Sunday, December 11, 2005

An attempt to write about the NBA without mentioning refs

  • In Sports Illustrated's NBA preview, the cover article was about how happy and grateful Ron Artest was playing for the Pacers. He even talked about how he'd like to spend the rest of his life in Indianapolis. Now he wants to be traded. There's some funny quotes in the article about Rick Carlisle and how he'd like to play for the Knicks.
  • Of course my first thought is would Artest go to the Celtics. I don't see it happening. My guess is Minnesota.
  • Speaking of Sports Illustrated, in an article about TJ Ford they said how he was as quick as Iverson and as smart as Nash. A nice compliment except from one thing: Iverson's the smartest player in the NBA. A lot of players are quick, but Iverson is ALWAYS at the right place at the right time. He sees the game better than any player playing the game.
  • The Sixers are struggling, but I wouldn't want to face them in the playoffs. Besides Iverson, there's Chris Webber who's passing makes him the perfect compliment to Iverson and Dalembert and Iguodala are great on defense.
  • Not sure if it's smart to play Iverson for 48 minutes a game though. Then again Iverson never gets tired.
  • Right now three players are averaging over 30 points a game. So much for well balanced offenses.
  • The Clippers are good. That was strange to write.
  • Marcus Camby is also leading the league in rebounds. I'm not kidding. It will be a shame when he gets hurt.
  • Good news: Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis are having the best seasons of their career. Also, Delonte West and Al Jefferson are starting to look like very good players. Bad news: Doc Rivers is coaching the team.
  • Scottie Pippen was the perfect compliment to Michael Jordan, but I always laughed about his post-Bulls career when he was supposedly going to add a "veteran presence" to his new team. He really fixed things up in Portland. A recent quote from the ultimate team player, Scottie Pippen:
In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Pippen said he still had no regrets over his decision not to go in during the final seconds of a 1994 playoff game against the Knicks because Toni Kukoc was designated by Phil Jackson to take the last shot. Kukoc made the shot, the Bulls won the game, but the Knicks won the series. Pippen took some well-deserved heat for that move, but he said in the interview, ''I'd do it the same way. If I'm supposed to be a [bad word] star, and the main, go-to guy, I'm not taking the [bad word] ball out. If you want to think that's being ungrateful, I disagree. But that was my feeling and thought for that moment. What most folks don't understand is that Toni and I were always good friends before and after that incident. He understood why I did it. It was never a Toni and me thing. I guarantee you that if you put me in one room and Michael [Jordan] in another and Toni had a choice, he'd come to me first."


Patriotsy2k said...

On Friday night the Bulls retired Pippen's #, while Phil Jackson and the Lakers were in town. It was a nice ceremony, from what I read. Phil Jackson was quoted as saying "..."he was a really fine leader on the court".
So this brings me to that night in May '94, of course. I remember this incident clearly, and Pippen would say months later that it was "an issue with me and Phil that blew up". Even though this was probably one of the only negative acts he did as an NBA player, it came at the worst time and fans still remember it today.
Leaders don't leave their team on the court when the coach gives another star player a chance. Therefore, I disagree with Phil's comments the other night. Sincere as it was, Phil had to say something nice in Chicago.

Bryan said...

Couple things about Scottie Pippen
1. Michael never won a ring without him.
2. Scottie was the reason Magic Johnson couldn't do squat in games 2-5 in 1991. Jordan was guarding Magic in game 1 and got torched
3. Before Scottie, Michael would score over 35 ppg, and the Bulls would win 30 games.
4. Never would have made the finals in 1998 if not for Scottie pestering Mark Jackson
5. An argument can be made (by that I mean me) he was one of the greatest defenders of all time.

Bryan said...

About that incident in 1994, I believe that was the same year he Scottie threw a chair at Phil. Phil made that comment, but it only came after he made some shots about Scottie getting injured a lot in the playoffs.
There is some truth to that, I can't remember the pins and needles I was on anytime I heard his back was cramping up in 96-98. Great ceremony though, very respectful.
I remember watching that game, I remember wondering why he was not on the court. Regardless, he still remains one of my favorite players of all time. Perfected the bank shot.