Division of power boosts Kings (cont.)
"Their best defender is Deshawn Stevenson, but they took him out of the lineup for Nick Young's offense. But now with Young, Arenas and Antawn Jamison, three of their five for a majority of the time on the floor aren't good defenders. In the process, they've also hurt Stevenson's confidence by benching him.
"It is Gilbert's contract and personality, though, that looms over this team. It seems like every time Arenas goes out on the floor he has an agenda, whether it's a perceived slight or something else. He just doesn't seem to be comfortable with what Flip wants from him. But I don't know if Flip really knows what to ask of him. He still has a burst, but in years past, he'd beat you off the dribble and then dunk. Now he beats you off the dribble, but he might miss a layup.
"A trade would get things going in the right direction. It may not have to be Gilbert, but their most consistent player on the offensive end is Jamison, their most consistent player on both ends is Butler and Gilbert may be, in reality, their most talented player, but in terms of winning and losing he's probably their third-most important player."
They said it
"Bynum continues to improve I believe due to my previous and continued mentoring"
"Anthony Johnson has played with some of the best centers ever like Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bob Lanier. He goes way back. Just to see him flourish throughout all these decades of basketball is amazing. He's probably the only guy in the league who has played in every decade of the NBA"
"You gotta stop falling for the flop! You guys are terrible!"
"You're not a cry-baby. I know that from the child-abuse I gave you (at Georgetown)."
"Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods! It's not like he looks like Seal. It's not like he's not going to have a whole bunch of women. He's Tiger Woods! I'm surprised 400 girls didn't come out."
SLAM: Zaza Pachulia, rap star?
3 Shades of Blue: It isn't often an NBA owner gives lengthy interviews to bloggers, but Michael Heisley of the Grizzlies did, and no topic was off limits.
Hoopsworld: What is life like for an NBA ballboy?
Hoopshype: And the NBA's best Tweeter is ... Jared Dudley?
1. As former referee Tim Donaghy makes his media tour promoting his book about gambling on NBA games (including a podcast stop at SI.com), it strikes me that much of the doubt his story has generated stems in part from the victim act he is playing. Yes, it's sad he lost his family over this, and, of course, it's unfortunate his addiction to gambling landed him in prison. But all of this could have been prevented by ... Donaghy. The sympathy he and/or his handlers have been trying to extract through tales of mob threats and prison attacks hides a legitimate message he could be delivering about the fidelity of NBA officiating: that it is far from objective and has made the game a form of entertainment to some referees, not a test of sporting skill.
2. The Spurs may be the model organization in the NBA, but the Pistons aren't far, according to Forbes. Without any marquee superstars and in the throes of renovation, the Pistons still managed to rank fourth among the league's most valuable franchises at $479 million. That's ahead of the riches LeBron James has heaped upon the Cavaliers franchise and in spite of playing in an area devastated by the economy. Joe Dumars & Co. may not always get every move on the court right, but they've created an organization that doesn't get much wrong elsewhere.
3. How Hawks coach Mike Woodson hasn't earned a contract extension is beyond us. All he's done is overcome near-constant speculation about his job and a series of run-ins with Josh Smith to guide a 13-win mess through five straight years of improvement into a legitimate threat for the Eastern Conference crown. That Woodson has been able to mold an athletically talented but often unfocused roster into a disciplined group is a testament to Woodson's skill as a coach. Even Smith recently said, "Anybody who's bettered their record every year that he's been a coach deserves a contract." If the Hawks ownership could finally get past their courtroom fight for control of the team, Woodson might get the contract he deserves, instead of the lame-duck status with which he is saddled. Until then, Atlanta is toying with a man who deserves better.
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