What did you think Charles Barkley was going to say?
Pretty much what most of you did in the comments on this site yesterday — you’ll take the original 1992 Dream Team over this year’s Team USA.
Barkley was a key part of the original Dream Team, and he’s not exactly soft-spoken, so you knew he would respond to Kobe Bryant’s comments that the current Olympic team could beat the Dream Team. Barkley was on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (as transcribed by the USA Today).
“Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect,” Barkley said. “I ain’t got to badmouth them. But like I said, their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”
He added that “other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
I think a game like this would be closer than people think. Closer than Barkley thinks. First off, as Mike Krzyzewski pointed out yesterday, the current Olympians are all pretty much at or entering their prime, while the Dream Team had Larry Bird and John Stockton really hurting and Magic Johnson off a year out of the game.
And I don’t know about Barkley’s guard comments, Chris Paul could hold his own with that team.
Size would be a factor — the Dream Team had Patrick Ewing and David Robinson inside and other athletic guys like Barkley who could score and make plays in the paint. The current USA would struggle to deal with that kind of size and ability to pound it inside.
And I’d take peak Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
But this is a very good Team USA this year, it would be close, a lot closer than some of you seem to think. Single digits, decided in the fourth quarter.
There was a lot of preseason buzz about Wizards rookie Tomas Satoransky — he’s 6’7″, long, athletic, he’s got handles, and he made some impressive plays in preseason.
His regular season has been a disappointment. He’s playing more than 16 minutes a night, but is shooting just 40 percent from the field, is scoring 3.8 points with 2.4 assists per game, and he has a PER at 8 that suggests he could use some D-League run.
Why is he having trouble adjusting? He spoke to gigantes.com and said a lot of it is learning a new position (translation via Sportando).
“I’m not playing as a point guard, I’m playing mainly as 2 or 3 and that’s difficult for me,” Satoransky said. ‘When you played your entire career as point guard, it’s difficult to adapt to a new role, especially because you have to play defense against bigger guys. I know I have to do better to play in these roles”
With John Wall and Trey Burke on the Wizards, there isn’t a lot of room for run at the point for Satoransky. He also is adjusting to the NBA game — a third of his possessions come as the pick-and-roll ball handler (a big role for an NBA point guard) and he is shooting 34.8 percent on those, although he is passing well out of those situations (with passes the Wizards average almost a point per possession when he comes off the pick, stats via Synergy Sports). Satoransky also is getting a fair amount of spot-up looks but is shooting 28.6 percent on those.
There are a lot of things going wrong with the Wizards’ bench units, Satoransky is part of that but at least he’s a guy the Wizards want to take their time and develop. Scott Brooks is still figuring out how to make all this work at the same time. Which means Satoransky may have a good NBA future ahead of him, but there is a lot of work to come first, and this rookie season is going to be rough.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis Grizzlies have signed general manager Chris Wallace and a pair of executive vice presidents in the front office to multi-year extensions.
The team announced the deals Thursday without disclosing the terms.
Controlling owner Robert Pera said in a statement that Wallace along with John Hollinger, executive vice president of basketball operations, and Ed Stefanski, executive vice president of player personnel, have established the culture he believes is necessary to compete in the NBA.
Wallace has been Memphis’ general manager since June 18, 2007. The Grizzlies have gone to six straight postseasons with 27 playoff victories after having none in the first three appearances.
Hollinger has been with Memphis since December 2012, and Stefanski has been with Memphis since July 2014.
Phil Jackson, on a CBS show this week, took a little dig at Carmelo Anthony and how he plays in the Knicks offense.
“He can play that role that Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant played. That’s a perfect spot for him, to be in that isolated position on the weak side. Because it’s an overload offense and there’s a weak-side man that always has an advantage if the ball is swung. Carmelo, a lot of times, wants to hold the ball longer than… we have a rule, if you hold a pass two seconds, you benefit the defense. So he has a little bit of a tendency to hold the ball for three, four, five seconds, then everybody comes to a stop. That is one of the things we work with. But he has adjusted to it, he knows what it can do and he’s willing to see its success.”
Anthony didn’t want to talk about it. However, after Knicks got their heads handed to them by the Cavaliers on national television Wednesday, Anthony took to Instagram.
We can safely assume those were not messages to Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick Rose. Was it intended for Jackson? Anthony has plausible deniability here, but that seems the most likely answer.
To be fair, according to the Sports VU tracking cameras in arenas (stats via NBA.com), this season Anthony is holding the ball for less time and taking fewer dribbles than he did a season ago (1.64 dribbles per touch this season). He’s doing better.
But Jackson can never quite resist a dig. If you want to play conspiracy theory and try to read more into that, well, that seems to be the trend in America, in general, these days.
If was five years ago this week that David Stern canceled a three-way trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers to team up with Kobe Bryant, while Pau Gasol went to the Rockets, and the then New Orleans Hornets would have gotten Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first-round pick. The rumor was that angry owners — remember, a new CBA had just been signed with the express purpose of limiting “superteams” — pressured him and Stern, the owner representative of the Hornets at the time (the previous owner sold the team back to the league), and he nixed the trade.
Stern said this week that narrative was all wrong.
In an interview with the Sports Business Radio Road Show Stern said there never was a trade, but what we heard was the spin of angry Laker and Rockets GMs. Via Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.
First, this is a bit of semantics by Stern. That there was no trade to “cancel” because all three parties never approved it may be technically correct, but the idea that he was the barrier from that trade happening remained. If the Rockets, Lakers, and Hornets GM Dell Demps were all on the same page and Stern shot it down because he didn’t think it was a good enough deal for the Hornets, the outcome is the same because of him.
Was he the lone reason the trade died? Trades fall apart for a lot of reasons, it depends on who you ask.
Were the Rockets and Lakers ticked after the trade? Try bringing it up with a Laker fan now, there is still plenty of bitterness.
If Stern wants to argue in the long run this was better for the Hornets (who became the Pelicans), he can. Paul was traded to the Clippers for Al-Farouq Aminu, Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and a 2012 1st round draft pick (Austin Rivers). The Hornets were so bad the year after the deal they ended up with the No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis.