Goodbye, Andres Nocioni

18 02 2009


The Chicago Bulls sent Andres Nocioni, Drew Gooden, Michael Ruffin and Cedric Simmons to the Sacramento Kings for Brad Miller and John Salmons.

Andres had this to say, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:

“I’m not surprised,” Nocioni said. “There have been a lot of rumors. I’m all right. I was waiting for this.

“But I don’t feel bad the way I’m leaving. It’s not like I did something wrong. I wasn’t playing my best this season. But I gave everything to this team. I played hard every day whether in practice or in games. I’m a competitive person and I leave this team the best way I could. The only thing I feel bad about is I’m leaving a good team, good players and good coaches. I really enjoyed being with the Bulls. But this is the NBA life. Things like this can happen.”

Drew Gooden had similar thoughts:

“This is a good team that can make a push into the playoffs,” Gooden said of the Bulls. “We all know this is a business but I also look at it as an opportunity.”

There’s an empty space in my heart.  I’ve rented a U-Haul; Sacramento’s only a couple days drive…

Call Me Coach

2 10 2008
The consummate veteran

The consummate veteran

The Sacramento Kings have hired Shareef Abdur-Rahim as an assistant coach.  Following the footsteps of ballers like Avery Johnson, David Wesley and Pat Ewing, Abdur-Rahim has parlayed his playing career directly into a top-flight NBA coaching gig.

The 6’9″ forward out of Berkeley averaged a very respectable 18.1 points and 7.5 rebounds while starting 704 of his 830 career regular season games.

Some folks wonder why NBA teams continue to hire the same old players instead of taking fresh looks at D-Leaguers or hot international talent.  The value of an NBA player who has been through a decade’s worth of routine is immeasurable. 

Although Reggie Theus is a former player himself, he realizes that he’s too tough on his charges to fully connect with them.  Maybe that’s why Shareef’s got another NBA contract, as a coach this time.

Artest Will Help The Rockets, It’s “Tru”

4 08 2008
Ron-Ron, doing his thing

Ron-Ron, doing his thing

Ron Artest mad.

Ron play defense.  Ron play hard.

Ron hate Kings.  Ron leave Kings.  Ron join Rockets.

Houston nice.  Rick Adelman nice.  Ron likes Rick Adelman.  Rick Adelman like Ron?

Ron is ready to win.  When Ron is on a good team, he wins.

Ron will help Tracy McGrady.  Ron will help Yao Ming.  Ron will really help the Rockets.

He is not just a redundant Shane Battier.  Battier is a nice player but Ron is better.  He is better on the boards.  He is better offensively.  He is better as a playmaker.  And he is better when defending the post man-to-man but not necessarily from the weak side.

Ron is the best two-way player in the league.

Is Ron a gamble?  Yes.  Is he worth the risk?  Sure.

Ron said it himself: if the Houston Rockets find playoff success this postseason, it will be more so because Yao Ming is healthy rather than Ron’s arrival in Texas. 

I very much agree with him.  Houston provides a change of pace for Ron because he desperately needed out of Sacramento.  In Sacramento, Ron was the first option and he deluded himself into thinking he was first-option material.

In his interviews since being dealt to the Rockets, he seems to have touched back onto the ground.  Ron says he just wants to play, regardless of the role.  He’s happy letting Battier start while he comes off the bench as the sixth or seventh guy. 

The perputed exchange between Yao Ming and Ron Artest was clearly embellished by the media.  And naturally, when the media is a go-between, all hell breaks loose.  An eagerness to label Ron Artest as crazy or mad brought upon Ron’s baited brush-off of the Auburn Hills brawl. 

The big question is whether Adelman can utilize Ron Artest to complement Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady.  It seems that Houston’s top 3 offer a wider breadth of skills than some other squads — namely the Boston Celtics —  so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Beno Udrih’s Internship Is Over

3 03 2008


Beno Udrih has a very good agent. He sets Udrih up with an internship under Gregg Popovich and Mr. Longoria. Udrih hangs around long enough to pick the brains of Jacque Vaughn, Brent Barry and Michael Finley. Not to mention getting free San Antonio courtside seats and two complimentary championship rings.

Udrih’s agent then helps him sign with Sacramento to learn the offense for half a season. As soon as Sactown unloads Mike Bibby, Udrih slips his Starter jacket on and starts to ball.

In the eight games since the Bibby trade and Beno Udrih has doubled his career averages. The Slovenian Slinger has averaged 15.4 points, 6.6 assists, 3.6 rebounds in 37 minutes during that time span.

Udrih definitely doesn’t make up for Mike Bibby but he’s well on his way to doing so. He’s also only 25 and I’m pretty sure they’re only paying him €2 a year — which converts to about $35,000. He’s a lot cheaper than Mike Bibby and he can definitely play.

Look for Udrih to be have a Derek Harper-type career. They both defend and seemingly have a good handle on the game. They seem to take the same kind of shots but Udrih is a much better shooter from beyond the arc.

It’s a shame the Spurs didn’t keep him. I definitely understand that he and Tony Parker are the same age and play the same position which gave Udrih a bit of cabin fever. I’m just not understanding why Vaughn was the Spurs’ backup point guard while Udrih rode the bench.

But I guess that’s why I’m in health care and not in a NBA front office. Damn.