Author Archive

Stung by Departure of Durant, Russell Westbrook Is Learning How to Lead

January 19th, 2017
OAKLAND, Calif. — Believe it or not, Russell Westbrook has mellowed. Doubt it all you want—and after he vowed to take vengeance on Golden State's Zaza Pachulia late Wednesday night, skepticism would be understandable—but Westbrook has matured. He has become more understanding. He has evolved into much more than a venom-spitting, ruled-by-emotion ...

Warriors Trying to Avoid Repeating Same Mistakes That Doomed Durant in OKC

January 18th, 2017
OAKLAND, Calif. — From turmoil to titans in the span of 10 days. It's January and not June, so it's still premature to say the Golden State Warriors are going to stick the landing of the massive leap they're seeking to make from talented group to title team. But in the span of ...

Raptors Dream Big, but NBA Reality Says Toronto’s Title Hopes May Be a Fantasy

January 3rd, 2017
One-and-a-half players away. That's how one NBA insider with a thorough understanding of the Toronto Raptors put it. Not just one player away. And that mystical half player is what has placed the Raptors in a truly devilish quandary as they straddle the blurry line between good team and who-knows-what-more-they-could-become. It also makes for ...

Once Considered Soft, Dirk Nowitzki Was Ahead of His Time

December 29th, 2016
Let's go back 15 or so years to when Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki were best-bud Dallas Mavericks teammates establishing their excellence in the NBA and always hanging out to shoot in the gym together at night. For lunches, they would swing through Eatzi's Market & Bakery, the ahead-of-its-time semi-supermarket that, ...

Resting Era Is Here to Stay, but NBA Needs to Remember That Winning Still Counts

December 20th, 2016
The smell of the Korean fried chicken wings wafted above all the other catered food options, and the steam drifted at the same slow speed from the shower area into the quiet locker room. It was the losing team's locker room, and the guys sitting in it cared deeply that they ...

Phil Jackson Enjoying His Knicks Reunion so Much, He’s Planning Long-Term Stay

December 15th, 2016
PHOENIX — He truly enjoys living in New York. He truly is committed to the Knicks. So midway through his five-year contract as Knicks president, Phil Jackson isn't expected to go anywhere. As much as Jackson's late-in-life return to his original franchise has been questioned from every angle, he has found a level of ...

Porzingis’ Rise to Stardom a Reminder of How Much Lakers Have to Learn

December 12th, 2016
LOS ANGELES — Before Sunday night, when he combined a unicorn's speed, an octopus' reach and Allan Houston's shooting touch to lead the New York Knicks to a 118-112 victory at Staples Center, Kristaps Porzingis had on one other occasion played on a court bearing the Los Angeles Lakers' purple and ...

Warriors’ Ability to Toy with the League Changing Nature of How Game Is Played

December 8th, 2016
LOS ANGELES — The Golden State Warriors have changed the way the game is played. Now they have the power to change even more—including the baseline for integrity of the game—with the example they choose to set with their dominance. The Warriors crushed the spirit of the Los Angeles Clippers, 115-98, on Wednesday ...

Clips Have Good Reason to Think They Can Beat Warriors, but Do They Believe It?

December 7th, 2016
LOS ANGELES — Before the Los Angeles Clippers try to depart from recent history and show they can actually beat the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, let's rewind about two-and-a-half years. Y'know, when the Clippers actually beat the Warriors. In the playoffs. "Over the years you realize," Blake Griffin said Tuesday, "the playoffs are what ...

For 10 NBA Superstars, 10 Season-Defining Narratives Taking Shape

December 1st, 2016
Guys such as Wilson Chandler, Tim Frazier, George Hill, Otto Porter and Julius Randle have made far bigger impressions on their teams than most people expected. Kudos to them. Next from off the grid to make differences could be Justin Anderson, JaMychal Green, Gary Harris, Terrence Jones and Josh Richardson. Yet if ...