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August 29, 2009 7:42 PM

5 biggest stories in 2009 NBA offseason


The 2009 NBA offseason picked up exactly where the playoffs ended last season, supplying plenty of drama for basketball fans to ponder at home and in the office.

Here are five of the most intriguing NBA stories since the Los Angeles Lakers handled the Orlando Magic in five games to capture the 2009 NBA championship at the beginning of summer.

5). Rose cheated on SAT.
Should we really be surprised? Probably not. But it doesn’t seem fair.

While the Memphis Tigers basketball program was stripped of its 2008 Final Four appearance and a 38-2 season, the Chicago Bulls’ rising star Derrick Rose remains the No. 1 pick from the 2008 NBA Draft and the 2009 NBA Rookie of the Year.

Sure, the majority of blame should fall on the shoulders of former Memphis head coach John Calipari and the university, but the main culprit Rose should feel some guilt, too, and somehow make right with his ex-teammates.

4). Beasley sent to rehab.
Michael Beasley averaged 13.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 24.8 minutes a game during his rookie campaign with the Miami Heat last season, but because all the hype he generated as an All-American at Kansas State haters viewed his inaugural season as a disappointment.

On Friday, news broke that Beasley’s personal problems are being overblown, and he actually entered the facility as a condition of him violating the NBA’s substance abuse policy during rookie camp.

Who really cares?

Whatever the case, it shows being the second-overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft doesn’t make an alcohol or drug fiend immune to substance and psychological issues. It actually may make matters worse.

3). Marbury cries on Webcam.
His pop’s death in 2007 and other family tragedies have had a major impact on Stephon Marbury’s fall from grace in the NBA.

I just wished Steph would’ve kept his emotional breakdown in the closet rather than exposing it to the entire world to see.

Remember this now-deranged crybaby was a two-time NBA All-Star who averaged 19.3 points and 7.6 assists during 13 years in the league. He was billed as the savior and one of the top ballers to come out of New York City.

Now it appears his pro basketball career’s a wrap.

2). Yao out for season.
A quality big man’s a hard find in the NBA nowadays, especially one who’s 7-foot-6, 310 pounds and a six-time NBA All-Star who averages 19 points and 9 boards a night during his career.

Yao Ming’s broken foot might’ve caused the Houston Rockets a trip to the NBA Finals in June. Now arguably the best big man in the game and iconic figure in China may miss the entire 2009-2010 season.

A recent report claims Yao’s currently working out for the first time since having surgery in June, but most likely the first overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft won’t sport a Rockets uniform until 2010 camp.

If Yao doesn’t play this season, the Rockets are left with Joey Dorsey, Chuck Hayes, and David Andersen at center.

Sadder still, the NBA would be down to Dwight Howard, 23, Tim Duncan, 33, and Shaquille O’Neal, 37, as the only lethal big men remaining in the paint.

1). NBA elite get a lot richer.
The 2009 NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers acquired Ron Artest. The runner ups Orlando Magic obtained Vince Carter.

Shaquille O’Neal shifted to Cleveland, and the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics snagged Rasheed Wallace.

Guess it’s good to be rich in talent during a recession.

The problem for commissioner David Stern, though, is how will NBA fans and players in the other 26 markets respond to the seemingly lopsidedness throughout the league.

Do ’09 contenders like the Philadelphia 76ers, Atlanta Hawks, Portland Trailblazers or New Orleans Hornets have a true shot at the NBA title this upcoming season?

We don’t think so.

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