Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Offseason Ball Movements 9.5.08

Just keepin the head sharp.

Smokin' In The Boys Room, Volume 2: Seriously? This is a big deal? Really? NBA Players smoking weed? With women? Look, don't get me wrong. They're boneheads for doing it at the freaking Rookie Transition camp. Guys. Four days you couldn't chill out? You thought "Hey, I'm here at an NBA camp with stringent security and league attention. I know! Let's get stoned and fornicate... in our rooms! Surely that will end well!"? But as far as this being a serious problem, let's get a grip. Same thing with Josh Howard. It's the timing. When your team is headed into a playoff series after two extremely disappointing finishes the years prior and you decide to make a statement about your love for the ganj? Bad timing. When you're at the NBA Rookie transition program surrounded by league officials, David Stern, and under stringent rules just for the select days you're at the program and you decide to fire it up? Bad timing. But the act itself is just not a big deal. Look, I don't partake in marijuana cigarettes (or any other form) because it's illegal, I can't afford fines, I work for a non-profit, and well, Paroxi-wife would stick her Paroxi-foot up my Paroxysm. But if it was legal? Sweet Jesus, the posts on HP would plummet. PLUMMET.
I'd have to start a blog called "Staring At The Ceiling And Feeling Awesome Paroxysm."

The point is that these guys are young, made a stupid mistake well before camp started, and got busted. Stern personally kicked them out, mentioned them by name the following day, and is going to fine the living hell out of them. They've paid for it, and will suffer the suspensions and fines. But to question if this is indicative of a pattern after one incident is premature bordering on ridiculous. People are piling on the kids saying that people that engage in this type of behavior are clearly problem players that will never amount to anything. BallerBlogger says "Not so fast my friend."

It's just startling to me that in a sports world where baseball players beat up their wives in public and football stars are involved in murder cases, I don't see the value in us freaking out over two rookies smoking pot with some girls.

It reminds me of when I got busted for skipping class in ninth grade. There were three days left in class, and three of us figured no one would notice. Then some jackass in 5th period science ratted us out and we got busted. The vice principle said my father was furious and he wasn't even going to punish me because my dad was so mad. My father showed up and didn't say a word except "Thank you" to the vice principle and "Get in the car." to me. He didn't say anything the entire way home. I was pretty sure I was going to end up in pieces all over the Arkansas countryside. We got home, he pointed to a chair in the living room and said "Sit." He went and got a beer, sat down and just stared at me. I stared at my hands, waiting for the sweet release of death. Then I heard this weird noise.

He was giggling.

The giggle erupted into a full-on laugh. My jaw dropped as he managed to say, "You... you got busted... three days from the end of school... how... have I taught you nothing about not getting caught?" It was then that my embarrassment changed from shame towards abandoning my responsibility to the academic system to treat it with respect and consideration to regret for looking like a complete dumbass in front of my father. I asked if I was grounded.

"Grounded? No. Grounding you would be like kicking a puppy. You're too dumb to ground."

The point is that it wasn't like I was a problem child. I never got in trouble, got good grades, the whole wussy nine yards. As such, one incident wasn't enough to convince my father I was on the path to heroin and smut-peddling. And neither should one stupid party convince us that these kids are lacking in moral fiber or doomed to be problem-cases. They're just showcasing an immaturity that's common for young players in their situation. So let's chill out a bit and go back to glossing over the rampant cases of domestic abuse that surface on a regular basis.

"I Had Hand!": Ben Gordon is gonna need it. Good Lord. I don't know what's more absurd. The fact that Gordon is still living in a fantasy world where he deserves to get paid premier player money, or the fact that the majority of Bulls Nation is convinced he's right. The common argument I hear is "Without him, the offense will be abysmal." Right. Because the Bulls offense has been downright explosive for the last five years. If you're going to reach the conclusion that last year wasn't an anomaly and this team is fundamentally flawed, you have to look to the long-term. Unless you're content with being within range of the 5th to 8th seed consistently. Unless you're not pursuing a championship. I made the point over at BDL that it's not that I think Gordon's worthless, it's that I think the Bulls have made a fair offer considering his market value. The Bulls get a ton of heat for their cheapskate management. And maybe it's true. But I have the feeling that if this was Kobe Bryant, or Elton Brand (now), or even Dirk Nowitzki, he'd be getting whatever he wants. But if the player isn't absolutely essential, in that top-tier of players, why are you going to jeopardize your long term prosperity so that you score 10 more points next season? I keep trying to understand it, and every time I look at it or ask someone outside of hardcore Bulls fans, I get the same answer. "Ben Gordon? Good player. Should get paid? Wait... how much? Oh, no, not that much. Jesus. I wouldn't pay a multi-dimensional player that much."

It'll Be a Cold Day In Hell When Steve Nash Isn't Run To Exhaustion: Yeah. Resting Steve Nash. We'll see how that works out. Maybe if you had signed Duhon. Or Ellis. Or drafted a point. Or had a point. Oh, sorry, I forgot. Dragic is the savior. Pardon me, forgot about that.

It's becoming more and more clear that Nash is doomed to a career of near-fulfillment. Suns fans are all over him about saying the Suns probably aren't good enough for him to take time off, but can you blame him? He's seen what that team has done in the last 21 months. I will take the belief that Kerr was the one behind the Shaq trade to my grave. I don't care what Kerr, D'Antoni, Shaq, Sarver, or anyone else says. You will never convince me that a guy with an international background, who focused on redefining the game with speed and offense would say "Hey, I know, let's trade the intensely versatile player that fits perfectly in my system for an over the hill block of ass fat that can't score, pass, or run the floor. That should work out awesome." Or is it more likely that the guy who's been in the announce booth for several years and who played in the hayday of defense and big men made a monumental trade that undermined the entire philosophy of the coach he'd previously been reported to have issues with. I know it's a dead issue. My point is that Steve Nash knew right after the Shaq trade that the team was done. It's run was over. The Suns have failed to bring in a significant roster improvement. Meanwhile, Mr. $20 Million Rapper is getting older and unable to bring anything else significant, Amare is going to be in "I'mma get mine mode." When Robert Horry enters the Hall of Fame, it really should say, after all the clutch threes and championships, "Single-Handedly Slaughtered A Rival Franchise With The Help of Steve Kerr."

Hang in there. We're only a few weeks from training camp. And you know what that means. Crazy Pills.

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