Skimming an article on USA Today this morning, I saw the kind of invective that just makes this blogger hate the nature of internet comments. There is an article, about Stephon Marbury’s stasis, and the commenters come out with the:
"This guy is so dumb its frightening."
"Would someone PLEASE give me $21 million so I can be DUMB…
PLEASE give me a $10 million "paid" vacation so I can be DUMB…"
"If Mebury or Isiah actually "show up" for work they would not get paid. They are being paid by the Knicks to "stay away" from the rest of the team.
The rest of the business world would just Fire Them both and not pay them another penny."
I can’t stand it when people call athletes "dumb" – assessing their intelligence based, usually, on one or a limited number of quotes, usually about the nexus of money and respect. We don’t know whether the player is dumb or not without interacting with him personally for a period of time. The framework of professional sports, from the employee protections to the contractual obligations to the sheer uniqueness of talent also allows for a certain myopia of thought that most people would not be allowed in their jobs.
Similarly, I would like to think that everyone has noticed that quirks are allowed more and more as one moves up the importance ladder in any organization.
These comments are jealousy speaking out – the "OHH, IF I HAD MILLIONS" whining, the use of logic that is based on being an athletic observer and not an athletic talent, and the use of experience gained following a mythos of how the business world works.
Stephon Marbury, with all of his faults included, is a one in 500 talent in the world. Even at his quirkiest, he is so much more talented than a schmoe off the street that the proper corollary would be a Vice President at a very large Fortune 500 company. That guy hardly gets fired when he is being petulant, when the new CEO wants a new staff. No, that guy gets a giant golden umbrella, or gets assigned to a less critical part of the organization, or goes on to another organization based on his rep.
"Fire them both?" AIG is spending money on “retention payments” bonuses after they came hat in hand to the government for WELFARE. Other companies are still giving out bonuses, even if in reduced fashion. Failure doesn’t mean "fired with no money," it means reductions, severance packages; the market is a win/ lose game to investors, not to the employees who need to be kept around.
The point is this: people think they know their athletes, based on puff pieces and ESPN investigative reporting compressed into 5 minute segments or 30 second post-game interviews. And fans sometimes think they can go around name calling from behind their keyboards at work? You don’t know these people. Enjoy their abilities, talk about their in-game decision making, even call them out when they ask for above-market value on their contract. But don’t call them dumb. And it’s worthless to fantasize what you would do with the contract, because you are not nearly capable or single-minded enough to become a top-level athlete.
There is another comment by the first poster about how we’re lucky that Marbury plays ball, because "he would have hurt someone by now"… the ignorance in that comment is evident enough that it does not warrant a post.
My brother texted me while I was walking the dog this morning:
WE GOT FAVRE
I checked Jetsblog (probably the best source for Jets news) and it’s true.
Chad Pennington will be leaving, and that makes me saddest of all. I loved that soft-armed smart-ass QB and was pulling for him to make those 5 yard throws that let Coles make plays in the open field.
Here is a link to a last night’s conference call that speaks to Favre’s commitment to the team (…) and Brett’s concerns about moving to New York.
And from the NY Sun, the Brett Favre trade deal is conditional:
The terms of the trade state that the Jets will send the Packers a fourth-round draft pick, which can become a third-round pick if Favre plays 50% of the Jets’ offensive snaps, and a second-round pick if Favre plays 70% of the snaps and the Jets make the playoffs.
The Jets would owe the Packers a first-round pick if Favre takes 80% of the snaps and the Jets make it to the Super Bowl.
My first reaction is to think about all the interceptions Favre would throw, and then I look at the depth chart, and I start to think, “you know… this isn’t that bad a team at all.”
Then again… there is the dreaded MADDEN CURSE.
Most likely. I am hearing “Dodgers” and “three-way” and “Jason Bay”?
An end of an era with the Sox. How will Manny hide in the Green Monster?
Manny Ramirez has been traded to the Dodgers in a three-team blockbuster, pending the approval of the commissioner’s office, according to a source with knowledge of the deal.
Pirates outfielder Jason Bay is headed to the Red Sox. The Pirates will receive third baseman Andy LaRoche and Class-A right-hander Bryan Morris from the Dodgers and outfielder Brandon Moss and reliever Craig Hansen from the Red Sox.
The Red Sox will pay all of the approximately $7 million remaining on Ramirez’s contract.
Ramirez should provide a major boost to the Dodgers’ offense, but his arrival will add to the crowd in the Dodgers’ outfield, which already includes Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones.
Moss, Hansen and LaRoche all have played in the majors. Morris, 21, was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in 2006.
The deal could significantly tilt the balance of power toward the Dodgers in the hotly contested NL West race. The Dodgers began the day one game behind the Diamondbacks, whose only pre-deadline addition was reliever Jon Rauch.
For the Red Sox, meanwhile, the addition of Bay amounts to a coup, considering their need to replace Ramirez’s offense. Bay, who turns 30 on Sept. 20, is six years younger than Ramirez, and his .894 on-base/slugging percentage is nearly as high as Ramirez’s .927 mark this season.
The Red Sox also will retain Bay through next season at an affordable salary of $7.5 million. After that, Bay becomes eligible for free agency.
Ramirez will be a free agent at the end of this season. He waived his no-trade clause in exchange for the elimination of the two $20 million club options in his contract.
I missed last night’s NBA Draft but am catching up on the happenings:
The Nets traded Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Simmons, who was a one year wonder, and Yi who… well… he’s a better marketing chip (to reach out to the Chinese market) than he is a baller. But both can play a little. I mean, a very little. And it’s a step away from the numerous attempts to “reload” and get to the bottom half of the NBA Playoffs, while dropping the 3 years and 42 mil that Jefferson has on his contract:
That contract, which has three years and $42.4 million to go on it, was another reason the Nets made this deal.
Yi is still on his rookie contract, and Simmons’ deal has only two years to run at salaries of $9.9 million and $10.5 million. That means prior to last night’s draft, the Nets technically had only $26.6 million earmarked for player salaries after the 2009-10 season, which gives them a virtual clean slate with which to rebuild a team that won only 33 games last year.
And while Thorn is loathe to admit it, he has sought to keep the payroll low for the summer of 2010, when — at least theoretically — players such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carlos Boozer become free agents, while others such as Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh could opt-out of their contracts.
RJ was my favorite Net, sad to see him go. Maybe I’ll catch a game in Milwaukee.
They also drafted Stanford center Brook Lopez, who dropped to 10. He’s tall. But any talk of him starting is crazy – over Krstic’s offense? Over Josh Boone’s rebounding? Over Sean Williams’ shot blocking (okay, he’s probably as good and doesn’t make Coach Lawrence Frank lose his hair)? Coupled with Brook’s stiffness – he plays hard, but doesn’t look fluid:
Brook’s measurements in Orlando revealed a massive 7-foot, 5.5-inch wingspan. Combine that with his frame and ability to add weight, and there’s no doubt he can play center in the NBA. (He was mostly a power forward at Stanford, with Robin rooted in the middle.)
Heck, Brook might not have a choice in terms of his position. I say that because his lane-agility time (12.77 seconds) in Orlando was the worst of all the prospects.
I don’t think he’s anything more than a rotation player.
Additionally: the Nets drafted Ryan Anderson and Chris Douglas Roberts. I love Anderson’s ability to shoot the ball. Chris Douglas-Roberts has some ability as a slashing scorer, but he’s not NBA quick, and he never struck me as that strong. But he’s gotten it done on one of the best teams in the country, so he gets a second round look.
The Knicks draft the Italian, the New York crowd boos, same as it ever was. Gallinari says he will earn the applause; (from the Italian media). His shooting impressed the Knicks.
David Lee, the most coveted Knick, will remain a potential chip, and there was talk that the Bobcats had offered point guard Raymond Felton for Lee. But a person with knowledge of the situation said there was nothing to that. Portland has shown an interest in Lee, and the Knicks would want Steve Blake to run the offense.
The 6-9 Gallinari’s arrival likely means farewell to Lee, a fan favorite who emerged as a solid rebounder and intangibles player the past two seasons. Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni envision Gallinari as a power forward. Lee is headed into the final year of his rookie contract and is seeking a long-term extension, and Walsh realizes he is his only tradable commodity.
Darrell Arthur was the last guy in the Green Room (article by Luke Winn); he was eventually traded twice, to the Rockets and then to the Memphis Grizzlies for… Donte Greene. Snicker away, please. Houston’s GM is supposed to be a statistics guy, but I can’t see anything, besides Greene’s block rate and ability to run agility drills, that endears him to an NBA team.
And then, Minnesota’s GM Kevin McHale trades OJ Mayo for Kevin Love, and Antoine Walker, Marko Jaric, + Greg Buckner (three players who should think about other forms of employment besides the NBA) for Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, and Jason Collins (the latter two should consider other employment).
The Minnesota media (Pioneer Press) (Star Tribune) know that McHale has most likely screwed up again, passing on a potential superstar who is better than the guards the Timberwolves have for a forward who seems redundant with the star they have in Al Jefferson. The lower part of this Basketball Prospectus post has some insight:
My initial reaction was incredulity. Talent for talent, this move doesn’t make any sense.
Minnesota now pairs Love with Al Jefferson. The Knicks proved how difficult it is in today’s game to operate a double-post. The middle gets clogged and the offense loses its rhythm. Jefferson will still be the main man in the low-post and, yes, Love can probably develop a face-up game, but what sense does it make to do that? …The Timberwolves also add Miller, who can provide some of what Mayo can at the two-guard, but the difference in upside is monumental. Instead of a dynamic young backcourt of Foye and Mayo to combine with a go-to big man in Jefferson, you end up with a maybe above-average backcourt in Foye and Miller, with Love trying to share space with Jefferson and a prayer that Corey Brewer can turn things around from his terrible rookie campaign….
+ Mets make moves, designating Nelson Figueroa and Jorge Sosa for assignment (Figueroa plans to go to the minors if he clears waivers, Sosa might declare free agency instead), and sending Angel Pagan to the DL. Coming up (or already up): reliever Matt Wise, starting pitcher Claudio Vargas (what’s with the ex-Brewers?), and Fernando Tatis. We don’t have anyone better than Fernando Tatis in the minors?
+ D’Antoni wants to trade Marbury as part of a package for Leandro Barbosa and Boris “I don’t date American women, I have them” Diaw. Great trade, if the Suns are at gunpoint.
+ Soon-to-be senior high school basketball star (and St. John’s target) Kevin Parrom is arrested after an altercation with his coach. There’s more here than meets the eye, if only for the fact that this didn’t need to get into the paper, and the player didn’t have to get arrested if the coach didn’t want that to happen.
+ You can’t advertise your Larry Bird’s former home as the “Legend of French Lick Resort” and get away with it… Larry Bird hopes.
+ Arizona State eliminates wrestling, swimming, and tennis. It was too hot for the last two anyway. Article includes complaining about Title IX, roll eyes and move on.
+ Any post about the old WUniversity, even if it’s about track and field, is welcome in my blog.
+ A WHOA, BACK UP post on OJ Mayo asking some questions and stepping back from calling Mayo some kind of criminal deviant. The angle is interesting as the major news outlets are busy looking for culprits, as Rush the Court calls out the media. Whatever happened to investigative reporting? Whatever the outcome of the Mayo case, this kind of influence peddling will continue. Why would it stop if the only way to get at the info is a jilted snitch?
+ Joe Montana’s eldest son Nate Montana is going to walk on at Notre Dame this fall. He didn’t play much in high school, adopting the game late, but he’s still Son of Montana. You’d think he’d choose a more competitive school, though. John Elway’s son Jack will be suiting up for Arizona State, by the way. Does Jim Kelly have a kid? Joe Theismann? Warren Moon?
A(n incomplete) list of transfers from Division I programs this spring.
Former Christ the King sophomore Larry Davis is seeking a transfer, possibly to Iona, Hofstra, Rider, and Loyola-MD.
Justin Sofman is transferring from Rutgers, looking at Albany, Iona, and Monmouth. Here’s a bit from Adam Zagoria’s blog on Sofman, and how a player can be brought in and cast aside when better recruits come along:
Partly on RU’s suggestion, Sofman then prepped a year at St. Thomas More, playing alongside Devin Ebanks, in order to prepare himself physically, mentally and socially for Rutgers.
He never really got a chance to show his stuff this year, with the injury and other factors. Even during blowouts, Coach Hill didn’t seem to give Sofman much of a look, or coach him on how to get better. He spent most of his practice time working with the scout team.
Now he’ll have to wait another full year before he can ball again.
Rice HS’ Curtis Kelly is likely to transfer from U Conn, and no word yet on the other fringe players, Donnell Beverly and Doug Wiggins.
NY guard and freshman Malcolm Grant isn’t getting enough time on the court and he’ll transfer. He was actually one of Villanova’s best 3-point shooters last year.
The fallout from Tom Crean’s abrupt departure continues, as Scott Christopherson is leaving the Marquette team; possible destinations include Iowa, Iowa State, Butler, and Minnesota.
Edgar Sosa and his big talk/ underwhelming play ration are supposedly NOT transferring from Louisville. We’ll see. By the way, have you checked out Rick Pitino’s website? This is one slick mofo! Player evaluations articles? That setup had to come as part of his coaching contract, and that is some cutting edge web action. Maybe we will review coaches websites on one post…
Amu Saaka, Aaron Holmes, and Soloman Bozeman have all received permission to seek transfers. Orane Chin, a Stan Heath recruit, also plans to leave. At least Coach Heath has Mike Mercer coming in and eligible to play in the second semester, to join Chris Howard and Dominique Jones. But next year could be really rough for the Bulls. Transfer numbers like this are even larger than… Norm Roberts at St. John’s.
Non-Big East transfers after the jump.
Link here. Isn’t retirement supposed to go the other way? Boston, then move to Miami for the warm breezes, easy winters, and humid air?
Thomas is also visiting the Saints and the Cowboys. Unlike Junior Seau when he made the Dolphins to Patriots move, Thomas doesn’t seem entirely washed up… and what better place for a player to go for a chance at a championship? It’s like joining the Yankess. Of course, we know how well that has worked for A-Rod, Giambi, and the rest.
The long-anticipated trade of Jason Kidd to the Mavericks may have cleared its final hurdle.
Keith Van Horn has agreed to terms on a sign-and-trade with the Dallas Mavericks, SI.com has confirmed. Van Horn will be sent to New Jersey along with guard Devin Harris, swingmen Trenton Hassell and Maurice Ager, center DeSagana Diop, two first-round picks and cash considerations in exchange for Kidd and forward Malik Allen.
In a separate trade, New Jersey will send swingman Antoine Wright to Dallas for the Mavericks’ $1.6 million trade exception.
It is believed that Van Horn, who hasn’t played since the end of the 2006 season, will report to New Jersey for a minimum of 30 days. For reporting, Van Horn will be paid $4.3 million for the remainder of the season.
Full disclosure: I fell in love with the Nets again when they picked up Van Horn in the draft– the offense to Jayson Williams’ defense and rebounding and trash talking. The Petrovic teams were nice, but I wasn’t following pro basketball or sports as much then, at the end of high school. But when I was near the end of college, and there was that Van Horn kid with the sweet game… whoo, man.
I always thought he was wildly underutilized, though also really shy about taking shots and demanding the ball. His low post turnaround move– the one that got stripped about 5 times a game, and I’m not joking, I counted– needed to be scrapped. But a defense stretching 4, who could get you some rebounds? I think, if healthy, he’s made for the current NBA. His game fell off a little, for sure. But what if he has a little bit of it back?
He’s Bostjan Nachbar with more height and rebounding ability! Certainly, his career suffered from being before the new-Euro invasion, suffered for being pre-Nowitzki, suffered for being kind of soft, and suffered from being picked just after Tim Duncan.
But it’ll be good to see him on the court again.
The Shaq to slow-down the Suns trade is actually happening; Shawn Marion and little-used Marcus Banks for Shaquille O’ Neal.
This has to be a joke. Trading a solid mid-career player in Shawn “the Matrix” Marion who has potential to be spectacular, especially within the Suns’ system for $40M over 2 years in a broken down 25 year old 7-footer? Maybe Grant Hill gave GM Steve Kerr a jones for broken basketball pieces… or maybe he was afraid of the rumor that the Mavericks and Mark Cuban wanted to trade Josh Howard for Shaq I wouldn’t even trade Marcus Banks for Shaq.
This isn’t video game ball, folks. Marion? Howard? For Shaq?!
Miami Herald’s Dan Le Batard thinks there will be more trades, with Jason “White Chocolate” Williams as a trading chip, Ricky Davis, and perhaps Udonis Haslem, as well.
Shawn Marion has wanted out of Phoenix– and a starring role– for a hot minute now. Here’s hoping people remember why he is a spectacular player… maybe the Heat will have a new superstar on their hands to pair with Dwyane Wade.
Jason Collins, it was a nice run as an unoffensive center, a fine man, and the beginning of a tradition of Twin Centers from Stanford. You held up to Shaq in the finals, and when a role player gets traded, it’s usually near the end—the next team never knows what to do with one team’s role player. Unless that role player can do something more than set screens. You’ve bricked a lot of free throws, but you were part of the Jersey resurgence; no one can giggle when they hear the name Nets now; that treatment is reserved for the Knicks.
Enjoy Memphis, now that you have been traded for F/C Stromile Swift, disappointing #2 overall pick from LSU. Who is part of a line of disappointing young players from LSU (see: Thomas, Tyrus).
I used to get excited about Stromile Swift in a Nets uniform– he’s been a rumor coming here forever– but after 7 years, if you’re not making waves in the Association, you never will.