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Archive for the tag “Los Angeles Clippers”

The Clippers And Grizzlies Traded Bad For Inconsistent

The trade deadline has not been kind to fans of the Memphis Grizzlies. They saw their best shooter get traded to the Charlotte Hornets and all they got in return was forward PJ Hairston (who has been inconsistent at best), veteran center Chris “Birdman” Andersen (he has been missing in action all season) and four second-round picks that probably will not amount to much. But just when you thought it could not get any worse for the Grizzlies, they made another trade that makes you scratch your head. The Grizzlies traded forward Jeff Green to the Los Angeles Clippers for the services of guard Lance Stephenson and a 2019 protected pick. And with that, the Grizzlies now have lost yet another offensive weapon while taking on another player that is still trying to find himself. All while the Clippers will get to see what they can do with Jeff Green more than likely being their starting small forward eventually. But in reality, what both really did is swap inconsistent (Green) for bad (Stephenson). And in the end, both could end up not being a factor for their respective teams.

In Memphis, the main ballhandler has always been Mike Conley Jr., The dynamic point guard has been the best perimeter player for the Grizzlies for a while now. What the Grizzlies have always lacked is that scoring ability and consistency from the small forward position. They honestly have not had great production from that position since they had the services of Rudy Gay. In Green, they had someone that was at least giving them a pulse at that position. But with him gone, the pulse again goes to a flatline as they try to audition people for that position. And in Courtney Lee’s spot, they will now audition Lance Stephenson potentially. In Stephenson, the Grizzlies get a guy that can play tough defense. But for the Grizzlies, they already have a tough defender in Tony Allen. Offensively, Lance will make them even worse. He has not learned how to play without the basketball yet and the only way he can help this team on the offensive end is if he gets the ball in his hands. If Coach Dave Joerger can allow Stephenson to control the ball some, then maybe they will get some more out of him offensively. If not, then you are looking at another guy on the Grizzlies that cannot knock down an open shot and looks lost off the ball on the offensive end. That will make the Grizzlies even uglier offensively, especially without big man Marc Gasol for a while.

The Clippers are essentially being hailed as the winners in this trade. With what they were getting at the small forward position with Paul Pierce, Stephenson and whoever they threw out there, is nothing compared to what they could potentially get from Green. The veteran forward is averaging 12.5 points per game this season. He can hit the open jump shot, take the ball to the basket and he can play solid defense. And to add to that, he has played for Doc Rivers before (played for Doc in Boston) and he can play the power forward position and you have a player that could help this team. You would think that this would be a move to solidify what they have going on this year. But if you have taken a look at the career of Jeff Green, it can be summed up in one word: inconsistency. Green can come out and have a great game where he scores 20 points and then come out the next week and score two points. And it is that kind of inconsistency that has driven the fans of teams he has played for crazy. With the Clippers, he will be counted on to shoulder some of the offensive load, especially with Blake out for an undisclosed amount of time. It will be interesting to see if he can find some kind of consistency with the Clippers, but he more than likely will not. And that kind of inconsistent play will make Clippers fans loathe him. But fortunate for him, he can hide a little come playoff time because of Blake Griffin being back.

Both Stephenson and Green have not exactly got the best feelings out of fans of the teams they have played for. Stephenson was banished from Charlotte after his play was awful and he has not been the same since he left the Indiana Pacers in free agency. And he more than likely will have Grizzlies’ fans throwing things at their television sets. As for Green, he has been a tease for his entire career. And he will definitely be one for the Clippers. It is only a matter of “when” and not “if”. The trade has being spoken of as a win for the Clippers, but they just traded bad for inconsistent. And there is no telling how that will turn out.

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Blake Griffin Makes A Huge Mistake

(photo courtesy of Gary A Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

(photo courtesy of Gary A Vasquez/USA Today Sports)

The Los Angeles Clippers have been playing well without forward Blake Griffin, going 12-3. The talented forward had been missing in action due to a partially torn quadriceps tendon. It was expected that he would be coming back on this current five-game roadtrip that he would be back with his team. But that all took a strange turn following the events of a dinner Saturday night in Toronto. Griffin reportedly got into an argument with Blake’s friend and the team equipment manager Matias Testi. The conversation got heated apparently and Griffin got into a physical altercation with Testi inside the restaurant. The issue ended up going outside the restaurant and Griffin exchanged some more blows with the equipment manager. The result of the fight was both Testi and Griffin sent home. On Tuesday, Griffin had an X-rays taken that revealed a fracture to his right hand. The initial diagnosis is that Griffin will miss four to six weeks. And with that, the Clippers will continue playing without him. But how does this affect Blake and the team?

If Blake is to miss the whole six weeks, he would be back around March 6th. Of course that would give him almost six weeks to get ready for the playoffs. Last season, he was their best player in the playoffs and was a playmaker. But if he misses the full length of recovery, he will have missed almost 12 weeks of playing time. That time will be used to try and implement him back to the offense. And at that point, it will disrupt the rhythm this team has been playing with. To create that rhythm again, it will take time. And with Blake missing as much time as he has, that could cause him to not be the same guy once he comes back. For a team that had personal aspirations of going deep in the playoffs, they would have plenty of work to do to keep the ship afloat. All because of Blake’s one moment of lost self-control, the Clippers just had their outside chances of winning the Western Conference dashed. The Clippers needed to be healthy and as connected as possible if they wanted to win the Western Conference. With Blake missing more time, it will be interesting to see if they are able to capture the magic that had them on the brink of the Western Conference Finals.

The action he will miss from the team is just the tip of the iceberg. There has not been any specifics in regards to the injuries of Testi, but he has more than likely been looked at by medical professionals. But with all that happened, Griffin opened himself up to be sued by Testi. If Testi sues, then he would more than likely win the case. After all, he was the one that took the blows and wasn’t giving out any per the reports. This undoubtedly will be the test of Testi and Griffin’s friendship as well. But along with a test of a relationship, this will also be a test for the NBA. Griffin has now put himself at the front of an investigation that the NBA is cooperating with. Per Toronto Police Department, they have no information from anyone reporting the incident. But the procedure and investigation of the NBA in this one will be interesting to watch. Apparently, no charges have to be filed for the NBA to suspend Griffin. The NBA has their investigation team look into any instance where a player or team makes the league look bad on or off the basketball court. And in this one (where there were surely onlookers), the NBA Investigative team already made it known that they will be collecting data. Depending on the things they find out, Blake could be losing money and losing games with his team along with being out with a hand injury.

There can always be heated conversations, whether people be with family or friends. But this one should not have ever gotten to this level. Blake lost control of his emotions and hit Testi. And based on those facts, there could be more than missed games in his future. We shall see what happens. It’s ironic that the guy that takes the path of least resistance in regards to confrontations to fight on the court is now potentially in trouble for losing his cool off it and punching the equipment manager. And to top it all off, he breaks his hand hitting the guy. For some people, this further adds to the reasons the Clippers are not to be taken serious.

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The Dallas Mavericks Are Acting Like Scorned Lovers

(photo courtesy of Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

(photo courtesy of Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)

The prevailing story Wednesday night in the NBA was the Dallas Mavericks welcoming in the Los Angeles Clippers. In case you have been hiding under a rock, these two teams were involved in one of the most drama-filled free agent chases of the offseason involving Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. In free agency this summer, Jordan committed to signing with the Dallas Mavericks, agreeing to a four-year deal with the Mavs. Once the Clippers got wind of this, Doc Rivers called up the crew and they all made their way to Dallas to change Jordan’s mind. And not only did the Clippers get DeAndre to change his mind, they barricaded themselves in his house all the way to the time came for him to sign the new deal with Los Angeles. Dallas, in the meantime, was left in the cold on this one. Jordan did not even return texts or calls nor did he even call Cuban to let him know he changed his mind. The result was a lot of hurt feelings within the Mavs organization and their fans. The Mavs were still able to land guard Wes Matthews and acquire center Zaza Pachulia via trade, but the Mavericks were still bitter over the big pickup that wasn’t. All that frustration and bitterness was built up for the first time Jordan came to Dallas. And of course the Mavericks came out fired up and won the game. The reaction of the Mavericks was one of tremendous joy. But leading up to and after the game, the bitterness of the Mavericks was still on display.

Before the Mavericks played the Clippers, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was still talking about DeAndre Jordan. Apparently, he still has the text messages that were shared between he and Jordan. And when he was talking, he said that he actually may share the text messages one day. This was just one in the long line of things that was said by Cuban since Jordan changed his mind. Of course Jordan handled the situation badly in terms of not returning a phone call to tell Cuban, but Cuban is making himself look worse and worse in this one. At the beginning of the situation, Cuban looked like a sympathetic figure to some in this scenario. The owner who tried so hard for his team had been fooled by a talented big man that changed his mind and spurned his team. The reaction of anger was expected from him at that time. But as the season has gone on, it seems like we continue to see things come up in regards to Cuban speaking on Jordan. And the thing is, it is unprovoked from the media. Eventually, Cuban should move on from this one. It seems like he is enjoying playing the role of jilted lover to DeAndre, but eventually this act of his will get played out. It’s time to move on.

But Cuban isn’t the only one that needs to move on. Forward Chandler Parsons was the pitchman for Jordan when he was trying to get him to Dallas. And when the Mavericks got Jordan to commit to them, it seemed like Parsons had done the job. But when he backed out of his commitment and went back to the Clippers, Parson had this to say: “I’m shocked, very disappointed, frustrated, disrespected. This is something that I’ve never seen in my career, and I know that it doesn’t happen very often. When a man gives you his word and an organization his word, especially when that organization put in so much effort and I walked him through this process and was very, very open and willing to work with him, it’s just very unethical and disrespectful.” Parsons was understandably mad about the turn of events and even went as far to say that DeAndre was “not ready to be a franchise player”. Of course no one ever thought he would be a franchise player in Dallas anyway, but the anger was there in regards to what happened. Well, it seems that Parsons is still simmering over the decision and he recently said that DeAndre Jordan was not a priority for the Mavericks or the Clippers. The funny thing about this one is that Parsons seems to be more focused on Jordan than the fact that his team actually won a game. At some point, he has to get over the fact that Jordan changed his mind and maybe focus on what he can do to get healthy and help his team.

Both Cuban and Parsons are hurt still over Jordan. It is obvious. And even though this event happened in July, it still seems like it is fresh on their minds like it happened yesterday. At some point, they have to get over it and move forward. If they cannot get over it for themselves, do it for the rest of us this is getting old at this point. It’s time to move forward for Cuban, Parsons and the rest of the Mavericks.

Well, since the Parson, Cuban and the Mavs cannot move on, maybe they need some scorned lover music to go along with all the talk they have for Jordan. So here’s the Dallas Mavericks “I’m Scorned” mix. Hope you all enjoy and Dallas, maybe this mix will help ease the pain.

Hope you all enjoyed the Dallas Mavericks “I’m Scorned remix. For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

Who Wants JaVale McGee?

One of the league's most athletic centers, JaVale McGee remains jobless. (photo courtesy of www.bleacherreport.com)

One of the league’s most athletic centers, JaVale McGee remains jobless. (photo courtesy of http://www.bleacherreport.com)

JaVale McGee has been an interesting character in the NBA. He has made us all laugh on Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaqtin-A-Fool and he has also made some great plays with his athleticism. Last year he did not get to show that athleticism off, as he was injured for a good portion of the time he was with the Nuggets last season. And when he made it on the court, he was not as effective as he hoped to be. McGee played only eleven minutes a game while averaging five points and three rebounds in 17 games played. He was traded at the trade deadline to the Philadelphia 76ers, but that trade was only a means to dump his contract, which was set to expire after the 2015-2016 season. The 76ers eventually bought McGee out after only six games played with them and there was some interest in him from the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately for McGee, the two sides could not come to an agreement on a deal and it seems as if McGee has been a big man that many have stayed away from. But when DeAndre Jordan was making his decision between the Mavericks and the Clippers, McGee’s name was brought up. First it was with the Clippers as a potential replacement for Jordan and now the Mavericks are speaking with him in regards to a new contract. But what is keeping McGee out of the NBA right now?

Besides the brain cramps he tends to have on the floor, McGee has had some problems staying healthy. In the last two seasons, he has only played in a total of 28 games due to various leg injuries. With him seeking a multi-year deal, there has to be some concern about him being able to hold up. Most teams are only interested in his services on potentially a one-year deal and the injuries are part of the reason that they are only interested in that. But due to the reported persistence on a multi-year deal with whomever he signs with, McGee is still unemployed. One of the main reasons McGee is reportedly looking for more than a one-year deal is because he wants to develop his game more. He wants to be a part of a team that will allow him to grow his game outside of just being a shot-blocker, finisher and rebounder. McGee feels that if he is able to showcase what he can be, he can be even better for whatever team that chooses him. But unfortunately, self-belief will only get you but so far. The reality is that McGee is a rebounder, shot-blocker and finisher at the rim. After so long in the NBA, it would be foolish for him to think he is going to develop a consistent offensive game that he has been missing his entire career. So even though he may feel he can be that consistent offensive force, he has to realize who he is and what he can do for a team that signs him.

Because of the injury-riddled last couple of seasons, McGee would do best to only sign a one-year deal with his next team. Instead of wanting two years to develop, he would be wise to play one season and play well. In a sense, he needs to bet on himself. If he comes through and has a good season, then he will be wanted by many a team that is out there. And with the salary cap going to a whole new level next season, McGee could be looking at a payday of around $15 million at least. At his best, he could potentially have the type of effect as DeAndre Jordan. Now of course there will still be the moments where he falls asleep at the wheel, but when he was focused in Denver while playing under coach George Karl, he looked the best he looked in his career. But let’s also take a look at the worse-case scenario. If McGee takes a one-year deal and does not produce, then he could be looking at his last chance to make some things happen in the NBA. Although he is big, athletic and mobile, he can also be a guy that can make you scratch your head. And if that aloof player shows up more than the focused McGee, then the team he signs with is going to have a guy that will continually show up on Shaqtin-A-Fool. The choice of McGee is a crucial one in his career. He is getting closer and closer to 30 with each passing day and this decision could make or break his career.

McGee is a solid, athletic big man when he is focused on the court. But too many times he has had moments that make you wonder whether he seriously wants to play in the NBA. JaVale can help some team, but it is all up to him whether he wants to roll the dice or hold out for a multi-year deal. That will be the big decision going forward for him. McGee could definitely help someone but he could also hurt them salary-cap wise too. The teams that are thinking about him have to ask themselves one question: do they think they can get the best out of him?

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The Owners Are Just As Disloyal As Players Can Be In The NBA

Mark Cuban is playing the victim, but he is not so innocent here. (photo courtesy of www.awfulannouncing.com)

Mark Cuban is playing the victim, but he is not so innocent here. (photo courtesy of http://www.awfulannouncing.com)

The biggest word in sports these days seems to be loyalty. After DeAndre Jordan backed out of a verbal commitment with the Dallas Mavericks and went back to the Los Angeles Clippers, many Mavericks fans and basketball fans were not happy with the talented big man out of Houston. In fact, there were some that were calling him soft and others that were saying it was bad business. The part about being bad business may be true, but the thoughts of him being soft are way off. But along with the thoughts of bad business, many are saying that a man’s word is his bond and things like that as well. Essentially, fans are dogging the player for his treatment of the owner. But in this instance, he actually went back to the place where he came from, showing loyalty to that organization. The Mavericks, on the other hand, were left jumping out of a plane without a parachute. And even though the Mavs have acquired Zaza Pachulia recently from the Milwaukee Bucks, he is not be in the same class as Jordan. The hope that he brought to Dallas is now gone away and headed back to Clipperland where he can still be a part of Lob City. But enough of the crying for the owners in this scenario. There were some that were feeling bad for Mark Cuban because of the way Jordan handled the situation, but the owners are no better than the players when it comes to loyalty.

The owners in the NBA have always complained about the money they make and the money the players make. In fact, some small market owners were complaining about the money they were losing in the last CBA negotiations. Some went as far as to say they needed to make the playing field the same with bringing on stiffer punishments for teams that go over the cap and had the resources to do so. But when the players asked for the owners to show their books to prove these loses, the owners never opened up the books to show the players. Instead, they asked the players to believe them and what they were telling them. Of course the players were not very happy with that reaction from the owners and they felt disrespected by them. The owners were trying to prey on the player’s emotions when they were in fact trying to line their pockets with more money while trying to fool the players into signing shorter max contracts and giving out less guaranteed money. The players are the ones that line their pockets and should benefit more than they do, but the owners will not even think of that let alone agree to that. Eventually the CBA worked out, but the owners were not loyal to the players in this instance at all. They were only loyal to one person in this one: themselves. And because they were loyal to the money, they made it happen and won over the players again.

The CBA is not the only bit of disloyal things the owners show the players. Everyone talks about how players don’t always communicate when they are leaving to an organization. In business, you should tell your former team that you are going if you have some longevity there. But Jordan, in this instance, did not tell the team he was going to that he was staying with the team he told the Mavericks he was leaving for. And even though Jordan was wrong, the owners have some wrong moments when it comes to player transactions. A team can trade a player during the season all the way up to the last day of the NBA Trade Deadline. And even though an owner has committed to paying a player and may have had them for a while, the owners and general managers rarely give the player being traded the notice that it is going to happen. On the other side of the coin, the players on the opposite side of the equation are at a disadvantage because they have no idea the trade is about to happen. There was no sense of keeping loyalty in business when the team trades players they don’t feel fit them anymore. A player has to essentially uproot his family on the go due to owners more times than not in these instances and owners could care less. But yet fans are mad at how some players are not loyal.

Jordan may have been wrong with how he handled the situation, but owners are and will continue to be selfish in how they handle situations as well. It can be said that some will never be a fan of Jordan’s and how he handles it, but the owners are just as disloyal as the players. So there should be no sympathy for them at all. There is no loyalty in sports. It is all about business no matter what fans may want to think. The most loyalty anyone should have in professional sports should be to yourself. Because in the end, the owners are going to look out for the owners and so should the players. The owners aren’t going to tell you when you get traded and they have also shown they will shortchange the players if they can. So why are we complaining about a player being loyal to an owner and his word again? A man should be loyal to his word, but the owners have never been loyal to their word as a whole. If you don’t like Jordan for what he did, then you really must not like the owners for what they do because they are disloyal every step of the way. Just take a look at the landscape and what happens every day in the NBA. It’s quite simple to see.

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The Clippers And Mavericks Drama Over DeAndre Jordan Had A Professional Wrestling Flair To It

DeAndre Jordan was the centerpiece of one of the best NBA offseason dramas this summer. (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

DeAndre Jordan was the centerpiece of one of the best NBA offseason dramas this summer. (photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Almost a week ago, we all thought that Lob City was over. DeAndre Jordan had then decided that he was going to sign with the Dallas Mavericks after spurning the much richer five-year, $109 million offer from the Los Angeles Clippers. DeAndre would get the opportunity to be a more featured player offensively and would also be the glue to that team along with newly-courted Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews. But as time went on, it was apparent that DeAndre was not sure how the signing would work out. He reportedly talked to Clippers head coach Doc Rivers and his best friend on the Clippers, Blake Griffin, about his indecision in joining the Mavericks. At that point, it seemed like he was wavering on the verbal agreement he had with the Mavericks. And after the craziness today, the Clippers swooped in and took back their center. Rivers, Griffin, along with Chris Paul, JJ Reddick, owner Steve Balmer and new Clipper Paul Pierce all converged on Houston and DeAndre Jordan’s house bent on getting him to stay with the Clippers. And to their relief, he decided to stay and has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $88 million contract with the fourth year being a player option. The whirlwind is now over, as Jordan never left the Clippers. But the drama in this situation is enough to make you craving for more. And if you really think about this one, it reminds you of one of the most memorable moments in WCW wrestling.

In the WCW, there was always some good names that were active wrestling. Who can forget the Harlem Heat and Lex Lugar. But it seemed like business picked up when Hulk Hogan jumped into WCW wrestling. The iconic WWE wrestler let his contract expire from WWE and then joined the WCW in 1994. Hogan was exciting and brought in more people to view the show. But in 1996, the love affair with him stopped. In a six-man tag team match that had The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash) pitted against some WCW loyalists, Hogan interfered and then combined with Hall and Nash to form the New World Order. This flip to a bad guy proved to be the first time Hogan has done that in his fifteen-year career. They would go on to terrorize and take over WCW, as they were the most dominant thing in professional wrestling. Hulk Hogan then became Hollywood Hogan and Hall and Nash were his right hand men. The NWO would get bigger and bigger. But there was one person the NWO wanted more than anyone to join their team: Sting. The veteran wrestler has been very entertaining in his career and had a following of folks that loved wrestling. He was viewed as the person that would take the crew over the top. But as things went on, there was some unrest in the NWO. The constant interference and distraction between the group members caused some issues between Randy Savage, Kevin Nash and Hogan. Savage and Hogan began to get into it with each other and Nash sided with Savage. Eventually Hogan turned on both men and those two, along with other NOW members, formed their faction of the NOW called the NWO Wolfpac. When both factions split, there began a battle over who would be the first to land one of the most popular wrestlers in WCW, Sting. Many had loved Sting because of him dropping in from the rafters and his appearance, which looked like Brandon Lee’s The Crow character. Hogan and Nash both went after Sting and recruited his services. And eventually, Sting finally made a decision which side he would join and sided with the Wolfpac. Now we all know that wrestling is scripted to this day (well most of us do), but the way the drama played out between the Clippers and the Mavericks, you would have thought they borrowed the writers from the old WCW for the battle they had over the services of DeAndre Jordan.

In this battle, it seemed like DeAndre was ready to join the Mavericks. The Mavericks represented Hulk Hogan’s faction of the NWO. Of course Mark Cuban was the essentially Hulk Hogan in this instance. When Cuban first took over the Mavericks, he tried any and everything to make them a winner and he would spare any expense to do so. Fans loved him for doing that and many fans began to wish he was there owner. He began to have a popularity like a player with some of the things he was trying to do with the Mavericks. But along with that, he liked to make his NBA ownership of his team more about him than his team. He was always on the television making comments and he was always out there in front of the camera. But as time went on, he toned it down and began to be more of just an owner. He still has his seats near the bench of his team, but he isn’t as bad as he once was. Eventually he was able to bring what he wanted all along for his team, a championship. But that was not before he alienated some fans with his thoughts on the Chris Paul trade to the Los Angeles Lakers that was blocked by the NBA. Reportedly, he was one of the owners that disagreed with the trade and convinced the commissioner that it was not best for the league. At that point, he began to turn face and some fans (including Lakers fans) have never forgotten it. Even though he has done some good things for the Mavericks, he still has not been able to shake that reputation. Hogan was once a beloved figure among fans, but when he created the NWO, it made some of his fans leave him because he had never been a heel, or bad guy before. And even though he had all that success, it was blinded by one decision. But of course, the decisions both made ended up biting them in the end. Both thought they had secured a commitment from a difference-maker and both ended up getting fooled in the end. Hogan thought he had Sting as a member of the NWO and he quickly fooled Hogan and joined the NWO Wolfpac. As for Cuban, he had a verbal commitment from DeAndre Jordan and that ended up being thwarted in the end by the Clippers and their desire to change DeAndre Jordan’s mind.

The Clippers are an upstart organization. Over their many years of being an NBA franchise, they are not used to having any success. With the Clippers benefitting from the failed trade of Chris Paul to the Lakers, the team has had consistent success in making it to the playoffs consistently. But that is not enough for them. They want more. Head coach, general manager and president Doc Rivers wants to bring the city a championship. In order to do that, the Clippers felt they needed the services of DeAndre Jordan. He had been one of the most important members of the team over the years and the Clippers wanted to continue that relationship. But DeAndre made a commitment elsewhere. Rivers, doing his best Kevin Nash impression, made his play for Jordan again once he had verbally committed to the Mavs once he received a call from Jordan voicing his indecision with joining the Mavericks. And as soon as he sensed that, then he knew he had him. Nash, like Rivers, was looking for some success in an organization in the NWO Wolfpac. The original NWO had all the accolades and the strength and power. But Hall felt he had something else to offer to rival what they had. And in the end, he was able to convince Sting of that. Rivers and the rest of the Clippers crew that paid a visit to him on Wednesday night in Houston, Texas convinced Jordan even more that he needed to stay with the Clippers and not leave for the Mavericks. Dallas had had more success than the Clippers as a franchise, but the Clippers are a franchise that Rivers believes can make some things happen provided they have the right pieces there. Jordan chose to stay with them seeing the vision that Doc had for the team and seeing that his teammates wanted him there as well, especially Chris Paul. And the Wolfpac, I mean the Clippers, were made stronger by Jordan staying with them instead of bolting for the original NWO aka the Mavericks.

The drama had all you needed for a scripted event. But the end result is Cuban is looking for a new center while the Clippers keep their core intact. Of course the story of the Mavericks and the Clippers is not exactly like the Sting story, but the drama this verbal commitment and flip caused was definitely worth the watch as the Sting story was back in the 1990’s. Well, the Wolfpac is together and they won the power struggle. And it will be interesting to see if they can capitalize on the big signing and ride that energy to the next level for that organization. Sting aka DeAndre Jordan has made his decision (again). And now he is ready to rock as the starting center of the Los Angeles Clippers.

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The Impact Of DeAndre Jordan On The Dallas Mavericks And The Los Angeles Clippers

DeAndre Jordan is headed back to his home state after leaving the Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks. ( Photo courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

DeAndre Jordan is headed back to his home state after leaving the Clippers for the Dallas Mavericks. ( Photo courtesy of Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

The battle for the services of center DeAndre Jordan came down to the Los Angeles Clippers and the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers thought they had the better chance of the two teams. After all, he had been a member of their team since he first entered the league and the chemistry he had with the rest of his teammates on the floor was good. But with Dallas, there was an option for Jordan to be able to get a chance to be a key cog offensively while replacing Tyson Chandler. Presented with a five-year deal worth over $109 million from the Clippers, Jordan decided to take the route that many did not expect. The athletic center decided to take the four year offer from the Dallas Mavericks worth $80 million. Since he made the unpopular decision to most, there have been rumors of his supposed beef he had with Clippers point guard Chris Paul and that being the main reason he left. Whether that is true or false we may never know, but what we do know if Dallas has landed an upgraded version of Tyson Chandler while the Clippers have now been left with a huge void in the middle.

Dallas had lost the services of Tyson Chandler this offseason and it was rumored that if they lost out on Jordan, that they would send guard Monta Ellis to the Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal that would land them the services of Pacers center Roy Hibbert. No offense to Hibbert, but there was no way that he stacked up to the play of DeAndre Jordan. Hibbert would have also slowed down the Mavericks offense, which tends to be a little bit more uptempo. With Jordan now in the fold, the Mavericks get an incredibly athletic center that can block shots, patrol the paint and also finish on the fast break better than most big men in the NBA. But even with all his physical tools, Jordan will be fighting a stigma that has been with him since Chris Paul has been tossing him lobs in Los Angeles. DeAndre is viewed as an extremely limited offensive player. Despite his physical gifts, he has not shown to be a solid offensive player in his career. And the feeling is he will not develop those skills. He wants to be more of a focus offensively, but he may want to realize that his game is not to be the offensive focus of a winning team. His game is to play defense, grab rebounds on the offensive and defensive ends and finish on the fast break. With him as an offensive focus, that not only exposes his bad offensive skills but his bad free throw shooting. Jordan has been known to build a few homes from the free throw line during his time in the NBA. The Mavericks better hope he gets it together somewhat at the free throw line, because if he does not, then he could be sitting on the bench in crucial times because of how bad he shoots form the line. He is a very good defender and can make it happen for the Mavericks defensively, but he is someone that could definitely cost the team if they use him as the focus.

Losing Jordan to the Mavericks is not only damaging but discouraging for the Clippers. They offered him the most money and more years, but he still decided to leave. He apparently wanted to be more of a focus of the offense, but that was something that could not have been promised with the presence of Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and now Paul Pierce. And now without him, the Clippers have a huge hole in the middle and there are not many plans on how they will replace him. One thing the loss will do for the Clippers is make them a defensive team that will depend on their perimeter defense more. With newly acquired Lance Stephenson, he becomes even more important now because he is the second-best defender on the team now. There is now no one to cover up their mistakes on the back end in Jordan anymore, so they will have to be even more disciplined. But there is another option that’s out there for the Clippers and this player is as athletic as Jordan. The Clippers should take a chance and go sign center JaVale McGee. Sure, he has had issues in the past of losing concentration and making some head-scratching plays. But he is also a seven footer that can cover ground and can make up for mistakes defensively. The Clippers could get away with paying him not very much and get some good production out of him. Of course he is not as defensively intelligent and cannot finish as well as Jordan at the rim, but he would give the Clippers that athletic center they need to make their team work. And most importantly, he would give them the size they need to compete in the Western Conference. The Clippers defense will take a dip in production, but they will still be able to defend and make some things happen should they choose wisely how to replace Jordan.

Lob City died tonight with the loss of DeAndre Jordan. In a way, you could say he was the posterchild of Lob City with the way he finished at the rim when passes were thrown anywhere near the rim. But now he has moved on and will get to prove he is more than just a dunker, shot-blocker and finisher at the rim. He will now get the opportunity to show he actually has some game outside of the dunks. As for the Clippers, they have to move forward and make some moves to maintain some status in the Western Conference. They will undoubtedly lose some of the continuity and potential impact they would have had this season. But with Chris Paul and some of the crew still there, the Clippers still have a chance to make some things happen out West.

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Examining The Fit Of DeAndre Jordan With The Knicks, Mavericks And Clippers

DeAndre Jordan will be a very rich man after he signs his new deal in free agency. But where does he land? (photo courtesy of  Andrew Fielding of USA TODAY Sports)

DeAndre Jordan will be a very rich man after he signs his new deal in free agency. But where does he land? (photo courtesy of Andrew Fielding of USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Clippers had a disappointing finish. They were up 3 games to 1 on the Houston Rockets and some thought they were getting ready to make their first conference finals appearance in team history. But all that seemed to crumble right in front of their eyes when the Clippers fell three straight games to the Houston Rockets, including an embarrassing performance in Game 7. At the end of that series, there began to be questions in regards to how they would move forward. Would they blow up the team or would they try to make adjustments. Without having much salary cap to work with, head coach and president of the Clippers Doc Rivers has to make some minor miracles happen to better this roster. So far, he has shipped out power forward Spencer Hawes and starting small forward Matt Barnes for the services of Lance Stephenson. And that apparently is not the only move the Clippers are trying to make. Rivers is reportedly trying to bring Paul Pierce back home to the Los Angeles area to reunite with his former player. But all of these moves mean nothing if they cannot bring back center DeAndre Jordan. The freakishly athletic center is hitting the open market tomorrow with a ton of other free agents. The Clippers want to bring him back, but he also has some other teams that would like to obtain his talents like the New York Knicks and the Dallas Mavericks. Jordan seems to want to be paid a hefty amount of money to sign somewhere, but where is the best fit for his services?

DeAndre has been known to be a very good defensive presence over his career. And if a team is needing defense and rebounding, it is definitely the New York Knicks. Their big men could not get the job done on the boards and they did not have any intimidating forces inside to deter shots. With the addition of Jordan, they would have exactly what they need on that end of the floor. Jordan has the unique ability to make up for others on the defensive end because of his athleticism and his explosiveness. That alone would make Carmelo Anthony a better defender and raise the level of New York’s defense. But unfortunately, there are two ends of the court and you cannot sub Jordan out on the other end. For as good as he is defensively, he has yet to show some consistency on the offensive end. He has shown flashes of being able to use post moves, but he has often bricked some easy shots in the paint if they were not dunks. In the Triangle offense, the center needs to be able to either post up and make things happen in there or be able to hit the midrange jump shot. In the case of Jordan, he has not proven he can do either consistently. And despite the talk of New York making him a focus offensively, that would only lead to Jordan becoming something that he isn’t and that could end disastrously for New York. The gesture to be a focus on offense is nice and surely the money would be as well, but the Knicks are not any closer to winning the East by acquiring his services. And the team as it stands does not fit anything he does. Plus, do the Knicks really want DeAndre getting fouled and going to the free throw line?

Dallas may not be the home city for Jordan, but it is close enough to home for him. Jordan, who hails from Houston, Texas, would be going to a veteran team that is looking to add pieces to get Dirk Nowitzki that second ring. Last year, the Mavericks brought back center Tyson Chandler via trade and he was so-so for them. He made some good blocks and had some games where he was rocking the rim off alley-oops, but he was not the same guy when it came to the playoffs. Harden and the Rockets ate their lunch money and Chandler showed his age a little. In signing Jordan, the Mavericks would essentially be getting a younger version of Chandler with more explosive ability around the rim. Jordan would definitely be able to cover up for some of the defensive deficiencies of that team, but he would also be a liability offensively for the Mavericks. And with Monta Ellis opting out, the Mavs need more offense on their team. If they do not add someone on the perimeter to give them something, the signing Jordan would not do much for their chances in the West at all. In fact, they may take a step back by adding him and losing Ellis via free agency. And we must also remember Jordan’s struggles at the free throw line. Chandler, although he has not been a stellar free throw shooter over his career, would be considered Steph Curry when shooting free throws compared to DeAndre Jordan. Jordan shoots an anemic 39% from the free throw line. That alone would be something that could scare Dallas, especially with the Hack-A-Shaq rule still in play.

The team that Jordan should stay with is the Los Angeles Clippers. They were one win away from the conference finals and they are in the process of making changes to make themselves better. Of course, if he leaves, the changes will be all for naught. But the changes made helped make them deeper on the perimeter and better defensively. Of course this is not the only change that is supposed to happen in Los Angeles though. The Clippers are reportedly looking to move guard Jamal Crawford and they could have found a match in Denver. They are reportedly looking to ship the veteran guard to Denver for the rights to small forward Wilson Chandler. This change would give the Clippers someone that can be good on the defensive end as well as very efficient offensively. With Jordan back in the fold, this team would be even more solid defensively considering the additional piece. And the potential addition of Paul Pierce for the playoffs, the Clippers could gain that grit they needed when they lost to the Rockets. DeAndre could get paid the amount of money he wants while being put in a winning situation. Jordan also wants to be more featured offensively, but he has to ask himself if that is more important than being who he is and trying to win a championship. When he asks himself that, he would probably be inclined to go with the winning and money instead of wanting to be a featured guy. And like mentioned before, he has to get better at free throws to be more featured. Shaquille O’Neal and Wilt Chamberlain were terrible free throw shooters, but they were dominant post players where DeAndre isn’t. He should be happy being the caddy to Blake Griffin and the anchor of their defense. And who knows? It could pay off for him in the end.

Jordan has a tough decision to make and he does not have the biggest of windows. The more he waits, the more other teams try to move forward and make some other things happen in the free agency bonanza. He has to make a decision what he wants to be remembered for at this point. It should be interesting to see what he does, but if he is smart, he stays a Clipper. And if he returns to the Clippers, they could be a team to look out for next season in the West if they get the pieces they need via trades and free agency.

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Paul Pierce Has A Decision To Make Regarding Next Season In The NBA

Paul Pierce takes Toronto's Amir Johnson off the dribble. (Photo courtesy of www.SI.com)

Paul Pierce takes Toronto’s Amir Johnson off the dribble. (Photo courtesy of http://www.SI.com)

Paul Pierce has had an excellent career in the NBA. He has played for the Celtics and won a title along with playing for the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards. Going into this offseason, there was a question as to whether he would come back or not. He was clutch for the Wizards in the playoffs, hitting big basket after big basket for them. But he also was an older player in the NBA (37 years of age). As a result of his age, the Wizards seemingly paced him all year long to keep him fresh for the playoffs. He played a career-low 26 minutes a game and scored his lowest point total of his career. But the good thing about him playing for the Wizards is they did not need him to put up 18-20 points per game. The show belonged to guards John Wall and Bradley Beal as they were the main focus on the team. All Pierce was brought in to do was bring leadership and hit big shots. He definitely made an impact there, but the team did not succeed as much as they expected. The Wizards lost to the Hawks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and went home earlier than they envisioned. And with that loss, Pierce was not sure he wanted to come back. There were stories out that Pierce had thought about hanging up the sneakers instead of taking his player option to return to Washington in the 2015-2016 season. But those rumors were quickly put to bed as it has been confirmed that Pierce will be playing next season. That announcement was good news for a team, but that team may not be the Wizards. It is said that he could come back to Washington. But there is also a chance that Piece could be heading to the West.

The Los Angeles Clippers have had a void at small forward for a while now. Last season, Doc Rivers used veteran journeyman Matt Barnes as his starting small forward. And even though Barnes was a tough defender and had a solid season scoring (10.1 points per game), he was nowhere to be found in the playoffs and capped that disappearing act off with an underwhelming performance against the Houston Rockets where he disappeared in the biggest game, Game 7. It was obvious to anyone that watched the Clippers play that Barnes was not the answer for them at small forward and they needed to upgrade that position this offseason. When the Clippers traded him to the Charlotte Hornets in a package deal for the services of Lance Stephenson, it was apparent the team wanted to make some changes at the small forward position. Paul Pierce has had his most success in the NBA under coach Doc Rivers and currently Doc is the head coach and team president of the Clippers organization. There have been rumors out there for a while that Pierce would love to play for Doc again and this seems like the perfect opportunity. If he is able to come to terms with the Clippers on a cap-friendly deal, he would definitely be a huge upgrade over the now-departed Barnes. The veteran small forward has been known for his veteran leadership for some time now. And that leadership could be something that could help the Clippers even though Chris Paul is a veteran in his own right. Another thing he could bring to Los Angeles is his clutch shooting. Pierce has hit many clutch shots over his lifetime and we all know he isn’t shying away from any shot that could help the team win. The biggest thing that Pierce could bring to this team is his championship experience. Pierce won his lone NBA championship under the leadership of Doc Rivers in Boston. And if you look at the Clippers roster as it stands, Pierce has gone the furthest in the playoffs. The championship experience he brings as a player would prove invaluable in getting the Clippers over the hump.

The Clippers option looks excellent for Pierce, especially since he would be coming back to an area in which he grew up. But playing for the Clippers and Doc Rivers aren’t the only option out there. Paul Pierce still has an option that has to be decided upon pretty soon. In that option, Pierce would be receiving $5.5 million if he were to pick up the option with the Wizards. It has been rumored that he has declined the option with the Wizards next season, but that has yet to be confirmed. Even with him potentially declining the money, it could still be possible for him to come back there. He has a good opportunity to win if he comes back to Washington. Some can argue that if John Wall does not injure his wrist, the Wizards would have beat the Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals. If he were to stay with the Wizards, the team would probably continue to play him less minutes while building on their progress from the 2014-2015 campaign. That would allow for him to be fresh during the playoffs and would also allow the Wizards to continue the development of young swingman Otto Porter, Jr. But along with him playing the same minutes, the team would have great continuity heading into next season. Pierce seemed to have a positive effect on Wall and Beal. Both would continue to grow under the leadership of Pierce. Eventually, the Wizards hope his leadership will be something that allows Wall and Beal to make consistent big plays down the stretch of big games without having to depend on Pierce to bail the team out. It would also give them a consistent shooter from the three-point range that could be counted on when they need him. That is essential when you have a playmaker with the ability of Wall and Beal. In fact, playing with Wall and Beal provides Pierce wide-open shots should they penetrate ore often. But the biggest thing, like what he would bring the Clippers, is championship experience. When some team has never won anything, it can be really tough for the opponent to handle the pressures that come from winning. And Pierce would help them check those emotions while focusing on the task at hand. Besides LeBron James’ Cavaliers, the Wizards have just as much hope as anyone next season to win the East. And quite frankly, the East would be an easier path for Pierce to go back to the NBA Finals.

Over the next few weeks, Pierce has to make some decisions. Does he leave for the Los Angeles Clippers or stay with the Wizards for his remaining time? It all depends on what Pierce wants to do. But in the meantime, it is down to the Wizards or the Clippers in this one. If he stays where he is, he could help the Wizards go to the next level. But if he goes home, the road to success could be more difficult.

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Lance Stephenson To The Los Angeles Clippers Could Be A Good Thing

Lance Stephenson is a Clipper now. What will he bring to this team? (photo courtesy of www.kid83.deviantart.com)

Lance Stephenson is a Clipper now. What will he bring to this team? (photo courtesy of http://www.kid83.deviantart.com)

The Los Angeles Clippers were almost to a place they have never been, the Western Conference Finals. They held a 3-1 lead over the Houston Rockets and many thought they had pulled it together at the right time. History was going to go the way of the Clippers finally right? Well, the Rockets decided they were not ready to go home and turned the series around quickly, erasing a 3-1 deficit and blowing out the Clippers in a crucial Game 7. The dreams of heading to the Western Conference Finals was over for Los Angeles. Fans of the game went from praising Chris Paul for coming up big in Game 7 versus the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs to wearing him out on social media for his performance in Game 7 versus the Rockets. Many took a look at the Clippers going into the offseason and wondered what all they could do. Obviously their main concern was signing center DeAndre Jordan back, but the team had more work than that to do in regards to improving their team. Well, on Tuesday night, the Clippers decided to roll the dice and make a move. The Clippers are trading small forward Matt Barnes and forward Spencer Hawes to the Charlotte Hornets for shooting guard Lance Stephenson. This trade sent shockwaves, as the Clippers are taking a chance on Stephenson to come through. As for the Hornets, they rid themselves of Stephenson, who was not very good for the Hornets, averaging an astonishing 8.2 points per game. This trade is something that makes many scratch their heads in terms of the Clippers. And it could definitely go either way in the grand scheme of things. But there are so many positives that can come out of this move.

Lance Stephenson is known as a volatile player at times. The main thought that some have is “why would Doc take on this guy”? Well, there are some positives to this one. Defensively, Stephenson is a physical defender. If you take a look at the Clippers last season, Chris Paul was their best perimeter defender. That may be good due to the state of point guards in the NBA, but you need that one wing defender that can make it happen versus guys like James Harden, Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Andrew Wiggins. No offense to JJ Reddick, but there is no way that he is guarding any of the guys that have been mentioned. And with Reddick there, opponents would be able to put pressure on the bigs of the Clippers. With Stephenson in the lineup, it gives the Clippers a guy that can handle his own while also allowing the bigs of the Clippers to control the paint. With a coach like Doc Rivers, Stephenson could be a dream for him. With the right focus and the right coach in his ear, Stephenson has shown that he can be a good player on the defensive end. For example, look at the problems he caused at times for LeBron James when LeBron was in Miami and Stephenson was in Indiana. Now imagine if Doc can get him to focus in like that for all of the game. Along with his defensive prowess, Stephenson also brings an added toughness to the perimeter defenders that the Clippers never had. Barnes has been a tough wing defender for them, but he doesn’t bring that dog in him that Lance can bring to a team. And with him added, the toughness level of the Clippers just went up. He and DeAndre

But the effect of Stephenson is not just felt on the defensive end of the court. Stephenson has grown as an offensive player over his time in the NBA. And when he went to the Charlotte Hornets, he was expected to take that next step in his development. Instead, he went to a team that had a guard that dominated the ball in Kemba Walker. That meant that Stephenson had to play more off the ball than he was used to in his career. And that ended up in the disaster that was his lone season in Charlotte. With the Clippers, he is not going to be asked to be the main focus offensively. Some may think it’s a bad thing that he is not the focus, but it will be what is best for his career. Stephenson is a good player when he is not the main perimeter threat. With Paul there, he will take some of that burden he had in Charlotte off his hands. And there will be times where he will have to make something happen when he is off the ball. But the main effect he will have on this team is when Paul is out of the game. The Clippers did not have a solid guy off the bench last year to take over the ball-handling duties. They put guys like Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford and even let Blake Griffin play the point guard spot a little against the Houston Rockets when Paul was out due to injury. No offense to any of them, but Lance proved he can handle that position a little bit better than these guys can. He is a playmaker and the Clippers need another one of those coming in to play for them, whether it be in the starting lineup or off the bench. Either way, he would be a help to them and make their offense even more diverse than it was last season.

The biggest thing that will be good for Lance Stephenson coming to the Clippers is the leadership. In Charlotte, he was expected to be a leader. And if you know anything about Stephenson, he is not one that is ready to lead a team. He is still figuring out who he is and is considered by some not to be mentally there at all times. For a team as young as Charlotte was, there is no way that Stephenson should have ever been brought in to be a leader of that team. Sure, he is a talented player, but leadership is not one of his strong suits. With the Clippers, he is now in position to receive leadership. Doc Rivers is a guy that has been known to exhibit great leadership and be an example for his players. And many players that have played for Doc have loved every second they have played for him. His ability to focus and Stephenson will be a key ingredient in his success there if he is to have some. But not only will he be receiving leadership from Doc Rivers, but he will be receiving leadership from Chris Paul. Many have had jokes for Chris Paul over the years for his inability to make it deep in the playoffs, but the one thing you can never take away from him is his leadership abilities. Paul has a great ability to know when to push players and when to encourage them. His perfect mix of pushing buttons will be something that will help Stephenson mesh into this team seamlessly. Paul needs Stephenson there and he wants to win above all things, so he will do what needs to be done to get Stephenson up to speed.

The Clippers made a move that many did not see coming. They got younger on the perimeter while adding a guy that could have a better effect on both ends than Matt Barnes. But the biggest question mark for him is his personality. If he listens to Doc Rivers and Chris Paul, he can be a valuable assets to this team and help make them better. But if he does not listen to those two, then we could see knucklehead Lance make an appearance once again. The ball is in Lance’s court and he could potentially make himself some more money as he could potentially be a free agent after this year (Clippers hold the team option for him after the 2015-2016 season). Another bonus for the Clippers in this one is if Lance acts up, they only got rid of a backup big man they signed that failed to crack their rotation (Spencer Hawes) and a swingman that is getting long in the tooth in the NBA (Matt Barnes). The chips have been pushed to the table for Doc and he is gambling on being able to get the best out of Stephenson. This move, like the move he made last season to trade for his son midseason, will be one that will be closely watched all season long. And it will be interesting to see how it pans out.

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