The NBA offseason can be a troubling time for many athletes, simply offering too many opportunities for individuals to run into trouble. Rather than focus on the downward spiral of players like Lamar Odom and J.R. Smith, however, should we instead focus on the progress other athletes, like Metta World Peace, have made after their own missteps?
Future Hall-of-Fame point guard Jason Kidd, who started 48 games for the New York Knicks last year, retired last month. Less than two weeks later, on June 12, he was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Considering the recent history of the NBA, this was a pretty remarkable turnaround to say the least. In the past, former players have typically had to earn their dues for years as assistant coaches, broadcasters, or in front office roles before being handed the coveted role of head coach for an NBA team.
In the nearly 70-year existence of the NBA, a lot has changed. Players of a variety of races and nationalities now populate the league. The 24-second shot clock and three-point arc have been implemented. Shorts have grown longer, and tattoos more prevalent. The elite players of today earn more salary in a year than the legends of yesteryear did over an entire career. Throughout all that change, though, at least one thing has remained constant: the dominance of the Lakers and Celtics.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If that is indeed the case, then 37-year old Miami Heat shooting guard Ray Allen may be the definition of sanity: he does the same thing over and over again and expects the exact same result each time. Luckily for him (and us), time and time again throughout his career, he has gotten those results. For 17 years in the NBA, Allen’s job has been to make shots, and, for most of that time, he has been the best in the world at it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers made history recently by becoming only the second team in NBA history to win the first pick in the draft two times in three years. The Cavs could make history again at the 2013 NBA Draft by becoming the first team to trade the first overall pick since the Orlando Magic dealt away Chris Webber back in 1993. Gerard Spalding considers their options.
When the New Orleans Hornets decided to rebrand themselves as the New Orleans Pelicans for next season, it opened the possibility of the Charlotte Bobcats reclaiming their former name. While the nostalgic marketing potential alone is endless for the franchise, it’s left many wondering and waiting to see if they can translate that into on-court success.
The NBA playoffs this year have been as entertaining as ever, but you could put together a pretty decent starting five solely composed of players who have been unable to play due to injury: Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant, Danilo Gallinari and David Lee are just some of the star contributors who have spent the majority of these playoffs watching the games courtside. Perhaps most significant in terms of impacting the playoff bracket, has been the injury to Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook. Gerard Spalding explains.
In 2004, the Detroit Pistons accomplished something that will probably never be done again: they won an NBA title without a superstar. It may seem somewhat premature to make such a bold declaration, but the facts certainly support it. We are fully entrenched in the era of the “superteam” and there is seemingly no looking back.
On March 30, the Philadelphia Sixers celebrated Allen Iverson bobblehead night during a home game. The diminutive former MVP shooting guard was in attendance himself, making the media rounds and enjoying the adulation of Sixers fans. Of course, this wasn’t the first time that Philly has trotted out Iverson during a home game and it probably won’t be the last, but it has been the most transparent so far.
We all know about the 1984 NBA Draft, Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon have made sure of it. Then 1996, with the likes of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Allen Iverson, is hard to forget as well. If we can assume that 2003’s offering of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony reaches that same level, then does 2008’s with Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love?