NBA / Aug 30, 2008 / 4:02 am

Manu Ginobili needs surgery, Amare is making excuses, and hanging with MJ in Vegas

AmareAmare Stoudemire, Dime #14

Manu Ginobili had his ankle looked at, and while the injury that might have cost the Spurs a trip to the NBA Finals hasn’t gotten worse, it hasn’t improved either. Manu will have surgery at some point in the next week or so, but there’s no word on when he can get back on the court. We did hear a source who said it could be about 6-8 weeks, though. If Manu’s absence stretches into the regular season, it’s on Mike Finley, Roger Mason and rookie George Hill to step up and help Tony Parker in the backcourt. Hill couldn’t hit the side of Sam Cassell‘s head with his jumper when we saw him in the summer leagues, but he plays a pretty good floor game. Mason can get buckets, but he and Hill are brand-new to San Antonio’s system, and Finley is old enough that he might have played high school ball with John McCain. And Pop won’t wanna play Fin too much, since he needs him available to be Robert Horry‘s replacement when the playoffs come around. In other words, Manu needs to get healthy … Are you buying Amare Stoudemire‘s claim that Mike D’Antoni didn’t have the Suns practice defense once in the last three years? STAT didn’t go so far to say that D’Antoni’s de-commitment to defense is behind his own individual defensive issues, but may have been implying it. Do you think, on the NBA level, it’s up to each player to improve his game (defense in particular), or do coaches have a responsibility to make their players better skill-wise? Amare obviously came into the League with more rough edges than most players; should Phoenix have given him a specialized assistant to teach him to play D since it’s obvious D’Antoni isn’t going to spend a big chunk of time on it? … We recently got up with Andre Iguodala, where he talked about the new-look Sixers, his offseason workouts, and how he got robbed in the ’06 Dunk Contest. Check out the interview HERE … We always get a kick out of the blatant nepotism you see in the NBA, whether it’s LeBron‘s high school teammates Dru Joyce and Romeo Travis getting on the Cavs’s summer league team, or Chauncey Billups‘ brother Rodney Billups making Detroit’ summer squad, or Coby Karl. But the Knicks trading a guy who they probably haven’t thought about in eight years to get Patrick Ewing Jr. is on another level. New York traded the draft rights to Fred Weis — yes, that Fred Weis, Vince Carter‘s personal property Fred Weis, the Fred Weis they drafted back in ’99 and never came to the NBA — to Houston for “The Legacy.” This doesn’t mean Weis is any closer to coming to the League (he might just wait until Vince retires or YouTube ceases to exist), and while Ewing could give the Knicks a lot of what Renaldo Balkman gave them, there’s a chance he doesn’t even make the opening day roster. But Pat Jr. was the #1 overall draft choice of the Harlem Globetrotters, so he could go there if this NBA thing doesn’t work out … One of our guys has been in Vegas this week, and the other day he reported seeing Michael Jordan, Antoine Walker, Chauncey Billups, Tony Allen, Damon Jones and Marvin Williams at the Bellagio, playing blackjack and craps and toting cigars. And one of the Hall of Fame talents in that group may or may not have left with a nice little piece on his arm. Now, we didn’t get clarification whether or not that whole group was together, because at least one of them doesn’t seem to fit. MJ and ‘Toine have been casino buddies for a minute. Marvin has the UNC connection with Mike. Tony Allen has the Chicago connection with ‘Toine. And Chauncey’s a popular vet who’s cool with a lot of dudes in the League. So where does that leave Damon Jones? … Our guy also spotted Mo Taylor in Vegas, who he said he’s supposed to be signing with the Lakers very soon … Chuck Hayes broke his nose in a recent workout, which was bound to happen to him sooner or later seeing as he regularly has to bang with Dikembe Mutombo and Dikembe Mutombo’s elbows in practice. Hayes just seems like one of those guys destined for a long-term Rip Hamilton mask … What would Team USA do to Great Britain’s national squad? The Brits secured Luol Deng for their roster in the upcoming European Championship qualifying tourney by agreeing to pay his $500,000 insurance. Ben Gordon‘s not playing, leaving Deng to go to battle with guys like Robert Archibald (U of Illinois) and Eric Boateng (Duke/Arizona State). We could see Chris Paul and them waxing GB by a nice fiddy … We’re out like Chuck …

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  • http://www.nba.com Justin

    If a coach doesn’t stress defense, his players would care less about it. A good coach is a respected coach, and if all he ever seems to care about is offense, the players would likely follow suit. Not that I’m saying STAT (and Nash for that matter) shouldn’t have upped his defensive game, but having D’Antoni run offensive drills and practice shooting jumpers all day doesn’t help.

    Then again, D is 95% effort, especially to a guy with the physical tools that Amare has.

  • http://www.myspace.com/carli_borikua4life QueSt???

    i dint even know great britain had a team, and they are guaranteed a spot on the olympics right? hold on a min imma check fiba rankings……….. i couldnt find them, to put it this way, they suck, way worse than angola. 100 piece mcnugget

  • the_don_mega

    it has to be 2 way… coach and player. coaches need to be there for motivation and stuff. and if a cat really wants to breakout and become THE man, he has to put out all the stops into improving every aspect of his game… D, offense, fundamentals… just ask MJ. he wouldn’t have been the G.O.A.T. if he hadnt busted his ass in the gym all freakin’ day. we gotta remember that MJ was also no that refined when he first balled in the L. he took it upon himself to polish his raw edges and become the player we all know today.

  • K-Pax

    More on AI’s training:


  • http://www.myspace.com/lilpenny23 JHov

    Thats what’s up@ Dime! I’m going to Vegas in a couple of days..and I would to take MJ’s and your money! LoL1 Are they in town for the Magic(clothing) Convention?

  • http://www.myspace.com/lilpenny23 JHov

    Thats what’s up@ Dime! I’m going to Vegas in a couple of days..and I would love to take MJ’s and your money! LoL! Are they in town for the Magic(clothing) Convention?

  • http://www.myspace.com/lilpenny23 JHov

    I just checked those guys are prob in time for MJ’s Fantasy Camp for rich old guys it went from Aug 26-29.

  • j from la

    wow wow wow amare gets paid 15 mil per and he is blaming a coach on his non d playin ass. 15 mil play some d dude really u should b motivated. mo taylor on the lakers is wow this isnt the late 90s wen he could play. wat happened to manu is the reason y spurs shoulda got jr smith. jr is crazy but that shit wouldnt fly under pop. if pop held sjack from craziness i think he can hold jr smith from killin the team. ewing jr on knnicks = joke. dude has been overrated since high school. o yea since i live in vegas and probably the only vegas dime fan outhere ill b seeing mike jordan and friends later today need to get some jordan 3’s signed. mo taylor on lakers = good fuckin night….


    1.) The Carter
    2.) J-Rich
    3.) Nique
    4.) Kobe
    5.) Kemp

    Just Puttin’ that out there.

  • Damon


  • Camp Lo

    @ Youngfed
    Blasphemy! MJ’s gotta be on there. I’d put him & LeBron on the list instead of J-Rich & Kobe. James White has also done some things I’ve never seen any mortal pull off. I’m out like Harold ‘Baby Jordan’ Minor….

  • http://www.myspace.com/verbose1 sans

    1. Bron
    2. MJ
    3. Nique
    4. Vince
    5. Kobe

    Spurs haters unite!!! Not that I’m hating strictly on Manu, who was amazing all August, but this will stretch their squad and Pop’s sanity for a few weeks. But if he hits on schedule, it’ll still be within the first week or so of the season. They won’t start off that bad.

    Why wouldn’t they put in a 5 of Parker, Bowen, Udoka, Duncan, Oberto? Lock down squad that has only two options (with Bowen finally being a 3rd wheel, Austin!)

    And YES, you can blame a coach for their players inability to play D. Not all the way, but if you got a player that can’t figure out a nuance of the game, then you fn teach them how to do it. THAT’S WHAT COACHING IS! You teach your players to play your style of play, using the best of their abilities to the greater glory of your squad. The player has to do the dirty work and grit it out until he improves, but players need guidelines to follow to figure ish out. Hire Moses Malone, Dennis Rodman, Mark Eaton, Bill Russel, Dream…or waste $15M by not instructing your players on how to reach their full potential.

  • http://www.myspace.com/verbose1 sans

    Also, Amare is a beast on offense. He definitely has put in work in other areas other than defensive study.

  • Gregg

    I’ll confirm that rumor. I’m in Vegas right now. I was at the Bellagio the other day and I definitely saw MJ and Walker playing blackjack. I almost lost my composure seeing the greatest.

  • vince

    lol @ bron being the top dunker

  • paningit

    mo taylor to the lakers huh? wonder what he could bring to the table.


    @Camp Lo and Damon
    Sorry Fella’s can’t put MJ in there becuase his best Dunk (The infamous free-throw line dunk) has been done by damn near everyone. Also he was not as spectacular of a dunker as others on my list. But he’d definetly make a Top 10 Alltime list. On the Lebron comment dude only has 3 dunks and you can’t be on the alltime list w/o atleast winning the dunk contest once (Except Kobe). However Camplo you are right about J-White though.

    Anybody who doesn’t have Vince at the #1 spot is crazy. You need to go review the Shawn Bradley nutz in his mouth Dunk. That says it all.

    Honorable Mention
    MJ, Nate Robinson, Clyde The Glide, Bron, J-Smoove, Rudy Gay, Grant Hill, T-Mac, etc.

  • Young Lebron 23

    Over/Under 50 points for a US win ova Great Britain

  • dapro

    Aight couple of things

    The coach and player must be on the same page

    Amare’s game is raw on both ends so he can’t fully blame the coach because he lives off his athleticism

    Marion and Bell played D, if they made this comment then we might have something but coming from STAT, it ain’t holding water fam

    MJ is a top five dunker, he was creative in the dunk contest he was in and he wowed the crowed every time. He had the combination of fineese and power

    If we talking game time dunks then Vince and Nique could be 1a and 1b

    MJ would be 3rd

    Kemp is 4th

    The Dr would be 5th

    Dunk contest is a different story


    We’re talking in game and dunk contest.

  • the_don_mega

    here’s my 5… (not in order)


    they gotta be alot of diff top 5’s here though… i think it actually depends on which era we really watched. theremight be a top 5 for 80’s dunkers and 90’s jammers as well… how bout that dime? best dunkers of the 80’s and 90’s??? that’d be cool to kill some time…

  • marcus the great

    anyone who doesn’t have Jordan on a top 5 dunk list is simply retarded…. Vince, Money, Kemp, Nique and Dr J/Kobe (maybe Darryl Dawkins) take ur pick on the last spot

  • marcus the great

    and that covers game and dunk contest fools

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    The problem was Jordan was not very creative when it came to the dunk contests but he still won twice. MJ still has to be in the top 5 dunkers of all time though. Besides nobody could hang like Jordan.


    What has J-Rich done to earn a top 5 spot on your list besides being from Michigan? I think there was some homer sentiment there.

  • Ansonious

    For some reason I have a hard time believing that Austin Burton didn’t write this article, for 1 the guy could not stop suns hater nation yesterday, for 2 he couldn’t admit that what the spurs did in the playoffs was shameful, and to no surprise were still on this subject. Grow up man I understand your standing by your team but their shit stinks too like Amare not playing d. I’m out like the spurs in the finals in 09 peace

  • Ansonious

    Are their any suns fans out there?

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    In my opinion when considering best dunkers of all time you have to consider two things: number of memorable dunks and creativity. Memorable dunks during game time situations pull more weight than memorable dunks during dunk contests because dunks are easier when you don’t have people guarding you and you don’t have to worry about dribbling. With that being said here’s my top 5 list:

    1. Vince Carter- he has possibly the greatest dunk of all time. See Fred Weis
    2. Nique
    3. MJ- nobody has more memorable dunks in game situations than MJ
    4. Dr. J- he was the first one to make the dunk a thing of beauty
    5. Shaq- I know, I know but anybody who can delay a game with a dunk and have the rim support system redesigned because of him has to make this list. Besides nobody’s dunk was feared more than a in his prime Shaq.


    J-Rich only won the dunk contest 2or 3 times, he’s also one of few in game flash dunkers. Watch him a lil more and you’ll see why and I know what you’re saying “Who really watches a bobcats game?” But him and Gerald wallace are like And-1 Dunkers allday. I might be a lil bias Spliff being from Michigan and all.

  • marcus the great

    good list Spliff, but no Kemp? dude was a terror. when you dunk on a dude so bad that he gives you dap?!?! lol that’s illy…

  • barons beard

    Team GB would get waxed, but if we can get Ben Gordon and Kylenna Azubuike on board we will be at least competetive come 2012, so we dont get embarassed in our own back yard

  • Ian the statboy

    jordan is barely top 5
    carter and nique are 1
    3 kemp
    4 dr j
    5 jordan but wouldnt mind switchin him for ricardson

    and someone said bron 1 hahahaha he has 2 dunks
    and we all know why jordan won the dunk contest over nique cuz it was in chicago

  • Al

    Amare is a bad defensive player and not horrible like Carlos Boozer , but he’s pretty damn bad .

  • changster

    Last August I saw ‘Toine and Damon Jones gambling together at the Bellagio w/ an entourage, so it looks like they’re gambling buddies or something. Damon Jones was playing blackjack w/ something like $200-$300/hand and was getting smoked by the casino. Looked like he was about to cry. Running his mouth the whole time too, everyone (read: me and the dealers) was pretty glad to see him lose (what else is new).

    Saw Jay-Z/Beyonce gambling there the same weekend, never seen someone so emotionless when they gamble.

  • Promoman

    Amare’s making exuses. If you want to improve then it’s on you to want to improve. Defense is about effort and all the coaching in the world can’t create desire. Offense-first guys like Amare usually only play D when their playing time’s at stake or when they’ve got lesser talent against them.

  • Promoman

    Amare’s making exuses. If you want to improve then it’s on you to want to improve. Defense is about effort and all the coaching in the world can’t create desire. Offense-first guys like Amare usually only play D when their playing time’s at stake or when they’ve got lesser talent against them.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    1. Vince
    2. Jordan
    3. Dominique
    4. Kemp
    5. David Thompson

    And I have to give Stromile Swift an honorable mention, because he can’t do anything else but dunk, but he’s amazing at it.

  • coby who?

    totally agree with the ewing jr. trade being complete horse and probably a terrible decision by the knicks cause now they have to cut someone to make room for him on the roster or worse cut ewing jr. while daddy is still fuming about being past over for the knicks coaching job.

    BUT, I do think that lumping coby karl in with lebron’s buddies and ewing jr. is way off base. Coby Karl may not be an elite talent but the dude lead the Lakers summer league team and showed that he at least belongs in the league for the next few years to really prove his worth, the same cannot be said for the other freeloaders.

  • Coop

    what amuses me about the STAT thing is; they could try and play D and simply not been good enough (akin to what’s happening now) and not ascended to the heights they’ve been at over the last few season. No thanks going to D’antoni I see.

    Apologies if that’s been said already- didnt have time to read them all today.

  • Luigi

    u kno what dime. i always check ur website. n ur like 1 article per day so im like okay. then the next day u go off n pull out 5-6-7 consecutive articles that i cant keep up. lmfao. sorry i had to say it

    but stat. learn from Rodman. or atleast contact him. i mean if ur Defense can become as good as ur offense. than damn but for now call him

    STATED [Standing Tall and Talented except Defense]

  • Big V

    Not saying he’s top 5 or anything, but Steve Francis is a slept on cat…..

  • http://afl.com.au josh tha roc

    shaq pullin down backboards makes him one of my favourites.

  • Luigi

    oh n the dunk thing is so random…

    but the top 5


    i cant think of a #5..theyre too many candidates. Clyde. Reign Man. Bron. yung Kobe. STAT. prime Shaq.

  • doc

    1-Vince 2-Mike 3-Nique 4-Dr.J 5-David Thompson