Trade chatter's simply a part of life in the big leagues
I read with great amusement the past couple of days all the dispatches that have to do with trade rumours and the impact they have on some teams.
Specifically, of course, it begins with Kobe Bryant ripping Lakers management for the speculation surrounding Pau Gasol and how Bryant wants – I’m not entirely sure how – GM Mitch Kupchak to either tell Gasol he’s not going or is going or something.
Here’s the latest story from Los Angeles that has the specifics of Bryant’s whining and Kupchak’s response and you need to read the home run that Ken Berger hit about the dysfunctional nature of the Laker front office.
There really is no answer, though.
Sure, Bryant’s ticked, I imagine Gasol is too but general managers have to do what general managers have to do and if that leads to a month or two of speculation or a couple of uncomfortable weeks leading up the deadline, well, that’s the way life is.
Now, no one would really like a trade if they’re not unhappy where they are. No one wants to be told you work here one day, you work in another city tomorrow, here’s your hat, what’s your hurry, thanks for the years of service but that’s the nature of the business and everyone pulls on a uniform knows it.
Sure, it’s disconcerting and it is disruptive to life but to suggest there should be some unequivocal statement that nothing – or something – is going to happen is, frankly, ridiculous.
I think you know I have nothing but admiration for the way Bryant plays basketball; he is a joy to watch every night and one of the very best to ever play. But in this case, he’s dead wrong and firing shot across the bow of the front office can do no good whatsoever.
Reading the Berger story lays out one of the wackiest front offices in all of sports, to be sure, and perhaps that’s what has led to Bryant’s frank and open discussion of what’s wrong above him.
But trades – and trade speculation and rumours – are part of life as a pro athlete; you need to find the strength of will to play through it, keep your head down and do your best and see what happens when the deadline arrives.
It’s not an easy situation for anyone but that’s just the way it is.
Oh, I know there’s far better stuff out there than this but it is Fat Tuesday and I wish I was at Mardi Gras and that makes me think of Treme and the best theme song on TV today:
Wow, we did well yesterday.
Funny thing about this place is that every now and then something happens that evokes comments and reactions and a wee bit of debate.
You folks did tremendously well yesterday and if you’re an Irregular just catching up, go back and read the comments.
Makes a guy feel good to be able to facilitate that stuff every now and then.
Wait ‘til we do Pucks Trade Deadline Day!
So, it was nice to get back to the gym yesterday and talk about some real basketball stuff with the lads and as the daily tome suggests, there was a lot of discussion about one of the fatal flaws with this roster.
When it comes time to get a basket, one play to win or tie one game, there are so few individual options available to Dwane Casey that it truly has to be a team effort.
Now, maybe he could just give the ball to Leandro Barbosa, clear everyone out and let him beat an opponent with pure speed, and maybe he’ll eventually be able to give the ball to Bargnani at the elbow and see what transpires but those are far from sure things. I’m not entirely sure Leandro handles the ball well enough I’m not entirely sure Bargnani is quick and determined enough.
That means there has to be a screen, or two screens, or something off the ball to get them a really good look and, so far this season, that hasn’t happened to often.
Oh, the thought is there: We’ve seen the play at the rim a couple of times and if DeMar had ripped the ball through forcefully at the end of the Lakers game instead of making a weak move and fading to the sideline, things may have been different.
But they weren’t and until Bryan finds some kind of stud wing who has the skills and temperament to make the right move, it’s going to be a “go-to guy by committee” and that’s a dicey proposition.
Everybody taking down all the Family Day decorations today?
Oh yeah, you also read, I’m sure, that Andrea isn’t going to play until after the all-star break and while no one is even speculating on whether he’ll be in Houston on Monday night for practice, I’m wondering if we’ll see him before the first home game after the break.
I know they’re being extra cautious about the calf and giving him all sorts of time to rehab but I’m thinking it’s about time he at least got on the gym floor to find out what he can do.
You read this very nice piece in our section today about the ex-pitcher turned author and his books that chronicle his life in the pen.
Sounds like a good one, I’ll be interested in reading the one about his time with the Jays but …
Ball Four’s still the gold standard.