Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Offseason Notes NOT Having To Do With The Douchecision

Some offseason notes:

– I am taking a little too much pleasure in watching the douchiness of T-Mac manifest itself this offseason. The Utah Bulls, er, Chicago Jazz, er, Chicago Bulls had a private workout with His WashedUpNess this week and, to hear Tracy talk about it, the Bulls front office was licking its chops about stumbling onto such an under-the-radar catch. These quotes encapsulate the magic dust he's sprinkling around. “Without me, without Boozer, they’re a .500 ball club,” McGrady said. Wow. Any quote that makes me defensive of Carlos Boozer deserves bold italics and a few extra vacation days. I can't wait til the Clippers sign him.

– In a related note, this is a fun offseason for Former Insanely Talented Alphas like AI and Shaq. The fact that some team is going to have to talk themselves into one of the game's top 2 or 3 most dominant centers ever (not anymore but still. Kareem got contracts when he could barely John McCain his goggles.) is a little sad to me. The bright side is: Pros vs Joes is always looked for some extra legitimacy and the combined MVPs, points, and NBA Finals appearances are legit.

– Also, The Utah Bulls. What the Bulls front office, in picking up Boozer & Korver & Brewer (who I miss the most, in spite of his complete inability to hit a jumper), is saying is: we believe Rose > Deron Williams. They are assembling, essentially, the same cast around Rose as Williams had. Now, Chicago fans, let's not carried away about Joakim Noah. Yes, I would take him on my team. No, he is not an elite big man. He and Memo Okur (who has one more all-star appearance than Noah) essentially cancel each other out, though I'm willing to admit that Noah's hustle is a plus. Luol Deng? A wild card of the same type as, oh, Andrei Kirilenko. Everybody KNOWS he's good. But what are you getting from him game to game, month to month? I think it's very interesting that the Bulls believe in the '08 Jazz that much. I did too, though, so I can't really hold it against them.

The Laker Upgrade. Miami gets the most ink. But the defending champs upgraded, in my opinion, to an insane degree. A tough, mix-it-up guy who can knock down equal amounts of superstars & shots in Matt Barnes. A PG upgrade (though the WNBA has a handful of PGs who would be an improvement over Farmar) in Steve Blake. And some more size (as if they were lacking) in Theo Ratliff, who- for the sake of this bullet point- I talked myself into. Still the team to beat.

– Chris Paul. Wah. You're an amazing talent stuck on a team in transition. Your friends are all teaming up to try to gang their way to rings. You also signed a contract. I'm sure there's a gun to your head everytime you cash those million-dollar checks. Sack up. Whiny multimillionaire athletes kill me.

– The Jazz, to avoid D-Will pulling a Kobe/Chris Paul, have made some moves– Jefferson, Bell, Hayward. They aren't Miami-level or Steal Gasol For Nothing level, but they are decent. As a Jazz fan, I'm happy to see something happen that includes Boozer taking his talents/attitude/entitlement elsewhere and guys who want to kill themselves for D-Will onto the court. Hearing D-Will tell Jefferson he's gonna make him an All-Star made me really happy.

Portland can suck it. Just because their "top tier, first round" talent can't stay healthy or perform up to par doesn't mean they should come pillage the hard-working, smartly drafted talent that the Jazz pick up (see also: Paul Milsap). Wes Matthews is a total stud and I worshipped his hard work in his rookie season. But it makes me sad that he's gonna get a ton of money to fight for bench minutes on a team whose best hopes are an injury prone elderly man still trying to have a rookie season and landing unhappy Chris Paul. This quote from Kevin O'Connor was money: "(Fesenko's) next on the agenda. (We'll) go from there, see what happens, see if Portland has any more money left."

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