The following post will features as many Head puns as I can think of, with varying degrees of subtlety. Earlier this month, free agent Indiana Pacers guard Luther Head came to terms with the New Orleans Hornets on a two year contract. A mere couple of days after this news was reported came the news that Head’s job offer was gone; he had failed his physical examination with the team, and that the signing had been called off. Head is now available for everyone. Controversy surrounded the decision. Head’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, slammed the Hornets’s decision. Bartelstein claimed there was ulterior motives behind the veto, and that the Hornets had claimed Head had failed the physical just to get out of the signing, when in actuality they’d just had a re-think. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports took that angle further, calling the decision a “slimy trick”, and loudly calling out Hornets executive Hugh Weber. That said, there’s always controversy when a player fails a physical. In all the time I have been following the NBA, the team trading away the player – or, in Head’s case, the free agent’s agent – have cited some kind of failure of the due diligence on the part of the recipient team as being the only reason for the vetoing of the transaction. On a case-by-case basis, that may be entirely correct; for all I know, the Hornets DID do what Barts and Woj suggest, and veto the deal on flimsy grounds because they’d simply changed their minds. Or maybe the Hornets were genuine about their claims on Head’s health. I don’t know. It’s not my place to know. And I don’t really want to know. But what it did stir within me was a desire to investigate failed physicals over the years, and […]
– Nikola Vujcic Nikola Vujcic is into his second season with Olympiacos. His minutes were way down this year, averaging only 13.9 minutes per game in the EuroLeague and 12.0 in the Greek league. But this didn’t stop him producing; Vujcic averaged 7.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in the EuroLeague, and 6.8/2.3/1.3 in the Greek A1. Those are more like a small forward’s numbers than those of a 6’11 post player, but that’s Nikola Vujcic for you. Vujcic’s minutes took such a hit partly because he’s into his 30’s now, but also because of how deep Olympiacos are up front. With Giannis Bourousis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis getting the bulk of the starts up front, Linas Kleiza getting a dollop of power forward minutes, and with Greek internationals Andreas Glyniadakis and Loukas Mavrokefalidis also in the big man mix, Vujcic had to share time with the rest of the talent (not helped by the fact he’s Croatian; Greek teams can only have a maximum amount of six non-Greeks per game, hence the roles for Glyniadakis, Mavrokefalidis and the baffling Pangiotis Vasilopoulos). Olympiacos’s front court depth is in fact so deep that even Bourousis is moaning about his minutes. And he’s the best of the bunch. – Lorrenzo Wade San Diego State product Wade’s first professional season has seen him rack up the air miles. He started the season with Kavala/Panorama in Greece, but was released due to poor performance after only three games. Wade had averaged 10.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in those three games, but apparently it wasn’t enough. He then went to the Philippines to play for the San Miguel Beerman, although I’m not sure if he ever did, because almost immediately after that news came out, Wade was also announced as signing in […]
A lot of people (four) have either e-mailed me about this or asked me about it on t’internet in recent days, about when players have to sign with a new team by in order to be eligible for the playoffs. Apparently there’s some confusion on the issue, particularly surrounding the March the 1st date. So let’s clarify. There is NO SIGN-BY DATE for playoff eligibility. You can sign whenever you want – even on the last of the regular season if you like – and still be eligible for the playoff roster. The only stipulation is that you cannot have been on another team’s roster – or on waivers from another team – at close of business on March 1st. This makes the March 1st date a waive-by date, not a sign-by date. And that’s why players frequently get waived in the run-up to it, (such as Jamaal Magloire, Brent Barry and Flip Murray have so far) then sign with a new team after it, and still appear in the playoffs. An example of this is Anthony Carter last season with the Denver Nuggets. He and Von Wafer both signed with Denver just before the end of the last regular season, because the Nuggets needed some insurance guards for the playoff push and didn’t want to sign them earlier because they were so deep into luxury tax territory. Vaekeaton didn’t then play in a playoff game for them, but Carter did, and the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Willis did the same thing. So there we go. Fun stuff.