Danny Granger is a great player. He's so great that he is a second option on a championship contending team. Granger is a top 5 small forward in the NBA, but he’s not a star. The murderous East leaves no one alive. The Indiana Pacers is no exception. Miami, Chicago, Orlando, Boston, New York, Milwaukee, and to a lesser extent, Philadelphia, all got better. Indiana barely did anything. Granger earned a better destiny than this although he hasn’t complained to anyone yet.Read More
The Pacers are attempting to trade T.J. Ford and Mike Dunleavy, according to sources. Ford has been on the market for several months, but the news of an attempt to trade Dunleavy is surprising as Jim O'Brien is known to be high on him.
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It's not if, but when.
The Indiana Pacers will trade Mike Dunleavy and T.J. Ford because both are spare parts with sought-after expiring contracts.
While there's no suspense about the end result, what the Pacers do with these pieces will reveal much about the club's plans.
If executive Larry Bird deals Dunleavy and/or Ford for cap relief in 2011, the Pacers are turtling until the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (hopefully) levels the playing field for smaller markets.
If Bird deals the small forward and point guard for on-court help, then the Pacers haven't waved the white flag of surrender on 2011.
The real solution for Indiana comes with a re-worked CBA that provides a sound financial structure for all franchises, not just its six have-franchises.
However, getting this CBA is a major if, not a when.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
"Speaking of Collison, the Pacers have reached out to New Orleans about the former UCLA point guard."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Indiana and New Orleans are two of the NBA’s smallest markets. Both have limited budgets. Yet, both are desperate to upgrade their roster.
And this is Corporal/Commissioner David Stern’s post recession problem: his league has become increasingly fractured and polarized into have and have-not franchises.
The have franchises – think Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, and New York – will spend their summer trying to land big-ticket free agents.
No expense will be spared. Mayors, politicians, celebrities, rap icons and even a president have tried wooing the game’s elite player to their club of choice
The have-not franchises – think Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Memphis – will spend their summer scheming up creative and cost-effective ways to compete.
With this in mind, a Darren Collison deal would make some sense for the Pacers and Hornets.
Larry Bird’s club has to get better at point guard. TJ Ford – and his $8 million dollar salary – isn’t the answer. And Jamaal Tinsley’s $5 million pact is still on the books, even though he was released years ago.
Collison, a lightning quick table-setter, filled in admirably for injured superstar Chris Paul. Best of all, the UCLA alum has three years remaining on his rookie pact.
Meanwhile, reports that the Hornets and Paul were considering parting ways are false. Team and player are apparently committed to each other and sticking together.
However, New Orleans was always a poorer NBA market. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. Then The Great Recession came. And now there’s the Gulf Coast oil spill.
All contributed to the city’s struggling economy, which means there’s less disposable income for citizens to spend on disposable goods –like NBA tickets and luxury boxes.
So the Hornets can't generate the revenue to sign high or even medium priced free agents. Their best and only option this summer is trading the young and inexpensive Collison for other young, and inexpensive players.
They've got lockdown defender Dahntay Jones, athletic swing Brandon Rush, and blue-collar bruiser Tyler Hansbrough.
All are young. All are cheap. And all could play a role in The Bayou. Perhaps, Bird, Indiana's head suit, lets New Orleans pick two of these three players.
That said, nothing is imminent between the Pacers and Hornets. Expect them to keep talking. As mentioned, in today’s NBA, their options are limited.
Get at us with thoughts on this deal?
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: It was a momentum swinger.
In game-five of the 2010 NBA Finals, Tony Allen delivered a one-two combo block that sparked the Boston Celtics. Allen, an athletic swing, appeared from the helpside to emphatically deny Los Angeles Lakers post Pau Gasol a left-handed chippie.
The play reminded me of one thing: Tayshaun Prince on Reggie Miller.
Back in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals, Prince preserved a key Detroit Pistons win against the Indiana Pacers by heroically blocking what seemed like a gimme lay-up for clutch closer and superstar Reggie Miller.
The Piston won the game. And later they won the 2004 NBA Title.
So watch both clips and get at us with your call on the best playoff block ever: Allen on Gasol or Prince on Miller.
(Allen with the one-two combo block.)
(Prince with the amazing block on Miller.)
With only two teams left playing ball, the rumors are starting to fly. Yesterday on his weekly ESPN.com chat, Chad Ford mentioned that one scenario floating out there is San Antonio sending Tony Parker to Indiana for the No. 10 pick, Troy Murphy and Brandon Rush.
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: After their first round loss to the Phoenix Suns, the San Antonio Spurs are looking to shake things up.
And Tony Parker is the prime candidate to be moved because he has value on-court and on-the-books. After all, Parker can play. The jitterbug point guard still has the 'quicks' to get to the basket at will and can keep opposing defenses honest with his improving range.
Best of all, his $10 million contract expires next July, so whoever acquires him will also get some financial flexibility.
This specific deal with the Indiana Pacers is unlikely since they'd be giving up Rush, an athletic youngster, plus a lottery pick for one year with the Frenchman. Also, Murphy's contract matches Parker's with respect to term and money, killing any potential savings for Larry Bird's squad.
Parker could well be dealt. It won't be to the Pacers, though. By the way, what would Hollywood diva Eva Longoria, who is married to Parker, think of Indiana?
Got thoughts on this rumor?
"The biggest regret of my life, really, is bailing out on that Pacer team," Artest said. "I mean, outside not going to church every single Sunday, bailing out on that Pacer team is my biggest regret. Every time I see Jermaine, every time I see Steve [Jackson] and Jamaal [Tinsley] ... I get a little bit of a feeling when I see Bird, because he was such a great player and I respect him so much. So I get that feeling when I see Bird. I feel like a coward. I feel like I don't even belong in their presence, really."
"When I saw Jermaine [this season], I felt like I didn't even belong in the same room as him," Artest said. "I felt like a coward. I don't like feeling like a coward, and I feel like a coward. That's the biggest regret of my life. Steve Jackson, Jermaine, Jamaal, even Jeff [Foster] -- a blue-collar guy like him, put his life on the line for us on the court, and I totally disrespected him. And of course Reggie. I was in a position to win a championship, Reggie was in position, and I bailed out on Reggie. I feel like a coward. A big-time coward. It's hard for me to even speak to them, hard for me to see them."
HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Love him or hate him, Ron Artest is honest and his heart seems to be in the right place.
After all, few athletes in the cut throat, macho world of pro sports would publicly admit to such feelings, especially about an incident that took place years ago with the Indiana Pacers.
Still, it's great Artest understands the impact his actions have on others. And, in some strange way, it's hard not to cheer for him -regardless of what you think about the Los Angeles Lakers.
Got thoughts on Ron-Ron's comments? Get at us in the opinion box below.
Ron Artest, Anthony Johnson, David Harrison, Jermaine O'Neal and Stephen Jackson are charged with misdemeanor assault and battery and were granted separate jury trials.
Artest will start the proceedings on August 1, and will be followed by Johnson, Harrison, O'Neal and Jackson. Judge Lisa Asadoorian announced the schedules Friday during pre-trial hearings with the players and their attorneys at U.S. District Court in Oakland County.
Four Detroit Pistons fans charged in the melee also appeared in court Friday. Bill Paulson and John Ackerman will go to trial on July 11. John Green, who helped spark the brawl by tossing a beverage at Artest, will have his case heard on July 15 along with David Wallace, brother of Pistons center Ben Wallace.
A fan charged with throwing a chair pleaded no contest last month and is expected to be sentenced in May.
The infamous brawl involving spectators and players broke out near the end of the November 19 game between the Pacers and Pistons after an on-court dispute over a foul.
The contest was stopped with 45 seconds left in the fourth quarter and Indiana was credited with a 97-82 victory. With the Pacers ahead by 15 points, things unraveled when Ben Wallace was fouled by Artest and the Pistons' center took exception to what he deemed a hard foul and gave Artest a two- handed push to the face.
After that, the pushing and shoving continued by the scorers' table as players came off both benches. The Detroit fans then lost control and began throwing cups filled with liquid and ice at Artest, who was surprisingly staying out of harm's way on top of the scorers' table. Artest was hit in the head by a flying cup and immediately raced into the stands and started punching whom he thought was the culprit.
Jackson followed into the crowd, along with several other players, and started swinging away at the unruly fans.
Two days after the disgraceful incident, NBA commissioner David Stern issued harsh penalties, including the suspension of Artest for the remainder of the season. In addition, the NBA issued a revised set of arena guidelines to all teams. The guidelines consisted of policies dealing with security, alcohol sales and fan behavior.Read More