Bernucca: Who Is On Your Team’s Mount Rushmore?

rushmore

This past week, NBA TV released excerpts of an extended interview with LeBron James (airing in its entirety Monday night) in which Steve Smith asked “The King” to name his Mount Rushmore of basketball. James offered a quartet of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson. But it’s really an unfair question, because in addition to those four players, there are at least three more – centers Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell – who are in the

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Bernucca: Clippers Captain is Back, But the Ship Ran Just Fine Without CP3

paulwall

Chris Paul returned to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday. We don’t want to be party-poopers, but it probably should be pointed out that the Clippers were better without him. This does not mean that GM Gary Sacks should start exploring trade possibilities for a top-five player. And it doesn’t mean that coach Doc Rivers should go with the hot hand at point guard at the end of games. But it does mean that if the Clippers want to win a championship this

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Bernucca: After slow start, the tank is rolling in Philly

tank

Remember back in October, when the handicappers in Vegas said the Philadelphia 76ers would win about 16 or 17 games? And remember in November, when the 76ers started their season with three straight wins, beating the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls with Derrick Rose? How are those 17 wins looking now? Without the Hubble telescope, the Sixers can’t see them. The small sample size of the season’s first week – three surprising wins, a rookie as Player of the Week – is

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Bernucca: Despite split, Spurs may be in trouble

Manu Ginobili

The San Antonio Spurs might be in trouble. On the surface, things appear to be OK. The Spurs have executed their defensive game plan, which is to turn LeBron James into a passer. They have prevented the Miami Heat from turning either game into an extended relay race. And most important, they secured a split of the first two games as the road team, which is practically mandatory in the 2-3-2 format of the NBA Finals. Beneath the surface, however, the Spurs

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Bernucca: Small Market Dilemma is the NBA’s Big Lie

Arison and the Big Three

This summer, when your favorite team’s owner or GM tells you a certain player is financially out of reach, here’s how you know he is lying. His lips are moving. NBA business is booming, folks. And not just for the so-called big markets. Take a quick look at the conference finals, which feature four teams from middle to small markets collecting millions for every home playoff game. Take a look at the Sacramento Kings, who were just sold for a record $525 million

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Bernucca: The Envelope, Please

DPOY trophy

The 1,230-game NBA regular season ends Wednesday. The following morning, editor-in-chief Chris Sheridan will submit his ballot for the season-ending awards. I don’t have a vote but I am hoping to influence his thought process with my choices, which are below. If not, I am hoping I will make him laugh with my snotty remarks. Let’s get to it. 

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Bernucca: What’s “laughable” about Lakers is D’Antoni

Mike_DAntoni_Knicks

After Friday’s dispiriting home loss to the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni could not take it any longer. D’Antoni went on a wide-ranging rant against his team, targeting its lack of commitment and effort on both sides of the ball. He said the Lakers were “messing with the basketball gods” and called their championship aspirations “laughable.” Although D’Antoni mentioned no one by name, very few wearing the forum blue and gold appeared exempt. 

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Bernucca: A very early look at free agency

Josh Smith

When former AAU teammates Dwight Howard and Josh Smith were not traded Thursday, they made the offseason all the more interesting. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak held onto Howard and Hawks GM Danny Ferry was unsuccessful in trying to trade Smith. And there is no guarantee that either player is sticking around this summer, possibly leaving $30 million on the table for a fresh start elsewhere.

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