If you don't follow the NBA, the name Stephen Jackson might not immediately ring a bell. Allow me to reacquaint you. Jackson was the kindly Samaritan who followed his then-Indiana Pacers teammate Ron Artest into the stands to slap some fans around during a 2004 brawl with the Detroit Pistons. For this Jackson received a 30-game suspension. It turned out to be such a life-altering experience that Jackson would never again use his hands as a weapon in public. Not even close. The next time Jackson chose to disturb the peace, he would brandish a bona fide weapon--a 9 mm pistol.
For any Washington Wizards fan who's ever wondered why the team has not only so many injuries--just eight games into the season, four of its top six players, as well as two scrubs, have already missed playing time--but so many misdiagnosed injuries, poorly treated injuries, recurrent injuries, players who come back from injury too early or play too many minutes, the blog Bullets Forever points to oft-injured ex-Wizard Etan Thomas's recent question: While on the subject of team trainers and doctors, is it possible to impose a fine or forced firing when a team trainer or doctor consistently misd
Bill Simmons has the definitive piece on the 2009 NBA champs, and the team's enigmatic superstar, Kobe Bryant. Simmons is the most entertaining and insightful NBA analyst around, but lately his stuff has been unconvincing or contradictory. Still, this latest opus is a masterful summation of the Lakers' season.
It's been a tough couple of days for Derrick Rose, the NBA rookie of the year who, it's now being alleged, cheated on his SAT's and had his grades changed when he was a student at Simeon High School in Chicago. Say what you will about Rose, but isn't all of this yet another argument for doing away with the NBA's "one and done" rule? Put aside the standard fairness to the player argument--i.e.
The NBA playoffs may be under way, but the biggest basketball story of the moment--and quite possibly the year-- is the news that Jeremy Tyler, a 6'11" 17 year old from San Diego, will bypass his senior year of high school to play professionally in Europe. After two years in Europe, if everything goes according to plan, Tyler will then return to the U.S. and enter the NBA draft. (According one general manager who spoke to Dan Wetzel, Tyler is good enough to play in the NBA right now.) I first heard about Tyler last year, when I was writing this piece on Sonny Vaccaro.
John Wall, a 6'4" point guard from Raleigh, North Carolina, is probably the best high school basketball player in America.
On the basketball courts of New York City, there may be no truer measure of a player's stature than his nickname. If a player is considered good, then his moniker will be something straightforward: "Pee Wee" if he is short; "Lefty" if he shoots with that hand. But if a player is viewed as great, then his talent can actually inspire poetry. He will be called "Half-Man Half-Amazing" for his superhuman dunks or "Skip to My Lou" for the way he hopscotches down the court as he dribbles past hapless opponents.
With the political season kicking into high gear, it seemed like the right time for another chat with Sir Charles Barkley. Over the past year, he has been a vocal and active Barack Obama supporter, so we decided to talk to him about that, as well as the Democratic convention, his own future in politics, and his distressingly Luddite tendencies. Have you been hanging out with Barack at all? Not lately. He’s busy. I talk to him, though. And obviously I wanted to be in Denver [for the DNC].
The NBA playoffs started nine days ago, and for basketball fans they have been a treat. Still, even those of us who prefer the professional game to thirty seconds of passing the ball around the perimeter before putting up a 19-foot jumper college ball must admit that this first week-and-two-days has been ever so slightly disappointing. After what was by far the best regular season in decades (at least five blockbuster trades, the re-emergence of the league's two most storied franchises, the best conference in NBA history, the second longest winning streak ever), there have been some letdowns.