I suppose after a coach goes 0-17 in the NBA, a firing is in order. But New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank got screwed, and screwed hard, by a team and an ownership more concerned with clearing money for this supposed move to the Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn than with putting a competitive team on the floor.
There is a little talent on the Nets. A little. There are a lot of injuries as well. And a lot of backups. Josh Boone and Rafer Alston – as much as I love the guy from my neck of Queens – shouldn’t be logging major minutes. Every trade shouldn’t be to cut space. Courtney Lee is not a starting 2-guard without some high-volume shooters around him.
And while Lawrence Frank may not have been a miracle worker, he was a good soldier, and a decent coach. A man with a lot of energy. He’ll land on his feet – take some time off, stop losing hair, sleep 8 hours in one night. Maybe he will coach college… that Rutgers job could use a tactician…
Who would believe you can get 56 stars tattooed on your head while you were asleep? No one is that fast, nor that gentle with a needle… In New York, is Bloomberg just delaying the budget deficit hit until after the elections, where he is running for an unprecedented third term… Meanwhile, California’s budget deficit will have them dealing out “IOUs”, because liabilities at interest is just what the Golden State needs… there may be water on the moon (a moon of Saturn).
And for fun, the top 10 recent male politician infidelity confessions to accompany you while you read Gov. Sanford’s emails to his lady friend in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Transformers 2 gets bad reviews, but apparently has a lot of Megan Fox bouncing in slow motion. That, I suppose, will sell, but I can’t stand to listen to her act. So instead of the gratuitous Megan Fox picture I should put up, here’s a gratuitous Cat Deeley photo, just because I can… and instead of arrows or bullets, I’ll use Toni Basil’s crazy eyes.
Too short for a Toni Basil: From a while ago on the NCAA’s blog: Do You Have What It Takes to be an Athletic Director?
Hopefully the squad will do well in the Caribbean Basketball Championship this coming week… and maybe make moves to be included in the 2012 Olympics. And with all the Jamaicans in London, they might find it a little like a homecoming. As long as there are no more Jamaican Me Crazy headlines. Please.
Good to hear about former Marlins, Red Sox and Cubs pitcher Matt Clement. Apparently he’s hung it up in baseball and is coaching his high school’s basketball team in Butler, Pennsylvania; he played baseball and basketball before graduating in 1993.
He was never quite the same after that horrific injury, taking a baseball off his head faster than he could react. Good luck to him, and his future career.
Chances of ever seeing that Moneyball movie are pretty much dead now, after Sony stopped production, and no one wants to pick up the Steven Soderbergh/ Brad Pitt version of the Billy Beane-based book. Art Howe would have gotten to be himself! One-liners!
The “high budget and limited commercial appeal” sunk the project; apparently, “adult audiences”have not brought in the desired revenue. Summer blockbusters for kids all year! And no more baseball movies, unless they are financed by Kevin Costner.
Ryne Sandberg thinks Sammy Sosa doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame. Well, does Sandberg belong? Just asking!
For me, I am not very surprised that Sammy was on some steroid junk… the whole throwing his back out sneezing seemed to me like something that happens in conjunction with overworking the body’s muscles. I don’t know, but I would have suspected then. But, so what? Players are always trying to get over. If he is determined to be the best of the players who took steroids, he still has to have been great player to be the superstar that he was.
Another too short for a Toni Basil: Was there match-fixing at Wimbledon? Certainly, anyone looking to throw a game knows to do it in the less-publicized, less watched contests… so that’s not out of the realm of reason.
Barack Obama will throw out the first pitch at the All-Star game in St. Louis this year. I hope they don’t boo him… the city, like the Cardinal uniforms, tends towards red. Speaking at Notre Dame and showing up at the midsummer classic? He really is trying to win everybody over with smiles and availability.
And he’ll probably wear a White Sox jersey.
New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority is selling the naming rights to my old train station at Atlantic and Flatbush in Brooklyn to Barclay’s Bank, since that is where the new Nets stadium – if it is ever built – will stand.
The new design for the Barclay’s Arena for the Nets (from the New York Press) really does look like an airplane hangar.
Hugo Chavez is ramping up his anti-American rhetoric. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has a tough time answering questions; here’s a post on how her answer should imply a lack of preparation for the job. Agree? Disagree? Oh hell, did you know Susan Sarandon’s daughter is attractive? Yeah, it’s time for an unrelated picture of an attractive woman, Eva Amurri.
Here are some things that have passed by my eyes that I haven’t had a chance to delve into yet:
+ The Southern Illinois Salukis weren’t very good last year; but the freshmen (Kevin Dillard and Ryan Hare) are so promising, returning guard Josh Bone opted to transfer after their Labor Day preseason trip.
+ Basketball Prospectus has an analysis of what a player needs to do when making the jump from college to the pros. The same jump is probably necessary when going into the college game:
Part of the development for a player making the leap into a new level of play must be adjusting the player to the speed of the game…. In coaching, it means taking a four-step process and working to condense it to only two steps. A player must read a situation, recognize the circumstances, judge between various courses of action and react properly. Once a player has fully adjusted to the speed of the game, they are able to condense the process into reading and reacting.
+ The Giants and Jets’ fans are pissed because the team wants to sell naming rights to a German company that was a Nazi collaborator. Some folks will use the “well, no one from the company then is part of the company now,” or refer to how Henry Ford was said to be a big Nazi supporter (and an anti-Semite himself), so money’s money. Personally, I think it’s in poor taste and bad PR, especially in an area with a number of Jewish fans. Even if there was not a large Jewish population, I’d say “poor taste.”
+ Less serious: what to expect of Yi Jianlian? No one knows; but one of his coaches in Milwaukee delves into the conundrum of Yi.
+ Duke University defends kicking Rudy9/11AnyQuestions Giuliani’s son Andrew off the golf team. Apparently, he’s a jackass:
But Duke said in a court filing Wednesday that the 22-year-old Giuliani was properly suspended after throwing an apple in the face of another player, breaking a golf club during a tournament, injuring a teammate and becoming verbally abusive with a coach.
+ Have these football rivalries fallen off?
+ One Jamaican blogger thinks Jamaicans have too much free time, as evidenced by how many people came out to congratulate sprinter Usain Bolt.
(image from Traitor Joe blog)
Around The Association:
+Responding to all of those signings by the CSKA Moscow and Khimki Moscow basketball clubs (just follow with me for a sec!), the Moscow Dynamo has signed Net free agent Bostjan Nachbar for $14.3 million/ 9 million euros. And if anyone knows how to get the euro symbol as I type, let me know. Also of interest is this bit from the ESPN article:
Nachbar’s deal follows a fast-developing worrisome trend for some NBA executives — based in large part on the strength of the euro against the dollar — of European-based teams being able to outbid their NBA counterparts for free agents.
+ Dave D’Alessandro reports that the Nets are hoping to sign-and-trade for Keyon Dooling, using the $3.3 million trade exception brought in from last winter’s Jason Kidd trade to the Mavericks:
The trade gives the Nets a solid backcourt trio, with a feisty, long-armed third guard who can defend both spots effectively. But it also gives them 16 guaranteed contracts, so they have stepped up their efforts to move point guard Marcus Williams, who now becomes the odd man out again.
The most logical landing spot for Williams might be one of the many teams who have their own trade exceptions — Seattle has two, in fact — and wouldn’t mind taking a chance on a work in progress with a $1.2 million price tag.
….Who is this “Seattle” he speaks of?
+Former Net Tamar Slay signed a deal with Air Avellino of Italy’s Serie A league.
+Marcus Camby thinks being traded to the Clippers is the lowest point of his life. Apparently more for family issues and distance from hartford (where the Camby Man is from)… but as far as finding new doctors, everyone knows you go to LA for the doctors.
+Knick guard Nate Robinson had his jersey retired… in the Las Vegas Summer League. As FanHouse puts it, that doers seem like a backhanded compliment.
+Speaking of which, the top ten summer league players (also from FanHouse): Bayless, Love, Anthony Randolph, Donte Green, Augustin, Mensa-Bonsu, Elton Brown, Mayo, Speights, Hickson. Maybe one day they will have their summer league jerseys retired.
+A good analysis from the Oklahoman of how the “Oklahoma Thunder” name could be accurate, could be inaccurate, and could be a bad idea – there is already an Oklahoma Thunder of the World Football League in Tulsa. Not that they are major, but it could cause brand confusion… and as we know, the NBA is heavily about its branding.
The hip hop kids would say McCain was creepin’ behind the back of his first wife; your packaged foods may be shrinking by both volume and weight; I have no idea what’s on Kat Denning’s (pictured right) face, and the US’ two largest mortgage lenders might need a government bail out to keep the economy afloat… so let’s talk sports.
- The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy talks on how the new 3-point line (1 foot farther from the basket) should open up offenses. He hedges a lot, which at first I rolled my eyes at, but is miles better than the ESPN “Strong Statement Style”.
- Lute Olson’s bitter old man phase now includes no longer pursuing “one-and-done” players. Jim Boeheim actually says “are you crazy?” in the article when asked if he would do the same… Carmelo Anthony was obviously a good experience.
- Division III and youth sports are feeling the costs of a weaker economy; youth sports suffer as a side effect of lower tax income and transport/ gas prices; some seek private funding. Meanwhile, travel costs to far-flung Division III schools puts a strain on administration. The SI article suggests that other D-III schools follow the path of the University Athletic Association (home of the D-III men’s basketball champion Washington University (St. Louis) Bears):
Men’s and women’s teams travel together, and each school has a travel partner. For example, Brandeis will travel to Chicago to play a Friday game, while NYU will travel to Washington University in St. Louis to play a game the same night. Instead of flying to the next stop, Brandeis will then bus from Chicago to St. Louis for a Sunday game, while NYU will head the opposite direction on Interstate 55 and face Chicago on Sunday.
In 2006 only 19 Division I FBS schools had greater revenues than expenses in their athletics departments. Additionally, only 16 of these schools had net positive cash flows over the three-year aggregate from 2005-07.
Financial matters in large part prompted the formation of an NCAA presidential task force two years ago to discuss a disturbing trend in which the rate of growth in Division I athletics spending was tripling the rate for university spending overall. While athletics budgets on average represent only about 5 percent of a university’s budget, presidents agreed that current trends could not be sustained over time. Big-time athletics is not in a fiscal crisis, they said, but the growth in spending is adding pressure on institutions already strapped for cash.
- New Jersey Institute of Technology has a sports conference… the Great West conference, playing close rivals in the Dakotas. Those travel costs are high for basketball… what about for volleyball? Will NJIT get a hockey program to compete?
- Darren Rovell’s blog has a short bit about the money that T Boone Pickens has poured into the Oklahoma State athletics program, including the question of whether the Cowboys (or Oregon, with Phil Knight’s money) will win a championship in men’s basketball or football in the next 15 years. That question kinda misses the point, for me; a sports team will bring in loot with a championship, but just being in the running for a championship, being top-level competitive, and having well-apportioned facilities will bring in revenue AND top players. It helps to hire, of course, the right coaches who can leverage that money into some sustainable level of success.
- Only 9,000 TVs are tuned in to the Nationals game in the DC area? DAMN. They’ll be moving to Vegas in no time. Unless Beasley’s curly W tattoo has some say about it (h/t to BallHype).
- The Nets locked up those hot free agents, Jarvis Hayes and Eduardo Najera. Whoo.
- David Wright, finally in the All-Star Game, even after losing the last minute fan poll.
- These guys bike to work like I do… except in much fancier bikes. Dang.
- Aww, the state of Illinois won’t be buying Wrigley Field. Boo-hoo.
While John McCain’s main economic advisor Phil Gramm tells you Americans how whiny you’re being about the economy…
+ A profile on draft pick Ryan Anderson, where he talks about how his game won’t be easy to translate;
+ Ratner is geeked to tap into the future Chinese market of Brooklyn (and NY as a whole. #9 Yi jerseys on the D-train to Coney Island. Tight!), and Bobby Simmons compares Yi to… a young Kevin Garnett?
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….