With the NBA in the second pro sport lockout of the year, there seems to be just as much newsworthy things happening this year than past years.
For Starters, Houston Rockets center and international star Yao Ming has retired. It has been nine years for Yao in the league and there are some mix reviews on him. Some people will say that his career was not very good but I would tend to disagree. When healthy, Yao was one of the best centers in the league. He posted an average of 19.0 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game for his career. However, he has missed around 250 games in the last six seasons, so he will always have the people who think he didn’t live up to expectations.
Speaking of another big guy, Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden got an 8.8 million contract this past week. The once number one draft pick in 2007 from the Ohio State, Oden has also been slowed by injuries in his career. In parts of four seasons with the Trailblazers, he has averaged 9.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game. So just like Yao, the jury is still out on Oden as his injury prone career continues (or doesn’t).
As for the Detroit Pistons, the coaching search continues. There have been several candidates mentioned throughout the process, but we don’t really know what Joe Dumars is going after. Former players seem to be leading the way, including Isaiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, and Patrick Ewing. However, former coach Mike Woodson is also available to hire. But I feel if Dumars doesn’t get it right this time, he is the one that needs to go next.
The new talent for the Pistons seem to increase with this year’s draft class. Brandon Knight was a steal at the number eight pick in the draft. He will wear number 7 for the number of teams that passed on him in the draft. He seem to get better as the season went on for Kentucky and he played well in big games. The other two draft picks weren’t too bad either. Kyle Singler from Duke is a solid pick. He’s one of those players who will do the small things to win a basketball game and isn’t a bad shooter either. Vernon Macklin from Florida is also a decent pick for them. Macklin is a Jason Maxiell like player who will get a chance to develop either in the D league or on the bench because of the depth on the Pistons front line. Let’s hope the rookies can make an impact this season and not have to wait for another year for the lockout to be over with.