Generally speaking, Jackson is a good man. He respects all of his players and treats them as equals. He would never speak ill towards any of them and never utters a curse word – not easy to do when you’re involved with the game of basketball.
He had no choice but to do something significant after apologizing to the fans for what Gregg Popovich did and promising “substantial sanctions” against the San Antonio Spurs just before the start of their contest against the Miami Heat on Thursday.
There were no suspensions of any kind, but Stern hit the Spurs organization with a hefty fine of $250,000 on Friday. Here are the details, from Brian Mahoney of The AP:
One night, both of last year’s NBA Finalists competing, both NBA Finalists going down.
The Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers turned in two of the top performances of the young 2012-13 NBA season, as they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat by 10 and 7 points, respectively, though the point differential isn’t an indicator of how well either team played:
If someone had suggested that the Thunder should perhaps trade Kevin Durant instead of James Harden about one week ago, that someone would have been laughed at and ridiculed, at the very least. His/her basketball IQ would have been questioned heavily, and any credibility the person may have had (in terms of basketball knowledge) probably would have been lost.
But here we are – not one week past the start of the season – left to wonder (if you are really bold) what Kenny “the Jet” Smith is wondering himself: is Harden capable of being a better player than Durant?
As strange and awkward as it may be to wonder in such a way – and we won’t really know if Smith said what he said with any real substance until the next segment on TNT – is it really that crazy to think about after watching Harden completely and utterly dominate for the second consecutive game for the Houston Rockets?
SH Blog: Chris Bosh says Lakers are the best team “on paper”, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez aiming for championship
The NBA is constantly active for the most part, but it does have quiet moments and phases in the summer — and we appear to be at one of those times. So what do we do when nothing is going on? Sometimes, asking players thought-provoking questions such as “Who do you think will win it all for the upcoming season?”, or “Who is the best player of all time?” can get us through a day, if the answers are interesting. Usually, players will tell you that their team can come out on top – no matter how deluded they may seem.
Chris Bosh changed things up a bit, though, and decided to name another team when asked about who the best team in the league may be. See what he said, along with a load of thoughts from other players around the league in today’s news:
- Chris Bosh thinks the Lakers are better on paper than his own team and elaborated on his thought, from Ira Winderman of South Florida Sun Sentinel: ”The Lakers, I think, right now, I mean on paper, they probably have the best team in the West and probably the league right now,” he said. “On paper. I’m saying on paper. But it’s a lot, a lot, it’s a long season. And the best team always isn’t the one who starts out the season as the best team. ”We know we’re the champs, but we have to start off from scratch. We have a lot of chemistry building to do. And we have to come out there and we have to start over. We know favorites and all that stuff really doesn’t matter.” Bosh said the Heat have learned to deal with the type of pressure the Lakers are expected to face and “how the hype can get to you.” Bosh pointed out how the Heat stood as championship favorites in 2010-11, only to fall in the NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, and how they did not have quite the same expectations and then defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in this past season’s NBA Finals.”
- As great as the Lakers appear to be with the new roster, Kenny Smith thinks the Miami Heat are still the favorites to win it all again, from Mark Medina of Los Angeles Times: “How will the Lakers fare against Miami? I never compare much East to West, because you have to get all the way to there. But I think Miami has three guys who are the top five in their position. I don’t think they’re nervous about what happened with the Lakers. They kept an eye on it for sure. But they have a better chance and have done it now. I would say Miami is still the team to beat.”
- Joe Johnson talked about how he is training like he never has before, and thinks the Nets are good enough to win a championship, from Zach Lowe of SI: “SI.com: So is the goal to win a championship in Year 1? Or do you look at Miami and think, “Wow, even they needed a year to figure it out and gel”? Johnson: That’s what we are shooting for — the ring. There’s no need to sell ourselves short. You talk about gelling and figuring it out, and I think we have the perfect pieces: a great point guard, a great center. I don’t think any of our positions are the same or overlap at all. SI.com: You mentioned you are training in a way you never really have before. You’re down in Miami, with Manning Sumner, right? What new stuff does he have you doing? Johnson: I’m really just training a lot more this summer, with a lot more focus, and being down here with Manning really helps. My role is going to change a lot playing with the Nets, and I’m fine with that. I just want to be prepared for that situation. I want to start on a positive note.”
- Brook Lopez also thinks the Nets can win a championship and claims to be “already a good playoff team”, according to Aldo Avinante of Phil Star: “Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, who was in town last weekend for the NBA 3X event, said he believes that the newly relocated franchise has the tools to win the Larry O’Brien trophy in the upcoming season. Lopez is part of the Nets’ “Core Fore” of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace. “Obviously our main goal is no question the NBA championship. I think it is realistic for us. We’re already a good playoff team so with the addition of other pieces, we can target the ring,” said Lopez, who was recently re-signed by the Nets to a four-year deal.
- Baron Davis looks to remain involved with the Knicks, although his goal is still to make a comeback, from Jared Zwerling of ESPN New York: “He’ll still be around the team and could kind of help some of the younger guys just through his experience,” Ramasar said. “The Knicks have been wonderful in terms of just extending support to Baron, whether it be through obviously his physical therapy or just having him involved with the organization going forward. He really loves that team and that organization has done an excellent job with Baron, and Baron feels like that’s home. He really, really enjoyed last season with the Knicks.” Ramasar said Davis’ goal remains the same from the moment he suffered a partial tear of his right patella tendon and complete tears of his right anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments during Game 4 against the Heat. “He wants to make a comeback,” Ramasar said.”
- Carmelo Anthony does not care about what you think, whether you are Charles Oakley or anyone else, according to Ian Begley of ESPN: “I didn’t really hear exactly what he said, but at this point it really doesn’t matter,” Anthony said. Oakley, an ex-Knick, said earlier this month that Anthony and Stoudemire “don’t make the people around them better.” Perhaps bolstering Oakley’s point: Since Anthony came to New York midway through the 2010-11 season, the Knicks have a sub-.500 record when both he and Stoudemire are in the lineup. Anthony said Friday that he wouldn’t be paying attention to any criticisms this season. Which, by the way, is probably what you want to hear if you are a Knick fan. You don’t want your star player wrapped up in the daily critiques of the media. ”Everything that you do, whether it’s good or bad, somebody’s going to say something about it,” Anthony said at his ProCamps youth hoops camp on Friday at St. John’s. “But my mentality, my mindset is to play ball, not worry about what nobody says and just have fun and enjoy it.”
- Just to be clear, Oakley does not believe what he said was criticism:
- Oakley also shared his dream starting five, excluding LeBron James: Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon.
- Chris Sheridan gave the Detroit Pistons an F on the team’s report card, but Joe Dumars is encouraged by what he has seen over the summer from his players, from Keith Langlois of NBA.com: “What’s taken place this summer has been encouraging,” Joe Dumars said late last week as another wave of players – Rodney Stuckey, Greg Monroe, Charlie Villanueva, Andre Drummond, Kim English and Khris Middleton – had wrapped up workouts with Arnie Kander and his strength and conditioning staff and a handful of Lawrence Frank’s assistant coaches. “We have young guys who are in the gym every day. They’re putting in really major work on their games. When you have a team of young guys the way we do right now, player development becomes extremely important. We’re seeing the transformation of a young team. The middle of August, your gym is full. That’s what happens with young guys. It’s not about resting your body because you made a long playoff run, it’s about developing your game and taking it to the next level. To do that, you have to put in a lot of hours and a lot of work to get there. That’s what we’re seeing right now.”
- Jeremy Lin had a realistic approach about the Houston Rockets’ upcoming season in a brief interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide: “Lin shot to stardom last season with the New York Knicks, dazzling fans with his clutch shooting and passing skills. Last month, he signed a three-year, $25 million contract with the Houston Rockets. ”We are going to be young, we are going to be inexperienced,” he said of his new team. ”We have a chance to build a new team, to build a new culture and to start from the ground.”
- Check out this photo caption by Fox News regarding Michael Jordan and Carmelo Anthony. Interesting… at the very least: