Archive for the ‘News’ Category

What a letdown! After a promising homestand at the Oracle Arena against 2 top-teams like Miami and Orlando (Golden State defeated Miami after being trailed by 17 in the 3rd quarter and hold their own against the Magic, losing only down to the wire), the Warriors tackled last night the 1st game of their road trip in Charlotte. So needless to say, considering the weakness of the Bobcats, that the expectations were high for Warriors’ fans! Actually, those hopes came to an abrupt end: the game turned out to be a real disaster for the team who, to put it mildly, got trashed. Down by 13 after the 1st quarter and down by 20 at halftime… and a final loss 112 – 100.

First and foremost, how can you expect to win a B-ball game when you let your opponent score 38 pts (yeah, 38 pts!) in the 1st quarter? When you don’t defend like that, you walk into a buzz saw and you just screw everything up. 112 pts for the Bobcats at the end of the game, not bad for a team who didn’t score in triple figure since 6 games, but luckily for them, the GSW came into town last night.

Second issue for the Warriors: Monta Ellis had an awful night, converting only 6 shoots outta 26 attempts. Maybe Monta’s worst game ever in his life? It sure looks like it! Bad shooting nights can happen to any player, but when his shot is off, Ellis doesn’t seem to be able to adapt his game and concentrate on other things that could help his team on the court: assists, rebounds, steals, positive attitude, strong defense, draw some fouls by driving to the basket instead of always trying to hit the mid-jumper or a 3 pt shot with 2 defenders stuck in his sneakers… I don’t know but there’s got to be a way not to be harmful for your own team when you are gifted with huge athletic skills like Ellis. No, he just kept shooting the ball and never tried to involve his teammates. When you hit your shots, it’s okay to play individually, but if you struggle on the offensive end, you got to figure out another way to help your team. For instance, you can defend like a leech, which he obviously forgot to do because his direct opponent, Kemba Walker, tallied 23 pts, his career record! Definitely a demoralizing night.

To wrap this article up, I’d like to point something out. Not that it really matters, but since the season kicked off, I’ve noticed coach Jackson always has his hands in his pockets… not a very inspiring attitude for his players in my opinion. I don’t know what message it can send to his players, but not a tough one, that’s for sure! When you’re a coach, you got to show some toughness and body language is truly fundamental.

Today, the team heads to Detroit to take on the Pistons who have also been struggling so far, so let’s hope GS can wipe the slate clean and come up with something good defensively-wise. As a general rule, wins can only stem from a strong defense, so that’d be a good start.

And please make sure the game isn’t already over at half-time… that’d be greatly appreciated!

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About time! Last tuesday, Marbury and the NY Knicks finally ended their feud and reached an agreement to part ways. And yesterday, Marbury signed with Boston for the remainder of the season. Just for the record, he played his very first game last night against the Pacers and tallied 8 points in about 13 minutes.

To be honest, this situation was more and more ludicrous over the weeks. As far as I can remember, any NBA player from my lifetime have had such a hard time to put an end to his contract. Both parts were adament on their own conditions.

Amazingly, I was mulling over Marbury’s plight the other day, and in my mind it was crystal clear Marbury wouldn’t play this season. Basically because the ongoing season was nearing so I felt entitled to think it was kind of unlikely that an agreement would be reached before the ending of the season.

Well, I guess I was dead wrong on this one, but you gotta admit nobody saw it coming! 

Anyway, now you got a title contender who is hugely reinforced by a former All-Star. Okay, the guy took a leave of absence for more than a year, didn’t play a single game in this timeline, but Marbury being – supposedly – out of shape doesn’t really matter right now. Boston will need all his basketball skills next spring, you know when the playoffs will be in full swing, so it leaves plenty of time for “Starbury” to get to know his teammates and recover all his physical stengths from there.

He’ll probably be coming off the bench throughout his first games, but I’m quite certain he’ll quickly be assigned at the point-guard position in a couple of weeks. Rajon Rando will have to ward off Marbury. Bur I’m sure Rando will do his best to prevent that from happening, besides if I’m not mistaken he matched his career-high with 17 assists last night!

 

I haven’t sticked around lately, and I thank you guys for being faithful to my blog. Anyway, I’d like to draw your attention on a new book who hit bookstores a couple weeks ago.

You guys are probably aware that Magic has just released his latest book. It’s entitled “32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business” and it looks like a page-turner. Back in the days, I read “My life” who I think was his very first book, and even if it wasn’t a mind-boggling book, it still was worth-reading.

I still didn’t get a chance to purchase his latest book, but I’m looking forward to doing so. I won’t read it on the spot, because actually I got a bunch of books awaiting to be read on my bookshelf (mainly some techno-thriller stuff…).

Maybe I’m dead wrong and this book is a crap one, I can’t say. But it’s not my point. My point is to underline how thriving Magic has been since leaving the NBA in ’96. If anything, you might state he’s as successful off the court nowadays than he was on the court back in the 80’s. And by sayin’ that, it speaks volumes about his current success!

Most of the former players don’t do half of what Magic did so far. They just settle for an easy life, doing basically nothing, apart from spending their money and playing golf.

Magic not only turned out to be an awesome businessman, but also did a great deal of things for his own community over the years. Off the top of my head, I think he hired something like 40.000 blacks people in his own business! For black people, who still remain in dire straits in the US, it’s kind of a blessing.

Of course it won’t change black folks’ plight in the US, especially when you think that former black athletes taking care of their own community are few and far between, but Earvin is definitely a rare and special person!

Unbelievable stories pop up every now and then. But this one involving Magic Johnson’s health is far from being laughable. Actually, I kinda went off the deep end when I read about it.

First of all, here are the names of the 2 infamous culprits: Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of KTLK radio in Minneapolis.

Those two morons just queried Magic’s health, saying his AIDS was faked all along. Just have a glance at the transcript:

Perry, “Like Magic with his faked AIDS. Magic faked AIDS.”

Baker said, “You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?”

Perry replied, “I’m convinced that Magic faked AIDS, because he’s the very first man to have recovered from AIDS.”

“Me too,” Baker said.

I think it’s pretty unsettling to read such foolishness. There’s no way in hell Magic faked his disease. I mean how in the world can you distrust a man who claims he’s having AIDS? And why would Magic have lied anyway? What’s the point? He was only 32 at the time and his career was ongoing.

Johnson reacted later and said he was baffled to hear a such thing, adding: “I poured my life into it and a lot of other people have poured their life into it, into getting out the right information so people can protect themselves and know what HIV and AIDS is all about.”

AIDS is a very serious issue and it’s an understatement to say those dudes aren’t the smartest tool in the shed. I assume they wanted to draw folk’s attention but it certainly wasn’t a very smart move to do.

I’ve been following J.J. Redick’s career ever since he played in College (Duke). At the time, he was downright a superstar over there. Think about it : the guy finished all-time leading scorer in Duke and the ACC, and even breaking the NCAA record for career 3 points made. He was typically a white basketball player: not very athletic, but very smart on the court with a great shooting skill… and without any tatooes! Plus, he stayed at the Uni until he was 22, and graduated suma cum laude. There’s a great deal of uneducated gangsta rappers-hiphop-oriented inhabiting the NCAA and the NBA, so it was kind of refreshing to see that.

Anyway, Redick subsequently got drafted by Orlando in ’06 (11th overall pick!) but his first two NBA seasons in the League turned out to be a tough experience. Saying he didn’t live up to the expectations is an understatement.

Two years ago, just before the draft I kept thinking his skinny frame and his lack of athletism  would be a major concern for his upcoming NBA career. Transitionning from College to the NBA isn’t an easy task so if you don’t beef up your body, you’re asking for trouble. That’s just the way it is.

You can’t only rely on your shooting skills forever : if it’s more than enough in College, being physically gifted is a mandatory condition to succeed in NBA. I remember reading press clippings dealing with how much Orlando staff kept warning him about that issue but he never really paid attention to it, probably thinking his shooting abilities will eventually do the trick, like it always did.

Redick was proved wrong and obviously he started to take the bull by the horn this summer, well aware his NBA career might be in jeopardy. By all accounts, he showed up much more sturdy at the Orlando Magic media day this week. I was stunned to learn that. Everybody noticed his frame was much more heavy. It’s about time! Redick finally added muscles to his slender frame. The guy seems more aware of what being an NBA player really takes.

He’s about to start his third year in the League, so I guess it’s probably one of his latest shots to make it. That being said if being physically more strong will be helpful, for some reason it won’t be enough.

Time has passed since College and after spending 2 years with a tiny playing time, he’s probably lost some confidence in his game. He needs to retrieve some sensations on the court. Plus, Orlando roster is overloaded at the guard position: rookie Courtney Lee is expected to have an impact quite quickly, Mike Pietrus will bring his energy and his tough defense, and Keith Bogans still sticks around. He’d be better off in a team that really needs him, and the best thing for him would be to be traded, but Orlando staff is reluctant to do that. But a season is quite long, and he’ll get an opportunity. He’ll just have to be ready at the right moment.

Anyway I’m eager to see how Redick is gonna cope with that. He was a superstar in College. He underachieved so far. Now is the time for him to have a breakout season, maybe his final shot… How is he gonna handle the pressure? I’m lookin’ forward to it, be sure I’m gonna keep a close eye on his plight !

About Team USA… and this blog

Posted: September 29, 2008 in NBA, News, Random, Sports
Tags: , ,

Some of you may have noticed, It’s been a long time I didn’t write something on my blog. Truth be told, I think a one-month hiatus was more than necessary. Why? Well, the answer is multi-faceted.

Even if my blog encountered a great start (about 4.000 hits in 2 months, that went better than I expected!), I’d say very few stories are newsworthy during the off-season. Besides, there wasn’t any blockbuster trades this summer, ala Garnett.

Maybe you guys think I could’ve talked about the Olympics Games, and the great achievement of Team USA, the famous “Redeem team” (I hate that moniker…). I don’t know about you but honestly USA hegemony proved to be boring down the stretch. I mean sometimes it felt like we were back in ’92, when Team USA was overpowering and trashing all its opponents. Back in the days, I used to appreciate that kind of show (hey, I was just a kid at the time!) but as a grown person I think a basketball game is much more appealing when the score is tight, when both teams are close enough to provide a good game.

Except for the final game against a gallant Spanish Team (I gotta admit it was an awesome game, actually one of the greatest game I’ve ever seen!), the gap between Team USA and his opponents was way too huge throughout this tournament. As a result, following Team USA was tasteless, to say the least. If anything, you might say it was a chore!

But don’t get me wrong: I didn’t want Team USA to be beaten up, far from it! I was just eager to get a little more of suspenseful moments, one of those “money-time” situation only basketball can provide.

That being said, and I think you guys will agree with me when I say we gotta pay tribute to this Team, who learned from its past mistakes. The bold behavior displayed in the past just vanished (even if James was, well… kinda irritating) and above all they finally understood a critical thing in basketball: you gotta play as team if you wanna be triumphant in the end. Oh, of course the passing games wasn’t flawless, but at least the good will was obvious.

Anyway, with the training camps about to kick off in a week or so, it was a no-brainer for me to revive NBA KINGDOM, with a brand-new appearance! I remind you this blog is not meant to provide all the latest news surrounding the NBA, but rather a space where I can share with you all the things in the L that catch my attention, things that I think are relevant or that… ticks me off.

So stay tuned on NBA KINGDOM… I’ll catch up with you guys later!

 

Okay guys the title of the topic is misleading, but I know for a fact a guy named Pat Ewing will be on the Knicks’ roster next season.

It’s obvious I’m not talkin’ about the soon-to-be Hall of Famer. Besides, he has already a gig, namely assistant-coach in Orlando. I’m talking about his son, Patrick Ewing Jr, who got drafted by Sacramento with 43rd pick last june and was subsequently traded with Ron Artest to the Houston Rockets in August.

And guess what, Ewing Jr was once again traded last friday! The guy didn’t play a single minute in NBA so far, and his rights have already been owned by 3 differents teams…

Anyway this time he winds up in New York, the very same place where his storied daddy pulled off so many feats throughout 15 of his 17 NBA seasons. 

I think it’s pretty cool for New York fans to have the opportunity to root for the son of a guy who was a key contributor for the Knicks for so many years! Old fans must be happy about it. But it could be a real letdown… there’s no way to see Ewing Jr as productive as his father used to be. His NCAA career was very inconspicuous, and at best he’ll be a role-player in the L.

Starting off his career in NY is certainly not the easiest way for Ewing Jr. I guess he’ll permanently be liken to his dad. In the long run, it could turn out to be a burden way too heavy to bear. The shadow of his father will stick around anytime he steps on the floor. I hope for him he’ll be able to handle the incoming pressure, otherwise things could get ugly down the stretch.

And I really do hope Knicks’ fans won’t expect him to be a decisive player! People need to understand he’ll never be a superstar.