Hubbard: Bird-Dirk: Still not a good comparison

When Dirk Nowitzki recently passed Hakeem Olajuwon on the list of all-time leading scorers, one publication ran photos of the top 10 scorers and it was easy to spot Dirk, the only white guy. There is nothing particularly profound about that. Dirk’s been around 16 years. We all know he’s from Germany, he’s white and he’s a great basketball player. But it did remind me of a comparison that was made long before it was even close to being even remotely legitimate

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Hubbard: Roberts’ rhetoric reminiscent of Stern

SternLeaving

Those who thought David Stern’s retirement would remove the bombast in collective bargaining between the NBA and its players association underestimated Michele Roberts. The veins may not be popping out of the temples; the face may not be as menacing as Lord Voldemort’s; the sound level may not be at Metallica decibels; but the new head of the players association made it clear again last week that Stern’s absence will make negotiations no less adversarial. Roberts repeated criticism of certain elements of the current

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Hubbard: Irving will find out that LeBron is good at sharing

teamwork

When LeBron James made it official that he was returning to Cleveland, there was never a second thought about an issue that is clichéd, but certainly can be prickly. Whose team is it? When your team includes the best player in the world, that would seem to be a no-brainer. But when your team also has a player who has led it for three consecutive years in scoring – including a rookie season when he was 19 years old – and arrived as

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Hubbard: Should Harden trade still be cursed for OKC?

curses

James Harden probably would not mind being compared to Babe Ruth. As an avid video game player, he has likely played Madden. I’m not too sure he would welcome a comparison with a billy goat, but since the subject is curses and jinxes, if he knew the humorous history of the Curse of the Billy Goat, he’d probably be OK with the reference. When I first heard the surprising news in October 2012 that the Oklahoma City Thunder had traded a

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Hubbard: Lakers are Worthy of, ahem, Prime Time

jeaniebuss

During the short amount of time I listened to Jeanie Buss on ESPN Radio last week, I saw great possibilities for the Lakers, but only if creators of TV series like Scandal and Nashville are willing to take up additional projects. Jeanie made it clear that as team president, she is the ultimate decision-maker for the Lakers. She admitted she was upset when her brother Jim, who is head of basketball operations, did not hire her fiancé Phil Jackson as coach, but that she

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Hubbard: 44 Minutes? What Would Wilt Say?

44minutes

If it were possible to detect a belly laugh from the hereafter, I’m sure there would have been something bordering on a thunderclap last week when the NBA announced Sunday’s Brooklyn-Boston preseason game would be 44 minutes instead of 48. On second thought, it might have been closer to a booming “WTF?” Wilt Chamberlain has been dead for 15 years, but I can guarantee the mere suggestion of reducing the length of games still irritates him. “Forty-four minutes,” Wilt would bellow. “You

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Hubbard: Smart Money is on the Spurs

spursbigthree

Four months have passed since the masterpiece was finished with a throwback flourish that had purists spouting superlatives and invoking sacred basketball institutions like the Red Holzman Knicks, the Jack Ramsay Blazers . . . Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, James Naismith. The Spurs joined the pantheon of great teams when they mutilated the Heat dynasty in the 2014 NBA Finals, playing a brand of team basketball that Naismith would have found ideal, even if it was unimaginable when he invented the

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Hubbard: Olympic age limit not worth dreaming about

usa-flag

In the two-plus decades since the 1992 Olympics, the Dream Team has been celebrated and romanticized. References to it are wistful and reverential. The Dream Team represents perfection. In the basketball world, it was the greatest. How easily we forget that the basketball power structure in the United States thought the idea of having NBA players in the Olympics was repulsive. At the 1989 vote in Munich to allow NBA players in the Olympics, the U.S. organization (later USA Basketball), which

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