Houston Rockets guard and 2013 NBA All-Star, James Harden and New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon will travel to the Philippines next month to promote a 3-on-3 tournament organized by the NBA.
Earlier today on ESPN’s Mike And Mike In The Morning 11-time championship coach Phil Jackson alluded to his reaction when he was told by Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak that he would not be re-hired by the Lakers in favor of ex Suns/Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni. It was almost a given that Jackson would return to the head coaching role left open by the recently fired Mike Brown, and no one expected the complete 180 Lakers management did that night. Calling Jackson at midnight to inform him that D’Antoni was the right man for the job over Jackson, considering the current roster including Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Phil had kept quiet about the incident for the duration of the season, with many fans calling for Mike D’Antoni’s head and the ever present chant of “We Want Phil!” echoing around the Staples Center on a nightly basis. Even then he kept quiet. But on the eve of the release of his new book Eleven Rings: The Soul Of Success, Jackson has become more vocal about a number of topics, including that of the choice to hire D’Antoni.
The 2012/13 Sixth Man of The Year Award has been a bit of a two horse race for the majority of the season. Jamal Crawford made a fantastic case to take out the honor, having had a career year playing alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin at the Los Angeles Clippers, however it was New York Knicks shooting guard J.R. Smith who voters felt contributed most off the bench for his team during the season. Smith, who has also had a career best year with the Knicks was instrumental in helping the Knicks claim the number two seed in the East behind Miami and has provided serious spark for a team that was looking down the barrel only a season ago. Smith has always been one of those players that has the ability to be as brilliant as he can be disastrous, but 2012/13 told a different story. While averaging a career best 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, Smith also held his opponents to an average of 12.3ppg while on the floor. His shot selection is something that has always been questionable and hindered his ability to score with fluidity, but he changed that during the course of the season and improved his overall shooting percentage to 47.3% in an average of 30 minutes per game with the Knicks. Going forward it will be interesting to see how Smith progresses, whether he can continue to play at this elite level and where he ends up. Former 6th man James Harden famously left the Thunder for a starting role at Houston before this season started after claiming honors at the end of last season. Will we see something similar in the case of J.R.? It’s hard to tell, but what we do know is that the Knicks have plenty to thank him for considering the success in season 2012/13.
Above: J.R. Smith shot chart 2012/13
It came as somewhat of a shock to many on Sunday. Oklahoma City, last year’s runner up and this year’s high hope trading their reigning Sixth Man of The Year and ultimate play maker off the bench. There were predictions of a trade involving said Sixth Man, but few saw it unfolding as dramatically as it did. In the dwindling hours of Sunday afternoon, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! sports broke the news of a trade that could ultimately change the course of the Western Conference and indeed the NBA as a whole. Fans, teams, officials and players have been left to ponder a decision which may impact the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Championship hopes for at least this year. Here, we take a look at the trade which has seen ‘The Beard’ himself, James Harden accept an offer to join Jeremy Lin at the Houston Rockets, and leave a title hopeful Thunder in his wake.
Welcome to another week of NBA Nation Australia’s Roundtable Discussion
Our @NBANationOz Roundtable Knights Are:
Nick Caro: @NickoToGo
Nick How: @Nick_A_How
Sam Monaghan: @Mono85
This weeks Roundtable is a Finals/Playoffs focused feature and we were lucky enough to have some special guests join us –
Jamey Burke: @KWAPT
Nick Metallinos: @NickMetallinos
Chad Smith: @BezerkerMPS
University Of Kentucky’s Anthony Davis and Oklahoma City Thunder’s James Harden have been added to USA Basketball’s list for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics. They are the first of a 12 man squad to be announced later this month.
So here we are. The end of another fun-filled, drama fueled season in the NBA. We’d like to thank all of you for reading during the course of the year. We’ve had a blast and can’t wait to keep bringing you the best coverage of the NBA throughout the Playoffs, the offseason and Season 2013. But now, we would like to present to you the NBA Nation Australia 2012 NBA Awards!