Wednesday, September 12, 2012

After a Long Journey, Miami Heat Center Mickell Gladness Hopes to Stick in South Beach

Miami Heat center Mickell Gladness didn't have the easiest road to South Beach-but now he's found his way back.

After graduating from Alabama A&M with a career 396 blocks, Gladness saw the 2008 NBA draft come and go without a mention of his name. A defensive gem seemed to have fallen through the cracks, but that didn't deter him from pursuing his career as pro basketball player. 

The former Bulldog took his talents overseas to the Netherlands, where he joined the Matrixx Magix Nijmegen for one season. After playing one year in Europe, Gladness  split his next three years between the Rio Grand Vally Vipors and the Dakota Wizards in the NBA's D-League.

Last season Gladness caught the eye of the Miami Heat and finally broke into the league he had been working towards for so many years. 

Gladness appeared in only 8 games last season for the Heat before becoming a free agent after his 10-day contract expired. He soon caught on with Golden State and finished out the season with the Warriors averaging 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds.

With a new season set to begin, the former Warrior has caught on with a familiar team in Miami. The Heat have signed Gladness to a non-guaranteed training camp contract, and while their roster stands at 15 now, they can bring up to 20 players to training camp, which begins September 29.

Until then, the Heat center says he is just happy to be back with Miami.

"Right now I'm in the place I want to be," Gladness told Talkin Hoopz. "I've dreamed about playing here, and excelling here."

Excelling in South Beach with such a crowded roster may be a tough thing to do, but the lack of size and depth in Miami play in Mickell's favor.

Joel Anthony and Dexter Pittman primarily serve as the Heat's centers, with Chris Bosh rumored to get some spot starts at the position. If Gladness can create some seperation from Jarvis Varnado, who signed a similar non-guaranteed contract, then the big man from Alabama could make the final roster. Bosh as a regular starting center will not happen, he can't swing with opposing centers on a night to night basis and still be expected to contribute significantly on the offensive end.

Gladness has all the tools to make it in the NBA, and with training camp opening at the end of the month, he'll get the opportunity to show out and prove he deserves to play along side Lebron James and D-Wade.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

NBA Roundup: Nets get their Man, Knicks Get to Work, and the Bulls talk Extension

Nets Agree to Deal with Andray Blatche

The Nets have agreed to take on the Andray Blatche project-at least for one year.

The former Wizard has accepted to join the team for the veteran’s minimum, where he will serve primarily as a backup for Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.

Blatche was amnestied by Washington, and will make $23.3 million over the next three years.

Blatche averaged 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in 2010-11, but only appeared in 26 games last year, and saw a major drop off in production.

All Business in New York, as Knicks get to Work

Knicks forward Steve Novak told ESPN the Knicks are gearing up for the season with a "pre-training camp".

The camp will begin Monday and run through October 1.

Last season, the lockout hurt the Knicks ability work on their chemistry, and it showed throughout the year. The front line of Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Tyson Chandler didn't live up to the hype. The three didn't play well on the offensive end of the court together, and the franchise suffered because of it.

Now, with a full off season, two legit point guards, and new coach, the Knicks will look to finish better than the lower tier of playoff teams, and finally begin their push for a championship.

Bull Look to Keep Tibbs in Chicago

The Chicago Bulls and head coach Tom Thibodeau have resumed contract talks.

"Tibbs" is entering the final year of his deal, and if Chicago was wise, they'd listen to his demands.

The 2011 NBA Coach of the Year has had his success, and shortcomings with the Bulls, but losing the leagues MVP in the playoffs is not an easy thing to overcome.

We fully expect a deal to be worked out, and Thibodeau to be back in Chicago after the upcoming season.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Knicks and Nets Looking To Bolster Front Lines

The Knicks and Nets continue to play in free agency, as both teams are rumored to be looking for some big help.

The Knicks are reportedly interested in Sean Williams. Nets fans should remember him since he spent three years with the club from 2007-09. The former Boston College standout was recently released by Houston, and has been linked to numerous teams such as Miami, Minnesota, and now New York.

He's averaging 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game throughout his four-year career.

The Nets however are looking for a little more talent with Andray Blatche.

A player with enormous talent, the former Wizard could be more of problem than solution for Brooklyn.

Blatche was amnestied by Washington, and will make $23.3 million over the next three years. While he said he is open to signing for the veterans minimum, only time will tell if he means what he says.

During his breakout year in 2010-11, Blatche averaged 16.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. If he could bring his talent the Barclay's Center, and leave his ego at home, the Nets could have found the comeback player of the year.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Looking Ahead: The Five Most Anticipated Games From the Upcoming NBA Season

In case you were stranded on a deserted island, or have been living under a rock for the past three months, you already know all the headlines that stole the NBA off season. 

Dwight Howard got his wish, Ray Allen found South Beach, and the Knicks are hoping to have found the fountain of youth-and oh yeah, Linsanity is no longer playing on Broadway.

After an off season full of trades, transactions, and of corse, drama, we are now only 63 days away from the start of a brand new season. In honor of this, we felt is was necessary to preview the five most anticipated and intriguing games of the 2012-13 NBA season.


Was there ever any question? 

The Nets are the first team to call Brooklyn home since the Dodgers back in 1957-needless to say the borough was in dire need of a fix. 

The Knicks and Nets were never really known for heated rivalries, but that's all about to change now that both teams are stacked and primed for runs at an NBA title for the foreseeable future. 

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has already fired warning shots at the Knicks, calling owner James Dolan a "little man". 

The battle for New York gets underway November 1, at 7:00pm on TNT.  And like the saying says, "They Know Drama".


"My time is now" 

Those were the words of the NBA's scoring champion Kevin Durant, who was visibly shaken after dropping four games to the Miami Heat in last year's finals. 

If the Olympics are any indication of what's to come, then the league, and its fans, had better start strapping in for one intense ride.

The Heat on the other hand have added some firepower to an already solid roster with the acquisitions of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Miami was in need of some outside shooting help, and have once again solidified themselves as the top dog entering the season. 
Sparks will fly on Christmas Day when these two teams meet in South Beach. 


One word - LINSANITY! 

But will it have the same effect in Houston? 

That remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain, Knicks fans were left with a bitter taste in their mouth after their golden boy skipped town for a bigger deal on a dimmer stage. 

All that is a thing of the past for the rest of league, but New Yorkers don't forget, and Lin will get a cruel taste of that reality when he visits Madison Square Garden as the enemy instead of the savior. 

The Knicks should also enjoy an easy win here, as the Rockets gutted their entire roster this season and made players like Lin and Omer Asik major players. 


Personally, I can't wait for Andrew Bynum to outshine Dwight Howard-not only this season, but for years to come. 

Professionally, I think this will be statement game, not only for Bynum, but for the Sixers as a franchise to show they are ready to return to NBA prominence. 

Catch this game News Years Day @ 10:30pm. 


If you have any interest in watching the future stars of the NBA light it up, then this is a can't miss game. 

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan will take on Austin Rivers, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson.  

Still not sold?

Did we mention the underlying story that involves Chris Paul playing against his former franchise? 

This game is ripe with emotion, drama, and highlights. These two franchises have complied the most exciting young talent in the NBA, and if you're not sold on that then the NBA doesn't apply to you. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Andre Iguodala Wants Contract Extension, Serge Ibaka Gets One

For the past few seasons, Andre Iguodala's name has come up in numerous trade rumors and contract talks. After years of debating what to do with Iguodala, the Sixers finally caved and sent the swingman to Denver in the four team mega-deal that included names like Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Aaron Affalo. 

The face of the franchise ever since Allen Iverson left town, Iguodala is a mini LeBron in that he can do everything on the court-just not as well his majesty.

But the newest member of the Nuggets doesn't want his new city to just be a stopping point.

"We weren't coming into this thinking this will be a one-year deal," Iguodala said. "This is definitely a place that I can see myself for more than just a year or two."

Iguodala is only under contract for the upcoming season, but both sides seem to be on the same page-for now.

Meanwhile, things in Oklahoma City have settled down after securing Serge Ibaka for the next five seasons after the young fella agreed to a four-year extension reportadly worth $48 million. 

Ibaka (@sergeibaka9) posted on twitter:
"So happy for the opportunity to be part of the @OKCThunder  for 5 more years! Proud to play for this team and for the best fans in the @NBA."

The Thunder still have some work to do with James Harden set to hit free agency after next season, but for now, they have the pieces in place to make another run at an NBA title.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Whose Ready To Play? An Updated Report From The NBA's Medic Bay

The NBA saw its fair share of stars and superstars go down with injuries throughout the season, most notably Stephen Curry and Derrick Rose. So who will be ready for opening week, and whose hoping to get back later in year?


Stephen Curry:

What seemed to be a very promising NBA career after the 2009 draft class, has turned into a series of questions marks as to the health of Curry.

Coming off of right ankle surgery, the sharp-shooting guard has stated he expects to be ready for opening night, and will begin 5-on-5 drills in the near future.

Even if Curry is a go for the start of the season, there is no guarantee he will stay that way for the rest of the year, as his chronic ankle problems have  held him back since he began in the league.

Dwyane Wade:

The two-time NBA champion has made it very clear there is "no question" he will be ready for opening night.

Wade, who played through the pain last season, is coming off of a successful  knee surgery, but had to miss the Olympics because of the procedure.

While Wade has dedicated his off season to getting ready, the Heat have added some insurance at shooting guard with Ray Allen.

We don't expect Wade to experience a drop off in minutes, but his scoring could take a hit with the NBA's all-time leading three point shooter on the roster.

Dwight Howard:

Lakers fans may have to hold their breath a little longer before they can witness Nash throwing lobs to Howard at the rim. 

Howard underwent surgery to remove herniated disc fragments from his lower back.

While his recovery timetable says he could be ready for the start of the season, it doesn't seem likely at this point, but things can change as fast he did jerseys-oh wait. 

Derrick Rose:

This may be the biggest question mark of all, when will Derrick Rose recover? 

A torn ACL is one of the worst injuries an NBA player can experience, just ask Rose who said it was the "closest thing to death". 
We've heard a ton of possible return dates,  but sources tell CSN Chicago that Rose is expected to rehab through the February All-Star break. 


Can Chicago hang around the Eastern Conference playoff seedings that long? Let us know what you think!

Ricky Rubio:   

One of the best young point guards in the league missed part of last season, and the Olympics, due to a torn ACL.

He remains very questionable for camp, and is reported to be out until December. While he will be re-evaluated mid-September, these types of injuries take time, just ask Derrick Rose.

The Timberwolves are a young team on the rise, but they will need Rubio if they have any hopes of making the playoffs.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Crowder Family Making an Impact, Both On and Off the Court

Jae Crowder may only be a second round draft pick in the NBA, but he's the number baller in the league according to his father.

Former player and Vice President of the NBRPA South Florida Chapter Corey Crowder, stopped by talkinhoopz Tuesday night and told us his son was the number one player in the league.
"If you asked me 100 times I'd give you the same answer, Jae Crowder is the best player in the NBA in my book."
Sure, that may have been a biased pick, but Jae's talent is worth far more than the late round pick in which he was selected, as multiple teams were said to have been interested in acquiring the Big East player of the year.

After being drafted by Cleveland with the 34th overall pick, Jae was then dealt to Dallas, where he will presumably be competing for playing time with Vince Carter and OJ Mayo.
His game may still need time to develop, but Corey believes his son is ready to contribute right away.

"As far as the way he plays, if he's got to make a transition, absolutely not," Crowder boldly stated.  "There's not a team in the NBA that cannot use a kid that's going to rebound, not be a hindrance on either end of the court, and just going to be a winner for the organization. I really like what he does."
But while Jae deals with the current talent, his father will be handling the former ones, as his new role will be helping retired players through the NBRPA get acclimated to a world after basketball.

"We have a lot of good programs for the retired players, we're bring on some medical insurance, some transition programs for the guys to make a smooth transition."

With Jae set to take care of business on the court, and Corey off it, the Crowder family is poised to lead the league, and its players, for many years to come.