Archive for July, 2011

CHAMPIONSHIP SLATERADE SHOWER!!!

Internet, avert your gaze if you don’t give a shit about sports as I once again check in with the homie Todd Slater on the subject of Basketball. This is a little late as I wanted to get this up hot on the heels of Todd’s Dallas Maverick’s first NBA championship.
It was tough not to check in with Todd while the Mav’s where making their run, I didn’t want to jinx it. Like when a guy’s pitching a no hitter, after five or six innings no one sits next to him in the dugout, there’s magic happening and no one wants to upset that mojo.
So anyway, it was nice to talk to Todd once the Mav’s defeated Ivan Drago and saved the planet from the end times. I called him the night of game six, the following is my email exchange with Todd the following week or so:
Jon: Alright, where are we at since we spoke? How many pieces of Mavericks championship memorabilia have you purchased and or tattoos have you acrued to your person? Did you go to the parade??
Todd:  Ok, I got 3 championship t-shirts plus one for Kristie to wear.  Kristie also bought me the champions backpack and Christmas ornament for Father’s day (finally, a benefit to being a father :).  I dunno if that sounds like a lot or a little but I never buy crap like this.  I’ve wondered so many times who wears Championship junk years after the event… well, now I know.  Expect to see me at Seattle Flatstock in 2020 wearing a worn out Mavs Champions shirt with all the little caricatures of the team.
Jon:  Buy all that Championship gear! I remember my dad’s old ’79 Championship Sonics stuff growing up, it was cool. I love those caricature shirts, I have one from the ’87 All-Star game at the Kingdome somewhere.
I just checked it’s $100 on eBay.
As we know my NBA fandom is in limbo, so I have to latch onto any and all ties to the 206. There are surprising Seattle ties to the Mavericks. Jason Terry of course, Rick Carlisle had a scant tour of duty as color commentator for Supersonics games when he was between coaching gigs and two of the best assistant coaches in the league Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts coached for many years under Nate McMillan and George Carl in Seattle. That and I will always love Mark Cuban for being one of the only 2 NBA owners to vote AGAINST the move of the Sonics to OKC, a classy gesture.
It’s kinda sad that this is all the NBA is to me, it’s just chunks of nostalgia floating around. I’m not the kind of fan who can just watch a league, I’m a homer, I have to align myself somewhere. Should I just pick a team and follow them until David Stern is out of power and Seattle gets a new arena and a new team in 50 years?? Portland? Do they still have Rudy Fernandez? Liked him in the Gold Medal game in the Olympics.
Todd: Man, timely Rudy F reference dood. Dallas just traded their first round pick for him tonight.  I’d expect him to fill DeShawn Stevenson‘s or Peja’s spot next year.  Good player, I like the trade alot considering the pick was at the end of the first round.
I can’t believe Rick Carlisle was actually a color commentator… I mean I know he worked at ESPN, but man, he just doesn’t seem to be happy.  I think he’s a great coach, but doesn’t really enjoy coaching ya know?  You can tell it takes a toll on him, I’m hoping he’s enjoying this championship.
Jon: Guru it up! Last time you threw out some some prognostications. I think you picked the Spurs to win it all….what’s in your crystal ball? Aside from lockout talk cuz this league has serious issues and the lockout might nuke the entire 2011-2012 season. I just mean in general, what teams you see getting better or worse and any thoughts on the draft.
Todd:  I did pick the Spurs… heh.  The league is really wide open right now, no juggernaut’s or dynasties happening right now.  The Heat are probably gonna get it done here soon here I think.  I love the parity in the league right now tho, it’s great.  There was a time for awhile there where I felt like other teams didn’t really have a chance against the Lakers and that was kind of a drag.  But also, the league has never been just about the champion for me (well, except for this year), I mean I like watching Milwaukee and Minnesota in November.  The draft is fresh on my mind so I’ll go into that now:
– Michael Jordan had a nice draft tonight.  He got Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo while adding Corey Maggette but losing Stephen Jackson.  The Bobcats are in full blown rebuild mode but I still like the young talent he got this year.  Might be the worst offensive team in NBA history next year however.
– Please cue up the Star Trek 2 Kahnnnn! scream on youtube in reference to GM David Kahn… the Timberwolves are baffling.  They draft the one position they don’t need (SF/PF) with the number 2 overall pick in draft.  They then trade away their pick in the 20s to Houston for another first rounder next year.  The Wolves seem to acquire picks only to keep trading them in a cycle we see every year.  They also give Jonny Flynn away as part of the trade with Houston.  Flynn was the number 6 pick in the 2008 draft which shows how quickly they give up on their guys.  But hey, Houston did give them a 35 year old Brad Miller in the deal, there’s the big man we all wanted to see Rubio paired with right?  I listened to Bill Simmon’s podcast on ESPN and he really goes after Kahn on the Flynn deal and presses him for answers.  Kahn says he believes that Flynn will become a very good PG in the NBA, and maybe even turn into an allstar, but didn’t feel it could happen playing for Rambis in the triangle.  Well ok, that’s all fine I guess (not sure why you drafted him), but all reports are that Rambis will be fired before the season starts.  This series of events is precisely what puts teams in the lottery year after year.  My advice: just keep Flynn.  You got virtually nothing for him in the trade and even if he’s not a starter for you maybe he’s a rotation player ya know?  You need some guys to play 20-25 minutes a game (checkout how many the Mavs have this year).  It isn’t ideal for a high pick to play reserve minutes but it’s better then giving him away because he’s not a starter.  Alright, have I talked about Kahnnn! enough?  Ok, I’ll let it go…
– Nice job by the Heat grabbing Norris Cole.  I think he can start for them and just knows how to get nasty… like him alot as a late first rounder.  Chalmers is probably heading out of town.
– I wish Jimmer well but there’s just way too many chuckers on that team.
I really feel like next year will be wide open again.  The Lakers will probably bounce back, the Mavs, Celts, Bulls and Heat will all be contenders.  OKC will have another year of experience and could very well be ready to go to the Finals.  The Jazz are rebuilding very quickly and altho they won’t be a contender next year I think it could be coming with all the picks and young guys they have.  If the Clips don’t make the playoffs next year then I don’t know when they will.  I believe the Raptors and Bobcats will be the worst teams in the league *next* year.  I think Deron Williams leaves the Nets.  I just don’t see them putting enough together to keep him.  I definitely think Dwight is outta Orlando too and I doubt CP3 stays long term in New Orleans.  I think Sacramento will be a total mess next year, ego’s will get in the way and they’ll have the worst chemistry in the league.  All guesses here, just throwin’ out the HSOs (hot sports opinions).
Jon: Yeah I caught Kahn on Simmon’s Podcast, that dude is creepy and his explanations didn’t hold a lot of water.
It’s been an all-time shitty year in Cleveland obviously. Winning the draft lottery against the odds was a bit of a silver lining but when you look at this draft, could it be a worse year to have the top pick? P.S Derrick Williams will be the best NBA player in this draft, Klay Thompson the dark horse/sleeper.
Todd: Williams probably is the best player in the draft but he won’t get the minutes to showcase his talent unless a trade happens.  I *despise* the draft the best player available and figure things out later theory.  Hate it, rarely pays off and here’s why:  How can you build trade value if the player isn’t logging big minutes?  Beasley and Love are more NBA ready right now and they will rightfully have earned the lionshare of minutes when the season starts.  So now, Derrick Williams starts to get disgruntled, lowering his already sinking trade value due to the fact that he can’t get enough minutes to develop and begin showing his skills.  Don’t forget that Anthony Randolph is also in that crowded rotation. Enes Kanter was the guy they should have picked even if his ceiling isn’t as high.  2 years ago the Thunder took James Harden number 3 overall in front of Steph Curry, Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings because they already have their PG.  And that was absolutely the right thing to do.  Now if you’re the Cavs, and you’re rebuilding your whole team then I’m fine with taking the best available.  
Klay Thompson is fun to watch, really like him, and it’ll be interesting to see if they use him in an 6th man role or if they trade Monta and start him. Marshon Brooks is pretty smooth and I’ll bet he puts up some decent numbers next year on a depleted Nets team.
Jon: Well that’ll do it, Internet. To the five of you reading this, thanks! I’ll have Todd back on the blog to discuss the next NBA season, in 2013!

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