Sunday, April 27, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, April 27th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford--TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst  on twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Donald Sterling---The situation and comments by the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers Donald Sterling about race is sad, disturbing, but not shocking.

We battle race issues everyday in this country, it is a touchy subject, of which most people run and hide from.

I personally within the last month have had two people ask me why I have so many black friends. I also know a top flight manager in a  major company who was recently asked why he hired so many Asian people.

My sports business, that I own with my partner who is Japanese, is also something that is reflected everyday in race relations, because at times I see him get disrespected by people, who I know for sure the reason.

Sports has long been a melting pot for all races. Most of the time all races get along in sports.

The good out of this Sterling episode is the dialogue that will be opened again about race relations. The one problem with that is we have all these people jumping on the bandwagon, who could have cared less about the subject for years, but he it as a chance to gain a little fame right now.

This is going to be a tough call for NBA commissioner Adam Silver. I do not see it as his first critical test. Race relations are a test for many of us all year around. In the long run if this tape is authentic, which it certainly appears to be, there will be punishment for Sterling, severe I would think. But at the same time, I see no way he gives up the Clippers. He has been sticking it to the league and his fans for years, he is not about to change.

And it makes me reflect on the fact, I am fortunate both from my past and present to be involved with a diverse group of people, which has made my life better in the long run.

Would love your comments on the situation in the comment section.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, April 21st, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print and Radio Analyst----twitter @wchoops and @crawssportsbiz

Phil Jackson---Not a big  surprise, it did not take Phil Jackson and longtime to fire Knicks coach Mike Woodson.

Now for the next coach of the storied NBA franchise. Nearly everyone is saying it will be Steve Kerr, who played for Jackson as a Chicago Bull and is presently a top analyst for TNT and their NBA coverage.

But are will going to be shocked? Will Phil Jackson be the next coach of the Knicks. He actually is the best candidate out there and he would only have to move his office 30 feet.

What do you think? Should Phil Jackson be the next coach of the Knicks, or should they hire Steve Kerr or someone else?

Comments welcome in the comment section below.

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, April 20th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Print, Radio Basketball Analyst----twitter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Pac-12 Upgrade---With the hiring of Cuonzo Martin as the new California Bears' head basketball coach and Ernie Kent getting the head coaching job at Washington State, the Pac-12 just got so much better in basketball and much stronger.

Kent will win in the Palouse and Martin was a great choice to replace the retiring Mike Montgomery. Now what will happen next year. You would have to think that Colorado just might be the league favorite in 2014-15 season. With a great coach in Tad Boyle and a great club returning, the Buffs will be a strong favorite to win the Pac-12. Of course Arizona will have to rebuild a little, as will UCLA, but the culture of both schools will prevent any dramatic downturn.

NBA Playoffs---These NBA playoffs have been terrific so far, with some great competitive games. The race to the championship is wide open and at the same time, this first round which is usually a sleeper, has been as competitive as it gets.

The team to really watch in this early round is Golden State. Everyone was down on Mark Jackson as the coach, but people forget that talent sometimes can cause a rising tide with any team.

A series to watch and perhaps the most competitive is going to be Houston/Portland. Two really good teams, with great coaching and super star players, Harden, Howard, Lillard and Aldridge.

Steve Kerr---If Steve Kerr goes on to coach the Knicks as many people think he will, he probably will be a great coach. His understanding of the game goes way beyond Xs and Os, it is all about treatment of players, how you handle them and how you inspire people to greatness.

Let's face it, the NBA needs a power team in New York and even greater than Phil Jackson, much greater, Steve Kerr is the answer.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, April 19th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analysis @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

It is NBA playoff time, it is fun and never dull. So here we go with my world famous Crawford's power rankings for the 16 teams in the playoffs and also how I see the 8 first round series going.

16. Atlanta Hawks
15. Washington Wizards
14. Memphis Grizzlies
13. Dallas Mavericks
12. Charlotte Bobcats
11. L.A. Clippers
10. Houston Rockets
9.  Toronto Raptors
8.  Brooklyn Nets
7.  Portland Trail Blazers
6.  Golden State Warriors
5.  Chicago Bulls
4.  Miami Heat
3.  Indiana Pacers
2.  San Antonio Spurs
1.  Oklahoma City Thunder

The breakdown of the opening series of the NBA 2014 playoffs.

Spurs over Mavericks in 5 games
Thunder over Grizzlies in 4 games
Warriors over Clippers in 6 games
Blazers over Rockets in 6 games
Pacers over Hawks in 5 games
Heat over Bobcats in 6 games
Nets over Raptors in 7 games
Bulls over Wizards in 5 games

Come back throughout the playoffs each day for breaking news, thoughts, opinions and your comments in the comment section.

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, For April 12th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio and Print basketball analyst @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Rick Adelman---It would be a real shame if Rick Adelman retired from coaching, as there is growing speculation he might just do at the end of the season.

Of course Adelman has been a fixture as an NBA head coach since the early 90s and is an automatic as a future hall of famer. Adelman really gained his stature as NBA coach, leading Portland to the NBA Finals twice in the early 90s. To his credit for the most part he has been a winner everywhere he has been in the league, including Sacramento, Golden State, Houston and now Minnesota where he is slowly changing the culture and developing a winning team, with limited depth.

Adelman is also a high quality human being, who always has time for the "little people", no matter what the situation. Here is hoping he stays for awhile longer and develops Minnesota into a consistent playoff contender.

Scott Leykam---This should be one to watch for the next month or so. Will Scott Leykam leave his job as the athletic director at the U of Portland in north Portland, Oregon to take the West Coast Conference Commissioner job. Of course that position became open in March when present Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich announced he will leave the WCC on July 1st to become the new deputy commissioner of the Pac-12 under Larry Scott.

Leykam is talented and smart, he also happens to the a graduate of WCC member St. Mary's. It is well known he played a huge role in so many things during his four year tenure with the WCC prior to taking the Portland job in 2012.

As the AD at Portland he is known for his candid answers to tough questions and also being a person who reaches out to everyone. It would be a big loss for Portland and huge game for the WCC if this were to happen. It just might.

Danny Miles----One of my hot topics has come back again. Once again the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2014, does not include Danny Miles, the iconic coach at Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls, Oregon. What does a guy have to do to get in the hall of fame. If 1,000 plus coaching victories at the same school and three national championships, does not get you in, then I am not sure if Danny Miles will ever make it, shamefully on the Hall's part.

And to think, this year's class is bringing in coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams, ahead of Miles. I am not sure either of those coaches deserves to be in the hall of fame period, let alone ahead of Danny Miles and all of his accomplishments.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gregory Crawford On Basketball, for April 6th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford, TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst, @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

The Final---It should be a great game on Monday night between Connecticut and Kentucky. Two storied basketball programs, that have been in this situation before many times and won many times.

Connecticut certainly proved that they belong there by demolishing Florida on Saturday. It was not quite as easy for Kentucky, but they beat an excellent Wisconsin team by one point.

It is certainly interesting to see the maturation of Kentucky coach John Calipari. In his early coaching years he was known as strictly a recruiter, who had trouble developing the Xs and Os game. Boy has that changed as Calipari is one of the top five bench coaches in the college game right now. That is why he gets the edge tomorrow night and of course the national championship.

Final Score:

Kentucky (65) over Connecticut (62)

Long Season---As a basketball writer and commentator, I love when the season starts and I am saddened to see it end quite frankly, even though the seasons seem to be getting longer all the time. I attended 127 games live and in person, start to finish this year. My first game started at Multnomah University in the heart of Portland, Oregon on October 17th. My last game to see live was at Portland State on March 8th.

It was an enjoyable year as I saw college games at all levels from the NCCAA (National Collegiate Christian Athletic Association), NAIA, Community College and NCAA. Funniest thing I saw all year long was a community college game where for 11 seconds one team played with seven players on the floor.

This by no means is a swan song to basketball writing. This blog will continue several days a week, covering the NBA, D-League, NBA Draft and of course off season college basketball news.

Fun times are ahead so be sure to bookmark this blog and thank you.

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, for April 5th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford---TV, Radio, Print Basketball Analyst @wchoops @crawssportsbiz

Golden State Warriors---In the long and often glorious history of the NBA since 1947, this has never happened before.

Last week the Warriors demoted assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to their D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. And just today, the Warriors fired assistant coach Darren Erman, for what the club termed, "a serious violation of team policy, away from the basketball floor."

These moves leave the Warriors with only three assistant coaches heading to almost certain playoff time, as Golden State at 47-29 stands at sixth place in the Western Conference.

Mark Jackson has been continually praised by Warrior management, including general manager Bob Myers, but to put it midly, there are some problems brewing in the East Bay.

Crawford's Factoid----When the Portland Trail Blazers won their only NBA championship in 1977, they did it with head coach Jack Ramsay and one assistant coach Jack McKinney. Oh for progress.

Hotseat---Greg Crawford on Basketball  has learned from sources that it is more than likely both Knicks coach Mike Woodson and Lakers' coach Mike D' Antoni will not be retained for the 2014-15 season.

The seat is also getting hotter for both Tyrone Corbin of the Utah Jazz and John Loyer of the Pistons who took over mid-year for the fired Maurice Cheeks. Loyer almost certainly will not be back, Corbin seems to be in trouble as well with his contract being up.

One coaching situation to watch is in Minnesota. Rick Adelman is not going to get fired, but will he at some point say this is enough as an NBA coach and wait for his call from the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, a certainty.

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Greg Crawford On Basketball, for April 5th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford, TV, Radio and Print TV Analyst, @wchoops and @crawssportsbiz

Here is your chance to be an expert analyst, give the score and the why you think things will happen the way they do in the comment section below. Here is a little starter for you from Gregory Crawford

Florida (78) over Connecticut (63)

Just too much fire power on this Florida team, plus they have not had a down period all year. Billy Donavan as coach of the Gators has been there before, winning two national titles and he could make it his third come Monday night.

Kentucky (63) over Wisconsin (62)

It will be a heartbreaker for Bo Ryan, but his team just does not have quite enough to overcome this rolling Wildcat team. Kentucky is playing the best basketball of anyone in the tournament and they will show it today, with a dramatic win over the Badgers.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, for April 3rd, 2014

By Gregory Crawford, TV, Print and Radio Basketball Analyst @wchoops and @crawssportsbiz

Final Four----Per usual with the NCAA tourney, four very good teams have made the Final Four. They all have unique stories and they all have interesting twists on how they got this far.

In a nutshell, I would predict we are headed for a Florida/Kentucky final, with the winner being Kentucky. They are the hottest of four hot teams right now and have a combination of size, speed and athleticism that is tough to beat. Much like Billy Donavan of Florida, John Calipari also knows how to win a Final Four, so important at this level of time. What do you think, your opinion does count here.

Ernie Kent----Ernie Kent will win in Pullman as the new coach of the Washington State Cougars of the Pac-12. Kent has won at each school he has been at and won big, both at Oregon and St. Mary's. He also knows how to recruit big time players to his program, looking at the success of the Ducks' during his tenure there.

One thing that is almost certain to get any coach fired beyond not enough Ws is low attendance and at Washington State they had a boring team to watch, very few were watching actually as the Cougs finished the home season average attendance just over 2,800 fans per game. In a big time league like the Pac-12, that is nothing short of pathetic and that in part is the reason for Ken Bone getting let go.
How do you think Ernie Kent will do in Pullman and can he pull off the magic, like he did in Eugene.

Utah---Very smart move by the Utah Utes to lock up Larry Krytstowiak for five more years. He is a terrific coach and has literally turned the basketball culture around in Salt Lake City. Playing in the highly improved Pac-12, his team went 21-12 on the season and earned a coveted spot in the NIT. Was it a good move extending Krytstowiak for five more seasons with the Utes.

NBA---For some reason, I just love to debate this question all the time. Who is the greatest player ever in the NBA. Choices to start the thinking process might just be Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

For my money, it is not even close, I love Magic Johnson as the all time greatest player. He not only won championships, but he willed so many of his teammates to victories. And he still is the only player in league history to play all five positions in the walk-off game of an NBA Final Series. Who do you think is the greatest player of all time in the NBA?

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