Wallace finally gets due recognition (cont.)
From around the league ...
New town, new feeling
When Stephen Jackson returned to Oakland for the first time since being traded, he could not resist taking a light shot at the Warriors, with whom his relationship became extremely ugly before he was shipped to Charlotte.
"A lot of times, when you aren't a winning organization, it has to be contagious from everybody," Jackson said. "It has to come from the top, from the coaches, from the locker room, from everybody. I don't think everybody had that I-want-to-win or I-am-confident-we-can-win feel from the whole organization. Some people did, some people didn't. In order to win, you have to have [everyone on board]."
It was pointed out to Jackson, however, that Charlotte has not exactly had a winning tradition since owners Robert Johnson and Michael Jordan have been in place.
"Everybody had the I-want-to-win attitude," Jackson said of when he first arrived in Charlotte. "It wasn't happening as much, but it was [headed] in the right direction. Everybody comes to games, everybody comes to practices knowing we can be a good team. That says a lot. That goes a long way."
All in the family
Dell Curry, a former sharpshooter and the father of Golden State rookie Stephen Curry, is an analyst for Bobcats games. So when Charlotte had a two-day break on its recent road trip and spent the time in the desert, Dell flew from Phoenix to the Bay Area to catch up with his son.
And then he spent Friday night sitting courtside and breaking down his son's game on the broadcast.
"One time I was stretching and I forgot he was sitting there and I looked up and he scared me," said Stephen, who has been invited to participate in the rookie-sophomore challenge at All-Star weekend. "It was good to see him and spend time with him. Now he has to go back out on the road and do his job."
Hornets forward David West recently was sitting in the locker room grousing about how the Grizzlies essentially handed the Lakers their championship by trading them Pau Gasol.
"Pau Gasol for Javaris Crittenton. Damn," West said.
The trade wasn't exactly that one-sided. The Grizzlies also got Kwame Brown, Aaron McKie, the rights to Marc Gasol and two first-round draft picks. But the spirit of what West was saying was understood.
Of course, this came on the heels of New Orleans trading Bobby Brown and Rasual Butler to the Clippers, Devin Brown to Chicago and Hilton Armstrong to Sacramento, all of which was designed to get the Hornets under the luxury-tax threshold.
"As long as you don't ever lose sight of the fact that it's a business, you are OK," West said. "All that other stuff -- feelings, what may or may not work for your team -- you have to understand that it is a business, and the bottom line is the only line."
For that reason, West said he can foresee some superstars changing teams this summer in free agency.
"You got to take care of your business side because teams and organizations are going to do what benefits them," West said. "When it is time for free agency, you have to do what is best for you and not worry about emotions."
Carlos Boozer knows this lesson all too well.
The Kings, the city of Sacramento and the league all recently unveiled their umpteenth plan to get the team a new building to replace Arco Arena, which, while dilapidated, remains one of the best places to see an NBA game. The complex plan will involve private investors and a land swap that will allow an arena to be built closer to downtown.
Stuck in the middle of this story, however, was one item that sources tell me may be its ultimate undoing: The Kings will be required to pay $300 million in a 30-year lease. Ten million dollars a year in rent. That's about a quarter million dollars a game just to open the building.
"That would be on the very high end of what other teams around the league are paying," one league executive said. "I don't see how they would make that work.
The Maloofs already face inherent challenges in the Sacramento market, namely that state government is the key business and there are very few major corporations with the ability to provide sponsorship money. On top of that, getting any arena or stadium built in the state of California right now is a massive challenge.
While Mayor Kevin Johnson's energy and support for a new building should be applauded, I'm skeptical of this deal ever getting off the ground.
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