Saturday , Apr , 21 , 2007 Oly Sandor

NBA Wrap-up for April 21, Playoff Edition

Breaking down the day’s top NBA stories … Playoffs, Playoffs, and more Playoffs … Watch and rate the 5 GREATEST Playoff buzzer-beaters … MJ, Big-shot Bob, and Derek Fisher … We’ve got reaction to Sebastian Telfair’s arrest … Weigh in on Sacramento’s coaching change …

Top 3 Stories

1) Five classic shots to get you in the mood for playoff basketball
2) Sebastian Telfair packing heat
3) Musselman out as coach of the Kings

1) Five playoff buzzer-beaters to get you ready for the second season

It’s Christmas for NBA fans. And the gift of great playoff basketball is waiting to be unwrapped and watched by hoop heads everywhere.

Fans, like players, can get complacent during an 82 game regular season. A seven month season makes us forget why we watch basketball.

But the playoffs remind us how much we love basketball. So let’s celebrate the playoffs.

Below are my five all-time favorite playoff shots to get you in the mood for the second season. Click on the links below. Watch and enjoy. As always, tell us about your favorite playoff shot in the comment box below.

1) ‘The Fisher King.’ Lakers vs. Spurs, Game 5, Playoffs 2004.

2) ‘The MJ push-off.’ Bulls vs. Jazz, Game 6, Finals 1998.

3) ‘Big-shot Bob.’ Lakers vs. Kings, Game 4, Playoffs 2002.

‘Agent Zero is born.’ Wizards vs. Bulls, Game 5, Playoffs 2005.

‘MJ killing Craig Ehlo.’ Bulls vs. Cavaliers, Game 5, Playoffs 1989.

2) Telfair once again in trouble with the law

What Happened: is once again making headlines for all the wrong reasons. On Friday morning, he was arrested for gun possession and driving with a suspended license after being pulled over for speeding in Yonkers, New York.

Later in the day, Telfair pleaded not guilty in Yonkers City court and was released on bail.

This is not the first time Telfair has been in trouble with the law. During his rookie season with the Trail Blazers, he was fined for bringing a loaded gun onto the team plane. Last fall, Telfair reported his $50, 000 chain necklace stolen from a night spot.

Reaction of New York police officer Kieran O’Leary
on Telfair’s behavior while in custody:
“Our officers said he behaved like a gentlemen.” (ESPN)

Reaction of Boston owner Wyc Grousbeck
on Telfair getting arrested:
"The players on the Celtics have been explicitly warned, this year, to obey the team and league gun prohibition as well as state laws. We take this very seriously, and will act accordingly once the facts have been determined.” (CNNSI)

Reaction of Ed Hayes who’s representing Telfair:
 “He’s never been arrested before. He came from total poverty and made enormous sacrifices for his family and I think that entitles him to the benefit of the doubt from the public as to what really happened here."  (Boston Globe)

My Take: I think this is a real problem for Sebastian Telfair. In just over 16 months, he’s been caught up in three ugly incidents-two of which involve guns.

I could never tell a grown man like Telfair to turn his back on where he’s from. But Telfair has to cut ties with the negative influences (only) from his old neighborhood. This is a decision only he can make. Forget about his days as a high school hoops legend. He doesn’t owe anyone for his success.

Soon, his rookie contract will expire. Telfair is a backup on a bad team. Last season, another rookie, Rajon Rondo, kicked his ass and took his starting position. He needs to correct his game and behavior to land that big money extension.

3) One and done for Eric Musselman

What Happened: The had seen enough. On Friday, they fired Coach Eric Musselman after just one disappointing season.

The Kings finished well back of the playoffs with a 33-49 record. The team was plagued by feuds and inconsistent play.

And on October 20th, Musselman got arrested for drunk driving following the team’s first pre-season game.

Reaction of Kings’ president of basketball operation Geoff Petrie
on firing Eric Musselman: “We’ve got to sit down and look at the process and how we did it," Geoff Petrie, the Kings’ president of basketball operations, said of last summer’s coaching search. There was some concern — not that we were out of the playoffs, but the way we were out of it. We just couldn’t get the level of consistency that would allow us to (make the postseason).” (

Reaction of CBS Sports reporter Tony Mejia on the firing of Eric Musselman:
”This is what Musselman dealt with. He didn’t fare well, and he didn’t fall on his face. Ultimately, he messed up enough that the Maloof brothers were able to let him go without much scrutiny. You could see this coming. It was unfortunate, but you could see it. Understand that the Maloofs are most at fault here, because they should have never made Rick Adelman feel unwanted in the first place. Last I checked, he had Artest and Bonzi Wells playing unbelievable basketball, scaring the daylights out of San Antonio as a No. 1 seed in the 2006 playoffs.”  (CBS Sports)

Reaction of Sacramento Bee writer Marty McNeal
on Eric Musselman’s prickly personality:
”However, as much as statistics and won-lost record matter, it’s the measure of a man that highly influences his ability to lead. Ultimately, a player will have to respect his coach to buy heart and soul into the program. It’s not always a must, but it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of folks actually like you as a person. As hard as he tried to make people like him, Musselman couldn’t do it and didn’t realize it can’t be done." (Sacramento Bee)

My Take: This situation was flawed from the beginning. Musselman had no control over most of the problems. couldn’t make a shot because of a wrist injury. had an off-season. , once again, flipped out.

But Musselman may be too competitive for his own good-if there is such a thing. For example, two years ago I wrote an article that barely mentioned Musselman. There was nothing disparaging about him. Yet, he still emailed me to say "hi". Basically, the coach was letting me know he paid attention to what was written about him.

I have no problem with this. Journalists should be accountable. And Musselman seemed like a decent guy. But why is he paying attention to an article that barely mentions him?

Personally, I think he’s a bright and hardworking coach. He just needs the right situation.

Come back tomorrow morning for another edition of the NBA Wrap-up, featuring Oly Sandor’s cutting-edge analysis. Got a comment or question? Use the comment box or email Oly at [email protected]