Around the World

SIGNING DAY. Break out the Weber grill and turn up the music. It's a celebration. During these ultra-wack offseasons, you have to appreciate the creativity with which teams go about re-vamping their rosters and making bizarre tweaks, just to provide a spark and keep the fans interested. New Orleans? You guys are nuts. Chandler, Peja, and CP3 as a big three? Such an unholy trinity of Freedarko-ness: The high-schooler, the Euro, and THE STYLISTIC ENIGMA all personified. Portland? Evidently due to the new rule barring high schoolers from the draft, they had to come up with more innovative ways to keep their mean team age to 18. New York? Let me just come out and say it right now. On some Diana Taurasi "put it in ink" shit: Isaiah will win Coach of the Year. BOLD MOVES.

And then there are your straightforward overpriced FA signings. Ben Wallace, Bonzi, Mike James...all moves that really make no sense from a basketball standpoint, but I think all work well for the Bulls, Pacers, and Wolves, respectively, because of the psychological boost they give to each of those organizations. For those who didn't hear, Mike James went a little batshit on Minnesota radio yesterday in concealing, and then unveiling the team that he would sign with. I urge you all to listen to this highly memorable interview to hear a glimpse of what ESPN and other mainstream sports outlets never give us. THIS IS TRUTH:

Mike James Part I

Mike James Part II

Elsewhere, RebuildingYear outdid us once and for all with this amazing find of THE LAWSUIT doing his best to restore the Trailblazers vile image and really put himself out there for the good of the team. Ha Seung Jin, like no other player, has truly defined what the off-season means these past few years.

[EDIT: JE Skeets was crushing on Ha since V-DAY!!!]

Additionally, I contributed a little something to Peter Schrager's very necessary roundtable on how to improve MLB All-Star Monday night. And in a wild case of mistaken identity, I was indirectly referred to as one of "the nation's leading sports minds." Freedarko is a blog of watching baseball when the NBATV subscription that accompanies League Pass doesn't roll over into summer.


At 7/12/2006 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funniest part of the clip is when James is trying to list players on Minnesota he is happy to play with -- and he struggles to mention anyone besides Garnett. "uh.........hassell and uh.......blunt"

At 7/12/2006 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing find? Sorry. Ha and I been tight since V-Day, when he bought me strawberries and whispered "Sarang Heyo" in my ear...

At 7/12/2006 12:07 PM, Blogger Brickowski said...

shame the NBAtv didn't roll over. here's a listing of the summer league games they're broadcasting, just to prove to shoals that i didn't dream it.

At 7/12/2006 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dont need LP to get NBATV anymore, do you? I don't.

At 7/12/2006 1:56 PM, Blogger billikenbluff said...

Who is that in the first pic?

Bloomberg, casting the first stone?

At 7/12/2006 2:29 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

take a closer look. that man is about as far from bloomberg as possible. your boy ed said circa signing day '00.

i gotta check on nbatv again. last time i checked, it was fuzz. i'm trying to see marcus williams do things.

At 7/12/2006 2:54 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i liked it better when espn showed them in the middle of the day.

doesn't look like bonzi is going to the pace show, which is good from a maquis-centric view of things.

WV: axbre (classic GNR cheese products)

At 7/12/2006 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seemed like James had planned out that analogy out in advance.

At 7/12/2006 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not sure if anyone here cares, but it hurts my soul to hear rumors about the Nuggets sending Marcus Camby and Andre Miller to Philly for AI. I guess I can do without Andre, but Marcus is my man... The other rumor involved Reuben Patterson, paired with either Marcus or Andre. They already lost Buckner, so their perimeter defense will be total shit without Patterson, but anything's better than losing Camby. Beyond that, I can't see AI and Melo existing on the same team -- just like I can't see AI/Pierce working well together... Ugh, it's a weird time to be a Nuggets fan.

At 7/12/2006 4:39 PM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

Wait wait...you're upset about the possibility of losing CAMBY FOR AI????

You should really be more upset that your team has a salary cap problem for the next 10 years (unless of course you dump 1-2 of the bigs)

At 7/12/2006 5:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On paper, of course a Camby for AI trade would be good for the Nuggets. My concern is losing a guy who probably should've gotten DPOY for someone (who I really do like) who might cramp the style of Melo, who we signed for another 5 years. It's a chemistry thing -- I love AI and he's clearly one of the best players around now... But having Melo (the Nugs' star) possibly take a backseat to a guy who is on his way down but an even bigger star doesn't seem like a wise move to me. I'm more concerned about that than losing Camby -- I just hate the thought because Marcus is my favorite player, and it was great to have him here in Denver. AI needs a team without a go-to scorer, a bunch of solid role-players, and a good big man. Denver's not that team, and I think it would cause problems all-around. I doubt it's going to happen at all, but it scares the hell out of me. And yeah, the salary cap problems will come back to bite us in the ass. Maybe the whole intention is to make a run for a title before the whole shit house goes up in flames.

At 7/12/2006 5:41 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

totally FD: expansive outpouring of emotion over the future of marcus camby

my newest AI theory: Larry Brown and Billy King are clearly incompetent general managers. it's always been assumed that it's just impossible to build around Iverson, but maybe the problem is that no one competent has ever been given a crack at it.

WV: mcbzzs (the added readership people get from writing for mcsweeney's)

At 7/12/2006 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But they figured it out in 00-01, didn't they? Allow AI to freelance by surrounding him with the McKies, Snows and Lynches of the world. Then create offense from defense and go to town on a Weak East.

Wasn't it the Mutombo trade that ultimately felled that team? We (I'm from Philly) did it to stop Shaq, but nobody could have stopped Shaq at that time. Then we had Mutombo's decaying body and gargantuan contract to deal with.

Damn. Memories.

At 7/12/2006 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trading Camby means the Nuggets start K-Mart and Nene, who are both one sneeze away from the IR. Not that Camby's built Ford tough, but it can't hurt to keep the dude who's proven he can actually play in the league. Also, wouldn't Carmelo and AI choke Karl to death whenever he drew up a play for someone not named Allen or Carmelo? This would not end well.

When are the Iverson for KG, "sucks to be them," rumors going to start? Throw Pierce in as a three-way, and you have every trade rumor from the past three seasons.

At 7/12/2006 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoals, I've been of that opinion for quite some time re the folks in Philly not knowing how to build around AI.

I take 00-01 as a trick of circumstance.

Every time I see AI in the All-Star Game with someone like McGrady playing next to him--i.e. someone he actually likes and respects and who can keep up (no Jerry Stackhouse)--I see the AI that should have been. Put him with one other player on his level and surround them with some competent pieces, and then you really have something. Obviously, the Sixers were mediocre last year, but look at what he and one-legged C-Webb did statistically.

Plus he probably always should have played in the west.

At 7/13/2006 10:00 AM, Blogger billikenbluff said...

Well said.

At 7/13/2006 10:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thursday morning now, and where is my Bonzi? Yesterday after reading this post I was on Cloud 10. I looked for verification that the Pacers did in fact acquire Bonzi Wells. I did not find it. But still I trusted Dr Lawyer Indianchief. I parsed his words closely. No maybes, it looked like a done deal. Am I angry? No. For one day I could dream of Bonzi and Marq together in the blue and gold. Thanks for setting my imagination free, Freedarko.

At 7/13/2006 10:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of a video of the rumored insane telfair backwards between the leg pass to green who threw it down "with so much gusto it brought the crowd to its feet." I knew it was only a matter of time until green had a showstopping dunk. I'm glad i'm not the only one checking the box scores and happenings from the summer league daily though.

At 7/13/2006 11:25 AM, Blogger Dr. Lawyer IndianChief said...

"Bonzi" was just for dramatic effect.

I'm pretty sure he's playing for Tel Aviv Maccabi this coming year.

At 7/13/2006 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aug, it's toward the end of this:


At 7/13/2006 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As unofficial boston rep in the freedarko senate, let me provide the requested visuals:


The play in question starts at about 1:30 in. And you can get maybe even better gg dunks at

And speaking of everyone's favorite sub-500 team that has the luxury of youth like colin powell had the luxury of prostate cancer, I refuse to believe it is a coincidence that I have written amorous freedarko paeans to boston, pierce, AND iverson. This feels like one of two things: either my mind is somehow controlling the universe and the deal will go through, or it will fall apart and reveal that i exist in a truman-show world of concentrated, paranoid malevolence.

At 7/13/2006 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and sorry to step on your heels, aaron.

At 7/13/2006 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who found that PA announcer?

At 7/14/2006 2:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sick dunk, but damn, what backstabbers said.

It's like some deranged scientist combined the genetic material of Mason, the And1 PA guy, and all the funk of suburban America.

At 7/14/2006 2:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Questions one asks oneself when one should be aslumber: Is it FreeDarko to be as impressed with LBJ's nascent talent for business and assembling a team of next-level advisors as one is with his game?

At 7/14/2006 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This question is totally unrelated to anything that has been discussed here, but I turn to the freedarko community for wisdom.

I go to ESPN and the first thing I see is a reporter talking about an injury to a horse. Since this story has been in and out of the news for months, the only conclusion I can draw is that there are people out there who actually care about it. My question to the FD community -- who ARE these people? Did they develop some kind of emotional attachment to the horse after watching it mutely run in a circle for a couple of minutes? Does it have a tragic life story fraught with obstacles that I am unaware of? Or is Barbaro a metaphor for our own wounded innocence and idealism? FD, please explain.

At 7/14/2006 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah funny, that was my first thought after watching those clips - who the fuck is this white-boy-got-soul announcer asshole, all OOOOOHHHHHHHH every time someone dunks it?

i'm not at all sold on gerald green. i think he's going to be another one of those uber-athletic guys who doesn't really ever figure out the nuances of the game enough to really propel himself to legitimate stardom. the dunks won't be a problem, nor will running the floor with his guards. but has he shown anything - i mean even the slightest bit - to lead one to believe that he really understands game situations? he's obviously young, so give him time, but you can see why all those teams weren't willing to throw their plans out the window for him when he was in the midst of his freefall on draft night.

did anyone else catch that bill "i should be running an NBA team" simmons chat on ESPN where someone asked him what he would give up for iverson, to which he responded al jefferson, gerald green, theo ratliff, and their #1 pick. he then went on to preach about how "you've got to give in order to receive" or some other such bullshit in a later response. what the fuck though, his hypothetical offer was L.O.W.B.A.L.L. he's an obnoxious homer masquerading as a journalist, so i shouldn't be surprised.

At 7/14/2006 8:25 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

don't know if that's such a terrible offer.

1. jefferson=soph slump
2. gerald green=athletic scorer, has shown he can function at this level
3. ratliff=presence inside, contract is big and off the books in two
4. '07 draft class=bananas, lottery will be golden and mid- could still net a solid contributor

it's a gamble, but considering that no one's going to give a superstar in return and any other centerpiece is going to disappoint, it's not so unattractive. i

At 7/14/2006 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

fair point. it's really the al jefferson thing that throws me off though. substitute delonte west for jefferson and it looks quite a lot better.

at this point he's a major letdown. i mean the fact that he's having a very hard time in summer league going into his third season is not a good sign. if i'm a GM whose hands are more or less tied and has to move iverson for a package, that's really not the type of player i'm looking for in return. green is still a project, sure, and even though i've been hard on him he has far more promise at this point. so a guy who's already shown that he can play at the nba level (west), a risky player who's not there yet but has huge upside (green), a contract (ratliff), and a pick seems more reasonable to me. my main sticking point was that jefferson has lost most of his "intriguing young power forward" appeal at this point until he shows something and his trade value is extremely low as of now ... he shouldn't even be mentioned in a trade involving iverson unless he's an acillary throw-in.

the other thing to consider is that the sixers already have a freakishly athletic project player at the wing in rodney carney, so unless they see something special in green it may not make the most sense to pick him up. and for the record, i'm not too into either player.

frankly, if i had to let iverson go and the celtics were the most attractive option, i'd try my damndest to get both west and gomes in a package. something like west/gomes/ratliff/pick would get my attention much more than two of their young guys who haven't done anything noteworthy in the league yet. and just to keep things in perspective, we're talking about IVERSON here. age and injuries be damned, he's one of the premier athletes of our generation and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. fuck that, AI is getting better with age.

i also have to wonder what philly might look for in return for iverson, because they're really not one of those teams that's not going anywhere but still has the marquee player with the a massive contract that's holding them back. bear in mind that they've still got major contracts on the books, so they can't really blow things up in a rebuilding project unless they make a series of subsequent moves. i mean, is theo ratliff really that appealing to them? they've got a 10-years younger version of him already in dalembert, and even though he's eventually going to represent major money coming off the books, he's still worth another two years at about $25 million. that's nothing to sneeze at.

anyway .... i'm just saying .... philly has to know they're getting someone who can play at a high level in any trade scenario here. it's going to be the same thing with the inevitable garnett trade rumors that crop up before too long. simmons is absolutely right that you've got to give to receive in this league, but al jefferson and gerald green isn't exactly "giving" ... yahmean ??

At 7/14/2006 9:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"2. gerald green=athletic scorer, has shown he can function at this level"


not saying he can't, but he's nothing more than a project at this point. he's shown nothing in actual nba games. yet.

At 7/14/2006 9:26 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

when they started playing him at the end of the year, he wasn't totally lost. or at least he managed to score and rebound a little. "can function," not "can definitively produce."

i think gomes is what's made them willing to part with jefferson. as far as big al's fall from grace, that's a hopelessly young team with a coach known more for being a friend of up-and-comers than any kind of mentor. they had no PG last season, and no definite post game/frontline rotation. in other words, you couldn't put someone like jefferson in a less stable situation. i went and saw them play the wizard and i think they fed jefferson the ball exactly once. he looked totally disoriented, and that can't just be blamed on his immaturity.

for all the talk of how hard it is for guards to make that jump from hs, seems like big men are far more vulnerable to complete and total disarray. or maybe that's because they're over-valued in the first place. regardless, i'm not so sure that big men can just fall into the mindless role of rebounding and putbacks. speed and shooting, though, always translate and are in many ways more independent than waiting for the ball and mucking it up underneath surrounded by action and VETERAN TRICKERY.

At 7/14/2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i'm fully sold on gomes at this point. just not as a power forward. he absolutely cannot match up with the prototypical 6'11", 250 lb PF's in the league. he'll get eaten alive by the likes of jermaine o'neal, bosh, rasheed, et al. he's a capable defender, sure, but he's 6'8" with a small forward's build. as a SF i love him though. i think he can be a rock solid fundamental player, good defender, reliable shooter, etc.

and i'm not willing to make any excuses for al jefferson anymore. from the reports out of summer league, he's looking lost in situations that don't involve him getting an easy score, and that's not a good place to be for a guy who's got a fair bit of nba experience already and who doesn't have other atttributes like size and athleticism that might mask his shortcomings. i don't think his trade value has reached maciej lampe throw-in proportions yet, but as far as being an exciting young prospect to build around? please. let's be realistic.

like i said before, i'm not ruling gerald green out by any measure - not at all - but i'm not still dreaming of the predraft scouting reports we all heard either. he gets a lot more rope as of now.


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