Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Players file unfair labor charge against NBA

From Yahoo! Sports:

"NEW YORK (AP)—The NBA players’ association filed an unfair labor charge against the league Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, a move it hopes could block a lockout it feels owners want.

The players union says the NBA hasn’t bargained in good faith, has made financial demands without offering concessions to the players, and has bypassed the union to deal directly with players.

The charge filed with Region 2 of the NLRB seeks “an injunction against the NBA’s unlawful bargaining practices and its unlawful lockout threat.”"

Read Full Story

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Make David Stern's Day

David Stern recently warned coaches and players to stop criticizing officials. And he said that "if someone wants to me in the rest of this playoffs, you know, make my day." Stern said that these individuals' "corrosive" comments will make the consumer confidence drop. Stern already looked like a fool with the Tim Donaghy issue...and now this?

Fix the source of the problem commish!!! Coaches and players wont complain this much if your referees do a good job officiating. And consumer confidence won't drop because of comments against the official. Consumer confidence will drop because your referees make WRONG calls. I don't understand why referees don't get fined when they are the ones who are making the DUMB calls. The coaches and players are simply telling the truth.

I really hope NBA fans could flood Stern's email and let him know how stupid of a warning he sent out.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ben Gordon-Bulls Breakup

Bad news for the Chicago Bulls organization.

Ben Gordon, who led the team in scoring for four years now, has signed a 5-year, $55 million offer from division rivals, the Detroit Pistons.

The Bulls were an up-and-coming team with a bright future. Despite having a core that had not yet hit its prime, and a rookie franchise player/point guard and head coach, this team snuck into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the seventh seed and gave the defending champion Boston Celtics a scare. They had the rookie of the year, and one who is envisioned by many to be a perennial all-star someday soon, in Derrick Rose. They had a frontline of second-year Joakim Noah and third-year Tyrus Thomas. This was a team that was looking forward to the return of starting forward Luol Deng, who missed the end of the regular season and the playoffs. They had two draft picks in 2009 draft, too.

Now, the future doesn't look much of anything. Not that this team is going to stink next season, no. It's just that, you're not really sure where the franchise is headed at the moment. Sure, they're bringing back a solid group with Rose, Noah, Thomas, Deng, Kirk Hinrich, John Salmons, Brad Miller and maybe #16 pick James Johnson. That's not a bad team. But it doesn't have the same kick without the pintsized 20-point scorer, Gordon.

To be fair, Bulls fans should've seen this coming. We endured two, three years of negotiations with Gordon, when he turned down offers of $50 and $54 million the previous two offseasons. We heard the rumors that the Pistons made an $11 million promise to Ben. We knew we could keep him if really wanted to; Gordon stated he wanted to remain a Bull. But we also knew the price had to be right, and the price the organization wanted and the price Gordon wanted would be far apart.

Now, resigning Gordon would've meant compromising some flexibility in 2010. Only time will tell whether the Bulls did the right thing by not overcommitting to Gordon. Rashard Lewis was overpaid, too, but look where that brought the Orlando Magic.

If there was a plan behind this - if keeping Gordon meant giving up on a solid plan that the organization was working towards, then I can live with this decision. Say, a plan to trade for Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudemire and have the flexibility to resign them and add another free agent next year. But if the plan is to let Ben walk and see if this current roster can win without him, then this would be a very sad loss.

Thing is, only time will tell. Much like the seemingly sound Billups-for-Iverson trade of Joe Dumars, we can only really judge this in retrospect. If Rose and Amare take the team to the playoffs, we'll look back on this day with kindness. But man, this is going to suck if this turns out to be a step back for the Bulls; not after the strides it took last season.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Melo has Arrived

In 2003, the basketball world was anticipating the arrival of two young stars-to-be in the NBA. Some even dubbed this duo as the next Larry Bird-Magic Johnson rivalry. A high school phenom that has a more NBA ready body than half of the league, and a college freshman that carried his team to the National Championship. Their names are LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. But after a year of pitting these two against each other, Melo disappeared. LeBron James continued to wow the basketball world. He would be included in MVP talks with Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade, while Melo would fail to make the All-Star team every season. The rivalry was dead.

The NBA wants to see a Kobe-LeBron finals. But after seeing how Denver is playing this post-season, I think it is better for the NBA to see a Melo-Bron showdown. This is what they were dreaming of in 2003. And it is not like Carmelo is just chillin' like he did the past post-seasons. He is dominating the playoffs...especially the Lakers. If not for 2 bad plays by Denver in the end game of Game 1, the Nuggets might have been up 2-0 right now. Chauncey Billups has been a big reason for Denver's success, but in my opinion, its Carmelo's decision to be a "Superstar" that changed Denver's attitude. Now, the series is tied at 1 apiece. The series shifts back to Denver where Carmelo will announce to the people that he has arrived.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rubio to Enter 2009 Draft

Ricky Rubio's agent said that the Spanish Sensation will enter this year's NBA Draft. Rubio will have until June 15 to withdraw his name from the draft. However, his agent sounded confident that he's staying in.

Rubio has been in the No.2 spots of most of the draft sites online. Rubio showed in the last Olympics that he can play with NBA point guards such as Chris Paul and Derron Williams.

Rubio has been a starter in the European League since he was just 16 years old.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Bulls Are Going All Out in Playoff Push

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Chicago Bulls were struggling in holding on to the 9th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Yes, they were actually defending a spot that isn't worth anything. Fast forward to today, and the Bulls are now 7th in the East playoff picture with a realistic chance of catching up with the Miami Heat. The Bulls won their 6th game in 7 tries by beating...the Heat. Dwyane Wade's 31 points was no match to a Bulls team that had 6 players in double figures. John Salmons top scored for the Bulls once again as he is beginning to make the Bulls front office look good by acquiring him during the trade deadline. Since the arrival of Salmons and fellow former King Brad Miller, Chicago's offense improved a lot in terms of flow. Miller's perimeter game and his ability to drive to the basket gives Rookie Sensation Derrick Rose so much options now. And at times when their offense didn't look pretty, they now have Salmons to give the ball to and create something out of nothing.

The Bulls have been playing inspired basketball lately because of the new acquisitions. But one thing was revealed lately during the Bulls' run -- Kirk Hinrich is still valuable to the Bulls. Some critics said that with Rose's arrival, Kirk was a dispensable player. Kirk has proven this to be a fallacy. Kirk has been the stabilizer of the Bulls lately when things get out of control. Plus, when D-Rose was sidelined because of his wrist, Kirk stepped in and gave Vinny Del Negro an All-Star performance at the point.

The Bulls' future is looking bright. So much brighter compared to 2 months ago. Plus with playoff experience just around the corner, I expect to see more maturity in the games of Derrick Rose, Tyrus Thomas, and Joakim Noah come opening night next season. The Bulls are still far from being a contender, but adding one key piece and some post-season experience for the team might just get the Bulls back to the glory days.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Thunder Bring The D without KD

The Oklahoma City Thunder franchise is defined by Kevin Durant. When they picked up 'Durantula' (hehe.. is that seriously going to stick?) as the #2 pick in last year's draft they immediately decided to build around him. The then-Seattle Supersonics traded away Ray Allen for someone who could fit better (essentially, Jeff Green) and let Rashard Lewis walk for nothing. So the fact that KD is their franchise guy probably needs no further establishing.

And the kid has responded, averaging 26 points and 6.6 rebounds per game this year. He's in the running for Most Improved honors this year, which is rare for players as highly regarded as this guy. Just goes to show how good he's been this year.

But advanced stats pundits have noticed that, well, for someone who's so important to his team, he's been kind of a detriment, especially on defense.

So I guess it's interesting to note that since he went down with an injury during the OKC-Dallas game last February 27, the Thunder have gone 4-1 without him. How? Well, they've held opponents down to 92, 87, 83 and 74 points in their four wins. That probably says good defense about as much as it says that the teams they beat kind of sucked (included Memphis, Washington and Philadelphia, a team that hasn't been very good of late).

They also played the last four without Durant's running mate Green (OKC is 3-1 without him on this stretch). The one loss was an 18 point blowout by the Hornets. Why? Chris Paul, probably. But here's another reason. Recent acquisition Thabo Sefolosha sat out the game.

I'm not saying Thabo is the savior of this squad (even though I've been a fan of his from his Bulls days), but he does have a rep for being a defensive stopper. And the team has been playing better defense of late. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Well, he has averaged a respectable 13.5 points and 7 boards, with 3 assists, 2 steals and 1.75 blocks. More importantly (maybe), he's accumulated a plus-minus of +58 in Durant's absence. That says something that the team plays so well when he's on the court.

Still KD is undoubtedly the cornerstone of this franchise. But two things could be worth noting. Thabo Sefolosha was a darn good pickup for the Thunder. And if Durant starts playing more defense, this could be a very dangerous team.