The NBA experienced one of the most intriguing off-seasons in the history of the league. A lockout threatened the entire season and David Stern vetoed a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the L.A. Lakers. With many fans upset and others losing interest, the NBA must find ways to rejuvenate its core fan base. However, there are still several interesting story lines that will be closely monitored this season.
Greg Anthony of Turner Sports has covered the NBA extensively as an analyst for nearly a decade. Anthony recently spoke with rolling out about the new NBA season, the controversial Chris Paul trade and the L.A. Lakers’ outlook. –amir shaw
With NBA lockout causing training camp and summer practices to be canceled, which teams will have an advantage during the season?
The veteran teams are always going to have an advantage. A lot of the veteran teams will have guys that went through the last lockout. And some young teams that have their entire nucleus together will have an opportunity — teams such as Memphis and Oklahoma City. But the time off will effect everybody. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all materializes.
A lot of fans saw the NBA lockout as a matter of the players versus the owners. But how much did poorly managed teams play a role in the disagreements?
You hit it on the head. Ultimately, all of this comes down to management. The teams that understand that this is a business don’t allow their emotions to get into what direction they’re going to go in. They make moves based on what’s going to be within the best interest of the franchise today and tomorrow. There are teams that are paying three head coaches at the same time, or they make the trade for a guy and they’re stuck with a bad contract. The smart teams do the best job. And the ones that are poorly ran don’t win.
What are your thoughts on the vetoed trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers?
It makes the league look like the bad guys, but the bottom line is that the NBA has every right to nix a deal because New Orleans is their team. People are looking at it like David Stern is throwing down the gauntlet and dictating what teams can and can’t do. The difference is David Stern owns the team. If he didn’t own the team, I think it would be more of a legitimate reason to have an uproar.
How will the Lakers be able to bounce back while dealing with a new coach, the vetoed trade for Chris Paul, and no Lamar Odom?
Kobe Bryant was upset with the Lamar Odom trade. Not only did he get traded, but he was traded to the Lakers’ arch rival that just won the world championship. The Lakers didn’t get better and they helped the Mavs get better after they lost Tyson Chandler. But Kobe Bryant’s job is to play. He’s obviously the franchise player and I would be upset with the deal as well. The Lakers definitely created a situation where they don’t have a lot of harmony. Especially when you have a coach in his first year and when you’re coming off a very disappointing post-season last season. There’s still a lot of thought as to what direction the team is going to go.