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Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 726068 times)
murat derin
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« Reply #14 on: Jan 18, 2011, 05:25:45 AM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

All-Star choices

Today I would like to attempt to beat the media competition to the punch and be the first one give you the upcoming All-Star selections for the West and the East.

I feel that a simple formula mixing individual stats and team performance should give us a fair idea of who deserves to be chosen but you must also take into account career success for all-time great players like Tim Duncan or Big Shaq.

The natural evolution in the last twenty years for the coaches who choose the bench players has been to give more weight to team success which is logical because a coach's job is to win games as a team! It's also true that it's easier to put up big stats on a weak team that only plays offence because their are less quality players surrounding you to share the ball and stats with.

This tendancy might hurt brillant individuals ranked in the Top 6 in efficiency rating like Kevin Love or Blake Griffin in the west who, in my opinion, deserve to be selected despite poor team results even though the Clippers are playing better.

The problem is that there are so many high-performance forwards and guards in the western conference that some players with merit won't be chosen and Phil Jackson might be right in saying that the fairest method is to do "eeny-meeny-miney mo"! The best way to make space is to not choose ANY true center in the west and open up an extra spot for a power forward.

As usual, David Stern will repair the biggest injustice when he chooses Yao Ming's replacement after the west coaches have done their shopping.

The final result should look something like this,Chris Paul-Kobe Bryant at guard,Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony at forward and Pau Gasol as replacement center for Yao in the starting five chosen by the fans.

My only qualm with this is that the season-long Melo-drama in Denver has really hurt their team and I would rather see Dirk, Love or Griffin starting.

The west coaches will add Dirk Nowitzki, Love,Griffin, and one of the following list between Tim Duncan (fabulous career), Zach Randolph (9th in efficiency rating),Lamar Odom (for the reality-TV crowd!), Paul Milsap or LeMarcus Aldridge.

This leaves three or four spots for the west guards who are also plethoric in terms of deservedness.

Deron Williams who merited a starting spot as much as Paul is a sure-fire pick as well as Russell Westbrook.

Beyond them, it's difficult to know if Steve Nash (brilliant career) or 3rd leading NBA scorer Monta Ellis can pass in front of the Spur's tandem of Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker who are playing for the NBA's number one team.

Manu,San Antonio's leading scorer, seems the most likely pick out of the four.

On to the east where,once again, alot of forwards are deserving so I would only choose one true center, Dwight Howard, even though the Aussie center Andrew Bogut is playing well.

The fans' starters will be Derrick Rose-Dwayne Wade at guard,Amarè Stoudamire-LeBron James at forward and Howard at center.

Now that Rose and Stoudamire have passed Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett in the fan voting, I agree with their choices.

Those two Celtics will lead the coaches' bench selections accompanied by Paul Pierce,Boston's leading scorer.

Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh will round out the forwards unless an Al Horford or Danny Granger can create an unlikely surprise.

There are less dominating guards in the east so I feel Raymond Felton, Joe Johnson or Ray Allen have a chance to squeeze in, with Felton the favorite thanks to the Knicks' resurgence this season.

In general, the east is all about Miami, Boston and Chicago and the west,once again, has a bigger international presence with alot of Spurs and Lakers in the mix.


So, plenty of great players will be on the court and a bumper harvest of super-celebs will be surrounding the hardwood to make for a memorable All-Star weekend in LA-LA land.

The last time the big show was in LA, I remember having to tap Gisele Bundchen and Leonardo DiCaprio on the shoulder in order to ask them to sit down so that I could see the court!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #13 on: Jan 04, 2011, 06:34:00 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

New year's lockout resolution

To ring in the new year I want to do nothing less than save the NBA from itself!

How?

By giving a simple, intelligent framework that allows the league to avoid a destructive lockout this coming summer.

Why am I so concerned?

Because the NBA took several years to eliminate the ill will and tarnished image that the '99 lockout created, notably for the fans. As the world economy tries to rebound, this is the worst possible time to shoot oneself in the foot, especially since the league is still flourishing in terms of TV contracts and ratings but needs to find a way to become profitable again for the majority of the franchises, who are paying dearly for some bad contract decisions.

Here's my plan. The players need to give back 20 percent on all new contracts, which isn't so painful when you are making millions, because this would give the franchises the margin necessary to become profitable again. This would avoid killing the goose that lays the golden eggs!

Maximum length of contracts could be dialed back to five years instead of six, with four years guaranteed, which would make future bad contract decisions less lengthy and costly for teams.

The NBA needs to follow the highly profitable NFL's lead and gradually move towards a hard salary cap in 2 or 3 years but also increase revenue sharing between big market and small market teams in order to give everyone a chance to compete.

David Stern has been waving the threatening possibility of contraction in front of the players' noses which would mean less jobs for marginal players, and even Lebron James fell into the trap saying it would be good for the league to have the talent less diluted.

This is negotiating strategy and pure rubbish for me because even when there were only eight teams in the league in the early sixties, there were still some weak sister franchises, as there always will be, with 8 or 35 teams!

I say 35 teams because I agree with Stern that one day there will be a European division which would create jobs and this could be another argument to sway players to make some neccessary concessions.

The world reservoir of players is much bigger now with 88 non-american players in the league and with the African continent waking up to opportunities, the idea of contraction is a heresy.

Now that I've gone through what the players need to concede to keep the magnificent NBA machine running at full throttle without work stoppage, let's also look at what the league can do for the players to make the bitter pill easier to swallow.

To avoid injury and prolong players' careers the NBA must eliminate back to back games which often provide a poor brand of ball because one of the teams is exhausted.

Teams play between 15 and 20 back to backs a season and the NBA could do away with or reduce the pre-season schedule to recuperate some dates. The league could also reduce some of the heavy fines they impose on players to put some money back into their pockets and most importantly, the league needs to create efficient and obligatory financial counseling for the players in order to avoid the personal dramas we've seen lately with former millionaires like Scottie Pippen or Antoine Walker going broke.




Get these players out of the casinos and into business school, please!

Last but not least, the owners could, over time, significantly increase what they contribute to the players' retirement fund because this way the players would recieve money later in life when they are older and smarter to manage it and probably more in need of it, too.

Best wishes in 2011 to all our readers!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #12 on: Dec 07, 2010, 05:27:07 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Let's give Lebron a Le- break!

I will concede to you that Lebron James has done a lot of dumb things over the last year or so to make you hate him. Over-celebrating vs. easily-beaten opponents, rarely seeming to take the game seriously then quitting when the going got tough against Boston in the playoffs,followed by poor handling and communication concerning his desire to take his skills to South Beach after having been poorly advised by his omni-present and poorly prepared entourage but also by the Miami franchise which overdid the marketing presentation of the arrival of the Big Three Amigos ! These things were hyper-mediatized and sent James from most popular status to most-despised status in record time.

As with everything concerning Miami right now, all of this is a bit too much for my taste and the pendulum has excessively swung in the wrong direction for the "Chosen One"(that monicker was already a bit too much to begin with and very hard to live up to out of high school).

If you look at Lebron objectively all of these errors were merely bad judgement or bad taste.

He has committed no heinous crimes compared to a long list of pro athletes starting with the beloved Kobe Bryant or the re-born Michael Vick.

James has been a good father and companion so far with no gun or doping scandal or money laundering or gambling problems.

He gave Cleveland the seven best years in franchise history and it was his perfect right as a free agent to choose sun-shiny Miami over chilly Cleveland anyway! After a bumpy(hah hah!) start with Miami and their young coach,Eric Spoelstra, Lebron has led the Heat to a four-game win streak and won the war with the Cleveland haters by popping 38 points while crushing the Cavs in the early season hype-fest last thursday.

Of course Lebron couldn't keep himself from stupidly trash-talking with his former teammates during the game which was once again in bad taste but, hey, that's part of his makeup.

In the future, if James wants to avoid having a disappointing career like Pat Ewing or Allen Iverson, he'll have to hunker down and get serious about supporting his coach,sharing the ball with his teammates while making them more confident and just simply better.

If he wants to move to a higher level where titles are won by beating repeatedly the likes of Boston and LA, he will need to develop a new,tougher,mind-set in order to dominate monsters of competition like Paul Pierce or Kobe Bryant the same way Michael Jordan became steely determined vs. the Bad Boy Pistons or Knicks after seven years of waiting.




Pat Riley could help things move faster by flatly stating that he will not replace Spoelstra this season no matter what which would oblige the players to learn to play together and stop looking for excuses.

One thing is for sure, talking about all this on the court soap opera is more fun than talking about a dreaded lockout!

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #11 on: Oct 28, 2010, 08:31:04 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Let's get it started again: The New NBA Season ~ Here's my take on 2010-2011 !


Will the new NBA season be remembered as the "looming lockout season" or the "Phil Jackson's fourth threepeat season"?

Will it be the "three amigos budding dynasty season" or the "Spurs fading dynasty season"?

Will it be "old Boston's last gasp season" or "Orlando's first title season"?

Here's my take on 2010-2011.

The Lakers will threepeat again because their players are at the peak of their careers where brains and brawn mix together beautifully between the ages of 28 and 32 years old. In two years they will start declining, especially Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom, but that time isn't here yet and Kobe can pass Jordan by winning seven titles as he leans more and more heavily on a dominating Pau Gasol.

I bet Phil Jackson even hangs around one more season after this one to help Kobe do it! Then it will be Miami's turn after two season's of losing and growing together if the amigos and their bosses are patient enough and the supporting cast is drastically improved. This season for Miami will be all about learning how to play together and managing the media hype and unrealistic expectations thown upon them.

Maybe Doc Rivers will move closer to his home in Orlando next season to help. Now, who will meet the Lakers in the Western conference finals considering that Denver, Phoenix and Utah seem weaker than last season for different reasons?

I think the Spurs can whip up a last hoorah together because their big three rested this summer and Tiago Splitter is a player. Tony Parker is playing for new contract at the peak of his career and will be motivated to shine.

Dallas is the other potential West finalist with a copious roster and Jason Kidd or Dirk Nowitski's biological clock ticking down! If you add an ever-improving, possible MIP, Nicholas Batum's Portland squad and future MVP and leading scorer Kevin Durant's Thunder youth movement, that makes eight playoff teams even though Houston, with the return of Yao and the brillance of Scola and Brooks, might be able to oust one of the weaker sisters aforementioned.

The NBA is the opposite of the NFL where unexpected teams like New Orleans last season can surprise everyone and win the title. In the NBA there will always be a limited number of true candidates for the throne, five or six maximum and these are usually teams that progress from year to year in the playoffs and finally break through one day.

This is why a sudden recruiting phenomenon like Miami doesn't impress me at all and I'm still trying to figure out what Jeff Van Gundy was drinking the night he said that Miami would beat Chicago's regular season record of 72 wins, never lose two games in a row and waltz easily to the title. No way, Jeff!

Miami's weakness at point guard and center is evident and with Mike Miller out until january opponents will be packing the paint and the feeble and elderly bench will be huffing and puffing just trying to keep up. The three amigos will alternately play isolation ball to profit from matchup advantages but to be a real champion they will need defence, ball movement and an offensive hierarchy like the Lakers with their triangle offence and that will take time.

I would bet on a Boston-Orlando East final with Miami and Chicago as losing semi-finalists which would still represent a net improvement for both teams. Chicago would be content and Miami probably not! Joakim Noah's Bulls will start really clicking when Carlos Boozer comes back and the Frenchman's new contract totally liberates him to attack the rebounding title and a spot on the East All-Star roster.

I see Atlanta stagnating or dropping off a bit after severely over-paying Joe Johnson this past summer. Their may be a little suspense in the East about which teams round out the top eight for a playoff berth and a team like Charlotte might have trouble holding off challengers like Rookie of the year John Wall's  Washington or Stoudemire's New York especially if Milwaukee confirms their surprising 2009-2010 campaign with a highly internationalized roster.
 



Teams like Detroit, New Orleans, Sacramento and Indiana will once again show how difficult it is to recuperate recent but bygone glory in today's NBA! As I've stated all along, all this posturing should still lead us back to the usual supects and an LA-Boston or LA-Orlando NBA Finals in june, which would be fine with me. What do you think?

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #10 on: Jul 11, 2010, 08:49:58 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

What about LeBron James’s definition of loyalty ?

LeBron James played a blinder at the 2008 Olympics.

He was breathtaking in a Team USA jersey.

He commanded a press conference like no other.

I remember that presser after the USA’s gold-medal win against Spain on August 24, 2008, as if it were yesterday.

There was so much pride and relief for LeBron that he'd finally won something, a title, unlike in his NBA career.

Dwyane Wade, the leading scorer of that USA team, and Chris Bosh, the side's best defensive player and most valuable reserve, were also in that press conference.

LeBron did all the right things and said all the right things after the win over Spain.

He praised the defending world champions for their battling performance in the gold medal game, but proclaimed that the USA were back on top.

The gold medal seemed to re-energize him and his teammates.

It meant something.

The American basketball icon, LeBron, hasn’t put on his best performance this week.

His advisors scheduled an hour-long program called 'The Decision' on ESPN on Thursday night for LeBron to announce to the world where he was going to play in the NBA next season.

With the fans of his team, Cleveland, watching, hoping and praying that their favorite free agent would remain a Cavalier, LeBron revealed he was going to Miami.

If he had hoped for well wishes from the Cleveland Cavaliers, he got something else entirely.

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert let fly with the mother of all open letters to criticize his former star.

He wrote to the fans: “As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

“This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his ``decision'' unlike anything ever ``witnessed'' in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.”

The rest of the letter, it’s fair to say, was not complimentary of LeBron.

It’s the right of all players, at least once they’ve put in the years of service as LeBron has, to choose where they want to play.

He had the opportunity to go, and has.

He wants to win a championship.

But then again, the Cavaliers haven’t been a bad team.

In fact, they’ve been one of the Eastern Conference’s best sides with LeBron.

I think LeBron has blown it.

His self-belief, or lack of it, and his decision to rub Cleveland’s fans noses in it with that TV broadcast, are the real issues.

If Michael Jordan stayed in Chicago because he believed he could lead the Bulls to the top, LeBron chose not to stay in Cleveland because clearly, he did not believe he could lead the team to the top.

What about LeBron’s definition of loyalty?

It’s strange because in his show, ‘The Decision’, LeBron used the L word.

"It was a tough decision because I know how loyal I am,” he said.

His decision to go, no matter how you slice it, was not a show of loyalty to the people of Cleveland, Akron and all of Ohio.

Cleveland needs its heroes, and LeBron was a hero for a place that’s known as the ‘Mistake by the Lake’.

What about Team USA? Where is the loyalty to them, and that burning desire to be the best?

Weren’t LeBron, Wade and Bosh in that American team that lost 101-95 in the Semi-Finals of the 2006 FIBA World Championship, arguably the most famous game in the history of the event?

He did play the following summer at the FIBA Americas Championship and helped the USA reach the Beijing Games, and then helped them win gold in China.

But the pride that LeBron felt playing for Team USA at the Olympics, where is it?

They didn’t play last summer because the USA didn’t need to qualify.

They’re not going to play this summer, either.

They have other things on their minds.

Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, this season’s scoring champion in the NBA, is going to play for Team USA .

He has just, very quietly, signed a five-year extension with the Thunder.

Looking ahead to the FIBA World Championship, I want to see Durant more than any other player because he’s an exceptional talent at the beginning of his career.

It’s going to take some time getting used to seeing LeBron, Wade and Bosh playing together for the Heat.




What happens if Team USA, led by Durant, do win the gold medal in Turkey?

They will be the best team in the world and they will not then need to go through qualifying in Argentina to play at the London Games.

If that happens and Durant does lead the Americans to the gold medal, that is the team that I want to see play in London.

Jeff Taylor from FIBA



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« Reply #9 on: Jul 02, 2010, 04:11:15 AM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

That fabulously intense NBA Finals Game 7 in Los Angeles: A True Grit

I got back to France after covering that fabulously intense NBA Finals Game 7 in Los Angeles where Phil Jackson's Lakers squeezed the last drop out of their home court advantage and improved their defense to just barely scrape by a courageous wild bunch of aging Boston Celtics veterans who watched their last window of opportunity close before their crying eyes.

What a glorious and rare moment these two valiant teams offered us, as multi-millionaires played their hardest until there was absolutely nothing left in the tank, played together because the defenses were so good there was no other way to score, and played smart because their two brilliant coaches gave them no choice!

Ah, Dean Smith's old formula for success is still very contemporary, the proof being that Jackson and his counterpart Doc Rivers must have said some version of "play together and share the ball" during EVERY single timeout in the 2010 NBA finals!

The crazy series of made three-point shots in the last minutes was delicious frosting on a concrete cake of impenetrable defense. The triumphant trio of Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol all learned precious lessons from their whupping in 2008 by these same Celtics.

Phil did not let himself get out-coached this time as he showed with great adjustments in Game 6 that completely reversed all of the Celtics' favorable key tendencies of Game 5.

Pau put on eight kilos of pure muscle in the Laker weight room since 2008 that came in useful to dominate the boards and as he aggressively attacked his primary defender one on one throughout the series to relieve a lot of the pressure on Bryant to create and finish plays.

Only Kobe can compete with Gasol's extraordinary worldwide results in the last four years, but Pau was much more open and analytical than Kobe in the post-game press conferences showing his total mastery of the game but also the English language. Hat's off to you Pau, nice guys DO finish first!

Kobe was less taciturn with the media after the immense relief that came with his fifth NBA title and he admitted then how much his numerous injuries were weighing him down. Despite those and his Game 7 overly pumped up jitters, Kobe played more of a team game than in 2008, good examples of this being his defense on Rajon Rondo but also that assist on Ron Artest's enormous and decisive three-point shot at the end.

These Lakers and Celtics were true pros with true grit and we can only hope and pray that Phil Jackson leans towards keeping everyone together for a shot at an unprecedented FOURTH three-peat because as Kobe says, without his calm coaching attitude, things just wouldn't be the same.

These wonderful images of what pro sports can be clashed violently with the sad spectacle of the French national soccer squad at the World Cup and the disastrous effects on their image among French sports fans upon my return to Paris.

Money isn't the problem because the NBA guys make more anyway. On the other hand, they didn't play hard, smart or together! The absolute irony being their one goal scored in the competition in their last game when all was already lost thanks to Franck Ribery at long last making the simple extra pass which leads to easy goals instead of the preceding long litany of overly individualistic attempts.


Between poor chemistry, idiotic preparation and weak management of the team, the French soccer team could learn a lot from studying Jackson and the Lakers !

George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #8 on: Jun 17, 2010, 06:50:03 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

NBA Basketball: Where in the world will the next Pau Gasol come from?

Mr. Gasol, a Spaniard drafted in 2001, comes from Western Europe – the source of many of today's best international basketball players.

Fellow top players Dirk Nowitzki (drafted in 1998) and Tony Parker (drafted in 2001) come from Germany and France, respectively. All three are among the few non-Americans with repeated appearances on the NBA All Star Team in the past decade.

Sasha Vujacic, the Los Angeles Lakers' shooting point guard, is from Slovenia, but started his professional basketball career at age 16 in Italy. And teammate Didier Ilunga-Mbenga was born in Congo, but fled at an early age to Belgium.

Such Western European dominance is a trend of the past decade, whereas in the 1990s and 1980s the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia provided the wellspring of basketball greats.

And now, scouts are trying to gauge where the next shift might appear.

In May, the National Basketball Association (NBA) opened its first office in Africa, in South Africa’s capital of Johannesburg. In the past year, the league launched the NBA in Arabic and the NBA in India. In addition to 16 offices already in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the league plans to set up offices in India, Russia, and Brazil by the end of 2010. While most offices are geared toward bringing in new NBA fans, there's nothing that draws fans like a star from their own country.

“We’re doing a real big push right now in India,” says an NBA spokesman.

Some see something special in Africa.
The next hotbed for basketball stars?

“To me, the most interesting thing is Africa,” says Jack McCallum, who has covered the NBA for Sports Illustrated since the mid-1980s and is now writing a book about the 1992 Dream Team. That year, the NBA had only 21 international players. Now, it has 79; one in five NBA players is from outside the US.

Mr. McCallum says NBA scouts are constantly searching in Africa for the next Hakeem Olajuwon or Dikembe Mutombo. “It’s just unbelievable. There, you’re literally working around revolutions,” he says.

It may well be worth the hassle. As basketball has gained international popularity, foreign players are now recognized for having a deeper skill set than American players – and are of increasing importance to NBA franchises.

“The players in Europe tend to be raised with a team-first mentality, while the US players tend be raised with a me-first mentality,” says Ian Thomsen, a basketball columnist and senior writer for Sports Illustrated.




In the United States, says Mr. Thomsen, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) dominates teenage basketball, but it's more focused on playing games than building skills. Many players then leave college early to join the NBA (or, like Kobe Bryant, skip college altogether).

from FIBA Today



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« Reply #7 on: Jun 16, 2010, 04:31:50 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Doc, Phil and John: the coaching match-up in the 2010 NBA Finals

The coaching match-up in the 2010 NBA Finals is an interesting duel between two men who respect but don't particularly like each other. This is understandable at such an intense level of competition where reputations, money and historical positioning are all at stake for coaches, owners and players alike.

The sometimes not-so-subtle psychological warfare between Phil Jackson and Doc Rivers is reaching a peak as we move back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Tuesday.

In general, Rivers is more outgoing, down to earth and communicative whereas Jackson is more manipulative, sneaky and mysterious when he tries to score points with the media or the referees. They are great spin doctors and probably good dinner companions. When dealing with their players, Doc is more direct and honest with his guys using the same “We don't need no heroes out there, let's do it as a team” spiel throughout the playoffs compared to Jackson's continuous silences, mind games and even insults that go against his Zen Master image.

Jackson, known more for his psychological talents than for his mastery of X's and O's, has made a brilliant career for himself as a management genius when dealing with superstars who have mega-egos like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

On the other hand, you could make a case for his poor handling of Lamar Odom's fragile confidence level in the Finals and the fact that he is overusing Andrew Bynum, who is playing on one leg and producing feeble stats since Game 3.

When Phil doesn't like a reporter's question, he passively talks about some other subject or simply doesn't comment while Rivers, a former TV commentator, likes the give-and-take repartee that animates post-game press conferences.

If we compare the two coaches' NBA results over time, it looks to me like Jackson is the greatest coach of all-time – followed by his nemesis Red Auerbach – thanks to his 10 titles. In fact, Phil and Red shared a similar arrogance and serenity about their own omnipotence even though Auerbach was more fiery in the vein of Phil's mentor, Red Holzman, his coach with the Knicks and Auerbach's arch-enemy!

Phil and Red both profited from having the best players but also from knowing how to make them play together. Doc Rivers should by far be considered the best coach of this year's playoffs and he was one of the few coaches in NBA history (along with Larry Brown in 2004) to have out-coached Jackson in the Finals back in 2008.

Both Doc and Phil bait the referees about overly physical play, moving screens and rules interpretations. This is a big part of their jobs, but the real controversy cropped up when Jackson took offence to the Celtics super-subs over-celebrating and trash-talking in the crucial fourth quarter rampage of Game 4. Phil didn't feel it showed a positive coaching philosophy and Doc said he didn't care what Phil thought!

Trash-talking, arrogance and being hated by opponents are also a Celtic tradition going way back so this is nothing new, but Rivers knows there is a fine line between playing with emotion and going overboard and getting technical fouls called!

Jackson's comments can be considered either hypocritical or ironic when you remember that he has coached and given a loose leash to two of the dirtiest players in NBA history in Dennis Rodman and now Ron Artest.

All of this verbal jockeying adds spice to these exciting and hard-fought Finals where Rivers is using his bench better and juggling the ups and downs of his Big Four (Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo) skillfully compared to Jackson who rides his veterans as usual and will need to squeeze every last drop out of the home court advantage to squeak through to an 11th NBA title.




My only regret is that the legendary college coach and American philosopher John Wooden is no longer around to give his humble but pertinent take on this battle between two top flight coaches! Wooden knew better than anyone that high moral values and technical excellence will go a long way but to win titles you really need the better players! I'll finish with my favorite Woodenism: “He who is through learning, is through”. Amen!


George Eddy from FIBA



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« Reply #6 on: Jun 02, 2010, 04:06:42 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

Finals preview time:
Here we go for a remake of the greatest rivalry in NBA history

Greetings! Here we go for a remake of the greatest rivalry in NBA history, as the Lakers meet the Celtics in the NBA Finals version 2010.

Since I predicted a repeat for the Lakers before the season even started, I'm happy, but I admit I never imagined Boston would be the opponent after the mediocre second half of their regular season.

As far as aging teams go, Boston did better than San Antonio by finding their rythmn, defence, shooting and togetherness at just the right moment, which means coach Doc Rivers pulled a Popovich on us by bringing his players to top form just before the playoffs without being too concerned with the regular season standings, bravo!

Rajon Rondo is competing with Steve Nash and Deron Williams for the title of best point guard on earth right now and the Big Three of Boston is clicking like in 2008, when the Celtics outmuscled the Lakers on their way to the crown.

Will Boston's wide- body inside players once again be able to discombobulate the long and lanky tandem of Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom?

This will be the key! If Paul Pierce or Ray Allen can oblige Kobe to play a lot of tiring defense and therefore reduce Bryant's stratospheric level of play of the last few weeks, then Boston has a chance.

After the way they first surprised and then dominated favorites Cleveland and Orlando, you have to give them their due and maybe even fear them, and knowing Kobe, he's not going to let the Lakers under-estimate Boston.

The Lakers showed they can get a little too cocky vs. Oklahoma City and Phoenix whereas the wild inconsitency of Ron Artest can certainly give Phil Jackson headaches and Boston hope.

After six days rest, Rondo should dominate the point guard position and Boston's bench seems to have a real advantage in this series. An interesting tactical point might be that Rivers will be tempted to use more zone defence than usual after the success Phoenix had with the zone against LA.

The Suns, the other big surprise in these playoffs, came within a hair of taking game 5 in LA and Alvin Gentry, Steve Nash et al deserve nothing but colossal kudos for proving that their run and gun style added to a bit of defensive savvy can take them deep into the post-season.

Regarding Orlando, the loss of Turkoglou and the feeble production of Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis weighed heavily in the balance. Their series with Boston swayed with their poor management of the last few possessions in games one and two at home. Little details had big consequences for the Magic!

In the end, I feel that the triad of Jackson-Bryant-Gasol are going to impose their science, will and all-around brillance and experience along the lines of what president Obama recently predicted!


The Lakers will win in seven with Kobe authoring the coup de grace!

George Eddy from FIBA



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marce_bol
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2010, 01:00:29 AM »

NBA Basketball & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Ricky Rubio’s, Wolves’ top pick, will someday suit up in Target Center !

As David Kahn gears up for this year’s draft, he sounds more excited than ever about … last year’s draft.

Kahn had dinner in Paris earlier this month with Ricky Rubio’s parents and a representative of his agent, then watched the Wolves’ top pick from last June lead his team to the European championship. Minnesota’s basketball boss sounded nothing like a man looking to trade Rubio’s rights.

“He was arguably the best player on the floor” in the semifinals, Kahn said. “There’s been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about his outside shot. He stepped up and shot a couple of threes that really looked natural. He’s really worked on that, and you can see it.”

Rubio remains the property of Regal Barcelona and will for another year or two, so Kahn limited his contact to a couple of text messages while he was in Paris, in order not to distract Rubio from the Euro Final Four. But he sounded delighted by the progress the point guard has made, and optimistic that he will someday suit up in Target Center.

“This kid’s different. You just don’t accomplish what this kid’s accomplished at this age without being really special,” Kahn said. “He’s 19. The notion of him wasting away over there is far-fetched. He’s actually getting better over there, on somebody else’s dime.”

Chad Ford theorized on espn.com Monday that the Wolves would be reluctant to draft John Wall, should they win the No. 1 pick on Tuesday, because they “may not want to scare (Rubio) off any more than they already have.” He also said he had heard that the Wolves have indicated to Evan Turner that he would be their choice.

But Kahn, though he cautioned that Wall’s status as No. 1 “isn’t open and shut,” didn’t sound afraid to pick the point guard if he’s available, either. “It’s only problematic in that we may have to make some roster moves down the road. But I don’t see those as problems, I see them as opportunities,” he said. “Especially in a league that seems to be gravitating toward guard-oriented, I don’t see how we can get hurt” taking Wall.

Meanwhile, Kahn also met with the agent for Nikola Pekovic, and said the 6-foot-11 Montenegrin center “wants to come over.”

“We are not anywhere close to a deal. The next step is, I want to take Kurt (coach Kurt Rambis) to take a look at him, and in June, we need to plug him into our plans and figure out if his future is with us, or is it to wait a little longer, or is his future for us to trade,” Kahn said. Pekovic is a good low-post scorer who can play with his back to the basket, Kahn said.

Perhaps making that decision more complicated: Darko Milicic has also informed the Wolves that he wants to play in Minnesota next season.




“He had a really enjoyable two months, he likes the way we play and he responded well to Kurt,” Kahn said of the free-agent center, who averaged 8.3 points in 24 games after being traded to Minnesota in February. “And he sees that even though we’re not winning yet, there are some pieces here to build around and other pieces to come.”

From FIBA



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nbafan
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 12:45:44 AM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Elbows and heads:
This spring's NBA playoffs are turning into a bizarre bazaar!

This spring's NBA playoffs are turning into a bizarre bazaar! Several major questions with complicated answers are trotting around in the heads of many NBA fans, especially those in Cleveland!

What happened to LeBron James and the Cavs? What the heck are Phoenix and Boston doing in the conference finals? How do you explain San Antonio eliminating Dallas fairly easily and then getting swept by the Suns? Who could have imagined that the turning point in the series would be the last 14 minutes of Game 3, with Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire on the bench and Slovenian back-up playmaker Goran Dragic turning into Dracula and sucking the life-blood out of the Spurs in their arena with 26 incredible points? Why did Atlanta play so listlessly against Orlando, seeming to tune out their fatherly coach completely? Will Utah EVER eliminate the Lakers again?

Of all these interrogations, the Cleveland question is the most complex. Okay, if LeBron's elbow was the main reason for his poor play, how do you explain his performance in Boston in Game 3 where he hit eight out of 10 jump shots on his way to 21 first-quarter points and a commanding lead? The Celtics looked cooked at that time. We all thought that the Cavs had woken up from their over-confident lethargy of the first two games at home and were ready to get SERIOUS.

Then something goes completely awry with the team's mindset, James plays like a one-armed man whose head is elsewhere and his team-mates lose confidence in themselves, their star as well as their coach in record time on the way to three straight and unbelievable losses! The "Lebacle" Game 5 was an all-time record loss (minus 32) at home in a seven-game series and once again we are amazed at how fast overconfidence can turn into doubt in basketball.

The fans watched the series, the season, and possibly LeBron James himself fade away into oblivion on that fateful, dreadful night for the sadsack sports town of Cleveland! The multiple changes undertaken and heavy investments made by the Cavs' in order to keep James were all for naught as were his two MVP trophies and two pole positions in the past two regular seasons.

The over-dependence on LeBron to do everything as a one-man wrecking crew was far from enough to beat a revived Celtics squad led by young gun Rajon "Ragin" Rondo, their best player now and the "Old" Three who backed him up a lot better than LeBron's supporting cast did for him!

For me, the difference between LeBron and Michael Jordan is the triangle offense which obliged Jordan's team-mates to participate and take on responsibilities instead of just standing around and waiting for the superstar to create something. This is the one giant and justifiable criticism that we can levy against Cavs head coach Mike Brown who also had a tendency to panic and over-shuffle his rotations when things didn't go his way against Boston.

In the end, Cleveland had the same problem as Dallas - lots of talented players who hadn't been together long enough to beat an opponent with more shared experience in tough playoff games. Shaquille O'Neal and Antawn Jamison didn't help Cleveland any more than Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood helped Dallas to reach a higher level because these things take time - just ask Jordan!

So now you can ask me, if shared experience is so important, why did the Spurs get swept by a Pheonix team that didn't even make the playoffs last season? My answer: speed, great shooting, depth, youth and, surprisingly enough, defense!

In all these aspects, the Suns were superior and when the Spurs give up around 110 points in each game, they are not the real Spurs and they won't win much. Against Dallas, they looked experienced and against Phoenix they looked old, whereas youthful subs like Dragic, Jared Dudley or Channing Frye gave old geezers Steve Nash and Grant Hill some extra bounce in their step!

I'd like to finish by pointing out that some sweeps are more painful and destructive than others. Just compare what happened to Atlanta and Utah. The Hawks were swept by an NBA record average margin of 25 points a game, seemingly giving up even before they had played a game at home. They watched the stock of their star, Joe Johnson, plummet for this summer's free agent market while the coach who helped them steadily improve, Mike Woodson, was shown the door. Ouch!

On the other hand, Jerry Sloan and Deron Williams are not going anywhere after the depleted Jazz put up a hefty fight in each game against the Lakers but just fell slightly short each time.




I guess the last questions we need to ask are: will the bizarre turn of events continue now that Boston has taken home court advantage away from Orlando? Is there one person on the planet earth that predicted a Suns-Celtics remake of that mythical 1976 NBA Finals before the season?

George Eddy from FIBA



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pepebasquet
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 03:24:19 AM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

Twenty years of cooperation between FIBA and NBA

This past weekend marked the 20th anniversary of the first cooperation agreement between FIBA and the NBA that opened the path for many players under contract with NBA clubs to participate in FIBA World Championships, Olympics and FIBA continental championships.

“When the agreement was signed on 9th May 1990 by Borislav Stankovic and David Stern, FIBA and the NBA put in place the most important protocol in the history of basketball after the rules written by James Naismith,” said FIBA Secretary General and IOC member Patrick Baumann.

“The agreement gave all basketball players the right to play for their national teams and still to this day regulates player transfers between both organisations. That was the start of a fruitful cooperation that helped tremendously the promotion of our sport on a global level.”

The appearance of the unforgettable Dream Team and other basketball stars such as the late Drazen Petrovic and Detlef Schrempf at the 1992 Olympic Games was only made possible through this agreement and provided a tremendous boost to the global outreach of basketball and their stars.

Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson became idols for billions of kids around the world, who wanted to follow in their footsteps. FIBA's member federations witnessed a tremendous increase in player's registrations in the following years.

“When we approached the NBA in 1987 with the request to give the opportunity to NBA players to play for their national team in the Olympics and the World’s we thought it was a great vision,” said FIBA Secretary General Emeritus Borislav Stankovic.

“Why should the 350 NBA players, who belong among the best in the world, not play with the best in the world?”

'Only if you play with the best, will you improve your game' – this was the common understanding that led to a constant development of the sport and its protagonists.

Since the agreement was signed, more than 300 players from around the world with valid contracts with NBA clubs have been able to represent their countries in FIBA World Championships, Olympics and continental championships.

The first NBA players appeared at the 1990 FIBA World Championship in Argentina – Vlade Divac and Petrovic for Yugoslavia and Alexander Volkov for the Soviet Union.

At the same time, many international players have gone to play in the NBA to perfect their skills and earn top contracts, allowing FIBA and the NBA to turn basketball into a truly global sport.




Currently 83 international players from 36 countries are under contract with NBA clubs and up to 50 could represent their countries at the upcoming FIBA World Championship in Turkey that will tip off on 28th August 2010.

FIBA



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mondiale
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2010, 11:09:04 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

When stars collide - NBA players getting injured
before the World Champs

Merhaba! I just watched Nene getting injured in the last game between Denver and Utah and I immediately thought:
Who is going to be left when the World Championships are going down in Turkey in late August?

Guys, please play carefully so I can see you on the court in Istanbul, Izmir, Kayseri or Ankara!

Andrew Bogut might be back in time after his horrible crash to the floor in a recent Bucks-game.
I won't post the video here as it's really not fun to watch how he twisted his whole arm under his body while falling to the floor after a successful dunk. Now, he might be joining Australia after recovering from a broken hand but Mehmet Okur most certainly won't.
Okur tore his achilles tendon which means he is not going to represent the host-country which is a big blow for the ambitious Turks.

It also looks like Nicolas Batum could be pulling out as well, as his injured shoulder might need some rest.
Fellow French Tony Parker is also thinking about passing up on Turkey while Spanish basketball star Pau Gasol wants a break off hoops this year and is officially out.

Chinese Yao Ming did not play all season long for the Rockets and told the press already that he won't travel to Turkey.  That leaves China with Yi Jianlian as the sole NBA-player within the team and may blow China's chances significantly to advance out of the group stages.

A big question mark is the U.S. team as a whole, as some players decided that they rather want to play in movies (Lebron James, Dwight Howard) while others might be resting due to injuries (Kobe Bryant) or because of a marriage /divorce (Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade).
Wade might still play and I wouldn't rule out Anthony as well, as their situations are less critical. Same goes for Chris Bosh, who is going to be a free agent this summer

If Kobe makes it to Turkey, then it would definitely make up for the loss of Lebron in my eyes, as he is by far the best player around (Now I'm awaiting a lot of critics here). With guys like Danny Granger and Kevin Durant eager to represent his country's colors, the U.S. might send a really motivated team under the tutelage of Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who is coming fresh of a NCAA Championship under his belt.

Thanks to all these deflections mentioned above, there will be plenty of room for upcoming players like Ricky Rubio, Goran Dragic or Ersan Ilyasova among others to use this opportunity to present themselves to an even wider audience than before.

Plus there will be no shortage on touted international stars like Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman, Hedo Turkoglu, Andrei Kirilenko, Luis Scola and probably Leandrinho Barbosa who all will be turning heads of basketball-fans while showing why they truly belong to the best what basketball has to offer these days.




So I still look enthusiastically towards Turkey as even with a few guys not making it over the ocean, the World Championships will be offering premium-quality basketball action and I bet we will be witnessing again a lot of hard-fought games paired with several highlights such as dunks, blocks and assists from the best players around!

I'm out like movie projects as an excuse.

Kris SANTIAGO from FIBA



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nbafan
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 20, 2010, 08:33:29 PM »

NBA Basketball  & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA & Comentarios Libres

NBA Playoff pre- monitions

With the European season winding down and the NBA playoffs heating up big time, I'd like to throw out a few ideas that have been haunting me the last few months.

On the European scene, why is Ricky Rubio getting so much hype while Milos Teodosic from Olympiakos is getting so little? Because Rubio is younger and quicker, no doubt, but Teodosic is having a much better season, is a better shooter, and like any Serbian, knows how to play tough defence!

A Barcelona-Olympiakos match-up in the Euroleague final in Paris would be an ideal setting to settle this dispute and maybe awaken a few NBA General Managers to Teodosic's NBA potential. He's got some Steve Nash and Kirk Hinrich in his game and is the natural leader of his generation. This doesn't mean that I don't think Rubio is a future NBA star too!

On to the Eurocup Final Four in Vitoria where the French player Nando DeColo is making noise for Valencia the way his former team-mate in Cholet, Roddy Beaubois, made noise in last season's Eurochallenge Cup.

Again Nando is older and less athletic than Beaubois but he possesses some of the same qualities as Teodosic, although with a less glowing resumé. When you see the incredible success of Omri Casspi with Sacramento, you get the feeling that some of these Europeans stay too long under the NBA radar.

Another irony, the naming of my friend Elias Zouros, the coach of Panellonios as the Eurocup Coach Of The Year which puts into perspective how unfair his firing was by the Paris team a little over two years ago.

Now for some NBA playoff predictions and comments because the first round match-ups have me salivating like I do in front of a foie gras appetiser!

What a pleasure to see LeBron James and Joakim Noah trash-talking their way through a playoff series because when Noah stood up to James earlier in the season due to his cheesy celebrations which ridicule some opponents, a lot of NBA people were secretly applauding!

The Cavs must learn to tone it down in order to avoid another shocking disappointment similar to what happened to them against Orlando in last season's conference finals when LeBron walked off in a huff without congratulating the winners! This being said, Chicago will be lucky to win a game in this lopsided duel.

Another hot rivalry is brewing between those nasty Bostonians and Miami. This one should go to six or seven games with no one scoring over a hundred and Boston barely squeaking through, but an upset wouldn't surprise me either.

In the other East pairings, I feel that Charlotte can win two from Orlando (nice French duel between Boris Diaw and Mickael Pietrus) by defending and slowing the pace. Meanwhile, a diminished but international and courageous Milwaukee team would be lucky to win one game against Atlanta.

By the way, is Larry Brown doing the same thing to Charlotte that he did at the end of his reign in Detroit when he tried to seduce future employers Cleveland and New York during the playoffs? Definitely not cool!

In the West, I'd love to see Oklahoma City win a couple of games against the Lakers to confirm their excellent season despite being the youngest team in the league. Denver seems to have Utah's number whereas Portland-Phoenix could drag out but the loss of Brandon Roy condemns the Blazers in the end in my book. Maybe Portland needs to copy some of Phoenix's revolutionary preparation and prevention techniques to avoid so many injuries in the future?

Last but not least, the last stand! Will it be San Antonio or Dallas who rides off into the Texas sunset in this crucial playoff campaign where both teams KNOW, it's now or never? It's not an easy pick but I'll go with Dallas in 7 thanks to home court in a last-ditch battle for the ages.

Only a stratospheric Ginobili could turn the tide in this series which interests the French public because of the Tony Parker-Beaubois face-off.




And speaking of international duels, are we not headed for a Western Conference final where the key actors will be Dirk and Pau? Time will tell.

George Eddy from FIBA



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BGA John Volger
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« on: Jan 18, 2008, 10:01:33 PM »

NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments •  Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres

•  NBA Reaffirms Support for International Basketball

Stern ‘encourages’ players to play for their countries

NBA supremo David Stern has reaffirmed his support for international basketball.

The NBA commissioner, speaking after the NBA Europe Live announcement about the league’s pre-season games to be played next summer on the old continent, said: "We encourage our players to represent their countries.

“The World Championship continues to grow and there will be a good competition in Turkey that will lead in to a good Olympics in London which will lead in to a good Championship in Spain in 2014.

“We are cooperating with FIBA on that as we have for many years and we hope to see the competition of national teams continue to grow.”

Many of the league’s biggest stars will be at the FIBA World Championship this summer, including Team USA, which will have an entire roster of NBA players.

Most of the national teams will have current or former NBA players on their rosters in Turkey.

As for NBA Europe Live, the following games will be played:




    • New York Knicks v Armani Jeans Milano, Oct. 3, Milan ‘Mediolanum Forum’
    • Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 4, London ‘The O2’
    • New York Knicks v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 6 Paris ‘Palais Omnisports Paris Bercy’
    • Los Angeles Lakers v Minnesota Timberwolves, Oct. 7, Barcelona ‘Palau Sant Jordi’

From FIBA



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