we've just got to move forward.'"
  • Zach Harper for Hardwood Paroxysm getting sciency with the Lopez twins: "If this theory is true, and I believe science is telling me that it is, then the theory of relativity will help my uneasiness with the Lopez twins. Even though Brook and Robin have different hair, different uniforms and probably different versions of Thor that they enjoy, they’re still so identical that it creeps me out. It gives me some solace to know that Brook is an offensive force while Robin is the answer to many of the Suns’ prayers for a defensive presence in the middle. I’m fascinated at the idea that the two of them excelled at very different parts of the game that probably heightened their skills even more."
  • Mo Williams talked openly about his retirement thoughts at media day: "You're at the beach and you're walking right to that water and you can feel it on your toes and you're a kid and your momma grabs you and says 'nope, you're not going into the ocean today,'" Williams said. "You're looking back and you're like 'wow, I was almost there.' You don't know when you'll be down by the ocean again."
Posted on: September 23, 2010 7:28 pm
 

Mo Williams says he was misquoted on retirement

Posted by Royce Young

Last week, Mo Williams said he felt like he'd had enough. After LeBron James left, it just didn't all seem worth it to him anymore. He told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! that he considered walking away from it all.

Obviously, he didn't because he's about to go into training camp, but still, he had those feelings. Not anything wrong with that.

Only he's saying he didn't.

Williams tweeted late Thursday that he was either misquoted or misunderstood on the retirement talks. He said:
  "Just need to put this out there to all my fans about the yahoo story about me retiring, sense it's getting a little out of hand. I was misquoted or misunderstood however u want to put it. I will clear everything up Monday on media day. I was never considering walking away rt now. And especially because lbj left. It made a good story though. Though u know I will never walk away prematurely before my contract is up."
He then said, "That's absorb," which I can only assume the iPhone autocorrect struck again and he meant, "That's absurd."

It's really easy for a player to just say he didn't say something. It's easy to claim misquote after you say something to a print reporter that gets you in a little hot water. But the good reporters, the smart ones, don't delete their audio files right away off their recorders. And Spears says he didn't, tweeting, "Say it aint so @mogotti2 . Got interview taped so didnt misquote u. never worth ruining rep & job to do that. More than welcome to call me.:)" I'm glad he added the smiley face there. Crucial to the context.

It's not like players don't get misquoted though. Dwyane Wade had a 9/11 quote go from really, really bad to nothing at all after FanHouse writer Tim Povtak had a small error in his transcription. But it's also easy for a player to just play the misquote card if the story turns out worse than they thought. Whether Williams actually considered retirement or not is really unknown and maybe he indeed meant it differently, but it's hard to see otherwise from his quote in the original story.

Another example fresh on my mind was Corey Pavin claiming he didn't tell Jim Gray he had guanteed Tiger Woods a spot on the Ryder Cup after Gray reported it. Gray, upset over the hit his credibility would take, went after Pavin over it.

Williams said he'll try and clear things up on media day. Honestly, it's no big deal if he felt that way this summer. LeBron was/is his friend. He was more than a teammate and Williams had some serious man-love for him. And LeBron left. Nothing wrong in hurting a little over it.

But to drop a "I was misquoted!" play a week later? That's absorb.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 10:11 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 10:12 pm
 

Mo Williams nearly retired after LeBron left

Lonely Cav captain left to ponder career by LeBron James nearly calls it quits.
Posted by Matt Moore




When LeBron James took his talents to Miami, he left a trail of disappointed and devastated people in his wake. Dan Gilbert, the Cavs' organization, Cavalier fans, sporting good store owners in Ohio, the city of Cleveland, Knicks fans, Bulls fans, Nets fans, Clipper fa... you get the picture. But in general, you have to believe most of the Cavs players treated it as NBA players treat these kinds of things. Business. Players come, players go. The checks keep coming, so what't the concern?

For one player, apparently it wasn't just business, and life didn't just go on. Mo Williams, James' running mate in Cleveland told Yahoo! Sports Monday that he was so distraught following "The Decision" that he considered retirement. From Mo Gotti's conversation with Marc Spears :

"I contemplated it. I really sat down and envisioned life after basketball. …I really saw myself not playing.

“It just didn’t make sense to me. …It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Williams goes on to say that he lost a lot of his love for the game, and it took him a while to be able to get back into the game. He doesn't sound wholly convinced, either. The whole conversation comes across the way someone sounds after a particularly tough breakup, the kind where you don't know what happened and he/she just moved out one day.

Is Williams a sympathetic figure? He certainly took a huge load of the blame for the playoff failures of the Cavaliers during his time there. Williams always seemed to be trying to prove a point, that he could score too, instead of being the all-around player most wanted him to be in support of James. This is the gap between a point guard and a Scottie Pippen-type forward. That's the problem. James was the all-around type player as well as the massive scoring force. And Williams also wasn't exactly on target with a lot of those shots. It's much easier to feel sorry for him if he wasn't campaigning to be an All-Star and clanging up a house for the third little pig every May.

But that's contextual based on our knowledge of him. At his root, Mo Williams is a player that felt like he was part of something special in Cleveland, who loved the opportunity to compete at the highest level with what he felt was the greatest player in the game, and someone who now faces a reality where the person that he was trying so hard to support is gone. Vanished in the night, on national television. He's got to continue his career, knowing that windows for players like himself are small and delicate, and the odds are not good that he'll hear his name in the Conference Finals again. The whole NBA world's changed since LeBron James left Cleveland.

And we're still trying to figure out all the career implications and casualties of "The Decision."

Posted on: September 20, 2010 11:40 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:41 am
 

Pop Quiz: What players could be on the way down?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who are some players potentially set for a drop-off?

It doesn't take much to go from the top of the perch in the NBA to drop to the bottom. The food chain isn't friendly, especially to aging players.

Eventually, everyone has to come down to earth. Two seasons ago, it was Shaquille O'Neal. Last year, Elton Brand, once a walking double-double, had a terribly mediocre season. It just happens. It's the circle of NBA life. Some players can go out on top, but mosr will see their production dip and the slide starts. Who's facing that reality this year? Here are six candidates:

Yao Ming, Rockets - Yao is probably the most obvious choice for three reasons. 1) He's older. 2) He's coming off a significant injury. 3) His playing time is already being limited. Strikes one, two and three.

I think it's pretty much accepted that the great days of Yao Ming are probably passed. Every season but his rookie year, he's averaged over 30 minutes a game. Now with only 24 at his disposal, putting up anything near his career averages of 19.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg will be difficult. He can still have a stellar statistical year in terms of per 36 minutes and per 48 minutes, but as far as being one of the top two or three dominant big men in the league, he may have to settle for really, really tall role player.

Tony Parker, Spurs
- The better George Hill gets, the less valuable Tony Parker is to the Spurs. Is Parker set to fall off the face of the earth? Not likely. But is he looking at going from top three or four point guard in the West into being just a solid top 10 point man? I think there's certainly that possibility.

But this is a contract year for Parker. He has Hill chomping at his playing time and idiots like me saying he's potentially headed for a down year. The motivation is certainly there for him. He's not old (just 28) and doesn't have a ton of mileage on him. He did break his hand last year but that shouldn't be anything that affects him this year. Still, it's hard to deny that his numbers and percentages dipped across the board last year and as his team ages around him, he might have a hard time putting up the big stats like he has in years past.

Vince Carter, Magic - I know, I know. Putting Carter on this list isn't really fair because he pretty much already had his drop-off year. But even through a seemingly bad year, Carter still averaged 16.6 ppg while maintaining solid percentages. The 16.6 ppg is the lowest in his career, but he still was a quality contributor all season and at times, showed flashes of his old, explosive self.

Now he's 33 and has played over 850 games, battled through injuries and is on a team where he's not the lead man. He played the role well last year, but the better J.J. Redick gets, the less need for Carter there is. This is a contract year for Carter who would still like to keep going. But he might be splitting time at shooting guard with Redick and he'd probably be lucky to average anywhere near 16 points a game.

Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks - Shield your eyes, Knicks fans. I know New York just dropped a heavy dollar amount on Stoudemire and already talking about a decline for him isn't something anyone wants to hear. But here's the reality: Steve Nash doesn't play for the Knicks. For his career, Stoudemire is assisted on about 60 percent of all his baskets. And who was the guy creating those scoring opportunities? Yeah, that guy.

So going from Nash to Raymond Felton might cause a decline in Stoudemire's typically sexy stat line. Does this mean he's not going to be good and help the Knicks improve? Absolutely not. But could his nickname of STAT potentially be outdated already? Definitely.

Mo Williams, Cavaliers - Mo Williams, pre-LeBron James: 14.2 ppg, 5.6 apg. Mo Williams, with LeBron James: 16.8 ppg, 4.7 apg, one All-Star appearance. Mo Williams, post-LeBron James: to be determined.

It's hard to deny the rise in profile for Williams after he joined LeBron in Cleveland in 2008. He went from underrated point guard in Milwaukee to LeBron's No. 2 man. But without The King, things will be more difficult for Williams. Open shots won't be as available and as the best scorer Cleveland currently has, he'll be the focal point for opposing defenses. Williams is going to have to carry Cleveland and that's something that he's not really equipped for. He's always been a good shooter, a good creator and a good scorer. His assists dipped with LeBron because Williams was able to play off the ball a lot with LeBron running point. Now Williams has to do it all for the Cavs.

Ray Allen, Celtics - At some point, time is going to start catching up to Ray Allen. He's avoided it the past few years, turning in some of the most efficient of his career. But he's got over 1,000 games and almost 38,000 minutes on the odometer. His 16.3 point per game average last season was the lowest since his rookie season and though his shooting percentages held pretty close to form, he took the fewest number of 3s per game in 10 years. To me, that says he's not getting as many open looks because when Allen's open, he fires.

Allen is going to have a quality season, because his perfect shooting touch won't allow otherwise. But in terms of sustaining his high level and gaudy numbers, this season might be the start of his journey down.
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:00 pm
 

Witness the burning embers of the Cavaliers

The top team in the East the past two seasons now finds itself exhuming its fallen squad to determine what went wrong.
Posted by Matt Moore




This season for the Cleveland Cavaliers is incredibly rare, even as it is inherently depressing for their fans. It's not a contending season like they've experienced the last three years, far from it. It's also not a rebuilding year, struggling through youth and inexperience while lamenting the patience necessary for their team to develop. And it's the polar opposite of a team rising to contention (see: Oklahoma City, 2009-2010). It holds the worst possible future. T+-he firesale. The deconstruction. The undoing. This is the season to watch the top seed in the East the past two seasons burn into ashes.

Oh, there's hope for a playoff run. Mo Williams, for all his limitations, is still a viable starting point guard, probably top 15. Antawn Jamison may have gotten his clock cleaned by the Celtics, but he's still been an All-Star and has a few tricks up his sleeve. Anderson Varejao was a defensive player of the year candidate and J.J. Hickson is promising in a lot of aspects. Anthony Parker and Jamario Moon are both legitimate NBA rotation guys and you can do worse than Byron Scott as head coach.

But in the end, their ceiling, their highest aspiration can only be a playoff appearance and a swift dismissal from either the Celtics, or, disgustingly, the Heat. That's all they've got. So this season could very quickly turn into a full-on firesale, with Jamison and Williams thrown out for draft picks or expiring contracts. And to hear some former members of the team tell it, it's what's left of this team that has them in this predicament in the first place. Well, one member specifically, with a big mouth. Can you guess who it is?

Shaquille O'Neal told the New Orleans Times-Picayune the following tasty quote:

"I like that they play together and nobody really worries about shots, " O'Neal said. "When I was with Cleveland, guys who couldn't even play were worried about shots. Why was Mo (Williams) taking 15 shots, and I'm only taking four? If LeBron takes 20 shots, that's cool."

As Tom Ziller noted , this isn't the first time Shaq has detonated the bridge he just left. He's notorious for three things at this point in his career: taking a good long time to get in season's shape, having a big personality, and lobbing verbal grenades at everyone he used to play with. But it's the vocalization of questions a lot of people wondered. There was always a clear separation of LeBron and everyone else (and he was treated as such, from every indication). But from there, there were a lot of rumblings about players wanting to put their own mark on their team, and Mo Williams was the most effusive example. Was he at that level? It was hard to find many who thought so.

But maybe that was just a reaction from that separation with LeBron we talked about. Maybe it was that gap between James and everyone else that caused the team to fail. Dan Gilbert certainly thinks so. In an interview with the News-Herald following the extension of new GM Chris Grant, Gilbert said the following about the past few years in Cleveland:

"We weren't as focused on the long term (before James left)," he said. "We'll build the right way. It's absolutely refreshing and challenging and we're all looking forward to building the Cleveland Cavaliers into a premier team.

"We didn't achieve the ultimate goal (with James). It can't be a one-person show. We have to have a team approach and a team effort to make it happen."
As Kurt Helin noted , there's good and bad in this approach. Building good team chemistry and working to get a team of young, versatile, athletic players has been proven to work with Portland, Oklahoma City, and potentially Sacramento. But you do need one guy. Portland has Brandon Roy. Oklahoma City obviously has Kevin Durant. And Sacramento has Tyreke Evans. Cleveland will need to find that new player when they do decide to torch the foundation.

And they will, make no question about it. Even if they find success with the core of players they have, it's a mitigated, low-level success that comes with a hefty price tag (the Cavs are on the books for over $51 million this season). In reality, a sub-.500 season would be better for fans. Instead of sitting through a middling season trying to justify keeping the core together, the faster you can detonate the foundation, the sooner you can start bringing in players the fans can get behind.

This season is going to be hard for the Cavaliers. It's less of a story being written as a eulogy. It would take a story of the ages for this to come out well for them. The worst part is that even as James will have been gone for more than three months, the entire year may serve as one long autopsy on a team that died on its way to glory.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:41 am
 

Cavs considering complete blow-up

Cavs not making any trades now, but if team struggles before deadline, we may see a firesale.
Posted by Matt Moore


Things fall apart. The center does not hold. And in the Cavs case, the center up and leaves on national television to join his buddies on the beach, sipping pina coladas while they freeze their tales off in a Midwestern winter.

And it turns out the rest of the Cavs are likely to fall apart in the next year or so. The Cavaliers haven't thrown the rest of the belongings on the lawn and put out the yard sale sign yet. After all, they still feature a lineup with Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao, and young asset J.J. Hickson.  But signs are pointing towards the rest of LeBron James' former dancing partners being sent to the four corners of the league.

Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports via Twitter that if the Cavs are sub-.500 in February before the trade deadline, Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon will all be on the block. That's three starters and a backup wing. You may be wondering who they would be getting back. Get ready for a whole lot of Erie Bayhawks if that happens, Cavs fans.

Windhorst goes on to say that he puts the odds of Jamison being moved before the deadline at 60/40. The question will be who's in the market for an aging forward with $28.4 million left on his contract (prorated, naturally). It would have to be a team similar to where the Cavs were last year, except they've already seen how that worked out. The other option is a team in the middle of a detonation, looking to clear space next year and hoping to acquire a 2012 expiring.

It's possible the Cavs could be competitive. The East is improved, no doubt, but still vulnerable and winning as many games as you're losing with a pretty good coach and a pretty good roster isn't out of range at all. But I wouldn't be snatching up any jerseys of those guys either. They may not be wearing them much longer.
 
 
 
 
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