Bernucca: For Hinkie & Sickly Sixers, It’s Time For “Process” To Begin


In the classic war movie Apocalypse Now, Marlon Brando plays a decorated American colonel who has abandoned the war in Vietnam to set up his own dystopian military conclave in Cambodia that features random missions, animal sacrifices and human beheadings. Martin Sheen plays an American captain sent on a classified mission to assassinate the colonel. When Sheen arrives at the camp, he is asked if he believes the colonel’s methods are unsound. And Sheen replies, “I don’t see any method at all,


Rookie Rankings, Edition 1: Rebuilding Lakers Must Play Russell More


It’s time for the Los Angeles Lakers to get serious about rebuilding. The Lakers aren’t making the playoffs this season. They are 2-9, with losses already to Minnesota, Sacramento, Denver, New York and Dallas twice. One of their wins came against Brooklyn. The only thing between the Lakers and the bottom of the Western Conference is the New Orleans Pelicans, who have almost as many injuries as the 3rd Ranger Battalion. This is uncharted territory for the Lakers, who already have missed


Bernucca: Rockets Have Been Sputtering Since Liftoff


Talk is cheap. Just ask the slumping Houston Rockets, whose locker room is starting to resemble a presidential candidates’ debate. “We’ve been talking,” slumping superstar James Harden said. “We’ve been doing too much talking.” “We’ve had a lot of heart-to-hearts,” coach Kevin McHale said. “As a matter of fact, we talk too much. Talking doesn’t win basketball games.” Last season, the Rockets surprised more than a few folks by crashing the Western Conference finals, a spot thought to be reserved for the San


Bernucca: Van Gundy Working His Magic In Detroit

Andre Drummond

As a personnel man, Stan Van Gundy has broken a lot of the so-called contemporary rules. Since being lured back to the NBA by Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores in May 2014, Van Gundy has not exactly followed the usual NBA blueprint in rebuilding the once-proud franchise, which has not been to the playoffs in six years. Van Gundy has flat-out waived four veterans with fully guaranteed contracts, accumulating nearly $32 million in dead money to be paid over the next five


Bernucca: Extensions Prove That Everybody Will Get Paid


If you take a quick look at the contract extensions given to the 2012 NBA draft class, nothing seems extraordinary. Eight eligible players received extensions. While collusion conspiracy theorists might point out that it’s two less than the 2011 class, it also is one more than the 2010 class and the same number as the 2009 class. As in previous seasons, the top pick got a five-year max deal and at least one other lottery pick also received a max deal of


Bernucca: NBA’s Largest Pay Raises Show It Pays To Be Patient

Jimmy Butler

It pays to be patient. That is the financial lesson of the NBA’s offseason, which saw the biggest pay raises go to players who turned down contract extensions and gambled on themselves. Among the top 11 pay increases this summer, five went to players who felt like they were being lowballed by their teams — and proved it when they cashed in with bigger deals as restricted free agents this summer. Chicago’s Jimmy Butler, Orlando’s Tobias Harris, Detroit’s Reggie Jackson, Oklahoma City’s Enes


Bernucca: Darryl Dawkins Was The Coolest Guy on Earth – Or Any Other Planet


In the late 1970s I was a very impressionable teenager desperately trying to be cool. But I didn’t want the charm of James Bond or the street smarts of The Fonz or the dance moves of Tony Manero. Besides, they were all fictional characters from movies and TV shows. I wanted my cool to be real. I wanted to be Darryl Dawkins. Dawkins died Thursday, leaving us way too soon at the age of 58. He claimed to be from the planet Lovetron,


Bernucca: 2012 Draft Class Contract Extension Scoreboard


The silence following Jonas Valanciunas’ contract extension was deafening. When the Toronto Raptors gave a reported $64 million over four years to Valanciunas, there were no proclamations from pundits that the NBA’s financial sky was falling. Owners didn’t start forming plans of collusion. No one drew comparisons to Jim McIlvaine. On the other side, there have been no whispers that Raptors GM Masai Ujiri engineered another steal. Virtually no one has suggested that Valanciunas got fleeced. Agent Leon Rose – who days