Would I trade Rip, Tayshaun and a number one for Kobe? Absolutely.
Archive for October, 2007
(Side note: does the splash intro to the Lakers page feel a little over-the-top to anyone else?)
I got skipped over when they were passing around the Houston Rockets kool-aid at the NBA dorks convention, and last night’s near implosion against the Lake Show didn’t help. The Lakers, however, looked surprisingly good, and their comeback shows that when you have Kobe Bryant you at least have the chance to be in a lot of ball games. But this team can only be as good as its big guys.
Ronny Turiaf—Your starting power forward with Odom out. He’s reasonably solid, but I don’t think there’s a whole lot of upside here. 10, 5, and 400 hyper-exaggerated facial emotions is the best case scenario.
Kwame Brown—Has finally started to look like a NBA center. I think he’ll be a useful 12-8 guy this year.
Andrew Bynum—Supposedly Bynum is the deal-breaker keeping Jermaine O’Neal from joining the Lake Show. I guess I’m just not seeing why he’s so valuable (aside from his youth.) His skills are developing, but he’s half the player of, say, Al Jefferson. Maybe I’ll look back eventually and feel like an idiot, but I don’t just think he’ll be a megastar in the league. And even if he’s an All-Star-type guy in three or four years, what does that matter if Kobe is killing you from Brooklyn at that point anyway? Kobe-level talents are exceptionally rare (even rarer than all-star centers. Believe that.)
The Lakers are in a tough spot, so allow me to do some uninformed speculation:
They need to sell tickets. They can’t completely blow things up. They don’t want to trade the best player in the league (again) and then watch him win a title (again.)
Washington has a good core, they can do fine in the East right now, they’d need too much to give up Arenas. Chicago has a great, very young core, they shouldn’t make a move yet. Cube doesn’t want to deal Dirk (for reasons that escape me.) I think you have to take your shot with Jermaine.
Would you want to face Kobe and Jermaine in the first round of the playoffs? I don’t think so. And then maybe you could get a point guard somewhere next year and really do some damage.
Boston sports fans are incredibly spoiled. They largely ignore the NBA, openly cheer for their team to lose, and then end up with three all-world talents. Plus, the Large Trio are so humble, so hungry. Ray, PP, and KG are acting like long lost best friends who just can’t wait to play basketball together.
Is there enough sports love to go around in this city? I don’t know. But if Boston doesn’t embrace Kevin Garnett like a black Tom Brady, something is wrong here.
Remember the John Thompson interview?
This guy is going to find a way to win. A lot. Despite the fact that I could be a rotation guy for these Celtics.
On my other blog, I expressed skepticism about the virtues of pro ballers downing energy drinks. But I checked with my NBA-employed friend, and he said that guys love Red Bull, and that the coaches endorse it “in moderation.” In other words, they probably wouldn’t endorse drinking it as often as I do.
Also, someone named Woody chipped in with the following:
Actually, if you look at the nutritional value of Red Bull it is very much a good product for athletic performance. I don’t think the others are though, due to the manufacturers using High Fructose Corn Syrup as the sweetener as opposed to the Sucrose & Glucose found in Red Bull. I am a serious ironman triathlete and have been training & racing using RB since a trainer for the Sacramento Kings turned me on to it about 4 years ago. Since then I met their sponsored athlete Tim Deboom (Ironman Hawaii champion 2x) and have fine tuned my use of Red Bull, water and gels according to me glucose needs. So yea, NBA players can certainly benefit from it as I have.
Well, I guess I stand corrected.
Last year I did a traditional pre-season breakdown of the league, and going into the playoffs I was supremely confident that my prediction of a Suns-Pistons final would come to fruition. Alas, Tim Duncan’s genius, terrible officiating, and the Pistons’ decision to continue to coast on the glory of the 2004 Finals got in the way.
So I’m not going to waste my time this year with half-baked analysis of who’s the team to beat—we’ve got 82 games left for that. Instead, I’m going to just list the twenty things I’m most excited about for the NBA this year (in no particular order):
1. TNT broadcasts. Standing idly by while the Joe Bucks of the world suck the joy and life out of sports has left me a shell of a fan. But just hearing Sir Charles on the Bill Simmons podcast or on Conan last night began to rejuvenate my weary soul. The TNT guys honestly, earnestly, passionately love the league they’re covering. Which is nice.
2. The arrival of my Jason Maxiell and Amir Johnson jerseys. I couldn’t decide which one to buy, and I can’t decide who I’m more excited to watch play this season. If they’re not both in the rotation for the Pistons, I’m going to use this blog solely to further the theory that Flip Saunders intentionally blew the Cavs series to support his hometown of Cleveland. I may do that regardless.
3. Having an interesting team in Boston. I’ve lived in Boston for five years, during which the once mighty Celtics have either sucked or relied way too heavily on Antoine Walker bombing threes. I want the Celtics to be just good enough to lose to the Pistons in game seven of the EC finals.
4. The fact that they don’t play John Mellencamp during basketball games. Thank god (Afrika Bambaataa) for hip-hop.
5. Getting to watch Shawn Marion play basketball. It’s so much nicer than hearing about Shawn Marion not wanting to play basketball.
6. Kobe for Dirk, straight up. Get it done Cube.
7. Hearing the reaction to Lebron at his first home game. He took you to the finals! He repped the Yankees! Cleveland fans must have Larry Craig-level internal contradiction going on.
8. Going to see the Knicks at the temple of the NBA, Madison Square Garden. I don’t have tickets or anything yet, but I will make this happen.
9. The Houston Rockets, team of mystery. I wasted a fantasy basketball draft pick on Steve Francis, who I thought was ready for some renaissance ish. But now he’s not in the rotation? Rafer is better than the Franchise? Mike James is better than the Franchise? Luther Head is better than the Franchise? Who could possibly have seen this coming?
10. Kobe going to anyone but the Bulls. Please. I really don’t want the Pistons facing him on a regular basis.
11. Kevin Durant. Tayshaun’s upper body and Jordan’s potential. If you’re not excited by this, you’re Joe Buck.
12. Acie Law, Josh Smith, Al Horford, Marvin Williams, Sheldon Williams, Joe Johnson, and the Atlanta Hawks. Frightening upside here.
13. Rasheed Wallace. I’m always excited to watch Rasheed Wallace. I’m like a battered spouse who can’t get over the courtship of 2004. No matter how many times he wrongs me, I keep going back.
14. Allen Iverson. I like to think of myself as a whiter, bloggier version of Allen Iverson, with one hundredth the talent and one thousandth the drive, and similar talent for rapping and practicing.
15. Melo, DWade, and Chris Bosh. The ones that got away.
16. Jason Kidd. I promise myself this is the year I finally appreciate Jason Kidd.
17. Tony Parker’s rap career:
18. Dirk’s ringless fingers. It’s kind of like when Peyton Manning was smashing records and blowing playoff games. When all was right in the world, before Peyton revealed himself as a likable, funny, cool-headed champion. Where’d my archetype go?
19. Manu Ginobili. Not for the three or four hours per game night when he’s complaining about the refs or about the impact of trade deregulation on the Argentinian economy. But when he’s dunking in traffic, bald spot shining like a beacon of hope for mankind. Or at least for me.
20. Your 2008 World Champion Phoenix Suns. Come on, I can’t pick the Spurs. I just can’t. It’s like picking gravity to stop a little kid from flying.
After frustrating the loyal readers of my other, almost totally random blog with way too many basketball posts, I’ve decided to finally start a site dedicated solely to America’s game.
Here goes nothing.
Me at Halloween. I was moving around slower than Yao Ming at that party.