NBA mock draft: 2012 1st round

Anthony Davis1. New Orleans Hornets- Anthony Davis PF (Kentucky): This is a no-brainer. It wasn’t a question of if Davis would be the first pick but who would get the lucky ping-pong ball to draft him. The Hornets will begin their rebuild with Davis, a future all-star, because of his defensive skills alone. If Davis continues to work on his mid-range jump shot and develop a post game…he could turn into a superstar.

2. Charlotte Bobcats- Thomas Robinson PF (Kansas): Although we have doubts on Robinson’s size, (6’8.75” with shoes) his heart, tenacity and strength will make him a good player. It is unlikely Robinson will be a bust but he isn’t the kind of player you build around. Barnes or Beal would be better picks here because of their ability to score. The Bobcats struggled mightily scoring last season. Also, look for the Bobcats to possibly trade out of this spot for more assets.

3. Washington Wizards- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist SG (Kentucky): Kidd-Gilchrist is a great talent but is inconsistent shooting the basketball. He is a fiery competitor and is excellent on the fast break however. He and John Wall would make an exciting backcourt.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers- Harrison Barnes SF (North Carolina): When the Cavs had the 1st and 4th picks last year, they were disappointed that Barnes had decided to stay another year. Well, there’s a very good chance he’ll be there this year for them at number four. Barnes is a great shooter and has even more talent than he showed in college. He might not be the next Kobe but I think he’s a rich man’s Danny Granger, and that’s a pretty good player to pair with Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. Watch out for the Cavs in a few years, they seem to be on the verge of a Thunder-like rise.

5. Sacramento Kings- Andre Drummond C (Connecticut): The Kings apparently would like to trade back from this spot. If they stay, there are a lot of directions they could go. Despite the pick of Jimmer Fredette last season, they need a true point guard. Tyreke Evans is on the block. Marcus Thornton is producing at shooting guard and will be a King for five more years. So, the guard situation is a little messy for the Kings right now. Lillard would be a nice fit but I think they go for Drummond if he’s there. Drummond and Cousins would be dangerous together given their character issues. However, if both discover their potential (Cousins is well on his way) that could be a lethal duo. Read more here…

Another shot by Patrick Ewing rejected

Although retired from the NBA for almost a decade, former New York Knicks icon and hall of fame player, Patrick Ewing, seems to be having his shots at a head coaching job blocked. His latest rejection came on Wednesday from former rival, “Space Jam” co-star, and close friend, Michael Jordan.

Bobcats owner Michael Jordan has eliminated Patrick Ewing from consideration for the head coaching job in Charlotte.

I must admit that the news came as a complete surprise to me because I didn’t feel that any of the other candidates posed a severe threat to Ewing. I mean, Jeff Van Gundy, Pat Riley, or Phil Jackson had not been considered for the Bobcat’s position, so it wasn’t like the competition was stiff or anything-although sources are now saying that Jerry Sloan has now been added to the list, and more than likely will bring his hall of fame credentials to Charlotte.

Read more here…

Bobcats’ Jordan does Ewing a favor, doesn’t hire him

michael-jordan-bobcatsFormer NBA great Michael Jordan has six NBA championships.  He is arguably the biggest reason former New York Knicks Center Patrick Ewing has none as the Knicks could never get past the Bulls in the Eastern conference playoffs during the 90’s.  The one year they did, Jordan had retired temporarily but the Knicks eventually fell to the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.  It was a series more remembered for being interrupted by the infamous freeway chase of a white Bronco driven by none other than O.J. Simpson then the one that got away from Ewing.

Almost two decades later, O.J. still finds himself getting in trouble and Jordan is still preventing Ewing from rising to the top, or is he?

According to Charlotte Bobcats President of Basketball Operations Rod Higgins says the team will hire a new coach within the next couple of weeks but it won’t be Patrick Ewing.  Ewing had previously interviewed for the team’s vacancy.

According to reports Jordan had already told his former Eastern Conference foe that he would not be bringing him in as head coach to replace Paul Silas at the time the announcement was made.

Ewing may have been dissed by Jordan again but the truth of the matter is that if Jordan wanted to keep Ewing from ever getting an NBA ring s a player or coach, he should have hired him.  The Bobcats are an abysmal NBA franchise and after Ewing stunk it up there for a couple of years his NBA coaching reputation would have been all but shot.

Maybe Jordan actually did him a favor this time?

Follow Aaron on Twitter @Da_Bear_Truth

Is Michael Jordan the new Donald Sterling?


Isn’t it ironic that the ultimate competitor is owner of the league’s least competitive team? It’s sad to see how futile Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats have become. They have the worst record in the league at 3-24 and things don’t look to get any better in Charlotte anytime soon.

The Bobcats have lost 15 straight games and didn’t eclipse 100 points in any of those games. Not only did they fail to score 100 points in any game, they have failed to eclipse 90 points in all but two games during this current losing streak.

With the rise of the Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte has taken over the role as the worst team in the league. Sure the Clippers have had a tough time over the years keeping its best players healthy but the biggest reason they have remained the league’s most consistent loser over the years is because of the tight pockets of their owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling has refused to pay the superstars that have come through the Clippers organization usually allowing players to leave via free agency when their asking price got too high. He allowed Lamar Odom to leave as a restricted free agent; refusing to match the offer he received from the Miami Heat.

Another culprit that has sabotaged the Clippers organization over the years is questionable draft picks. Remember Michael Olowokandi or Darius Miles? Both were top three selections by the Clippers. Olowokandi was selected number one overall back in 1998; the same draft that produced Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Paul Pierce, Antawn Jamison and Mike Bibby.

Sterling has long been a running joke in terms of his thrifty spending and inept management of the Clippers so it’s a sad day when the league’s most celebrated player is associated with the league’s most eccentric owner. Jordan has brought this notoriety on himself though with the questionable moves he has made first as president and now as owner of the Bobcats. Jordan took a competitive team, one that went to the playoffs in 2010 and traded away his two best players while allowing a third player to walk.

Sure the moves Jordan has made has helped to slash the payroll in Charlotte and allowed them to stockpile draft picks for the future but there are ways to build a team that doesn’t sacrifice winning. The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, and Boston Celtics have proven that.

Besides, when you do bring in the talent you want you still have to pay them too. Charlotte didn’t have a bad payroll situation when compared to most teams in the NBA but Jordan allowed Raymond Felton to leave in free agency while shipping off both Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson. Jordan’s reasoning is that he didn’t want the Bobcats to be a seventh or eighth seed each season. Still it’s hard to recruit free agents to a losing team or a team that shows itself not to be loyal to its best players.

And that’s one of the knocks on Jordan right now. Wallace was the face of the Bobcats franchise and the main reason they made their first playoff appearance back in 2010. He was the last original member from the Bobcats’ inaugural season roster back in 2004 and had suffered through all the teams’ growing pains leading up to their first winning season.

Wallace was still in the prime of his career at the age of 28 when he was trade from the Bobcats. Wallace referred to his trade to the Portland Trailblazers as a “stab in the back” and a “slap in the face” and you know other players around the league were paying attention.

Trading him for more talent would have made sense if Jordan was truly trying to build a winner but the Bobcats traded him for expiring contracts and a couple of draft picks. The draft picks sound nice but Jordan doesn’t have a very good track record in the draft either. He endorsed the Clippers’ picking Darius Miles and later picked Kwame Brown when he was the head man with the Washington Wizards.

His failures in the draft made him a little gun shy with taking risks in the draft making him more conservative once he started making picks for the Bobcats. He drafted Adam Morrison in his first draft as president of operations back in 2006 and has stuck to the safe strategy even up until he took over as owner in 2010.

But Jordan is convinced that what he is doing is in the team’s best interest in the long run. Let’s hope he is right but as the evidence shows he’s done a “sterling” job so far.

Roosevelt Hall is an NBA Featured Journalist for The Sports Blitz. He can be contacted @sportmentalist.

5 Owners that should not be running NBA teams

James Dolan

Behind every collection of players there is the team owner, the man who writes the huge checks players get for providing the entertainment aspect of their business. A large part of that business success is not dictated by an individual payer but rather an individual owner, sitting there in his office making the big decisions that mean the difference between an NBA franchise to die for and an NBA franchise that is dead.

Here we explore five of the worst owners in the NBA, and they are judged not only by the 2011-2012 season but also their actions of the last few years as well as how well they have manged the business they run. Continue reading

NBA should be talking contraction; The first five teams to go

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

The NBA isn’t losing money, but NBA franchises such as the Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Indiana Pacers are.

Fans and media alike are complaining the game is watered down and NBA Commissioner David Stern has said contraction, which would eliminate at least one struggling franchise, should be on the table.

Last season league-wide losses hit the $350 million dollar mark and the NBA’s overall revenue is threatened each game by its weakest franchise.

With NBA players joining forces and making super teams, the NBA’s timing of contraction talk could be just smoke screens and mirrors to scare owners who are not pulling in a profit. But if it becomes a reality, these are five cities that could be out of an NBA franchise.

Atlanta Hawks
One figures if you make the playoffs four consecutive years in a row it might bring the fans to the arena….think again.
The Hawks have called Atlanta home since 1968 and even though they have playoff appearances, victory’s and a solid roster they still finished 22nd in overall attendance.
The ownership overvalued their assets and knowingly went over their budget. They handed out huge contracts after advancing in the playoffs but still weren’t even filling the seats in the area with those players.
California developer and pizza chain owner Alex Meruelo was to buy the Hawks but an investigation into his financial records put an end to his dream to be the first NBA Hispanic owner.
Instead, the group known as Atlanta Spirit remains in charge of the team it has owned since 2004, when it acquired the Hawks and the Thrashers of the NHL from Time Warner.

The Thrashers are now in Winnipeg playing as the Jets.

Sacramento Kings

The Kings have been in Sacramento for 27 years and now have turned into the Brett Favre of the NBA

Once ready to pack up and leave for Anaheim to become the Royals the Kings minority owner George Maloof Jr. changed his mind.

The Kings long-term future in Sacramento remains uncertain beyond 2011-12, the L.A. Times reported, citing league executives.

Co-owner Joe Maloof says his family is still deciding whether to move the franchise to Anaheim or stay in California’s capital city.

Maloof told The Associated Press  that no decision has been made and he’s “as anxious as anybody” to find out if Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson can deliver on his promise for more sponsorship support and finally finance a plan for a new arena.

Let’s not rule out Las Vegas either as the Maloof brothers also own the Palms Casino and have major ties to the valley.

Indiana Pacers

Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis is losing that name more than a year after the namesake company dropped its use.

Executives of the Indiana Pacers and Carmel-based CNO Financial Group announced in 2011 that the arena will now be known as Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

It doesn’t matter what the name of the stadium is because the Pacers have lost money in 27 of the last 29 years of existence.

That also includes 11 of the last 12 seasons inside Conseco Fieldhouse. The Pacers are currently losing more than $6 million annually.

New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets were 26th in attendance per game last season only averaging 14,709 per night.

Since the NBA took over and the eventual loss of Chris Paul, it is going to take a number of moves to make this team a contender.

The Hornets, a playoff representative in the 2010-2011 season should never be at the bottom of attendance numbers.

The New Orleans economy is still trying to recover from the economic situation that were placed on them by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The city isn’t ready to support a football and basketball franchise.

Charlotte Bobcats

Even the great Michael Jordan can’t save the Charlotte Bobcats. Seven years ago, Robert L. Johnson paid an expansion fee of $300 million dollars to purchase the Bobcats. Two seasons ago, Jordan purchased the Bobcats for $175 million. Charlotte has already lost one NBA franchise; the Hornets left following the 2002 season. The Bobcats ranked 21st in attendance last season.

Charlotte is one of the league’s smallest markets and even when clinching a playoff berth in the 2009-2010 season they were 26th in attendance.