Take Me Home

Spewing out thoughts on KG and Kobe. Apologies in advance if this is recapitulating anything that Shoals has already said...

Just to backlash the backlash, I'm not gonna go ape over the Kobe 24-second cameraphone joint. People are acting like it's the Onsmash.com viral version of an American hostage getting beheaded or Saddam getting hanged or some shit. During these baseball months, no end of ridiculous manufactured sports news stories pop up, all of which are designed for us to express faux shock and outrage. This is another classic case of ballers getting over-superhumanized...like, CAN YOU BLAME HIM? He couldn't have said it better himself. We're talking about Jason Kidd versus Andrew Bynum here. What this video proves is...at least Kobe isn't dumb enough as most NBA GMs. He actually understands that you have to get a top-3 -in-the-L player some FRIGGIN CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBER HELP to get back to the finals. Screw upside, and forget there ever being another Shaq in the league. J-Kidd is that dude who makes Mikki Moore look like Kareem...and could you imagine the Kidd-Odom-Kobe triumverate going up against Nash, Marion, and Stoudemire? The Lakers would be FASTER.

So, hooray. ESPN gets a week worth of Kobe trade talk. Then they couple it with my favorite topic of the past three years, that the Timberwolves are listening to offers for KG. As many know, the Wolves are my team, KG is my favorite player, but even *I* am beyond caring. If and when the Wolves make a move with KG involved, it's not gonna be under the bright lights and under the scrutiny of Ric Bucher. Kevin McHale and Glen Taylor may be incompetent, but the one thing they do care about is saving face. And trading KG for a bag of unwanted Celtics does NOT give them the opportunity to say, "We didn't know what we were getting into." At least some fantasy like KG for Amare gives them a chance to say, "Hey we tried," but there is no way I see Steve Kerr making any major potentially career-ruining changes in his first year as Suns GM.

And I hate to be all rational for a second, but let's get down to business and make the point that I'm sure countless others before me have made. Trading away a star player never makes you better, and most of the time it makes you worse.

76ers with Barkley
Blazers with Rasheed
Lakers with Shaq
Pacers with Artest
Hornets with Baron Davis
76ers with Iverson

Even with the Raptors/Vince or Magic/McGrady, the teams did not get markedly better for a couple years, and it was only because they had stealth weapons (Bosh and Howard) waiting in the wings. THIS NEVER WORKS. Trading Kobe is suicide for the Lakers (Oh yeah, I'm sure Penny Marshall would just jump up out of her gauchos to EMBRACE Kirk Hinrich). Trading KG gets the T-Wolves nowhere closer to the playoffs, and much further from selling tickets. If the major media outlets needs to make up transactions that badly, at least come up with a few that are entertaining. Carmelo to the Knicks, please.

Switching gears to drop some Thurl-caliber jamz on you, this one was spotted by my good friend Kachel. Jazzy Jeff is seemingly mining the inner recesses of my brain's creativity center, to actually bring this idea to fruition before I got my hands on a pirated copy of Pro Tools (MY OTHER BRIGHT IDEA IS TO LOOP THE ALL THINGS CONSIDERED HORNS OVER THE "THINK" BREAK, hipsters). Jeff loops the AI "Practice" speech for this Nag Champa'd out cut with J-Live. The results are iiight, but in my ideal rap vision, I would have put Peedi Crakk over this or something. J-Live is more like the Allan Houston of hip-hop. Never A-Easy.


At 6/20/2007 12:56 PM, Anonymous JTS said...

Didn't trading Iverson make the Sixers better immediately? At least in the standings, the reverberations were felt within days. I would also posit that Iggy could be that stealth weapon in the Iverson deal. Is he the same type of scoring threat that Iverson was? Of course not, but he's got a lot of other abilities that the bright lights of AI overshadowed.

The bottomline though is that the team won more games without AI than with him. I'm a long time Sixers fan, and while I miss him some of the time, most of the time I'm just interested to see if Billy King can actually get this team the help it needs in the draft to get them to the playoffs.

(My prediction: No, no he can't.)

As for everything else you talked about, I'm in 100% agreement. Trade rumors are annoying as hell, especially when they involve pieces that are so obviously not going anywhere.

At 6/20/2007 1:05 PM, Blogger nerditry said...

I can't see why everyone thinks that a trade of either of these players will be a direct 1-1 in terms of teams. To get value distributed I believe there will be three or more since no one team is likely willing to be gutted for this trouble.

Kobe likely can't happen, everyone should be salivating to get KG out of the gulag.

At 6/20/2007 1:06 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

Agree - trade rumors are annoying, especially when they are just wishful thinking by so-called experts from ESPN. Kevin Garnett to the Celtics? Please. I can't imagine any scenerio in which a black athlete with a say in the matter would actually okay a move to Boston. Those rumors are nothing more than Boston-centric ESPN writers' sexual fantasies....

At 6/20/2007 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


What are you saying?

In a town that absolutely WORSHIPS David Ortiz, I think we can safely (and thankfully) say that Boston has grown out of its racially insensitive image to the extent that every other city that houses an NBA franchise has.

Secondly, the only reason Garnett-to-Boston is getting so much press is because Danny Ainge, in a rare act of public honesty by a GM, openly stated that the Celtics and the T-wolves have been talking. With Garnett's option to bolt next summer and Boston dangling some pretty enticing pieces (potential All-star Al Jefferson and a highly-demanded draft pick), is any of this really that far-fetched?

If Garnett plays in Minnesota this year, he'll just leave next summer, and the Timberwolves get nothing. (And if you think he won't opt out of his contract for money reasons, you don't know Kevin Garnett very well.) Doesn't Minnesota NEED to move him??

As for the Bryant situation, would you want to be within 100 feet of that locker room next year if Kobe sticks around? The NBA isn't a video game where the players just play and that's it. Dealing with the locker room fallout of everything Kobe's saying would be impossible. He's basically given a big "Fuck you" to his entire team and specificallly called out one of the young players that the Lakers NEED to do well. And while I'm totally with you on not blaming him for his Candid Camera rant, he's dealt with the rest of this like a complete bitch. He's just as responsible for turning this into an oversensationalized bullshit-fest as ESPN is.

With that said, I agree. It never works. If I were Mitch K, I would have taken a gun to my head a long time ago. Garnett is moveable though, and the Wolves can't afford to get nothing in return for his inevitable departure in the next year.

At 6/20/2007 5:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the song. Coulda used a sharper rapper (sharper sounding?) be enjoyable nonetheless.

At 6/20/2007 6:51 PM, Blogger Ben Q. Rock said...

DLIC writing about KG > most anything else.

At 6/20/2007 7:44 PM, Anonymous The Gong said...

I like how Bryant has crippled the lakers present and future by demanding a trade and by completely destroying Bynum's confidence... isn't he totally fragile?

At 6/20/2007 9:16 PM, Anonymous Scott said...

if I were in an NBA fantasy league I would reach on iggy next year--he didnt shoot enough last year while adjusting to life without iverson, and he should figure out "this is MY team" over the summer

and if that doesnt work he should just catch more lobs from andre miller

At 6/20/2007 11:01 PM, Anonymous eauhellzgnaw said...

The best you can say about Boston is that people no longer perceive it to be more racist than Utah or Indiana?

And Ortiz doesn't count as "black" with the people we're talking about. That he's not from the States distinguishes him from those they consider "real" blacks: those with rooted history here; those who are culturally Af. Am.

At 6/20/2007 11:25 PM, Blogger Vinnie said...

Comparing Davis on the Hornets to Barkley on the Sixers? Umm... Not so sure about that.

At 6/21/2007 2:08 AM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

David Ortiz is definitely not "black" as most would use the term. Plus he's jolly and fat and easy to dismiss on those grounds. KG is a completely different animal.

Now, they did like Pierce and Walker for a time, but didn't they turn on them the minute things went downhill? For god's sake, Simmons wrote a whole column on Pierce being the lone psychological Negro a while ago (I believe Shoals wrote about this once).

Like everyone else not from the NE, I'm sick of hearing about the Knicks and Celtics every time a major star goes on the trade market.

At 6/21/2007 6:01 AM, Blogger Erik said...

"KG is a[n]... animal."

You, sir, are a RACIST!!

I'm just as bored of trade rumors as anybody else. Sure, if KG's career continues to wither in Minny, my soul might do the same, but until they ink a deal, what the hell is the point of talking about it?

At 6/21/2007 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't say anything about them being "percieved" differently. I said they've grown out of their racist image, meaning they have a reputation that is no longer accurate. Seriously, when was the last time race was a serious issue in Boston? People jumped the ship on Walker and Pierce's team because Antoine was impossible to watch, not because Boston is intolerant and dismissive of black athletes.

And I agree that KG is an entirely different beast than Ortiz, but its not like KG has a "thug" image either. When talks of Iverson coming to Boston heated up last year, this may have been a somewhat relevant point, only because Iverson does have that image and tends to bring some degree of controversy to wherever he is. Minnesota management has screwed KG 1000 times over, and the closest thing he's had to a public outburst was that interview with John Thompson where he had an emotional meltdown over how badly he wanted to win. KG is the type of player any city can embrace.

If Boston's allegedly racist culture was prevalent enough to actually deter athletes from coming here, how is Boston one of the biggest markets for a sports industry thats dominated by African-Americans?

At 6/21/2007 9:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cause the people of Boston are sad, drunks that hate their wives and bury themselves in sports to avoid the utter devoid that is their life? Thats my first guess.

At 6/21/2007 3:24 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

"When was the last time race was a serious issue in Boston?"

2004, when Barry Bonds said he would never play in Boston because it is a racist town. Here's David Zirin's post on that, including historical and recent (2004) examples of why Boston is perceived the way it is:

Now, perhaps you are correct, and the "perception" is outdated - I don't know, the last time I was in Boston myself was about three years ago, and yeah, I found it racist. When your sports image is tied in with Massholes, you should expect that people will perceive your town as racist.

Point being, that's the perception. It's the perception among black athletes - Torii Hunter ain't signing in Boston this winter I'll bet; black athletes don't want to play in Boston. They know about Bill Russell, and all the rest - those guys are still around.

So, my larger point was this: Why would KG, if he had a say (and he most definitely does, I bet - the T-Wolves wounldn't trade him somewhere he doesn't want to go) ever pick to go to Boston? Why wouldn't he say instead "Trade me to Chicago, even if it is the 2nd best offer or whatever?" Especially given that he is from Chicago?!?

I could be totally wrong but... KG to Boston is a pipe dream in my opinion.

At 6/21/2007 5:30 PM, Blogger Ty Keenan said...

"Garnett's agent, Andy Miller, told ESPN.com's Chris Sheridan that Garnett made it known to the Wolves and Celtics late Wednesday that he had no interest in playing for Boston."


SML's probably right, it's more about perception than anything else. But I went to school in MA for a time and people were a lot more prejudiced (not necessarily racist) than I've experienced anywhere else. But I haven't lived in Mississippi or anything, so yeah.

Well played, Erik.

At 6/25/2007 9:45 PM, Blogger ADD US TO YOUR FAVORITES PAGE said...

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Isn't it amazing how some teams get better by trading a supposed super star. That doesn't mean the Lakers should trade Kobe, however. If I was Kobe I would want to play on the East Coast. He would stand a better chance of ever making the finals again.

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