Hey readers. As you can see, I haven’t edited this blog in quite some time. I apologize to the loyal readers. Good news is, I moved to WWW.LAKERSNATION.COM as a pre-game analysts. I will write an entry before every game in the upcoming Lakers season. For those who like a variety in what I blog about, I apologize because my opinions and thoughts will be focused around the Lakers organization and which ever team they face that night. I really hope to come back on “Scoops on Hoops” very soon. So again, this blog isn’t closed. I just moved, and I won’t let this blog go anytime soon.
Sorry folks. I haven’t been on here lately due to work and college. Boo hoo…
Anyways, glad you stuck with Peter and I on the blog. We have been getting more followers and attention lately. We thank everyone of you readers out there!
So there has been obviously a huge offseason this year. With the LeBron, Bosh, and Wade trio and big names going to big places like Amare/NYC, it’s time to focus on the minor details to a team. Some teams have been doing a wonderful job sculpting their perfect roster for next season. Some have been taking huge risks. And some just aren’t getting the right message. Let’s get started with a few teams that fall in these groups.
Chicago Bulls - The Bulls took charge this summer. Knowing LeBron fell out of their window, they scooped up Carlos Boozer which is much needed on this team. Carlos will obviously fill a huge role for the Bulls, adding size, experience, scoring, and rebounding. Derrick Rose will definitely have a him as a running partner and so will a few others like Joakim Noah and newly acquired Ronnie Brewer. Ronnie will provide the running offense and will make the Bulls exciting to watch offensively. Kyle Korver was also a huge pick up for Chicago. Adding more depth into their small forward position who’s starter is currently Luol Deng. Korver will bring that 3 point threat and offensive fire power off the new looking bench. Former D-League talent C.J. Watson left the Golden State Warriors and joined the Bulls also. His playing style is also a up-tempo game that fits well with most of the players on the roster. Kurt Thomas was also another addition to the team. Kurt started a few games last season for the Milwaukee Bucks and is one of the oldest players still active in the league today. As a back-up for Noah or Boozer and Taj Gibson with him off the bench, Kurt can be looking at minutes to fill for the loss of Brad Miller going to the Houston Rockets. As a new coach, Tom Thubodeau will be able to have a great start to his coaching career with the current roster Chicago has. Tom is known for great defensive coaching, and for a great offense is a much needed great defense.
Miami Heat - Pat Riley is the answer to all these parties being held in Miami. Getting LeBron and Bosh from the market and getting Wade back on a single team is obviously incredible. When fans started to wonder how and who will be built arouind these three stars was the main concern. Of course, basketball is a team sport, and having only three players won’t cut it. The Heat did exactly or actually even better than what Boston did in 2007. Pat Riley and a few players went to reached out to a many key players that will help build this team’s legacy. LeBron spoke to Big Z which played in Cleveland his whole life and he ends up signing with Miami. Their organization settled contracts with impact players like veterans Juwan Howard, Eddie House, and Mike Miller. Miami also brought back 3-point threat James Jones, veteran point guard Carlos Arroyo, veteran Jamaal Magloire, productive center Joel Anthony, and hustler power forward Udonis Haslem. It’s unbelivable and nearly unfair to how the Heat received these role players. Pat Riley and crew have done an excellent job preparing for the upcoming season. The only goal this fall is to win the title. Period.
Los Angeles Lakers – The Lakers actually had one of the best drafts this year. They had two second round picks and did they put use to it. Los Angeles took Devin Ebanks 43rd overall which in my opinion was a steal and power forward Derrick Caracter was taken 58th overall who impressed during summer league. The Lakers native point guard Jordan Farmar to New Jersey in a 3 year deal and Josh Powell to the Hawks in a 1 year contract. Mitch Kupchak took his time and patience to filling the key areas the Lakers are depleted in. Fisher stayed loyal and came back to the team. LA filled in Farmar’s spot with a more experienced Steve Blake who I believe was a great replacement. Matt Barnes was another addition to the team who can play big minutes behind Kobe and Ron Artest since Sasha Vujacic is mentioned in trade rumors to save money and Luke Walton might miss the season due to his ailing back. Barnes will bring the hustle and defense off the bench with Odom. Lakers also picked up veteran Theo Ratliff who will likely replace center DJ Mbenga and help out Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol down low in the post. Chances of Shannon Brown coming back are still a mystery, but if the Lakers sign their two rookies their depth chart will still be impressive all around.
New York Knicks - The Knicks didn’t get any of the big 2, but that’s okay. Reuniting Amare and coach Mike D’Antoni was one of their better ideas this off season. Amare received a contract worth $100 million over the next 5 years. Stoudemire will perform well, but the biggest concern for all Knick fans is, will he stay healthy? Other than their biggest star addition, the Knicks swapped David Lee for young power forward Anthony Randolph, Azubuike, and Ronny Turiaf. I’m not saying those three former Warriors are better than Lee, but they are a great asset to what the team needs. Randolph is young, athletic, and I believe still has a lot of potential. His game can fit well with Mike D’s run and gun system. Azubuike is the type of player who likes to attack towards the rim and also fits well with the coaching method. Turiaf is an all hustle player. He plays D, scraps for loose balls, and always attempts to block those shots. Another player the Knicks added is Raymond Felton. Felton’s game is solidly polished yet. He’s the more of a scoring guard. He can be crafty at times also. We will see how he works with Mike D’Antoni’s system and how he’ll fit.
Milwaukee Bucks – In the past years, the Bucks have been quite quiet. Getting rid of Charlie V, shipping out Yi Jianlian, losing Richard Jefferson, and Redd getting injured left and right. Last season, Brandon Jennings drew a lot of criticism before he put up that big game against the Warriors scoring 55 points. The Bucks reached to the playoffs and gave the Hawks a really difficult series but ended up losing in game 7. This summer, they made sure they got better and tougher. Their first move was trading Corey Maggette for simply nothing. Corey is a attack the rim player which the Bucks really need to finish plays. John Salmons was re-signed who had a terrific season last year in Milwaukee. Drew Gooden and Keyon Dooling was brought in for more depth to the team. Gooden had a great run in the Clippers last year and Dooling gives solid stats off the bench. They will be a tough team all around led by the young point guard Jennings. So yes, fear the deer.
Team’s in limbooo….ehhh
Phoenix Suns - The Suns lost their big man Amare and their replacements for him was Hakim Warrick and Channing Frye? Hmm… then they got Hedo Turkoglu in exchange for Barbosa. Very questionable signings and trading. Their only decent addition was Josh Childress. The team had a huge make over. From the looks of their starting line-up, it’s tough to say if they’ll hit anymore above the 7th seed in the playoffs. With Nash in his final years, the Suns should make a huge move soon before he leaves to a championship caliber team.
Dallas Mavericks – The Mavericks recently acquired Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca from the Charlotte Bobcats basically for a few expiring contracts and a horrible contract. How did Mark Cuban pull that off on Michael Jordan? Chandler will likely come off the bench for the Mavs. I believe he still has incredible energy to play for a team in this league. And for him to come off the bench should be the spark to a successful team. Dallas also brought back all-star Dirk which is no surprise and Brendan Haywood who was performing well for the Mavericks last season after the trade. The problem is, did they get better to bring them over teams like the Lakers or the Spurs who they lost to last year in the playoffs?
New Jersey Nets – The Nets lost their chances at getting LeBron early on in the running. So far, the Nets haveonly gotten Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, and Johan Petro to improve their team after a 12-70 season.The reason why they aren’t pure losers is because they still have money to spend and haven’t destroyed their salary for the years to come. Chances of a big trade coming from NJ is likely next season.
Utah Jazz - The loss of Carlos Boozer and replacement of Al Jefferson is still questionable. Can Al be better than Boozer? The loss of Matthews and Korver hurts their bench a lot. Especially now that the Bulls have a few of their former players, it’s going to be tough to improve in depth.
The Biggest Losers
Cleveland Cavaliers - Dan Gilbert stated his team would win a championship before LeBron does. The only thing they did this summer was attain Ramon Sessions and Ryan Hollins. I believe they are ready to win a championship with those two huge acquisitions. Hell, might as well throw in Shannon Brown in there since they are making an effort to signing him. Sounds like a championship contender when you lost one of the top two players this off season and that small forward spot is filled by Jamario Moon.
Minnesota Timberwolves - The biggest loser of them all this year. Giving long term contracts to two role players, shipping out their best player, and having way too many point guards all equal loser in my book. The only good thing they did was acquire Michael Beasley for a second round pick. As the looks of it now, Miami’s second round pick from the Wolves might actually be beneficial. I predict Minnesota to have the worst record in the league next year.
New Orleans Hornets - Chris Paul wants to be traded. No surprise. New Orleans can’t do anything to get rid of theirhorrible contracts. No surprise. The fact Aaron Gray is their only player they chased after this summer. Surprised. The Hornets need to give up their picks and bad contracts for a big man. Chances are, I don’t see Chris Paul in a Hornets uniform by the beginning of this season.
Atlanta Hawks – They got Joe Johnson for the max contract. And three other J names, Josh Powell, Jordan Crawford, and Jason Collins back. First of all, they ruined their future with the Joe Johnson long term contract. Next is the fact they didn’t do much to improve. Look for a early exit out of the playoffs for the Hawks next season and trade demands.
With all the top name free agents gone and settled into different teams, the next big free agent in the market right now is the one and only Tracy McGrady. The 31 year old wing still have a lot left in the tank and can be a solid contributor to any team he goes to. Yes, he has been riddled with injures for a while and yes he has had microsurgery on his knee over a year ago. But this is the same man who dropped 20+ points several times as a Knick last season and was the best player in the league many years ago. The same guy who carried a weak Magic team on his back (which explains all his back spasms haha) and took them to the playoffs while averaging 32 points a game. 2002-2003 T-Mac was what 2005-2006 Kobe became. A great player carrying a weak team all the way to the playoffs only to barely lose in the first round after going up 3-1 in the series. But unlike Kobe, T-Mac was traded away instead of having players built around him. And throughout the years in the Rockets, T-Mac was great but all his injuries took a toll and beat him up during his prime years. But since knee surgeries generally take a year to recover, I expect T-Mac to play this season in as good shape as he possibly can.
Which comes with the question of where should he play? Well the most obvious answers would be either the Lakers or the Heat. Lakers have a good team in place and can use a destructive scoring option off the bench with T-Mac. With the Lakers, he can chase the ring that has alluded him throughout his NBA career. He wouldn’t be playing with the glory and glamor of leading the team or even being in the starting lineup but he can be a great role player for a team that needs strong scoring off the bench. Same situation in the Heat. But instead he’ll be piggybacking off of 3 superstars instead of 2. He’ll probably offer the same services in the Heat as he would in the Lakers as the scoring option off the bench. Difference is, Lakers have the biggest chance of getting a ring while the Heat are still unproven. No one knows if their Big 3 are fit to play with each other for 82 games, but that will be observed throughout the season. I highly doubt T-Mac wants to be piggybacking off either team though. The dude can still ball.
Or T-Mac can do the unexpected. My suggestion is that he signs a contract for the Los Angeles Clippers and be the SF that they been looking for the last several offseasons. Tracy McGrady is set to workout with Los Angeles Clippers next week and if he can show the team that he is recovered and still has a bit of his old self in there, he will be a great option to have. He can be the starting SF while their lottery pick this year, Al-Farouq Aminu develops into an NBA player. He can help spread the floor, which relieves SG Eric Gordon the pressure of being the only 3 Point threat out there. And T-Mac is also a capable defender that can easily give problems to the opposing team. And with Kaman and Blake Griffin out there, T-Mac won’t have to feel the pressure of being the first scoring option of the team. The Clippers needs a starting SF that can spread the floor, defend, and also show some leadership. Out of all the available free agents available right now, I think T-Mac is the best option. And he can cement a legacy for himself by leading this team into the playoffs and further.
Or he can fall into the Clippers curse and explode.
The dude is injury prone but I think he is the worth the risk.
A villain…. a long awaited villain…..that’s what LeBron James is. We are all witnessses
Born and raised in the city of Akron not too far from Cleveland is LeBron James. A player who’s talent from day one was like no other. LeBron entered St. Mary High School and won several titles for his school. He declared to enter the 2003 draft and was selected number one overall by his home state the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a 7 year run with the Cavs and failed attempts to reach a championship, the so called “King” leaves his city who loved him so much for the Miami Heat to play alongside Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Who knew, his decision to leave Cleveland will end up in this kind of mess.
At the age of 25, LeBron James has given up on his home, his fans, and importantly himself. His legacy is tarnished. He will always be compared to the greats such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. Though, he will never come any closer than just comparing numbers. As a person, as a star player, as a team hero, LeBron will never be mentioned in those categories. He left the Cavaliers hoping to pursue a championship with his talented pals Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, but was it out of being desperate? He is only 25 years old and still has plenty of great years ahead of him. One thing he never realized when he made the unnecessary “Decision” on ESPN is that he’ll NEVER have his OWN team again.
Michael Wilbon from ESPN said it best, “Am I old? Or old school?”. Mike meant that, is he old for not accepting this 3 studded stars on the same team? Or old school as in a superstar should have their OWN team like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird? I’m going with the old school, and I bet most of you basketball fans who actually ENJOY to watch competitive basketball follow me on the “old school” side. Having three stars who can simply have their own team and prove that they can bring their team to win a title has much more meaning than having stars all on one team.
I have said this in my recent blogs and I’ll say it again. In 2007, the Celtics did trades and additions to create the Big Boston 3, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce. They were all past their prime years, but still had the veteran talent to play ball. The same season, they won the 2008 championship. Not a surprise. In my opinion, they won that title out of pity. At the time of their championship year, Pierce was 30, Allen was 32, and Garnett was 32. Danny Ainge also went to reach out to veterans who were willing to help contribute to that championship team. Good job by them. 2 years later, they are aged up and not the same as before. What I’m trying to compare is, LeBron is now 25, Bosh 26, and Wade 28, are in their prime and want to play together because they want to win rings? Basketball has been a team effort, but has it come down to this desperation to have three stars come to a team at this age to try and win? If they win the title in the upcoming years, who will “stand out” as basically the MVP of the team? It’s Wade’s team, but will LeBron overshadow him? Let’s say they don’t win a title in the upcoming years, who’s fault is that?
LeBron got crap in Cleveland for not winning a title, but he flat out gave up on the city of Cleveland. Dragging the city through the dirt and making them wait for his “decision” to then slap everyone there in the face. Dirty move. Dirty…. Respect LeBron has gone to a new low. This media attention whore circus clown has gotten himself to the bottom of the totem pole. Anything less than a title next season is a disappointment for the Miami Heat.
LeBron is not and will never be a hero…. his 7 years in Cleveland has made him live long enough to betray fans who loved him dearly and become the hated villain.
For all of you that don’t know, LBJ has chosen to join the Miami Heat and be with his bros, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. After two years of buildup, hours and hours of promotion by the worldwide leader in sports, and even a one hour special about it tonight, LBJ finally made the announcement the NBA world has been waiting for. And with that announcement, millions of hearts were broken in Cleveland, the 5 other teams with cap space can finally pursue other free agents if they haven’t already started (Clippers already signing Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes), and hopefully the big free agency circus is finally over.
I personally didn’t see the one hour special tonight but the second I started getting texts from my friends on what happened, I just got angry and started to not like Lebron James even more. I think he’s a great player and everything but he is also a primadonna, a diva, and a media whore. His philosophy, anything to get attention. What better way to make sure ESPN never forgets you by joining a team with the other two biggest stars of this era. And also, why bother working hard for a championship if you can easily join two other big name superstars and win one with less pressure on yourself. If LBJ thought he was that great of a player, he would have stayed in Cleveland and bring that city a championship they have not seen in what seems like forever.
I can understand why Dan Gilbert is pissed off. The hometown hero has decided to turn his back on the city that raised him and take the easy route to a championship gold. I don’t care about Cleveland (even though they have every right to be mad) but what kind of message does this send to the kids. I can think of several horrible lessons to the children here.
- Fuck working your ass off to the best of your abilities to achieve your goals, take the easy route whenever the opportunity becomes available.
- Forget about loyalty to your home, go somewhere else where the grass looks greener.
- Follow your friends because they supposedly have your best interest at heart.
- Money isn’t important, but neither is being faithful to the people who supported you since day one.
- Who cares about building a legacy, just win without ever really leaving a mark behind in history.
- Get as much as attention as you can because being humble is overrated.
I can think of a thousand other negative messages here in this little announcement. How can LBJ look at himself in the mirror now that he broke the hearts of all the Cleveland children that thought of him as a hero. How does he feel that he is no longer the hometown hero but the hometown despicable villain. I’m not from Cleveland but I feel their pain. As a Clippers fan, I know what its like to have the star player betray you and go to another team. But the Cleveland fans have it a thousand times worse because their Benedict Arnold is considered to be one of the top two players in the game right now. Betrayal is an awful sight to see, I hope Heat fans cherish this moment as much as possible right now because when something goes wrong with their Big 3, this summer will be for naught.
Calling it right now, the Miami Heat will not win a championship with those 3 players and 9 scrubs.