Thursday, June 30, 2011

NBA commences lockout of its players

The National Basketball Association announced that it will commence a lockout of its players, effective at 12:01 am ET on July 1, until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the National Basketball Players Association.

"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams," said NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver. "We need a sustainable business model that allows all 30 teams to be able to compete for a championship, fairly compensates our players, and provides teams, if well-managed, with an opportunity to be profitable."

"We have made several proposals to the union, including a deal targeting $2 billion annually as the players' share -- an average of approximately $5 million per player that could increase along with league revenue growth," said Silver. "Elements of our proposal would also better align players' pay with performance."

"We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game."

During the lockout, players will not receive their salaries; teams will not negotiate, sign or trade player contracts; players will not be able to use team facilities for any purpose; and teams will not conduct or facilitate any summer camps, exhibitions, practices, workouts, coaching sessions, or team meetings

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coach Brown Hires Kuester To Coaching Staff

New Lakers Coach Mike Brown announced officially the hiring of John Kuester to his coaching staff.

“I’m extremely excited to have John join the team as a member of my coaching staff,” Brown said in a statement released by the Lakers. “Having previously worked together in Cleveland, I know what assets he will bring to the team. His ability to effectively communicate with the players while teaching them valuable skills on both ends of the court is a quality that I respect and value. I look forward to working with him again.”

Brown still has yet to announce who will fill his other coaching positions, but The Times' Broderick Turner recently reported that the Lakers also plan to announce the hiring sometime of this week of Chuck Person and Quin Snyder. Numerous outlets have also indicated the Brown plans to have former Moscow CSKA coach Ettore Messina serve as a consultant or special assistant role, though nothing has been formally announced.

Kuester's recent stint with the Detroit Pistons didn't end well. The defining mark of Kuester's 57-107 mark entailed a number of Pistons players leading a revolt that entailed five of them skipping practice. When he was ejected during a regular-season game, several Detroit players could be seen laughing over the incident.

Nonetheless, Kuester earned plenty of credit for helping the Cavaliers' offense when he was an assistant under Brown from 2007-09 where he was assigned to be the team's "offensive coordinator."

Kuester has had several assistant coaching stints, including the University of Richmond (1980-81), Boston University (1981-83), the Boston Celtics (1995-97), Philadelphia 76ers (1997-2003), Detroit (2003-04), the New Jersey Nets (2004-05), the 76ersagain (2005-06), the Orlando Magic (2006-07) and the Cleveland Cavaliers (2007-09).

Kuester's head coaching experience includes succeeding Rick Pitino at Boston U, as the youngest coach in NCAA Division I history, with a two-year stint from 1983-85, and then moving to George Washington from 1985-1990. In the 1988-89 season Kuester's Colonials went 1-27. He finished with a 81-122 record coaching college basketball.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Latest Lakers Trade Rumors: Odom for Iguodala talks fizzled because of Odom

Trade talks between the Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers for a switcheroo between Andre Iguodala and Lamar Odom may have been squashed because of Lamar Odom.

Let me explain, according to HoopsWorld, "Philadelphia wasn't going to trade Iguodala for Odom if the latter was going to be unhappy and unmotivated. That's when the talks died."

Basically, the 76ers don't want Odom on the team if he didn't want to be there, remember when he used to play for the Clippers?

Odom has been the subject of numerous trade rumors since weeks before the draft. He has been connected with the Orlando Magic for Dwight Howard, the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, and other teams around the NBA for their draft picks.

Odom is perhaps the Lakers most tradable asset because of his contract.

He is fresh off of winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award and a power forward in the league making only $8.9 million next year. He also has a team option for the same amount next year, or the team can buy out his contract for about $2 million, freeing up salary cap space for the team.

In addition, Odom is only 31 years old averaging 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in his 12 year career.

Iguodala is younger than Odom and may have more potential at 27 years of age. In his career, Iguodala has averaged 15.6 poitns and 5.8 rebounds per game.

Like Odom, Iguodala has also been linked in numerous trade rumors including with the Golden State Warriors in a trade for Monta Ellis.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ron Artest: May You Go In Peace

"Metta World Peace", yep, that's the new moniker that Ron Artest is going by, and evidently it's justa matter of time until it's his legal name now, I just hope it will fit on his new jersey.

Ron Artest is not just making a few minor changed to his name, a la Shaq's numerous nicknames like "Big Daddy", "Diesel" or "Big Luggage" -no, this is a monumental name change. Following in the footsteps of Muhammed Ali and Kareem Abdu Jabbar he's taking his name from the Eastern religious influence he's experienced lately and changed his name officially to "Metta World Peace".

Artest, um, Mr. World Peace (or Mr. Peace?) cites that he has “personal reasons” for the recent change. While it appears the new name has roots in the Buddhist tradition, there's nothing said of whether he will be adopting a new religion along with the new name change. The word “Metta” is a multifaceted word in the Buddhist faith, referring to a feeling of benevolence and kindness. If this makes Ron Ron a better player, and a better person, than May you go in Peace, Mr. Peace...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dealing With Lamar Odom

The Lakers did not make any major moves on draft day, Lamar Odom could be the subject of a deal soon, as I write this twitter rumors run rampant...

The rumors about an Odom trade started at the offset of the end of the regular season, and the most well respected offer holding any weight at this point involved Odom possibly going to Orlando. Many people want the Lakers acquire Dwight Howard from the Magic, and give up Odom and several other players including Bynum and possible Gasol? as part of the deal.

The most recent trade rumor had the Lakers Odom packing his bag (and, um Kourtney, too) and heading to Philadelphia with Luke Walton, and in return the Lakers getting athletic forward Andre Iguodala. There are also rumors that Lamar will go to Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love.

Lamar played a pivitol role in the Lakers' past two championship teams and his incredible versatal ability as a 6th man to come off the bench and consistently play, and play well this season, but, alas, it seems as though Kupchak and the front office have decided to part ways with the the 6th Man of the Year 2011. I understand the Lakers want another star player and want to deal Odom before he gets any longer in the tooth, but his versatility, dedication and style of play is going to be hard to replace.

Lamar will just have to go where his hand is dealt, we just have to hope that Kupchak realized he already has an ace up his sleave...