Many believed that the Cleveland Cavaliers were the favourites for the NBA crown. But as the All-Star break nears its end and the business restarts, it seems that the bookmakers are changing their minds.
DUB NATION FOR THE CHIP
Golden State Warriors are being tipped to win the NBA title this year by many bookmakers.
Heading into the final two months of the regular season, more money has been bet on the Warriors to win the title than any other team at William Hill’s sportsbook in Nevada, where Golden State is listed at plus-240. The Cavaliers are next at 3-1, followed by the San Antonio Spurs (13-2) and the Atlanta Hawks (7-1).
In June, when the books began putting up odds to win the 2015 championship, the Cavaliers were listed as high as 60-1. Soon after, rumors of James’ interest in returning to Cleveland surfaced, and bets started to come in on the Cavaliers. The MGM took a $1,000 bet on the Cavs when they were 40-1 before James’ decision to leave the Miami Heat and head back to Cleveland. After his return was made official, the Cavs were anointed the favorites to win the title, leaving the books with some liability.
The majority of books have Golden State as the favorite, though, including the MGM, CG Technology and William Hill. The Warriors opened at 15-1 at William Hill. Fourteen percent of money wagered on William Hill’s NBA futures pool is on Golden State, according to numbers provided by the book. The defending champion Spurs have attracted 12 percent of the action, followed by the Cavs at 11 percent.
JERMAINE O’NEAL CALLS OFF COMEBACK
It seems with Amar’e Stoudemire looking good for a move to Dallas (oh yeah, Amar’e Stoudemire might go to Dallas), it might spell the end for veteran Jermaine O’Neal.
Talking to his followers via Instagram, O’Neal said:
But the best part of this process was walking out of the gym after every workout knowing that I could still play the game after 18 long years and hearing the teams that seen me workout all agreeing with that statement.
Every team that wanted me to sign are all championship contending teams and in order to except their offer i need to be 100% ready to go physically and mentally from the time that I sign that contract with no room for error beyond that point. I don’t feel like I’m at that position now with just 7 weeks of training and I’m not comfortable making that commitment at this point. The issue for me is timing and things feeling right. I’m a true believer of signs and listening and understanding life.
I’m not sure if there will ever be another time or not for me and basketball but what I do know at this moment is the time isn’t right for me to play now. But just know I gave everything I had these last 7 weeks and I greatly appreciate each and every one of you guys for the positive words of encouragement thru my process……
KOBE: THE 2011 LOCKOUT WAS TO RESTRICT THE LAKERS
Kobe thinks the Los Angeles Lakers will soon be competing for championships again, and argues that the NBA conspired to halt their dominance back in 2011.
The Lakers are not going to make the playoffs this year, and it seems unlikely that they will challenge for a title next year. So if titles are your only goal, why even play these last two seasons? […] “I know what Mitch [Kupchak], the Lakers GM] tells me. I know what Jim and Jeanie [Buss, the team owners] tell me. I know that they are hell-bent about having a championship caliber team next season, as am I.”But how could that possibly be done? Doesn’t the league’s financial system dictate certain limitations? […] “Well, okay: Look at the  lockout. That lockout was made to restrict the Lakers. It was. I don’t care what any other owner says. It was designed to restrict the Lakers and our marketability.”
The Lakers specifically, or teams like the Lakers? […] “There is only one team like the Lakers. Everything that was done with that lockout was to restrict the Lakers’ ability to get players and to create a sense of parity, for the San Antonios of the world and the Sacramentos of the world. But a funny thing happened, coming out of that lockout: Even with those restrictions, the Lakers pulled off a trade [for Chris Paul] that immediately set us up for a championship, a run of championships later, and which saved money. Now, the NBA vetoed that trade. But the Lakers pulled that shit off, and no one would have thought it was even possible. The trade got vetoed, because they’d just staged the whole lockout to restrict the Lakers. Mitch got penalized for being smart. But if we could do that…”