More On LBJ’s Future

May 11, 2009
Look at that body.

Look at that body.

A Cleveland area newspaper, in a rare moment of clarity, points out that the idea that the Cavs will have enough $$ to both pay James and another superstar free agent is a fallacy. If Cleveland resigns Varejao and/or Ilgauskas, and retains its first-round draft picks in ’09 and ’10, they’ll be unable to afford another top flight player. If they let Varejao and Ilgauskas go, and don’t sign a first rounder in either of the next two drafts, it’s not clear how they plan to win enough games or have enough talent to be an attractive long term spot for LeBron. Joe Smith and Ben Wallace are barely walking without canes at this stage of their careers.

I doubt LeBron is confident that the Cavs would go way over into the luxury tax in order to keep players around him. And without Varejao and some picks, they’re left with a trio of three point shooting PG’s and LeBron. Not exactly a foundation.

So instead you start talking about Tyson Chandler?? Even Oklahoma City didn’t want him. For free.

I do think LBJ could win a couple championships with Varejao, Chandler, Mo Williams, and Delonte West. But not as many as he could win with a different collection of guys, elsewhere.

Update: Look, obviously he likes it in Cleveland, and they’re committed to him, and the fans and city will forever worship, protect, and insulate him from anything bad ever happening.  All I’m saying is, the actual team around him isn’t necessarily going to be any better than anywhere else.  Cleveland can’t let up for an instant over the next year, while other teams can be building to have a renaissance at precisely the right time.


Rondo Puts On His Pimp Suit

May 7, 2009

Rajon Rondo has decided that this Celtics team is his team. It’s a worthy read, with a solid one liner by Rondo. Never mind the three perennial all stars, never mind that he’s 22, never mind that shortly after this decision to lead he shot 7-19 for 15 points. However, he dished 18 assists (to 3 turnovers), as well as leading the team in rebounds with 11.  That’s one fewer than Dwight Howard.

I swear to God that Rondo’s mission for this series is to become a star. He rarely does anything even resembling that huge flying dunk that split Howard and Lewis (6-11 C, 6-10 PF). Note that Howard, the league’s best shot blocker, didnt even try to contest a 6-1, 180 pound guy’s dunk attempt. (He has been trying to dunk over Howard all series and Dwight wants no part of it.) He came out firing and flying all over the court, throwing ridiculous bounce passes and putting the ball in Eddie House’s (31pts) hands every time down the court. And missing shots in the lane, but that’s okay.

He’s bringing life to a team we thought was dead, and trying to combine the intensity of Kevin Garnett with the media friendliness and explosiveness of (insert high profile shooting guard here, I can’t decide who). I don’t think this series will be more interesting than Lakers/Rockets, but I do think we’re seeing the birth of a star.

Artest drops bombs like Hiroshima

May 4, 2009

I’m a couple days late on this, but if you haven’t seen how Artest handles his post-series press conference, it’s worth checking out.

It’s refreshing to see a professional athlete engage in self deprecating humor after years of harsh barbs from The Big Insecurity and primetime smug-rule Peyton Manning commercials.

If Stan Van Gundy had called Shaq The Big Insecurity when they were feuding a couple months ago, it would have stuck forever and Van Gundy would have been a more unanimous winner than That Bird and Pacquiao put together.

Also, Simmons is now on twitter, for those of you who care about that sort of thing.  It’s thesportsguy33.

Oh, I almost forgot.  Cry me a river, Joakim Noah.  Woot.

This deserves another post

April 15, 2009

So Greg Paulus is now a major headliner on and its not because Dickie V slurped him off. I updated the previous post this morning regarding his visit to Michigan, with subsequent commentary about how Duke isn’t recruiting someone that Michigan is. Well, David Cutcliffe must have read the post, because he offerred Paulus a tryout, at WR. The following quote is great from Cutcliffe about Paulus being a quarterback.

“We talked but there is no way he’d be able to compete to play for us at the quarterback position”

Amen brother! However, does Paulus have the ability to play wide receiver? Duke has a couple legitimate wide receivers coming back and I know he’s a basketball player for a big time program, but does he have the speed that is Cutcliffe’s number 1 priority for any player on his team? They do say that quarterbacks make good wide receivers. Well, I digress, so in closing, Greg Paulus is annoying and I can’t believe he’s not out of my life.

Additional Updates (and a rant) from Mike: So it looks like Paulus is going to Michigan. This is a great idea for him; he will give himself a chance to reneg on the whole “playing basketball” decision by getting a shot at a late-round NFL draft pick in 2010. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you live in Ohio, but then you know fucking nothing about sports anyway … seriously, the Browns, Bengals, Cavs, Ohio State [both sports] … I actually hate these teams and their management more than the Giants and Yanks put together. At least the Giants are [freshly minus Plax] noble and the Yanks are a critical and trendsetting institution with a history of greatness and fans that boo their own guys. Ohio’s fans are all homers and their teams are all insufferable. Has anything gayer ever happened than LeBron taking fake glamour shots of his teammates before games?) I mean my god, breaking out of the digression here, my fucking god, I am a lifelong Celtics fan and Wizards mocker (I didn’t start truly mocking them till the Gil contract …I reall hope they get it together but I mock them ceaselessly), and yet i cannot help but cheer for the Lakers to destroy the Cavs in 5 in the finals. Wait … where were we? Oh. Right. So this is kind of a bad idea for Rich Rod, because teaching Paulus is like teaching a new Frosh QB … and he already has two of those guys, so somebody’s getting the short straw. The only upside is that he can save the second guy and redshirt him, and let Paulus play backup this year to the primary guy. Paulus will run the spread well.

FranchiseThis tournament challenge update

April 6, 2009

Tonight the game is upon us and the subplot is that we have a race for who gets to write the first guest column on the site (unless that opportunity is summarily thrown back in our faces with disdain). A win by UNC changes everything, including the relentlessly mocked POTUS bracket tying for the title. Note: if the annointed one wins our pool, he will certainly be contacted and offered the opportunity to write a guest column. Preliminary predictions on a title include:

The audacity of hoping Duke recruits a player not from suburbia, A better America: one without Jim Calhoun, Yes we can dismantle the BCS like it was based in Detroit.

Standings are available here.

Being A Duke Fan …

March 30, 2009
Coach K's latest ringer.  FML.

Coach K's latest ringer. FML.

Just now I found myself watching Ryan Kelly, a 6-9 outside shooting PF, win the high school 3 pt shooting competition.

He is committed (shocker!) to Duke, where he aspires to be the next Shavlik Randolph.  What’s more, after two decades of Duke fandom, I’ve been brainwashed to the point where I legitimately believe this kid is going to be a star.

But then I kept watching, and Mason Plumlee, our other white PF recruit, had a couple nasty dunks (including a honey dip), and I was reminded that we may be getting Shavlik II and Josh McRoberts II in the same class.  Sweet.

But Dukies, before you go cry in your bedroom/smear some peanut butter on your balls, you can watch highlights and read about Seth Curry here (debuting in 2010-11).

Or you can cling to the 5% hope (up from 3% last week) that John Wall will come to Duke.

Lots of Stories, very little energy

March 30, 2009
Your number 1 pick in the draft! Will be watching the Final Four on TV.

Your number 1 pick in the draft! Will be watching the Final Four on TV.

Long weekend, but this turned out to have everything you could want in a college basketball weekend:

1. This kind of funny commercial (thanks only to Bobby Knight). Wherein, Knight, Coach K, Roy Williams and Rick Pitino dance in underwear. However, of course, Coach K manages to look like a total fucking clown. I would have paid a lot of money to be on that set though. I mean, Roy Williams and K hate each other. Pitino probably still isn’t over the Laettner shot (although his appearance in the Vitamin Water ad could suggest otherwise). Do you think Bobby Knight and Coach K sat in one corner while Pitino and Roy sat in the other lobbing “fags” and “losers” at them? Wouldn’t be surprised.

2. A few really good games, but mostly games that were never in doubt. However, stakes were high enough to add some drama.

3. An absolutely ferocious dunk by Blake Griffin in a losing effort in which he showed just how much better he is than Tyler Hansborough, only losing because he had no help (oh yea, UNC is really good too, might have had something to do with it).Do yourself a favor and watch the highlight in the link, the dunk is worth it.

4. Somehow a Duke story emerges that isn’t about the absurd beatdown they took at the hands of Villanova. Its a positive one too. Seth Curry will come to Duke after leaving Liberty, where he was the nation’s top scoring freshman. Should be interesting to see if he can actually handle ACC play.

5. This is a gem that comes together on a lot of levels. John Calipari is considering leaving Memphis to be the coach at Kentucky. Now, to be fair, this could simply be a way to leverage a higher salary and contract extension, but if it isn’t it has a lot of subplots. First is that Calipari has this classic coach chip on his shoulder about trying to win a national title from a non-BCS school. If he left it would basically be admitting defeat on that front. Second, Kentucky’s fan base is rabid and spreads wide so him coming would become a huge story throughout next year. Third, and interestingly, the recruiting of this year’s top recruit could be significantly affected because Memphis is #1 on his list, but there are about 6 other schools John Wall is considering and they could all come back in to play if Calipari leaves for Kentucky, including maybe adding Kentucky to the list. Fourth is that the other name being thrown around (although it doesn’t seem probable) is Tom Izzo, so a decision between those two would make for a lot of subplots in the future. Calipari might be a greasy bastard, but he might entertain me for the next week. Fair trade? We’ll see.