Hubbard: Celebrating Naismith on Basketball’s 123rd Birthday

naismith1

Respect for the inventor is unique to basketball. Even today, 123 years after Dr. James Naismith composed a list of 13 rules and supervised the first basketball game in history, it is not unusual for someone to say something like: “That’s the way Dr. Naismith intended the game to be played,” a statement that would likely amuse a man universally praised for his surpassing intelligence and uncommon humility. You never hear “that’s the way (whoever) wanted (baseball or football) to be

Read more...

Hubbard: Magic, like Michael, has a competition problem

Magic Johnson

A few years ago, Magic Johnson came to Dallas for a charity event that included playing a game of H-O-R-S-E at Roger Staubach’s house. Staubach, a notorious competitor, has a basketball court in his backyard where the basic rule is: Roger wins. There were several former Cowboys there along with slam dunk legend Spud Webb and Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman. Magic made the final in the competition and was playing a woman, who I believe was a former college player. She

Read more...

Hubbard: Tanking used to be much more fun

tank

When I regularly covered the NBA on a daily basis too many years ago, a number of us promised ourselves that when new days arrived, we would never bore people by talking about the good old days. The notion that the past is always better than the present is a sermon delivered by the aged and, as Pete Townshend once wrote, “Hope I die before I get old.” But having observed the Philadelphia 76ers the last two years, I can’t help myself: Tanking

Read more...

Hubbard: Lakers are all Kobe, All the Time

LakersTrophies

My annual Thanksgiving trip to Los Angeles did not hold the promise of trips past. A year ago, I arrived in time to watch the Lakers win a game and even their record at 8-8. Even though there was considerable hand-wringing going on (Kobe had agreed to his new contract and the common opinion of the Laker faithful was that he was greedy, which, makes him different in L.A. how?), there was the always-entertaining Lakers optimism. Lakers fans are my favorites

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...

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

Read more...