Of Yao and tampering and remembering Dwayne Jones
So the news that Yao Ming thinks he’ll retire if his chronically bad feet don’t get any better is hardly surprising – I don’t see what other option he’d have – but it’s also sad in many ways that he’s even got to contemplate it.
Here’s a guy who really hasn’t been able to show exactly what he is for any real length of time. He’s uniquely skilled, huge, with a soft shooting touch and, it appears, a body that just can’t handle the rigours of the NBA life.
But you know what I hope?
I hope he’s Zyrdrunas Ilgauskas and not Bill Walton.
Big Z had foot issues that looked like they were going to derail his career but he fought through them, went through more rehab than any man should have to go through and had a long – still going – and productive career.
I’m a big fan of Yao as a guy, I’ve dealt with him a few times, saw what he means to basketball players in his country when we were at the Beijing Olympics and it would truly be sad if he had to cut his career so short because of health issues.
His iconic stature in Beijing was something to behold, just being at games involving the Chinese team was an event I’m glad I saw and something that can’t easily be described.
I don’t know how truly serious these issues are, or how genuine his thought are about calling it a career but if he has to, that’s really too bad.
I’m going to do this one more time, with emphasis but without prejudice, because you’ve asked:
Forget for a second that Tracy McGrady’s old and hurt and who knows what he’s got left in the tank. Forget all that.
As perhaps you recall, he hated it here a decade ago, he sat in the visitors locker room late last season slagging Canada and the taxes and suggesting that maybe Bosh would want to leave so, please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, ask yourself this question: Why would he want to come here?
End of story. End of discussion.
Mail? Sure, we can handle more. Just click here and send it along.
This Marc Stein story at espn.com is pretty juicy for the simple reason that it addresses the topic that’s on a lot of minds right now: Tampering.
It is indeed a bold step by the league to all of a sudden send out a memo reminding teams of tampering rules and the penalties for violating them and it is a bold, bold step to name a specific player in Chris Paul.
Trouble is, though, there is nothing in the rules right now that precludes players from talking to players and I’m assuming that’ll be addressed in the new collective bargaining agreement.
The issue about teams tampering is very clear and I have a feeling some of the memo sent by the league is aimed at agents, who sometimes tend to be trade-brokers.
An agent will say, ‘hey, I think I can get you my guy from Team X because he wants out and if you offer this, there might be a deal there.’
Or an agent might say to a player, ‘hey, if you want, I can see if I can get you to this team, if you let your team know you want out.’ It’s kind of pre-emptive trade talk chatter that really does no one any good; it’s agents widely over-stepping their boundaries and it’s where a lot of the leaks and “trade demands” come out.
I know this most recent league missive is a bit of shutting the barn door after the horses are out but it was time for a not-so-gentle reminder to teams that there are consequences, serious consequences, for trying to circumvent the rules.
Will it work? I think D. Stern can put the Fear Of Whoever in the minds of owners, governors, GMs and players, he is not a man to be trifled with and this is a clear and definite warning.
Hey, remember Dwayne Jones, the other guy in the Barbosa-Turkoglu trade that happened, oh, eons ago?
Well, not sure how long he’s going to be around.
I hear Aug. 15 is the date his contract for next year – and at five years in his minimum tops $950,000 for next season – to become fully guaranteed and I cannot for the life of me see the Raptors keeping him around.
I don’t know much about his game but I do k now that if a guy’s been bouncing around for five years and has never really cracked a rotation or made significant contributions, I’m not sure a team like Toronto needs to keep him around.
I’m getting no word from people in the organization about what their thinking is on the matter but I have a feeling we’ve seen the last of Jones.
Oh, wait, we’ve never actually seen him. So I guess we won’t even see the first of him.
Okay, same drill today as yesterday, folks. Morning drive, this time with Super Son, to do some visiting in Niagara Falls and not sure when I’ll get back to this infernal machine once the day gets fully underway. Thanks for understanding.