SRI’s 2008-2009 NBA Preview, Part 1
Below you will find a multitude of players, coaches and even executives talking about their respective teams upcoming season, which for some teams, started on Tuesday night. Make a request in the comments section for additional teams and/or players you don’t see included and we’ll do what we do – scour far and wide to bring you the best in sports radio. Be advised though, more teams to be covered in Part 2, and note that the ordering of the teams that follows in no way represents how SRI sees the NBA unfolding this year. Enjoy.
1) Detroit Pistons: All Stars Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups talk about about how the Pistons will be better in ’08-’09 despite no substantial roster moves being made by Joe Dumars in the off-season, as well as express their excitement for new head coach Michael Curry. Obviously the Pistons will be competitive in the East, but a first year head coach + Rasheed Wallace in a contract year could = plenty of drama in Motown. A good segment from two well-spoken guys.
2) Charlotte Bobcats: Various Charlotte Bobcats talk about the upcoming 2008-2009 season on WFNZ in Charlotte. Can Larry Brown really lead this particular collection of players into contention? Who knows, but an organization run by Michael Jordan and Larry Brown certainly has its intrigue.
3) Miami Heat: The Matrix talks to 790 The Ticket about the upcoming season for his Miami Heat. He says there was no substance to the rumors last summer about him being traded, and he talks about the Heat’s squad now that Michael Beasley has been added to the mix. Marion’s not a shabby interview.Alonzo Mourningtalks about his attempt to return to the NBA this year after rupturing a patellar tendon in December of last year. Mourning who may or may not play this year – or ever again – still plans to help the Heat rebound from last year’s meltdown. He’s assumed the mentoring duties for rookie Michael Beasley. After all that Mourning has overcome, it’s not wise to bet against him, and regardless of what happens with his playing career, he’ll make an impact and be an inspiration in whatever endeavor he chooses next. A good interview from one of the League’s truly great guys.
4) Los Angeles Lakers: Phil Jackson, The Zen Master, previews his 2008-2009 Los Angeles Lakers.
Guiding the Lakers back to The Finals will be a tall order out West for Jackson
Coach Jackson on 570 KLAC Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchakwas much maligned at this time last year. Kobe was unhappy because of the front office’s lack of activity in the offseason bringing in legitimate #2 type help. By the end of the year, Kupchak was considered a genius for the trade package he put together to acquire Pao Gasol. Kupchak joins XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego to talk about the Lakers roster maneuverings this offseason, the disappointment of losing in the Finals last year, as well as what he thinks of the Lakers’ chances as the ’08-’09 tip-off rapidly approaches.
5) Phoenix Suns: Steve Kerrand Mike D’Antoni did not see eye to eye. It was a risky move on Kerr’s part to let D’Antoni seek employment elsewhere. Many people (including myself) questioned the logic of trading for Shaq last year. This team got old fast with Nash, Shaq, and Grant Hill. Do they have another run left in them?
Should be interesting to see. Steve Kerr joins Doug & Wolf of KTAR to discuss training camp and how the first training camp with Shaq and new head coach Terry Porter has gone.
6) Dallas Mavericks: New Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talks about the 2008-2009 Dallas Mavericks and what he expects out of his team. Carlisle, the one time Pacers and Pistons coach, replaces Avery Johnson, who wasn’t quite able to take Dallas to the next level. I’m not sure the Mavericks have the horses in the stable to compete for a title, but you can at least count on Carlisle instilling some urgency on the defensive side of the floor for Dallas after years of shoddy defending in the Dirk Nowitzki era.
7) Los Angeles Clippers: Is it do or die for Clipper coach Mike Dunleavyin 2008-2009? With super-star and one of LA’s favorite sons Baron Davis signed this offseason, Dunleavy will be expected to lead the Clips to a better year than last, when they finished the year with just 23 wins and in last place in the Pacific Division.
8 ) Utah Jazz: Jazz owner Larry Miller talks about his talented young team on KFNZ and whether he thinks they have what it takes to get over the hump in the Western Conference after falling just a little bit short the past two years. You have to admire the stability Miller and Jerry Sloan bring to this organization. They’ve been real solid for quite some time now, with only a few lulls along the way.
9) Portland Trail Blazers: Channing Frye starts the second year of the Channing Frye Show on 1080 the Fan in Portland with a discussion about his team’s depth, the team’s closeness, as well as their expectations to make the playoffs this year after positioning themselves nicely last year.
10) Boston Celtics: Who better to preview the reigning NBA champion Boston Celtics than NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce. The Truth talks about his hectic offseason and the team’s chances to defend their title in ’08-’09. By the way, so far so good for Boston, as they won their opener Tuesday night 90-85.