The new ownership in Sacramento has now made it clear that they want to build their franchise around DeMarcus Cousins (Yeah I know right). Despite all the baggage that comes with Cousins he is still a player that commanded the max amount of money and he has gotten it.
Because I am from the Southern California area I have to say this, ANTELOPE VALLEY STAND UP! As expected, the Indiana Pacers have officially inked Palmdale, CA native Paul George to a multi-year extension.
I may be a little late but I wanted to chime in on the perceived social media “beef” between Kevin Durant and Dwayne Wade.
Everything started on Tuesday when Kevin Durant was making round to promote Degree deodorant. Durant had appeared on numerous programs to conduct interviews, but it was his interview with CineSport Noah Coslov that stood out.
Sports Illustrated recently published their Top 100 players of 2014 and during the interview Durant was asked for his opinion on the top 10.
Here are SI’s top 10 players:
Durant was then asked if anyone was missing from the list and he replied with saying that James Harden, his former teammate was missing. Coslov then asked Durant who Harden should replace from the list and without even taking time to think Durant said Wade.
Of course things got back to Wade and he went to Instagram to speak his mind.
It was only right that Durant respond and had this to say:
It is only normal that KD feels a certain type of way about the Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat because his team lost to them in the 2012 NBA Finals. During that series Durant was caught calling Wade too small after scoring on him in game 3 of the Finals. It is well known that Wade’s teammate LeBron James and Durant are really good friends and work out during the offseason. Obviously Durant doesn’t feel the same about Wade.
Let’s just be honest, there was a time when Dwayne was easily a top-5 player in the league. That time however is long gone now due to the all the injuries he has sustained even though he has games where he reminds us of past greatness.
Was Durant wrong for what he said? HELL NO! James Harden is on the brink of superstardom and definitely deserves a spot in the top-10. Honestly the bigger travesty in my opinion was SI having Dwayne Wade over Kobe Bryant but I will save that conversation for another day.
With all of the Lamar Odom bashing that has been going over the past couple of days I decided to reminisce on a time when Odom had the ability to be one of the best that NBA had ever seen.
So much for those rumors that Phil Jackson wanted to coach the Knicks.
In an interview set to air next week on HBO’s “Real Sports,” the Zenmaster said he never had any interest taking over the sidelines at Madison Square Garden, contrary to popular belief.
Jackson didn’t confirm he was definitely coming out of retirement but did concede “there might be” a team out there he’d love to coach. As for the Knicks, a team his name had long been linked to, he’s glad they never even bothered giving him a call.
“I wasn’t going to take the job, that’s for sure,” Jackson said.
“There’s just too much work that has to be done with that team. It’s a little bit of a clumsy team.”
And by “clumsy,” he doesn’t mean the Knicks are a bunch of stumbling bums out on the court (that would be the Bobcats), but rather they lack the chemistry essential to productively coexist, especially at the top of the lineup.
“They don’t fit together well,” Jackson explained. “Stoudemire doesn’t fit together well with Carmelo. Stoudemire’s a really good player. But he’s got to play in a certain system and a way. Carmelo has to be a better passer. And the ball can’t stop every time it hits his hands. They need to have someone come in that can kind of blend that group together.”
So, good luck with all that, Mike Woodson.
If you watched the documentary shown on NBA TV about the 1992 Dream Team that won gold at the Olympics in Barcelona, one thing that stood out was how competitive the players were. The players didn’t want to stop when they were scrimmaging because they wanted to beat each other, and there were big rivalries among players on the team.
Charles Barkley wanted to prove he was a better power forward than Karl Malone, ditto for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, and Michael Jordan wanted to show he was better than Magic Johnson. That competition created a heated environment, and it seemed to bring out the best in the players.
Dwyane Wade watched the documentary and talked about it with the media on Thursday.
The Heat guard, who has played in the NBA since 2003 and participated in two Olympics for the national team, conceded that the hatred between stars isn’t the same as it was.
“I’m not going to say it’s missing,” Wade said and then smiled. “It’s missing … It’s a different time. Now it’s not as much hatred. It’s still competitiveness, guys want to beat other guys, but it’s a different world, it’s a different time where guys have an opportunity to be around each other more and be closer.”
There aren’t many people who followed the NBA during both eras who would disagree. The Heat’s big three came together in Miami because of friendships the players forged. And outside of guys like Kobe, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Derrick Rose, how many star players strike you as super competitive to the point they’re not friendly with a lot of opponents? LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who are the biggest stars in the NBA Finals, worked out together over the summer. Chris Paul and Tony Parker stay at each other’s houses and do dinner before they square off. Things have definitely changed.
If an NBA Finals matchup between the Thunder and Heat isn’t intriguing enough for you, there are plenty of side stories to follow. First and foremost, there is always the mystery of whether or not LeBron James can finally get over the hump and win a ring. If basketball isn’t your thing, you can keep an eye on the ridiculous situation between Lil Wayne and the Thunder that just never seems to go away.
After allegedly not being allowed to buy a courtside seat in Oklahoma City during the Western Conference Finals, Weezy was able to purchase one for Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. However, he is once again unhappy with the people of Oklahoma City — this time the arena staff who must have frisked him at the door or something.
Wayne was rooting for the Spurs after the nonsense that took place before Game 3 last series. Oklahoma City won four in a row after that, so Thunder fans should be happy the rapper is rooting for Miami. The ironic part is Lil Wayne also had a problem with LeBron and Dwyane Wade last year when he was offended that they didn’t acknowledge him when he attended Heat games. The beef was later squashed, but the point is Lil Wayne desperately needs special treatment. Maybe it’s time for him to give up on the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Teams who play the Thunder in Oklahoma City understand that no lead is ever safe. For starters, the Thunder are athletic enough to score in transition and rack up points quickly. Like the Heat, Kevin Durant and company can erase a 10-point deficit in what seems like 30 seconds. Then, there are the fans. After a game in which Oklahoma City erased a 13-point deficit and energized their notoriously rowdy arena, Chris Bosh did not seem overly impressed by the noise level in the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
“Everybody keeps talking about how loud it is,” Bosh said according to Eye on Basketball. “It’s regular. We’ve been in a lot of other arenas and it’s about the same. Once it gets really loud, it’s all about the same.”
Bosh then added that the Thunder “have a great homecourt” and called the fans “very vibrant,” but we all know it’s the word “regular” that is going to stick out in the minds of the Oklahoma City faithful come Game 2. The Thunder are 9-0 at home during their impressive postseason run, so it’s safe to say their fans take their jobs seriously.
That being said, Bosh is right. All arenas are loud in the playoffs — especially the NBA Finals. I’m sure the Mavericks fans didn’t exactly act like they were in church when Miami lost in the Finals last year, just as the Boston fans cranked up the noise in the Eastern Conference Finals this year. Once it reaches a certain level, noise is noise.
LeBron James has never been shy about patting himself on the back after a great performance. If LeBron did his job during a win or a loss, he’s going to let you know about it. When the Heat lost to the Mavericks in the Finals last year, LeBron’s first instinct was to attack his haters and basically defend himself. He later backed off and said he wasn’t satisfied with his performance. Heading into the 2012 NBA Finals, King James has decided to take a new approach and admit that he failed last season.
“I didn’t play well,” LeBron said Monday according to the Sun Sentinel. “I think I said that 100 times this year. I didn’t play well. I didn’t make enough game-changing plays that I know I’m capable of making, and I felt like I let my teammates down. I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s something I haven’t said before. Just didn’t make enough plays.
“I’m happy and I’m humbled that I can actually be back in this position less than 12 months later, to do a better job of making more plays, more game-changing plays out on the floor on a bigger stage.”
Believe it or not, that actually sounds like accountability from the King. Better late than never. LeBron took a ton of criticism earlier this year when he said Miami’s season would not be a failure without a championship, but I think even he knew that wasn’t true. Obviously, LeBron has more to lose than any other player in this series. Dwyane Wade has a ring and Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are just getting started. This is LeBron’s third trip to the Finals, and even he can’t imagine what people will be saying if he goes 0-for-3. The fact that he knows a duplicate performance of last year isn’t going to cut it is at least a start.