Nike Basketball gives an inside look at the training, commitment, pride and innovation that fuels the 2012 USA Men’s Basketball team. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, Andre Iguodala, Tyson Chandler, James Harden and Coach Krzyzewski describe the keys to success for this team.
Goodbye New Jersey, HELLO BROOKLYN! Jay-Z and the new look Brooklyn Nets unveiled their new logo at the beginning of this week. Simple and clean in both design and color. I think people wanted more. I think I’m going to hold off on judgement until I see how the overall scope of the new logo looks on the jersey, applied throughout their arena, creatives, etc.
When I look back on Gilbert Arenas’ career, although it’s not fully over, I can’t help but shake my head a little bit. This is a guy who became the face of the No. 0 in the NBA because kids told him he’d be nothing. At one point in his career, he was the clutch-est in the league. (And yes, Laker’ fans, that’s over your Kobe Bryant who shoots you out of more games than it) “The Silent Assassin” dropped game winners after game winners. He poured 51 points on Deron Williams, and put the most embarrassing outing on Kobe’s head during a 60-point performance in L.A. Starting with the ’04-05 season, Gilbert averaged 25.5, 29.3, and 28.5 points per game for the next three seasons before injuries took a toll on his career.
After those few years of All-Star performances, Arenas played a total of 117 games the next 4 seasons.
It’s not only injuries, though, that put a hamper on Gilbert’s career; it was his own stupidity. Back in 2010, Arenas was found guilty of having guns inside of his locker at the Verizon Center and was ultimately suspended.
Now 30 year’s old and nowhere near the player he once was, the Memphis Grizzlies decided to take a chance on the 11-year veteran in hopes of providing them with veteran leadership (Ha!) and perhaps a spark once the postseason starts. The best thing about his signing with Memphis isn’t that he will be playing basketball again, but he has a chance to redeem himself and show us fans/organization he’s grown up.
Gilbert isn’t the first player that had their careers turn around for the better when they came to Memphis. And Bethlehem Shoals of GQ.com gives a few examples of who those players are:
“Without having seen a second of present-day Gilbert Arenas, and severely doubting that he can pull off the kind of press conference that makes writers weep for joy at their own copy, I still want to be excited about this signing. Memphis, quietly, has turned into a home for outlaws and rejects, a kind of Bad News Bearsof the NBA. Much is made of Randolph’s transition from “knucklehead” to franchise rock, but all Z-Bo did was stop acting out and learn to exercise some judgment, both on and off the court. Randolph is a terrific basketball player, but there’s been little attempt to convince us he is an entirely different person or a model citizen. He’s just straightened himself out and been left alone to flourish on his own terms.”
“An even more extreme case is Tony Allen, he of the smothering defense, and incoherent Twitter account. Allen was central to the Grizzlies’ playoff run; he’s also the guy who, with the Celtics, blew out his knee dunking after the whistle, and more seriously, was mixed up in a Chicago fight that led to a shooting. Tony Allen has matured, but he’s still unmistakably Tony Allen. Of course, this kind of acceptance is possible only in a small market, where players draw less fire from the national media, and where locals are more likely to overlook imperfections. It’s a level of “realness” that can’t be sustained in the glare of the spotlight, and as it turns out, one that can be a competitive asset. The Grizzlies have an energy, and chemistry, that wouldn’t be there if everyone were worried about his brand.”
Not only are those great examples, those are perfect examples. Shoals was dead on with their troubles and how perhaps a change of scenery is for the better. Some teams take chances on troubled players, (i.e. Cincinnati Bengals) and sometimes it works out for the better. A team like Phoenix is where you go to get healed, but perhaps Memphis is the place you go to get your act together and become a professional. Arenas’ days of averaging 20+ are long gone — unless he went over to Germany and received the Kobe treatment that we don’t know about — but for his sake, I hope everything works out because personally, I’m rooting for the guy. As should you.
Nowadays when folks mention the top point guards in the league, the most immediate names that pop up are Derrick Rose, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook. But what about that No. 8 in New Jersey? You know, Deron Williams (who I believe is still a Top 3 point guard in the game). Yes, he’s no longer in Utah putting up highlights and getting TV burn. But he’s certainly making sure that we don’t forget who is he and what he’s capable of doing just because he’s under the gray cloud in Jersey. D-Will’s averaging a whopping 21.7 points per game this season (40.8% FG, 36.1% from 3s) and 8.3 assists. Just in case you missed the Sports Center highlights, Deron dropped 57 points against the Bobcats. I don’t care if it was against Charlotte, 57 is a lot of points to score against any team. But not when you make 21-of-21 of your free throws.
Four years ago seems like nearly a decade by the way time flies these days. I was just 19 years old and entering my sophomore year at Indiana University when Team USA’s ‘Redeem Team’ took the gold medal at the ’08 Olympics in Beijing. The ’92 Dream Team is still the hardest team ever assembled with a Starting Five that consisted of Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Magic Johnson.
But the ‘Redeem Team’ were no slouches, either.
LeBron James was their best all-around player with Kobe coming in a close second, Dwyane Wade regained his ’06 championship form, and we got a chance to see both Chris Paul and Deron Williams be taken under Jason Kidd’s wing.
The way all that talented meshed together as one was a thing of beauty for a daily hoop-head, especially since most in my generation don’t remember watching the ’92 Olympic games. I grew as Carmelo Anthony grew into The Bully, and he’s since grown into my favorite player ever.
Although only 12 of the best players in the world will be selected to attend the 2012 Olympics in London this year (18 attend practice and try to earn a roster spot), but former ESPN beat writer Chris Sheridan is reporting that they’re planning on bringing in one more heavy hitter for his chance to shine: LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Portland Trail Blazers forward has gained the attention of Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski with his strong start to the season, averaging 22.6 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Blazers (6-2), who are tied with Philadelphia for the NBA’s fourth-best record. The Blazers are coached by Nate McMillan, an assistant under Krzyzewski on the national team staff.
“Everybody has had the number at 18, and everybody had Blake Griffin as the only guy who wasn’t on the ’08 (Olympics) and ’10 (World Championship) teams. But they don’t know about Aldridge,” a source with knowledge of USA Basketball’s plans told SheridanHoops.com.
With Aldridge added, this is what the 19-man roster would look like:
Just by looking at that roster I see growth, more experience, and a better team than the ’08 squad. I don’t see Russell Westbrook knocking D-Will off the list, and as of right now I don’t see Lamar Odom beating out Kevin Love for a spot.
Which players do you think will make the cut? Training camp begins July 5.
You know what the best thing about LeBron’s “Decision” and Carmelo Anthony’s “I’ll keep playing with the fans and teams head and act like I don’t know where I want or will be traded to but secretly I know it’s New York” is? It gives all the other superstars in the league that are about to be in the same situation a little advantage. They got to sit back and watch players like ‘Bron make a national mistake and guys like ‘Melo prove that the players can control their own destiny in certain situations.
Now, it’s Deron Williams turn.
With the new rules due to the lockout, any chance the Nets had at saving millions of dollars and getting Williams to sign an extension are now out the window. Deron’s agent Jeff Schwartz went public earlier today stating that Deron will play out this season in New Jersey and will ultimately become a free agent once the season comes to an end. Now that doesn’t exactly mean he wants to leave the Nets — although he probably does unless they get another superstar — but he’ll become richer.
Deron will not be signing the extension,” Jeff Schwartz told The Record this afternoon. “Based on the new rules it doesn’t make any sense for him to sign the extension. It has nothing to do with how much he likes New Jersey. Because of the rules, he’s going to play the season out and probably opt out of his deal.”
With the new rules now set in stone, Williams can either choose to sign with another team as a free agent and roughly get around $73 million for four years, or he can re-sign with the Nets — if they get a superstar — for a five-year, $101 million ext. The only way he comes back is if they can somehow land Dwight Howard, which means goodbye to Brooke Lopez. Nothing against Lopez but, he’s nowhere near Howard’s level of play. Not even close. And he’s definitely not the kind of player that’s going to help lead the Nets to an NBA title. They already have some solid outside shooters and a decent bench, but they could use a couple upgrades in those areas as well. All big men in the league need someone to feed them the ball, and who better than Deron Williams? The biggest/strongest PG in the league who many consider to be better than Chris Paul.
Take a quick look past Deron Williams and you’ll see the happiest pink and blue polo wearing kid in the world. One could not fake that amount of happiness. That’s just pure 110% happy.
Eventually, everyone gets got and last night it was Derrick Rose’s turn. Even though, D-Rose barely attempted to block the shot (meaning he didn’t get enough time to elevate as soon as he turned around), he still got nicely dunked on by Deron Williams. Shouts to Dime!
Watch the video as D-Will and Ashton Kutcher Kyle Korver get their Patches O’Houlihan on. It’s most likely scripted but funny nonetheless.