Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
VH1's new reality series, Basketball Wives, follows the lives of NBA player wives and exes.
One of the new reality series in VH1's lineup is the series Basketball Wives, which is produced by Shaquille O'Neal's ex-wife Shaunie. The show also stars former Nets forward Eric Williams wife, Clippers #1 pick Michael Olowokandi's ex-girlfriend, Antoine Walker's ex, Matt Barnes wife, and a former Heat and Magic dancer. It follows the crew as they party it up and wonder if their men are cheating.
The ironic part of the show is that only 2 members of the cast are actually current basketball wives. When those 2 are involved is the only time the show is actually interesting. It is intriguing to see the dynamics of the relationship between the wives and the players, with Matt Barnes and Eric Williams making frequent appearances in the show.
The rest of the show is filled with dancing, partying, and fake beef between the girls. If you like VH1 reality shows, you will enjoy this. However, the few parts when the relationship between the players and wives is highlighted is not enough to sit through the drama. Now if Shaq was on the show, it would be interesting.
Monday, April 19, 2010
While the playoffs began for 16 NBA teams, the others were starting their offseason and two coaches have already become casualties.
After an abysmal 27-55 season, the Philadelphia 76ers fired head coach Eddie Jordan. Jordan had very successful years in Washington before being cut loose and did not have any success during his first and only season with the 76ers. However, the 76ers did not solve all their problems. With Elton Brand still on the books, they will continue to struggle. He just does not fit into their style of play. Losing point guard Andre Miller (who is the type of player you don't miss until he's gone) was also a huge blow for the team. Rumors are already swirling that current Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown would want to return to Philly.
Meanwhile, the other L.A. team decided to cut ties with their interim coach Kim Hughes. The Clippers were horrible all season and Hughes just had to step in and take the hit after the firing of Mike Dunleavy. The Clippers have talented players and a bunch of money to spend in the offseason. If they start to trust each other, they can be a successful team (barring more injuries). They will try to entice Lebron James by giving him the ability to choose his next head coach, and possibly GM. Larry Brown also appears to have some interest in this job.
The New Jersey Nets are also expected to have a new head coach next season. Other coaches that could be on the hot seat are Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro and Pistons coach John Kuester while Celtics coach Doc Rivers may opt to retire. Avery Johnson, Byron Scott, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson will be names brought up for head coaching jobs.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Chicago Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro and VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson were ready to throw blows over an argument about playing time.
Bulls big man Joakim Noah has had some pain this season. With the Bulls fighting for the last playoff spot in the East, Noah has played despite an injured foot. He did miss a few weeks earlier in the season and when he came back, he was supposed to get limited minutes. But coach Vinny Del Negro decided he needed him on the floor and let him play.
That's where John Paxson comes in. The Bulls exec was apparently not happy about this and approached Del Negro after the game. According to Yahoo! Sports...
After a loss to the Phoenix Suns on March 30, an irate Paxson walked into the coach's office at the United Center and confronted Del Negro over a narrow breach of a management-imposed minutes limit on injured forward Joakim Noah. Sources said Paxson first grabbed a hold of Del Negro's tie and seemingly tried to provoke him with two successive jabs into his chest. Paxson was even heard to angrily challenge Del Negro to a fight.
According to another report from ESPN, Del Negro was the one who initiated the physical contact. So it's another issue of he said, she said. But does it really matter who you believe?
Two grown men with multi-million dollar salaries pushing and shoving each other over a guy's playing time? Grow up. The real issue is that the Bulls don't seem to like Vinny Del Negro. But why? Last season, as a first-year coach, the Bulls took the Boston Celtics to seven games. They lost Ben Gordon, and later John Salmons, yet still were able to get to .500 and make a playoff series. Seems that Del Negro has done a lot with a little. If Paxson really has a problem with him, throw them in the octagon.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The first matchup officially set for the playoffs will be the best as the Thunder will try to dethrone the champs.
Ok, it's not Lebron vs Kobe but it is the other dream matchup. Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma City Thunder will face off against Kobe Bryant the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The rest of the matchups have to yet to be set but this series will be the most entertaining first round match.
Durant is the up-and-coming star. He finishes the season leading the league in scoring at 30.1 points per game and he broke a record for scoring 25+ points in 29 consecutive games earlier this season. Recently, Durant made headlines when Rolling Stone declared him the NBA's second-best player, ahead of Kobe. Now will be his chance to prove it.
Kobe played down the idea of Durant surpassing him amongst the league's best but there is no doubt he will have that chip on his shoulder during this series. Unfortunately, the duo will not face off against each other as Ron Artest will guard Durant and Thabo Sefolosha will try to D up Bryant. The home crowd in OKC will be difficult for the Lakers to deal with but in the end the experience will provide a major advantage for both the Lakers players and coach. Kobe will destroy the smaller Sefolosha in the post.
PREDICTION: The Thunder will win two games at home but the Lakers will take the series 4-2
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The latest documentary in the excellent ESPN "30 for 30" series debuted Tuesday and "No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson" did not disappoint.
The world does not know much about Allen Iverson. We know he loves Philadelphia and we've heard how much he loves practice but he has, for the most part, remained a mystery since he came into the league in 1996. "No Crossover" gives us a intimate look into an event that changed 17-year-old Iverson's life.
Iverson, who was then a skinny high school kid, was bowling with a group of friends on Valentine's Day 1993. Somehow an argument erupted into a huge brawl, pitting Iverson and his young black friends against a group of older white men.
While the film does give great incites into Iverson's background, the main theme is the racial divisions in his hometown of Hampton, Virginia. Iverson was charged with "maiming by mob"(which was originally conceived to combat lynching; Iverson was charged this for throwing a chair at someone). A.I. was only 17 but he was charged as an adult. The trial showed the clear racism that was still alive in the town and, according to residents, still haunts the town.
Director Steve James, who also directed the great 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams," does a great job of balancing Iverson's background with the issues of racism. He provides voiceover, showing a deep understanding and passion for the topic. James raised a topic that everyone knows still exists but nobody wants to talk about. There is something to learn in this film; not just for sports fans but for everyone.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The sad stories of ex-NBA stars keep pouring in. Derrick Coleman had a 15-year NBA career and now faces bankruptcy.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that ex-NBA player Derrick Coleman has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and owes his creditors $4.7 million. During his 15-year NBA career, Coleman played for the 76ers, Nets, Hornets, and Pistons, making over $87 million. Now, he has only $1 million in assets, including a Bentley and five fur coats. Smart investments.
Coleman is just the latest in a string of NBA players to blow it all. Recently it was reported that former Celtics and Heat forward Antoine Walker owes $4 million to his creditors and has a felony fraud charge in Las Vegas. The 33-year-old Walker, who made over $110 million from NBA contracts, supposedly supported around 70 people while he was playing in the NBA. Some entourage.
First off, let's be clear that not all of the money was blown in excess. Coleman invested in a project called Coleman's Corner in an effort to revive one of Detroit's worst neighborhoods. He's not a bad guy, just not so smart a businessman.
But there is an obvious issue with NBA players and finances. A report a few years ago from the Toronto Star said that around 60% of NBA players go broke within five years of retirement. The NBA needs to do something about this and start teaching their players to be smart. They can't completely fix the problem or make their players brilliant business minds, but they can help.
It all starts in the schools. Recently, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan suggested bans on postseason play for NCAA teams that do not graduate 40% of their players. This is another smart way to help young players learn how to handle their money and fame. The problem will never completely die but the NBA can preach higher learning and financial sense to the few people who have the privilege to play in the league. Those players need to be trained because, eventually, they will also have to encounter the "real" world.