After 18 roller-coaster months, the bumpy search for Billy Hunter’s replacement as executive director of the NBA Players Association seems ready to reach its conclusion. The drama will not end easily. Even a few days before the final candidate presentations and vote, turmoil reigns as different factions try to impose their respective wills on the process. What this excruciating process has exposed is that the search for the union head is really about who has control over the players. It’s certainly not the
With the NBA draft coming up, it is kind of fun to remember back to my draft day in 1981. It’s like going through your wedding album years later. But instead of the burgundy tuxedo and ruffled shirt, its 1980s hair and wide ties. Going into my senior year at Syracuse, I was a relatively unknown player. I had played behind All-American center Roosevelt Bouie and had just played my first season as the starter. Scouting was primitive by today’s standards.
As the forces of nature push toward a rematch in the NBA Finals, fans may be treated to the end of the two current mini-dynasties. All teams have a life span measured in a small number of years, and both of these teams are nearing the end of theirs. The Spurs have been on top for a tremendously long stretch, equaled by only a few teams in recent memory. The Stockton/Malone Jazz teams coached by Jerry Sloan kept their core together
Sports generally and the NBA specifically have always been pioneers, years ahead of society when it comes to racial issues. Black players entered the NFL in 1946, MLB in 1947 and the NBA in 1951, all more before Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 and over a decade ahead of the pivotal civil rights events of the 1960s. The NBA has continued to be a leader with more African-American players, coaches, GMs and owners than any other league. Even the fans
The first round of the 2014 playoffs has been remarkable for the many crazy story lines and the record number of both games and Game 7s. Usually the first round is a snoozer with two or three sweeps, and the only upsets are the No. 5 over No. 4 variety. But this year gave us so many thrills that we all got to witness so much more. We have all experienced great regular season games that have been played with “playoff
NBA players and all of America are rightfully incensed and outraged by the words and deeds of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. His attitudes are ridiculous, unfathomable, and ignorant. But in reality he is just one lone idiot in a league that has been the model and leader on the issue of colorblindness. When the smoke clears after the league acts and the outrage dies down, there will be many lessons to be learned from here. Some of them will be great
With the explosive headlines being splattered all over the place this weekend concerning Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the thing that surprises me is that people are surprised. Under his ownership, The Clippers have been the doormat of the league for 30 years. He has paid millions of dollars in fines to settle race discrimination suits before in his other businesses. Every star player who ever played for him has fled screaming for the hills at the first opportunity. He flaunts his
March Madness seems like ages ago, and it did not leave all that many enduring memories. Well at least for those outside of Connecticut. While the NCAA basketball tournament is full of ups and downs, upsets and buzzer beaters, it is over in a flash. Three weekends of a basketball binge … and it’s gone. One team celebrates while 67 others just go home. It’s so impossible to predict that even a $1 billion bracket bet was over the first week. Now