Chris Webber Scolds Q

9 01 2009

A lot of times people that criticize athletes really have no idea what’s going on.  Especially on the internet, Stephon Marbury has turned into a caricature of an athlete and I think it’s a shame.  We like to build them up just to tear them down, I guess.

Chris Webber has some great thoughts here and he’s completely on-point.  None of us really know what the hell is going on.  And although Quentin Richardson is closer to the situation and being on the Knicks is frustrating, it’s just a bad move to go out and fling mud at Marbury.

Here’s an excerpt from Q’s comments:

“He hasn’t played with us all year. Regardless of what you have going on with the organization or what you have going on with your coach or whatever — you’re not going to allow your teammates to be left out there the way we were basically being left out there.

This is directed at us regardless if you’re trying to stick it to whoever you’re trying to stick it to.  At the end of the day we’re shorthanded, people are hurt

Once again, I don’t pay attention to [Marbury] because I don’t look at him as a teammate anyway.”

Is Q out of line or on point?

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

Joe John, The Matrix and D’Antoni

15 05 2008

A friend and I talked about the Phoenix Suns emergence as a basketball power. He made a very interesting and possibly revealing comment. He said, “if Steve Nash is so loveable, why is he the only one left in Phoenix?”

Joe Johnson left the Valley of the Sun as he developed his dynamic perimeter game. Shawn Marion left in his prime to join Dwyane Wade and a dysfunctional supporting cast. And now, Mike D’Antoni has escaped to New York.

For all of the love Steve Nash gets, some of Phoenix’s best pieces have broken away. Nash is a great player, a couple MVPs have solidified that statement. But for all of the professed love, why has Phoenix ostracized several important pieces?

Of all the people in Phoenix, save Nash’s hair stylist, I would never have guessed Mike D’Antoni would hurl himself away from the tree.

When asked, “the Knicks are a mess. When do you expect a full-scale intervention?” Steve Nash said it himself, in a 2006 SI interview, “At some point, they’ve got to hit the jackpot. We’ll see…”

D’Antoni and Nash. Steve and Mike. These two names were whispered in unison. Nothing ever felt so right since Nash’s amicable divorce from Dirk Nowitzki.

Maybe Joe Johnson really did want the money and a chance to lead a team. Maybe Shawn Marion and Mike D’Antoni were really pushed out the door. I certainly don’t know the truth to this.

However, when a big cog or valuable player is forced out, the blame usually falls on the people left behind. See Kobe, when Shaq left. See Cuban, when Nash left. See Riley, when Shaq left. See Thorn, when Kidd left. See hill-billies, when Gasol left. (Kidding, Tennessee. I’ll see you in a few months.)

I’m not calling for blame to fall on Nash at all. Everyone says that they love playing with him. But everyone’s leaving. I really do enjoy watching Nash play. However, I also think it is notable that he was always left unscatched by the media.

Nash has a very agreeable public persona. Besides Nash’s statement opposing the invasion of Iraq and his apparent revulsion to endorsements, the media lets his antics fly under the radar.

Will the Suns implode without D’Antoni? There’s still a lot of faith in Steve Nash’s playmaking skills. If the Suns do miss a step and eventually break up, I’m certain the blame will fall squarely on Shaquille O’Neal and Steve Kerr.

And for whatever reason, a chance for D’Antoni to plug his offensive scheme into the Knicks hasn’t intrigued anyone outside of New York City limits.

The good vibes have always floated about Nash, a whirling dervish of positivity not unlike his floor game. I think that by November next season, we’ll find out if it was Nash and D’Antoni or D’Antoni and Nash.

Photo courtesy of USA Today