“I Think We Know What We’re Doing”

Phil-Jackson

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Phil Jackson is craz….AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

Sorry. I’m having a hard time controlling myself after RE-watching Phil Jackson’s interview from last night with Al Trautwig. It is hard to sit through 4:59 of non-stop insanity. Try it..I dare you. You can click here to see the entire interview. I do not know where to start, but I’m going to try….

With any good story, you must establish the setting. Ya know, that word you learned back in elementary school. So it’s June, and we are leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft (which is tonight). Trades are happening, rumors are flying around, and teams are doing their final evaluations of the talent in the draft. We are in New York, and the Knicks are in complete rebuild mode. That means working toward the future. Which leads me to the craziest thing Phil Jackson said last night.

Phil was asked why he would consider trading Kristaps Porzingis. His response was a 1-word answer; FUTURE. As in, trading Porzingis (who is 21 years old) would somehow help us build toward the future. PORZINGIS IS THE DEFINITION OF FUTURE!! What else could you possibly want in building toward the future than a 21-year old with so much potential they need to raise the ceiling in Madison Square Garden?? Now let’s rewind to Al Trautwig’s first Porzingis question. Trautwig asked if the trade rumors were true surrounding Porzingis. Phil took that as an opportunity to stress how upset he was over Porzingis skipping an exit meeting last season. Phil continued by misremembering his own history as a coach. Phil said, “I’ve never had a player skip an exit meeting in my 30 years of coaching. Nope. It’s never happened to me. It happens to other people but not me.”

Enter Shaquille O’ Neal, ummm, twice PHIL!! Shaq skipped not 1, but 2 exit meetings with Phil Jackson (in 2003 and 2004) when he was with the Lakers. I love the part where he says it happens to others but not me. As if he’s special. Oh he’s special alright.

Maybe Phil is legitimately going senile.

Phil was also asked if he planned to re-sign Derrick Rose. His answer should have been a knee-jerk reaction NO. Instead, he hit Trautwig with an “it depends”. It depends on what Phil?! If you are wearing depends by the time Rose blows out his knee for the 14th time?! Give me a freakin’ break!!

And this last one takes the cake….

Al Trautwig appropriately pointed out that Knicks fans are “uneasy” with what’s going on with the Knicks. There’s the understatement of the century. He then asked Phil what he would say to fans who feel this way?? His unbelievably smug response was, “I think we know what we’re doing.”

YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING?!?!

Did you know what you were doing when you gave Joakim Noah the worst contract in NBA history? Did you know what you were doing when you hired and fired Derek Fisher after YOU put the team in tank-mode? Did you know what you were doing when you ripped Carmelo Anthony publicly and THEN tried to trade him?

So why the hell should we think you know what you’re doing as you try to trade the Knicks’ best draft pick since Patrick Ewing???? It only took 30 years by the way, of occasionally drafting in the 1st round, to find Porzingis. Yeah, we should trade him for a bag of peanuts.

Hey Phil, stop trying to get fired, and just quit already. You have enough money, and you’re driving me insane.

What did you think of Phil Jackson?? Is he the worst General Manager of all-time??

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends about me!!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

NBA Trade Rumors Swirl Around Super-Team Tornado

jimmy butler

Apparently this is what it’s all about. Who can build the most Super, Super-Team of them all?? As the dust settles from the Golden State Warriors steamrolling through the NBA Playoffs, en route to their 2nd championship in 3 years, everyone is trying to ‘keep up with the Joneses’. And since Kevin Durant declined his player option on Monday in order to re-sign with the Warriors, the dynasty is in full effect.

According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, Durant will take a $4 million “pay cut” to give the franchise the flexibility to keep their roster intact. So, why doesn’t everyone just play for free?? Players make so much money in endorsements their NBA salaries are fairly insignificant anyway. Then the NBA can rename the East All-Stars the Cavaliers and the West All-Stars the Warriors. Isn’t that where we’re headed anyway?!

Side Note: Who fires their General Manager 3 days before the NBA Draft?!

2nd Side Note (?): Who fires their General Manager without consulting their superstar, Lebron James?!?!

Oh, that would be Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert. Ya know, the guy who ran Lebron James out of town 7 years ago. Well evidently he had so much fun running the best player of this generation out of town the first time, he plans to do it again. Really, really smart….

Lebron had reportedly been lobbying for Cavaliers’ General Manager, David Griffin’s job prior to his firing. So now, it looks like the Cavaliers are trying to make amends. We must build a Super-Team so powerful that Lebron James will never leave again. Fasten your seat belts and lock your doors because we’re entering Rumor Town.

The latest rumor in the NBA Super-Team Saga is the Cavaliers are looking to complete a 3-team trade for Jimmy Butler. Reportedly, the Cavaliers don’t have enough assets to complete this trade with the Chicago Bulls, so they’ve gotten the Phoenix Suns thrown into the mix. If this rumor holds true (which rarely is the case), the trade would look as follows:

  • The Suns would receive Kevin Love (and I’m assuming something else)
  • The Bulls would receive Eric Bledsoe and the 4th overall pick
  • The Cavaliers would receive Jimmy Butler

These talks are preliminary, as their are many other teams involved in the Jimmy Butler sweepstakes. This is assuming the Bulls are even looking to trade Butler in the first place. I know it’s hard to believe, but some reporters will make up trade rumors just to get attention. Crazy, right??

Jimmy Butler is one of the best two-way players in the NBA. If the Cavaliers can pull off a trade of this magnitude, they would be a few role-playing big men away from being real contenders for a championship. *Not fake contenders like they were last year.

Another big name, who’s actually on the trading block, is Paul George. George informed the Pacers he would become a free agent following the 2017-2018 season. While I can’t imagine the Indiana Pacers are thrilled about losing a top-20 talent, they should appreciate George saying, “trade me now, so you don’t get left empty-handed”. Because no one wants to lose Shaquille O’ Neal to free agency……

Nice work Orlando Magic.

Paul George has expressed his desire to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. They have young prospects and draft picks to offer, so it is a plausible scenario. However, the rumors now involve the Los Angeles Clippers, the Boston Celtics, and the Cavaliers. George will undoubtedly be dealt sooner rather than later. The only question is; Where??

Thursday’s NBA Draft should be exciting, as many players could be on the move. No matter what each team does, they will operate with only one thing in mind; create the next Super-Team.

How do you feel about Super-Teams in the NBA?? Like them, love them, or hate them?? Let your feelings out in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

I Waited All Year For That?!?!

durant

Every once in a while there is a highly anticipated movie coming out. The trailer looks great. Everyone gets really excited. You wait months and months until it finally reaches theaters. So you pile into the car with your friends and you head to the movies. You get your ticket, you buy your jumbo popcorn and soda, and you make your way to that perfect seat right in the middle of the theater. Then, Waterworld comes on, and you realize you just waited 6 months to watch Kevin Costner drink his own pee. Yeah, that’s what we’re talking about.

Game 1 of the NBA Finals was about as big of a flop as Waterworld (thank God no one drank their own pee last night). This series was billed as ‘The Trilogy’ or ‘Part III’: the 2 super teams meet again! And I know it’s only been 1 game, but so far, this doesn’t look like it’s going to be a competitive series. I know I know, all the Lebron defenders will kill me for this. They’ll say I shouldn’t overreact to 1 game. Lebron will bounce back and if they win Game 2, they will have stolen home court advantage. I get all that. But, I also understand that Draymond Green and Klay Thompson just went a combined 6 for 28 from the field last night, and they still won by 22 (113-91). I also understand that unless Lebron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love combine for 90 points in Game 2, this series isn’t going to last as long as I expected.

Game 1 flirted with the record books in a few different ways. Kevin Durant dropped 38 points without committing a single turnover. It’s been nearly 17 years since that happened (Shaq scored 41 points without committing a turnover in the 2000 NBA Finals). Durant’s 38 points brought his streak to 6 games of 25+ points in an NBA Finals’ game, tying Michael Jordan, Rick Barry, and Shaquille O’Neal for the longest streaks in Finals history. The Golden State Warriors combined for only 4 turnovers, tying the record for fewest turnovers in an NBA Finals game.

For my own sake and the sake of NBA fans around the world, I sincerely hope Game 2 is more competitive than Game 1. We’ve seen enough blowouts in this year’s playoffs to last a lifetime. What do you say we get rewarded with a buzzer beater in Game 2?? Pretty please with a cherry on top?? I still have faith in Lebron’s ability to make adjustments after a spanking like that, so I predict a much closer game in Game 2. Unfortunately for LeBron, I think he’ll be on the losing end of Game 2 as well.

Game 2 is on Sunday by the way. Each of these teams just rested 6 (Cavaliers) and 9 (Warriors) days!! WHY THE HELL DO THEY NEED 2 FULL DAYS OF REST, WITHOUT TRAVELLING, NOW?!?! Oh right: it’s all about the $$$$$$$$.

Tune into Game 2 on ABC on Sunday at 8:00 P.M. EST.

Will Lebron and the Cavs bounce back in Game 2? Or will we witness another blowout? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

 

Top 10 NBA Basketball Players of All Time

With all of the talk surrounding Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday, it has inspired me to construct a list of the top 10 NBA players of all time.  This list will consider everything these players have accomplished up until the present day.  Since some players on this list are still currently playing, you must read this list as if the NBA were to cease to exist tomorrow.  Do not take into account the potential for what current players may still accomplish, as that would create a bias.  Since the association officially became the NBA (National Basketball Association) in 1949, there have been a host of amazing players to grace the hardwood.  However, there are always a small group of living legends that stand out from the rest.  Why do they stand out?  What makes them the best?  It is a combination of their physical skills, their ability to win, and their intangibles (such as heart, leadership, and will to win).  I will take all of these factors in to account.  Essentially I will be looking at the complete makeup of each player and what made/makes them an all time great.  So, without further a due, here are the top 10 NBA players of all time in order.  Let the debate continue.

I must start this list with the honorable mentions.  These men showed signs of greatness throughout their entire career, however they simply were outplayed by the 10 legends who made this coveted list.  We must pay homage to the men just outside of the top 10, for the game is where it is thanks to their contributions as well.  Here they are:  Hakeem Olajuwon, Lebron James, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Julius Erving, Karl Malone, and John Stockton.  Hakeem is #11 on my list by the slightest of margins.  Hakeem “The Dream” had the smoothest game for a center the game has ever seen.  Combine that with tenacious defense and you have one of the greatest players of all time.  Lebron James is #12 on my list.  Lebron when it’s all said and done will be undoubtedly be in the top 5 of all time.  He is a unique talent and if he can continue to pile on Championships and MVP’s could find himself in the top 3 players to ever play in the NBA.  Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, and John Stockton fall into the same category in my mind.  If you never won a Championship you can’t be on the list.  Sorry.  The Mailman is the 2nd leading scorer in NBA history and his longevity was unmatched, however he had the unfortunate pleasure of playing during the MJ era.  Elgin Baylor was one of the most talented players to ever play the game, however was also very unlucky to play in the time of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.  Baylor made 8 NBA Finals appearances and came away empty handed every time.  Stockton is the NBA’s all time assists leader (and 2nd place is not even close), however the combination of Stockton and Malone that was so much fun to watch never could get past that Michael Jordan guy.  Dr. J would have been on this list if he hadn’t played 5 seasons in the ABA.  He did win 3 Championships in the ABA, but this is an NBA only list.  He was another innovator to the game and should not be overlooked when discussing the greatest players to ever play.    Lastly, Jerry West played along side Elgin Baylor for quite some time, but was fortunate enough to finally win a Championship in 1972.  He certainly will never be forgotten, I mean he is the NBA’s logo.  Now, here are the top 10 NBA players of all time:

 

10.)Tim Duncan (Timmy)

Currently in his 16th NBA Season – 20.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 50.7 FG%, 69.1 FT%

This was by far the most difficult decision I had in putting together this list.  I found myself trying to decide between the careers of Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Lebron James for the 10th and final spot on this list.  At the end of the day, the hardware speaks loudest.  Tim Duncan has very quietly had one of the most impressive careers in NBA history.  He is without question the best power forward to ever play the game (sorry Karl), and his nickname should probably be “The Bank”.  Have you ever seen anyone shoot a better more effective jump shot off the backboard than Tim Duncan?  Even if he didn’t dominate physically or find himself on highlight reels with flashy moves or dunks, Tim Duncan found a way to win consistently.  He won 4 NBA Championships, 2 MVP’s, and 3 NBA Final’s MVP, s.  He also won the Rookie of the Year, of course.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot yet another facet of his game that attributes to his greatness.  Timmy is one of the best defenders at his position in the history of the NBA.  He is the most soft spoken champion the game has ever seen.

 

9.)Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq, The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Shaq Daddy, Superman)


19 NBA Seasons – 23.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 58.2 FG%, 52.7 FT%

The Diesel.  Enough said?  I think his nicknames speak for themselves.  Shaq was the most dominant basketball player the world had seen since Wilt Chamberlain.  Only Shaq was easily the most physically dominating force the NBA ever produced.  He was like an unstoppable wrecking ball that could only be slowed (or fouled), but couldn’t be stopped.  Watching Shaq play in his prime was something special.  He showed an amazing amount of offensive skills with a basketball for a man of his size.  He also won a few games along the way too.  He won 4 NBA Championships,  1 MVP, and 3 NBA Finals MVP’s.  It is also no surprise that he won Rookie of the Year as well.  I personally like Shaq more than Kobe, but Kobe gets the edge because he accomplished slightly more in his career than Shaq.

 

8.)Kobe Bryant (Black Mamba)

Currently in his 17th NBA Season – 25.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 45.3 FG%, 83.8 FT%

While there will only be one Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant has been the closest thing the NBA has seen since MJ retired.  Kobe Bryant is as talented a scorer as the NBA has ever seen, and he has been one of the best on ball defenders in the NBA since he stormed his way into the league.  And his desire to win and cutthroat attitude is unmatched.  He has always cared about one thing and one thing only; winning.  He has done plenty of that, winning 5 NBA Championships, 1 MVP, and 2 NBA Finals MVP’s.  Another one of the more difficult decisions on this list was deciding who had a more accomplished career, Shaq or Kobe.  They may hate each other and not want to sit next to each other in real life ever again, but they are forced to sit next to each other today, on this list.

 

7.)Oscar Robertson (The Big O)

14 NBA Seasons – 25.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 9.5 assists, 48.5 FG%, 83.8 FT%

When it comes to the legacy of Oscar Robertson, his numbers speak for themselves.  Oscar is the only player in NBA history to average a triple double for an entire season.  He is also the all time leader in triple doubles with 181.  That is a record that will probably never be broken.  Oscar Robertson, at only 6’5″ had the most well rounded offensive game the NBA has ever seen.  He is the most unfortunate soul in the history of the NBA though (him and Elgin Baylor), having played at the same time as Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell.  If it wasn’t for them, Robertson surely would have added some more hardware to his trophy case.  He still managed to win 1 NBA Championship, 1 MVP, and the Rookie of the Year.

 

6.)Bill Russell (Bill)

13 NBA Seasons – 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 44 FG%, 56.1 FT%

Bill Russell will always be known as the ultimate winner.  He was part of the Boston Celtics teams of the 1950’s and 60’s that won 11 championships in a span of 13 seasons.  While he played with some great teammates over the years, he is regarded as the best defensive center of all time.  He is also one of the best rebounders in the history of the game.  It was mainly Russell’s intangibles, such as his leadership that made him stand out.  During Russell’s era they didn’t keep track of NBA Final’s MVP’s, however after the proper research I can safely say he would have won 4 NBA Final’s MVP’s.  In a time where Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA physically, it goes to show just how impressive Bill Russell’s Celtics reign as NBA Champions was.

 

5.)Larry Bird (The Hick From French Lick)

13 NBA Seasons – 24.3 points, 10 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 49.6 FG%, 88.6 FT%

Larry Bird led the Boston Celtics to 3 NBA Championships in the 1980’s.  One of the most exciting times in the history of the NBA was the rivalry between Magic and Bird.  Larry Bird is regarded as one the best shooters and players in NBA history.  His heart and competitive spirit willed his team to victory over and over again.  Bird won 3 MVP’s, 2 Finals MVP’s, and Rookie of the Year during his career.  Bird had one of the most impressive all around games the NBA has ever seen.  He is the only player in NBA history to have career averages of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists.  He is also probably the most underrated defender the NBA has ever seen.  He possessed the unbelievable ability to shut down the opponents best offensive player, and his anticipation on the court was unmatched.  Just like Magic and MJ, it is a shame Bird dealt with chronic back problems late in his career (he averaged over 20 points a game in the last season of his career), for if he hadn’t he could have added to his already stellar accomplishments.

 

4.)Wilt Chamberlain (Wilt The Stilt)

14 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 22.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 54 FG%, 51.1 FT%

One of the most difficult decisions I had to make on this list was Kareem vs. Wilt.  It is nearly impossible to definitively state who the best center in the history of the NBA was.  Wilt Chamberlain was one of the most dominant forces in NBA history.  He famously holds the record for most points scored in one game (100), a record I doubt will EVER be broken.  Chamberlain even averaged over 50 points for an entire season, another feat that will most likely never be accomplished (a season where he didn’t even win the NBA MVP).  It’s a shame that MVP’s were usually given to a player on the best team or a member of the championship team, because no one knows how many MVP’s Wilt could have won if the award was given appropriately.  Even with that obstacle, Wilt still managed 4 MVP awards, 2 NBA Championships, and 1 NBA Finals MVP.  Wilt was also one of those players who burst right on to the scene, winning the Rookie of the Year award.  It is difficult to place Wilt correctly on this list due to the difference of playing era and level of competition, however I guarantee if you put Wilt in the NBA today, he would still be the best center in the league (sorry Dwight).  Oh yeah, and as if all those statistics aren’t impressive enough, Wilt led the NBA in total assists for an entire season!!

 

3.)Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Cap)

20 NBA Seasons – 24.6 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.6 blocks, 55.9 FG%, 72.1 FT%

Kareem Abdul Jabbar was the centerpiece that the Lakers championships of the 1980’s were built around.  He was part of their 5 championship titles in the 80’s.  He also won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks prior to playing with the Lakers.  Kareem was the league’s MVP a record breaking 6 times, he won 6 NBA Championships while being named Finals MVP twice.  He was a true innovator to the game of basketball.  During his career, he perfected an unstoppable move called the sky hook and it helped him become the NBA’s all time leading scorer.  Kareem was a star from the second he entered the league and was named the Rookie of the Year (averaging 28.8 points and 14.4 rebounds).  Out of the long list of Kareem’s accolades, I find a center shooting over 72% from the free throw line most impressive.  He was an outstanding all around player, showcasing his offensive and defensive skills throughout his entire 20 year career.

 

2.) Earvin Johnson (Magic)

12 NBA Seasons – 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, 11.2 assists, 52 FG%, 84.8 FT %

As the leader of the “Showtime” Lakers, Magic Johnson reinvented the fast break.  He was an innovative player who revolutionized the point guard position.  At 6’9” tall, Magic was a nightmare match-up for anyone who tried to guard him.  Well, they didn’t guard him they only slowed him down, sometimes.  Larry Bird was his most formidable opponent , but as we all know the Lakers got the better of that rivalry.  He brought power forward size and strength to the point guard position (and he even played center in an NBA Finals when necessary), and he is second all time (to Oscar Robertson) in career games with a triple double (138).  It is a tragedy that Magic’s career was cut short due to his battle with HIV.  Magic won 5 championships, 3 MVP, s, and 3 Final’s MVP’s in just 12 short seasons.  Just like Jordan, one can only imagine what he would have accomplished if he played another 4 or 5 seasons.

 

1.) Michael Jordan (MJ, Air Jordan)

15 NBA Seasons – 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 49.7 FG %, and 83.5 FT%

What can be said about Michael Jordan that hasn’t been said already?  Michael Jordan is hands down the greatest basketball player to ever walk the face of the planet.  He won 6 NBA Championships, 5 MVP’s, and 6 NBA Finals MVP’s.  Jordan won the rookie of the year award, he was a one-time defensive player of the year, and regarded as the best defender at his position in the history of the NBA.  One of the most impressive feats Michael ever pulled off was he was a perfect 6 for 6 in Finals appearances, and he NEVER allowed an NBA Finals series to reach a decisive 7th game.  If that is not the epitome of greatness; I don’t know what is.  What you also have to remember is that Jordan retired TWICE in his prime, which caused him to miss nearly five full seasons.  Just imagine if he never retired and played straight through the age of 40 (where he averaged over 20 points).  I think it’s fair to say he would have won at least 2 more MVP’s and 2 more titles.  All others can strive to Be Like Mike, but there will always be only one Michael Jordan.