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The NBA Thread
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TheSlayer Offline
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Post: #551
RE: The NBA Thread
@Timoteo, Kobe in his prime was actually a sick defender but the last 2-3 years he has become more of a one way player. He will have a few games where he will play good defense but for the most part he has become a ball watcher on defense. Zach Lowe did a really good piece on it.

But I agree with the premise that your best offensive player can't guard the best player on defense. The same way LBJ only guards the best player in stretches and not the entire game. You can only ask that they just play good defense on whoever they are guarding and play good team defense.
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 04:17 PM by TheSlayer.)
05-28-2013 04:13 PM
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Therapsid Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
To me, professional sports is all about entertainment. I don't want to turn on ESPN and see some awkward nerd like Bill Simmons breaking down the Spurs/Grizzlies series. I'd rather see guys who bring energy and humor to the table, instead of highfalutin statistical analysis. Likewise, I prefer former players and coaches doing commentary to journalism grads. I like how guys who put in fifteen years in the league or who took teams to the playoffs can have a kind of NBA afterlife on TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV. Let the nerds do online commentary.
05-28-2013 04:20 PM
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Chewbacon Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 03:49 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 03:13 PM)iWin Wrote:  Yeah, healthy Deron was fun to watch since he knew how to balance scoring and being a good facilitator. He could drop 20-10 and clamp the opposing PG as well. His foot injuries have made it tough to regain form but he looked good at the end of this season. Nash was so good that he nearly took a team that viewed defense an afterthought to the finals. If Amare never gets suspended against the Spursllrs who knows. Sadly, they also came a few timely stops short of reaching the pinnacle. I doubt we'll see that kind of team build for a long time again. His efficiency was downright.

Your second paragraph is a big reason why I don't watch ESPN analysts anymore. Simply too much vapid analysis mixed with reactionary BS that makes it hard to take a lot of those analysts seriously. You see this dynamic a ton with the defensive side of the ball especially. A lot of guys have worn out their welcome with their defensive reps especially a lot of superstars like Kobe or Chris Paul. A lot of people see stats like blocks, rebounds, or steals and think " oh this guys must be a great defender", without looking deeper. A good example is when Marcus Camby won the DPOY over Tom Duncan since he had gaudy block and rebound stats. However, Cambys team was actually outscored when he was on the floor, so those numbers didn't tell the whole story. People also tend to look this award within the context of what a guy has to do on offense. For example' " Kobe has to score 35 a night and guard the best player". In all actuality the award should be based purely off what you do on that side of the ball without the context of what a guy does on offense as well.

I agree regarding Magic. I love him as a man, and a player of course. But he's not good on tv, and I don't think much of his supposed analysis. Wilbon wears on me now also. He's become really arrogant. PTI is still my favorite ESPN show, along with The Sports Reporters (depending who's on the panel), but even on PTI, he's started resorting to the screaming, interrupting when someone's talking, trash-talking nonsense that I dislike so much. Pretty much everyone in the business is afraid to say anything negative about Kobe, because they're afraid of access to him if they insult him. Kobe, from time to time, has wanted the tough defensive assignment. But he isn't on the top offensive player every possession, game in, game out. You can't subject your best offensive player to that. I actually like Jalen Rose because of his honesty. He's told some pretty funny stories about things that have happened on the court and in the locker room during his career. ESPN is more about entertainment than real journalism. Outside the Lines is pretty much the only real journalism, along with E:60 segments. I actually like Tim Cowlishaw, Kevin Blackistone and Israel Guttierez, regulars on Around the Horn, because they are largely anti-hype and clowning, and give straight opinions.

As for Stephen A....I find that his opinions are usually well-formed. He just insists on subjecting us to histrionics and blather, constantly performing. On First Take one day he said that each of them was allotted a certain amount of time to speak, and that he intended to use EVERY second of that allotted time. That's the problem. He insists on making it about HIM, and how much camera time he can get, instead of just delivering concise opinions and/or analysis. It's always a long, drawn-out speech, and it KILLS ME. He's buddied up to a lot of players in his years around the league, so guys DO give him some inside stuff that other guys like Chris Broussard don't get. If you remember in his first go-round on ESPN, he was their key NBA insider. He was on the studio show. He had his OWN show, Quite Frankly. He was still working for the Philadelphia Enquirer at the same time. He was simply over-exposed, and because of his grating style, folks got sick of him so they didn't renew his contract. He even got fired from the Philly Enquirer. This time around they've dialed him back in terms of exposure, but he tries to make the most of his camera time. His brother in stupidity, Skip Bayless, is an absolute joke. His style is also grating in a different way than Stephen A, but he provides the most ridiculous analysis and reasoning I've ever heard from anyone. All he does is trash talk and challenge athletes in order to get them to come on the show. First Take has so much potential with the debate format, but they allow it to be a strictly JV operation.

I really respect Gutierrez - he's smart, young, eloquent, and has some really sharp analysis. I dislike how much he likes Lebron, but then agian, ESPN has an entire "South Beach" page, so whatever.

Ditto Van Gundy - the guy is not afraid to just call things as he sees them, and he's also willing to admit when he's wrong.

Stephen A is okay sometimes - he's entertaining. What really pisses me off though is that he is such a star-centric analyst. He's like the cheerleader for stars, no matter how overrated. I guess it's because he bases his entire selling point on insider access, but i really hate it when he dismisses underrated players. He refuses to acknowledge their talent - the most he will say is "this guy is no scrub," - and then he proceeds to call the pillsbury doughboy carmelo (the guy's name is even reminiscent of caramel) anthony "a stud."

Skip Bayless... don't even get me started. The guy is ridiculous. He was entertaining when he was Lebron's biggest hater, but he is just so off the mark on a lot of things and seemingly targets players arbitrarily (westbrook, now durant, etc.). I hate how he tries to play armchair psychologist.
05-28-2013 04:35 PM
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Albertron Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 04:20 PM)Therapsid Wrote:  To me, professional sports is all about entertainment. I don't want to turn on ESPN and see some awkward nerd like Bill Simmons breaking down the Spurs/Grizzlies series. I'd rather see guys who bring energy and humor to the table, instead of highfalutin statistical analysis. Likewise, I prefer former players and coaches doing commentary to journalism grads. I like how guys who put in fifteen years in the league or who took teams to the playoffs can have a kind of NBA afterlife on TNT, ESPN, and NBA TV. Let the nerds do online commentary.

Jeff Van Gundy, IMO, is one of the best commentators out there. His brutal honesty and quick wit really makes the games he commentates more enjoyable to watch.
05-28-2013 04:36 PM
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TheSlayer Offline
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Post: #555
RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 04:35 PM)SHANbangs Wrote:  I dislike how much he likes Lebron, but then agian, ESPN has an entire "South Beach" page, so whatever.

It's not a "South Beach" page. It's part of the truehoop network and every team has a page. It's just that the Heat Index I am sure gets more views than every other team.

Agree with your take on Skip though. I stopped listening to Skip during last year's playoffs when even after LeBron was putting on great performances he would just keep on trolling him. That's when I realized he definitely does not believe what he's saying.

Example, after the fuck you game 6 against Boston he said that it wasn't clutch at all and it was expected because it was a no pressure game for him.

I don't think he's a moron but he acts like one on TV to get more views. Look, we are talking about him here, so that's half his job, the other half is to troll on air.
05-28-2013 04:41 PM
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TheSlayer Offline
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Post: #556
RE: The NBA Thread
PS. Did anybody see Mark Cuban completely own Skip Bayless on First Take last year after the Heat beat OKC? Cuban exposed Skip's lack of basketball knowledge and he looked like he was going to cry.

If you haven't seen it just watch it. Now that's entertainment.
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 04:45 PM by TheSlayer.)
05-28-2013 04:45 PM
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TheBulldozer Offline
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Post: #557
RE: The NBA Thread
Slayer, you took my thunder with Zach Lowe. If you genuinely want to learn about the NBA game of basketball and how it's played then you absolutely must give Zach Lowe a read every couple of days over on Grantland.

I like the way Grantland balances their coverage of the NBA. Simmons engages in the fan's type of discussion in really well thought out columns. I can't tell you how many times I've had the types of conversations with my friends that Simmons writes about. "Could X be traded for Y? How would X's team do if that happened?" "Would you sign player B?" I love that he gives it that historical perspective of the past compared to the present that we wanderlust for as fans. For example, if you want a thorough perspective of LeBron's career, go back through the ESPN and Grantland archives through Simmons's trade value column and his articles dedicated in whole to LeBron. Some amazing perspective on the evolution of his career, and just how much the NBA has changed over the decade. I spent 4 hours reading every LeBron column and trade value column over the past 10 years last summer and I enjoyed every second of it.

Zach Lowe breaks down the NBA game like none other. The NBA is so different than any other type of basketball that it really takes a razor thin comb to breakdown and understand what is going on. Even an experienced basketball fan would be justified in saying the league is all iso, but when looking at it through an NBA-head's lens, you see off the ball screens, to start other screen action. Watch how the Heat and Spurs throw all sorts of back action to get guys open for mismatch isolation or corner threes on nearly every possession. Even if the play breaks down, the process is what's worth watching.
05-28-2013 04:51 PM
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Timoteo Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
I don't have a problem with analysts picking Memphis, or any other team. Just give me some concrete analysis of WHY you're picking them, and not just because you think "it's their time." I can disagree, but still say I understand where a guy is coming from. I think folks were picking Memphis because of what they did to the Spurs a couple of seasons ago in the playoffs, but that was a different Spurs team. Memphis is different now too. I never anticipated that they would be able to defend Zach Randolph the way they did. Randolph can't jump, so he relies on contact with the man he's guarding to know where he his, and give that little bump that gives him just enough space to get his shot off. He's also left-handed with long arms, so that also confuses defenders. Spurs defenders denied him the contact - they didn't bite on fakes, and didn't let him get his body on them. Since he doesn't elevate, it's easy to challenge his shot. Beautiful. It's the type of fundamentals that most players are taught, but in the heat of the game can't execute. The Spurs have always been great at playing fundamentally.

Bill Plashke is another ESPN head that never fails to annoy, and who provides the most ridiculous reasoning for his opinions. Woody Paige is another clown. Another trend I hate is sports writers talking about how they're going to vote on player awards before the vote, or stating that they'll never vote for a certain player. That one writer, Gary Washburn, that gave someone other than LeBron James a first-place vote for MVP (he gave it to Carmelo http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/0...ory.html), initially drew howls for daring not to vote for LeBron. But he didn't run from it. He wrote a column explaining, and did the rounds on a number of shows. I'm cool with writers explaining their votes and being accountable, so even if I don't agree, I can maybe understand your reasoning behind it. I'll never criticize a guy for not being afraid to stand alone on something that he really feels strongly about. Writers don't really have accountability, like the punk that wrote bullshit about Cam Newton, and now Geno Smith in the NFL, and won't come on to explain (especially since he was largely wrong in Newton).

As for race trolling on First Take...yeah, there's a little of that. They also infused lots of hip-hop into the show (as well as other music too, but a lot of hip-hop), so there's a method behind the madness. At the same time, some of the only really serious, thoughtful discussions on that show have been on serious racial issues. Stephen A. suddenly gets serious and stops clowning, as does Skip. Stephen A. takes seriously his platform - partly because of his own ego, but there's something else behind it. There aren't a lot of blacks in journalism at all, let alone sports. It's a pretty small club, and probably most of the prominent ones are on ESPN across their variety of shows. He makes a lot of appearances at events to speak as a guest, or to host events that don't always have to do with sports. The race thing is important to him. He feels his position gives him a certain responsibility. ESPN gets very high marks with regards to diversity, and I know depending on the context, some in society dislike diversity for diversity's sake. They've done a great job with it up in Bristol - there are great, and annoying personalities of all races and genders there. Rob Parker went racial on First Take (attacking RGIII's choice in women and politics) and got himself bounced. Even before that unfortunate incident, he was another of the most illogical writers on the network. Jason Whitlock actually used to be on ESPN also (mostly on The Sports Reporters), but got bounced due to a disagreement with the arrogant Mike Lupica (among others). Jason is one of the few journalists that will openly criticize other members of the profession, which is against an unwritten code. He attacked Scoop Jackson for his writing style, and accused him of "bojanglin'" (Scoop's style is largely hip-hop/urban, and Whitlock thought it was an embarrassment), and took a shot at him when he was on the way out the door at ESPN. I largely enjoy Whitlock because he isn't afraid to take unpopular stances or a different view of a subject. I think he's a bit of a pariah because of his attacks on others in the media, but despite what commenters write on his columns on Fox Sports, he isn't a racist. His thing is to examine race in the context of society and sport. He's won awards for his writing. He's the first to call out other blacks that do something, or say something stupid. This is where people misuse the term racist - they throw that at anyone that dares to discuss race. His podcasts on Fox Sports are gems, as he gets sports personalities and other journalists to really open up. I love his guest spots on Jim Rome's shows, and now that he's on Showtime, his guests can speak in the manner they usually do, but can't write in their columns. Again, I don't always agree with Whitlock, and he's a bit of a contrarian just for the sake of it sometimes, but I appreciate what he does.

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05-28-2013 05:14 PM
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Timoteo Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 04:35 PM)SHANbangs Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 03:49 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 03:13 PM)iWin Wrote:  Yeah, healthy Deron was fun to watch since he knew how to balance scoring and being a good facilitator. He could drop 20-10 and clamp the opposing PG as well. His foot injuries have made it tough to regain form but he looked good at the end of this season. Nash was so good that he nearly took a team that viewed defense an afterthought to the finals. If Amare never gets suspended against the Spursllrs who knows. Sadly, they also came a few timely stops short of reaching the pinnacle. I doubt we'll see that kind of team build for a long time again. His efficiency was downright.

Your second paragraph is a big reason why I don't watch ESPN analysts anymore. Simply too much vapid analysis mixed with reactionary BS that makes it hard to take a lot of those analysts seriously. You see this dynamic a ton with the defensive side of the ball especially. A lot of guys have worn out their welcome with their defensive reps especially a lot of superstars like Kobe or Chris Paul. A lot of people see stats like blocks, rebounds, or steals and think " oh this guys must be a great defender", without looking deeper. A good example is when Marcus Camby won the DPOY over Tom Duncan since he had gaudy block and rebound stats. However, Cambys team was actually outscored when he was on the floor, so those numbers didn't tell the whole story. People also tend to look this award within the context of what a guy has to do on offense. For example' " Kobe has to score 35 a night and guard the best player". In all actuality the award should be based purely off what you do on that side of the ball without the context of what a guy does on offense as well.

I agree regarding Magic. I love him as a man, and a player of course. But he's not good on tv, and I don't think much of his supposed analysis. Wilbon wears on me now also. He's become really arrogant. PTI is still my favorite ESPN show, along with The Sports Reporters (depending who's on the panel), but even on PTI, he's started resorting to the screaming, interrupting when someone's talking, trash-talking nonsense that I dislike so much. Pretty much everyone in the business is afraid to say anything negative about Kobe, because they're afraid of access to him if they insult him. Kobe, from time to time, has wanted the tough defensive assignment. But he isn't on the top offensive player every possession, game in, game out. You can't subject your best offensive player to that. I actually like Jalen Rose because of his honesty. He's told some pretty funny stories about things that have happened on the court and in the locker room during his career. ESPN is more about entertainment than real journalism. Outside the Lines is pretty much the only real journalism, along with E:60 segments. I actually like Tim Cowlishaw, Kevin Blackistone and Israel Guttierez, regulars on Around the Horn, because they are largely anti-hype and clowning, and give straight opinions.

As for Stephen A....I find that his opinions are usually well-formed. He just insists on subjecting us to histrionics and blather, constantly performing. On First Take one day he said that each of them was allotted a certain amount of time to speak, and that he intended to use EVERY second of that allotted time. That's the problem. He insists on making it about HIM, and how much camera time he can get, instead of just delivering concise opinions and/or analysis. It's always a long, drawn-out speech, and it KILLS ME. He's buddied up to a lot of players in his years around the league, so guys DO give him some inside stuff that other guys like Chris Broussard don't get. If you remember in his first go-round on ESPN, he was their key NBA insider. He was on the studio show. He had his OWN show, Quite Frankly. He was still working for the Philadelphia Enquirer at the same time. He was simply over-exposed, and because of his grating style, folks got sick of him so they didn't renew his contract. He even got fired from the Philly Enquirer. This time around they've dialed him back in terms of exposure, but he tries to make the most of his camera time. His brother in stupidity, Skip Bayless, is an absolute joke. His style is also grating in a different way than Stephen A, but he provides the most ridiculous analysis and reasoning I've ever heard from anyone. All he does is trash talk and challenge athletes in order to get them to come on the show. First Take has so much potential with the debate format, but they allow it to be a strictly JV operation.

I really respect Gutierrez - he's smart, young, eloquent, and has some really sharp analysis. I dislike how much he likes Lebron, but then agian, ESPN has an entire "South Beach" page, so whatever.

Ditto Van Gundy - the guy is not afraid to just call things as he sees them, and he's also willing to admit when he's wrong.

Stephen A is okay sometimes - he's entertaining. What really pisses me off though is that he is such a star-centric analyst. He's like the cheerleader for stars, no matter how overrated. I guess it's because he bases his entire selling point on insider access, but i really hate it when he dismisses underrated players. He refuses to acknowledge their talent - the most he will say is "this guy is no scrub," - and then he proceeds to call the pillsbury doughboy carmelo (the guy's name is even reminiscent of caramel) anthony "a stud."

Skip Bayless... don't even get me started. The guy is ridiculous. He was entertaining when he was Lebron's biggest hater, but he is just so off the mark on a lot of things and seemingly targets players arbitrarily (westbrook, now durant, etc.). I hate how he tries to play armchair psychologist.

Stephen A. also has called out Anthony for not getting it done in the playoffs, and how you can't be considered a superstar because of that. Anthony was on the set, sitting right next to him (I think it was at the All-Star Game), and Anthony actually agreed with him and understood. Anthony is a stud though - he's a bigger guy physically than people realize. He came into this season having lost a lot of weight from last year, because he knew his load was going to be heavy. Anthony is one of those players that media like to pile on. The thing I also hate about Stephen A. is how he picks on low-hanging fruit. First it was Rasho Nesterovic, then Tiago Splitter (though he had to eat crow on Splitter). It's easy to fuck with players that aren't, and aren't expected to be great. They're just role players. He gets off on clowning players that can't really come back at him.

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05-28-2013 05:22 PM
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TheSlayer Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
@ Timoteo, I agree with you that ESPN is diverse but I am not sure how I feel about the infiltration of too many women there. For example, Doris Burke was the colour commentator for a few playoff games this year and I absolutely hated it. Not because she is a woman but she sucks. And yeah, sometimes it does feel that many of these women reporters and journalists are being presented on air for the sake of equality and diversity.

Man, First Take is complete garbage to me. The very few thoughtful discussions on air that they have had can be counted on your fingertips. First Take doesn't just indulge in Black racial trolling. Skip Bayless has also trolled White athletes.

I am surprised Rob Parker got fired and Skip didn't because Skip said a similar thing about White players in the NBA but I guess he is the big draw and Parker isn't. In July 2012, Skip said he would never take White players in the first round of the NBA draft. His tweet was deleted within hours and that podcast was never made available. As a show, both Bayless and Smith indulge in race trolling. Smith hates Jeremy Lin and has made a big deal of the attention he got because of his race.

I think I said the same thing in my post that you did. I don't have a problem with analysts or journalists picking teams as long as they have valid reasons but First Take engages in sensationalist "journalism" (if you can call it that).

Another example I can think of is that one of the guests told Skip that LeBron actually shot a better percentage than Kobe and Wade (two players he loves) in "clutch" situations and all Skip said was I disagree, I can prove that number wrong. WTF?

Wtf
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 05:37 PM by TheSlayer.)
05-28-2013 05:35 PM
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Timoteo Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 05:35 PM)TheSlayer Wrote:  @ Timoteo, I agree with you that ESPN is diverse but I am not sure how I feel about the infiltration of too many women there. For example, Doris Burke was the colour commentator for a few playoff games this year and I absolutely hated it. Not because she is a woman but she sucks. And yeah, sometimes it does feel that many of these women reporters and journalists are being presented on air for the sake of equality and diversity.

Man, First Take is complete garbage to me. The very few thoughtful discussions on air that they have had can be counted on your fingertips. First Take doesn't just indulge in Black racial trolling. Skip Bayless has also trolled White athletes.

I am surprised Rob Parker got fired and Skip didn't because Skip said a similar thing about White players in the NBA but I guess he is the big draw and Parker isn't. In July 2012, Skip said he would never take White players in the first round of the NBA draft. His tweet was deleted within hours and that podcast was never made available. As a show, both Bayless and Smith indulge in race trolling. Smith hates Jeremy Lin and has made a big deal of the attention he got because of his race.

I think I said the same thing in my post that you did. I don't have a problem with analysts or journalists picking teams as long as they have valid reasons but First Take engages in sensationalist "journalism" (if you can call it that).

Another example I can think of is that one of the guests told Skip that LeBron actually shot a better percentage than Kobe and Wade (two players he loves) in "clutch" situations and all Skip said was I disagree, I can prove that number wrong. WTF?

Wtf

I think women in the studio, and doing the sideline reporting is fine. Having them do analysis on NBA games is dicey, I agree. But you also notice she's on probably the C-Team, doing mid-week, west coast games...HA HA!

First Take is, and has always been, The Skip Bayless Show. He's the constant. Different hosts and any number of different guests sit in, but he's the constant. First Take is the show where they stash guys that don't fit anywhere else, like Skip, and in the days when it was called Cold Pizza, Woody Paige used to be on there also. They also use it as a place to break in new guys to see how they'll do on the air, like former players. Like I said, it's the JV, not the varsity. I remember that discussion regarding taking white players in the first round. The whole context was not taking AMERICAN white players in the first round, but instead taking a European. It's been a discussion, though a minor one, since the NBA started dipping into Europe for talent. With each passing year, more and more foreign players were being chosen in the first and second rounds, taking jobs away from American collegians. Since the league is majority Black American, it was the American white collegian that was left out. Because Adam Morrison washed out (he was in camp with the Nets, giving it one last shot), he used that as some kind of evidence that it was risky to use a draft pick on a white American, especially when one so highly regarded in college as Morrison was a bust. Yes, it was dumb. I think Parker took the hit because his attack was personal, directed at a popular goodguy player, and he wasn't highly regarded at the network. Nor should he have been. He was a clown.

I don't think Smith hated Jeremy Lin either, nor was he race trolling. He just thought there was too much hype surrounding him, and that he wasn't worth the kind of money that Houston was throwing at him. He gave Lin props for what he did, and said he definitely wasn't a scrub and belonged in the league. But he had also been exposed in some ways. He also felt Lin did the Knicks dirty after they gave him his shot (The Knicks stated publicly that they'd match any offer, so Houston reworked their original offer to Lin in such a way the Knicks COULDN'T match it because there would have been too much backend money, costing them $30 mil in the final year with luxury tax included. That was the Knicks fault for talking publicly, not Lin's). Also, Knick players confided in him some behind-the-scenes issues regarding Lin. How he shut it down in the playoffs, instead of playing when they needed him. He was supposedly clear to play, but because he wasn't "100%" he didn't want to risk his impending free-agency and payday. As you stated, ESPN personalities DO take sides and suck up to certain athletes, and attack certain other guys for whatever reason. It isn't journalism at all, but yes, cheerleading.

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05-28-2013 06:43 PM
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Sonsowey Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
Watching Parker this year and last, it seems to me that he could easily be considered the best Point Guard in the league.

Look where he's taken his team. Look at the monster games he has without having the physical ability of someone like Westbrook.

Chris Paul may have a better PER. He might win one-on-one. But Parker seems like a better PG on a 5 man team.

I think anyone on the Spurs suffers from being labelled "boring" for some reason.

Why do people still think of Paul as better when Parker has accomplished so much more and continues to do so? Shit, he would have been my pick for MVP if Lebron wasn't in the mix.
05-28-2013 06:50 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 06:50 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  Watching Parker this year and last, it seems to me that he could easily be considered the best Point Guard in the league.

Look where he's taken his team. Look at the monster games he has without having the physical ability of someone like Westbrook.

Chris Paul may have a better PER. He might win one-on-one. But Parker seems like a better PG on a 5 man team.

I think anyone on the Spurs suffers from being labelled "boring" for some reason.

Why do people still think of Paul as better when Parker has accomplished so much more and continues to do so? Shit, he would have been my pick for MVP if Lebron wasn't in the mix.

Jalen Rose said that Parker was the third-best player in the LEAGUE this year, behind LeBron and Durant. Never mind where he stands as a point guard. I'm not against the advanced metrics, but there has to be context. I look at what a guy does every night for his team, how well he does it, and what the end result is for his team. I've never seen the Spurs as boring. I like execution. Parker blowing by cats has always been fun to watch for me. Duncan stroking bank shots (not a lot of guys know how to use the glass from distance) is fun to me. Manu doing what he does (except the flopping and flailing...HA HA!) is great to watch.

"The best kind of pride is that which compels a man to do his best when no one is watching."
05-28-2013 07:10 PM
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TheSlayer Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  I don't think Smith hated Jeremy Lin either, nor was he race trolling.

I don’t know man, every time he talks about him on the show or did talk about him when I used to watch, there was always contempt in his voice. He also said that if Lin was Black we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Well, no shit. In a league dominated by Black players, an Asian guy from Harvard who goes on a spree like he did in the second biggest media market in the country is going to get that kind of coverage.

Let me make it clear though, I am not a Lin fan. For all intents and purposes he is a very average player and his ceiling is probably being a solid role player.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  He also felt Lin did the Knicks dirty after they gave him his shot (The Knicks stated publicly that they'd match any offer, so Houston reworked their original offer to Lin in such a way the Knicks COULDN'T match it because there would have been too much backend money, costing them $30 mil in the final year with luxury tax included. That was the Knicks fault for talking publicly, not Lin's).

As you said yourself, he didn’t really do the Knicks dirty. They said they would match any offer then refused to match it once Houston used a poison pill contract.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  Also, Knick players confided in him some behind-the-scenes issues regarding Lin. How he shut it down in the playoffs, instead of playing when they needed him. He was supposedly clear to play, but because he wasn't "100%" he didn't want to risk his impending free-agency and payday.

Interesting, I heard the same thing but with a twist. Didn’t Lin give an interview where he said the veterans in the locker room including Tyson Chandler told him not to risk his injury?
In the end, my point isn’t about Lin specifically but we both agree that the show is absolutely worst kind of sports “journalism”. I just hope the rest of the industry does not try to copy the same trolling format.

Is anyone watching TNT pre-game show with Dr J? What a cool, calm and collected personality? Can he replace Shaq please?
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 07:24 PM by TheSlayer.)
05-28-2013 07:23 PM
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Moma Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
I hate the spurs. They are a great team but they lack pizazz, no special dunkers, crappy jerseys and Tim Duncan is so boring, I never fail to fall asleep when I watch him.

I don't know if it's his background in swimming from the U.S Virgin Islands that bestowed him with so much slow twitch fibres but the dude is highly un-explosive.

However, he's one of the nicest power forwards ever. His fundamentals are amazing and this is why he is able to play so long at such a high level.

I am not a fan of either team but I repeat, Spurs vs Heat in the finals, Heat take the ring in 6 games BAR injury.

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(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 07:25 PM by Moma.)
05-28-2013 07:24 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 07:24 PM)Moma Wrote:  I hate the spurs. They are a great team but they lack pizazz, no special dunkers, crappy jerseys and Tim Duncan is so boring, I never fail to fall asleep when I watch him.

I don't know if it's his background in swimming from the U.S Virgin Islands that bestowed him with so much slow twitch fibres but the dude is highly un-explosive.

However, he's one of the nicest power forwards ever. His fundamentals are amazing and this is why he is able to play so long at such a high level.

I am not a fan of either team but I repeat, Spurs vs Heat in the finals, Heat take the ring in 6 games BAR injury.

LOL, I can't tell if you are being sarcastic with the boring and crappy jerseys part. To me the Spurs have been really fun to watch in the last 2-3 years. They have become an offensive juggernaut. Their ball movement is amazing to watch, and they do have dunkers in Green and Leonard. They just don't thump their chests or stare down opponents after a dunk. Heat vs Spurs will be a lot of fun to watch. Two teams that move the ball, play good defense and play like a team.

TD is all about the fundamentals man. Win or lose the Finals, he will go down as one of the best ever to play this game.

Agree with your assessment on Heat taking it in 6. A Spurs win wouldn't be that surprising though.
(This post was last modified: 05-28-2013 07:31 PM by TheSlayer.)
05-28-2013 07:29 PM
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Timoteo Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 07:23 PM)TheSlayer Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  I don't think Smith hated Jeremy Lin either, nor was he race trolling.

I don’t know man, every time he talks about him on the show or did talk about him when I used to watch, there was always contempt in his voice. He also said that if Lin was Black we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Well, no shit. In a league dominated by Black players, an Asian guy from Harvard who goes on a spree like he did in the second biggest media market in the country is going to get that kind of coverage.

Let me make it clear though, I am not a Lin fan. For all intents and purposes he is a very average player and his ceiling is probably being a solid role player.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  He also felt Lin did the Knicks dirty after they gave him his shot (The Knicks stated publicly that they'd match any offer, so Houston reworked their original offer to Lin in such a way the Knicks COULDN'T match it because there would have been too much backend money, costing them $30 mil in the final year with luxury tax included. That was the Knicks fault for talking publicly, not Lin's).

As you said yourself, he didn’t really do the Knicks dirty. They said they would match any offer then refused to match it once Houston used a poison pill contract.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  Also, Knick players confided in him some behind-the-scenes issues regarding Lin. How he shut it down in the playoffs, instead of playing when they needed him. He was supposedly clear to play, but because he wasn't "100%" he didn't want to risk his impending free-agency and payday.

Interesting, I heard the same thing but with a twist. Didn’t Lin give an interview where he said the veterans in the locker room including Tyson Chandler told him not to risk his injury?
In the end, my point isn’t about Lin specifically but we both agree that the show is absolutely worst kind of sports “journalism”. I just hope the rest of the industry does not try to copy the same trolling format.

Is anyone watching TNT pre-game show with Dr J? What a cool, calm and collected personality? Can he replace Shaq please?

I totally got your point, and what Stephen A. was doing was letting his inner Knick fan come out, instead of just reporting. I'm sure the locker room was split on Lin. Some cats will advise you to protect your money, while other guys will be mad that you aren't putting yourself out there, especially if they went out there at less than 100%. As far as management vs. players, management always expects a certain kind of loyalty that they don't extend to the player. Lin went from an Ivy League school, to getting cut a couple of times, playing in the D-League, to lighting up the league for a minute, to getting a fat contract. He worked the system to his benefit. I can't be mad at that. Things worked out for all concerned. It amuses me when media figures criticize the hype surrounding a particular player, when it's the machine that they're a part of that creates and perpetuates that very hype.

"The best kind of pride is that which compels a man to do his best when no one is watching."
05-28-2013 07:38 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
I had the pleasure of reading Phil Jackson's memoir "Eleven Rings" last week. I picked it up because I was looking for a light, entertaining read that I could breeze through in a few sessions without investing much thought. I've read some dense books lately and needed a change of pace. Jackson's memoir was a perfect choice for a hoops junkie deep in the playoffs.

What I didn't expect was that Jackson's memoir was a thorough lesson on leadership in an easy to read format. What I love about this book is that most people can look at this book and think that Jackson tells some cool stories about basketball and his life. When you read between the lines however is that this book is an excellent book on leadership because it doesn't try to be a book about leadership. Instead of delivering the reader with heavy handed leadership maxims, Jackson uses his stories to demonstrate the qualities of an effective leader. I took three central things away from this book that I could apply to my own life:

1. Have the confidence things will always work out: Jackson knew he was good and would always be in demand. Instead of being the ruler of the kingdom, because well that's what coaches are supposed to do, Jackson would take his hands off the pedal when things got rocky. During Jackson's first season as Lakers coach, the players were up in arms with Kobe's selfishness. Instead of take control of the situation, Jackson knew that the talent was there to win as long as the players worked out issues amongst themselves. He closed the doors to the locker room and had the players call Kobe out. Kobe because extremely upset about this, so Jackson told Kobe that he would never become captain of the Lakers and see his jersey hanging in the rafters if he kept behaving like this. Knowing Kobe was an extremely egotistical player, Jackson used this against Kobe knowing that Kobe would change his ways when thinking about his career as a legacy rather than in the moment. Jackson's supreme confidence that things would work out, and his unique ability to push the buttons that hurt a player's ego transformed his teams from contenders to champions.

2.Let people believe they are creating their own destiny: According to Rick Fox, Jackson split the season into three segments, with the first 25 games being a big experiment. Trying different rotations, roles, and plays for different players. Providing minimal feedback and telling players they should look at what a team needs when on the bench and providing it when they get in the game. If you want playing time, work on what the team needs in practice and show it in a game. The next 25, once the team started getting into the routines and monotone of the regular season, Jackson would challenge the players to carve out their role for the playoffs. Jackson was apparently very hard on players once they found their niche on the team, and challenged them to maximize that self-found role. The last 30 games were a dry run for the playoffs. Jackson notes that players felt by the playoffs they had either played their way into the playoff rotation by finding their self-fulfilling role, or play themselves out of the rotation by not finding that niche. It gave the players noone to blame but themselves if they did not crack the rotation, and gave the players in the rotation an added sense of ownership over their destiny. The paradox is, is that Jackson was the card holder all along, yet let the players believe they were the card holders to the team's destiny.

3.Know when to walk away with no excuses Many say Jackson always coached supreme talent when he won. Yes, he did. But he also planned it that way. I could go take some shitty job and make roses out of it, but why do that when I could take a good job and create a legacy for myself. At the same time, Jackson offered no excuses for walking away in 1998, 2004, and again in 2011. He simply said he needed to explore other parts of his life. If Dr. Buss hadn't been such a Kobe stalwart, there is every reason to believe Jackson would have let Kobe walk from the Lakers without blinking an eye. As a leader, I think we become blind as to when we've overextended our hand or overstayed our welcome, and Jackson never displays this. He had an uncanny ability to always look at a situation from a distance and make the right move. Easier said than done.

I could fill you with many more stories that exemplify each of these mantras, but I suggest you read the book for yourself.
05-28-2013 07:44 PM
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Timoteo Offline
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RE: The NBA Thread
Julius Erving has always had statesman-like status, even when still playing. NBA TV is running a piece on his career soon, so that's part of why they have him sitting in. Julius actually visited my Jr. High School way back when (Jackie Robinson Jr. High 13, on 106th St. in East Harlem). He was driving a white Corvette Stingray at the time. He's a Long Island guy, and played for the Nets when they were playing at Nassau Coliseum on the Island. He was a sight to behold in the ABA days.

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05-28-2013 07:46 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 07:44 PM)MaleDefined Wrote:  I had the pleasure of reading Phil Jackson's memoir "Eleven Rings" last week. I picked it up because I was looking for a light, entertaining read that I could breeze through in a few sessions without investing much thought. I've read some dense books lately and needed a change of pace. Jackson's memoir was a perfect choice for a hoops junkie deep in the playoffs.

What I didn't expect was that Jackson's memoir was a thorough lesson on leadership in an easy to read format. What I love about this book is that most people can look at this book and think that Jackson tells some cool stories about basketball and his life. When you read between the lines however is that this book is an excellent book on leadership because it doesn't try to be a book about leadership. Instead of delivering the reader with heavy handed leadership maxims, Jackson uses his stories to demonstrate the qualities of an effective leader. I took three central things away from this book that I could apply to my own life:

1. Have the confidence things will always work out: Jackson knew he was good and would always be in demand. Instead of being the ruler of the kingdom, because well that's what coaches are supposed to do, Jackson would take his hands off the pedal when things got rocky. During Jackson's first season as Lakers coach, the players were up in arms with Kobe's selfishness. Instead of take control of the situation, Jackson knew that the talent was there to win as long as the players worked out issues amongst themselves. He closed the doors to the locker room and had the players call Kobe out. Kobe because extremely upset about this, so Jackson told Kobe that he would never become captain of the Lakers and see his jersey hanging in the rafters if he kept behaving like this. Knowing Kobe was an extremely egotistical player, Jackson used this against Kobe knowing that Kobe would change his ways when thinking about his career as a legacy rather than in the moment. Jackson's supreme confidence that things would work out, and his unique ability to push the buttons that hurt a player's ego transformed his teams from contenders to champions.

2.Let people believe they are creating their own destiny: According to Rick Fox, Jackson split the season into three segments, with the first 25 games being a big experiment. Trying different rotations, roles, and plays for different players. Providing minimal feedback and telling players they should look at what a team needs when on the bench and providing it when they get in the game. If you want playing time, work on what the team needs in practice and show it in a game. The next 25, once the team started getting into the routines and monotone of the regular season, Jackson would challenge the players to carve out their role for the playoffs. Jackson was apparently very hard on players once they found their niche on the team, and challenged them to maximize that self-found role. The last 30 games were a dry run for the playoffs. Jackson notes that players felt by the playoffs they had either played their way into the playoff rotation by finding their self-fulfilling role, or play themselves out of the rotation by not finding that niche. It gave the players noone to blame but themselves if they did not crack the rotation, and gave the players in the rotation an added sense of ownership over their destiny. The paradox is, is that Jackson was the card holder all along, yet let the players believe they were the card holders to the team's destiny.

3.Know when to walk away with no excuses Many say Jackson always coached supreme talent when he won. Yes, he did. But he also planned it that way. I could go take some shitty job and make roses out of it, but why do that when I could take a good job and create a legacy for myself. At the same time, Jackson offered no excuses for walking away in 1998, 2004, and again in 2011. He simply said he needed to explore other parts of his life. If Dr. Buss hadn't been such a Kobe stalwart, there is every reason to believe Jackson would have let Kobe walk from the Lakers without blinking an eye. As a leader, I think we become blind as to when we've overextended our hand or overstayed our welcome, and Jackson never displays this. He had an uncanny ability to always look at a situation from a distance and make the right move. Easier said than done.

I could fill you with many more stories that exemplify each of these mantras, but I suggest you read the book for yourself.

Yes, in one of Jackson's prior books, he talked about dealing with Kobe and Shaq. He said the difference between them was this - if he asked Kobe to do something, Kobe would, "sure Phil, no problem," and simply wouldn't do it. Shaq would bitch and moan, and refuse to do it, but when you looked over a few minutes later, Shaq was doing what you asked. Phil also wrote that he went to management and told them he couldn't coach Kobe, but they told him flat out they wouldn't trade him. Kobe resented Shaq to his core. Shaq, who can be a bit of a punk, is still a much better leader than Kobe. Shaq was great a rallying his teammates, both on and off the court. Kobe was pretty much a lone wolf, and felt leadership was about simply being the best player, and demanding guys follow him.

Phil was renowned for not calling timeouts when things got rough on the court. He, as you stated, wanted the players to work through the issue themselves and not show panic.

As for Phil only coaching top talent, that's true. When Phil was approaching Auerbach's record for titles, Red stated that Phil's feat deserved an asterisk of sorts because he'd never built teams like he had done. That he stepped in and took over the best talent, instead of going out and drafting and acquiring the players himself. Phil actually agreed and amplified. He said the couldn't go into a situation like expansion Vancouver and endure the losing - that it would kill him. At the same time, not everyone can take over talent and win titles with it. There have been plenty of teams with the talent to win it, but didn't get over the hump. That's Phil's gift. He doesn't just coach basketball, but gets into the head of his guys and finds the way to get them to play their best, for the team.

"The best kind of pride is that which compels a man to do his best when no one is watching."
05-28-2013 08:03 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
Too long to quite Timoteo, but Jackson must've brought up at least half a dozen times that nothing gives him satisfaction like showing young men the way to success.

The passion is deep and exists in everything he does. Be passionatr about what you're doing, whatever that may be.
05-28-2013 08:10 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 07:38 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 07:23 PM)TheSlayer Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  I don't think Smith hated Jeremy Lin either, nor was he race trolling.

I don’t know man, every time he talks about him on the show or did talk about him when I used to watch, there was always contempt in his voice. He also said that if Lin was Black we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Well, no shit. In a league dominated by Black players, an Asian guy from Harvard who goes on a spree like he did in the second biggest media market in the country is going to get that kind of coverage.

Let me make it clear though, I am not a Lin fan. For all intents and purposes he is a very average player and his ceiling is probably being a solid role player.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  He also felt Lin did the Knicks dirty after they gave him his shot (The Knicks stated publicly that they'd match any offer, so Houston reworked their original offer to Lin in such a way the Knicks COULDN'T match it because there would have been too much backend money, costing them $30 mil in the final year with luxury tax included. That was the Knicks fault for talking publicly, not Lin's).

As you said yourself, he didn’t really do the Knicks dirty. They said they would match any offer then refused to match it once Houston used a poison pill contract.

(05-28-2013 06:43 PM)Timoteo Wrote:  Also, Knick players confided in him some behind-the-scenes issues regarding Lin. How he shut it down in the playoffs, instead of playing when they needed him. He was supposedly clear to play, but because he wasn't "100%" he didn't want to risk his impending free-agency and payday.

Interesting, I heard the same thing but with a twist. Didn’t Lin give an interview where he said the veterans in the locker room including Tyson Chandler told him not to risk his injury?
In the end, my point isn’t about Lin specifically but we both agree that the show is absolutely worst kind of sports “journalism”. I just hope the rest of the industry does not try to copy the same trolling format.

Is anyone watching TNT pre-game show with Dr J? What a cool, calm and collected personality? Can he replace Shaq please?

I totally got your point, and what Stephen A. was doing was letting his inner Knick fan come out, instead of just reporting. I'm sure the locker room was split on Lin. Some cats will advise you to protect your money, while other guys will be mad that you aren't putting yourself out there, especially if they went out there at less than 100%. As far as management vs. players, management always expects a certain kind of loyalty that they don't extend to the player. Lin went from an Ivy League school, to getting cut a couple of times, playing in the D-League, to lighting up the league for a minute, to getting a fat contract. He worked the system to his benefit. I can't be mad at that. Things worked out for all concerned. It amuses me when media figures criticize the hype surrounding a particular player, when it's the machine that they're a part of that creates and perpetuates that very hype.

Funny how people gave lin shit for not being 100% in the playoffs but pretty much all of ESPN gave Derrick Rose a pass for not coming back, even when he said was "physically able" to play.

I was always pissed when Stephen A Smith called Lin "not a scrub/he belongs in the league". What do you mean he belongs in the league? No shit he belongs in the league. There are probably 100 players worse than Lin. He's proven himself to be an above average player, at the very least. Above average is not the same thing as "not a scrub".
05-28-2013 08:18 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
Just out of curiosity, can somebody explain to me why the Knicks always get such high expectations? They've won one championship, and that was a long time ago, right? They're not exactly the definition of a storied franchise - they've certainly been less successful than the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Heat, and Rockets - so why are they crowned the "Mecca" of basketball? Is it the playground culture/Rucker park? Is that it? What's the deal?

I don't hate the knicks by any means - i even root for them when the opponent is right - but I do find them mostly laughable and dysfunctional, this year included. I can't muster the respect for that franchise.
05-28-2013 08:23 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 08:23 PM)SHANbangs Wrote:  Just out of curiosity, can somebody explain to me why the Knicks always get such high expectations? They've won one championship, and that was a long time ago, right? They're not exactly the definition of a storied franchise - they've certainly been less successful than the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Heat, and Rockets - so why are they crowned the "Mecca" of basketball? Is it the playground culture/Rucker park? Is that it? What's the deal?

I don't hate the knicks by any means - i even root for them when the opponent is right - but I do find them mostly laughable and dysfunctional, this year included. I can't muster the respect for that franchise.

New Yorkers are born with basketball in their blood. It's not even just the Knicks, it's just the game itself.

I was out in Shanghai last summer and I went to play ball at the huge open air courts by where the Sharks play in PuDong and it was a 'everything stops' moment, when in a sea of 2000 Chinese dudes playing ball a white dude walking a ball through his legs walks into the place. I explained I was from New York and I was mobbed like a hot escort for my services in the games.

I got the best defender in every game and everything was deferred to me on offense. I took pride in the fact that the world views NYC as the capital of ball and I had to do my part.
05-28-2013 08:28 PM
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RE: The NBA Thread
(05-28-2013 08:28 PM)MaleDefined Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 08:23 PM)SHANbangs Wrote:  Just out of curiosity, can somebody explain to me why the Knicks always get such high expectations? They've won one championship, and that was a long time ago, right? They're not exactly the definition of a storied franchise - they've certainly been less successful than the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Heat, and Rockets - so why are they crowned the "Mecca" of basketball? Is it the playground culture/Rucker park? Is that it? What's the deal?

I don't hate the knicks by any means - i even root for them when the opponent is right - but I do find them mostly laughable and dysfunctional, this year included. I can't muster the respect for that franchise.

New Yorkers are born with basketball in their blood. It's not even just the Knicks, it's just the game itself.

I was out in Shanghai last summer and I went to play ball at the huge open air courts by where the Sharks play in PuDong and it was a 'everything stops' moment, when in a sea of 2000 Chinese dudes playing ball a white dude walking a ball through his legs walks into the place. I explained I was from New York and I was mobbed like a hot escort for my services in the games.

I got the best defender in every game and everything was deferred to me on offense. I took pride in the fact that the world views NYC as the capital of ball and I had to do my part.

What do you mean by that exactly? Can you explain? Is it that every new yorker grows up playing the game on the streets? Because I don't see much in their franchise to draw inspiration from.

Then again, New York basketball reminds me of English Football. They take great pride in the sport, but they never seem to win much.

How was playing in China? Were they good? I played a little bit in Shanghai over the winter against some Fudan college kids. These kids don't play D. But I assume playing by the Shanghai Sharks courts is a whole different story.
05-28-2013 08:33 PM
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