Tag: free agnecy

Jermaine O'Neal says he chose Boston because they have walked the walk


nba_oneal.jpgJermaine O’Neal had options this summer — he was a skilled big man who would be playing for a very affordable contract. Two contenders in the East wanted him, Miami and Boston.

O’Neal has been near the top looking down on the rest of the league before, with Indiana in the pre-brawl years. It was a long fall from there. He’s learned a lot, much of it the hard way. He gets now how sacrifice is needed for winning.

So when it came to choosing between Miami and Boston, O’Neal went with where they have proven they will sacrifice, not just where people have talked about it, O’Neal told the Boston Globe.

“There’s no ego [in Boston], and it’s hard to find no egos,” O’Neal said. “As good as individual players are, especially when I look at a situation like Miami, none of those guys had to really deal with sacrificing.

“That’s what made Boston more intriguing for me and a situation I thought would be better for me. These guys [in Miami] are all really good individual guys that are used to shooting 20 times a night just last year. These are all young guys.

“So no matter what you say or how you say it, they’re going to still want the credit. But I know the Boston Celtics aren’t about that.”

The book is still out on Miami — they are saying all the right things, these are all guys who may be young but are wise in the game beyond their years. LeBron, Wade and Bosh may be ready to make the necessary sacrifices. But they have to prove it.

Boston has proved it. It’s why they have a ring and were on the verge of another last season. O’Neal felt more comfortable with that.

And because he did, Boston is even closer to a title.

Lou Amundson reaches deal with Golden State Warriors


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for amundson_blog_090117_300.jpgThey may not have a classic big man, but the Golden State Warriors have an athletic and interesting front line.

One that just got more interesting with news that Lou Amundson has reached a deal with the Warriors, a two year deal worth just less than $5 million, with the second year a player option according to tweets from Marc Stein of ESPN.

New Orleans had been considered the frontrunners for Amundson, but they had luxury tax issues and they could not offer more than $1.9 million. Golden State offered more — and even at what they paid this is a great deal.

For that money, the Warriors get a hustle guy who can crash the boards, shoot a little and will bring it hard every night. He was a key part of the bench in Phoenix for just that reason.

Golden State now has an interesting front line. They are expected to start David Lee and Ronny Turiaf, but off the bench they bring Andris Biedrins, Dan Gadzuric and now Amundson. That is not your traditional front line, but in the Don Nelson system — and right now we will assume it will be the Don Nelson system but that could change when ownership changes in the coming weeks — those four could make an interesting fit.

Still some big name free agents available, if you think they would help


NBA_iverson.jpgWe’re in the dregs of the NBA signing season, when guys who can contribute like Luther Head end up with make-good deals in Sacramento, where they will battle the undrafted for a roster spot.

But look at the names still unsigned and available (compiled by Ira Winderman at the South Florida Sun Sentinel):

Allen Iverson, Jerry Stackhouse, Joe Smith, Flip Murray, Earl Watson, Michael Finley, Larry Hughes, Bobby Simmons, Trenton Hassell, Jarvis Hayes, Ime Udoka and Devean George.

Each of those players come with questions, specifically questions about how much they can help in comparison to the costs.

The day has come when you’re name won’t get you an NBA roster spot. For the most part (there are exceptions). In an age of information and on demand NBA video and advanced statistics, general managers see the drop off in older players more quickly. In a cost conscious NBA, teams don’t want to get caught on the wrong side of the aging curve. Teams also are not going to take on marginal talent to fill the end of they bench when they can give that spot to a younger player who may develop.

Now if you want to play, you’ve got to be able to ball. And there are questions now about everybody on that list.

Winderman: Jordan would have called Magic and Bird — he wanted to win


When did Michael Jordan become like our dads?

When did he start with the, “Well, back in my day…”

Because if he truly is going to thrive as a franchise owner with the Charlotte Bobcats, then perhaps there is a need to recognize he is not back in his day, and that the world has changed since there was a one-star-per-team limit.

The latest, and best-chronicled, is the comment Jordan offered during his latest whirl at celebrity golf over the weekend.

“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry, called up Magic and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,'” Jordan said. “But that’s . . .  things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”

In other words, he wouldn’t have gone LeBron, wouldn’t have sought refuge in the land of Wade (and Bosh).


Understand, Jordan wanted to win, had to win.

So let’s say Jerry Krause pulled his ultimate power play during Jordan’s career, during one of those seasons when Michael was on the year-to-year plan. Say Krause won the power struggle with Phil Jackson, excised the coach, and got into a stare down with Jordan.

Can you honestly say Jordan then would have moved on to the Clippers or Warriors or Raptors, or stayed with a rebuilding Bulls team just so he could have competed against Shaq and Malone and Reggie?

Or, like LeBron, would he have said that he wanted to play deeper into the playoffs, play alongside someone who could keep him there.

For Jordan, there always was the luxury of playing alongside Scottie Pippen. He didn’t have to find a running mate; he always had one.

And it’s not as if LeBron still won’t have his moments this coming season against the likes of Carmelo and Durant and Pierce. The challenges still will be there. Plenty of them. With many motivated opponents.

Put it another way, do you honestly believe Jordan would have hung up if Larry or Magic or Charles had actually called, if there was such an opportunity, during a period of much more restrictive free agency?

But this is good to know, and good for those in Charlotte to know.

Because if Michael does have the opportunity to land someone like a Chris Paul, bring the point guard back to North Carolina, at least Bobcats fans would know that Jordan then wouldn’t try to add a Carmelo, as well.

In M.J.’s view, that clearly would be unseemly.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Nate Robinson agrees to deal with Celtics


Boston is going to win a few games this season because Nate Robinson is going to come in blazing hot off the bench and just light up somebody’s second team.

Thumbnail image for NRobinson.jpgBoston is going to lose a couple games this year in part because Nate Robinson is going to come in off the bench ice cold but keep trying to shoot his way out of the slump.

You know what you are getting with Nate — and Boston got him.

The Celtics and Robinson have agreed to a deal, according to Mark Spears at Yahoo. It is for two years and about $9 million total.

Robinson gives the Celtics some depth at the point guard they really need. He’s always a fan favorite. And we get an entire season of Shrek and Donkey references. And you can’t put a price tag on that.