Tag Archive: NBA

Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Portland Trail Blazers have fired head coach Nate McMillan. Portland is 20-23 on the season and lost seven of its last 10 games.

Not sure I’d give Nate the boot like this so quickly. I sort of think Portland’s problems go beyond this…like two franchise players not being able to play.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The Los Angeles Clippers have been one of the worst NBA franchises bar none. Now, when they’re finally starting to become competitive they do this?

“Clipper Darrell” has been cheering the Clippers for a while. His outfits…stand out in a crowd shall we say. But the Clippers say he is trying to profit off of it and have asked him to stop with his personality. They offered him an extra season ticket if he complied.

Are you kidding me? The Clippers organization should be embarrassed. Even if they have legitimate reasons, they never asked him to stop when they sucked. So now, when they start winning is when they ask him to cease with his persona. Looks like a heartless move by LA to me.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Armon Johnson cut by Blazers

For now, former Nevada guard Armon Johnson’s future in the NBA is in jeopardy. The Portland Trail Blazers cut Johnson today.

Anyone who knows me knows I was against Johnson leaving early. The Blazers are keeping an injured Greg Oden over Johnson. Think about that.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal, which you can read here. The article compares a player’s salary in relation to what the average salary was of all other athletes at that time in their sport. Some names you’d expect and, some that you wouldn’t. You guys should check it out.

On a broader note, it does show the discrepancy even among athletes. Players like Alex Rodriguez or Joe Montana of course are going to get lots of money. But they make so much more even than the average baseball or football player. And, if you really look at list, you’ve got to wonder, how many of those players were really worth it? Sure, you’d be pretty safe arguing Michael Jordan was, but a lot of those players, let’s be honest. Their track record wasn’t that good.

It does beg the question, if you were starting a team in any of the four major sports, which, if any, modern athletes would you pay that kind of money to lead your team?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

My thoughts about Jeremy Lin

Full disclosure for those of you who don’t know, I am Asian. However, I’ve been appalled at the reaction to Jeremy  . Look, I’m not going to proclaim he’s this superstar. Let’s not forget, he’s only played a couple of games. He’s yet to prove himself over the course of a season. But, the reaction from people is ridiculous.

Let me begin with Jason Whitlock and his tweet: Some lucky lady in NYC is gonna feel a couple inches of pain tonight.

Then, there was his apology: I then gave in to another part of my personality – my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature. It’s been with me since birth, a gift from my mother and honed as a child listening to my godmother’s Richard Pryor albums. I still want to be a standup comedian.

Stand up comedian? Look there are jokes that maybe you can make with friends. Then there are things like this, completely unprofessional, ignorant and downright stupid. By the way, him bringing Richard Pryor into this is an insult. Pryor rarely crossed the line. His jokes were, I don’t know, funny. Remember all the controversy Don Imus got into after his comments about the Rugters women’s basketball team?

And Floyd Mayweather. He tweeted: Jeremy Lin is a good player, but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.

While I’m not ready to claim Lin is the next Kobe Bryant…but how many players have outscored Bryant on a consistent basis? How many players scored 20 point and seven assists in their first four starts after not even playing in the D-League?

Oh…and yes, him being Asian is part of the story. Almost like say an African American golfer winning the Masters at a course that had a history of being racist and going on to dominate a “white man’s sport”.

How many Asian superstars can you name? Exactly. So, yes, him being Asian in a country where there aren’t really any Asian superstar athletes or pop icons is a big deal. I’m fed up with all this ignorance and stupidity. Whitlock should be fired. There’s no place for that kind of bigotry in a professional workplace. His attempt at “comedy” proves that he’s incapable of having good professional discretion and should not be writing for a prominent sports site.

Mayweather, I have never wanted you to fight and lose to Manny Pacquiao so badly as I do now. The same boxer you told to “make some sushi rolls and cook some rice.” Yes, his history with racist comments didn’t begin with Lin.

If Manny had told you to “eat some fried chicken and cook some corn” how would that have been received? I’d wager there’d be a huge uproar.

Whatever respect I had for you is gone. The funny thing is no one will pay attention to this issue for long. Why? For precisely the reason that there aren’t many Asian Americans out there to speak out. Here’s one that’s not afraid to. I realize my readership pales in comparison to Whitlock’s or even Mayweather. But, I hope both of them read this somehow. Grow up. It’s statements like these that prove all too well that bigotry is alive and kicking.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

NBA considering contraction

NBA Commissioner David Stern said both sides are talking about a possible contraction in the league. Speaking on a ESPN podcast, Stern said the subject will be brought up again once CBA negotiations are completed.

Here’s something I wouldn’t mind seeing. The NBA does have too many teams with practically empty stadiums. The league also has too many teams making the playoffs for my liking and the season is too long. While it’s unlikely the last two will change, it’ll be nice to see the NBA with a few less teams. Let’s face it, some cities are just not basketball cities. And seeing half-full stadiums isn’t very appealing.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

So, it’s the start of what I hope will be a weekly column. Let’s just start with some Wolf Pack stuff.

Media day was this week. Head coach Chris Ault and the players said about what you’d expect. That there are a lot of leaders on the team, that quarterback Tyler Lantrip is ready. That the team is out to prove that last year wasnt’ an anomaly. Let’s be real. It’ll be difficult to tell how good this Nevada team is for a while.

The team’s non-conference schedule is difficult. Opening the season against Oregon…not good. Road games against Texas Tech and Boise State in the first four games of the season? Recipe for a rough start. Lantrip may be ready to lead, but, let me tell you, Autzen Stadium is a tough place to begin your first season starting. The Red Raiders are tough on the road and Boise State will be looking for revenge. In short, Lantrip and the Wolf Pack will be overwhelmed early in the season. And by the team they get settled, it’ll begin its conference season in full force after a game against UNLV. And, the WAC is not a good judge of how good a team is.

Fresno State and Hawaii are good, but definitely not great competition. So, just as fans shouldn’t panic if Nevada starts 1-3, fans shouldn’t get overly excited if the Wolf Pack runs the table in conference play. Frankly, it’ll be difficult to judge how good this Nevada team is. The bowl game, assuming the team makes one, could be the best judge of how good this team is. What stinks is Lantrip is a senior, so, after this season the Wolf Pack gets to break in a new quarterback again next year.

In my prediction for the season I said Nevada would be a two-loss team this season. And I do believe that can and will happen. However, I do think people need to be a little reasonable here. The Wolf Pack isn’t going to beat Oregon. Trust me, growing up in Oregon and being a former Oregon State fan, I want nothing more than to see the Ducks lose. But they have too many weapons. I’d love to say Nevada was going to have a magical season like last year. But, I just don’t see it happening. But, if the Wolf Pack is a two-or three loss team, that’s about as good as you can expect from this group this season.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

LeBron James cut the ribbon for the LeBron James clubhouse in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. The gym, which belongs to the Boys and Girls Club that he played in as a child, received renovations totaling $240,000, which was donated through his family’s foundation.

Look LeBron. It’s good that you donated money. And helping children is always a worthwhile cause. But, if you are really humbled to be able to help children, if this was really about helping people and that’s it, two suggestions: Don’t name the gym after yourself. And, why not do it anonymously? I mean, according to you, this is, in no way, a way to try and rebuild your image. It’s simply you being charitable. Well, donate anonymously then. Just give them the money. Don’t make it into a media spectacle.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The NBA and its players union will meet Monday, one month after the league had its first work stoppage since 1998. Now, it’s no secret that the two sides are nowhere near close to each other. The question remains whether the two sides will work out a deal enough to save a large portion of the season.

In my mind there’s no question games will be missed. But, don’t necessarily believe all these NBA players will have a mass-exodus overseas either. It’s an obvious bargaining ploy, but lets not forget foreign leagues can be sketchy at times in paying its players. And, it’s not like if the NBA players all go overseas it will instantly become a premiere league. They don’t have the money and, let’s face it, with players spread out across different leagues, it won’t have the same feeling as the NBA. Here’s one aspect the players might not be thinking about it: It might be a turn-off to their fans in America.

Think about it. Many players already have the image of being greedy, “thugs” and other negative images. You think if they bolt and go overseas we’ll believe the whole we need money argument? Maybe for the lesser-known players, but not the stars. Fans might just think players are getting greedier and reinforce the image that they don’t care about fans at all and just are in a major cash-grab mode.

Lukas Eggen

The NFL isn’t the only major sport going through a lockout. The NBA had talks break down June 30, as the league is in its first lockout since the 1998-99 season, where the season was shortened to 50 games. There’s a difference, however. The NFL is America’s most popular spectator sport. The NBA is in danger of killing its ratings…again and will take years to build it back up.

The NBA seems to think it’s more popular than it is. Frankly, most people don’t care about it. Sure, we tune into some of the playoffs, when it’s on. But, the NBA is a distant second or third in terms of major sports popularity. The season is too long. And, people are getting fed up with the NBA’s image: that it’s athletes are spoiled prima donnas who blow through their money and are a bunch of thugs. I’m not saying it’s true, but that’s the image the NBA has to live with. A lot of its marquee players, including Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant are considering playing overseas if there is no season. You know why the NFL is so popular here? It’s the premiere football league. The NFL players remain uniquely to that league. If the NBA players go overseas, now all the NBA players can say they also played in Europe, or China or wherever they end up going.

And finally, when they have a season in which ratings are up, when Lebron James gives the NBA what it needs, its own version of the Yankees, a team everyone loves to hate, the lockout happens. Make no mistake, the NBA will see far more serious consequences than the NFL in terms of fans, attendance and viewership.

Lukas Eggen