I loved that so-called “Jail Blazers” team. Loved it. There was just so much talent on it, so much depth, and so much athleticism (which, not matter how much you appreciate skill, is something that makes the game more fun, as evidenced by this clip). That particular Blazers team also had Steve Kerr and Chris Dudley, two all-time favourites of mine. It was great times all around. But it’s a bit odd, when you think about it. All but one Blazer in this clip is now out of the league. Derek Anderson is unsigned. Bonzi Wells is in China. Ruben Patterson is unsigned. Scottie Pippen is kicking 50’s door down. (Not 50 Cent, but the age.) Kerr is the Suns’ General Manager now, and Chris Dudley is Kevin Love’s mentor. (Well, he was, briefly.) Rasheed Wallace is still with us, but not the same Rasheed Wallace as we see today, and the rest of the roster not seen in this clip (Damon Stoudamire, Dale Davis, Shawn Kemp, Erick Barkley, Mitchell Butler, Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Rick Brunson) are all out of the league. The only ones that aren’t are Sheed and Zach Randolph, then a deep bench player on a deep bench. Admittedly, this clip is seven years old, and so 13 of the 15 players being out of the league seven years on should not be a surprise…..but it just doesn’t feel right, does it?
3: Speaking of Darius Miles, congratulations on him playing his tenth game, and playing it bloody well.
a) Is this evidence of Dallas realising that this core isn’t working, and isn’t going to work, so saving some money and thinking 2010 might not be a bad idea right now? I hope so. There’s little potential for internal improvement right now. Gerald Green, J.J. Barea and Shawne Williams don’t constitute a young core. And you’ll have to keep Brandon Bass first before he counts.
b) Are there any more overpaid backup centres on long-term contracts that the Bobcats can bring in to fight for the ten minutes behind Emeka Okafor? Is two – Diop and Nazr Mohammed – going to enough? Can we goad them into a move for Dan Gadzuric? Spend their full MLE on Fabricio Oberto? No? Pity.
5: It’s a shame that the Nets realised that they stood to gain nothing from the Larry Hughes/Bobby Simmons & Maurice Ager swap, because otherwise the Bulls were in danger of pulling off a good move. It’s also a shame, though, that talks seemed to break down over the Nets’ insistence on including either Tyrus Thomas or Yannick Noah in the deal. Now come on, Thorneweghe. Give them some credit. You don’t dump your semblance of a future frontcourt just to move Larry Hughes. And more importantly, you don’t need Tyrus Thomas. You’ve already got Stromile Swift. They’re basically the same, right? That’s what everyone keeps saying, anyway.
6: Speaking of, why does everyone seem so interested in Sean Williams? Williams is simply not that skilled, and he compounds that with an apparent attitude problem (as evidenced at the D-League showcase, where he turned up only technically). Athleticism does not equal talent, and Sean Williams has lots of one and not enough of the other.
7: Hopefully, the Grizzlies firing Marc Iavaroni will lead to a change in philosophy. What’s the point of creating a team with two point guards (Mike Conley and Kyle Lowry) who thrives when pushing the ball, then starting two great athletes like O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay on the wings, having a similarly athletic power forward in Darrell Arthur and a high-flying sixth man like Hakim Warrick, just to then be 22nd in the league in pace? Memphis should be pushing the ball. They’re young, athletic, have enough of a halfcourt option in Marc Gasol to get by, and have just enough rebounding to run a reasonably successful running game. (More than the Warriors do, anyway.) To make them grind out meticulous and rather ineffective halfcourt sets doesn’t seem to be working, so play to the team’s strengths. At the very least, their trade values will go up. And you might even win more.
8: Heartfelt condolences to Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller, who had half of both his legs amputated, and to long time Bulls staple Johnny ‘Red’ Kerr, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
I am continuously intrigued by the esoterica and minutiae of all the aspects of building a basketball team. I want to understand how to build the best basketball teams possible. No, I don’t know why, either.