Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Jazz are likely to have the same team as last year, except for a few minor chances

By Anthony Caruso III

The Utah Jazz are likely to have the same team as last year, except for a few minor changes with their bench players. It is likely that Carlos Boozer decides that he will stay with the Jazz and not opt-out, like was expected. He was expected to request a maximum deal from the Jazz or another team, but that will not happen until next summer now. Paul Millsap, the Jazz’s potential future power forward, is expected to request a long-term deal from the Jazz worth nearly $10 million per season. Kyle Korver decided to stay with the Jazz as well, with the Utah Jazz likely to work out new deals with Mehmet Okur and Ronny Price over the next few days.

Monday, June 29, 2009

McDyess will re-sign with Detroit in free agency, his 5th straight season in Detroit

By Anthony Caruso III

The Detroit Pistons want to remove their “gangsta” image, with Rasheed Wallace and Allen Iverson leaving the nest. But many familiar faces are still going to remain on the team. Antonio McDyess, who was traded to Denver last November, returned to the team after a month and is expected to re-sign a contract with the Pistons in free agency. He doesn’t want to leave Detroit after being apart of the franchise for 5 straight years.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rasheed Wallace won't land in Cleveland

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been a big fan of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is a free-agent-to-be within the next two weeks, but don’t look for Wallace to land in Cleveland, even if Shaq and LeBron wants to bring him onboard. “Yes, but Rasheed is not a Danny Ferry type of guy,” a source said. “Plus Z (Zydrunas Ilguakas) is still pissed at him for that elbow a few years ago.”

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shaq gives the Cavaliers the big body they need for potential playoff match-ups in 2010

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to beef up their lineup, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. They acquired Shaq for Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, and the 46th overall pick in the draft. Shaq gives the Cavaliers a big body to guard Kevin Garnett and Dwight Howard in eventual playoff match-ups. And it also gives Cleveland the immediate shot at winning the 2010 Championship, which would likely save LeBron from leaving during next summer.

Expect a lot of player movement before and after the draft

By Anthony Caruso III

With the recent trade of Shaquille O’Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers not even an hour ago, we could see many players moved before and eventually after the draft. The team that could be most active is the Los Angeles Clippers. They are looking to trade big men Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby, and Zack Randolph within the next day or so. The Clippers would like to move one or two of those bigs to make room for Al Thornton and Blake Griffin, the No. 1 overall pick, in the starting lineup. Many other teams are looking to deal, too.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Bucks want to move Redd by the draft or this off-season

By Anthony Caruso III

The Milwaukee Bucks are looking to go in a new direction. The Bucks, who have traded big-name players in the past, are looking to move Michael Redd, who missed the majority of last season with a leg injury, possibly even by the draft Thursday night. Redd is due to make a little more than $17 million this upcoming season, with a $18.3 million option for the following season. Many teams are interested in Redd, including the Cavs, even know he’s coming back from a serious knee injury.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hawks want to acquire Amar'e Stoudemire, but it's going to be hard to do

By Anthony Caruso III

The Atlanta Hawks want to acquire Amar'e Stoudemire from the Phoenix Suns. However, the Hawks only have two potential trade options to acquire Amare. One is to trade Amar'e straight up for former Suns guard Joe Johnson, who left Phoenix several years ago for Boris Diaw. Another option is to trade Josh Smith, Speedy Claxton and Acie Law, which is not equal value for Amar'e.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Flynn could be drafted by the Sacramento Kings and start right away

By Anthony Caruso III

Former Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn is flying up the mock drafts in recent days. Flynn could be the second point guard draft, behind Alex Rubio. Rubio is expected to go within the Top 3 picks. The Sacramento Kings has interest in Flynn, who could select him with the 4th overall pick. Currently, the Kings have Beno Udrich has their starting point guard, who has been a career back up for the majority of his NBA career. Flynn could come in and start right away like Mario Chalmers did with the HEAT last season.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The 76ers are hoping the 17th pick turns into a star, like the recent results show

By Anthony Caruso III

The Philadelphia 76ers are hoping that they get a star with the 17th overall pick. The 76ers are hoping that either Gerald Henderson Jr., the son of Gerald Henderson Sr., who used to play for the Sixers, or Eric Maynor. Maynor would remind many Sixers fans of Allen Iverson, as he can create his own shot. In recent years, the 17th overall pick has yielded these results: Josh Smith (2004-Atlanta), Danny Granger (2005-Indiana), Shawne Williams (2006-Indiana), Sean Williams (2007-New Jersey), and Roy Hibbert (2008-Toronto, traded to Indiana).

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If the Cavs acquire Shaq, Big Z will be his back up

By Anthony Caruso III

If the Cleveland Cavaliers opt for a trade that involves Shaquille O'Neal over one that involves Vince Carter, the Cavaliers will keep Zydrunas Ilguaskas, even though he has an option for next season. According to a source, "Z isn't going anywhere. If they acquire Shaq, Z becomes his back up off the bench." It worked in 2006 with Shaq being backed up by Alonzo Mourning, when the Miami HEAT won their first-ever Championship. So, it could work in Cleveland during the 2009-10 season.

Friday, June 19, 2009

McHale to Boston? It's very likely

By Anthony Caruso III

Kevin McHale was recently let go as Timberwolves head coach. But he could be joining a new NBA team in a front office role very soon. McHale is good friends with Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics, and used to play for the Celtics during their Championship years in the '80's, could return to Boston. McHale and Ainge completed the blockbuster deal that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston, McHale and Garnett would be reunited with this move. McHale was the Timberwolves' GM from 1995 to 2008, including a spint as interim head coach several years ago.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Rockets are looking to move McGrady

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets have started to look for trade partners for Tracy McGrady. McGrady is due to make $23.2 million next season in the final year of his contract, which makes him a free agent in the summer of 2010. But McGrady is coming off an injury, which will cause teams to pass on his services. The New York Knicks have often been rumored to be interested in McGrady and his contract, because they have interest in clearing enough money to make a run at one, potentially two, superstar players in 2010. LeBron James is supposed to be one of those players.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lakers' parade is scheduled for today

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Lakers are just hours away from their parade in Los Angeles. The parade will take place on 2 pm today, eastern time, on ESPNEWS and other local Los Angeles TV stations. But the Lakers had to get donors to put up money to make this parade happen, because California is struggling with money. It is expected that the parade will cost $1 million dollars or more.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NBA trade unusually quite this time of the year

By Anthony Caruso III

Leading up to the NBA draft, you usually hear about many potential trades that could occur before or after the draft. But this year, there's really only one trade that has been talked about prior to the draft. That proposed deal would send Shaquille O'Neal to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlović, which was previously talked about at the trade deadline. The current economic downturn will affect teams from making trades for overpaid players leading up to the draft, after the draft, and during the off-season.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fisher's 4th title gives him the active lead for Finals appearances

By Anthony Caruso III

Derek Fisher’s 31 career Finals game was memorable, as it was his 4th NBA Championship. Fisher is the active leader with the most Finals games played, surpassing Shaquille O’Neal, who has appeared in 30 career Finals games. Fisher has now won titles in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nelson is expected to start over Alston in Game 5 of the Finals

By Anthony Caruso III

Jameer Nelson will likely start as the point guard for the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of the Finals. Nelson will be replacing Rafer Alson, who will come off the bench, a role he is familiar with as a back-up for many of his NBA seasons. Nelson played the majority of the 4th quarter and overtime in Game 4 of the Finals. This would his first start since February 2nd, 2009 against the Dallas Mavericks, which is the game he hurt his shoulder.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Harangody is expected to return to Notre Dame for his senior year

By Anthony Caruso III

Luke Harangody is expected to return to school at the University of Notre Dame for his senior year. Harangody had until Monday to withdraw his name from this month's NBA draft. Harangody lead his team in scoring this past season with 23.3 points per game, nearly 8 points more than the second leading scorer. The last Notre Dame player draft was Ron Rowan by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 3rd round of the 1986 draft, but Chris Quinn, who plays for the Miami HEAT, went undrafted and signed with the Heat in 2006, where he's been ever since as a quality role player.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lakers win Game 4 of the Finals

By Anthony Caruso III

The Lakers have just won Game 4 of the NBA Finals. It is their first road win since Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals. And the Lakers are just one win away from the Championship. It would be Kobe's 4th Championship and Phil Jackson's 10th Championship.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reggie Theus wants the USC job, but may not even get an interview

By Anthony Caruso III

Reggie Theus would like to coach the USC Trojans, a position that has been vacated earlier this week when Tim Floyd stepped down. But he may not even get an interview with USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett for the position. Theus used to coach New Mexico State for two seasons, before coaching the Sacramento Kings for nearly a year and a half. He has not coached since being fired by the Kings in December.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jeff Van Gundy is USC's top choice

By Anthony Caruso III

Jeff Van Gundy is the leading candidate for the now vacant USC men's basketball head coach position. Van Gundy has coached the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets in the NBA for nearly 10-years. But he hasn't coached since 2007; however, he's been working for ABC/ESPN as an NBA analyst since that time.

Being a decorated college player doesn't guarantee Hansbrough will get drafted

By Anthony Caruso III

Tyler Hansbrough is one of the most decorated college players in recent years. When many college star go into the NBA after a few years, Hansbrough decided to stay all four years in college, but that doesn’t guarantee that he will be drafted. Some media reports have Hansbrough going in the second round, while others have him not even drafted.

Hansbrough, who guided North Carolina to the National Championship, will be remembered by his greety play with the Tar Heels. Also, he will be remembered as the Tar Heels all-time leading scorer. He broke the record that was previously set by Phil Ford, who is an assistant coach on the current Charlotte Bobcats team.

Hansbrough has already decided that he will only work out for certain teams leading up to the draft. This could be one of the very few bad decisions that Hansbrough has made, which hasn’t been a lot. Hansbrough will probably be a Brian Cardinal, Mark Madsen, Anderson Varejao type of player if he makes it in the league.

He will see some of his teammates go higher than him in the draft. Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson are both expected to be mid-to-late first round selections. Even though, Hansbrough was the heart and soul of the team and averaged more points than both players at 20.7 points per game.

Even if he doesn’t make it, Hansbrough could possibly go into coaching, if he would like to take that route. And if he coaches at North Carolina, he could always look up and see his jersey in the rafters to remember his college career.

Yao Ming will likely ask for a contract extension this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

The Houston Rockets are facing the biggest question mark of all the NBA teams this summer. And the player just happens to be on their team.

Yao Ming, the 2002 No. 1 overall pick, is eligible for a contract extension this summer. He is due $16.3 million next season. And he holds a $17.6 million player option for the following season, which he will likely be erased if he gets a contract extension.

Ming will likely ask for a max deal. He could get a contract in the neighborhood of $100 million over 6 years. And with a contract extension in Houston, it will likely help his endorsement deals, as well.

Ming has been often injured throughout his career in Houston. He has missed a total of 93 regular season games from the 2004-05 season due to injury. And he’s currently recovering from a broken leg from the playoffs, where he missed the final four games of the Conference semi-finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Even with Tracy McGrady, Ming has been the focal point of the Rockets offense since the 2002-03 season. Ming averaged 19.1 points this past season, which was his 5th highest in his career. He averaged 25.0 points during the 06-07 season in just 48 games.

Lawson was the player that best helped his draft stock through the NCAA tournament

By Anthony Caruso III

Ty Lawson was the player that best helped his draft stock through the NCAA tournament. Earlier this season, he was playing to be drafted late in the first round, at best. But, now, after his performance in the tournament, he could very well end up late in the lottery.

Lawson is arguable the be 6th best point guard coming into the draft. Many scouting reports have Ricky Rubio, Tyreke Evans, Brandon Jennings, Stephen Curry, and Jonny Flynn ahead of Lawson. Those same reports have Lawson compared to T. J. Ford in the best case scenario and Jamaal Tinsley in the worst case scenario.

Lawson has been a dynamic player at every level so far that he’s competed at. His poise, court vision, and speed will help him when he is drafted. He’s a short point guard at just 5’11, but Earl Boykins, who is just 5’5, played in the NBA for 10 years, so Lawson can do it.

Lawson will be the first Tar Heel point guard drafted since Raymond Felton, who plays for the Charlotte Bobcats. Felton was drafted in 2005 when North Carolina had 5 first round draft picks. This year, North Carolina could potentially have three first round draft picks in Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington, and Lawson.

Last year, North Carolina did not have a single player drafted in NBA draft. The last player drafted was Reyshawn Terry in 2007. He was drafted with the 44th overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the second round.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ellington is projected as a late first rounder or early second rounder

By Anthony Caruso III

Wayne Ellington is preparing for this month’s NBA draft. Last year, he entered into the NBA draft, but withdrawn his name a few weeks before the draft. He would go back to college and help North Carolina to the 2009 NCAA Championship.

Ellington has signed with Arn Tellem to represent him in the NBA. Tellem represents many NBA players, like Tracy McGrady, Pau Gasol, Derrick Rose, Ben Wallace, among others. Ellington’s college career was sealed when he received the Final Four MOP (Most Outstanding Player) Award after his stellar play in Detroit.

Ellington averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.2 blocks in 30.4 minutes this season. He averaged 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.26 assists, 0.93 steals, and 0.13 blocks in his college career at Carolina.

He is expected to be a late first round pick or early second round pick. But that could all change if one team falls in love with him higher than that, like the Kings did with Jason Thompson last year. He is the latest in a long line of explosive Tar Heel guards to play in the NBA.

Even though he’s 6’5 and 202 pounds, he’s going to be a little undersized in the NBA. Shooting guards are around 6’6, 6’7 in the NBA these days. He will also need to improve his ball handling and defense to stay in the NBA for a long time.

Artest would like to stay in Houston instead of leaving through free agency

By Anthony Caruso III

Ron Artest is a free agent this summer. But if Artest had his way, he wouldn’t leave the Rockets organization. He would probably take less money to stay with Houston.

After the horrific brawl in November 2004, Rick Adelman, the Rockets head coach, gave Artest a second chance to forget those dreadful actions. Artest played a year under Adelman in Sacramento. This was the second year that Artest played under Adelman and his first year in Houston.

Artest and the rest of the Rockets were able to beat the Portland Trailblazers in the first round of the playoffs. They beat the Blazers 4 games to 2. And it was the first time that Houston won a playoff series since 1997.

After Yao Ming was injured in the Conference semi-finals, Artest and the rest of the Rockets were counted on more. Artest averaged 17.1 points and 5.2 rebounds in 35.5 minutes during the regular season. He averaged 15.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in 37.5 minutes in both playoff series.

Artest will look for a contract extension in the neighborhood of $10 million per season. He made $8.45 million this past season in the final year of a contract.

Bosh headed to South Beach? It very well could happen this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

Chris Bosh has been the face of the franchise for the Toronto Raptors for the past several years. Even when Vince Carter was a member of the team, Bosh was still the face of the franchise. Carter was going through problems with the front office at that time.

But there are rumors that the Raptors may trade their star power forward/center this summer. One rumor that continues to gain steam has Bosh headed to South Beach. If the trade is made, it would move Bosh closer to his Texas home.

According to the rumor, Bosh would head to Miami for Michael Beasley — last year’s No. 2 overall pick, Udonis Haslem, and either Dorell Wright, Daequan Cook, or Chris Quinn to make the salaries work. If the trade is made, it would be the second trade between the two teams in the past several months.

Miami sent Shawn Marion North of the Border back in February for Jermaine O’Neal, who recently exercised his option for next season to stay with the HEAT. Also, Miami would have the No. 4 and No. 5 picks from the 2003 draft to build the team around. But they are both free agents in the summer of 2010 if contract extensions cannot be worked out.

Griffin, a decorated player since high school, is expected to share time behind Al Thornton and Zack Randolph

By Anthony Caruso III

Blake Griffin has been one of the top baseball players for many years. He helped Oklahoma Christian School, where his father is the head coach, to four straight State Championships. He won many accolades throughout his sophomore to senior year. He also played in the McDonald’s All-American game in his senior year in Louisville, Kentucky. He also won the slam dunk contest, too.

Griffin would move on to the University of Oklahoma, where he would play college basketball with his older brother, Taylor. He averaged 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds during his freshman year and helped the Sooners to a 23-12 record. He averaged a team-high 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds and helped the Sooners to a 30-6 record.

Griffin would help guide the Sooners to the Elite Eight on the 2009 NCAA March Madness tournament. They would lose 72-60 to eventual Championships, North Carolina, in the game. This would be Griffin’s last collegiate game, before entering into the NBA draft.

Griffin won the Associated Press Player of the Year Award this season. He also won the John Wooden Award, the Naismith Award, and the Sporting News Player of the Year. He combined with Sam Bradford, who won the Heisman Trophy, to give Oklahoma the top players in college football and college basketball. Oklahoma is just the second school to do this.

UCLA did this in 1968 when Gary Began won the Heisman and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) won the USBWA Player of the Year Award.

Griffin is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the next few weeks. He is expected to share time with Al Thornton at the small forward position. Griffin may see some time at the power forward position backing up Zack Randolph.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Clippers have been the second team in Los Angeles for 25-years with the Lakers in town, but they will have the spotlight on them later this month

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Clippers have been known as the second NBA team in recent years. With the Lakers expected to win the Championship in the next few games, the Clippers will be the second team in Los Angeles again.

But for a night later this month, they will have all the spotlight on them. The Clippers have the No. 1 draft pick in this month’s NBA draft. This is just the third time the franchise has had the No. 1 overall draft pick.

The Clippers used the 1988 No. 1 draft pick on Danny Manning. They used the 1998 No. 1 draft pick on Michael Olowokandi. The Clippers had a 17.7% chance of winning the 2009 No. 1 draft pick, which is expected to be used on Blake Griffin.

The Clippers have had only 7 winning seasons in franchise history, which includes their time as the Buffalo Braves and the San Diego Clippers. But only four of those winning seasons as the Los Angeles Clippers. They lose in the Conference semi-finals in 2006, which just happens to be the furthest the Clippers have made it in the playoffs.

The Clippers are currently the oldest NBA team to never appear in the NBA Finals. The Clippers are one of four teams — Memphis Grizzlies, Oklahoma City Thunder, Charlotte Bobcats — to never won an NBA Championship, Conference Championship, or Division Championship.

Cavaliers have to make significant moves this summer

By Anthony Caruso III

The Cleveland Cavaliers have to make significant moves this summer. These moves will affect the team’s future, but also the pending free agency of arguably the team’s great player.

LeBron James can become a free agent in the summer of 2010. Media members believe and are speculating that James will sign with the New York Knicks at that time. But the Cavaliers can offer him more money and a better chance of winning than the Knicks can.

Danny Ferry, the Cavaliers General Manager, needs to find that second start that will fit with James. James previously had Larry Hughes, but that experiment did not work out. James needs to find that Scottie Pippen-type player that his ideal, Michael Jordan, had for so many years. In recent years, the teams with two superstar have won the NBA Championship.

There are no superstar players on the open market this summer. Possibly Carlos Boozer, if he opts out, will be the top free-agent on the market, but he has burned his bridges in Cleveland. The top free agent on the market right now is Ben Gordon, but he’s a good bench player.

Ferry will have to make a trade to get another superstar to team with James. The Cavaliers have had interest in Michael Redd, who missed half of the season with an injury. He is signed through the 09-10 season with a $18.3 million player option for 10-11. If Cleveland acquired Redd, he would be playing 2.5 hours away from his hometown, in Columbus, Ohio.

The Cavaliers have nearly $25 million in free agent money. Wally Szczerbiak, Lorenzen Wright, Joe Smith, Tarence Kinsey, Jawad Williams, and Trey Johnson are all free agents. They could have nearly $15 million more if Zydrunas Ilguaskas and Anderson Varejao opt out of their contracts.

Wallace and Iverson will not return to Detroit

By Anthony Caruso III

The Detroit Pistons are going to look like an entirely new team. This is the first year since 2001 that they did not appear in the Conference Finals. They went to 6 straight Conference Finals.

The Pistons have so many unanswered question. And one question has to do with “The Answer” Allen Iverson, who will be a free agent after making $21.9 million last season. The Iverson experiment completely failed after being acquired on November 3rd, 2008 for Chauncey Billups, Antonio McDyess, and Cheikh Samb. Iverson will not return.

The Pistons also have to face the pending free agency of Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is also a free agent after making $13.6 million last season. Wallace has been a major role player for the Pistons after being acquired by the Hawks in February 2004. Wallace helped the Pistons to the Championship that year over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Wallace averaged 13.7 points after the trade. He averaged 14.5 points and 15.1 in the following two seasons. But his numbers have dropped in recent years as he has averaged 12.3 points, 12.7 points, and 12.0 points last season.

Both players are not expected to return to Detroit next season. The $35.5 million is expected to be used to potentially sign Carlos Boozer, if he opts out, and re-signing Jason Maxiell and McDyess, who would like to stay in Detroit. The team could also lose Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince through trades.

Miller will test the free agent waters, but could end up back in Philadelphia

By Anthony Caruso III

Andre Miller will test the free agent waters in the next several weeks. There have been some rumors that Miller could end up in Miami after a sign-and trade with Philadelphia. But it is too early to tell.

Miami has Mario Chalmers as their future point guard. Chalmers started every game for the HEAT last season, when he averaged 10.0 points, 4.9 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.95 steals on 32.0 minutes per game. His 1.95 steals per game ranked number one among all rookies and the fourth highest among all players. In his fourth game, Chambers set a new Heat team record with 9 steals in a game.

Miller could still end up back in Philadelphia. The Sixers do not have a replacement to play significant minutes. Louis Williams is there, but he hasn’t matured enough to be a full-time starter in the league.

Miller was acquired in December 2006 after the Sixers decided to move on without Allen Iverson. After the trade, Miller averaged 13.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 7.3 assists in 37.6 minutes. He averaged a career-best 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 6.9 assists in 36.8 minutes in 07-08. He averaged 16.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in 36.3 minutes last season.

If Miller does decide to leave the Sixers, it will be his fifth team. He previously played for Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver, and Philadelphia.

James will likely return to the Chicago Bulls next season, even though he's only appeared in 4 games over the past two seasons

By Anthony Caruso III

Jerome James will likely return to the Chicago Bulls next season. He was acquired by the Bulls, along with Tim Thomas and Anthony Roberson, for Larry Hughes. James never played in a game for the Bulls.

James has a $6.6 million player option pending for next season, because he would not get paid that much money on the open market. James has only appeared in only 4 games over the past two seasons. The Bulls could release James after he picked up his player option, or ask James to retire to get injury insurance to potentially inquire about a new player this summer.

James, who had a season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury, appeared in 5 minutes over those two games with the Knicks last season. He has been a questionable signing by Isiah Thomas in the summer of 2005 after he appeared in 80 games — the most ever in his career — to sign a 5-year, $30 million dollar contract.

James arrived in training camp out of shape in New York after signing his huge contract. But his time in New York was hampered by injuries or he did not play significant minutes due to coaches decisions after averaging just 3.1 points in his first season. He was even fined for being out of shape in January 2006.

House is expected to return to the Boston Celtics next season

By Anthony Caruso III

Eddie House is expected to return to the Boston Celtics next season. He has a $2.86 million dollar option for the 09-10 season.

House has appeared in 159 regular games over the past two years. This includes all 81 regular games from this past season. He also has two starts last season as well. He has also appeared in all 35 playoff games over the past two seasons.

House has become a major role player off of the Celtics bench this past two seasons. He averaged 7.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.1 blocks in 19 minutes per game in 07-08 He averaged 8.5 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.1 blocks in 18.3 minutes per game last season.

It was the most points he averaged in a season since the 05-06 season when he played for Phoenix. House averaged 9.8 points that year in 17.5 minutes under Mike D’Antoni’s fast-passed offense. He averaged 11.1 points in 23.1 minutes per game for Charlotte, but he only appeared in 13 games for the Bobcats, before he was traded to Milwaukee and Sacramento.

Friday, June 5, 2009

WNBA is returning this month

By Anthony Caruso III

The WNBA is returning this afternoon. The Women's Pro Baseball Leagues tips off action at 2:30 eastern time when the Detroit Shock travels to Los Angeles to play the Sparks.

The league is currently composed of thirteen teams around the United States. The league was founded in 1996 as the women's counterpart to the NBA, and began to play in 1997. This is their 12th overall season. Only the Connecticut Sun and Seattle Storm do not share the same city as an NBA team.

While nearly every team is returning from last season, there is a glaring whole that may never be replaced. The Houston Comets had to be disbanded by the league office after there was no potential buyers in this tough economic times.

The Comets won the first 4 league Championships from 1997-2000. The Comets were headlined by Tina Thompson, Sheryl Swoopes, and Cynthia Cooper, while they were coached by Van Chancellor. The Comets would not win another title after their 2000 Championship.

Hilton Koch, a Houston-area businessman, bought the Comets in January 2007 and decided later that year that he would move the team from the Toyota Center to the Reliant Arena for the 2008 season. The Comets lost fan interest after the move as they averaged 6,000 fans per game and only sold out 4 games. Reliant Arena can only hold 7,200, while the Toyota Center can hold 13,000 people.

Koch put the team up for sale with a $10 million asking price after the 2008 season. But no potential buyers stepped up to the plate. The WNBA would eventually take over management of the Comets and would later announce that they would cease operations in December 2008.

Jerry Sloan will return to coach the Jazz next season

By Anthony Caruso III

Jerry Sloan is expected to return to the sidelines next season as the Utah Jazz's head coach. He has previously agreed to terms for the upcoming 2009-10 season in January 2009. But he was still thinking about if he wanted to return or not.

This will be his 22nd overall season as the Jazz's head coach. In 2001, Sloan became the longest tenured head coach in American major sports when former Twins manager Tom Kelly retired. Sloan is the only coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins with one team.

Only Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United, a European football team, has coached longer than Sloan with one team. He has been the Manchester United coach for the past 23 seasons.

KG guarantees 2010 & 2011 Championships

By Anthony Caruso III

Kevin Garnett has entered into the guessing game. Garnett, who missed the playoffs with a serious knee injury, has guessed the Boston Celtics will return to their glory years sooner than later.

Garnett has already guaranteed that the Celtics will win the 2010 NBA Championship. He also guaranteed that they will win the 2011 NBA Championship, as well. The Celtics haven't won back-to-back titles since 1968 and 1969.

Garnett helped the Celtics to the 2008 Championship. It was the first NBA Championship that he's won in his NBA career. But it was the Celtics first Championship since 1986.

Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will be apart of the team at least through the summer of 2010. This gives the guarantee a possibility, as long as these three players stay together and the young players until to grow. But the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic are going to continue to grow, too.

Allen will be a free agent in the summer of 2010. Pierce has a $21 million dollar player option for the 2010-11 season. Garnett is signed for $18.8 million for the 2010-11 season.

What happened to Adam Morrison?

By Anthony Caruso III

Adam Morrison was one of the prominent college basketball players just a few years ago. He was named Co-Player of the Year with Duke University's J. J. Redick by the United States Basketball Writers Association. And won the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year award.

After his college career, many media members had Morrison as a Top 10 pick. And he did go high in the draft, when the Charlotte Bobcats drafted Morrison with the 3rd overall pick. He was picked behind Andrea Bargnani and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Bobcats picked Morrison over Brandon Roy, Randy Foye, Rudy Gay, Rajon Rondo, among others.

Morrison would average 11.8 points per game during his rookie campaign. Then, he would miss the following career. He would tear his ACL during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers, which resulted in season-ending surgery. He wouldn't last three seasons in Charlotte.

After rehabbing from the surgery, he appeared in 44 games with Charlotte. He would start 5 games in Larry Brown's lineup. But he would eventually be traded to the Lakers, along with fellow 2006 draft pick Shannon Brown, for Vladimir Radmanovic. Morrison has only appeared in 5 games with the Lakers.

He is averaging 1.3 points and 1 rebound in 5.5 minutes in those 5 games.

Shaq has an unusal off-season

By Anthony Caruso III

Usually this time of the year, Shaquille O'Neal is guiding his team through the grueling playoffs. But this is the first time in 16-years that he missed the playoffs.

This is only the second time ever that he's missed the playoffs in his Hall of Fame career. He missed the playoffs during his rookie campaign of the 1992-93 season. And his Phoenix Suns team missed the playoffs this past season. It was the first time that Phoenix missed the playoffs since 2004.

But this has allowed Shaq to adventure into new paths. We usually see him in commercials and movies, like other celebrities. Yet, how many celebrities go to broadcasting school? Not many. But that's exactly what he did late last month at Syracuse University.

And coming this weekend, he will be one of a handful of celebrities to be the grand marshal of a race. This weekend in Texas, O'Neal will be the grand marshal at the IndyCar Series race Bombardier Learjet 500 in Texas. He will ride in the pit car with three-time Indianapolis Champion Johnny Rutherford.

This is the first time that he will be the grand marshal of a race.

A Lakers Championship would be historic for Phil Jackson

By Anthony Caruso III

The Los Angeles Lakers have a 1-0 lead in the NBA Finals. It is their first 1-0 start to the Finals since 2002 when they faced the New Jersey Nets.

The Lakers went on to sweep that series with Shaquille O'Neal receiving the Finals MVP honors. There are only two Lakers currently on the team from that series. They are Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant.

Phil Jackson is 43-0 when winning Game 1 of a series. Jackson also holds the best all-time winning percentage by a coach in the NBA playoffs.

If the Lakers do go on to win the series, it would be historic for Jackson. Jackson was able to win 2 Championships as a player for the New York Knicks. But this will be Jackson's 10th Championship, as a head coach, which is more than Red Auerbach's 9 career Championships.

It would also give Kobe Bryant a 4th Championship in his 13-year career. And it would be his first without O'Neal. It would also be Derek Fisher's 4th Championship in the same amount of time.

The Orlando Magic enjoy their underdog role

By Anthony Caruso III

The Orlando Magic have their heads full in this series. They are already trailing in this series. The Magic are down 1 game in the Finals.

Thy were already down 1 game in an earlier playoff series. And they actually won that series.

The Magic enjoy their underdog role. They were the fourth-best team in the regular season, behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Boston Celtics. Yet, people still doubted them.

Even when Jameer Nelson got hurt with his shoulder injury, people doubted them. But the Magic acquired Rafer Alston a few weeks after Nelson's injury to be the full-time point guard. The Magic went 22-10 with Alston to close out the regular season.

They were only the favorite in the first round match up with the Philadelphia 7ers. And the Magic won the series, even after being down 1-0 to start the series. They didn't need Dwight Howard in Game 6, as he was suspended for the game, and they still won the game.

They were the underdog against the Celtics and the Cavaliers. Yet, the Magic won both series. They beat the Celtics in Game 7 in Boston. And they beat the Cavaliers in Game 6 in Orlando.

The Magic still have a chance to win this series against the Lakers. Their recent playoff performances show that.

Washington Wizards are hoping that the Big Three stay together

By Anthony Caruso III

Flip Saunders recieved the Washington Wizards head coaching job nearly a month ago. Saunders has been able to complete his assistant coaching staff with Randy Wittman, Wes Unseld, Jr., Sam Cassell, and Don Zierden. Both Wittman and Zierden worked under Saunders previously.

But Saunders and the front office staff still have work to do. The Wizards currently have the 5th overall pick in this year's NBA draft later this month. The Wizards are already rumored to be trading this pick. One potential rumor has Antwan Jamison, the 5th overall pick, and another player going to the Phoenix Suns for Amare Stoudemire.

While Jamison is being rumored in deals, the Big 3 of Gilbert Arenas, Jamison, and Caron Butler is still currently on the roster. Arenas only played in 2 games last season. Jamison only missed 1 game last season. While Butler missed 15 games last season.

If they stay together, Washington is hoping that the three stars are healthy all of next season. If they are, they have a good chance at going far in the playoffs.

Don Zierden and Flip Saunders are reunited again

By Anthony Caruso III

Don Zierden and Flip Saunders are reunited again. Zierden recently resigned his position in the WNBA to rejoin Saunders in the NBA.

Zierden was going into his third season as the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx season when he abruptly resigned on June 2nd. Jennifer Gillom, a women's basketball great, has been promoted to be the head coach. Zierden was 26-42 in just two seasons as the Lynx head coach.

Zierden will be the lead assistant coach for Saunders with the Washington Wizards. This is the third time that Zierden has worked under Saunders in the NBA. They worked together in Minnesota and Detroit previously.

Stefanski and Jordan's ties to New Jersey help Jordan get the Sixers job

By Anthony Caruso III

Eddie Jordan was recently named the Philadelphia 76ers head coach earlier this week. Jordan has become the 7th Sixers head coach since the 2002-2003 season, which was Larry Brown's last.

Jordan was last the head coach of the Washington Wizards. After losing Gilbert Arenas in the off-season for the majority of the season after surgery, Jordan lost his job not even a month into the season. He was 197-224 in 5 1/2 years in Washington.

Jordan was also the head coach for the Sacramento Kings for 1 1/2 seasons. He was 33-64 combined in Sacramento. He was a candidate for their current head coaching vacancy, before being hired by the Sixers.

Jordan was an assistant coach in Sacramento for 5 years, before being named head coach late in the 1996-97 season. He was also an assistant coach with the New Jersey Nets from 1999 to 2003. Sixers GM Ed Stefanski worked in the Nets front office at that time, which had a factor in Stefanski hiring Jordan.

Jordan helped the Nets to two NBA Finals appearances, as the lead assistant, in 2002 and 2003. The Nets lost both appearances to the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs, respectively. But Jordan does have an NBA Finals Championship under his belt, as he was a player on the Lakers 1982 title team.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Magic's 2004 draft selection turned out to be the right one

By Anthony Caruso III

Many people criticized the Orlando Magic's No. 1 overall selection in the 2004 draft. Yet, several years later, it turned out to be the right choice.

Many media members thought the Magic should have drafted Emeka Okafor over Dwight Howard. Okafore was coming out of UCONN as a junior and won a National Championship in his last college game. While, Howard was coming out of high school at the time of the draft. Howard's decision to go pro out of high school was inspired by his idol Kevin Garnett.

Okafor and Howard were expected to the be the center pieces of their respective franchises. That has been the case, but it has taken them both several years to develop.

Howard has been able to take the Magic to back-to-back playoff appearnaces. And last year, he helped the Magic win their first playoff series in 12 years. It was the first playoff series win since Shaq played for them in 1996.

However, Okafor has yet to appear in a playoff game. You also have to take into account that the Charlotte Bobcats werej ust starting out when they drafted Okafor with their first-ever draft pick. Okafor was very close to making the playoffs this year, under Larry Brown, for the first time, before eventually losing out for the 8th seed.

Howard has helped the Magic to the playoffs the past three years. He has appeared in 32 career playoff games going into the Finals. Howard is one of the many Maigc players that will be making their first appearance in the Finals. Only Anthony Johnson with the Nets (2003) and Tyronn Lue with the Lakers (2000, 2001) have Finals experience.

Less than 24 hours to the start of the 2009 Finals

By Anthony Caruso III

We are less than 24 hours before the tipoff of the 2009 NBA Finals. The Finals this year features one of the most storied basketball franchises against a team making just their second-ever appearance.

The Los Angeles Lakers are making their 30th appearance in the Finals. And this is the second straight year the Lakers have made it to the Finals. They lost in 6 games to the Boston Celtics last year.

Also, this is Kobe Bryant's second chance at winning a Championship without Shaquille O'Neal, his former teammate. The Lakers are just 3-and-8 in the Finals since 2004 - O'Neal's last year with the team. Will that change this year? That is yet to be seen.

Before this year, O'Neal's 1995 team was the only team in Orlando Magic history to reach the Finals. They were swept by the Houston Rockets in 4 games. This Magic team is hoping to change that faith and bring home the Larry O'Brien trophy to Disney Land.

The Magic were 2-0 vs. the Lakers already this season. That was with Jameer Nelsonm, who may be able to play limited minutes after a February shoulder injury. This is shaping up to be a good series to watch.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Kobe Upset at his teammates......

It seems that Kobe's teammates don't like his wife at all. She may seem nice but she is the queen of evil. But how can you blame her, he cheated on her with a girl he just met. And on top of that do you remember the crazy bling Kobe dropped on his wife after he got caught. (The Ring)