The Starting 5 features some of the best NBA content from around the Internet
1. “Tim Duncan Revs Up Style in His Car Shop, Revealing True Portrait of a Legend” — Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report
News flash: Tim Duncan has a personality.
You probably already knew that, but you just hadn’t gotten a glimpse of it with his reserved style both on and off the court. Zwerling offers an exceptional profile of the San Antonio Spurs star, focusing around Duncan’s car shop that he owns and works at during the offseason.
Seriously, the piece is amazing, so I won’t spoil any more of it for you.
2. “Can the Pelicans Make a Leap Forward in the Crowded Western Conference?” — Sean Highkin of ProBasketballTalk
If you asked most NBA fans which five West teams have the best chance at winning the conference, they’d respond with the following squads: the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. If you asked for a sixth team, it’d probably be the Memphis Grizzlies.
Although the New Orleans Pelicans have a rapidly improving superstar big man in Anthony Davis and stood pat this summer with a pretty young core, not many have them making any significant movement up the conference ladder.
Is that justified? Highkin looks in-depth at the team’s make-up and decides whether New Orleans has what it takes to move from the eighth seed up into the top five or six.
3. “Jay Williams Still Lives With Regret” — Lang Greene of Basketball Insiders
How would you feel if you were an NBA player who got in a career-ending motorcycle accident after your promising rookie year?
If you’ve been following the league for a while, you know I’m alluding to the tragic career of Chicago Bulls point guard Jay Williams. He tried to make a comeback several times after the 2003 incident, but the myriad injuries he endured prevented him from being successful.
Williams is still feeling the pain from his accident, but not so much physically. Greene chronicles the difficult journey of a potential-filled youngster who lost it all in an instant.
4. “Scottie Pippen was the 2nd-best player of the 1990s” — Tom Ziller and Paul Flannery of SB Nation
Could it be that the best two players of the 1990s won six NBA championships together during the decade? Ziller and Flannery certainly think so.
Scottie Pippen is one of the more difficult NBA greats to rank. A lot of his impact came on defense, and people still struggle how much to factor that in. He also was the clear No. 2 option on all those championship-winning Bulls teams — he had a solid year-and-a-half as the main man when Michael Jordan played baseball, but he’s definitely known for his second-banana days.
Anyway, I don’t agree with Ziller and Flannery here (Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal all were better, in my opinion), but they certainly make a strong case.
5. “Should the NBA go one step further and remove conferences?” — Tom West of FanSided
The NBA finally made the right move Tuesday and eliminated playoff guarantees because of division standing. Unfortunately, it was too late for my San Antonio Spurs, who could’ve played a Grizzlies squad with an injured Mike Conley in the first round instead of the Los Angeles Clippers, whose star power and poor depth was built for Round 1 success (they wore down significantly in Round 2).
All personal complaints aside, is the next step for the league now eliminating conferences altogether to even out the lopsided competition? (the West is way better than the East, by the way)
Cross-country travel is one key objection to that step, but teams do that anyway in their 30 out-of-conference games every season. There seems to be little getting in the way of an eventual move to the no-conference format, as West requests for.