Dwight Howard is seeking the help of Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon once again. Although he is one of the best centers in the league Dwight still feels he could use a few more pointers. Last summer Dwight Howard followed all-star center Shaquille O’Neal and Yao Ming’s route seeking help from Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon. He worked on his footwork, his jump-hook, and mid-range bankshot, three areas he felt needed improvement. Not a bad place to get pointers since the Dream is 9th in points, 11th in rebounds, 8th in steals, and 1st in blocks on the all time list. This summer Dwight is looking to improve the one area we’ve all noticed he needs help, his freethrows. He’s shooting under 60% from the freethrow line whereas Olajuwon shot 71% from the line for his career and just under 80% at the highlight of his career. Dwight hopes to raise his freethrow percentage to 75% and to continue to improve his mid-range shot. Luckily he has Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing at his disposal.
The Turkish team Besiktas recently signed Deron Williams and may be closing in on a deal to sign superstar Kobe Bryant.
Despite reports of Besiktas having financial trouble, they’ve managed to round up sponsors to pay big names. Bryant has expressed interest in playing overseas during the lockout. His two choices were either Turkey or China. Bryant already has an endorsement deal with Turkish Airlines. According to Besiktas president Seref Yalcin, contract negotiations are progressing and they have lined up four sponsors to facilitate the deal. A meeting is planned for July 30th in Washington D.C., at the site of the Manchester United vs. FC Barcelona exhibition soccer match held at FEDEX Field.
Sources say Lebron James asked for $600,000 to play in the Philippines Exhibition games, which is $200,000 more than Kobe Bryant, who was a participant. The exhibition games featured NBA superstars like Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose joining Bryant. According to sources other NBA stars like Derek Fisher, Chris Paul, Tyreke Evans, James Harden, and Derrick Williams got $100,000 each. Lebron James was reportedly the top pick of Manila businessman Manny Pangilinan but his asking price was just too high.
Posted in NBA
Tagged Lebron James
The NBA lockout hasn’t lasted nearly as long as the NFL lockout and already players are running for the hills or should I say overseas. Deron Williams has signed a $5 million deal with Besiktas. Williams will be playing in Turkey next season should the lockout continue. He will be joining Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia who also has an agreement with the team. There’s also Suns center Marcin Gortat who signed with Spartak Saint Petersburg in Russia. Williams isn’t the only internationally known player who has shown interest in playing overseas; Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Ron Artest and even Kobe Bryant have rumors of shopping around to overseas teams.
Williams is a big market name and was able to secure himself an opt-out clause should the NBA season resume. Other less known players such as the Raptors Sonny Weems and the Sixers Darius Songalia weren’t so lucky. Basically the NBA players are somewhat playing a game of russian roulette. Players who go overseas risk getting an injury that can diminish value as a player, or even worse a career ending injury (albeit rare). Insurance is available but is not so easily attainable and may cost a significant amount of money. No one knows when the lockout will be over, there’s a possibility the entire 2011-12 season will be lost. NBA players have a choice, either go and sign overseas contracts or wait it out. The problem with waiting it out is that there’s a certain amount of spots available for americans in overseas basketball. With big name players thrown into the mix the amount of money available will decrease as well.
A group of people that’s being overlooked are former NCAA basketball players and other street ballers who may have had the chance to play overseas but now those spots are being taken by NBA players. For those guys who couldn’t make it into the NBA, overseas basketball is their second chance to develop their skills, and get seen all while earning a living. As stated in my previous post about the layoffs, the NBA lockout is hurting a tremendous amount of people and something has to be done asap.
Posted in NBA
Tagged Bestikas, contracts, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, NBA lockout, NCAA, overseas, Ron Artest, Russia, Steve Nash, Turkey
In two days the NBA managed to layoff 114 employees but cited it wasn’t a direct result of the lockout. The league said it lost $300 million this season and hundreds of millions more in the past seasons of the CBA that expired on June 30th of this year. There’s controversy however over just how much the league is losing if any at all. Publications such as the New York Times claim the league is still profitable and the financial crisis is false. The NBA claims the expense reports used are inaccurate but they haven’t been forthcoming in handing over the “accurate” reports. In the meantime more jobs are being lost and more NBA offices are closing all over the world. I think people are beginning to see that this lockout affects more than just the players and owners.
I’ll start off by posting the question asked and EXACTLY what Lebron James said since his words have been twisted by everyone (on video at 2:50)
“Does it bother you that so many people are happy to see you fail?” James was asked.
He replied: “Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.
“They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
So did Lebron insult his fans? Did he insult people who work hard for a living? The answer is NO!!! Pay attention to the question asked and the answer given. Lebron was asked does it bother him that so many people are happy to see him fail, that automatically eliminates his fans from the answer. The answer was in response to people who get off on his failures, and judging from the numerous tweets I’ve read thats a whole LOT of people. He simply said at the end of the day those people have to get back to the normal lives and everyday situations as will he. The hate for Lebron is on a level I don’t think I’ve seen before. In many peoples eyes nothing he does will ever be ok. Regardless of how you feel about “the decision”, he did what was in his best interest, and though they didn’t win the championship this year, they still have a ton of time; this is after all their first year together. I fear my fellow sports fans and journalists have lost sight of the actual game. The NBA has become one big soap opera and its sickening. I beg you PLEASE forget the rumors, forget the antics, pay attention to the GAME! Thank you…
Also for your enjoyment, Lebron James shutting down Gregg Doyel from CBS for asking a dumb question.