Celebrando El Carnaval

Celebrate, if you have enough hair on your chest. Tuesday's mega-monstrousoutee seperates the pretenders from the contenders. And sadly, my esteemed colleague, Bethlehem Shoals appears to fall among the posers.

Love it. It isn't about winning. It isn't about parades. It isn't about taking down Big Shot Bobbie, Artest and the Wallaces.

Count it and 1.

Celebrate Riles and Randy Pfunds. Jettisoned is Eddie Jones, who will not be cursed in this column, as his rep is well established. Jettisoned is Qyntel Woods, o' of tantalizing size and potential. But Q did not heed my call for healing. Miami Seaquarium passes were forwarded to his address, calls to his mobile went unreturned. Jets away, he'll be cut by Ainge and land elsewhere. Qyntel's story has yet to be written, although the last chapter on EJ's is being edited for punctuation. It reads like, "Eddie would see no parade, his legacy was written in the battle scars of three new mercenary soldiers."

I wish to know of a more beautiful triumverate of power and chaos that was moved in such a brutal swoop.

On the new Point: Last month, during FreeDarkoCON 2005 in Bar Harbor, Maine a topic was broached. Who would be an ideal compliment guard to Dwyane Wade? I floated out El Blanco Chocolate, aka Jason Williams, and was quickly ridiculed. Mike Bibby was the safe choice. Yet, that conversation was a pipe dream. And now we have the real life alternative. He who was once traded for Bibby, whose upside was deemed as close. Lost to oblivion in Memphis. West/Hubrie/Fratello all tried to constrain him. But he is an artist. And in Miami we welcome refugees who exhibit rare talent and barbarian creativity.

What are the drawbacks? He needs his shots. He commits to many turnovers. I don't care, he has proven he can sink the long range jumper and the brightness will be brought out of him. Either by good friend Shaq's shaqnanigans or by the SVG/Riley shock treatmeant. Personal redemption for J-Will awaits. Its now a familiar story with this team.

On Posey: This trade had to have a straight man. Posey fits the bill to perfection. Only foot injuries lessened his value. A year earlier, he was a baller that any GM would love to have on his team. I pray that the Heat fitness routine will make him fit, both for his feet and his ability to stop the other team's best swinger. If not Posey, than who?

On Employee 8: He must be immortalized in plastic. His story is why this is pure poetry. Valued, criticized, discarded, loved anew. Antoine is a talent of nearly-epic proportions whose only recourse was a nomadic lifestyle prone to the habitual self destruction. I can think of others that were criticized in the same way, who came here and played team ball and succeeded. Bob McAdoo will shadow him. He will become his mentor. Antoine will fit such as Mac did on the Lakers.

So he can't be the third option. So he can't not have the ball in his hands at each possession. He has been - to date - a function of his environment, and its far different down here. Shaq and Dwyane will take them to a top three seed by of themselves. All we need is for Antoine's ignorance of reality to come out when it matters most. And its far more challenging to think that he will succeed than that he will fail.


We're not talking about the public enemies of the past few years. These are not the young: "The league of Ricky Davis, Baron Davis, the Knicks, Corey Maggette, Larry Hughes, Ben Gordon, pro Melo". (Quickly, how the fuck do the Knicks fall into that equation?) J-Will and Antoine are wild horses who many have tried to tame. Some signs have shown that they could be broken down and fit into the team system. But not enough. Thats why they're available, and thats why the communal power of Riley-SVG-Shaq-Wade-Zo will make them conform or they will be jettisoned themselves.

And that is why I'm both saddened by the melodramatic statement about "The Miami Heat fucking themselves."

Reality: More Cap Space flexibility has been gained by the so-call fucking. EJ's contract amounted to Walker and Posey. These are assets. More depth. Plus, the team still has the FULL MID-LEVEL EXCEPTION.

Philosophy: Everything we have known has set us up for this moment. I have railed against the innane boredom of the Spurs and Pistons. The Pacers opened the door for this new "hybrid", but Artest's extremeness tips the scales too much. This is beauty incarnate. Intrigue on one court not seen since the last true Dynasty. And, as mentioned, I could give a flying fuck whether this amounts to a championship or not. It amounts to pure, impossible to bottle excitement.

And what of these "wavelengths" mentioned below that put Wade and Shaq in a different realm than Walker and Williams. The last I checked there was still enough room in the electromagnetic spectrum for opposing wavelengths to collide for greater power.

As investors in the NBA, we look for high risk/high reward. And the same belief that took this franchise from obscurity, to mattering, to on the heels of the finals - that is to say, a trust and belief in Pat Riley - means that this is the risk you take if you want the ultimate reward. Because, as it stands, last year's squad was broken in enough ways that it would have been difficult to pass San Antonio. Either glorious success awaits, or intense failure.

Either you're along for the ride, or you're off. It's like Pat Riley sodomizing Larry Brown. Do you have the stomach for it?


At 8/03/2005 3:09 PM, Blogger elandfried said...


End of the day you've got Walker, White Chocolate, and Posey instead of Eddie Jones, Rasual Butler, Keyon Dooling (who sucks), and Damon Jones.

Advantage new team. Posey is going to be the 6th man on this team! They still need one more shooter, but can probably get one for cheap (Wesley Person, Voshon Lenard). All the Heat need to do now is add Latrell Sprewell and they will officially be the most personality-laden team in history.

At 8/03/2005 3:22 PM, Blogger elandfried said...

That said, the one thing I don't understand about this trade for Miami is why they are giving Walker 6 years at $8.5 million per. He didn't seem to have that much other interest around the league and was just looking for something above the mid-level...why not give him a 5 year, $35 million contract? Now they're stuck with him for a long time and the contract is big enough to make him virtually untradeable. That's the only thing I question here...

At 8/03/2005 3:42 PM, Anonymous brickowski said...

agreed. i'm shocked shoals doesn't dig this group. such a combination of creativity, hops, and explosiveness from them dudes.

all of the contenders (indiana aside) have taken steps back this year. the east is ripe for the picking. why not roll the dice with these kind of odds? toine's the one guy from this threesome that i'm unsure about, but if he fucks up, who cares? they can still go with Udonis.

and Posey is certainly the straight man of this group, but what a fucking straight man! how many guys that are that long can stroke a three and have pogo ups?

the only drawback i see is that freeway's hilarious "me and my niggas bring the heat like rasual n' em, that's BUTler" is now rendered obsolete.

At 8/03/2005 3:46 PM, Anonymous brickowski said...

whoa. where'd that come from? nothing goes better with freeDarko than pictures of partial birth abortions.

At 8/03/2005 3:49 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

looks like we've started to get inundated with random spam in the comments box.

that means free darko is BIG TIME, BITCHES!!!!!!!

At 8/03/2005 4:10 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

al, the depth of your homer-dom never ceases to astound me. this is a huge gamble, plain and simple. that doesn't mean i think it couldn't possibly work, but they're basically overhauling a team--and a team concept, and a team chemistry--that (to try and think like you for a second) basically won a championship last year. they're going back to the drawing board when they don't really have to, which, if you actually care about winning, doesn't seem like the most efficient idea. and don't tell me that getting williams and walker to buy into real basketball is going to be an easy thing to do.

re: myself. i stand by whatever is i said in that last post. this is an unprecedented collision (i'm glad al picked up on jaw-dropping subtlety of my physics metaphor) of the fun/retarded and dignified/useful. walker and white chocolate can do nearly anything, but usually make something go wrong in the process. shaq and wade both do one or two things better than anyone else in the league; they stick with that and reign supreme.

bottom line: something's got to give. either williams and walker become less the goofballs i love them for being, or wade and shaq get exposed as being fairly limited in the style department. i don't really want either of those to happen, esp. the latter—while i stand by my behind-closed-doors proclamation that "wade is secretly kind of dull," he's still a hell of a lot of fun to watch and i don't want to be proven any more right than i already am on a daily basis. and since walker and williams will lose their globby souls if asked to play like mere humans (am i the only one who watched williams play in memphis?), the idea of them being turned into passable human beings by 'zo (??!) isn't so appealing, either.

the reasons i root for williams and walker are also what keep them from being real basketball players. from a style standpoint, that's my problem with this trade.

that said, this automatically becomes the must-watch team of the currently gestating season. not because i'm convinced of their competitive or stylistic greatness--quite the contrary. it's because this is a team yet to be named, whose fate will be written possession by possession.

At 8/03/2005 4:24 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

and if i'm being less fun that usual, it's because i have a virus living in my ear. judge all of my comments accordingly.

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