Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 4:25 pm
By Matt Moore and Ben Golliver.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports a stunner. Berger reports that the New York Knicks have emerged as the leader for Tyson Chandler, ahead of the Warriors, who reportedly offered Chandler a four-year, $60 million deal Thursday. Berger reports that the Golden State offer isn't as "robust" as the report from California indicated.
In order to make room for Chandler, Berger says the Knicks would use the amnesty clause on Chauncey Billups, or trade him, then move Ronny Turiaff.
In the wake of Berger's report, ESPN.com reports that there is a "98 percent" chance Chandler winds up with the Knicks and that the Warriors will turn their attention to Los Angeles Lakers restricted free agent DeAndre Jordan. Yahoo Sports reports the Knicks are close to a 4-year deal with Chandler worth $58 million.
How this move would affect the Knicks' pursuit of Chris Paul is not known at this time. It would give the Knicks their best interior defender and a game-changer at the rim. The Knicks would be in a dire position for point guard to run D'Antoni's offense. Along with Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks would feature an even better frontcourt, one of the best in the league. With the Knicks' biggest issue being defense, Chandler would revamp their team.
Should the Knicks not wind up with Paul (if, say, he goes to the Lakers as a Houston-New Orleans-Los Angeles deal is being volleyed), they'd still have an excellent core. Stoudemire's primary weaknesses are at-rim defense and rebounding, and yet he's been forced to play center for the past six seasons of his career. Chandler provides everything the Knicks need to quell questions about their defense and toughness. The point guard duties would then fall to Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert, a rookie who has captured the hearts and minds of Knicks fans like... every player the Knicks have drafted for forty years.
Stoudemire is nearly untradeable should the Knicks still be pursuing Paul, as the insurability of his knees following surgery six years ago leaves questions about his long-term health. Ironically, Stoudemire would benefit most from the addition of Paul and Chandler, with Chandler covering his deficiencies down low and Paul working with Stoudemire in the pick and roll which made him an MVP candidate in Phoenix next to Nash. But the Knicks would almost certainly not trade Carmelo Anthony due to both his name brand value and the work that was put in to acquire him initially.
The Knicks' plan isn't clear at this point, it may never be clear. But even with limited cap space, they remain a major player in this short NBA "offseason," even before signings can happen.
The question is now whether this is the end game for the Knicks, or whether it is a secondary move in pursuit of Paul, should they manage to land Chandler.
Posted on: November 25, 2011 12:42 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Don't worry you guys, Amar'e Stoudemire's doing just fine despite this lockout thing.
Via TMZ.com, Stoudemire just purchased a new $3.7 million house in Southwest Ranches, FL. It's 14,555 (!) and stis on a 2.35 acre space. It has six bedrooms, seven bathroom and a nine-car garage.
(Lots of picture of it here.)
But don't think for a second Stoudemire was just throwing his money around without thinking. According to the report, he wiggled the price down about a million from what the original asking price was.
Obviously this isn't a big deal, but these are the type of expenditures the players union warned to avoid during the lockout because of the appearance it gives. There's no question Stoudemire has a lot of money even without his current paychecks, but it just puts off a look that the players already have plenty of money. Which they do, no doubt.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 10:41 am
By Matt Moore
We interrupt the slow decline of the NBA into the toilet to bring you something fun and happy. Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire stopped by "Sesame Street" to visit with a friend. If you're going to put those two with a Muppet, it's got to be Grover. Big Bird is like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, tall with no personality, and Elmo is like JET. There are times you wish he'd just shut up. Grover is the right call here, and in the clip below he and the boys explain the word "compare." You know, like "compare how much money will be lost over a season vs. the amount they're squabbling over in the CBA." Sorry, couldn't help myself. The lockout is everywhere.
Posted on: November 4, 2011 4:26 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
You wouldn't think a self-evident catch-phrase like Nike's "Basketball Never Stops" would require further explanation, but that didn't stop the shoe giant from releasing a companion piece to its recent ad starring LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki and Amar'e Stoudemire.
In the companion video, James, Durant, Nowitzki and others explain what the phrase "Basketball Never Stops" -- an obvious nod to the ongoing NBA lockout -- means to them.
"No matter where you're at, no matter what time of the day, you can always have a love for the game, and you can always play the game," James explains. "You could be playing inside your house with your loved ones or at a rec league with kids, or playing at a rec league with 40-and-over guys, it doesn't matter. The game of basketball never stops no matter what's going on in the world because people love the game that much."
"No matter if it's the offseason, vacation, holiday, always find a way to get in the gym and get better," Durant adds. "No matter if you're just working out by yourself or playing pickup the game never stops, no matter what you're doing. That's the type of approach I try to have."
Nowitzki chimes in: "I'm 33 years old now, and I'm still in the gym in the summer, working out, trying to get better, trying out certain moves."
And Stoudemire polishes it off. "You're always thinking about basketball," he says. "It's something that you sleep, you dream, when you're awake, you play, you think about it."
So, as it turns out, "Basketball Never Stops" pretty much means that basketball never stops. Now you know.
Here's the video courtesy of YouTube user NikeBasketball.
Posted on: November 2, 2011 3:39 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Nothing could compare to the hype and spotlight on the Miami Heat in their first season together. Right? The constant scrutiny, the microscope on every little thing -- the Heat were THE story in the NBA last season. Their second year together would've seen some of that fade away as interest in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh's experiment waned.
Wrong. Actually, it probably would've been worse this season. Which means like last year, the Miami Heat would've been the thing we all talk about all the time. Why? Because they choked away an NBA title last season. They haven't won. They haven't started to fulfill the promise of "not one, not two, not three..."
And they would've been kicking off Game 1 of 82 tonight. But not just anywhere. They would've been playing at Madison Square Garden. Oh man, this lockout hurts.
Both teams virtually would look the same. The Heat had some offseason decisions to make on their elderly players and the Knicks had a nice draft pick to unveil in Iman Shumpert, but it was going to be Melo, Amar'e and Chauncey versus LeBron, Wade and Bosh. Which was going to be a blast.
Think about it: The last game the Heat played was a heartbreaking Game 6 loss to the Mavericks in The Finals. The last game the Knicks played was an embarrassing beatdown in the sweep to the Celtics. You want to teams itching for opening night? Well, you got them here. And in The World's Most Famous Arena to boot.
Both teams are good, but it would be the individual matchups we'd salivate over. LeBron against Melo. Wade against defensive-minded Landry Fields. Amar'e against Bosh. I'm not sure if the Knicks are really ready to take that step into contendership, but this game would've at least made a statement one way or the other.
The Knicks topped the Heat in Miami late last season with Melo actually taking over the on both ends late. He blocked LeBron and scored a couple of late baskets to seal it. Would that happen again? Or would the Heat start off by asserting themselves as the dominant team in the East? Alas, questions we won't get answers to. At least for the foreseeable future.
Starpower, good basketball, good teams, great atmosphere -- it would've been a helluva way to follow up a great opening night.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 11:30 am
By Matt Moore
Back when this delightful lockout began, the words "hard cap" were still very much in play. The idea was that the owners were going to get everything they wanted, exactly as they wanted them, and that included a hard cap that would be substantially lower than the cap structure in the prior CBA. That had some pretty terrifying consequences for big-spender teams who might have seen forced cuts of superstars they'd worked hard to acquire, or an inability to build on the core they've built. The Knicks, for example, might have been stuck with the basics of last year's squad, unable to improve enough around the two stars to compete for a title. Luckily for them, the hard cap has been removed from the conversation, replaced with luxury tax discussions while the league continues to pound the union's BRI into oblivion.
In fact, the cap structure won't change and will actually increase next season, according to the New York Post:
According to multiple sources, one of the resolved issues in a new CBA is the 2011 salary cap will remain at the level as it was in 2010 -- $58 million.via Knicks owner Dolan works to keep NBA salary cap same size - NYPOST.com.
So the Knicks' dream of building their own superteam is alive and well, and their pursuit of the final piece of the puzzle begins this year (or may have already started depending on your take on the Isiah Thomas rumors). They'll have to make some tough choices, though, what with needing to build supporting pieces as well as nab one of the 2012 big three. It'll be interesting to see Dolan's response to the new luxury tax and just how much is too much for the MSG mogul.
But for those that enjoy this era of super-teams, the cap will remain in place to make it a possibility.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 11:57 am
Posted by Ben Golliver.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are up to their old tricks again, giving up on negotiations on Friday and cancelling two more weeks of the regular season.
Those developments only help reinforce the recurring message coming from the sneaker industry. It's not a particularly complicated message or an especially confrontational one, at least not yet. It basically boils down to "Professional basketball players enjoy playing professional basketball, no matter what," and here's the latest ad pushing that theme.
The ad opens with the lights being turned off in an NBA stadium and then quickly transitions to a spotlight following Miami Heat forward LeBron James, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, New York Knicks forward Dirk Nowitzki and other basketball players of all ages as they work on their games individually, play in late-night pick-up games, engage in pre-game celebrations, play three-on-three in the drive way, see which players made the cut list and play some pop-a-shot.
The symbolism isn't complicated: basketball and its players shine wherever the sport goes, even if the NBA is locked out and the stadiums are dark. The ad's tagline -- "Basketball Never Stops" -- has been used as a slogan throughout the lockout when James, Durant and others have played on the exhibition game circuit and it works in tandem with Jordan Brand's recent "Love The Game" spot which features Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony playing in pick-up and intramural games throughout the country.
Nike's ad winds up being a bit more serious than Jordan's, which had a few humorous touches, but it fits the athletes depicted and it's dealing with a serious and touchy subject. James is, theoretically, focused on a quest for redemption. Durant is a stone-faced killer whenever he takes the court. Nowitzki has a goofy side, but he takes preparation and execution as seriously as anybody. Stoudemire feels a bit like a toss-in, but he's getting old and taking on new burdens as one of the faces of the improved Knicks, so it's not a total stretch.
Video via YouTube user NikeBasketball
Posted on: October 19, 2011 3:26 pm
Posted by Royce Young
I think we can all agree that the charity hoops circuit is a little played out. NBA fans are ready for real basketball. From Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to Miami to Los Angeles to Oklahoma City, fans have seen their stars play glorified pickup games. It's getting a little old now.
So the players have recognized that and are taking the next step: They're taking their talents overseas.
No, not to play professionally. They're taking their charity games on tour. Via ESPN.com:
While the final details are still being worked out, more than a dozen of the league's best players are working to join forces on what would be a two-week, six-game, three-continent blockbuster tour, sources said.The tour is planned to take two weeks and has been in construction for some three months by Atlanta business mogul Calvin Darden. While some players have actually reportedly signed contracts to play in this, there's a chance it could fall apart. One major reason being if a labor deal is worked out.
The tour is scheduled to start Oct. 30 and go through Nov. 9 with stops in Puerto Rico, London, Macau and Australia. Each game will be held in arenas with at least 15,000 seats. There's a hope to air the games internationally as well as in the U.S. too.
Here's the kicker: The players will make some bank off this too. The report says players will receive somewhere between a six-figure payout and $1 million. "Some" of the money will go to charity.
Here's to hoping the whole thing falls apart because the players are in training camp by then.