NBA News & Notes:
By Guest Blogger Brian Murphy:
Larry Brown Out in Charlotte: The Bobcats are out to a disappointed 9-19 start this season and coach Larry Brown has stepped down. Owner Michael Jordan (ever heard of him?) said in a release that it was a mutual decision between the organization and Brown. The 70-year-old Brown was in his third season with the Bobcats and led them to a franchise-first playoff appearance last season.
Carmelo Anthony in Other News Rather Than Trade Talks: Nuggets’ All-Star Carmelo Anthony will miss Wednesday’s game in San Antonio due to a death in the family. Despite his 24 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game he is averaging, it has been a busy year off the court for ‘Melo. Since he signed a 3-year $65 million extension in the summer, there has been much talk about him going to New York. The Knicks were at the front of these talks until recently when the Nets started to make moves. Anthony would be the key for the Knicks to get back to elite Eastern Conference contenders that they once were. Watching the hyped Heat-Knicks game, it was evident that the Knicks have a solid foundation (since Stoudamire has joined) but are about one superstar (Anthony) away from going toe-to-toe with teams like the Heat and Celtics. As for the Nets, they are still struggling this year, but not nearly as bad as last year. If Anthony goes there, I would expect a lot more player movement and the Nets signing another All-Star so that they can compete on a regular basis.
Heat vs. Lakers Christmas Day Showdown: With possibly the most anticipated NBA game of the year thus far, Lakers’ coach Phil Jackson expressed some discontent with the Christmas Day games. He stated that it’s not a reasonable thing for those a part of the organization and players to have to play on such a holy day where they should be celebrating with their families. He said it’s tough to get mentally focused without having any sort of walk-through the day before, and knowing his little kids are putting batteries in toys while he has to entertain in front of thousands. I’m on Jackson’s side with this one. Although it makes for some great television, you got to figure the players and coaches would rather be with their families which is more important. I’m not complaining, however, because I will probably be watching what should be a great (and potentially Championship Series) match-up. I wonder what Kobe thinks of these games because this is his 13th Christmas Day game in his 15-year career.