Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No Breaks Allowed, Part Five

To start with a Barkley: “First of all”, I am definitely aware of everything that is happening around the League. But it’s summertime, and although I read a lot of stuff regarding to the NBA, I just haven’t written about it. Until today, because I felt the need to discuss some stuff that has been brewing in this bobblehead of mine (seriously, I you would look at my head, it’s huge. Even Yao and Shaq’s domes are smaller than mine, but I digress).

-Guys like Boki, Arroyo, Childress, Krstic, just to name a few, have all left the U.S. to get mo’ money, and you can’t blame them. Am I worried about the state of the NBA? No. There are only like seven of eight teams overseas who can spend cash like this, and like player agent Keith Glass already said: “who’s going to buy a ticket to see Josh Childress anyway?” He’s not a big fish, so until that happens, people should stop worrying about it. Oh, and about Keith Glass: every basketball fan should read his book “Taking Shots” sometimes, it’s hilarious. More on this in another blog. However, the problem is with the restricted free agents. They are basically prisoners of their own contract, so that’s something the NBA has to look into.

-How about those Clippers? To be honest, I’m impressed. A couple of weeks ago when Brand left, I had little hope for L.A.’s “other team”. It’s always the same thing; I thought they really weren’t interested in winning at all. They had Davis, but Brand went to the Sixers, so they would have to start all over again. I mean, how are you going to replace the nightly 20 and 10? Well, they got their 20 points because of the presence of his royal beardness, but those 10 rebounds, that defense, how are you going to replace that? Mmmm…. Tough call. It’s not like a former defensive player of the year is walking through that door, right? It’s not like one of the leading shotblockers and a top rebounder could be acquired for let’s say…. Nothing? And that’s exactly what happened, the Clippers got Marcus Camby. A trade which we should call a “scamby”, because it’s even worse than the Gasol trade last February. They also improved their depth by signing Ricky Davis, Jason Hart, and Brian Skinner, so the Clippers have a 10-man rotation set. It might be too early too tell, but I believe they can compete with any team in the League. Nothing less than a playoff spot is acceptable. Even with all the talent that the Western Conference possesses, especially with Portland on the rise, the Clippers still should get in there like swimwear (boom tho!).

-I will miss all the Olympic action ‘til Monday August 18 because I’m going to France for a couple of days, and when I return I will head off to a fest here in The Netherlands. Hopefully I’ll catch the U.S.A. battling Germany that Monday, and if they get past the first round, maybe I can see some more. But if the games are around 9 am ET in the U.S., that means it’s 3 pm here. And since watching basketball at work probably won’t help my career (if you could call it a career) I might be lucky if I even see one game at all, which sucks. Then again, France and especially the festival I’m going to every year will be awesome. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Kidd, Kobe, LeBron and the rest while I’m watching The Roots, N*E*R*D or Jamie Lidell.

-To close this blog for today with a Nets note: Dear Kiki and Rod: you know I love the Nets, and the team at its current state might be able to play some defense. But if you don’t sign another player who can help Carter and Harris in the scoring department, can you at least promise me that Frank will give Chris Douglas-Roberts some playing time this season? I don’t know much about the guy, but for some reason I have a feeling he will be something special in this League, when given the chance. Thank you.