Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The NBA Was Almost Like College Basketball That One Time...

Chalk is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit in reference to the NCAA Basketball March Madness Big Dance 987 team tournament. Chalk means when everything goes according to what SHOULD happen. The higher seeds always beat the lower seeds, the number 1's all reach the final four and the overall number 1 wins it all. This doesn't happen a lot and of course never completely happens, but when it happens enough in one tournament fat ESPN analysts (and now, apparently me) like to say that the tournament went "chalk" (which I believe, is a reference to how you'd pick on a chalkboard (uh...not sure what that is, I'm younger than 60) and if you just pick all the high seeds, then that's set in chalk. Yea, it's stupid.)

Anyway, I bring this up, not because I love college basketball, but because I remember about 2 years ago that the NCAA tournament went about as chalk as it could go and it was BORING AS HELL. Up until 2 days ago, that's the way this NBA offseason was headed. Everyone takes max contracts and goes back to play with their original teams. I do not want this. You do not want this (unless you are a Cleveland fan, and then all you really want is for a 6' 8'' 280 pound black man, to tell you that he wants you, and that he loves your city just as much as you love him). David Stern DEFINITELY does not want this.

I had a crippling fear that after all of the hulaboo brought on us by ESPN regarding Mr. James, that he'd just end up back in Cleveland (and he still might, is there a better way to end his local summer camp? Other than burning effigies of Braylon Edwards, of course.) I had this gut feeling that the major free agents would all stay put (Wade, James, Joe Johnson, Dirk, Pierce) and that only a few would change teams (Amar'e, Bosh, Boozer).

This is no fun for anyone. I need a dynasty, I'm sick of hearing Bill Simmons rave on and on and on (and on and on some more) about the goddamn Celtics from 50's and 60's. We get it! Bill Russell won a shit ton of rings (and conveniently played against alot of white people with only 10-12 other teams in the league). I'm a Charlotte Bobcats fan (and now you have met your first Bobcats fan), but I just want to tell people about the Chicago Bulls of the 2010's! How they won 5 times in the span of 10 years, how they met Kobe's Lakers in 2011 and 2012 (before Kobe blew out both of his knees or kills a waitress after she looks at him too long) and then met up with Durant's Thunder 4 times in the next 8 years.

Imagine a team that STARTS 4 players in the top 3 of that position in the NBA (Bosh, Wade, James, Rose). I dream these things, but they will never happen, because NBA players are probably the greediest human beings alive (which is why we have no 2012 NBA season to look forward to!).

When I first had the idea for this article, no one had changed teams yet, Pierce, Dirk and Johnson all took big money to stay with their old teams (Johnson especially - since that Hawks team is going nowhere with him as the number 1 guy). Then in the last two days Bosh goes to the Heat and Amar'e joins the Knicks and I sort of get the feeling that maybe LeBron will go somewhere else just so that he has a shot at winning (come on Chicago!). Maybe NBA players will just go weird places to jazz the league up. So without further adieu - my predictions for the rest of free agency:

Lebron - Chicago Bulls - His best shot at a title year after year and a little bit of wishful thinking from me because I'm moving to Chicago in a month.

Carlos Boozer - New Jersey Nets - Boozer obviously hates white people, so he's not going back to Utah. New Jersey has a lot of money and Boozer's favorite color just happens to be green. Also, they traded Yi "the Chairman" Jianlian, so they have an open space for a PF that underachieves!

David Lee - Houston Rockets - David Lee is the face of the New York Knicks franchise right now, so obviously they de-value him and sign Amar'e Stoudamire instead. He seems like the safe/low cost-high reward player that Houston values.

Ray Allen - Chicago Bulls - Since they are getting Bosh and Wade, they'll have a ton of extra money to throw at a washed up veteran like Allen. How does 12 million a year sound Ray? Also, you will probably have to hit open 3's for LeBron in the playoffs or he will make you disappear (kind of like Boobie Gibson).

Shaq - Atlanta Hawks - I'm only saying this because apparently they are showing interest, but he should really really REALLY retire. Today he tweeted an ad for some workout program that costs $100/bottle and he said "this is how I stay slim." ...Do they know he's 400+ lbs?

Richard Jefferson - New York Knicks - Jefferson was a total bust in San Antonio and opted out of his huge contract this year, to make more long term. The Knicks are going to have extra money to burn, so why not bring in a washed up veteran that can't drive the lane or hit a 3. Yes please! I cant wait for the opening night lineup to be Eddy Curry, Stoudamire, Jefferson, Gallinari and.....

Raymond Felton - New York Knicks - Underachieving PG who can't hit a jumper, recklessly drives the lane in the 4th quarter and generally stops passing the ball when his team is down 4 (yes, I hate him). Plus now the Knicks can sell their fans on 3 top 25 free agents!

Josh Howard - Netherlands (or anywhere that doesn't require drug testing) - Does anyone care about this man? Hasn't been good in 4 years, coming off a knee injury and several off court issues. Boy would he sure be good for a european team!

And there you have it folks - let's hope some crazy mumbojumbo happens. Let's root for a really good Bulls team and a really awful Knicks team. (Also let's hope for a mediocre Celtics team so that we dont have to get columns regarding how awesome/bad the Celtics are in the same month from a certain sportswriter.) And above all, let's root for the 2012 lockout so that these NBA contracts stop getting out of control (because NBA players receive tens of millions of dollars in their career and still, somehow, end up like Antoine Walker - broke and with your ex-fiancee whining about you on Vh1).

American Football - I'll See You When We're Both Not So Emotional


  1. Of course, as I typed this, Carlos Boozer signs with the Bulls. Let's see if I can go 0 for this entire column!

  2. Meh.. but if you've got 3 studs/team on like a total of maybe 3 teams from each conference.. you've got a HORRIBLE regular season product. 82 per. Pass. Maybe if you drop about a fourth, or more, of the league - which would be very Cowherd of you by the way - then ok, but you can't have like 6 teams with all the stars. Parity makes for good times.

    Further.. you're probably the only person I know who wants to see the stars start team jumping every 3 years when their contract is up.. even if it is in the name of creating or strengthening the dynasty. There's pretty much nothing better than a guy that has a 15 year career with one team (and maybe a year at the end where he couldn't call it quits just yet - Emmitt Smith, Brett Favre, MJ, Griffey Jr, etc). I'm all for loyalty. I love Dirk in Dallas, Wade in Miami, James in Cleveland, etc. Build a team, don't buy a team. That shit is so lame. Plus you don't need James, Wade, Bosh, and Rose to make a dynasty.. The Bulls did it with MJ and Pippen along side these very forgettable names: Rodman (count him if you want as a star), Ron Harper, Luc Longley, Toni Kucoc, Steve Kerr, Dickie Simpkins..Bill "Beef" Wennington!! I don't know.. that dynasty is A OK for me. I don't want to see a hand full of teams loaded and then reloaded over and over again. I have baseball for that.

    PS Allen and Shaq both to Boston

  3. I want LeBron to leave, driving the final nail into the coffin of the most worthless state in the union known as Ohio. Other than that, I would have liked to see guys stay put and build dynasties from within, which is practically impossible in the day of free agency. Loyalty takes a back seat to money to location.

    By the way Kelson, did you really go double parenthesis in your first paragraph?

  4. Listen, I guess maybe the column gives the wrong idea about my thoughts on FA. I think Tim Duncan might be the greatest all around person/player in recent memory. He stays in a small market, wins titles and does whats asked of him. I do value loyalty. But the guys who ARE staying arent staying because of loyalty (most likely).

    Pierce opted out of his contract to get more money, Dirk was the same. Joe Johnson only went back to ATL because they offered the max contract, more years and money than anyone else can offer.

    I'm not a proponent of players changing every 3 years, but in what may be the greatest FA period of any sport ever, wouldn't be a bummer if everyone stayed put?

  5. The new Tim Duncan= Kevin Durant

    Staying in a small market, with a team they should give the Lakers everything they can handle next year. He tweets his news instead of a one-hour special that serves only to boost his ego (without the Boys and Girls Club angle, who comes off as a complete egotistic horses ass).

    How is Kevin Durant spending his celebratory week you ask? He is in Orlando watching his teammates on the Thunder's summer league team. I know a certain so-called sportswriter (although are you really a sportswriter when all you do is churn out one column a month and a bunch of podcasts?) has gushed over him and his team relentlessly the past two seasons, but still Durant is one of the best the NBA has to offer and is certainly one of the best individuals in the league.

    The point, the new Tim Duncan is Kevin Durant and he will have the jewelry to back it up soon enough.

  6. Yeah there's no doubt that guys like Pierce and Dirk are staying put because they're hitting a big pay day where they are, but I'm okay with that. I still think there's an element of loyalty involved even if it is partnered by an element of greed.

    And I guess I get what you mean. This free agency year has been talked about forever now so it makes sense that people are wanting to see it get dramatic, but I'm just not into it. I like the idea of a team like the 90s Bulls or the 2000s Spurs where there's the centerpiece (or 2) and a perfectly fit supporting cast. It just seems like that's more and more rare when the star of a given team jumps ship to the team with the most cap space for he and a buddy.