HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Few players divide the room the way Carmelo Anthony does.
To some, the New York Knicks’ superstar is a scoring marvel to behold in a league that has always cherished guys who could put the ball in the hole at a record pace. Yet to others, Anthony is an elite scorer but little else and needs to expand the boundaries of his game if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as friends and contemporaries like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.
But if he was a better rebounder, set-up man and finally “won the big one” then we wouldn’t have anything to debate on Episode 111 of the Hang Time Podcast, where we also debate and discuss the Brittney Griner to the NBA (instead of WNBA … she’s all for it, by the way) drama, the Mike Rice-Rutgers basketball flap, Shaquille O’Neal‘s retirement ceremony, our Final Four picks (GO BLUE!) and a whole lot more.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – That Twitter beef between Kobe Bryant and his followers and Dahntay Jones and his followers can officially be put to rest now that we have a ruling from the NBA about the missed call at the end of that Wednesday night game at Philips Arena.
Just as Bryant said after the Lakers’ 96-92 loss, Jones did not give him the proper space on his landing from a baseline jumper attempt and, the same landing that will keep Bryant out “indefinitely” with a severely sprained left ankle.
The league’s official ruling can be found here and states that:
With 4.9 seconds remaining in the Atlanta Hawks’ 96-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on March 13, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant attempted a jump shot over the Hawks’ Dahntay Jones. After review at the league office, video replay confirmed that referees missed a foul call on Jones as he challenged Bryant’s shot and did not give him the opportunity to land cleanly back on the floor. Bryant should have been granted two free throws.
Bryant will still have to wait a year to get his revenge, as he mentioned after the game. But he’s already been vindicated, per the official ruling that is backed up by the video evidence (above).
Vlado Ilievski‘s 3-pointer (off an assist from Bo McCalebb) with 11 seconds left pushed Macedonia ahead and they held on to pull off one of the most shocking upsets in EuroBasket history, knocking off host nation Lithuania before a raucous crowd in a hostile environment. Ilievski (12 points) and McCalebb (23 points) had plenty of company in the heroes corner in the Macedonia locker room after the game. Vojdan Stojanovski who didn’t miss a single shot, he was 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point line, finishing with 15 points.
“This is a huge win for us. We are very happy,” Stojanovksi said. “I think we played very well and we deserved this win. I have to thank our playmakers because they put me in a position to have open shots. I was confident of making them. Spain will be a tough team but we have proved that we can beat good teams in this tournament.”
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Stunning is the only way to describe the mood shift here at the hideout in the past 24 hours.
From giddy anticipation for potential progress that could come from the first full bargaining session since the lockout began to the depths of despair in the aftermath of said meeting producing nothing of the sort. I tried to warn folks. No deal would be struck. The two sides were probably not going to move off of their initial positions. They did not.
The owners and players (and their representatives) are as far apart right now as they were when this entire ordeal began. It’s as if the calendar hasn’t moved one bit since July 1.
NBA commissioner David Stern and union executive director Billy Hunter might even agree on that. There is no next bargaining session scheduled. Not even a brief get together for coffee. Nothing.
You can choose sides all you want, but as far as these eyes can see the only real losers in this entire affair are those of us who love the game and want to see it played as soon as possible.
Still, we have to gauge the reactions from all sides and examine the fine points of each and every argument. More importantly, we have to sort through the rubble now and figure out exactly where we go from here. Because optimism is no longer a part of this equation …
The Union’s Next Test … Decertification
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: When [Hunter] goes to Las Vegas on Wednesday for the most important players meeting of his tenure as executive director, does he find a coup awaiting him?
“Now Billy has to go to Las Vegas with nothing to bring the players,” a prominent agent told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday night.
“He’s chosen a particular path, and there hasn’t been any progress on that path. There was all this false optimism in the last week about how the league was going to come with a new proposal that he could take back to the players, and they came with nothing. Stern wants to stall, and stall until the players start missing paychecks.
“Billy was hoping that he could keep the players engaged, excited that a deal was coming. There was all that rhetoric of good feelings, and today was the day that Stern was going to come with a proposal. He was relying on the fact that Stern would negotiate in good faith with him, that he didn’t want to lose games. He thought that Stern would blink, start to negotiate. He was relying on the fact Stern didn’t want to hurt the game, and he was wrong.”
Yes, there had to be a pit in Hunter’s stomach. Three hours waiting for the owners to debate among themselves, big markets wanting to cut a deal, and small markets willing to lose games – lose the season – to get guaranteed profits and maybe a better chance to chase championships.
There’s a big labor meeting in Las Vegas on Thursday, and Hunter is competing for the hearts and minds of his rank-and-file players. He’s already lost the top agents, who are laying the groundwork for a coup, sources told Yahoo! Sports. The decision to make a move on Hunter could come as soon as this week, agents privately said.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – With The Finals in the rear view, it’s time to turn all of our attention to Thursday night’s Draft.
The names change from year to year, but the circumstances remain the same. Some lucky team (Cleveland is the big winner this time around) is hoping to find the player(s) that can deliver them from the necessary evil that is the Lottery.
Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams, Brandon Knight and Enes Kanter have all been mentioned possibilities for the Cavaliers for one of their two top four picks (No. 1 and No. 4) in this Draft. And that’s if the Cavaliers don’t decide to move one of those picks for more assets and the ability to move down the Draft order and still get what they need with two chances to strike it rich.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Maybe we’re going to see that 2006 NBA Finals rematch after all.
The Dallas Mavericks have a commanding 3-1 lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals, thanks to Monday night’s 112-105 overtime thriller. The Miami Heat can join them in the commanding lead department with Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on tap tonight in Miami and the Heat leading the Chicago Bulls 2-1.
If the Mavericks and Heat do end up doing it all over again, we’ll have plenty of time to dissect that matchup on the next episode of the Hang Time Podcast. But we’ve got something a little different for you this week on Episode 57, what with coaching searches going on in places like Los Angeles, Houston and Indiana and the NBA Draft just a few short weeks away.
Feigen also updated us on Yao Ming‘s status and what’s in store for a Rockets team that finished ninth in the Western Conference this season, just behind the Hang Time Grizzlies for that eighth and final playoff spot.
Howard Cooper schooled on us on who impressed (Enes Kanter‘s name came up) during the Chicago predraft camp as well as names we need to focus on come draft night. But don’t just take our word for it, check out Episode 57 of the Hang Time Podcast for yourself.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Who knew 50 would feel this good?
We had no idea how much fun it would be turning the big Five-O! But we have a little help celebrating on Episode 50 of the Hang Time Podcast.
Dallas Mavericks forward Caron Butler (formerly of Final Four participant UConn), Idaho Stampede forward Antoine Walker (formerly of Final Four participant Kentucky) and NBA.com’s numbers guru John Schuhmann all made their way to the hideout for the big party.
It’s a huge week for Butler’s Mavericks, who face the Lakers tonight in a showdown on TNT at 10:30 p.m. ET, and his Huskies, who will be down the road from Butler’s Dallas home this weekend in Houston for the Final Four.
Walker’s schedule is pretty busy this week, too. The former NBA All-Star will finish off the regular season with the Stampede this weekend with a doubleheader against Utah. Don’t be surprised to see him in Houston if the Wildcats reach the title game.
We asked them both to break down the hottest topics in basketball — the NBA MVP debate, the Final Four, Butler’s possible return from a knee injury and if and when Walker will return to the NBA, among other things — and then had our main man Schuhmann run the numbers to help us make sense of the Derrick Rose backlash that seems to be gaining momentum as the NBA regular season comes to a close.
HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We realize the start of the 2010-11 NBA season is just a couple of months away.
But before we dive headfirst into the newness here at the hideout, we wanted to take one last look at the best from last season. The best games, the best dunks, the best blocks, the best of everything. Thankfully, our friends in much higher places were already on the case.
And no, they don’t care about politricks or any of the partisan nonsense that goes on elsewhere. This is for basketball fans and hoopsheads worldwide. So don’t hesitate to cast your ballot.
As always, you are welcome to weigh in with your own opinions here (and judging from the way you let loose on the mid-summer rankings of the top eight teams in the Eastern and Western conferences, we’ll assume there will be no shortage of opinions). Make sure you highlight the hits, the misses and the games you just absolutely cannot believe were left off the ballot.
We’ve already decided which game will get our vote … sometimes it pays to save the best for last (check the recap video above).
But there are so many other worthy candidates on the ballot …
Surely, you remember this one:
And who could forget this one:
And how about this gem:
While we are well aware of the risk involved in trying to boil down roughly 2,800 games into a clear-cut Top 10 (those numbers crunchers at MIT wouldn’t even bother), the truth of the matter is, this is what we do around here.