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, August 19, 2002
Report: Blazers and Kemp to part ways

"Kemp has agreed to forfeit more than $25 million of the $46.5 million left on his contract, The Oregonian said in its Tuesday editions."

Give back 25M?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?! I know everyone likes to complain about how greedy players are, how they're overpaid, etc., but there is no way in hell I would give up 25M. No one knows why Kemp did this at this point, but the Blazers and their fans are happy about it for sure:

"The move has important financial implications for the Blazers, with the team likely to save at least $40 million in NBA luxury taxes."

This takes a tremendous hit off the Blazers payroll, not that Paul Allen was particularly concerned about being in the luxury tax bracket. Now if only someone would take a package of Scottie Pippen and Damon Stoudamire . . .

Friday, August 16, 2002

Bibby agrees to seven-year, $80M deal
I think we all saw this coming. Not the max, but Bibby still probably got more than it's worth. I found this post on the boards, courtesy of shadowsenigmadotnet:

"this is just a thought but. . .

we all know the Lakers can beat any team, anytime they want to. the lakers knew they could beat the kings "queens" in the western finals, but i think the Lakers were worried about the 2002-2003 season. hear me out. the Lakers know that Shaq will take his time with his toe, and be out 1/4-1/2 of the season. the knew this in december. the lakers knew the this upcoming season would be the biggest fight yet, the kings are getting better, and the lakers main force is getting fat. so what do the lakers do????? this is what they did, in the western finals. the lakers let bibby school them, aware that he is a FA. and that his agent is david faulk. the lakers let bibby school them, so faulk would rip the money out of the maloofs wallets. $77mil for 7 seasons, not enough. for a guy who AVG 13.0ppg and 5.0 AST" now looks like the kings are trying to trade christe, so they dont get raped in the lux-tax. Also, why do you think the lakers now only have one PG? "fisher" they cant be very worried, about bibby if they trade the guy who covered him the best."hunter" bibby surpised the lakers just a little bit,and made it closer than they would have liked, also if kobe wasnt poisoned by the "kings" hotel. thios series would have ended in 5 or 6."

Now I don't normally dog on other people like this, but that may be the most absurdly stupid thing I have ever heard. The Lakers let Bibby go nuts so the series could go to 7 and they could almost lose? MORON!!!! Uggghhhh . . . dumbass Lakers fans.

Free agent Harpring jumps to Jazz on four-year deal AND Bulls sign Marshall to three-year deal
Yet again, it's fun with connections!!! The Utah signing of Matt Harpring, screwed both the Bulls and Donyell Marshall. Once the jazz got Harpring, Marshall was out of a job in Utah. The Bulls were also pushing hard to get Harpring, but missed out and needed someone. Therefore, the two needed each other and you get Marshall signing with the Bulls. But don't worry, I'm sure he didn't go there for the money. He probably just wanted to go to a young team that was "on the rise" and a franchise with such an illustrious history, blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Rapid Fire

Here's some of the headlines from the past two or three days with some short analysis by me.

Shaq reportedly to schedule surgery on arthritic toe
I understand it was a last resort, but why didn't he have it earlier? Not that it really matters. As long as Shaq is there for the playoffs, it won't make a difference.

Big man, big signing: Kings add Clark to mix
I like this signing. Keon Clark is a good player and can make an impact off the bench rebounding and blocking shots. He also gives the Kings more big men to foul Shaq come playoff time.

McInnis hoping to earn time on crowded Portland court and Stoudamire reportedly asks Blazers to trade him
Those two go together for obvious reasons. The Blazers trade for Antonio Daniels, sign Jeff McInnis and then Damon Stoudamire wants to be traded. Hey Damon, I think you were probably being shopped already.

Bzdelik to be promoted from scout to head coach
I wish I could attend the press conference. I think it would go something like this:

Reporter: "Mr. Bzdelik, how does it feel to know you were the organization's 24th choice?"
Kiki Vandeweghe: (jumps in before coach can answer) "Jeff wasn't our 24th option. He was option 1q the whole time."

Monday, August 12, 2002
Harris drops out of running for Nuggets' coaching job

Del Harris drops out of the race to be the next Nuggets coach. He is the fourth to drop out. Donn Nelson, Eddie Jordan and Phil Johnson chose staying as assistant coaches rather than be the next Denver scapegoat . . . errr . . . head coach.

Does anyone actually want this job? Hey Kiki - gimme a call if you can't find anyone else. I'll do it.

Friday, August 09, 2002
Utah's Stockton: 40 and still going strong

John Stockton is coming back for another season. Hooray for the Pasty Gangsta!

Wednesday, August 07, 2002
MacCulloch also part of Nets' trade with Sixers

I go away for 3 days and all hell breaks loose in the Sixers front office. I understand that Dikembe Mutumbo wasn't getting any younger and I have no illusions about his scoring abilities (or lack there off in most cases), but to trade him for Todd MacCulloch and Keith "Dough Boy" Van Horn borders on lunacy. Mutumbo is a presence in the middle. MacCulloch is big and stands in the middle. Van Horn can best be compared to a loaf of good bread . . . you know, soft in the middle. He's not even that good from outside. When Kenyon Martin calls you out for not showing up and Jason Kidd backs him up, you should be concerned. And if you are another team, you should not trade for him. Van Horn is just one more extended injury from me lumping him in with Marcus Camby. I don't mind the team bringing back MacCulloch, but get someone, anyone, other than Van Horn. Uggghhhhh.

Fans mourn death of Hall of Fame broadcaster

This isn't the kind of news I wanted to have to give you all when I came back, but Chick Hearn died at the age of 85.

Saturday, August 03, 2002
Vacation . . . Again

I'll be gone for a couple of days so obviously there will in all likelihood be no posts until Thursday at the earliest. So just re-read some of the old ones to tide you over.

Hearn's prognosis not good after second surgery

Sadly, it appears that the only announcer the Los Angeles Lakers have ever had has probably announced his last game. Chick Hearn underwent 2 brain surgeries after falling at his home Friday, which will probably leave him with speech difficulties. This is just sad news. Any Lakers fan will tell you that it isn't really a Laker game unless Chick calls it. My thoughts and prayers go out to Chick and his family.

Robinson shipped to Hawks

Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson gets shipped to Atlanta for a sack of beans (namely Toni Kukoc and Leon Smith). Actually that isn't really accurate. The Bucks get cap space 3 years from now and one less guy that needs the ball. Tim Thomas will probably become the Bucks new starting small forward with Michael Redd (assuming the Bucks can get him signed) taking Thomas' role as energetic scorer off the bench. If Redd doesn't sign, then George Karl may have to rely on rookie Marcus Haislip to play that role. As this article from put it, it is addition by subtraction for the Bucks. By removing Robinson, the rest of the Bucks are happier . . . or so they say. We'll have to wait and see about that. The Hawks can now run out a lineup that sports Theo Ratliff, Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Robinson. While that sounds impressive on paper, Ratliff has topped 60 games in less than half his seasons in the NBA (3 of 7) and played a whopping 2 games last year. Robinson dropped off fairly significantly in rebounds and assists and slightly in points after 2001. What Robinson may bring with him from Milwaukee is the problem of not enough balls on the court. Jason Terry will need his shots, as will Shareef and Robinson. It remains to be seen whether this will be a problem.

When looking at the talent, the Hawks ripped off the Bucks. But when the peripheral things are taken into account, who won and lost in this trade is not very clear at this point. Talk to me in 6 months . . . and then again in 3 years.