NBA Free Agency 2010 – July 5

Fourth of  July weekend is over and let’s review what big fireworks went off in the NBA.  We have two huge contracts offered to two NBA players.  I was hoping it would be LeBron and Wade but my dreams were shattered.  What’s taking LeBron so long?  It time for him to man up and make a decision.  Lebron just remember one thing: NBA Championship, forget what your homies are telling you.

First major contract to look at is Joe Johnson resigning with the Atlanta Hawks for $120 million for 6 years.  I understand the Hawks resigning Joe Johnson but $120 million.  Let get real, he’s not worth it.  I think the Hawks could have offered less and still kept him.  Do I blame Joe Johnson, no way.  They offered him the max and he was very smart to take it. 

The second big contract I want to talk about is Amare Stoudemire signing with the New York Knicks for $100 million over five years.  You have to be kidding me.  This is a huge risk by the Knicks.  Amare is good but I don’t think he is worth $100 million.  I know the Knicks are rebuilding and doing whatever it can to make a move into the playoffs but I think they overpaid for Amare.  I have no doubt signing Amare is step one  to relaunching the franchise but the Knicks need to land superstar Lebron James or it’s all for nothing. I can’t see Wade coming to the Knicks but if he does look out.  Again do I blame Amare for signing with the Knicks for $100 million, no way.

Both Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire made a wise decision.  Owners showed them the money and they took it.  Before Lebron make his world shaking decision to change the landscape of the NBA, free agents  such as Joe and Amare were wise to get their share of the pie before it was too late.

Two other players to exit free agency and return to their teams were Paul Pierce with Boston and Dirk Nowitzki with Dallas.  These two players just entered free agency to secure their futures.  I have to say smart move.  Both players signed on for another 4 years with their teams.

One last comment is the LA Lakers signing Steve Blake.  Steve Blake played point guard for both the Blazers and Clippers.  I think this is a great move for the Lakers.  I always believe their weakest position was point guard.  I like Derek Fisher but he is getting old.  Eventually this position has to be addressed and no better time than now to address it.

NBA Free Agency 2010 – Advice for LeBron James

Let the fun begin….. 

First off I want to begin by giving LeBron James some advice.  You have almost every option at your finger tips. Any owner in the NBA would love to have you on their team.  Any team would instantly sellout every home game for the next five years.  The reality is there are only a few teams that will allow you to win an NBA Title.

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – You have what you want.  Cavs ownership has cleaned house with both Mike Brown and Danny Ferry kicked to the curb.  It looks like Byron Scott is the new head coach and Byron Scott can coach this Cavs’ team to the NBA Finals.  You have chemistry with your teammates in Cleveland.  I believe staying in Cleveland is your best immediate shot at a return to the NBA Finals
  2. The best team in Florida.  Everyone thinks that if you join Dwayne Wade in Miami and if Pat Riley can lure one more free agent then Miami will return to the promise land.  Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!.  I think you need to team up with Dwight Howard in Orlando.  It seems  every year Cleveland plays Orlando in the playoffs, every time Orlando upset King James and the Cavs.  I was told growing up,” If you beat them, then join them.”
  3.  Chicago Bulls –  Chicago is very talented team but it lacks an NBA All Star.  You cold be that missing piece that could return Chicago to the NBA Finals.  There is one problem with going to Chicago.  You will always be in Micheal Jordan’s shadow.  You will always be compared to MJ.  How many rings did MJ win and how many rings did King James win?  If you never surpass MJ’s legacy, you will probably be called Queen James instead of King James.
  4. Los Angeles.  No,No,No.  The saying, “If you can’t beat them, then join them”, does not apply here.  I am not suggesting LeBron James join the Lakers.  That would be fun for a season or two but Kobe would never allow it. I think your best bet is to join the Los Angeles Clippers.  Why would I even suggest the LA Clippers?  The LA Clippers play at the Staples Center just like the LA Lakers.  The Staples Center is place where NBA Championships are part of NBA lore.  It is a place where NBA Legends are created.  But there is one who could bring  balance to Staples Center.  It is time for the LA Clippers to no longer be the laughing-stock of the NBA but to be the team where championships are created.  The LA Clippers are also in search of a new coach.  You could be part of that search. 

Most notably missing from my list are both the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.  Going to either theses two teams would be a step backwards.  Your chances to win an NBA Title would be just a dream.  You would make it to the NBA Playoffs, half the NBA does, but only the best win it all.

Can USA Basketball capture gold in 2008 Olympics?

Lebron James has guaranteed that the US will capture the gold medal for basketball in the Olympics.  This is a bold statement coming from an NBA player who has yet to win an NBA title.  This US Olympic Basketball team is a great collaboration of NBA talent.  It comes down not to talent as the US learned at the last Olympics in Athens but it comes down to how well they can play international basketball. 

 

 

 

I think the US Men’s Olympic basketball team will compete for a medal.  Will they get a gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal?  Who knows.  I am still standing by Lithuania to win a gold medal.  I think it would be great if Lithuania played the USA in the final game to determine who gets the gold and silver medals.

 

GO Lithuania!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team

It is official, the US has announced their men’s basketball team for the 2008 Olympics.  There are all big names on the list. Unfortunately Kobe Bryant is on it. This list also includes LeBron James, Dwyane Wade,  Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Tayshaun Prince, Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Michael Redd and Deron Williams.  We will see how well this team can play together.  I think they will put their egos aside but their arrogance will lead to a couple of losses.

The key to international basketball is the three point game.  I think this team is a good team but it never comes close to the Dream Team.  Many of us remember the Dream Team of the 1992 Olympics with Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, and the rest. 

I believe the US team will struggle but will defenieatly win a medal.

Eastern Conference Finals Prediction 2008

My prediction for the Eastern Conference is a hard one.  These two teams are the best in the East and I do not believe any of the other teams come close to them in the Eastern Conference.  Cleveland is probably the closest but they need to add some role players for Lebron James.  I know some argue that the Orlando Magic are a team on the rise but I don’t see them as an NBA Championship contender for at least another two years.

Detroit is defineately the favorite in this series.  i know Boston has home court but Boston has struggled during the playoffs.  I am not sure who to blame in Boston either the coach or the players but they can’t rely on always winning at home.  They need to learn to win on the road in the playoffs.  I hope Boston realizes from seeing the result of the San Antonio Spurs/New Orleans Hornets series, that it is vital to win on the road and not to rely on home court advantage.

I believe the Boston Celtics will win this in 6 games.  Boston will come out and make a statement with this series.  This series will show they can win on the road and they are ready to face any team in the West. I believe that Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce will stop at nothing to make it to the NBA Finals.  The clock is ticking for them and this is their best chance to get a ring. I believe in conspiracy theories and I believe David Stern will do what he need to do to assure a LA Lakers/Boston Celtics series.  The NBA would have great ratings for that series.

Kobe Bryant NBA MVP 2008 – WHAT? I Guess So!

Sometime today, the NBA will anounce Kobe Bryant is the NBA’s MVP. 

Analyzing this year results, I really think the MVP came down to two players, either Kobe Bryant or Chris Paul.  Before I go any further, I know many on the East Coast would point to LeBron James or Kevin Garnett.  To be honest both those players were MVP to their teams but Kobe had a better year.  Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers beat both the New Orleans Hornets and the San Antonio Spurs the last week of the regular season to gain control of the best record in the West.  I think Chris Paul receives less national coverage than Kobe and the lost by the New Orleans Hornets during the last week of the regular season secured Kobe Bryant’s MVP for 2008.

If we were to look at the NBA regular season from start to finish, Kobe overcame all the media circus regarding his possible departure from the Lakers and took the LA Lakers to the best record in the West.  The Western Conference is more competitive than the East.  Kobe stepped up his play and the LA Lakers surrounded him with a great supporting cast.  The trio of Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Lamar Odom is the essential reason the LA Lakers earned the best record in the West.

Kobe Bryant’s stats for 2008 were  28.3 points per game,  5.4 assists per game, and  6.3 rebound per game.  Kobe’s stats for 2007 were very similiar  with 31.6 points per game, 5.4 assists per game, and  5.7 rebounds per game.  Kobe’s stats are consistent from year to year.  His scoring average has been declining over the last 3 years but with a supporting cast that he can rely on, he no longer needs to put up as many points.

I still do not like Kobe Bryant but he has earned this MVP thanks to the teammates the LA Lakers surrounded him with this year.  Kobe is a great one on one player who can score at will when he is in the zone.  It is interesting to note that the LA Lakers got themselves a big man in Pau Gasol after the Andrew Bynum injury and then the Lakers turnaround really begun.  Can Kobe’s success only be associated with a big man, aka Shaq and Gasol?  hmmmmm