Points in the Paint

» January 5, 2010 3:19 PM | By Brandon Hoffman
  • Ian Thomsen opines that David Stern will make an example of Gilbert Arenas: “For years, Stern has worried aloud about the players’ reliance on guns for self-protection, but there has been little he could do legally to stop them from packing licensed weapons. In this case, however, the collective bargaining agreement prohibits players from carrying firearms on team property. Arenas has acknowledged moving three unloaded guns into his locker at the Verizon Center last month because he didn’t feel safe keeping them at home after the birth of his third child. Instead of reaching out for assistance in storing the weapons, he not only moved them into the team’s facility but also then allegedly chose to reveal them in the middle of a heated argument. The players are fooling themselves if they think Stern won’t make an example of them as he did of Artest. Imagine if Stern was light in his punishment, only to watch in horror a year or two later as another incident among NBA players led to actual gunfire and injury. Then Stern would bear grave responsibility for not doing everything he could have in the case of Arenas to limit, once and for all, the use of guns by players.”
  • Tim MacMahon’s retrospective on Mark Cuban’s decade as owner of the Dallas Mavericks begins this way: “The waitress at the trendy new club approached Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash with a pair of drinks and pointed to the gentleman across the room who had paid for them. The basketball-playing buddies, who had yet to reach celebrity status, didn’t intend to drink that night. But they had less interest in engaging in a conversation with the man they recognized as a courtside season-ticket holder known for his rants, so they waved politely, sipped on their drinks and tried to avoid eye contact before departing. A few weeks later, the Dallas Mavericks were informed that the team had been sold. Oh, and the new owner had mentioned something about buying drinks recently for Nash and Nowitzki. ‘I’m thinking, ‘Ohhhh, no! That dude!’‘ Nowitzki recalled a decade later. ‘I knew right away who it was: the guy from the front row who is always killing Steve when he was subbing in and always had words for the bench. He was like a really involved fan, so I thought, ‘This is going to be an experience.’‘”

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    Team chemistry is somehow still undervalued at all level– especially the NBA. Yeh, I know about free-agency and salary caps and luxury tax.. all that crap. But what ever happened to allowing guys to stay together that play well together–if at all possible as the rule.

    Orlando made a deep run last year and didn’t have the benefit of all its parts (Jameer Nelson) the entire season. You would think another year of paying together would only strengthen their cause for a championship run. Okay maybe there might have been friction over limited (yet deserved) minutes from Rafer Alston–if Van Gundy chose to place Nelson ahead of him in the rotation. Make that trade unless “Skip” understands that his role may not be all he desires, but can be fixed (surely) by a ring ceremony in the end, But I did not understand the Hedu thing or even the Lee thing (he shouldn’t have missed the lay-up?). Those two were chemistry guys and hell…. Hedu was their second best player all last season.

    When are GM”s and coaches going to learn: Never replace with haste… It may be your chemistry you waste! Yet, they still seem to be more awestruck by celebrity free-agents????

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