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As the city of Philadelphia is waiting for the next destination of their star of many years Allen Iverson, a former star and legend of the Philadelphia Warriors died in his sleep.

I admit I know very little about the legend Paul Arizin (and I’m sure many are in a similar situation) because he played such a long time ago. But when the sport of basketball loses a legend like him, it’s only right to pay him a tribute. Paul Arizin died in his sleep Tuesday night December 12th. He was 78 years old.

Arizin is best known to for his unstoppable jump shot,a weapon that led his Philadelphia Warriors to the Championship in 1956 and landed him a place in the Hall of Fame and the 50 greatest players list in ‘96.

I just wish that his family and friends will deal with the loss well. As for the NBA, they just lost the legend Red Auerbach recently. It must be tough to lose more than one legend almost at the same time. God rest their souls!

The horror of Rockets fans and T-Mac’s fantasy owners has come true. Tracy McGrady is out indefinitely due to the same back spasms that kept him out for a long time last season.

Rockets star Tracy McGrady is out indefinitely with back spasms and was scratched from Tuesday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 6-foot-8 forward missed 35 games last season with back problems, and head coach Jeff Van Gundy said Tuesday he did not know how long McGrady will be sidelined this time.

USA Today 12/12/06

With fellow star teammate Yao Ming having his best performance in the his whole NBA career so far, it was thought that the Rockets finally have that strong chance of even winning the NBA title. We’ve all seen what a combination a healthy T-Mac and a healthy Yao can do earlier this season. That dream of winning it all is not dead yet but the fact that T-Mac’s problems are back and no one knows how long he’ll be, it will certainly hurt their chances. The Rockets can only now hope that T-Mac won’t be gone long and that Yao can remain healthy for the rest of the season. If the answer to both is no then we just might see a strong early Rockets performance turn into another trip to the ping pong balls.

All the negative feedback from even the league’s biggest stars like Shaq and Lebron James has prompted the NBA to switch back to the old leather game ball. This statement from David Stern explains that while they still think the new composite ball is the better ball, they decided to accommodate the players’ request to switch it back. The switch will be made January 1, 2007.

“Our players’ response to this particular composite ball has been consistently negative and we are acting accordingly,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern. “Although testing performed by Spalding and the NBA demonstrated that the new composite basketball was more consistent than leather, and statistically there has been an improvement in shooting, scoring, and ball-related turnovers, the most important statistic is the view of our players.”

“In the meantime, we will work with our players and our partners at Spalding to determine the best possible ball for the NBA.” 12/11/06

At least some complaining off the court about something other than the officiating still gets the players somewhere. Hehe.

The news that Allen Iverson will be moved on his request has sparked so much news and rumors about where he might end up. Many teams have expressed interest in acquiring him, including teams that have but a long shot at doing so. I don’t blame them because it’s not very often teams get the Chance to have a star of Iverson’s caliber.

A.I. to Boston?

a league source said the Celtics would be very interested in a deal as long as it did not involve Gerald Green. The source said one possible scenario was sending Theo Ratliff, Delonte West, Sebastian Telfair, and Al Jefferson to Philadelphia for Iverson.

Boston Globe 12/10/06

A.I. To the Warriors?

“We’re going to get tossed into every trade rumor until we make the playoffs,” Jason Richardson said before Saturday night’s game against the Hornets, offering a thin smirk. “If I vouch for (Iverson) to come, I’d probably be the one leaving. … We’d love for him to come, but you never know. All you can do is control what’s on the court and let the front office be the front office.”

San Francisco Chronicle 12/10/06

A.I. To T’Wolves?

“I just think Allen Iverson on any team probably makes it better just because at any time, he’s hard to stop,” Taylor said. “You get towards the end of the game, he’s a difficult player to stop. If you had some other guys around him and a guy like K.G. around him, it gives you some strong options at the end. He’s a very unique player. A guy like him, (Phoenix’s Steve) Nash, maybe (New Jersey’s Jason) Kidd, these guys are very creative and probably would be helpful to almost any team with any combination around them.”

Twin Cities 12/10/06

A.I. To New York?

“Of course, the Knicks are trying to get Allen,” said a source close to the situation. “But I don’t think they have much of a chance.”

New York Daily News 12/09/06

Allen Iverson was asked many times in several different occasions about his career with the Philadelphia 76ers and he repeatedly answered that he wants to retire as a Sixer, that he wants to be a Sixer his whole career. Suddenly, that mentality has changed - he wants out and he wants out now!

According to two agents whose clients play for the 76ers, Iverson went to team president Billy King this past Tuesday and demanded to be traded, something he professed repeatedly over the years he’d never do.

New York Post 12/08/06

Is this a sign that the Sixers are hopeless and beyond salvageable so much so that their leader and star has given up? Or is this merely a personal frustration brought upon by constant losing that sparked him to think “I’ll never win a championship with these guys ever, not here and not now”. No matter what the answer is, the point is he wants out and that can only prove catastrophic if the Sixers don’t do anything about it.

How do you win a war when your general has given up? How do you win games if your star has given up? Leadership is a strong factor in taking down obstacles. People look to their leader to take them past any hardship. With A.I. now wanting out, who can they turn to? That’s why the Sixers need to scramble to cater to his wishes and ship him out and quickly look for someone who can restore the peace in that chaotic environment. “In with the good air, out with the bad” as I call it.

The Celtics have expressed interest in acquiring A.I. and maybe a team up with Paul Pierce could prove healthy in rejuvenating his career elsewhere. Where ever he may go, he needs to be out of there right now before the team’s chemistry becomes even worse and the losing becomes too much.

A lot of NBA teams were high on Tyrus Thomas even way before draft day and that’s because he’s shown to be a very athletic defensive minded player who could do damage on the offensive end last season playing for LSU. But it was pretty clear that his is still pretty raw and that needs refining.

Tyrus Thomas chose the right man for the job to help him in Bulls legend Scottie Pippen.

The two have become fast friends, to the point that Pippen has been working with Thomas after the team’s practices at the Berto Center the last few days.

‘’Just working on my overall game,'’ Thomas said. ‘’On and off the court, he’s just being a mentor. I call him and talk to him about basketball, life.'’

Chicago Sun Times 12/07/06

Scottie’s all around game in his playing days is a huge plus in teaching Thomas what he can do to improve. Both guys play bigger than their size in the same sense that guys like Elton brand, Shawn Marion, and Charles Barkley could all go against bigger people offensively and defensively. It’s this similarity that makes a mentor-mentee relationship between the two, in my mind, a successful one. Besides, Thomas wants to be a more complete player and Pippen is about as “all-around” as you can get. His experience playing the point guard in his childhood days gave him the guard mentality as he grew taller and taller to eventually become and effective forward.

Down the road I see Thomas as a Shawn Marion type player. If Thomas can extend his range to the perimeter and if Thomas will refine his overall game, I can really see that happening for sure especially with the help of Pippen.

If it gives the players any consolation, the NBA referees are on the look out for everyone who loses their cool - even fans! This story from the New York Daily News is a bit hilarious given the current complains about the tighter officiating and zero tolerance so much so that it seems like a comic relief.

A spectator sitting on the baseline nearest to the Nets’ bench was ejected from the arena during the third quarter of Dallas’ win last night at the Meadowlands.

During a timeout, veteran referee Joey Crawford summoned security to deal with a fan who was about to walk onto the court. According to Stu Jackson, the league’s executive vice president of basketball operations who oversees security and discipline, arena security was about to issue the fan “a warning” when the fan started using “repeated profanity directed at the official.”

“At that point,” Jackson said in a statement, “the fan was removed.”

New York Daily News 12/06/06

Persoanlly, this story just cracks me up! haha!

The new NBA ball is bugging so many of the players that the Players Association is suing the NBA for it. But that’s another story. It seems that Dirk Nowitzki of the Mavericks has attributed another bad feature to the notorious new ball - it seems to be causing injuries!

The Mavs’ leading scorer has developed a gash on the top of his left middle finger the size of a paper cut. It’s happened twice this season, and his finger was bleeding before Monday night’s game against Washington.

The only explanation he has is the ball.

“It’s weird,” said Nowitzki, who played with the finger bandaged. “I saw it one morning and thought maybe I got a paper cut, but it’s happened twice now. I don’t know what else it could be.

Star Telegram 12/05/06

Switch back to the old ball I say! It seems to be causing more harm than good.

I’d like to thank Brett Edwards of Fan House. His blog post over there gave me the idea to post about this here.

This season feels different not only because it’s the first season wherein no rookie drafted was a high school player (because of the new collective bargaining agreement rules) but also because of two changes: The new NBA ball and the “no tolerance” policy in officiating. The players feel offended that Commissioner David Stern implemented both changes without consulting them.

While the new ball is an issue, the players are starting to get used to it. The more serious issue is the tighter officiating which affects the way players react in an emotional circumstance.

“It takes away from your natural reaction, the things that make basketball what it is,” said Jerry Stackhouse, the Mavericks’ player representative. “You think Bill Bradley never hit the support after he was called for a foul? That’s the model citizen of all former NBA players. It’s just a natural thing to do.”

SI 12/1/06

The game of basketball is an emotional sport and player’s reactions are fueled by that emotion. Unfortunately, the tighter officiating and the zero tolerance (aka no whining) policy could interpret a harmless but emotionally fueled reaction as a whine and the player gets hit with a technical. That bring us to another issue.

players are fined $1,000 for each of their first five technicals. The fine increases by $500 for each five after that, capped by a $2,500 penalty for each one starting with the 16th. A one-game suspension also comes at that point and for every other technical thereafter.

Tighter officiating means more technicals and that means more fines. This combination really makes it seem now that the NBA is milking its players of their money. Conspiracy theory anyone? *horns*

Personally I’m sure that David Stern means well. It’s just that his methods make him look like some power hungry dictator. When it comes to decisions that will affect players with such magnitude, the players really need to consulted. I’m with the players this time since it seems like the players’ trust has been abused.

Then rookie Channing Frye was one of the bright lights in a disappointing and disastrous last season for the New York Knicks. One year later and it seems like he’s been hit with a sophomore slump as he failed to impress the angry New York fans who are looking for a recovery with Isiah Thomas at the coaching helm. Now it seems as if getting injured was one of the good things Channing Frye was able to do for his team as it gave way for the further development of David Lee who is looking really good right now - so good that Frye’s role could be very much reduced when he gets back.

In spite of the the early disappointment, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been keeping an eye on Frye until he got that injury. If the Cavaliers regain interest when Frye is healthy, the situation sure looks like Thomas will take a good look at any offer and maybe deal him if the offer is good. If he moves, the Cavs will be lucky to get him if Frye reverts back to the the great player he was last season. Of course, it looks like if a deal is made then Thomas might want Drew Gooden in return, which is a big loss for the Cavs. I’m pretty sure Cavs fans would much rather have Gooden than Frye.

What I think though is that the Knicks should just stick with Frye and try to trade someone else. Frye is young and he has room to grow and become even much better than he was last year. The Knicks should focus on getting rid of the big contract guys like Jerome James. The two teams lay off a possible Gooden-Frye deal. I feel this is a deal that will just make both teams worse in the long run.