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Author Topic: ¶ NBA Basketball: Tournaments, Events & Free Comments • Baloncesto NBA: Competencias, Eventos & Comentarios Libres  (Read 729881 times)
Stats4all
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« Reply #44 on: Oct 12, 2012, 08:10:56 AM »

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

Competitiveness

The latest controversy concerning the fact that Kevin Durant worked out with his friend LeBron James again this summer makes me laugh.

A commentator for ESPN, who deserves to remain nameless, severely critcized Kevin as if he was giving away government secrets and losing his competitive edge versus his greatest opponent. This is hogwash typical of the internet era where anyone and everyone can publish their opinion and as everyone knows, opinions are like...noses - everybody has one!

The web's constant need for new nourishment and also many media people's dire need to exist in this quagmire pushes some people to be hyper-aggressive and say loud, outrageous things to draw attention to themselves. This is not my favorite form of journalism, n'est-ce pas?

Look at the increasingly short shelf life of many internet articles as we speed from one thing to the next without ever taking time out to smell the roses. Such is modern day living and all us old fogeys must simply adapt.

So, Durant practiced with LeBron; big deal! They spent more than a month together practicing and playing for Team USA on the way to a gold medal in London, so if any new important inside information was to be shared between the two stars there was plenty of time for it.

Personally, I got goose bumps when the two embraced each other just after LeBron won his first title with Miami in a hard-fought NBA Finals series in June when neither one let up on his relentlessness for one second. This was a wonderful example of fair play and respect between two grand competitors who are also good human beings.

You don't have to hate someone (or stoop to low blows) to want to beat them in basketball despite what Kevin Garnett might think!

As I was growing up one of my best friends, Stan Pietkiewicz, just happened to be the best high school player in Florida and a future NBA three-point specialist. We spent thousands of hours playing together - he was Zorro and I was his sidekick - and the rare times I beat him in HORSE or playing pick-up ball felt to me like winning a gold medal!

There was no one I wanted to beat more than him but we are still friends to this day. We often played with two brothers, the Collings, who were both good college players and despite their love for each other, their desire to beat each other was off the charts; it's often like that between brothers.

I am not one of those NBA observers who waxes nostalgic about rivalries in the 1980s and 1990s where flagrant, dangerous fouls were frequent and so-called proof of an intense desire to win.


For me the Bad Boys were just bad, Riley's Knicks went overboard and I was more interested in the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls for their teamwork and artistry than for their macho mentalty.


So let's applaud Kevin and LeBron who work hard in the off-season to improve their games, are absolutely NOT dirty players and whose will to win and desire to make their teams and teammates better cannot be questioned !

George Eddy from FIBA



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Carmel BBall
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« Reply #43 on: Sep 26, 2012, 07:02:03 AM »

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

NBA Criss-cross

As I was doing the French TV commentary on the Final of the Spanish Supercup between Barcelona and Real Madrid, I thought to myself that a heck of a lot of the players had NBA ties or experience and were good examples of how players go back and forth between Europe and the NBA a lot more than before.

The fact that Argentinian point guard Pablo Prigioni signed his first NBA contract with the New York Knicks at the age of 35 this summer shows how much things have changed because in the recent past it was assumed that if you didn't make the NBA by the age of 26 you had little chance of doing so.

When Spanish teams like Vitoria or Real sign young talent to long term contracts with heavy buyout clauses, this slows the arrival of some top players like Luis Scola, Mirza Teletovic, Tiago Splitter and Nikola Mirotic to the NBA despite them easily having the necessary level of play.

Teletovic should be a big surprise to NBA fans this season with the Brooklyn Nets because he is in his prime and ready to perform.

Mirotic signed a long extension with Real after being voted best Euroleague Rising Star so we might have to wait a while to see what he can do with the Bulls. Many scouts find him too slow for the NBA but I remind them that Dirk Nowitzki isn't that quick and Mirotic possesses the same technical feel for the game and outside range as Dirk.

Another interesting category of players present at the Supercup has emerged in the last five years. Players like Rudy Fernandez, Juanca Navarro, Erazem Lorbek and to a lesser extent Sarunas Jasikevicius and Sergio Rodriguez. All decided to play in Europe despite having the opportunity to stay with or go to an NBA club.

The first two did well in their stints in the league but juicy long-term contracts and the chance to accumulate trophies and titles each season brought them back home to adoring fans.

The Spurs would have liked to sign Lorbek, another slow-footed, Dirk-like outside shooting big man, but a three-year extension with Barcelona kept him in Spain. Ten years ago, almost no one would have refused a chance to join the NBA!

The two best players in the Supercup Final were Rudy and Barcelona's new center from Australia, Nathan Jawai. Fernandez was like a fish rediscovering water as he led Madrid's offence with brio, raining in three-pointers and dunks, while relishing the role of go-to player, something he was never quite able to do in Portland.

Jawai is another case in point, the type of player that went to the NBA and NBDL when he was too young, got shuttled around by several teams and then came back to Europe and Australia to improve his game and get some real playing time.

From what I saw yesterday, Nathan (26) - who physically looks like a young Shaquille O'Neal - is ready to have a breakout season in the Euroleague with Barcelona before pursuing his dream to return to the NBA, because centers with 140 kilos of mobile muscle mass with decent hands are few and far between!

Another athlete who definitely has an NBA motor is Real's Sergio Lull, an unstoppable force when he is running the fast break.

Many things have evolved in the globalisation of this elite basketball work force in the last few years. For example, a player like Lithuania's Linas Kleiza has crossed the ocean more often than a cruise ship!

NBA teams and scouts now realise that the quality of the formation of young players is now superior in Europe to the NCAA system, notably because there are no limits to the amount of practice time allowed in Europe.

In the past, NBA teams wanted to form young players themselves but the weakness of the NBDL compared to  Europe's top leagues has changed their thinking to the point that the smart teams like to recuperate mature players with European experience a little later in their careers in order to have an immediate impact.

The most important thing for a young player anywhere is to PLAY and build his own experience! Picking up a big check to warm the end of an NBA bench is a sure-fire way to screw up a budding career and a lot of NBA staffs are beginning to realise this.

For the well-being of these young talents, I hope there will be an evolution in the contractual relations between the NBA and foreign clubs in coming years permitting more mobility in order to find the right career plan to assure the best progression for each player.


This certainly seems to be the logical direction we're heading for in the next decade.

George Eddy from FIBA



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Pablo Bahia
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« Reply #42 on: Sep 11, 2012, 04:11:14 AM »

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

Nellie Ball

If ever there was someone deserving of a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, it was Don Nelson.

Among the 12 recent inductees, he stands out as a winner of five NBA titles as a sixth man - bridging the gap between the Boston Celtics of the Bill Russell and Dave Cowens eras along with John Havlicek - but even more so, as one of the most inventive and innovative coaches of all time.

He, more or less, invented the role of point forward, running the half-court offense through a passing forward like Paul Pressey or Anthony Mason.

He liked using a three-guard offense and uptempo, high-scoring pace which became known as 'Nellie Ball' with Steve Nash in Dallas or Run TMC with Golden State.

A lot of today's small ball tendencies were influenced by Nelson's creative coaching with high-speed play, quick shots, spacing and spreading the court, dribble drives and numerous possessions leading to prolific scoring.

Nelson said that throughout his career it was always the smaller, quicker teams that won the scrimmages even when Bill Russell was the adversary.

He did coach some very tall centers like Jack Sikma, Manute Bol, Shawn Bradley and Raef LaFrentz but he liked to put them out at the three-point line to shoot and draw the opposing center away from the lane to open up drives for his guards.

He was famous for many 50-win seasons with four different teams and playoff spots but also for early exits due to the stiff competition from the 1980s Lakers and Celtics , 1990s Bulls or the Lakers and Spurs in this millenium.

Nelson was always an iconoclast in the NBA microcosm and along with his son Donnie was a pioneer for scouting and recruiting international players like Sarunas Marciulionis and Dirk Nowitzki. Remember how people laughed at the Nelsons for trading for Dirk's draft rights before he became one of the greatest players of all-time!

They also went along with the wild idea that Dirk was a seven-foot forward and three-point specialist way before the modern-day fashion of long-range shooting fours.

To say that Don Nelson was way ahead of his time is evident. His Milwaukee team played in the first McDonald's Open and he also coached Dream Team II to gold at the 1994 FIBA World Championship in Toronto.

Nelson loved to do the unexpected on and off the court. In Dallas he chose his successor, Avery Johnson, and fixed the timetable for his taking over the reins. Then he beat his old team, Dallas, in the 2007 playoffs in one of the biggest upsets of all time since Dallas was the number one seed and Golden State only eighth. This was sweet revenge for Nelson who had a financial disagreement brewing in the courts at that time with his former owner, Mark Cuban.

He was a coach who liked to run the show, choose and change his players according to gut instinct and he didn't hesitate to ruffle some feathers along the way.

In the end, he will be remembered as the winningest NBA coach of all-time, a three-time winner of the Coach of the Year award and one of the key inventors of modern basketball.

Nelson said he hopes that now that the Hall of Fame gig is over he won't ever need to wear a tuxedo again and he invites everyone to come to his coffee shop in Maui to banter about basketball.


Hey, that sounds like enlightening fun!

George Eddy from FIBA



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Trini Dad
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« Reply #41 on: Sep 02, 2012, 01:30:47 AM »

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

London to LA

Two weeks after another fabulous Final at the London Olympics, it's time to look ahead to the new NBA season where all eyes will move towards a totally revitalised Lakers team that Chris Bosh announces as the favorite on paper at least.

It's clear that adding Dwight Howard, Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison to a starting five with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol - both brillant in London - is pretty impressive even if 3 of the players are over 34.

This quintet should be unstoppable on offense, somewhat permeable on defense and most importantly, a real challenge for coach Mike Brown in terms of playing time and keeping everyone fresh for the playoffs because the bench players don't provide too many solid guarantees.

The Lakers' brass HAS succeeded in surrounding Kobe with a team capable of winning two more titles in the next three seasons which would allow the Kobester to pass Michael Jordan's six trophies, his ultimate goal.

Since Nash stays in great shape at 38 and Jamison, 36, accepted the minimum to play with Steve, the potential for greatness is there once a balance is found between the other three starters on offence.

Even moreso than with Andrew Bynum, the Lakers will be a team that starts and finishes from the inside out and Kobe will HAVE to follow suit for LA to succeed.

The ultimate weapons will be the interior passing from Gasol to Howard along with the Nash pick-and-rolls with EVERYBODY!

I see a two-way battle for western supremacy between the young guns from Oklahoma City Thunder and the old warriors from LA, a generational duel for the ages.

I am also very curious to see what Minnesota looks like once Ricky Rubio comes back because recruits Andrei Kirilenko and Alexey Shved were often outstanding in London and should be perfectly complementary to Ricky and Kevin Love since Andrei is an all-around forward-defensive stopper and Alexey can play the two guard position at 6'6".

In the East, the reigning champs Miami Heat start the race as the undisputed favorite followed by a group of teams including Chicago, Indiana and Boston.

These three teams start off on the same level because we don't know when Derrick Rose will be back, Indiana stayed put with a proven roster and the Celtics still have a Big 3, now built around Rajon Rondo, the best NBA playmaker according to neo-Knick, Jason Kidd.

Like the Lakers, the Knicks filled out their roster with age-old experience to back up the point guard and center positions but it's the marketing war with their Brooklyn rivals that is the talk of the Big Apple media horde.

This is going to create great buzz for the NBA, a throwback to the Yankees-Dodgers fight for the hearts of New Yorkers in baseball back in the 50's!

A sidelight that noone is talking about is the arrival of Mirza Teletovic who should help Brooklyn thanks to a reasonable salary, deadly outside shooting and explosiveness to the rim. He will be a diamond in the rough similar to Nikola Pekovic with the Wolves.

Both New York teams will be in the running for a playoff spot; on the other hand, a former powerhouse like Orlando seems doomed to a long rebuilding process.


In any case, these early tendencies add interest to the series of exhibition games that will be played around the globe before the real season gets going at the end of October.

George Eddy from FIBA



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vir_tu_oso
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« Reply #40 on: Aug 14, 2012, 01:01:41 AM »

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

OLY - Stankovic: on how modern international basketball was born

With Team USA cruising through to the Final of the London 2012 Olympic Basketball Tournament, the comparisons with the Barcelona Dream Team – which is celebrating its 20th anniversary – will continue.

The Dream Team that graced the world 20 years ago has been talked about at length these past weeks.

What hasn’t been talked about is how it came to be and why.

What few media have addressed is why the first ever international team of NBA players came to be and how.

It all started with the coming together of two men: then FIBA Secretary General Borislav Stankovic and NBA Commissioner David Stern.

On the eve of another meeting between FIBA’s Secretary General – now Patrick Baumann – and David Stern, we talked to FIBA Secretary General Emeritus Borislav Stankovic about the broader meaning of bringing professional basketball players to the Olympics.

FIBA: Mr Stankovic, can you tell us why you pushed for professional athletes and more specifically NBA players to compete at the Olympics?
Borislav Stankovic: Everyone was so-called amateur began to believe the world had changed, that the world of top amateur sport was very close to the professional world.

There was a period of hypocrisy where there were on the one side professionals under contract, who had insurances and so on, and on the other side so-called amateurs who received money under the table from various parties.

That is when we decided that something needed to be done. We stopped this just in time.

FIBA: What were the first steps that you took?
Stankovic: We waited for the IOC – the highest ranked sporting organisation - to make the first move towards professional sport. But the federations were already prepared for this.

Everyone was actually already professional. But the true sense of the word professional means a lot more than just earning money. It is about going to practice, having proper training conditions, about taking responsibility for the health of athletes.

The solution was found in a discussion I had with David Stern at the time by chance. After that, we continued to talk, we had other meetings.

FIBA: What were the main challenges?
Stankovic: In the beginning the issue was not so much with FIBA, but between the NBA – the professional leagues – and the colleges or universities, who were considered amateur but who had big scholarships and a lot of other things on offer for their top players.

We agreed things pretty quickly with (David) Stern, but of course the American federation (USA Basketball) did not have any NBA representative on its board. Then eventually, with some political and governmental pressure we got there.

The question of women’s sport was of course also very significant as far as this issue was concerned. At the time there was no professional league for women. The highest level was college. It allowed us to give similar conditions to women’s basketball, top leagues and so on.

FIBA: How did you and David Stern, two men with very different objectives, manage to see eye to eye?
Stankovic: David Stern is first and foremost a friend with whom I have worked for many years. There always was a respect between us, a respect of the rules. There was a common idea that we needed to work together for the good of basketball in spite of having very different interests. His was that NBA become a global movement and, of course, to make money.

FIBA wanted a bigger and better basketball throughout the world, being played at a high level everywhere. And we managed to find common ground. The result is that basketball is one of the most important Olympic sports.; not only in terms of spectators, but also in terms of atmosphere.

FIBA: Has bringing professional athletes to the Olympics improved international basketball?
Stankovic: I can tell you that my idea had always been, on a technical level, that you can only get better by playing against the best. The results against NBA teams have proved this to be true. By playing with them you improve. There have even been cases when the Americans have not won the top international tournaments or the Olympics.

All of this is proof that you need all the top basketball players. They attract spectators, they attract media and press, and at the end of the day, they attract money.


Not money for me or for FIBA, but money to develop and improve the sport of basketball worldwide.

From FIBA



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