The NBA Players Care

15 03 2011

Professional athletes are often viewed as spoiled, self-involved braggarts who are only concerned with money. Most of this vitriol is thinly-veiled envy and it is important to point out the good that professional athletes do. One such instance involves Kim Hughes, who was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers seven years ago.

Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He needed surgery but Donald Sterling and the Clippers organization would not pay for his prostate surgery so then-Clippers Corey Maggette, Elton Brand, Marko Jaric and Chris Kaman footed the $70,000 medical costs not covered by insurance.

Read the entire piece at the Racine Journal Times.

Elgin Baylor = Isiah 2.0

12 08 2008
Maybe LA is NYC West?

Maybe LA is NYC West?

The Los Angeles Clippers recently signed Jason Williams to a one-year contract. 

I must admit that I’m a fan of Williams but I’m not sure about this move.  This signing tells us that Elgin Baylor is more than a little skeptical of Baron Davis’ durability.  Or is he just Isiah 2.0?

With Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman on the roster, no problems will arise from their center position.  I would have used the money spent on Williams to pursue a consistent, dynamic forward to complement the stable, workman-like forces of Camby and Kaman.

The Clippers have an awful lot of players on their roster but let’s focus on the signed guards.  It’s kind of a mess and it seems like they’ll just throw some line-ups against the wall and see what sticks:

Baron Davis, Ricky Davis, Eric Gordon, Jason Hart, Cuttino Mobley and Mike Taylor will join Williams as contracted players.

Taylor will most certainly spend time in the D-League. 

Hart is a solid journeyman who averages 16.6 minutes in his career.  He can push for time and be a solid contributor if an injury hits higher on the depth chart.

It’s Baron Davis’ team, so he’ll start at the point but who will they have at the off guard? 

Cuttino Mobley was the starter last year until an injury hit and Quinton Ross stepped into the limelight.  Ricky Davis is available and can also see time at the small forward position. 

Mike Dunleavy didn’t shy away from playing Thornton as a rookie; he won’t let Eric Gordon rot on the bench.  And on the small chance that the Clippers — gasp — lose early, youth will be served.  It will be interesting to see how Dunleavy juggles the me-first Davis, the proud veteran Mobley and the instant-offense Gordon.

We may see Baron playing off the ball while Williams handles the playmaking responsibilities but I just don’t see how they can squeeze 25+ minutes for Williams. 

If Dan Dickau (15.5 minutes last year), Smush Parker (21.5 minutes) and Quinton Ross (19.8 minutes) return, it will further muddle the guard situation.  Someone’s ego will be bruised.  On the Clippers, that’s as predictable as a Tim Thomas three in transition.

The most important question is this: Is Baron Davis running in the mountains?

Photo credit: Sports Hub

Nightmare On Madison Street

6 04 2008

The Chicago Bulls are one loss or one Atlanta Hawks win away from eliminating themselves from the NBA playoffs.

The Hawks have the Pacers, Knicks, Celtics, Magic and Heat left on the schedule. The Bulls have the Heat, Magic (twice), Cavaliers, Bucks and Raptors up in that same span. So if the Bulls slip or if the Hawks take care of business, Chicago will hope the lottery gods smile upon them.

With all of this in my mind, I’ve been stirring a lot in my sleep. The nightmare I had last night will not help alleviate any of my latent fears.

Elton Brand is back from an injury and playing for his Clippers squad. His revival makes the Clippers front court as follows: Elton Brand, the near All-Star Chris Kaman and the devastatingly skilled Al Thornton.

That is a stacked front-court. I would be psyched if I were a Clips fan. It would be like if a fat kid not only stole a Klondike bar while the attendant wasn’t looking, it’s as if the fat kid hijacked the damn ice cream truck.

With Corey Maggette making plays out on the wing, the Hunchback Franchise of the Staples Center is just screaming for a talented, young mid-level point guard to join their ranks.

The Clippers can’t count on someone on their current roster to fill that need. Shaun Livingston’s status is still cloudy after that horrific injury. Brevin Knight is about ready to collect social security from his baby-boomer children. Dan Dickau is solid but the Clippers probably won’t be able to lean on him to run the offense.

In my nightmare, Chris Duhon spurned any of the Bulls’ advances and peace offerings. Duhon signed with the Clippers. He and fellow Dukie and former Bull Elton Brand help revive Clipper Nation, leading them to their first playoffs since Sam Cassell. What’s worse is that Chris Duhon’s career path followed Chauncey Billups in that both players peaked much later than the normal curve.

In the vein of Brand, Tyson Chandler, Bruce Bowen and Corey Benjamin, Duhon became another former Bull that found success after leaving the Windy City.

I have never been a fan of Chris Duhon but please, Chris, keep partying and hanging out at Duke. Don’t make a name for yourself because I won’t know what I’ll do. Actually, I do. I’ll probably pull a “Doug Heffernan” and spend my 403b savings on an ice cream truck.