The Golden State Warriors have played very well in the early going of the 2012-2013 season. They are currently 9-6 and tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for first place in the Pacific Division. Most of that success has come despite the re-aggravation of Center Andrew Bogut’s ankle injury. What was initially diagnosed as just 7-10 days to rest the sore ankle has now become an injury that will keep him out one-to-three months. It was revealed that Bogut actually had microfracture surgery on his ankle, a far more severe procedure than the arthroscopic surgery that had been reported since the time of surgery in April. Bogut hopes to be back before the season is done, but didn’t want to put a definite timetable on his return. With Bogut’s injury, all eyes will fall on Power Forward Carl Landry.
Before Kobe Bryant has a chance to eclipse His Airness, Michael Jordan in rings or on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, he has another ex-high-flying guard to shoot down a peg.
In Bryant’s most recent outing, the Lakers guard put up 40 points in a losing effort. As a result, Bryant begins the weekend against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night just 100 points shy of 30,000 points and is 127 shy of surpassing 70’s and 80’s icon Dr. J on the all-time scoring list.
Surpassing Erving is an accomplishment that likely won’t garner much media attention because the NBA doesn’t recognize ABA statistics besides absorbing a number of its teams. That’s unfortunate for Bryant but more so for Erving, whose accomplishments have been diminished by the ABA’s dissolution.
Bryant has tallied over 11,000 more career NBA points than Erving on the NBA’s career scoring list but those numbers don’t include the 11,662 career points Dr. J tallied as the ABA’s fifth all-time leading scorer.
Erving retired at 37 after 16 seasons in 1987. The 34-year – old Bryant is in his 17th season but has played 67 fewer regular season games.
31 years ago, during the days before social media, Magic Johnson complained through the media that head coach Paul Westhead's high-scoring offense, which carried the Lakers to a championship in his rookie season was too dull. Paul Westhead's firing by the Lakers remainds the most ironic in league history.
Today, Westhead is known as the Guru of Go after his nitrous speed offensive system shattered collegiate and NBA records and Magic is back at his coach killing ways. This time, newly-hired Mike D’Antoni is in Johnson's crosshairs before ever coaching a game.
On Wednesday afternoon, after going on Twitter silence in the wake of D’Antoni’s hiring, Johnson broke his silence with a message heard throughout the Twittersphere: ‘The reason I haven’t tweeted in 2 days is because I’ve been mourning Phil Jackson not being hired as Lakers head coach.’
Johnson then tweeted, ‘My mother always taught me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’
The Golden State Warriors have become one of the more predictable teams in the NBA. For over a decade, they’ve been a team with some talent, a run ‘n’ gun offense, and an injury-prone group of players. The front office consistently made questionable decisions while the players continuously floundered late in games. This is a team that has not capitalized on its lottery draft picks (Ike Diogu, Patrick O’Bryant, etc…), nor has it had an impactful center. It was easy to predict that the Warriors would have flashes of brilliance, but would be otherwise average. It was easy to pencil them into the 10th to 12th seed in the Western Conference, never quite able to consistently break into the playoffs. But about a week into their 2012-2013 season, this looks nothing like the Warriors of old. We’ll start things off by looking at the center position.
Hold your horses folks, there’s a reason the word retire exists. According to dictionary.com, the word “retire” means, “to withdraw from office, business, or active life, usually because of age.”
Well, in case you forgot, that’s exactly what Jackson did when he retired from coaching 2 years ago. Aside from his health issues, the truth of the matter he’s too old.
Don’t get me wrong, I undeniably recognize Jackson as one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport. The man has 11 rings, that’s no coincidence. But, he’s been around the game a long, long time and nobody can hang around forever.
Bringing Jackson back to coach this star studded Laker team is far from an immediate solution. If anything, it will put even more pressure on an already struggling team.
Why risk your legacy Jackson?
Granted, you didn’t exactly go out on top, but maybe it’s time to accept you may have lost that touch. Can that happen to coaches? A question yet to be answered, but something to think about as this Jackson-saga progresses.