Friday , Jan , 23 , 2009 Christopher Sells

No Mo’ Zo, ASG Starters, and Another Coach Bites the Dust

No Mo' Zo, ASG Starters, and Another Coach Bites the DustMourning Retires
More than the dunks, more than the blocks, more than the trademark scowl and intensity, Alonzo Mourning will be remembered for his battle with a life-threatening kidney disease. Not only did he fight his way through that, he returned to the court and contributed to a championship team. He retired yesterday at age 38.

Mourning leaves the game ranked 10th in blocks and as the leader in points, rebounds and games played as a member of the Miami Heat. He was twice named Defensive Player of the Year, won tn NBA Title in 2006 and an Olympic gold medal in 2000. He was also a seven-time All-Star. Mourning says he plans to remain heavily involved in the community as well as doing odd jobs around the house for his wife.

So what do you guys think about Zo’s career? Does the Hall of Fame await him? The video below should remind you of some of the highlights of his career.

All-Star Starters Announced
Here are your All-Star starters for the February 15 game:
Western Conference: Tim Duncan, Amare Stoudemire, Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul
Eastern Conference: Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, Dwyane Wade
I personally think the fans got it right for the most part. There are a couple of players who probably were not the best at their positions and didn’t warrant an All-Star invite (John Nguyen would like to replace Amare with Dirk Nowitzki, [which you can read about here->–ar49980.html]) but 80-90% is pretty good. Your ideas of who deserved to start and who deserves to be named as a reserve are welcomed in the comments section.

By the way, a big deal was made about Yi Jianlian possibly starting ahead of Kevin Garnett. Has anyone noticed that Bruce Bowen was less that 100,000 votes behind Amare? This put him ahead of Ron Artest, Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge– players who aren’t past their prime and in need of immediate retirement.

Another Coach Fired

This time it’s Marc Iavaroni, formerly the head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. It’s not particularly surprising, since the Grizz suck, but what exactly are owners and GMs thinking? If you put a crappy team on  the floor, they aren’t going to win games. Of course, Memphis has plenty of talent, but it’s young and one of the complaints is that the team isn’t improving or competing; they’ve lost 15 of 17.

Johnny Davis will be the team’s interim coach until former Grizzlies coach and current Milwaukee assistant Lionel Hollins takes over the team this weekend after Avery Johnson declined the opportunity to coach the team. Got that?

Lockout Looming?

With the economy suffering and the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement expiring after the 10-11 season, it’s a very distinct possibility that the league and its owners will once again lockout the players. The last lockout was 10 years ago and result in the league throwing together half of a season in 1999. Bobby Jackson has the best explanation of how things might get to that point:

"If the economy doesn’t turn in two years, there’s definitely going to be a lockout because everybody is taking a hit in this recession," Jackson said. "The owners are definitely going to want to make some cutbacks, and the players aren’t going to want to make cutbacks.
"But I think we have to put our differences aside and say what’s best, and that’s playing this game and giving fans what they want and not being selfish."

Here’s hoping they get things figured out, because the tail end of 1998, when the season was supposed to be going on, was pretty rough. I certainly don’t want to repeat that, personally. Of course, the league would lose a lot of fans and take a lot of time to recover if there were any kind of stoppage. Get it figured out, guys.

Monta’s Back
After missing all of the season up to this point after a moped mishap in the offseason, Monta Ellis will return to the court for the Warriors tonight. Ellis will start at point guard and hope that he can pick up where he left off last year. The Warriors play the Cavs tonight, so he’ll get to hit the ground running against one of the league’s best teams.