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 16, 2004
U.S.: 3-for-24 from 3-point range

There isn't a whole lot to say about this other than to refer you all again to this Bill Simmons article.

GP respects Celtics, aims fury at Lakers

Does anyone care if Gary Payton doesn't feel respected at this point? Quite frankly, he probably shouldn't have let Chauncey Billups blow by him time and time again during the finals if he wanted people to care about him being respected. Regardless of that, Payton's not showing up for his physical helped the Celtics out. The trade had a clause that in case he didn't report, Marcus Banks turns into Jumaine Jones.

There are some great quotes in the article:

"Payton said he didn't have anything against the Celtics, but that he felt the Lakers had failed to honor their agreement with him when Payton exercised his one-year $5.4 million contract option to continue to play in Los Angeles."

""It's about respect," Payton told the Press-Enterprise. "[The Lakers] didn't respect me. Why should I respect them?"

"Payton has also said he never would have re-signed with Los Angeles if he knew the Lakers didn't want him back. Payton's choices now are to either report to Boston or retire, but Ainge says he thinks Payton will wind up in Boston."

One - What did the Lakers do to make Payton think they wanted him back, especially at 5.4M?
Two - That part about Ainge thinking Payton will wind up in Boston is a misprint I think. The word thinks should actually be "hopes," cause Ainge is hoping like hell he gets more than some cash and a weak draft pick out of that trade.

Veteran forward adds leadership

If anyone is friends with Bill Simmons or knows how to get in contact with him, I suggest you go check on him because I fear this signing may have sent him into convulsions. The Celtics signed Tom Gugliotta (Tom Gugliotta!!!!!) to what is believed to be the veterans exception. Quite frankly, signing him at all and expecting anything from him is a pipedream. Just to put this in perspective, Googs went for a monstrous 3.7/5.2 in his 25 games in Utah. And that was getting 20 minutes a game. He's a shell of what he used to be and why anyone would sign him is beyond me.

Trade frees up roster spot for Bobcats

Here are the details of the deal:

Hawks get Peja Drobnjak
Cats get 2005 2nd rounder

So for those of you scoring at home, the move looks something like this for the Bobcats:

Outgoing: 2004 No. 4 Overall (Shaun Livingston), 2004 Bobcats second rounder (33rd Overall)
Incoming: 2004 No. 2 Overall (Emeka Okafor), 2005 Hawks second rounder

Now lets be honest, those second rounders probably won't be that much different. Personally, I'd prefer Okafor over Livingston too. The really money part about the whole thing is that Bernie Bickerstaff not only got the pick he needed to get the guy he wanted, but he managed to do it while then unloading the Drobber on someone else.

New Jersey adds scoring threat

Now before you Nets fans get excited, I should tell you the "scoring threat" is actually Ron Mercer. The deal is $3M/2. When you sign Ron Mercer, can you officially call it rock bottom?

Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Fantasy Football

I'm running a fantasy football league on Yahoo! and am looking for 3-4 more players. The draft will be 8/29/04 at 10AM PST and will be done via IM (or if you live near me, we could possibly do it in person). That time works best for the other people and is when we can all do it so it is non-negotiable. If you're interested or want more details, email me and I can get you the necesary info.

Saturday, August 07, 2004
I've Arrived

On my last post on Peja's trade demand, the first comment was this:

I don't know what you mean.
Randy Johnson 08.06.04 - 1:37 am #

Mr Big Unit, you have no idea what an honor it is to have you reading my site:)

In all seriousness though, there are few things I find funnier than celebrities contradicting themselves (Or posters impersonating celebrities). Always good fun.

Thursday, August 05, 2004
Peja Asks Kings for Trade

Maloof brothers promptly laugh at him. They pretty much said they won't trade him. Geoff Petrie, being the excellent GM he is, was noncommittal and refused to rule the possibility out. Peja said that he and the team both need a change, but word is he's pissed that the Kings didn't re-sign "Floppy" Divac. Regardless, that would have to be one hell of a trade offer for the Kings to move Peja, even if he did look like the Chris Webber of seasons passed come playoff time. The most interesting quote was this one from Peja:

"You would rather have somebody [who is] happy. He [Petrie] can get something good in return for me," said Stojakovic, who averaged 24.2 points and 6.3 rebounds last season."

Is it me, or is that a veiled threat?

Guard comes to NY in six-player swap

Here's the details:

Bulls get "Cookie Monster" Mutumbo, Frank Williams, Othella Harrington, and Cezary Trybanski
Knicks get Jamal Crawford and Jerome Williams

The Bulls just wanted to get something for Crawford and that something apparently is salary cap space, because Lord knows it wasn't talent. That's quite a motley looking crew the Bulls got. I mean lets be honest, most of the guys there aren't worth anywhere near what they're getting paid (Yes, you Cookie Monster). Now hopefully Pax won't have the troubles that the previous regime had with getting people to take their money. If I remember correctly it resulted in Ron Mercer getting overpaid, Jalen Rose getting overpaid and who can forget the albatross that is Eddie Robinson. Pax just needs to be patient. I have a saying: Unused salary cap space is a waste, but wasted cap space is even worse. As for Crawford and the Knicks, I guess they're gonna use him as a sixth man, since I doubt he'll outplay Stephon Marbury or Allan Houston. Having said that, I predict Crawford will be the starting two guard by the end of December, mainly because Houston is just this side of Marcus Camby when it comes to staying healthy. If Allan Houston hasn't missed at least 5 games by Christmas I'll be surprised.

Sixers unload Coleman on Detroit

The details:
Sixers get Corliss Williamson
Pistons get Derrick Coleman and Amal McCaskill

THANK GOD! Yes I'm aware that Williamson contract isn't pretty, but they took Derrick Coleman! At least Williamson will probably be healthy for most of the season. Hell DC, was hurt most of the time and even when he was healthy he wasn't playing any defense. If you need more evidence that DC was useless check this out. To use the Bill Simmons table test, Coleman is not only NOT bringing things to the table, but he is actually taking things off the table. I'm happy the Sixers got anything for his ass.

Mavs get Terry, Henderson and pick in the deal

The details:

Hawks get Antoine Walker and Tony Delk
Mavs get Jason Terry, Alan Henderson and a first rounder

Is it me or do you look at this trade and wonder why anyone would want any of the guys involved. The trade pretty much breaks down to tradin a tall volume shooter for a shorter volume shooter. It will be interesting to see what Terry does when he can't shoot whenever he wants. As for Walker, he suffers from teh same Rasheed Wallace suffers( or is it suffered?) from - he could be good (dominant in Sheed's case) if he would just stay in the post. I know you all are saying what's the problem with that? The problem is that he refuses to play down low. Toine is a good player, but he isn't a good shooter. I just don't get why he refuses to go down low and quit l0bbing up all the bad threes. Either way, this trade is one of those why bother trades. I doubt it will make much difference for either team.

The "Dream" Team

There was a request for my thoughts on the USA basketball team getting trounced by Italy and then squeeking past a German team that didn't even qualify for Athens. I pretty much agree with this. The selection committee just doesn't get that they need to mix in a shooter or three. Read the Bill Simmons article (link above), cause he pretty much lays it out for everyone.