Author Archives: nbascout

Season Kick Off Edition

Season Kick Off

By: NBASCOUT / Special to nets interactive.com

The 2009-2010 NBA season gets underway Wednesday for the New Jersey Nets. The team will be on the road against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tip-off is at 8:00pm, and the game will be broadcast on the YES Network.

Many questions abound about the new-look Nets, but some answers will be forthcoming during the early part of this season. For example, which rotation affords the Nets the best chance to win? What kind of substitution patterns work best?

If the preseason is any indication, the starting lineup should look something like PG Devin Harris, SG Courtney Lee, SF Chris Douglas-Roberts, PF Yi Jianlian and C Brook Lopez. The reserve rotation is yet to be fully determined, but expect PG Rafer Alston, SG/SF Terrence Williams, SF Jarvis Hayes, PF Tony Battie and C Josh Boone to see action together with any other combinations including SF/PF Bobby Simmons and SF Eduardo Najera*

The biggest enigma will be whether the team plays better with Rookie Terrence Williams at the point along with wings like Lee and CDR or with Harris at the point. It seems that the Rookie is a talented passer that may give the team real service at the point.

Now that it appears that new Owner in-the-wings Mike Prokhorov and his advisory group will be calling the shots, the Nets have no reason to lose and discourage free agents. Accordingly, All-Star PG Devin Harris has to step up and lead the team as he did the Mavericks in their 67 victory Finals appearance.

While Harris had a free hand here in the swamp to develop his statistics as an all-star last year, he needs to return to the discipline of defense and passing that his old coach imposed that resulted in victories over individual stats. Indeed, Devin\’s best position may be as a combo-guard playing a lot of SG and running the wing like the speedy Kerry Kittles did with Terrence at the point. Still, it\’s Terrence\’s rookie season and you can\’t put a load like this on him so quickly … Though Magic Johnson won in his first season!

In any event, it should be a lot of fun watching this team grow and realize its potential. Stay tuned!

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Where Do The Nets Go From Here?

Where Do The Nets Go From Here?


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The New Jersey Nets are at something of a crossroads. Falling to the Denver Nuggets the other night, they are on pace to set a record for the most losses to open a season: 18. Still, how significant a statistic is that?*

The Nets also lost to Portland and now they play the Kings Friday and if they lose they can tie the NBA record of 17 straight defeats to start a season on the road and set the record against the Lakers Sunday in L.A. Two teams have opened 0-17: the 1988-89 Heat and 1998-99 Clippers.

Well, if you consider that the coach hasn\’t been playing with a full and workable roster due to a raft of injuries most nights and the team is integrating new talent: Not so bad, all things considered. I mean, after all, what is 0-14 compared with 1-13 or 2-12? Not much, huh?!

I mean if the players are \’mailing in the season,\’ why get \’bent out of shape\’ over a few meaningless numbers, right? For all intents and purposes the season is already meaningless in the W-L department if the Nets don\’t get it together at some point and start winning. The odds are it will happen sooner or later.

What isn\’t meaningless is that the Nets are moving to Brooklyn. The court handed ownership a major victory the other day paving the way for construction of a new arena.

A normally sensible writer (that shall remain nameless as a matter of etiquette) recently regressed to a \’blame outgoing ownership for the mess\’ mode and cast blame on the ownership and organization in favor of player political sensibilities going back to the decision not to re-sign former Net PF Kenyon Martin as proof of outgoing ownership\’s failures. Prior to last night\’s game, K-Mart duly complied with the process by taking an obligatory parting shot at Bruce Ratner. I digress!

Because of his knee problems, Kenyon Martin was ineffective for a long time in Denver. Re-signing or retaining him would have proven a disaster for the Nets, both financially and on the court. One of the best moves the Nets ever made was letting K-Mart go. He\’s not the player he was. Similar arguments could be made for letting Kidd, Carter and/or Jefferson make happy trails to new venues.

Indeed, cleaning house was one of the best things the Nets have done in a long time. The result: Two cornerstone building blocks in Brook Lopez and Devin Harris and some great young talent in Terrence Williams, Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts along with the cap space to lure a franchise player or two in his prime next offseason.

The only regret might be that sending PF Ryan Anderson off probably cost the team a bunch of victories this season as his starting quality and backup depth at the Power Forward slot made a big difference. Yi\’s durability is in question and while their talents overlapped, the depth was important.

In addition to Anderson\’s departure, Carter\’s departure and Bostjan Nachbar\’s departure also cut into the offensive firepower the team used to command. Still, the young players have only begun to learn to play with one another.

Ultimately, it appears that playing for what increasingly appears to be a lame duck coach and owner becomes the root of the malaise. Coach Lawrence Frank\’s \’shelf life\’* may soon expire in New Jersey if he can\’t coax a few more wins (any will do) out of this hapless bunch sooner than later.

When deep-pocketed Norlisk Nickel Magnate Mikhail Prokhorov formally takes over, watch the change in the sense of urgency. If rumors are correct, kick-starting the team may be a GM Kiki Vandeweghe-to-the-bench interim coaching change. It could pay handsome dividends if that happens. Kiki is one heck of a teacher and basketball mind.

Right now, the Nets are playing without organization and purpose, though the effort is often credible. Wait \’til a new coach is in place.

While it is a shame to potentially see a good coach like Lawrence Frank depart, \’the handwriting seemed to have been on the proverbial wall\’ after the drastic coaching cutbacks made during the offseason led to the departures of Mssrs. Hill and Rogers. As often is the case, sometimes coaching personalities become stale and lose effect on a team. Then some form of a change breathes fresh life into a ball club. Heck, you\’ll remember that even the Lakers let Pat Riley go. We all know that Pat Riley is a darn good coach.

As to the roster, the Nets need a reliable Power Forward to pair up with Brook Lopez. Perhaps, a SWAT-Boone-Yi-Battie multi-headed-hydra fills the bill? And, then again: Maybe not! Nevertheless, the Nets have many picks in a good draft.

What this all means is that all the hope and promise of a \”New Deal\” is on the way for Nets fans. It means that they will be contenders for LeBron and others.

For the time being it appears that Nets fans will have to suffer the \’growing pains.\’

No blame … Just gain! That\’s my creed!

*Postcript Addendum: It should be noted that there is one positive if Lawrence Frank remains at the helm for the duration of the season and the players continue to lose: \”The Nets may set a record for losses.\” If that happens, New Jersey will be well-positioned to snag the top pick in the NBA draft. If they secure some good talent from the upcoming draft, it is possible that all their weaknesses will be addressed and the Nets could then develop into one of the best teams in the NBA – whether or not they sign a high-priced free agent!

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Nets Set To Replace Frank?

Nets Set To Replace Frank?


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

While there haven\’t been any official confirmations as of yet, if the many reports are accurate, the New Jersey Nets are set to replace long-time Nets Coach Lawrence Frank with either GM Kiki Vandeweghe or Assistant Coach John Loyer. Rumors have it that Coach Frank will be dismissed as early as Monday or following the game tonight with the Los Angeles Lakers.*

If so, a bad start to the season and winless record tying the NBA record of 17 straight defeats to start a season on the road against the Lakers tonight would be a pretext as good as any to justify his departure. This doesn\’t mean that Lawrence Frank is not a good Coach. It means that he\’s lost the respect he needs from his players to be effective and can\’t turn it around fast enough. Roster moves along with a rash of injuries saw to that, but when you can\’t win a few and the bottom of the downward spiral of a vicious circle rears its ugly head, its hard not to get sucked down into the vortex. Thanks for the hard work and memories, Lawrence. Hope bluer skies follow!

In the meantime, if reports are accurate that GM Kiki Vandeweghe indeed is the interim replacement, then I think it only fitting to have the man who shaped the current roster coach it until someone else is found. Kiki brings charisma and the respect of a former NBA all-Star to the bench.

While it would have been nice if Brian Hill was still on the bench to step in, Vandeweghe is the man for this job. He now gets the chance to make the fans appreciate, Harris, Yi and Lee and forget Carter, Anderson and Kidd.

In any event consider it crucial that the two most valuable assets on this ball club are President Rod Thorn and GM Kiki Vandeweghe. Not only do they make a great team, but they complement one another in a fashion like no other. Their record in stockpiling assets like draft picks and roster talent is enviable. Thorn\’s wise hand and Kiki\’s charisma make deals happen. It brought Harris for Kidd (a deal that will prove its worth well after Kidd retires) and positioned the team for a run at the unprecendented free agent class that will be available this summer while assembling a youthful roster of talent (Lopez, Harris, Lee and Williams, et al) that can compete with anyone given a new coaching regime. LeBron James or Chris Bosh may join the Nets.

Still, you wonder if letting Frank go costs the team the first pick in the upcoming draft? Here\’s to ping pong balls or Vandeweghe\’s revival in the Meadowlands.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Mr. Prokhorov: Please Step Up!

Mr. Prokhorov: Please Step Up!


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Management spared former Coach Lawrence Frank the indignity of a potential record-tying or record-setting winless streak on his resume to open a season by relieving him of his duties Sunday afternoon, but the Lakers still disposed of the New Jersey Nets in short order last night, 106-87, with Assistant coach Tom Barrise on the bench. The winless New Jersey Nets are where they\’re at, facing a dismal season if they don\’t turn it around in a hurry, because a number of things remain unsettled: Ownership, management and the coaching staff.*

In essence, the organization is in limbo while the transistion to new ownership snails along and many of the players, some in their contract years, have no incentive to play for a team in transition when so much is up in the air. Players favor a stable situation.

It is easier to play for someone when you know they\’ll be there tomorrow. Right now, Nets players don\’t know who their coach will be or whether the management that brought them aboard will stay.

That responsibility falls squarely to no other than the new, \”prospective owner.\” This is a term Mikhail Prokhorov prefers that others use when referring to him until he is formally approved by the league (possibly by late December) and/or the transaction closing date (anticipated to be some time during the first quarter of 2010 or thereabouts).

In order for the Nets to start winning, the players need to know who is in charge and who their coach will be for the duration. Forget about the fact that they are highly-paid professionals.

Compounding things is the rumor that the new, \”prospective owner,\” may wish to bring in his own coaching staff, or, perhaps, management at some point. If that is the case, he should do it ASAP – unless he thinks he can lure Phil Jackson, LeBron James and Chris Bosh after this season runs its course. If not, he should extend President Rod Thorn and GM Kiki Vandeweghe and defer to their judgement regarding suitable replacements for the head coaching position on a permanent basis along with any other staff changes they deem appropriate.

The unsettled situation is what is making the players feel skittish about playing up to their capabilities. It is why it is imperative that Mr. Prokhorov step up to the plate now and indicate his preference for the coaching staff at this juncture.

The lame duck owner and his management can bring aboard new coaching personnel pending the closing of the transaction. By casting a vote of confidence in favor of existing management and deferring to them and letting them select the long-term solution now – not later – it tends to work in the team\’s best interest if they are about winning now.

Except for favorable draft position, it is probably better that the Nets move on now with the future rather than putting it off to the end of a lost season. [The Jax, LBJ and Bosh to NJN scenario being the only exception]. It will take some time to get the team on the same page so that they don\’t resemble a pickup team.

It should be noted that an interim solution won\’t really be fair to the fans or in the best interests of the team unless they bring aboard someone who can jump-start the existing talent with a possibility of staying on as a permanent solution. Former Dalls Head Coach Avery Johnson comes to mind because of his familiarity with PG Devin Harris and would probably be my first choice for an interim coach if that had to be. Former Nets Assistant Brian Hill, Orlando Assistant Patrick Ewing and/or Coach Del Harris would be others who might fill the role with a possibility of staying on if they do a good job.

Whatever the case, the Nets should settle the coaching situation right away, except as indicated in an ideal scenario. Mr. Prokhorov, If a European coach is in the cards, bring him aboard now. Tell Mr. Ratner what you want!

UPDATE: At this reading, the Nets are considering the \”Kiki Option.\” That entails GM Kiki Vandeweghe consenting to assume the head coaching duties along with a former head coach to sit behind him on the bench as his right hand and Assistant Head Coach that\’d work for scale. The names of Del Harris or P.J. Carlesimo have been bandied about.

While it\’s always safer in management, I like this idea and would favor Kiki assuming double duty as the head coach and GM and bringing aboard a seasoned former head coach as an assistant. The team would be exciting on offense and competent on defense.

I wonder if Avery Johnson would work for scale as Kiki\’s right hand? I\’m not sure that Devin would be thrilled, but he may return to his winning play because of it! Of course, Kiki has to pick someone that he\’s comfortable with as his right hand.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Kiki\’s Press Conference

Kiki\’s Press Conference


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The Nets held a press conference today introducing the new interim Head Coach Kiki Vandeweghe who smiled broadly. Seems it wasn\’t long ago that he was elevated to the General Managership, a position which he retains despite the extra duty. Applause broke out before Coach Vandeweghe reminded everyone that not all will be clapping so vigorously once he gets down to work.*

Obviously, Kiki knows that coaching at this level is an occupational hazard. Literally, you never know when you\’re the next one out the door. None the less, he has assumed the challenge secure in the knowledge that he can lean heavily on a former Head Coach, Del Harris, with whom he worked previously, and get the job done or return to the front office. After all, a sports announcer by the name of Pat Riley was lifted out from the announcers booth and put in charge of the Los Angeles Lakers as their Head Coach. We all know that the Basketball Hall of Fame liked his work so much that he is still enshrined in the front office down in Miami!

That said, some of the things I liked about Kiki\’s remarks had to do with how he was the the 15th man at UCLA when he first got there, not even participating in the first two scrimmages, but worked his way into the mix until it worked out pretty well for him. For those who don\’t know, he was the franchise player at UCLA carrying the team on his shoulders to incredible success with nothing more than marginal role players surrounding him. Given how it worked out for him at UCLA, If he brings that same attitude here, the Nets may bring home a title.

While Kiki admitted that coaching wasn\’t his first choice, I think he\’ll do just fine. What was that quote about some finding greatness and others having it thrust upon them?

Never a man to back down from challenges, I think Kiki is now relishing the opportunity to prove himself in this role as well even if it is only as an interim coach. Life is a funny thing. The team that was shaped in his image now gets to see if he can bring out the promise that inspired it. His philosophy is sound. Now it\’s up to the players.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

The Hooey Factor

The Hooey Factor


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

With a change in principal ownership of the New Jersey Nets in process, the hooey factor has reared its ugly head in real force of late.* It seems that former players that have wanted to stigmatize outgoing ownership and condition incoming ownership are working overtime to get pundits and fellow players alike to take parting shots at outgoing principal owner Bruce Ratner.

Claims that he \”cared more about real estate than basketball,\” that he was \”too cheap to win\” and \”ruined the team\” abound. Let me address each and suggest that Bruce Ratner did more for the New Jersey Nets than any owner ever will.

Firstly, he laid the foundation for lasting success and competitiveness on an elite level by bringing the Nets to a venue – Brooklyn – that would support the team and attract playing or coaching talent that the Meadowlands never did. No less than Hall-of-Fame Coach Phil Jackson intoned that the Meadowlands were too isolated – lacking a fan base and energy source – to support a successful team as the reason he couldn\’t coach there despite the most lucrative offer of his career by far that was tendered to him at one point by the Nets. What does that tell you about the crucial role that \”real estate\” and Ratner\’s move to Brooklyn will play?

In this case, caring about the real estate will take care of the team\’s future. Ratner\’s the only man to engineer such a relocation to a venue that can support basketball on an elite level bringing with it a rabid fan base that is sure to sell out and afford the Nets the best possible stage for success.

Bruce Ratner should go down in history as the man that changed the face of Nets basketball for the better for all time. His ambitious dreams may well culminate in a title-winning perennial contender like the Lakers\’ franchise has been.

Of course, he needs a lot of help from his astute billionaire strategic partner who is no slouch. This guy is no stranger to basketball and winning league titles. The rest is sour grapes by former players and their pundit patrons who wish the worst for the team.

Secondly, claims that Ratner was too cheap don\’t wash. Tracing the decline of the team to the failure to retain Kenyon \”K-Mart\” Martin is absurd.

After making two finals appearances the team was already in decline culminating with the rebuild that is underway now. Jefferson, Carter and an aging Kidd saw to it with no title run again in sight.

K-Mart did New Jersey a huge favor by turning down some odd $70mil (talk about cheap?) to opt for a little more in Denver only to become Knee-Mart – not able to perform to his previous standards in his prime.

If Ratner is so cheap, why with a respectable, average $57million payroll, certainly not the lowest in the league by far, are the Nets not able to enjoy a single victory this season from such highly paid professionals? The Charlotte Bobcats owner has a smaller payroll and the team wins some games.

Is it Ratner\’s fault? Does he collect $57 million to perform on the court and produce nothing except goose eggs! Who ruined the team?

Finally, as I\’ve often said, it\’s not the money you spend, but how wisely, that determines success or failure in the NBA. Isiah Thomas\’ forays into fiscal insanity are proof of it. The Knicks are still digging out. Let that be a lesson to the new-potential-majority owner: \”Mike.\”

It seems that all who are taking parting shots at current Principal Owner Bruce Ratner are forgetting that he will remain a minority owner of the team with a huge stake in its success going forward owing to the real estate it will support.

The NBA can use another team in New York in a brand new billion dollar arena on the largest stage in the NBA. A club with some assets, upside and financial flexibility give the Nets a chance to compete better than one without.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Nets Edge Bulls: 103-101

Some enthusiasm is beginning to stir in Netsland as the team won its second of three games edging the Chicago Bulls 103-101. It was a close game in the fourth quarter, but the Nets went toe to toe with the Bulls and emerged victorious on some last second heroics by Devin Harris and overall solid play by the Nets.*

Kiki has won two of three and New Jersey is beginning to look like it can compete. There may be a silver-lining to this season. We\’ll just have to wait and see.

Notes: There is a minor player the Nets should acquire. He will increase the odds of victory in just about every game.

Frank Is History!

Frank Is History!


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Frankly, it\’s over! The New Jersey Nets ended all speculation about Coach Lawrence Frank\’s future and officially relieved him of his coaching duties, effective this afternoon. Mercifully, the \’dangling in the wind\’ finally came to an abrupt end before the potentially record-tying 17th loss-in-a-row could stigmatize Mr. Frank any further, should it occur this evening.

It has been announced that Assistant coach Tom Barrise will assume the coaching duties tonight in Los Angeles. Beyond that it is unclear what interim or permanent arrangements for coaching the team will ensue from here on out. Reports are now circulating that suggest that Frank\’s interim successsor will likely be drawn from the ranks of the assistant coaching staff, but another report suggests that Rod Thorn\’s interviewed at least one outside candidate for an interim position only. Assistant Coaches John Loyer, Tom Barrise and Doug Overton are apparently in the mix, but is former Nets Assistant Brian Hill one of the outsiders? President Rod Thorn is to decide on these moves tomorrow.

Rumor also has it that the new, \”prospective owner,\” should he gain league approval, Mikhail Prokhorov, may wish to bring in his own coaching staff at some point. If that is the case, former CSKA Moscow Coach Ettore Messina, who led Mikhail Prokhorov\’s Russian team to two European titles, may be a distinct possibility, but by no means is he a certainty. It all remains to be seen. Stay tuned!*

Notes: Copy and paste the link below into your browser to access the official release:

http://www.nba.com/2009/news/11/29/nets.frank.ap/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt1

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2009 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Nets Tab Favors and James (in-trade)

NBA Draft Results


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

While all of the Nets offseason moves aren\’t in the book yet, as anticipated, the Nets drafted the 18 year old Georgia Tech Freshman PF Derrick Favors with the 3rd selection in the draft.

In a move that is something of a headscratcher, the Nets also had Atlanta select SF/PF Damion James 24th for New Jersey in return for the Nets taking SG Jordan Crawford and C Tibor Pleiss with their 27th and 31st picks.*

I hope this means the Nets will be able to sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh or David Lee.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Five Team Shutout

The Day After


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The following statement was released by Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert:*

Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his \”decision\” unlike anything ever \”witnessed\” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.*

There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.

You simply don\’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:

\”I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER \’KING\’ WINS ONE\”

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our \”motivation\” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.

Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that\’s simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown \”chosen one\” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And \”who\” we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called \”curse\” on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former \”King\” will be taking the \”curse\” with him down south. And until he does \”right\” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

Just watch.

Sleep well, Cleveland.

Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….

I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:

DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com