C.L. Anthony Presents:  The Dish 

One of the strong points of the Hardwood Nation has been transparency and honest story telling, at times brutally honest when needs be but always from a source of passion for the game of basketball.  Five years is a very long time endure an endeavor such as things, players come and ago as well as writers and staff.  Despite change, the goal remains the same; to deliver the latest news and rumors to the fans of the NBA and to influence a generation of young writers.  The Dish will be a weekly column of my thoughts when it comes to the world of Basketball.  Thought provoking, humorous and at times serious; it will all be featured here going forward but most importantly we do this for the fans….Lets begin……

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As announced recently on IG the Cleveland Cavaliers re-signed veteran G J.R. Smith after his atrocious performance in the NBA Finals.  Now what he does well when focused is catch and shoot.  We all know that he isn’t afraid to take any shot and is virtually a black hole once he receives a pass.  After said performance, Smith opted out of a guaranteed $6.4 million and the move left many scratching their heads.  What could he command as a free agent after that performance?

It was rumored that the Cavaliers were looking to acquire the likes of Jamal Crawford and at one time Tayshuan Prince before he signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.  After being unsuccessful in those bids, the Cavs turned their attention back to Smith who was able to wrestle a two-year deal from the franchise with the second year being a player option.  Valued at $5 million for the first season but also featuring a “no trade” clause, Smith did well in the long run and put himself in position to earn significantly more next off-season when the TV money is slated to hit.

Random-ish

I really miss those Kobe System commercials.  The cameos were great and his delivery was astounding,  Once upon a time while trying to get a promotion in the business world I used one of the commercials in my presentation.  Amongst the 20 other slides in the presentation I thought it would be a great way to ease the tension.  Needless to say I was wrong but hell I still LOVE the following commercial and it will always remain in my Top Five NBA commercials of all time:

The Once and Future King?

ESPN’s forecast team recently predicted that LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers will be named as the 2015-16 NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP).  As wrestling legend Ric Flair was state a multitude of times; “To be the man, you gotta beat the man”.  As of yet reigning MVP Stephen Curry is riding a wave of momentum into the new season.  NBA MVP, NBA Championship, and a new addition to the family is doing nothing but adding to the Hall of Fame resume’ for Curry.  I get it; perhaps the forecast team is banking on James rebounding after his latest NBA Finals loss but respect is earned and not given and Curry definitely has earned the right to defend his reign until someone steps up and takes it from him.  LeBron James may very well be named the MVP of the upcoming season but it’s hard to believe that James will play at a level close to the Finals performance that he displayed.  There’s already hints that his minutes may be limited during the regular season which may impact his MVP chances in a negative way.  No King’s reign lasts forever.

A king has his reign, and then he dies. It’s inevitable. That is natural order of things.

Prometheus

Cuban Missile Crisis 

No player has dominated the NBA’s off-season news cycle as much as DeAndre Jordan in recent memory.  Directly or indirectly it has been the summer of Jordan flanked by the rejection of the Dallas Mavericks and the desperation of the Los Angeles Clippers.  The NBA recently hit the Clippers with a fine of $250,000.

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If the “opportunity” had no impact on Jordan’s decision to re-sign with the Clippers then why was a fine of such magnitude levied?  Deals of such happen in all major sports, a wink here or a hand shake there.  Who leaked out details of the presentation that led to the investigation? Like most off the court news this too shall pass however the source of the leak should be investigated.  Clippers owner Steve Ballmer released the following statement to address the incident:

Clippers Family –

Let me start by thanking each of you for your commitment and passion this offseason to prepare us for what promises to be an incredible season on and off the court.

Today, the NBA announced it has fined the Team for violating NBA rules in our presentation to DeAndre Jordan on July 2. The League’s investigation concluded that the presentation of a potential third-party opportunity had no impact on DeAndre’s decision to re-sign, and having been a part of the process, I can attest to this fact.

As we, and the basketball world observed, DJ ultimately chose to stay with the Clippers because he felt it was his best opportunity to win a championship, and because of his desire to remain part of the Clippers family.

As I shared with everyone on day one of purchasing the Team, being part of the Clippers family means operating with the highest integrity. We believed we were doing this the right way, and any circumvention was inadvertent. In our effort to support our players in every way possible, we as an organization must be diligent in complying with the CBA.

Let’s continue to march forward in line with our credo: to win, to do our best, and always show the utmost respect for our players, our fans, our community, and our competitors.

Sincerely,

Steve

A Moment of Clarity  

In moments such as this clarity is needed.  The above accusation is one of the most terrible things that can happen in life and NBA fans must wait until facts are revealed.  The above tweet is the proper way of announcing such news the following tweet is in a sense distasteful at this point in time.

The only fact that is known is that there is a potential lawsuit against Rose based on the allegation.  Time will reveal all details and early Thursday a spokesperson for Rose released the following statement:

“This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete,” said the spokeswoman, Lisa Cohen. “Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter.

“Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff, and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous.”

Story of the Week
I’d like to end this weeks edition of The Dish by saying thank you to one of my young but talented writers Peter Saclarides.  Peter executed an assignment flawlessly and for that I’m appreciative.  He penned the following article so I thought it was appropriate to conduct a Q&A with its author.

C.L.  Anthony:  What is your first memory of Paul George?

Peter Saclarides:  I first really took notice of PG in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals when my favorite team, the Knicks, lost to the Pacers in 6 games.  I’d watched George play before, but that year he won Most Improved Player, and I realized just how good he was, and how much potential he had, when he took out my Knicks.

I know that some of the elements of this question was answered in your work but what are your personal thoughts on the injury to Paul George?

Even with all of his off-court issues, it seemed like George could still come back and be an MVP type of player. So when he had the leg injury in the scrimmage, it was upsetting. Like a lot of other people, I was expecting PG vs LeBron to be a Magic vs Bird type of rivalry, but after I saw Paul’s leg twist the wrong way, I was unsure if he would ever play again, since the injury was so gruesome. PG can come back and play well for the Pacers, but its pretty obvious that the injury, and those off court issues took something out of him.

Pre injury do you think the Pacers could have given the Cavaliers a run for their money in the East this past season?

Yes, especially with Love injured. If he hadn’t been injured, George would have developed his game even more by now, and been one of the best in the game. With PG healthy, and Love injured, I would put my money on the Pacers beating the inexperienced Cavs.

Is this upcoming season the biggest in George’s career?

Definitely, PG’s only been in the league for a few years, and he’s never had to prove himself like he does this year. I think George will do well this year, I just don’t know if he’ll be back to his old self.

Are you surprised that Stephen Curry and the Warriors secured a title before George and the Pacers?

For sure, it seems so unlikely that a young team could win 67 games in the West, then win the championship against the best player in the game. If George stayed healthy, I believe last years finals could’ve been Indiana vs Golden State.

How is it writing for The Hardwood Nation?

I think what makes The Hardwood Nation different from a lot of websites is the thought that’s put into every piece. Every article is discussed, thought about, and planned out, which is why nearly every story on Hardwood is a quality one.

That’s it for this edition of The Dish.  If one would like to have any questions answered in the next edition please email me at cla@thehardwoodnation.com.  Until next time, stay hungry and humble.

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