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Amazing. That was the word the NBA used in the 2010-11 season. However, if I was to ask the audience to throw up a word, I would receive many variations.
The NBA has evolved from the world’s best basketball competition to a 24/7 soapie.
Season one covered the lockout drama and ended in the final episode with all parties walking back into a boardroom set to agree and form a shortened season. The second season, still showing, has to date been action packed with ‘stunning-performances’ right across the United States.
With less than two weeks before 10 team’s tip-off on Christmas Day, the league has witnessed an eventful time since the stadium doors were reopened and training camps recommenced.
The latest to occur again involved star New Orleans Hornets guard Chris Paul. First he was being traded to the LA Lakers in return for Odom and Gasol before the ‘NBA-owned’ Hornets stopped the trade. Then it was back on today, and now the deal is permanently off…
Now, the other LA Clippers has emerged as front-runners to gain the signature of Paul.
It seems NBA commissioner David Stern will be left with the blame for the deal not going through after the Lakers, after making ample unsuccessful attempts to restructure the three-team deal, pulled out and instead traded Lamar Odom to Dallas. Odom was one of the players in the initial Chris Paul deal.
One person to keep happy in LA is Kobe Bryant. What are his thoughts on the Odom trade? “To be honest with you, I don’t like it,” the champion player said on Sunday. He further added: “Now I’m getting pissed off.” Lakers co-captain Derek Fisher echoed Kobe’s thoughts and touched on the identity of the team.
Things will have to change in LA – just another spanner in the mix for a shortened season with a new coach.
It isn’t hard to understand why Kobe would be peeved – the trade has bolstered the Mavericks line-up even after they lost Tyson Chandler to New York.
Odom attended Lakers training camp late on the weekend and went straight into a meeting with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak.
Bryant made the same walk up the stairs to Kupchak’s office after speaking with reporters on the Odom deal.
Bryant may be unhappy with the whole process and trade however his emotions might turnaround if the Lakers secure Orlando Magic star big man, Dwight Howard. The Lakers will need to put up their two key big men if they are go get Howard, who publicly confirmed Saturday that he has asked to be traded either to the Lakers, Dallas Mavericks or New Jersey Nets.
In Milwaukee, free-agent Mike Dunleavy Jnr was acquired by the Bucks and will join Australian Andrew Bogut in the 2011-12 NBA season. When asked by Cameron Larkin of InnerSanctumsports.com on the getting hold of the talent guard, Bogut replied, “He didn’t miss a shot all practice. Like!”
Heading east to New Jersey, point guard Deron Williams hasn’t held back his thoughts on the league’s boss. Talking to reporters, Williams called Stern a “bully … he knows he’s a bully, ain’t (sic) no secret … I think everybody knows that”.
Williams’ comments were on response to the Lakers-Hornets-Rockets trade deal gone badly. New Jersey is in the running to receive Howard with their main competition, the LA Lakers. The guard was extremely happy to hear the Howard wish-list included the Nets as they are good friends.
To continue the soap-opera theme, script writers couldn’t be happier to hear that possible tampering charges may be laid if, a meeting between NJ executives and Howard, is found to be true. Naughty, naughty, naughty.
In other news around the league, Miami signed Shane Battier – a solid defender and capable scorer who will provide that much needed defensive component. The Heat also gained the services of ‘Big Baby’ Glen Davis.
What is planned for the season’s next episode? Who will do what? Where will Howard be at Christmas? Will the Kobe-Kupchak relationship continue to get worse?
Cameron can be followed on Twitter @InnerSanctum.