PHILADELPHIA – Let’s begin with a question. In the three-plus decades since David Stern took the reins as NBA commissioner from Larry O’Brien and handed them to Adam Silver, what do these franchises – the Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards, New Orleans Pelicans, Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers – have in common? Answer: None has gone to the NBA Finals. Furthermore, among that group only Denver, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Sacramento and
It might sound ridiculous to try to compare Aron Baynes, an undrafted reserve with four career starts, to Bill Laimbeer, a four-time All Star and NBA champion. However, the two have more in common than you would expect. Before Laimbeer became the ringleader for the Pistons’ Bad Boys and a namesake for a Super Nintendo videogame, he was an afterthought. Sandwiched in the draft between two players who never appeared in the NBA, Laimbeer – the 65th overall pick in 1979 – was forced to
On Thursday, we brought back our Three-Man Weave, taking a look at some of the big picture questions for Eastern Conference teams that the offseason may or may not have answered. Today, we shift our focus to the Western Conference, where the player movement has been less dramatic and more subtle but entirely interesting and thought-provoking. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger issues. 1. Which team has taken the biggest step forward in the Western Conference?
For the third straight year, the Dallas Mavericks went into the summer trying to snag a superstar to line up alongside Dirk Nowitzki. Two years ago, the Mavericks went after All-Star point guard Deron Williams, who took a pass on playing in his home state with no local income taxes and re-signed with the Brooklyn Nets. The consolation prizes were Elton Brand, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo. Last year, the target was All-Star center Dwight Howard, who stung the Mavericks by signing
With the 2014 NBA Draft fast approaching, teams have a tough decision to make due to Joel Embiid’s unexpected foot injury. After having surgery on his right foot – believed to be a very serious type of injury – the 7-footer is expected to miss four-to-six months of action. Not surprisingly, this has caused teams to reconsider their plans of drafting the center. The Cleveland Cavaliers, in particular, are looking at Jabari Parker and Andrew Wiggins now. They may even simply trade
The San Antonio Spurs and the organization’s two stalwarts, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich, are coming off a fifth championship and are poised for another title run next season – provided Duncan doesn’t retire. With five championships in a 15-year period, the Spurs have made a claim to be considered a dynasty. However, some people – most notably Phil Jackson – would disagree because the Spurs haven’t won consecutive titles. Jackson won three consecutive championships on three separate occasions (1991-93, 96-98, 2000-2002).
There is no time to waste after the NBA Finals. Despite the brilliance of the San Antonio Spurs, just minutes after the NBA Finals concluded Sunday night began the talk of the Decision II. To credit the NBA, the league has always done a marvelous job of trimming the fat. The NBA draft is just eight days away, with free agency beginning just a week after that. There’s no time to waste, and thus never a shortage of headlines. Well, until
The San Antonio Spurs have now won five championships in 15 years. With that in mind, are the Spurs a dynasty? Earlier this season, Phil Jackson said they were not. During the 15-year run, the Spurs have not won back-to-back titles. However, does that negate them as a dynasty? What are the legacies of Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich? Duncan is considered the greatest power forward of all-time, but where does he rank amongst the best overall? He made NBA history by becoming the first