As players from the 2011 NBA Draft negotiate extensions on their rookie deals, none will have a more interesting decision to make than Reggie Jackson. Jackson’s current situation is fairly comparable to Eric Bledsoe, who spent most of his first three seasons playing behind Chris Paul. Read More. Written by Jonathan Tjarks on Sep 17, 2014
In this episode, host Daniel Leroux (@DannyLeroux) works through the Southwest Division with Ed Maisonet of The Sports Fan Journal and SBNation (@edthesportsfan) and Jonathan Tjarks of RealGM (@JonathanTjarks).
They review the events of the offseason including which teams improved and which teams got worse, with special attention for the overhauls in Dallas and Houston. After that, the group previews the upcoming season including ranking the teams 1-5 and predicting how many teams will make the playoffs in a stacked Western Conference.
James Harden and Anthony Davis are the only holdovers from the 2012 Olympics team that will play for the United States in the World Cup.
“Right now, I think I would look to Harden as that leader,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said as his team continues to prepare for the tournament in which the winner earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. “Harden is kind of a natural leader and he seems to be willing to accept that role. And you can just kind of feel it and sense. He’s the one.”
Harden's career trajectory changed dramatically after he was traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets.
“It’s so many things these last couple of years that’s been thrown at me, from me being traded, to people talking, just everything,” Harden said. “I try to focus on myself and how can I be a better basketball player. It’s still basketball at the end of the day. I try to do it to the best of my ability and continue to work hard.”
Harden declared himself the best player in the world recently.
“I think everybody feels that way. Every NBA player. Even growing up, growing up youngins have dreams that they want to be the best basketball players in the world,” Harden said. “As a basketball player, or any athlete, you got to have confidence, you’ve got to have confidence the whole time. You just go out there and do your job and have confidence that your abilities are good enough. Whatever is thrown at me, I just try to take it for what it is and just have fun.”
Chris Bosh was close to leaving the Miami Heat for the Houston Rockets before ultimately deciding to re-sign on a five-year, $118 million contract.
"It was close. I'm not going to lie," Bosh said on "The Zaslow and Joy Show" on FM 104.3 The Ticket in Miami. "It was close. It was a weird situation because we were waiting so long and I didn't know what was going on.
"I think you're always in a situation where it is close even if you don't leave because teams got very aggressive on me," Bosh said. "And I guess as soon as LeBron (James) made up his mind, that's when everything could fall in line. But I was just waiting, so I didn't know what was going on."