Un 13 de enero de 1999 decía adiós al baloncesto (aunque no de forma definitiva) un jugador que se convirtió en la esencia misma de este deporte, uno capaz de hacernos creer en lo imposible, el icono del baloncesto por excelencia, ese que le dio vida y misticismo al número 23, el incomparable Michael Jordan.
Parece que fue ayer cuando Michael Jeffrey Jordan llegó a la NBA procedente de la Universidad de North Carolina, por esas cosas que solo el destino puede explicar los Rockets y Blazers no lo escogieron en el draft y su casa terminó siendo los Chicago Bulls, equipo que convirtió en leyenda, en un referente histórico del deporte de los aros.
‘La línea del suicidio’. Así deberían llamar ahora a la línea de tiros libres cuando jueguen los Lakers.
Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan y otras leyendas del baloncesto han dicho en más de una ocasión que ningún equipo puede ser campeón si no mete sus tiros libres. Mike D’Antoni, Dwight Howard y algunos más deberían poner mucha atención a esa frase y comenzar a hacer algo al respecto.
Los Lakers no están jugando bien, pero con tanto talento sobre la cancha, logran ganar partidos sin estar en su mejor momento. Las victorias se definen por individualidades o errores ajenos, lo cual no es bueno, pero son triunfos que se agradecen a final de temporada.
Playing basketball is a game of skill and substance. Sometimes when a skill is heightened, the ability to be flashy and a showman can come out of a player. Most of the time its unnecessary, but when its totally necessary and executed flawlessly? That’s a player of pure substance and elite skill.
There’s nothing worse in this world than being average as a basketball. Your team is good enough to not be shamed in front of your home fans by the worst teams in the league, but when a team worth a damn stands in your way, you fold like a lawn chair. Is this a team that’s on the rise, building towards a championship? Or is your team on the decline, ready for an overhaul of sorts? Battling for an 8th season can be fun for a team on the rise, but always teetering on the playoff mendoza line for years on end is a tireless exercise in futility. Average futility.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your 2009-12 Houston Rockets. With a 119-111 record over three years, just missing the playoffs year after year, and a roster full of promising young players and cagey veterans, the team has been one part overachieving and one part mediocre.
So David Stern is finally stepping down as NBA commissioner. He said so on Thursday.
Two things here. It’s about time, and can he quit before he announced when he said he would, Feb. 1, 2014?
Commissioners in general, sports commissioners, have complexes about the power they have. Look at Roger Goodell of the NFL. But at least Goodell has a firm hand and doesn’t have his authority undermined, even if he might have gone a little overboard on the Saints suspensions and let the replacements stay for too long.
Stern is just too much. He’s pompous, ultra-sensitive and has been involved in too many controversies in the NBA. And on Thursday, he made it all about himself, announcing that Feb. 1, 2014, would be his last official day as commissioner because it would mark 30 years for him in that position.
As the Brooklyn Nets look to begin their first season fresh off a relocation from New Jersey to one of the five boroughs in New York City, everything’s going to feel brand new. New uniforms. New stadiums. New players. New fans. New expectations. Yet, there’s an old reliable hanging amidst the shiny new toys under the roof of the Barclays Center.
His name is Brook Lopez. 24 years old, and entering his fifth season in the NBA, all with the Nets.
Lopez is viewed as a bit of an enigma around the Association. He’s viewed as a prototype NBA center, 7-feet tall and 260-plus pounds, you couldn’t create a better sized center on the video game. He’s also viewed as a soft player, one who lacks the ability to rebound worth a damn and command respect from other teams. For the first three seasons, he was extremely durable. Lopez played in 251 consecutive games, starting in 244 of them. Then Lopez suffered a season-ending injury with a stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of his right foot and the questions changed from when would Lopez come back into will Lopez be a member of the Nets long-term.
I never thought the day would come when I would be associating Brooklyn with a major professional team until I stepped inside the Barclays Center last Monday night.
The crazy NYC traffic on a Saturday night denied me the chance to check out the Barclays Center for Jay-Z’s last show, so I had to patiently wait out a couple extra days to check it out.
Even after covering three preseason games last week, I still can’t believe an NBA team calls the Barclays Center its home. The new arena is actually standing on the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, near the area where the Brooklyn Dodgers were supposed to build a ballpark before bolting to Los Angeles, leaving the city and its fans heartbroken.
Reports have surfaced just outside of Akron, Ohio that their hometown hero and his main opponent during the 2012 NBA Finals have been working out with each other to prepare for the beginning of the 2012-13 season.Yes, LeBron James and Kevin Durant are both in northeast Ohio training going through what they call “Hell Week,” an intense twice-a-day workout regiment facilitated by LeBron’s trainer, Mike Mancias. This is now the second year in a row they’ve done this and they’ve actually dubbed the getaway as “Hell Week 2.”
While the two seem chummy about the situation, even tweeting with pride about their joint workouts, many have cried foul about this type of endeavor. The two have now been pitted against each other as rivals and the thought of the two being cordial and friendly isn’t something that’s taken kindly by fans in the NBA. Especially in an era where there are more hugs and hand slaps taking place after the game than a family reunion.
The 2012-13 NBA season opener is just 60 days away.
Just think about that for a second. Just a few weeks ago, we were putting the final touches on Team USA beating up on Spain in the Gold Medal game of the 2012 Olympics in London. About six weeks before that, we had the 2012 NBA Draft as Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist were introduced to The Association. Three days before that, LeBron James led us on a roller-coaster ride of an NBA playoffs that finished off with his Miami Heat winning a five-game series over Kevin Durant and the young guns of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The 2012-13 NBA season opener is just 60 days away.
The NBA settled down in in New Jersey earlier this week and unveiled their revamped “Rookie Transition Program,” where the newest class of NBA rookies get to sit in a classroom and learn what the life and times will be like off the court for NBA players like AnthonyDavis and Thomas Robinson. From talking about learning how to properly tie a double-windsor knot to thinking about not being able to play basketball long-term, its good to see the NBA being proactive with these types of conversations with the newest members of their labor force.
The Gasol family tree keeps sprouting big men destined to play basketball apparently.
Adria Gasol, the 18-year-old youngest brother of Spanish national team members and NBA big men Pau and Marc Gasol, made the decision to enroll at UCLA and will walk-on to the basketball team for 2013. Per a UCLA spokesman, Adria Gasol will begin practicing with the team after the Bruins return from their exhibition tour of China in September.
The representation of what the future generations of basketball players could be the essence of Jordan Brand’s latest commerical, “This Is Where It Starts.”
I can remember growing up as a young wannabe hooper. Playing first on my neighbor’s driveway basketball as a child, playing on the goal more than he did. I can remember getting on my bike and riding across town to where we thought the best basketball was played. This was in Lawton, Oklahoma, and that ride was about 20 minutes to the Eastside of town. It was a big deal for young Ed.
For kids growing up in this generation and beyond, the concept of playing the best competition is a global thought process. It started back in ‘92 with the Dream Team transcending what global hoops could be, spreading the basketball gospel to all walks of the Earth. Now in 2012, we’ve got AAU-Select teams that take trips all across the country, and sometimes across the world, to play the world’s best prepsters.