Dirk Nowitzki’s problem with Avery Johnson, Ben Gordon isn’t holding out, and Starbury to San Antonio?

09.29.08 9 years ago 45 Comments
Ben GordonBen Gordon, Dime #15

Who’s to blame for what went wrong during the Avery Johnson era in Dallas? Dirk Nowitzki didn’t come right out and put everything on his former coach, but he didn’t exactly take the brunt himself. “Avery had a really strong will and a strong head of what should go on out there, and I think he controlled the game a lot and really wanted a lot of post-ups,” Nowitzki told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram yesterday. “I don’t think there was enough movement going on to where people were just sitting on our stuff when they were scouting us, especially in the playoffs.” New coach Rick Carlisle promises more running and motion-style offense to take advantage of Dirk, Jason Kidd and Josh Howard‘s games, but the key with this group is going to be their ability to get defensive stops. Would you put the majority of the blame for the Mavs’ underachievement on Dirk, Avery, the front office for not bringing in the right pieces, or somebody/something else? … Despite not having a contract, Ben Gordon says he’s gonna be at Chicago’s training camp when two-a-days start tomorrow. ”We’ve been talking here and there,” Gordon said. ”But from where I stand, I think both sides are far apart. It is what it is. I can’t say I’m discouraged or surprised.” By all accounts, it looks like BG will just go ahead and take the $6.4 million one-year qualifying offer so he can get on the market unrestricted next year. He’s already made it clear he doesn’t wanna go to Europe, the Bulls’ final multi-year offer (six years, $59 million) doesn’t match what he’s looking for, and while a sign-and-trade could happen, it seems very unlikely at this point. On one hand, the Bulls will be happy to just get it over with and have Gordon sign for one year; but on the other hand that means they’ll go into this year with BG, already a gunner, in a contract year with $70 million dancing in his head … Of all the places Stephon Marbury could end up, wouldn’t San Antonio be up there with the least likely? But according to the New York Daily News, the Spurs — looking for an insurance policy during Manu Ginobili‘s rehab from ankle surgery — might be in the mix for Steph if/when the Knicks buy him out. Could Steph really buy into the Spurs’ “No one is bigger than the team” philosophy and take a backseat to Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu and Gregg Popovich? Last year we were doing an interview with Duncan when the subject of playing with Gilbert Arenas came up. TD thought Gilbert could fit right in with San Antonio because Gilbert wants to win and that’s how the Spurs win. Is Marbury in that same boat? And can he play the two while Parker plays the point? … Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has been increasingly ridiculous with his statements about the media’s coverage of LeBron‘s 2010 free agency — the “It’s an insult to the entire Midwest” thing being the latest — but he’s the one signing the checks and has to be realistic in admitting there’s not much about his franchise that’s making it crucial for LeBron to stay. Says team GM Danny Ferry said in a recent interview, “Our roster is not perfect, but there’s not one team in this league that can say that their roster is perfect. But I do like the guys in the locker room. I like the guys over in the coaches’ office right now. I’m very comfortable walking into the season with this group of people feeling like this could be a very good team and a very successful season.” Having LeBron alone is enough to get the Cavs to the brink of a championship, but can they get over the hump with the likes of Mo Williams, Big Z and Big Ben shouldering a heavy load? … Shawn Kemp‘s latest comeback attempt has ended before it really began. After a couple of practices and preseason games with Premiata Montegranaro (Italy), Kemp had flown back to Houston to check on his home following Hurricane Ike, and after he stayed gone too long, the team cut him. Kemp said he’s not done … We’re out like Avery …

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