Ian McCarthy has been around basketball long enough to know some things take time.
And apparently now is the time.
You can officially add one more league optimistic to welcome a bevy of locked out NBA players’ to their stable, especially those players not ready to jump all the way overseas. But Canada’s newly formed National Basketball League is showing they are more than another minor league jump off toward professional basketball.
They are in the game for good.
Last week the NBL issued a press release and invitation to locked out players across the NBA to come to Canada with team president Andre Levingston – and owner of the Halifax Rainmen - stating the league would take a flier on, “third-tier type players”, knowing full well the upstart league isn’t in a financial position to shoot for the stars.
“Andre was referring to players on the lower side of the NBA salary spectrum as opposed to the mega stars,” Ian McCarthy, interim Chief Operating Officer of the National Basketball League of Canada, told Beyond the Beat.
Author's Note: This will be my last article on Beyond The Beat. If you have enjoyed my articles on the Portland Trail Blazers and Oregon Ducks, you can head over to my personal blog, Swamigp's Sports Blog, where I will cover both teams in the future while also continuing my baseball, basketball, football, and golf coverage. Thanks for reading.
Gerald Wallace is making noise with his new team, the Portland Trail Blazers, but the Charlotte Bobcats return in the February trade raised some eyebrows as well. Dante Cunningham, Wallace’s replacement at small forward, worked his way into a starter’s role for the downtrodden Bobcats and consistently excelled.
It wasn’t easy for Cunningham after being traded. Used to playing every night for Portland, he appeared in just three of his first six games with Charlotte, scoring seven points in a grand total of 40 minutes.no comments
In Portland’s last two games of the regular season and with NBA postseason positioning falling into place around them on Tuesday night, the numbers are starting to tell the story.
Before the Blazers tipped off against Memphis, the dry erase board in Portland’s locker room proved as much: “Be A 48 Minute Team”, was scribbled out in black marker.
48 minutes. The message didn’t fall on deaf ears as LaMarcus Aldridge used a double-double (22 points and 11 rebounds) to help push Portland past the Zach Randolph and Tony Allen-less Grizzlies, 102-99.
The next number: 6.
The Blazers finally locked up their postseason position and now with Wednesday night’s game at Golden State, patiently wait for the other seed scenarios to figure themselves out in the Western Conference. Yet lost in all of the playoff prep work and trying to figure out exactly who the Blazers will face when the NBA playoffs start this weekend, there is another number hidden in the shadows that deserves to come to light.
Rudy Fernandez picked a perfect time to break out of a prolonged slump for the Portland Trail Blazers, leading his team past the Memphis Grizzlies to lock up the sixth seed in the Western Conference standings.
LaMarcus Aldridge flourishes against Grizzlies frontline
Grizzlies star Zach Randolph has never been lauded for his defense, but with head coach Lionel Hollins resting him Memphis struggled more than they otherwise would against Aldridge.
The Blazers forward was single-covered and routinely given the space on the perimeter. He made Memphis pay, scoring 14 first half points and 22 for the game. His spark early lifted a team that did all they could to keep the Grizzlies within striking distance.
“We didn’t play sharp basketball,” Blazers head coach Nate McMillan said postgame. “I thought we lost focus when they didn’t play their guys.”no comments
The Nike Hoop Summit always represents a prime opportunity to take a sneak peek into the future of the NBA – a time to make predictions about who the next Derrick Rose might be.
Kyrie Irving played in the game last year. The year before that featured John Wall. Which player from this year’s roster will people soon be talking about as a budding professional star?
One way to figure this out is to take the world’s top young players and put them all in a gym together. When elite talent plays against elite talent, the best of the best will rise up.
This is what happened last night at the Rose Garden as the US Team defeated the World Team with a final score of 92-80. Top recruits Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers led the way for the Americans, while Bismack Biyombo almost singlehandedly held the international team in the game.no comments