Category Archives: Basketball

Money Ball

moneyNBA owners played with house money last week and the results were astonishing.

Awash in new TV money, the league upped it’s salary cap from $70 million to $94.1 million for the coming year, and the money was burning a hole in the pockets of the owners.

In the first 96 hours of the free agency period, NBA teams committed close to $3 billion (yep, Billion, with a “B”) toward contracts with free agents. That’s nearly $9,000 a second spent. Every second. For four straight days.

It’s one thing for the Golden State Warriors to give big bucks to come to the bay area, but what about some of the other deals that were made. Timofey Mozgov got $64 mil over for years from the Lakers. Yes, that’s the same Timofey Mozgov who played a total of 25 minutes in the Cavaliers 7 game championship run. But Mozgov’s is not the only contract that raised eyebrows, and tax brackets.

Hassan Whiteside made a mere $980,000 this season. His new deal to stay in Miami: $98 million over 4 years. Undrafted guard, Tyler Johnson, went from the D League to signing a deal with the Heat for $50 million over 4 years. Nicholas Batum got 5 years, $120 million to go to Charlotte. Kent Bazemore  pocketed 4 years, $70 million to stay with Atlanta. And on it went.

SB Nation has a full rundown of the lunacy here:

Money was flying around like a monopoly game. The spending was like Imelda Marcos buying shoes. At some point you’d think someone would take away the credit card, wouldn’t you?

So when you follow your favorite NBA team in the coming season, you might feel for a guy like Festus Ezeli, who left the Warriors for Portland for the paltry sum of $15 million. Poor guy will only reel in $7.5 mil this season. That’s just $91K per game, or about $5K per minute… which is a little less than what the owners spent in their 4 days shopping spree.

Hope he knows how to stretch a dollar.







Steph Stuff

Rather than a big red “S” on his chest, Superman wears number 30. Or so it seems.

What more can be said about the NBA’s best player after the last 24 hours? Last night, Steph Curry came back from two weeks off with a sprained MCL, to torch the Portland Trailblazers — and the NBA record book, again — in a 132-125 overtime playoff win.

He shook off the rust from the layoff by the second half, and by overtime he was simply on fire, scoring 17 points in the extra period – something no one in the history of the game had ever done in either the playoffs or regular season. After starting by missing his first 9 shots from 3-point range, he finished 16 of 32 from the floor. He was simply ridiculous.

And today, last season’s MVP winner was announced as a unanimous selection for the same honor this year — something else no one had ever done. Think about it: Mikan, Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Bird, Magic, Michael, Kobe, Lebron. Not one of them had ever been the unanimous MVP.

In a note that may have gone unnoticed by many last week, Steph came in 4th in the voting for the league’s Most Improved Player. Think about that for a moment. The reigning league MVP nearly wins the MIP. He was the only player ever to average 30 points per game when playing less than 35 minutes per game. He became 1 of 3 players in history to shoot 50% from the field, 45% from three, and 90% from the free throw line, and the other two did not have nearly as many attempts.

He got better!

Which is why he was the unanimous choice for MVP. And why he lit up Portland last night on one and a half good legs. He’s changing the game… and having fun doing it. Which is also why we should keep watching.

It’s not every day we get the chance to witness greatness like this. Actually, this season it is.


Kneed You Back Soon

Steph Curry’s sprained MCL is just about the worst thing that could’ve happened for the NBA right now. Curry and the Warriors are the main reason people are tuning in this season. People want to see if Steph and the boys can complete the the end to end journey from title to title, with 73 regular season wins sandwiched in between.


The team says Steph will out 2 weeks, minimum. When I saw Steph slip and fall, I winced, knowingly. I experienced a near exact fall 4 months ago while skiing. Same type of split. Same contortion of the right knee. Same injury. Sprained MCL. It took me a good month before I could run; two to do so without pain. Granted, I’m twice Steph’s age, so he will heal faster. Hopefully a lot faster. I’m hoping it’ll be fast enough for him to get back in time for the Warriors second championship.

Why, you might ask?

Well, he makes the game fun to watch. The childlike joy is similar to what we all experience playing ball as kids on the blacktop or in the driveway as kids.

More than that, in this era of packaged NBA stars with their sullen attitudes, deftly crafted marketing strategies, and massive egos – the size of which may only be surpassed by their entourages – Steph is an anomaly. A humble kid who doesn’t take himself too seriously, is compassionate, patient and often defers to others. He’s like one of us… except, of course, he regularly drains 35-footers.

Hurry back, Steph.