Kobe Bryant had a stroke of genius Friday morning after being knighted with a new nickname, “vino,” which will replace his long-tenured and patented reputation as the “black mamba.”
If you didn’t spend all night watching every NBA game (technically impossible, unless you have a heck of a DVR and do not require sleep), you can get caught up in less than a minute with SheridanHoops’daily feature, Five Fast Facts.
It was another Friday night packed with NBA action. Milestones were set, records were broken and LeBron somehow became more impressive. He is still the front-runner for the leagues Most Extraterrestrial Player.
When the New York Knicks signed Tyson Chandler to a four-year, $58 million contract, some folks raised their eyebrows with a skeptical mind.
Indeed, it was a rather handsome contract for a player that went through a variety of injuries, had a number of seasons consisting of inconsistent play and wasn’t recognized as a perennial double-double machine (sexy to the eyes of many owners). Even with his invaluable contributions as a starting center for a championship team in the Dallas Mavericks back in the 2010-2011 season, he was somewhat considered a one-year rental player – evidenced by Mark Cuban’s unwillingness to re-sign the big man in hopes of signing Dwight Howard and Deron Williams instead. The bottom line is, Chandler had plenty to prove and a lot of doubters to silence.
So he became a Knick and accomplished a few things, like winning the Defensive Player of the Year honors last season, finishing with the type of accuracy last witnessed when Wilt Chamberlain was still playing, and becoming an All-Star for the first time in his career this season. The emotional center has helped change the culture of the Knicks with his style of play, proving plenty of doubters wrong along the way.
This season, Chandler has arguably been even better than last season in terms of overall production. When we mention the Knicks center, you normally think of defense. Interestingly, though, it has been his offensive efficiency that deserves just as wide of a recognition, from Justin Havens of ESPN Stats and Information:
For the third time in the last three seasons, New York Knicks center Chandler is making a run at the record books. Chandler’s True Shooting Percentage – which takes into consideration 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws – is in rare territory once again, at 70.1 percent on the season. That is just fractionally behind his own record of last season (70.8).
Perhaps with this in mind, veteran point guard Jason Kidd had this to say about Chandler’s recent outburst of rebounding madness:
No doubt they are a good basketball team. But since beginning the season with a blistering 18-6 record, the Knicks have gone just 10-9 and enter play February 1 as the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
Still, with just three games separating the Knicks from the sixth-seeded Atlanta Hawks and the trade winds swirling around the NBA – you know, with it being February and all – let’s take a look at six names.