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.
All of the off season workings of the NBA will be available every Sunday for your reading enjoyment. Let's see what happened around the Association this week!
THIS WEEK IN THE NBA
No NBA For Oz!
t seems it's cash that will keep the NBA out of Australia
as the powers that be in Victoria have rejected a National Basketball exhibition game and a Major League Baseball regular season game.
People in the know say it was the government in Victoria that nixed the idea when they failed to underwrite the effort.
This just blows me away and seems very short sighted on the government's part. Apparently the people that control the purse strings have no idea what events of this magnitude can mean for the local community.
Unless of course they just underestimate the popularity of the NBA and MLB I can't fathom the reasoning behind this decision. I'm sure we'll learn more in the near future. Rumour has it that Sydney is showing some interest though...
Kobe Gets 3
The Los Angeles Lakers have decided they need 3 new assistant coaches
Now it's no secret that Kobe Bryant had his moments with Mike Brown last year, so Laker management decides they better get 3 more coaches Kobe can disagree with.
Two of the three that will be replaced are now with CSKA Moscow, and the third, John Kuester, has been reassigned as an advance scout on the east coast.
What are we to make of this? One of the coaches is Bernie Bickerstaff who has 39 years of coaching experience, albeit all bad.
My most horrific memories of Bernie were when he was with the Seattle Supersonics.
I would love to hear some opinions of Seattle fans on good old Bernie. Anyway, it should be interesting, or if not interesting at least humorous.
Spoelstra Speeding Up Heat
Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra has dedided he wants to play faster
this upcoming season, much the way the Heat did to start the strike-shortened season last year.
To me this is very ambitious, and considering the schedule will be even longer that it was last year, I'm dubious.
True there won't be the back-to-back-to-backs of the shortened 2011-2012 season, but it will be just as grueling.
The added games will mean added travel, and I don't see how the Heat can play uptempo and still pour on the defense.
It will be good for the fans, but it certainly isn't playoff basketball. Working extra people into an NBA lineup to rest your starters for a style you're not going to play in the playoffs doesn't make sense to me.
Then again, Spoelstra proved to me in last year's NBA playoffs that he is one hell of a coach, particularly for the adjustments he made in the Indiana Pacer series, and the way he totally out-coached Scott Brooks in the NBA final. So I guess we'll see.
In what is a fascinating and quite candid interview, New York Knick superstar Amar'e Stoudemire speaks about Jeremy Lin
, former coach Mike D'Antoni, the Brooklyn Nets, his pet fire extinguisher and more.
The only thing missing from this interview is how he and Carmelo Anthony are going to play together. There should be no shortage of basketballs next year though, with the New York Knicks now having 4 point guards.
I know everyone is thinking Jeremy Lin was just a flash in the pan, but the Knicks are sure trying hard to replace him.
I am one however, that believes the diminutive Houston Rocket point guard will have a terrific season, and I"m not so sure about the Knicks' current fantastic point 4!
Iverson Still Wants To Play
Allen Iverson would still like to play in the NBA
, and I for one would love to see it.
It was in the NBA finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2000-2001 season, when Shaquille O'Neil said he believed Allen Iverson was the best player in the NBA.
If you watched Iverson that season you would have to agree with him.
Shaq was so impressed with Iverson he compared him to the greatest of all time. Iverson was electrifying in his prime, and I would still pay to see him. For his part, Iverson has said he will play in China but would still like another crack at the NBA.
The one-time great has also said he'd play in the CBA, now that's dedication.
Dwyane Wade Loves Money
This has been rumoured for a long time , but it is apparently now official. Dwyane Wade has signed a contract
with Li-Ning the Chinese sneaker giant.
Li-Ning has been pursuing NBA stars for quite some time in order to get a stronghold in the sneaker market.
You can imagine the kind of money they are throwing around, and let's face it, the top level sneakers the pros wear are all custom-made so one is as good as the other, and that being said, you may as well grab the cash.
TimberLake And The Griz
No matter what you think of his acting you are now going to have to get used to Justin Timberlake as an NBA owner
Robert Pera and Timberlake have become buddies through charity events that Justin has done for the NBA. So he has now been offered a minority stake in the Memphis Grizzlies, which new pal Robert Pera is in the process of buying.
The only thing that worries me is he is slated to be an "active" owner. What does that mean?
I really hope it means a couple of comments in the board room and Gucci Row seats ala Jack Nicholson and not harassing the coaches as Mark Cuban did in his early years, or Jerry Jones parading up and down the sidelines when the Cowboys are down 13 in the 4th.
Hall Of Fame
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Hall of Fame ceremonies
on Friday night in Springfield, Mass. We had 12 go in 12. Quite a night, with Reggie Miller finishing off the ceremony like he finished off so many NBA games. Good on ya' men!
As always we would love to hear from you, so please leave any comments or tips you may have. If there are any Seattle, Washington, Charlotte, or Denver fans out there I'd love to hear your thoughts on Bernie Bickerstaff.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
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