Category Archives: NBA

Rockets’ Radio Announcer, Craig Ackerman Said It Best

The L.A. Lakers is a team full of talented players this season including Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and of course Kobe Bryant. Some may also include Metta World Peace in that group as well. But so far the Lakers have not been playing to their talent potential whether it be back luck, old age, no chemistry, or whatever the reason may be.

On October 31st Steve Nash, in the game against Portland, fractured his leg in a collision with Damian Lillard. Nash has yet to join tKobe_Bryant_on_benchhe Lakers back on the court.

At the end of November the Lakers fired the head coach Mike Brown and replaced him with Mike D’Anton. It was very early in the season for this kind of decision, but the Lakers had to make some kind of change.

Before Sunday the Lakers had a record of 8-8 and were scheduled to play the Orlando Magic. After the game the media asked Bryant about Gasol who has been mentally checking out during games. Bryant said, “Put your big-boy pants on. C’mon . . . just adjust. You can’t whine about it or complain about it. Heck, I’m 34 years old, and I’m running screen-and-rolls out there because Steve (Nash) is out, and my ass is running up and down the court more than I ever have in my entire career. But you have to adjust to it. I stay after practice and work on my ball-handling and screen-and-rolls, and when you have the talent to adjust to it, you just . . . have . . . to . . . adjust . . . to . . . it. We’re not going to lose (Pau). This is just not going to happen. I’ve been around him long enough to know how to deal with him.”

Then Lakers lost again last night to the Houston Rockets. The game started off looking good for L.A. as they led by as many as 17 points in the first half. At the end of the 3rd quarter L.A. was up by 10 points. Then Houston took over the game and as the game ended 107-105 Houston’s radio announcer, Craig Ackerman had the best announcement I have ever heard. In response to the lost and Kobe Bryant’s comment about Gasol, Ackerman said, “The Lakers have just pooped their big boy pants.” Great one Ackerman! I love it! This is easily my most favorite announcement ever.


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Mavs sign Derek Fisher

After last night’s loss to Chicago, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle announced the signing of point guard Derek Fisher.

Darren Collison

Lately the Mavs have been in a slump that is not looking good. The Mavericks have lost their last two games putting them below .500, and sadly Dallas lost yet another game last night against Chicago now making the team’s win-loss record 7-9. This year the team is full of new faces both young and old, but in the point guard position there are only young players. 25-year-old Darren Collison joined Dallas this past summer with 3 years experience. Collison has started as point guard for 14 games this season, while 24-year-old Dominique Jones with just 2 years experience started the other 2. So far this season Collison has been great with the team. On the court Collison is competitive, strong, fast, and has a good eye for open players. Jones has also shown a lot of promise this season. Jones seems like a whole new player and has really grown since last year. I am a big fan of DoJo and Collison is a good player but teams need more than just two point guards that do not have much experience. A team also needs a player with experience.

Tuesday night in the game against Philadelphia, Collison sprained his right middle finger, which caused him to miss last night’s game. Coach Carlisle said, “We need help at point guard. I found out on the way over here that Collison would be out, and we were fortunate to get (Jared) Cunningham active.” 21-year-old Jared Cunningham is another point guard on the Dallas Mavericks but is just starting his rookie season so he has no pro experience.

That is where Derek Fisher comes in. After hearing about Collison’s injury the Mavs realized they do not have much depth in the point guard position. Dallas signed Derek Fisher to come in and help add depth to the point guard position, add some consistency, and be a mentor to Collison and Jones. Carlisle said, “We feel (Fisher) can help us. It’s not a cure-all to all of our team challenges, but his expertise and experience will help.” Fisher is 38-years-old and has played in the NBA for 16 seasons, this being his 17th. Fisher has played on great teams like the L.A. Lakers with 5 NBA titles, and the Oklahoma City Thunder who went all the way to the Finals last summer. The Dallas Mavericks are excited to add such an experienced point guard to the team. Mavs center Chris Kaman said, “We’re just struggling a little bit right now. Having Fisher come in tomorrow could help. Having a vet come in like that is great, who can help some of our young guys.”

I believe Derek Fisher will help the Mavs in the way they are expecting him to. I am happy with this decision because it will help the young point guards to grow and will add some experience to the team. With Dirk out for a few more weeks the Mavs really need someone to step up and lead the team. Fisher is a great leader on the court and off. He is the president of the NBA Players Association and led all NBA players during the 2011 lockout. Yes I know Fisher’s age is getting up there but he is a year younger than Kidd and who knows.. it may even be like Dallas never lost Kidd. The Mavs have today and tomorrow off, which will give Fisher enough time to get in a few practices with the team before they play Detroit on Saturday.

Now that the Mavs have added Fisher they must make a cut because they already had 15 guaranteed contracts. Rumors are the Mavs will let go Troy Murphy sometime today, which is ok by me. Though Murphy seems to be an alright player he just looks very lost and confused on the court.

Let’s Go Mavs!

Update: Mavs waive Troy Murphy to make room on the roster for Derek Fisher.


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Kevin Love Shaved His Head!

Kevin Love, NBA player for the Minnesota Timberwolves, broke his right hand on October 17 doing knuckle push-ups in a morning workout. Kevin Love will be out for 6-8 weeks but he is not sitting around doing nothing. Earlier this week Kevin Love decided he would shave his head, but not just for fun. In thought of women everywhere going through chem0, Love did this because of breast cancer awareness.

Love asked the wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, Larry Fitzgerald to be his barber. Larry Fiztgerald was pleased to do this because he lost his mother to cancer 9 years ago. The two teamed up and filmed Kevin Love’s new look and together they posted this video. They will donate 25 cents to Brest Cancer charities for every video retweet and facebook “like”.

Fitzgerald said, “Kevin and I are here today to make sure nobody else has to lose a mother, a sister, a daughter to this disease.” So lets work together to share this, and make that happen.


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Delonte West Suspended Again!

News spread today that the Dallas Mavericks suspended Delonte West indefinitely for detrimental conduct. This is the second time in less than two weeks that West has been suspended from the team.

On October 15, 2012 the Mavericks suspended West for conduct detrimental to the team. That day the Dallas Mavericks played their first preseason game in Dallas beating the Houston Rockets 123-104. After the game, due to an outburst in the locker-room, West was suspended. The suspension only lasted less than 24 hours because West meet with president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and head coach Rick Carlisle and they worked it out. Coach Carlisle said, “There was an outstanding issue, and we needed to talk about it.” West was there to play in the next preseason game on October 17 against the Phoenix Suns.

The Mavs seemed to be sure that whatever it was had been worked out and was in the process of being fixed. Carlisle said, “He needed to refocus, and he’s in the process of doing that. It’s going to be work. It’s going to be daily work for him to do that, and I’ve got to help him and our organization is going to help him, too. It’s not that big a deal.” Turns out he was wrong, or maybe this time it was something completely different, or didn’t have to do with West at all. Either way, West was suspended again.

West explained to that he is being blamed for something he did not do. West said there was an argument between two teammates last night after the Mavs lost to the OKC 76-88, and the Mavs believed he had something to do with it. West said, “There was an argument between two teammates in the locker room last night that didn’t involve me. Somehow I’m being blamed for it. I had nothing to do with it. I don’t know what’s going on.” Then this morning West got a text telling him not to come to practice today. West turned to tweeter to tweet his thoughts.

In the past Delonte West has had run-ins with the law. In 2009 West was arrested for having multiple weapons on board a three-wheel motorcycle while driving. In result West was suspended by the NBA for 10 games, and was sentenced to house arrest for 8 months. Later that year it was revealed that West suffers from bipolar disorder. I do not know what it is like to be bipolar, but with all the negative attention his name gets all the time I can’t imagine it is easy for him while being in the NBA. But this issue has nothing to do with that.

Regardless of whatever West is going through off the court he is, in my opinion, an outstanding NBA player. I have seen West play, and every time he is on that court he gives it his all. West is not afraid to drive to the basket and can get the ball to the teammate that is open. He is great to watch. West has played on some of the best teams with some of the best players including LeBron James, Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Dirk Nowitzki. West averages 9.7 points, 3.6 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. If West was not involved in the argument then I hope the Mavs will figure that out and reinstate West before the season starts.


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Mark Cuban still not Happy with Kidd’s Exit

This morning Mark Cuban joined The Ben and Skin Show on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM for an hour. In the last few minutes Ben and Skin decided to ask Mr. Cuban if Jason Kidd would ever get a rafter spot and Cuban replied, “no chance.” A rafter spot is an area in the arena that great player’s for that team get their jersey hung.

This summer Jason Kidd was a free agent and the Dallas Mavericks were looking to resign him to a 3-year deal. On the morning of July 5, 2012 Jason Kidd talked with the Maverick’s organization he was going to stay. Then that afternoon Kidd changed his mind and decided to go play for the New York Knicks who offered him a similar deal, 3-years for $9 million. As a point guard, Kidd believed that the Knicks had more “pieces to work with.” Cuban said that Kidd called him that afternoon, but Cuban could not take the call because he was with his family at a museum in Washington D.C. It was not till later that day that Cuban found out Kidd changed his mind and went to the Knicks for a similar deal. Mr. Cuban told Ben and Skin that what Kidd did “hurt my feelings.” Cuban said, “I was more than upset. I thought he was coming. I was pissed.”

Mark Cuban was not happy with how Jason Kidd changed his mind so quickly. Cuban said, “J. Kidd is a big boy; he can do whatever he wants. But you don’t change your mind like that. That was … yeah. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point, but as of now, I wouldn’t put J. Kidd’s number in the rafters.” Cuban later added, “He’s a good guy, but I just thought that was wrong. You can’t put a guy’s number in the rafters when he decides he doesn’t want to be there.”

I agree with Cuban’s decision that Kidd’s number will not be in the rafters when he retires. Kidd played for the Mavericks for 4 seasons, from 2008-2012 (not including the 3 seasons starting his NBA career from 1994-1997) and then just decided he would like to play for the Knicks more. With the two offers being the same number of years and same amount of money someone would think a player would stick with their original team. I guess I understand he is looking to be on a team that has a better chance at winning the next championship, but I mean come on Kidd … you are about to be 40! I feel that it is probably time for Kidd to be on the team he wants to retire with, which I thought would have been the Mavericks or the Nets. It was wrong the way Kidd changed his mind so quickly so it is understandable that Cuban is hurt/upset by it.

Cuban did list a couple of players he thinks will have a chance to have their numbers in a rafter spot. Cuban said, “I’ve always said my prerequisite was that you played on a championship team for the Mavs. I’d say Jet’s got a shot, Dirk’s an obvious, but as of right now I wouldn’t put J. Kidd up there.”

During the summer Terry was also a free agent and left to join the Boston Celtics. The difference between Terry leaving and Kidd leaving is that Terry and Cuban had many talks throughout the year. They meet many times and were very honest with each other. So when the time came that Terry accepted the Celtics offer, Cuban was well-informed and was happy for him. Terry ended things on good terms, was a true Maverick, and really did want to stay. Cuban even told Ben and Skin that if Terry returned after retiring and was looking for a job he would help him get one with the Mavs organization.


To hear Cuban on Ben and Skin click here and download the audio. Or you can check out Ben and Skin’s home page and look for the Mark Cuban Audio.


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Dwight Howard traded to the LA Lakers

Last night on Thursday August 9, 2012 Dwight Howard was traded to the LA Lakers in a 4 team trade. The teams involved in the trade include the LA Lakers, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, and the Denver Nuggets. All the teams need now is an approval of the trade from the league, which should happen sometime today, then the players involved can join their new teams. In the trade the Lakers will get Dwight Howard, Chris Duhon, and Earl Clark; the 76ers will get Andrew Bynum, and Jason Richardson; the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless, and one protected first round pick from each of the teams involved; and the Nuggets will get Andre Iguodala.

A protected draft pick means that a team can pick a player from the draft, but will only acquire that player if all the conditions are met.

Dwight Howard has been trying to leave the Magic for quite some time now and is finally getting what he wanted, well sort-of. Howard’s first choice was to go and play for the Brooklyn Nets with Deron Williams, but that did not happen after months of drama. Howard also had the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Lakers on his want list as his other choices. Howard got traded to one of the three teams on his want list, but still has a chance to play for one of the others if he does not like playing for LA. Howard only has one year left on his contract and will be a free agent next summer if he does not sign a contract extension with LA. The Lakers are not looking to have Howard for just one year, they will do their best to help him fit in and see LA as his new home so that he will sign an extension before this coming season ends. If Howard does not like being in LA the Mavericks will surely be waiting for him this summer to make him an offer, but it will be hard for Howard to not like being a Laker this season. Over the summer the Lakers signed free agent Steve Nash. Nash is one of the best guards in the league and is very experienced. Nash has played in the NBA for 16 years and averages 14.5 points, 8.6 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game. Nash is one of my favorite guards to watch because he can make some of the most amazing no-look-passes I have ever seen. Nash can make plays happen and get the ball to the right teammate for the shot or will get in the right position to make it himself. The Lakers were also able to keep their forward Pau Gasol from being traded, even though it was talked about. A team with Howard, Gasol, Nash, and Bryant makes for a definite team to watch out for this season. If this Lakers team and create chemistry they will be a tough team to beat.

With the team the Lakers have this year, assuming the trade will be approved by the league, it will be very surprising if the Lakers have a bad year. I expect them to have a great year being in the top 5 teams in the Western Conference, maybe even the top 2. I do not believe the Lakers will be better than the Oklahoma Thunder but they will be a good matchup. I also predict that Howard will fall in love with LA and will sign a contract extension before the 2012-2013 season ends.



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USA Olympic Basketball 101

The Olympics happen every four years and is a great opportunity for athletes all over the world to come and compete against the best. In the Olympic’s Basketball competition many different countries put together a team of their best players to compete.

In 1974, the USA Basketball organization was created, but at that time, it was known as the Amateur Basketball Association of the United States of America (ABAUSA). The professional basketball players were not allowed to play in international competitions as ruled by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). But Boris Stankovic did not feel that the rule was fair, so he did what he could to convince the FIBA to change it. Stankovic based his argument on two reasons, he said, “Our competition was closed to the NBA players, but no one else. That seems immoral. The second is very simple. Our feeling is that only by playing the best players in the world can everyone else make progress. If you are from another country and you can run a race against Carl Lewis, maybe you don’t have a chance. But you still want to run.” On October 12, 1989 the rules were changed and the ABAUSA became known as USA Basketball. In the next Olympics, in 1992, the USA team was created with the top NBA players and one college student. The team became known as the “Dream Team” and changed basketball forever. Since 1992, basketball became more popular all over the world.

USA Basketball is an organization made up of other organizations that are divided into 5 categories. These categories include:

    1. Professional
      • National Basketball Association (NBA) – as of 1989
      • National Basketball Association Development League
      • Women’s National Basketball Association
    2. Collegiate:
      • National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
      • National Collegiate Athletic Association
      • National Junior College Athletic Association
    3. Scholastic
      • National Federation of State High School Associations
    4. Youth
      • Amateur Athletic Union
    5. Associate
      • Athletes In Action
      • Basketball Travelers
      • College Commissioners Association
      • Gazelle Group
      • Harlem Globetrotters
      • International Sports Exchange
      • Latin-American Basketball League of Los Angeles
      • National Amateur Basketball Association
      • National Association of Basketball Coaches
      • National Basketball Players Association
      • National Junior College Basketball Coach Association
      • National Junior College Women’s Coach Association
      • National Wheelchair Basketball Association
      • USA  Deaf Sports Federation
      • United States Armed Forces
      • Women’s Basketball Coaches Association

In USA Basketball there is a Board of Directors that is made up of 11 members. The Board of Directors are responsible for the selection, training, and fielding of USA teams that will be competing in international basketball competitions sponsored by the FIBA, and national competitions. These competitions include the Olympics, FIBA World Championships, FIBA American Championships, Pan American Games, World University Games, U19 and U17 World Championships, and the Nike Hoop Summit.

There is a lot that goes into the process of Olympic Basketball. Only 12 teams earn an Olympic berth, meaning earn a place in the Olympic games and getting the chance to compete. Two spots are saved and automatically given out to the country that is hosting the Olympics (who usually gets the first berth), and the other is given to the reigning FIBA World Champion. Then seven berths are given to the champions of each FIBA tournament in the five geographic divisions. These include

  • Two from Europe
  • Two from North and South America
  • One from Africa
  • One from Asia
  • One from “Oceania” – essentially, Australia and New Zealand

The other 3 spots are given to the top 3 countries from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. The process of qualifying for a berth to the Olympics takes place during the years between each Olympics.

After the 12 countries are decided, in the summer of the Olympic year, the players are chosen by the Board of Directors and the training begins. Some may think that picking the players for the USA Olympic team would be easy, just pick the top players in the NBA. Well it is not exactly that simple. Some of the NBA players are from other countries and during the summers, when the season is over, they will return home to play for their home country. For example, just to name a few, Dirk Nowitzki returns to Germany and will play for Germany’s basketball team,  Tony Parker returns to France, and Manu Ginobili returns to Argentina. When the teams are picked they are then divided into two pools, Group A and Group B, and will compete against each other in a few practice games. When the Olympic games begin each team will play the other 5 teams in the same pool during the first round, called the preliminary round. In the Olympics each team is rewarded 2 points for a win and 1 point for a loss. At the end of the preliminary round the points are added up and the top 4 teams from each pool will progress to the quarterfinals, which is the first of the knockout rounds till the medals are determined. The 8 teams will compete is a win or go home scenario, which continues into the semifinals and finals. The third place team will win the Bronze medal, the Silver goes to the second place team, and the first place team receives the Gold.

To give you an idea of how many NBA players go to play for their home countries here is the team rosters for the twelve 2012 Olympic teams:

Group A:

United States of America (USA): Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), LeBron James (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Tyson Chandler (New York Knicks), Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder), Deron Williams (Brooklyn Nets), James Harden (Oklahoma City Thunder), Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks), Andre Iquodala (Philadelphia 76ers), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets), and Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Argentina (ARG): Pablo Prigioni (New York Knicks), Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs), Carlos Delfino (Milwaukee Bucks), Luis Scola (Phoenix Suns), Juan Gutierrez (CB Granada – Spain), Facundo Campazzo (Penarol – Argentina), Heran Jasen (MMT Estudiantes – Spain), Marcos Mata (Penarol Mar del Plata – Argentina), Andres Nocioni (Caja Laboral, ACB – Spain), Leo Gutierrez (Penarol de Mar Del Plata – Spain), Federico Kammerichs (Regatas Corrientes, LNB – Argentina), Martin Leiva (Penarol)

France (FRA): Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs), Nando De Colo (Valencia, ACB – Spain), Nicolas Batum (Portland Trail Blazers), Boris Diaw (San Antonio Spurs), Kevin Seraphin (Washington Wizards), Yannick Bokolo (Gravelines-Dunkerque, LNB – France), Fabien Causeur (Cholet, LNB – France), Mickael Gelablae (BC Khimki Moscou, PBA – Russia), Yakhouba Diaware (Pallacanestro Varese, LegA – Italy), Florent Pietrus (Valencia Basket Club, S.A.D. – Spain), Ali Traore (Lokomotiv Kouban-Krasnodar – Russia), Ronny Turiaf (Miami Heat)

Lithuania (LTU): Sarunas Jasikevicius (Panathinaikos – Greece), Martynas Pocius (Real Madrid – Spain), Linas Kleiza (Toronto Raptors), Darius Songaila (Blancos de Rueda – Spain), Jonas Valanciunas (Toronto Raptors), Mantas Kalnietis (Zalgiris Kaunas – Lithuania), Rimantas Kaukenas (Montepaschi Siena – Italy), Renaldas Seibutis (Lietuvos Rytas – Lithuania), Simas Jasaitis (Lokomotiv-Kuban – Russia), Jonas Maciulis (Montepaschi Siena), Paulius Jankunas (Zalgiris Kaunas), Antanas Kavaliauskas (VEF Riga – Latvia)

Nigeria (NGR): Anthony Skinn (Ironi Ashkelon – Israel), Chamberlain Oguchi(Panateras de Miranda – Venezuela), Al-Farouq Aminu (New Orleans Hornets), Ike Diogu (Captinas de Arecibo – Puerto Rico), Alade Aminu (Elan Chalon, LNB – France), Richard Dean Oruche (Academica – Puerto Rico), Ade Dagunduro (Stella Artois Leuven Bears – Belgium), Derrick Obasohan (Joventut de Badalona – Spain), Ejike Christopher Ubjaoa (Janseh Tarabor Qomi – Iran), Koko Archibong (LTI Giessen 46ers – Germany), Ekene Ibekwe (BBC Bayreuth – Germany), Olumide Oyedeji (Quingdao Double Star – China)

Tunisia (TUN): Marouan Kechrid (US Monastir – Tunisia), Mourad El Mabrouk (Eszahra Sport – Tunisia), Macram Ben Romdhane (Etoile Sportive du Sahel – Tunisia), Mohamed Hadidane (Stade Nabeulien – Tunisia), Salah Mejri (Etoile Sportive du Sahel), Marouan Laghnej (J.S. Kairouan, D1 – Tunisia), Omar Abada (E.S.R. Rades – Tunisia), Lassaad Chouaya (Club Africain – Tunisia), Amine Maghrebi (Eszahra Sport), Amine Rzig (Etoile Sportive du Sahel), Radhouane Slimane (An Nasr Dubai, D1 – United Arab Emirates), Mohamed Ghyaza (ES Rades – Tunisia)

Group B

Austrailia (AUS): Adam Gibson (Gold Coast Blaze – Australia), Patrick Mills (San Antonio Spurs), Brad Newley (Valencia Basket – Spain), Matt Nielsen (BC Khimki, PBL – Russia), Aleks Maric (Panathinaikos Athens, A1 – Greece), Matt Dellavedova (St. Mary’s College), Peter Crawford (Townsville Crocodiles – Australia), Joe Ingles (Regal FC Barcelona, ACB – Spain), David Barlow (UCAM Murcia Basketball, ACB – Spain), Mark Worthington (Gold Coast Blaze), Aron Baynes (Ikaros Kallitheas, A1 – Greece)

Spain (ESP): Jose Calderon (Toronto Raptors), Juan-Carlos Navarro (FC Barcelona, ACB – Spain), Rudy Fernandez (Real Madrid, ACB – Spain), Pau Gasol (Los Angeles Lakers), Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies), Sergio Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Victor Sada (FC Barcelona), Sergio Llull (Real Madrid), Fernando San Emeterio (Caja Laboral – Spain), Victor Claver (Portland Trail Blazers), Felipe Reyes (Real Madrid), Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder)

Brazil (BRA): Marcelo Machado (Flamengo, NBB – Brazil), Leandro Barbosa (Indiana Pacers), Guilherme Giovannoni (Barsilia, NBB – Brazil), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Nene Hilario (Washington Wizards), Marcelinho Huertes (Regal FC Barcelona, ACB – Spain), Raul Neto (Minas Tenis Clube, NBB – Brazil), Larry Taylor (Flamengo – Brazil), Alex Garcia (Brasilia), Marcus Vieira (Pinheiros – Brazil), Anderson Varejao (Cleveland Caveliers), Caio Torries (Flamengo)

China (CHN): Jianghua Chen (Guandong Southern Tigers, CBA – China), Shipen Wang (Guandong Southern Tigers), Yue Sun (Beijing Aoshen Olympian Ducks, WCPBL), Jianlian Yi (Dallas Mavericks), Zhizhi Wang (Bayi Rockets, CBA – China), Wei Lui (Shanghai Sharks, CBA – China), Ailun Guo (Liaoning Hunters – China), Li Yi (Guandong Southerm Tigers), Fangyu Zhu (Guandong Southern Tigers), Jinhui Ding (Zhejiang Wanma Cyclones, CBA – China), Peng Zhou (Guandong Southern Tigers), Zhaoxu Zhang (Shainghai Sharks)

Great Britain (GBR): Andrew Lawrence (College of Charleston), Kyle Johnson (Long Island University), Luol Deng (Chicago Bulls), Joel Freeland (Portland Trail Blazers), Pops Mensah Bonsu (Besiktas – Turkey), Nate Reinking (Mons Hainaut, D1 – Belgium), Mike Lenzly (Cez Nymburk – Czech Republic), Andrew Sullivan (Mersey Tigers, BBL – Great Britain), Kieron Achara, Robert Archibald (Unicaja Malaga, ACB – Spain), Daniel Clark (Estudientes Madrid, ACB – Spain), Eric Boateng (Peristeri, A1 – Greece),

Russia (RUS): Vitaliy Fridzon (Khimki Moscow Region – Russia), Aleksey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Victor Khryapa (CSKA Moscow – Russia), Andrei Kirilenko (Minnesota Timberwolves), Timofey Mozgov (Denver Nuggets), Dmitriy Khvostov (Khimki Moscow Region), Anton Ponkrashov (CSKA Moscow), Evgeny Voronov (CSKA Moscow), Semen Antonov (BC Nizhny Novgorod – Russia), Sergey Monya (Khimki Moscow Region), Alexander Kaun (CSKA Moscow)


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New Orleans in the 2012 NBA Draft

Yesterday, June 28, 2012 was the NBA Draft and the New Orleans Hornets did very well with their picks.

New Orleans had the 1st overall pick in the draft and with that they got Anthony Davis, a forward from Kentucky. Davis is 19 years old and stands about 6 foot 10. Davis averages 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks per game. Last season Davis was announced the consensus college player of the year. Not only does his talent make him a great unique player, but his look as well. Anthony Davis has a unibrow that inspired him to trademark the phrases “Fear The Brow” and “Raise The Brow.” Davis was the player to get in this 2012 NBA draft and he was excited the Hornets selected him as the first pick. Davis said, “The first thing I said after the lottery was ‘It would be great to win another championship in New Orleans.’ It’s a great city. Monty is a great coach who has played in the league and will tell you how it is. He has given me some great advice and I can’t wait to get out on the court with him.”

Then with the 10th overall pick New Orleans selected Austin Rivers, a guard from Duke. Rivers is also 19 years old and is 6 foot 5. Rivers averages 15.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. Austin Rivers is the son of Doc Rivers, head coach of the Boston Celtics. Doc left his team to join his family for New Orlean’s announcement to select Austin. The two shared a few words and a hug before Austin Rivers approached the stage. When asked about playing against his dad’s team Austin said, “When I beat him, I am going to talk a lot of trash to him and tell him it’s my time now. It is going to be tough, because the Celtics are so good and I know my dad is going to do something to mess with me. That will be interesting because we are both so competitive.” I look forward to watching this father son match up next season, and I am sure it will be a fun game to watch.

When asked about the New Orleans picks, Hornet’s general manager Dell Demps said, “I feel really good. With Davis’ defensive presence, and offensive upside is great. With Austin’s play-making ability, along with Eric, I’m hoping we’ll be really hard to guard and to score on.” Davis and Rivers are both great additions to the New Orleans Hornets, and I am sure they will make great teammates.


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Mavericks vs. Nets for Deron Williams

On Tuesday June 26, 2012 Deron Williams turned 28 years old. Williams played for the New Jersey, now the Brooklyn, Nets for the 2011-2012 season. On July 1, 2012 Williams will become a free agent. On that day Brooklyn can make their offer for William’s contract extension. If Williams accepts the offer he will continue to stay in Brooklyn for however many years the team offers. If Williams does not accept, he has two choices: 1.) He can choose to stay and play for Brooklyn for one more year, or 2.) He can opt-out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent. If Williams does not accept the offer and opts out of his contract he will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight on July 1st. Deron Williams is considering between two teams, the Brooklyn Nets, his current team, and the Dallas Mavericks, the team of his hometown.

Both teams are working hard to recruit the talented point guard.

On Tuesday the Nets sent a truck over to Williams’s house with a sign on it wishing Deron a “Happy Birthday”. Williams’s wife took a picture of it and posted it on her twitter. That night Deron Williams had a small party at a New York restaurant inviting only a small number of people. It was said that Avery Johnson, Brooklyn Nets head coach, was one of the few invited. Coach Johnson was there with Williams and his family, and Williams’s agent Jeff Schwartz. Also in a news conference, Brooklyn’s general manager, Billy King said that he was also invited but was unable to attend. King also said he was pretty confident that Deron Williams will resign with Brooklyn. King said, “I’m not overconfident, I’m not any less confident, I just feel pretty good.” These acts show that Williams has a strong relationship with his teammates and coaching staff in Brooklyn.

On Tuesday night the Texas Rangers decided to help the Dallas Mavericks recruit Williams by posting a message on their scoreboard during Tuesday night’s game wishing Williams a “happy birthday” and suggested him to “Be A Maverick!”

Delonte West also put in his part for the Mavericks last night on Wednesday June 27, 2012. West, @charleeredz13, posted a series of tweets saying:

“A Dwill…u need to come to Dallas mane man…we got a chance to win a championship here dog….dirk be the best playa u ever played with..”

“Real talk…I know it’s a Lil more mOney over der but u home here…fam support here… Town gon love ya…plus u got a team that can do it”

“And u got d best owner in all sports…nest practice facility…and a coach that UNDERSTANDS…real dude like urself…trust me homie…”

“I wouldn’t lie to ya…let’s get it…..we can win the western conference no problem..u 20+.. Dirk20+…when u need a breather…I gotcha”

Also yesterday in a radio interview on the Ticket, Dirk Nowitzki said, “[…] We’d love to have him run the show here. We’ll see what he decides. I hope we have a good shot. He’s from here. His mom lives here. He likes it here. He loves golf, and we have great golf courses. We have a great organization, great fans, and a great owner that makes stuff happen all the time. I really think we have as good a shot as Brooklyn has.”

Both teams are doing their part in recruiting the free agent. It will be interesting to see which team Williams decides to play for. Being a Mavs fan I hope it is Dallas and am very happy to see the Rangers, West, and Nowitzki helping with the recruiting process. But on the other hand Deron Williams has made a home with the Brooklyn Nets and seems to really like his teammates and the coaching staff there. Williams does not plan to drag this decision on for a long time, so I am sure we will find our within the first week of July.


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Miami is the 2011-2012 NBA Finals Champions

The Miami Heat did it! Miami won their second franchise championship, but it was the teams first championship win with the big three together. Miami beat the OKC Thunder 121-106 in game 5 of the 2011-2012 NBA Playoff Finals. Miami really came together against the young OKC and fought to the end. Tonight is a great milestone for the Miami Heat.

Tonight is the night that the big three: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh won their first title as teammates and proved to most of the world that they can play together and be a great team. The three first came together last year and struggled at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season finding it hard to play as a team. LeBron and Wade had a hard time sharing the court and taking turns being leaders. To me it seemed like LeBron was scared to take over the team that had been Wade’s for 7 years (2003-2010), and Wade was trying to figure out how to share his leadership role. Then after the 2011 All-Star break the team began to come together. In the 2010-2011 season Miami made it all the way to the finals to play the Dallas Mavericks, but the Mavericks proved to be the better team winning the title and Miami fell short of their goal. This left LeBron and Bosh heartbroken to come that close to winning their first title and then not accomplishing their goal.

This season Miami came back ready to compete and accomplish their goal. During this Finals run Miami finally became LeBron’s team, which was just what needed to happen for this team to reach their potential. Wade took the back seat and let LeBron take control. Miami started the 2011-2012 NBA Playoffs against the New York Knicks winning that series 4-1. Then Miami advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals to play theIndiana Pacers and beat them in 6 games. After that, Miami played the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston forced Miami to give it their all taking the series to the full 7 games. It was really a win or go home game and Miami won to progress to the Finals to play the OKC Thunder. Miami lost the first game of the NBA Finals but came out on top winning the next 4 games.

Wade won his second title, but what makes this night so special is that LeBron James won his first NBA Championship and won the NBA Finals MVP award just after winning the regular season MVP award back in May. LeBron James has fought hard his year and deserves his first of many titles to come. LeBron had a spectacular playoff run averaging 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 7.4 assistes per game in the 2011-2012 Playoffs. LeBron also became the 7th player in NBA history to have multiple triple doubles in the NBA Finals, which means he had double digits in points, assists, and rebounds in multiple playoff games this post season.

Most of all I enjoyed getting to see Chris Bosh win his first title as well. Bosh, I feel, is the most humble of the three superstars in Miami and deserves this Championship. In the 2011-2012 Playoff run Bosh averaged 13.2 points, and 7.80 rebounds. I am happy for Bosh and congratulate him on his accomplishment tonight.

Also a major congrats to Miami head coach, Erik Spoelstra tonight. He has been a great coach to this team of superstars. The team would never have come together to play to their full potential without him. And Congrats to Mike Miller for having a great game in game 5 with 23 points.

Congratulations to the entire Miami Heat team on winning the 2011-2012 NBA Finals Championship tonight.

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