Many of the teams in the NBA playoffs this season carried the burden of high expectations. Owners, executives, and fans all have high hopes when their favorite team goes into the playoffs with a real shot at getting to the finals or even winning the whole thing. When the team succeeds, it’s great. When they don’t, the weight of those expectations inevitably comes crashing down on somebody. In today’s NBA, that somebody is more often than not the coach. Mike Woodson of the Atlanta Hawks was a already fired after his team was swept by the Orlando Magic, and Mike Brown doesn’t appear to be long for a job after his team lost to the Boston Celtics.
According to Tim Potvak of FanHouse
, the coaches who knocked Woodson and Brown out of the playoffs don’t think it’s right that they lost their jobs because they lost. When speaking to media about the firings before game one, Rivers made it clear he didn’t like that coaches have to start looking over their shoulder every time they lose a playoff series, saying “”It says either Stan, or I, had better be looking for a new address after this series…Actually, it’s sad. Look at what Mike did in Atlanta, where he took that team from when he took over to where it is now. And look at Mike’s record in Cleveland. It’s unfortunate.”
Stan Van Gundy focused on just how quickly the public can turn on a head coach when he spoke to the media:
“It’s amazing how you can go from smart to dumb in 6-7 days,” Van Gundy said. “Mike Woodson was pretty smart, then seven days later he was an idiot. Mike Brown won 70 percent of his games, and all of a sudden, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s amazing.”
The old belief that players win games and coaches lose them looks to be alive and well in today’s NBA. A coach can have all the success in the world in the regular season, but often all it takes is one bad week to send an NBA coach from the sideline to the studio.
We’ve seen NBA jerseys leak accidentally in the past, and the new Nike uniforms haven’t been a well-kept secret.
The new jersey sponsor announced plans for four kits for each team, with the final one supposedly coming late in the year or early in 2018. Now, it seems we have our answer for what Nike’s “City” jerseys will look like for many clubs.
According to the guys over at SportsLogos.net, the popular video game franchise NBA 2K accidentally leaked many of the city jerseys for the teams. There is a huge group of photos for these jerseys, and many of them are absolutely terrible.
Here’s a smattering of some of the worst offenders (although “smattering” is a loose term considering there are a lot to choose from):
The Magic one is an iPhone background, Utah’s is ORANGE, Oklahoma City’s looks like an abbreviation for a regional auto parts store … it just goes on and on like this.
Out of the ones leaked thus far, I see only two universally good ones (although the staggered numbers on the New Orleans ones gives me pause):
What is happening in the NBA with these uniforms?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Leaders from the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball players associations have helped unveil a universal declaration of player rights that is designed to establish a new approach to governing sports and protecting athletes.
Among the 17 articles laid out in the declaration are rights to unionize and collectively bargain, express opinions freely and receive equal pay for equal work. Here are some of the principles set out in the Declaration:
- Every player is entitled to equality of opportunity in the pursuit of sport without distinction of any kind and free of discrimination, harassment and violence.
- Every player has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
- The rights of every child athlete must be protected.
- Every player has the right to share fairly in the economic activity and wealth of his or her sport which players have helped generate, underpinned by fair and just pay and working conditions.
- Every player has the right to organize and collectively bargain.
- Every player is entitled to have his or her name, image and performance protected. A player’s name, image and performance may only be commercially utilized with his or her consent, voluntarily given.
- Every player has the right to a private life, privacy and protection in relation to the collection, storage and transfer of personal data.
- Every player must be able to access an effective remedy when his or her human rights are not respected and upheld. This is particularly crucial given the highly skilled yet short term and precarious nature of the athletic care
Executive directors DeMaurice Smith of the NFL Players Association, Michele Roberts of the National Basketball Players Association, Don Fehr of the NHL Players’ Association and Tony Clark of the Major League Baseball Players Association are part of the group of more than 100 unions that released the declaration.
The launch of the universal declaration of player rights comes on the heels of Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players kneeling or sitting during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are good friends, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. They and their families hang out and ride banana boats together in the off-season.
They are also both incredibly competitive men.
So you had to figure they went 1-on-1 against each other at some point. It happened, once. Wade and LeBron talked about it on Channing Frye’s Road Trippin’ podcast, (transcription via the USA Today).
James: “We played 1-on-1 one time in our whole life, and it was during the finals. Eastern Conference finals 2010 (they meant the 2010-11 season, that ECF was in May 2011). Our first year.”
Wade: “It was more-so to set a precedent for our teammates because we got our ass kicked the game before, Game 1 by Chicago. They tore us.”
James: “MVP Rose tore our ass up in Chicago, and we came in the next day, we was like we need to set the tone, so we was out there killing each other playing 1-on-1.”
Wade: “We never finished.”
James: “We never finished. We got to the point where (head coach Erik Spoelstra) blew the whistle, like bring it in.”
Wade: “Everybody was just watching us. We was going at it. We competitive, we was going at it, but we was setting a tone for this is how it’s gotta go. You gotta be able to go at this. We’re two of the best players in this game. We going at each other in the Eastern Conference finals right now. We out there killing each other, and this is what ya’ll better do tomorrow. Because we got beat on the boards by 20-something and we have to come with it, and we won four in a row.”
A 2011 Heat practice? There has to be video of this somewhere.
Miami did win that Eastern Conference Finals, but LeBron and Wade should have gone at it again during the NBA Finals, where the Heat lost to Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks.
The Rockets’ rotation is excellent, and their deep bench is lacking.
That’s part of the reason Luc Richard Mbah a Moute posted a ridiculous +57 in a 30-point win earlier this season.
But Houston will miss the forward for a while after he injured his shoulder against the Hornets yesterday.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni’s first inclination might be to shorten his rotation. He should mostly resist it.
Home-court advantage is important, and P.J. Tucker and Trevor Ariza can play more power forward (with Eric Gordon absorbing more minutes at small forward). But it’s also better to play Troy Williams more now than to wear down the players Houston will rely on in the playoffs, when D’Antoni will surely keep his rotation tight.