Each week at around this time, we will point to you to what the various blogs on the Bloguin network are saying about their teams. Be sure to check out all the great blogs for more in depth coverage of your favorite team!
Staff writer Brendan Bowers of Stepien Rules caught up with mid-90s legend Terrell Brandon for the Cavs Fan Magazine to be released later. Brandon played six seasons for the Cavaliers, scoring 19.5 points per game in his final year by the Cuyahoga River in 1997.
Brandon never fully realized his potential. He went to Milwaukee before the 1998 season as part of the Shawn Kemp trade and bounced around the Bucks and the Timberwolves before knee injuries claimed his career. He was a two-time All Star and should have done a lot more.
Bowers looks back at Brandon and his career in Cleveland, and, frankly, how forgotten he is.
I told Mr. Brandon this; describing briefly the Cavaliers Fan Magazine I was referencing. He said he was thrilled to be a part of it, and really appreciated the Cavs fans remembering and celebrating his career this way. It honestly meant something to him.
I'd come to find out that is probably because Terrell Brandon never wanted to leave Cleveland in the first place. He said he dreamed of playing 15 years as a member of the Cavaliers. He was devastated when he left. He loved the city, loved the fans, and had a personal relationship with everyone in the organization – from his teammates to the workers who filled Gund Arena.
As Bowers describes it, Brandon was legitimately in the argument for best point guard in the NBA in the mid-90s. Sports Illustrated thought so.
Also on Stepien Rules this week: Dion Waiters is Twitter's most actively engaged NBA player.
Over on Orlando Magic Daily, I ask a pretty big question of Magic fans. One that Orlando fans have really never had to answer. Is long-term building worth short-term sacrifice if this rag-tag group of players somehow competes for the postseason? Yes, I know that is unlikely but with a bunch of veterans and few young players, this team could surprise.
So entertain my thought experiment. Say the Magic are hovering around .500 in January and have a real chance to make the Playoffs. Do the Magic — and more importantly do Magic fans accept — trade away a veteran to get unproven Maurice Harkless more playing time or collect assets for that unknown future?
This is really not something the Magic have had to think about in its history, as I explained:
This is a question of getting the Magic back to a championship level as quickly as possible. Some of the trade seemed to prevent that. Orlando brought in veterans on moderate contracts that may be tough to flip. It seems like it will be at least two years before the Magic have the cap space to go after free agents to bring in that superstar player to help the team close that potential talent deficit and begin the ascend back toward the top.
This creates a major conflict within the fan. The short-term goal is and always should be winning. But the long-term goal is positioning the team to win a championship. Following the Oklahoma City and San Antonio model that Rob Hennigan appears to be bringing to Orlando, that means drafting well. And there is no faster way to do that then to win the lottery.
Thus the race to the bottom in the NBA.
Fortunately, Magic fans may not have to ask this question… yet. And many Magic fans I have talked to are accepting of the long-term planning that is coming.
Also on Orlando Magic Daily this week: The Magic show poorly on ESPN's #NBARank with only one top-100 player.
With the season right around the corner, it is time to start asking some questions of the teams before training camp. Evil Cow Town is beginning to do that in what should be a pretty important year for the Kings. The arena situation is coming to a head. The future of the franchise is at stake as the team assesses the future value of former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans and figures out if DeMarcus Cousins is a franchise cornerstone. Nate Hughart tries to tackle these questions:
Well, let me answer this honestly and frankly before delving into my opinion of where each stand. One, I think both have cornerstone type talent as All-Star players, and I think Evans is the only player currently on the Kings with the talent to be a franchise player.
So let me tackle the most important part of the previous paragraph: Could Evans be a franchise player? Yeah, I guess he could honestly, but I wouldn't be betting on it anytime soon no matter how hard he's worked over the summer. My biggest issue's with Evans was not his offensive difficulties beyond getting to the basket, but everything else. He loafs on defense, and frankly looks bored waiting to get the ball back. Evans needs to be the best player on the defensive end for the Kings, and if it weren't for DeMarcus Cousins (who has stiff competition from Evans) for worst defensive effectiveness, Evans would be the least effective defensive player on the Kings who happens to get real minutes. Marcus Thornton is a much worse defender, in theory, than Evans, but unless Tyreke Evans bothers to get his ass in gear on the defensive end much of his talent is wasted.
For a team that has been in the background of the NBA for a long time. The Kings offer a lot of interesting questions to answer this year.
I do not know who the TimberTrolls are… but I like them already. Check out TWolves Blog to read more!
Sean Francois of Hoops Heads North spoke with Heat center, and Canadian celebrity, Joel Anthony at the NBA3X Tour in Halifax, Nova Scotia:
Abdullah Sharif of Wizards Extreme writes on the good words Maurice Evans has for his former teammats on the Wizards and says he is excited about where the team is headed.
KnicksFanatics took a look at what some of the TNT talking heads — read; Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal — are saying about the Knicks' chances this year.
The 2013 Draft is only a few months away. OK, so it is far away. Ed Isaacson of NBA Draft Blog reviews another group of seniors entering this year's draft including Notre Dame's Jake Cooley and Ohio's D.J. Cooper.