11/16/10

"NBAz in 7 Dayz"

This is "Jiggly Bits" with a new title. You are still getting the same great NBA coverage and stories crossing my radar from around the league in the last 7 days - not to worry. I just felt we needed a jazzier title to befit our lively discussions. I am just wondering what Mr. Flynn, my high school English teacher, will say about the title. "Danielle, Z's instead of S's?" My response? Sometimes, creativity forces you to bend the rules a little. However, this does not apply to New Jersey Nets' leading scorer, Devin Harris. The Nets played the Clippers Monday night and Devin Harris decides to vent on DeAndre Jordan's interception of his pass. Jordan goes long to Blake Griffin and Harris decides to pull him down to the floor from behind with 6:42 left in the second quarter. Do you know what they called it? A Grade Two flagrant foul committed against Griffin. Perfect title since Harris' behaviour is reminiscent of the grade school playground variety. Really? You are upset someone intercepts your pass and you take it out on the rookie who received the pass from the player you are really upset at? Even with all "it was the game emotions talking" arguments aside, wouldn't you just suck it up, go to the bench if you had to, cool off and take it out on the Clippers by coming out full force in the third quarter? Grade Two or even gravely juvenile is right. Incidentally, Blake Griffin landed hard on his left shoulder, but stayed in the game and made one of his two free throws. Not bad but the key words here are "stayed in the game". Devin Harris needs to work on this through mind, body and spirit. Today, let's discuss LeBron James' Person of the Year Award nomination, Kobe Bryant speaking out on NBA salary reductions and "Cablegate".

LeBron James - TIME Magazine's Person of the Year?

Let's just say LeBron James would not have unanimous support for this title, not even from himself. Every year since 1927, TIME Magazine gives this recognition to the person or group who "has done the most to influence the events of the year". Clearly, he meets the criteria. But look who he is up against: President Barack Obama. But he won in 2008 and by defacto he is nominated because he is the President of the United States. I would go with others on the list of nominees like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for their Stop the Insanity Campaign or to the Chilean Miners who were trapped underground for two months and captured the attention of millions around the world. LeBron James agrees by saying it's just crazy he's even nominated in the same breath as the miners and should be nowhere near that list. Maybe. However, the qualifying criteria for this award doesn't specify what you did to influence the events of the year, it is recognizing who was the biggest story good or bad. So maybe it is a good thing if LeBron doesn't get it. This may be the reason he's distancing himself from it. Just another reason to fuel the fire.

"Owners need to look in the Mirror" - Kobe Bryant

When asked about the $750 million to $800 million dollar reduction in players salaries being looked at by owners, Kobe Bryant told CBSSports.com "I think the owners need to look in the mirror. They need to make the right judgment themselves and stop trying to force us players to be the ones to make adjustments". Kobe Bryant is the highest paid player in the league and surely does not want to see a pay cut. This is the way I see it. Look at your Hydro bill. You give a company money to provide you with a much needed service. They take your money and use it however they see fit to administer the service. If those decisions lead to shortfalls, they are not going to cut their own salaries, they will put the burden back on you in the form of a debt retirement charge of some sort. I see the same thing happening in the NBA. Sure, it's hard to relate to a $30 million a year salary but look at it from a purely employer-employee perspective. The employer makes some bad business decisions, have got themselves in a hole and now the employees are pegged to pay for it. This is the source of any lockout or strike of any kind. Let's pretend the players agree to a pay cut. Do you think for one second the owners will say one day "Ok. We are back on track. Here's your old salary back"? That would be a big no. Let's face it. This dispute over salaries will not be resolved anytime soon. There's a good chance we will have an NBA lockout next season so enjoy this one while you can.

"Great teammate, great friend" - Jose Calderon on Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh had a chance to reunite with old friends and foes Saturday night when the Heat hosted the Toronto Raptors. For once, Chris Bosh was getting the bulk of the media attention since he was playing against his old teammates. His Miami Heat beat the Raptors 109-100 and was willing to speak to the media, as he always has, to share his thoughts on the game. I think it's funny how he gets the Magic Johnson Media Award this year for being so accessible, so understanding of the nature of a journalist's job and has been described as: "never been disrespectful, never shied away from what was asked for him and has been a superstar without the superstar attitude". Yet, he is not being afforded the same respect. Take for instance the issue surrounding his cable while living in Canada. I think someone of his stature would know whether or not he gets NBA League Pass. He was regarded as anti-Canada because he claimed he did not have good cable while in this country. He actually said he did not get NBA League Pass in the building he was in and was not complaining about the cable in Canada or living in Toronto for that matter. I agree his "should I stay or should I go" tweets may have been a little suspect but there have been worse tweets than that. He stayed true to himself and made a business decision as a free agent. Plain and simple. Want to know what I respect most about him? When asked the "would you do anything different" question, he didn't bow to the pressure of winning over the haters and said yes like LeBron did. I respect Chris Bosh both as a player and as a person. I think he is entertaining to watch and will follow him no matter what team he is on. However, the image of him in a Raptors uniform is far from a distant memory.

Be sure to join me this Thursday for more pre-game Raptor opponent analysis in "Behind Enemy Lines". I want you armed with the right tools when watching Raptors' games next week to help you think outside the box. See you then.

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