Friday, September 24, 2010

NBA Implements Stricter Guidelines for Technical Fouls

Expect more techs to be called this season.

During the referee's annual meeting which was held in New Jersey, the league announced the guidelines for technical fouls will expand to include "overt" player reactions to referee calls.

The league has instructed the referees to hand out a tech for the following:

  • Players making aggressive gestures, such as air punches and first pumps anywhere on the court.
  • Demonstrative disagreement. This happens when a player incredulously raises his hands, or smacks his own arm while demonstrating how he was called for a foul.
  • Running directly towards an official to complain about a call.
  • Excessive inquiries about a call, EVEN in a civilized tone.

    In an additional note, referees have been instructed to consider handing out technical fouls on players who use body language to question or demonstrate displeasure. A simple "Come on!" phrase can also result to a technical foul as well.

    Officials can also consider technicals to players who "take the long path to the official", walking across the court to complain and state their case.

    Is it a coincidence that the NBA implemented these after Sheed retired?

    No one knows.

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Report: Iverson Declines to Play in China

    In a report courtesy of, sources have stated that Allen Iverson has eventually decided against playing in China.

    Another website,, has also picked up the report, and wrote:


    "According to the Beijing Youth Daily, which got the information yesterday from a source in Foshan, Allen Iverson’s unlikely to play in China. “It is unlikely he will play for us,” a source in charge of Foshan Basketball only said.

    Prior to that, Foshan contacted Iverson’s managers but with no follow-up results. “Allen Iverson was contacted, but no further step in the progress has been made,” the source said. “And we have not talked about the CBA issues the amount Iverson asked for created.” Allen Iverson asked for too much money. Even if he could bring publicity and interest for the Chinese league, risks were way too big"


    Have we seen the last of Allen Iverson? It was just like yesterday when A.I sat at the NBA's finest throne. Now, he's on the verge of having forced to retire because of the lack of interest from the free agency pool. Teams are afraid of the baggage that Iverson would bring alongside him. Would there be somebody who would take the gamble? If somebody did on Tracy McGrady and Shaquille O'Neal, you would never know.

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Source: Miami Rejected Shaq Reunion last July

    Had a chance to catch up with a longtime friend who I used to hang with during Shaq's Miami tenure. A person close to Shaq had revealed to him that Miami rejected O'Neal's pledge to finish out his career in Miami, joining the trio.

    It comes no surprise considering Shaq burned every bridge possible on his way out of South Beach. There were some reports earlier that he and Pat Riley, when he was still coaching, had to be separated during an intense team practice by Alonzo Mourning. O'Neal is also believed to be the reason why previous Heat coach Stan Van Gundy got the axe. He expressed plenty of disinterest during Van Gundy's coaching tenure. Being the big time star he once was, he forced the management to replace Van Gundy and thus, leading to Pat Riley's comeback. During the 2009 season, Shaq ripped Van Gundy, calling him "the master of panic."

     Shaq also didn't want to miss out an opportunity to take shots at his former teammates in Miami. After being traded to the Phoenix Suns that brought in Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to South Beach, The Boston Globe had a chance to talk with O'Neal .

    "I love playing for this coach and I love playing with [the Suns]," O'Neal stated, "We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a team again." Numerous reports have also said that O'Neal has badmouthed Miami's training staff, despite giving the best possible aid to O'Neal. This comes as no surprise to anyone.

    During the 2009 trading deadline, Miami had the luxury to choose between several offers they got for the package of Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. The Heat wanted to unload Banks' contract since it had already planned on making a splash on the summer of 2010.

    Miami had a deal with Sacramento fell off. The Kings were almost close trading Brad Miller and John Salmons for the Heat's package but opted to trade with Chicago instead, getting Andres Nocioni and Drew Gooden.

    The Heat was often linked to several teams regarding potential destinations for Marion and Banks. There was even a time when the Bulls offered Ben Gordon, while the Cavs offered Anderson Varejao and Wally Szczerbiak. Marion's agent, Dan Fegan, declined Pat Riley's extension offer of 3 years and $30 million.

    Then came the Phoenix Suns' call. A year after dealing with the Heat, the Suns approached Pat Riley and offered the same deal they did 300 days ago. Phoenix proposed a trade sending Shaquille O'Neal back to Miami for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Sources say Miami quickly nixed the trade and didn't want any part of Shaq back, despite playing like an all-star that season. Shawn Marion reportedly was also against the move, so the deal quickly fell off and didn't go anywhere. Miami ended up trading Marion to the Raptors in exchange of O'Neal, and no, that's not Shaq, but rather Jermaine O'Neal. Toronto failed to make the Jermaine experiment work and thus leading to a disappointing season. Miami also got Jamario Moon and a 1st round pick in the deal, which would eventually come in handy since it was the centerpiece of the Heat's sign-and-trade deal that netted them Toronto's franchise player, Chris Bosh.

    That was just the first missed opportunity for Shaq to be in had he not badmouth Miami. It just keeps biting him back.

    Miami's hard work of sacrificing assets and showcasing of patience eventually paid off during the 2010 off-season - when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh all decided to team up and form a dream team in Miami. They would be joined by key role players like Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Mike Miller, Eddie House, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, James Jones, Jamaal Magloire and more. Despite assembling a super roster with these pieces, plenty of people still found ways to criticize the Heat. Their problem? Miami doesn't have a big man alongside Chris Bosh that is capable enough of facing the likes of Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum.

    This is where Shaq's wasted opportunity number 2 arrives. Karma does come. After getting the trio, sources have indicated that O'Neal quickly approached Miami's management and wanted to come back. No one could blame Shaq, as it seemed like the perfect fit if you factor in his needs. He would have the spotlight back again playing alongside those 3, and could still be a solid contributor. He could provide a huge boost to Miami's frontcourt against potential rivals like Orlando, LA, etc. It seemed that Shaq needed Miami and Miami needed Shaq right?

    Well, that's wrong.

    Riley quickly dismissed the possibility and told Shaq to find a team somewhere else. The damage was too huge to be undone. O'Neal burned every bridge possible on the way out of Miami back in 2008. Riley didn't want to get a distraction to the trio, as Shaq would only ruin the team's chemistry. His ego is too big for him to survive on the dream team and not complain.

    Despite Miami rejecting O'Neal, his camp still continued to float rumors around the web to drive his reputation and value up. In the end, it didn't help him, though. There was small interest around the market for Shaq throughout the whole process, thus, he was eventually forced to take less money - and go to the Boston Celtics and compete for playing time with Kendrick Perkins and the other O'Neal, Jermaine.

    In the end, Shaq screwed his self right here since Miami was a better place for him to finish his career than Boston. The fact is, we are not trying to compare who's better between the two teams since Miami has accepted the fact that Boston is the team to beat in the East, but rather, show Shaq that his antics will eventually haunt him back and cost him in the end. (and it did) He's a talented player, no doubt, but to badmouth and backstab an organization once you leave would do you no good. It'll come back to you again and again.

    Lesson learned, Shaq.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Dwight Howard Sues Baby Momma for $500 Million

    Dwight Howard, Orlando's star, has been sick and had enough of his Baby Mama, Royce Reed, and her constant bashing to the media. TMZ, has learned that Reed has leaked dirt to the media at least 11 times. TMZ also had a chance to obtain legal documents filed by Howard in Orange County. In these said documents, Howard stated that if 1,000,000 people gets to read the leaked stories, the total amount of the damages would be $500,500,000. 

    Royce Reed stars on VH1's "Basketball Wives." She's the mother of Dwight's son, Braylon Joshua Robert Howard. She's also a former dancer for the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic.

    Erick Dampier to Miami?

    Is Erick Dampier the Heat's missing piece to the championship puzzle?

    One would know, whether you're a Heat fan or not, that the center spot is one of Miami's weaknesses on the dream roster that Pat Riley assembled this off-season. Who would care, though, when you have LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the team together with great role players such as Udonis Haslem, Eddie House, Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony and Zydrunas Ilgauskas? Miami actually has plenty of size to offer at the 5 spot -- having Anthony, the likely starter, Ilgauskas -- the first of them to come off the bench, Jamaal Magloire -- a solid tough presence that any team would love to have, and Dexter Pittman -- a rookie with a lot of potential if he gets his body to the right shape. One could also argue that Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem could find themselves having to play some minutes at the 5 occasionally.

    Now the question is, will that be good enough to handle the likes of Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, and a lot more? It seems that majority of the people definitely doesn't see it that way, thus predicting Miami to fail winning it all this season. Well, Erick Dampier could have a little say about it.

    Dampier, 35, just got waived by the Bobcats. His $13M contract for this season has been officially voided, which wasn't guaranteed. Once Damper clears waivers Friday, he would have the freedom to sign with any team he should wish and get the best opportunity possible.

    Most recently, our friends at The Miami Herald had an opportunity to catch up with him. He has told them that he doesn't have a clear decision yet and has no preference, but seems intrigued about a possible Miami marriage.

    "They have some good, young talent down there and can do a lot of big things," Dampier stated to the Herald. "Obviously, I want to be in a situation to compete for a championship. I haven't talked to my agent yet, so we'll go from there. But I've kept myself in good shape for 14 years, and still feel like I can play the game at a high level."

    Other possible suitors for Dampier's services include Denver, Houston, and Chicago. A move to Boston is basically impossible at this point, as they already have signed up former Heat bigs Jermaine O'Neal and Shaquille O'Neal. A Mavericks reunion is also highly unlikely. Dallas just re-signed Brendan Haywood and have acquired Tyson Chandler from the Bobcats, for Dampier.

    He would provide a huge boost to Miami's frontcourt. Certainly, his impact isn't earth shattering, but he would come in useful and would be the clear cut starter if Miami can secure his services. Dampier would bring toughness, a unique veteran presence and other solid attributes shall he take less money to help Miami bolster its roster to the best possible degree. He also has possessed a great work ethic throughout his career. He can also set great picks which would come in handy, especially for LeBron and D-Wade. Add his solid rebounding and interior defense and you would witness a great fit, quite possible the missing piece indeed, to the championship puzzle.

    Sources have told that the Heat emerges as the frontrunners to secure Dampier's services. Miami can only offer the veteran's minimum, which is believed to be worth around $1.4M.

    In a related note, sources have also indicated that the Heat is still leaving the door open for other free agents such as Allen Iverson, Larry Hughes and Jerry Stackhouse. Miami has yet to decide which player would get the 15th and final roster spot, but there are rumors that rookie Da'Sean Butler has already won the spot.

    Training camp will open on Sept.27, which will be held at Hurlburt Field and Eglin Force Air Base in Florida's Panhandle. The Heat has held previous training camps at their home arena for the past few years, but wants to focus and limit distractions for this season. Miami will open the season with a visit to Boston on the Celtics' floor on Oct. 26.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Exclusive Interview with Stephon Marbury

    Recently, I had a chance to talk to Stephon Marbury, a former 2 time NBA all-star. He last played for Boston and has settled in China since. Just last July, Marbury and his Chinese club, the Brave Dragons, have agreed to terms on a 3-year deal. Marbury would like to establish his self and his Starbury brand globally.

    Here's how our talk went by.

    Q: Sup Stephon?

    Stephon Marbury: [Just] Chilling.

    Q: What do you think about the rumors of [Allen] Iverson taking your route and play in China, too?

    Stephon Marbury: Not surprised.

    Q: I actually think both you and A.I still got it and can do stuff, but gotta respect decisions.

    Stephon Marbury: It never went anywhere on my part. I've just had to deal with the BS.

    Q: I feel you. The media's been tough with you always. Guess it feels good moving on being embraced in China by a huge amount of people.

    Stephon Marbury: The media made money off of us. They weren't tough on us. To some, money is [the] root of their lives. As I said before they tried to put me in.

    Q: Do you have any intentions of going back to the NBA one day again if the opportunity comes?

    Stephon Marbury: Nope. I love CHINA way better for me. The NBA was a nice stepping stone for me. I learned a lot playing in that league.

    Q: Regarding [Allen] Iverson, He'll actually fit in China. It'll also help his character of being humble. His reputation has always been "Selfish", but he can prove them wrong there.

    Stephon Marbury: They called him selfish when he couldn't make them anymore money. When his shoe and jersey was selling like water drops from rain, it was all good. Once that money train faded, he became all of the different things that you hear. They knew who he was before he got to the NBA, a 6 foot scoring machine.

    They hate all people who stand for something and won't fall for anything. Its classic. I laugh when I hear these little men reporters speak the way they speak of Chuck and myself. Its personal but ok. They will always speak those names because what we've done is history weather or not they want to face that fact or not.

    Q: Good read, all good points. Is it [really] safe to assume that you wont play in the NBA again? Even if Pat Riley gives you an offer?

    Stephon Marbury: China, baby.

    Q: Was it difficult for you adjusting to China after just coming from the States?

    Stephon Marbury:

    Q: I understand. [It's] crazy how you already sold 30,000+ shoes in China. Good to showcase globally for future athletes to do.

    Stephon Marbury: We will see. As I said before. This isn't about me. This is about a legacy that will be lived on for the duration of the MARBURY dynasty.

    Man you don't even know what's to come.

    Q: I'm curious about your view on LeBron. Many legends have been criticizing him. Do you see something wrong with what he did?

    Stephon Marbury: He didn't do anything wrong. He just didn't do what people felt was right. He had a choice and his actions indicated that he didn't want to struggle anymore.

    Q: I appreciate the time, Steph. Thanks a lot. It's rare to see athletes like you interact these days, Thumbs up.

    Stephon Marbury: All love.