Around The World (Wide Web)

Darius Soriano —  September 26, 2011

  • ESPN reporter Andy Katz caught up with Luke Walton who has signed on as an assistant coach with the University of Memphis while the lockout endures. Plenty of good insight here, but I was encouraged by this passage as it’s good to hear that Walton is finding a way to work on his game and his health:

If Walton were still in Los Angeles, he would have no access to the Lakers’ facilities either. So here he is — 1,800 miles away — coaching, recruiting and working out daily with full access to a training staff as he rehabs from a back injury that nearly forced him to retire in 2009-10.

“I’ve got a bunch of Grizzlies players I’m working out with, my shooting coach is coming this week and I’ve got a training staff and strength coach here at my disposal,” Walton said. “I can do all of this during my time off when we’re not practicing [during individual workouts], coaching or recruiting, so I make sure to stay ready for when the lockout ends.”

Could I walk away from basketball, from the Lakers?  No.  It doesn’t matter if the lockout is miraculously resolved next week, figured out half way through the season, costs us the entire 2011-2012 campaign, or worse.  Basketball can be forcibly removed from my life for six months, a year, 2 years, a decade even, and I’ll still come back.  I’ll still be every bit the fan that I am now, no matter what….There is nothing left to do but accept that the game I love will be gone for a long, long time, and when it comes back, I will be ready for it with open arms.

  • This is something I’ll be DVR’ing. You should too.
  • An exploration of who should be on Team USA’s 2012 Olympic team. There are several “locks” and that leaves only a few open spots. Should Lamar Odom make the team? Derrick Rose? Russ Westbrook? Coach K and the selection comittee are going to have some tough choices. Personally, I’d take Odom over Love or Chandler as I think his versatility on offense and defense is a good compliment to the other big men likely to make the team. That said, he’ll be a year older by the time the London games begin and a younger player may be a better choice. What are your thoughts?
  • If there’s one thing you should read today, it’s this piece by Malcom Gladwell on the business of the New Jersey Nets and the backstory on their move to Brooklyn. It’s all tied into the lockout and paints an interesting picture about finances, the complexities surrounding the economics of basketball, and more. Seriously, go read it now.

Darius Soriano

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  1. Really great articles, both of them. Glad to hear that Luke is doing well and getting healthy. And, can very much appreciate the love of game argument (vis-a-vis protest).

    As the lockout continues, I find myself admiring Fisher more and more… it would be so tempting in that position, to go ballistic. But the guy just keeps plugging away at it and insisting on this dogged, even-keeled approach and it’ll pay off at some point.


  2. Great links, I found on NBA TV that the ‘Big Game James’ show is on at 3am PDT. I would take the versatile LO on the Olympic team, age does not seem to have affected him, IMO. With Luke, even though I think he is overpaid for what he brings and a bad contract, I have always wished the best for him, glad to see him improving over the lockout.


  3. I have to wonder what the player’s union is doing to win the PR battle. Why aren’t they doing a better job of getting the word out on the issues brought up in the Gladwell article.


  4. I remember what happened to baseball after it’s strike in the 90’s. How the NBA is avoiding that considering more strikes is beyond me.


  5. the other Stephen September 27, 2011 at 12:19 am

    as much as i liked gladwell’s article and agree with his greater message, i feel like the whole article is predicated on one slightly misleading example.

    he makes stern and the owners sound as if they’re making the nets a posterchild for heavy losses, when that’s not necessarily the case. from my understanding, it’s everyone else–smaller–market teams who don’t have the benefit of profiting from new developments and deals–who have cause for grief.

    additionally, whether running an nba franchise is closer to art collection rather than business is more of a normative question. there aren’t many owners (mark cuban is one exception) whose approach is guided as much by their interest in the game itself as by their finances. correspondingly, art collection itself, which has a substantial trading and valuation aspect, is not altogether unlike a business.

    all that said, i still think david stern is evil. 😀


  6. I’d be interested in seeing a graph of the values of the teams over the past 30 or so years. I suspect that owners didn’t worry as much about the operating losses if the value of the franchise was increasing. I imagine that those have been decreasing the past 2-3 years, at least for a lot of teams, which makes the operating losses harder to accept.


  7. A very well written piece by Glad that strips the humanity from the all mighty dollar and digs into the ugliness it takes for millionares to become richer. The facts are that both the owners and players are greedy in a society where the have nots outnumber the people that have. Maybe Stern and his coup thinks that the world will stop spinning or the sun will not shine if they cant squeeze that last bit of juice out of the lemon.

    Preaching to the congregation behind a podium does not make for the sermon to be true, but it does tell a tale of lies, betrayal, and distrust amongst owners/players. The business side of the NBA should be dealt with behind close doors and not on camera trying to convince the public that you have their best interest at heart, but in reality its just a another chance to try to turn that 15 cent into a dollar.

    My love for basketball will be intact whether the seasons goes on or not. The love was not concieved from watching on a television, but rather from those endless summer days and nights as a child/teenager with my neighborhood friends playing until we couldnt see the rim anymore. The pushing and shoving after hard fouls only to be back friends at the end of the day. Stern and friends may be able to take away games, but my memories on the court will last forever.