The LeBron Debacle

If you haven’t heard, LeBron James is no longer a Cavalier. He jumped ship and went to South Beach to be on the Miami Heat with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, forming the new “Big Three”.  But  this Big Three wasn’t formed in the same way that the former Big Three was by the Celtics (Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen). No trades were made. No huge sacrifices made by the Heat, aside from being well over the salary cap. They just got commitments from LBJ and Bosh via free agency.

So who came out winning and who came out losing? Continue reading The LeBron Debacle

2010 NBA Draft Lottery

This is going to be brief, but I wasn’t surprised to see that the team with the worst record in the NBA didn’t win the lottery. However, despite the Nets not winning it, I think they’ll still be alright. It just means that between Wall and Turner, they pick whoever the Wizards don’t pick.

Wait… What about the Sixers? Don’t they decide the fate of the Nets’ pick since they’re second and all? It means draft the second best player, which would likely be whoever the Wizards don’t pick between John Wall and Evan Turner, right? Well, the problem is that they have Jrue Holiday and Andre Igoudala already. The only thing that I could see is Turner gets picked by the Sixers, but Igoudala playing as a SF? It doesn’t seem right. It would be a scary backcourt though. Their need seems to be at finding a dominant big man anyway, as Dalembert and Speights don’t exactly seem all too scary. I could see the Sixers trading down if they don’t feel they need either Wall or Turner.

Assuming this is true and Sixers don’t pick either, that means the Nets aren’t in too bad of a situation. Drafting one of them third overall means that they get Wall or Turner at a discount, which to be honest, is pretty good. Nothing else in the lottery seems to be much of a surprise there. Everyone else was in order for the most part, minus the Sixers/Nets/Wizards mix-up.

Portland is 22nd, one after the OKC Thunder. But what are the Blazers’ needs? Big man seems bad with Camby and Oden available at the start of next season, but could think about long-term since Camby won’t be with Portland for more than a season. Someone to back-up LaMarcus wouldn’t be bad. Portland’s problem is that they’d be drafting someone that would likely be a bench player, which seems mighty expensive. Miller, Roy, Batum, LA, Camby (or Oden eventually), is a pretty solid starting line-up. Miller would eventually be replaced by Bayless. The first round pick would likely be a project or a long-term investment. I don’t think it’s worth it. SG perhaps given Roy’s injury battles as of late?

What do you think?

Fixing Professional Sports Leagues in the U.S.

In the U.S., we have all these leagues for our sports. NBA for basketball, NFL for football, MLB for baseball, NHL for hockey. I follow pretty much all four leagues for the most part. But over the course of this past year, you start hearing things of teams being unlucky for not making the playoffs because of schedule of strength or being in a tough division, teams choosing to bomb their season for the sake of a draft pick, or other such non-sense. However, it hasn’t been going on just this year. It’s been going on for a long, long time. Teams losing steam or motivation to do well. The same team winning year after year. Scheduling unfairness.

Because of all this, it’s given me a bit more appreciation of the way that the European football (soccer) leagues are run. Let me explain this model in a manner that people can identify with as possible. It’s one of the simplest, yet effective ways of determining a league champion and also bringing other aspects that encourage and drive teams to play to the very end. Continue reading Fixing Professional Sports Leagues in the U.S.

Blazer Mania

The 2008-2009 season is slowly starting to near with each minute. And there’s that sense of enjoyment and excitement that comes with it, especially with this season. Why? It’s simple. Rip City is back in Portland, but more importantly, it’s throughout the northwest now. As sad as it may be that Seattle no longer has a team to call its own, they have a team in which they can root for that is on the up and coming that’s just down south on I-5.

There’s a lot of reasons to be excited for this young team though. I was reading an article written by a local blog that covers Blazers news called Blazer’s Edge about reasons to root for the Blazers, so I felt I would list my own reasons for why people should at least keep an eye on these guys.

1. Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, and Lamarcus Aldridge are the next Big Three. It’s obviously not the same kind of big three that Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and KG bring, but they bring a lot of energy and athleticism to the court. It will be great to finally see them on the court together. Oden will be doing monster dunks, Aldridge will be shooting from the perimeter and providing a defensive rebounding presense to complement Oden, and Roy will help run the offense and give everyone on the team opportunities to get on the scoreboard.

2. The rookies join the set. When I saw Bayless online during the summer league, I was mighty impressed with him. He had this composure and fearlessness that is hard to find in rookies. To attack the basket and shoot effortlessly was a sight to see. It felt as if the organization had the steal of the 2008 draft in Bayless. While he will likely make the transition to point guard, that ferocity and aggressiveness on the offensive side of the ball will definitely provide a big boost to the team.

Rudy Fernandez joining the Blazers is going to be exciting as well. For those that didn’t get the opportunity to see him play in the Gold Medal game in the Beijing Olympics, you missed out. I think the play that made him big was the dunk that he did on Dwight Howard. He provides a lot of energy to the court and will be another offensive threat on the court. Great jumpshot, winning attitude from his days in Spain, and great game overall.

3. Team-first attitude but with energy. I think this is probably one of the bigger reasons to follow the team. It’s hard to find a team that does this these days. The only team I can really think of off the top of my head is the Detroit Pistons. These guys are focused on success. They’re not greedy for the most part and they work well together. And they stand up for each other as well. Prime example of this is the last Lakers/Blazers game last season.

4. No attitudes or egos to worry about. The NBA is a lot about big names and big egos that run around the court. But it’s hard to really find one on this team. They may get attention, but not for the wrong reasons. They let their game do the talking, rather than their mouths.

5. They’re going to be a fun team to watch. I don’t think you can say that they aren’t. With the addition of Bayless and Rudy to go with all the other fearless players on this team, like Roy, Oden, and Outlaw, you’re going to see a lot of dunks and blocks this season. Last season alone provided so many games that resulted players from the team being on the highlight reel. This season won’t be a letdown, especially with Oden and his monster dunks and blocks.

But just think about it. Is there anything you can really say badly about this team? They’re a young team, and yes, with inexperience, but that’s fine. It’s what happens when the team consists of such young stars. Mistakes will happen. But they’re growing up together throughout this process and it will be great to see them mature together as a team and really learn what it takes to finally succeed and become a force in the NBA. And with a coach like Nate McMillian to keep them down to earth, they will have the elements that will help them contend for a title in the years to come.

The Playoff Dilemma of the NBA

It’s mid-March, which means the NCAA tournament is starting up. However, it also means that the NBA playoff race really starting to kick in and teams are fighting for one of the final spots in the post-season. It has become a rather tight race in the Western Conference, with nine teams fighting for eight spots. While in the East, there are four teams fighting for their playoff lives and that last spot.

There’s a concerning problem though. While this seems to be a great fight to the finish, how is it possible that likely a team that’s ten games under .500 going to make it to the playoffs, while two teams that are over .500 going to be going to the lottery? Continue reading The Playoff Dilemma of the NBA