Happy Monday beautiful people (and the rest of you). I meant to have the article up by this time (8:30 as I’m writing this) but unfortunately my computer crapped out therefore I have reverted to my Mac to re-write the entire thing and put in the finishing touches.
Today we’re going to take a look at All Star Game festivities. Since everyone else is doing it, we’re going to hand out half time grades. The Naismith Hall of Fame released their list of finalists for induction and with any Hall of Fame selection, there’s some debate as to the process and also the people who didn’t get in and we’ll talk about that.
Albert Pujols’ situation bears watching but I will tell you why he’s coming to neither New York team when his contract is up and who I think he’ll eventually end up on. We will also also debut a new weekly column which I hope will pique one’s interest and of course your host of links and other goodies.
Sit back, and ignore the pleas from your parents to shovel snow or go outside and let’s begin shall we?
MELO-DRAMA is almost nearing a close
“Again, Isiah doesn’t need a title to be involved. He’s Dolan’s friend, adviser & he’s running the Knicks while soaking up the sun in Miami”
“And through it all, Donnie Walsh continues to do his work, conduct himself with class, act like a gentlemen and bring class to the Knicks”
@FisolaNYDN Frank Isola
I put in two quotes from Daily News beat man Frank Isola who’s been on top of this ever-changing script of Carmelo this whole entire weekend. But the main story is what role Isiah has been playing in all of this. He’s been a shadowy presence behind the scenes that Donnie Walsh has had to unfairly watch for as he did his job in trying to surrender as little as he could to bring Carmelo to the Knicks.
I wrote a column on Saturday basically voicing my displeasure at all the back and forth involved within the media. This is like Lebron-athon with how media members have tried to be first over trying to be right and basically reported everything that their sources have told them. Its that type of reporting that gave Lebron a big enough ego to even think that his “Decision” program on ESPN was even a decent idea.
Right now as it stands this is what we know. The Knicks offer according to the most people quoting sources is as follows:
PG Raymond Felton
F Wilson Chandler
F Danilo Gallinari OR F Landry Fields
and #1 draft pick via Minnesota*
F Carmelo Anthony
PG Chauncey Billups
F Ronnie Brewer (from Minnesota
*= the Timberwolves would give up Ronnie Brewer, a number one pick to the Knicks for F Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry’s expiring contract which they would buy out and then send his fat ass to Siberia and locked away in a storage container to never be heard from again.**
**= that’s according to sources.
Yesterday news came out that the Knicks had drawn a line in the sand and it was up to the Nuggets to accept and that they would no longer up their offer. The Nuggets then insisted that Timofey Mozgov be involved in any trade which was then shot down by other reports saying that Denver made no such ultimatum.
The Nets and Knicks had their reported meetings with Anthony over the weekend and most insiders suggested that Melo remained non-comittal to the Nets and that the Knicks were still the apple of Melo’s eye which has been the same since day one. So what are we to believe?
Here’s what I know. Carmelo Anthony could have shelved all these Nets talks but he’s holding the Knicks hostage by continuing to take these meetings with Nets officials. Its a ploy to get New York to surrender whatever they need to in order for the Nuggets to ok a trade. The Nuggets and Melo are not working for each other but in some weird way they are. Its clear that the Knicks original plan was to wait Melo out till free agency and sign him then but Melo has made it abundantly clear that he wants that extension no matter what.
That isn’t even the most distressing part of all this. Adrian Wojnarowski, basketball writer for Yahoo sports and probably the best basketball writer in the game today, wrote a doomsday piece on the state of the New York Knicks and who actually is running things. If you’re a Knick fan like myself its pretty depressing stuff.
Like Frank Isola wrote, Dolan has always respected Thomas’ opinion and tried on many occasions to bring in Thomas through back doors which the NBA and even Walsh tried to block.* Woj believes that a power struggle is coming between Worldwide Wes and Thomas, both of whom offer the same thing: their ability to lure major stars to the Knicks. That’s what Dolan has wanted and what Thomas has somehow convinced Dolan he can do and Walsh can’t. Worldwide Wes is an agent for CAA and reps both Anthony and Chris Paul, one of the trio of superstars who will become a free agent after 2012.
*= Last time Isiah was being brought back in as a consultant to the Knicks Walsh reportedly threatened to resign and Dolan was talked out of it by other Knick officials.
According to Woj:
“It’s against NBA rules to rep players and coaches, but commissioner David Stern picks and chooses the rules he enforces. He lets Worldwide Wes travel with his Olympic teams, gain access to stars, steal them away and broker them to the commissioner’s market franchises.”
But Isiah Thomas’ pull on Dolan is very strong and like Isola said, Thomas doesn’t need a title. He will be happy to put in a puppet regime in place once Donnie Walsh is out. Many of Isiah’s people remain firmly entrenched within the Knick organization. Isiah Thomas in fact may not even be interested in coming back in some official capacity and may be happy in having Dolan hire his hand picked guys who will do his bidding.
This is straight out of the “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me” files. It makes me so unbelievably mad that this kind of amateur bullshit could be going on in a professional organization. Knick fans have been treated to brutal basketball for the better part of a decade while still filling in the seats at a respectable rate while ownership and co ran the product into the ground. Its now becoming clear that the man who restored credibility and basketball pride in the city is being pushed aside after cleaning up the mess left by previous regimes to bring those old regimes back.
Its sad and pathetic that Walsh, a New York kid who saw this as his dream job, has had to go through this. From day one I’ve insisted that the Knicks call Anthony’s bluff. If he wants to come to the Knicks so bad then let him come. The lesson learned from the Lebron fiasco was this: these guys are making informed decisions. They will make their own minds up and are much smarter business men who have a much greater sense of their brand and net worth than previous generations. They aren’t stupid and are as interested in maximizing their revenue earning potential. They know they are good. They know that superstars are what this league is built around and so they know they have the cache to ask for and receive what they want. They have advisors but what I’ve noticed is that these guys are making their own decisions.
Case in point: Lebron was told by his friends to come to New York. He took his talents to South Beach.
So neither Isiah OR Worldwide Wes can deliver on their promises. They hold no weight in what they can promise. They can’t make Chris Paul sign anywhere as much as you or I can. They have the ears of their circles thanks to their connections but in the end the decisions come from the players themselves. Melo is running this negotiations. Will he sign with NJ if the Knicks don’t make a deal prior to the deadline? If he does then let him go to Newark. Let him toil there beside Brook Lopez. They aren’t making the playoffs this year and they will be a fringe team next year. Even in the East which isn’t saying much.
I don’t think Melo will go to Jersey. He knows what he will give up. Even if he loses $30 million in possible contractual earnings the New York market will, over the life of the contract, open up more possibilities for him. I believe in that despite what most reporters will say that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lebron but for Melo it WILL. Something that not even Brooklyn can bring him. I say call Melo out on his bluff. I think the Knicks should take out Felton. Give up Gallo and Chandler (i’m fine with that) and a number one pick and get back Melo and Brewer in the deal. If the Nuggets say no then let them figure out how to convince Melo to sign with New Jersey or risk letting Melo go into free agency. And if Melo doesn’t sign with the Knicks in free agency due to some spite then so be it. It won’t be the end of the world.
Why is anyone convinced that once we get Melo that he’s the missing link and will push the Knicks into title contention? He wont. We still need size. We need a deeper bench and we need to convince D’Antoni that a defensive strategy is kind of necessary.
Most important, we need to convince Dolan that Isiah Thomas can’t bring in Paul or Deron Williams or Dwight Howard. He has the respect of these young guys thanks to his contributions on the court but nothing more.
ALL STAR GAME
“Blake Griffin Fever: NBA All-Star Saturday Night averaged 8.1M viewers on TNT, most in event’s 26-year history. Way up from 5.4M last year.”
@sportswatch Neil Best
The NBA’s annual beauty pageant occured over the weekend in downtown Los Angeles at the Staples center. For the first time in a long time there was actual clamor and build up for such an event. The weekend did bring the goods. I do have two gripes to point out about the weekend.
We all know that we were walking into the official Blake Griffin “if ya wanna crown him then crown his ass weekend”. Even prior to the slam dunk competition it was curtains for the competition and they would just provide a back drop and filler entertainment before we gave Blake his first half slam dunk championship trophy.
Somebody forgot to tell JaVale McGee, and DeMarr Derozan. Both of those guys came with fantastic dunks that went unnoticed and under appreciated and trust me when all is said done and we look back on this dunk contest someone, somewhere will cry foul. Let me be the first one to say that JaVale Mcgee got robbed. He was clearly the best dunker of the night. He used his 7 foot frame in ways that big men should not be able to and provided us with creativity and flair all while giving us reason to refocus our lens on someone other than Blake. I would argue that his two basketballs in two hoops dunk was better than all but one of Blake Superior’s dunks. That wasn’t even the best dunk. I think DeMarr Derozan’s dunk titled “the showstopper” was the “you got your money’s worth” dunk of the night. Creativity, degree of difficulty, and how easy he made it look were all factors in my decision to give Mr. DeRozan my dunker of the night award which I’m sure means something.
Unfortunately this slam dunk contest has outperformed the All Star Game’s festivities over the years and even this year they held serve in that department with these mix of dunks.
Needless to say Blake had to do something so over the top to make it seem reasonable for him to get the award and he did it. But even Sir Charles admitted what I thought: that wasn’t the best dunk of the night. That was the most dressed up dunk of the night with the car, Blake’s presence and the choir but not the best dunk. I felt bad for McGee and DeRozan who did their level best to try and make it somewhat of a race and in any other dunk contest, not held in L.A. those guys would have had more of a shot but not this night. I’m glad the dunk contest is back but not really.
As for the rest of the weekend, the rookies and sophmores game was good albeit it was another chance for the crowd to see Blake Griffin. I think the NBA is trying to make up for not putting the Clippers on primetime this season. But John Wall easily made it his night and provided glimpses of his talent that will most certainly elevate him into the point guard discussion soon. He’s not there yet folks, but he will be there soon.
The three point contest had easily the best headline after the action when one was quoted as saying “the Heat finally beat the Celtics- in the 3 point contest” after James Jones beat both Paul Pierce* and Ray Allen.
*= Pierce’s booing in his home town brought me back to the All Star Game held in Philly where Sixer fans booed Kobe like he had something to do with being drafted by the Lakers. But Pierce’s booing was justified in the fact that he’s a Celtic now and an over the top douche.
The All Star Game was pretty entertaining. It had its usual flash of dunks and “look at me” play (attention Kobe) but the final few minutes was pretty good stuff. For those of you who follow me on twitter or Facebook this may be torturously repetitive but I really don’t care. Here are some of the best moments from last night’s game:
– In a pre-game interview Craig Sager, who’s awful interview night we will get into, chatted with Kobe Bryant and let something slip. He told Kobe that if he were to win the All Star Game MVP that he would tie a record with Bob Petit for All Star Game MVP’s with 4. You didn’t need to give Kobe any more reason to go out there and put on a show but that was the final straw. Guys like him don’t let young’ns like Blake Griffin steal the spotlight. L.A. is still his town and he isn’t giving up his corner for anybody.
Later in a tweet @RicBucher said this:
Told Blake Kobe nearing Wilt. Blake: Should I tell him? Me: You think he doesn’t know? B: Probably right. He checked record book on way in.
Need we say more?
– Craig Sager was 0 for 2 in interviews last night. His interview with Carmelo in which he went all Jim Gray on us and pressed Carmelo on where he would end up when all was said and done was interrupted by Kobe, who was apparently his spokesperson. But his interview with Justin Bieber was really bad. Here’s on painful exchange:
Craig Sager:”last week performing at the grammys, this week at NBA All Star game, dont you have school?
Justin Bieber: well, its the weekend.
The silence following that was painful because you knew how uncomfortable it was. Bieber basically gave Sager the “whats your name again?” treatment, looking uninterested in anything Sager had to ask.
– Lebron messed around and got a triple double in the All Star Game and if the East would’ve pulled off the win he most certainly would’ve won the MVP. But his best play was his ability to raise his teammates level of intensity as the game wore on. He clearly took ownership of that squad and almost brought the team all the way back but the West had built up too much of a lead.
– Interesting and subtle message was sent by Doc Rivers as he came through on his promise to send out all 4 of his Celtics into the game at the same time and he did so with his very first set of substitutions.
– The Eastern Conference playoffs promises to be a bloodbath. Amazing amount of tension there with the Heatles and Big 4 of the C’s not liking each other. Dwight Howard’s disdain for the Big 4. The Hawks representatives not Amare’s biggest fan. Amar’e spending a better portion of the game guarding who could be his teammate in a week. Then there’s the undoubted first half MVP, Derrick Rose who is hated by all because well, he’s the MVP and at the core basketball is still a game that appeals at the pride and ego of every player.
– Which brings us to my final point on the All Star Game. The NBA has the best All Star Game because, you don’t have to forcibly convince players that the game means anything. Basketball is still a very individualistic sport driven by sports stars who know fans look at each match up as a measure of each player’s ability. So if Kobe drives by Lebron, fans wont say that the Lakers are better than the Heat, they will chalk that up to Kobe being better than Lebron which you can’t say about any other sport. Pride and ego carry this sport more than anything and even in meaningless All Star Games, those things can be huge motivational tools.
So you would be correct in assuming that Kobe wants to win the MVP to show up Blake Griffin. That Lebron wants to get the MVP in Kobe’s backyard as they battle for the crown of best player in the league. That Kevin Durant wanted to show off his wares in front of his peers. Every guy had a chip on his shoulder last night. Believe it. That’s why you can’t top the NBA All Star Game.
Another portion of All Star Weekend that I didn’t agree with was the announcement of finalists for the Naismith Hall of Fame. Cheryl Miller’s little brother Reggie* did not make the cut in his first year of eligibility for induction in the Hall of Fame. Many people would argue that its not that big of a deal but this is coming purely from a romanticized opinion and nothing stat related, in my mind he is a first ballot hall of famer.
I grew up watching the Knicks during the 90’s. It was the NBA on NBC era where everything the NBA did was golden. One thing forgotten amidst the number of parades the Yankees had in the late 90’s and the explosion of football during the last 15 years, New York is still a basketball town. The inner cities are filled with kids who dream big of making it in the NBA and ballers from New York City carry an extra weight of expectations unfairly put there by the history of those who came before. During the 90’s New York was firmly fixated on the Knicks.
The Knicks were perennial contenders and seemingly had one nemesis after another. Early 90’s were filled battling and losing to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Just when I thought the Knicks had rid themselves of that challenge with MJ’s retirement, along came Reggie Miller who did things to the Knicks and its fans I thought God had ONLY put Michael Jordan on earth to do. We had more success against the Pacers but it was never easy and Miller showed up every time.
He had some memorable moments like when he scored 8 points in less than 10 seconds and when he and Spike Lee waged their war on the courts of MSG. The era was filled with bloodbaths and real life “I hate you” tension that you just don’t see anymore.* I always believe that only the great ones play great on grand stages like the Garden and Miller always raised his game. Miller’s teams were never the most talented but they always managed to get him the ball and he always managed to hit the big shot which made him the league’s record holder for 3 point field goals made.
*= Until now. I hope.
I dont have any big statistical chart to show you. Its just one man’s disagreement filled with bias based on what he saw growing up. It may not mean much to you but I remember how much I respected Reggie Miller and in my mind, players like him were meant for big moments. He made his team a contender and always put the fear of God in me as a Knick fan like only Michael could do. For me, that’s enough to warrant his first ballot induction.
But that’s just me.
MID POINT AWARDS
“If I had to vote, [Rose is] the MVP of the league,” Rivers said.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/21/2077246/celtics-doc-rivers-derrick-rose.html#ixzz1EbyovKd7
Continuing the trend set by peers within the industry I thought I’d try something new and give out my mid season awards.
MVP: I would have to agree with head coach Doc Rivers who gave his vote to Derrick Rose. No need to go into stats mode but he’s top 10 in Scoring, Assists, and minutes played. The only reason he’s playing so many minutes is because of all the injuries his team has suffered. He’s the clear number one option on his team and he’s become more of a leader in just his third season and carried them to a three seed. Need we say more? Okay fine. Stories are out there about how unwilling he was to try and recruit Lebron James when he was making his tours to NBA cities in his solo “look at me” campaign. He failed to kiss the King’s ring and everybody loves a good rebel.
Most Important Player: This award goes to the one guy most responsible for his team’s record. That guy would be none other than Amar’e Stoudemire. Amar’e’s impact isn’t just felt on the court. Take a trip to NYC. The city is buzzing again. MSG is rocking and not because of the visitors. He’s singlehandedly restored Knick pride and his emergence has made it a necessity for Knicks executives to surround him with other superstars like Carmelo Anthony. His play alone has made that possible. Did I make this award up just to give recognition to my team’s best player? Sure I did. Screw you if you think he doesn’t deserve some props.
BEST TEAM: Records don’t mean anything here. San Antonio may have 46 wins but nobody is afraid of them come May and June. The best team by far are the Celtics who learned last year that if you don’t have enough big bodies banging in the post area and getting rebounds you will lose. They addressed it by literally signing every single big man over 6’11 to their roster. Rondo’s only getting better, KG’s legs have about two more decent seasons before he falls off a cliff skills wise and they have two of the best clutch shooters in the league in Paul Pierce and Ray “He got Game” Allen.
What bears watching is how teams react once the Melo-drama ends. Sources insist that deals are being held up thanks to the Nuggets and they themselves may not be done dealing away parts. Nene will be another player the Nuggets will want to deal as well. The Rockets and Blazers are seen as suitors. Let’s see what the playoff teams do to acquire complementary pieces.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Here’s another opportunity for me to give an award to a Knick but those tricky dicks at the NBA offices have this rule that makes Blake Griffin, in officially his second season, eligible for the Rookie of the Year despite missing his entire red shirt season after breaking his knee. Landry Fields has been the best first year player. I dont want to hear about John Wall who’s emerging and who by the end of the season may have a better case, but Fields being a second round pick vaults himself into this discussion. He leads all guards with 7.1 rebounds. He’s a starter on a Knicks squad who surprised every prognosticator with their current record.
That being said, Blake Griffin is second in double doubles and is a freak of nature. His in game dunks are the kind of stuff that make you stop and watch. He’s singlehandedly made the Clippers a watchable product despite a less than stellar record. Of course being owned by Donald Sterling doesn’t bode well for his future endeavors but let’s just soak in his rookie* season.
BEST PLAYERS AT EACH POSITION:
C- Dwight Howard- By far the easiest position to fill. Rumors are already beginning about where he will end up after 2012 and word is spreading that he will join the long list of dominating centers who end up on the Lakers for the prime of their careers. That would absolutely be insane but let’s see how everything shakes out. Right now, there isn’t a better post presence or intimidating big man in the game.
Honorable Mention: Al Horford, Hawks- Check the stats. He isn’t that far behind even if he doesn’t wanna see Amar’e Stoudemire.
Power Forward- Amar’e Stoudemire No bias here folks. The stats bear it all for STAT. He leads all PF’s in points, blocks, and is top 10 in steals, rebounds and assists at the position. Add in his overall impact to the team and city and he is most certainly deserving of the title.
Honorable Mention- Kevin Love- the guy is a double double machine in the make of a Moses Malone. That’s big.
Small Forward- Lebron James- I hate to do this, trust me, but he’s undeniably the best player in the game today. His stats bear it out and his ability to take ownership on a team full of All Stars and play through all of the negativity that he brought on himself, has been incredible. I wont let my own biases get in the way of this guy’s obvious greatness.
Honorable Mention: Kevin Durant- This is just a matter of preference and trust me you won’t get a fierce argument from me if you put him over Lebron on this list. But Durant is stuck in that “he’s just a scorer” phase of his career that haunted MJ during the 80’s as he waited for Magic and Bird to get old and stale before he made his move.
Shooting Guard- Kobe Bryant- Even Laker fans have to admit that his drop in minutes is due to the wear and tear that 3 consecutive NBA Finals trips mixed in with basically no down time with Olympic responsibilities but let’s not argue this point after what we saw last night. When the lights are on and the best are on the court Kobe can bring it. Case made.
Honorable Mention: Dwayne Wade- They still can’t beat the Celtics even with having Bron and Bosh, but he can still bring it. You can see how not having to carry his team during a full NBA season has been good to Wade’s body and may give him a few extra years of elite service time.
Point Guard- Derrick Rose- My first half MVP and unquestionable leader among the pack of elite point guards who’s rank you can certainly debate and you wouldn’t be wrong. Right now the battle for the crown goes 4 deep with Rose. If you subbed in Rondo, Westbrook, or Paul I wouldn’t be mad atcha. But for me, right now, Rose does everything you want from a PG and gives you that added element of scoring that is a bonus. If i had to do a ranking it would go Rose, Westbrook, Rondo and Paul and the only reason Paul isn’t ahead is because of that injury to his leg that has him wearing that God-awfully-big brace which scares the crap out of me. Of course it didn’t stop me from tweeting this.
Honorable Mention- Thought I’d take this space to talk about why I left of Deron Williams off this list. That Jerry Sloan episode left a bad taste in my mouth. You don’t just remove the longest tenured head coach in basketball and think you will walk away from this thing with your name still in tact. Imagine the hell that will be raised when D-Will walks out of Utah. Plus, last night CP3’s performance was a reminder to those who made the similar mistake I made when I put D-Will ahead of him.
As I step away from NBA Talk for a moment to bring you this public service announcement:
ALBERT (don’t ) PUJOLS your breath.
“Sources: Pujols contract talks are over. Deadline will pass without a deal. Have not been proposals swapped in last 100 hours or so. There remains an enormous between cards and pujols not on years, but on per-year salary.”
Despite the Pujols designated deadline of February 16th coming and going, there remains a very slim possibility that the Cardinals don’t bestow upon Pujols a contract he will sign to. Pujols reported to camp with the statement that he would like to be a Cardinal forever. While all that’s good and well to hear for Cards fans, it was a definitive message sent to Cardinals ownership.
I want to be here, but if you dont give me a contract offer I like, trust me I will leave. The Cards will still have an exclusive negotiating window to hammer out a deal with Pujols but if rumors of what the Cards were initially offering are true, then they have a long ways to go. Maybe Pujols goes off and has another historic season and the Cardinals have no choice BUT to make a deal that blows the A-Rod deal out the water which is precisely what the Pujols camp is looking to do, however the Cardinals tactics speak to one very major truth: they financially wont be able to offer Pujols the length of deal he desires and are currently unwilling to go dollars either. We’re talking a $30 million a year contract and most sportswriters are Pujols friendly when writing that he deserves such a contract especially after the club friendly deal he signed in 2004. No more home-town discounts for Pujols and if there’s one player who deserves a ludicrous amount of money its him.
This isn’t about money for Pujols as most people are writing and I tend to believe people who’ve been around him more than you or I. It isn’t greed. Frankly If you or I were as good as Pujols was at what we do, I’m sure we wouldn’t below market deals when the reality that everything is a business remains. The Cardinals will have to get creative but if they don’t there’s two teams who stick out as possible landing spots for Pujols.
1. The Cubs- Michael Wilbon, who now writes for ESPN Chicago wrote a piece
illustrating why its important for the Cubs to sign Pujols. You don’t need to waste time reading it to know that Pujols would be a fit anywhere but especially here. If Pujols were hurt in anyway shape or form by the Cards offer it would make sense for him to take the money and go to Chicago where he would be openly embraced by a Cub faithful who have longed for a superstar of Pujols’ ilk to come along.
2. The Angels- This past winter the Angels had to make do with just signing Hisanori Takahashi and trading for Vernon Wells God-awful contract. But one more bad season and Arte Moreno, the owner of the Angels, may have to open the checkbook and finally cash the check he’s been writing about…well…opening the checkbook and writing checks.
For you local yuks wondering about the Yankees and Mets I won’t say never but remember that A-Rod is locked in for another 7 years and Mark Texieira who could possibly be traded to St Louis in a blockbuster deal nixed all that kind of speculation by saying he would exercise his no-trade clause. Forget about plugging him in at DH since A-Rod will be occupying that space in a few years and you have lack of flexibility. Add on to the fact that the Red Sox just signed their own young 1b to a long term deal and there’s very little pressure on the Yankees to make such a move but never say never with those pinstripe-rs. There may be a few hundred million lying somewhere should they allow CC Sabathia to walk after this year but again it all depends on how quickly their young pitching develops.
Meanwhile the Mets have no money so we can end that discussion right there.
Pujols said he would operate his no-trade clause and nix any potential deal the Cards draw up if they are convinced they can’t sign him but if he were open to be traded throw the Detroit Tigers as a possible landing spot. They have a young 1b who is in a very manageable contract for them and the Tigers may be evaluating whether to keep him or not with his recent arrest on drunken driving where he even took a swig of whiskey in front of a patrolmen. Cabrera’s drinking problem may cause him to miss games and perhaps the Cards may look to get him and convince themselves they have the proper environment to nurture him and keep him from falling off the wagon.
Speaking of baseball related news. With the Mets recent financial problems I thought it would be fun and necessary to begin looking at alternative solutions for Mets ownership. Yup you guessed it, we finally have our very first weekly column and here it is:
YOUR NEW MET OWNER IS…..
With our initial offering I had to pull a name out of the hat that would reinvigorate the fan base and show that I meant business with this and so with my very first inaugural pick, my very first candidate to be the new Mets owner is:
VINCENT KENNEDY MCMAHON
The owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment franchise, he’s worth a reported $1.2 billion which would require Mr. McMahon to get some other investors involved but he would be the face of ownership and really would you have it any other way? The Mets need a person who has that Steinbrenner-ian attitude of “I’ll do whatever it takes to win” that’s necessary in New York. He’s always been a fan of New York city and he’s based out of Stamford Connecticut where a certain former manager trolls around.
Its literally too good to be true but hey, there’s always hope. Imagine the cross-promotional opportunities that he could pull off? WWE wrestlers escorting players off the field who’ve been thrown out. Who would brawl with the Mets if they knew that they’d have to answer to huge wrestling guys?
Why can’t this work? I’m throwing it out there Met fans. Ya gotta believe.
THE LINKS AND THINGS YOU SING ABOUT BRING EM OUT…
Buzz Bissinger in an op-ed details why the NBA has a race problem that makes it a problem for white America to fully accept. This is right down Jason Whitlock’s alley but Bissinger makes a good point while writing about a problem that most are unwilling to sit and write thoughtfully bout without the constant threat of being labeled a racist.
Ken Berger of CBSSports remains one of my favorite NBA writers and his article on the class of 96’s impact is a must read for any NBA loyalist who stood by the league even through its rather dull years from 2001-2005. It talks about the 10 year anniversary of Allen Iverson and revisiting a former warrior’s shining moment on a big stage and what it meant for that class, Kobe included, to be the transition away from the MJ era. The most misguided notion was that Jordan could be replaced and we spend the next 10 years looking for his replacement. Even when he came back to the Wizards in 2001, the league was looking for someone to come along and replace him. Iverson was never a celebrated athlete and historically he may be looked at as mercurial but for those of us who watched the NBA passionately remember a little guy who played the game fearlessly. He may not have played the right way all the time but his style of play was something worth the price of admission.
Remember that NFL labor negotiations that we were all stressing? Well there seemingly is no end in sight but news was made last week when a very impatient owner talked back to the prince of all QB’s Peyton Manning and made him the face of villainry in these proceedings. Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports writes that maybe its time to bench this guy for good if the league wants to make it work.
Finally, we end with yet another column regular Ive decided in the last 10 minutes to introduce:
THE RON ARTEST TWEET OF THE WEEK
@RONARTESTCOM RON ARTEST
“two weeks ago i was driving on rodeo drive and farted in a restaurant i was stunned and told the whole restaurant sorry . i gave em all hugs”
PREVIEW FOR WEEK:
– Report coming from Port St Lucie and Tampa on Mets and Yankees camps as Spring training gets underway.
– Trade deadline column perhaps if something unexpected happens.
– Perhaps the inaugural podcast.
Have a great week folks.