Geez, see what happens when I do my usual morning post at 4 a.m. and can't get back online the rest of the day...?
The only thing that came out of
By going out with "Trade me!" then backtracking to "Eh, nevermind!"
But all this frenzy did was allow bloggers and columnists and talking heads the chance to pursue "Can-you-top-this?" trade fantasies all day long. (At least most of them used Chad Ford's "Trade Machine" to see if the numbers worked.) The most common phrase of the day? "Wait, but my idea actually works!"
There will be a trade by the Lakers, all right. But it just won't involve
The more likely outcome is that the Lakers will abandon their plan to turn teen center Andrew Bynum into a future cornerstone of the franchise. They simply can't wait for him, and his trade value will never be higher. (The Nets covet Bynum and would absolutely trade Jason Kidd for the young center. The Lakers balked at this in February, and it probably cost them any chance of advancing out of the first round of the playoffs. I don't expect them to maintain their stance about it.)
In the end,
So, instead of Kobe trades, let's talk about Bynum trades -- the trades that will help Kobe win now. You've already heard about the Bynum-for-Kidd deal, which makes sense for both teams.
Let me throw out my own ridiculous trade theory: The numbers don't work AT ALL, but if I was the T'wolves, I'd consider trading KG for Bynum. The T'wolves aren't going anywhere with KG. Why not rebuild around a center who will be a force starting in 5 years?
Guess what: By 2012, to win the West, you'll have to have a great center to battle an aging Duncan, a peaking Amare and an Oden just hitting his prime. The T'wolves' future is brighter with a promising young center like Bynum than a past-his-prime KG. Can someone please help make the numbers work, without saddling the T'wolves with albatross contracts?
Want the best analysis of the situation? Skip the predictable mainstream stuff and go with The inimitable Basketball Jones, with a phenomenal podcast on all things Kobe.
More A-Rod Scandal! After yesterday's off-field stuff (see next item), it's refreshing to have an on-field scandal. This one is a tempest in a
Blue Jays players are crying "bush league!", although their griping seems way more wimpy than A-Rod's pathetic bleating on the basepaths. (Did the Jays players not remember A-Rod's infamous effete swipe at Bronson Arroyo in the 2004 ALCS?)
Gamesmanship is part of the game. We accept that there's trickery that goes on. Most of the time, fans tip their cap (some cranks might gripe, but you can't please everyone). Understandably, we don't like that stuff to be as blatant as A-Rod made it, but I'm OK with it.
Meanwhile, as usual, it's the cover-up and not the crime that is at the heart of the real issue: A-Rod insists he was yelling something innocuous, when everyone knows he was trying to mess with the infielders' heads. Why didn't he just say this:
"Yeah, I shouted at him. So what? I'm trying to help us advance runners, score runs and win games. At this point, my team needs to do ANYTHING it needs to in order to win. I'd rather win shamelessly than lose with class, and I think most fans would agree with me."
(Hmm: Now that's an interesting debate question. Would you rather win shamelessly or lose with dignity? Consider the long and storied -- and memorable -- history of champs who are shameless, then rack your brain trying to remember the dignified losers.)
More: Tabloid A-Rod! I have absolutely no problems with A-Rod being caught, like any other celebrity, by paparazzi, whether that's a paid photographer or just some fan with a camera-phone. This is the era we live in; we're the "Deadspin Generation" (Copyright, D. Shanoff), and any athlete who doesn't recognize it is going to get burned by it. (And the fogeys in the mainstream media who are complaining need to get over it, too. Fans are doing the job that the media should have been doing. Yes, including 24/7 "Gawker Stalker"-style coverage.)
They're not saying "Boo!", they're saying "Boo-onds!" (h/t: Waylon Smithers): Barry Bonds was booed vociferously by Mets fans last night ("convicted" steroids guy Guillermo Mota, a Mets reliever, got a 50/50 reception). Hey, it's the fan's right to boo, and I'll always defend that as the equivalent of the Fan's First Amendment. But I guarantee those same fans are bragging this morning that they went to go see Barry Bonds last night – and in 20 years, they'll still be talking about seeing Barry Bonds the season he broke Aaron's mark.
MLB: Instead of the usual daily Stud/Dud list, with the season two months behind us, I'd love to get your "Two-Month MVP"; "Two-Month Cy"; and "Two-Month Rookie of the Year" for each league. Have at it.
Spurs eliminate the Jazz: Not that anyone didn't see this coming. Now, all the NBA needs is the Pistons to finish off the Cavs for this NBA Finals to become the least thrilling in NBA history. SI covers aside, there is simply no appetite for the Duncan Dynasty we're living in.
(Meanwhile, I like that Deron Williams sort of called his
Grizzlies hire Marc Iavaroni: By far, the hottest name in NBA coaching – and a terrific hire for
Meanwhile, the Magic say they're trying to go after
NCAA bails out Duke players, gives them an extra year of eligibility to make up for last season's "lost" year: Now, this seems a little strange, given that it was Duke that canceled the season. It's a very weird precedent, to be filed under "Beware of Unintended Consequences."
College Football: What does it say when it's news that Notre Dame's QB situation was "narrowed" to three contenders... from two! (Related: As a pre-frosh, Jimmy Clausen is already setting a pace to break Brady Quinn's career team record for douchiness.)
Vick Watch: Pro Football Talk says that NFL Security thinks Mike Vick is guilty in the dog-fighting scandal. And I'd trust NFL Security's judgment over that of local law enforcement. NFL Security should be running U.S. Homeland Security. They know EVERYTHING.
MLS signs YouTube deal: As I've said with every sports league (NBA, NHL) that has done this type of distribution deal, it's nothing but a win and a smart play.
Spelling Bee, Cont'd: I caught a bit of Mike and Mike this morning and they were already snickering at the Bee. I believe it was that the Bee is in primetime on broadcast TV. As I said yesterday: Mike and Mike come across like the assholes if they take an otherwise gloriously earnest competition and layer it with the sarcasm of the classic junior high "cool kid" and "jock" making fun of the "smart kid." The finals are tonight. Darren Rovell's picks are uncanny (see second time down in the link). My guy, Samir Patel, is still in it...to win it!
Rovell's last paragraph contains genius: Why haven't other media companies (online, blogs, etc.) sponsored contestants? For the amount of exposure the finalists get -- in primetime on broadcast TV, no less -- a company could easily give the kid more than the measly $10,000 (or whatever) they get for winning the thing. They could pick the most flamboyant kid, who would definitely get the most airtime/attetion. And the return-on-investment is easy to see. This will be interesting to track next year. Ha ha: How about a "DanShanoff.com"-sponsored kid?
MLB Nostalgia: Postman E tipped readers off to this Hardball Times story about Steve Dalkowski, whose mythic career seems made for YouTube, but simply came too early.
Must-Read: United Football League! Oh my god. I'm a sucker for innovative sports leagues, so I'm obviously smitten with this idea of a start-up pro football league.
There's a lot to like here: Great founders. Mark Cuban. Friday nights. Untapped markets. IPO ownership of the teams to fans. Mark Cuban.
I disagree with story author Joe Nocera about Arena not being a model to follow: By all accounts, the Arena Football League is the greatest sports-league pure start-up in the last half-century. (One of my crowning achievements of business school was "cracking" the case study of the Arena League, so I'm impossibly biased.)
Will it work? Who cares? It's fun to think about. (See that link to Rovell's blog above in the Spelling Bee item; the lead item of his blog is about the United Football League.)