SH Blog: Kobe Reflects on Lakers-Celtics, Rondo Set For Return Friday; Magic Takes Heat; LeBron Speaks of Uncertain Future

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kobeKobe Reminiscences on Celtics-Lakers Rivalry

You and I weren’t the only ones that were disappointed when the Boston Celtics shipped off Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this past summer.

Kobe Bryant was right there with us.

Their departure not only had a domino effect on the competitive landscape of the Eastern Conference, but the entire NBA. The Celtics would no longer be a threat, and that would mean the revived Celtics-Lakers rivalry that this generation finally got to experience to the fullest would also die. 

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Bernucca: Grading the Trades That Have Already Been Made

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Andrew_Bynum_CavsSince training camp opened, there have been five significant trades involving 10 teams, 19 players and seven draft picks.

The big winners have been a team that got rid of the highest scorer among the traded players and a team that acquired a player who has yet to play. The big loser has been a team that swears by analytics.

Another way to look at it is like this: The biggest trades thus far have been the ones that haven’t been made – Omer Asik for Thaddeus Young, Carmelo Anthony for Blake Griffin, Pau Gasol for just about anybody.

And with six weeks until the trading deadline, there will be plenty more trades that are and aren’t made.

But we can’t grade those. So we graded the ones that have been made.

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SH Blog: Bynum market is slow; Aldridge wants to extend in Portland

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noncallAt what point does public acknowledgement of mistakes stop being enough?

It drew a lot of attention when Paul George was fouled on the final shot in a huge Indiana-Miami game and it wasn’t called. The latest one, featuring Monta Ellis grabbing both of Austin Rivers’ arms, was far more egregious, and the NBA has admitted it was the wrong call.

May: Props to Chris Grant — Somebody Who Finally Stood Up to the Lakers

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chris-grantI don’t know what the future holds for the general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chris Grant. He’s on the hook for the selection of Anthony Bennett, who, to this point, has done nothing to merit being the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2013.

He may have to answer for Tristan Thompson, as well, as the No. 4 pick in 2011.

But here’s what he won’t have to do: He won’t have to worry about ever being called a stooge for knuckling under to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Grant did something that a lot of general managers over the years have not done: He stood up to the Lakers and told them, ‘no.’ He wouldn’t send “the contract of Andrew Bynum” (as the Bulls called it in their press release) for Pau Gasol, a move which would have given the Lakers enormous financial relief and future flexibility. He resisted sending a younger asset to the aging Lakers to make the deal.

Instead, he turned Bynum’s contract into the much-more-attractive Luol Deng.

SH Blog: Bulls Keep Shopping Players After Deng Trade; NBA Warns J.R. Smith; Steve Nash Plans to Return

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LuolDengSH1There is reason to believe that, after the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the NBA with last night’s Luol Deng/Andrew Bynum swap, that Deng was just the first domino to fall in Chicago.

Well, I suppose that would actually be Derrick Rose, whose loss to season ending injury has given the Bulls a second chance to reassess their future.

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