More Liquorice Allsorts
January 24th, 2009

1: The following YouTube video has done the rounds recently, showing an impressive double alley’oop in a highly one-sided high school game. That clip reminded me of this one, featuring the Los Angeles Clippers’ “overloaded with potential” era, specifically Darius Miles and Lamar Odom. (Also, is it Sean Rooks throwing that frontcourt pass? I think so.) “The Lob, The Jam” Since Kevin Calabro left us, Ralph Lawler has assumed the title of Best Announcer Of Any NBA Team. If ever you forget that, watch this clip. Great call, Ralph. Great call.   2: While looking for that clip, I also found this one. Portland Trail Blazers Miracle Minute 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, […]

Posted by at 12:35 AM

Preview Sort Of Thing: Chicago Bulls
October 23rd, 2008

The Bulls are, quite possibly, the hardest team in the league to gauge right now. Every one of their significant players is a question mark. Other than predicting Larry Hughes will shoot a pull-up 18 footer on 85% of the fast breaks that he’s involved in, there’s nothing that you can say with any conviction about this current Bulls roster. It’s a poser. Theoretically, they could be great. This is still, essentially, the same 49-win second round team of the 2006/07 season, with only a few changes. The corpse of P.J. Brown has been replaced by Joakim Noah. The corpse of Ben Wallace has been replaced by Drew Gooden. And Chris Duhon has been replaced by Derrick Rose, which may or may not be an upgrade. (Sarcasm!) So, with those three upgrades, along with the return of Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Kirk Hinrich, plus the overdue-but-genuinely-forthcoming breakout of Tyrus Thomas, the Bulls should easily be able to usurp that 2007 team. Shouldn’t they? Well, no. The other change between then and now is the entire coaching staff. As outlined in the Milwaukee Bucks preview, Scott Skiles’s coaching jobs seem to always have a shelf-life, but until it goes wrong, he can make teams overachieve. The Bulls achieved what they did in 2007 despite having only the NBA’s 20th-best offence, purely because they had the best defence in the league. Skiles was directly responsible for that. However, after he lost the team last year – and after his replacement Jim Boylan proved to be about as much use as a surfboard with handlebars – the Bulls defence regressed to being middle of the road, and the offence was no better. It’s not known what new coach Vinny Del Negro will try to do, and it’s futile to guess. […]

Posted by at 6:29 AM

2008 NBA Offseason Preview: Chicago Bulls
April 17th, 2008

The first in a new series of posts detailing teams financial outlooks for the upcoming free agency period, what cap room they have, what exceptions, what draft slots, etc. Should be fascinatingly fascinating, if you’re easily pleased. No information is 100% guaranteed accurate, but unless you’re privy to hitherto unknown information, or just better at this than I am (highly possible), then it’s probably more accurate than you’ve seen before.. To be completed in an order best described as “Random”.   ¬†¬†Chicago Bulls   Currently Committed Salary, 2008/09: Larry Hughes – $12,827,676* Kirk Hinrich – $10,250,000* Andres Nocioni – $8,000,000 Drew Gooden – $7,151,183 Tyrus Thomas – $3,749,880 Joakim Noah – $2,295,480 Thabo Sefolosha – $1,931,160 Cedric Simmons – $1,742,760 Aaron Gray – $711,517 JamesOn Curry – $711,517 (not fully guaranteed) Total: $49,371,173 (* = has incentives. Hughes’s salary listed WITHOUT incentives, that are dependent on win totals, and thus won’t be considered likely. Hinrich’s salary listed WITH incentives, which probably won’t be considered likely either.)   Unrestricted Free Agents: Shannon Brown (cap hold – $1,116,960) Chris Duhon (cap hold – $6,496,000)   Restricted Free Agents: Ben Gordon (qualifying offer – $6,404,749, cap hold – $14,645,007) Luol Deng (qualifying offer – $4,452,574, cap hold – $9,961,017) Demtris Nichols (qualifying offer – $886,517, cap hold – $512,596)   Draft picks: First round: 9th pick, subject to lottery results. (Cap hold – $1,840,800) Second round: 39th pick (no cap hold)   Cap room/exceptions: Nada room, MLE, BAE, and a $5,205,000 trade exception.   Mario Austin: Is brilliant.   Depth chart if you take all the free agents away: PG – Hinrich, Curry SG – Hughes, Sefolosha SF – Nocioni, Sefolosha PF – Gooden, Thomas, Simmons C – Noah, Gray   Sensible things to do: Let Chris Duhon go. Gas Larry Hughes. Don’t […]

Posted by at 3:30 AM

30 teams in 36 or so days: Philadelphia 76ers
September 10th, 2007

Players acquired via free agency or trade: Jack diddly   Players acquired via draft: First round: Thaddeus Young (12th overall), Jason Smith (20th overall, acquired in draft night trade) Second round: Derrick Byars (42nd overall, acquired in draft night trade, unsigned), Herbert Hill (55th overall, acquired in draft night trade, unsigned)   Players retained: Louis Williams (exercised team option), Shavlik Randolph (exercised player option)   Players departed: Joe Smith (signed with Chicago), Alan Henderson (unsigned, might yet return)   Bobbins: Trivia question: Which player did Billy King either sign or re-sign this offseason for way too many guaranteed years and guaranteed money, as is his yearly custom to do at least once? Answer: No one. This is extremely unusual behaviour from the man who in recent years has given out or taken on the contracts of Aaron McKie, Allen Iverson, Chris Webber, Samuel Dalembert, Dikembe Mutombo, Todd MacCulloch, Greg Buckner, Kevin Ollie, Derrick Coleman, Marc Jackson, Keith Van Horn, Eric Snow, Steven Hunter, Jamal Mashburn, Glenn Robinson, Brian Skinner, Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson, George Lynch and Willie Green, amongst others. Years of piling on payroll and trying to manoeuvre his way out of previous personnel decisions have left his team with a big tab to pick up, and not much to show for it. This, it would appear, has stymied King’s spending habits, if only for a bit (next year, the Sixers’ payroll predicts to be about half of where it is now). The offshoot from this, though, is that King has not improved his team in any capacity via trades or free agency. And this leaves him with all his eggs in one basket, having to address his team needs via the draft. Historically, this is where King does his best work. Having not had much in the way […]

Posted by at 11:54 PM