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News » Handing out the best and worst awards for 08-09

Handing out the best and worst awards for 08-09

Handing out the best and worst awards for 08-09
It was time for the annual NBA preseason conference call with commissioner David Stern this week, and the news was hardly astonishing.

There wasn't a lot of discussion about the 80 employees fired from the NBA office due to the fallen economy, but he did chat about how the league would weather the storm and how only about "5-7 teams are profitable" and raised the possibility of a lockout on 2011.

2008-09 NBA previews

Most people agree that O'Neal has seen better days. But it isn't even his skill level that makes people wonder at the age of 36. It's his attitude and has been for at least the past 5-6 years. Actually, it brought to mind this intriguing discussion for a guy with his talent and four championship rings — will he be the most underachieving Hall of Famer ever?

Most underrated player: Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers

Lost in the middle of this fading franchise is this terrific talent at both ends of the floor. Because the Pacers have fallen off the radar screen locally and nationally and are mired in mediocrity, nobody recognizes this guy. Entering his fourth season, he is strong with the ball, an exceptional shooter inside and out and rebounds. Watch him, you'll see it.

Most improved player: LaMarcus Aldridge, Portland Trail Blazers

With all the attention Greg Oden is getting and will continue to get on and off the court, it will open up the entire floor for Aldridge. He averaged 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last season, and his numbers may not get much better. But at 6-foot-11, 240 pounds, he has dominating capabilities with the ball that will be apparent in every game.

Most deteriorated player: Steve Francis, Houston Rockets

Nobody has fallen harder and farther than Stevie Franchise, who has started only 93 games the past three seasons. He was bought out immediately by the Trail Blazers last year after the Zach Randolph trade. All looked sweet for him heading back to Houston shortly thereafter, but he couldn't get on the floor. Now they may let just him go.

All-NBA first team

F -- Kevin Garnett: He now has added champion to his bio.
F -- LeBron James: The most extraordinary combination of talents in the game.
C -- Tim Duncan: Forward, center, he's the best pivot man of the generation.
G -- Chris Paul: He's taken over as the guy you want running your team.
G -- Kobe Bryant: No question who should take the last shot of any game.

All-NBA worst (possible starters) team

F -- Darko Milicic, Memphis Grizzlies: He'll always be an underachiever until he leaves.
F -- Shelden Williams, Sacramento Kings: Forward or center, he's just not very good.
C -- Johan Petro, Oklahoma City Thunder: He might not start, but he'll play a lot.
G -- Marcus Williams, Golden State Warriors: Or DeMarcus Nelson, doesn't matter.
G -- Sebastian Telfair, Minnesota Timberwolves: He isn't likely to ever do much.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 27, 2008


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