Monday , Jun , 18 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Monday Listed: NBA’s Top Stories #6-10 For 2006-07

Check out Monday Listed, from Hoopsvibe The Blog, where every Monday Oly drops an epic NBA list … This is part two of Monday Listed, breaking down the biggest and baddest stories in The Association for 2006-07 … So read stories six through ten and get at us with your thoughts …

Monday Listed: Part 2

6)With Melo In the Penalty Box, Another Answer Arrives

Denver ’s , a budding superstar and one of the NBA’s leading scorers, received a fifteen game suspension for attempting to sucker-punch Mardi Collins at the end of a Knicks-Nuggets game.

With Anthony out of the line-up, the Nuggets needed scoring, so they swung a blockbuster trade for superstar .

Say what you want,  I love Melo and A.I. as a one-two punch. These two are fabulous closers who can get their shot off at anytime. And opposing defenses can’t throw out a double team against the Nuggets. Yeah, Denver may need to play with two balls to keep everybody happy. And, yeah, the anti-Dime crew may have beef with their new school, Rucker Park flow.

But does anybody care what accountants think about basketball? Sorry, I forgot about Commissioner Stern.

These two are exciting. And Anthony and Iverson had some success. After all, had a nice end-of-season winning streak and took a game off in the Western Conference quarterfinals.  And, remember, that’s one more game than Cleveland won against the Spurs in the NBA Finals.

7) The 06 Champ Gets The Broom

missed time with an injury. also missed time with an injury. Even Coach Pat Riley was sidelined, missing two months of the season for surgery.

The defending champions never found their rhythm. I, like everybody else, expected them to turn up, well, the ‘Heat’ in their opening round playoff series against the Bulls.

It didn’t happen. The MIA was ousted in four straight games by Chicago. I think the Heat could be in trouble next season. After all, they mortgaged their entire future for that 2006 Title. There are question marks surrounding Riley and Shaq’s commitment.

But at least we have this memory of the 2006 season:

8) Oden & Durant Likely Land In Pacific Northwest

The draft lottery was the talk of the NBA season. Who would win the top two picks and earn the right to select future superstars Greg Oden and Kevin Durant?

Everyone thought Memphis and Boston had the first two picks on lock. For Grizzly and Celtic fans all the losing would be worth it, but only if they landed Oden or Durant.

Of course, the little white balls bounced in an entirely different direction with the Pacific Northwest ruling the day. The Trail Blazers won the first overall pick and Seattle got the second overall pick.

Portland, with either Oden or Durant, has a stud nucleus. And either of these guys may save NBA ball in the Emerald City.

9) Hornets Back To New Orleans

After two seasons of playing in front of sell out crowds in Oklahoma City, the displaced Hornets are heading back to . After the destruction of Hurricane Katrina, the Big Easy can use a positive, feel-good story.

I like the Hornets’ future. This is an up-and-coming team with , , and Peja Stojakovic. They’re young and extremely athletic. Hopefully, the rumors about the state of New Orleans are untrue. And fans have the ability to get behind their team.

10) NBA Gets Even More Global

Consider the facts:

Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki, the NBA’s last two MVPs, are from Canada and Germany.

-San Antonio’s Big Three, , Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, are either from or have spent significant parts of their life outside the United States.

-The have a large Euro contingent. It seems like they have players from every state, republic, and break-away region in Europe. The Raptors even hired a Euro front office exec-Maurizio Gherardini.

-The NBA, as a league, is looking to add revenue streams by specifically marketing the game  to Europe and Asia. This is priority number one. Commissioner Stern wants to the NBA brand to expand into India and China.

Face it. The NBA is no longer just about the United States. In fact, it hasn’t been for a long time.

Click here to read Monday Listed The NBA’s Top Five Stories For 2006-07

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