Everyone awake from the all-star snoozefest?
Happy Family Day!
Everyone going to sit around and remember the great tradition of the day while hugging one another? Or sit around a bit bored because there’s nothing to do?
Me? I’m going to coast, which is a welcome prospect; no media with the lads today, nothing but a radio gig at 5 p.m. so I can sit around and dream up trade rumours that’ll get me through Thursday.
Okay, I’ll vote that as the single most uninspired all-star weekend I can remember.
I’m not sure what the tall foreheads in New York will do when they debrief over it but the Saturday night stuff was horribly dull. The dunk contest finalists seemed fixed to me and I think the judging panel could have been, um, better.
The three-point contest went to overtime and that’s okay but there was no sense of personality and that’s what you need most in those things, someone with a sense of humor and a microphone.
Don’t get me started on the old guy, young guy, WNBA star thing; its due date is way past.
Skills? Waltzing though some dribbling, passing and shooting just doesn’t do it for me., But here’s the big question: How do you fix it? I can’t come up with anything. I do think next year’s dunk contest will have some juice if LeBron James was serious when he’d said he’d enter but even that probably won’t be enough.
Do you add H.O.R.S.E. or G.E.I.C.O. or S.T.E.R.N. or whatever they want to call it to the Saturday night shenanigans? I heard it fizzled, too.
I don’t know for sure but I do know something has to give.
Q: Hey Doug: True or false...this was one of the worst slam dunk contest ever?
Massimo C, Thorold
A: Sadly, false, by a long shot.
Remember the year they wanted everyone to do “replica dunks” and had that wheel they had to spin? That was horrible ‘cause they were asking guys to do stuff they simply could not do.
Or the year Chris Andersen and Nate Robinson missed about a zillion dunks in a row?
Those were way worse.
Big day coming Thursday, right? Maybe, although deadline day tends to fizzle more than sizzle.
But if I had to guess at five teams most likely to make a trade, this is what the list looks like:
Portland: I just have a feeling they’d like to get older and the Raef LaFrentz expiring contract will bring some suitors.
Chicago: They’d probably like to trade Vinny Del Negro but I figure Larry Hughes has to move somewhere.
New Jersey: Gotta be fire where there’s all this smoke, doesn’t there? That fella who used to wear No 15 around here better not buy any ripe bananas this week.
Phoenix: Whacking Terry Porter might be the only move they make but Amare Stoudemire’s a pretty big ticket that a lot of teams will want.
Cleveland: If they’re serious about winning it all and keeping that 2010 free agent happy, you have to figure there’s a move afoot to add some frontcourt scoring.
Oh yeah, the game on Sunday night.
If it wasn’t for Shaq – and mostly because of that hilarious intro dance – I’m not sure there was a memorable moment of the night.
Maybe what they need to do is put microphones on every player, coach and ref, broadcast it in the arena and on TV and turn the night in some kind of trash talking comedy routine.
The game, players going through the motions most of the night, was bad, audio byplay on the bench and sidelines might be more entertaining.
Speaking of numbers, I’m told Shawn Marion will don No. 31 when he gets here.
Which means the contributions of Charlie Villanueva, Roger Mason Jr. and Shawn Respert weren’t enough to have their jerseys retired.
Oh, and the Jamal Sampson No. 31 replicas in storage can now be set on fire.
Back to the trade deadline and here’s something to think about:
If the economic picture is all doom and gloom – and a first-ever drop in the salary cap would certainly suggest that it is – teams may not be able to move any of the expiring contracts, no matter how good they may seem to be.
Let’s say a team is cash-strapped going into next season. Unless they could move expiring contract for an expiring contract, what’s the sense of making a deal? If money’s going to be so tight in 2009 and 2010, why in the world would anyone want to take on even an extra dime? What I think you’re going to see happen is teams hold on to those expiring deals, let them expire and then sign free agents to cheaper deals because there’s not much money around.
Q: I’ve sat in different seats in the ACC and each of them offers a different experience, in its way. Where’s your preferred or favorite seat to watch a game in an arena? Is the mid-court always preferred? If so, how high or low would you go for the ‘perfect seat'? Would your selection change according to whether you’re working or not? Would it change from one arena to another? Appreciate the blog. Thanks.
Will G, Toronto
A: Personally, the best seat would be about 15 or 20 rows up at midcourt; or, if that’s out of the price range, in the first four or five rows of an upper deck. I think up a bit high as a fan you get a sense of the spacing of the game and see more stuff develop. You don’t, however, get to be on TV holding up your cell phone waving to someone.
And yes, it would change if I was working or not. If I’m working, I’d rather be on the court to get the byplay between players and coaches and a true sense of the speed – and effort – each night. And I’d prefer midcourt in a perfect world but if I’m covering a team and there are no sideline seats, I like to be on the baseline right by the bench.
I answered a couple of questions in the comments section about my response to a query yesterday about FIBA’s rules allowing only one naturalized citizen on any national team.
You can question by use of “their country” for as long as you like and if that offended some, I apologize. It was not to denigrate folks who flee one country for another for their safety or to join family or to make a better life.
It has everything to do with absolute “fake” citizens like J.R. Holden or Becky Hammon being given Russian citizenship to play in the world championships and Olympics or Chris Kaman becoming a German citizen solely to play basketball.
Allowing more than one per country would indeed open the system to abuse. And that’s why I think the FIBA rule is fine.