Bernard King says injuries will determine whether Knicks or Nets are the better team next season


The rivalry between the Knicks and the Nets is real, despite the Brooklyn team’s relatively new entry into the New York situation.

The addition of proven winners in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets side for the upcoming season has only fueled the fire, especially considering all the talking that Pierce has been done since joining the Brooklyn franchise.

It’s a toss-up right now as to which team will best the other during the upcoming season. But Bernard King, entering the Hall of Fame as someone who played for both teams, seems to think that something more random than specific will determine the top team in New York next year.

From Marc Berman of the New York Post:

King, who played for the Knicks and Nets during a Hall-of-Fame career that will be honored this weekend, said injuries will decide which New York team is the better one in 2013-14 but said he believes both are legitimate Eastern Conference title contenders.

“Injuries play such a major factor in how a team will perform,’’ said King, who will be enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday in Springfield, Mass. “It’s going to be competitive every game they face each other. It’s going to be a very interesting and great rivalry. But I think they’ll both be in the mix [for the Eastern Crown]. Miami is the top tier, they’re the team you’re chasing. No reason they [the Knicks and Nets] can’t compete with the other top-tier teams in the conference.’’

The answer is kind of a cop-out, if we’re being honest.

It’s obvious that the most talented teams which remain the healthiest will be the ones who end up having the most successful seasons. If Deron Williams or Carmelo Anthony were to go down for an extended period of time due to injury, that would obviously change the landscape not only for their respective teams, but for the fate of others in the Eastern Conference.

Considering King played for both franchises, his politically correct response is acceptable — especially coming on the weekend in which he’s being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Lucky? Klay Thompson reminds Doc Rivers which team lost to Rockets


There’s this overplayed angle talked about by some fans and pundits suggesting the Warriors just got lucky last season — for example, they faced a banged-up Rockets’ team in the conference finals then a Cavaliers’ squad without two of their big three through the Finals. Then there was Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers saying the Warriors were lucky not having to play the Clippers or Spurs in the postseason.

The Warriors are sick of hearing they were lucky.

Friday Klay Thompson fired back at Rivers, via

– “I wanted to play the Clippers last year, but they couldn’t handle their business.”
– “If we got lucky, look at our record against them last year (Warriors 3-1). I’m pretty sure we smacked them.”
– “Didn’t they lose to the Rockets? Exactly. So haha. That just makes me laugh. That’s funny. Weren’t they up 3-1 too?”
– “Yeah, tell them I said that. That’s funny. That’s funny.”

Warriors big man Andrew Bogut phrased it differently.

If you think the Warriors just won because they were lucky — you are dead wrong.

They were the best team in the NBA last season, bar none. They won 67 regular season games in a tough conference, then beat everyone in their path to win a title. Did they catch some breaks along the way, particularly with health? You bet. Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant didn’t win a title without catching some breaks along the way, either. Nobody does. Luck plays a role, but it was not the primary factor in why the Warriors are champs.

All this talk of them getting lucky is fuel for the fire they needed not to be complacent this season. Way to give the defending champs bulletin board material, Doc.

Dwyane Wade serious as mentor, teaching Justise Winslow post moves

Third day of Miami Heat camp 10/1/2015
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Dwyane Wade has earned his status as an elder statesman, the E.F. Hutton kind of veteran who speaks and everybody listens.

Rookie Justise Winslow is listening.

Winslow (who should have gone higher in this draft) is a perfect fit for the Heat and he’s going to be part of their rotation off the bench from the start of the season (along with Josh McRoberts and Amare Stoudemire). Wade has already fully stepped into the mentor role with Winslow working with him on post moves, reports Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post.

“As his career develops, hopefully he’s able to do multiple things on the floor, but right now there’s gonna be certain things (Erik Spoelstra) wants him to do, and some of those things I’m good at,” Wade said. “I’m just passing down knowledge to someone who I think could be good at things that I have strengths at. It’s gonna take a while, but if he figures it out at 21, he’s ahead of the curve. I figured it out at like 27.

“All of us are where we’re at because someone before us helped us. They helped by letting us sit there and watch film with them or having conversations with them. If he’s a student of it and he really wants to know, I’m a pretty decent teacher in certain areas.”

This is what you want out of a veteran leader and some of the young teams out there have done an excellent job adding this kind of mentor — Kevin Garnett in Minnesota may be the best example. Someone who can pass on his wisdom and show the team’s young players how to be a professional and win in the NBA.

It’s a little different for Winslow, he and the Heat are more in a win-now mode, but he should be able to contribute to that.