Hubbard: Despite loss, Sterling-free Clippers separating themselves from the past

ballmer

Considering the history of the Clippers, the easy shot is to compare them to the franchise they’ve always been. Losing a 3-1 lead in the series and a 19-point lead in the third quarter of what should have been the deciding game is another case of “the Clippers being the Clippers” – only on a much grander stage. The reality is, however, that as inept as the Clippers looked while losing in the Western semifinals to the Rockets, they are nothing

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Hubbard: Are we taking LeBron’s greatness for granted?

lebron-james

Considering how spirited the discussion was for the Most Valuable Player Award, it turned out to be no contest with Stephen Curry winning by 262 points over James Harden. First place votes favored Curry 100-25. Although I thought Harden was more deserving, there is a larger issue. It does appear that we are in another period where greatness has becoming boring and we take it for granted. If you watch, listen and read about the NBA, any discussion of who the best

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Hubbard: Good choices turn bad for the Mavericks

mark-cuban

In the four years since their unlikely 2010-11 championship season, the Mavericks have made the playoffs three times, missed them once, but have not advanced past the first round. In those three playoff series, they have a 4-12 record. That record has made them the poster children for second-guessers because after winning the title, owner Mark Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson decided to gamble on greatness rather than being deluded by a perfect storm. The criticism of the Mavericks – particularly

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Hubbard: OKC Looking for that Elusive Magical Coach

Presti

The list of candidates mentioned this far for the open Oklahoma City head coaching job have excluded the ideal candidate for Thunder GM Sam Presti. Here’s a man whose most famous trade featured him sending a franchise player to a conference opponent. In return, his team received a bounty equivalent to John Nance Garner’s description of the vice presidency – which is to say it was “not worth a bucket of warm spit.” (Or close to that.) The Thunder won 45 games

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Hubbard: Debating the MVP Debate, Harden Comes Out on Top

James Harden

Before making a few points on the MVP race, it should be noted the debate has been nothing short of fantastic. The methods used by a variety of writers to reach a conclusion have been wildly different, but whether voters rely on analytics, old school observation or something in between, the passion for the subject has been unsurpassed and a joy to read. The Players Association has announced that it will have its own set of awards after the season, and it

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Hubbard: Kobe Bryant: A Waste of Money? Let’s Wait and See

kobe bryant

LOS ANGELES – The numbers make the pro-side of the argument difficult, even for a determined apologist. Forty-one games played; 123 either missed or to be missed. A shooting percentage of .410. Exactly 865 points scored. For those two-year totals, the Lakers will have invested almost $55 million in salary on Kobe Bryant. They still owe him $25 million for next season. But if you believe the Lakers no longer think it was good business to sign Bryant to a two-year contract

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Hubbard: Roy Tarpley — Good Guy, Sad Story

Tarpley1

During his second year with the Mavericks, Roy Tarpley was 23 years old and on his way to winning the 1987-88 Sixth Man Award. He was a young man full of exuberance, already beloved by his teammates for two reasons: 1. He was a great basketball player. 2. He was refreshingly naïve and perpetually happy. Roy always had a smile on his face and was a wonderful teammate. Despite prodigious talent, he did not start because the Mavericks had a veteran accomplished power

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Hubbard: Prospects Bleak for Derek Fisher; Should He Open an IHOP?

PhilKnicks

Sometimes weirdness creeps up on you slowly. You are aware of it, but because it happens gradually, you get used to it. But you watch what’s happening in New York, then you look at the larger overall NBA picture, and you think how strange is it that three of the greatest winners in the history of basketball had become either tolerant of or responsible for losing? Five years after winning his 11th NBA title as a head coach, Phil Jackson has the

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