Tag Archives: Dallas Mavericks

LaMarcus Aldridge Should Bolt Portland for San Antonio During Free Agency

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By Matt Stevenson

April 24, 2015

LaMarcus Aldridge is possibly the most under-rated star the NBA has seen is recent times. Leading the Portland Trail Blazers since 2006, Aldridge has revitalized the franchise and have become a post season threat to any playoff team.

But Aldridge is a free agent after this season and his unhappiness with the organization is being reported by numerous sources. Also, look at how awful this team looks against the Memphis Grizzlies in the playoffs so far.

Despite the rumors this season and last season as well (Blazers were rumored to be offering up Aldridge last season) LaMarcus has repeatedly voiced his desire to stay in Portland… Except we haven’t heard that lately.

A Texas native and a Texas University alum, the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs are the two teams that may actually have the money to land him. It was recently reported that San Antonio might even already be discussing a free agent meeting with him.

Why would Aldridge want to leave though?

Wesley Matthews and Nic Batum are quality players for any team in this league and have both proven their value as shooters and defenders. But Robin Lopez is too inconsistent to be a starter on a championship team and Meyers Leonard is questionable to be on any team. Aldridge’s help down low is awful in the paint, and he is solely relied upon by his teammates to defend and attack in the post.

But hold on, what about Damian Lillard? This is where I believe it gets sticky.

Aldridge has worked his ass off for the Blazers organization ever since he came as a rookie, and has put up with the injuries of Greg Oden and Brandon Roy and mediocre replacements they paired him with… while still some how posting winning records.

The Portland Trail Blazers this season made it obvious that Damian Lillard is who they want to be the face of the franchise. Although maybe more flashy and fun to watch than a post-dominant player like Aldridge, Lillard came into a team that had a set starting lineup in Matthews, Batum, Aldridge and Lopez. He meshed in great and easy with his skill-set, but he should’ve with such a good group of guys around him.

There should be no doubt that Aldridge is upset with this because it has always been HIS team until now. Lillard has whoa’d the NBA fans and, more importantly, the men wearing suits in the Portland Trail Blazers front office.

Tony Parker staying put, the Spurs also have nice depth, and of course Kawhi Leonard coming into a contract year as well. It’s a great situation for both the Spurs and Aldridge if they can afford to pair Kawhi and LaMarcus. Of course, big questions revolve around Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan regarding their possible retirements. The thought of not having to pay income taxes and returning to his home town of Texas is nice too.

The Trail Blazers had a great run but treating a star like Aldridge they way they have in order to get the younger, fresher Lillard’s brand famous is not the way to handle that situation. I predict LaMarcus Aldridge will bolt Portland for San Antonio during NBA Free Agency this summer and the Spurs will , yet again, have a great 10-year future as a league powerhouse.

Dirk Nowitzki Records 27,000th Career Point

By Nick Muhl

Monday Night, in their game versus the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored his 27,000th career point. Nowitzki achieved a huge career milestone in the Mavericks 107-80 win. He now becomes only the fourth player in NBA history, joining Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Karl Malone, to score 27,000 points with one team.

In his 17th NBA season, the 36-year-old forward jumped over Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon on the all time career scoring list. This is significant because until now Olajuwon, from Nigeria, has been revered as the greatest international basketball player to ever play on the NBA. Nowitzki, born and raised in Germany, now has surpassed Olajuwon’s scoring average and presents a valid argument as the best international player to ever play in the NBA.

In his 17 seasons, Nowitzki has quietly become one of the best players to ever play basketball. In an NBA era highlighted by superstars like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and even Tim Duncan, Nowitzki continues to add to his hall of fame resume. The forward has been named to the NBA All Star team 12 times, won one NBA Championship and the second European player to ever win the NBA most valuable player award.

Michael Lee, writer for The Washington Post, highlighted in his Monday night article why it is so significant for an international player to have had such great success in the NBA.

“When Nowitzki entered the league during the lockout-shortened season in 1999, the NBA only had 38 international players and most 7-footers still played with their backs to the basket in an effort to dominate inside. This season, the league has a record 101 international players from 37 countries and territories and big men hovering around the perimeter is now commonplace.”

As Lee points out, Nowitzki has not only become such a great player, but opened the doors for more international basketball players to play in the NBA. The forward, in his moment of triumph and spotlight chose to thank the fans for his accomplishment,

“It was a really special moment to do it at home in front of the fans who have been with me through my 16-17 years here and they gave me a great standing ovation. At the next timeout they showed a video with moments from my career – that was really special and definitely I had some goosebumps. I was just thinking what an amazing ride it has been and how lucky I have been to really come here with an open mind and have people be great to me.”

Hopefully, as his final seasons quickly approach, the Dallas forward will receive more media attention as he continues to break career milestones. His accomplishments have not only opened the door for more international basketball players to join the NBA, but for their accomplishments to be more recognized by sports media.

NBA announcers focus on ‘same faces, new places’

BY LOREN BRANCH

Championship caliber teams, rookies, injuries, Kobe, and LeBron … These are all popular subjects during the beginning of every NBA season.

However, this year the various moves and trades seem to be the topic of discussion around the league. From the pre and post-game shows of the opening night games to the daily ESPN shows, anywhere the NBA is being talked about, all the offseason moves are leading the discussions.

The nationally televised opening night games were: Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks vs. Los Angeles Lakers. All four of these teams made some big personnel changes prior to the beginning of the season so both broadcasts were full of conversations and comments on that topic.

During both pre-game shows, analysts spent a lot of time discussing how the new players were going to fit in with their new teams and how they got there. Specifically before the Celtics vs. Heat game, they commented on how strange it was to see former Celtic Ray Allen playing in a Heat jersey against the team he just left in free agency.

Because the games were back-to-back on TNT, they shared a post-game show centered on analyzing how the teams looked in their first game together. A good portion of the discussion about the Mavericks vs. Lakers game focused on how the Lakers didn’t seem to be gelling together with their new team and offensive scheme. This conversation overshadowed how well the Mavericks played without their best player in Dirk Nowitzki, which was only mentioned very briefly.

In the two days since those opening games, NBA conversations continue to revolve around “same faces, new places.” Whether it’s discussing the playoff hopes James Harden has brought to the Houston Rockets or how well Deron Williams and Joe Johnson will play together in Brooklyn, every single one of the non sport-specific ESPN shows have been discussing NBA roster changes.  Pardon the Interruption, SportsCenter, and First Take all discussed the Lakers disappointing 0-2 start and made suggestions as to what they need to do to get their new all-star cast to work together.