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Welcome back for another edition of NBA Nation Australia’s Weekly Roundtable. This week we welcome to the table a good friend of ours, Nick Gelso. Nick Co-Host’s The Celtics Late Night Show on Boston Radio channel CLNS Radio. This we talk about the Pacers Away form, the Legend of LeBron, the struggling Mav’s, and a whole heap more.

1. Lebron James is in the midst of something special – 33 games in a row scoring 20 + points. What else does have to do to cement his place as one of the NBA greats? Is it all about Championships, or can we call LeBron a legend already?


Nick Caro: Nothing. Not to people who know what they’re talking about. Stars will always have their haters who wish nothing but disappointment on them, but the people who disagree with the fact that LeBron is a champion of the game are plain old nuts. Not only does he have the ability to change a game, he has just completed a year in which he won an NBA title, league MVP, finals MVP and Olympic Gold Medal. As mentioned in the question, he’s also on a 33 game streak scoring 22+. That’s ridiculous. Of course, the more championships LBJ wins the more people will have to accept the fact he is one of the best that’s ever played the game and it will go a long way to ensuring his legacy is upheld. Having said that people should know it already. C’mon, watch the guy play. It’s just mesmerising and he should be commended for that, not ridiculed. What LeBron did to Cleveland and ‘The Decision’ was horrible, but it’s time to move on, put it to bed and enjoy what may be one of the best careers we will ever see. 

Nick How: I think in today’s day and age we as fans (journalists not excused also) tend to over think everything regarding sport. Players have a few better than just good games and we begin to starting throwing around the L word. If half the players in sport we class a legend or to become a legend it would definitely take away from the brilliance and beauty of players actually achieving that. Although it would never happen I’d like to see us as fans chill a little and let players play their game, I’m sure some of the ‘legend’ pressure would get to them some. LeBron is brilliant, in fact he is better than just brilliant he is probably one of the most natural players that have ever graced a court. I’m sure there will be more rings to add to his collection before his time is up but for now, we should just enjoy (if that’s the right word for a Boston fan to use?) watching the man play.

Sam Monaghan: As Simmon’s can attest to in his ‘The Book of Basketball’, its tough dividing the great’s from legends. LeBron James is the consistently the most dominate force on any basketball court today. Right now there is no one better, no other player in the world has a more complete game then he. James has started every game of his career except one – in 2007, he has been gifted with a body which is so strong and durable James’ recovery time is one of the best league wide. Career wise he is shooting at 48%, 34% from 3PT and 75% FT while collecting 7 rebounds a game – while averaging 27 points each and every game. All I need to see from James now is an intangible – leadership. I want to see him pick the team up, motivate them, force them to play harder and win games. The way which both Jordan and Bryant do this is terrifying – another switch they could flick. If James can become a leader of men then it will be tough not to include him as on of the NBA greats. 

Nick Russell: There is no doubt that LeBron James is one the purest and most naturally gifted ballers we have seen in our lifetime. LBJ is such a dominant force in today’s game that it’s hard to argue against him being included in any current, or future discussions of legendary status.  His career stats speak for themselves. But in my opinion, he still has to lift his game to another level in a couple of areas to be remembered as a true legend of the game, and the most glaring choice for me is in leadership. If LeBron can truly LEAD his team to multiple championships over the coming years, then it’s without a doubt that LBJ will go down as one of the greatest. Jordan, Magic, Bird, Wilt and so on still stand head and shoulders above LBJ for the simple reason that when push comes to shove, they were able to fight through adversity year after year and lead their teams to the promised land….as yet, I haven’t seen this in LeBron James and only time will tell.

Nick Gelso: I think LeBron has established himself as a charismatic basketball phenomenon already. Legend? LeBron has certainly had some “legendary moments” but the word “legend” does not get tossed around lightly in Boston. To call James a legend already is a bit of a stretch. LBJ is still trying to sculpt his legacy in the NBA and the finishing touches on “Legendary Status” is always determined by championships and the role that player took in winning those titles. Give LBJ one or two more and he will painfully become a “legend” in my eyes.


2. It appears like we are in the twilight of Dirk Nowiztki’s career, with no one to support him. Did the Mavericks cripple their franchise after their failed off season chasing both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard? 



Nick Caro: I think so, yes. I think Dallas were maybe a little over-zealous in their desire to sign big name players over the past few season and I’m not sure the offers they made were of the right makeup. Not only did they go after CP3 and Dwight Howard, they also gunned hard for Deron Williams even though Williams was quite clearly never going to sign there unless Dwight did. I do feel as though Dirk has been thrust into the forefront of what Mark Cuban calls a rebuilding stage at a time when he should have a supporting cast around him that can propel him towards another Championship but he’s not getting it. Guys like Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Darren Collison aren’t going to bring it every night like Dirk needs them to. The OJ Mayo signing was a huge step in the right direction for the Mavs and they should attempt to replicate some sign and trades of the same nature when the time comes. Dirk just doesn’t look good at the moment either though. Granted, he’s been injured, but he still looks older and flatter than I thought he would when he returned. I wish the big German the best, but it will only happen if the Mavs get a little younger, and a little more talented. Then, Dirk may have the team around him that he needs to compete at the top.

Nick How: Not necessarily. I think Mark Cuban must have a fairly solid idea in place on how to move forward after this season. There is no way he’ll allow his franchise to go from Champions two years ago to stagnating and missing out on Playoffs each year. Despite this there will be some period of adjustment, but I do expect Cuban to really clear out a lot of contracts at the end of this year and re-evaluate. Dallas never really sit still, and I’d expect them to be very active in the free agency and bring in as good a mix of youth as well as any seasoned veterans they can get their hands on. Mediocrity won’t be something Mavericks fan will have to put up with for too long in my opinion.

Sam Monaghan: No. In fact I think their failures might actually work out to be a bright light for the Mavericks. This year 8 or 9 guys are on one-year contracts, freeing the Mavericks front office – scouts, GM, coach to go out and reset. Reset the direction of the team, reset the age of the team. Depending on which direction they choose to go – whether its through an aggressive draft strategy or through free- agency this team can be rebuilt quickly. Assuming they keep Carlisle and Dirk as building blocks expect big things from big D.

Nick Russell: I’m going to sit on the fence a little here and go with a little “yes” and “no”. It’s a tough one in my opinion. Whilst I would agree that the Mavs certainly took a few chances that backfired when trying to bring in another superstar to rock it with Dirk. This gamble has taken it’s toll on the team this year, and it’s also taken it’s toll on an ageing Dirk. This hasn’t been his year, regardless of injuries, but I don’t believe for a minute that this is the last we will see of Dirk in the postseason. Ageing yes, but Dirk is one hell of a player and won’t let himself fade away. Dallas also has one of the most dynamic owners in the game and I can’t imagine Mark Cuban is going to just sit there while his team fades into the background. I expect the Mavs office to be very loud come trade time and while they may have to bury this season, with a few more key players bought in, I expect that in the coming seasons, Dirk will have his chance to rumble in the post season once more.

Nick Gelso: In the short-term — yes. No doubt Mark Cuban has a plan for his team and we all know how well he takes to losing. So, long term, Cuban has a plan and I believe that the plan will allow Dirk to gracefully slip into retirement, but not before Cuban has an opportunity to surround him with some key players this off-season to make one last run. Though we can all see Dirk’s game fading a bit, there is no question that he should be able to continue to be the leader of his team for a few more seasons, in a very Paul Pierce type way. Closing thoughts on this one: The Mavs will not spend much time in basketball purgatory; Mark Cuban wouldn’t allow for it.


3. Houston recently indefinitely suspended troubled rookie Royce White after months of complications and issues. White clearly feels hard done by by the Rockets who have clearly stated they do all they can to support people living with mental illness. Do you feel that White has blown the situation out of proportion, and is there enough being done by teams to support their young stars in their new found fame and fortune?



Nick Caro: This is an add question and I don’t have a very definitive answer. White says the Rockets did not deal with his mental illness in a positive manor and still expected the maximum out of him no matter what his condition, the Rockets say White has consistently rejected attempts to help him, as well as been an apparent thorn in their sides. I haven’t been following this story because quite honestly, I don’t care. The fact that White’s first few months in the league have been fraught with controversy and his whinging about his depleted mental state means he shouldn’t be in the NBA anyway. Wasted draft pick for the Rockets. Go back to college, rook. The NBA doesn’t like the cut of your jib. Too harsh? OK. Maybe if there is a serious issue the Rockets should examine some way of taking care of him, but I don’t think that can happen while he’s in the NBA. Commitments are commitments and if you can’t handle them, maybe you shouldn’t be there. Sorry, sorry… I’m trying to be empathetic but I’m really struggling. I’m just going to leave it there.

Nick How: The kid is obviously a real talent, it just seems he has come into the League and ruffled feathers which has done him no favours whatsoever. He recently came out and publicly criticised the franchise of not offering him enough support and showing no interest in his issues. While I will never no the full details find it hard to believe a Multi-million dollar franchise would waste their time & effort picking a kid at number 16 and no have any interest in him. If anything they would have known EXACTLY what they were getting themselves in for. White’s problems of mental illness and his anxiety attacks over fear of flying where widely known around the League before the draft took place. To start with I gave White the benefit of the doubt, but his constant public attacks against his current employer is growing tiresome with me now. It is pretty obvious the Rockets definitely have a big problem on their hands if White does have a legitimate fear of flying… how will he get over that and be cool to travel with a team that spends the majority of their time on the road? I’m sure the Rockets and the NBA as an organisation have programs in place to work with players that may have illnesses and issues. White would not be an exception to this. I hope for the Rockets fans and the franchise themselves that this issue is addressed as soon as possible. It won’t have a quick, over-night solution to it but if White is last in this league he is going to have to work closely and quietly with both to work towards a situation that will benefit both. The talent is there it’s just going to take time to bring it to the forefront.

Sam Monaghan: This is question more or less can be related back to society. There is never enough being done to help those with mental illness but the teams responsibilities can only extend so far. It probably wasn’t the smartest move by the Rockets to sign him KNOWING his issues. Conversely White has acted like a child considering the support he was receiving from a large professional sports organisation who were enthusiastic to keep him on board. Currently the NBA runs one of the best introductory programs for rookies and young players in the world. It is not often that players create problems for their teams which is a credit to the NBA’s structures and programs. 

Nick Russell: Both The Rockets and Royce White have come out and said that they want to work through this and find a way to get him onto the court and in a Rockets uniform. Regardless of the Houston’s front office decision to suspend Royce White indefinitely, this is something that the Rockets will want to sort out as fast as they can, because without a doubt, White is one of the most talented rookies in this years class. White however has done himself no favors with his constant complaints and accusations that the Rockets are doing little to help his transition into NBA life a smooth ride. And then, when the Rockets send him to the D-League so that their star rookie can at least be playing regular ball, White had the nerve to reject it, stamp his feet and refuse to play. I am not sure what White hoped to get out of this refusal. His Tweets after this was announced show that both player and team have a ways to go before this gets sorted out. I sincerely hope they can.

Nick Gelso: Wow! This is a loaded question. In my years covering the NBA and talking with former and current players, I have come to the conclusion that the NBA has some of the BEST orientation courses and transitioning from an unknown person to a young man now thrust into wealth and constant media scrutiny. Additionally, the NBA has mental health and wellness courses. A few years back I interviewed my friend, former NBA player, and openly gay man, John Amaechi. In conversations I’ve had both publicly and privately, John has made it extremely clear that the NBA is the best of all major sports for training on all the issues mentioned above and for diversity training. I sympathise with Royce White, mental illness is a very tough disease to overcome but I cannot blame the NBA or the Houston Rockets for White’s situation.


4. If you are the Lakers general manager, how do you view the current situation in LA, and how do you go about changing course and righting the ship?



Nick Caro: Oh boy, Ok… Um…. wow. This team is a mess. No other way to describe it. Let’s not go into the details of how much they suck or why, it makes me sad. Just know that they do and no one knows why. Cool? OK. How can we fix it? Pretty sure every GM in the league has thought “what would I do if I was the Lakers GM right now?” as some sort of brain teaser exercise. But there are some obvious areas that need immediate fixing. Namely, the defense. That damned Laker defense! Too often am I seeing no rotation, no player movement, no boxing out and no transition. As a fan, it’s so frustrating to see Kobe Bryant (amongst others) work hard on offense and score, but almost immediately the team give up an easy layup, wide open three or demoralizing alley-oop. It’s just punishing to watch and it’s the main reason behind their failures. Add to that the amount of points off turnovers, and the undesirably low numbers from impact players like Jamison and Meeks and you have a very worrying situation. So, first of all I confront D’Antoni and advise him that the defense is now priority number 1 and must be coached as such. Make it work, or you’re out. Then, I’d be listening to offers for Pau Gasol, Jamison and Duhon. The expendables. There’s talent out there, and franchises that want Pau enough to consider a trade. If I’m GM, I’m listening. Pau isn’t working in the D’Antoni system, so it has to be one or the other. I wouldn’t be blaming my team’s woes on injury. Sure, it has hindered the Lakers this season but it’s most certainly not the reason they aren’t winning. Chemistry is what is lacking with this team. There is no desire to play together and as GM you surely must find a way to make that happen. Trading Dwight Howard at this point is just premature and panicked and while there is no guarantee he’ll get better, or even re-sign at season’s end, it is within the Lakers best interests to place their trust in this proven talent.So with all those things in mind I a) address the coach and the team about the defense b) listen to trade offers surrounding Pau Gasol c) stop blaming the injuries and d) pray.

Nick How: If you were the Lakers GM you would have to be worried. Things are going nowhere near to plan. It now seems Lakers fans jumped the gun hugely in predicting that once Nash & Dwight were brought on board that the Championship was the inevitable prize. We’ve seen in numerous sports now that money does not always being instant success. I think given time, things would fall into place and all would be well in Laker-land. But that’s the problem right there! People in Laker-land aren’t used to having to wait patiently or even for that matter willing to wait. The problem they face currently is that Dwight Howard could potentially leave as a free-agent at the end of this year, and the Lakers would not want that to happen in the slightest. It could be best for all if they held their hands up to the problem now and cash in Howard while he holds value, but also in that lies a problem. Would Howard be willing to move and sign an extension at the end of the year with anyone else? It has turned into a right mess and the Lakers may have to look at a multi-team trade and look to move Howard while bringing in someone of real value. The only player I could think that would fit would be DeMarcus Cousins. If the Lakers could work a trade somehow and look to acquire Cousins and maybe someone like Tyreke Evans that would be the best possible solution. If I was to be asked to interview for the Lakers job while they were in this predicament, I’d maybe politely decline.

Sam Monaghan: If I am Mitch Kupchak today I am concerned. Quietly concerned. I look down at the payroll and the current roster and dont see any value for money. The Lakers players have always managed to pull out results even when they are down and out. This Lakers squad hasn’t gelled just yet and is struggling to find rhythm. Rhythm is comfort – tempo of the team on the court, knowing where certain players will be at all times, know team mates favourite spots, understanding schemes, knowing situations the team struggles and thrives in. As a GM I ask the coach to help the players in finding their own AND the teams rhythm – get them back in the groove. If this means pulling Bryant off the court and letting the other 4 stars sort themselves out while keeping Kobe fresh well thats what needs to be done. 

Nick Russell: Wow, who would have thought we would be here when the Lakers announced they had signed both Nash and Howard. How fast the mighty can fall. In my short time living here in Los Angeles, I have seen the panic button not only be pushed, but smashed multiple times. The media here are confused. The fans are confused and everyone wants answers, now! The Lakers aren’t use to this, especially with a team like this. But you know what…I am going to disagree with most of the NBA media here in LA and say that the panic button should be put under lock and key for this year and you should have the faith that this team and coach will find a way to co-exist and that if not this year (actually…forget this year Laker fans), then with a disappointing 2013, a full offseason getting the shit kicked out of them, a few key additions and maybe getting rid of a few dead weights (bye bye Pau), then you will see the Lakers you have come to love, and the rest of the league will see the Lakers they are use to hating. Kupchak should be concerned with this season, however, he needs to show a little patience over the next few months, while somehow trying to convince Dwight to stay in the purple and gold.

Nick Gelso: I follow the Lakers fairly closely. It’s a habit born of my growing up in the 1980’s. What’s going on out in LALA land is unfortunate but not shocking. I had said before the season tipped off that I believed this team was supremely talented but not a willful team that would be able to handle the pressure coming their way. I think no one would have predicted the problems that have occurred in LA. However, I do know early on that I had said that this team would not handle adversity well. As we all know, Kobe Bryant is not the most diplomatic person. I felt that Kobe’s gruff, matter-of-fact nature would eventually get to Dwight Howard. Howard has never handled criticsm very well and often cracks under pressure. Playing along side a Lakers/NBA legend who has made it clear (in a Kobe way) that D12 (and the Lakers team) are not living up to expectations would eventually make this team implode. As a person that covers the Boston Celtics, we never fret too much when the Lakers are suffering. BUT it’s always a little bit of a let-down if the Lakers don’t make the playoffs and losing the possibility of one more matchup against their arch rivals from the West. BOLD PREDICTION: If the Lakers do not make the playoffs, Mike D’Antoni will be let go and Dwight Howard will not be wearing purple and gold next season. Is this Mark Cuban’s grand plan to surround Dirk with super star talent for 2014? Only time will tell. 



5. Indiana have one of the best home records in the league (12-3) so far this season, why is that the Pacers cant take this form on the road?



Nick Caro: I think that will change. They’ve had a slow start but along with Boston they’re starting to find another gear and really get back to that form they were in late last season. Paul George has been absolutely huge in Danny Granger’s absence and has propelled the team to new heights with help from Hibbert, West and Green. It’s great to see some more teams starting to compete in the East. It’s not enough to just see Miami coast to a conference title year after year. There needs to be competition  and teams like Indiana are starting to get there. It’s really no different from why any other team struggles on the road. Especially when you aren’t playing your best anyway, going on the road doesn’t make it any easier. Indy will get there and be a competitive force in the playoffs.

Nick How: In most sports, travelling away from home is always a tough situation. Grinding out close games, and even at times flukeing games you have no damn right to. Injury to Danny Granger has been a key issue in them finding their feet when it comes to scoring when away from home. Hibbert & West have done their best to add to the board, but they desperately miss the natural scoring talent that Granger added. Indiana also find themselves without much of a bench which stretches the playing time of the starting 5, which in turn is bound to cause problems when playing away. I’d expect the Pacers to be making some serious moves this free-agency.

Sam Monaghan: Without their most effective player (Danny Granger) the Pacers have managed to hold together a decent record. Away from home they are 8-11 which has been their down fall. Scoring has been their primary issue away from home struggling to score more then 84 points on the road. 84 points wont win many NBA games. The Pacers biggest strength is their big men, using Hibbert and West to protect the offensive paint while Hill and George attack from mid range would be a short term fix to this issue. Unfortunately the Pacers entered the season being one of shallowest team’s in the league – a trade would help this team rest their starters a little longer. These changes should bolster the Pacers.

Nick Russell: Home is where the heart is. Grinding out a win in front of your adoring fans is much easier than grinding out a win with the majority of the crowd booing and shaking their fists at you, especially for a young team like the Pavers. Consistency has been a big issue for them this year and you could probably argue many points to why this is happening. With Larry Bird leaving the office, this has probably lead to an office shakeup that ripples all the way down to the floor. But probably the most obvious reason is because of the injury to their best scorer and general in Danny Granger. Other players have needed to step up and find a way to account for the points that Granger naturally brings to this team. This has stretched them all the way across the bench and it’s taking it’s toll on this young team, especially in a long season. Indiana will make a few moves in the upcoming trade period and should be expected to find those much needed road wins a little easier, especially when Granger returns.

Nick Gelso: Indiana has gone through quite the turmoil this season. Losing Larry Bird in the front office is a big change for many of the young talent Bird has brought to Indiana. Not to mention, injuries to key players will always affect a young team, especially on the road.



6. Currently, and quite surprisingly the Los Angeles Clippers have the best record in the NBA. With it being just under halfway through the season, do the Clips have the depth in roster to continue on with this great form and surprise more people with having a successful Playoffs run, or do they need to acquire a few more pieces to achieve that?



Nick Caro: The Clippers won’t beat the Thunder in 7 games. No way. They don’t have the discipline or the fight to contend with a team like OKC game after game. Sure, they’re an incredible team that loves to run & gun while throwing a bunch of lobs to Blake Griffin (which is entertaining as hell) and they have a lot of depth, but will they be as good come playoffs? I have my doubts. You saw it yesterday against the Magic. This is a team who’s defensive ethos creates opportunity for disaster and can fall apart at the drop of a hat. I think the Clippers will still go quite deep into the playoffs, but do I think they’ll be crowned Western Champs? Not if the Thunder have anything to say about it. Not to mention they’ll have to get through the Grizz and the Spurs before that’s even a talking point. I don’t think they need to add pieces unless they lose them at season end. Don’t forget they still have Chauncey Billups and Grant Hill to come back into the lineup which only increases their bench depth. Should CP3 decide not to renew his contract then they’ll definitely have to make moves but I don’t see this as a likelihood. He’s found his place at the Clippers and is having an MVP season which should see him commit long term to the Clips.

Nick How: I believe the Clips will have a very good regular season, and it’ll be the best regular season record they will probably have had to date. But, I still don’t see them making the Conference finals, let alone the Finals itself. There are too many loaded teams that will be flying come Playoff time, and will be just that bit better than the Clips. I don’t think it’ll be too long before we really see the Clips contending, and they seem to be onto a good thing currently. A great mix of youth, surrounded by seasoned veterans is a recipe for success. They may not need to add too many pieces, but in fact just a few more years of playing at this high a standard before they really make a dent. It’s a rarity that a team wins a Championship overnight, it takes time, hard work and the right pieces.

Sam Monaghan: Honestly – do you want to play the Clippers either one off or in a series?  Bet you answered NO!

There is not a team in the league playing with as much explosion and speed offensively. This gives them the 2nd best point differential in the league – +8.7 points. This can be attributed partially to the defence they play – zone team based defence – which ranks 4th best in the league based on points allowed. Combine that with an offense which scores at will most night its a powerful combination. This team can do some serious damage in the playoffs. Their starting unit is by far their strongest but with Barnes, Crawford and Bledsoe coming off the bench (all candidates for 6th Man of the Year) its hard to slow these guys down. They dont even have Chauncey Billups or Grant Hill back yet! 

Nick Russell: In my opinion, the Clippers probably have the deepest roster in the NBA and as long as their core, especially Chris Paul can stay healthy, this is a team that can go all the way to the Western Conference finals….and then, well….can they beat the Thunder over 7? I think they can, maybe. Who would have thought the Clippers would be in this position at the halfway mark of the season. Lob City has truly taken over LA and it’s fun to watch them rise. I can’t believe how popular this bandwagon has been in LA. There are definitely more Clippers jersey’s being worn out on the streets than Lakers. Come playoff time, this Clippers depth will truly shine, especially when you consider Billups is going to be around too. Regardless of the minutes Mr. BigShot will have, his presence come playoff time will make a difference to this team. I for one can’t wait to see the LA Clippers run through this Western Conference…now, where did that bandwagon go?

Nick Gelso: I believe the Clippers have made the leap from a team clustered with All Stars to a true playoff contender. I believe, baring any injuries to Chris Paul, the Clippers can make a deep playoff run. I take this team very seriously. Chauncey Billups remains the key to the Clippers Finals aspirations. Whether Billups plays or not, his maturity, leadership abilities, championship experience, and mentoring of the Clips’ youth, will prove to be invaluable. Billups is slated for a late-January return to playing action. Regardless of the minutes he plays, having Mr. Big Shot on the practice floor and in uniform for games will be a HUGE help to an already streaking Clippers team.



7. With the heated game between New York and Boston this week, hoops fans saw Carmelo Anthony & Kevin Garnett go at it in an exchange of words. We also learned there was somewhat of an altercation after the game by the locker rooms. If it were allowed, which two NBA players would you like to see go toe-to-toe and why?



Nick Caro: Metta World Peace and Matt Barnes:

Two ex-team mates, two absolute knuckleheads who love to throw down. This would be in the light to middle-weight division of the NBA Fights rounds and Metta would totally dominate the utterly sickening Matt Barnes. Yes, I’m a bitter Lakers fan who wants to see Barnes cop a hiding, but what Lakers fan wouldn’t? This could be the post-game show between the Clips and the Lakers where a player from each team fights to have the final word and claim some real bragging rights. You know the divided city of LA would love this fight. Metta V Barnes. Clippers V Lakers. Los Angeles V Los Angeles. I can already hear the announcer. OK, how do we do this?

Nick How: While I would not want to see any real violence within the game, this question is obviously fiction based and all about players you hate, and them maybe getting a good slapping upside the head. While there are a few players around the League who are definitely due a good beat down, there aren’t as many players that irk me as much as Lance Stephenson. The kid just really gets my back up, not entirely sure why either. I think a lot of it may be down to the fact that he comes across as arrogant, and for a player who was widely tipped before entering the League as a real talent to keep an eye on, he hasn’t really done much at all. He plays the game dirty too! His cheap shot at LeBron was in poor taste, I mean come on… the kid is a scrub, if anything I see him as an absolute salary thief. In his rookie year he was alleged to have beaten his girlfriend too.. if true, what a nice guy huh? If I was to pick a guy to put him in the ring with, it’d have to be no one other than Kevin Garnett. It wouldn’t be a long bout, as KG would be so focused and in the zone, that Stephenson would stand a chance. Garnett KO Rnd 1.

Sam Monaghan: Blake Griffin vs Zach Randolph


Ladies and Gentle … in the Red corner…. the Mayor of Lob City – Blaaaaaakke Griffin, in the blue corner from the Music City the Memphis Mauler ZAAAAACHHHH Randdddooolph! 

It would be great to see these two go toe to toe in any environment. Car Park, Pet Store, Car Wash, Outdoor court  – wherever. Two huge monster’s with huge arms and huge heads grappling and abusing each other would be entertaining. Kinda like watching Brock Lesnar or Alistair Overeem crack skulls in a UFC octagon. Bring this fight on I say.

Nick Russell: Love it! The photos of Melo waiting by the Boston bus for Garnett to come out were priceless. I know, I know…this isn’t the look that the NBA want. Leave it on the ice. I’m totally down with that, violence has no home in our game, But still, it’s nice to see a little passion over flowing. If I had to put 2 players in a ring to go toe to toe for a few rounds, I would love to see 2 of the most arrogant players going around. In the red corner – Rajon Rondo. In the blue corner – Russell Westbrook. This is no heavy weight showdown I know, but I reckon it would be full of cheap shots, low blows and neither would want to give in. Entertaining enough for me.
Nick Gelso: I would really want to see Garnett go toe-to-toe with any of his (many) adversaries. Though we all know KG is a beast and a big talker, we’ve never seen Garnett’s bite. Is it as big as his bark? We will never know. Honestly, I am glad for that. Though I love a good physcial game (old school 80’s style), I do not promote violence in a sports league that is only now recovering from a the Malice at the Palace. Though Garnett can be crude and gruff at times, nothing excuses a grown man and a hero to many young fans to wait for Garnett by the team bus to “have a conversation” with him. Don’t they have cell phones? A phone call wasn’t sufficient? This WWE style of stupidity is what hurts the NBA brand and thus I cannot stand to even discuss it.

…and there we have it for another week.

We’d like to once again thank Nick Gelso for joining us, and we urge you to head over to CLNS Radio and check out what they have on offer (Which is a heap load by the way!)

Be sure to check out their Youtube show – The Garden Report and also subscribe yourself to their Youtube channel – CLNS Radio.

You alternatively listen to all of CLNS Radio’s shows through host Blogtalkradio.com

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  1. thirstyboots18 January 17, 2013 at 1:13 am #

    Interesting discussion. Enjoyed it.

  2. Best Dog Clipper April 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Good web site! I really love how it is easy to browse.
    I am curious how I could be notified when a new write-up has been
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    • NBA Nation Australia April 18, 2013 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks for the kind words! You can find the link to subscribe via email on the right hand side of the main page. That will keep you up to date with everything we post. Also be sure to follow us on twitter and Facebook!


  1. Nick Gelso joins NBA Nation Australia's Roundtable - CLNS Radio - January 16, 2013

    [...] read the excerpt below and click the link to read the full column.  It was a great experience working with the guys “down [...]

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