Tag:Matt Moore
Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:36 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 4:08 pm

The NBA is in a lockout.. but coming to Bangkok

By Matt Moore

Update (3:02 p.m.): A representative for the NBA notified CBSSports.com today that the NBA will "not lose money on this." The rep further clarififed that the event is sponsored by various entities including Singha Drinking Water, so apparently everything's paid for. Good work if you can get it. The league isn't spending anything extra on the event, it's just a "grassroots" event, according to the NBA. 

Original report:  The NBA has let go of 114 employees in the past month. Teams are hemmoraghing employees. There's a lockout in place to try and choke the will out of the players to force them to agree to roll back salaries. All of this because the NBA insists its costs are too high, that its teams are losing money and the league itself needed to trim the fat. 

But that's not stopping it from teaming with other companies to promote itself overseas.  From the Bangkok Post:
The National Basketball Association will host its first-ever event in Thailand with the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 presented by Singha Drinking Water, the league announced yesterday.

Featuring Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, the NBA 3-on-3 Thailand 2011 will take place in Bangkok at CentralWorld on Sept 10 and 11.

The competition, which will provide youth with an opportunity to hone their basketball skills and compete amongst their peers, is open to 11-19-year-old boys and girls and also features a division for adult men.
via Bangkok Post : NBA to host first event in Thailand.

It's kind of weird that the NBA is hosting this event in a lockout. One would think that all the resources in the league are focused on resolving the conflict, or at least putting all events like this on hold. 

But hey, it's great for the kids in Bangkok. It'll bring a special moment for kids that don't often get to see people like Mullins or... the Grizzlies mascot. It's a feel-good project. The timing just seems a bit odd, what with the basketball league promoting a basketball event without its basketball players because it doesn't have a basketball league at the moment.
Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:05 am

Report: Bryant allegedly injures man in church

By Matt Moore

Kobe Bryant apparently attended church at St. Therese at Carmel in Carmel Valley on Sunday. At one point, he apparently thought a man was snapping photos of him on his cellphone. And that's where things get hazy. From 10News in San Diego:
Sources told 10News Bryant was attending a church service at St. Therese of Carmel in Carmel Valley Sunday and thought someone was taking pictures of him with a cellphone.

According to police, Bryant took the phone from the man, did not see any pictures and then left the church.

The man claims he injured his wrist in the incident and had to go to the hospital for treatment.
via Man Claims NBA Star Bryant Injured Him At Local Church - San Diego News Story - KGTV San Diego.

Already, the claims of the man just looking for money are out there, but the police being involved is a little bit higher of a concern, as is the fact that sources beyond the injured man are cited in the report. This could very well be the last we hear of the incident if police conclude there's nothing to it. If it does continue though, it could be a headache for Bryant. 

Because, you know, he really hasn't had enough trouble in the past fourteen years. 

Here's a question. Doesn't Bryant have protection, in terms of bodyguards? Wouldn't they be the best to take care of this situation? Is there a reason Bryant himself is confronting anyone, if the allegations are true?

Well, it's Kobe. So that means the comments should alternate with premature defense and attacks on his character over an uncomfirmed incident.  

Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:53 pm

Bobby Jackson once checked in mostly naked

By Matt Moore

Over at Kings.com, they ran an interview with Vlade Divac, because, well, what else are they going to do for content? Dance team tryout pictures will only take you so far. In the interview, they asked Divac about the best prank he ever pulled, and well...
“I had a lot of them but I’ll pick one you’ll really like – it’s about Bobby Jackson. He lost some card games on a plane and, obviously, we were so close that we didn’t want to take each others’ money. But I told him, ‘You don’t need to pay me, but you need to be in your underwear and check-in to the hotel in New York.’ So that happened.
via Sacramento Kings, Vlade Revisits His Kings Years.

I... er... we... uh... so...

I'm just trying to get my head around the visual of Bobby Jackson walking in to check into a hotel in New York in his skivvies. That's right. I said skivvies.  

(HT: Sactown Royalty
Posted on: August 15, 2011 12:14 pm

Report: Former player questions Hunter's agenda

By Matt Moore

Billy Hunter played football. That's not all he did, of course, far from it. He was a United States attorney for several years. He helped Latrell Sprewell defend himself from the league after Spree choked his coach. He's been the head of the NBPA since 1996, a replacement for what the players felt was weak leadership. But, as it is with any significant figure, people are divided on him. Is he too abrasive? Is he too passive? Does he have a plan? Is he too controlling? Does he communicate enough with the players? Too much? The list goes on. 

The Portland Tribune features a column today quoting a former player discussing Hunter, and the words are not overly kind:
He has his own agenda,” one former player tells me. “He’s about Billy. He doesn’t have the overall well-being of all the players in
via For NBA players, the clock is ticking.

Hunter does enjoy the spotlight, that's clear from both taking a position as public as this and his particular brand of firestorming. Still, he has managed to keep the players as one of the strongest unions in professional sports. The players are behind in this particular fight, but the real measure of Hunter's leadership will be measured in what happens in October and November. Until then, Hunter can posture all he wants. It's the fall that brings Hunter's real test of strength, and will reveal whether he's pushing his own image or really looking out for his clients.

In 1998, Hunter warned against the dangers of the lockout thirteen years ago, and implicated that the gap between white fans identifying with black/African-American players could severely damage the game. From a New York Times article all those years ago: 
We don't want to say it, but we have a game that's predominantly black,'' Hunter said he told Stern. ''I don't know if there is the same kind of fan loyalty and commitment to the game. Just because of perceptions of people.''
via PRO BASKETBALL; The Street Fighter Who Galls the N.B.A. - New York Times.

Hunter is not concerned with facing the issues head-on. The only question is whether that approach is born of devotion to his responsibility or a personal drive for acclaim.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 10:41 am

Marcin Gortat says he and Robin Lopez are cool

By Matt Moore

Marcin Gotat made some comments last month about Robin Lopez which gave the distinct impression that he and younger LoBro don't get along. The conflict was over the first Gortat was in Phoenix when Lopez, according to Gortat, didn't give him the right instructions on whether practice was on the court or in the film room. Gortat got yelled at and wasn't too happy about it. In the Arizona Republic this week, Gortat wanted to clear the air on the subject. 
"There's no argument between me and him," Gortat said, feeling as though there was backlash to his comments. "The stuff that came out with what I said at the camp was just the first contact with Robin. I don't think there was any problem between me and him. Whatever happened didn't have any impact on me or on him.


"Robin is a player who's (been) longer with this team right now in Phoenix so he's got his own respect and he's got his own problems also. I'm definitely looking forward to playing with him next year."
via Catching up with Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat.

Gortat's comments were originally taken from a tour in Poland, so it's entirely problem the issue was just lost in translation, or at least the tone.  But this seems more like damage control. Gortat talking about taking Lopez' job, then saying everythin's fine just doesn't seem right. Gortat wasn't too comfortable with a reserve role in Orlando; it's clear he wants to be the guy down low. Lopez and he may not be mortal enemies, but they're far from bosom buddies.

That said, we don't know what Gortat's feelings are, so we should take this at face value. It's enough that Gortat voluntarily borught up the subject in order to clear the air. That's more than most players would do.  
Posted on: August 12, 2011 11:40 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 12:00 am

Video: Dennis Rodman Hall of Fame speech

By Matt Moore

Dennis Rodman 2011 Hall Of Fame Speech (VIDEO) by 3030fm

Video via Jose3030 on Twitter. 

Dennis Rodman was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Friday night, and did not disappoint. After a wardrobe change, we kid you not, Rodman took to the podium in tears and forced his way through an emotional and contrite speech. He specifically targeted himself as having failed as a husband, son, and father. He said his one true regret was that he wished he'd been a better father. He spoke of the eccentric wardrobe and behavior and how it was an exterior to express his desire to be a colorful individual. 

It was an at-times disjointed speech, but filled with emotion, a true appreciation of the accomplishment and love for the game.  It was at once truly fitting of Rodman's career and a stark contrast to Michael Jordan's bitter pettiness-fueled tirade two years ago. Rodman in particular spoke of both Chuck Daly and his presenter, Phil Jackson, along with Jordan and Pippen. Rodman seemed truly overwhelmed by the moment, putting aside his excessive behavior (outside of two nose rings and a lip ring, and gave a speech worth remembering. It doesn't change who Rodman has been, or who he will be, but it does cement the fact that Rodman belongs here, among players like Artis Gilmore and coaches like Tex Winter. 

The Worm is in the Hall, and he went in on his own terms as you could have guessed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 1:09 pm

Friday 5 with KB: Hall of Fame Edition

By Matt Moore

In this week's edition of the Friday 5we take a look at the Hall of Fame and what it means, the power of super-teams, and wonder what exactly the NBPA and NBA are doing during this lockout, since they're so busy. 

1. There's been some discussion of whether Dennis Rodman was "flashy" enough to belong in the Hall. I argued yesterday that not only is he arguably the best true role player of the last thirty years, he was also pretty good at offense early in his career before he switched to just defense and rebounding. Is "style' a prerequisite for the Hall in your mind?

KB: I think style could be a qualifying factor to enhance a Hall of Fame resume -- i.e. Julius Erving and Pete Maravich -- but shouldn't be a disqualifying factor. Should Tim Duncan not be in the Hall of Fame because he's boring? Rodman definitely belongs on the merit of his play. The fact that he was a grunt specialist on the floor and has become a comic book character off it has little to do with how deserving he is.

2. Your terrific piece on Tex Winter with his son Chris hearkened back to those days in Chicago, which he's most known for. Phil, Jordan, Pippen, now Rodman and Tex. Will we see a team's nucleus enter so many Hall of Famers again?

KB: Well, interesting that you should ask this question in the middle of a death struggle for the future of the NBA. What the owners seem to be saying with their proposals is that they don't want super teams. They want parity. But super teams -- the Showtime Lakers, the Celtics' various dynasties, and now the Heat's Big Three -- have been so good for business, it's hard to imagine smart businessmen wouldn't want that. Would it really be had for basketball, and for business, if the Heat won three or four titles? Or if the Knicks got Chris Paul and won a couple themselves? Hardly. It would be astronomically good for business. But it's up to the owners and what they really want, and which owners ultimately will win this struggle. I maintain that we haven't even begun to hear from the moderates in big, successful markets who aren't so opposed to a system that at least imitates the status quo.

3. Here's a golden oldie. Are you of the opinion that there should be an NBA Hall of Fame, separate from the Naismith?

KB: This is a tough one, because I really do enjoy how the different levels of basketball are all intertwined. I think you lose something if you separate them. But there is a college Hall of Fame, and many players' and coaches' bodies of work in the NBA stand apart from whatever college canvas they may have painted. So yes, ultimately I think it would be better to separate the two. What could possibly be the harm?

4. Outside of No.3, what's the biggest thing you think should be changed about the Hall?

KB:I wouldn't want to see the voting become as political as it is for baseball, but more transparency in the voting would be nice. I want to know who's voting, and who got what percentage of the votes, and have a clear view of what the criteria are.

5. One lockout note: Big to-do's on Thursday about both sides saying the other wouldn't meet. Here's a question. WHAT ELSE ARE THEY DOING THAT THEY CAN'T POSSIBLY FIND TIME TO MEET? We're in a lockout! That's their only job right now, on either side!

KB: Welcome to the dance, Matt. It's still only August, so the slow waltz continues. And you have to admit, the so-called bargaining sessions we've witnessed for the past two months have been exercises in futility. Honestly, I can't imagine what the two sides spent four hours talking about the last time they met earlier this month. The owners still want what they want and aren't willing to compromise, and the players still reject it and feel that if they make major concessions, they'll be caving to the owners. So here we are, in lockout purgatory. What we need is some momentum, some event that creates leverage or urgency for either side. The calendar will take care of that naturally as we get into September and the owners have to grapple with the notion of canceling games. It also could happen on the legal front, with the next mile-marker being a decision from the NLRB on the players' unfair labor practices charge. The double whammy of a victory for the players with the NLRB, which could lead to an injunction lifting the lockout, combined with the sheer element of time would provide the urgency these proceedings currently are lacking. One final thought: I just hope that both sides aren't confident in the belief that they survived a lockout that shortened the season to 50 games in 1998-99, and thus are subconsciously aiming for the same outcome again. Because 50 games can become zero games faster than they think if they don't get moving.

You can follow Ken Berger on Twitter @kberg_cbs
Posted on: August 11, 2011 2:41 pm

Dwight Howard ain't mad at ya, Orlando

By Matt Moore

Dwight Howard layed out some criticism this week towards Magic fans about how loud the arena is in the regular season. In the face of Howard's upcoming free agent after the 2012 season (you know, if there is one), combined with the fact that Orlando fit the bill on the new arena and the fact that they really have been one of the better crowds for a playoff team over the past four years, it didn't really go right. 

Howard's not really the "I don't care what people think about me" type, or at least it seems that way from the massive amount of exposure he pursues. And that's not a bad thing, too often the reckless loner is a tired act that only excuses borish, rude behavior. It's a cliche in and of itself in bucking cliches. Regardless, Howard contacted the Orlando Sentinel, who he and his coach think are too hard on him anyway, to try and clear up the matter and difuse any problems from the Orlando Magic faithful. 

In an effort to make sure Howard wasn't taken out of context, they printed his full statement. Excuse the heavy blockquote, we want to make sure Howard's comments are taken in full: 
“I want to clear it up. In no shape, form or fashion am I criticizing our fans. My whole statement was when the season’s around, and the playoffs come, it’s a different atmosphere. And if you want to win a championship, we all gotta act as champions. That’s players, coaches, and even our city. The city can win a championship, especially a city like ours. We need to come together, and not just for a couple games and the playoffs. If we’re together all season, there’s no doubt in my mind that we can win a championship. I will know that I have my city behind me.“

It wasn’t me criticizing any of my fans because I appreciate all the people that come and sell out the arena. Just know there’s a difference, and you can put this on there or not, I just know there’s a difference between the regular season and the playoffs. There’s no difference between the regular season, playoffs, whatever… I’m going to give 100 percent every time I step on the floor. Like I said, most people don’t get but one opportunity to see their favorite player. People who have season tickets, they get to see them play whenever, but most people only have one opportunity, so if you don’t go out there and play as hard as you can for the one person that may not ever see you again, they will be disappointed. So I go out, play hard every night. This city’s been supporting me, and I want to show them how I feel about them by playing hard every night.”
via Dwight Howard wants to clear air with Orlando Magic fans – Orlando Magic BasketBlog – Orlando Sentinel.

Setting aside the season ticket holders comment (don't they pay for each and every chance to see the players give 100 percent, not to try and hope they catch that effort on a few out of the 41?) because that really is needless nitpicking (which I just did), there's a quick solution here. If Howard wants to set aside any bad feelings about his relationship with the fans? Sign an extension. Stay in Orlando. Everyone will love you then, no matter what you do.

Somehow, we don't see that happening.

Howard at least did care enough to make the statement, which does count for an awful lot. But it should be noted that this follows a similar pattern to all the other departures we've seen, with small pockets of conflict between the player and fans (like Nuggets fans booing Melo last season). Not to say that this points towards anything, just that it's part of a larger pattern. Maybe he'll buck the trend and stay in Orlando. That would certainly give the fans something to cheer about.  
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com