Pullin' out the chair
So in an off-season that has seen these notable gm'ing gems, the Nets can't stand to take a little risk on the hypothetically troublesome knee of one of the game's most steady, productive frontcourt players, who also happens as solid a citizen as you'll find in this league? Getting Vince for peanuts, motivating him, and finally getting back in J-Kidd's good graces looked like Suns-worthy process of 180-degree transformation. This inexplicably cautious move, though, puts Thorn et al. right back at square one. The Nets should still be a playoff team, a must-watch track meet, and the only non-Phoenix team that can boast three legit All-Stars. But Shareef would have given them another dimension, competent rebounding, and a chance to scare people late into the summer.
For the sake of the Association, let's hope that all parties aren't giving up on this once and for all.
Update: Looks like my last minute hopes were all in vain. Right after this announcement came another: Nets purchase Marc Jackson from Philly (buying ballplayers for cash is seriously the most eighteenth century thing left in professional sports). Not that Marc Jackson is all that good, but he's also not exactly terrible, can rebound a little, has a jumper, might know how to defend if it was clear to him he'd have to earn his role in the offense. Maybe I'm reaching a little here, but a Jackson-Krstc-Jefferson frontline would, by Eastern Conference standards, worth complimenting.
Admission of eternal guilt: That's right, I wrote that entire initial post forgetting that FreeDarko sub-god Nenad Krstc holds down the paint for the Nets. I think this also matters from an actual basketball perspective, but for now my shame is of the uniquely tribal variety.