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Welcome to the NBA Down Under Digest, which is a weekly recap of all the developments on and off the court, from the best of the best to the worst of the worst.
With training camps all opening and preseason games about to get into high gear, we'll sort through the news for your reading enjoyment! Let's see what happened around the association!
THIS WEEK IN THE NBA
Kobe Calls Out The Chumps!
Kobe Bryant, who is becoming a lot more vocal in his old age, has called out the NBA floppers as chumps. Now I'm not sure if the Kobmeister thinks that they are chumps because they aren't at his level and their flopping exposes them as inferior, or if he doesn't think it has an impact on the final outcome of a game.
In any event he is completely unimpressed with the practice and actually attributes the flop to one of our original floppers, Vlade Divac. It was memorable watching Divac flop against the great Shaquille O'Neal. The sad thing was watching the referees buy into it.
Kobe also feels flopping should have an in game penalty as well. I think that is painfully obvious to most of us.
No NBA Team For Manning
There was a rumour circulating this week that Peyton Manning
, had purchased a piece of the Memphis Grizzlies. This now appears to be untrue, as it is actually Peyton's wife Ashley that has purchased a piece of the team.
Mrs. Manning is from the Memphis area and was quoted last Thursday saying, " As a native of Memphis, It is important to me that the Memphis Grizzlies remain in Tennessee, and continue to have a positive impact on the community."
For his part Peyton said he was going to continue to focus on football, but was happy for his wife.
Dwight Calls Out Shaq
New Laker Centre Dwight Howard
, is more than a little bit ticked off at future hall of famer Shaquille O'Neal. It seems that Shaq had mentioned in an interview that Andrew Bynum of the Philadelphia 76er's and Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets were the best true big men in the NBA.
"I don't care what Shaq says," Howard told reporters after practice. "Shaq played the game, he's done, he's gone. It's time to move on."
Howard also lashed out at Shaq saying, " he hated the fact when he played the older guys were talking about him and how he played, and now he's doing the exact same thing."
It should be an interesting halftime ceremony when the Los Angeles Lakers retire Shaquille O'Neal's jersey at halftime on April 2nd in a home game against the Dallas Mavericks.
NBA Players Association Unhappy
Although players are coming out on both sides on the new flopping rules
, the NBA players association isn't. NBA executive director Billy Hunter said they will file a grievance against the NBA.
Hunter's beef is that the new flopping rules are a collective bargaining issue, and they just can't be decided unilaterally by the NBA commissioner David Stern.
Just as an aside, when the players were locked out this past season Billy Hunter earned $3 million
as the executive director of the National Basketball Players Association. This is a 25 percent raise from what he earned during the lockout.
So although we thought we might get some relief from this topic, it appears the fun is just beginning.
Tim Thibodeau Gets Extension
In what is very good news for Bulls fans,
coach Thibodeau got his new contract this week. It's reportedly along the same lines as the deal that Scott Brooks signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier this year.
There were rumours last season that Thibodeau was unhappy in Chicago, and a new contract wasn't a certainty. The good news for Chicago is what superstar Derrick Rose said about the extension, " It's great man, just to know that we finally got a deal done. He got his deal done."
Thibodeau is the fastest coach in NBA history to get 100 victories.
Sixers Wrap Up Doug Collins
In what I consider to be the move of the off season, the Philadelphia 76er's have exercised their option on Doug Collins' contract
. Collins took a 76er club to a playoff win over the Chicago Bulls last year; albeit without Derrick Rose.
Collins then led the Sixers to within a whisker of upsetting the Boston Celtics in the Conference Finals. I don't think Collins has received the accolades he deserves in his tenure as Sixers coach, but management obviously agrees with me that Collins is the right man to lead the team for the next two years, and what I believe could be to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
It's going to take at least 3 weeks for Andrew Bynum's knees to be cleared for takeoff after off-season knee surgery. He's now scheduled to miss all 7 of Philadelphia's preseason games.
He said he told the trainers he felt something during practice and was advised to take the time off to rehab.
The surgery was designed to combat osteoarthritis, and has been used by Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, and New York Yankee superstar Alex Rodriquez to extend their playing careers.
Lin Decision For Knicks Was Financial
In what appears to be an admission that it made sense to get rid of Jeremy Lin for financial reasons
, the New York Knicks general manager Glen Grunwald says he hopes Jeremy LIn is successful, but the team had to let him go for financial reasons.
This sounds to me like a preemptive strike in case Raymond Felton doesn't work out. The Knicks would have been on the hook for $43 million in luxury tax in 2014 if they had signed Lin.
So in other words if you have $1,000 dollars, Jeremy Lin would cost you $43 dollars. That's the case if you assume billionaire owner James Dolan only has one billion dollars.
I'm not buying it. If Felton flops and Jeremy Lin has a big year Knick fans will let Dolan know all about it!
Once again we would love to hear from you, so please leave any comments you may have on this weeks news!