Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, November 27, 2008

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(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Marc Fein, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley

Smith on Knicks guard Stephon Marbury declining to play against the Pistons on Tuesday: “The Knicks handled it wrong.  You should never ask a player before the game, ‘do you want to be a part of something?’ When you ask guys before the game what should they do, you give them an option.  When you’re asked before the game and you’re already told you’re not part of the team and you’re not part of the plan, you give a guy an opportunity to say you’re not part of the team.   You’ve got to tell (Marbury) to play.  You don’t give him that option, he’s on your payroll for $22 million.”

Barkley on Pistons guard Allen Iverson choosing not to practice on Thanksgiving: “(Iverson) is 100 percent wrong, no one wants to practice on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but it’s not like he was at home cooking.  Especially in this situation (being a new player for Detroit) with people looking at him.”

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Game 1:  Orlando Magic (105) @ Washington Wizards (90)

Announcers Dick Stockton and Mike Fratello with David Aldridge reporting

Fratello on Magic center Dwight Howard wearing down a defense: “(Dwight) Howard is like a prize fighter, he keeps going to the body and going to the body and eventually you drop your hands.  They’ll keep pounding it into Howard until Washington decides they are going to double team and get the ball out of his hands and that opens up the three point line for them.”

Fratello on former Wizards head coach Eddie Jordan who was fired this week:  “Eddie Jordan was a victim of circumstances, the key injury is Gilbert Arenas, but maybe even more importantly than that was to big man Brendan Haywood, who was the anchor to their defense, and that’s where this team has stepped backwards this year. Eddie Jordan is from (Washington) D.C., he came back here and took this team to four straight playoff appearances.  Let’s not forget that Eddie Jordan was in New Jersey with Byron Scott when they went to the Finals in 2002-03.  Eddie Jordan can coach basketball.”

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Barkley on the former Wizards coach Eddie Jordan helping the Wizards reach their full potential: “The Wizards are not a very good team, this team is as good as it’s going to ever get.  They are going to get to the playoffs and they are going to lose in the first round of the playoffs. They are just not a good team, it’s not Eddie Jordan’s fault, getting them to the playoffs is a win-win situation. They’ve got to start over, they’ve got to start rebuilding for the future, they’ve got three guys who are good players but they are the same guy basically, three scorers.  They are not going anywhere, this team isn’t any good, plain and simple.”

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TNT’s David Aldridge interviewed Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas during the game.

Arenas on having to adjust to new Wizards head coach Ed Tapscott: “We’ve got to respect (Ed) Tapscott.  We all played well for Eddie (Jordan), most of us feel Eddie didn’t deserve it because he did take us to the promised land (NBA Playoffs) four years straight and unfortunately, he didn’t have a whole team.  But we have to give the same respect we gave to Eddie to Tapscott, he’s our new coach and we have to give him 100 percent every night, too.”

Arenas on the slow start this season by the Wizards:  “If this is the middle of the season, this wouldn’t look so bad, because teams go through droughts like this, but we have a lot of making up to do.”

Fratello on coaches not getting through to players to motivate them to win games:  “There has to be tough love (by a coach) sometimes.  Young people don’t handle tough love nowadays, they think they are getting yelled at, they think they are getting picked on and they don’t want the responsibility and accountability that goes along with their jobs as professional athletes, so the pressure becomes too much and they just cave in.  Then changes (are) made and you wonder why they come out with that energy in game one and for them (a new coach) washes the slate clean and they are starting over again, but a guy who did a great job coaching here loses his job because they tuned him out for X number of games.”

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Game 2:  New Orleans Hornets (105) @ Denver Nuggets (101)

Announcers Marv Albert and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony on his areas of growth in the game: “You start learning the game, you start realizing everyone knows how to score the basketball, I can do that with my eyes closed.  But people want to see me make Nene better, make Kenyon Martin better, make Linas Kleiza better, make J.R. (Smith) better, go out there and rebound and go out and win games by rebounding the basketball.  Some games last year I found myself with three rebounds, four rebounds, five rebounds, I don’t think I can do that anymore.”

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Smith on Hornets guard Chris Paul’s first half garnering few stats: “When I went to the University of North Carolina we never had a stat sheet in the locker room and this is the reason why.  (Chris Paul) controlled the style and the tempo of the game, so everyone is able to get into the flow and get into areas on the floor where they are comfortable.”

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Collins on a move by Hornets guard Chris Paul in which he dribbled the ball between his legs behind him before a fading jump shot: “This young guy is a magician with the basketball!”

Collins on the Nuggets improved defensive play:  “Last year we would not have talked about the Denver Nuggets winning games on the defensive end, but they have become a much better defensive team and a lot of the reason is they are taking better control of the ball and their shot selection is better.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Hyundai

Fein, Smith and Barkley

TNT aired a feature on former NBA player Wayman Tisdale about his battle with bone cancer and the recent surgery that removed part of his right leg.  Tisdale spoke about his successful second career in jazz and his friendship with country music superstar Toby Keith that has led to their musical collaboration.

Barkley on the positive attitude Tisdale has had during his recovery from cancer and adapting to a prosthetic leg: “That doesn’t shock us, that’s Wayman Tisdale.  That guy might have been the best college basketball player I’ve seen in my lifetime. I’ve never seen that guy not smile.  When I played against him, when I saw him before the game and after the game that guy was always in a good mood.  Other than Patrick Ewing, that guy might be the nicest guy ever to play in the NBA. That does not surprise us that he’s handling it like that.”

Smith on the qualities possessed by Tisdale that help him cope with his circumstances: “It’s the saying that God doesn’t give you too much that you can’t handle. For him, (Tisdale) is the only one that could handle that.  When I played in Sacramento, I lived at this guy’s house, I was single, 22 (years old) from New York, didn’t know what to do and this guy told me how to handle myself outside of the game.  This guy had me buy a keyboard, he was teaching me how to play, I bought a music studio because of him, he got me all into music.  The one thing you think when you look at (him) is perseverance, discipline, determination, and faith. That guy represents all of that.”

Smith on how Cavaliers forward LeBron James should have handled the questions regarding his free agency in 2010: “The outside forces should never affect your locker room. I think LeBron (James) has made some of the right comments, but he hasn’t made the perfect comment. He still alienated 11 guys in his locker room.  What I mean by that, he hasn’t said, ‘we are 12-3 right now, we are a championship-caliber team and we are going to win multiple championships here while I’m here, period, end of story.’ That takes 11 other guys to say, ‘we have your back and we’ll run through a wall for you.’ He brings confidence to guys that might not normally have confidence; Delonte West, Mo Williams and the rest of those guys, he lifts them up a little bit higher in the mental preparation for the games.  But when you say ‘I want to be on a Championship team in two years,’ it alienates the guys that are there.  Two years out, he should say I’m a Cleveland Cavalier for life, even if it’s not the truth, it makes those 11 other guys feel important.”

Barkley on how Cavaliers forward LeBron James has handled the free agency questions: “LeBron James is one of my favorite players, but he’s been 100 percent wrong in this situation.  It’s unfair to the city of Cleveland and it’s unfair to the Cleveland Cavaliers team.  If it was a year away it would still be unfortunate.  I wish he would sign a lifetime deal with the Cavaliers.”

One Response to “Notes from TNT’s Coverage of the NBA – Thursday, November 27, 2008”

  1. Temple3 says:

    The whole Dantoni-Walsh situation is Management 101. They’ve failed miserably. I’m not quite sure why the national media is focused on Stephon Marbury — as if he has something to do with this. Based on all that has transpired since D’Antoni (aka Lil Mussolini), there was no reason to forge this wedge. Even the dollars don’t offer a compelling reason given the proclivity of the Dolan’s to lay out cash like Nathan’s lays out hot dogs. What’s worse is that the Dolans are pimpin’ out MSG tax free based on a sweetheart deal from the 1970s. Shame.