Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
1. Looking at your draft review, I see you were one of the guys that wanted the Kings to select Ricky Rubio. Tell us what you do and don't like about what you got and if you'd still deal Kevin Martin for Rubio.
I think a lot of people were more shocked than upset at the selection of Tyreke Evans, including myself. I watched Evans at Memphis quite a bit and thought he'd be a really nice player in the league, but, I still think we made a mistake passing on Rubio. The way the Kings roster is built, guys like Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson, and Kevin Martin all need to be set up for shots and that's something Rubio could have done with ease. Despite what a lot of people are saying, I really don't view Evans as a point guard even with his great ball handling skills but his ability to break down defenders one on one is a welcome addition to a team that had no ability to do that. With all of that said, I would personally walk Kevin Martin to Minnesota in exchange for Rubio. With Rubio, Evans, Greene, Thompson, and Hawes the Kings would have one of if not the youngest team in the league with such promise.
2. From a cap standpoint, the Kings only have a guaranteed payroll of about $47 million. Do you expect any activity in free agency, or do you think this team will stay young going into next season?
I actually made a mistake in my numbers and forgot to add in Mikki Moore's guaranteed 2 million dollar buyout situation the Kings are stuck with, so after playing with the numbers it looks like the Kings will have around 7 million in cap space to play with assuming the NBA salary cap drops this season as expected. With only 7 million dollars available, Bobby Jackson still unsigned, and Rashad McCants and Ike Diogu on qualifying offers, the Kings might not have any cap space if they bring back those three players. So, I don't expect anything large action in free agency this season. I do however expect them to look into trading Andres Nocioni and Kenny Thomas' 8 million dollar expiring contract.
3. Let's assume that the Kings don't change anything about their current point guard situation. Since this team is in a rebuilding stage, is it okay having Beno Udrih, Sergio Rodriguez and a combo guard in Tyreke Evans? While I know you'd like to have Rubio, I'm sure you could deal with that as the team develops.
In all honesty, we don't have much of a choice this season. Hopefully Evans will surprise us all and be more a point guard and floor general than we think, but I highly doubt it at this time. One thing with Beno - he did NOT get along with with Kenny Natt so it'll be interesting to see how well he and Paul Westphal get along and if it improves his game. Beno did play pretty well when Reggie Theus was coaching (as evidenced by that horrible contract he got) so we're crossing our fingers; it was more of a issue between player and coaching style than Beno playing over his head for 25-30 games during the Mike Bibby injury.
4. In the limited time that I saw the Kings last season, one of the guys I really liked was Spencer Hawes (if you haven't seen him play, watch this incredible mix). He's only 21 and a solid, young big man. I see a young Gasol, but a more athletic version and an even better shooter. Where does he need to improve and could he become an All-Star at some point in his career?
Spencer has spent a great deal of time working with specialists and at the University of Washington this off-season on his post moves, which is the one area he really needs to improve on. Like most young players, his footwork in the post needs help. Despite getting the "goofy white stiff" reputation in the media, he's actually far from that. He's not the most mobile guy but he can run the court extremely well and he has a great ability to recover and block shots from behind. He's still 21, so, his confidence can be a bit shaky at times but there is no denying the talent is there to be an all around big man in the league. If he ever does add a legit post game, he'll become a serious threat in the league when combined with his outside game.
5. Where do you see this team in five years? You think they still be in Sac Town then and how good will the team be?
With California having the financial issues they're having, keeping the Kings in Sacramento is going to be one tough process. The Kings do need a new arena in the worst way and getting the state and/or city to pay for it has been like pulling teeth. I'm not sure why the Maloofs (with all of the business ventures and contacts they have) haven't been able to strike their own deal and pay for it themselves (much like the San Francisco Giants did with real estate investments). The Kings do have a very preliminary agreement with the state that was passed a few months ago that gives them one year to fine a developer for the Cal Expo arena plan, but with California's budget woes - it's not looking good. As far as the actual talent on this team, it really is going to depend on the progress the players make. Tyreke Evans looks like a sure thing, Jason Thompson and Spencer Hawes both did well this past season, and the Kings really improved their coaching staff. They're going to need to develop a bench in due time and hope Donte Greene emerges as a good player but the Kings do have some talent in the making. Let's not forget Kevin Martin did miss a good portion of the season this past year (and the time he did play he was never himself) so the Kings really weren't a 17 win ballclub. By no stretch were they a playoff contender but 25-28 wins would not have been out of the question. If the expectations from the youth pull through, the Kings should be back in the playoff picture year in, year out in 5 years.
6. Since the Kings had the worst record in the league last year, do you find it hard to be a Kings fan? Do you ever take heat from people about being a Kings fan?
It seems like it's a constant disappointment to be a Kings fan...so it can be hard, but I've been rooting for them since I was a kid and they were lucky to win 25 games a year. Most people assume since one is a Kings fan, they've only rooted for them since the Webber era but I've been a diehard since I was about 6 years old. I think I've started to bleed purple.
7. I've seen a couple funny prank videos come from the Kings in the past. Which one is your favorite and talk about how much and fun and chemistry this team has amassed.
The chemistry this team has off the court is great - I wish they'd be able to copy it onto the court though. lol. But they're definitely a funny bunch off the court. The most popular videos were the popcorn in the car videos, which were hilarious as well as the videos from the Donte' Greene show but I think the best moment was Jason Thompson's brand new Escalade was filled with popcorn. Everybody knew what went down other than JT, and Spencer Hawes comes out of the practice facility on the phone to the car dealership (pretending to be Jason Thompson) going "Oh dang, popcorn is the S'Calade...popcorn in the S'Calade...I got loads of popcorn is the whip son".
8. Do you know where Kevin Martin got that crazy shot of his and have you ever tried to emulate it? Being a pretty good three point shooter myself, I find it funny how these crazy looking shots are so consistent
As ugly as that shot is, it's actually got a near perfect release. How he ever gets the shot off though without it being blocked is one of the great mysteries of man.
9. Since the Kings fans are so great, how many down years do you think they can endure?
You know, we can deal with the losing for a while...we understand it takes time to rebuild. All we ask is that the players on the court go out there every night and play with heart and passion. In the past few seasons, other than Ron Artest and Mikki Moore, the Kings really lacked guys that would lay it all on the line...but the new collection of talent really has shown a different desire for the game and it's a nice change. I think Jason Thompson spent more time on the floor going for loose balls last season than Brad Miller did during his entire Sacramento career. Give us a reason to pull for you, and we will. Sacramento is one of the most loyal fan bases in sports.
10. Give your expectations for next season in one sentence.
It's going to be a season full of growing pains, but I think we'll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember to check out A Royal Pain! Thanks again, Bryan!
- The Scores Report. The top restricted free agents for this summer.
- Dime Mag. Episode six of Johnny Flynn's draft diary, he takes you through most of draft day.
- Waiting For Next Year. New Shaq Cavs jerseys, anyone?
- Examiner. Great little look at the upcoming LeBron movie, More Than a Game. It's coming out October 2nd.
- Bullets Forever. A little talk about the potential of Andray Blatche.
- Rockin' Steady. The last chapter of Stephen A. Smith draft heckling. Have your tissues prepared!
- The Hoop Doctors. Kobe Bryant talks to MTV about how Michael Jackson influenced his life (his time stops at 2:30 in the video).
- Yahoo! Sports. Things don't sound great for Yao Ming and Rockets fans.
- Basketball Fiend. Looking for a basketball fix? Check this out, the Fiend talks about Gunnin' For That #1 Spot, a basketball documentary you can watch free on Hulu.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
- Yahoo! Sports. Knicks and Grizz talking trade? Lots of other rumors, also.
- Nike Basketball. If you understand Spanish, all these Meet the Rubio videos could be entertaining.
- The No Look Pass. Tim Duncan featured in a graphic novel. Make sure you get yours.
- Truth About It. Brendan Haywood no like poets!
- King James Gospel. Tarence Kinsey was charged with a DUI. It happened not far from the town I live in!
- Project Spurs. Hopefully the Spurs don't pick up guys like this, Jeff gives the top 3 worst Spurs draft picks.
- Steady Burn. Six teams that should go back to their old logos (three are NBA teams).
- Examiner. Robert Horry is now going into reality TV. I bet he'll still be clutch.
- RealGM. Sounds like KG's knee is doing good.
- Talk Hoops. Great Truehoop Network style Hardwood Paroxyzm style podcast.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Although it does sound like a good deal, and that many Philadelphia fans, including the man who wrote that article for Philly.com, want to see Dalembert go, it will mess up the cap even more for the Sixers as it will add two million dollars more to the cap.
And also, the Sixers can get someone at the 17th pick that's very valuable. Probably someone like Tyler Hansbrough for a change. The Sixers announced they liked Ty Lawson and they don't want to risk their chance of losing him because they do have a possible chance of getting him at the 17th pick.
We never what may happen, but maybe that Bobcats trade may actually work. It may happen. Time will tell and NBA fans will wait.
1. Are you over the whole TMac situation? You talked about the options the Rockets have with him, but which one do you want to see happen? How many good years does he have in him? Are you so over the whole thing that you don't even want to answer?
I'm not over it just yet. I think he needs to come back and prove himself to be valuable for us to keep him past the trade deadline. Not only that, but he must prove that he can adjust his game to fit into Rick Adelman's offense. There is no doubt that a healthy McGrady is a huge asset to our team. The only problem may have to do with team chemistry. He needs to have a much more consistent season. If there are too many roadblocks, I expect us to move him by the trade deadline. If all goes well, you may see him with us through the end before his contract is up.
2. The Rockets always show a lot of fight and grit when they play. While I love watching that, I know that unless TMac is 100%, this is probably not a team that can win the title. What needs to happen for them to make that move up? Is it a trade, or is it just continued development?
We need a very good and quick wing player, as well as a backup center. If McGrady can play the wing with some explosiveness, that's great. If not, look for us to be active in 2010 to try to find someone. I suggested Joe Johnson - he would be the cheapest, youngest option available. Ron Artest and Shane Battier are great, but we need more quickness and explosiveness. The only Rocket who can really throw down at this point is Von Wafer (James White and Joey Dorsey need to get some minutes before I add them to the list).
3. Aaron Brooks had a coming out party in the playoffs. I was amazed by his quickness and his jump shooting ability, especially when they blew out the Lakers a couple times. What is the next step he has to take? What parts of his game need the most work?
He's not really a point guard yet. He's closer than most people think, but he needs to really make the effort to become a great passer instead of doing it because the position asks it of him. There were too many forced shots and lazy passes of his that can be eliminated. He's got all the ability in the world - he just needs to become smarter. Experience helps in that respect.
4. Once the draft is over and done with, the focus will shift to free agency. Crazy idea: would Allen Iverson be a free agent the Rockets should pick up? What I'm thinking is he could be a dynamic scorer off the bench. A guy you might be able to get at a bit of a bargain. Kyle Lowry is a solid backup point, but could AI be the key to a title run?
I don't want Iverson anywhere near Houston. Great player - one of the best scoring guards of all time, but he's not the type of player that we would want on our team. Giving him a boatload of money would handicap our contract situation as well as our future. Yao is almost 30, T-Mac is over 30, and Ron Artest is near 30. We need to start thinking about the future as well as the present. Adding AI would do nothing to address the coming 4-5 years.
5. With no picks in the draft, is there any prospects you'd like to trade for and add to the Rockets? The guy that strikes me as a Rocket is Dejuan Blair, because of his tough, gritty attitude. On the plus side, the Rockets picked a pretty weak draft not to have a pick. Smart move.
You're right, it's not deep at all. I wouldn't want Blair simply because we already have too many Blairs. We love toughness, we love grittiness, but we need some athleticism too. If we see someone we like in the 20s, we may go for him, but I expect us to look at shooting guards in the early second round to push James White. Someone like Wayne Ellington. I can't really think of too many names at this point, because there are not that many.
6. This question was submitted by the Basketball Fiend via Twitter (here's my profile): Who has been Yao's closest teammate over the years?
Yao's closest teammate? Hmm. I've really got no clue. In the good times, he has been close to McGrady, at least from what I can see. I'll assume that he and Shane Battier are friends, if only because they are two of the smartest and classiest human beings you'll find anywhere. Unless of course the whole "opposites attract" rule comes into play and they get bored talking to each other. But that's unlikely.
7. I could go all day about how ugly Chuck Hayes free throw is. I understand offense is foreign to him, but do the Rockets not have a shooting coach? Do you close your eyes everytime he gets fouled in the act of shooting?
For whatever reason, Chuck Hayes will always end up with the ball when the shot clock nears zero. You'll get the occasional floater or even (gasp) jump shot from him every few games or so. He's actually quite the lay-up artist, and he has a decent hook shot in the lane. I've seen Chuck warm up before games, and I've seen him make about five or six three pointers in a row. It's not that he can't shoot - he just doesn't have the same rhythm and timing that other players have. He doesn't focus on offense, because if he did, he may only raise his scoring average by four or five points. Instead, he focuses on improving his defense, which is what gets him paid. I love watching him shoot free throws, because unless Rick Adelman is asleep during the fourth (which has happened before), he won't be in the game when it matters. Cheap entertainment if you ask me.
8. Another question from Twitter, from an Australian basketball fan, DJ Rod: are the Rockets planning on getting their 2nd round pick from two years ago, Brad Newley, to add to their NBA roster this season?
Ah yes, Brad Newley. Daryl Morey actually had a chat this morning with our friends at Sports Radio 1560, and he touched on the importance of storing players overseas in the hope that they may one day develop (like Luis Scola, for example). I don't see Newley having a future as a Rocket, because we have better options. I did like the pick when we made it, but I just don't see us paying him any money that we could pay someone else.
9. With Yao Ming's long injury history, do you think his body allows him to play a whole season healthy? If not, how much is Yao worth if he can't stay healthy?
Yao played in 85 games this season, including the playoffs. I don't know if you can ask much more of him. He played in 82 games per season for his first couple of years before having a few unlucky injuries (knee-bumps). He's a health risk, but it's not like he's really that fragile. Of course, I would like the Rockets to sign a dependable backup center just in case, but if we can see 70-80 games out of Yao for the next few years, that would be fantastic. And really, how many centers in the NBA play more than 70-75 games year in and year out?
10. The Lakers would say ring when they huddled up after games and practices. If you had to create a couple word motto for the Rockets, similar to that one, what would it be?
11. Hot-seat time: how far do the Rockets next season? Western conference finals, what?
Sadly, it all depends on health once again. I think we can certainly reach the WCF. At best, we make it to the NBA Finals behind a rejuvenated McGrady. At worst, we lose in the second round. That's my call.
Thanks, Tom. I especially love the answer to number 10. Remember to check out The Dream Shake for all your Rockets fix. Also I need to thank DJ Rod and the Basketball Fiend for their questions. They submitted them via Twitter.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
Monday, June 22, 2009
- WaitingForNextYear. LeBron is doing a lot of talking through his T-Shirts now a days.
- Epic Carnival. The 10 most entertaining NBA players of all-time.
- Basketball Fiend. Do’s and Don’ts: The 2009 NBA Draft Edition.
- MLB. Kobe reacts to a double play at a Dodgers game. "WOW."
- NBAdraft.net. They have been doing team needs posts by divison. This one is for the Pacific divison. Checkout this and the other great content from NBAdraft.net (since the draft is three days away).
- Inside Hoops. The Las Vegas Summer League is starting July 10th and going until the 19th. They have the schedule posted if you are making the trip.
- True Hoop. This is a very well done piece on Earl Clark.
- SI.com. Since there are so many backcourt prospects in this draft, why not catch some highlights of them.
- The Hoop Doctors. Top 10 dunks of the 09 playoffs (I noticed one is not because Kobe didn't have Smush Parker on his team this year).
Sunday, June 21, 2009
So what about the 2010 version? They are very similar, except they've got a strap in the middle of them. I don't hate the strap, but I certainly don't love it. I'd say the black colorway of these shoes is fine, but the other colorways (check them out) are not really that nice.
I was kind of torn between not liking them at all to being okay with them. I need to see them up close and personal before I would pull the trigger.
Runner-up: Nike Zoom Kobe IV Draft Day
Hornets fans, get your anger out with these. Just think if Kobe would not have been traded and came to your squad. That's what these shoes are all about- draft day.
Nike has released so many limited edition versions of these. This is another. I like them, but if I'm a Lakers fan looking for Kobe shoes, this isn't the colorway for me. I'd look for another colorway. Nike has released TONS.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Some great players have only been turned mortal because of injuries. It's plagued players like Grant Hill, Gilbert Arenas and Tracy McGrady. Each one of them are All-Stars in terms of talent; but injuries have slowed them down. Grant Hill is onto something though. He joined the Suns.
The Suns are known for their excellent training staff. Guys that play for them rarely have injuries (how Steve Nash injuries can you remember?). Grant Hill went from missing entire seasons, to playing an entire 82 game season with the Suns. You can't tell me that's not something the Suns training staff did right.
I also remember when Shaq was traded to the Suns. He had tons of problems with injuries in Miami. The Suns gave him specific exercises to strengthen areas where he was weak (as Shaq worded it, his gluteus maximus). Now, Shaq has once again found the fountain of youth and he had a great season; despite the Suns struggles.
So Shaq and Grant Hill's success without injury in Phoenix got me thinking: could playing for the Suns be the key to fountain of youth?
I think it's the closest thing the NBA has to a fountain of youth. Every player I can think of that's gone there has improved their stability throughout the season. If other guys can do it, why not trade guys like McGrady and Arenas there to try it out?
Call it a test program, Stern. If healthy, those guys could make the current Suns roster a title winning team. That's the difference that health for these stars could make.
I'm not saying the Suns have the key to making it so players never get injured again. All I'm saying is that they do a great job at keeping their guys healthy. Other teams need to steal their training methods. If teams like the Rockets and Wizards could do this, you'd have two more teams with a lot more firepower.
This video gives you a little idea of what the training staff does:
I have to add Amar'e Stoudemire as an exception. He does have an injury history (knee problems, and most recently an eye problem). I'm not sure why, but he is the only exception I can think of. Hopefully the Suns training staff can work their magic on him for next season.
I would like to see how guys like Gilbert Arenas and TMac could do with the Suns. They would probably be much healthier and get their bodies in better condition for long careers. I'm not saying create a Suns dynasty, but I'm just thinking of the possibilities!
I want to see what you all think of this. Could All-Stars with injury problems thrive in Phoenix? Why or why not?
Thursday, June 18, 2009
- Celtics Blog. One GM finally gets brutally honest about this years draft.
- Truth About It. Javale McGee shows off his workout plan.
- Project Spurs. Where were you when the Spurs won the title back in 1999?
- Docksquad Sports. Shawn Marion posts a 12 second video from a Cubs game.
- InsideHoops. New trade rumor of the day: Al Jefferson for Amar'e Stoudemire.
- Total Pro Sports. Video of the day! These are CRAZY basketball shots!
- HEAT.com. NBA hopeful Jack McClinton talks about his workout with the Heat.
- Google News. Former NBA player is helping fight crime by sending tips!
Overall I'd say the event was a huge success. Everyone was ready to network and talk about the field. The panels were entertaining for the most part. I learned to just work harder than everyone else and try to see what other bloggers are doing and use that to develop my own style.
I want to thank Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm. He was really nice and is going to help me become a better blogger. More on how in time. I also have give big thanks Jeff Garcia of Project Spurs. He knew the area and helped a little in that regard. He also was just real cool and made the conference better.
Adam Best, Fansided
Michael De Leon, Project Spurs
Jimmy Castro, The No-Look Pass
Rey-Rey, The No-Look Pass
Zach Harper, Talk Hoops
John Fischer, In Lou We Trust (it's about hockey, but dude's nice)
Lenny aka Houroc, Hail Mary Jane
The Bloguin Network People
HHR Media Group
I'm sorry if I missed you (comment to be added on), but I just want to once again thank everyone involved with making this event happen! See you in Vegas? I hope so!
Thanks, But The Game Is On!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
The Lakers won their 15th NBA Title in franchise history, and it's number four for Kobe Bryant and his first without the Diesel.
But you see that picture up there? He is holding four fingers up, isn't he?
Well, now he is going to have to hold is thumb up next year, I bet, because the Lakers are going to be the team to beat and may go to the Finals again next year.
With a little help from John Hollinger of ESPN on his research with all the big stats, I have all the details to give with statistics backing it up:
The Lakers won an NBA Championship without doing anything right. Pau Gasol was being soft all year but only brought it up a little notch. As I have said in one of my article about Gasol not being soft anymore, he was still a little soft.
And then there was Andrew Bynum, who was horrible throughout the whole span of the NBA Playoffs. Hollinger found out that he only scored 30 points and had 21 fouls in just the NBA Finals. That is four fouls per game!
And remember Jordan Farmar and Shannon Brown. They were supposed to help the aging 34-year-old veteran of Derek Fisher, but it turned out that Fisher was the one who was helping out Farmar and Brown.
And Farmar and Brown looked the guys who were aging as well.Fisher didn't play very well, shooting 39.3 percent of his shots and being 28.4 percent from the three-point line. Even though those aren't very good stats, Fisher did average eight points per game and made some huge shots in Game Four of the NBA Finals.
But really, it didn't matter about stats for Fisher, as he won his fourth NBA Title.
Then you got Sasha Vujacic, who was the man who made all the shots, especially the ones from downtown as he shot 43.7 percent from behind-the-arc in 2007, which got him an extension (and don't forget the $15M!).
But in the NBA Finals, Vujacic didn't even exist and was supposed to remove the hard-fought double-teams from number 24 and Mr. Softie (Pau Gasol). Vujacic failed. And remember when I just said he didn't even exist in the NBA Finals, well...he didn't. In the last seven games, he played a total of only 33 minutes!
That is about playing five minutes per game!
And guess what made it worse? He never made one single shot in the NBA Finals, as John Hollinger has reported.
But who gives? They won the NBA Finals but here is the biggest question for next year: can they repeat, and also, are they the team to beat next year? Last year, when Boston won, they were the team to beat, but unfortunately, they lost James Posey and some other guys and lost KG for a little while during the year. They were NOT the team to beat. That year, it was Cleveland, and they failed to reach their mark.
The Lakers are now the team to beat at the starting of the year, or so I have been told. But how can they? They have to key players, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza, who are going into free agency and it doesn't look like they can sign both (Shannon Brown, too, but I don't think they'll need him).
Even if they can't sign on of them, or both, Adam Morrison and Luke Walton will have to step up their game as they both have one year left of their contracts, as Hollinger reported.
Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher will be the only starters next year who will be older than 30 in the lineup. Kobe, who will be turning 31, is in outstanding shape while Fisher still has it after he will be turning 35. We don't if Fisher might retire though.
But hey, if you got a guy who can do this at a pretty old age, I think LA can keep him for about another two years or so.
For all we know, the Lakers can repeat but it will be tough. They might be losing three important guys: Trevor Ariza, Lamar Odom, and Shannon Brown. The Lakers have to somehow bring Ariza back for the sake of the 2009-2010 season next year.
If they keep Ariza, they could be the team to beat. Ariza was known for his top-notch steals in the Western Conference Finals, and his big three-pointers in the NBA Finals. If Ariza stays, Phil Jackson could win eleven titles.
And if the Lakers keep playing like they do, after finally winning a championship with the Diesel, big ol' Phil can win about three more titles for his Los Angeles Lakers.
And back to the picture up there. Kobe, it's time to put your thumb up soon.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Why? Because they are that mainstream media that sucks and needs to let great people ask hard questions! That was rant worthy!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
The Magic played great in Game Three of the NBA Playoffs.
Mikael Pietrus was owning the Lakers D, while Rashard Lewis was doing what he does best: three-point shooting.
So I, with a little help from John, will see the struggling defense of this Magic squad.
But it could be like what Bull4Ever said on one of my recaps when the Magic beat the Lakers, 108-104:
I'm sensing just another Dallas/Miami Finals, if y’all ask me, where
Orlando comes from down 2-0 and winning this series in six. And we all know
Orlando will win tonight no matter what happens during the next 3
I could agree.
But if the Magic keep doing what they are doing with their defense, it WILL cost them an NBA Finals title.