(Premature) Death of a Dynasty
(Pictured, from L to R: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Udonis Haslem, Lebron James, Larry Hughes)
I am just praying that Cavs sign Haslem, so they can put the finishing touches on dooming their franchise and denying any chance of keeping LeBron around for much longer. You would think a guy like Danny Ferry, who, y'know, has spent a decent amount of time around the Spurs, would know a thing or two about chemistry. You can't just stack up a bunch of "good" players like the Wolves and Knicks did. All they had to do was compliment their big piece and make the playoffs this year. Instead, when Allen and Redd "spurned" them (by the way, why does the media make it seem like playing in Cleveland with LBJ is the highest privilege, and that any show of LOYALTY--yes it's not JUST about the money--amounts to "spurning" the Cavs), they PANICKED. Free agency is not the draft. You don't just take the best player on the board. Let's break this down briefly:
Larry Hughes -- Not a poor man's Lebron, this is "Lebron LITE." Does everything that Lebron does, but slightly worse. Don't get me wrong, I love Hughes' game, but the fact is, he has been injury prone for his entire career, and shoots 41%. Plus, he NEEDS his shots, and the Wiz's jack-em-up system benefited him perfectly. The guy, the Cavs shouldve signed? Obvious. EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THEY NEED A SHOOTER. Bobby Simmons. The guy makes his LIVING off of draining open jumpers, and believe it or not, is as good a defender as Hughes. Oh, by the way, Hughes will be making AT LEAST 13 MILLION a year. Last time Hughes played over 73 games in a season was last millenium.
Udonis Haslem -- Pending. A glorified Mark Madsen with a 10-foot jumper. Would have to split minutes with Drew Gooden, which benefits...NEITHER of them. If they were looking for a 4, they probably could have gotten Abdur-Rahim + Simmons for the price of Hughes.
Z-Ill -- Z is 30 and has peaked, both health-wise and production-wise. I like that they brought him back, because he meshes well with 'Bron, but they overpaid for him plain and simple. I will bet my life that he averages 65-70 games for the remaining years on that new contract. And in the East, where Curry, Bogut, Sammy D, and DARKO are on the rise, he's gonna have his hands full.
Get ready to look sheepish, Danny Ferry, very sheepish.
When it comes down to it, I think I care more about the NBA in the context of pop culture/the national spotlight than anything. A few notes on this:
--Iverson's appearances on both "Punk'd" and "It's the Shoes" (highly recommended) keep catapulting him up in the pantheon of "most likeable NBA players of all time."
--Watching the homerun derby last night really reinforced how racist the ChrisBerman/WoodyPaige/anti-NBA/America'sPastime/burlywhiteman culture really is. I mean, there have been complaints about the dunk contest for the past 10 years. OUTCRIES. Suggestions it should be eradicated. Top chemists holding summits on ways to spice it up. And yet, I am supposed to be completely enthralled by THREE HOURS of baseball players taking batting practice from a third base coach? DOUBLE STANDARD.
--While we're at it, how boring is the Larry Brown saga? How is this the top offseason story? The ESPN Page 2 guy got it right...After the heat Larry took from chatting with the Cavs during the ECF, he has completely reverted to "This is where I want to coach" until it's "Well, if I'm not wanted...," which inevitably turns into winding up in some remote location with Isaiah Thomas and Dan Gilbert. This is the silliest mutual break-up ever.
--I can't help thinking that Slim Thug's opening line from "I ain't heard of that" is fucking hilarious every time I hear it. Like, I actually start laughing a little bit each time. I don't know why. There is absolutely nothing too potent about it, it's just fucking funny: "I'm the young Texas A-Rod, KG of the game, Lebron James..." So, basically, you're really really good? (I think there is added humor by the fact that A-Rod himself was once "the young Texas A-Rod.")
And, in closing, a quick summary of Jawad Williams' NBA experience so far (SOMEBODY PICK THIS MAN UP):