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 5, 2011 6:36 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 6:58 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
When you hear about NBA players going back to school during the ongoing lockout, you think first about a guy like Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who is working hard to complete his sociology degree at Davidson. You probably didn't picture two All-Stars and two up-and-comers falling asleep in a classroom wearing matching letterman jackets before a rap group wakes them up by explaining the history of "bling." But that's what we have right here, right now for your enjoyment.
Phiten, a company that specializes in necklaces and bracelets, has released a music video called "The History Of Bling" starring the rap group Pac Div and NBA players Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Eric Gordon and Derrick Williams.
The four NBA players are schooled in the evolution of jewelry -- from Ancient Egypt, to Caesar's Rome, to 17th century France, to Revolutionary War era America, to the big gold look made famous during old school hip hop's glory days -- in rhyming verses.
"Bling is history," the ad finally declares.
What we really need now is for MacArthur genius economist Kevin Murphy to make a "The History Of BRI" remix for the National Basketball Players Association to distribute to its members.
RELATED: Golden State Warriors guard Jeremy Lin explains how to get accepted to Harvard
Hat tip: Black Sports Online | Video uploaded by YouTube user Phiten
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 26, 2011 5:04 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 10:30 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
It sounded too good to be true, didn't it?
A full galaxy of NBA stars travelling the globe to bring basketball to all corners of the Earth during the biggest hoops drought in a decade?
As recently as a few hours ago, plans were reportedly all set for Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and a host of other NBA stars to make a six-game tour that would have included stops in Puerto Rico, England and Australia.
Unfortunately, multiple reports broke on Wednesday afternoon that many of the biggest names would not actually be participating.
Although his name was mentioned by tour organizers, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that James "not only won't be part of NBA world tour but had never committed to [the] project in [the] first place."
Shortly thereafter, ESPN.com reported that James, Anthony and Paul had all chosen not to participate. HoopsWorld.com then reminded everyone that Rose and Westbrook were recent scratches too.
I guess if you're going to fail, fail big.
Update: The Sun Sentinel reports Wednesday night that the world tour has been repackaged as a one-game exhibition in Puerto Rico, starring Bryant, Durant, Stoudemire, Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Diwght Howard, Blake Griffin, Chris Kaman, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Carlos Boozer and Tyson Chandler.
Posted on: October 24, 2011 7:46 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2011 7:55 pm
Posted by Ben Golliver.
NBA players, locked out by their league's owners and stuck in a labor impasse, recently attempted to curry public favor with a social media campaign using the words "Let Us Play." Of course, it backfired, as fans pointed out that there was a deal on the table (albeit a terrible one) that would have allowed the players to return to work immediately if they simply signed off on it. Appealing to the public for sympathy and pointing their collective finger at the owners just didn't strike the right chord with fans who can easily find fault with both sides.
Leave it to Jordan Brand to find the proper wording and tone that has eluded the NBPA for months. Building on Nike's "Basketball Never Stops" tagline that's dotted t-shirts at exhibition games throughout the summer, Jordan has released a two-minute long commercial that paints the players in a better light than any Billy Hunter interview could.
Starring Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, the ad aims to show how devoted the players are to their craft, regardless of the lockout. To prove it, Wade, Anthony and Paul are shown competing in a variety of pick-up games and intramural leagues near their home NBA market. Wade stars in the Miami Kiwanis Club League, the Flamingo Sr. Rec Center League and the Dade County Municipal League; Paul runs game in the NOLA Inter-Parish League and the Bayou Women's League; Anthony holds court in a Williamsburg pick-up game, at Five-Star Basketball Camp and in the Jewish under-40 league. Wade, Paul, and Anthony face off against opponents of both genders and all ages, races and creeds.
As the ad wraps, the All-Star trio comes together for an exhibition game in Beijing, China, with fans giddy in anticipation. Finally, the tagline -- "Love The Game... No Matter What" -- splashes on the screen to conclude the commercial.
In terms of pure public relations value, "Love The Game" wins in a landslide over "Let Us Play." Even the most cynical observer can appreciate demonstrated passion for basketball. The players may never win the sympathy of the general public, but putting aside the financial aspects of the lockout to focus on a universal love for the game, as Jordan has done here, should earn them some renewed respect.
Video courtesy of YouTube user Jumpman23.
Hat tip: @DarrenRovell
Posted on: October 21, 2011 12:16 pm
Posted by Royce Young
Carmelo Anthony hasn't forgot about that toast Chris Paul made at his wedding. And with Chauncey Billups' contract up at the end of 2012, the Knicks are going to need a point guard. Guess who Melo wants?
"If it works out and he comes here and they allow him to come here, you'll see a smile from ear to ear," Anthony told the New York Post. "It's not just me. It's everybody [in New York]. If he decides to leave New Orleans and goes somewhere else, they'll be feeling the same way I'm feeling."
You know who else would be feeling that way? Like 26 other teams. Chris Paul, along with Dwight Howard, are the two prizes of 2012. Wherever CP3 goes, he'll take a team and turn it into a contender. Would the Knicks be a fit? Yes, totally. Melo, Amar'e Stoudemire and CP3? That's almost every bit as impressive as what Miami's got, excepet that big three would have a little more natural construction.
But the Knicks just won't have the cap room. Unlike what Pat Riley did with the Heat, the Knicks haven't really cleared the decks for three players to take over the roster. The best shot there is for New York is to wiggle a trade at the deadline using Billups contract. But much like the Knicks went through with acquiring Melo, they don't really have the best offer to make New Orleans. And if Chris Paul doesn't put a disclaimer on a trade like Melo did, I don't see how the Knicks could match an offer made by a lot of other teams.
It just depends on what the new salary cap looks like. If it's a similar system to now, the Knicks could likely get creative and make space. But if it's a harder cap or one with an extreme luxury tax, getting CP3 would be near impossible.
Melo saying this would probably fall under the league's anti-tampering rules, but those don't really exist right now with the players locked out. So go ahead Melo. Any other players you want?
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.