Michael Jordan “flu game” ad from NBA All-Star Weekend (video)

To me, the NBA Golden Age will always be the ’90s. I appreciate and enjoy the game today, but it peaked in the 1990s, period. Just like rap and r&b music. If that makes me a crotchety old man, so be it.

In Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, with the series between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz tied at 2, Michael Jordan played despite being feverish and dehydrated from a stomach virus. In what is known as the “Flu Game“, or MJ’s “flu-like symptoms,” Jordan scored 38 points, including the game-deciding 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining.

Relive it with the Gatorade advert after the jump


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Bucks Jennings, Bulls Gibson make NBA All-Rookie Team

brandon jennings bucks

Tyreke Evans of the Sacramento Kings, Brandon Jennings of the Milwaukee Bucks and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors were unanimous selections to the 2009-10 T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team, the NBA announced today.

Rounding out the T-Mobile NBA All-Rookie First Team are New Orleans’ Darren Collison (46 points) and Chicago Bulls’ Taj Gibson (41 points).

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Bulls-Knicks: Big Market (but sub.500) B-ball

By Paul M. Banks

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Derrick Rose 1st Bulls All-Star Since Jordan Era!

The 12 year drought is over for the Chicago Bulls! Derrick Rose was voted by the NBA coaches a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star roster today. The official announcement will come later tonight on TNT, but the rosters have already been linked. Read the whole article to see the list.

Thank you to our good friends at Bleacher Report

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2010 NBA Rookie of the Year Race

*Nov 21 - 00:05*

By David Kay

Now that the free-agency period is starting to sort itself out, we have a better grasp on what roles the class of 2009 will be playing on the teams that drafted them. Here is a very early look at my prediction for how the Rookie of the Year race might shake down.


1. Blake Griffin, Clippers (1st overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 17 ppg, 9 rpg

Now that the Clips have rid themselves of Zach Randolph, Griffin will have every opportunity to play 36 minutes a night at power forward. He was the obvious choice to be the No. 1 pick, and is also the obvious choice for rookie of the year. That is assuming his banged-up shoulder recovers rather than hinders his first season as a cursed Clipper.


 2. Tyreke Evans, Kings (4th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 20 ppg, 5 rpg, 6 apg, 2 spg

This is about the 1,263,914th time I’ve said this; Evans is going to be an absolute stud. He is playing for one of the worst teams in the league and will have every chance to chuck up at least 20 shots a night. His size allows him to crash boards. His handles and slashing abilities will give him plenty of assist opportunities. His length and quickness will get him a good amount of steals. If Evans can develop a consistent jumper, he will eventually hover around the 30-point-per-game mark in the NBA. Yup, I just said that.


3. Jonny Flynn, Timberwolves (6th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 15 ppg, 7 apg, 1.75 spg

Assuming Ricky Rubio is not playing in the NBA next season, Flynn will be running the show for the T-Wolves. As proven by his 67-minute performance against UConn, Flynn is capable of playing heavy minutes on a nightly basis and will be asked to do so in Minnesota, since they don’t have a lot of depth in their backcourt. I also think he will be able to contribute right away to a young T-Wolves team that wants to run more this season.


 4. James Harden, Thunder (3rd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 12 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg

Oklahoma City will be the most intriguing young team to follow for the next couple years. Harden should benefit playing alongside an offensive threat like Kevin Durant and in the same backcourt as the speedy Russell Westbrook. He should start right away as the Thunder try to build chemistry among their future stars.


5. Brandon Jennings, Bucks (10th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 apg, 2 spg

With Ramon Sessions unlikely to return to Milwaukee this season, it appears Jennings will get every opportunity to run the point. Add in the fact that the Bucks might have the least amount of talent in the league, and Jennings’ play-making abilities should net him some solid stats.


 6. Stephen Curry, Warriors (7th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 11 ppg, 4 apg, 3 rpg

Curry is not shy about pulling the trigger on any shot within 30 feet of the basket, which fits Golden State’s style of play perfectly. He will be gunning whenever he is on the floor. Question is, how are the Warriors going to spread the ball around with a group of players who need to get their shots to be happy?


 7. Tyler Hansbrough, Pacers (13th overall) tylerhansbrough

’09-’10 Prediction: 10 ppg, 7 rpg

I’ve always thought Hansbrough would have a steady, but not spectacular NBA career. He should be able to provide some toughness and energy off the bench for the Pacers who don’t have a lot of depth up front.




 8. DeJuan Blair, Spurs (37th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 7 rpg

Factor in the massive chip on his shoulder for falling into the second round with the fact that the Spurs are thin up front with aging players Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff on the roster, and Blair should see plenty of time coming off the bench for the Spurs. I could see him having a Kevin Love-type rookie impact in San Antonio.


 9. Terrence Williams, Nets (11th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 5 rpg, 3 apg, 2 spg

The trade of Vince Carter opens up some playing time for the versatile Terrence Williams. His ability to do a lot of different things on the floor should log him decent playing time and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the starting small forward alongside the backcourt of Devin Harris and Courtney Lee. Like Evans, if Williams can improve his jumper, he could be a very good pro.


10. Jordan Hill, Knicks (8th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 rpg

Depending on what New York does with David Lee, Hill could potentially be a starter for the Knicks this season. If Lee is retained, the former Wildcat probably comes off the bench and drops out of the top 10. Still, with his size and athleticism, he should get a chance to flourish in Mike D’Antoni’s run-and-gun offense.

Honorable Mentions: Earl Clark, Suns (14th overall), Demar DeRozan (9th overall), Wayne Ellington (28th overall)


The Wild Card:


 Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves (5th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 9 ppg, 6 apg, 3 rpg

It is extremely unlikely that Rubio will be playing in the NBA this season. But if he somehow ends up in a T-Wolves uniform, he should be able to make an immediate impact having been playing professionally in Europe since he was 14. However, being in the same backcourt as Flynn, another point guard, will likely effect Rubio’s assist total and drop Flynn’s numbers as well.


The Project:

 Hasheem Thabeet, Grizzlies (2nd overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 5 ppg, 4 rpg, 1.5 bpg

I like Thabeet and can in no way deny the defensive impact he made at UConn. With that said, I still think he is a couple years away from being an effective NBA player. He will obviously get his share of rebounds and blocks when he is in the game, but I don’t see him cracking more than 12-15 minutes a game in his first season.thabeet


The Sleeper:

 DaJuan Summers, Pistons (35th overall)

’09-’10 Prediction: 8 ppg, 4 rpg

I can’t really call Blair a sleeper since (even though he was picked in the second round) everyone will be giving him that title. Summers should make more of an immediate impact with the Pistons than first-round pick Austin Daye, since Daye needs to get stronger and Detroit doesn’t have a lot of depth at forward. Minnesota’s Wayne Ellington and Toney Douglas of the Knicks could also be sleepers, especially if Rubio doesn’t play for the T-Wolves this year and if Nate Robinson leaves the Knicks.

Original Bull and Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan Interview

By Paul M. Banks

Earlier this month Utah Jazz Head Coach Jerry Sloan was announced to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is the only coach in NBA history with 1,000 wins for one team and fourth on the list of all-time most-winning NBA coaches. He has also coached one team longer than anyone in NBA history. The 2009-10 season will be his 22nd season (and 21st full season) at the helm of the Jazz.

After Tom Kelly stepped down as manager of the Minnesota Twins in 2001, Sloan became the longest tenured head coach in American major league sports with their current franchise. The only manager in any top professional league that has headed their current team for longer is Alex Ferguson of the English football team Manchester United.
He played for the Chicago Bulls during the franchise’s formative years. He was the first player selected by the Bulls in the expansion draft, earning him the nickname “The Original Bull.” Sloan played in two All-Star Games during his NBA career, and was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times. He is currently fourth on the Bulls’ all-time scoring list.

With an average of 2.15 steals per game (tabulated over his last three seasons), Jerry Sloan is ranked tenth in the NBA’s all-time leaders category for steals per game. His playing career was cut short by successive knee injuries, and he turned his attention to coaching. Because of his influential career with the Bulls, the franchise retired Sloan’s No. 4 jersey, the first jersey retired by the Bulls.

Paul M. Banks: What are the biggest differences between small market and big market?

Jerry Sloan: Basketball’s basketball, I never thought I did that bad in Chicago. We worked hard and had some guys who are probably not the kind of guys that you’re going to win with on a consistent basis. I thought that if they had the patience, we could have worked it out, I never thought that I couldn’t.


On his ability to operate in a bigger market…

JS: “Sure, if they had the right philosophy. If the players know you’re expendable they don’t have to play. If the agents and everybody tells them, he’s not going to be here, wait a couple weeks, the coach will be gone don’t risk getting hurt wait and play for the next guy then they’re not going to play for you.”

On whether he ever had an agent or needed one…

JS: When I took the job in Chicago, Mr. Wirtz and I had kind of a run-in, he didn’t want to talk to me anymore, so I had a go between. I just didn’t feel like I wanted to be put in a corner.”

On his not needing an agent in Utah…

JS: “They’ve been fair. I’m just happy to have a job, the organization has been fair with me all along.”

PMB: A lot of people had run-ins with Wirtz over the years…

JS: It’s just one of those things, he’s the boss and I realize that. So I didn’t want to get into a shouting match with him.

Regarding whether he pays attention to the internet and blogs and all the information available out there these days…

JS: “Well, I’ve never paid attention to all that stuff. There wasn’t that much stuff going on when I came into the league, I was aware of guy’s getting fired. You can listen to everybody in the world, but you’re the one who’s responsible.”


PMB: What’s been the key to your success/long run?

JS: Pretty simple, our owner hasn’t fired me, when I tell our players at the beginning of the year I’m going to be here, I’m going to be here. I’ve been able to do that for a long time. not too many have had that opportunity. I guess if I did something crazy they would probably get rid of me pretty quick, but so far I haven’t done too much.

Nothing too crazy?

JS: “Well, I did get suspended for 8 or 9 games once”

Commenting on the 6 NBA coaches fired before Christmas this season and job security in the association…

JS: “I’m always concerned about what owners are thinking, are they letting the players run the team or are they letting the agents run the team? I’ve seen this for a number of years and it’s really frustrating because a lot of great coaches, better coaches than I’ll ever be, have been fired, some of them two or three different times. Somewhere along the line it looks like patience is something worth while if you’re willing to put up with it. I know there’s tremendous pressure on owners, coaches and players, but we’ve been lucky that our ownership has stuck by us. You lose 56 games and still have a job, you’re pretty lucky.”

On whether he had any worries his run could come to an end…

JS: “Well, I never thought I’d even play a year, so it’s no big deal, I’m happy to have done so, but I had people tell me I would never play in this league.”

Of course one of Sloan’s best quotes ever was published awhile ago…

“I don’t care if he’s 19 or 30. If he’s going to be on the floor in the NBA, he’s got to be able to step up and get after it. We can’t put diapers on him one night, and a jockstrap the next night. It’s just the way it is.” — on second year guard C.J. Miles, the youngest player on the 2006-07 Utah Jazz

The Economics of Basketball

By Brandon Robinson
With the current recession, it is going to be difficult for a lot of Americans—even for those working with NBA basketball. At least as far as making money they were accustomed to making a few years ago.

Additionally, the biggest effect will be on team revenue. “If you think about it, it’s one big cycle. The recession affects the fans, who will spend less money on tickets and merchandise. So the league will force the players to accept less as the pie shrinks,” says ESPN.com Senior Writer, JA Adande.

 Revenue from ticket sales and sponsorship will be down next season. Player payroll is based on a percentage of team revenue. This means the salary cap will go down, which means players that are not already under contract will have a difficult time getting the kind of deals they’ve gotten in the past.

Team owners are finding ways to cut costs in a shrinking economy.

“It already had an effect this season. Teams are anticipating lower revenue and were reluctant to take on expensive contracts at the trade deadline,” says Chris Carrino, Executive Director of Broadcasting for the New Jersey Nets.


Currently, the hoopla surrounding the summer of 2010 has been hyped as the year in which marketable a-list of superstars will become unrestricted free agents. This means that NBA squads can sign them to max long term deals without that price being matched by their current team or other teams. During that summer, it is believed that Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James, will bolt and sign with either the New York Knicks or across the Hudson with the New Jersey Nets. That summer has been dubbed by some as the “Summer of LeBron.” It will be very interesting to see what teams decide to do as the economy crumbles. Will people spend money?

Among that elite list of free agents: Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, Toronto Raptors’ Chris Bosh, Phoenix Suns’ Amare Stoudemire, Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, New Orleans Hornets’ Tyson Chandler, San Antonio Spurs’ Manu Ginobili, Milwaukee Bucks’ Richard Jefferson, Atlanta Hawks’ Joe Johnson, Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash, Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Michael Redd.

“This will come into play in the next collective bargaining agreement, which will certainly feature shorter contract lengths and average and maximum salaries. It will become more difficult for teams to afford multiple stars, or to fit them into a smaller salary cap. So if the teams are worse, the fans won’t want to come to the arena to watch them, and it starts all over again,” added JA Adande.


A lot has happened since the current NBA collective bargain agreement, was signed during the lockout shortened 1998-99 NBA season. Players have made a lot of money. The current collective bargaining agreement ends the summer of 2011 and owners want to make strict changes. According to the Indianapolis Star-News, the Indiana Pacers have lost money nine of the past 10 years. The Sacramento Bee reported that the Sacramento Kings are expected to lose up to $25 million this season. The Sports Business Journal reported that the Orlando Magic are expecting potential losses of between $15 million and $20 million. Charlotte Bobcats owner Robert Johnson has claimed losses of $50 million since he paid $300 million for the expansion franchise in 2003.

Clearly the owners and NBA commissioner David Stern want to lower the salary cap and with good reason. The NBA salary cap went down only once in 2002. It went from $42.5 million to $42.7 because they overestimated it. That was with no economic trouble.

“I think the game will be fine, but just like every industry it’s going to take some hits” says ESPN the Magazine’s senior writer, Chris Broussard.

“The superstars are still going to get paid: Kobe, LeBron, Wade, and Dwight Howard are still going to get their money,” added Broussard. So who will take the biggest hit? “It’s always going to hurt the midlevel players, the midlevel salary will definitely drop” says Broussard.

What do players think about this? “Of course the current economic climate will affect the lengths of contracts and the amount of money people will make. Teams are tightening their spending since they are not making money the way they were before,” says Utah Jazz guard Brevin Knight.

One thing is clear, despite the economic woes fans will still need an outlet to get their minds off this economic crisis. They need something to cheer for.

”The game still is very popular. You have great young stars and rivalries in the Celtics and the Lakers. LeBron and Kobe have somewhat of a rivalry in regards to who is the best player,” added Broussard.
Something tells me, everything will be fine.