Image (1) dsterling-thumb-250x250-18407.jpg for post 3716

Winderman: The NBA should contract incompetent owners

24 Comments

This can’t be what David Stern signed up for.

NBA commissioner? He’s more like Big 12 commissioner.

The Lakers, Knicks, Heat? Those are his versions of Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, teams that want to play big, spend big.

The difference is this isn’t the BCS, and his teams can’t leave for places where the big boys play and pay.

Instead, they’re stuck in the equivalent of a place where the Iowa States, Baylors and Kansas States somehow are calling the shots.

This is where the NBA lockout has delivered Stern.

The problem is he can’t sort his teams into FBS and FCS designations, where those willing to play at a higher level are granted such freedom, while others are allowed to play according to their means.

It has become almost a daily image, that of NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver standing next to Stern and chiming in about creating an equitable system where all 30 teams can contend for a championship.

Yet for all the places this rollercoaster ride of lockout negotiations has taken us, leveling the economic playing field still won’t draw high-profile players away from Los Angeles and Chicago to Sacramento and Indiana. A hard cap won’t provide Minnesota or Milwaukee in dead of winter the warmth of Phoenix or Houston. An onerous luxury tax won’t alleviate the state tax burden in Cleveland and Detroit the way the no-tax burden make Orlando and Miami more attractive.

And beyond all of that, the hardest of salary caps won’t offset incompetent management.

But what will strengthen the sport is eliminating the weakest links, reducing, by simple math, the number of owners who simply have no place in this forum in the first place.

Yes, the contraction reaction.

Currently, not only is the league operating the Hornets, but it is spearheading the Kings’ search for a new arena. Meanwhile, Michael Jordan is earning more from everything non-Bobcats. And the Timberwolves have managed to make themselves matter less than Minnesota’s WNBA franchise.

But it’s not the cities or the franchises as much as the number of teams and the number of owners. Certainly, just a few years ago, plenty of claims could have been made against Miami as a viable NBA market.

No, it’s that amid the bickering from the league’s lesser half of owners, that they can’t make any money, the reality is that in this economy David Stern seemingly can’t find 30 owners willing and able to successfully operate NBA franchises.

But he might be able to identify 28 or 26.

Remove the incompetent, regardless of city, and there might be a workable consensus. And no lockout. Then, relocate, if needed. Even Major League Baseball was able to pull that off with their Montreal-Miami-Washington ownership-switch dynamic.

Right now the NBA is not 30-strong.

And right now, that appears to be the league’s greatest weakness.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

Report: Larry Bird still hasn’t told Frank Vogel about his future with Pacers

Larry Bird, Frank Vogel
AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Leave a comment

Addressing coach Frank Vogel on Monday, Pacers president Larry Bird said: “What I don’t want to do is leave Frank hanging — there’s other jobs out there he could get.”

Two days later, Vogel is still left hanging.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

If Bird’s statement isn’t the kiss of death, I don’t know what is.

Vogel is a good coach, and based on what we can see from the outside, the Pacers should keep him. But if Bird is waiting this long to give Vogel a new contract, that’s probably a telltale sign.

I doubt this lasts past tomorrow. Bird won’t want to get grilled about Vogel’s job status then do it all over again once he makes a decision. And at face value, Bird has the decency to end this saga before Vogel misses on the Rockets job (which I think would be an excellent fit) or any other.

Warriors GM Bob Myers: Stephen Curry doesn’t know when he’ll return, nobody does

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, center left, sits on the bench during the first half in Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series between the Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez
Leave a comment

Stephen Curry said there’s a “pretty good” chance he plays in Game 3 Saturday.

The bad news: Warriors general manager Bob Myers says Curry isn’t qualified to make a definitive statement.

Myers on 95.7 The Game, as transcribed by Diamond Leung of The Mercury News:

“I know everybody wants to know is it going to be Saturday, is it going to be Monday? It’s in that range, but it’s hard to say. But those games (3 and 4) are so close together.

“I don’t know if he’s coming back (ahead of the two-week timetable),” Myers said. “Nobody knows. He doesn’t know. He thinks he is, but that’s good.”

The good news: Myers puts Curry on a similar timetable. With Golden State leading the Trail Blazers 2-0, it probably doesn’t matter whether Curry returns Saturday, Monday or next Wednesday for Game 5.

As long as he’s healthy enough to stave off a potential Portland comeback and produce in the conference finals, the Warriors can’t ask for more.

Former D-League All-Star Eric Griffin charged with attempted murder

Dallas Mavericks' Eric Griffin dunks the ball against the New York Knicks in an NBA summer league basketball game Friday, July 11, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photo/John Locher
1 Comment

Eric Griffin – a 25-year-old former D-League All-Star who signed with the Heat, Mavericks and Pistons the last three preseasons and was still trying to play his way into the NBA – has been charged with attempted murder.

Sam Gardner of Fox Sports:

Griffin was arrested Friday on attempted murder charges after he and another man, 23-year-old Daquan Lundy, allegedly fired several rounds at a third individual outside an Orlando, Fla., apartment building.

The alleged victim, 24-year-old Treavor Glover, told police he was approached by two black males as he walked from his car to his apartment at approximately 1:19 a.m. on April 27.

Glover told officers that he’d never met or seen either of the men who attacked him, but informed police that his girlfriend’s brother, Gino Nicolas, was murdered in a separate shooting the week prior and claimed that rumors are circulating among Nicolas’ friends that Glover is friends with the alleged shooter in that case.

Draymond Green tells Trail Blazers to call timeout during Warriors run (video)

7 Comments

Klay Thompson capped a 9-0 game-tying fourth-quarter run with a 3-pointer, and Draymond Green had a message for the Trail Blazers:

Call timeout.

Terry Stotts did, but that didn’t stop the bleeding. Their swagger running high, the Warriors pulled away for a 110-99 win.