What I’m Reading
• Crucial step to ensuring that your team shifts into potential dynasty mode? Locking up your franchise superstar while he’s still young and happy.
• Yep, this is me jumping on the “LeBron to the Nets” bandwagon because this is awesome.
• After a disappointing loss to Boston, Gerald Wallace spouted off to the media about how the Celtics are a "team" and the Bobcats are a ‘group of individuals’. Better news for the C’s or worse for the Bobcats? Actually, it’s both.
• Knicks president is saying that the woes of the Knickerbockers are to be blamed on him. Not the players actually on the court. Not the coach directing the players. But the guy up in the luxury box . No, Donnie, you’re right. This makes total sense.
What I Think About It
• If the Thunder end up signing Durant over this summer to the contract that he wants, then they deserve some credit.
The easy route here would be to wait until after next season when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires, since the new CBA is expected to reduce the bloated amount of money handed over in max contracts.
But GM Sam Presti is showing that the Thunder are not a weak franchise and are expecting to keep improving with the rapidly developing players they have.
Before long, Durant will be launched into the LeBron/Kobe debate. I don’t want to get ahead of myself here but he has been so impressive thus far that I can’t realistically rule him out of being the best when his career is over.
And guess what? He’s still just twenty-one years old. Unbelievable.
• Call it reverse psychology.
Or call it classic playground attraction rules.
Either way, the Nets are trying to play hard to get by acting like they don’t want him. I have no idea if this works in regards to free agency, but it always seems to work in real life situations.
I know I’m at the forefront of the “Bring your new jersey to New Jersey” campaign (and I’m not sure if there’s anybody behind me) but I’m a bit skeptical about this approach.
Like I previously said, I do think it is awesome. It’s different and it might actually work. Johnny Damon ended up with the Yankees after getting booed heavily as a member of the Red Sox.
But if I was a player, I’d want to go to the place that gave me the warmest reception. New Jersey is far from that place for LeBron, so we’ll see what happens.
• "That was a team,'' Wallace said of the Celtics according to the Charlotte Observer, following a 104-80 loss. “This one is just guys out on their own as individuals. Not talking, not communicating on defense.''
This will probably have to change if the Bobcats still intend on making their first playoff appearance.
"Even if we manage to figure this out and some other team slips up, I don't know what kind of game we'd play. I'm worried if we do (make the playoffs), we'll get swept.''
I’m sure he was just frustrated after a disappointing loss in which Celtics’ cult legend Gino showed up.
But still. MJ is watching now. You can’t be saying these kinds of things, Gerald. Even if you feel this way, this is a locker room issue that should stay there.
If you intend on being a leader, rally the troops privately.
Now for the Celtics.
This is a team that of late has seemed to fall more into the “group of individuals” category more so than the “team” category.
To hear Wallace say that has to be a relief for Boston fans. Last night’s win at home had all the makings of a victory that should ignite at least a little spark in the team to get them going for the stretch run.
It’s only one game, but for a Celtics squad that has mysteriously struggled at home this season, a solid team-win at the Gahden is a great sign.
• The Knicks haven’t had a winning season since 2000-2001.
Understandably, Donnie Walsh is trying to change that.
His goal of rebuilding through free agency in the 2010 off-season remains intact. However, because he’s been in the process of clearing cap space by eliminating bad contracts and acquiring expiring deals, the team is awful.
I wish I could put it more eloquently than that, but it’s the truth.
Coach Mike D’Antoni has faced much scrutiny this year because of the continued failures of a once proud franchise, but Walsh now wants to take some of the heat off of D’Antoni by staking some of the blame for himself.
Sure, this is the team that he assembled and is responsible for, but when it comes down to it, a good coach makes bad players better.
And determined players will themselves to improve and win ballgames.
This hasn’t been happening.
In my opinion, the blame is equally shared in New York.
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