The End of the Bench

Basketball blog with takes on basketball and anything related to basketball . . . as well as a haven for jingoists everywhere - in America.

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Monday, July 29, 2002
Brace Yourselves

This will show up as one post, but it's really more like 3. We'll hit some more trade rumors, the NBA board of governors meetings and the latest on the saga that is Allen Iverson. So without further ado . . .

Source: Cavs on verge of trading Andre Miller to Clippers
I saw the headline and thought, "Duh. This should have happened back on draft day." Then I read what the proposed deal actually was. Instead of a deal that would pretty much be Lamar Odomor the two Clipper first round picks (Chris Wilcox and Marvin Ely) for Andre Miller, the new deal is Darius Miles and Harold Jamison (who?) for Miller and Bryant Stiff . . errr . . .Stith. I like D. Miles and all (that Nike commercial with Quentin Richardson was kinda cool), but it is absurd to think that this deal is even in the same zip code as fair. If this deal goes down like this, the Cavs will be that much closer to being the Warriors. Ricky Davis (if the Cavs can get a deal done - he is a restricted free agent) and Miles would be fun to watch, but they won't win many games.
Update: is reporting that the deal is actually done already. God help you all, Cavs fans.

NBA Board of Governors approve instant replay
After the debacles in last year's playoffs, this was a foregone conclusion. The replay will be used to see if shots actually beat the buzzer at the end of games. "Officials also can use the replay to determine if a foul they called came before time expired or if a player had his foot on the 3-point line." Referees will go through training before the pre-season starts.

Judge dismisses all but one charge against Iverson
Ban batterers from sports By STEVE WILSTEIN
Those two links go together for the purposes of what I have to say. Wilstein basically goes on a rant about how so many players (in all sports) have been getting arrested lately "on charges they beat up their wives or girlfriends." The article can be summed up with the following six paragraphs from the actual article:

Every week, on average, two athletes are arrested on charges they beat up their wives or girlfriends. Two or three more are arrested on other offenses.

This month alone: Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers; race car driver Al Unser Jr.; Glenn Robinson of the Milwaukee Bucks; Scott Erickson of the Baltimore Orioles; Chris Terry of the Carolina Panthers.

Iverson was cleared of all but a misdemeanor Monday at a hearing into charges he stormed into his cousin's apartment with a gun and threatened two men while looking for his wife. Two counts of making terroristic threats were left standing. Iverson also had been accused of throwing his wife out of their home.

Criminal charges against Unser, accused of hitting his girlfriend, were dismissed. None of the others has been convicted of any crimes.

``It's really essential that batterers be banned from sports,'' sports sociologist Richard Lapchick says. ``Not because there's a disproportionate number of athletes who are involved, but because they're such role models for kids. If kids see athletes get away with hurting a woman, then they might feel that it's OK for them, that they're going to get away with the same thing.''

Lapchick would like to see a year's ban for a first offense and a permanent ban for a second. It's an idea whose time has come.

So now it's time for the Tim point of view. Am I the only one that thinks that the both Steve Wilstein and Richard Lapchick never even bothered to think that maybe the players were actually innocent and that's why they didn't get convicted. Do I think that those players did nothing? Not necesarily. Do I think whatever they did do was criminal? The court says no and I tend to agree with them (except for O.J., but that's a different post). It is absurd to think that players should get a one year ban for getting arrested for domestic battery. Arrested doesn't mean you did anything. Does anyone think that Iverson deserves a one year ban because he got arrested? The Philadelphia DA had no case and when it really came down to it, shouldn't have even arrested him. Wilstein's point was that it is bad for kids to see their role models getting arrested for domestic abuse. I have two responses to that: 1) Kids shouldn't have athletes as role models. They should be looking up to their parents, police officers, firemen, etc. That's how I view it, but I'm not so naive that I don't realize that kids do look up to athletes. 2) Why don't all you reporters quit reporting everytime an athlete gets arrested and report when they get convicted if you think it's that bad for the kids. There have been numerous stories about Allen Iverson and how he kicked in a door waving a gun, but the reality is probably closer to he probably knocked on the door, was let in and asked if they had seen his wife. Who's fault is it that kids see that story? Is it AI's? Hell no, it's not. Is it the Philadelphia DA's Office's fault? To a small extent it is. When it really comes down to it, it is the media's fault for reporting it like it is fact when it is really no more than speculation. It's also the media's fault for continually doing that for so long that we automatically assume the athlete did it. Anyway, I'm gonna get off my soapbox now and go bail Derrick Coleman's stupid ass out of jail. Just take the damn breathalizer D.

Thursday, July 25, 2002
Celtics acquire F Baker from Sonics in five-player deal

I'm a little late with this one, but it's been a busy week. So the Celtics did this deal because . . . Now I'm not naive. I realize this trade really probably came down to Shammond Williams for Kenny Anderson. It's seems like kind of a big risk. Trading for the enigma that is Vin Baker and his vulture contract and trading away your rejuvenated point guard (granted he could turn back into a pumpkin any second) for a guy who is a bit of an unknown quantity because he hasn't really had a chance. I'm not really sure what I think of this. It all really depends on what Shammond Williams does. He's gonna have to put on quite a show though to make up for having to eat that Vin Baker contract though. Personally, I would have just stuck with Anderson, the oft-injured Vitaly Potapenko, and Joe Forte.

ABC, ESPN set NBA broadcasting teams; Barkley stays at TNT

I knew Bill Walton would end up getting a job at one of the networks, but I was still hoping he wouldn't. Walton and Tom Tolbert will be departing NBC for ABC/ESPN. The new ABC studio team will be Mike Tirico and Tolbert. I wonder how that pair will work out. Tirico is kinda known as a serious guy (does a lot of ABC and ESPN's golf coverage) and Tolbert is not so serious. They will probably be fine, but I don't have a lot to talk about that won't set me off on a tirade (That means you Jerome James, Pat Garrity, etc.).

Thursday, July 18, 2002
Knicks eyeing Szczerbiak in three-team deal involving Sprewell

This is a nice thought, but I wonder whether it will really happen. There would have to be a lot of cap fodder going to New York and they already have plenty of it anyway. Although if anyone would be dumb enough to give Wally the max (even though he doesn't deserve it, let alone be named to the All-Star team last year . . . but I digress), it would be New York. I can only imagine the garbage that the Knicks would have to take to make this work. They can't be that dumb though . . . can they?

Goal: Get Cavs in playoffs by 2004

Chad Ford has some good ideas as to how Jim Paxson can turn around the mess that is currently the Cavs. Granted what he says will never happen because Paxson is bad at his job, but they are good ideas none-the-less. Maybe the people of Cleveland should start a "Chad Ford for GM" campaign. That may be their only hope.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
George remains a Laker

Can someone explain why Devean George is gonna get 5M a year? He isn't that good. I thought he was a prime candidate for the Tyron Lue award (awarded to the player who turns a few good playoff games into a big contract with a new team only to be exposed for the mediocre role player he is - also known as the Todd MacCullouch award in some circles). With George out of the running, I don't know that we'll have a Lue award winner this year. Maybe we'll have to start a Devean George award for the player who turns a few good playoff games into a big contract with his current team only to be exposed for the mediocre role player he is.

Monday, July 15, 2002
One Man's Opinion

"Friend of the Bench", Ben Matasar, has posted the above piece over at about the Allen Iverson thing.

Thursday, July 11, 2002
Prosecutors decide to charge Iverson

Why'd he have to go all Penny Hardaway? Personally I don't care if Allen Iverson goes to jail. However, I do care about the repurcussions that there will be if he does serve time (such as my favorite team going in the tank). But that is all probably irrelevant because AI has money and he will get a lawyer who will in turn get him 5 years probation.

Monday, July 08, 2002
Finally . . . The Draft Review

And it only took me two weeks. I actually caught most of the draft either on tv or radio. This will be some quick hits for each pick in the first round and if I feel motivated enought, the second round too. Expect not much on the foreign players seeing how I don't know much on any of them.

1) Houston: Yao Ming - Duh. You can't teach 7-5 and the Rockets didn't need a guard. The circus freak factor was too much to resist. Oh yeah, and he can play a little too.

2) Chicago: Jay Williams - Again, no surprise. If it weren't for Yao, he would have been the conscensus number one and the Rockets would have dealt the pick. But back to reality . . . good player, but there are questions about whether he can be a true point guard. I have faith in him. Besides on that team, a talent like him should at least put up decent numbers. He's practically a veteran there.

3) Golden State: Mike Dunleavy Jr. - One of two things will happen here. 1) He will be an absolute disaster. That one is pretty unlikely in my mind. 2) The more likely is he will rise to prominence and then be alienated by management. He will be traded and then truly find his game and become a perennial all-star. The Warriors have a way of getting rid of good players for practically nothing because they are incompetent.

4) Memphis: Drew Gooden - A solid pick. You know what you are getting. This is similar to last year's choice of Shane Battier. You know that in all likelihood, Gooden will come in and be solid at a position that the team is not particularly strong at. That and how do you question "The Logo"?

5) Denver: Nikoloz Tskitishvili - I must admit that I had to use cut and paste for that one. He's 19, tall and from Europe. Comparisons have been made to Dirk Nowitzki.

6) Cleveland: Dajuan Wagner - I must admit I was puzzled when I saw this. I wasn't expecting him to go this high. Maybe a pre-emptive move for trading Andre Miller? I don't see Wagner as a point though, more of a 2.

7) Denver (from New York): Maybyner Hilario - The people in Denver finally have hope and his name is . . . Kiki Vandeweghe. The trade that netted Hilario was a pretty good move in my opinion. McDyess was a big contract that wasn't gonna help them. Camby and Jackson will be gone by the break and the Nuggets will still have Hilario and Tskitishvili.

8) Los Angeles Clippers: Chris Wilcox - Ummmm . . . okay. I kept waiting for a trade to follow this pick and it still hasn't. Perhaps the writing is on the wall for Elton Brand? Someone will max Brand out when his deal is up and it is looking like it won't be the Clippers (especially after you see there second pick of this round).

9) Phoenix: Amare Stoudemire - The lone high school player in the first round. A backlash after last year it appears. That and everyone was looking for the next Dirk Nowitzki. He's kinda tall. That's about the extent of my knowledge here. Probably won't be contributing any time soon.

10) Miami: Caron Butler - Somewhere there is a warrant out for Heat management because this was outright theft. No way Butler should have fallen this far. Look for him to contribute right out of the shoot and to have the Paul Pierce chip on his shoulder. He could be scary good very quickly.

11) Washington: Jared Jeffries - As ESPN put it, "He does everything well, but nothing great -- yet." I agree with that. And a note to Jared - Mix in a steak or somethin man.

12) Los Angeles Clippers: Marvin Ely - And the award for Pick that Makes the Least sense goes to the Clippers. Why would you draft not one, but two power forwards when you have a 20/10 guy there right now? This is something the old Clippers would have done.

13) Milwaukee: Marcus Haislip - Has a reputation for disappearing at times. He should fit right in.

14) Indiana: Freddie Jones - This wreaks of Isaiah Thomas' incompetence. Jones could have been had 5-10 picks lower. But why trade down and get a bit extra right? Uggghhhh.

15) Houston (from Toronto): Bostjan Nachbar - He's . . . ummmm . . . he's . . . ummmm . . . European. Next.

16) Golden State (from Philadelphia): Jiri Welsch - See pick 15. By the way, Golden State got this pick for a future 1st and a future 1st or 2nd. Can someone explain how that makes any sense for Golden State? However I am proud of my Sixers for taking advantage of yet another team.

17) Washington (from New Orleans): Juan Dixon - Personally I like Juan Dixon. However, he is a bit skinny. I'm gonna generalize my message to Jared Jeffries to include all Wizards draft picks this year. Maybe they are paying the players by the pound now and trying to save some money?

18) Utah: Curtis Borchardt - A tall white center in Utah? No way. Borchardt dropped like a rock and I haven't really heard anything as to why. Maybe it's because he isn't that good. He's brittle (one injury free season at Stanford), has no range, is skinny and slow. But other than that . . .

19) Orlando: Ryan Humphrey - This one boggled my mind. Here is a quote from his ESPN scouting page: "Humphrey can move up -- in the second round -- through Chicago and workouts." Two weeks later I still don't understand this pick. Why not take Kareem Rush?

20) Los Angeles Lakers: Kareem Rush - Speaking of Kareem . . . I don't see him getting a whole lot of playing time behind Kobe, but dude can score. This is a great bargain for the Lakers. I didn't think Rush would go lower than 15 at the very lowest.

21) Portland: Qyntel Woods - The raw player with the suspect attitude ends up in Portland. I couldn't have written it any better myself.

22) Phoenix: Casey Jacobsen - Looks like he made the right decision. He can gun and from deep, but he still needs to add some size. I hate to say it, but he has Tim Legler written all over him.

23) Detroit: Tayshaun Prince - The theme for this draft is "steaks - eat them." Yet another tall, skinny guy who can shoot. He was able to blow buy the guys guarding him at the 4 in college, but will the same happen at the pros when he faces 3s every night? Only time will tell.

24) New Jersey: Nenad Krstic - Who the hell is this guy? Next.

25) New York: Frank Williams - I like Frank's game. The thing that hurt him the most is his size and his dubious decision making. There's no denying his defensive abilities. His quickness was good enough in college, but I don't know that it will be in the pros. Despite that, I like him better than the other Knick point guards. Charlie Ward? Howard Eisley? Please . . .

26) Philadelphia (from San Antonio): John Salmons - This guy is the Placido Polanco of college basketball. He played everywhere but center for Miami last season, which is a big plus for any player. He probably won't be a star, but he could be around the league for while, which is what you expect from a late first rounder. He should see some minutes off the bench for the Sixers off the bench, especially after Raja Bell's disappearing act last year.

27) Toronto: Chris Jefferies - How did all these Fresno State players get into the first round? Anyways, his knee is questionable after he tore cartilage in it near the midpoint of last season. He was a great defender and a good scorer before the injury, but who knows what he'll be after having a serious knee injury.

28) Atlanta (from Sacramento): Dan Dickau - I saw his name come up and my first thought was, "Don't even bother looking for an apartment in Sacramento, Dan." With Mike Bibby probably re-signing and Bobby Jackson still around, the Kings need another point guard like the Sixers need another role player. However, Atlanta needed another point so they can move Jason Terry to the 2 without having to start Jacque Vaughn. This trade was great for Dickau. He went from Mateen Cleaves backup to probable starter in Atlanta. And by getting to Atlanta this way, he still gets guaranteed money.