Derrick Rose to Win Four Championships with Chicago Bulls? Reinsdorf Thinks so

LeBron James put the pressure on himself during his Three Kings press conference upon signing with the Miami Heat. In his public comments, he said he planned to win “not one, not two” but seven championships. Midway through the season, the Heat is in a five-game losing streak and being ridiculed for crying after games. Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have beaten them all three times they’ve faced each other this season and are now second in the Eastern Conference. They’re led by former top overall pick Derrick Rose who has entrenched himself in the NBA MVP discussion.

The Bulls have size, youth, and speed, and they play tough defense. They may not reach the finals this year, but they’re in the discussion of best teams in the East along with Boston, Miami, and Orlando. If you ask owner Jerry Reinsdorf, he’s expecting much more than just deep playoff runs. According to the Chicago Sun-Times via SB Nation, Reinsdorf said “[The Bulls] have an outstanding coach, an outstanding bunch of players, the team is deep, and if we stay healthy, we have an awfully good chance of winning at least four championships.”

Maybe Jerry’s just hungover from the Michael Jordan era, but to expect four championships from Derrick Rose’s Bulls is far too lofty. We all see how good Chicago is with him at point guard, but there are so many other factors — including the rash of superstar teams — that can stand in Chicago’s way. Only way they can win four titles is if they have a bunch of officials like the ones from the Rutgers-St. John’s game helping them out.

Blake Griffin Poses as Mars Blackmon to Help Jordan Cameron’s Draft Stock

On Tuesday LBS writer Shane showed pictures of Blake Griffin dressed up in a Mars Blackmon type outfit for a recent Nike photoshoot. Well now we have a video that shows what the outfit was all about.

Griffin departed from his typically serious demeanor to joke around in a video where he portrays the character “Mars Blake Man.” In the video, Griffin hypes us his friend Jordan Cameron who is a tight end entering the NFL draft:

Cameron played both basketball and football at Newbury Park High School and actually went to BYU initially to play basketball. He went to a JC after that, then tried to play for USC’s basketball team before ultimately deciding his future lied with USC’s football team.

Cameron only had 16 catches for 126 yards and a touchdown in his career with the Trojans so that’s why he needs all the hype he can get. Oh yeah, and you might also recall Jordan is the brother of Brynn Cameron, the former USC women’s basketball player well known for being the mother of Matt Leinart’s son.

Stephon Marbury: Knicks Fans ‘Fill Their Souls With Negativity’

Stephon Marbury seems to be enjoying his days in China more than he enjoyed them in New York. He may not like the food or make nearly as much money, but Starbury is happy to be somewhere with fans who appreciate him — unlike those barbarians back in the United States.  Isn’t that just lovely?

Marbury told the Washington Post on Wednesday how he feels about Chinese fans compared to Americans — particularly Knicks fans. “China is a positive place, what can I say,” Marbury explained. “The Chinese, unlike Americans – and particularly New Yorkers – don’t fill their souls with negativity.”

I can’t speak for the fans in China, but the sad part about this is Marbury is probably right.  American fans do have a tendency to be negative — even if Knicks fans actually wanted Stephon back for a split second.  That being said, Marbury did nothing to help his reputation while playing in the NBA and everything to make fans hate him.

Let’s put the fate of the Foshan Dragon Lions in the hands of Marbury and Isiah Thomas and see how long the honeymoon lasts.  I’d be willing to bet those two could fill anyone’s soul with negativity.

Will Sacramento Kings Become Latest Pro Team to Skip Town?

You hear that sound of tires peeling out? Just call it the Kings’ screech. This confusing picture involving two cities and an NBA team is not likely to win any awards anytime soon. Sacramento is currently embroiled in a media feeding-frenzy the likes of which have not been seen since that schmo John Sutter started panning for gold (or at least since Gray Davis was given his second technical from the California electorate). The question is, will the team that allegedly plays basketball in Sacramento become yet another entity to make the pilgrimage out of the Capitol City or will they stick around like the folks during the Gold Rush who tried to make their living in the riverbeds during the mid-19th century (just throwing it out there that John Salmons did not swim upstream while playing for the Kings)?

The City of Anaheim is home to the happiest place on Earth (no, not the Department of Motor Vehicles). It is one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, but it does not have Sacramento’s list of nicknames, which includes “City of Trees” (please see Quincy Douby). However, the city has had a less-than-stellar reputation with respect to sports teams. A World Football League team, the Southern California Sun, came and went (perhaps the orange and magenta hues turned people off?). So did the Arena Football League. Lacrosse went bust (the team had no shot, but was owned by Jayson Williams, so go figure). Teams have been abandoning the city for years, too.

[Read more...]

Kobe Bryant Defends Miami Heat Crying

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant joined Max and Marcellus on 710 ESPN Radio in Los Angeles Monday and spent most of the interview fielding questions from the hosts about the Miami Heat. The Heat have been the hottest subject in the NBA since the summertime when they quickly became the most hated team in the league. Their recent lack of success — particularly late in games — has been highly enjoyable for the critics, but it’s also left the Heat searching for answers.

After losing to the Bulls Sunday, coach Erik Spoelstra said his team was so distraught the players were crying in the locker room. Naturally that story became a headline everywhere in the sports world, but Kobe Bryant had nothing negative to say about it.

“Everyone responds to adversity differently,” Kobe said. “Doesn’t make it right, doesn’t make it wrong. Everybody has their own way of dealing with things but it’s how you come of that that’s the true mark of a team.”

[Read more...]

Blake Griffin Is Severely Underpaid by Nike in His Shoe Deal

When Blake Griffin was drafted number one overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, he signed a reported 2-year shoe endorsement deal with Nike for $400,000/year.

To the average person, that’s nearly 10 years worth of salary or one year’s worth of free Nike products. To us fans, that seems like an incredible deal, one that we would sign in a heartbeat. But in the world of NBA mega-endorsements and multi-million dollar deals, Blake Griffin is severely underpaid. With his hype and fame skyrocketing higher and higher with each and every dunk, Blake’s value-to-cost ratio is growing.

Looking at the last few draft classes, here are a few examples of shoe endorsement deals for top flight rookies:

Player, Company, Draft year, Position, Contract

Kevin Durant/Nike – 2007, #2 pick, 7-years, $60 million
O.J. Mayo/Nike - 2008, #3 pick, $400,000 per year
Derrick Rose/Adidas – 2008, #1 pick,  $1 million per year
Michael Beasley/Adidas – 2008, #2 pick, $650,000 per year
Blake Griffin/Nike – 2009, #1 pick, $400,000 per year
Brandon Jennings/UnderArmor – 2009, #10 pick, 2-years $2 million
John Wall/Reebok – 2009, #1 pick, 5-years, $25 million

[Read more...]

Lakers’ Win Over Spurs Highlights San Antonio’s Weakness Inside

The San Antonio Spurs have the best record in the NBA at 51-12 and a stellar .810 winning percentage. They have a five and a half game lead over the Mavericks for the best record in the West, and they have five more wins than the Eastern Conference leading Celtics. Despite their great regular season record, few people think they’ll win the NBA title. Even checking the NBA odds indicates that the Lakers, Celtics, and cry-baby Miami Heat have better odds to win it all. The reality is Sunday’s blowout loss to the Lakers highlighted San Antonio’s biggest weakness and the reason why few people are confident they can win it all.

Two days after embarrassing the Heat, the Spurs were thrashed by the Lakers 99-83. The Lakers got up by 21 after the first quarter, and they were up by 28 at the half. They were dominating inside both offensively and defensively. Andrew Bynum grabbed 17 rebounds in only 22 minutes and had three blocks, exploiting San Antonio’s lack of size.

[Read more...]