NBA Splinters | July 26, 2009

by Rey

>Much Ado About Dunking

I was at a conference all last week. I briefly caught ESPN one day in my hotel room and noticed that a video of the infamous LeBron-James-getting-dunked-on-at-his-own-camp surfaced. In case this hasn’t been stuffed down your throat yet, here it is:

As we all expected, right? This was no big deal. Of course, many have over-analyzed this thing and want to explain why “it was weak” and so on. The major lessons all fans, especially young ones, are these:

1) A dunk is still worth two points or in the case of a pickup game, one.

2) EVERYONE gets dunked on at some point. It’s like an average hitter taking a great pitcher deep for about 460 feet. It happens, and it happens to the greats. I still remember a very young Allen Iverson crossing Michael Jordan over and Kevin Johnson dunking over Hakeem Olajuwon.

3) Hype breeds ignorant, hateful critics. There are many out there who want to see guys like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade fail for no reason. They’ll take any miniscule detail and use that as some viable evidence.

Thank goodness the tape came out and it’s now over.

>NBA Players not on the move

2009 Free Agency has been a whirlwind since it started this offseason. Many have changed teams, most recently point guard Andre Miller leaving the Sixers to go play with Brandon Roy in Portland for three years and $22 million. But there have been some names not moving as quickly as expected.

Sticking with point guards, who wants Raymond Felton? The Blazers went with the thirty-three old Miller, and who can blame them. But Felton’s numbers are not much different than Miller’s, and his salary last season with the Charlotte Bobcats was $4.1 million. Felton, however, is only twenty-six.

The Bobcats have another young point guard in D.J. Augustin who’s only twenty-one and made under $2.5 million last season. I’m surprised that the Bobcats and Felton have yet to reach a deal and that there doesn’t appear to be too many offers coming in from other NBA teams. The point guard position seems to be much less of a worry in the pros than it is in the college ranks.

Lamar Odom remains on the market. He and the Lakers have resumed negotiations after the Lakers rescinded their first offer. The Miami Heat have also shown Odom some options and Dwayne Wade has openly expressed his desire to bring the Rhode Island product to South Beach.

David Lee continues to search for suitors. The New York Knick met in Vegas recently with Portland but no formal offers have been announced. I thought Lee drew a lot of attention during this past season and he would sign quickly elsewhere. Knick teammate Nate Robinson also remains on the market.

I heard news of the Memphis Grizzlies possibly not re-signing Syracuse product Hakim Warrick in order to possibly sign Allen Iverson.

The Atlanta Hawks’ Marvin Williams is still classified as a restricted free agent. The latest update on his negotiations with the Hawks was on July 12. Hoops World says that the demands of Williams ($40 mil) and the amount the Hawks are willing to offer ($37.5 mil.) make it very likely that he’ll re-sign with Atlanta.

Sekou Smith, a writer at Hawks Blog, finds the title of HoopsWorld article to be a bit of a misnomer and cites some evidence that the projected offer/deal was simply not true. Smith goes on to provide his take on several different scenarios for the former UNC standout.

>If the WNBA has news, does it make a sound?

As of 3:44 PM on Saturday,’s lead article was the WNBA all-star game. I enjoy taking in a game once in a while. But for some reason, the games rarely make the news, which is why I was pleased to see the San Antonio Stars’ Becky Hammon and the Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings gracing the front page of ESPN’s web site.

Since the start of this WNBA season, I’ve heard the following news stories while giving the TV a cursory examination:

1) The Phoenix Mercury sold their jersey rights to LifeLock. Now the sponsor, not the team’s name, stretches in large font across the Mercury jerseys.

2) Candice Parker returned to the Los Angeles Sparks a couple months after giving birth to her first child.

3) Diana Taurasi was recently arrested for DUI.

That’s literally it; all the details are from memory. Anything else I know about the WNBA I looked up, and I watch ESPN and other sports stations much more than usual over the summer time.

Back to ESPN’s article. They pointed out the various strategies the WNBA had for promoting some interest in the all-star game. Among them were some of the players and analysts blogging and using twitter during the game.

When I went back to ESPN to view the box score, I couldn’t find a link to the game anywhere. And this was less than an hour after its conclusion. I had to go to the WNBA’s own page on

David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images

The game, which was played in Connecticut, looks as though it was a huge success. The West beat the East 130-118. MVP Swin Cash (pictured) of the Seattle Storm led all scorers with 22. I wanted to know the attendance but it wasn’t listed in the box score at ESPN or even on the WNBA’s own website and box score for the event.

The Chicago Sky’s Sylvia Fowles dunked and pretty convincingly. Only thing is that the rest of players cleared out of the way so she could have a clear path to do so.

Many think the financial folding of the WNBA is inevitable now more than ever. It’s a shame to think that another women’s sports league will see its demise, after women’s professional soccer has made its return this year.

The WNBA conjures up so many negative connotations from “Joe Sports Fan” that it’s hard to imagine it ever being mainstream in America. Unfortunately, many of these “sports fans” have probably never seen a DI girls basketball game or professional game up close and in person.

On a personal note, congratulations to Temple-alum Candice Dupree. The fans voted Candice a starter for the first time in her WNBA career and she scored 12 points. She currently plays for the Chicago Sky and averages 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2 assists a game this season.

Got any NBA news or comments? Take a seat on the bench and let your ‘pickins’ be heard.

3 Responses to "NBA Splinters | July 26, 2009"

  1. Casey   July 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I am surprised the Sixers let Miller walk. Who do they have to play point? Although the East is getting tougher, I thought the Sixers were close to making a run. They get brand back healthy. Along with Igoudala, they had a good mix working.

  2. Rey   July 29, 2009 at 11:46 am

    They drafted Jrue Holiday. I’m not personally big on him at the moment, but a lot of people seem to think the potential is there, which it is. Just something about his time at UCLA I didn’t like.

    They also have Louis Williams who played over 20 minutes a game this season. He showed some flashed of being good but I think they are now putting all their chips with Holiday.

    I don’t think the Sixers felt they had a chance to offer Miller what he was asking, even though he got lower from Portland. Don’t know…

  3. Casey   July 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Jrue Holiday? Elton Brand has gotta be thinking – I came here for this? Holiday played behind Darren Collison – maybe the most overrated point guard of the past decade. Hopefully Williams can come through for the city of Brotherly Love.

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