Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

It’s amazing how fast people’s opinions change about an individual.  In a matter of five minutes Lebron James went from being beloved to being hated in the city of Cleveland.  I can only imagine their frustrations. 

Having the best player right in your hometown is something that they have enjoyed over the past seven years.  They had grown accustomed to seeing this and had expected this to continue.  Unfortunately it will not because Lebron has chosen to “…take his talents to South Beach.”  Those words sent shock waves through the streets of Cleveland and I know that most people in that city will never forgive Lebron for what he did.

As I thought about writing this blog I really thought about getting after Lebron for his “decisions” and actions over the past few weeks. I thought the way he handled this free agent period was completely wrong and his choice to reveal his decision about a team on a national television show was completely unnecessary.  During these past few weeks he has really showed me a lot about his character and now we all realize that Lebron loves him some Lebron and he really likes attention.  In the end despite what I or anyone else thinks, Lebron was a free agent and he had to freedom to sign wherever he wanted.  Just because he grew up in the Cleveland area doesn’t mean he has to stay with the Cavaliers for the rest of his career.

Lebron Is Now Enemy #1 In The City Of Cleveland

My focus is on the rest of the Cleveland Cavaliers organization.  Today they are playing the victim role and expect everyone to have some sort of sympathy for them but I don’t.  They hold some responsibility in this “Ledacble” and they could’ve done more to entice Lebron to stay.

First, they should’ve fired Coach Mike Brown a long time ago.  I understand that Cleveland has had the best record in the eastern conference for the past few years, however that was almost all due to Lebron and had very little to do with Brown.  As far as I’m concerned he was the head coach in name only.  Brown was routinely outcoached in the playoffs and provided no schemes to push this team over the top.   It seemed like whenever Cleveland faced equal or superior competition in the playoffs Coach Brown could never adjust to the schemes facing his team.  Coaching the Cavaliers with Lebron James would’ve been the most attractive coaching vacancy in the league and they could’ve easily hired a better coach.  Lebron has always respected head coaches that were former players and they could’ve easily filled that void from him.

Brown Was Simply The Figure Head While King James Ruled The Court.

Second, General Manager Danny Ferry could’ve surrounded Lebron with better talent.  I won’t sit here and say that he did nothing because he didn’t. He made some efforts, but they weren’t enough.  I’ll start with this season with the decision to not obtain Amar’e Stoudemire.  With Amar’e they maybe wouldn’t have won the title but, he would’ve been a better fit for the Cavs then Jamison was and turned out to be.  It was only a rumor, but supposedly the reason why Cleveland couldn’t get Amar’e is because they weren’t willing to let go of J.J. Hickson.  This may or may not be true, but with Amar’e being a free agent Phoenix couldn’t have asked for a lot back in return.  Besides Amar’e what about the fact that Cleveland was never able to obtain another scoring threat in addition to Lebron?

It has been widely known for years that the Cavaliers needed another consistent scorer to take stop teams from simply just playing a makeshift zone against Lebron.  Another scorer would’ve spread the court better for the offense.  Their best effort was when they added players like Larry Hughes and Wally Szczerbiak.  These journeymen were supposed to be the Robin to Lebron’s Batman?  This was the best that you can do in the last seven years?  Trying isn’t good enough for me.  Cleveland should’ve done a better job in surrounding Lebron with better talent.

He Was Supposed To Be The Answer?!

Lebron was wrong how he acted the last few weeks, but he was not wrong for leaving.  Now Cleveland has to do what they should’ve been doing the last several years and that is put the best roster out on the floor possible.

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The NBA Draft of 2010 has now officially come to a close.  All of the speculation of where these amateur athletes would land is now over.  The speculation of how good these players will be can now begin.  Overall I thought the draft was full of intriguing players.  It seemed like there was some talent available, but we all are generally unsure of how these players will translate to the NBA.  This year’s draft didn’t see a senior selected until the twenty third pick.  This was first time this happened since the NBA implemented the lottery system in 1985. 

Every year more and more underclassmen are entering into the draft.  With the bulk of prospects only being in college for a year or two this doesn’t give scouts a lot of information to appropriately determine how well these players will transition to the professional game.

In this unpredictable draft there were three players in that really stood out to me. Each of these players’ talents and attributes affected me in a different way.  And they are….

Boom = Greg Monroe

I could’ve easily picked John Wall as the player I think that could be the best in this draft class but how boring is that?  That’s like picking the Lakers to win the title again next year.  There is no risk involve in that selection.  So I will stick my neck out there a little bit with Monroe.  I am confident that he will have the most successful NBA career out of anyone in this year’s draft.  What I like best about Monroe is that scouts say that he is the most NBA ready player out of anyone of his peers.  I like the sound of this along with his measurables and his attributes. He is a 6-11, 240 pound true power forward.  He already possesses a decent offensive game that includes the ability to put his back to the basket and also the ability to face up his defender.  He is also a willing and good passer that average almost four assists a game, a strong rebounder, and he shows the ability to be able to defend by averaging one and a half blocks per game.  At Georgetown they ran a Princeton style offense which required the forwards and centers to handle the ball at the top of the key.  This style of offense definitely helped Monroe developed into a solid basketball player.  I am confident that once Monroe adjusts to the NBA game and adds some bulk he will be the best player of this draft class.

Cole Aldrich, Greg Ostertag, and Nick Collison All Went To Kansas. Not A Great History of Big Men.

Bust = Cole Aldrich

Cole Aldrich actually had a decent career at Kansas.  He was a good rebounder and a decent shot blocker.  It’s nothing personal against Aldrich honestly because I actually like the guy, but unfortunately I see him as nothing more than a journey man in the NBA.  If Aldrich was drafted in the second round then I would’ve never said nothing negative about him, but when a player is drafted in the first round he is automatically subjected to expectations.  A first round selection is considered a top thirty prospect and is oftentimes a team’s first selection.  When I think of a first round selection, I am envisioning a future starter for an NBA team.  Aldrich is just another run of the mill big man that will always be a role player.  I understand that he defends well and he blocks shots. That’s fine.  What about his offensive game? It’s very limited.  Aldrich possesses an elementary post game with a simple jump hook over both shoulders and he has very little face up skills. This past season he tried to develop a jumper with mediocre results.  His jump shot makes Shawn Marion’s look decent. It was very awkward, flat, and inconsistent.   Aldrich needs a lot of work for a supposed lottery pick and he only averaged about eleven points in his last year.  Sure Aldrich can prove me wrong and develop into a nice player, but he is a high risk project for an eleventh overall pick.  Besides it doesn’t help that with his buzz cut he reminds me of  another Kansas alum Greg Ostertag. He was just another example of a big man that was a journey man in the NBA.   

Huh? = Daniel Orton

Orton was the fifth Kentucky Wildcat taken in the first round.  He was probably the most interesting Wildcat as well.  In is only year at Kentucky he averaged just thirteen minutes and three points at the center position. 

The Orlando Magic selected him late in the first round so it isn’t like he is needed to be an impact player right away but still he is a first round selection? He barely played in his freshman year so that means that most of his highlights would be from high school.  Scouts have to judge his talents based off what he did against sixteen year olds?  Scouts also have to include his height and his potential.  If you have read my past blogs you would know how much I dislike the word potential.  There is just not enough information on this guy that allows him to be a first round selection.  If I were a general manger I would even question selecting him in the second round.  It’s just another example on how big men are viewed in the NBA.  Big men are constantly given so many chances when honestly most of the time they don’t deserve it.  If this was a shooting guard or point guard I would be talking about the mistake this guy made in leaving early and NOT getting drafted.

              When the Cavaliers were unexpectedly bounced out of the playoffs recently it prematurely started the “LeBron Watch.” What is the best fit for Lebron? Where will Lebron play next year?  Along with that come those annoying rumors from the anonymous sources who claim to be “close” to Lebron. All of these questions are interesting for all of about one day. After just one day all of  these talks become pointless and annoying because all of it is just pure speculation.  Lebron can’t sign with a new team until July 1st, but unfortunately we now live within a 24/7 news cycle so it will be hard to escape any news on him for the next six weeks or so.

            To make matters worse there is now speculation on who will be coaching Lebron.  John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, Doc Rivers, and Phil Jackson have all been named as potential candidates to coach Lebron. Chicago and New Jersey have long been the rumored destinations for Lebron.  These teams along with his current team in Cleveland all have coaching vacancies at the moment and will be looking to fill these positions in the near future.  My question is why anyone would think that any of these four coaches would be serious candidates? How about candidates at all?

Does Lebron Have The Ability To Choose His Next Head Coach?

         First, all of these coaches are currently employed.  So they would have to quit their current job and then wait to see if one of previously mentioned teams will offer them the coaching position.  Is this taking place before or after Lebron signs a contract?

         Second, look at the names of all these candidates and their situations.  These coaches have big names, but unique circumstances. Calipari has been at Kentucky for one year and failed miserably in his past NBA coaching experiences.  Krzyzewski has a great resume in the college ranks, but has never been a coach in the NBA. Rivers is coaching one of the best teams in basketball with the Celtics and Jackson has arguably the best team in the NBA with a core nucleus of players that will be in LA for the next few years.  Why would Rivers and Jackson leave their championship contending teams to coach Lebron on an unproven team?  Who in their right mind thinks any of these guys will be the next coach for Lebron?

Why Would Phil Leave LA?

          The point is no one knows who will be coaching Lebron next year. He could very well sign with a team that already has an established coach.  All of these media outlets are trying to draw attention themselves by just saying anything with “Lebron James” attach to it. I’m sure for the next several weeks we will hear more coaches names attached to Lebron along with rumors as to where he might sign.

         What is unfortunate is that until Lebron signs a contract on July 1st all of the speculation will continue. It’s going to be a long summer.