No one wins in latest NBA mess; and new Raptors titles
And so ends one of the sorriest sagas in recent NBA history with the Chris Paul to the Clippers trade that was – finally, thankfully, mercifully – consummated last night.
We can sit here and debate the relative merits of the deal six ways to Sunday – personally, I think both the teams are life and death to make the playoffs, the Clippers are a two-man team, the Hornets something less – but there is one undeniable truth:
No one won. Really. And the league lost big time.
The league looked foolish from the start and David Stern’s public profile took another hammering, he’s now seen not only as not being able to control loudmouth owners like Dan Gilbert but as a meddlesome commissioner putting too much of his own imprint on the game.
The league also looks foolish for having decided to own the Hornets in the first place and this has to serve as a cautionary tale when the same situation arises again. And it will.
The Hornets? They lose because it is the latest franchise to have its best player force his way out of town. That’s always going to happen – it is a collectively bargained right of employees and as distasteful as it is, it’s not going away – but it still stings.
The Clippers gutted their team for perhaps two years of an oft-injured point guard and while Paul to Blake Griffin is sexy, it’s only one of the top twosomes in the league and as long as Kobe’s playing with Pau Gasol, it might not be the top twosome in Los Angeles. Oh, and Vinny Del Negro still coaches there, right?
Fans? Well, they’ll get some pretty cool highlights and will come flocking to see the Clippers even more than they did last season and I guess that’s good.
The saddest part?
It’s going to be seeing how the despicable Donald Sterling screws this up because you know he will. And there are those among us who hope nothing good ever happens over an extended period of time to that guy.
Guess now at least we can put this mess behind us and get on with actually anticipating a season and not wondering what soap opera will engulf the league for days.
Oh, until Dwight Howard wants to get traded again, I guess.
So the story goes LeBron James finishes his post-practice scrum yesterday and says “God bless” to the assembled reporters before turning to someone and stage-whispering “Just went Tebow on them.”
Makes a guy think that if he really wanted to just go Tebow he’d show up in the fourth quarter of big games.
But maybe that’s just me.
Hey, here’s one that kind of slipped by for too long, sorry about that.
They got promotions.
According to the Raptors pre-season guide, Jay’s the vice-president, pro-scouting; Maurizio’s the vice-president, international scouting; Evs is the vice-president, college scouting.
Of course, they remain Henchmen to me.
What’s it mean, though? Not a lot. The front office shakes out just the way I figured it would. Three guys with distinct areas of responsibility reporting to Ed Stefanski and Bryan.
Oh, one other?
Alvin Williams is basically gone from the scene. He’s now a scout – based in Philadelphia, I’m told – and he’ll see kids and teams and do his advising from there.
(You knew I would)
About the only thing that would have made the whole Trudeau dropping the excrement expletive in the House of Commons worse was if he’d done it wearing jeans.
(Irregulars will know).
Seriously, the utter lack of decorum from our elected representatives is, at times, appalling.
I know we live in a more relaxed society today – I’ll debate the relative merits with that one anytime with anyone – but is it really too much to ask, ahem, cough, cough, leaders to act with dignity? I don’t mean white tie and tails and the King’s English at every turn but they need – and have needed for years – to simply grow up and be better.
We deserve it. The country deserves it. We do not need heckling, childlike behaviour from the men and women who are supposed to be leading the country.
We need honest debate, a level of class too many of them seem to a lack, a sense of civility.
It’s the House of Commons, for goodness sake, not a sandbox.
No wonder so many people hate politicians, they act like six-year-olds too often.
It would appear, reading between the lines and listening live and in person that as the HOTH pre-season approaches there is one, maybe two, openings in the starting lineup.
I know Dwane made of saying he hadn’t decided on a starting point guard but the key quote is this one:
“With him (Jerryd Bayless), he does give us juice off the bench as far as coming in, changing the game, pushing the basketball and if I was leaning one way, it’d be that way right now but, again, I haven’t made my mind up 100 per cent.”
Okay, maybe 99 per cent.
Anyway, the interesting one to me is what he’ll do at small forward because you know DeRozan starts, I guarantee you Bargnani starts and I presume he goes with Amir Johnson but that might become a bit of a battle if Amir’s ankle’s not 100 per cent or one of the other, tough bigs has a great camp.
Is it James Johnson? Rasual Butler? Gary Forbes as a longshot?
Butler’s a better three-point shooter on a team that is among the worst in the league at that particular skill.
Johnson’s probably a better defender who is more familiar with the other guys on the roster.
Forbes? A longshot, as I mentioned.
I’d probably lean towards Johnson if they really want to have defence as the key and use Butler as some kind of shooting specialist off the bench. But that’s just me and Dwane’s been telling us all week he’s not sure what he’s going to do with his rotation or the guys at his disposal, making the two Boston games at least a bit more interesting.
Parents, you’ll know what I’m talking about here.
About this time of year, we all have to drag our sorry butts to school Christmas concerts – or holiday celebrations in these times of ours – and, you know I’m right here, sometimes it’s like a couple of hours of anesthetic-free dental surgery.
Then your kid gets in some regional arts program and all of a sudden the night’s actually quite good and watching talented kids doing stuff they like to do instead of stuff they are forced to do is fun.
Way to go, Cawthra.
Speaking of, today’s offering: