Posts Tagged ‘Darius Miles’

Free-agent story remains the same as ever for Kobe, LeBron

VIDEO: Where LeBron James goes, others (even former rivals) will follow

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Kevin Love. Mike Miller. Shawn Marion. And perhaps Ray Allen (at some point).

Is there anyone else?

Is there anyone else willing to follow LeBron James wherever the road leads?

Gather any number of NBA players and ask for a show of hands and I guarantee you arms will be raised in rapid fashion.

This much is clear: where LeBron goes, others will follow. Even former rivals (Marion played on the Dallas team that defeated James and the Heat in The 2011 Finals.)

Marion’s weekend decision to join the homecoming party in Cleveland is just the latest evidence that LeBron remains the pied piper of his generation. It’s in stark contrast to what has gone on and what is going on with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. The Lakers’ superstar has always struggled to attract high-profile teammates willing to make sacrifices in order to play alongside a proven champion.

For two players who always find themselves grouped together in the same conversation of the all-time greats, the one glaring difference between them is the stampede of players that have run to play with one of them (LeBron) and the reluctance of so many to even consider playing with the other (Kobe).

Dwight Howard couldn’t get away from the Lakers fast enough when he was a free agent after the 2012-13 season. Fast forward to this summer and Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, as well as others, were willing to wait until LeBron made up his mind between Cleveland and Miami before they decided their own free-agent futures.

It speaks to the power James wields as the world’s best player. And it’s less of an indictment of Bryant, who will no doubt go down (along with Tim Duncan) as the face of his generation, than it is affirmation of the force of nature that LeBron is on the free-agent market.

A generation gap?

It should be noted that LeBron is in the prime of his career while Kobe is clearly in the twilight of his. Still, when Kobe was in the same position atop the league food chain, his contemporaries did not flock to Los Angeles.

They are, after all, from a different generation. They are from the era where this notion of partnering up with supposed rivals wasn’t nearly as commonplace or acceptable as it has become in recent years. Close relationships between players during the offseason didn’t lead to the Big 3s and super teams that have been formed in the wake of the USA Basketball-inspired conglomerates that came to fruition in Miami (as well as in Houston, Brooklyn and now, Cleveland). (more…)

Best Handshake!

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The Clippers are an easy punchline when joking about the teams in the NBA that just can’t seem to get right.

But we’ll give them credit for being in the right frame of mind during the dog days of training camp.

They have a couple of youngster that keep the mood just right in DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, the first pair to deliver their entry for the best handshake of the season (it’s not nearly as entertaining/annoying as the Darius MilesQuentin Richardson fists-to-the-forehead thing from way back, but it has potential on both fronts).

Granted, Clippers fans would love to see something more promising from their team this season than just a clever handshake routine. But hey, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Hot fun in the summertime


Posted by Fran Blinebury

It’s the time to get a first look at the biggest, newest headline stars in professional competition and a chance to mine some of still-hidden nuggets from the NBA Draft and beyond.

The Pro Summer League in Orlando begins on Monday and the NBA Las Vegas Summer League starts Friday and the competition east and west continues through July 18.

Last summer’s stint in Florida was a chance for Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook to shine and he used that as a springboard to help the Thunder make their first drive into the playoffs.  Out west in Vegas, it was Blake Griffin, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 draft who gave the Clippers a look at his great potential before a training camp injury sidelined him for the season.

Who steps forward this year?  The Celtics, Bobcats, Pacers, Nets, Thunder, Magic, Sixers and Jazz will play this week in Orlando, showcasing the No. 2 and No. 3 picks – Evan Turner and Derrick Favors – in the draft when Philadelphia and New Jersey lineup for their first game with their new teams on Monday night.

John Wall, the No. 1 pick in the 2010 Draft, will make his debut on Sunday in Las Vegas when the Wizards face Golden State in their Summer League opener with a possible deliciously interesting head-to-head matchup against Stephen Curry, last season’s Rookie of the Year runner-up.

There are always plenty of unexpected tales to come out of the summer leagues.  A year ago Anthony Randolph of Golden State was a sensation for the Warriors and second-round draft pick Chase Budinger gave a hot-shooting, slam-dunking preview of how he was he was going to carve himself out a spot in Houston’s rotation.

The NBA Development League Select Team will give some of the top talent from the D League a chance to show their stuff in Las Vegas, while veteran Darius Miles will continue his comeback bid to the NBA with the Bobcats in Orlando.

Be Careful Judging Coaches


Posted by Sekou Smith

LOS ANGELES — Every time I hear someone yap about the best coaches in the business I think of a guy like Suns coach Alvin Gentry.

A head coach on four different occasions, including his latest gig coaching the Suns in the Western Conference finals, who’d have thought he would have a team in this position after the Clippers canned him after three seasons earlier this decade?

Luminaries like Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, Larry Brown and Jerry Sloan tend to be immune to the debate, unless we’re talking about the best of the very best.

But when it comes to questioning who can and cannot handle the basics of the job, I love watching a guy like Gentry prove people wrong. (It’s hard to make lasting judgments about any coach after just one job. Unfortunately for so many of them, they can’t rely on multiple coaching lives.)

I loved Gentry’s style when he was coaching those young Clippers, when Lamar Odom, Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson made up the core of the roster. ESPN had a reality show that followed them around for an entire season (I think it was called The Season, if I remember correctly). It provided a great look inside a young team that was either going to stick together and turn into something or break apart and become … well, the Clippers!

Who knows what might have become of those Clippers had someone in charge decided to make sure they held it all together?

We know what became of Gentry …

Not bad. Not bad at all.