Sports T&A (Topics and Arguments) with Amy. Issue 2#: NBA Free Agent Faves
Posted May 18 2010 4:00am
Our friend Amy has decided that Just A Guy Thing could use a different perspective every once in a while (generally: a woman’s; specifically: hers). We have decided to oblige her cause she’s cute and, frankly, knows more about sports than almost anyone I know. Her first piece was an indictment of baseball, available here . This time she takes the gloves off to get dirty with some of the best free NBA free agents this summer. And one guy who she thinks has a cute nickname (hey, she’s still a chick). Away we go.
I have decided to make a few promises. Well, not promises really—more like guidelines. I, Amy, do hereby solemnly swear that I will never steal material from Bill Simmons (Bill, congrats on your contract renewal, by the way). I will make sure to only write what I consider to be truthful things. I will never put words, or anything else for that matter, into someone’s mouth (sorry, Keith Hernandez). I will not lower my standards to writing about something because it is hyped-up, popular, or cool. I will no longer, under any circumstances, use any Triple Crown comments made to media by any man that weighs less than I do as justification to bet on horse racing. (Damn you, Calvin Borel. Damn you and the horse you rode in on.) I will not be the 1,920,243rd person to write about the NBA free agent situation. Finally, I will not allow myself to hate myself if I break these guidelines…
…So, that being said, let’s assess the NBA free agent situation by taking a look at a few of my personal faves in no particular order:
Recognize this guy?
Fact: He is a free agent. Fact: He is a young point guard who doesn’t have the best handles, but is said to be moldable, and a very skilled passer. Fact: His nickname is “Spanish Chocolate.” Fact: His nickname, not his basketball skills have landed him on my list of faves.
Ah, Dirk. Where do I begin? I have watched Dirk play countless times. I have been a long-time fan (five whoppin’ years). I am invested in his future. Well, that is a lie (damn you guidelines). I’m really not invested in your future, Dirk. I do love the Mavs, though. And, I have a friend that has a Grandmother that is from your home town, so you and I are practically besties. I watched you play three NBA playoff seasons at American Airlines Center. I loved the way cute, little Avery Johnson looked like someone from the lollipop guild when he stood next to you.
Okay, Dirk…Here is the moment of truth: I secretly hoped the Mavs were going to trade you for Kobe a couple years back and then the unthinkable happened. Worst. Trade. Ever. (That was dramatic. But in all reality, Mark Cuban, that trade did suck. Sorry, Jason Kidd. It’s just that every time I look at you I think wife beater and I feel like you are kind of swarmy.) Back to the point. I may not be 100% invested in your future, Dirk, but I am worried. It seems you might not be the best judge of character. Lately, Mark Cuban has done nothing to help build you a solid team. I know as a life-long Mav it might be hard for you to picture yourself in a different uni, but I feel like Dallas is played out for you. Maybe Chicago, if they don’t make a play for Lebron? Come to think of it, you and Derrick Rose could be magical together: his ability to get to the basket and your size, athleticism and range. What about reuniting with Steve Nash? The Suns may not have room for you under the salary cap, but do you really need that $21.5m/yr? Can’t put a price on happiness.
On the level, though, Dirk, you are getting old. You need a ring. It breaks my heart, but I don’t think that will happen in Dallas. Best of luck over the next 40 (ish) days. Here’s to hoping your basketball decisions are better than your choice in women.
While I can admit that Redick is no longer the laughing stock of the NBA, I just can’t bring myself to write about him. Once a Blue Devil, always a Blue Devil. J.J., work on your defense and maybe I’ll feel differently next year. I’m sorry.
In addition to rapper, actor, reserve police officer, and U.S. Deputy Marshall, you can add free agent to Shaq’s biography line. He’s no spring chicken, he doesn’t play a lick of defense, and even I could take him in a game of horse if it was set from behind the free throw line, but Superman still has a strong court presence. He still turns in pretty good numbers. He is a fantastic partner for a young and scrappy guard. He may not have the draw he once had, but he is still one of the most recognizable athletes in the world, (not bad for ticket and merchandise sales) and at this point in his career he can afford to be affordable.
So where should you go, Shaq?
Bury the hatchet. Move back to LA. Kobe told me to tell you he misses your musk. Okay, he didn’t say that, but I did think you guys made a cute couple. As it turns out, Phil, Kobe, Lamar, and Pau are fine. They are better than fine without you. They are focused on revenge. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I hope they get a shot at the Celtics. TNT would be thrilled with those ratings. Anyhow, Shaq, you are going to continue to face ageism. You are going to continue to be hammered by younger, quicker players (that’s what she said…giggle). I still think you have a few great years left in you and I like watching you play.
I am going to do you a favor and leave you with a list of people you may want to call for inspiration as you contemplate potentially playing into your 40’s: George Blanda, Buddy Helms, Skip Hall, Wayne Gretzky, Nolan Ryan, and, who can forget, Brett Favre. Godspeed, Superman.
Hyped-up, check. Popular, check. Cool, debatable. Coffin, hammer, nail– So much for my guidelines. What could I possibly say that hasn’t already been said? Well, because we are all probably in agreement that I am not going to bring anything new to the table here, I thought I would include a letter to King James:
To all concerned (LeBron & team):
Can you please send me preliminary thoughts on the situation? No. I don’t want to know about that Jersey Shore douche bag. I want to get inside the “think tank” of the Chosen One. Is the Buckeye state still home for you? What about Chicago? I would love for you to land in Miami. Are you going to New York? Knicks? Nets? If so, do you plan to pimp “Empire State of Mind” as hard as the NFL draft did this year? I don’t know if that’s the best decision for you, LeBron. That song is a pretty sweet orchestral rap ballad, and New York is the biggest market, by population, for basketball, but what are you going to do with all your black and red shoes? On that note, does Nike have to approve your decision? Where does Phil Knight want you to go? What does Will Wesley have to say? Bottom line, LeBron (& team), I lost some money this weekend betting on Super Saver. I was thinking about organizing a friendly wager on where you might land. Do you believe in insider trading? I know you are a “good guy” and everything, but if so, call me. Tell Worldwide Wes I’ll cut him in.
*Note to reader: If you are a man, consider yourself a sports fan, and are wondering who the heck Will Wesley is, this is your heads-up to hit Google stat.
Looks like I do care about your opinion: Where do you think BronBron should go? Can we do polls? (Editor’s note: not really)
Stay put. Cleveland needs you.
Miami! D-Wade (considering he stays) and LeBron would be unstoppable.
Be like Mike. Chicago is ready for another title.
Empire State of Mind. New York all the way.
Who cares where the heck he goes.
The cool thing about this is that almost every outcome is exciting. Short of LeBron starting an “I Sold It on eBay!” store, this is going to remain a compelling story for a while. If he goes to a big market, you get to see Chicago or New York (Concrete jungle where dreams are made of!) rebuild their storied franchises with the bluest chip of them all. In Cleveland, we could see if he could regain focus without all this free agency hoopla and focus on going from “Hall of Fame player” to “Greatest player ever”. With Miami, the combination of Wade and James would likely be the most deadly since Shaq and Kobe mixed it up in their primes. I’m pretty sure they won a championship or two. Strangely enough, the off season is looking to provide the most compelling basketball stories we have seen in a while.