7.07.2006

My pals in the struggling



World of computing, thou art my bane. I don't know whether I'm dismayed or relieved that only one person suggested some Marcus Williams humor, but having yesterday's post disappear from the earth was indeed a cruel homecoming. Anyone who knows more than we do, please advise.

Some serious FreeDarko-certified shit rattling the cage today. Simmons drops his positively majestic trade value column, an off-season landmark that I'm not above paying tribute to. And then there's that first batch of summer league results to dream over, which might be more important to the FD worldview than even the regular season. Anyone who has a clue as to where and when these games are broadcast needs to get in touch.

But lord of all lords, the real reason I just had to quickly procure a loaner computer is that all-time FD gawds Marquis Daniels and J.R. Smith have new murky roles to call home. I'm going to assume that anyone reading this blog regularly has some faint understanding of these two cult ballers, if not my fragmentary devotion to them. I will tell you this, though: I am in full possession of a rationalization for jumping on team's and player's bandwagons, and also stand up proudly for my right to let individuals drop off of my favorites list. Seasons change, people change, and someone like Ben Wallace just isn't as captivating to me as he was in '04. One thing I can guarantee, however, is that Smith and Daniels simply cannot be dislodged from their place in my priorities file, partly because they are so fucking elusive.



In a sense, these trades change nothing. J.R., who Simmons carelessly called "a draft bust," will find himself buried in a deep guard rotation; maybe Gordon gets moved, but even then there's Skiles' fondness for the gutsy Hinrich/Duhon tandem to contend with. As I've said in the past, it's amazing to me that Smith so quickly went from a member of NOLA's "backcourt of the future" to a guy destined for bench duty; I don't quite get why a "talented big" is always worth taking a chance on no matter how old he is, while a potentially deadly guard is washed-up if he forfeits his starter's tag at age 20. Smith may have been exiled by Byron Scott out of spite (has there ever been a less amenable player's coach?), but in Chi-town he's legitimately an afterthought.

Marquis has led an altogether more mystifying basketball existence. Undrafted FA who suddenly shows up in the midst of a stacked Dallas team and proceeds to lollingly dominate in the playoffs. Gets rewarded with a sizable contract, disappears due to injury, and then somehow falls out of favor with Avery Johnson even though he's a serious defender. Hopefully none of you have forgotten what happened when he was briefly introduced into the Finals last month: for a split second, we saw the weapon that might've reliably given Miami's well-laid roster a problem. Even if it had only lasted one game, it might've been enough to give Dallas the title. But no soon as Daniels had unleashed his lazy brilliance, Avery sent him back to the pale, as if to cover up his own error.



Marquis on the Pacers might very well be their attempt to atone for losing Artest. I'm not saying Daniels is on TW's level, but he can guard 1-3, pentrate at will, pass decently, and grab some boards inside and out. Still, with S-Jax holding it down, future mastermind Granger before forced to the 3 by O'Neal's lock on the 4, Sarunas possibly moving over, and perennial almost-there scorer Fred Jones, there's some competition for that 2/3 spot. The most common criticism of the Pacers with Artest was that the line-up was getting too crowded; maybe Daniels is in a better position than he was on the Mavs, but it also looks like he's on a team desperate for some clarity and direction. To secure the spot he deserves, he'll have to positively wow the staff and then take advanatge of an injury or two. He's not despised as he was under Johnson, but the situation's hardly that much better than it was under Nellie.

Obviously this is yet another case of me hung up on potential. Here, though, what makes it so dramatic and earnest is that we know what they can do; these two angels of style just aren't given the chances they deserve. They run no risk of compromising our imaginary visions, since they've already laid their own footsteps to follow in. If there is a version of potential that can satisfy the needs of both the realist and the flake, this here is that perfect union.

34 Comments:

At 7/07/2006 5:05 PM, Blogger Ian said...

I immediately had a problem with Simmons' piece- the fact that he named Boris Diaw over Joe Johnsons and took another easy potshot at the Hawks. The logic sucks; he admits that Johnson's performance was incredible considering that he was playing with Royal Ivey and yet the Hawks were dumb to dump Diaw, as if his season didn't have everything to do with Nash. This is the same guy who says a player's value is immediately lowered if he played with Jason Kidd.

 
At 7/07/2006 5:45 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i have trouble believing that diaw is a creation of nash; i'd almost say that marion owes him more, and that's a player who was a stud before stevie came to town. as much as i like johnson, there's no doubt that he's a differnt player in atlanta, where chaos reigns and only he is brave enough to rise above it.

also one is a 2/3 with decent ballhandling ability, the other a point center who's only gettin better.

 
At 7/07/2006 5:45 PM, Anonymous Daniel Doyle said...

I really appreciated the pictures in this FD post.

WV: ulkoh. My Ukrainian girlfriend.

 
At 7/07/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

I had no idea Gilbert was even considering a Vegas stint, but I audibly gasped this morning while reading Stein's column. Gilbert, Amare and Artest in Vegas? That's like the FreeD holy trinity (in Vegas!!!). Talk about something to dream over! Gym Rat Pack?

I might've been forced to hop on the first Southwest flight and grab a $40 room at the Sahara. Without Gilbert, though, I somehow have almost no interest.

 
At 7/07/2006 8:37 PM, Blogger Rick said...

Isn't it more probable than not that J.R. Smith finds his way out of Chicago via some kind of "valuable movable pieces for a 6th man" kind of trade?

I mean, don't the Bulls suddenly have 25 playable guys on their roster after this week's trade-craze?

 
At 7/07/2006 9:09 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

My understanding is you can't package any of those newcomers with other players in a second trade. So the only way Khryapa, JR, and PJ can be dealt is alone +/- picks and cash. JR may be tantalizing for another team, and might not get any run under Skiles. I see those guys staying, but they still have bargaining chips in Sweets, Malik Allen, Duhon, and Gordon.

Any CBAologists out there that can confirm this rule?

wv: brcan-Czech swingman or Czech breakfast cereal.

 
At 7/07/2006 11:20 PM, Blogger mutoni said...

Simmons' piece is a true post-season landmark indeed, and I enjoyed reading it tremendously; however, his placing of Duncan over Yao bothers me. Using his logic (that you must factor in age, mileage, injuries, untapped potential, growth, etc.), how can you possibly say that Tim Duncan is more valuable than Yao Ming right NOW, in their respective careers? It don't add up, playa.

*I second Ian's comment. No way is Diaw more valuable than Joey J, especially if you take them out of the systems they play in and just evaluate them straight-up.

 
At 7/08/2006 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So if you were the Rockets, would you trade Yao for Duncan straight up?

 
At 7/08/2006 2:33 AM, Blogger The Electric Zarko said...

Call off the suicide watch, Monta Ellis is going to be okay.

 
At 7/08/2006 2:42 PM, Anonymous Brains McGee said...

Amare's jersey is now numero 1, according to Stein's Vegas report. Did the Suns get rid of the stiff who was sporting that number and Amare got tired of 32 or is it more of a new beginning, Amare has risen from the ashes and is in need of a new digit?

 
At 7/08/2006 5:04 PM, Anonymous db said...

as a knicks fan, it's my duty to point out simmons' glaring omission of our very own future, channing frye, who could probably land half that list either by himself or in a package. but i also wouldn't be surprised if he had al jefferson at like number 17 or something so i'm not too worried about it.

 
At 7/08/2006 5:07 PM, Anonymous db said...

and re: yao/duncan - yao's got more left in his legs, obviously, but that's a definitive YES. you could troop out a starting five of me, my brother, two of the FD writers and duncan and we'd probably be considered in the championship mix. yao isn't there yet. he came on beautifully towards the end of last season, but without mcgrady it was looking like the wheels were falling off that wagon for a while there. once he learns how to carry a team by himself and can be considered good for at least the second round of the playoffs just by lacing up his shoes - then he's on duncan's level. i think he'll get there but it's too early for him yet.

 
At 7/08/2006 6:53 PM, Blogger NIKEY said...

mrquis danies will blossom in the pacers system . he's got plenty of talent as he showed in the finals playoff.
marquis just need to change his demeanor and facial expressions. his are like the one shown in americas most wanted .if marquis learn to do that , larry might even name him marquis of indiana. title only of course.

 
At 7/08/2006 11:53 PM, Blogger there is no you or me without Suomi said...

J.R.R. Smith (the extra R is for redundant-in-Chicago) is going to be moved again, it just can't happen for a couple of months because of league rules.
Simba's column was pretty cool, but he lost it in such a big way on the "Worst Contracts" sidebar that I actually found myself looking for the Page 2 email button. Brian Scalabrine's not worth much more than the vet's minimum, but there's no way he deserves being on a list with people who ALL make at least 4 times what he does and for a longer time in almost every case.
re: undrafted FAs- anyone know why Rashad Anderson didn't even rate a 2nd round pick? I know titi about Big East hoops, but I figured he was at least a better prospect than Denham Brown?!

wv: qywgejzg- Polish translation of the first lyric of the Cocteau Twins' "Violaine", or Botch's "C.Thomas Howell Is The Soul Man". you choose.

 
At 7/09/2006 2:26 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

if j.r. were somehow to end up on the suns, i can and would immediately die a happy man.

WV: obdkhr (arabic russell jones)

 
At 7/09/2006 6:12 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Anybody wanna join my petty little crusade against the new NBA game ball?

http://store.nba.com/gp/product/B000GHWS9S/ref=sc_iw_c_0_0_14129791/104-5046606-7355938?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=AI034WF8DHTF9&league=core

Why change something that really can't be made to look better? I understand the whole more grip argument, although the ball is to Shaq's hands as a tennis ball is to mine. But couldn't they just have changed the material and left the look alone? This is where it ends, the German league ball:

http://www.sportserve.co.uk/pics/Molten%20ball.jpg

Why, why, why?

 
At 7/09/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

The absence of right angles is kind of jarring, but I don't resist design progress. I'm having trouble comprehending how it "absorbs water, so it can evaporate quickly." Nanobots do this? The players will have the final say.

It looks like the German ball is wearing a jockstrap. It has that dark psychologic humor going on. The embarrassment probably cuts down on palming violations.

 
At 7/09/2006 9:20 AM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Nice idea, I never saw it that way. Just another argument I can use to refuse playing with that ugly thing.

But still, I can't get around to see the design changes as progress. Maybe progressing into the wrong direction.

 
At 7/09/2006 10:06 AM, Anonymous db said...

uhhhhh you guys don't REALLY think j.r. smith is that good ......... or do you?



[wv: gzplgz. ms. kyrgyzstan 2006]

 
At 7/09/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous J.E. Skeets said...

Re: the new ball.

I was there the day the plane went down and the black box was opened and wow, let me tell you, this thing has ridiculous grip. I can’t palm a normal ball, but I picked this futuristic shit up like it was a ping-pong. Weird.

And oh, as for the “absorbing water” part ... yeah, I just think that’s for Reddick’s piss-hands...

 
At 7/09/2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Bring back the ABA ball!

wv:agrnata- agree Nate's awesome

 
At 7/09/2006 1:14 PM, Anonymous jack said...

One thing I'm confused about- when they say it's a microfibre composite, does that mean it's made of synthetic materials and not leather? Or is it a composite of leather and fibres?

 
At 7/09/2006 5:13 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

Jack- typically, it means it's a totally synthetic material. But I can't find any confirmation of that fact. Which is odd, because typically with a new material like this, all the pop science blogs have a detailed technical description as soon as possible. The only info out on this is the NBA press release. Oh well... thanks for giving me a chance to try to put my materials science classwork to good use.

 
At 7/09/2006 5:56 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

re J.E. Skeets: So we might see a whole new era of ball fakes? Earl Boykins doing the one-hand show and pull back like MJ used to? Less excuses for dunk contest participants? Then I'm all for it.

But still, why get rid of the traditional pattern when it is just fine? It's like Hollywood plastic surgeons deciding to put the nipple on the side of the boobie... why change it if it looks good and serves it's purpose?

 
At 7/09/2006 6:30 PM, Anonymous Kaifa said...

Off topic(s), but most of you have probably read it somewhere, here's what Ron Artest told the Sacramento Bee speaking about the Bonzi Wells contract situation:

"Q: Have you talked to him (Wells), done any campaigning to get him back?

A: He called me last week. I told him if he leaves, then I'm going to kill him. Unless he wants to die, he's got to stay (with the Kings)."

Oh, and he also wants to win the championship next season. If the Kings return with that same line-up that scared the Spurs badly in this year's playoffs, he might actually have a chance with the league seemingly evening out a bit. Plus, probably the greatest match-up imaginable would be Artest on LeBron in the Finals.

 
At 7/09/2006 8:43 PM, Anonymous Mr. Six said...

Ron-Ron also said that he and Bibby would take Bonzi into a closet and work on his legs. He's quickly becoming the most quotable player in the League.

If there were a Cavs-Kings finals, both LBJ and Ron-Ron would have to play center.

 
At 7/09/2006 10:26 PM, Anonymous spider said...

So was Zinedine Zidane's headbutt a "freedarko" moment?

 
At 7/09/2006 10:40 PM, Anonymous Aaron said...

MSG had the Knicks-Sun summer league game. Amare's back, Shoals! Looks... sorta legit. He's not really an inside presence yet, but he's looking comfortable out there.

Oh, and in case this is a surprise to anyone... Renaldo Balkman is not NBA ready.

 
At 7/10/2006 1:44 AM, Anonymous static kid said...

I know I saw something on the NBA website or the website of the ball maker that said that the ball was comletely non-leather. The absorbing water thing confused me too; the only sense I could make of it was that somehow the ball doesn't actually soak up the water, just makes it spread out over the surface instead of beading up.

Zidane? Totally not FD. I can't see Gilbert doing such a thing.

 
At 7/10/2006 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i gotta say zidane is a serious motherfucker. one of the greatest soccer players. very competative, obviously goes over the line sometimes.
that pk he hit. motherfuckers got balls.

gil is a cute dude, exotically black and well liked by certain nba fans.

i dont think they should be compared.

 
At 7/10/2006 8:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

which is what you probobly said as well.

 
At 7/10/2006 10:23 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

The Headbutt: not FD, although I'd say soccer is as a sport/culture. The Mortal Kombat headbutt parody is awesome.

Back on the subject of the new ball, the old seam pattern made the ball slightly flatter where the seams criss-crossed. They're working ever closer to a no-seamed ideal. So what's more FD, the conceptual Platonic perfect sphere, or a ball that's imperceptibly lopsided, not unlike the earth?

 
At 7/10/2006 12:54 PM, Anonymous spodak said...

Re:Zidane
There's a rumor floating around that Matarezzi called him a "terrorist". One would expect an Algierian Frenchmen to take that personally.

 
At 7/10/2006 9:10 PM, Anonymous static kid said...

Yeah, I'd bet that Matarezzi said some awful shit to provoke the headbutt. The Gilbert/Zidane comparison was a little odd--I don't know enough about the guy to pass any judgement about him, I just meant to refer to the headbutt itself.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home