NBA: Big Preseason Surprises
By: Librado Wright
The summer has come and gone, which involved a lot of big names changing their zip codes, coaches changing teams, and a few key trades that should help teams improve this season. Now, it's all about the pre-season. Unlike past years, where there hasn't been much to talk about, this season already has a few headlines that are worth mentioning.
"Stephon Marbury Accepts Backup Role"
Remember that player who was labeled as a guy who only cared about his individual stats and wasn't a team player? Well, all that has changed. With publicly stating that he is okay with coming off the bench, Knicks guard Stephon Marbury has finally shown signs of maturity and selflessness. The Knicks made the move to change coaches this summer by bringing in Mike D'Antoni from the Suns and acquired point guard Chris Duhon from the Bulls in free agency. There were rumors that Starbury would be released or even traded, but so far he is still with the Knicks . Marbury has been in the headlines since being acquired by the Knicks for all the wrong reasons, but he admitted he wants to win a championship and will do anything to do so. This new resound change of heart by Marbury definitely tops the list of surprises this preseason.
"Jamaal Tinsley Still With Pacers"
Whatever happened to Jamaal Tinsley being shipped out of Indiana because he did not fit in the offensive scheme that the Pacers
have? Just like most rumors this one did not flourish to be much of
anything. Maybe it's a hard trade for the Pacers due to Tinsley's
injury-plagued season a year ago, and with having three years still
left on his contract. One would only believe that Tinsley's days are
numbered. The Pacers definitely want to get something done and Tinsley
wants this resolved so he can start playing basketball. Right now everything is up in the year and all this speculation will remain a constant distraction.
"Vince Carter Wants To Stay In New Jersey"
After having a disappointing season a year ago
for the Nets, there were many talks that Vince Carter could be on his
way out New Jersey as this past summer approached. Instead, it was the
long time Net Richard Jefferson that packed his bags and was traded to
the Milwaukee Bucks. Carter signed a huge contract before the start of last season and the Nets were looking for the trio of Jason Kidd,
Vince Carter, and Richard Jefferson to lead this team to back to the
playoffs. But that never happened and with both Kidd and Jefferson
gone, Carter is left to help carry this team this season. At this point
the Nets can't afford to get rid of Carter with this roster depleted of
stars. Not to mention, he is the only true offensive threat the Nets
will have this season.
"Greg Oden Impressive In First Game"
If you were nervous that Greg Oden would not be
the same player that he was before his injury prior to the start of
last season, you may reconsider after Tuesday night when he displayed
his strong debut for the Portland Trail Blazers. Oden scored an
impressive 13 points in 20 minutes after coming into camp out of shape,
and only playing in two summer league games since being drafted.
Oden's ability to put up big numbers should not come as a surprise, but
coming out in his first official game for the Trail Blazers and making
a mark right from the opening tip is something impressive.
It's only safe to say that the mumbles and rumors in the NBA will continue as the regular season approaches. As always HOOPSWORLD will make sure you are up to speed on everything that's going on. Stay tuned!