December 27, 2009 |
As the first decade of the New Millenium runs out, I'd like to say, on behalf of the NBA: That was only 10 years? It seemed longer, like the Hundred Years War. The NBA has had a dramatic rise from its arrival as the bumpkin of major league sports, but also has had setbacks that were like Columbus finding the world was flat, after all, and sailing off it, before its 21st century adventure. The 1970s were supposed to be the NBA decade after the New York Knicks won two titles and Madison Avenue flipped for Walt Frazier and Willis Reed (and Greenwich Village, at least, for house hippie Phil Jackson)
November 2, 2009 |
The NBA player was only 2 inches tall, but he left quite an impression on Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley. Conley was playing the popular video game NBA2K9 when a virtual Rajon Rondo appeared to go in for a layup. Instead, he pushed back off his left foot, deftly landed on his right and then made a short jumper from the paint. So Conley added the move, dubbed the Euro Step, to his personal repertoire of shots last season. "I hadn't really thought about it until it happened in the video game," Conley said.
October 7, 2009 |
In arguably the greatest finish to an exhibition game in world history -- taking into account that even conducting such an argument would indicate lunacy or at least acute boredom -- a basketball hovered on a high arc as a rapt crowd inhaled. Then, as if it mattered, that ball dropped cleanly through the hoop and the O2 Arena roared, especially the Chicago Bulls, who acted like they'd won something with their court-corner love-in of group hugs and gaping grins and slaps of the formidable back of the rookie James Johnson.
August 24, 2009 |
Clippers guard Baron Davis arrived last month at Mumbai Airport in India and stepped into a taxicab. He immediately noticed how India's driving habits hinge more on aggressiveness and efficiency than conventional traffic signs. "A dog was walking across the street and the driver was going 70 [miles per hour] and not looking," Davis said. "The closer it gets, I'm in the back of the car screaming like 'Aghhhhh'! Then he goes right past the dog, laughs and says, 'stupid American.
July 10, 2009 |
This was supposed to be the appetizer for the highly awaited main course of NBA free agency next summer. But if it wasn't already obvious to interested parties, it became painfully clear on Thursday that the eventful last nine days around the league have expanded well beyond a mere first course. And if you want to keep the food analogy going -- and no, this has absolutely nothing to do with Shaquille O'Neal's draft-day trade to Cleveland -- just look at the latest bloated deal.
June 30, 2009 |
Blame it on the economy. Or that so few NBA teams are far enough under the salary cap to sign an impact free agent. Or that many more big names -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh among them -- could be available next summer. Whatever the reason, free agency won't be a free-for-all when it starts Wednesday, even though Lakers fans might expect otherwise since forwards Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza are able to sign with any team that winks back at them.