Saturday, 30 October 2010


('BASKETBALL 24/48/82' is taking a sabbatical for a fortnight, but join us in 2 weeks for more 'THROUGH THE WIRE' and Basketball articles and news. Meanwhile our 'Contender' series continues with another Lakers piece from sister site 'LAKE SHOW VIEW')

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:   Musician Stevie Winder (C) poses with (L-R) Los Angeles Lakers Jordan Farmar, Derek Fisher, Sasha Vujacic, Kobe Bryant, Luke Walton, Shannon Brown, and Josh Powell during the 2009 ESPY awards held at Nokia Theatre LA Live on July 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The 17th annual ESPYs will air on Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET on ESPN.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for ESPY)

(Good times at the ESPY's for Jordan and Josh)

Heading in to the new season with 'Heated' worries on their minds and desires for good things to happen in threes, Laker fans will be forgiven not to look to the past. Still no matter how good Barnes, Blake and Ebanks look the Lakers will sure miss the players they lost to free agency this year. On ring night Phil Jackson and the Staples crowd recognised this when the Zen mentioned and the crowd motioned towards these four. Farmar, Powell, Mbenga and Morrison may nave to wait for their championship rings in the post but they don't have to look too far for the love from Lakerland.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov (L) talks to New Jersey Nets player Jordan Farmar (R) and head coach Avery Johnson during an open training session in Moscow October 10, 2010. The basketball team, owned by Prokhorov, arrived in Moscow to take part in a masterclass session to demonstrate their skills and talk about their experiences to fans, local media reported. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL BUSINESS)

JORDAN FARMAR: Jordan could of been the heir to Derek Fishers starting point job. Still Farmar needed more than heavy rotation guard minutes. That's just how good he is. You better watch Jordan as he breaks out. He could be a star. Sure Steve Blake is a great replacement but it'll always be intriguing to know what could of been with this Los Angeles native and UCLA grad. His speed, tenacity, defence and shooting make him an all round scouts favourite. The Lakers loss is New Jersey's net gain however. Jordan and Devin Harris could give the Brooklyn to be Nets one of the quickest, most potential filled backcourts around. Look for the Meadowlands to soon become Farmars boulevard.

New Lakers' Adam Morrison, left, and Shannon Brown go through their pre-game workouts Tuesday. ..///ADDITIONAL INFO: lakers.0211.kjs2.jpg --- Photo by Kevin Sullivan, The Orange County Register -- 2/10/09..Tuesday February 10, 2009 Photo via Newscom

ADAM MORRISON: He may have been the butt of many jokes for years, but despite the tears and 'tache Mo is no joke. Despite the highlight reels made by Jimmy Kimmell, Adam Morrison can play. "He can really go", Kobe told Kimmel and take it from me this guys got more sharp shots than suits and more twine than pine. This former lottery ticket is no bust. Adam can score like a starter but with all the options the Lakers had he had to take his ticket and wait in line. Sure a few more years here could of helped both parties but it's the Wizards however that made the real pooper. Morrison may have been cut but he's got plenty more tricks up his sleeve. Lets just hope another team can provide the vest.

Jun. 04, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, United States - epa02187894 Los Angeles Lakers' Josh Powell during a practice session at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 04 June 2010. This NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics is the 12th time that the 17 time champion Celtics and the 15 time champion Lakers have met in the 64 year history of the NBA Finals with Boston taking nine of those series.

JOSH POWELL: Josh may be a quiet guy who seldomly played for the Lakers but he will be missed. He will always be remembered like Mark Madsen for coming in and giving the Lake Show everything he had in any minutes he got. He even put up big numbers in Bynums absence. When it was time to step up Josh answered a call that wasn't even meant for him, but he received and connected. A fan and team favourite, Powell's good sounding taste in music provided a playlist for the team and As a player too Josh sounded a lot better than you think. He clicked in a shuffled Lakers rotation as he helped the team repeat. Josh plays like a tall guard or forward in a big mans body, is raw and seasoned with championship experience. Although it will be a shame that he doesn't get to repeat again this year but with the young Hawks he will be the necessary cover required to help this running and winning team flow. All Hawk eyes are on him.

May 17, 2010 - Los Angeles County, California, U.S. - Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash is a bit outsized by Los Angeles Lakers' D.J. Mbenga during the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA. on May 17th., 2010.

DJ MBENGA: Sure with just a mere mention of the word 'taco' Mbenga may provide more entertainment then when the Lake Show hit 100 on burrito night but D.J. will be missed for more character 'hits' than that. Sure Mbenga may have been posterized more times than Shawn Bradley acting as camera man in a dunk contest but D.J. could put it down too. Now yes when he died his hair gold with Artest, Mbenga may have looked more like the other NBA wild man, Dennis Rodman was ready to hit a retirement home but when D.J. was requested he manned the boards and helped the Lakers rebound from injuries etc. Baby Mutombo is an ambassador to defence and now he will serve for New Orleans where he'll show the nest what a real king looks like.

Bottom line all these guys will be missed as we wish them well. They will all be an asset to wherever they end up and if the Lakers do make it three this year, somehow it just won't be the same without them. Take good care guys. All the best. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 29 October 2010


Former NBA player Allen Iverson holds a jersey from his new team, the Turkish basketball team Besiktas, with the Besiktas club president, Yildirim Demiroren, during a press conference in New York October 29, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Further to the news from Basketball Buzz on Allen Iversons Turkish delight. The legendary, pioneering guard is expected to sign with Besiktas this weekend. A.I. Agreed in principle to the two year $4 mill contract and is expected to debut November 8th. Expect a sellout game. Despite this European move Allen and Besiktas officials used New York to hold a press conference today. Want to know how the answer feels about this? Well when his manager Gary Moore was asked he simply replied, "He's ecstatic." Were happy too that Iverson has found appreciation in Turkey. Now it's time for A.I. to take his 24,368 career points across several thousand miles. Good luck Chuck.

Mar 3, 2009; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (24), left, and Memphis Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo (32) battle for the ball at the Staples Center. The Lakers defeated the Grizzlies 99-89. Photo via Newscom

Their claws may not have been enough for the Hawks talons on opening night but the Grizzlies are roaring into the beginning of their season ready to run, instead of walk in Memphis. The side have also scraped some important contract moves. The Grizz have exercised contract options on forward Darrell Arthur, center Hasheem Thabeet and most importantly star guard OJ Mayo. OJ's average of 18 per is enough juice for Memphis warranting another garnish of Mayo through to his fourth year. The former USC standout really is set to be a star in this league and the former Vancouver team Memphis a force in this league finally. Arthur's fourth year was exercised as was Thabeet's third.

LAS VEGAS - JULY 22:  Carlos Boozer #4 of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team talks on a phone after a practice at Valley High School June 22, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

New Chicago Bulls bruiser Carlos Boozer may have broken his hand but that doesn't mean the big free agent signing is left hungover from his injury. Booze still has no set timetable for his return, "I don't have a date. I won't know until I get my cast off and get the pins out." Still Carlos has his personal, private goals for returning but doesn't want to disclose these thoughts due to risk of high expectation and doubt. One thing that is for sure is that once 'Los returns Chi-City will again be on the rise. Most accidents happen at home and Boozer injured himself by tripping over a bag of ice at home. Now ironically Carlos hand is now on ice. Boozers still been hitting the gym hard as per usual and is keeping his conditioning up as per norm. The return prognosis for an injury like this is usually 8-10 weeks.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


Cleveland Cavaliers' head coach Byron Scott watches from the sideline during the first half of the Cavaliers game against the Boston Celtics in Cleveland, Ohio October 27, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

It seems for last night at least anything LeBron can't do his old team can do better. After the King and his Miami battalion couldn't Heat up the Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers proved they weren't paupers taking the crown off Boston with a 95-87 victory. "This was for the city," star Antawn Jamison said of the East Coast stunner, adding "the Cavs will survive and this is a place where you can still watch good basketball" along with his buckets, Hickson's 21 and Gibson's 16. Boston's 'superfriends' spread the box score well. Rondo had 18, Pierce 13, and Allen had 12 but still even Kevin Garnett's 15 boards couldn't rebound the Celtics from the Cavs clutch play. Last year Cav Shaquille O'Neal put it best for Boston, "We took them a little bit too lightly." Maybe now no one in this league will. Look out for when the Cavs face 'Bron and the Heat, maybe this matchup won't be much of a shocker.

Aerosmith members Steven Tyler (L) and Tom Hamilton sit courtside during the first half of the Boston Celtics game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Cleveland, Ohio October 27, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL ENTERTAINMENT)

(SWEET DEVOTION: Others may have dropped off but Aerosmith still rock love for the Cavs)

In other Cleveland news if you go down to the Quicken Loans Arena you just may witness another banner across the way, one without rock chips in it. The old LeBron 'We Are All Witnesses' chalk toss banner is now dust as it has been replaced with a black and white image of the Cleveland skyline. I guess things can be seen more clearly in Cleveland now James is gone. The banner includes the phrase, "Our Home Since 1866. Our Pride Forever." The banner's unveiling has stalled by high winds. Expect the weather to get even colder in Northeast Ohio this fall.

NBA Commissioner David Stern announces a pick during the 2010 NBA Draft in New York, June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Speaking of wind, the 2011 NBA Draft is breezing across the Hudson for a change in venue next year. The draft which is usually a Madison Square Garden staple will be punched in at Newark, New Jersey instead. Like tourists thinking their going to fly into JFK for cheaper, Newark instead will be the venue for next years rising stars to take off. So even though Jersey may be losing a franchise to Brooklyn soon they still have something they can take back from New York City. The switch comes because Madison Square Garden is having some overdue renovations. The mecca may be 'The Worlds Most Famous Arena' but it's also has the worlds most run down facilities. Commissioner David Stern also added that even after the work on MSG is complete the draft may still move around in an effort to expand it's reach. Knowing the commish it might even end up in China. As for next year you can catch it at the Prudential Center on June 23 in Jersey.

Jan. 27, 2010 - New York, New York, United States - Basketball legends DIKEMBE MUTOMBO and BOB LANIER team up with Ihoops and Right Guard to announce Right Guard's Total Defense Challenge at the NBA Store NYC 01-27-2010.DIKEMBE MUTOMBO .K64039RM. © Red Carpet Pictures

It seems everyone has their opinion on the impending 'Decision 2' of disgruntled Denver superstar Carmelo Anthony. With everyone lining up with an opinion it's refreshing seeing someone trying to offer the player advice instead. Defensive legend and one time Denver franchise player Dikembe Mutombo is offering Anthony his Nuggets of wisdom. Anthony has entertained offers from the Tri-State area but shot blocking legend Mutombo is wagging the finger. The ambassador relates to Carmelo however. He was a Denver darling before he cruised to the ATL in 1996, (where everything wasn't exactly plain sailing) before he finished the tail end of his career off in more playoff pastures in Philadelphia and Houston. Mutombo went through his own LeBron James decision in Atlanta where it was the Denver fans that were giving him the Hawks eye. The legendary centre is reaching out to the free agent to be.

Oct 14, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (15) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 100-95.  Photo via Newscom

Deke's putting it like this to 'Melo, "You think the grass is going to be greener on the other side, because you think it's not raining here right now. But by the time you walk to the other side, it might not be green. You might be going to the same dry season you experienced in the other part." Wise words from a wise man, who was always older than his NBA profile age, both figuratively and literally. Mount Mutombo was in the Denver Rockies on Wednesday, catching the opening night Jazz game to support and see his friend Masai Ujiri, who is the Denver Nuggets new GM. Dikembe's most poignant advice to Anthony extend from a cliche he says, "If you're happy, then stay, instead of going somewhere because of the money." Money and Mutombo are talking, time will tell which 'M' will make up 'Melo's mind. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


(In the first of our 'Contenders' series, we take a look at the defending champions LA Lakers refuelled roster, player by player. Originally published by sister site 'LAKE SHOW VIEW')


Jun. 09, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02194207 Los Angeles Lakers player Derek Fisher during press conference the day after game three of the NBA Finals at TD Gardens in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 09 June 2010. The Los Angeles Lakers lead the series at 2-1 for the best of seven games.

DEREK FISHER: What more can be said about the Fish that's saved LA time and playoff time again? After some unnecessarily lengthy contract negotiations this offseason the Lakers reeled Fisher back in, to their advantage, not Miami's. Derek's a rookie child of '96 coming up with Kobe and in some ways since that time he's been just as important as Kobe to the franchise. He may be old but name a guard that's strength and conditioning is on point as Derek's. Need a charge, a key bucket, free throw or clutch three? There's one Fish that you can always count on down the line. Hero doesn't even begin to describe. How about taking the first two letters of that word and adding some 'art'.

Los Angeles Lakers' Steve Blake poses for photos during the basketball team's media day at the Lakers training facility in El Segundo, California on September 25, 2010. The Lakers will try to three-peat this season after winning back-to-back NBA championship titles. UPI/Jim Ruymen Photo via Newscom

STEVE BLAKE: Laker fans may be disappointed with the loss of Los Angeles' own Jordan Farmar but Steve Blake is more than a worthy replacement. Blake, a former Portland and Clipper favourite knows Staples, the Lakers and most importantly how to compete. Steve's hard nosed play, three point shooting and D is a clean cut as his shaved head. Blake is one of those guards that is terribly underrated when starting (think Luke Ridnour), but when he acts as backup he's one of the best in the L. With a deep season, an ageing Fish and a lot of bait amongst the competition the Lakers will need all the help they can get off the bench. Fortunately for them, Blakes got their back.


Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant celebrates as the game clock ends and his team defeats the Boston Celtics to win Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Los Angeles, California June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

KOBE BRYANT: MVP, Champion, Gold medalist, best since Mike, team player. What else has Kobe got to prove? Nothing. Still however in terms of championship promise this season critics are ringing the James'. LeBron's big three in Miami, featuring Dwyane Wade and Bosh may be too much too handle but hey Bird, Magic, Hakeem, Shaq, Ewing and more couldn't stop Jordan and just like MJ, Kobe today has an unmatched killer instinct and desire to win. Plus he's got his own bunch of 'superfriends'. Critics are making LeBron the villain and their doing this so much that their forgetting that Kobe's the hero. Just wait, there will be more times this season where Kobe pops the Lakers logo on his jersey than bites it. As quick as a flash Kobe can still take the throne no matter how much voltron is formed. Ignore him now but when you see 24 come at you, three isn't going to be enough.

Jan. 13, 2010: Los Angeles Lakers guard Sasha Vujacic gets stretched before an NBA game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Los Angeles defeated Dallas 100-95.

SASHA VUJACIC: Who says Sasha can't make a grand slam? After announcing his engagement to tennis star Maria Sharapova, Lakers ace Sasha is on top of the world. A happy Sasha could in fact be the Lakers ace in the hole. Not saying the two time champ hasn't been happy but this new burst of joy could propel Sasha to the rich vein of form he displayed two years back. Not saying Sasha hasn't been playing well in this band for the last two, but a few years back the guard was more instrumental, serving up 3's and hard fought deuces baseline to baseline. Sasha has suffered from some inconsistencies and lack of playing time over the years, but who thinks the engaging guard will make the most the more minutes he gets? I do.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown (C) slam dunks over top of Phoenix Suns guard Jason Richardson as Amar'e Stoudemire (L) and Lakers' Kobe Bryant (R) watch during Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference final playoff series in Los Angeles May 17, 2010. REUTERS/Mark J. Terrill/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

SHANNON BROWN: Plain and simple Shannon Brown is showtime. This offseason may have been more of a case of 'when'? Than WOW! Still however now he's locked up Brown brings back his underrated D, his strength and his sparkplug plays and dunks. With a new deal the Lakers are letting Shannon dunk and play, plus Brown is working on bringing some more repertoire to his game. Shannon may like to dunk but he's not a one trick pony, there's a lot more magic and horsepower to SB's all round game. Plus just like Sasha, Shannon has announced his engagement to a big star (R&B singer Monica). Now also just like Vujacic, Brown laced with two rings is ready to show all that glitters is gold. Laker championship gold.


June 17, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02208488 Los Angeles Lakers player Ron Artest (C) in the locker room after their win over the Boston Celtics in game seven of the NBA Finals at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, USA, 17 June 2010. Los Angeles leads the series 4-3 for the best of seven games. The Los Angeles Lakers won 83-79.

RON ARTEST: Champagne sure tastes better than some fans beer. Ron Artest has come a long way since his darkest day. Now frontcourt, behind centre Ron was a big part of his and his teams greatest moment in 2010. As for Ron's past, it's a wrap. This champion is the Lakers wild card that cut the cheese instead of the deck. He's the one that made fans forget about Ariza before Ebanks. He forms QB's finest with Lamar Odom (Nas is proud) and as for his relationship with Kobe, they got in each others face in the playoffs again this year, but this time they almost needed to get a room. All joking aside Ron is serious now. Serious about getting better, serious about mental health and serious about winning. Number 37 made the Lakers diamond in a 'thriller' finals last season and this season number 15 is going back to the basics, thinner, stronger and even more focused. Ron, Ron is about to double up, now think twice? Bet his next championship ring on ebay and you'll be the one making guarantees you can't bid on.

Jul 27, 2010 - El Segundo, CA, USA - MATT BARNES talks about becoming a Los Angeles Laker during a press conference at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.

MATT BARNES: From one top bracket defensive talent with a history of trouble both off the court and with Kobe to another. Matt Barnes signing gives the Lakers the perfect defensive supplement for Ron or Kobe off the bench. Barnes versatile talents may mean that even though he's coming off the bench he could still play starters minutes and be in the game at crucial moments. Ladies and gentleman, your looking at the defensive Robert Horry. When Barnes is on the floor at the same time as his dog Ron and the doberman the three give the Lakers the best perimeter defense trio in the league. Three lines of defence that even the army of LeBron and Dwyane would find hard to breach. Barnes may have some problems but he takes some offence too. Barnes isn't an upgrade from a player the Lakers have lost. There's no one like Barnes, this move is all asset adding another dimension to a team that stands out so much. There 3D. Now it's time for that three-peat.

SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27: Devin Ebanks #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers attempts a shot against the Kentucky Wildcats during the east regional final of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2010 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

DEVIN EBANKS: Sure it's been said before. They look the same, play the same and even wear the same number but still as much as he helps the Lakers ease the loss of Trevor Ariza, Devin Ebanks is very much his own man. The Lakers normally never get the better draft picks but the Lakers hit the lottery when Ebanks number came up at 43 in this years draft. Sure this is a ludicrously wrong placing for a player so fundamentally right but the rest of the leagues loss is the Lakers big win. Devin's in excess play is heaven sent. He's the ticket. He plays the passing lanes and is a steal in more ways then one. He can score, D and finish like Bruce Springsteen, tougher than the rest and this is all from the preseason. Most importantly Ebanks doesn't just look like Ariza he also doesn't look like a rookie. You know Phil's going to be happy playing this one. Not such a 'bust' preseason after all.

June 13, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02200805 Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson (C) and Los Angeles Lakers forward Luke Walton (L) look toward the official (R) in the second half of the NBA Finals Game Five at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 13 June 2010. The best of seven series is tied at two apiece.

LUKE WALTON: It's time for Staples Centre fans to start screaming 'Luuuke' again. Luke may have been battling back and all sorts of injuries but it's now time for him suit up on the floor instead of the bench. Luke along with Kobe is one of the only surviving Lakers from the team that had Shaq on and since then Luke has been an important part of the teams fuel economy since the diesel left. Don't pass this assist man up because he's an asset to the Lakers with his all round play, competitiveness and heart. Luke was the perfect replacement for Rick Fox and provided he's healthy and in purple and gold, just like Rick, Luke will always be ready to go when the show need him. Like father Bill, like son however the injury prone Walton will look to make the most of his time. Unlike his dad however here's hoping this time isn't limited.


Lamar Odom is surrounded by members of the media at a U.S. national basketball team practice in Las Vegas, Nevada July 21, 2010. REUTERS/Laura Rauch (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

LAMAR ODOM: (Also Small Forward) Things have been getting better and better for Lamar Odom whilst he's been a Laker. Those troubled Clipper days seem so far away right now. Now on the other side of the staple, these days L.O. is an established Laker and a better choice than Shaquille O'Neal right now. Although we miss daddy this Laker child worked out better in the long run after all. Lamar should be sixth man of the year this season and definitely deserves an over due All-Star selection. Still however most All-Stars don't have gold medals or Kardashians. Things are looking up for Lamar. Odom doesn't need it all however because he does it all. L.O. Is still versatile his initials should be changed to X and O. On both ends of the floor this centre tall forward (that runs the floor like a guard) brings Magic every night. Providing the Lakers with more tricks up those long sleeves. Speaking of long sleeves Lamar's wing span is so huge, it's more Hollywood sign than the Staples floor. This season nobody's going to pass him by.

NEW YORK - MARCH 09: Derrick Caracter #32 of the Louisville Cardinals handles the ball against Levon Kendall #14 of the Pittsburgh Panthers during the semifinals of the Big East Championship at Madison Square Garden On March 9, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

DERRICK CARACTER: To make it on this team you need a little bit of character. Derrick may be short of a 'h', but he isn't a loss on 'D' ensuring the Lakers don't have an '0' in the middle. Sure Caracter was taken even later in the draft than Ebanks (58Th to be exact) but he has still impressed early in seldom time in the preseason. He's come up big in preseason games when star players have taken a night off and when the big games start this week Derrick may not burn the brightest but he still won't be small time. We may even see Derrick shine more in highlights with his frontcourt versatility and the Bynum setback. It's time for Caracter to show us the real him.

Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol screams after being fouled and scoring a basket during the second half in Game 1 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series against the Boston Celtics in Los Angeles, California June 3, 2010 . REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

PAU GASOL: (Also Centre) Pau Gasol is the perfect sidekick to Kobe Bryant. Scottie Pippen to Kobe's Jordan with a little Kukoc. Pau can flip between the forward position and the spot left vacant by Bynums knee. Gasol is a heavy scorer, heavy on defense and an all round player. Without Bryant, Gasol is the franchise player, still believe that. It's surprising this dynamo has been asked to step it up because even though he's 'taken a vacation' this offseason when he's been on the floor he's been all work. You can tell by that greasy, sweaty mop some would call hair and that psycho killers stare and scream after big plays. Sure Gasol might not look his best sometimes, (doesn't matter though the ladies still love him) but his game is nothing but beautiful. Plus he has stepped it up to boot. Ever since Kevin Garnett bullied him in the losing '08 finals Gasol has showed the strength and competitiveness of the fighting Irish, something Beantown didn't want to see this year. This former Jackson dubbed 'grasshoper' has turned into a Spanish bull fighter. Jiminy Crickets! Once you see Gasol working those Olive Oil flapping arms in the post it's hard not to slip up. The green team better have eaten their spinach this year.


June 13, 2010 - Boston, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES - epa02200765 Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum (L) takes a shot past the defending Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins (L) and Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett (R) in the first half of the NBA Finals Game Five at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 13 June 2010. The best of seven series is tied at two apiece.

ANDREW BYNUM: Forget about the knee injury for a second, that doesn't tell us how good a player 'Drew really is. Besides the injury prone Bynum might have got knocked down a lot but look at all the times he's got right, back up. Plus Andrew may be back on the table by thanksgiving, so give praise. Baby Bynum is all grown up and the Lakers son is mature enough in the face of injury adversity. On the floor Bynum is killer like Brandon Flowers. Post trained By Abdul-Jabbar, those baby hooks are a great presence for the Lakers. His dunks, rebounds and paint work decorate the Lakers with yet another primary option on offence and one more thing, championship gold. Now that's a good luck. See you before December 'Drew.

Mar. 23, 2010 - Washington, China - (100324) -- WASHINGTON, March 24, 2010 (Xinhua) -- Charlotte Bobcats' Theo Ratliff (L) is defended by Washington Wizards' Andray Blatche during their NBA games in Washington, the United States, March, 23, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun.

THEO RATLIFF: One of the best defensive players and centre's of the 90's Theo Ratliff is definitely an upgrade even though the Lakers will miss the entertainment of D.J. like a club on Saturday night minus the wheels of steel. It's the ironman play of Ratliff however that will keep the Lakers defensive armour steel throughout the long season and playoffs. This swat on defense will keep opponents at bay while Bynums off the block. Last season the veteran Theo ran with the young 'cats and looked fly and forever young in Charlotte. This year Ratliffs flight plan might have changed but his job description remains the same. Theo looks to bring his trademark hard nosed, high IQ defence and strong finishes to help ensure the Lakers become signature champions. Ratliffs contract with the Lake Show was set because his form can almost guarantee the Lakers do this. Theo's names on the dotted line. It's time for the ink to dry and the trophy to be engraved. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010



Los Angeles Lakers players watch their NBA Championship banner being lowered before their NBA season-opening game against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, California October 26, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Here's hoping you had a ringside seat last night for the greatest show(time) in town as the Lake Show opened their 2010/2011 campaign and received their 2009/2010 championship rings. Nine remaining members of last season received rings. Ron Artest received his first and Farmar, Powell, Morrison and D.J. should check the post, or more aptly should have been here, good luck guys. The west wall of Staples was decorated with the Lakers 16Th banner while Bryant, Fisher, Phil Jackson and his wife Jeanie Buss equaled Magic and Kareem's ring total with a handful of five. As each player received their gold, they introduced the next and talked about their worth. It was a beautiful moment watching the transition between Queens natives Odom and Artest. As for the game the Lakers grounded Houston 112-110. Kobe had a real healthy 27, while Pau Gasol stepped it up with 29 points and 11 rebounds. When the Lakers where down 15 however, Shannon Brown saved them with a marriage of 3 pointers. Still it was newbie Steve Blake's, 18.8 seconds to go clutch 3 and preseason darling Lamar Odom's no love block on Aaron Brooks layup that sealed the game with a championship kiss. The defence already looks good.


Miami Heat forward LeBron James gestures against the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game in Boston, Massachusetts October 26, 2010.   REUTERS/Adam Hunger  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

From the defenders of the throne to the pretenders of it. Hollywood may have been a big draw last night but the most tuned in opener of the NBA season was Miami's, championship hopeful big three debut against defending Eastern champion the Boston Celtics. It was last years Eastern royalty however that dethroned all the kings men. The Celtics cooled the Heat 88-80. James and Wade looked ok but weren't at their best while Bosh was dominated by his idol Kevin Garnett. LeBron admitted, "This is a work in progress." James knows this season isn't going to be perfect, but still Miami shouldn't be feeling the heat just yet, "We all know Rome wasn't built in one day, so it's going to take time and we understand that. We have to keep on making progress every day," James added. Don't read too much into this game, good times should still reign in South Beach. What should be taken from this game however is that the written off Boston Celtics are still in the hunt for more engraved titles. With K.G., Ray Allen, Shaq, the other O'Neal, Rondo and Pierce the Celts have a group of 'superfriends' themselves, and that's the truth.

Evan Turner from Ohio State University shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers as the second pick in the 2010 NBA Draft in New York, June 24, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Although all the hype and expectations this season have been placed on free agents and champions there was a draft this summer too and the second pick of this years great player selection was Philadelphia 76er Evan Turner. Sixer head coach has decided however that Evan will start his first NBA turn on the bench. Not only will this talented rookie have to put up with carrying the teams bags he will also have to put up with riding the pine for a full 82. That is unless he shows Philly and the L that he really deserved to be number one. The backcourt byline of Turner and Jrue Holiday will have to wait, as this talented young Philly team featuring, Brand, Igudola and Young look to mature. Turner will face the big three of Miami on Wednesday off the bench but as long as he's given playing time Turner can still show and prove. It's not the minutes you get it's what you do with them. Philadelphia know first hand that Robert Horry may have not started games but he sure finished them. Besides Evan knows he's got the right attitude, "It's not about me, it's about the team." TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Feb. 12, 2010 - Dallas, United States - epa02028573 Tyreke Evans (back) goes for a rebound against Brandon Jennings (L) Anthony Morrow (C) and Kevin Love (top) during the first half of NBA All-Star Rookie Challenge game at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, USA, 12 February 2010.

As the 2010/2011 NBA regular season tips off tonight the attention and news has shifter from player rumours and hype to transactions and injuries. There's been a lot of exorcisms going on in the league this week. Spirits have been raised for some teams in the league as certain year options on contracts have been exercised. The Chicago Bulls have exercised their fourth year option on All-Star Derrick Rose looking forward to watching their franchise player bloom. The Bulls also exercised third-year options on talents Taj Gibson and James Johnson meaning that the three of these players through to the 2011/201 2 season. Looks like these 'Baby Bulls' are going to grow up in Chi-town. Another young, franchise player is on the rise with his team as Brandon Jennings third year contract option has been exercised by the Milwaukee Bucks. This $2.5 million option keeps Jennings under Milwaukee armour to 2011/2012. Jennings at 21 is already been handed the reigns to these Bucks, in a few years this man may even have the keys to the city of Milwaukee. Jennings isn't the only star rookie extending his contract beyond his sophomore years.

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) and Thunder fans celebrate after a Westbrook scored on a dunk against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series in Oklahoma City, April 24, 2010. At right is Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. REUTERS/Bill Waugh (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The Sacramento Kings have a fever and the only prescription is more Tyreke Evans. Expect the cowbells to be ringing even more in the Arco Arena as the reigning Rookie of the Year will be around in Sacramento through next season. Where after that surely he'll be the next King that's a highly coveted free agent. Sacto' have also exercised options on three players for more seasons in the Californian sun, Jason Thompson and Donte Greene for three, and two for Omri Casspi. Finally Oklahoma City have been the biggest exorcist in the league extending contracts on six of their players. Lead by star guard Russell Westbrook these players include, D.J. White, James Harden and Eric Maynor, Serge Ibaka and Byron Mullens. Four years where opted on Westbrook and D.J. while 3 years were given the rest.

Phoenix Suns' Channing Frye (R) battles for a loose ball with Portland Trail Blazers' Martell Webster during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference playoff series in Phoenix April 20, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott(UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

(Get a stretcher for Martell, and a room for these two)

Minnesota Timberwolves swingman Martell Webster is looking at getting out of the injury woods in 4-6 weeks after recovering from back surgery. Webster is a rising star who has been incredible for the Wolves especially in their beating of the LA Lakers in London. The do it all player looks to rebound from this setback and put it behind him as this T-Wolf and his Minnesota team look to surprise a lot of people this year. Meanwhile it looks like Gilbert Arenas crying wolf about injury hasn't paid off for everybody, namely him. Arenas is now actually injured. A sore right ankle should keep Gilbert out of the Washington Wizards season opener. That sounds like good news for Nick Young.

Argentina's Luis Scola (L) and Fabricio Oberto (R) congratulate each other after defeating Spain during their FIBA Basketball World Championship game in Istanbul, September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (TURKEY - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The Portland Trail Blazers are burning through frontcourt players right now. So many injuries have left Portland trailing that they've had to go back and forth in the free agent market. Portland have inked Fabricio Oberto to man the post while Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla recover from injuries. The Blazers also waived off the contract of Jeff Pendergraph. The forward was expected to supplement but has injured his knee and now Portland have to wish him the best but let him go. Veteran Oberto is a hard nosed forward who spent four seasons in San Antonio and the last in Washington. An Argentine native Fabricio won gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and bronze in Beijing in 2008. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Monday, 25 October 2010


January 27, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Milwaukee Bucks Jerry Stackhouse takes the floor as a buck these day after a recent trade..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Philadelphia 76ers 91-88. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

As if the Miami Heat needed any more firepower. Perhaps they just needed a championship guarantee, or just maybe they needed someone to sing the national anthem as the South Beach favourites have brought in veteran All-Star Jerry Stackhouse to the mix. The scoring machine Stacks the Heats balanced championship esque roster even more and provides them with much needed help after sharp shooter Mike Miller injured his hand last week. Stack was a star in Detroit, and even lost a championship to Miami in Dallas. Most recently last season with the Bucks Jerry averaged 8.5 points. He brings depth, buckets and big game playoff experience. There is more good news for Miami as Dwyane Wade has come back from Chicago to practice with Miami. Everything seems fine with his hamstring and he is expected to play in the Miami's season opener versus Boston. The Heat is definitely on.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MARCH 25:  Patrick Ewing Jr. #33 and Jeff Green #32 of the Georgetown Hoyas slaps hands during a timeout against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA Men's East Regional Final at the Continental Airlines Arena in the Meadowlands on March 25, 2007 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It looks like Patrick Ewing might have a call to make to Madison Square Garden. His son, Patrick Ewing Jr. Who was signed this offseason hasn't made the cut. The Knicks waived the guard on Sunday for the second time in three years meaning none of that famous Ewing sweat will drop on the floor of MSG. The Hall of Famer Pat Ewing is the Knickerbocker all time top scorer whilst Ewing Jr. averaged only 1.8 points in only 6.0 minutes of preseason burn. Although this New York times story didn't end well we hope Ewing Jr's NBA fairytale isn't over. Although the Knicks didn't have a roster spot for this former Georgetown player they did exercise their contract options on three other players. Fourth years were picked up on shooting scorer Danilo Gallinari aNd rising Odom/Garnett like talent Antony Randolph, while guard Toney Douglas' third year option was picked up.

January 27, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Philadelphia 76ers Allen Iverson brings the ball up the court with Milwaukee Bucks Charlie Bell in his face..Milwaukee Bucks won over the Philadelphia 76ers 91-88. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

Speaking of rejected former Georgetown Hoya's, the nightmare summer without work for Allen Iverson is over. After the NBA and China had no answers it looked like next season was going to be a Turkey for A.I. but according to reports from Canadian site Basketball Buzz Iverson has inked a two-year, $4 million deal with Turkish side Besiktas. No news about Allen's villa and car demands but still he's getting money and more importantly playing time. It still seems amazing that no NBA team picked up this still talented veteran guard, but hey this is the league where amazing happens. What's America's loss is Turkeys gain. All the best of luck to you A.I. It's good to know your still ballin' but we'll miss you in the league. Make sure you check out rising site for all your basketball news in Canada, the NBA and around the world and for brilliant blogging opportunities. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Friday, 22 October 2010


1997 NBA FINALS-GAME 5: Chicago Bulls @ Utah Jazz

Time to get ill with a man so sick.

By Tim David Harvey


To remember the greatest let's take a trip. No not to Chicago, let's hop in the DeLorean and go back to 1997. GREAT SCOTT, MARTY! Were back at a time when Bon Jovi were cool and Bill Clinton ruled. The 90’s. Now strap yourself in as we may just be witnessing one of the most impressive performances in NBA history by the greatest of all time, Michael Jordan. There's nothing like a bit of nostalgia.

Two years ago prior to '97 (after a brief foray in the sticks) the G.O.A.T was back in the herd. Back in the Chi so confident, armed with the '45' to not play games with the league, but to take aims at it. The Jay Hova of basketball returned in November wearing red and white. The Windy City no longer felt so cold. Chicago must have thought Christmas had come early.

Now Jordan’s presence stampeded the Bulls to the NBA Finals to make sweet music with Malone and Stockton's Utah Jazz. A year later MJ would send Utah to bed with 'the last shot' but this year it was all about the flu shots. Michael was the Jazz's death.


Here tips off an epic clash for the decade. These is Utah’s first trip in history to the NBA Finals and after coming back from being 0-2 down were all square. With the coolest square of them all John Stockton breaking the triangle by stealing the ball and maybe the series off Michael Jordan in Game 4. Still the greatest ever has the greatest sidekick to his right, riding in the sidecar, ready to motor on until there's nothing left. The Zen master is in control looking like a biology teacher, ready to school the opposition on the professions of good basketball. Now as for Dennis Rodman, just like NBA Live '96, it's anybody's guess what his hair color is. Meanwhile for Utah the decibel centre, home crowd sixth man is pumped right behind its two stars Karl Malone and John Stockton, the greatest pick and roll duo of all time. Byron Russell is eyeing MJ, not even beginning to realize how bad he's going to get it. It's on, but yet something feels wrong.

Let Marv Albert tell it (who really shouldn’t stand so close to Bill Walton), "He (Jordan) is suffering from flu-like symptoms". Yes man Marv has a list of 'No's' about Mike. No sleep, no food, no shoot around, no practice, but do the Bulls have no hope?

Jordan looks physically shaken, as he slowly drives to the basket losing the ball, but then he gets it back himself fading away from the corner. Mikes not out of this one. Still for the G.O.A.T. it’s up and down. A few plays later then Jordan is the one left looking a bit shaky from his crossover. Looking worse for wear when he throws up a shot to high off the glass leaving money feeling a different kind of green. Michaels under the weather and the forecast for 'The Windy City' Bulls doesn't look good. It's 18-8 with 3 to go in the third to the sound of the Jazz. Timeout.


To close out the 1st Jordan was riding the pine instead of tweaking the twine, sweating like it was deep in the fourth, aided by some gator. He's letting it all out and show however. Ali's on the ropes, waiting to take his swing. Now in the second Jordan from half court, drives the lane and dribbles the ball round in such a way it's like he isn't even aware there's a defender trying to keep up with him. Could Jordan be ok? Mike then goes to the line and hits two free throws, but he looks as animated in this position as an early 90's computer game player. A few back and forth’s later and it's Luc Longley who provides some color dunking hard after Jordan’s post and dish. I guess Luc wasn't that bad after all. Now as for Mike the ill men gets even warmer with a crossover and fade away from deep for his 10th point in the second. He really is sick.

'What a play' is one of Marv Albert's other infamous catchphrases. Now after Jordan steals the ball and runs the floor finding Scottie, Pip misses the rebound only to have it dunked home by MJ. Now did that sequence of offensive events deserve Marv's one liner? YES! Within four the half is Utah's but the game is still Mikes.


Ahmad Rashad is telling us about how we got the first smile from Michael at halftime. Now are we talking about that infamous, killer smile? It's time for Mike's murder game. Scottie Pippen paces with 13, but right now it's Jordan’s stamina that impresses.

Stockton and Malone are working the pick and roll. 'Stalone' are dominating, rocking the Bulls, but these stags won't roll over. Jordan keeps feeding Longley but its time for money to eat too. Then with five minutes to go in the third and nothing in the bank this quarter, money drives, steps, airs and lays up for the tie. Does that whet your appetite?

Brian Williams and Karl Malone are going at it. The refs are showing no love for the Bulls centre, so he gets his own on a thunderous solo, one hander, showing that he belongs, staring down everybody on the floor and at home watching. Tonight Bison Dele lives on. Rest In Peace Big Man.


A white towel was draped over a slumped MJ to end the 3rd. In this final act everyone knows that Mike's about to throw the towel away, not in. He hits from the corner to cut it to five...nice. Then everyone collapses and stands watching the almost fainting MJ, fade away like it was a practice shot. Then to continue this hot streak the burnt out and exhausted MJ assists Kukoc for three and then hits his own three after giving the most obvious ball fake in the history of the NBA. Jordan ties the game but shows no emotion- it's almost like he doesn't care- it's more like he's drained. As he staggers back to the bench for some time out, he takes no fluids, no high fives. He and the game are on the line. Back in the action Jordan gives his own trademark dream shake, loosens up Russell and fades away from him. Get used to it Byron, Chicago 79, Utah 77.

Like a prisoner on the phone, behind glass on visiting day, we got five minutes. Jordan’s working Russell, shaking him off before missing. Is he rushing? Jordan’s fighting everything but all the Utah players are feeling the ill effects of MJ like the common cold. Mikes spreading the floor but Utah aren't about to wave any white tissues or flags...yet. The games been deadlocked at 81 for two minutes, with a minute and some change over that to go. Stockton hits what looks like the biggest shot of the series, but then with what seems like ease, Jordan drives into the paint for that signature, fade away floater of his. He looks real uncomfortable now. Is it the game or the flu? This is getting hard for iron Mike, can't shrug this one off. Now with Malone at the line the Delta Centre crowd is chanting MVP, some of the Mailman’s praise is probably now delivered Michaels way.

With two minutes to go Bill Walton see's Jordan’s clapping for the ball, but Walton’s a commentator now and his silky smooth passing son isn't old enough yet. Some tense moments pass. Then with less than a minute the ball finds MJ's hands as he stops and bends over. This isn't because of how he's feeling though, this is tradition. No icer yet, he's fouled so it's time to get this the easy way. Michaels body language has had enough, maybe he's more frustrated that he can't win this game the usual way he does, until…

…he quickly gets the rebound off his own miss, resets the play and then with 25 to go reloads with a trey. There's some ice in that trey too. Time to take it to the fridge. With the last timeout called Jordan and his 38 points fall into Pippen’s arms as Scottie returns the favor and carries his captain back to the bench. Jill Scott was right, it’s all love. Nothing but heart and iconic images. Minus some garbage free throw time that was all she wrote. Bulls 90, Jazz 88. Now the rest is history as Chicago take game 6, the series and the championship. The story of a hero.


So in retrospect Jordan may not have looked great during this legendary game but hindsight can be a beautiful thing, the ending was more than a good look. Sure in the list of all time classic Mike performances this may not have looked as pretty as his two handed switch layup against the Lakers. This game was more like Talib Kweli, a 'beautiful struggle'. Sure this MJ domination was not as easy as his shrug against Portland but it was still a go hard, Trailblazing effort as Jordan was burning up in more ways than one.

Overall just like these two performances or the shot over Craig Ehlo or 'that' shot the following year, this '97 performance lies right next to these other number 23 moments in the classic NBA history books. Just like all the other bestselling Jordan chapters written, this page turning performance when Mike felt at deaths door lives on. Just like Mike's eternal legacy.


Detroit Pistons shooting guard Richard Hamilton (L) tries to elude Miami Heat's Mike Miller during their NBA preseason basketball game in Miami, Florida October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Hans Deryk                    (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

(DAMN MIKE! Watch that hand!)

It seems everbodys loving these new Adidas NBA jerseys, that is everyone except Miami's Mike Miller. The Heat forward will be out cold for some time after the sharp shooters thumb took a shot off a teammates jersey. Miami have been going through the wars recently and now they'll be without their dead eye sniper for a few weeks. Millers thumb was injured in practice time as his shooting hand got tangled up with a teammates practice vest. Mike was averaging an impressive 9.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 24.4 minutes during the preseason before the freak accident. The kind of numbers Miami could use but now the behind the arc artist can't paint when his shooting hand is injured. There continues to be ups and downs in South Beach as Miami go through growing pains. LeBron scored 38 points last night in preseason but that wasn't enough as Miami lost.

File photos of Los Angeles Lakers Sasha Vujacic in San Antonio dated May 27, 2008 and Maria Sharapova during the U.S Open tennis tournament in New York dated August 31, 2010. Vujacic is engaged to marry Sharapova after the Slovenian told reporters before an exhibition game on October 21 that the Russian former tennis world number one had accepted his proposal. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi/Shannon Stapleton/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS BASKETBALL SOCIETY)

It's not just the Lakers' Shannon Brown (who is engaged to R&B superstar Monica) who's loved up in matrimony this summer. Sasha Vujacic (who replaced Kobe Bryant with 9 points in last nights exhibition with the Warriors) is also getting hitched. Last night, the backcourt stud who once dated Paris Hilton announced his engagement to Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova. Sasha and Sharapova met last year at a friends barbecue and their love heated up from there. Vujacic did the gentlemanly thing and popped the question on the couple's one year anniversary and Maria said yes to the old romantics proposal of marriage. Sasha made the three-time Grand Slam champ and world number 18 his number one saying, "We are engaged and are both really happy." A date hasn't been set as of yet but we wish all the best to this couple. Congratulations.

Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol (L), Adam Morrison (C) and Kobe Bryant watch from the bench during Game 2 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series against the Boston Celtics in Los Angeles, California, June 6, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

As the new season dawns more teams are exercising their options and releasing players left, right, forwards, guards and centre. The Denver Nuggets may not be having luck finalising some contracts but they have picked up their third year option on speedy tenacious guard Ty Lawson. Ty averaged 8.3 points and 3.1 assists last season and will be around to at least the 2011-12 season. It's also good news for the Lopez twins. Just days after Brooks NBA options were left open by the Nets it has been announced that the Phoenix Suns have exercised the fourth year option on the other Stanford standout Lopez. Shaggy haired Robin will join his brother in playing security being locked down through the 2011-12 season. Meanwhile more talented role players will be performing their duties to at least the 2011-12 season. The Sixers exercised their third-year option on guard Jrue Holiday and the fourth-year option on forward Marreese Speights. To do this however they waived goodbye to forward/center Trent Plaisted and former Miami, Dywane Wade backup guard Chris Quinn. Two more players are looking for new jobs and places to take their talents as the Washington Wizards have issued release forms to journeyman Sean Marks and NBA Champion Adam Morrison. Former lottery choice Mo' would still make a great option for any team, it's time he got his chance. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Oct 14, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony (15) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 100-95.  Photo via Newscom

According to reports it appears that talks between the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony are back on. Just when you thought 'Through The Wire' was getting sick of reporting on it and it was smiles all round for the silenced 'melo and Denver Nuggets. According to Slamonline's sources from ESPN New York are making 'significant progress' in making concrete dreams out of Carmelo Anthony. This new start for the Madison Square Garden inhabitants could come after their Jersey neighbour Nets failed to break new ground with Anthony. The Knicks may look to swing a multi-team deal like their Hudson partners tried which could involve rising talent Anthony Randolph and the expiring contract and hope of Eddy Curry. Carmelo still expects to be with Denver as the season begins but if this Anthony for Anthony deal comes off it may not be long before 'Melo's breathing new air, albeit air a little bit less fresh. With that infamous three year extension still unsigned, the free agent to be may be let go by Denver as they look for any Nuggets they can pick up in return. It seems now the only thing stopping Carmelo opting for Stoudemire and the Knicks is a dinner with Charles Oakley.

San Antonio Spurs guard George Hill (front) is fouled by Phoenix Suns center Channing Frye in the first half of Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff series in San Antonio, Texas May 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The San Antonio Spurs may be getting on a bit (Check our Southwest Division Preview for more) but they've still opted to go over the hill one more time. The Spurs have exercised their contract option on guard George Hill, keeping his around for at least another 82. This fourth year option comes after an impressive three years from Hill which saw him climb to averages of 12.4 points and 3.6 assists last season. Hill is quickly becoming one of San Antonio's most beloved sons and he's already a favourite of Pop's. The San Antonio coach can be assured of depth in the backcourt for this ageing but still forever young feeling franchise.

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 17:  Former Lakers player Earvin 'Magic' Johnson attends the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers on November 17, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

Magic Johnson is not only selling his shares with the Lakers he's also giving up sharing rounds of coffee. The revolutionary basketball/business man is selling all his Starbucks franchises in the Los Angeles district. 105 to be exact, now that's a lot of coffee. Ever the entrepreneur still however, Magic isn't giving up in the business and sports world. As he says he's making good business sense. It's Magic's dream to bring an NFL franchise to L.A. With his money, savvy and record this dream is no illusion. Besides if one of the hottest cities in America can have an ice hockey franchise the Kings and the champions can certainly make way for an American Football team to take the throne. There just wont be much room in the Staples Centre with the Clips too. TIM DAVID HARVEY.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


San Antonio Spurs

Apr. 23, 2010 - San Antonio, TEXAS, UNITED STATES - epa02129814 San Antonio Spurs players Tim Duncan (L) Manu Ginobili (C) Richard Jefferson (CR) and George Hill (R) wait for the game to start up against the Dallas Mavericks in the second half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, USA, 23 April 2010.

The Spurs are getting on. Hey it's hard to believe but even Manu and Tony Parker are getting old. With that being said however San Antonio still look as good as Eva Longoria. This one time powerhouse is still holding it down in the SBC building. The window of opportunity may be closing but right now it's still being kept open by the long arms of Tim Duncan. The Spurs can bank on a solid output from the T-Bot for years to come with. Plus with a younger star like Richard Jefferson San An give themselves even more years. Besides when you talk about the baddest in the West you may not whisper their name but you can still hear those Spurs clicking in the distance. They’re coming for you.

Dallas Mavericks

Apr. 23, 2010 - San Antonio, TEXAS, UNITED STATES - epa02129838 Dallas Mavericks player Dirk Nowitzki from Germany sits on the bench in the final seconds of the game against the San Antonio Spurs in the second half of their Western Conference first round playoff game at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas USA, 23 April 2010. The San Antonio Spurs won 94-90 to take a 2-1 game lead in the series.

Look at the homepage and you'll see Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion. Now two things come to mind, number one that's a talented mix worthy of buying tickets and number 2, this mix maybe too much of a mess however. See the cohesiveness of these Texas talents have been under question for years and the team has been in doubt ever since their season win leading 2007 preceded a bust, first round exit. These Mavericks keep going however and even though he's taken some b.s. and D, Nowitzki is still one of the best. The Mavericks chances pin on how the rest play out though. Will all these stars get along? Kidd and Marion are reunited after their classic one two punch in Phoenix but it's going to take more hits than this for this team to rise from the flames of doubt.

Memphis Grizzlies

March 28, 2010 Milwaukee, WI. Bradley Center..Memphis Grizzlies O.J. Mayo makes the pass down low, Mayo had 17 points against the Bucks today.Milwaukee Bucks won over the Memphis Grizzlies 108-103, in overtime. Mike McGinnis/CSM.

It's funny how things work out. When the Memphis Grizzlies traded away the first franchise thing they had since they where made in Vancouver Pau Gasol it looked like they received nothing in return from the Lakers. Since then Kwame Brown went off to go for bust one more time with Michael Jordan while Javaris Crittenton went away to take shots for the Washington Bullets...uh hum, I mean the Wizards. Memphis however also received a draft pick in the form of Gasol's younger brother Marc. It may have taken another Gasol to get Marc but even the Lakers now wish they could have him on their team. Marc is shaping up to be as good in this league for his club as he is playing in Spain for his country. The Grizzlies growl doesn't stop there though does it Mike Conely? There's so much talent on this rising West team that Allen Iverson should have never left. Still either way the Grizz don't miss or need him. They have so much talent and it's all dressed perfectly with some fresh helpings of Mayo. With all this team is running as smooth and tasting as good as O.J.

Houston Rockets

Yao Ming (C) of the Houston Rockets sits between his teammates during their game against the New Jersey Nets in the NBA China Games series at the Wukesong Arena in Beijing October 13, 2010. The Nets and Rockets are playing in two pre-season games in China. REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Houston have overcome many problems over the years, the fall of a franchise birthed the rise of a dynasty and players like McGrady, Artest and Ariza may have come but they've gone also. Still the Rockets have more fuel in the tank ready to give them 'Wings' like Paul McCartney’s 'Jet'. Aaron Brooks may look like a kid but his game matures by the game and Kevin Martin may be skinny but his offensive repertoire is anything but thin. Also Shane Battier continues to be one of the leagues best role and off the ball players and leading FIBA Championships scorer Luis Scola is ready to show the U.S. what the world just witnessed. Still if the Rockets are going to be propelled further it all lies in the hands and feet of Yao Ming. Are we about to see Houston made in China? Or will these Rocket fellas get rocked as we witness another death of a dynasty?

New Orleans Hornets

January 20, 2010: Chris Paul and David West of the New Orleans Hornets in action against the Memphis Grizzlies during an NBA game in the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA. Tyler Kaufman/CSM.

Tyson Chandler is gone and the other part of that formidable alley-oop duo Chris Paul almost made friends with New York. With that being said however CP3 is still there for the Hornets even if the buzz of this team is beginning to wane. New Orleans still has a lot of flavor and look to make sweet music once again. Chris Paul happy or not is still a New Orleans savior and one of two of the best points in the league (D-Will making the other case). While Emeka Okafor may not be exciting as Chandler he's more solid and all round. N.O. Also score a Marv Albert 'YES!' With their inside play. Power players like David West improve the team’s stronghold on the West that they battle in night after night. The Hornets nest is still a hive activity, it's just time for their king to stop acting like 'The King' before he ends up sounding like a queen. TIM DAVID HARVEY.


Los Angeles Lakers

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (R) holds the MVP trophy as Derek Fisher holds the Larry O'Brien championship trophy after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Los Angeles, California June 17, 2010. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

The reigning champions may not look so hot when put up next to Miami's Heat. With that being said however there's just as much shine in Los Angeles as there is in South Beach. Sure it all starts and finishes with Kobe but even when he's down on one knee, recently married Lamar Odom, engaging presence Ron Artest and aisle filler Pau Gasol are a matrimony made in Heaven, or Hollywood to be more exact. It doesn't end there once Bynum's back on the block just like lifelong fan Snoop Dogg said they 'won't stop till the Lakers are on top'. The Lake Show even added a third perimeter defensive specialist in Matt Barnes and a tough nosed, face shooting point guard in Steve Blake. They also made a steal in the draft with 43rd pick Devin Ebanks, a guy who plays the passing lanes, is as athletic, finishes strong, wears the same number and looks like long missed Trevor Ariza. The most important acquisitions for the Lakers however where the re-signing of bench sparkplug Shannon Brown and playoff Horry-esque hero Derek Fisher. Showtime are ready to roll again for the third part of their trilogy. Now with award winner Phil Jackson on the directors chair how can you doubt this picture?

Phoenix Suns

May 25, 2010 - Phoenix, ARIZONA, UNITED STATES - epa02173250 Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash of Canada (R) gives a high-five to teammate Grant Hill after scoring against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of game four of the NBA Western Conference basketball finals at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 25 May 2010. The western conference champions will face the eastern conference champions in the NBA finals.

The Suns may no longer shine as bright or run as fast as they did with Mike D'Antoni but they sure have risen from the flames of the slow burning, brief era of Terry Porter and Shaq. Sure they lost some STAT's this summer but they also filled themselves up with some Turkey in the form of World Championship/NBA talent Hedo Turkoglu. Above all this however they have Steve Nash who continues to defy age, size and race with his MVP and greatest point of all time worthy seasons. Time in Phoenix may have also set for glue guys like Marion, Diaw and Barbosa over the years but the hard, broken nosed Steve Nash still leads a talented group of individuals who will rise again. Just like former All-Star Grant Hill the team continues to defy critics and time once again to become an underdog and outside favorite that still have a bark inside the league elite. Who knows when the sun will set on these Phoenix’s? All is known is that it will be a sad day when it does for a team that is always an absolute joy to watch.

Golden State Warriors

Jan. 20, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa01998083 Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis pumps his fist after drawing a foul against the Denver Nuggets during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, USA, 20 January 2010. The Nuggets defeated the Warriors 123-118. The Warriors wore their retro uniforms from 1962 when they were the San Francisco Warriors.

It may seem like yesterday but it's been a long time since Baron Davis met Andrei Kirlienko at the rim and rocked him, his Utah Jazz, their Western Conference and the league. Still this Oakland team are shining in all their gold proving that the gateway to the Pacific doesn't just lie in San Francisco. B. Diddy may be gone but the Warriors still have many B.I.G. talents ready to go to battle, (so long as they don't fight each other). Monta Ellis more than replaced Baron and now it seems like All-Sophomore Stephen Curry (fresh off Golden United State Championship) is more than capable of supplementing him. Still if Curry and Ellis play like Frazier and Monroe instead of Payton and Cassell they will Knick this problem in the Bucks and have a couple of points to prove this season.

Los Angeles Clippers

Oct 14, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro (left) talks with guard Baron Davis (5) during the game against the Denver Nuggets at the Staples Center. The Nuggets defeated the Clippers 100-95.  Photo via Newscom

It's hard being the sole sister team in the league when your big brother is the most popular group in the NBA. It's hard staring at all those championship banners after just being eliminated. Still even though we may say this every year there may finally be hope in Clipper land. The LA Clippers have some buzz about them now big man Blake Griffin is about to embark on his Greg Oden Rookie season. Baron Davis also stars for the Clipshow, ready for another rerun. Davis is a major player who may be in the movies but takes his eyes off Hollywood once the purple and gold floor gets taken up to be replaced by blue and white. Soon the 'other' team in Los Angeles may be shooting straight from the clip instead of taking hits to the hip.

Sacramento Kings

Oct 19, 2010; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings guards Beno Udrih (19), left, and Tyreke Evans (13) during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. The Kings defeated the Clippers 96-94. Photo via Newscom

The Sacramento Kings may have been knocked off their Western Conference throne along time ago but a prince has come to put the crown back where it belongs. Reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans is so good former Kings star Kevin Martin had to exile. Although the Kings could use more players as well as cowbell that doesn't mean the rest of the former Cincinnati Royals family are peasants. Guys like Dalembert, Garcia, Landry, Udrih and Luther Head are good aids to the Kings. What Sacramento needs now is a crowning moment, but in a crowded Pacific, it'll be hard for this team to not get lost at sea. TIM DAVID HARVEY.