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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Friday, January 30, 2004
Lakers lose Kobe to injury for another week

It's official, the Lakers are cursed. Look at all the injuries. It's obvious Gary Payton has made a deal with the devil in order to keep his health.

But in all seriousness, that hurts for the Lakers. This raises the question, doesn't Kobe have someone to move boxes for him? After this, will the Lakers insert a clause in his contract in which they provide someone to do this? But the most important question is, how do you put your hand through a window moving boxes? I've hit my hand on doorjambs moving boxes. I've pulled muscles moving boxes. I've never put my hand through a window moving boxes though. It's obvious there needs to be a re-enactment.

Thursday, January 29, 2004
All Star starters announced

I'm just gonna list them here and I'll do the commentary when I do the full out post when the reserves are announced.

Ben Wallace
Jermaine O'Neal
Vince Carter
Allen Iverson
Tracy McGrady

Yao Ming
Tim Duncan
Kevin Garnett
Kobe Bryant
Steve Francis

Bulls close to buyout of Williams' contract

Jay Williams will get $3M as a settlement. This is a pretty classy move by the Bulls since they oculd have given Williams nothing since he violated the terms of the ocntract by being on the motorcycle in the first place. This is good for the Bulls cause it will give them an extra roster spot that they oculd use about now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
O'Brien steps down as Celtics coach

Basically he hated Danny Ainge and couldn't take working for him anymore. He disagreed with Ainge's personnel moves and they got into it apparently. Let's be honest though, who hasn't questioned Ainge's moves up to this point? And can anyone really blame him for not liking Ainge?

As for the Celtics, they weren't going anywhere with O'Brien and they won't be going anywhere without him. The team is a mess and no one is quite sure what Ainge's plan is. Ainge wants to go younger, but some of his moves are looking pretty questionable at this point. Ricky Davis hasn't fit in that well thus far, and Jiri Welsh seems to have remembered he's Jiri Welsh. Ainge says he's simply looking to the future and that the present may have to be sacrificed a bit. Hey Danny, the present is getting kinda bleak, and the future isn't looking that much better.

Monday, January 26, 2004
First-place Nets cut chord on Scott

Hmmmm. We all knew Byron Scott had his head waiting on the guillotine, but did anyone think the blade was gonna come down this fast? When the Nets didn't extend him last summer, he became a dead man walking. I had read the reports that things weren't peachy in New Jersey, but they never made it seem like it was so bad that they would fire him midseason.

Some will find it surprising because the guy has gotten them to two straight NBA Finals, but there are other things to consider. First, a lot of people give Eddie Jordan more credit for those two appearances than Scott. Secondly, the Nets are a mere two games over .500 right now. While that gives them the division lead and would mean a second seed in the playoffs, it is only the 5th best record in the East. Now that doesn't warrant firing a coach who has been in the last two NBA Finals, it probably contributed.

The other interesting subplot with this is Jason Kidd and what role he played in this. We all know they've had their issues, but how big a role did Kidd play? The conspiracy theorists will probably say that to get Kidd back the Nets had to agree to fire Scott, but couldn't do it last summer or risk it appearing as though the inmates were running the asylum. I don't think I believe that. I think Kidd's unhappiness played a role, but I doubt he was the only unhappy player. Reports earlier this season gave the impression that the problems with Scott were pretty much team wide.

So in conclusion, I think Byron Scott got axed because a) his record this year and most of all b) his strained relationship with the players.

Thursday, January 22, 2004
Miles traded to Portland

The details -

Cavs get: Jeff McInnis, Reuben Boumtje Boumtje
Blazers get: Darius Miles

I think Cleveland got the better end of this deal, but that is based mainly on my belief that Darius Miles is never going to be a good NBA player. At best he'll be an average role player. Granted he's still very young, but he's done nothing thus far in his career to make me think otherwise. The Cavs desperately needed a point guard and all they had to give up was Miles to get a guy who can be above average in filling that need. I don't think it is a huge steal for the Cavs because, really, when the principles are Darius Miles and Jeff McInnis can it really be a steal?

Anthony leads way to all-star competitions

But that headline isn't the important part. The important part of the article is the following.

"Forward Chris Andersen will be in the four-man dunk contest."

Now I have something to look forward to on All-Star Saturday.

Jason Williams on Throwback Jerseys

Courtesy of Lang Whitaker -

"I just have to like the way it looks," said Grizzlies point guard Jason Williams, who didn't care to wager a guess on how many throwbacks he has in his collection. "I don't even have to like the guy to buy his throwback. For instance, I have a Bill Walton throwback."

Monday, January 19, 2004
Sources: Allen Decrees Sheed Stays

I think I understand why Allen did this. Antawn Jamison and Tariq Abdul-Wahad both have long term deals. I also think they may be able to get more closer to the deadline for Sheed. Also, if he walks they get cap room. So why take two big, long contracts of guys who aren't worth said deals?

One bad thing may be that this incident hurts John Nash's credibility with other GMs. Although I doubt it's the first time an owner has gone over the top of a GM, so it probably won't matter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Chaney Out, Wilkens In

Yeah so I was just kidding about the whole Fratello thing apparently. Lenny Wilkens, the NBA's winningest and losingest coach in history is the new coach of the Knicks. Personally I think Wilkens is over-rated, at least as far as Hall of Famers go. Fratello was the right call I think. You can't doubt his track record. Wilkens didn't do so well in Toronto and I don't like his odds in New York. Time will tell, but I'm a fan of the Czar and am kinda confused as to why he still is out of a job.

UPDATE: I just heard a report that Fratello turned down the job, which would explain why he is not coaching in the NBA right now.

Report: Fratello to replace Chaney

I had wondered in the past what took so long to get Fratello a job again and I think I may know why. 1) After a while it seems he starts to grate on the players, although that seems to happen with most coaches. 2) Fratello coaches boring basketball. If he gets named Knicks coach and they play the Rockets, we could see a final of 45-43.

That being said, Fratello wins games. He's had success. Will he try and run the same system with the Knicks? If he does, Im not sure how well that's gonna work. Power to him if he can get Stephon Marbury to walk the ball up and dump the ball into the post. We'll see if it is gonna work.

Thursday, January 08, 2004
Van Exel sounds off on coach

Nick says that Musselman is too inconsistent with the rotation and that it doesn't allow guys to know their roles. Coincidence that NVE starts to complain when they lose their seventh in a row? I love Nick, but I think not. He never really handled losing all that well. This isn't a good sign for those of us hoping to see Nick Van Exel stay a Warrior after the trade deadline.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004
Marbury sent to Knicks

Sorry for the lengthy absence there. Been a busy busy couple weeks. I'll be posting more often. I promise. Now onto the real news.

Everything I said about Isaiah Thomas I take back . . . well, maybe not everything. If you're the Suns, doesn't this trade border on lunacy? For those who missed the details, here they are:

Knicks get: Stephon Marbury, Anfernee Hardaway, and Cezary Trybanski (no relation to Nikolas Skitydgjhdsgfjhsdgf).

Suns get: Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic, two first-round draft picks and cash

Now personally I'm a fan of quality not quantity. The quality in this deal right now is Marbury. McDyess and those draft picks could end up being quality. One problem is that by giving the Knicks a star like that, the Suns in all likelihood lowered those draft picks.

Another thing is that the Knicks tried to get Vujanic over this year and couldn't get it done. If the Suns have the same problem, then that makes that part of the trade a zero. When it comes down to it though, how do you give up a star of Marbury's magnitude without getting that same kind of talent back. Now I know that there are gonna be some who want to point to what McDyess did before his injuries and put him up there, but this isn't the same guy. He's not even close and may never be.

Now there are two unknowns in Lampe and Trybansky. Both are young and getting few minutes at this point, so they are hard to evaluate. They could end up making this trade more or less fair than it appears now.

However, right now, Zeke should be making sure all the doors and windows are locked and the shades are drawn because this was an absolute steal.