Tag:MIchael Jordan
Posted on: February 14, 2011 4:32 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 5:43 pm

How many points could Michael Jordan score today?

Charlotte Bobcats coach Paul Silas says that Bobcats owner Michael Jordan could score "15 to 20 points a game." Posted by Ben Golliver. michael-jordan-owner

Michael Jordan is 47 years old and hasn't played professional basketball since the 2002-2003 season. In those eight years away from the game, Jordan has been an executive for multiple teams and recently became owner of the Charlotte Bobcats.

In perhaps his biggest move as owner, Jordan parted ways with head coach Larry Brown and installed Paul Silas in his place. In return, Silas has taken to the radio airwaves to extoll Jordan's still considerable basketball talents. In an interview with ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago, transcribed by SportsRadioInterviews.com, Silas confirmed that Jordan has been working out with the Bobcats players and says that the Hall of Famer could still be an impact player in the NBA.
“Yeah, he comes and works out with the guys. We make him shoot before practice and he’s in the shooting lines … and he’s doing the drills with them and getting up and down the court. It’s exciting to watch him. He still has it, can shoot that thing still. Not as athletic as he once was, of course, but who is. … He’s been a huge help.”
“If he got in shape, he could probably average 15 to 20 points a game, no question. He still has the shot. If he got in shape he could probably average 20 because he can get the shot off, he can make them and he really has an uncanny knowledge of the game.”
For reference, only 21 players in the NBA currently average 20 points per game and only 66 average at least 15 points per game. Also, to be clear, if Jordan returned to play today, he would be the oldest player to ever play in the NBA. Ever. (Again for emphasis.) He would also be nearly a decade older than the current oldest active player, Boston Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal.

I'll be the first to confess that I'm a huge, huge, huge MJ honk. Greatest Of All Time. There's no debate now and there will never be a debate. With that said, unlike Silas, MJ doesn't cut my checks. 

What Silas is saying here is polite and wishful hero-making, but it's not accurate. Essentially, he's arguing that MJ could be an NBA team's No. 1 or No. 2 scorer right now against many players who are less than half of his age. That has to be impossible. No coach would turn the keys over to Jordan. (Not even Silas.) No matter how much Jordan is still revered, there's no way his hypothetical teammates would let him get that many shots if this actually played out. 

In a reasonable best case scenario, the MJ of today would be much like the Tracy McGrady of today: slowed by limited mobility and limited spring but able to be somewhat effective for a losing team in a limited role. Sure, MJ might have more tricks and better shot selection than McGrady, but nothing would be coming easy to him (no open floor transition buckets, less trips to the foul line where he made a killing, etc.). Running things through Jordan is theoretically possible, but it couldn't be a winning, sustainable strategy.

In MJ's last season he shot 44% from the field; McGrady is currently shooting 44.8% from the field. Because he's only playing 23.1 minutes per game, McGrady is currently averaging 8.1 points per game. Even if we take the mental leap that Jordan can keep up for, say, 35 minutes a night, he would still need to improve his shooting efficiency considerably to reach 15 points a game. The odds that Jordan is a better shooter now than he was seven years ago? Not very good. The odds that his body could sustain 35 minutes a night 82 times a season? Even worse.

Here's the rub: We still have to stop and think about whether Jordan could do these things. We're still not at the point - nearly a decade later - where claims such as these are instantly dismissed. Indeed, if I were a GM and you gave me the choice between Jordan and McGrady right now, I'd at least work out Jordan before I made the decision. I'd see if I could arrange a litttle one-on-one. Wouldn't you?

Put it this way: If Silas had simply said Jordan could score 8-10 points per game off the bench, would anyone raise an eyebrow?

Update: Check BusinessInsider.com for a detailed, nuanced comarpsion between Jordan and McGrady.
Posted on: February 13, 2011 8:22 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2011 8:37 pm

Ray Allen reflects on setting NBA 3-point record

Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen talks with CBSSports.com's Ken Berger about setting the NBA's all-time 3-point record. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Back on Thursday, we noted that Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen passed former Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller's NBA record for most career 3-pointers during a game in Boston against the Los Angeles Lakers. This weekend, CBSSports.com's Ken Berger caught up with Allen to reminisce on the moment he became the league's most prolific marksman.

Allen said that he would never forget Thursday night because of the response from the TD Garden crowd. "You could sense the tension," Allen remembered. "Everybody wanted it to happen so bad. When it happened, everybody erupted. That's a feeling I'll remember forever. That's a feeling that all of us athletes - no matter what sport you play in - that's a feeling you miss when you retire from sports." 

The response from his friends and family in the days after setting the record was similarly overwhelming. "My phone [was] blowing up, freezing because I had so many text messages," Allen told Berger. "Yesterday I was still getting text messages like the game just happened that day. Even today. Probably close to maybe 130 or 140 [text messages total] ... I think everybody in my phone, that I know, that I've saved their number in my phone, has called me. Which is great because I like to think I have a lot of good peple in my life."

The well-wishers included former Chicago Bulls guard and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan. "Yeah, he texted me, just, congratulations," Allen said. "I had the fortunate pleasure growing up watching him, then there was the point where we were peers ... he's definitely someone I call a friend." 

Click here to watch Berger's full conversation with Allen or view it below.

Posted on: February 11, 2011 9:05 am

Shootaround 2.11.11: Sticking points

The King wants a bad game on TV, Derrick Rose has gotten better around the rim, and Jerry Sloan was around for a while. All this and more in today's Shootaround. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Just how many coaches did Jerry Sloan out-last during his tenure? SBNation takes a graphic look

The collected history of the 3-point shot. 

Tyson Chandler thinks he got snubbed for the All-Star Game. Join the club. 

Rose has not only become an MVP candidate this season, he's improved at drawing contact within the context of the season. It was a major weakness that I too have noticed he's improved on. He's no longer avoiding contact or leaning away at the point of attack.

The Bucks spent all that money over the summer and have so very little to show for it. 

LeBron James wants the Cavs-Wizards game televised

MJ's still got it

Landry Fields tries his hand at selling his own jersey.

The life and times of dealing with Gregg Popovich as a beat writer.  

Marcus Camby might be back soon. Maybe. Probably. Perhaps. 
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:41 am

Report: Bobcats trying to dump Wallace

The Bobcats are reportedly considering trading Gerald Wallace for peanuts to struggling Cavaliers

Posted by Matt Moore

Just when things seem to be looking up for Bobcats fans, here comes Michael Jordan. 

Yahoo! Sports reports that the Bobcats are considering trading Gerald Wallace, their lone All-Star, to Cleveland for ... a first-round pick and the Cavaliers $14 million trade exception garnered when their All-Star LeBron James took off for South Beach. That's it.

That the Bobcats are considering trading Wallace should be no surprise. He has a big contract with multiple years left on his deal. He'll garner the most assets as he is their best overall player, and he's the easiest to move as people are actually interested in acquiring him. The team has never really committed to Wallace as a building block, and Wallace struggled for durations under now-fired Larry Brown. Even with the Bobcats 6-2 since Paul Silas took over and in the 8th playoff spot, moving Wallace is the best plan towards a true rebuilding effort. 

But this deal? This deal would be devastating. It's trading your best overall player, a high energy veteran who rebounds, steals, blocks, and scores for a first round pick when your history of drafts since Jordan came in with a strong voice has been nothing short of horrific.  And that's counting D.J. Augustin who has looked phenomenal this year in a season where many expected him to fail. Trading Wallace for only a pick and the trade exception, which you're unlikely to be able to move again in a clogged trade environment (thanks to both the upcoming CBA talks and Carmelo Anthony's situation) would set your franchise back significantly. All-Stars do not grow on trees in this league, and while Wallace is not a No.1 guy you can build around, he's a No.2 guy you can help to build around that star, should you find him.

For the Cavaliers, the deal makes sense to a certain degree, but only to a certain degree. Yes, he's a player you can help build around a star with like I said, but that's $31 million and three-years remaining on that player when you don't have that star in place and are as far from contention as you ever has been. The Cavs need to stay light and trim, maintaining flexibility should the right move come along, and target more draft picks, not fewer, in an attempt to rebuild. Make the right moves and you can pull yourself into Thunder capacity. But commit yourself to margin All-Stars without ever finding that No.1 guy and you're going to be spinning your wheels in NBA purgatory, the last place on Earth you want to be. 
Posted on: January 11, 2011 8:46 am

Nike slaps LeBronJordan.com with cease & desist

Nike has served LeBronJordan.com, a startup shoe company, with a cease-and-desist letter. Posted by Ben Golliver. lebron-james-shoes

While LeBron James is busy spanking himself on the court, Nike Inc. is slapping a startup shoe company with legal paperwork requesting that it stop using James' name on its website. 

According to the Portland Business Journal, Nike sent a cease-and-desist letter to LeBronJordan.com, a Brooklyn-based startup shoe company that sells shoes that look strikingly similar to Nike's Air Jordans and Converse Chuck Taylors (Nike owns Converse).

The site's proprietor, Aaron Fraser, claims his website's name isn't a mash-up of LeBron James and Michael Jordan, Nike's two most famous basketball endorsers, but instead an homage to his two godchildren
“I decided myself, I love footwear, why don’t I create my own footwear,” he said. “While we were discussing a suitable name, my wife suggested I use my two godsons.”
The Portland Business Journal notes that Nike's cease-and-desist has legally requested that the website change its name to avoid "public confusion."
In the letter, dated Jan. 7, Jaime Lemons, an assistant counsel at Nike, asks Fraser to stop using the LeBron and Jordan names, take down his website at LeBronJordan.com, and cease any sales activity under the company’s current name, arguing that it could cause “public confusion as to the source or affiliation of your products, resulting in infringement of Nike’s rights.”
Lemons notes that Nike has sold “significant amounts” of products using the trademarks Air Jordan and LeBron and owns several federal trademarks for those terms.
Fraser has responded, as you might expect, by decrying a company's ability to trademark an individual's name. Good luck with that argument. 

James has had an endorsement deal with Nike since entering the NBA career directly from high school, and he recently re-upped his contract in April 2010. Jordan's relationship with Nike dates back to the early 1980s.

Hat tip: HoopsHype.
Category: NBA
Posted on: January 5, 2011 5:02 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 5:10 pm

Bryant on pace to pass Jordan on NBA scoring list

It’s no guarantee that Kobe Bryant will match or pass Michael Jordan’s six rings, but he should pass Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring chart with kobe-bryant-michael-jordan.jpgrelative ease. 

Posted by Ben Golliver.

Even at 32 years old, Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has plenty of NBA miles ahead of him. This week, he moved into the top 10 on the NBA’s all-time scoring chart, and if he continues scoring at his current rate through the rest of the season, barring injury, he will move into the No. 6 position on the list, passing Hall of Famers Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon and Oscar Robertson in the process.

But Bryant surely won't be content with sixth place. Just like he is chasing Michael Jordan’s six NBA titles, he’s also in hot pursuit of Jordan’s NBA career scoring tally, which at 32,292 points puts MJ in third place all-time, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387) and Karl Malone (36,928).

So what does Kobe need to do to pass Jordan? Let’s take a look.

Since turning 30, Bryant has fallen off his career-high scoring numbers posted in his late-twenties, but he’s still scoring at an exceptional rate. Over the last 2.5 seasons, Bryant is averaging 26.6 points per game, although his number has slipped to 25.2 points so far this season. Even given that slippage, the rate is more than enough for Bryant to reach Jordan in the relatively short-term.

The difference between Jordan's career total and Bryant's total through Tuesday is 5,621 points. That equates to 223 games at his current scoring average of 25.2 points. With 47 games left this season, assuming Bryant plays all of them, Bryant would need to maintain this season’s scoring pace for 176 games, or 2.15 full seasons, after this year. In other words, assuming no further slippage and that Bryant averages 25.2 points for the duration, Bryant would pass Jordan early in the 2013-2014 season.  That season happens to be the last of Bryant’s current contract, when he is scheduled to make $30.5 million dollars at age 35.

That should be considered a best-case scenario, and not particularly likely because scorers universally fall off as they progress through their thirties. For the sake of argument, let’s say Bryant finishes this season scoring 25.2 points, but is only able to average 20 points per game from there on out. It would take Bryant 222 games, equal to 2.7 full seasons, averaging 20 points per game, starting with next season, to reach Jordan’s career mark. In other words, Bryant would still be on pace to pass Jordan in 2013-2014, it would just happen in the spring rather than the fall.

Even if Bryant were to fall off dramatically, to, say, 16 points per game following this season, it would still only take Bryant 277 games, or 3.3 seasons, to pass Jordan. In other words, even with a very conservative estimate, Bryant would pass Jordan in 2014-2015, at age 36. Jordan played until he was 39, in a diminished capacity, and he was still able to average 20 points per game his final season. Surely, by comparison, Bryant will be able to average 16+ at age 36, even with the extra miles caused by his prep-to-pro jump and no mid-career sojourns to play minor league baseball.

What about the impact of health? Through 14 full seasons and the start of this season, Bryant has played in an amazing 91.7% of Los Angeles’s regular season games. At his current scoring rate, he would still pass Jordan in 2013-2014 even if he missed his average of roughly 8 games a season. At 20.0 points per game, missing 8 games a season, he would pass Jordan at the very end of the 2013-2014 season. Playing 75 games per year and scoring 16 points per game, he would pass Jordan in late 2014-2015.

Given the length of his contract, his excellent health and his scoring output to this point, Bryant will almost certainly end his career in third place on the all-time scoring list, at least, and could challenge Jabbar and Malone should he continue playing into his late-30s.  But third place would be good enough to top Jordan, and surely that’s where Bryant wants to be. 

For a more detailed and refined projection of Bryant's career scoring progress, check out this 2009 post from Basketball Prospectus.

Posted on: January 4, 2011 8:05 am
Edited on: January 4, 2011 8:08 am

Shootaround 1.4.11: Confident Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins pretty much guarantees a Boston Celtics title, Michael Jordan visits David Letterman almost 20 years ago, Kevin Love sets some more rebounding records, Allen Iverson has his paper straight and Delonte West will remain on the shelf for longer than he had hoped. Posted by Ben Golliver.  shootaround
  • Celtics center Kendrick Perkins tells Yahoo! Sports that Boston would have beaten the Los Angeles Lakers in last year's NBA Finals had he not injured his knee. He also says no one can touch the Celtics in a series this year. “In seven games I don’t think we can be beat by any team,” he said. “Too deep. Too much experience. Too many hard-working guys. Too many guys that have a chip on their shoulder.”
  • Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche, who was involved in a nightclub fight with teammate JaVale McGee in December that led to some talk of him being traded, admitted to the Washington Post that the rumors are affecting his play. "That bothers me some," Blatche said. "But that's the name of the game. I just gotta keep trucking along with it."
  • Boston Celtics guard Delonte West was super ambitious in his hope to return to the court quickly after injuring his wrist earlier this season, but Celtics President Danny Ainge says West's return isn't expected until near the All-Star break in February, according to ESPNBoston.com.
  • Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus with an interesting note: "History suggests that the best teams should have already separated themselves from the pack. Over the six seasons since the NBA realigned for the 2004-05 campaign, 83.3 percent of the teams that led their division as of New Year's Day have gone on to win at least a share of the division title. Via Basketball-Reference.com, all six eventual division champions were on top on Jan. 1, 2010." 
Posted on: January 1, 2011 7:44 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2011 7:52 pm

LeBron James says he, Wade won't win NBA MVP

LeBron James says he does not expect that he or Dwyane Wade will win the NBA MVP award this season. Posted by Ben Golliver. heat-stroke

Miami Heat foward LeBron James surely understood that a price would have to be paid for his decision to forsake being a franchise player on a championship contender in Cleveland to become one of 2.5 franchise players on the Miami Heat.

James has already paid a huge public relations toll since "The Decision," but he noted on Saturday that he understands that he compromised his ability to take home hardware as well.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that James acknowledged that both he and teammate Dwyane Wade will not win the NBA MVP award this season. "When we decided to come together, our MVP chances went out the window," James told reporters.

James is the 2-time defending NBA MVP, while Wade has never won the award, although he was named NBA Finals MVP when the Heat won the title in 2006.

ESPN.com adds that James said he believes the MVP award is for individual performance.
"I think they classify it as an individual award. They look at it like the less help you have, the more numbers you have then the better chance for you to win that award."
"I don't know how you classify the MVP thing," James said. "Do you classify it as most valuable to his team, if you take that person off his team how do they play? Or is it how is he playing numbers wise? I don't know."
James is correct: neither he nor Wade will be a finalist for the MVP award this season, and the fact that he understands this and seems to accept it is a refreshingly honest and self-aware turn.

Remembering back a decade, though, the presence of a fellow superstar didn't stop Shaquille O'Neal from winning the 2000 MVP, and it also didn't stop Karl Malone from winning the 1999 MVP, Michael Jordan from winning five MVP awards and Magic Johnson from winning three MVP awards. History has proven that superstar-laden teams can be led by an MVP.

But the nature of "The Decision" and the way it was handled have poisoned James' and Wade's chances, at least in the short term.  Is it impossible to imagine James or Wade winning an MVP two or three years from now, should the Heat win a title or two? Not at all. 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com