Monthly Archives: June 2009

Shaquille O’Neal’s Reign Over Your Media Has Only Just Begun

Yeah. That Just Happened.

I dreaded the Shaq to Phoenix trade. I knew what it symbolized. The end of SOL. The destruction of Amare’s confidence. The resignation of Steve Nash. The downward slide of Matrix. It was contrary to every effective train of thought.

This? This I actually like.

Let’s be clear. There’s only one personality that matters in Cleveland and we all know who that is. So there’s a void there for Shaq to fill. To be the Other Personality. The veteran legend. You can’t do that on a team built on philosophical constructs comprised of guys who read Nietzsche and write poetry. You can do that on a team that does camera poses during intros.

From a spacing standpoint, it’s brilliant. The low post control that Z can’t assert, Shaq can. You have three effective rebounders now, and a guy who you can at least put on Howard without cringing. You have Mo Williams, Delonte West to be the sparkplug, Varejao and Shaq to do the dirty work, and James to shine. James knows Shaq won’t be there long. And that’s totally fine. He’s willing to let Shaq run his mouth as long as he delivers a title. And for Shaq, it’s a chance to redeem his image and further the idea that he’s the one that takes young guys to the next level.

Let’s go ahead and start a 72 hour countdown for the first bomb Shaq drops on Phoenix. Somehow, Kerr will manage to avoid his wrath, but I doubt Amare and Nash go unscathed. Nash is more likely because of the previous feud, his general attitude, and the fact that Shaq knows Nash won’t fight back.

You have to believe Phoenix has something else additional planned in the next few months. Nash-Richardson-Hill (?)-Amare-Lopez is not what Kerr will want to go to war with in a contract year for him. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Phoenix in another trade by the end of the night tomorrow.

Cleveland, embrace the big fella. He’s all yours.

It’s All Too Perfect

As a Bobcats supporter, I am currently very afraid. Please think about the following scenario.

Bobcats cut Sean May loose today (day before draft).

Michael Jordan decides who Bobcats are drafting. Bobcats need a shooting guard w/ size and 3 point shooting ability more than anything.

Jordan loves UNC more than he loves the Bobcats. Jordan convinces himself the May loss was a necessary evil, but now, he is short on UNC players on the roster.

Gerald Henderson, who tons of draft sights have going to the Bobcats, went to Duke. Bobcats decide to not take Henderson at the 12. Bobcats have been rumored to have promised Terrence Williams (Louisville) to take him at the 12. Either Williams or Henderson would be a great fit for Charlotte. Neither Williams nor Henderson went to UNC.

Bobcats just let go a 6’9″ guys with hustle and underrated skills who just didn’t fit in the NBA. Tyler Hansbrough went to UNC. Tyler Hansbrough is also a 6’9″ guy with hustle and underrated skills who won’t fit in in the NBA.

Jordan convinces Larry Brown he needs Hansbrough more. Larry Brown tells Jordan he is crazy. Jordan pimp slaps Brown. Brown loves guys who play D and hustle. Larry Brown loves UNC.

Bobcats draft Hansbrough with the 12.

Bobcats fail to improve most necessary area on their team and still don’t sell tickets because UNC don’t care about the NBA.

Corndogg wins “friendly wager” from Matt.


Yippie. I can haz Jordan’s respect.

Podcast Paroxysm- Special THN Edition 1: Fear and Loathing in the Top 3

On this edition of the Podcast Paroxysm, it’s a very special TrueHoop Network edition. I talk with Kevin Arnovitz of ClipperBlog about whether Blake Griffin is the savior, check in with Royce Young of Daily Thunder on the value of the 3rd pick, and see just how depressing the state of affairs is in Memphis with Chip Crain of 3 Shades of Blue.

Enjoy, listen, celebrate.

Announcement: NBA Draft Marathon LiveBlog-O-Rama-Rama Year 2; We’re Gettin’ The Band Back Together

Last year.

8 hours, 4 minutes.

And this year? We’re gettin’ the band back together, and adding a few new trombones.

This year we’re taking it to the next level. The next evolution. We’re going to eleven.

This year, the LiveBlog will be spread across the TrueHoop network. All of your favorite TrueHoop sites will have the liveblog embedded on their site, meaning that fans from Milwaukee to Memphis to San Antonio to whoever actually watches the Kings will be involved, mixing, talking, sharing, caring, and screaming “Why, God? Why have you forsaken me?!”

Join us on Draft Day, starting at 5PM EST for a liveblog event that will be so phenomenal, you’ll have to twitter about how awesome it was just reading about it on Facebook from a post someone made when they found it on Digg.

Ya Digg?

I’m excited. You’re excited. Get excited. The 2009 NBA Draft Liveblog brought to you by the TrueHoop Network. Join us.

David Kahn Holds Public Exhibition For His Juevos

What’s that you say? One huge trade piece (expiring deal for a competent small guard who can shoot), and an expendable combo guard? Oh, yes, we can make something happen.

David Kahn is my new Lord and Savior. Why? Because you don’t know what this guy is capable of. He could trade the 5 and 6 for Rubio, plunging his franchise into despair. He could keep both picks and build a young nucleus that would rival what Pritchard did. He could trade for an All-Star. He could trade for cap space. You don’t know. You think you know him? Did you know he wears wingtips? I bet you didn’t. You know why? He wasn’t wearing them until I just said that. He’s wily, that David Kahn.

The Wolves could start this starting 5 next year.

Tyreke Evans-Stephen Curry-Corey Brewer-Kevin Love-Al Jefferson.

Or, they could start this lineup next year.

Shaggy from Scooby Doo- Rodney Carney-Corey Brewer-Kevin Love-Al Jefferson.

This pick opens doors. That’s it. And that’s one of the best things you can do for the draft as a GM. Provide yourself more opportunities.

For the Wizards? “Stay the course” I guess. If you can just… get… healthy… you can win… with this nucleus!

In the process of trying to chant that, three Wizards were lost for the season.

Godspeed, you pre-draft traders.

Looking Good in Black

People who wear black: Will Smith, certain Bob Dylans, the Devil (probably), bizarro Mark Twain, Darth Vader, Hot Topic staff, Johnny Cash, and, now, Richard Jefferson.

In one swift motion, the Spurs have turned three aging vets with expiring deals into a versatile, dynamic swingman that solves their problems on the wing.  This is why the trophy case in San Antonio is full, and this is why Tim Duncan goes to sleep every night with a smile on his face.

Going into this off-season, the Spurs’ priorities were easily defined: good health, adding scoring options, improving the depth in the frontcourt.  With the team’s wounded already on the fast track to recovery, the Spurs have traded into perhaps an unexpected bonus in regards to their overall health: Richard Jefferson, iron man.  In his eight year career, Jefferson has essentially had two season halted by injury.  That, in itself, isn’t noteworthy.  But the fact that Jefferson has averaged 80.5 games played per season over the rest of his career is worth a golf clap.  He’s been a night-in, night-out starter since his sophomore campaign in 2002-2003.  He’s averaged 35.8 minutes per game over his career.  Jefferson is built like a bull and apparently has the bone structure of one.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is about as sturdy as wing players get.  The Spurs seem to be in line for around 80 games of dynamic play on the wing, from a do-it-all small forward who fits seamlessly into the lineup.

It’s difficult to dispute the fact that Jefferson’s production doesn’t quite measure up to his pay grade (he’s due over $29 million the next two seasons).  The Spurs have essentially forfeited their claim in the 2010 bonanza for the chance to snag a wing player now, and it’s hard to argue with the results.  RJ’s price tag may not make sense for a lot of teams (including the Bucks), but it’s manageable for a veteran team looking to make a few off-season adjustments.  The Spurs have…come si dice…hit it big.

There are surely motivations for ditching Jefferson that don’t revolve around money.  A combination of his inability to produce on scale with his salary, an inflated sense of self-worth, poor choice in tattoos, and a bit of an attitude problem have led to Jefferson being labeled as something of a cancer.  Sulking, complaining, and macho posturing can tear apart a locker room from the inside, which is something the Nets and the Bucks looked to avoid by dealing our friend Richard.  I agree, to an extent, though I think of Jefferson as less of a cancer and more of a bad case of termites.  He’ll eat away at the foundation until he’s completely full of himself, done significant damage, or both, but hardly seems capable of anything fatal.  That said, while the team and management structures in New Jersey and Milwaukee aren’t in a position to deal with Jefferson’s ‘tude, San Antonio is damn well equipped for the job.  Reforming troublesome players is a bit of a Popovic hobby, and with the arsenal of veterans, coaches, and accolades at his disposal, the problem children rarely stand a chance.

With a new toy down in San Antone, I fully expect the Spurs to be in the top tier of the West next year.  Not only do they refuse to die, but they’re systematically replacing frail, old body parts with mechanized new ones.  With built in machine guns.

The Bucks, in return, get to save boatloads of money.  The figures seem to indicate a savings of around $21 million for the next two seasons, which is nothing to scoff at for a struggling team in a small market.  In theory, this would open up a giant cap space window for either the 2009 or 2010 free agent markets, but there are a few wrinkles:

  • The Bucks still need to re-sign Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions, or else include them in some kind of sign-and-trade.  Otherwise, they risk taking a huge step backward in the very near future.
  • Before re-upping V-Nuv and Sessions (or Keith Bogans, Adrian Griffin, or Austin Croshere, should they choose to keep them around), Milwaukee is already on the books for $61.5 million in the coming season.  That’s well above the cap, and doesn’t yet include the Bucks’ first round pick in Thursday’s draft.  When all is said and done, this could very well be a team paying the luxury tax this season.
  • While shedding Jefferson in favor of expiring deals saves ownership plenty of money in both straight up salary and what likely would have been luxury tax dollars, it doesn’t open up much cap room in 2010 either.  Including the 2009 draft pick on the second year of the rookie scale, the Bucks have $45 million in obligations…for just 7 players.  Again, this doesn’t include the salaries of Villanueva or Sessions.
  • On top of all of the number-crunching, the Bucks still need to face the difficult fact that their city nor their team is a particularly attractive free agent destination.  If the plan is to continue trying to clear cap room by having a fire sale, there’s the harsh reality that no one will want to come play in Milwaukee.  Richard Jefferson’s outburst after the initial trade that sent him to the Bucks is not isolated; there are many players who would even turn down top-dollar deals for a chance to play in a brighter locale, both in terms of natural and team climate.  It’s not fair, but it needs to be acknowledged.

That’s why, penny-pinching aside (that’s a lot of pennies), I don’t see what’s in this deal for the Bucks.  The savings are indisputable, but the trade neither brings in new talent or even the avenues to pursue free agents.  Not quite the apocalypse for the Bucks, but this is in no way a good deal.

The Spurs made out like bandits, forcing Tim Duncan’s championship window ajar with exactly the type of player needed.  Jefferson’s scoring skills on from the wing will translate to all kinds of success for San Antonio, and his solid, athletic brand of defense should thrive in Pop’s system.  Spurs fans: be excited, be-be excited.  Everyone else: prepare to grumble, and sigh deeply.

The Podcast Paroxysm Draft Style

You know what’s awesome? Finally figuring out how to Podcast after nine months. That’s what. On this episode from last Sunday, Corn and I talk about the Memphis Conundrum, ThabeetFAIL, and generally get our footing. Please, be gentle.

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side

I have a friend. We’ll call him “Z.” Everyone has a friend just like him. Luckier than a rabbit’s foot full of four leaf clovers. He is always finding himself in cool situations like hitting 23 on Roulette with his last $100, getting a first class ticket to Dubai for no other reason than he was the 1,000,000 customer at kiosk 41273 at JFK Airport or sinking a birdie put, a la Happy Gilmore, after a camera stand crashes in front of his ball on the 18th – to win lifetime membership to Augusta.

Now, I don’t know if these 3 specific things happened to “Z,” but I feel fairly certain that some things, not too awful different from these instances, have occured. In fact, one of them did the other day.

nash

Yesterday, at his subway stop, “Z” just happens to recognize the above hipster. Just another everyday, common Williamsburg-ian Brooklynite heading to their job at a Park Avenue advertising agency or the Times Square Starbucks. You know, for irony. Nope, he starts chilling with Steve Nash. They BS for 5 minutes. “Z” gets his picture. They are probably now best friends, “Z” will be watching the home opener courtside and staying at the W in Phoenix with all you can eat raw, organic vegetables (because I imagine that is how Nash rolls) in his penthouse suite. He might even become honorary godfather to Nash’s kids. Or, he could have just gotten to talk with all around nice guy Steve Nash for a few minutes at a subway stop in Manhattan – like about 150 other people do each week.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Congrats, “Z.” The Corndogg is officially jealous.

Now, what superstar might I run into while getting some barbecue in Winston-Salem later today? I’d be lucky if it were Eric Montross.