6.29.2009

French Furniture
















Sportsfans,

I feel so old media, the way every time I pick up my pointer finger to start typing, it’s already been covered, re-covered, and thoroughly digested. Nonetheless, allow me to ponder some recent events.

Richard Jefferson.

Amazing deal for the Spurs. AND they got DeJuan Blair (whose name my brother and I were calling every time Stern stepped to the podium for picks 19 through 30). Now, this comment may bring Brickowski out of retirement, but I have to wonder how much of the Spurs’ “genius” is simply taking advantage of other teams’ stupidity. Like,

1) You don’t NOT take a chance on DeJuan Blair’s knees if you’re a non-lottery team in a pretty weak draft.

2) If you are John Hammond, don't you at least have to throw in Charlie Bell's contract or get a draft pick or SOMETHING to let your fans know you are asleep at the wheel? I'm so f'ing sick of the 'alluring 2010 offseason 'I could vomit up fishbones. Beyond the top three 2010 FAs on this list (Bosh, LBJ, Wade--the former of which are not going anywhere anyway), is there ANY body that you would want your team to throw Rashard Lewis money at? Most of these guys have are gonna be old or have a history of injuries. And any now-monetarily satiated star who is slightly appealing (e.g. Dirk) isn't going to be looking to play in Milwaukee or Minnesota...they're gonna be looking to go somewhere to get a ring.

In sum, the Spurs are now better than the Nuggets and a hair worse than the Lakers, who are right now the best team in the West.













Blake Griffin

Not much to say here, just wanted to make the prediction that he will be better than Durant and Beasley. Probably Carmelo too. Seems to be the first forward since LeBron to come into the league with a legit NBA frame. I'm sure B-Diddy will break out his good legs for this season. Am excited.

Ricky Rubio

First off, as a Wolves fan, I'm angry. This is personal-not-business. The draft has left me with a clawed-at scalp, and a head full of worries, one of which is that Ty Lawson will haunt us for years to come. On Rubio, I want to give sincere thanks to Canis Hoopus for writing this so I don't have to. Everyone take a second to go read it. No, seriously, take a look at it...Now that that's over with, let's talk about another angle on how this story is being covered/manufactured/facilitated. You know it's bad when you have to rely on Jay Mariotti to land the few big punches and point to what is the critical issue here. It's race. In his essential FCKYOU to the dream of so many inner city kids and farm boy hayseeds, Ricky Rubio is being coddled, practically ENCOURAGED by ESPN to seek a trade, to make demands, to act like he has played one goddam nanosecond of American ball.

Mariotti brings up Eli Manning and John Elway. Good start, but they (a) had college resumes to back up their trade demands, and (b) ended up talking the talk. What about Jamarcus Russell, Cedric Benson...how about Steve Francis? You think they got this sort of treatment when they made their childish demands? Hell no. And they were already proven commodities in the US!

I mean, Rubio skipped out on the Wolves first press conference. Can you imagine if TO skipped out on the Bills voluntary workouts! That would have been news! Oh wait, it was! What Rubio is doing with his passive/aggressive trade angling and failure to commit to the Wolves is as bad as Kobe/Shaq/Marbury/Cassell/etc. trade demands...except it's WORSE. He is an unproven commodity and he is shitting on the American Dream.

Thanks ESPN/athletes for keeping mid-market teams hostage!
















Shaquille O’Neal

...which brings me to Shaq, or instead LeBron. Talk about keeping mid-market teams hostage, and that is LeBron's daily operation. Instead of committing to Cleveland once and for all, he forces Danny Ferry's shaky hand to getting the Big Situation Room, who at this point is simply a coach-killing token that allows Ferry to say, "Look Bron! Look how much we want to keep you around! We got a top 50 player for you!" Getting Shaq is about as good as any other Danny Ferry move: admirable on paper, questionable during playoff time, always the scapegoat after the Cavs are ousted.

I am also pissed (on behalf of Cavs fans) for how much this is a gut reaction to losing out to Dwight Howard in particular (with Shaq, oddly, poised to be playing the role of Dwight-Howard-stopper). Did they forget that the reason they lost was because Turkoglu and Lewis got ridiculously hot, and Mo Williams forgot to show up every other game?

A logical response would be to attain more shooters because in this day and age, LeBron effectively IS Shaq. Nah, eff that. He is a better Shaq than Shaq. He occupies space in the lane and can attract double teams (which Shaq no longer can), and is a better passer than Shaq. How about Ferry gives Milwaukee a call and see if Hammond wants to complete that rebuilding project by dumping Michael Redd?

Too much blood has been spilled on this topic already, but I had to say my piece.

Kevin Love

Now I'm as much of a hater on Twitter's media coverage as there. I hate the Time cover, the slacktivism behind thinking we're doing anything on Twitter to aid the Iran situation, the smug "look at our bourgeoise generation talking about talking about talking about" angle to every trend piece on the topic of Twitter, but I have to be real: K-Love’s Twitter is changing my life, or at least the way I follow sports. I swore I would never “follow” a celebrity, but when he aired the McHale news, I gave it a shot. And now... well, given my Wolves’ allegiance, I mean this is like watching Twin Peaks and being able to get a phone call from Dale Cooper every now and then to see what he’s thinking. Incredible stuff.


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35 Comments:

At 6/29/2009 10:18 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

Yes, I know the font/formatting is f'ed up. I've been in blogger hell for an hour. Joey from Straightbangin writes:

"I liked the insane size of the post as first unveiled. It had an old-timey feel that was properly juxtaposed against the Jennings Internet Incident and the general anti-Twitter sentiment. Bring it back!"

 
At 6/29/2009 10:31 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Please explain to me how Griffin could turn out to be better than Durant.

 
At 6/29/2009 10:38 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

stronger for one. higher ceiling. will have more experienced teammates who won't rely on him to do everything. durant can go off for 45, but griffin could be a steady tim duncan type for years. that's all i've got for now.

 
At 6/29/2009 11:07 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Jazz already had DJ Blair with 2 good knees: still I feel guilty. Also cute of you to call TC "mid-market"

wv: uncler = RIP Mike

 
At 6/29/2009 11:53 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I have to disagree and say that in my opinion there is NO WAY that Griffin will ever be anywhere near as good as Melo or Durant. Beasley I can see, but I just don't see how a guy that shoots his jumper from directly in front of his face is going to be able to get it off with any consistency/accuracy. I may be wrong but it's a pretty big stretch to think that Griffin can be that good, Melo/Durant are two of the best offensive players the league has ever seen! and durant is still improving. Also, as far as I can tell the cavs got shaq to guard dwight, which is something that LeBron definitely can't do.

 
At 6/30/2009 12:07 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Dr. LIC, didn't you say a few months ago that Melo was more unguardable than Wade? So that would make Griffin. . . better than Wade?

 
At 6/30/2009 12:50 AM, Blogger joseph said...

I don't think there is anything to gain from hating Rubio. He is already getting plenty of hate from people calling him a diva. And guess what, they are using the same rhetoric they use against Jennings and all those "inner city kids" you worry about.

There was a time when the European players were the new white hope but those days are over. You notice which team didn't have any international players during the playoffs? Even the most racist fans can temporarily embrace country over race on game day. When it comes to the police I'm sure Ricky will keep his white privilege but on the court won't be white like Bird, he'll be foreign like Darko. When he takes a charge he won't be playing hard like Big Baby, he'll be flopping like Divac.

I get the impression that the standing FD position is Jennings over Rubio. I think this is a mistake. I like both, and my prediction is that roughly the same Hansbrough-loving logic that will eventually be used to vilify one will also be used on the other.

 
At 6/30/2009 1:41 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

I guess one could feel that way about Rubio if they rooted for the T'Wolves. Isn't this site about liberated fandom? Rubio is doing what's best for Rubio, you can't knock the guy. This is his career, god forbid he should try to wind up in the right situation. (And it seems like Sota knew this would happen, why else would they draft Jonny Flynn next?). He is an "unproven commodity" because he hasn't been on ESPN? Haha, if you work in the NBA you've known about Rubio for the last few years. Did you not watch the Olympics? Rubio's been a pro for a few yrs now, he's pretty proven.

I had to laugh at your "woe is Cleveland poor Danny Ferry" rant. Please. If Ferry didn't have his head up his ass, he would've dealt Szczerbiak for some help at the deadline last yr, but didn't make the move because the Cavs were rolling and Mike Brown was CoY! Guess what, the Cavs weren't that good, if he was halfway decent as a GM he would've known that and made a move to get the Cavs one more piece. Would the Cavs had won because of it? Tough to say, but he could've made that move and still made a move for Shaq. Also, your pleas for Mike Redd should fall on deaf ears -- I believe the Cavs could've had Mike Redd, but he spurned them for more money in Milwaukee and the Cavs wound up signing Larry Hughes. Like I said though, they could've easily visited Sczcerbiak for Redd last year but didn't. Ferry's bad, not LeBrons.

At the end of the day, LeBron will do whats best for LeBron, not whats best for Cleveland just to save the Mid Markets and be a hero to the Working Man.

 
At 6/30/2009 4:57 AM, Blogger wondahbap said...

The Big Kevorkian

 
At 6/30/2009 5:05 AM, Blogger JM Oliver said...

European Ball = can't hold out
American Ball = you can?

I don't understand why this would be so...

 
At 6/30/2009 5:53 AM, Blogger Alexander J said...

Lebron really is the new Shaq; it's definitely been covered on deadspin and other outlets, but it's a little TOO convenient that Newark, New Jersey's pride and joy (besides some portugese custard pies in the hood) has/will have played with what we consider 3 of the 5 top players in la liga in LBJ, Wade and Kobe Beef.

Redd to Cleveland could have happened long ago. Didn't Redd tear a ridiculous amount of ligaments in his knee last year? Wasn't he already physically declining?

That Mo Williams choke job was that supreme irony of ironies after the Cavs yanked away from the Celtics the title of 2008-2009's most obnoxious team with their lobbying for an all-star appearance.

 
At 6/30/2009 10:16 AM, Blogger guntalk said...

this anti-rubio rant is vintage fan-boy vitriol with the race card pitched in to make it appear remotely subversive. there's no reason for rubio to find minnesota a desirable place to play: it's a lousy team in a small market. he's not joe mauer. if pretty ricky can manipulate the logistics of where he plays, more power to him.

"shitting on the american dream"? put your wooden teeth back in, you sputtering octogenarian.

 
At 6/30/2009 10:39 AM, Blogger wondahbap said...

So, whose dream is Brandon Jennings shitting on?

Doesn't he have the option to play 2 more years in Italy?

 
At 6/30/2009 11:06 AM, Blogger El Presidente said...

1.) I think DeJuan Blair will end up being much more valuable than Jefferson. Maybe even this year. But I am high on Blair, and OH SO LOW on the overrated RJ.

2.) Ricky Rubio killed plenty of marketing with this move. I agree entirely with your points.

3.) After Shaq and Bron are bounced before the conference finals, does Shaq retire?

4.) Kevin Love: Wha?

wv: Siber - Pavel Podkolzin's favorite kind of sex.

 
At 6/30/2009 12:47 PM, Blogger R said...

Didn't Harper once say, "You go play in Minnesota..."?

Oh wait, that was about Utah.

 
At 6/30/2009 2:45 PM, Blogger Kaifa said...

A solid look at Rubio and his situation by someone who's seen him up close even a few years ago:

http://www.forumblueandgold.com/2009/06/30/thoughts-on-ricky-rubio/#comments

wv: occesin - occasional assassin - Ben Gordon?

 
At 6/30/2009 3:53 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

A couple of things, but first,

I'm sorry, but Blake Griffin is Hansbrough with a few more inches of hops. Thats IT. Look at their draft combine measurables, scarily similar. Even their athleticism tests are similar. Like, the exact same player similar. Okay, so those tests don't mean anything on the basketball court. I can accept that. Let's look at their on the court records, oh wait, hansbrough dominated ncaa ball just as much if not more so than blake did. But he won't be able to "translate it to the nba" but blake "will"??

Skill wise, what does griffin have that hansbrough doesnt? To be fair, I think tyler will have a productive and long career as a backup garbage guy. What keeps griffin from that fate to instead being "better than durant"?! Freakin' DURANT. All the knocks that everyone places on tyler we should place on blake, with the knowledge that his athleticism will make up for some of it. But is he really THAT much more athletic than EVERYONE else in the league? There were no amares, dwights, lebrons, jsmooves in the Big XII. He's gonna look a helluva lot more ordinary against competition that is just as athletic, if not more so, than him.
Taking away most of his athletic advantages, I see no face up game at all, rudimentary post moves not much better than dwight's, no evidence of being a defensive game changer, and nothing particularly special in terms of ball skills, court vision, etc. At this point i'd rather have anthony randolph than blake griffin. Absolutely insane to say he's gonna be better than Durant. This weak draft with its complete absence of big men has drastically colored people's impression of blake. He'll be lucky to have a okafor-like, steady career as a starter who never makes an all star game. Durant will meet LBJ in the finals in the next decade.

Secondly, Rubio.
Not to come across as a fanboy, but honestly, to every single basketball fan, in the world, who is not a Minny fan (so about 99.99% of us) our priorities lie this way: #1. Getting to Rubio to play at the highest level of competition with the best teammates, aka the NBA #2. Making sure he does this as soon as possible and .... #52,135 The viability of the T-wolves franchise. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. Watching Rubio state-side is much more important than the fortunes of your mid-market team. If it takes Kahn folding and trading him the NY or whatever, so be it. Hey, you got Flynn at least. (If this type of dismissal makes you furious, well, it should. But it's insane for us to be deprived of watching this kid just so your GM can come across as not-quite-an-idiot) Don't blame the fans, blame your management for, well, basically sucking.

 
At 6/30/2009 6:41 PM, OpenID theoffsidetrap said...

On Griffin v Durant - If Tim Duncan was entering the draft today, how many people would say that he was going to be a better pro than Durant.

This feeds into the same narrative which sees Kobe, Lebron and Wade as the best 'players', even though Duncan has been the most valuable guy in the league for the past decade.

Seriously - If you had the option of building your franchise around a Kobe in his prime or a Duncan in his prime wouldn't you pick Duncan?

 
At 6/30/2009 6:49 PM, Blogger Nick said...

Daniel makes good points. Griffin on a running team might be pretty useful right away, but he has short arms, is a zero defensively, and has the post game of a single-celled organism.....

 
At 6/30/2009 8:02 PM, Blogger W2 said...

Count me in as someone who is not so blown away by 2010...but...I just can't help it ..approach..aviodance..ahhhh...count me in for a fan who would love to see a team of Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, LBJ, Bosh, and Brook Lopez.

Just love how in the calm befroe the free agancy storm, knowing full well his team won't do dick Thorn hops up the speculation of LBJ and Bosh joining forces by coming out and saying the Nets will have room in 2010. Will that sell seats this year....don't think so.

PS the only thing more boring than 2010 is another debate about Duncan and insert excellent wing in their prime.

 
At 6/30/2009 8:22 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Rubio's actions would be the exact same if he just wanted to negotiate down his buyout, so let's wait a little while before we call him a prima donna begging for the NYC spotlight.

 
At 6/30/2009 8:48 PM, OpenID TheCruxPLUS said...

first, i gotta say mr. griffin's excuse for lacking D that "he had to stay out of foul trouble" is fuckin' retarded. good defenders defend... they don't foul. blake griffin over jennings/evans/rubio/king bull (TWILL I C U)/curry (i guess)/etc is like the bad draft version of bowie over EVERYONE ELSE in the 84 draft save olajuwon (woulda beat jordan in a finals).

AND WTFOMGOCAUST WHERE IS THE COMMENT ON YAO"???????..

At this point it would seem prudent of the Rockets to find a way to let the dude go for good. buy him out, medical exception him, something. as much as i love the 7'6" shooting guard thing (seriously, yao rox) it is abundantly clear that the dude's feet simply will never be able to last the 100+ games for a championship (much less chinese stuff, practices, all star, etc) much less be effective for his salary if they only play him 20 minutes a nite. The only way for the rockets to not sabotage morey entirely is to get yao ming off the roster. shitty move short term, lose fans, which is why hopefully it could be accomplished in an honorable way, no more chinese obsession, but let's face it: it's just not gonna work out. I am now going to play the Stupid GM Game billy simmons lurves so much:

Rockets:
-Lose Yao (medical exception/retirement/buyout, get cap space)
-Sign Villanueva + Varejao for about 15 million combined (naybe 3-4 years)
-Resign and or sign and trade ron artest. personally i think brooks/lowry/battier/artest/villanueva/varejao/landry/scola/random role playerz would be a very good team now (maybe even finals good) and an even better team in terms of flexibility, young talent, and the long term (potentially for 2010 i could imagine ron ron 1 yr big money, or trading somebody and parts for ben wallace's 2010 expiring)

 
At 6/30/2009 8:58 PM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

Griffin doesn't need to be able to shoot to be successful. If he can just read defenders and learn a couple pivot moves and fakes, he'll end up with a lot of dunks in the half court, and he'll definitely be dominant on the break. I get tired of people saying how this or that post player has to have all kinds of game out to 18 feet. Half the reason these guys don't succeed is they think Barkley/Webber is like the only way, when instead they should try more to be like Kemp/Stoudemire. You don't need to be a skill player.

And regarding Hansbrough, I was very surprised when his combine numbers came out, which makes me think he'll be a decent player. However, he'll never be a scorer, because his go-to move was a 1/4-turnaround, over-the-shoulder flip that will get sent into the stands and will never draw the fouls it did in college.

 
At 6/30/2009 9:53 PM, Blogger Kyle said...

I had no idea that Billy Packer wrote for FD in his spare time...

 
At 6/30/2009 11:31 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

@salt_bagel I get what you're saying about Kemp and Stoudemire succeding with (probably) less polish than what Blake has right now. But, do you really think he's as athletic as (pre-microfracture) Amare and young Kemp (before he ate himself out of the L)? Those two guys were literally once in a generation dudes that were head and shoulders athletically above every one else in the nba considered "athletic". I know "comparing" athleticism can be a dicey subject, but from what I've seen I think it's pretty clear that Griffin isn't quite on that level. He might be more athletic than 90% of the guys he plays against, but to be dominant purely on that aspect alone you gotta be in the top 1% echelon region. And I just don't think he's at that level. He strikes me more of a K-Mart type of guy, but of course bulkier.

 
At 7/01/2009 12:52 AM, Blogger dickey simpkins said...

"On Griffin v Durant - If Tim Duncan was entering the draft today, how many people would say that he was going to be a better pro than Durant."

Tim Duncan was miles ahead defensively at age 21 than where Griffin is at right now. He had more refined post moves, a better passing game. Durant at this point has turned into an efficient offensive force, but is a sieve on defense. Duncan in his rookie season was already one of the better 2 way players in the NBA.

 
At 7/01/2009 3:36 AM, Blogger Sports Chump said...

FD a Wolves fan? Should I have known this?

Congrats on the success of the book. My two friends and I all agree, it's one of the most entertaining basketball books ever written.

And we should know because we be readin' and stuff.

Chris
http://sportschump.net

 
At 7/01/2009 4:27 AM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

Not to blow your mind, but "FD" is several people.

 
At 7/01/2009 4:36 AM, Blogger Sports Chump said...

5 if I remember correctly, isn't that right, Beth? The most prolific fivesome since Journey.

Although doesn't 20% of the crew being a Wolves fan constitute bad taste or is he just a glutton for punishment. Hope he likes point guards.

I agree with you on your Griffin over Durant take, which raises the question, if they came out in the same year, who would be drafted first?

 
At 7/01/2009 5:34 AM, Blogger Alexander J said...

SPORTS CHUMP: THANK YOU!

"I agree with you on your Griffin over Durant take, which raises the question, if they came out in the same year, who would be drafted first?"

My Slothrop like paranoia that I was in fact the most glib of the commenters has been put to bed by the dingleberries you rubbed off on your keyboard and somehow word verified.

Maybe the question to ask is, Eddie Griffin or Blake Griffin? Too soon?

 
At 7/01/2009 6:04 AM, Blogger Alexander J said...

It's ALL PEACE AND LOVE THO
MANDRILL!

 
At 7/01/2009 10:13 AM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Who sentenced J.R.?

 
At 7/01/2009 11:00 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I'll agree that Griffin doesn't really compare to Durant. But on the subject of Griffin v. Hansborough, Blake dominated Tyler head-to-head to the tune of 23/16 on 75% shooting and Hansborough only managed 8/6 when they met in the NCAA tournament. He said something after the game like he had a lot of trouble boxing out on Blake as well. Hard to put two players on the same level when one had his ass beat by the other.

 
At 7/02/2009 2:21 AM, Blogger Brett said...

yeah boy! psycho-T got clowned

 
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