We at Bulls by the Horns realize that you’re busy and don’t have the time to go searching through website after website for some interesting, NBA related reads. So, from time to time, we’ll gather the articles we’ve found interesting and put them together for you in one place.
This weekend was a particular depressing weekend of basketball as three stars suffered serious injuries and will miss extended time. Let’s start here in Chicago with the injury of Derrick Rose. We’ll start with a piece from Matt Moore on early Sunday morning. Moore breaks down a few of the different options for the Bulls with the injury to Rose and takes a look at where the team could go from here. Sean Highkin of the USA Today does much of the same in his breakdown on Sunday afternoon.
The second star to go down over the weekend was reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol. In the Grizzlies’ Friday night game against the Spurs, Gasol suffered a non-contact injury to his knee and over the weekend it was announced Gasol had suffered a MCL sprain. The injury will force Gasol to miss anywhere from four to ten weeks. Sam Amick of the USA Today has more details on the injury as well as more details regarding how the Bulls will attempt to move forward without Gasol.
The third big injury of the weekend was suffered by the Warriors Andre Igoudala. On Saturday, it was revealed that Igoudala has a strained left hamstring, which is not as serious as the injuries suffered by Rose or Gasol, but an injury that will leave him out indefinitely. Zach Lowe at Grantland took a look at how the Warriors would deal with the injury as well as how the Bulls and Grizzlies would deal with their injuries. Of all three teams, the Warriors are probably in the best shape as Igoudala isn’t necessarily vital to what the Warriors do every night while Rose and Gasol facilitate just about everything their teams do offensively.
Lowe had a busy day on Monday as he also wrote Kobe Bryant’s contract extension with the Lakers. Bryant signed a two-year contract extension worth $48 million, which keeps him the highest paid player in the NBA. Lowe dissects what the extension means for the Lakers and the possibilities they have as a franchise in the coming years. SPOILER ALERT: Their options are limited.
While Lowe talked about the difficult situation facing the Lakers, Ken Berger of CBS Sports detailed why he thinks the highest paid player in the league is actually underpaid. Berger looks at the specifics of the collective bargaining agreement and applauds Bryant for taking a pay cut when he could have actually earned about $32.8 million per year in the extension. He also mentions the fact that all NBA superstars are wildly underpaid because of the salary cap and Bryant is worth far more to the Lakers than even the maximum amount he could each season.
Moving away from news and into more feature reporting, Paul Flannery of SB Nation talked about the leap Paul George has made this season in this week’s Sunday Shootaround. George has quickly become one of the ten best players in the league and Flannery talked to George and head coach Frank Vogel about what has allowed George to develop into the player he is today. Vogel spoke about the change in approach George has gone through as he’s moved from the team’s fifth offensive option to their first option in just one season. The progress he has made in one season should make the rest of the league very afraid.
Staying in the Central Divison, things have not gone as planned thus far for the Milwaukee Bucks. Tom Ziller at SB Nation talks about the Bucks’ struggles this season despite their best efforts to remain in the playoff picture. Ziller talks about owner Herb Kohl’s desire for the team to remain in the playoff picture each year and Kohl’s reasoning is detailed in the Milwaukee Biz Times by Andrew Weiland. The Bucks desperately need to remain relevant as they try to find public support for a new arena to replace the 25-year-old BMO Harris Bradley Center. If there is not enough public support for a new arena, many fear the franchise will be relocated and no one knows this better than Kohl.
Another team that has struggled mightily thus far is the Brooklyn Nets and Jon Krawczynski talked with Kevin Garnett as the Nets visited Garnett’s first team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, over the weekend. Krawczynski spent some time reminiscing about the Garnett that used to patrol the lane in Minnesota and the shadow of that Garnett that now appears on the court. A Garnett that ends up on the losing end of battles against the league’s up-and-coming power forwards including Kevin Love, Lamarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin.
With the rash of injuries over the weekend, Mark Cuban decided to talk in length about his thoughts on human growth hormone (HGH) in the NBA. As Dan Devine detailed, Cuban doesn’t believe that the drug should be used in the NBA, but rather the NBA should be helping to fund research of the drug and how it may be able to help athletes recovering from injuries. Cuban understands that this will not occur overnight, but he does believe that research should be done on the subject.
Finally, over the weekend, Deadspin posted an excerpt of Dr. J’s new autobiography “Dr. J: The Autobiography” and it contains one of basketball’s best “What If’s”. In this excerpt, Erving describes the training camp of the 1972 Atlanta Hawks in which he formed a very special connection with Pete Maravich. Maravich and Erving never ended up playing together because of a contract dispute between the ABA and NBA, but the pairing of Maravich and Erving combined with Lou Hudson and Walt Bellamy in Atlanta would have been an incredible team to watch.
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