SH Blog: Stoudemire wants to win multiple championships with Knicks, Nash ready to play on Friday

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amare_stoudemireFor power forward Amare Stoudemire, the past few years in New York have been nothing short of a dreadful nightmare.

After reviving the New York Knicks with dominant play in his first season and leading them to the playoffs for the first time in a decade, it has been just about all downhill for the former All-Star.

To recap some of the things that have gone wrong since that glorious year: he nearly destroyed his hand after slapping a glass casing surrounding a fire extinguisher out of frustration during a playoff series, has suffered through multiple knee surgeries, became a backup to – gulp – Andrea Bargnani, has seen limited playing time due to medical restrictions, and never truly got comfortable playing alongside Carmelo Anthony. 

SH Blog: Kobe Bryant calls out Lakers’ leadership, former D-League player says MJ is overrated

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kobeKobe Bryant has been sidelined for much of this season due to a couple of devastating injuries, and the Los Angeles Lakers have toiled in the bottom of the conference as a result. Of course, that’s not to say that all would have been well and the Lakers would have been a playoff team if Bryant played, but their record would certainly be better than 22-42 – 1/2 game better than the Utah Jazz who have been in tank mode since the season began.

Despite his absence from the court, however, he has paid attention to everything that has gone on, from how bad the Lakers have been, watching the front office trade away one of his favorite players, and now seeing Phil Jackson joining the New York Knicks. Needless to say, Bryant is less than pleased with it all, from Mike Bresnahan of Los Angeles Times:

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SH Blog: Warriors acquire Steve Blake, Nets trade for Thornton, Clippers no longer looking for Shumpert deal

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With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, rumors have been rampant around the league throughout the day.

Can Cleveland find a taker for Luol Deng? How serious is Sacramento about moving MIP candidate Isaiah Thomas? Will the New York Knicks finally trade Iman Shumpert? Those are some of the many burning questions as general managers try to determine what will be the best course of action for their respective franchises. Some minor deals have already gone down on Wednesday, and plenty more juicy conversations are being had as you will find below:

BROOKLYN NETS ACQUIRE THORNTON AND LOOKING FOR MORE:

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Bernucca: Fixing the Fans’ All-Star Mistakes

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Kyrie IrvingNBA fans do an awful job of protecting the image of their favorite sport.

This is not the NFL, which has been America’s pastime for a generation and can do no wrong in the eyes of its fans. The only time the NFL has an image problem is when a storm affects satellite reception.

This is also not baseball, which has a considerable image problem with its collection of prima donnas on PEDS. But it also has more than a century of tradition on its side.

NBA fans constantly have to argue the merits of their sport not only against other sports but against other versions of their sport. The international game is more fluid. The college game has more energy and emotion. The women’s game has more fundamentals.

So what do NBA fans do to cultivate and protect the image of their favorite sport? They ignore common sense and vote their darlings as All-Stars.

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Gambling on the Western Conference: A Free-For-All

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The Western Conference is absolutely nothing like the Eastern Conference when it comes to championship odds.

We have what I call a two-horse race in the East versus what I am going to call the six-plus team race in the West.

In the 15 previous seasons, only four teams (the Lakers, seven times; the Spurs, five times, the Mavericks, two times; the Thunder, once)  have won the Western Conference, which is a similar concept to what the Eastern Conference has gone through recently, as I outlined in this column laying out the loooong odds on anyone not from Miami or Indiana winning the East.