The Resurgence of Amar'e Stoudemire

Exactly four years ago, Amar’e Stoudemire was soaking up the spotlight in Madison Square Garden.  The star power forward, who had just inked a max 5-year, $100 million contract that summer, was dominating night in and night out.  In the month of December, he averaged 29.8 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks while setting the franchise records for most consecutive 30 point games (nine) and most consecutive games shooting 50% or above (also nine).  Stoudemire went on to become the Knicks’ first starter in the All-Star game since Patrick Ewing and earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. Little did Stoudemire and the Knicks know what would lie ahead for the big man.

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Marc Gasol: Center of Attention

The 2015 NBA Free Agency class is loaded with talent, but some of the biggest catches of the summer have essentially already taken themselves off the market.  LeBron James and Kevin Love are opting out of their deals after the season, but will most likely re-up in Cleveland.  LaMarcus Aldridge has expressed his desire to stay in Portland.  And Duncan and Ginobili are Spurs for life.

That still leaves some nice options, both restricted (Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler, Draymond Green, Brandon Knight, Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris) and unrestricted (Rajon Rondo, DeAndre Jordan, Goran Dragic (Player Option), Greg Monroe, Roy Hibbert (Player Option), Monta Ellis (Player Option)).

However, Marc Gasol will be the one creating the most buzz during the offseason.  He has put himself in the discussion for best center in the league and terrorizes teams on both sides of the ball, but more importantly, there is a real chance he leaves Memphis.

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Kobe Bryant: Scoring Titles or Free Agents?

Amidst a season filled with losses and disappointment, Kobe Bryant is still looking to make more history.  He already set the all-time mark for most misses in a career earlier this year, but is also on the fringe of breaking several other records held by the player he has always been compared to: Michael Jordan.

Before the New Year, the Lakers’ superstar should pass Jordan’s 32,292 career points, replacing him as the third highest scorer of all-time.  Kobe is also looking to usurp M.J.’s title as the oldest player ever to win the scoring title; Jordan averaged 28.7 points at 35 while Kobe currently leads the league with 26.7 at 36.

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Big Buck Ballin'

Some time passes and a lonely Bleu Mont Dairy wrapper floats by aloof. Is there anything in Wisconsin other than cheese I wonder? More importantly, does Jabari Parker like cheese? Would the ever-stingy O.J. Mayo share his provolone sub with Ersan after practice? These questions are profound but only cheese related.  I think something else, a bigger interest, is “brewing” in me (Milwaukee also has good beer…I think). There is something about the Bucks that is tantalizing when one dives into the pool of possibility. Often, I am a blind optimist to my own demise, but sometimes, just sometimes, my feral instincts direct me to the brink of something special. I strongly believe there is more to the Bucks than the eye can see, and I openly declare they will be title contenders in 4-6 years. 

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POW! PAU! POW!

I'll try my best not to dance a little jig as I write this, but let it be known that as a Bulls fan, I am absolutely beaming.

This past week has been a nervous one.  While the wider basketball world waited on tenterhooks to hear where Lebron James planned to play next season, Chicagoans were preoccupied with Melo-watch, praying that the one of the league's most effortless scorers would choose to bolster our anemic offense, which, paired with the perennially dominant Thibodeau defense, figured to rocket the Bulls to the top of the Eastern Conference.  By noon on Saturday, it was clear Melo was staying with the Knicks, and Bulls-fans were left wondering what big moves the front office had left to make.  We needn't have feared--Gar Forman had a plan.

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Houston, We Have a Problem

A few days ago, the Rockets officially declined their team option on Chandler Parsons, making him a restricted free agent (meaning they can match any contract Chandler agrees to with another team and retain him).  Parsons was due just $964,000 on the final year of his rookie deal, which would have made him one of the biggest bargains of the 2014-15 season.  So why in the world did the Rockets put their third best player on the open market where he will likely earn an 8-figure salary, when they could have had him for less than all these things?

Before we delve into Parsons’ free agency, let’s take a look at just how valuable Chandler’s contract could have been with a game of who would you want the most:

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