July 27, 2010

Counterpoint: I am OK with the Heat winning it all

I am not going to "follow" them this year. I am not "cheering" for them this year. I am simply OK with them winning it all. This is because I only see the NBA as a business of betting overs. Oh sure, I follow the Wolves, hope they do the correct thing. KG has a ring so who cares. I follow enough to stay informed.

How many times have you seen a star athlete towards the end of his career jump the team he has played for forever just for that shot at a ring with a "good" team? Enough times for me. Why did he jump for a "good" team? Because he couldn't win it on his own. There. None of these three players we going to do anything if things stayed the way they were. I don't buy the giving up money for winning argument since, if they win it all, they will make it up in endorsements. They want to win, though. Good for them. Does Lebron have a huge ego? Yes. Is Bosh insanely lucky? Yes. Good for Dwayne Wade.

Would we be mad if they played for the Wolves, or the Clippers!, instead of the Heat? No, we would be fine. I am guessing more than the lower bowl of Target Center would be filled and we would tell everyone to kiss it.

This is the way I see it. I am just a NBA fan on the surface, remember.

July 20, 2010

Sterns' Three Kings

It kills me to say this but maybe Team Stern is a good thing for the NBA. I know, I know, I’ve hated everything that’s happened surrounding the Bullshit Show that went on in Miami a couple weeks back. I hate that Stern let a team take full advantage – borderline abuse – of the salary cap rules like the Heat did. It’s stupid and wrong, but it might be exactly what the NBA needs right now.

Before The Circus, there were 4 teams in the NBA that legitimately had a shot to win the title: Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, and Los Angeles. I don’t remember what the odds were during the season, but I bet they weren’t too different at varying times throughout the year. Cleveland had the best record, L.A. the best player, Boston the best trio, and Orlando the best big man. Each team had something to lay their championship hopes on. Of course, as is the case most of the time, the team with the best player won the title. (Congrats to the Lakers, by the way.)

Of the three teams that didn’t win a ring, which one do you think would really give the Lakers a challenge in the next, say five years? I say none. Boston is old and has one, maybe 2 seasons left as contenders. Orlando won’t sniff the finals again, at least not until they can spend Vince Carter’s money on a winner, and LeBron didn’t seem to be able to will his team to the title like a certain other 23.

Which brings me to my point: I actually think LeBron going to Miami with Bosh and Wade is a good thing for the NBA. Remember the Bulls? No, not the scrappy kids we’ve seen do their playoff-thing the past five years. MJ’s Bulls. The Six rings-in-eight-years Bulls. For Chicago and Jordan fans, those were the golden days. The Bulls were the NBA. Yeah Houston nabbed a couple rings when Michael decided he was a baseball player, but the league
was theirs – well Jordan’s anyways. They were a dynasty, like the Lakers and the Celtics before them.

With that kind of success comes adoration and hatred, and nothing in between. Back in 1994 you either loved the Bulls or you hated them, except for Knicks fans, then it’s all hatred, all the time. The NBA was great back then because it was everyone against the Bulls. Everyone. The Jazz, Cleveland, New York … EV-ER-Y-BOD-Y. Who, that wasn’t a Bulls fan, didn’t cheer for KJ’s layup to go in over Horace Grant? Or hope Charles Oakley finally hurt Jordan? Or for Craig Ehlo to actually be able to play defense? Okay, no one outside of Cleveland cheered for Ehlo, but you get my point. Having a nemesis, someone to hate, made the games mean so much more to the hardcore fans.

That’s what Team Stern has provided for the today’s NBA. The Celtics, with their KG-centered Big Three were only mildly dislikeable, but the Heat are downright putrid. Assuming of course you’re not living in Miami-Wade County of course. I hated the Bulls until they were done winning, and only appreciated their excellence after I had some time to get over my hatred – they were top-five team(s) of all-time. The only thing that’s missing to make Team Stern complete is an arch rival. Hush Lakers fans, you’re not their arch enemy. Yet. The current version of the Celtics need to go away, then you’ll have another team to hate with all your star-studded might.

So, even though it seems unfair and an exercise in rule-bending, don’t be too quick to pass off The David Stern Variety Hour as all bad. Sure, Cleveland gets screwed, as does the rest of the Southeastern Division. And sure, Miami fans get a team that they probably don’t deserve, but the rest of us get something too. The NBA gets a team to hate. And frankly, nothing fuels competition like hatred, and maybe that’s exactly what the NBA needs right now: some fierce competition.

July 14, 2010

Who's The Mack?

I'm sitting here listening to Ice Cube - you know, like every Wednesday evening - and my head is just absolutely buzzing about The Association. I don't think people understand what has occurred in recent months, both at home and abroad, and I think it's time for O'Shay Jackson to take us through it like only he can...

"You wanna leave, but Sonny start talkin fast / And it make you want to go and sell more ass"

To KAHN! Wow, he must be talkin' slick, because I still believe.

Let's just say this: at least half of the current GMs are incompetent children who could fuck up a cup of Twinnings. They put together their teams based on the philosophy of "YOU WANNA RIDE BIKES?!?!!?!" They get lucky (see: Milwaukee) or they stay perpetually unlucky (see: Clippers) which is what they deserve. We used to have utter incompetence as our GM. Just walking death. And now we've got someone who is thinking. He at least is acquiring assets. Now, these assets may amount to nothing. And this whole thing could crumble. But you know what we have until it does? HOPE. And Deadzo never ever ever gave us hope. As soon as he had an asset... oh, like say, A FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICK, HE TRADED IT FOR MARKO JARIC, SWEET JESUS CHRIST IT STILL HURTS MY HEART. Deadzo never held onto any asset... he always had to trade it for a "ballplayer". Kahn at least has goals, and works to achieve them. If he's just talkin slick, well, that make me wanna go and sell more ass.


"You give him a dollar or a quarter and he's on his way / Then you see his sorry ass the next day"

David Stern. I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, and let me just say upfront that it hasn't happened YET, but I think we're starting to be able to have a conversation about a passing of the torch. The torch, of course, is The Commissioner Of A Professional Sports League Who Can Barely Speak For All The Owners' Ding-a-Lings In His Mouth. This, of course, has been held by Bud Selig since 1994. But now, oh boy.

David Stern lies every single day of his life. Nearly every press conference or statement, he lies. He lies about the financial situation of the league, to appease the owners. He lies about the referees and how fucked they are. He lies about "vision" of the NBA. (Pssst, here's a hint: the NBA has no vision whatsoever other than Git That Money Now And Fuck Everything) He lies about transactions and what he "would like to see". He lies when he gives out fines to Phil Jackson for saying the refereeing was "uneven". He lies to colleges when he repeatedly changes his mind (which is just the owners changing THEIR minds) about the entry age. He lies to the consumer every single time he opens his mouth by telling us that EVERYTHING IS JUST PEACHY FOLKS!

Gary Bettman could walk into a Starbucks and walk out without coffee. Tagliabue and now Goodell run their shit like this is Kiev. Bud Selig is such an obvious whore that it's not even worth a joke anymore. But Stern. He's a lawyer, so he THINKS he's putting all this over on everyone. But how long has it been since we've seen through the cracks? 4 years? 5? THEY HAD A REFEREE IN CAHOOTS WITH THE FUCKING MOB AND STERN SAID LIKE 4 SENTENCES THE ENTIRE TIME. It's such a joke.

So now we come to this Miami Go Party, and of course, Stern watches and doesn't know what to think. Why? The owners haven't told him what to think. He fired off some bullshit about how it wasn't "handled" properly, but yet nothing about collusion. Nothing about LeBron and the fact that he decided to do this two years ago. Nothing about Pat Riley, who must have photos of Stern, who gave the Wolves Michael Beasley, a #2 draft pick, for Jack and Shit. Free agency is one thing. But this amount of back-room dealing and collusion from both players and teams... it's just staggering. Are there even rules about this shit anymore? There used to be. The Wolves got their ass handed back to them with a receipt for under-thundering Joe Smith. We lost 5 draft picks. Miami? Well, just look at Riley's hair. Not any less greasy...........


"No I didn't kill or steal or rob / Locked up for what? Cause I'm rollin with the Lench Mob"

Hey there B-Easy! Welcome to Minnesota!

So this team... I just think we're on the right path here. B-Easy is the best talent the Wolves have had since KG was traded. I would say Al Jeff was up there, but he is broken now. And he likes playing defense as much as I like getting jobs. That is to say NOT AT ALL. But let's just put on the goggles for a minute: next year, if it's Rubio, B-Easy, Brewer, Milicic, Wes Johnson, not to mention whatever we can get in a deadline deal (Josh Smith) and all that extra money to get a free agent.... hell man, that's becoming a respectable team. I'm not saying great. But it's getting there. If we can turn a few draft picks into solid pieces, and our coach turns out to be smart (which we haven't had since... oh god, Flip? In 2004? AIIIIIIIIIIIIII), we could be building a foundation. One thing that the Deadzo era made us is patient. As long as we see something, some progress towards something, we can wait. Because with Deadzo, every single year felt like a step back. Except that one year. That was fun.


"That's why I'm sick of getting treated like a motherfuckin step-child"

Oh Cleveland. First LeBron, then Harvey Pekar? "Hey lady, I'm just a kid from the neighborhood!"

So Long, Al

As the final cog from the KG trade has been jettisoned from the machine that is our Wolves, I got to thinking about what we've done with all the other pieces that were - at one time, anyway - supposed to be the building blocks with which we were to rebuild our franchise.

There are a lot of laughs in there.  Prepare thyself.

Just to refresh our memories, here's the original deal:

Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, Our 2009 first round pick (Jonny Flynn), Boston's 2009 first round pick (Wayne Ellington).

That was it. Sad to remember, but less painful now.

  • Ryan Gomes was traded to Portland for Martell Webster
  • Gerald Green was traded to Houston for Kirk Snyder and their 2010 2nd round pick (Paulo Prestes)
  • Al Jefferson was traded to Utah for Kosta Koufos and two first round draft picks(details yet to be fully discovered)
  • Theo Ratliff was waived
  • Sebastian Telfair was traded in a package for Quentin Richardson
  • Kirk Snyder left fia free agency
  • Quentin Richardson was traded to Miami for Mark Blount - AH HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
  • Mark Blount was released

So, in the end, we turned the best player in franchise history into the following:

Martell Webster
Jonny Flynn
Wayne Ellington
Paulo Prestes (draft rights)
Kosta Koufos
Two future first-round picks

It's not getting any better, although my favorite transaction was the Q for Blount deal - since we'd tricked Miami into that one the year before.  I guess we really "missed" his "presence" or something.  On that note, he's not the only guy we've traded for after they'd already played for us.  Dean Garrett and Darrick Martin also hold that distinction. 

July 9, 2010

The LeBrottery Reaction

No, not from me.  From the Cavs fans...

(keep the volume low at the beginning of this one)

A few things to note in this "special" video.
1) Check out how they decided to light the jersey on fire. Really guys? The stove?

2) The guy opening the door once they have their flame - he has a little skip in his step.

The Classy Version

And the team owner? How does he feel?

He's definitely not happy.

July 8, 2010

Free Agency and the Summer League

This time of the year is to non-NBA fans what most of the off-season is for non-NFL fans.  It's annoying, stupid, boring, and it takes up all the sports news. 

Being a die-hard NBA fan, I feel slightly different about this time of year in the NBA. Key word being slightly.

This year thus far has been especially difficult due to the circus that surrounds LeBron James and his NBA crown.  There is no need for him to be announcing his decision on national television. That's for things like Magic announcing he was HIV positive, not where Free Agent X will be signing. This sort of attention-whoring makes me like LeBron less.  He's not Brett Favre yet, but he's close to Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling territory. This whole thing is tarnishing his crown.  Soon, his NBA Gold will tarnish and he'll simply be LeBronze.

Summer League Notes

I was checking out some of the box scores of the Vegas Summer League to see how some of the rooks were performing and I came across a few things of note.

Doodi Ebi is back in the NBA where he belongs: three DNP-CDs in three games.  He rides pine with the best of them.

Lance Stephenson - aka "Born Ready" - is making a solid showing thus far.  He's averaging 18 points on 75% shooting - only taking 9 shots per game. I'm not saying that's going to translate to the NBA, but it's a good start for a kid with a lot of question marks.

This isn't so much from the Summer League, but I noticed it on the web page....

I know Wes Johnson got a lot of flak for his draft night outfit, but Cole's "ensemble" is definitely in the same league of ugliness.  Although he has an excuse.  He's from Minnesota.

It's Official!!

Troy Hudson is officially off the books in the NBA.  Yeah, that's right.  NO TEAM is currently paying him. Not the Wolves, not the Warriors, and not the Wizards.

Man that feels good to say.

Speaking of things said...

July 5, 2010

Amare . . . the pioneer

Amare is going to the Knicks. He feels good about it. What if Lebron doesn't go to the Knicks, Amare? Then you are simply playing for the Knicks. Good luck with that.

More importantly for this blog . . . David Lee. Now what for him? Do we get him now? Do we want him? Sliz, others, your thoughts . . .

July 2, 2010

Thank You Memphis

Thank you for not allowing us to over pay for Rudy Gay.  By putting $82 million, 5-year contract in his hands, you've saved us from doing something similar. 

I like Rudy Gay, I think he's a fine young player, but he's not a max contract player.  20 points 6 rebounds isn't worth $16 million a year when that's all there is.  He's Rashard Lewis without the three-ball threat.

Speaking of Rashard Lewis...

I was looking at NBA salaries today and noticed that Mr. Lewis is the second highest paid player in the NBA this year.  He's making $20.5 million and coming off a season in which he scored 14.4 points per game. I mean, that's more than KG scored but he's only making $18.8 million this year.

Big Al's $13 million is looking pretty reasonable right now.