Dec 30, 2002 8:08 PM EST
Forget Rookie of the Year. In Arizona Stephon Marbury wants rookie teammate Amare Stoudemire to be on a plane to Atlanta this February for the All-Star Weekend, and not as a participant in the Rookies-Sophmore game.
"He's been playing like an All-Star. If (Houston's) Yao Ming is going to make it, then Amare for sure would make it. That's not even close."
Stoudemire, one of many players to jump from High School to the NBA in recent years, is averaging 11.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, good enough for 5th and 1st among rookies respectively. These numbers, however, do not reflect the impact he has made of late.
"With Amare playing like an All-Star, it's hard to beat us," Marbury said after the 20-year-old forward scored 19 points and snared 13 rebounds in a 103-84 Phoenix victory Sunday. "This was Amare's game."
Stoudemire, told of Marbury's remarks, said, "That's a pretty bold statement right there. But I think I'm doing just as well (as Yao)."
"Yao Ming just seems to get a lot more hype than I do, which is good. I'd rather not have that much hype and just do my job."
Dec 30, 2002 10:12 AM EST
Dec 30, 2002 10:07 AM EST
Dec 24, 2002 9:30 AM EST
Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald reports that Paul Pierce isn?t happy. He?s been on the receiving end of some hard fouls recently and he thinks the NBA need to do more to protect the players.
He received a scratched cornea courtesy of Cleveland?s Zydrunas Ilgauskas and had to have reconstructive dental surgery after a run in with Suns? rookie Amare Stoudamire in the last two weeks.
``The refs really do need to crack down on it,'' said Pierce. ``Sometimes I feel that teams aren't looking to make a play on the ball but are just trying to make a play on me.''
Pierce?s coach, Jim O?Brien agrees. ``I don't think the guys in this league purposely try to hurt people, but there's a frame of mind that says not to let the ball get to the rim,'' O'Brien said. ``It's important for the NBA to call those situations, not only against Paul but on the part of anyone who drives to the rim. We don't like people driving to the rim, either, but there are limits,'' he said. ``Attempting to block the shot is one thing, but if you attempt to block the guy, well, that's quite another matter.''
Pierce added that if the rough stuff continues, he wouldn't be adverse to calling someone like Stu Jackson, the NBA's discipline czar. ``If I feel it's getting out of hand, I will,'' he said.
Dec 20, 2002 7:19 AM EST
Art Thompson III of the Los Angeles Times reports that the loss to the Blazers really hurt the Clippers, but their injuries are continuing to hurt as well.
Wednesday?s 97-93 loss to Portland was a bad one to swallow because the Clippers had a 4th quarter, 15-point lead but let it slip away. "It really is a shame because we played very good basketball,'' Coach Alvin Gentry said after putting the team through a two-hour practice. "We just can't shoot 4 for 15 in the fourth quarter. The guys want to do the right thing. We just have to make sure that we're executing. We had a good roll going, and if we had won the game, our confidence level probably would be as high as it could be.''
The Clippers have no time to pity themselves as they face the Suns tonight in Staples Center and they are still struggling with injuries.
Andre Miller sprained his ankle three weeks ago. He sat out one game and limped through eight others. He had 25 points and 8 assists in the loss to the Blazers, but he was hobbling on his injured ankle. Gentry held Miller out of Thursday?s practice and plans to rest him as much as possible next week when they play only two games in seven days.
"We have to keep monitoring him,'' Gentry said. "He wants to play, but we probably have to look at that situation. The only thing is, if you take him out and sit him down, the ankle tightens up.''
Adding to the injury woes is guard Eric Piatkowski. He has missed four games with a lower abdominal strain and is listed as "out" for tonight's game and Saturday's game against the Denver Nuggets. "I saw a specialist Tuesday,'' Piatkowski said. "I've had this before. I hope to be back the first game we play after Christmas."
Dec 16, 2002 5:39 AM EST
Amare Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns is the NBA's latest prep-to-pro phenom to jump from High School to the NBA. But while most of these youthful piles of potential have struggled in their rookie campaigns Stoudemire is standing tall, averaging 10.5 points and 8.6 rebounds while playing a huge part for the Suns.
If he maintains his scoring average throughout the remainder of the season Stoudemire would be the first prep star to average double digits since Kevin Garnett, a feat which escaped the likes of Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Jermaine O'Neal.
But as Stoudemire visits his home town of Orlando tonight when the Suns visit the Magic Jerry Brewer of the Orlando Sentinel writes an interesting piece on the 6 feet 10 who grew up with a troubled childhood.
'Amare, if you went back in time and someone told you that you would have to go through all the same struggles and still be guaranteed this new NBA life, would you take it?,' writes Brewer.
Dec 11, 2002 5:39 AM EST
Now that Rodney Rogers is a mere memory, moving to the team which Boston challenged for the Eastern Conference crown last season, does Boston regret trading away lottery pick Joe Johnson so quickly?
``You know, I forgot actually Joe was on the team,'' Paul Pierce said before laughing at himself yesterday. ``I mean, because when you think of Phoenix you think of Stephon (Marbury), Penny (Hardaway), Shawn (Marion), and Joe is one of the younger players on the team who has a lot of talent. I think he's going to be a great player in this league. It just depends on how hard he works. But it'll be nice to see him. I'll see how his development has come over the last year.''
``I would rather . . . I'm not going to really get into talking about Joe,'' added coach Jim O'Brien. ``He's just one of their players.''
It is always great to feel wanted.
Dec 11, 2002 5:34 AM EST
Boston Celtics center Tony Battie will be missing from action tonight against the Phoenix Suns after the NBA yesterday suspended him for one game.
Shira Springer of the Boston Globe reports that with just over 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter against Orlando Monday night Battie, after disagreeing with a call, kicked the ball at referee Mark Wunderlich which resulted in his ejection.
Battie clamed the incident was accidental, calling his actions a ''foolish mistake'' after the game.
Dec 08, 2002 6:01 AM EST
Since Kevin Garnett was taken in the lottery in the draft of 1995 the NBA has seen a steady flow of high school seniors skipping college and jumping straight into the big league. While many of these players have blossomed into superstars - Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O'Neal to name a few - people quickly forget that each took their lumps before growing into the athletes we see today.
While Amare Stoudemire thus far has been producing in Phoenix during his first season, last year's crop which saw three of the first four picks coming straight from their proms have been struggling. Kwame Brown and Eddy Curry were both benched by their respective teams after starting the season out strongly, while Tyson Chandler has been struggling with consistency and foul trouble and now finds himself coming off the bench for Curry. This goes without mentioning DeSagana Diop, the high school center also taken in the lottery by the Cleveland Cavaliers who has yet to register a pulse.
The fact of the matter is many of these players simply are not ready for the bigtime. The time spent "learning the ropes" in the NBA could have been better off spent doing the very same thing in college, the only difference is they would be actually playing decent minutes there while earning an education. Bill Cartwright, the coach of the Chicago Bulls who possesses two such players, agrees.
"Even though we have two young guys, I'm not a big fan of bringing high school guys into the league," Cartwright said. "I think it says to the other kids of lesser talent that instead of maybe going to college and graduating, they want to go to the NBA. I don't feel like these kids are ready for that, physically or emotionally. I'd like to see a college limit, two years" before being allowed in the NBA."
Cartwright's complaint is more to do with the hype surrounding sensation Lebron James than either of his giants. With NBA teams falling over themselves for chances to acquire the phenom via the NBA lottery James' games are now being broadcast on pay-per-view cable in Ohio and James will now be on national TV this week (12th December, ESPN2).
Sam Smith of the Chicago Tribune quotes Bulls forward Jalen Rose as all the attention being yet another example of young athletes being exploited.
"There's a lot of good that can come out of airing high school games on pay-per-view," he said. "Exposure for the high school, for some of the players, exposure for some on the coaching staff to possibly get college jobs. But that's 5 percent of it.
"The other 95 percent is, who gets the money? The bottom line is everyone is making money on the backs of [high school] athletes. It affects players tremendously. Now they're looking at being pros in high school, feeling they can do the same things in high school that they could in college, playing on national TV, having your name called around the country. Anyone who says they're not exploiting 16- and 17-year-olds isn't being realistic."
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