Saturday, November 30, 2013

Russell Westbrook Hits Game-Winner As Thunder Defeat Warriors 113-112

The New York Knicks Should Utilize their Bench Players More




The Knicks have been on a recent 8 game losing streak. The results have spawned from many things such as the lack of defense, effort, and shooting consistency. With all of these mentioned you can also include the lack of bench usage resulting in their recent failure. Since entering the Knicks franchise as the head coach Mike Woodson has been known to exclude his bench players from the rotation which has had many repercussions for him and the team. Nobody can know for sure what mike Woodson is thinking during the games, but what most Knicks fans seem to agree on is that Mike Woodson needs to have a better rotation system.



Bench players for any team and any sport is and can be used for many things which Mike Woodson does not seem to understand. There has been times when a starter has gotten cold yet he continues to keep that player in. There has also been times  when a bench player gets the hot hand but he wastes no time switching him out. The best example available spawns from last year when Chris Copeland, their best and most efficient scorer of the bench (if you don't include J.R. Smith) would come off the bench and score at an acceptable and efficient rate, but would later find himself on the bench after about 5 to 15 minutes. Many players for this team are shooting poor percentages but their  poorest and most inefficient scorer is J.R. Smith who is shooting 32% from the field, 28% from three, and 59% from the free throw line. Not to say that they should just stop playing him, but when his contributions start to regress then that is the time when you should take the said player out for someone else. J.R Smith is just an example but this should go for anyone who relapses to such a horrible display.


The Knicks has a bench consisting of some young players in Cole Aldrich, Tim Hardaway Jr., and perhaps the fan favorite, Toure' Murry. The Knicks starting players are all veterans who are no younger than 28(except Cole Aldrich). This is important to know because at this age their game is not going to change. That is the point of having young players, to build off of their skill set making them more efficient, skilled, and versatile players. Building off young players is a long process but it is a process worth doing as shown by the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Indiana Pacers.

The Knicks bench players need to be given a chance because there may be an under the radar talent waiting to break out, but because of their lack of playing time they may decide to leave the team like Chris Copeland did last off season. Putting a player on the bench can end up being your poison or holy water depending on how you use it. To elaborate, if you keep a potentially good player on the bench and you only play him for about 2 to 5 minutes per game then he may gradually become unhappy on the team and look to play elsewhere. Positive results can show with bench players especially the young ones because they still have something to prove and they want to imprint into the coaches mind that they are someone worth playing. Right now Mike Woodson is more on the negative side when it comes to utilizing his bench players but giving them more playing time, trust, and responsibility can add fuel to their fire enticing them to play with more vigor and intensity for the team. 

VIDEO: Twitter/Facebook Questions (Orlando Magic,Josh Mcroberts,Kentucky Basketball &Miami Heat)


About a week ago I asked my twitter followers and Facebook friends if they had any questions related to the NBA, NFL. I answered questions in this video pertaining to the Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, Josh Mcroberts and Kentucky basketball. Enjoy the video down belowIf you have any sports related questions you can always tweet me @thatboybtaylor

Astros Prospect David Rollins Talks About His Off-season And More


I recently had the chance to interview Astros prospect David Rollins via email. The southpaw had a great 2013 season - as he was promoted from High-A Lancaster to Double-A Corpus Christi in early August. I had the chance to ask David about his stellar 2013 campaign, as well as what he is doing this off-season and what he's looking forward to next season.

Anton Joe: What do you think you did well this past season playing in the minors?

David Rollins: I think I developed myself as a pitcher real well. Kept the ball down. I feel like I had a pretty good season.

AJ: What are some things that you feel you need to improve on going into next season?

DR: I need to improve my pick off move and the curveball I've been working on.

AJ: Do you have any workout plans during the off season? (Pitching programs, workout routines, etc.)

DR: My off-season workouts consist of lifting everyday. I have recently started long-tossing and playing catch. I run everyday also. Even when the weather here in Dallas is bi-polar. Example: It was 80 something last weekend and now its 30 something haha.

AJ: Is there anyone in particular that you train with during the off season?

DR: I train with my pitching coach's son Ty Washington. He is a player in the Reds organization.

AJ: Do you plan on visiting your old schools (Carthrage High School and/or San Jancinto Junior College) in the off season?

DR: Yes. When I get home from the season I always go and show some love to the coaches at San Jac and see my old teachers from Carthage and give them baseball cards and take pics with them and all that jazz.

AJ: What's your favorite part about the off season?

DR: My favorite part of the off-season is being home with my family and friends. It's nice being with the people that have been there for me through my ups and downs.

AJ: Favorite moment of the 2013 season?

DR: Best moment was when we clinched first place in Lancaster (Astros High-A affiliate). Coming together as one big family and celebrating was a moment I'll never forget and will always treasure that for the rest of my life.

AJ: Were there any spectacular plays that you made in the 2013 season that you remember vividly?

DR: The only one I remember like it was yesterday was when I pitched against Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers High-A affiliate) and had a line drive hit back at me and I just so happened to catch it. I still play that over and over again in my head. Definitely a moment no pitcher will ever forget. Scary stuff.

AJ: What are your expectations heading into next season?

DR: My expectations for this season is to get better and keep working my way up the ladder. It's a long journey and its a tough one on top of that.


Thanks for your time once again, David. Big thanks to you!


(I interviewed David this past summer as well. If you're interested in reading that interview click here.)

You can follow David on Twitter @rawdeezy14.

Follow me on Twitter @antonjoe22 & check me out on Google+ (+Anton Joe).

Michael Crabtree Will Make Season Debut vs. Rams

Michael Crabetree? Has that name drifted off in your mind? Its probably due to his long absence from the game of football as hes sat out most of the 2013 season after tearing his Achilles in May.


Week 13 is a special week for the San Francisco 49ers someone...someone we might have already mentioned will most likely be making his long awaited return. Thats right! Crabtree will be in the 49ers active lineup for the first time since last season.

We can conclude that this is most likely probable as head coach Jim Harbaugh hinted Crabtree's return at his Friday news conference. Harbaugh was asked if Crabtree would play Sunday against the Rams and he responded saying "Looks that way".


Crabtree is also been removed from the teams injury report so now fans really can get exited to see their standout wide receiver back on the field trying to push the 49ers into the upcoming 2013 NFL playoffs.

It has looked like he has had no setbacks since beginning to practice on November 5th, and as a result he will be eased right back into the teams rotation. Will we see him play big minutes against the Rams? Not necessarily.

        -The last time we saw Crabtree  was at Super Bowl XLVII as the 49ers were routed 34-31

San Francisco's offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Thursday revealed much about his standing for Sundays game saying "Crabtree will likely not play extensively right away".

How bad have the 49ers missed him? Id say pretty badly! Crabtree was targeted on a very high 34 percent of the teams plays in the 2012 season.


You can catch the 49ers go up against the Rams on Sunday at 4:05 P.M. (On FOX) Eastern time. First day of December at the famous Candlestick Park in San Fransico! Should be a beautiful day for a great game of football. How much will we actually see of Crabtree? That's a question we will have to wait to answer...



Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, RantSports.com (covers the Charlotte Bobcats), and he also writes for the league news.us. Dan is also a YouTube sports talk show host where he talks on his channel (DanJcarney) about trending topics, questions, and breaking news about everything and anything regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, Subscribe to him on YouTube, or add him on Google+.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Tony Parker: 'I Am Hitting My Prime'


San Antonio Spurs' point guard Tony Parker has been in the NBA since the 2001-2002 season. Parker has won three NBA Championships and was named the 2007 NBA Finals MVP. (digntaswpp.com).


San Antonio Spurs' point guard Tony Parker is in the midst of another fantastic season, despite playing his fewest minutes per game since 2001-2002. According to Mike Monroe of San Antonio Express News, Parker said that he is hitting his prime.

Parker is averaging 17.7 points per game, shooting 53.2 percent from the field and distributing 6.2 assists per game this season. He has been able to produce these numbers despite playing only 30.2 minutes per game; he played 29.4 minutes per game in 2001-2002.

His rookie season was in 2001-2002 when he was 19-years-old.

Parker did not play in the Spurs' Friday night game, but he did have a good game on Wednesday. He scored 16 points, made six of 16 field goal attempts-37.5 percent, recorded six assists and a steal.

He has had a very good career in the NBA. He has won three NBA Championships, been named to five All-Star teams and was named the 2007 NBA Finals MVP.


This is his 13th season in the NBA, he is 31-years-old, and the Spurs were able to nab one of the biggest steals in NBA Draft history in 2001.

The Spurs had the last pick, 28th, in the 2001 NBA Draft and the team's personnel chief, R.C. Buford, did not expect Parker to be available for their pick, according to Jan Hubbard of sheridanhoops.com. Two of the guards taken ahead of Parker have proven to be very good players, Joe Johnson and Jason Richardson.

The player selected before Parker was point guard Jamal Tinsley. Tinsley has primarily been a backup point guard and the Vancouver Grizzlies have to be disappointed that they passed on Parker.



Parker has easily proven to be a steal for the Spurs. He has averaged at least 14 points per game and five assists per game since the 2002-2003 season.

He has developed a very good jump shot to coincide with a great dribble penetration game. He is arguably one of the toughest point guard to defend in the paint because he can score over taller defenders or deal out precise passes to teammates like future Hall of Fame power forward Tim Duncan or shooting guard Manu GinĂ³bili.

Monroe reported on Friday that Parker said he is hitting his prime.

Parker has performed phenomenally the previous five seasons.

During that time period, he finished in the top 10 of the MVP voting three times and eclipsed 20 points per game and seven assists per game twice. His jump shooting and dribble penetration has improved tremendously over the past five seasons.

Many NBA analysts and fans consider Parker one of the best, if not the best, point guard in the NBA. The two deterrent in Parker continuing to perform superbly in his 'prime' is his health and head coach Gregg Popovich.

Outside of the shortened 2011-2012 season, Parker has failed to play in more than 70 games in three of the past five seasons. He missed Friday's game due to a sprained ankle.

Two of the elite point guards in the league, Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo and Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, have sustained injuries while playing similarly to Parker. Rondo and Rose both sustained injuries while driving in the paint and that could happen to Parker if his legs are unable to handle a dribble penetration or he lands awkwardly.




Popovich could also be a deterrent to Parker's 'prime.'

According to Monroe, Popovich is limiting Parker's minutes this season to avoid fatigue. He has played in at least 34 minutes in a game only four times this season.

Popovich is consistently focused on having his team healthy for deep playoffs runs instead of individual performances. This means that one of the best players on the team, Parker, will miss games, so he is healthy for another playoff run.

Parker compares his playing style to future Hall of Fame point guard Steve Nash, currently on the Los Angeles Lakers according to Monroe.

“When I see Steve Nash being an All-Star at 38, I feel like I've got the same kind of game,” he said. “Neither one of us jumps that much. We're sort of like the kings of layups and great pick-and-roll players, so I can see myself playing that long, too.”



A player's prime typically lasts for three to five seasons. Nash's five seasons once he turned 31-years-old were extraordinary, 2005-2006 to 2009-2010.

During that time span, he averaged at least 15 points and nine assists per game. He finished in the top 10 for MVP four times, including being voted the 2005-2006 MVP.

Parker has clearly shown no signs of slowing down. It is tough to picture him getting any better because he is already such a dominant point guard.

It is very plausible that he will maintain these great numbers for the next three to five seasons. It might be tough for him to dominate like this with Duncan and Ginobili most likely to retire within the next three seasons.

This would put more pressure on Parker to dominate and it would lead to teams double-teaming him. No matter what he does during his 'prime,' he will be considered one of the best players in the post-Michael Jordan era.

Will Deron Williams Ever Be The Same?

Remember just a few years ago when Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams was arguably the best point guard in the game? Remember when he averaged 20 points per game? Remember when he shot 45 % from the field? Remember when he averaged 10 assists per game? What has happened?



Williams used to be one of the best in the game when it came to the point guard position, and man was he exciting to watch. He could do it all, and brought so much to the table. Now, when you take a look at his stats, there has been a tremendous decline in his numbers, yet he is still just 29 years old.

This season, Williams is averaging just 9.3 PPG, 6 APG, and 1.8 RPG, and shooting 41 % from the field and 38 % from beyond the 3-point line. In fact, Williams has reached double-digits in scoring just four times this season. Due to injuries, he has missed six games thus far this year.

Without his production, the Nets are really struggling, already with a 4-11 record to start the year.

Although it's still early in the season and he has time to turn it around, from what I've seen, I'm not sure we will ever see the athletic, fun, and exciting Deron Williams ever again.

Who Has The Best Uniforms In College Football?

About a week or so ago, Tru School Sports posed a poll question: "Who has the best uniforms in college football?". The choices were Western Kentucky, USC, Notre Dame and Michigan. Overall, the poll got 47 votes - which is a large enough sample size to judge. Here are the results and some of my input on how it turned out.
Western Kentucky

Votes: 17 (36%)




Western Kentucky would've gotten my vote out of the four teams in this poll. These uniforms look really nice. The one thing that I absolutely love about them is the seal in the middle of the numbers. Now tell me that that doesn't look awesome. The silver helmets that go along with these threads look pretty sweet. I like the subtle design of the helmets as well - a simple stripe down the middle with the Hilltoppers logo on the sides. Western Kentucky's uniforms definitely earned a well-deserved spot at the top of our poll.

Michigan 

Votes: 16 (34%)




Surprisingly, the Michigan Wolverines came in second place in our poll. I say "surprisingly" because of how long they've worn these uniforms. Since 2008 these nice unis have been worn by Michigan. However, with all these fresh new uniforms coming out around the nation every year, the Wolverines still remain at the top of the charts in the "best-looking" uniforms category. With that being said, the fact that they've worn these uniforms for five straight years and placed second in this poll is pretty impressive. They definitely earned runner-up to Western Kentucky.

USC

Votes: 9 (19%)



In my opinion, USC's uniforms are the most generic out of the four in this poll. Don't get me wrong, they look just as fresh as the other three, but where's the "pizzazz"? There doesn't seem to be anything that stands out in these uniforms which is why I don't believe they should've came in third place. Again, I think they are nice unis, but I don't think they are better than any of the other threads in this poll.

Notre Dame

Votes: 5 (10%)





Notre Dame got no love from the Tru School Sports voters. Honestly, I think these uniforms should've came in second place. These threads are very "Irish-like" and reflect Notre Dame's mascot very well. The presentation of the unis are spot on, too. The color and design of the numbers plus the shamrock on the sides of the helmets fit on these uniforms perfectly together. I would've liked to see these unis get more votes though, as I think they certainly were deserving of it.

Follow me on Twitter @antonjoe22! Also check me out on Google+ (+Anton Joe).

Tru School Of Kicks: Jordan 6 Rings “Hornets”






With the return of the Charlotte Hornets upon us next season and Michael Jordan ownership of the Bobcats, it is very likely that we will see more teal and purple color ways on Air Jordan shoes. We recently saw it on the Air Jordan 1 which I wrote about (click here) and we see it again on the popular “Jordan 6 Rings”.





The shoe was done very well like most Jordan sneakers. The teal accents on the famed shoe really bring out the black base. Very small amounts of yellow are seen on the back and the tongue of the shoe but it was all done in good taste.
These are slated for an early December release at Nike retailers nationwide.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nikola Vucevic Continues To Dominate

Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic is completely dominating this season, being practically unstoppable.



The 23-year old is averaging 15.2 PPG, 11.3 APG, and 1.1 BLKPG, but the most impressive stat is he is shooting an incredible 56 % from the field. Vucevic has an outstanding, and very bright future ahead.

The State Of The Kansas City Chiefs




At the start of the season, It seemed as if the Kansas City Chiefs would be lucky to reach .500. Half-way through the season, it would be a total valid argument to have them representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. How did this happen?

With the hiring of offensive minded Andy Reid and trading for middle-of-the road QB Alex Smith, it seemed KC was doomed for another mediocre season. What ‘experts’ failed to realize was the superb balance Kansas City’s front office put together.




                                                                      Offense



With the help of Andy Reid, Alex Smith has evolved into one of the best game managers in the league. With limited mistakes, he has, along with the help of his offensive line, put Kansas City in a position to win in every game. The run-pass balance has allowed the Chiefs offense to eat up clock and wear down opposing defenses. This allows for big plays in the second half; deep bombs set-up by play fakes to Jamal Charles, who dashes and plows defenses thought the game. This allows opposing defenses nightmares game planning for Kansas City.

Defense

The Chiefs dominating defense starts up front. What makes this group so lethal is their ability to apply an immense amount of pressure to the quarterback which makes it arduous for any type of pass plays to develop. Along with this being their strength, it can also be one of their biggest weaknesses. If the rush fails to pepper the quarterback, than it is easy pickings for the opposing quarterback to shred the chiefs sub-par secondary. As long as second year NT Dontari Poe can eat up blocks, expect the Chief's pressure to come easy. The only conceivable way to beat this defense is quick, three step drops that doesn't’t allow time for the pressure to get there. Even though the Chiefs suffered the loss of their top pass rushers Hali and Houston, I’m sure the defensive coordinators will be able to draw up creative blitzes with Eric Berry and others. It showed against the Chargers, where Hali and Houston went down, that without proper defensive game planning, Kansas City's defense is very vulnerable.

Conclusion


The Chiefs have a shot to go deep into the playoffs as long as they get Hali or Houston back and the defensive game plan can exploit protection breakdowns. The offense will continue to dominate games with TOP as long as the offense remains balanced and mistake free. 

The Not So Homecoming – Why LeBron Will Not Come Back to Cleveland


LeBron James has been playing professional basketball since 2003. James was drafted out of St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in Akron, Cleveland. LeBron played with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2003-2010, which he took them to the NBA Finals and won his first MVP award as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

            When 2010 came, LeBron had to make a decision; do I stay in Cleveland or do I leave to play somewhere else? Well, on his own public announcement, which was aired on ESPN, LeBron James announced “I’ll be taking my talents to South Beach, Miami.”

            Devastated by the decision, many Cavalier fans began to hate LeBron. They cursed his name, burned anything they had of him such as jerseys, posters, etc, and they just became bitter to the fact LeBron left his hometown to establish a “Big 3” in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

            With the Miami Heat, LeBron has won 3 MVP’s, 2 NBA Championship awards, and 2 NBA Finals MVP Awards. Despite all the achievements in Miami, LeBron still goes back to Cleveland and donates a lot of money to his hometown and schools. One can see why Cavalier fans are upset with his decision but it is hard to see why one could hate him. James does a lot for the Cleveland community, which helps the community grow and look nice. However, at the end of the 2013 season, LeBron James’ contract expires which opens the door for the homecoming; LeBron James back to his hometown, Cleveland.

            LeBron James has played against the Cleveland Cavaliers 5 times in Cleveland as a member of the Miami Heat. Each time he plays in Cleveland, there is a sellout audience with a mix of cheers and boos. Last season, a fan ran on the court with a t-shirt that said on the front “We Miss You” and on the back “2014 Come Back.” Is there any chance LeBron will come back to Cleveland as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers?

            There are a few reasons why LeBron won’t come back to Cleveland. First off, what is there to do in Cleveland? It’s not a favorable free agency landing spot like Miami is.

Secondly, it’s a young Cleveland team with little NBA playing experience. LeBron’s second hand man would be Kyrie Irving. Yes, Kyrie has a bright NBA future if he could score the ball consistently. Irving has a horrible FG% but that can improve if LeBron arrives in Cleveland. It actually might make Kyrie a better player since the main focus won’t be on him. Why would LeBron want to go somewhere though that is young when he wants to win now?

Thirdly, a new connection would need to be established with LeBron and Irving in Cleveland. If you look at the success of the Miami Heat in the past few years, you’ll see that LeBron and Wade are the best complement of players in the league. They know what each other are going to do and they know how to play alongside each other. Wade can carry the team with LeBron resting. Kyrie can’t really carry a team if LeBron is resting.

Fourthly, Kyrie Irving is injury prone. Irving missed the majority of his college career at Duke and is continuing to miss games in the NBA. Wade may only have 3 playing years left in his body before it breaks down but one would believe Wade is a better second hand man than Irving.

Fifthly, it seems like LeBron has a better connection with Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat than he does with Mike Scott of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Sixthly, why would LeBron go back to Cleveland when last time he was there, the Cavaliers did nothing to provide LeBron with a second star? His second option was Mo Williams who is obviously not on the same level as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are. What would make one think this time would be different in the sense, maybe the Cavaliers won’t have the money to spend to have more than 2 big names on the team such as Kyrie and LeBron since they’ll need money to also support a 12 man team?

Seventhly and finally, if you’re wondering why only Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade are only being brought up in this topic, it’s because there won’t be a lot of cap space to have other stars on the teams. With that being said, one would have to think “does LeBron want to win now with Wade and the possibility of another player if Bosh leaves? Or, does LeBron want to go back to Cleveland and help Kyrie Irving develop, also risking the chances Irving can be injured again like his history shows?”

            With the chance of Chris Bosh leaving this upcoming offseason to his hometown Dallas, that can open up the chance of Miami singing another big name free agent if LeBron takes a small pay cut. If that does occur, the Miami Heat should look into signing Zach Randolph and bringing him to Miami. Randolph could help the Heat so much on offense and in the rebounding category on offense and defense. That makes staying in Miami a little easier based on the fact that it would be a great addition for Miami because their one weakness is rebounding big men.

            As one can see, the homecoming of LeBron to Cleveland is not impossible, it is just unlikely. Staying in Miami would be the smarter choice based on the reasons stated above. LeBron can have the possible opportunity to return to Cleveland when his career is coming to a close. One can make the claim, if LeBron wants to win now while he’s young and healthy, he should stay in Miami compared to Cleveland who is building for the future. Accolades mean a lot to any star. Miami may provide a better chance for LeBron to build upon his current status of one of the best all time.

Written By: John Harrison | Twitter: @HoopersHub

Jeremy Lin Suffers Knee Bruise



Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin suffered a knee bruise in his right knee Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks in the first quarter. Lin did not return, and is listed as questionable for Friday's game vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

The Effects Of Prince Fielder To The Texas Rangers


By now, I'm sure we are all aware of the shocking, blockbuster trade in whivh the Texas Rangers sent Ian Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers in return for Prince Fielder. But how will this really help the Rangers?

Well, for starters (no pun), it bulks up an already solid texas lineup.

1. Martin
2. Andrus
3. Fielder
4. Beltre
5. Rios
6. Moreland
7. Profar
8. Soto
9. Tavares

It also opens up a strong possibility that Cincinnati OF Shin Soo-Choo could sign with Texas and become a potential lead off man, moving Leonys Martin into the 9 spot.

One of the biggest roles Fielder will fill is just being a veteran, good clubhouse guy on a young ball team. The longest tenured Ranger even on the club is Matt Harrison since 2008. Fielder, still a year on the shy side of 30, is no senior citizen but is now in his 3rd different franchise in the last 4 years, and it seems he's reasy to derrle down with this one.

My final and favorite impact of Fielder to Texas is the Disposal of second baseman Ian Kinsler. Don't get me wrong, Kinsler is a 2x 30/30 hr/sb guy with some experience under his belt. But I was never a big supporter, especially over the last few years. In 2013, Kinsler hit an .277 and only 13 home runs, 15 stolen bases and 13 errors. Knowing how good he was in the 2010 season, over the past two seasons its fairly reasonable he is starting to decline. This move also makes way for the hyper-talented young Ranger named Jurrickson Profar. Profar plays 2B/SS and has potential to be a solid average, solid power and has already shown Texas folk his INCREDIBLE flashes of the glove.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Top 10 Highest Paid Players In The NBA


When players sign long term, multi-million dollar contracts, there are always two questions that come to mind when the news comes out. What is that player actually worth? Based on specific skills, self accomplishments, and fans will pay to see. Or maybe, is that given amount what the player is worth to the franchise? As in, everything that said player has done for the franchise, on and off the court, in the locker room, and even in the community. For example, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki (NBA's two highest paid players). Although, a given worth of a player may be more of the name, and not of the player themselves (Like last year's Tracy McGrady).  What most players and front office personnel understand, is being involved and playing in the NBA is not just a game, but a business.

So, some decisions that are made, are in the best interest of the player and/or the franchise. For example, when the Celtics and Nets agreed to a deal that included sending Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to Brooklyn in return for Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, and three future first-round picks with the option to swap picks in the 2017 draft. The only way this trade could be completed, was if Kevin Garnett waived his no-trade clause. KG knew, as did most fans, that the Celtics championship runs were over. He understood that by waiving his no-trade clause, he would relieve the Celtics of a ton of cap space, and allow them to move into the rebuilding phase. He put the best interest of the franchise, in front of his own, where he wanted to retire in green.

Another example, would be the trade that sent Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets. The Philadelphia 76ers sent Allen Iverson and Ivan McFarlin to Denver, in return for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two 2007 first-round picks. The Sixers did what was in their best interest, while also making an unhappy AI, very happy. Iverson demanded a trade, so Philly found a team that was willing to give them what they wanted, while also finding a place where The Answer would fit in. Now, the Sixers also got what they were looking for, cap flexibility and a player that could help them. Both sides did what they thought they had to do to make everybody happy, and do what was in best interest of the parties involved.

Now, that being said, lets move onto the dollar signs. Here are the top-10 highest paid players by salary, of the 2013-2014 season:

1. Kobe Bryant            $30,453,805  
2. Dirk Nowitzki          $22,721,381
3. Carmelo Anthony     $21,679,883
4. Joe Johnson             $21,466,718
5. Amare Stoudemire   $21,388,953
6. Dwight Howard       $20,513,178
7. Pau Gasol                $19,285,850
8. Chris Bosh               $19,067,500
9. LeBron James          $19,067,500
10. Dwyane Wade       $18,673,000

As you can see, most of the players on this list are worth the money that they are playing for. Notice that the word most was used, as in not all. A select few players on this list are overpaid, of course. Where you have guys like Kobe, LeBron, Melo, and Dirk, being the face of the franchise and the league, and being well-known around the world. Other guys, like Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire, who played extremely well to get those contracts, to then give every reason to show that they aren't worth anywhere close to what they signed for. Starting with Amare Stoudemire, he played well when he first arrived to New York, but once Melo showed up, it showed that they couldn't co-exist every night. Stat's stay with the Knicks has just been injury ridden, and may as well be dead money in the books. Now, Joe Johnson, he played an All-Star caliber guard who showed he was capable of shooting lights out, while also proving he could be a team player. Once Atlanta realized that they were being haunted by that contract, they dumped the burden of JJ onto the Brooklyn Nets. He just hasn't proved his worth, hasn't been the stand out player that he was before he signed the max contract in Atlanta. Another that could be listed here, is Chris Bosh. He played well the first two season in Miami, but now starting to prove that he's more or less just a very expensive role player.

So, once those horrific salaries drop of the books, room can be made for those who deserve to be on this list. Taking JJ and Stat off, and putting Chris Paul ($18,668,431) and Deron Williams ($18,466,130) on to take the final two spots. And from D12 to D-Wade, would move up two spots. That would make this list more tolerable. For now.
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