by Ty Hardamon
February 18, 2012
Can anyone escape “Lin-Sanity?” The man, who escaped the wrath of the L.A Lakers regime, could not escape Madison Square Garden’s new sensation: Jeremy Lin.
Commissioner David Stern was known as a bully several months back, but now he is the latest consumer of buying into Lin-Sanity.
On Tuesday Stern told USA Today “No” when asked if Lin would participate All-Star weekend. Under immense pressure from fans and analysts, Stern changed his mind. Typically, the Rising Stars Challenge is comprised of a total of 18 players. This year Stern made Lin and Miami Heat guard Norris Cole late additions. Since its inception in 1994, there have never been a total of 20 players playing in the game. Why now?
Lin has provided a spark to a dull NBA season. Early headlines consisted of the “Aging Boston Celtics”, “Disappointing L.A. Lakers” and “Injury Prone Superstars”. Now you see: “Super Lintindo”, “Linderella Story”, and “Just Lin Baby”.
The Super Bowl ended and media almost instantaneously shifted to Lin. He put a desperate franchise on his back in the #1 media capital in the nation. According to Madison Square Garden Network since Lin has become the starting point guard there has been a 109 percent increase in household ratings.
Stern had good reason to add Lin to All-Star Weekend festivities. Take a look at these “Lintastic” numers Lin has put up since coming to the Knicks:
- Leads the NBA in points per play when going away from a screen on a pick and roll (1.57)
- First player since the NBA/ABA merger to score 20-or-more points and have his team win, in his first five career starts.
- Most points ever in his first five starts (137)
- First Ivy League player to outscore Kobe Bryant as a starter (38 to 34)
NBA All-Star weekend festivities begin on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, FL. Lin was selected by Team Shaq and will accompany teammate Landry Fields and high-flying Blake Griffin with hopes to ousts Team Chuck.
Despite some questionable decisions made in the past by the commissioner, this one serves the purpose of excitement and happiness for everyone.
Follow me on Twitter @Ty_Hardamon.
NBA Labor Deal Reached, Lockout Ends
by Jake Brown
November 26, 2011
This Christmas is going to be an extra special one for basketball fans. Fans get to not only wake up on Christmas day to family and presents, but will also get to watch NBA basketball for the first time since June. Early Saturday morning, the NBA owners and players would come to a tentative agreement to end the 149-day lockout. The league plans to open up training camps and free agency on December 9th and have the first games on December 25th. It is planned to be a 66 game season, 16 games less than a regular 82 game season.
The specifics of the deal have not been confirmed yet. The players accepted a deal somewhere between the range of 49-51% in favor of the owners. The exact details of the deal should be known in the coming days. Most importantly, basketball will be played and both sides wanted to end this lockout as soon as they could. Commissioner David Stern said it would take around 30 days from when the deal was made to begin the season. In just two weeks, the craziness that we all saw once the NFL lockout ended will be seen in the NBA. Trades and free agency signings will be in a frenzy as lots of moves will be made. It happened to be one of the most exciting weeks in sports when we saw all the moves made in July following the end of the NFL lockout. Plan to seen all that madness come again in December. Owners, players, and fans are all relieved to see the end almost near. It has been months of negotiations and meetings that at times had many extremely frustrated and had fans in disarray.
In New York, fans could not be happier. We get to see 66 games of Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire together on the same floor. ”Stat and Melo” had Madison Square Garden packed every night for the three months they got to see of them. There is no question that MSG is going to have the same excitement this season as they get 75% of a season to see them suit up together. The Knicks have a bright future to look to, but are going to need more than just two stars to win. Veteran point guard Chauncey Billups played a pivotal role in the Knicks success late last season as well. This will most likely be Billups only full season with the Knicks as he is a free agent after he makes $14.2 million this season. The Knicks are going to need a lot more depth and some more size if they want to achieve success this season. They struggled mightily at the center position last season. They lacked size and depth to help out Stoudemire in the paint. The Knicks are going to need to make moves adding depth to this team. Rookie Landry Fields had a very solid season for them, but was nonexistent in the playoffs and spent most of the time on the bench. Big man Jared Jeffries is a liability on offense and cost the Knicks a playoff game in the first round against the Celtics. Guard Roger Mason did not get much playing time throughout the season and when he did was very ineffective. One bright spot the Knicks did see last season was the play of backup point guard Toney Douglas. Douglas was very effective off the bench and has a very bright future ahead of him. The Knicks need help but have the pieces to build a championship contender. Of course, they will have to compete the “big three” in Miami as well as Derrick Rose and the Bulls and the division rival Boston Celtics.
Knicks fans and all NBA fans are looking forward to Christmas day. Mark down December 25th on your calendars NBA fans, it is a rare day where you get to celebrate two holidays in one day. The season tips off at noon at MSG as the Knicks play the Celtics. The Mavericks will host the Heat in a rematch of the NBA finals. FInally, the Lakers will host the Bulls in a classic matchup of two past rivals.
by Michael Scotto
November 18, 2011
A successful NBA point guard must be a leader, have good court vision, and make quick decisions. Nets guard Deron Williams fits this description both on and off the court. On the court, Williams has averaged twenty points and ten assists per game in his six seasons in the league. Off the court, Williams pioneered playing overseas for players during the lockout.
On July 15, Williams cemented his pioneer status by becoming the first high profile player to take his talents overseas amidst an uncertain NBA labor situation. A move that was first deemed hasty now appears to be a stroke of genius. Williams was a visionary who made a quick decision to jump ship once he saw the labor negotiations starting to sink.
Williams signed a one-year contract with Besiktas for $5 million that allows him to return to the NBA if the work stoppage ends. The move protected Williams from some financial losses, but not against injury to his surgically repaired wrist. Now however, as the NBA is entering a “nuclear winter,” according to commissioner David Stern, Williams is blowing up the scoreboard in Turkey with a healthy wrist and getting paid to play the game he loves.