2.19.2009

Through Flesh and Of Soil



After having spent much of the morning trying to convince people that Shaq-to-Cavs would suck, I've given up and decided to seek refugee in the realm of abstractions. Who among us loves not to spend a good twenty minutes in a crowded coffee shop pondering the nature of time in today's NBA?

I'll keep this brief, but think about it: Only a few years ago, time barely existed in the Association. Market value for players was relative, and set each summer. GM's threw out huge deals, rarely considering how they'd hog-tie the team down the road. Max extensions created the illusion of franchise guys, though it was never quite clear who feted whom. Then came the mini-max, which urged teams to win now, and at the same time, opened the door for players to be free of a huge deal sooner rather than later (who knows, we might yet see that side of the coin). 2010 had everyone thinking about cap space two years down the road. And now, with money dearer than ever, suddenly dumping Brad Miller's contract—which expires in 2010—is worth it just for one year of savings.

No one trend brought about this shift. And who knows if it will continue once 2010 passes, or the economy recovers somewhat. Still, there's no mistaking that time is now urgently, anxiously present, part of the fabric of this league, in a way it hasn't been before. Perhaps it's overcompensation, but how blind, weird, and weightless things were before. I think it's a good thing.

Now talk about rumors.

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18 Comments:

At 2/19/2009 1:41 PM, Blogger Tony Christopher said...

Did you check Anthony Randolph last night? He was in Odom's head.

 
At 2/19/2009 1:43 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I was actually at a benefit dinner thing for/with the Master Musicians of Jajouka, who disappointed me by not playing their crazy pipes. And I wasn't about to go see them in a rock club the night before.

But as I said in an email to someone, I'm reaching the point where each good Randolph game is less something I regret missing (except when I don't), more a sign there will be plenty more in the future.

 
At 2/19/2009 1:48 PM, Blogger Kellen said...

I know this wasn't the main point of the post, but I just want to throw in: Shaq-to-Cavs would suck so much.

LeBron loves to thunder down the lane to the rim, and while he isn't scared of clogged paint, Shaq standing around wouldn't help. Cf. the frustrations of Amare, the disappearance of the Nash baseline dribble.

On the main substance: Worrying about finances isn't fun to me. Caring about contracts and salaries makes the NBA seem about as fun as balancing a checkbook. I understand why this is happening, and I understand why fans care about teams standing in regards to salary caps. The being said, fretting about the money of these things isn't nearly as interesting to me as focusing on well the games and the personalities.

The money is just a tedious sub-plot.

 
At 2/19/2009 1:49 PM, Blogger kele said...

odom on randolph: "He should set his goals high. He has All-Star potential, Hall of Fame potential..."

http://www.realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/57399/20090219/odom_sees_himself_in_randolph_sees_hof_potential/

 
At 2/19/2009 2:36 PM, Blogger Fat Contradiction said...

Maybe someday GMs will take the next step into an understanding of time, and start reckoning player age / mileage...

Tragic tho it be to more than one observer (not me), the primary value of Sheed & AI indeed involves those contracts expiring; cultural impact and on-floor contributions are, in the light of those millions, secondary. And tertiary, respectively.

Time wounds all heels, and hath wounded those two as well.

WV: retryla
Too transparent. Obviously, the software wants Shaq on the Clips.

 
At 2/19/2009 2:45 PM, Blogger Derek said...

That benefit dinner didn't happen to be for the upcoming film, "The Hand of Fatima"?

If not, then keep your eyes peeled:

http://www.thehandoffatima.com/

Also, I saw Odom v. Randolph. Odom sweated like a marked man for the whole of the game, and Randolph looked as if he might burst into tears when things didn't go his way. Great matchup.

 
At 2/19/2009 2:47 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

It was so they could continue their tour. But the lead guy talked about the film some. I think.

 
At 2/19/2009 3:30 PM, Blogger FunWithLogic said...

All of the moves really beg the question of: what is each team playing for? It would be interesting if each team received an assessment of where they are on the scale of cost-cutting v. constructing an immediately competitive roster (x-axis) and temporal scale of now v. the future.

If the Rockets actually moved Alston, as is the rumor, I think this would push them a little more towards the cost-cutting side.

Finally, there clearly seems to be a race to the bottom amongst teams. How is the NBA going to fare when it appears that the league is disjointed and underperforming because the teams are built more on finance than gameplay?

 
At 2/19/2009 4:23 PM, OpenID tredecimal said...

It may seem like a knee-jerk easy reaction as a Rocket fan to being happy that Alston is traded, seeing as how he tosses up 2-9 box scores all the time (although he has been playing well of late, almost peaking in games where one or more of Yao/TMac/Ron sucked/took it off altogether). Having said that, I Believe In Harvey Dent, I Mean Daryl Morey. If he thinks a team that's lost its defensive identity this year can live without one of the guys who actually seemed to PLAY it, then clearly he's seeing Battier-esque things I'm not. If anything, the Rockets have seemed
to be abused by teams with quick wings more than anything else (Gay & Mayo have beat them twice this year). Plus Aaron Brooks just plain needs more time, even if he is a defensive liability. The move makes the Rockets younger too. I'm cool with it. Wondering what T overseas thinks...

 
At 2/19/2009 5:46 PM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

I saw it with my own eyes. The announcers were fawning over Randolph. Skying for a rebound he landed with his back on Odom. Odom bent halfway down, the reared back and threw Randolph off of him, tossing him to the ground. I didn't see if Randolph hit his face on the court, but Randolph started bleeding from his forehead, and was pulled from the game. Then, Randolph started crying, not because of the wound (I don't think) but because he was out of the game. Even my girlfriend watching said, "That's the kind of player I'd want on my team. The kind who is devastated to be pulled from the game." When the camera cut back to Randolph he was frowning with his face down, trying to hide from the camera.

 
At 2/19/2009 6:11 PM, Blogger Christopher said...

I know this is preaching to the choir but Randolph looked like the Warriors best player last night. He was everywhere. Like a bigger, faster, more skilled, Lamar Odom who actually gives a shit. From the start I was thinking Shoals has to be watching this.

I sort of already hate Darryl Morey, and anyone else who thinks Basketball is just a (increasingly complex) box score.

Also: Any updates on the potential Austin date?

 
At 2/19/2009 6:31 PM, Blogger Kaifa said...

Some very good news at the deadline:

"The Bulls also sent guard Thabo Sefolosha to the Thunder for a first-round pick."

They'll still have to play Collison at the 5 and try to keep Swift/Sene/whomever off the floor, but 1 through 4 they're looking really good.

 
At 2/19/2009 6:44 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I don't think an Austin reading is going to work out. I'm only going to be there for 3/24-3/25 (I think), and unless someone works for Book People, it's too late to schedule something at a bookstore. Anyone at the University in a position to bring me?

 
At 2/19/2009 7:49 PM, Blogger T. said...

@tredecimal I am not the biggest fan of Lowry, but I think this means the Rockets are going to dismantle. Yao and Mac are, what 27 and 28? but they're the oldest 27 and 28 year olds in the league. Lowry will take a few years to mature into a good point guard.

One of the things I really liked about Skip (and it wasn't really measurable stat-wise) was his ability to organize and get the Rox into their sets early - which was important because it took an extra two seconds for Yao to set-up in the post so the Rox had a few fewer seconds to run their half court sets than they would with a faster center like, well anyone but Jerome James and Eddy Curry.

 
At 2/20/2009 9:54 AM, Blogger Louie Bones said...

McGrady turns 30 on May 24, Yao turns 29 Sept. 12. Where did the years go...?

 
At 2/21/2009 2:51 AM, Blogger Phoebus said...

bethlehem, yeah actually i do know someone who (i think) still works at bookpeople, if you're still interested.

 
At 2/21/2009 3:09 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I'd like to do something there. I'm going to be in Austin from 3/24-3/26, with some flexibility. Talk to him, and if that looks like it might be an option, hit me up on the Gmail account. Thanks.

 
At 2/21/2009 3:58 AM, Blogger Phoebus said...

k, will do whence she gets back to me

 

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