Posts Tagged ‘NBA’

There was a time – a long time in fact – when David Stern was easily the smartest and best commissioner in sports. He was the first to understood the NBA’s international popularity and wisely began taking advantage of league’s rapidly expanding global reach. For years Stern’s vision for the NBA was much clearer and more focused than the commissioners of other sports.

NBA Commissioner David Stern

But this year Stern’s clumsy pronouncements during the lockout, and his even clumsier handling of the aborted trade of All-Pro guard Chris Paul, have exposed dangerous flaws in his leadership and for the first time suggest that the NBA might be better off without him.

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Despite a new labor agreement, just ratified by owners and players, it appears the NBA has still not figured out that it is not in the league’s best interests to continue to promote stars over teams.

The league must find a way to raise the profile and prestige of smaller-market teams or risk even more devastating financial problems and conflicts in years to come.

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At first glance its pretty easy to understand why NBA owners resorted to a lockout. Its about finding a way for team owners to protect themselves from their own actions. The lockout is also a way to close the ever-widening financial gap between large and small market teams, a gap that could destroy the gains the league has made in TV ratings, public perception and quality of play. But the truth is this lockout is much more complicated than one might think, and is not one that very easily can be blamed on well-paid players or their union.

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Shaquille O’Neal will go down as one of the great immovable forces to ever play in the NBA. Obviously it starts with his sheer size. He was 7’ 1“ and weighed somewhere over 325 pounds. He was a self-made cultural phenomenon: an athlete, entertainer and businessman. He learned early on how to market and present himself.

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Dirk Nowitzki’s game Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder will go down as one of the greatest playoff performances of all-time. It’s not just that he scored 48 points, and led his team to a convincing win, but it’s how he did it. Nowitzki missed only 3 shots all game, and was 24 for 24 from the free throw line. It was a dominant, career-defining performance for a guy who for whatever reason has never really gotten his just due.

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What we learned during the hour-long prime time “Decision” is that Cleveland will never be the same again. But neither will LeBron. The city’s native son is finally leaving home. He is taking his basketball to Miami where he will join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to become the newest and perhaps best Big Three of all time. That’s the basketball and business part of this. The rest is personal.

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The Right Job for Michael Jordan!

Posted: 20th March 2010 by DavidBurnett in Basketball, NBA
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No, Michael Jordan is not the guy who should manage the daily operations of a pro basketball team… But he is the icon who should Own one.

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It would be easy to say that the Washington Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas is an idiot, a manchild who has not come close to growing up. But that overlooks troubling issues and many unanswered questions. Understandably the hammer had to come down on Arenas, who was suspended indefinitely without pay by NBA commissioner David Stern on […]

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The other day NBA superstar LeBron James said that starting next year he would no longer wear number 23. Further he says all NBA players should relinquish wearing number 23 – out of respect to the greatest number 23, Michael Jordan. Actually I have no problem with that. But young Mr. James, don’t go around […]

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We have entered the home stretch of another long NBA season.  Actually it has been one of the league’s best seasons.  But with the season winding down it is now time to start casting votes.  And my vote for 2009 NBA MVP goes to – drum roll please – the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade.  For […]

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Marbury’s Second Chance

Posted: 28th February 2009 by David Burnett in Basketball, NBA
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Just about all of us would like to get a second chance at something.  If life was fair do-overs would be a mandatory part of it.   But the reality is some of us get a another chance to fix a mistake, but most of us don’t, forcing us to live with the consequences.   […]

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Its hard to dislike Charles Barkley.  He is refreshingly different from any other celebrity.  What makes him unique is that he never seems to be afraid to speak his mind.  He will say just about anything.  And say it usually without the typical PR/BS filter that most sports stars and entertainers employ.  Often what the […]

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Another Brawl – And Hypocrisy Reigns

Posted: 18th December 2006 by David Burnett in Fighting, NBA, Race
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How the NBA honchos hand down penalties and punishment for the brawl between the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets at Madison Square Garden the other night will go a long way toward determining what they learned if anything from the infamous Pistons-Pacers brawl of two years ago. Let’s start from the beginning. The Knicks […]

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