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NBA PM: DeAndre Jordan And The Rockets?
Posted By Bill Ingram On November 23, 2011 @ 5:00 pm In All,Main Page,NBA | No Comments
All things being equal, DeAndre Jordan should be a Los Angeles Clipper for the foreseeable future. Three seasons into his NBA career he has shown marked, steady improvement year over year, and looks like the perfect centerpiece to a young core that includes star-caliber players like Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Chris Kaman is likely to be traded, and with Kaman gone the impending youth movement can kick into high gear.
That’s the idea scenario, anyway.
But as anyone who follows the NBA knows, the Clippers rarely take the ideal route.
What if the Clippers do what they do, make Jordan something less than a strong offer as a restricted free agent, and Jordan opts to take the qualifying offer and then walk away as a free agent the following summer?
That’s exactly how the Houston Rockets would love to see things go down. After all, they would be the odds-on favorites to win Jordan’s services, especially with Jordan’s family and friends already pushing him to return to his home town and become a Rocket.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Jordan in Houston at the John Lucas Charity Game, and he said he can definitely see a scenario in which he winds up back in Houston once he has the opportunity to test the waters of free agency:
Barkley Mad At NBA Owners
NBA or no NBA, you can always count on Charles Barkley to have an opinion about just about everything. Barkley was on ESPN Chicago recently, and said he is really mad at the NBA owners for their part in the ongoing labor dispute.
“Well, I’m kind of mad at the owners right now, to be honest with you, because I think the owners are just trying to crush the guys. The players have made so many concessions, and it’s like, is that not enough? I try to explain to a normal person, okay, so the players went from 57 [percent] to 50, and that might not sound like a lot to a normal person, but you’ve got to understand — each one of those points is worth $300 million dollars; each one of those points is worth $300 million dollars. So it’s not like the players aren’t trying to make…it’s not like they’re not sacrificing anything….and I think the owners want even more, and I think they’re just trying to beat them to death right now.”
Barkley also cautioned those who would be angry with Michael Jordan, who has gone from the richest player in the NBA to the stingiest owner in the league.
“Well first of all, don’t believe everything you hear. But Michael is an owner now. He can’t sacrifice his franchise. Listen, he’s the reason that all us players are making the money that we are today. But with that being said, he’s an owner now; he’s got to do what’s best for his franchise. I think it’s silly for players to think MJ should sacrifice the whole NBA for the rights of the players. He’s not a player anymore. When he played, he spoke for the players, he made sure every player got paid an enormous amount of money, but right now he’s an owner. That being said, I’ve been very disappointed with some of the owners as far as — look, this is a partnership, and it’s not like a regular business. I don’t think the players should never go lower than 50-50. I think they should take 50-50, but the owners I think want even more. And that’s what disappoints me, because the players are clearly trying to make a deal. But I think the union wants to break the union for good and get a ten-year deal where they make all the profits.”
Admittedly, Barkley was among the first to say that there probably would not be a 2011-12 NBA season, and his original prediction is turning out to be a good one.
“Oh, I was the first one. If you go back and look, I remember I was on a TV show last year when the season was going on; they asked me about next year, and I said ‘dude, I don’t think there’s going to be a season at all next year.’ And everybody looked at me like ‘that dude’s crazy.’ What I always knew was the owners were going to get the deal they wanted or they were not going to play. That’s what I knew more than anything. They were going to get the deal they wanted or they weren’t going to play. First of all, they’ve proven me right. If the players don’t give them everything they want, even if it goes excessive, they’re not going to play because they look at it like this — they will lose less money not playing.”
At the end of the day, the changes the NBA owners are seeking in a new collective bargaining agreement may just be too extreme for them to find common ground with the players. Barkley believes those issues will, indeed, cost us an entire season.
“I don’t think there’s going to be [a season], but that’s just my personal opinion, I don’t have any inside. But I knew it was going to be ugly, I think actually it’s become really personal. I think those owners got so upset at LeBron and Chris Bosh and guys like that that they’d rather burn down the house instead of doing any remodeling. We need great players on small market teams. And they drew a line in the sand and said ‘okay, okay, the inmates are running afoul and we’re going to put and end to this right now.’ That’s what I truly believe. Like I said, even if that means burning down the house, they were going to. It was like ‘okay, I’m sick of these guys.’ And remember, it’s already started for next year with where’s Chris Paul going and where’s Dwight Howard going? So these owners are steaming. Same with Carmelo. So the owners are like ‘these guys all want to play in major markets and screw the small towns, we’re going to put an end to this.’ And this is the point we’re at right now.”
Marbury To Retire In China?
The Chinese government does not allow the use of Facebook or Twitter, so the NBA players who have sought refuge (and paychecks) in China during the NBA lockout have taken to the local alternative to express their thoughts. Weibo is China’s own social networking site, and through their accounts players like J.R. Smith and Stephon Marbury are keeping their Chinese fans up to speed.
It’s interesting to see what the expectations are from Chinese fans when it comes to their NBA imports. In the light of Wilson Chandler’s offensive exploits (he scored 43 points in his CBA debut), Chinese fans have actually given Smith some flak for his perceived lack of offensive firepower. Smith returned from an injury to score 15 points last night, and had this to say of those who expected more:
“The one thing about scoring all those points is I would have to shoot the ball almost every time. I’m sorry but that’s not my game! I like when my teammates get going cause it makes the game that much easier!”
Marbury has received a very different kind of welcome, and is already considered one of China’s most popular basketball players.
“I would Love to End My Career here in Beijing. That would be a Perfect ending,” wrote Marbury.
Marbury even spoke out to defend Smith from the negative press he received last night:
“I think JR played a great floor game. Being that he didn’t get the proper rest he needed he did well. He created for his teammates and he made them better tonight. He will be the best player in the CBA when it’s said and done. Now he has to focus on the life in China. Good night!”
That last part – focusing on life in China – may turn out to be Smith’s biggest challenge. He’s already facing accusations that he faked an injury so he could skip practice and go shopping, and rumors are rampant that the CBA may waive Smith and send him back to the US. It’s safe to say Smith is on thin ice.
As for last night’s games, Smith did play a significant role in helping his Zhejiang Bulls defeat the Dongguan Leopards 101-73. Smith only had 15 points, but he also recorded six rebounds and five assists.
Elsewhere, Yi Jianlian posted 30 points and 17 rebounds as the Guangdong Tigers beat the Jiangsu Dragons 105-90; Wilson Chandler “only” scored 28 points and added 12 rebounds in a loss; and Lester Hudson flirted with a triple-double, going for 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
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