Sunday, September 28, 2014

Greg Crawford Basketball, For September 28th, 2014

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

D-1 Basketball--- Here are 9 things I will be watching in relationship to west coast basketball this year. Teams on the west coast are getting better and getting much more attention, much better to follow for all basketball fans.

1. Will this be the year that Gonzaga goes deep into the postseason? I think so. I will go far as to say they will be a Final Four team for the first time. Great guards and such a good shooting team should propel the Bulldogs.

2. Although everyone seems to be giving the regular season title in the Pac-12 to Arizona, do not sleep on UCLA or Colorado this year. The Bruins and Buffs are so well coached by Steve Alford and Tad Boyle, respectively, not to forget both UCLA and Colorado have deep benches.

3. Maybe I might be the only one watching this, but anxious to see how Idaho will do in the Big Sky, in there first year back in the Conference since the 60s.

4. Can Ernie Kent bring some respectability back to the Washington State Cougar program? Kent seems to be a perfect fit in Pullman, we know he won big at times during his tenure at the University of Oregon.

5. Oregon State has not been to the NCAA basketball tournament since 1990. That is correct 1990 and it has been so long, Gary Payton was a member of that team. Wayne Tinkle was a great hire for Oregon State and he should bring Beaver basketball back. Already Tinkle has a top 10 recruiting class coming in for 2015-16.

6. Will this finally be the year Cameron Dollar has some success at Seattle University. Dollar was brought in to lead the program back to D-1 prominence and so far his teams have been major disappointments. Seattle U. has an iconic history in basketball, their court is named after Elgin Baylor and you can only hope Seattle U. will have a great year in the WAC Conference.

7. It will be fun to watch the Portland State Vikings and its coach Tyler Geving. Geving is an underrated coach and on paper he has his best roster in his six years at Portland State. They should contend for the Big Sky title, no doubt.

8. Can Lorenzo Romar regain the flash in Seattle with his Huskies? The last two years have not been good for Washington basketball, fans are starting to get a little impatient. Romar is a good coach, good person and almost certainly will bring Husky basketball back.

9. Who will win the NWAACC South. Yes, the NWAACC is a great community college league in Oregon and Washington, with outstanding longtime coaches and great players, many who go onto four year schools. The Southern Division of the NWAACC is always tough, really tough and a fun league to watch for sure.

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 27th, 2014

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

NBA----As the NBA heads out on its 2014-15 season, here are some issues for all to watch and some things I will be watching for sure.

1. How will the Cleveland Cavaliers do, with the addition of the best basketball player in the game and super star Kevin Love? Will Dave Blatt be able to coach these guys, the way he is expected to do so and also it will be interesting to see how LeBron plays with his weight loss.

2. Is Doc Rivers really worth $10 million per year as a coach. I will tell you this, if you pay someone that kind of money in the NBA as a coach, they better be in the Finals each and every year, end of story.

3. Will these 3 coaches be around in 2015-16. Monty Williams of New Orleans, Mike Malone of Sacramento and yes, Kevin McHale of Houston. It is safe to say, all 3 are on the hot seat.

4. What will the new NBA TV deal be like? Almost certain to be announced soon and will be in effect starting with the 2016-17 season, it will have a major impact on the NBA player's association and if they consider to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2017, as the contract would allow them to do.

5. It will be an interesting season for the Miami Heat. Erik Spoelstra will have his work cut out for him, losing the best player in the world, but the Heat also have a really good club and have lots to prove. Miami will never be bad with Spoelstra as the coach, he is that good.

6. My surprise and somewhat shocking thing to look for in 2015-16 will be if the Portland Trail Blazers can make the NBA Finals. Yes, I am predicting them to play Chicago in the Finals. As well, there is some pressure on Terry Stotts, to move this team further down the line in the playoffs, way beyond the first round, as they are that good.

7. Will NBA players stay out of any kind of trouble? Hopefully they can learn some lessons, as they should from the NFL and beyond.

8. How much of an impact will Phil Jackson have as the leader of the Knicks? It is time for basketball to return to New York City and not Brooklyn, but Brooklyn has the edge.

9. Finally, as I like to keep things in 9s, will we see some movement in 2014-15 to see an NBA franchise back in Seattle before the end of this decade.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball For September 22nd, 2014

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

Scheduling--- Sometimes your schedule can make you the best team, in a highly competitive league such as the Pac-12.

On paper at this point it would certainly appear that Colorado, UCLA and Arizona will be battling for the regular season Pac-12 men's basketball title in 2014-15.

Since the Pac-12 plays an unbalanced schedule, meaning for the novice basketball fan, each team does not play certain teams each year on the road or at home.

Examples of 2014-15 league schedule and how it might just favor Arizona. The Wildcats do not have to travel to UCLA/USC this year and at home do not get Washington/Washington State.

Obviously UCLA does not get Arizona/Arizona State at home, the Bruins do not have to travel to Washington/Washington State.

Colorado will not play Oregon/Oregon State at home, but will not have to travel to California/Stanford.

With the unbalanced schedule in the Pac-12, things are out of balance and you really do not get a "real" regular season champion.

I have covered the Pac-12 for years and have never heard one logical reason why there should not be a balanced schedule with each team meeting every other team both at home and on the road. It just makes sense. It also makes sense to me always that the Pac-12 Network would much rather want to show a league game as compared to Yale at California. (Sorry Yale, you have great academics by the way).

You would think the Pac-12 would want to put their best product on the floor, but with an unbalanced schedule they do not when it comes to league play. It really is important to win the regular season title as well because if you are an NCAA bubble team and do not win the postseason tournament, you are going to get some special consideration for your league play.

It really is time for the Pac-12 in men's basketball to get out of the dark ages and play a balanced schedule of 22 league games.

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 20th, 2014

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

Note: Due to many requests from readers and thank you, Greg Crawford On Basketball will be published starting today 7 days per week. Coverage in Greg Crawford On Basketball will include the following:

1. NBA

2. NBA Development League

3. NBA Draft

4. Extensive Coverage of the Portland Pilots Men's Basketball Team

5. Extensive Coverage of the Portland State Men's Basketball Team

6. The 6 D-1 Leagues out west in NCAA basketball--- Pac-12, Big Sky, WCC, Big West, Mt. West and WAC.

7. Every Tuesday Coverage of Multnomah University

8. Complete Coverage of the NWAC Sports, including every Wednesday the league's top 9 power rankings.

9. Complete Coverage of the Northwest Conference and Cascade Collegiate Conference, including every Thursday the famous combo power rankings of the top 9.

10. The business of basketball, following the money trail.

Thanks for reading and let's kick this off today with Crawford's famous top 9 power rankings of the NBA for the 2014-15 season. Of course this will change dramatically as the season evolves, but for now here is how the league will shape up.

9. Washington Wizards

8. Los Angeles Clippers

7. Miami Heat

6. Golden State Warriors

5. San Antonio Spurs

4. Houston Rockets

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

2. Portland Trail Blazers

1. Chicago Bulls

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 14th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford----TV, Radio and Print Basketball Analyst---COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management----on twtter @wchoops @crawssportsbiz @kcsportsmgmt

Endorsements----You can be sure in light of all the athletes who have been in trouble in the past few years, that it will continue to be strong vetting of any athlete that companies sign to major endorsement deals.

Of course, no one can be certain and mistakes are made when you try and judge how a person will be in one year, two years or ten years, but there is a reason why Nike was more than willing to match the offer Kevin Durant got from Under Armour to represent their company. Durant just appears at present and hopefully in the future that he gets it and understands what it is to be a much admired athlete.

The bottom line also is that just like in life, there are so many more good people than bad people in the business of sports, but we just never hear much about these people or the great things they do. As well, it for sure does not excuse any bad and horrible behavior.

Scheduling----It is great to hear that Gonzaga and Washington will resume their rivalry in men's basketball during the 2016-17 season. Surprisingly and sadly, the teams last played in 2006. In the all time series, Washington leads 29-14, but equally as important Gonzaga has won eight of the last nine games the teams have played.

Sticking with the Bulldogs, it is also good to note they will play UCLA at Pauley Pavilion this year on December 13th and the Bruins will return the favor in 2015, playing in Spokane on December 15th.

Speaking of schedules, the Pac-12 league schedule for 2014-15 is not out yet, but we do know that Oregon State will play in Portland on December 6th against the Portland Pilots. It seems to many that it is important for the both Oregon and Oregon State to make appearances in Portland, Oregon as often as they can.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 10th, 2014

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

More To Come---In light of what has happened in the NBA thus far this summer, i.e. Donald Sterling, Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry, is there more to come? You had better believe that so many reporters, both in and out of sports are looking to get their hands on inflammatory emails of  videos from an executive/owner about race.

Hopefully it ended with Danny Ferry, but common sense says maybe not. And remember, it was Donald Sterling that first warned us, more is out there and he planned to uncover it all. Well, he does not have the clout or credibility to do so, but there sure are some top journalists who do have that clout and credibility.

Max Hoops---If you are in the Northwest and you would like to send an athlete to a great showcase event, of which plenty of scouting services and college coaches will be attending, take a look at "The Showcase" that Brant Minor is bringing to the Salem Hoop, this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. As of this writing players from 62 high schools will be present and that figure is sure to rise.

For more information on The Showcase, you can go to

4 referees---My prediction is that in the next five years, both the NBA and D-1 college basketball games will have 4 referees. It is inevitable, with players getting quicker and stronger, plus the prevention of injuries as a big issue, the push for 4 officials will become a huge issue.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Tanking in FIBA

Teams in FIBA play believe that Australia purposely lose there game against Angola so they wouldn't have to face the USA. Are the USA really that good or Australia really that bad, that tanking may become a problem in FIBA?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 7th, 2014

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

Ryan Nicholas---It is a going to be great fun to watch the professional basketball career of Ryan Nicholas. Ryan is presently in training camp with Mettelduetscher, a member of Germany's top professional basketball league.

It will just not be the same walking into the Chiles Center, home of the Portland Pilots and not seeing the smiling face of Ryan Nicholas greet everyone with a hardy handshake and friendly nature.

Nicholas, was not just a good player for the Pilots of the West Coast Conference, he was a great player, who gave it his all on every single play of the game both on offense and defense.

That play contributed to the fact that in his four year career with Portland, Nicholas led the team in rebounding three years in a row and twice in a row scoring.

But basketball at the University of Portland was not the only thing Ryan Nicholas excelled at, he also was stellar in the classroom, evidenced by the fact he captured three consecutive all conference academic honors.

In covering Nicholas while playing for the Pilots, I was often told by opposing coaches that they were always concerned with stopping and controlling Ryan Nicholas, if they were to beat the Pilots. It was so true and not just coaching hype. Nicholas more than likely never got the credit he deserved while playing for the U of Portland by the fans and certain media, but for sure anyone who knows the game knew what a special player he was while playing for the Pilots.

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Greg Crawford Basketball, For September 6th, 2014

By Gregory Crawford----COO of Kiyokawa Crawford Sports Management  @wchoops @kcsportsmgmt @crawssportsbiz

The Battle Of L.A.----In the past couple of years, there is no question that the Los Angeles Clippers have been a better team than the Los Angeles Lakers. Of course, the Clippers have gotten all the attention as of late, sometimes for the wrong reasons as well.

But a look at the business side, what professional team really does own the city?

The Lakers have the largest local TV deal in not only the NBA, but all of sports in the United States. In the 2012-13 season, the Lakers started a 20 year contract with Time Warner Sports, which brings them in annually $200 million per year. That figure helps the Lakers attain an estimated valuation of its franchise at just over $1.4 billion per the Crawford Sports Biz Index.

When Steve Ballmer recently bought the Clippers for close to $2 billion, the Crawford Sports Biz Index had the team valued at $610 million. The Clipper's sale is the perfect snapshot of why many times the sale of sports team are often "personal attraction" buys, rather than solid business decisions, but with that said, sometimes they can be great investments, but it takes years. For the record the Clippers do not even rank in the top 20 of the NBA at present for local TV deals.

Some other NBA TV deals of note:

New York Knicks------Annual deal with MSG Sports, $39 million per year.

Cleveland Cavaliers----Annual deal with Fox Sports Ohio, $25 million per year, set to expire in 2015-16 and now with LeBron in the fold, let the bidding begin.

Miami Heat----The Heat TV deal expires in 2018 with Sun Sports, at present it is $20 million.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Greg Crawford On Basketball, For September 3rd, 2014

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

Chris Haynes----A big hearty congrats to Chris Haynes on his leaving Portland, Oregon to become a the new NBA beat writer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. What an assignment, covering the best player in the game today, LeBron James.

This move is no fluke. I personally know the work ethic of Chris Haynes and it is off the charts. No journalist in Portland, Oregon has broken more stories than Chris Haynes and no one should be shocked he beat out over 1,000 candidates to get this premium job.

My prediction, this will not be the final stop for Chris Haynes,  he is destined for future stardom, big time  assignments covering the NBA.

Here is something you might not know about Chris Haynes, or never get to see. Me being north of 60 in age, Chris was always concerned about how people would treat me both personally and professionally. Chris Haynes was raised properly, respect the dignity of people who were older than himself and always care for them. Many young people could learn lots of lessons about life and respect from Chris Haynes, that is why he is a star person, both professionally and personally.

Oregon State----Later this week, I will have some thoughts of just how great Wayne Tinkle can be as the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers. On paper he is off to a good start, of course paper is only good too write on.

Gonzaga---Is this the year the Bulldogs finally make the Final Four? I say, YES, they have a great team and great guards. You must have great guards in today's game of basketball to get to the Big Dance.

Arizona State---It was nice to see Arizona State extend the contract of Herb Sendek. He deserves the extension and has done an under appreciated job with the Sun Devils. Even I did not think he would do what he has done in the Valley of the Sun. Sendek's presence in the Pac-12 has made the league better, better is something the Pac-12 always needs.

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