In preparation for the NBA Finals coverage on NBA.com, veteran NBA journalist and television analyst/reporter David Aldridge conducted an NBA Blogger Q&A session where he addressed the upcoming NBA Finals, key match-ups between the Lakers and Magic, pending NBA Draft and off-season, as well as colleagues at TNT and NBA.com. David has served as the TNT and NBA.com Insider for the network’s NBA coverage since 2004, appearing both in the studio as well as on the sidelines. Prior to his time at TNT, he spent eight years at ESPN reporting on the NBA and writing for ESPN.com. He has also written for the Washington Post and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Q: Media wise: Do you have a problem with Jeff Van Gundy covering Stan Van Gundy? What about Magic Johnson covering the Lakers?
DA: “Obviously, I’m sure it’s difficult for anyone to cover something that his siblings are involved in. I’m sure it’s tough for Jeff, but he is a professional and I think he’s going to be fair. He’s done a very good job of calling it like he sees it and I have no doubt he will continue to do that. With Magic [Johnson], we have watched him over the years and he does not hesitate to criticize the Lakers when they play poorly and I have no doubt that if they play poorly he won’t hesitate to do it again. I believe both guys give a fair assessment as they should.”
Q: Earlier this week, we posted a piece about Adam Morrison and JJ Redick facing off in these finals. Can you remember another situation like this is NBA history, when two relative busts, linked so closely together, ended up being non-contributors during the league’s premier showcase?
DA: “I think those two guys are not where they want to be in their NBA careers, but I would say that J.J. Redick did play very well for the Magic this season and helped the team win games, especially in the Orlando/Boston series guarding Ray Allen. The shots just weren’t falling for him then. He’s coming along and helping them in some ways. Adam Morrison is not going to play in this series, and that just might be that he’s not in the right position right now. I am hesitant to call players busts, though, overall.”
Q: Obviously, next summer is the big free agent bonanza. Who will be the biggest signing of this off-season? Will it be Allen Iverson reuniting with Larry Brown in Charlotte? Ben Gordon coming home to New York?
DA: “I think Detroit is going to be really active this off-season whether it’s with Carlos Boozer or Paul Milsap, maybe David Lee. I think they are going to do something this off-season that puts them back into contention in the Eastern Conference. Think about some of the free agents: look at Lamar Odom who I think is going to have a lot of suitors this off-season because of the way he has played in these playoffs. I think Trevor Ariza is going to get a lot of attention as well, maybe from a team like Memphis that is going to have a lot of cap room to take a look at an Ariza. To get the players they want, they’re going to have to be aggressive and spend I think Boozer will have a lot of attention this summer. It seems like there are some things going on there and he may be on the move.
And don’t forget “When we go to Orlando for Game 3, we’re going to be having a lot of fun. We’ll have the NBA TV crew, plus Ernie, Chuck and Kenny so we’ll have so much new content on NBA.com and some great TV coverage both online and on NBA TV. It should be a fantastic series.”