Time to ponder: Tough times ahead for Mike D’Antoni?
No longer the best team in Los Angeles and no longer genuine Championship contenders.
Last season was far from satisfactory for the Lakers. Losing to their main rivals in February as the Clippers clinched their first ever Division title before being carried into the play-offs by Kobe Bryant only to lose their superstar to injury prior to a 4-0 first round defeat at the hands of San Antonio.
Dwight Howard was pleaded to stay but opted to join the Houston Rockets in search for a first ring before the Lakers decided to activate Metta World Peace’s amensty clause and release a key member of their 2010 winning roster. So who do they bring in?
Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Wes Johnson and the returning Jordan Farmar are the four players recruited by G.M Mitch Kupchak so far. Not exactly the caliber of players expected at a 17-time Championship winning franchise which speaks volume of the state of the Lakers especially given the fact that one of those joined the Purple & Gold of LA because of ‘no other options’.
Great Britain have gained promotion to Division A after reaching the final of the Under 20’s European Championships in Romania.
They secured their place in the top league with a hard-fought 70-61 victory over Hungary in the semi-finals and will take on either Poland or Belgium in tomorrow’s final.
Devon van Oostrum led GB’s triumphant win with a game high 22 points which takes his personal tally for the tournament to 185- the top scorer at the Championships – averaging 26.4 ppg.
Led by a new coaching set up of Douglas Leichner, James Vear and Marc Steutel heading into the tournament, GB could not have wished for a better campaign having won all seven games en route to the final. This is the 7th time, the nation have been represented at the European Under-20 Championships having first participated in 2006.
World Peace hits the Knicks
Metta World Peace confirmed yesterday that he has agreed a deal to join the New York Knicks.
Speaking on TV, World Peace said: “The team is amazing, the players, I’m excited to play and hussle.”
The 33 year-old forward spent four seasons in L.A but found himself released by the Lakers last week after they decided to activate his amnesty clause.
World Peace will be the second major addition to Mike Woodson‘s side after the Knicks picked up Andrea Bargnani in a trade with Toronto which sent Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Queintin Richardson and a selection of future draft picks the other way.
KG, The Truth and the Jet traded to Brooklyn
BROOKLYN BOLSTER ARSENAL WITH AK47 AND BOSTON TRIO
Brooklyn have confirmed the incredible trade with Boston that sees the Nets sign Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce AND Jason Terry as the Celtics exodus continues.
As well as the explosive trio, the Nets also picked up the deadly Russian Andrei Kirilenko from Minnesota as Jason Kidd‘s tenure in charge of the Nets starts boldly.
Part of the trade saw Brooklyn give up Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans and first round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018 and potentially in 2017. The blockbuster trade has raised Brooklyn‘s chances of a strong season and it has excited their team owner.
“With the arrival of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, we have achieved a great balance on our roster between veteran stars and young talents. This team will be dazzling to watch, and tough to compete against.”
Mikhail Prokhorov admitted that the basketball gods have smiled on the Nets. Continue reading
Rocketman: Dwight chooses Houston
Dwight Howard’s uncertain future finally became clear when he decided to sign with the Houston Rockets on a 4-year deal.
The 27 year-old leaves the Los Angeles Lakers after just one season and will now hope to revive his Championship dream in Texas. Howard was officially announced as a Rocket and said:
“I’m not going to say we’re going to win 5 Championships but if we really dedicate ourselves and sacrifice everything we’ve got then we give ourselves a chance at the end of the season.” Continue reading