Category — Sam Presti
I knew Scotty had issues years ago when another writer asked if he remembered me and Shorty said no. Just a couple of years before I’d written a piece on him when he was a half-pint point guard at UC Irvine. Then he winded up living in Charles Barkley’s house near Philly and forgot where he came from.
Mr. Scobey told me last week “we’re going to kick Memphis’ ass” and I couldn’t call Vegas quick enough to bet the Grizzlies. “How much Mr. Lee?” “What’s my limit?”
Kidding. Well maybe not. But don’t go Barkley on me Mr. Scobey. You’re better than that.
Still, as much as I root for my homies, they can either accept the Grizzlies taking a bite out of their ass or the Spurs. Your choice, as the late great Roland Brooks would say. This isn’t last year. Sorry.
Y’all know I root for you from afar, but c’mon let’s be real. Fight’s over.
May 12, 2013 No Comments
Hey Seattle, how ’bout them Sea Chickens?
The Sacramento Kings are only a few signatures away from moving to Seattle. How ironic. Many Seattle fans have cried a river about how the Sonics were hijacked to Oklahoma City, which, in some sarcastic irony, serves as headquarters for Sonic.
What frequently gets my blood to boiling, though, is how the story of Seattle and the Sonics parting is often written with revisionist history. Sportswriters and columnists are the worst.
For years, Seattle refused to build the club a new arena. As much as I applauded its refusal not to sacrifice taxpayers’ money for what its former ownership could have built with its own funds, anyone with a brain knew the Sonics’ days in the Emerald City were numbered. When the man who owns Starbucks sold his team because the city wouldn’t build him an arena, couldn’t you see the handwriting on the wall? Did you really believe Clay Bennett was going to build 1 out of the goodness of his heart or his deep pockets to please fans in Seattle?
As soon as Bennett inked the deal I, like many others, would have bet the farm they were headed to Oklahoma City. Blame David Stern. And blame Bennett, if you like, but he knew he had the commissioner’s blessing. Blaming the good folks in Oklahoma City is totally misguided. Do you see them hanging your 1 little raggedy championship banner or any the Sonics’ retired numbers in the rafters?
And while we’re on the subject of the NBA setting up shop in OKC, consider yourself lucky New Orleans. The Hornets and their ownership would have killed for the opportunity to stay there after their 2-year run, the fanatical support and sellouts stunned even Stern, who initially advised city officials to go searching for an NHL club. OKC didn’t have the big boy pants the NBA wears, he said. We know now how small-minded and out of touch he was.
Now the Kings are close to checking out of Sacramento because the Maloof family reportedly is nearing a deal with a Seattle group. To their credit, many folks in Seattle oppose the deal. But at this point, that doesn’t matter to Stern and the powers that be.
For Stern, it’s like killing 2 birds with 1 stone. First, he can rightfully (or wrongly, depending on your view) return a franchise to Seattle, where he will always be a villain for his shady role in the Sonics’ fiasco. Second, he can rid himself of the Maloofs, who have caused him more headaches than Mark Cuban has ever dreamed about.
Doesn’t make it right. But like the old cliche goes, it’s just bidness.
January 14, 2013 No Comments
I don’t think so.
James Harden clashes with his former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates tonight. They are saying it isn’t a big deal, but we know better.
If you’re scoring at home (lucky you), the Thunder are a 10-point favorite.
November 28, 2012 No Comments
While many (including us) loudly sang the praises of Jeremy Lamb, some hoop experts believe our memories are short when it comes to Kevin Martin. Maybe that’s because Martin is such a 1-dimensional player, all offense and no ‘D.’ What else is there to remember?
October 31, 2012 No Comments
Questions always consume NBA fans on opening night. And they will have more as the season dribbles along. Can the Heat repeat as champs? Can the Lakers win the West? Can the Thunder continue to be the best in the West after trading James Harden? Or will the Nuggets emerge? In the East, can any club seriously challenge the Heat?
We know this. LeBron and the Heat are the favorites (7-4) to win it all again, while the Lakers (2-1) are the No. 2 pick. The Thunder (7-2) are the No. 3 choice, but after that it gets dicey.
October 30, 2012 No Comments
As much as I agree with what Dave Zirin writes regarding the James Harden trade, the Thunder hijacked the Rockets for more than just spare parts.
Furthermore, I understand the concept of athletes getting the most money possible. But does money (and we’re talking a substantial amounts in Harden’s case) come at the expense of possible NBA championships? Or how much is worth missing out on that?
Besides, if you’re a small-market club like the Thunder, how could you turn down a deal like this?
Lamb hops: “If you had a video camera on me, y’all probably would be laughing. When I got the call I was just like, ‘Huh?’ I was like ‘Stop playing.’ I thought it was a prank call. It was surprising, but it was good news.”
October 29, 2012 No Comments
The Jeff Green deal to the C’s immediately comes to mind. I told anyone who would listen then the Thunder wouldn’t miss a beat without Green. Green was a liability. Not only as a defender, but he couldn’t take me off the dribble.
Now we have the James Harden deal. Good player (many would say outstanding, but I believe his value is overrated) who had a great season last year, but Harden benefitted from the superb play of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Yes, he was like the “Microwave,” a tip of the cap to the wonderful and underappreciated Vinnie Johnson. But the Thunder offered Harden, who gagged big time in the NBA Finals, $54 million over 4 years and his agent Rob Pelinka refused it because they wanted $60 mil.
To quote the great Robert Parish, what’s the different between a few million when you’re talking that much cash?
Someone cranking up BBD? Poison!
Furthermore, Jeremy Lamb is 1 of the best rooks in this draft class. Mad skills for a guy his size. Give him time and he will eventually shine in that offense, particularly since the Thunder runs like the wind and he fits in perfectly. Add him and 2 1st-round picks to the mix and how can critics say this is a bad deal for the Thunder?
Kevin Martin gives the Thunder a much-needed outside shooter, but Lamb is the steal here. And who knows how the best GM in the NBA, Sam Presti, who I call the 2nd coming of Jerry West as a GM, will parlay those picks (there also is a 2nd rounder) into more good fortune. I can only imagine, with his brains and knack for mixing and matching stars and role players, what Presti will pull off. Unlike a lot of GMs, Presti gets it.
I’m all ears for the critics. Holler with your best shot.
October 28, 2012 2 Comments
It’s bad enough we can’t get the Pac-12 Network. Now this.
Taking a page out of the Phil Jackson playbook, this is like 2 bad-ass kids who can’t get along in the sandbox.
Less than a week before the NBA season tips off, Time Warner Cable and DirectTV continue their standoff. What it means for Laker fans is we can’t see games locally, unless they’re carried by TNT (hell, I wish TNT carried all of the Laker games), ABC or ESPN. So far, most of us haven’t been able to watch a preseason game because these 2 can’t work out a deal. It’s not only DirectTV subscribers being screwed by this. If you subscribe to the Dish Network, Charter, Cox, Verizon, AT&T and some of the other cable systems you’re not getting the games either. This blackout also includes many bars in the L.A. area.
Here’s where you can lodge complaints: At DirectTV, call or email Robert Mercer at (310) 964-4683 or RGMercer@directv.com. You can call Time Warner Cable at 888.488.3368. Ask for Mark Shuken.
October 24, 2012 No Comments
I cracked open ESPN The Magazine’s NBA Preview today. I immediately flipped to the prediction page for this season’s final showdown. Heat defeat Nuggets as Miami repeats. Seriously.
We could see the Nuggets doing some damage. They’re deep, play an uptempo style that gives teams like the Lakers problems and they now have Andre Iguodala to lead a talented cast. But can they crack the Thunder?
Laker fans will be annoyed to read their club is being pegged as the No. 4 pick in the West. That would be 4th behind the Nuggets, Thunder and (gulp) Timberwolves. We’re not buying the T-Wolves.
And the Mavericks don’t even make the playoffs.
October 23, 2012 No Comments
October 1, 2012 No Comments