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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Thursday, July 29, 2004
Reason Number 457 WHy I Like Shaq

From a telephone interview Shaq did with the soon to be departed David Aldridge:

"We're gonna be straight," O'Neal said. "I was down here the other day working out with the kid from Vanderbilt we got (second-round pick Matt Freije), and I told him, 'I'm gonna come across the block, and if I get doubled, I'm gonna pass the ball to you and you're gonna have a wide-open jumper, or (forward) Udonis Haslem is gonna come down the lane and he's gonna get a dunk, and you're all gonna get big contracts.' He said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'Just look at the history.  Travis Knight.  Horace Grant.  A.C. Green.  ' He said, 'Shaq, you're one of the coolest guys I've met.' "

How classic is that?  By the way, how many steak dinners does Travis Knight owe Shaq?  I mean the other two Shaq mentioned were good players before Shaq, but he's totally right about Knight.  I guess Travis, Shaq and Rick Pitino can all go to dinner together, since Pitino played an important role in that incredibly poor signing too.

MoPete not going anywhere

So the Raptors matched the NO offer on Morris Peterson.  That offer is reportedly 15M/3.  Now the last year is a team option, so we really have 10M/2.  I know the yearly salaries probably aren't the same each year, but it's a good estimate for what I'm about to say.  How do career averages of 11.3 PPG and .414 FG% from a guard who plays little defense, translate into 5M a year?  I guess the same way you can give Mehmet Okur 50M.

Clippers acquire G Kittles from Nets

And the Nets are having a firesale.  I mean they practically gave Kittles away.  Here are the details:

Clippers get Kerry Kittles
Nets get future second rounder and cash

I know Kittles is no star, but damn, a future second rounder?  In related news, the Clips won't match the Phoenix offer to Quentin Richardson.  I saw a good interpretation of what really happened over at Give Me the Rock.  Basically the Clips traded Q, a future second rounder and cash for Kerry Kittles.  Not so appealing when you think of it that way, is it?  This whole thing works out for no one.  Phoenix gets a logjam with Q and Joe Johnson, the Nets get pretty much nothing and the Clips downgrade from Q to Kerry Kittles.  Can someone explain why this happened at all (other than the salary cap and profits of course)?

Friday, July 23, 2004
Gooden to Cavs
First the details . . .

Cavs get Drew Gooden, Steven Hunter and Anderson Varejao
Magic get Tony Battie and two second rounders

And then another hypothetical conversation . . .

Gordon Gund:  Damnit Jim, what are we gonna do to replace Carlos Boozer down low?
Jim Paxson:  Well, Orlando has this kid Drew Gooden.  He has a shaved head and goatee just like Carlos did.
Gordon Gund:  Great!  Make it happen.

Will there be any interior presence for the Cavs?  I mean after Zydrunas Ilgauskas gets hurt of course.  Lord knows Gooden isn't gonna do anything on defense and will only really contribute on offense every third game or so.  As for the Magic, Gooden wasn't part of the future once they got the first pick.  At least now they have a somewhat serviceable center.  At least Battie can play a little D.  I mean someone on that team has to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
And I Officially Own a Throwback Jersey

Warriors and Blazers swap.  Here's the details:

Warriors get Dale Davis and "Disaster" Dan Dickau
Blazers get Nick Van Exel
You all know what this means right?  Everyone be on the lookout for a NVE Blazers jersey!  Now I love Nick's game, but do you really want Damon Stoudamire and Nick Van Exel tutoring your 18 year old rookie point guard?  In 3 years he'll have Van Exel's cancerous attitude when they're losing and Damon's weed.  Maybe if they're lucky he'll pick up Qyntel Woods' predisposition for using trading cards as ID.  I figure the first time Sebastian Telfair gets pulled over will go something like this:

Officer:   License and registration - is that marijuana?
Telfair:  (hand officer trading card) Yes it is, but it's medical marijuana.  I'm a cancer.
Officer:  What?
Telfair:  You watch Blazers games?  I'm a cancer on the team.  So like I said, the weed is medicinal.

As for the Warriors end of the deal, the fans will love it.  With Dickau in the game, it becomes interactive for the fans.  I mean, Dan's good for at least on pass into the stands each night, so it keeps the fans alert.  As for Dale Davis, you may be on the downside of your career when you are backing up Adonal Foyle.  I'm just sayin . . .

Snow in Cleveland . . . in July?

Here are the trade details:

Sixers get Kevin Ollie and Kedrick Brown
Cavaliers get Eric Snow
Here's how I imagine these trade talks went . . .

Billy King:  Hey Jim, I'm looking to move Eric Snow.  How about this - I give you Snow and you give me a bag of balls and a pile of crap?
Jim Paxson:  Well, we have a problem here.  See, I have the bag of balls.  However, I don't have the pile of crap.  What I do have is Kevin Ollie making $3M and Kedrick Brown who has lots of potential.  Is that close enough to a pile of crap?
Billy King:  Absolutely!!!  Send 'em my way!

Just cause Snow doesn't fit into Jim O'Brien's plans doesn't mean you ahve to give him away.  How exactly does a shooting guard with nothing but potential and a vastly overpaid and undertalented point guard fit in?  I think I'm getting the first taste of what it must be like to have a Babcock running your team.

Sunday, July 18, 2004
The Bus Is Rolling Over Someone . . .
And apparently Kobe Bryant elected Mitch Kupchak, despite the fact that in his post Shaq trade press conference Kupchak lied through his teeth telling the media that he had no idea whether Kobe was gonna re-sign and keeping the tire tracks off Kobe.  How did Kobe return the favor?  When asked in his interview with ESPN whether he would have kept Shaquille O'Neal if it was up to him, he responded with a "Yes, I would have found a way."
That thump you heard was the Mitch's impression of a speed bump.  How slimey is Kobe Bryant seeming right about now?

Thursday, July 15, 2004
Excerpts from an IM conversation
I found this conversation immensely funny, so I figured some of you may enjoy the highlights: 
We'll start with my favorite part, which isn't basketball related, but funny nonetheless
Ben:  haha oh shit!  36 hour cialis!  oh my god
Tim:  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  WHy would you want that, let alone need it?
Ben:  side effects may included "delayed backache"  NO SHIT
Ben:  i am laughing so hard right now.  the tv is killing me.  i am watching that commercial again
Tim:  hahahahahaha
matasar (6:32:32 PM): not studied for multiple attempts per dose.  cialis is not for everyone.  muscle ache
Tim:  hehehehehehe
Ben:  erections lasting longer than four hours, though rare, require immediate medical attention
Ben:  delayed backache, that's so good.  oh man
Ben:  you still there?
Tim:  yeah.  HAd to stop laughing
Tim:  Delayed backache . . .
Ben:  The most common side effects with Cialis were headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache.
Tim:  "Muscle ache"
Ben:  yes
Tim: Which muscle would that be? hehehe
Ben:  also kind of a no brainer.  My theory is you just don't notice the backache
Tim: Depends who's causing it
Tim:  Now that Camby got his contract, where do you set the over/under for games played by him next year?
Tim:  And is it higher than Erick Dampier's or not?
Ben:  I would say camby's over/under is 40
Tim:  No way.  30 tops.
Ben:   haha I'm taking the over then
Tim:  Now what about Dampier?
Ben:  I'm saying 50.  Damp will be around
Tim:  If he plays, but disappears or doesn't try, does that still count as a game played?  If so I think he is at 60
Ben:  haha  I'm saying he is in at least 50 games
Tim:  If those don't count, 20 tops
Ben:  haha  mailing it in counts as a game or else he would be coming off his rookie year
Ben:  So what's the over/under on laker wins?  I'm setting mine at 47
Tim:  With Brian Grant and Slava Medvedenko as the front line?  Are you kidding?
Ben:   haha  Kobe is pretty good
Tim: He's not 47 wins with no center good.  Not in the West
Ben: lamar odom is pretty good
Tim:  Again, Brian Grant is the center
Ben:  yeah, you're right.  So you are taking the under then?
Tim:  We need to reset the line before we get killed by all the people taking the under.  If we ran a casino, you would have just bankrupted us 

Ben:  unfortunately randolph needs minutes.  A lot of minutes.  That guy wants to play every minutes.  He never really gets tired.
Tim:  Yeah, not now.  If he does that for a prolonged period of time he'll be run down at 29
Ben:  Probably because he is only playing while he has the ball
Tim:  That too.  I mean he certainly isn't playing defense
Ben:  playing without the ball consists of standing and waiting for the pass
Tim:  I think you mean "Playing" without the ball
Ben: yes "standing" without the ball
Ben:  you know who won't win exec of the year next year?  mitch kupchak
Tim:  hehehe  Only if he hires someone to replace himself

Links Update
Some comings and goings:
Incoming . . .
Knicks Clicks
BlogMaverick (Yes, I finally caved)
Brendan McGovern
NextNBA (The triumphant return)
Outgoing . . .
Basketball Rules:  Last post was on Hubie Brown . . . winning CoY . . . in April . . .
Hornets 24/7:  Not for content reasons.  Ron is taking the site down for a few months.  WHen it comes back, the EotB links section will welcome it back with open arms.

And of course, the obligatory Laker News
Shaq to Miami is official and the next day Kobe says he's coming back.  You do the math.  Okay, that may be a bit too much of a conspiracy theory.  We can't forget about the money.  Here's what I imagine that conversation in Kobe's head went like:
"Hmmmmm.  I could take more money from the only team I've been with that has done everything I wanted them too over the last few months.  OR, I could take less money to play for arguably the worst franchise in the history of the NBA.  I just don't know what to do.  Oh yes I do, take the money."
While I know everyone was wishing and hoping that Kobe would skip town and leave the Lakers high and dry, but who really thought that he would take less money to play for the Clippers . . . the CLIPPERS PEOPLE!  In the end, Kobe got his way and so he stayed.  The Lakers are no longer title contenders because of it, but at least he got his way.

Hello . . . 9-1-1 . . . I'd like to report a robbery
The Nets and Nuggets worked a sign and trade.  Here are the details.
Nets get 3 first rounders
Nuggets get Kenyon Martin
Kenyon Martin gets 90M/7
It's clear who the loser in that transaction is.  The Nets now have Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, and no one above 6-8 who can actually play.  But I'm sure those 3 draft pick that will be no where near the lottery will come in handy . . .
As for the Nuggets, they can now run out the following lineup:
Marcus Camby
Nene Hilario
Kenyon Martin
Carmelo Anthony
Andre Miller
You do the math.
And speaking of math, Kenyon will be doing his math all the way to the bank.  He wanted the max last year and I pretty much scoffed at him.  Oops.  My bad.

Battier gets 6 year extension
No financial terms for this one yet.  At first I cringed when I saw this.  But then I remembered that this was a Jerry West move, so I'm willing to give it a pass.  You just can't doubt the Logo at this point.

Raptors GM says Vince trade rumors untrue
This is simply GM code, just like a vote of confidence for a coach is.  It means that Vince Carter is not only on the block, but has been for the past couple weeks.

Fisher gets mid-level exception
Apparently, the full mid-level exception is the going rate for backup point guards.  And in case you were wondering - when you sign with the Warriors, you're about the money.
Also of interest, does this mean either Nick Van Exel or Speedy Claxton are on their way out?  I think so.  I think the Warriors would love to get rid of NVE, but will anyone take that contract after last year?

Gund: Trust with Boozer 'was broken'
Needless to say, the Cavs won't be matching Utah's offer.

Troy Hudson Close to Re-Signing with Wolves
The actual ESPN headline was:  "Minnesota regarded as first choice"
To which my response was, there are other choices?  How many teams are there that are in line to get a guy who missed last year with what
Lang Whitaker has dubbed the world's worst sprained ankle?  Word is he'll get the full midlevel exception.  Seems pricy for a guy who hasn't played in a year.

Sunday, July 11, 2004
And Now For Your Regularly Scheduled Laker News

Apparently a deal with Miami is imminent. The proposed deal would something like this:

Lakers get Brian Grant, Lamar Odom, Caron Butler and a future first rounder
Miami gets Shaquille O'Neal

Just thinking about that Brian Grant deal makes me sick. However, I'm impressed the Lakers could get Butler AND a first rounder, even if it is in like 2018. Now if only the Lakers had a backup center they might not be that bad off next year. They may have no point guard though . . . since GP would push for contract buyout. How do you not take the opportunity to toss the Mitten overboard? Hell, he's asking to get tossed. Do the man and your team a favor and get rid of him before he goes all Nick Van Exel in Denver circa 2001.

And of course, we can't forget the new coach. Rudy Tomjanovich is offically the head coach in LA now. If Kobe doesn't re-sign there gonna have to put Rudy in a padded cell and take his shoe laces. Honestly though, are there any non-Laker fans that aren't just praying Kobe skips town too? Wouldn't the opportunity to laugh at those annoying Laker fans be friggin' fantastic? We'll just have to see if Kobe's all about the Benjamins.

Harrington heads to Atlanta in deal

The details:

Atlanta gets Al Harrington
Indiana gets Stephen Jackson

This is a good deal for Harrington and Atlanta. Harrington gets to start finally. Atlanta was gonna lose the erratic shooting Jackson anyway, so at least they got something back, and someone who can play at that. Indiana needed backcourt help and was gonna sign Jackson anyway, but the sign and trade is more cap friendly. I'd keep an eye on Harrington in fantasy drafts next season. He could be a steal.

Reasons Number 256 and 257 Why It's Good to Be Tall

Bucks offer Etan Thomas 39M/6 . . . and Wiz say the'll match any offer

Grizz give Brian Cardinal 39M/6

In the words of Skee-Lo: "I wish I was a little bit taller. I wish I was a baller. I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her. I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat and a 6-4 Impala."

I have a girl who looks good, but the rest applies.

Hawks offer K-Mart 6 year contract at the max

The only problem here is that the Nuggets offered similar money and they aren't the Hawks, so I wouldn't hold my breath in the ATL waiting for that K-Mart signing.

Spurs signings

Spurs re-sign Ginobli for 55M/6
For the first time this summer, a seemingly reasonable contract. The Spurs were also busy inking Bruce Bowen for 9M/3 and also Brent Barry for 24M/4. Barry was offered more money by Portland, but passed. Probably a good idea. I hate to see him playing in fear of when that next beat down was coming from the Nannystopper or Zach Randolph.

Denver prefers sign-and-trade option for K-Mart

The logic as to why they'd want to is presented at the bottom of the article and makes perfect sense. If they could land Kenyon Martin and only give up Nikolas Tsklsduhliksh, cap filler and perhaps a pick, that would be quite the coup. We'll see if they can work it out.

Thursday, July 08, 2004
They're Officially Giving Money Away In the NBA

Blount agrees to six-year, $41M deal with Celtics
Skinner agrees to 5-year, $25M deal
See yestedray's post for my thought on this and just substitute names.

Sources: Kobe talks to Clippers, too
Kobe Bryant playing for Nuggets = Work release program?

Suns find second guard for about $50M
That guard is Quentin Richardson. Is it me or are Q and Joe Johnson the same player? Not quite sure how they think this is a good move. I like Q and all, but him and Joe Johnson are the same player.

Arroyo replaced John Stockton
And the award for lamest headline for a signing goes to ESPN. Why not just say "Jazz extend Arroyo; $16M for 4 years." At least that would be related to the actual event.

Cavs out after 'understanding' falls apart
"Boozer to Cavs: You've Been Punk'd!" Utah offers Carlos Boozer 68M/6. Cleveland says they had an agreement that he would sign for the mid-level exception (~40M/6). While it was a nice gesture by Cleveland, how could you expect the guy to turn down and extra 30M? I mean come on. No one is that loyal to a team, especially not when that team is the Cavs. This simply reinforces what we all already new and Green Day said best: Nice Guys Finish Last.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004
I Think My Head is Going to Explode

I had to read these columns multiple times to make sure I had read the numbers right:

Utah offers Mehmet Okur 50M/6
Golden State gives Adonal Foyle 41.6M/5
Toronto gives Rafer Alston 29M/6
Orlando offers Hedo Turkoglu 39M/6

Just to put that in perspective, Mehmet Okur, Hedo Turkoglu, Adonal Foyle and Rafer Alston have been offered a collective 160 MILLION DOLLARS!!!!! This boggles my mind. What has Adonal Foyle done to make anyone think he's worth 41/6? The correct answer is nothing. It's not like he has potential. The guy is 29. He is what he is. And don't even get me started on Hedo Turkoglu. What the hell is going on here? Maybe I'll try to examine these signings in a more analytical manner once I've calmed down.

Monday, July 05, 2004
Woodson accepts Atlanta's offer

This reminds me of a conversation at a press conference when the Clippers hired Alvin Gentry as their new coach:

Question: Didn't you have any friends warning you not to take the job with the Clippers?

Gentry: They all encouraged me to take the job.

Question: You don't have any friends, do you?

You don't have any friends, do you Mike?

Krzyzewski rebukes lucrative Lakers offer

In other news, this is one of the few articles that contains the words "Stephen A. Smith" and and conjugate of "to report" in the same sentence.

Seriously though, I'm not that surprised by this. Coach Krysjkadskjdh doesn't need the money and the guy walks on water in Durham. Hell, they named the court after him. Why would you want to go to a team that's biggest name that actually wants to be there is a washed up Gary Payton, who is playing for paychecks at this point? Not only that, if you're Coach K, do you trust Kupchak to get you the talent needed to win? HELL NO!

Friday, July 02, 2004
7 7 7: Nash hits jackpot

Lang Whitaker described the Steve Nash pseudo-signing best:

"Steve Nash met with the Mavs yesterday morning, then met with the Suns management, where they met for six hours. I imagine the meeting went something like this:
SUNS: So, Steve, we want to sign you to a five-year contract worth $65 million dollars.


NASH: How much?

SUNS: Five-years, $65 million.

NASH: Are you serious? How much was that again?

SUNS: Five-years, $65 million. And we'll make a sixth year an option, too.

NASH: Really? You know I'm 30 years old, right?"

Ray Allen on the block

No one is safe from the dreaded trading block.

Vince Carter wants out of the T-dot

What a Shaq wannabe . . . just kidding. Apparently Vince doesn't have faith in the Babcock name. Can you blame him? Not exactly the best name in GMing these days after Pete's stint in the ATL.

Camby gets multi-year extension

I think this was an incredibly poor decision. The correct decision is to make every year after the first a team option, so that way it's always a contract year. Anyone notice how Camby missed significantly less games last year when his contract was coming up? I know that wasn't a viable option on the contract because Camby would never agree to it. But the guy is made of paper mache until proven otherwise. He gets through another two seasons playing 70 games and we can talk.

Coach(ing) K(obe)

$8M a year . . . Wow. Not that he really needs the money I'm guessing, but . . . $8M. I'll discuss the implications of this if he gets hired, but I question whether he'll leave Duke so I'll save it for then.