Posts Tagged ‘Penny Hardaway’

Hang Time Podcast (Episode 119) Featuring CNN’s Wayne Drash

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The San Antonio Spurs were supposed to be over the hill. And the Miami Heat unstoppable.

Good thing they have to play the games.

Because our expectations of what we would see in the conference finals and what we have seen is totally different. The Memphis Grizzlies were no match for the might Spurs, getting swept in a Western Conference finals that was supposed to be a battle of heavyweights. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and crew have more left in the tank than some of us realized.

The Heat and Indiana Pacers are deadlocked 2-2 in the Eastern Conference finals and it’s the Heat, and not the Pacers, who have looked extremely vulnerable in certain spots (especially down low, courtesy of Roy Hibbert and David West). LeBron James has been the best player on the floor night after night, but he’s going at it without the superstar help (where you at Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?) he’s used to having with the Heat.

Then there’s the Lance Stephenson experience, a phenomenon that has to be witnessed live to truly appreciate the emotional roller coaster ride that is the Pacers’ fearless swingman.

In addition to playoff talk and coaching carousel news, we got the chance to spend a few minutes with CNN’s Wayne Drash, the co-author of a fantastic new book, “On These Courts.” The book, which started as a story on CNN.com, chronicles former NBA All-Star Penny Hardaway‘s return to his Memphis roots to help a friend with cancer coach at-risk youth and the magical journey that grew out of that relationship.

As always, there is never a dull moment on Episode 119 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 Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of NBA.com’s All-Ball Blog and renaissance man Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “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.

Memphis Bid, Jersey Ads Get BOG Review

 

A star-studded group of investors — including NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley, entertainer Justin Timberlake and former NBA players Penny Hardaway and Elliot Perry — could be approved to purchase the Memphis Grizzlies at the NBA’s Board of Governors two-day meeting today and Thursday in Manhattan.

And with the league’s other 29 owners, they could find themselves with a new revenue stream in the form of jersey-patch ads.

The Memphis sale and a report from the NBA’s planning committee on the pros and cons of placing ads on jerseys are two of the items believed to be on the BOG agenda. Though the actual list of topics isn’t made public, other items may include:

  • Reports on revenue sharing and collective bargaining.
  • Arena news, including the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn and improvements to Madison Square Garden in New York.
  • Discussion of rule changes via the competition committee, including flopping and other referee points-of-emphasis.
  • Updates on ticket sales, network contracts and sponsorships.
  • Review of the NBA China program and preseason games played internationally this fall.

The status of the Sacramento Kings’ arena deal and possible relocation is not believed to be among the scheduled topics, nor is any formal discussion of efforts in Seattle to gain an existing or expansion franchise.

A Los Angeles investor, Steve Kaplan, has joined the Grizzlies purchase group headed by Robert Pera, according to a story Tuesday in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. Kaplan was involved with current Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley’s unsuccessful attempt to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, the paper reported.

Any move to put ads on players’ jerseys -– common practice in international play and even in the WNBA -– would not come at NBA commissioner David Stern’s urging. Neither would it happen, though, over his objections.

Stern told reporters during the Boston Celtics’ stop in Milan earlier this month that he would rather not see the sponsors’ patches on uniforms. “As a personal matter, I am not in favor of it, but I’m not standing in the way of it,” Stern said. “If my board wants to do it, we’ll do it.”

Marshall Next In Suns’ Line (Video)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – Phoenix Suns rookie point guard Kendall Marshall knows that he is inheriting a rich tradition at the position, following in the footsteps of Suns legend and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash. Let’s not forget Phoenix’s former point guard stars like Jason Kidd, Penny Hardaway, Kevin Johnson and countless others.

There is a certain amount of pressure that comes with the job in the NBA … and any job in the league. When replacing a player like Nash in a franchise that is clearly in a rebuilding phase, however, the pressure is amplified. But Marshall seems more than comfortable with whatever expectations there are — playing at North Carolina surely aids that cause — and whatever added pressure there will be.

He sat down with Suns.com (P.J. Tucker goes first) and talked about that and more, including the social media mantle he’ll have to take up from Nash, the league’s resident king of all (social) media:

No Shaq? No Dwight? Still Magic





ORLANDO — Pat Williams knows about beating the odds.

Three times he has been the official team representative when the Magic won the Draft Lottery.

At 71, he is smiling and relentlessly active and looking fit less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer.

So while the immediate outlook for the local NBA franchise would seem to run the gamut from bleak to dire, Williams says Orlando as a sports market and a city is in far better shape to withstand the loss of Dwight Howard than when Shaquille O’Neal bolted for L.A. back in 1996.

“It won’t be nearly as big a blow,” said Williams. “Not really. This town has grown so much since then. We had 55 million visitors last year. That’s never happened before in an American city. I think Orlando can stand on its own. It’s a major, major market now.

“So is there sense of dismissal, that we’re ‘a dried up pond,’ as Shaq called it? No. No.

“Of course, we were a good bit smaller then and maybe not as sophisticated. Of course, he never left here and has lived here ever since. So I guess you could say that Shaq hasn’t changed since then, but we have.

“The Shaq experience, it continues to irk people with no end in sight and that was 16 years ago. (more…)

Say Goodbye To The House Shaq Built

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – We thought it only right that we all take a moment to say goodbye to the house Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway, Lil’ Penny, our main man Dennis Scott, Nick Anderson and the rest of the old school Orlando Magic built.

The Amway Center, the house Dwight Howard built, is fully operational and one of the finest basketball buildings on the planet. But we’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts for the old place:


Orlando’s Original Big 3 (Shaq, Penny And 3D) Reunited At The Barbershop

ORLANDO – It’s probably a painful thought for longtime fans in this city, but what if Shaquille O’Neal never left?

What if the Orlando Magic’s Big 3 of Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dennis Scott had stuck together throughout the primes of their respective careers? What might they have been able to accomplish? How many more NBA Finals might they have reached?

Sure, it’s a dangerous game to play, even now after all of these years have passed. But you have to wonder …


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

The NBA’s All-Time Super Commercials

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – While most of the free world turns it attentions to football today we only have eyes for the NBA, so what if there are only two games scheduled today (The Hang Time Grizzlies face the Celtics at Noon ET on NBA TV and the Raptors and Heat tipoff at 1 p.m. ET).

We’ll take what we can get before everyone goes crazy for the Giants-Patriots rematch, and those commercials, in Super Bowl XLVI tonight.

Speaking of those commercials, we’ll be curious to see who brings it and who doesn’t when it’s all said and done. Whatever offerings the Super Bowl provides this year, we know they won’t crack HT’s All-Time list of the NBA’s Super commercials.

Five of our favorites (and there are so many great ones to choose from that it took us forever to whittle it down to these five):

– Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon, Hang Time!



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Magic Play Waiting Game With Dwight





HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – From the very start, we’ve had nothing but good things to say about the way the Orlando Magic are handling Dwight Howard and his future with the franchise.

With every win, and every milestone (above) Howard reaches in a Magic uniform, their decision to step back from the trade discussions involving their superstar center seems more and more like the right one.

The Denver Nuggets went down the same path last season with Carmelo Anthony before moving him to New York. But these situations are quite different in regards to the perception of the teams making the decision. While the Nuggets were a playoff team with Anthony, no one considered them much of a title contender before the trade.

The Magic, meanwhile, appear to be a legitimate threat to the Bulls and Heat in the chase for the Eastern Conference crown this season. As of this morning they’re second in the Southeast Division, sporting an identical 12-5 record as the Heat, behind the 13-5 Hawks.

And whether Howard is on his way out of Orlando or not, he is busy cementing his legacy as arguably the greatest player in Magic history (sorry Shaquille O’Neal and Penny Hardaway, but Dwight already has the all-time scoring mark and has led the franchise to just as many appearances in The Finals as you both did.)

As ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill points out, the Magic do have some factors working in their favor if they indeed are set on keeping Howard in the fold:

Orlando has three things going for it in its effort to manipulate Howard into staying: money, a winning record and his desire to be liked. If Howard chooses to go to another team as a free agent, it could cost him $30 million, since the collective bargaining agreement allows the Magic, as the team that drafted him, to offer him the most money.

The salary should be enough to make even Howard — who is earning close to $18 million this season — uncomfortable about leaving.

Some NBA stars might be egomaniacs, but few of them want to be cast in a bad light. Most players don’t even have the guts to ask for a trade themselves. They use their agents, representatives and other back channels to make their true feelings known so they can have plausible deniability with their home teams’ fans. During his trade drama in Denver last season, Carmelo Anthony always insisted he never asked for a trade, even though it was so obvious he wanted to be with the New York Knicks that he might as well have put it on a Times Square billboard.

There’s that Anthony comparison again. And it’s hard to ignore the similarities, good and bad.

We all know how that’s working out for Anthony … and for his former team.

Labor Talks: A Glimmer Of Hope?

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – If 15 mind-bending hours of negotiations are any indication, that little cooling off period seems to have helped both sides in the NBA’s ongoing labor impasse.

After breaking off talks late last week, the two sides have resumed their discussions and the first day (and night) of these latest talks have produced at least a glimmer of hope that a new deal could be in the works sometime sooner rather than later. Of course, caution is needed where these things are concerned. We’ve been here a time or two in the past 119 days, reading the tea leaves and feeling hopeful, only to have the reality of this situation snap us back to attention.

But everyone’s tone has changed dramatically since last week, when NBA Commissioner David Stern‘s absence from federally-mediated talks (the doctors sent him home) coincided with what was the most dramatic detour to date in the progression of these negotiations.

Union executive director Billy Hunter spoke of a potential deal being ready within the next five or six days and Stern even floated the notion of an 82-game season being worked out, provided the sides come to a consensus on a new deal in rapid fashion.

That sets up this afternoon’s bargaining session in New York as perhaps the (latest) most critical day in the process. Another positive day of talks could provide us with more than just a glimmer of hope — (although, the Prime Minister warns that we shouldn’t go dreaming about unicorns and rainbows until we see Stern and Hunter shaking hands at one of these post-session pressers) …

A Deal To Be Done, If Both Sides Are Ready

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports writes that the time to make a deal is near:

From front-office executives to player agents, optimism is rapidly rising that there’s significant momentum toward reaching an agreement and saving most, if not all, of the 82-game regular season. Union executive director Billy Hunter said he “assumes” the full schedule could be saved if a deal is reached by “Sunday or Monday.” Stern said the league will work with the union to schedule as many games as possible.

The two sides didn’t discuss the split of revenue – a contentious issue in previous negotiating sessions – instead taking Hunter’s suggestion they “park” the discussion while negotiating system issues. Stern indicated the talks likely won’t return to the split until the league and union have finished with the system. League and union officials will continue to meet in small groups Thursday. Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver and San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt will brief the owners’ labor-relations committee before talks resume.

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