Author: Matt Moore

Spain's Pau Gasol gestures during their

Kobe says Pau’s in L.A. as long as he is


Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol seem, at least on the surface, to have a complicated relationship. Bryant knows that he would not have won the two championships in 2009 and 2010 without Gasol. But Gasol’s problems with toughness and consistency in the playoffs the past two seasons has created a level of frustration. Bryant has publicly and reportedly privately challenged Gasol to bring more and been disappointed with what has wound up on the floor.

But in a media appearance in Barcelona with Team USA, Bryant stuck up for Gasol, telling reporters:

Kobe, answering a question from a Spanish reporter about Pau’s status with the Lakers: “As long as I’m there, he’s going to be there.”

via Twitter / briancmahoney: Kobe, answering a question ….

Funny thing… that’s not really Bryant’s call.

I know, I know, he’s Kobe Bryant, arguably the second-greatest-to-greatest Laker that ever lived which is a lot bigger of a deal than second-greatest-to-greatest Minnesota Timberwolf to ever live, but the thing with playing for a franchise that great? It knows it and puts itself above any player’s demands. If the Lakers decide to head in a different direction, that’s what they’ll do. Furthermore, if it means adding Dwight Howard or improving his chances for a sixth title which is constantly taunting him, Bryant won’t mind.

But it is good to see Bryant sticking up for a teammate, and supporting him like he needs to. Maybe Kobe just needed a few weeks to get over the loss to the Thunder and how Serge Ibaka outplayed Gasol.

Unless Gasol winds up crashing and burning in another playoff series. Then he should probably look into the witness protection program.

Why Linsanity may have been worth more to Houston than New York

Houston Rockets Introduce Jeremy Lin

When the New York Knicks told Jeremy Lin “don’t let Raymond Felton hit you in the backside on the way out,” the talk was a cacophony of shock. Whether you agreed with the move or not, it was a huge surprise that the Knicks wouldn’t match the offer sheet for Lin. If you thought Lin was worth it, you were shocked the Knicks would let a star like Lin walk after everything he did for the franchise last year. If you thought he wasn’t worth it, you were surprised Dolan actually made a decision with consideration for the money.

More than anything, people on both sides were shocked that Dolan let Lin’s marketing potential head to the Lonestar State. Lin was a huge center of attention, which meant money, last season, and merchandise for Lin sold out everywhere. How could the Knicks let something with that kind of marketing potential go? ESPN, in a five-part series this week, noted that that element was considered by the Knicks and it sheds some light on how the league’s financial structure affects these things.

Furthermore, the Knicks calculated that Linsanity might not be worth as much as assumed. While the value of the Lin phenonemon has been much discussed, the Knicks saw it differently from most observers. Their season-ticket sales were strong and their sponsorships were stronger. Any money from the sale of Lin jerseys or Knicks’ merchandise around the world goes into a leaguewide pool, with the Knicks getting the same portion as any other team, according to revenue-sharing rules. Likewise, their share of the league’s TV contracts would not change whether Lin was on the team or not, no matter how many people in New York or Asia were watching.

via NBA — Jeremy Lin Six Degrees Of Separation, New York Knicks – ESPN.

Essentially, Lin wasn’t going to help MSG sell tickets. The Knicks already sell out. It’s the gift and curse of Knicks fans. They’re great, in that they show up no matter how bad the team is and go bonkers when the team is any good and/or has any stars. But it also means the Knicks don’t have to make moves with consideration to selling tickets, because they don’t have to worry about it. But a lot of teams make bad moves trying to sell tickets. The Brooklyn Nets just spent $300 million on a team that isn’t a title contender in order to push ticket sales. And that’s the right move for them, but MSG isn’t in the same bucket.

Likewise, not being able to make any money off the revenue stream of merchandise, and in fact subsidizing the other teams has to have very little appeal to the Knicks. Yes, there are other revenue streams involved with Lin’s popularity that don’t get put into the league pool. But again, the Knicks have already maximized those streams. That’s the real problem. It’s like trying to get someone who’s loaded a gift for their birthday. What do you get the team that has everything (except a title, an offense, and a star willing to relinquish control)?

Houston, on the other hand, can use Lin’s star power. His fame will help them sell sponsorships and put butts in seats. The only person that really loses money in this configuration is Lin, who won’t make as much in Houston off his fame and that trademarked “Linsanity” term as he would in New York. But he got a great deal, and that marketing money will dry up eventually.

So maybe this deal, while not all about the money at all, as ESPN’s feature illustrates, wasn’t so bad on the financial end for anyone. But it’s interesting to see the dynamics in play.

Al Harrington won’t be ready for training camp, expects to be ready for opening night

DeJuan Blair, Al Harrington

Nuggets F Al Harrington was a huge part of the Nuggets’ success last season. He was the stretch forward they needed to space the floor, did some attacking on the offensive glass, and played surprisingly good defense, interrupting passing lanes and contesting in the post.

But the Nuggets will be missing him for he beginning of next season, after multiple surgeries and a staph infection has slowed him down. Inside Hoops spoke with Harrington who says that while he won’t be ready for training camp, he doesn’t expect to miss any games. What’s the latest on you and your surgery?

Al Harrington: I had tore my meniscus in April, towards the end of the season or whatever, and got it fixed after Game 7 or whatever. And then I got a staph infection. So I was sick, man. I had like three surgeries. And then a couple weeks later, they checked my knee again and it still was kinda cloudy in there. So I had to wait six weeks and take medicine… and then I had surgery again this Monday. Hopefully it’s the last one. So if everything goes as planned and hoped, when will you be ready to play basketball?

Harrington: I’ll be ready for the first game of the season. I don’t think I’ll be ready for training camp. First game of the season is my goal. I think I can make it happen.

via Exclusive: Al Harrington healing after multiple off-season surgeries :InsideHoops.

Any time a player has multiple surgeries and a staph infection, and says “I think I’ll be ready for training camp” you can expect there to be some drag and for him to likely miss the start of the year. The Nuggets will miss him, particularly after letting Chris “Birdman” Andersen go in an amnesty waiver. But they run small-ball enough they should be able to slide anyway, and they have some players to fill in. It’ll be interesting to see what comes of training camp with different players filling in Harrington’s role.

Also, staph infections are scary and it’s good to hear that Harrington came out OK.