“I’m sure Commissioner Stern won’t like this, but I think the product would be better if we shortened the season.”
- Denver coach George Karl.

Of course it would, but those greedy buggers up top will never entertain it. And that’s a shame.

“I don’t work out. I ain’t worked out my whole career.”
- San Antonio’s Stephen Jackson when asked what he does in the offseason.

For four months? Nothing? That’s pretty irresponsible for a ‘professional’ (and I use that term loosely) athlete earning $10 million annually.

“I don’t have Ray’s number anymore. I’m not trying to communicate with him.”
- Boston’s Kevin Garnett said he has not talked to Ray Allen since signing with the Heat and has no plans to.

Do you think he takes this game – and that’s all it is, a game – just a little too seriously?

“There was zero interest [in me]. Not some, but zero.”
- Brian Scalabrine, who received no interest on the free agent market. He has subsequently taken up an announcing gig in New England.

C’mon Scal, you were finished as a player two years ago.

“They had the better pieces. And winning with the Clippers would be legendary.”
- LA Clipper Chris Paul, saying he preferred to be traded to the Clippers instead of the Lakers.

Sure….

“No disrespect to Deron, but sometimes from a team perspective, the best deals are the ones you don’t get done. We would have made it work with Deron. But I think it’s better for our team the way it turned out.”
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban, on missing out on Deron Williams.

He’s full of it.

“The Lakers have done this before. Remember Gary Payton, Karl Malone and Kobe and Shaq were all together, and it didn’t work. It takes great chemistry, like coach (Rick Carlisle) alluded to, it takes guys wanting to be there — I don’t know if all their guys want to be there — it’s going to be interesting.”
- Mark Cuban on the Lakers.

In 2004 Malone and Payton were on their last legs, and Shaq and Kobe hated each other. And that was the same year that Kobe was fighting rape charges in Colorado, and Karl Malone was playing on one leg in the playoffs. So it ain’t the same (Kobe and Nash are getting on in years, but they’re still elite players at their position). And remember, this is the same guy who said the Miami threesome wouldn’t work when it went down in 2010.

Now, is Mike Brown the right man to coach this team and handle the big personalities and egos? To me, that’s the real question here.

“They look really good on paper. So does a counterfeit $100 bill until you try to spend it.”
- Laker legend James Worthy on the Lakers’ championship aspirations.

Well said.

“If Kobe can defer to Steve Nash and let him run the show.”
- Worthy again, saying that the Lakers success this season depends entirely on this.

He’s right, and that’s why they’ll probably fall short.

“Words cannot express the love that I have for Orlando.”
- The Lakers’ Dwight Howard, who took out a full page ad in an Orlando paper to ‘thank’ the city and its fans.

Rack off!

“It was a tug of war between my feelings and the fans and everybody else and their feelings and what happened to LeBron. And I saw him — everybody hated him for leaving Cleveland and what he did. I never wanted anybody to hate me, you know. I wanted everybody to love me, you know, like me, for sticking around and doing what they wanted me to do. And making everybody else happy. And that was a valuable lesson for me, you know. I can’t make everybody happy. I just wanted to see that. I felt like if I signed the extension, I did that then everything would be right in the NBA, everything would be right in Orlando. The fans would be happy. But I was forgetting about me.”

And this:

“That was a team (Brooklyn) I wanted to go. I felt like I could go there and write my own history. I was worried about what people would think. ‘If you go to L.A. everybody’s going to say you’re like Shaq. Everybody’s going to say this about you.’ And now I’m at the point where, so what, who cares what people say. This is my destiny, this is where I wanted to be, this is what I wanted to do with my life.”

And this:

“Me and Stan, we’ve said things in the heat of the moment. We’ve been upset, we’ve fought back and forth. But we had the same mission, to win a championship. But I didn’t have any say so with him being fired.”
- Dwight Howard.

In terms of him looking like a spoilt child, he just keeps digging the hole deeper and deeper.

“A perfect example is that a lot of people say, “Hey, Mitch, you’ve got a great starting five, are you worried about anything or could you possibly wish for anything more?” And the first thing that comes to my mind is, “Yeah, I wish they were all 25.” That’s how I look at things. Yeah, it’s a great group, but I wish they were younger.”
- Lakers’ GM Mitch Kupchak, when asked about the concerns he has with the roster.

I like his frankness.

“Just landed in Chicago. Tomorrow I have a workout with the Bulls. Really excited to see Korver, Boozer and Brewer!”
- Kyrylo Fesenko on Twitter in September. His former Jazz teammates’ Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver were actually jettisoned from the Bulls in July.

He’s got his finger on the pulse….

“I think anything is a bargain with me, whether I’m playing for a dollar or $20 million it’s a bargain because I’m going to play hard no matter what.”
- New York’s J.R. Smith, when asked if his $2.8 million per year salary is a bargain.

He forgot to add “play hard AND STUPID”.

“It’s kind of mandatory, you have to attend. You know Putin, you don’t go against Putin in Russia.”
- Minnesota rookie and Russian, Alexey Shved, who was scheduled to arrive in Minnesota for his introduction in August right after the Olympics, but was beckoned for a meeting with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.

Smart guy; go against that clown and you’ll likely end up in jail or Siberia.

“Girl today at dog park said “hey I know this is rude but can u pet my dog, he doesn’t like black people and I want him to get used to them””!
- Charlotte’s Gerald Henderson on Twitter.

Yowza!

“We’re all teammates, but at the end of the day, the center position over here is mine and that’s the way we’re going to keep it. Any other way, backup minutes or whatever they want to go about, that’s their problem. Once I hit the court, I’m going to make it known — and it’s going to be known — that that’s mine. It’s no beef, but at the end of the day, that’s what it is.”
- Oklahoma City’s Kendrick Perkins.

With Cole Aldrich, Hasheem Thabeet and Daniel Orton as his only competition on the roster, I think he’s pretty safe. Now, being amnestied next offseason (to alleviate their cap crunch), that’s what he should be concerned about.

“It was a huge factor. I don’t think I would have even thought about staying if it (the Nets franchise) was staying in New Jersey.”
- Brooklyn’s Deron Williams, when asked if the Net’s move to Brooklyn was important in his decision to stay put.

Brutally honest, as usual.

“Of course I’m worried about how much I’ll have to fly in the NBA. I’m very worried about the schedule. I just don’t like to fly. I’m very scared, bottom line.”
- Houston rookie Royce White.

Er, that’s a problem.

“People act like because me and Ray didn’t get along or they think me and Ray didn’t get along that I’m a bad person or he’s a bad person. No. It’s just life. If you look at your job, everyone doesn’t always get along with every co-worker they work with. It’s just part of life. People are blowing the Ray thing out of proportion. We had some words, but other than that it was no big deal. There were so many rumors like I was looking Ray off. Why would I look Ray off? That doesn’t make sense. He’s the best shooter, so why would I look him off? People can see it how they want to. They can talk to Ray. But from my standpoint, he made his decision. I don’t know why he made the decision, but he made the decision. I don’t think it had anything to do with me.”
- Boston’s Rajon Rondo on his supposed feud with Ray Allen.

Yeah, I wish people would drop this. We’ve heard enough on it now to know that they just didn’t get along. Big deal. As Rondo says, are you buddy buddy with all your co-workers?

“Honestly, I don’t care about the Lakers … I have my eye squarely on Miami. I come up to my players during the year — they’re in the facility now — I bring up Miami every single day to them. I want them to hate them. I want them to beat them. That’s gotta be our focus.”
- Boston coach Doc Rivers.

Stirring the pot already; that’s why he’s such a good coach.

“My mission is to kill; whether it’s the Heat, whether it’s the Lakers. Hopefully both. That’s my mission, and that’s what I’m here to do.”
- Boston’s Jason Terry.

Perhaps an aging (and declining) player should refrain from making such lofty proclamations.

“That’s the first thing you think about when you think about the Nets. When I first got drafted and Portland traded me to Brooklyn, that’s the first thing I thought about – to be with Jay Z. I thought that was so dope.”
- Brooklyn rookie Tyshawn Taylor.

Do people realise that Jay-Z only owns 0.067% of the team?

“The rich get richer. That’s generally how it is in the NBA. Grown accustomed to it the last five-six years. The rich get richer and the poor have to kind of scrounge and find other role players to fill it in. That’s kind of the way it is.”
- Golden State’s Andrew Bogut on the Lakers.

True, but don’t underestimate the importance of good decision-making in the front office (ex. Bryant, Gasol, Howard and Nash were all acquired through shrewd trades, which the Lakers won in a landslide).

“I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.”
- Spurs’ coach Gregg Popovich on impressive youngster Kawhi Leonard.

Pop is not prone to hyperbole (or for that matter, giving praise to anyone) so that’s a huge statement from him.

“Most of the moves David [Kahn] is making are heavily influenced by what Rick [Adelman] has asked of us. But when it comes to finances, David will tell Rick no. At the end of the year, Rick gives me a report of what he thinks of each player. He tells me it’s the same one he gave David and that David knows he is giving it to me. Then he goes through the list. He says, ‘This is the first one I want gone’—that was [underachieving veteran center] Darko [Milicic]. ‘This is the second one I want gone. This is what I think of this player.”
- Timberwolves’ owner Glen Taylor.

The Celtics are fools for signing Milicic; they’d be better off giving those minutes to the rookie Fab Melo. When will people realise that he’s just not cut out for the NBA? He’s dead wood.

“I like a lot that he has size.”
- Doc Rivers on Milicic.

Means nothing if you don’t have the mindset to play on this level.

“We like his intelligence on the court and his passing ability. Being 7-1 and 270 pounds helps.”
- Boston GM Danny Ainge on Milicic.

He’s 27 years old and has played for five teams in nine seasons – we have the evidence (in fact, we had it about two years ago). This recycling of retreads is one reason why NBA GMs are routinely and deservedly mocked.

“If they don’t get the fourth or fifth playoff spot, I’m not standing before you. They’re big. They’re athletic. They know how to play.”
- Clyde Drexler on the Phoenix Suns.

And he’s a paid analyst?

“He’s going to need two defenders to stop him; I would say he’s the best big man in the NBA right now, hands down.”
- Philadelphia’s Dorell Wright on teammate Andrew Bynum.

Once he returns to full health, Dwight Howard will make guys like this look silly.

“I respect rap greatly but don’t consider myself a fan. It was a complete surprise when I was asked to rap. But when I set myself to something, I always achieve great heights. So I don’t think it would be fair to rap with Jay. I could cause irreparable damage to his professional career.”
- Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov, on being asked to rap at the new Barclays Center with Jay-Z.

He’s quite humorous, the big Russian.

“We’re moving on … slowly, slowly, step by step. It’s easy to make a strong team, but it’s very difficult to make a championship team. So we’re on the right way. And still, I’m expecting our championship within three years.”
- Prokhorov again.

Is he still being funny?

“I definitely want to return to the NBA, but if I can’t get back there, I’m hoping to play ball here (China).”
- Allen Iverson.

If he goes to China, it won’t end well.

“I hope to play faster. We turned it up a gear last year and I think we have the personnel to hopefully go even faster. And I think with a normal training camp and a full season, we can build that habit a little bit more.”
- Miami coach Erik Spoelstra on his plans for the upcoming season.

Scary.

“It seems like the easiest negotiation of all time. If I was (the Bulls) and Tom agreed to what (Oklahoma City’s) Scott Brooks got (a reported four-year deal worth approximately $18 million), the whole thing would take 25 seconds. It’s a no-brainer. My thing is he’s an elite coach and should be paid like one.”
- Jeff Van Gundy on Tom Thibodeau’s unresolved contract situation in Chicago.

It does seem like the Bulls are being unnecessarily stingy here, but what’s new.

“I will retire as a Celtic for sure.”
- Boston’s Kevin Garnett.

Anything’s possible (!!)…..

“That’s like transferring from Duke and going to Carolina.”
- LA Clipper Grant Hill, on ex-teammate Steve Nash leaving the Suns to join the Lakers.

Yeah, it was shocker.

“I’m definitely going to roast President Obama and I’m gonna roast the new guys, too: I have a cool joke about the new Lakers rock stars, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, and about Kobe a little bit. And I have a couple of gay jokes that I’m going to say. No, you can tell gay jokes — you just have to be funny. It’s like telling black or white jokes. And I do have a couple of racist jokes — you gotta throw out some racist jokes. There’s a difference between being racist and telling a racist joke. Every comedian does it. There’s no way around it. Gotta talk about your own race, obviously — I’m going to stereotype black people. You gotta stereotype everybody. Females, too. Hopefully people like it, and people laugh.”
- The Lakers’ Metta World Peace on his ‘comedy’ act.

Wouldn’t you pay to see that?

“We definitely want to beat the Bulls record and go 73-9, that’s definitely something that I want to do. Whoever is out there at the beginning of the season then we gotta get it. It’s as simple as that. We just have to go get it. (Host: So that Bulls record is something you’re thinking about?) No question. You try to snatch records before you leave this earth. You gotta try to do a lot of great things so it’s definitely a goal. With Dwight Howard, (Steve) Nash, Kobe (Bryant), myself, Pau (Gasol) and then (Antawn) Jamison and a lot of great additions it’s something that’s possible. With the way the Lakers are looking this year, I don’t see anybody getting past us this year at all.”
- Metta World Peace.

The Miami experiment would suggest that it’s not nearly as easy as that.

“Last year at the end of the year there were some guys that I’d really grown close to and felt that I knew if you asked them to lay it all on the line that they’d fight for you and they’d fight for each other. At the end of the day, that’s what this league is all about. We’ve got to get these guys willing to fight for each other and go out there and fight for the win. Whatever it takes to make that happen, they’ll do it.

Again, that is not the sexy, ‘Oh you’re in the NBA, you get paid.’ That’s why half these clowns in this league don’t win anything. They don’t realize that it comes down to how hard you’re willing to fight for each other. It’s your team. How hard are you willing to fight for it? What are you willing to do to win that game that night and then what are you willing to do to win that game the next night? You do that 82 times, then you do it another twenty-something times in the playoffs if you’re lucky and you win a championship. Because the answer is: Whatever it takes. When you have a team that says, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to win,’ you’re moving in the right direction.

Most teams have guys who say, ‘Well, I’ll play up to this point, but after that, now I’m uncomfortable. You mean I have to put a body on LeBron James and box him out? Wait a minute now.’ So you want to find the guys who will do whatever it takes to win and we’ve got to find out how many of these young guys are willing to do that and then – win, lose or draw – are willing to do it all over again the next night.”
- Houston coach Kevin McHale.

A good insight.


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