Western Conference

Will NBA free agents flee Western Conference for easy road in East?

With the NBA Draft in our rearview mirrors the focus for basketball fans throughout the remainder of the summer turns to the dealings of free agency.

Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders joined Carnahan Chronicles on AM 740 The Game to discuss a handful of topics from around the National Basketball Association.

Among those is a story he wrote about marque players choosing to leave the Wester Conference in favor of teams in the East in hopes of an easier path to the NBA Finals.

“I think it’s very possible that we’ll see players that are out West coming to the Eastern Conference, or free agents that are in the Eastern Conference staying out East, because players understand that the Western Conference is brutal right now. It’s hard to make a Finals run. You can be on a loaded team in the West and still miss the playoffs,” Kennedy said.

( – Click here for J.C.’s interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders – )

Kennedy touches on a handful of NBA topics throughout the segment with a focus on players and teams from both central Florida and northeast Ohio.


Golden State Warriors stirring up old memories of 40 years ago

The NBA didn’t matter the last time the Golden State Warriors played for a championship.

The National Basketball Association was still a decade away from garnering national interest amid the sports landscape when Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes, George Johnson, Butch Beard, Clifford Ray and Jeff Mullins last brought a title to the Bay Area.

It wasn’t until the mid-1980s, when Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were reaching all corners of the country through a complex rivalry, that both media and fans started to truly pay attention. But before those theatrical days were plenty of other benchmarks being laid throughout the history of the league.

The Warriors claimed the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference during the 1974-75 season with a modest 48-34 record. They did so by leading the 18-team league in scoring, rebounds and steals before pulling an upset (assuming they were indeed the underdogs, of course) of the Washington Bullets (60-22) by way of a sweep in the NBA Finals.

That series has some historical significance aside from the result as Golden State’s Al Attles and Washington’s K.C. Jones became the first black head coaches to face off in a professional sports championship. Never mind that Attles was thrown out of Game 4 for attacking an opposing player during the game.


Four teams remain in Stanley Cup Playoffs and none are from Canada

I hardly have time to care too much about the National Hockey League. There’s just too many other things going on in the world of sports to consume my attention.

But now we’re down to the final four teams in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That’s reason enough to start paying attention, right?

What’s interesting about the upcoming matchups this weekend is that there’s no hard feelings stemming from previous postseason clashes to help get the excitement brewing. Instead we’ve got one team in the mist of a marginally lengthy Stanley Cup drought and, in comparison, three others still cleaning up confetti from recent triumphs.

On Saturday it’s the top-seeded New York Rangers and the No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning meeting in the Eastern Conference. Sunday it’ll be the No. 1 Anaheim Ducks hosting the No. 3 Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference.


Carnahan Chronicles Radio: How Tom Chambers Changed the Course of NBA Free Agency

The hysteria that’s become free agency in the NBA has been at an all-time high in recent years. So much so that it’s hard to imagine a time when players moving from team to team was such a foreign concept.

But thanks to one particular player, who thoroughly explored his options in the late 1980s, players today are able to call their own shots when it comes to employment opportunities within the league much in the same manner as those in the working class, albeit with much better compensation.

During the summer of 1988 Tom Chambers became the first NBA player to leave one franchise for another, on his own terms, when he went from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Phoenix Suns. Sam Gardner wrote about how Chambers paved the way for free agency in the NBA as we know it today and he joined me on AM 740 The Game to talk about it Saturday morning.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. talk to Sam Gardner about Tom Chambers’ impact on free agency – )

Something Familiar About Blue Jackets Return To NHL Playoffs

If you’re looking for an underdog franchise to root for in the NHL postseason – which got underway this week – look no further than the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blue Jackets joined the NHL in time for the 2000-01 season but are playing in just their second playoff series. And they’ve yet to even win a single playoff game, a streak that increased to five losses in a row Wednesday after a late goal by the Pittsburgh Penguins ended in a 4-3 setback.

It’s been five years since Columbus was swept in the opening round of their first postseason trip by the Detroit Red Wings, who later lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Penguins in seven games. This time Ohio’s only pro hockey team is matched up against the state’s biggest sports-town rival in Pittsburgh.

If that’s not reason enough to make sports fans in Columbus take notice, perhaps learning of the similarities between the two Blue Jacket playoff teams will be enough to satisfy the hockey appetite.