Friday, July 02, 2004

The Big Time

The start of this year's free-agency period is as exciting as everyone said it might be. First you have Steve Nash bolting for Phoenix, for a HUGE contract. What's the over-under on how many years before Suns fans refer to the 'Nash-contract' as a cap-killer. And 5 years to a 30 year old pg....they better hope Nash is durable.

And then there is Coach K receiving an offer from the Lakers to take their head coaching position. You can check out predictable reaction from Dick Vitale, but I would recommend heading over to the College B-Ball blog instead. As for my take, I have been saying to anyone who would listen that Coach K can't coach, he just lets his All-Americans run around the court and the talent wins out. I don't know that for sure though, so I would like to see him come to LA and try and handle Kobe, GP, and TJ Simers. And look at it this way: If Coach K falls flat on his face, the Lakers will suck, Duke will suck, and what's better than that?

Also in the 'big time' category, my article got selected by the Chicago Tribune's  "view from a Bulls fan". I guess it was too much for them to include my URL, but oh well. Unlike my blog posts, I tried to make that submission correct and coherent, so check it out.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Target Practice

Here's the Bulls prospective free-agent targets according to the local papers. You can read mine from yesterday, if you'd be so kind as to scroll downwards.

Tribune: Stephen Jackson, Bruce Bowen, Brian Cardinal, Bob Sura, Toni!, Anthony Peeler, Adonal Foyle, Brian Skinner.

Sun-Times: Foyle, Cardinal, Toni!, Skinner, Mikki Moore, Wesley Person, Jackson, Eric Williams, Scott Williams

Herald: Jackson, Arvydas Macijauskas, Eric Williams, Anthony Parker , Jason Collier, Joel Przybilla, Zendon Hamilton, Steven Hunter, David Andersen , Fabricio Oberto

Its good to see some Euros on the list. The Bulls were only one of two teams (Wizards) last year not to have a foreign player on it.

But hopefully Paxson doesn't get too excited at all the former Bulls out there, and brings back Pippen, Corie Blount, Scott Williams, Toni, Ron Harper, and Rusty LaRue. I wonder what Rodney McCray is up to these days? Or this guy?

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"Free Agency Isn't Free" - George W. Bush

Remember when David Aldridge was the head NBA honcho at ESPN? I feel bad for DA, since it looks like he has taken a back seat to loudmouth moron Steven A. Smith. In a network that employs Smith, Greg Anthony, Tim Legler, Bill Lambeer, etc., You'd think that Aldridge would be featured as the one pundit who people can watch and not have their eyes bleed.

Aldridge still writes for though, although his columns come less frequent than in the past. But he has made up for it with a huge free agency spectacular. In what I think is a great idea, he has split up the free agents by what he thinks they will be paid:

Budget Busters
Mini-Mid-Level (up to half of mid-level)
Up and Comers (more than minimum, less than mid-level)
Vets minimum
The Rest (or as I like to call it, "Crap inc.")

The Bulls are over the Salary cap, so that top category is out. But here are some interesting names in the other categories who I think would be good fits. I won't go into it much, you can read it yourself. When the rumor mill starts churning I can pick out who the Bulls will actually target.

Mid Level: Bruce "The Kobe Stopper" Bowen, Stephen "One-Man Turnover" Jackson, Jamal Crawford, Hedo Turkoglu
Mini-Mid: Brian "The Custodian" Cardinal, Gordan "G-Force" Giricek, Eric Williams, Wesley Person
Up and Comers: I think the Bulls have enough of those
Vets: Gary "Shaq of the Mac" Trent, Stacy "PlasticMan" Augmon, Jon "Whitey" Barry, TONI!
Crap, inc.: Ron Mercer

So there's something out there, but not much. I'm guessing the top acquisition this summer will not be from free agency but from whoever the Bulls get back on a Jamal Crawford sign-and-trade.


A name that has been rumored off and on for the Bulls is European free agent Arvydas Macijauskas. I found his official Euroleague stats page, but its like reading the Rosetta Stone. Do they really only play 20 games in a season? Well I'll use what they give me for this past year's stats:

  MPG fg% 3p% ft% ppg apg rpg TO
2003-04 30.55 49.2% 39.6% 91.0% 19.45 2.1 2.5 2.25

So the guy can score, which is nice. A reputable 3 point shooter, his percentages were actually lower than in past years.

YR 3p%
2003-04 39.60%
2002-03 53.20%
2001-02 48.10%
2000-01 54.30%
1999-00 52.20%


From what I've read he is a good shooter, but will have trouble creating his own shot in the NBA due to his lack of quickness. But as long as he can hit open shots, he'll be a welcome addition to the team. Last year their best 3 point shooter was Crawford, and most of his attempts were after he dribbled through his legs 7 times. It'll be nice for Eddy Curry to have someone to pass to when he's being double-teamed. Now whether that pass gets to Macijuauskas or the third row is another story.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Mark Cuban, Benefactor of the verbal beatdown

Mark Cuban's blog is so great because its rare to read something from the inside of a business. Especially from someone who is fearless and generally angry at someone at all times. His latest entry takes on two familiar targets, Peter Vescey and My Man Sam(tm).

Can we please start calling the Sam Smiths and Peter Vesceys and Norman Chads of the world what they really are? Sports Gossip Columnists. They don’t have regard for the truth. Why pretend that they do?

The man has a point. Sam is my guy, but he is pretty much full of it when it comes to trade rumors. Just look at yesterday's rumor column regarding Eddy Curry. At least this time he has the disclaimer 'speculative deals', but it begs the question whether any of his ideas come from fact. And I just plain don't like any column advocating the trade of Eddy Curry.

On to the next offender: Cuban went on to openly challenge Sam after hearing that Sam called Mavs first-round pick Pavel Podkolzine a stiff

How about this for a challenge Sam the Sham Smith?...I will donate 10k dollars to the charity of your choice if you can prove that you have ever seen Pavel play in person or on tape — excluding the footage on the ESPN draft shows. Two minutes of ESPN tape doesn’t qualify as scouting. If you lose, you change your business card title and Tribune byline to “Sports Gossip Columnist”. I will even pay for the cards.

I would like to think that someone who covers the NBA and the draft for a living would take the time to do their homework. But in today's sportswriting environment, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Sam hasn't seen Pavel play. And like Cuban, that bothers me.

Which brings me to Dickie V, whose unwelcome appearance on ESPN's draft coverage made my stomach turn (or maybe that was the beer). Like last year's despicable display, Vitale couldn't wait to lace his useless analysis of college talent ("PTP!!") with ignorant disdain for any prospect not a part of college basketball. And in a first round with so many High Schoolers and foreign professionals, Vitale let the same venom fly with nearly every pick. And it doesn't bother me that Vitale pushes for college players, what bothers me is Vitale has never seen these other kids play. And they way he assumes their failure without any thought to the contrary is really unnerving.

So to Vitale and My Man Sam(tm), while you have your entertaining qualities, rest assured that your 'sham' is being exposed. With writers out there like Chad Ford giving us draft analysis (after actually seeing the kids play!) and insiders like Mark Cuban exposing false reporting, people are learning to look elsewhere if they want the truth.