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Chris Paul Will Be The Rare NBAPA President Who is Currently in His Prime

Clippers guard Chris Paul has a tall task ahead of him in fixing the union. I’m rooting for him.

I was very caught off guard by Clippers guard Chris Paul becoming NBAPA President. We went from talking about Lebron James possibly becoming the guy to no word at all to…Chris Paul? Los Angeles Clippers Chris Paul? Can’t be traded to the Lakers for Basketball Reasons Chris Paul? I certainly didn’t expect this.

Over a week ago I wrote for about why I understood Lebron James passing up a run and how important it is that he continue to be a champion for his peers whether he runs or not. I argued that I hope he offers himself up as a support system for whoever takes the position. But more importantly, in that article, I talked about the time commitment the next NBAPA President will have to make to really engender change. 

I wrote:

Although it would be intriguing to have the league’s face represent the players, there’s a reason that recent union presidents have been guys were lesser known and didn’t hold the office during the prime of their careers. Three-point sharpshooter, journeyman and league gadfly Derrick Fisher last served in the role. Before Fisher, Michael Curry and Antonio Davis took their turns. It’s been a while since heralded players Patrick Ewing and Isiah Thomas juggled the position while remaining stars on the court. That’s understandable given how things have changed over the past couple decades. 

The last Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed after a short lockout and a flurry of controversy about how much revenue the players gave back to the league. Fisher publicly clashed with the union’s executive director Billy Hunter which resulted in Hunter suing Fisher accusing him of “secret negotiations” with league owners. Hunter himself was investigated and subsequently fired for improper deals and hiring. The union badly needs a seasoned veteran who can dedicate some real time to cleaning things up.

I really can’t speculate about what kind of President Chris Paul will be. I’ve always found Paul to be an intriguing figure. Paul is at times profoundly serious yet oddly immature. He also seems like a dedicated husband and father and rather thoughtful when it comes to issues concerning his career despite being relatively young. But what 28 year old really wants to spend time poring through the CBA and repairing union relations? There’s even strife among the players as some committee members were nonplussed with folks like James who publicly said the NBAPA disarray. Some bridges will need to be built there as well. 

On the flip side, there is an opportunity for a somewhat fresh start since Commissioner Dr. Evil  David Stern is now outgoing. His replacement Adam Silver has obviously been a mainstay in the league for a long time but whether he takes the same heavy handed approach Stern has in the past remains to be seen.

Whatever the case, I like a man that doesn’t shy away from a challenge. And this is an enormous one. Congratulations to Chris.



Pacers Roy Hibbert wishes Warriors David Lee a speedy recovery in the rudest way possible

I don’t think we have to worry about Indiana Pacers Roy Hibbert being tapped by Hallmark to write greeting cards any time soon. After Golden State’s David Lee went down with a leg injury and was announced as out for the remainder of the season, Hibbert sent him this tweet:

I guess Hibbert isn’t over the fight they got into back in February that resulted in both of them being suspended for a game.

Lee went down in the 4th quarter of Golden State’s game against the Nuggets. The resulting injury was a “torn hip flexor.”  The Warriors were already not likely to overcome the balanced and aggressive play of the Nuggets, but now they will be without their second leading scorer (behind Steph Curry) and their top rebounder.

Lee’s birthday is coming up on April 29th. Hopefully, Hibbert doesn’t feel compelled to wish him a Happy Birthday. No telling how that tweet would look!





Houston Rockets Rookie Royce White Tortures Himself on Twitter; Headed to D League

I’m not a big fan of writing posts about whatever happens on twitter but every now and then something pops that I feel like addressing.  Yesterday Houston Rockets rookie Royce White tweeted his discontent about his relationship with the Rockets. For those who don’t know, the promising rookie talent has generalized anxiety disorder, a condition that can make routine day-to-day things difficult for many people who live with it.

From day 1, the Rockets and White have been trying to nail down the accommodations White needs. The most obvious and well known accommodation is taking the bus rather than a plane to road games within his definition of driving distance. There were other accommodations in their agreement most of which are unreported at this time. But Royce used his twitter account to blast the Rockets for not living up to the terms of their agreement. He also used it to retweet supporters and to educate folks who don’t take his illness seriously.

I figured White would be done talking after a few tweets, but the tweets went on for well over an hour. I checked White’s mentions and there was definitely a lot of support but there was also a lot of negativity with people telling him he was weak and soft and to “get over it.” those are just the kinds of abusive words that can amount to triggers for people with mental illnesses. It started to feel like he was just torturing himself.

As far as the Rockets are concerned, many draft experts were very surprised when they took White in the first round. Iowa State accommodated White’s driving needs and there didn’t seem to be any other public hiccups with his condition and ability to play. However, moving to an 82 game season where the spotlight is much harsher and the money is a lot bigger is a different story both for the organization and for the person with GAD. I don’t know Royce’s particular symptoms but big changes typically cause upticks in anxiety levels.

I believe the Rockets when they say they are putting forth a good faith effort to accommodate White. But there’s also a part of me that believes the Rockets, like many fans, didn’t take White’s illness seriously. I think if they had have taken it seriously, they probably would have passed on him not wanting the hassle.

But the time to avoid White’s needs has long passed but the Rockets are still trying by sending White to the D-League which is humiliating (in my view) to do so early in a first round draft pick’s career.  I’m sure that White’s twitter tirade was in part sparked by that as well. I suppose there had to be some consequences for the time he’s missed from practice and missed visits with the team appointed therapist.  I just hope that they can come to an agreement soon and we get to see what this potential star has to offer.

In the meantime, you can read up on White’s demotion and follow him on twitter here.

Update 11/14/2012 4:48pm: Royce White indicates there was a dispute between he and the Rockets regarding him wanting to see his own doctor of 3 years vs. team doctor. He’s gotta stop tweeting this stuff.



True or False: Dwight Howard Drank Alcohol For the Very First Time Two Months Ago

Los Angeles Laker Dwight Howard (I hate the way that sounds!) swears he wasn’t drunk when he was putting us through all that trade drama last season.

I don’t know if it’s true or false that Dwight Howard had never tasted alcohol before he was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Los Angeles Lakers but I do know that’s what he claimed according to Lee Jenkins at Sports Illustrated.

Being traded to the Lakers drove Dwight Howard to drink … well, sort of.

Jenkins writes that Howard, who attended high school at a Christian Academy (Ga.), felt “sheltered” upon his arrival in the NBA and wakes up early every morning to read the Bible. Until this summer, Howard says he had never had an adult beverage.

[To finish reading whether I believe Dwight Howard or not click Read More]



Allen Iverson will play against the Mavericks and Timberwolves in 2 Exhibition Games

Well it’s not quite a come back. Okay, it’s not a comeback at all. But we will get to see Allen Iverson play against NBA teams this month. Iverson has reportedly signed with Israeli team Maccabi Haifa and will play for the team against the Dallas Mavericks and Minnesota Timberwolves in 2 exhibition games.

Can you tell it doesn’t take much for me to follow up on Allen Iverson? Here is the original report (although I think I pretty much summed it for you). And here is my previous post on Iverson. He was in China at that point.



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