Archive for the ‘NBA’ category

Average Thoughts From An Average Fan 10-29-12

October 29, 2012

It pains me to have to write the following paragraph…

One of the worst experiences in sports is watching your arch rival win.  Last night I experienced this for the second time in three years as the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers en route to becoming the 2012 World Series Champions.  Like many other Dodgers fans it made me sick watching the black and orange dancing around in a celebratory fashion in October.  Once in 2010 was bad enough but to have to experience it again just two years later was a big time punch to the gut for fans of the azul.

Ok.  Now that I’ve got the paragraph from the “biased fan” perspective out of my system.  It’s time to express my feelings from the “mature adult” perspective.  If the players on this team weren’t wearing San Francisco Giants laundry it’s likely I would’ve been openly rooting for them to win it all.  When you look at the Giants line up on paper you don’t see a list filled with household names and superstars from top to bottom.But that’s what makes their story so great.

These guys played a great team game and everybody bought in to the goal and made whatever sacrifices were necessary to achieve it.  Isn’t that the kind of behavior we all want to see out of our favorite teams?  Is that not the kind of values we teach our kids to not only carry with them in sports but in everyday life?

I tip my hat to the Giants.  They deserve every bit of the success they achieved this year.  (Please Baseball Gods, don’t make me ever have to write that again)

Hopefully some good can come out of the Giants success as far as LA fans are concerned and that  Dodgers management will be motivated even further to step their game up and get the Dodgers back to the top of baseball’s food chain where they belong.

Another year of “The Association”  is upon us…

As another year of professional basketball entertainment gets underway on October 30.  My predictions for the season can be found here.  If you root for the Lakers, Thunder or Heat you obviously have the most to be excited about as your teams are the overwhelming favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season.  If you have dreams of a championship and you root for one of the other 27 teams in the league then this year is likely going to be a complete and utter failure for you.

This past Sunday night on “The Average Joe Show NBA Preview Special” I had a moment of clarity about my view of the NBA.  The “one percent” have most of the wealth while the other 99% are fighting for what’s left.

The NBA is a lot like society.  In the history of the league there have been 63 champions.  The Boston Celtics (17), Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers (16)  have combined to win 33 championships.  That means either the Celtics or Lakers have won 52.4% of the time.

If you add in the Chicago Bulls (6) and San Antonio Spurs (4) that means those four teams have combined to win it all 68.3% of the time.  That’s four teams with more than 2/3 of all the championships in the history of the league.  Between 1987-1998 there were no “one and done” champion.  Every team went back to back or in the case of the Bulls “three-peated”.

If there’s any kind of “occupy” movement that should be going on, it should be in front of the NBA’s office.

I know a new season brings new hope and optimism each year but if you’re a fan of any team not named, Lakers, Celtics, Thunder or Heat you’re simply fooling yourself.

Do I think it’s the NBA’s goal to have such competitive imbalance?  Of course not.  But by making it a players league where the individuals, not teams are marketed along with not having a hard salary cap, the league is reaping what they’ve sowed.  It’s the big markets in one corner and everyone else in the other.

This is what the NBA’s commercials should be saying, “The NBA…It’s fantastic!  (Offer does not apply to Bucks, Kings, Bobcats, Hornets, Wizards or Raptors fans).

Once again I would like to thank Gary Bettman…

For proving that he is far and away the worst commissioner in all of professional sports.  A few days ago the league announced that all November games would be cancelled.  Now I just read that their annual “Winter Classic” out door game is expected to be cancelled in the coming days.

Way to go Gary!  Only under your leadership could a sport that I love lose an entire season due to a labor dispute and less than ten years later threaten to do it again.

It’s already bad enough that fan interest has declined and the TV deal is worse off than when you took over once upon a time but now you’re once again taking games from me.  Please step down and hand over the reigns to someone that knows what they’re doing.  Stop ruining a great game.

Also to blame in this matter is Donald Fehr.  You might remember him as the man who ran the Major League Baseball Players Association when they went on strike in 1994 ultimately resulting in the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series that year.

You’re bad for sports Donald Fehr and I can’t stand you!  Please go away and stop taking things that I enjoy away from me.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse!

Joe Pacheco

Co-host “The Average Joe Show”

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Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan 7-30-12

July 30, 2012

There is no better time to be a sports fan than the present.  The major league baseball non-waiver trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, the summer Olympics are in full swing and NFL teams opened up their training camps today.

Let’s start with some of the recent baseball trades…

Like most Dodger fans, I love the recent acquisition of Hanley Ramirez.  The new LA third baseman is hitting .333 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 5 runs scored in his first five games since being traded from Miami.  People forget that Ramirez is only 28 years old.  If he can recapture any resemblance of the all-star form he had with the Marlins where he was batting well north of .300 while scoring 125 runs and joining the 30/30 club, the Dodgers will have “gun and ski masked” the Marlins out of one of the games best talents.  Regardless when your third baseman is Juan Uribe, the only place you can go is up.

Not to be out done by their southern California rivals…

The Angels acquired former AL Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for three minor leaguers.  After a disappointing start to the season and with their biggest division rival also rumored to be in the mix for Greinke’s services the Angels knew they had to make a big splash.  People can say what they want about Angels owner Arte Moreno but every year he at least takes some kind of action to put the Angels in the best position to win.  Add Greinke to a staff that also features Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren and you might have the best starting pitching foursome in the game today.

It was the end of an era in Seattle…

On July 23 the Mariners said good-bye to the face of their franchise when they shipped Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees.  After the deal was made it was reported that Ichiro had gone to Seattle ownership and quietly asked for a trade.  Big props to Ichiro for requesting his deal the right way, privately and face to face with ownership.  Not through the press and publicly like a certain NBA center.

While I’m not happy that the Yankees benefited from the deal, I’m happy for Ichiro that he gets to spend the twilight of his career playing meaningful baseball.  While the old Ichiro that was getting 200 hits a year is long gone, this current version still has plenty left in the tank on a team that is stacked and loaded and in no way needs him to carry a big load.

I also want to give a big “thumbs up” to the Seattle Mariners for honoring Ichiro’s request and giving the future hall of famer who had given so much to the franchise, a chance to end his career on a better note than he would have had he been a stuck on a last place team that is year’s away from making any noise.

I don’t know what it is about the Olympics…

But I just love watching the games.  While I wouldn’t give a darn about most of these sports in the year’s in between the games I just love it when it’s “flag versus flag”.

Yesterday I found myself watching beach volleyball, Ping Pong, water polo, rowing and swimming.  If I came across these sports while flipping through the channels at any other time I would’ve just kept right on going but since it’s the Olympics and one country’s best is competing with another country’s best for world bragging rights I get hooked and before I know it hour’s have passed by.

On to the association…

Where weeks continue to pass by and still Dwight Howard is listed on the Orlando Magic’s roster.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m completely washing my hands of this story.  At this point, I truly could care less where he winds up.  In fact, I will no longer write or talk about Dwight Howard trade rumors until a trade has officially been announced.  Goodbye for now Dwight Howard.  See you when the season starts and we can talk about your play on the court or when you’re wearing an NBA jersey that is not Orlando’s.

Please follow me on twitter @joepacheco4

The twitter page of “The Average Joe Show” is @theavgjoeshow

Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan 7-16-12

July 16, 2012

As former FBI Director Louis Freeh read the findings of his report regarding the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, all I could think of was that this has to be one of the top 10 worst days in the history of sports.

Penn State University President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz all should have a special spot in prison reserved for them.  If Joe Paterno was still alive I believe he should have spent the last years of his life rotting away in a jail cell too.  No doubt Sandusky is the worst kind of human being there is.  Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and “Joe Pa” are not far behind.

I know  for decades Paterno did a lot of good things for a lot of  people, however his failure to protect the well beings of children undoes all of that in my eyes.  No longer can I  remember Joe Paterno as simply the head coach of Penn State football.  For me he is now Joe Paterno, a man who did nothing to stop child abuse of the worst kind.  Disgusting!

Now back to sports…

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in a recent interview said this year’s version of the USA Olympic basketball team could beat the famous 1992 “Dream Team” who won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics and was lead by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and numerous other hall of famers.

I admire Kobe Bryant’s basketball abilities a lot.  If his career was over today I would definitely put him down as one of the top 10 greatest to ever play the game.  But in this case Bryant needs to put down whatever delusional inducing substances are making him talk that way and come back to reality.  I love your competitive spirit Kobe but in this case you’re just wrong.  Plain and simple.

Speaking of competitive spirit…

You have to admire the guts of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving.  The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year challenged Bryant to a one on one game.   Has Mr. Irving been taking bath salts?  Does he know who he’s messing with?

Bryant is a five time NBA champ, two time Finals MVP and former regular season MVP.  Not to mention he is currently fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.  He is one of the proudest men ever to play the game, and has a competitive fire that is second to none.  Although Bryant will be turning 34 this year, there is no way that he lets a young 20 something trash talker embarrass him.  Be careful what you ask for Mr. Irving because you just might get it.

In more basketball related news…

Despite trading for Portland Trailblazer point guard Raymond Felton, I can’t imagine the New York Knicks not matching the Houston Rocket’s 3 year, $25 million offer sheet for fan favorite Jeremy Lin.  Although you can argue whether it makes basketball sense for them to do so, what you can’t argue with is how much it makes sense marketing wise for the Knicks to bring him back.

Deep down New York knows they don’t have a strong chance to win a championship this season, but they do know that if they bring back Lin they have a strong chance to make even more money from ticket sales.  If you can’t win on the court, you might as well win in the financial department.

Before I go any further I must say…

On behalf of all Lakers fans I would like to thank Ramon Sessions for exercising his player option to become a free agent.  Because of your belief that you could make more money long term by doing so, the Lakers were able to make a trade to bring a future hall of famer and much better point guard in Steve Nash to Los Angeles.  Thanks again Mr. Sessions.  Your efforts were truly appreciated.  Best wishes to you in Charlotte where you’ll be lucky to win 20 games.  Meanwhile the Lakers will be competing for a championship.

On to baseball…

This Los Angeles Dodgers fan is extremely excited to keep reading they’re involved in several different trade talks to try and better their ball club, and make a second half run.  Of the various names they’ve been linked to I would most like to see them acquire Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

Dempster has pitched extremely well this season leading the majors with a 1.86 ERA while failing to allow a run over the past 33 consecutive innings he has pitched.  Moving from hitter friendly Wrigley Field to pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium would make Dempster that much better while increasing the Dodgers chances at a postseason berth.

Ramirez would give the Dodgers some desperately needed power production out of a corner infielder while providing great protection in the line up for Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.  The 34 year old currently holds a .272 batting average to go along with 10 HR,  52 RBI, 28 doubles and 50 runs scored this season.

And last but not least…

College football is under two months away from starting and the first NFL preseason games are a just a few weeks away.  Football season is almost here!  Yeah buddy!

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter at @joepacheco4

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Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan 7-2-12

July 2, 2012

New Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry should win the “GM Of The Year” award.  Yes, I know we’re in the middle of the off-season, but what this guy has accomplished in less than a week on the job is awe inspiring.

Today Ferry pulled the ultimate jedi mind trick when he convinced Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King to take on the remaining 4 years and nearly $90 million dollars left on Joe Johnson’s over paid contract.

Who care’s who the Hawks got in return.  The fact that they no longer need to pay Johnson like he’s Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Kevin Durant or Derrick Rose  is reason enough for Ferry to douse himself in champagne like he just won a championship.

To top the day off, Ferry then pulls off his second jedi mind trick of the day by dumping draft bust extraordinare Marvin Williams on the Utah Jazz in exchange for point guard Devin Harris, a former all-star.  Williams and Harris make roughly the same amount of money but Harris is entering the final year of his deal while Williams still has two years remaining.

Taking on Joe Johnson’s contract is the type of decision making that GM’s should lose their job over.  If I was Mikhail Prokhorov I would call King into my office and break him off like I was Donald Trump in an episode of The Apprentice.

The NBA:  Where bad contracts happen.  For further proof of that please see the  Houston Rockets signing of Chicago Bulls Center Omer Asik to a three year, $25.1 million offer sheet.  Someone please tell me again why Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey is considered such a genius.  I’ll be sitting here patiently waiting for a worth while answer.

Is anyone else sick of Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard?  I’m completely over this guy constantly changing his mind.  First he wants to get traded.  Next he says he wants to stay in Orlando and even decides to use his player option to stay for another year.  Now he wants to go to the Nets and only the Nets.  Mr. Howard, you’re a grown man who is going to make more than $18 million next season.  Quit your whining, shut up and play basketball!  Enough of you already!  To borrow a line from a tweet I read, “people can say all they want about Lebron James but at least he made a decision.”

Nice to see the Dodgers finally score some runs and pick up a 8-3 victory on Sunday over the New York Mets.  Without Kemp and Ethier this everyday line up is downright awful.  I know several of those runs yesterday were gift wrapped by New York who was doing their best Bad News Bears imitation but after all the Dodgers have been though the last dozen or so games I will take it.

In other Dodger related thoughts, getting shutout all 27 innings of a three game series against the hated San Francisco Giants has to be the darkest day ever in the proud, rich history of Dodger baseball.  It’s one thing to get swept but far worse to get shutout in all three games by your hated rivals.  I know the Dodgers count on us fans for support but could you please support us by scoring one freaking run in a three game series against the Giants?

Now that I got that off my chest, I’m excited about this new Dodgers ownership and it’s great to see them involved in player signings and trade talks again after the whole McCourt debacle.  They recently had a deal in place for Houston Astros first baseman and outfielder Carlos Lee but Lee decided not to waive his no trade clause and I’m not disappointed in the least.

At 36 years old Lee only has 5 home runs and 29 RBI through 64 games played this season.  His power years are clearly behind him and if he doesn’t have that I don’t think he does the Dodgers any good.  Although they didn’t get what they wanted, I believe Magic and company will ultimately find the right guy and it will happen sooner rather than later.

Much to the dismay of my “The Average Joe Show” co-host Joe Arrigo, i’m going to just come right out and say that right now I think Mike Trout is better than Bryce Harper.  Both players are undoubtedly legit and going to be carrying the flag for major league baseball for the next decade but the stat’s don’t lie and other than triples, Trout’s numbers are better across the board.  I know Trout has the better line up protection but at the end of the day he still has to execute and so far he has and better than his rookie counterpart.

My beloved Stanley Cup Champions (don’t think I’m not going to milk that for all it’s worth in the next year) Los Angeles Kings re-signed forward Dustin Penner to a one year, $3.25 million.  I know he was an important piece in the Kings run to their first ever championship but in the regular season he flat out sucked.  Let’s face it, Penner picked up his paycheck with a gun and ski mask.  I think $3.25 million is a bit much but I take solace in knowing that it’s just for one season.

Congrats to Spain for shutting out Italy 4-0 to take home the Euro Cup.  A great day for the Spaniards no doubt.  This American would be lying if I said I cared or watched even a minute of the tournament for that matter.  Call me in two years when the World Cup comes around because that’s the only soccer event that matters.

The NFL season is a little more than a month away with the Cardinals and Saints set to take each other on in the Hall of Fame Game on August 5.  In case there was any doubt, I am extremely excited about that.  Not for the pre-season games but to know that another football season is right around the corner.  I’m sorry but if you don’t like football you’re simply un-American.  Dare I say, even a communist.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Listen to “The Average Joe Show” every Tuesday from 8 -9 PM Pacific on

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Ramblings Of A Sports Fanatic

March 1, 2012

Thank the good lord for someone like Jeremy Lin and the wave of  “Linsanity” that follows in his wake for rescuing what was a flat-out hideous NBA season (at least from an offensive stand point).  I think his story is great from being drafted out of Harvard to having been cut by not one but two NBA teams before getting a chance to play due to injuries in New York.  I love to root for guys like this.  Like his NFL counter part Tim Tebow, he is just a good person.  I don’t care about the deficiencies in their respective games.  So what if Lin commits a few turnovers or if Tebow’s mechanics need a little work?  These guys make the games they participate in more exciting and they commit awesome acts of kindness to those who’s lives they come across.  Why should I not root for guy’s like that?

Is it just me or is Carmelo Anthony the Stephon Marbury of today’s NBA?  Marbury was a really good individual talent who could not make his abilities translate into better team results.  Teams routinely got better after he left.  Denver has become a better team since they traded Anthony to the Knicks.  New York is 18-18 this season.  They’re 6-4 without Anthony in the line up including the “Birth of Linsanity” stretch in which they went 6-1 in that time with Anthony sidelined.   If you’re doing the math at home New York is 12-14 in game’s in which Anthony’s played.  Smells an awful lot like a Marbury effect if you ask me.

The Lakers are absolutely doing the right thing by rejecting a reported trade offer from Minnesota that would send them small forward Michael Beasley in exchange for the highest of one of their two first round picks in the 2012 draft.  As it stands right now LA is already over the salary cap and doesn’t need to add more to the payroll.  Now if you can get Beasley in exchange for a player or two either with or without a draft pick, that’s a different story.  First priority for the Lakers should be a point guard.  They’re getting used and abused at that position on a nightly basis.

As  Los Angeles Kings fan, I have mixed emotions on the recent trade that brought them forward Jeff Carter and sent defenseman Jack Johnson to Columbus along with a first round pick in either 2012 or 2013.  I’m excited that Carter is part of the team and I hope that he and Mike Richards can rekindle the magic they had together in Philadelphia in which the Flyers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.  The Kings had to do something to help their anemic offense so I support the move from that perspective.  I just hate that Jack Johnson had to be the sacrificial lamb.

I’m not from Sacramento and likely am never going to be a Sacramento Kings fan nor have any emotional involvement with the team.  On that note, I thought it was absolutely wonderful that both the Maloofs and the city came to an agreement on building the team a new arena in the downtown area which will keep the Kings in California’s capital city.  There is arguably no NBA city who loves their team more than the fans of Sacramento love their Kings.  Had they relocated a grave injustice would’ve been committed.

What’s up with Dwayne Wade’s foul on Kobe Bryant in the all-star game last weekend?  Hello Mr Wade, it’s a freaking exhibition game!  Not the playoffs or even regular season and unlike that stupid clause in Major League Baseball’s all-star game, home court in the finals was not being decided.

This weekend when Miami visits the Lakers I would send either Matt Barnes or Metta World Peace to and “take care of business” with Mr. Wade.  Preferably World Peace because he has played so bad all season his potential ejection for a flagrant foul would be doing the Lakers a favor.

I don’t know about the rest of you but I really miss football.

I still can’t believe that Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into one of those trucks that dry the track on a yellow flag during the Daytona 500.  That’s an incident that even Hollywood couldn’t make up.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse


Thank You New York Giants And Other Thoughts…

January 24, 2012

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the first thing I need to do is thank Kyle Williams and the New York Giants from saving me from a nightmare Super Bowl scenario.  Thanks to Williams second punt return snafu leading to a New York game winning field goal in overtime I now have a team to root for in the Super Bowl.

A big thumbs down goes to Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans and kicker Billy Cundiff.  Because of Evans inability to hold on to a touchdown pass and Cundiff’s best Ray Finkle imitation I have to watch perhaps my least favorite team in the NFL, the New England Patriots gets a shot at yet another championship.

I would’ve liked to have seen New York and Baltimore in the Super Bowl.  Had that been the case all I would’ve been rooting for is a good game.  But I guess having a good guy/bad guy scenario works just as well.  At least it wasn’t the Patriots against the 49ers.  That scenario would’ve been a nightmare for this Raider fan.  Had been that situation I probably would’ve been rooting for New England because at least their gloating would have been taking place three times zones away.  Since I live in central California the prospect of seeing a gloating San Francisco fan on a near daily basis would’ve been too much to handle.

“Who’s got it worse than us?” – Sincerely, Kyle Williams, Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff

All in all I’m happy the NBA is back but frankly it’s painful to watch.  A couple of weeks ago the Bulls and Raptors play to a 77-64 final.  A few nights later the Mavericks and Lakers try to set the game back even further with a 73-70 final.  Last night the Magic single-handedly sent the game back to the Naismith era by scoring only 56 points in a game.

I know the shortened schedule is the reason for some bizarre happenings and some less than top quality performances but the three examples I just mentioned are inexcusable.  Isn’t there any way to fine these teams a games pay?  Clearly they didn’t show up on those respective nights.

After a 10-8 start that includes a 1-6 road record I completely overestimated the Lakers ability to contend for a title.  No team with that bad of a road record can expect to be playing for anything worth while this season except for a higher draft pick.

I can’t figure out if it’s the team needing time to adjust to a new offensive scheme or the team not having the right player personnel to properly execute the new scheme.  One thing I do know is that a team with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum should not be this painful to watch on the offensive end.  With the way Bryant is jacking up shots, I feel like I’m watching the 2005-2006 or 2006-2007 Lakers and I don’t understand why.  This team is way more talented than those that featured such legendary never was’ as Kwame Brown and Smush Parker.

How about the Detroit Tigers coming out of nowhere to sign first baseman Prince Fielder?  The deal is for nine years and worth $214 million.  How’s that for protection for Miguel Cabrera who is a top two or three hitter in his own right?  Along with what the Angels and Yankees have done this off-season, the race for the AL Pennant is down to three teams despite pitchers and catchers not reporting for a little less than a month from now.

Today the Raiders hired former Broncos Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen as their new head coach. For Oakland this was the first head coach to be hired with a defensive background since John Madden in the late 60’s.  I don’t know much about Allen but I was a fan of the hiring General Manager Reggie McKenzie so “In Reggie I Trust”.

I’ve been a Los Angeles Kings fan for my entire life and I never ever thought I would see the day that a Kings goaltender would make an all-star team.  So a big congratulations goes to Jonathan Quick for his outstanding season thus far.  Without the outstanding play of Quick, Los Angeles General Manager Dean Lombardi would be standing in the unemployment right along side former head coach Terry Murray.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse

Stern Fails Hornets Over Basketball Reasons

December 13, 2011

Last week, like many Los Angeles Laker fans, I sat on the edge of my seat as reports and tweets poured in announcing a three team trade was in the works involving the Lakers, Houston Rockets and New Orleans Hornets.

Superstar point guard Chris Paul was on his way to Tinsel Town.  Pau Gasol was going to call the L0ne Star State Home.   Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic and a 2012 first round draft pick would now reside in the Big Easy.

Despite the would be gaping hole in the front court, I was beyond excited at the back court combo of arguably the best point guard in the league in Paul being teamed with up with the best shooting guard over the last decade in Kobe Bryant.

All teams were happy with the final result.  For the Lakers, they were getting a franchise type player that could carry on the proud Laker tradition after Kobe hangs up his sneakers.  Houston was getting a big man they’ve always coveted that could help them replace the loss of Yao Ming while New Orleans was getting two very capable forwards, one of which is the reigning sixth man of the year along with a 20 point per game scorer, a solid young point guard along with a first round pick in what analysts project to be a very deep draft class.

It was a win win scenario for all teams involved.  That is until approximately three hours later when NBA Commissioner David Stern made an unprecedented decision and vetoed the trade.  Fans, analysts, reporters and players alike were stunned at the ruling.  Citing “basketball reasons” the league decided that New Orleans, who is being run by the league while it seeks to find a permanent owner, was not getting enough in return for its biggest asset.

It’s one thing to veto a perfectly good trade for all involved but it’s another thing to do so without giving any kind of valid, transparent reason.  Stern and the NBA decided that New Orleans was more valuable with Chris Paul in a Hornets uniform.

I understand where Stern is coming from but often times sales take months to complete and to my knowledge the Hornets don’t even have any potential buyers at this point in time.  In a little over six months from now Paul will be gone.

I ask the question, “How is  having a player who’s  made it clear that he has every intention to leave as a free agent at the end of the season a good thing for a franchise?”

So let me get this straight, getting nothing for Chris Paul is better than getting four really good  players for him since he’s inevitably going to leave anyway?

The league gave New Orleans General Manager Dell Demps complete authority to negotiate a deal to restock the franchise and move beyond the constant distractions that go with having a lame duck all-star on your team.  At no point did the NBA give Demps any kind of parameters to satisfy when negotiating a deal for Paul and then when he does they completely undermine everything he accomplished.

If anything Stern has made it nearly impossible for Demps to find an attractive package in exchange for Paul.  Why would anyone want to negotiate with New Orleans with this kind of precedence already having been set?

Since last weeks veto the Clippers have emerged as a possible trade partner and have reportedly offered the Hornets Chris Kaman, Eric Bledsoe, Al-Farouq Aminu and either Eric Gordon or their rights to Minnesota’s unprotected 2012 first round pick.  Ins some reports both Gordon & the draft pick are being offered to New Orleans.

I know we’re talking about the Clippers here but even they will eventually get tired of negotiating with the completely unreasonable David  Stern er the Hornets and realize they’re stupid to offer New Orleans all those players when NO ONE else is bidding against them.

It’s the job of every commissioner in their respective sport to act in the best interest of the entire league but in the case of the New Orleans Hornets David Stern failed the franchise he had the power and greatest responsibility to protect.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse



The Real Losers

November 16, 2011

If you’ve been following the sports world the past several months then you no doubt are aware of the current labor dispute in the NBA between the owners and players which has cost the league all scheduled games through December 15.

Like 99% of you out there I can’t relate to a fight between billionaires and millionaires.  Some of you side with the players while others side with the owners. As for me, I honestly don’t care and will openly admit that I haven’t been following every single detail.

All I know is that the players have rejected the owners latest proposal and now the players union is taking steps to decertify thus putting the 2011-2012 NBA season in serious jeopardy.

As I began to think about not having professional basketball this fall through spring I began to think about the people that are the biggest losers in this situation.

Chances are if you were to ask people who the losers are in this current dispute, many would say the fans are those who are hurt the most.  While I do agree, I think that’s a superficial answer.  Sure the fans are the most loyal customers of the product who pump  hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars into the NBA machine through ticket sales and merchandise just to name a couple of  revenue streams.

For them getting the receipt of a labor dispute that’s forcing the cancellation of games is not exactly the kind of payback they were looking for.  While the fans do indeed come out on the short end of the stick I think there are those who lose out just as much if not worse.

Let’s start with the player who had planned to play his final season this year.  Like many of you no one wants to be forced in to retirement due to circumstances beyond their control.  Everyone wants to end their respective careers on their own terms.  Because of this labor dispute that player will no longer have that ability.  Circumstances are forcing him to end his career in a less than ideal fashion.

When we think about the players in this dispute, we undoubtedly think about the superstars like Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James.  They are the faces of the NBA and deservedly so.  Does anyone think about the guys at the end of the bench who are making the league minimum on a one year contract?

With no NBA team to play for, this player must now look for alternative ways by which to make a living.  Now he is forced to play in a foreign country if he wants to continue to make a living.  Moving from one city to another or from state to state can be a tough adjustment.  I’ve done the latter twice in my life.  I can’t even begin to imagine the experience of having to move to another country and either uproot my family or spend months at a time away from them while being halfway around the world.  If you’re a player that falls into this category I in no way envy your position.

However, the biggest losers in all this are the arena worker.  The common, everyday, middle class person so many of us can relate to.  With no games to work, these people are now amongst the ranks of the unemployed.  No longer do they have the means they were counting on to pay their bills or provide for their families.

These are people we see all the time at a game but pass by with hardly an acknowledgment.  These people are your parking attendants,  ticket scanners,  food vendors, attendants and the person selling you programs.  They are the faceless people who without them you would not have some of your most cherished memories and wonderful experiences.  They are the biggest losers in the NBA Labor Dispute.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse

Lakers Use Celtics M.O. To Top Boston In Game One

June 4, 2010

The difference between 2010 and 2008 was noticed in the opening seconds of the first quarter.  Two years ago, Boston used tough, physical and aggressive play to impose their physical will over the Lakers en route to winning their NBA best 17th championship in franchise history.

Fast forward to Thursday night where Ron Artest and Paul Pierce were battling for position underneath the hoop.  Both fell to the floor entangled in each other and a double technical was called.  It was at that point the Lakers established they were not the same team from two years ago. 

Ron Artest could not be more of a different player than Vladimir Radmanovic, who was the Lakers starting small forward in the 2008 Finals and was matched up with Pierce who took advantage of the mismatch all the way to becoming Finals MVP.

Los Angeles gave Boston a taste of their own medicine Thursday night on their way to winning Game One 102-89.  In addition to the physical tone established by Artest in the opening seconds, the Lakers dominated the paint by out rebounding the Celtics 42-31 and outscoring them in second chance points 16-0. 

Another huge factor in the Lakers Game One win was the play of Andrew Bynum.  If you look at the box score nothing jumps out at you as Bynum finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds in 28 minutes.  What I saw was a player the Lakers sorely missed two years ago that was able to give them productive minutes by staying out of foul trouble and absorb the physical punishment by Boston’s big men and most importantly allow Pau Gasol to have a more favorable matchup against Kevin Garnett and Boston’s other power forwards.  Gasol finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds (8 offensive) and 3 blocked shots. 

Last night’s win will undoubtedly give the Lakers much confidence going forward as Kobe Bryant and company look to make amends for the defeat two years ago.  However, make no mistake, as this series is far from over.  Boston looked completely out of rhythm.  Garnett was not at his best and Ray Allen was in foul trouble all night and was never able to get on track. 

None of Boston’s “Big Four” shot 50 percent.  I look for that to change sooner rather than later.  The Celtics will make the necessary adjustments and show the heart of a champion to try to keep from going down 2-0 in the series.

Look for the Lakers to continue to try to impose their physical will and continue to try to break the Celtics spirit.  I know past statistics do not guarantee future results but this stat is an impressive one none the less.  Phil Jackson coached teams are 47-0 when they have won the first game in a playoff series.  Just a little food for thought as the basketball world turns its eyes to Sunday for Game Two.

Derek Fisher Hits Amazing 33 Foot Shot

July 22, 2009

Lakers guard Derek Fisher hit this shot from 33 feet away and several stories up while at Nokia Plaza to promote the Lakers upcoming 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament that will be held Aug. 14-16 to benefit Ronald McDonald House of Charities in Southern California.