Around The League: The NBA

Some news and notes from America's premier dribbling sport.

James LeBeauby James LeBeau

Listen up, NBA fans.

Just because your sport is currently in a lockout that may jeopardize the entire next season and just because when the sport does return, the structure of it may be radically changed doesn't mean the world of basketball news has ended. Nah I say! There is still news afoot and I'm here to give you a brief rundown on a few of the juicer titbits.


Bosh bashing still in.

It appears that the decent Finals performance of Miami Heat star Chris Bosh hasn't swayed everyone into thinking he should be considered in the same class as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Recently, the sports world's newest, and biggest, analyst, Shaquille O'Neal made some remarks about the Miami Heat that were a dig at Bosh.

"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the `Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana a NBA TV broadcast, when discussing the NBA finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year."

Wait, didn't hear Bosh mentioned? Well, that's the dig as Miami has mainly referred to themselves as the 'Big 3'. While calling them the 'Big 2', O'Neal purposely disses Bosh and his importance to the team.


Yao makes it official

It's official, Rockets fans, you will not have your world famous big-man on the court for you next season, or ever actually. Yao Ming has officially retired from the NBA.

"Today is an important day for me and holds a special meaning for both my basketball career and my future," Yao said in comments translated into English. "I had to leave the court since I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot for the third time at the end of last year. My past six months were an agonizing wait. I had been thinking (about my future) over and over. Today I am announcing a personal decision, ending my career as a basketball player and to officially retire. But one door is closing and another one is opening."

Even battling through a laundry list of injuries, Yao proved his mettle on the court and off it. A talented big man who drew fans by the millions, if not the billions, Yao opened up the NBA to the world in ways no player before him ever did and will be remembered fondly by all basketball fans.

"Yao Ming has been a transformational player and a testament to the globalization of our game," NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement. "His dominant play and endearing demeanor along with his extensive humanitarian efforts have made him an international fan favorite and provided an extraordinary bridge between basketball fans in the United States and China."


The NBA Schedule is out.

Though the looks of the current NBA labor situation has next season in serious doubt, that doesn't stop the hype machine from going through it's regular motions. One of those that normally gets fans salivating for next season is the release of the upcoming seasons schedule. While it may be a wasted effort, this little piece of normalcy did happen on schedule and we have been given a firm glimpse of what we may lose.

Here are a few notable games.

*The NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks will kick off the year (if they have one) at home on November 1st against the Chicago Bulls.

*The Mavericks don't play the Lakers till December 15th in what will surely be a heated affair.

*Miami kicks off its season against the New York Knicks on November 2nd.

*The Christmas day triple-header looks like this: Boston takes on New York to open the day. Dallas and Miami is the middle game. Bulls-Lakers finishes off the basketball day.