Wednesday, 14 July 2010

NBA headed for 2011-12 Lockout

That's right folks, that dreaded time as come again. The latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires at the end of next season, which means a re-negotiation of that deal.

Why is this a problem?

The players: The Great Free Agency of 2010 was like Christmas come early for the players. After Wade, Bosh and Lebron joined the Heat, that left the teams overpaying for the frankly mid-level players left. Obviously great news for the players.
The teams: The GM's and Owners do not want to pay the players that much money, but if they don't, then they won't be able to get players on their team.

That is the problem.

And neither side is backing down from the totally opposite stand points. Cue Courtroom debates and Lawyers for all.

This happened in the 1997-1998 Season, after Michael Jordan's retirement, the owners started a lockout that lasted 131 days. It ended with a new agreement signed, much like the one before it. And we had a 50-game season.

So folks, enjoy 2010-2011, it may be the last NBA Basketball we witness for some time.

As always, comments are very welcome with any questions you have on anything in the NBA, i'll try to get back to you quick

Monday, 12 July 2010

Beat the Heat

Bulls signing Carlos Boozer said Saturday night that teams "cannot afford to fear Miami." A true point.

By fearing the Heat, their opponents would take a step back, giving Wade and James that crucial extra half second and extra yard to create something from nothing and destroy inside the paint. By fearing the Heat, they will win. Easily.

Strategy for beating them? In-your-face Basketball.

I know that they haven't fully finished their roster yet, so things could change. But so far they have no defensive figure to look to. They have no Gasol, no Noah or Shaq to speak of. If things don't change, getting baskets on the Heat should be not as tough as first thought. Imagine, James, Wade and Bosh trying to defend say, Pau Gasol? Never going to happen. The Heat have no height right now, no "Big" that can break up a play like Noah or Shaq, just by being there.

The other method, is being very direct in defence. Wade and James will rip you a new one if you give them just a little hole to aim at. By getting up in their face early on in the shot clock, you will give away some easy points, but you will also cut Wade/James' ability to cut and slash inside. I'm not just talking intense D, but also double teaming on the two playmakers. Getting the hand in the face to put him off. Take out the potential of Lebron and co to score buckets of buckets, and then hit them hard on the counter where they have no defensive players.

Can anyone actually do this? The Bulls could, Lakers could. Boston? We'll see how their ageing line-up holds on over the season.

But one thing is for sure, the Heat, can be beat.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Be Like Mike? The Lebron James fallout pt 1

So Thursday (Friday morning in the UK) saw Lebron "Chosen One" James get up and move down to South Beach and the Miami Heat to play with his Team USA buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Shocked, Surprised, Confused.

Some of the words thrown around by some reporters. Not about his move to the Heat, but the way that he did it. Really, Lebron's "The Decision 2010," broadcast live, in a Prime-time TV slot on ESPN, an internationally watched Sports channel, was one of the biggest legacy-suicide moments I have seen since Tiger Woods' marriage implosion. That bad. To go on National TV, and basically stick one finger to the Cleveland fans that begged him to stay, that he promised and failed to give and NBA Championship to, was shocking. It was like Brad Pitt leaving Jennifer Aniston for Angelina, except doing it on Entertainment LIVE.

The Lebron that is marketed by himself is the big, spectacular image not to different to the stars of football (soccer) in Europe. However, not even the David Beckhams or Ronaldos of this world would take 1 hour of Prime time TV to tell us they were going to play somewhere else. This was totally out of the usual Lebron image we get fed to us by ESPN UK. And then there was the manner of it. Lebron tried to tell us that winning a Championship in Cleveland would feel the same to him as in Chicago, Miami, LA. Not possible, the man is born and bred Akron, trying to justify his decision like that only serves to make him look even more heartless than before. Nothing can beat winning a Championship of any kind in front of your home crowd. See: Tiger Woods, Andy Roddick and countless European stars of various sports.

So, where's Michael Jordan come into this?

For years now, the debate has raged: Lebron, Michael or Kobe - who's the greatest ever? By signing to the Heat, Wade's team, Lebron has given up any chance of winning 'his own' title, instead, he will be a tool to help WADE 'win' the titles for Miami. So now James can't be mentioned in the same sentence as Jordan and Bryant, two leaders that dragged their teams to titles on their own skill and courage. By becoming a partner to Wade, Lebron joins the Scottie Pippen debate for the greatest ever playing-partner.

And to further remove James from the 'greatest ever' equation, Would Kobe or Michael have ever gone on national TV to announce a decision like that, in the manner he did. Jordan and Bryant are very much the egotists, but even this was a step beyond them.