Tag:Matt Moore
Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:50 am

Carmelo Anthony made a friend.

By Matt Moore

So first he was all...

And then he was like...


Via Melo on Twitter. 
Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:50 am

There's bad blood between Lopez and Gortat

By Matt Moore

It's not unusual for NBA players to dislike one another. While it's a fraternity of sorts and in general, everyone gets along fine, it's like anything else in life. Some personalities just don't fit well together. It's more rare to hear about a problem between teammates, though. But apparently Marcin Gortat and Robin Lopez got off to a bad start when Gortat arrived in Phoenix, and things have never improved. From SBNation Arizona:
Marcin said that on his first day in Phoenix he asked Robin if practice started on the court or with a video session. Robin told Marcin that he didn't know so Gortat went to the gym while Lopez went to watch video. According to Gortat, a coach came to get him and asked why he was late and Marcin said that he had asked Robin and was told he didn't know where practice was starting. The coach said everyone knew where they were supposed to be. Marcin took that as a sign of where things stood between himself and Lopez.
via Marcin Gortat's Polish Tour Includes Dogging Robin Lopez And Bad Tennis - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona.

Gortat went on to talk about how Lopez did not seize the opportunity afforded to him by the departure of Amar'e Stoudemire to solidify himself as the Suns' big man. Ouch. 

Gortat backed up his talk with Phoenix last year, averaging 15.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per 36 minutes. Lopez' scoring and rebounding were lower per 36, and he lost the faith of the coaching staff after returning from injury. Whenever basketball is to be played again and moves are available, don't be surprised to see Lopez shopped, as Alvin Gentry has expressed significant frustration with him recently

Lopez may simply have been poorly suited for the Suns' up and down game, as his raw tangibles seem to still hold upside. It's a buyers market for centers in this league, so a move might be the best for all parties.

Certainly Marcin Gortat, apparently.  
Posted on: July 27, 2011 10:22 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:28 pm

Knicks offer lockout refund for season tickets

By Matt Moore

Knicks fans pay through the nose for everything. It's an expensive city, with an arena in an expensive part of town, that just underwent an expensive rennovation, with a team that draws expensive tickets. So it's nice that if the NBA is to lose its season, the Knicks are giving back. They're offering refunds, plus interest on a monthly basis, to all season-ticket holders for the duration of the lockout. Nice. 

From the New York Post:
The Post has obtained a letter sent to Knicks season-ticket holders on July 1 which specifies any cancelled games will be refunded with interest on a monthly basis.

According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the lockout interest rate is 1 percent, with calculations beginning Oct. 1. Each letter sent out was personalized.

The letter read, in part, "If any 2011-12 preseason or regular season games are cancelled due to a work stoppage, all Season Subscribers will have the option of receiving a refund with interest on a monthly basis, or have money left on account with interest. More specific details about refunds or credits will be shared at the appropriate time."
via Knicks to offer refunds for any missed games - NYPOST.com

Yahoo! Sports, meanwhile, thinks that the 1 percent interest is not nearly enough, given how the actual function of physical ticket holders works:
The issue here is that season ticket holders aren't always the most devoted fans. Often, there's no single "holder," but a company or corporation that buys a pair of seats and hands them out to clients or staff months before teams even assemble for training camp. These clients or staff then make plans around these seats, assuming they haven't moved those ducats on to their own clients or staff by then (or those clients and/or staff haven't moved them on again, and again …), and money is spent preparing for Dec. 12, or March 19, or whatever.

The point is that reservations are made, out-of-town visitors have hotel reservations and flights lined up, and money is spent. And 1 percent interest, I'm sorry, ain't covering that. Cool idea New York Knicks, but it's not enough.
via The Knicks offer a lockout refund plan for the games they won’t play - Ball Don't Lie - NBA Blog - Yahoo! Sports.

While it's true that some are going to wind up taking a bath on those tickets, it's nice to get something back. And people that are traveling to purchase a pair of tickets from a season-tickets holder likely have some money to spend anyway. Plus, they're in New York, not like they're hunting for something to do. It's virtually impossible to not have a good time in New York if you have some spendable cash.

It's a goodwill effort from the Knicks, and one that should be copied by every team in the league. 

Update 12:26 p.m.: The NBA has informed CBSSports.com that the refund policy is standard across the board as a legue-wide mandate, so good for them, eh? That's a good move on the part of the league.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 9:43 am

Why CAA is missing a giant opportunity in China

By Matt Moore

In the last year,  CAA flexed its muscles as the most powerful sports representation entity in professional basketball. LeBron James staged "The Decision," which was a PR disaster and a global branding success. Chris Bosh, James, and Dwyane Wade got what they wanted, to team up where they wanted for basically as much as they wanted. Carmelo Anthony staged a year-long siege on Denver's future, eventually working his way not just out of the team he wanted out of, but to the team he wanted to play for. Chris Paul flexed enough muscle to get help in getting the Hornets back to the playoffs. Tony Parker signed a hefty new extension.

The lockout is here, now, and everyone's evaluating their options. Yet for some reason, CAA hasn't taken the active step in pushing things to the next level in a crucial opportunity to expand their brand in Europe or China. We're starting to see signs that some of their clientele may head over, though. From the AP:
Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony say they will consider offers to play professional basketball in China if there is no resolution to the NBA lockout.

Both players are on a promotional tour of China while monitoring news from home about the NBA's labor impasse.

With Kobe Bryant reportedly negotiating a deal to play in Turkey, New Orleans Hornets' Paul and New York Knicks forward Anthony said they were also considering overseas moves.

Asked by SNTV where they would go, Anthony replied "China." Paul said "Same, no question."
via Paul, Anthony say they will consider playing in China - NBA - CBSSports.com Basketball.

Now, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com says that the players should cool it with their globetrotting and go beat down the league's door to get the lockout resolved, which is a nice pipe dream. But considering that A. there's a concern in the union, expressed by Paul, that the talks should represent the whole of the union and not just the superstars and B. let's face it, this is professional sports, it's every man for himself except where launching lawsuits like the NFL did helps your cause, it's not just unlikely, but likely untenable. 

Setting aside the morality questions regarding these players' behavior in a lockout, let's examine the business side of it. CAA is in a unique situation, with its ties to Nike through various sources including but not limited to William Wesley, along with other sponsors, to put together a traveling exhibition tour through China that would fit perfectly with their roster. It would expand their brand in that market, both as a sports entity and the players individually, generate a metric ton of revenue, and would be able to be done according to the wishes of the players. Don't want a coach? Don't need one! Want to be able to cancel a tour date within three hours of the event? Done! They would be able to set all parameters and as a result, have the control they want, using CAA's leveraging power to act as a shield for the players. 

LeBron James is already said to have decided to pass on playing overseas. This decision is pretty baffling, given James is the one star with the biggest goals for global domination. China is part of the gateway to obtaining the brand power of Kobe Bryant, yet James hasn't fully invested himself there, like, say, Carmelo Anthony has. Anthony filmed a movie last year in China and has followed Bryant's suit in establishing himself there, along with Dwight Howard. James would do well not to think himself having already conquered the market with his Beijing stint in 2008. But collectively, CAA could simply overwhelm with the amount of revenue they would generate from spearheading such an effort. In addition, that would leave more opportunities for other players overseas, which strengthens the union's position. 

So why isn't this happening?

Because apparently getting NBA players to commit to anything on that kind of level is like herding cats. CAA can get three superstars to commit the next five years of their careers (at least) to each other in the same city, but can't get this kind of thing organized. Such are the complexities of global domination. Hannibal never had this problem. Maybe they need more elephants.  
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:40 am
Edited on: July 27, 2011 8:41 am

Artest in talks to join 'Dancing with The Stars?'

By Matt Moore

TMZ reports that Ron Artest is in discussions to join the cast of popular television gameshow "Dancing with the Stars" as a contestant:
Nothing's official yet -- but sources tell us, both Artest and "Dancing" producers have been in touch to hash out a possible deal ... and Ron's pretty excited about the prospect.But here's the catch -- "Dancing" won't end 'til November and basketball season typically starts in October ... which means if the lockout ends early, Ron could be S.O.L.
via Ron Artest -- In Talks with 'Dancing w/ the Stars' | TMZ.com.

This is a terrible idea for any NBA player, plain and simple.

While I'm sure being paired with a professional dancer and starring alongside a virtual of who's who of has-beens is an alluring prospect, here's the reality. The dances the players would be participating in have one primary injury likelihood: turned ankles. Depending on the severity, those take months to get right. Players play through them all the time, but it affects their production and limits them for months. Plus, they're painful as all get-out. Artest, who's as tough as they come, doesn't want to come into a shortened season, his first with new head coach Mike Brown, dealing with an ankle-turn. It will just slow him down and since he had issues last year with floor time, complicating that issue seems like an unnecessary risk.

Which means he'll probably do this. It seems unlikely that the show's producers would take this big a risk on Artest, considering as much as everyone's in doomsday mode about the lockout lasting the entire season (and it's very possible), we simply don't know. Things could get resolved next week and it would only register mild shock. There's no set timeline for how this will go. And trying to get Ron Artest to commit to a rehearsal schedule, even a flexible one, while playing an NBA season?

Yeah, good luck with that.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 12:00 am

Rondo says Celtics were too upset over Perkins

By Matt Moore

The Boston Celtics' success runs on chemistry. Versus the Heat's model of running on athleticism and swagger, or the Lakers' model of running on confidence and length, the Celtics found almost immediately after Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett arrived that they were best driven by a sense of united purpose. It helped build a family atmosphere in Boston and a closeness with the players. They weren't just teammates, they were brothers. 

You know, until Danny Ainge ditched Kendrick Perkins for a forward who doesn't rebound and Nenad Krstic who is coming to a European team near you. That didn't so much preach a sense of family to the players. And as a result, the team reacted in a devastated manner when Perkins was sent to Oklahoma City. It visibly and deeply affected them, and to assert that it was a distraction for the rest of the season is not out of line. So much so that Rajon Rondo, in an interview with Yahoo! Sports, claims that it affected the Celtics too much. 
Rondo refused to use injuries as an excuse for losing in the second round of the playoffs to the Miami Heat. But he also believes the trade of Perkins, his closest friend on the team, affected the Celtics “more than it should have.”

“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”
via Celtics' roster could get new look - NBA - Yahoo! Sports.

While I'm sure Celtics fans would rather the team have reached this conclusion before they exploded in a blaze of sadness, in reality, Perkins wasn't what did them in against the Heat. James and Wade dropping pull-up 3-pointers wouldn't have been stopped by Perkins. They ran out of steam against a very good team with a lot of talent. But maybe that was the real cost of the Perkins trade. The Celtics needed energy, and the trade emotionally exhausted them. 

It's good that Rondo can admit that they should have moved on, but for a kid that comes off as cynical to begin with, you have to wonder just how much further down the rabbit hole this trade has sent Rondo. 
Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:20 am

Is the Magic's offense flawed?

By Matt Moore

This is not a new subject. Since the Magic came into relevance in 2009 with their blistering 3-point barrage to make the NBA Finals, pepole have been questioning their offensive philosophy. The basics go somethings like this: 

  • People think that shooting the 3-pointer is not an effective way to run an offense because it relies on long-range jump shots and eventually, those aren't going to fall and what are you going to do then?
  • The response, then, is that you should drive more, because that creates high-percentage opportunities, which are around the rim, or at least forces the defense to react to that threat, allowing easier pull-up and spot-up jumpers. 
  • In order to do that, you have to have the personnel which can create off the dribble, attacking the rim. There are a lot of questions about whether the Magic have that kind of system. If they don't, it's wondered if that's the case because of the system they've designed. 
But here's the rub: the Magic's offense has actually been really efficient the plast few years. So what happened last year? Talking to the Orlando Sentinel, who he apparentl is not a big fan of, Stan Van Gundy says it was just one of those years. He also thinks you can't magically force your personnel to drive if they're not good at it. From the Sentinel
“Especially from an offensive standpoint, this is a personnel driven league,” Van Gundy continued. “You do with what you have. We get it from our media all the time and our fans. We’ll have those nights, 2-for-23 from three. They say you gotta drive the ball more. Who? Who? That’s my question. Who? Who’s going to drive the ball? That’s not who we have. If I had a different team, there are a lot of guys in the league that I wouldn’t shoot threes with. We have who we have and we’re going to build our system around it.”
via Stan Van Gundy defends Orlando Magic’s style of play – Orlando Magic BasketBlog – Orlando Sentinel.

Van Gundy's right that they have who they have and they should build their system around it. Unfortunately, their personnel wasn't well fit for anything last season, which is why they ended up out of the first round. The 3-point shot didn't just abandon them, it snuck out in the middle of the night and took the cat.

But there needs to be a priority to change that personnel and bring in someone who can create off the dribble. Additionally, the Magic offense became so dependent on the 3-pointer last year that it abandoned what had made that approach so successful in 2009, the extra pass. The Magic took whatever was the first 3-pointer available last season as opposed to pushing that extra pass to the player who has time to spot up.

Orlando needs a lot of work to re-open the window. That starts with getting a perimeter playmaker who's more than just a spot-up shooter.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 9:09 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 9:10 am

Dirk's a marketing icon that doesn't market

By Matt Moore

Dirk Nowitzki isn't marketing his brand. He's not extending into new consumer base opportunities. He's not driving to become an opinion-maker. Dirk Nowitzki isn't focusing on becoming a global entity. He's just a basketball player. But it turns out, he's pretty much the most marketable and likeable star out there. From Yahoo! Sports:  
Nowitzki, a 10-time NBA All-Star, has an N-Score of 132, a whopping 59 percent higher than Kobe Bryant's 83.

The N-Score measures name and image awareness, appeal and personality attributes such as sincerity, approachability, experience and influence, both at the U.S. national and local levels.

Despite the Mavericks star's popularity, without an agent or business manager, the pride of Wurzburg, Germany, doesn't seem motivated in cashing in on his profit-making potential.
via King Dirk: The New Master Of NBA Marketability | ThePostGame.

It makes sense, when you think about it. Dirk's humble, which everyone at least pretends is what they want out of their star when they talk about LeBron James (and ignores when it's anyone else). He's a champion, a Hall of Famer. He's lovable and has a certain amount of swagger (the "I'm That Dude" shirt, etc.). He's able to make fun of himself and is clutch as all get out.

It's just stirring for a guy who was a German enigma for so long, for a player who people struggled to understand and called into question for his supposed lack of toughness for so long to have come this far. It's not just that Nowitzki has made it to the top. It's that it's been such a long uphill trek for him.

It's also pretty entertaining that perhaps what makes Dirk so marketable is that he's shown no inclination to market himself. That sums things up nicely.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com