Hip Hop Culture for Grown-Ups
Words by Phlip
Looks like there were some fireworks right there at the trading deadline after all.
To keep things simple, I will deal only in teams that will either make the playoffs or cause utter hilarity in missing them.
First, the Magic informed Dwight Howard that he had best make his intentions as it relates to opting out of his contract on 07/01 known or they would send him somewhere he may not be happy for the remainder of this season. With that in mind, he signed that waiver and will be in Orlando for at least one more season.
In doing so, he has pretty much shot large holes in Mikhail Prokhorov’s plans to buy up the best talent and win a championship in New Jersey–… err, Brooklyn. See, Deron Williams signed no such waiver and can still opt out of HIS contract at the end of this season, and it is looking more and more like he will have no reason to stay and carry this motley crew of bums back to the lottery any longer. In other words, the Nets are SCREWED. With that in mind, Orlando had better be campaigning HARD to bring him down there, lest he will go to Dallas and D12 will join him via trade next season – EARLY next season – as they are faced with the same drama they have been thus far into this one.
Next, my favorite victims this season, the Knickerbockers…
All the entertainment value and D’Antoni job-saving that Linsanity brought about was swiftly put to death the moment Carmelo Anthony returned. D’Antoni needs a fast-paced open offense, and a pick-and-roll when they have to bring the ball up like reasonable human beings. Carmelo needs the ball and floor space to isolate, and pass only when double or triple teamed. Since Carmelo would see his touches in his comfort zone go south in D’Antoni’s system, he never even acted like he wanted to play in it. When he returned, the Knicks lost 8 of 10 games. When D’Antoni went to management to discuss the apparent issues at hand, he was duly reminded that he was in the last year of HIS contract and, while Carmelo is the most easily traded piece in that front line, they were apparently looking toward the future.
Exit Mike D’Antoni… good luck getting a gig now. In his place is Mike Woodson, who famously rode “Iso” Joe Johnson to a couple of second-round exits at the hands of the aforementioned Magic. One could assume that ‘Melo might get the ball back in this offense, but we would also assume that NO ONE will play defense since an “interim” coach can’t make them and ostensibly the Knickerbockers will be missing the playoffs this year and looking for a new coach to boot. While no player activities took place in this situation, we were reminded that sometimes an organization will trade loyalties to a coach for those to the players. The inmates are running this asylum.
Happy trails, D. Fish…
To be honest, I partially blamed him for the ugly nature of the lockout and the players taking what was ultimately a bad deal for them, but I still appreciate what he has given my Lakers in his 13 seasons with them. He will be sent to Houston for Jordan Hill, while we FINALLY get a young PG in Ramone Sessions to bring the ball up the court, initiate the offense and (most importantly) defend his position. In exchange for him and Christian Eyenga, we loose a protected draft pick and FINALLY get the $6.1million contract of Luke Walton off of the books to Cleveland. Unfortunate will be the amount of time he will have to mesh into the system, but as a fan I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
Speaking of Houston, they also dealt some dead weight in Johnny Flynn and draft washout Hasheem Thabeet in exchange for Marcus Camby. It seems as if they’re at least TRYING to win 2-3 playoffs games this season.
At current, the Nuggets are still in the running, but after sending a serviceable starting Center to Washington in exchange for one who was once benched for throwing himself an alley-oop in a game and one who has a fractured hand and once had a heart procedure despite being only 21 years old at the time. Yeah, my state of impression with the Nuggets in the absence of Carmelo has given way to their going out of their way to throw it in the toilet in spite of.
In a wholly unexplainable move, the Spurs have moved for Stephen Jackson from the Warriors, who had only traded for him so recently that he had not yet suited back up for them yet. This is unexplainable because they fill similar holes and I see no benefit to this, given Stephen Jackson sulking and pissing and moaning until Charlotte traded him after they traded Gerald Wallace last year. Oh, and there was that time in 2004 where he randomly wandered into the stands throwing haymakers at otherwise unprovoked fans in Auburn Hills, Michigan. What I am saying, basically, is that he will be the disruptive force that WILL test Gregg Popovich’s management ability.
There were plenty more moves made over the course of the day and week ahead of it, and I invite you to ESPN and their nifty Trade Tracker. The interesting moves (or non-moves) will make a major difference come playoffs time, and it is ALSO interesting which teams made no moves. Namely Dallas and Chicago. I am honestly surprised that the Mavericks didn’t try to deal LamarDashian.