Posts Tagged ‘All Ball Blog’

Phil Jackson: MJ Over Kobe!


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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Kobe Bryant will never escape Michael Jordan‘s shadow, not as long as basketball fans from different eras continue to measure one superstar’s greatness against another’s.

The argument gets some unique spice this time around, though, from none other than Hall of fame coach Phil Jackson.

Jackson’s new book, “Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success,” addresses the MJ-Kobe topic head on. The book is set to be released Tuesday but The Los Angeles Times received an advanced copy and highlights the Kobe-Phil-MJ dynamic in detail. Phil sides with Jordan in basically every instance, which kicked off a Twitter back and forth between Kobe and Phil that is sure to gain more steam when the hoops loving public gets their hands on the book, and throughout Phil’s book tour.

In the book, Jackson finally details what separates Jordan from Bryant, comparing the two superstars with a perspective no one else can match. He won all 11 of his rings (six with Jordan and five with Kobe) coaching one of them. My main man Mike Bresnahan of The Times serves up the good stuff:

“Michael was more charismatic and gregarious than Kobe. He loved hanging out with his teammates and security guards, playing cards, smoking cigars, and joking around,” Jackson said in the book, which was obtained in advance by The Times.

“Kobe is different. He was reserved as a teenager, in part because he was younger than the other players and hadn’t developed strong social skills in college. When Kobe first joined the Lakers, he avoided fraternizing with his teammates. But his inclination to keep to himself shifted as he grew older. Increasingly, Kobe put more energy into getting to know the other players, especially when the team was on the road.”

While Jackson coached, he often jabbed at Bryant’s seemingly annual appearance on the NBA’s All-Defensive team. Now we know why.

“No question, Michael was a tougher, more intimidating defender. He could break through virtually any screen and shut down almost any player with his intense, laser-focused style of defense,” said Jackson, who coached Jordan to six championships and Bryant to five.

“Kobe has learned a lot from studying Michael’s tricks, and we often used him as our secret weapon on defense when we needed to turn the direction of a game. In general, Kobe tends to rely more heavily on his flexibility and craftiness, but he takes a lot of gambles on defense and sometimes pays the price.”

Jackson made many of these same points during a Thursday night appearance on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He also talked about his near return to the Lakers after Mike Brown was fired, the ill-fit that he believes Mike D’Antonio to be as Lakers coach and his desire to return to the league as a front office executive and not a coach.

But the most interesting topic by far is his perspective on the differences between MJ and Kobe:

“Michael was more likely to break through his attackers with power and strength, while Kobe often tries to finesse his way through mass pileups,” Jackson wrote. “Michael was stronger, with bigger shoulders and a sturdier frame. He also had large hands that allowed him to control the ball better and make subtle fakes.

“Jordan was also more naturally inclined to let the game come to him and not overplay his hand, whereas Kobe tends to force the action, especially when the game isn’t going his way. When his shot is off, Kobe will pound away relentlessly until his luck turns. Michael, on the other hand, would shift his attention to defense or passing or setting screens to help the team win the game.”

Jackson’s most scathing observation of the two men involves the leadership qualities they possessed, and in Kobe’s case did not possess, and what kind of impact that had on their respective teams (and granted, Kobe was a youngster on those Lakers teams with Shaquille O’Neal):

“One of the biggest differences between the two stars from my perspective was Michael’s superior skills as a leader,” Jackson writes. “Though at times he could be hard on his teammates, Michael was masterful at controlling the emotional climate of the team with the power of his presence. Kobe had a long way to go before he could make that claim. He talked a good game, but he’d yet to experience the cold truth of leadership in his bones, as Michael had in his bones.”

You better believe we’re going to quiz Jackson on this topic on the Hang Time Podcast, he is scheduled to drop in for Episode 119 on May 29 with the crew, yours truly along with Lang Whitaker of the All Ball Blog and NBA TV’s Rick Fox.

In the meantime, there should be no shortage of debate fodder for everyone to chew on!

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 78) With Trail Blazers Guard Jamal Crawford

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We’re not the only ones glued to the flat screen every night watching the playoff drama unfold all around the league.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are not alone.

NBA players like Jamal Crawford, whose Portland Trail Blazers missed out on the postseason this season, are locked in on the action every night as well. So when there’s a wild ending to a game or series, or both, as we had in Philadelphia and Boston Thursday night, Crawford is watching each and every second just like we are.

The only difference is, he knows what it’s like to be in that huddle when there are 3.5 seconds left and the play that either saves or ends a season is being drawn up. He knows what it’s like when those game-winning free throws drop through the bottom of the nets. He knows that euphoric feeling of seeing the plan come together as well as he knows that empty feeling when you come up short.

And that’s why we couldn’t think of a better guest to share his insights than our main man and Hang Time favorite @JCrossover (on Twitter) to give us the lowdown on what he’s seen so far.

Check it out on Episode 78 of the Hang Time Podcast featuring Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford:

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog and the best engineer in the business, Jarrell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.




Hang Time Podcast All-Star Special With David Stern And Arne Duncan

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With All-Star Weekend just days away, we knew it was time to break out the heavy hitters.

And when we say heavy hitters, we mean the heaviest of hitters in the realm of basketball and beyond. No, we didn’t corral Jeremy Lin yet and Kobe Bryant didn’t return our call either. But we’ve got the next best thing.

NBA Commissioner David Stern joined us for a visit, dropping in on us after sitting down for an afternoon interview with TNT’s David Aldridge at the league’s New York offices, and didn’t disappoint. Stern dished on the Lin phenomenon, his thoughts on the upcoming All-Star Weekend, why it he doesn’t have a problem with rewarding veteran stars come All-Star bid time, how the league has thrived in the wake of the lockout and so much more.

Following the Commissioner (never an easy thing to do), we rapped with former Harvard co-captain, Academic All-American and pro basketball player, and current U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who took time out of his busy schedule to talk about his Harvard connection with Lin, his Chicago Bulls and his unique ties to both the team’s coach (Tom Thibodeau) and its biggest star (Derrick Rose). He also shared what it’s like playing ball with President Barack Obama in those famous White House pick up games (we’re ready whenever you need us Reggie Love) and so much more.

Check out all of that and so much more  on Episode 70 of the Hang Time PodcastThe All-Star Special:

LISTEN HERE: 

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Some highlights of what Stern had to say to DA after the jump.

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Hang Time Podcast (Episode 68)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The All-Star reserves have been announced. Some wrongs were made right (LaMarcus Aldridge) while other wrongs remain (Josh Smith).

But making the All-Star team as a reserve is a complex issue that required further examination, which leads us to Episode 68 of the Hang Time Podcast.

We enlisted the services of former Michigan State, 1998 NBA All-Star and current NBA TV analyst Steve Smith to help make sense of a process that often times makes none.  After all, Smitty played in just that one All-Star game during his stellar 14-year career, despite playing at an All-Star level for the bulk of his career.

But when you’re fighting for a berth at guard in the Eastern Conference with the likes of Reggie Miller, Penny Hardaway, Joe Dumars, Latrell Sprewell and others during the Michael Jordan era these sorts of things happen.

We also chatted All-Star reserves, Jeremy Lin and the overall state of the game with Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, a Bay Area native and current resident. Spears lived in Boston when the Knicks’ point guard sensation (for the past three games at least) was running the show at Harvard, and even though he’d never heard of Lin back then and never saw the Crimson play, he’s “all-Lin” for the new face of the global game — who just happens to share Spears’ Bay Area roots.

For all that and so much more, including a look back at an iconic collection of young stars (below) before they hit the NBA, check out Episode 68 of the Hang Time Podcast

LISTEN HERE: 

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

1990-91 Playboy All-American Team

Shaq And Chuck Get Some Rest, We’ve Got The Rising Stars!





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Who says you have to wait for TNT’s Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal?

Here at the hideout, we wait for no one to pick our teams, not even the big boys who will serve as general managers for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend.

Chuck and Shaq don’t hit the TNT set until tonight, and they don’t pick the squads until next week, which gives us (Micah Hart of the All-Ball Blog is my partner in basketball-related crimes today) all the time we need to make our picks for the game that used to pit rookies and sophomores against one another.

We flipped a coin and will kick off the draft right now, using the same 18 players on the official list instead of the ones we think should be on the list — the write-in campaign for Jeremy Lin starts in a few minutes — as if there was any doubt on that No. 1 spot:

Sekou Smith: If you thought I’d pick anyone other than this guy with the No. 1 pick, you were dreaming.

FIRST PICK

Hang Time: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers

Micah HartWell I might pick another guy first if this were a real game and not an exhibition but since we’re showing off , I’ll take …

All-Ball: John Wall, Washington Wizards

SS: If you’re going to show off, you should at least do it with the best. Say hello to my little friend …

SECOND PICK

Hang Time: Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

MHI considered that, but I want a guy who can drop 30 along with his 10 assists as well. Besides, I’ll have chemistry on my side with Wall and my next pick …

All-Ball: DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins

SS: Did you just call a grown man “Boogie?” Don’t ever do that again. I hope your guards are ready, because when they see Ricky and his running mate coming at them, it could get ugly. I’ll take …

THIRD PICK

HT: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

MHAlright, well you seem to be cornering the market on the guards, so I guess I’ll press the advantage in the frontcourt. Gimme the best big man to come out of Georgetown since Othella Harrington

All-Ball: Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons

SS: I knew you wouldn’t be able to go more than five minutes without a shout-out to Murrah High (Jackson, Miss.), and for the record, Monroe’s ceiling is much higher than Othella’s was. That said, your bigs will struggle all night trying to keep up with my guys. I have a vision for this game and it includes lots of dunks and non-stop running …

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Hang Time Podcast (Episode 64)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – You want to talk Washington politics, go somewhere else.

But if you want to talk Washington basketball, everything from the Dallas Mavericks’ visit to the White House to whether or not John Wall and the Wizards can keep Flip Saunders from getting stuck on the hot seat, you have come to the right place.

Episode 64 of the Hang Time Podcast has a decidedly Washington flavor, courtesy of two of our guests:

– Our main man Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com joins us to talk about the reigning world champions and their recent visit to the home and workplace of President Barack Obama, among other things. (He comes on after our debate about what the Magic need to do with Dwight Howard and what the Chicago Bulls could have to do with it, courtesy of our guy Shaun Powell from NBA.com)

– Michael Lee of The Washington Post put the finishing touches on this episode, helping us break down what’s gone wrong with the Wizards, who still have issues to sort through after winning their first game of the season.

– Sandwiched between those two is an entertaining stint with Denver Nuggets strength and conditioning coach Steve Hess, who is a must-follow on Twitter (and who is trying to get to 10K followers — help the man out!). Hess gives us the scoop on the challenges teams are facing in regards to keeping their players healthy and energized on a nightly basis during this abbreviated season with the compressed schedule.

There is also a new item on the agenda (you need to listen to find out) that we’ll need your help with. So make sure to share your feedback with everybody in the comments section and on Twitter.

LISTEN HERE: 

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our superproducer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

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Hang Time Podcast (Episode 54)

LOS ANGELES – Much like those Hang Time Grizzlies, we decided to kick off the conference semifinal round of these NBA playoffs with a bang on the Hang Time Podcast.

That includes appearances from a wise and trusted friend of the program and two debuts that you will now want to miss on Episode 54 (complete with background noise from the beach out here in Southern California, where half of our team is located for the Lakers-Mavericks series. We apologize in advance for the inconvenience).

First up is NBA TV and TNT analyst Chris Webber, a favorite here at the hideout for his candor, keen insight and wealth of experience on all topics basketball and beyond. His take on both the Spurs and Magic will leave no doubt about where he thinks both franchises are headed, now that they have been removed from the playoff picture.

Zach Lowe of SI.com‘s The Point Forward blog joined us to break down Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics, got his take on Zach Randolph and the Grizzlies and we even tricked him into diving back into the Derrick Rose-Dwight Howard MVP debate. It’s not the ideal way to treat a first-time guest, but he was good about it.

We wrapped up with a special Hollywood/Broadway guest in actor Tate Donovan, a rare New Jersey native and lifelong Lakers fan. He gave away his age when he told us that he grew up watching Wilt Chamberlain play for the Lakers. But he has the distinction of living through two of the most celebrated eras in NBA history, having cut his teeth on the Showtime Lakers and then stuck around for the Shaquille O’Neal-Kobe Bryant-Phil Jackson era and now the Bryant-Pau Gasol-Jackson twilight saga.

That’s enough yapping, check out Episode 54 and hear it all for yourself.

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our super producer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 53)

DALLAS – Playoffs?

Did someone say playoffs?

They’ve never been better, as far as we can tell. You’ve seen the Hang Time Grizzlies and the Atlanta Hawks, both on the verge of pulling off first round upsets. The underdogs have been the story of the first round, so far, with lower seeds stretching series and avoiding sweeps at all costs … well, every one but the New York Knicks, of course.

But not everyone has playoff fever. What about those teams watching from the distance? The Detroit Pistons, once a playoff staple in the Eastern Conference, are on the outside looking in. But with new ownership, they’re going to get a fresh start. Pistons beat writer Vincent Goodwill of the Detroit News makes his Hang Time Podcast debut on Episode 53 to break down the state of affairs for this one-time Eastern Conference power. It’s the first in our series of Lottery Looks, where we we will study up on different lottery teams during the playoffs.

We also spent some quality time with NBA.com’s college basketball and draft specialists Chris Dortch, editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. The draft process is heating up and CD sheds some light on the movers and shakers in this year’s draft class, which he grades as an average class, at best. Who is the next Wesley Matthews? Listen to Episode 53 for that and more.

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our super producer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 52)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We had to call in some serious favors and promise to sell super producer Micah Hart’s phone contact list to the Smithsonian one day, but we finally landed the one guest we’ve been waiting on since the Hang Time Podcast first hit the airwaves.

Basketball legend and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar graced us with a visit on Episode 52. We talked about his documentary, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” detailing the history of the Harlem Rens basketball team – the story of the greatest basketball team you never heard of.

The film is available on is available now on Comcast Video on Demand and will be available on Netflix on May 15th. You can pre-order the DVD at www.kareemabduljabbar.com.

We didn’t let the NBA’s all-time leading scorer make his Hang Time Podcast debut without getting his thoughts on a wild opening weekend of the NBA playoffs.

And we also enlisted the services, live from the golf course, of NBA TV’s Brent “Bones” Barry and his brother Jon Barry, a scratch golfer and NBA analyst himself for ABC and ESPN. They weighed in on the shocking Game 1 defeats in Los Angeles and San Antonio, while also sharing their insights on what’s to come in all of these first round series — in between a little brotherly trash talking on the links, of course.

Trust us when we tell you that you don’t want to miss this:

LISTEN HERE:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our super producer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here.

Hang Time Podcast (Playoff Previews)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Before a ball officially goes up on the 2011 NBA playoffs, we need to take a little bit of your time so we can discuss a few things.

In fact, we’re going in-depth on all eight playoff series, dissecting the action in both the Eastern and Western Conferences with a few friends of the program on the Hang Time Podcast Playoff Preview extravaganza.

We broke down each series with an insider that has a unique perspective on the matchup, the key players and everything else that comes along with playoff basketball.

Can the Lakers complete the three-peat? Can the Spurs, Heat, Mavericks, Celtics or Magic stop them? Are the Bulls, the league’s top overall team based on regular season records, for real? We answered all those questions and more.

LISTEN HERE (and make sure you turn the volume up):

EASTERN CONFERENCE

- Chicago-Indiana,with NBA.com’s Steve Aschburner:

- Miami-Philly, with Ethan J. Skolnick of the Palm Beach Post:

- Boston-New York, with Paul Flannery of WEEI:

- Orlando-Atlanta, with Hawks radio broadcaster Steve Holman:

WESTERN CONFERENCE

- San Antonio-Memphis, with Dan Wolken of The Daily:

- Los Angeles -New Orleans, with Kevin Ding of the Orange County Register:

- Dallas-Portland, with Ben Golliver of Blazers Edge:

- OKC-Denver, with Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman:

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Sekou Smith of NBA.com, as well as our super producer Micah Hart of NBA.com’s All Ball Blog.

– To subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, click here.