Why isn’t Barkley in NBA 2K12? Money.

7 Comments

NBA 2K12, by putting 15 legends of the NBA into this year’s game, sparked a little debate — which 15 guys should be in?

It’s easy to say Michael Jordan and Magic, but when it gets to around 15 the lines are not so clear. Especially when you know the game makers are giving extra weight to players game buyers remember.

Guys like Charles Barkley. A guy who should be in the discussion for that list but is certainly on the bubble.

He’s not in it. At all. The Sixers team he played on as a rookie — which included Dr. J — is in but he is absent from that squad. That is not the kind of casual oversight you see on a game that prides itself in the details.

Gaming site kotaku.com explains it was all about the Benjamins. And maybe some ego.

2K Sports attempted to include basketball great Charles Barkley in NBA 2K12’s “NBA’s Greatest” mode, showcasing dozens of superstars spanning the game’s history, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement bringing the hall-of-famer to the video game. He will not appear in NBA 2K12….

Why Barkley couldn’t fit in may be due to money, what billing he receives in the game, or a combination of both. Barkley is a unique figure in that his television work for TNT’s NBA broadcasts keeps him prominent as one of basketball’s most commanding figures. Yet his playing record is, objectively, dwarfed by the game’s three different cover stars, and many of the others on the list of 15 legends. He has one MVP, one NBA Finals appearance and no championships. Nearly everyone else has multiple credentials in both categories.

2K Sports goes out of its way in statements to the site to say what a good relationship they have with Sir Charles, paving the way for him to be in future. But for now, no go. You’ll have to settle for Charles Oakley.

Marc Gasol: If Grizzlies don’t share my goal of continued growth, we might have to revisit things

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.

Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.

Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:

I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.

Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.

But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.

Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction

On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.

Celtics to retire Paul Pierce’s number after Cavaliers game in February

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.

Now, we know when.

Celtics release:

The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11

After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.

DeMarcus Cousins on Confederate statues: ‘Take all them motherf—ers down’

Getty Images
23 Comments

DeMarcus Cousins grew up in Alabama, played collegiately at Kentucky and now plays in New Orleans.

So, yeah, the Pelicans star has an opinion on Confederate statues.

Cousins, via TMZ:

“Take all them motherf*ckers down,” Cousins said … “Take ’em all down.”

These statues glorify people because they fought a war against the United States in the name of preserving the racist institution of slavery.

Not whom I want to honor, either.

Kevin Durant: Kyrie Irving-LeBron James situation ‘just a regular NBA problem’

Getty Images
3 Comments

Kevin Durant knows something about star teammates not always getting along.

So, the Warriors forward is not freaking out about the disconnect between Kyrie Irving and LeBron James and Irving’s subsequent trade request.

Durant, via Chris Haynes of ESPN:

“It’s just a regular NBA problem, right? A lot of teams have gone through this before,” Durant told ESPN. “They’ll figure it out. That’s a great organization, a championship organization. They’ll figure it out.”

“It’s not the end of the world,” Durant said. “Both of those guys won a championship together. They love each other. If Kyrie wants to do something else, that’s on him. I’m sure whatever happens, it’ll work out for the best for both of them. But it’s just a normal NBA problem. It’s just two big stars that it’s happening to.”

Durant is definitely right in the larger sense. Teammates spat and requests trades more often than we realize. Remember, both Irving and the Cavaliers probably prefer this never became public.

But I’m not sure Cleveland will figure this out with the ease Durant suggests. David Griffin, who had proven so adept at putting out these fires, is gone. LeBron’s free agency looms. This could be extremely destructive to the Cavs.

The fact that this “regular NBA problem” became public only intensifies it – and raises it something greater.