Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesday 06/27 A.M. Quickie:
Oden-Durant, KG, Old MLB Pitchers, More

UPDATE! KG Trade: This is moving WAY too fast, with too many rumors and too many moving parts, to truly keep up with (see KG/Lakers item directly below, which is already stale).

The latest? KG to the Suns, with Amare ending up in...Atlanta? Huge win for the Hawks (finally, and even if they have to give up their 3/11 picks). Amare in the East makes them much tougher, just like Dwight Howard in the East makes the Magic a legit future contender.

As for the Suns, I said this last week: Acquiring KG and giving up Amare is a no-brainer. KG gives them a better chance to win now -- and the Suns need to win NOW.

MORE: Warriors dangling Monta Ellis for the chance to draft Yi? Why would GSW give up their most valuable player (given talent + cost + youth/upside) for an unproven mystery guy? Yes, Yi is THAT valuable to Golden State. It's not crazy to say that he's more valuable to Golden State than almost any other player in the NBA right now, rookie or vet. As I tried to explain yesterday (inelegantly): If you're not winning a title, marketing rules.

MORE: Allow me to be overwhelmed by today's NBA Draft/trading frenzy. The three-move combo of Amare to the Hawks, KG to the Suns and the 3, 5 and 11 picks being in the hands of the T'wolves (who use them to draft Horford, Brewer and Noah) could combine to save the NBA. /hyperbole

ORIGINAL POST BEGINS HERE:

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their spirited disagreement with my post about Oden vs. Durant yesterday, which was really about whether it's more important as a fan to be part of a multiple-time champion or to maximize your entertainment value.

(As one emailer pointed out, it's worth noting that the most entertaining, exciting, pulse-quickening team of the NBA Playoffs wasn't the champs or even the runner-up, but the Warriors. And I probably should have clarified that NEVER winning a title isn't optimal, but if neither Oden nor Durant is going to win one, I'd rather have the more entertaining player.)

If some of your sensibilities were offended, well, that's why there's a Comments section. And, as much as it like seem like I enjoy being right, I like nothing more than to be proven wrong.

Speaking of which, Part 2 of my NBA Draft Preview will be going up around noonish. I'm saving my mock draft for tomorrow morning, so it's a little of this (Gator Mania), a little of that (why Yi is a good pick) and a little of the other (handful of drafty sleepers).

Must-read: Hollinger's analysis of the NBA Draft field. If you didn't read it yesterday. It's awesome.

KG-to-Lakers trade update: So, sipping the multi-team convolution, will the T'wolves simply get Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum for KG? Let's hope they get the Lakers to throw in their first-round pick this year, too.

Or is that Lakers rumor dead? The Mavs one sounds like a complete non-starter from the get-go, but – hey – you're crazy if you're a top West team and you DON'T float your name out there: Mavs, Suns, Lakers.

The most depressing result, of course, for all fans -- including in Minnesota -- would be if KG wasn't traded at all. What a let-down that would be.

Not coincidentally, the only team you never hear about in the KG Sweepstakes is... the champs. (Yes, it's because they have Duncan, but still. They seem to classy to beg like the rest of 'em.)

Your daily Gilbert Arenas post, courtesy of Dan Steinberg. (If you haven't seen his EA ads with Kevin Durant, they're terrific. Oh, and Gil is signing an endorsement deal with Spalding, along with Greg Oden. Nike, Spalding: Who said Oden isn't marketable?)

Was it the right thing to put "RIP" next to Chris Benoit yesterday, before I knew all the facts? No. At least I didn't put on a publicly televised homage to a guy who might turn out to be a murderer. What a tragedy toward his wife and son.

(Here's an interesting related blog post.)

UPDATE: This story is so much more horrifying than you ever thought it was.

MLB Old-Age: Seven pitchers in their 40s will pitch today, an MLB record: Clemens, Moyer, Rogers, Maddux, Glavine, Williams and Smoltz. It's a testament to durability, new-fangled training methods, luck and, y'know, PEDs.

MLB Stud: Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies catcher, who drove in four runs and stole home in a Philly win over Cincy. (Does stealing home count as an RBI?)

Dice-K to release an album: I'm late on this, but it only adds to Matsuzaka's awesomeness. Can you imagine Roger Clemens putting out an album? (You just KNOW Schilling wants his own record deal, too.)

Raise your hand if you thought that Troy Percival would be on the Cardinals lineup before Rick Ankiel, then consider how strange it is that either of them is even in the conversation.

Do you think Barry Bonds should be on the NL roster for the All-Star Game? I do, and Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn agree with me. MLB (and Bonds-loathing fans) can't possibly like that these two poster-guys for wholesome baseball goodness are backing Bonds on this one.

NFL: If nothing else, those retired players testifying to Congress about the NFL's draconian disability plan were far more emotionally gripping than any defense the NFL (or Gene Upshaw) might offer.

LeBron will play for Team U.S.A. in next month's World Championships: He has shoes to sell, after all. No, seriously, I'm wondering how playing in a tournament like that will affect him in the 07-08 season after his previous season lasted into June.

Holy Toledo: The NCAA is looking into problems within the school's football program, including the dreaded "point-shaving" problem. As a Northwestern alum, where point-shaving was an issue with both the football and the basketball teams, I can totally relate.

College Hoops: Most of you know that, despite my loathing for almost all things Duke-related, I am a sucker for Jon Scheyer, if for no other reason than that he's the best Jewish player in college hoops. Anyway, he stars in a student-created parody video that should make him just a little less hateable to the rest of you.

Random question: If you could own a portrait of any player drafted in the NBA Draft's Top 11 since 1985, who would it be? Which player has the most cachet or humor value or ironic value or meaning to you?

-- D.S.

38 comments:

Jason said...

If you had gone into the entire reason Gilbert Arenas is entertaining is not just his personality, but that his unpredictability made it seem like the Wizards always had a chance to win. I mean, let's be honest, that's how we define entertaining players. Otherwise we would all be completely enamored with Josh Smith and Gerald and Rando. It's the ability to put up the points in bunches and never feeling out of a game. Like how Wilt's 100 came in a Loss, or Kobe's 82 came when trailing for most of the game. The way you phrased it made you seem like the Anti-Kobe, that the one thing you were ok with sacrificing was winning.

Entertaining Superstar players are good because you never know what will happen next, what game they will lead your team to victory in and just how they will do it. It's not enough to say "it's all about winning" in sports, it's supposed to be having the players that put you in the best position to win. And baring a blockbuster deal by the Wizards, Gilbert will continue to be the guy who puts them in the best position to win.

Clinton (Indianapolis) said...

Dan, as a life-long Pacers fan, your portrait question is extremely easy. Reggie Miller, #11 pick, 1987.

GuyInTheCorner said...

Rick Bucher on Mike and Mike announces that the Garnett to LA deal is %100 DEAD

Buster Olney says the same thing about Mark Buehrle leaving Chicago. Apparently, his agent and the Sox had a meeting and they decided he's staying.

BONDS DESERVES TO BE AN ALL-STAR
Seriously. Look at the man's stats. His OBP is .504 which leads the league. Not only that, but in second is Maggs at .452! His OPS (1.081) is the highest in the NL and behind only A-Rod and Maggs in the AL, and both of those guys are said to be the clear cut MVP candidates.

Besides that, you have another question to answer; If not Bonds... who?
Let's face it, the Giants aren't any good. They might have the worst record in the NL if it weren't for Bonds. He leads their team in Home Runs, RBI, AVG, OBP, and SLG. If you were looking for a pitcher you're out of luck there. Matt Morris would be the closest thing but I'm not sure that a guy who is 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP and 51 Ks to 32 walks deserves to be an All-star.
The better question is: IS SAMMY SOSA AN ALL-STAR?

That's right. I said it.

CMFost said...

This is not sports related but it is about time someone did this to the Paris Hilton story.



Take a look

CMFost said...

Guy if not Bonds it would be Bengie Molina the Catcher for the giants who should be the back up to Martin.

New rumor I heard this morning is that the Celtics are sending Ratliff, West and the #5 to Minnesota, Minnesota is sending KG to Phoenix and Phoenix is send Marion to the Celtics but only if he signs a 3 year extention

rafael said...

Re: Oden
Someone yesterday said Oden was awkward like Ricky Williams when it comes to the media, etc.

You kidding!? The kid is hilarious. Give him 3-4 years and he'll replace Shaq as a media favorite.

GuyInTheCorner said...

New trade rumors are:

Minnesota-Boston-Phoenix
Garnett to Suns, Marion to the Celts, Jefferson/5 pick to Wolves

Minnesota-Phoenix-Atlanta
Garnett to Suns, Amare to Hawks, Hawks send ? to Wolves

You know me. I'll be back with some possibilities.

GuyInTheCorner said...

CM-

You gotta be kidding. Molina? Bonds batting 11 points higher, on base 197 points higher, slugging 153 points higher, 5 more stolen bases, twice as many homers, and has only 6 more Ks but 70 more walks. Also, there are two NL catchers that would be a better back-up. Brian McCann? Paul Lo Duca?

Mark said...

Please don't become another of the long line of columnists and bloggers who are piling on the WWE. They have handled the Benoit death with class the entire time. Before the facts were known they had a rememberance for arguably one of (if not THE) top wrestler of the last 15 years and when the facts came out they apologized and removed almost all mention of him from their website as well as all sale of his products. I may find Vince to be an egomaniac and shister but he and the WWE done the best they could given this unbelievable turn of events.

CMFost said...

From everything I have heard the Celtics are not going to give up Jefferson unless they are getting KG, that is why the 4 team fell apart the Celtics did not want to give up Jefferson and only get O'Neal back.

Guy if the Celtics do make the trade in your Rumor then Ainge should be fired.

CMFost said...

Guy, my point was not that Bonds does not belong it was answering your questions that if Bonds does not make the team who else from the Giants deserves to go and I think Molina does.

For all NL Catchers Molina is: 3rd in BA, 2nd in hits, 4th in HR, 2nd in RBI, 6th in OBP, 3rd in SLG, 4th in OPS, and has the fewest errors

kegdoctor said...

Yinka Dare.

Troy said...

Probably the best discussion of the Benoit situation came from Bill Simmons' chat on espn.com yesterday. Benoit was always considered a class act (and was my favorite wrestler back when I actually owned a WCW shirt in middle school) and his death was at first taken as a tragedy along the lines of Eddie Guerrero or Owen Hart. It was the right thing for Vince to throw away the current murder mystery storyline, address the fans, and then throw up a tribute to Benoit.

When the true facts became known, the WWF tribute instantly looked like a regrettable decision, but you can't blame them for filling their air time in that way, and you can't expect them to refuse to honor a guy on the off chance he was a double murderer.

Of course, now WWF is doing exactly the right thing in essentially disowning Benoit with the facts out. This mess is going to have the mainstream media all over pro wrestling, but not really through any fault of WWF (unless you think this was some sort of roid rage thing...)

Troy said...

Doesn't Bonds have the best OPS in the NL? And the 5th highest SLG? In fewer plate appearances than the other guys up there, sure, but there's no way you can keep Bonds off the all-star team, based on his performance this season alone.

CMFost said...

It will be interesting to see if the prescription they found for steroids in benoit's house lead back to any doctors that work with and Pro sports players or teams. This might just be the thing(if it is roid rage) that really breaks this whole steroid thing wide open, more then it has before.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I can tell you that I am often very good at figuring out ways to make NBA trades work out but this one was extremely hard. But here it is:

Hawks give: Joe Johnson, Speedy Claxton, the #3 pick.
Hawks get: Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Banks, James Jones, a bunch of CASH.
Wolves give: Kevin Garnett
Wolves get: Joe Johnson, Speedy Claxton, Eric Piatkowski, the #3 pick.
Suns give: Amare Stoudemire, Marcus Banks, James Jones, Eric Piatkowski, a bunch of CASH.
Suns get: Kevin Garnett.

Jason said...

Was it the right thing to put "RIP" next to Chris Benoit yesterday, before I knew all the facts? No. At least I didn't put on a publicly televised homage to a guy who might turn out to be a murderer. What a tragedy toward his wife and son.

Whoa there, skitch. As one of the few people from the internet wrestling community (which, mind you, normally hates the WWE) who reads this blog let me chime in by saying this: based on what was known on Monday, anyone who faults the WWE for what they did with Raw seriously needs to shut up. In a three hour span they found out Benoit was dead, said "we need to do what we always do," realized there was no time for their roster to mourn and closed the arena, taped maybe about twenty minutes of wrestlers speaking their minds,
edited together a "Best of Benoit" show, and threw it on the air. When they found out, EVERYONE thought what happened was a triple homicide and NO ONE thought Benoit was capable of what he did. The first time anyone anywhere mentioned double murder-suicide (and the first WWE heard of it) was DURING the tribute show, and it would have been a bit late to do anything then. (And WWE could not just not air a show. The media backlash then would have been excessive too for trying to dodge the controversy.) Last night on ECW Vince McMahon said what needed to be said and implied what needed to be implied - that they did what was appropriate when they did it but would not have been the response if they had known what everyone knows now.

In short, I really, really want you to apologize, Dan. Because you really don't know what you're talking about here.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

Dan I watched that Scheyer video yesterday and thought it was hilarious. Of course I am one of the only regulars on this blog who is a Duke supporter.

The MSNBC anchor not wanting to read about Paris was hilarious but instead of making a big show she should have just skipped it and not mentioned her at all.

Did anyone else catch Shaq's show were he is tackling childhood obesity? My wife and I watched it last night and liked it alot and will continue to watch it.

Only 3 weeks until NCAA Football 08 comes out for the consoles. Has anyone seen the screen shots and some of the new features for the 360 and PS3? It looks pretty good and I will be buying that one.

Phil said...

Anybody who is trying to defend the WWE's decision to put on that tribute is out of their mind. When I saw it on, not knowing what happened, I immediately went to the internet, thinking Benoit died last week or something and I missed it. When I saw that it happened earlier in the day, it was his whole family and no details were released, my first thought was "Why would they rush to air a tribute like that on the same day without knowing exactly what happened? What if it was a murder-suicide?" Even if they had no inkling as to the details, which I doubt since they were the ones to alert the police in the first place, it was a horrible decision. If, as I believe, they did have some idea then that makes it something much worse, but not surprising when it comes to a somebody who would sell their soul for ratings, like Vince McMahon.

bd said...

Portarit of C-Webb at the fianl four taking the TO. Has there ever been a college image that could so perfectly sum up a pro career?

GuyInTheCorner said...

I, the NBA trade expert, can't find a way to work out The Minn-Boston-Phoenix trade.

Sheldiz said...

damn. if it were top 12, i'd totally take a (life sized) portrait of Muggsy Bogues. (1987, right?)

Jen said...

future~ Yes, I watched Sahq's show and thought it was fantastic. I will also continue watching it. It made me like him a lot more as well. I cannot believe how out of shape those children are!

Mark said...

Yes, the WWE should have ignored his death on the off chance he was a double murderer. Get a grip. He was one of the most respected and well known wrestlers in the world. Would the Yankees not do something for Jeter? The Maple Leafs for Sundin? The Pats for Brady? Chris was on their level for the WWE. With no facts known, they did the proper thing...but that's just me not jumping to the worst conclusion possible.

CycleDan said...

In the article in my local newspaper, Long Island's Newsday, it said that the murdered 7 year old child of the pro wrestler had track marks on his arm. It seemed his parents were administering growth hormone to him. That is sick.

As a father, I find that beyond detestable.

Matt T said...

Shaq's show was good. I hope he moves into TV once he retires, he's always cracked me up and had good intentions.

I'm going to see one of the old guys pitch tonight. Smoltz at home vs. the Nats. It should be good

mattie said...

Yes, the WWE should have ignored his death on the off chance he was a double murderer.

The off-chance? His whole family is found dead, the WWE knew something was off from the text messages (and his missing an event to go home just before), and there's only an off-chance that there might have been something really wrong there?

Trey said...

Len Bias or Skita

Jason said...

Cycledan:

Though I agree it's sick, I would point out that his son had Fragile X Syndrome and the reason for the steroids is because he had absolutely no muscle tone.

Boomhauertjs said...

The WWE was the one who called police because of the "strange" text messages that had been sent by Benoit. I think they should have had an inkling that Benoit had done something when the bodies were discovered.
With all of the wrestlers suffering early deaths, I think the WWE is going to be under the microscope in the next months, by the media and maybe even Congress.
Answer to Dan's question:
2003 #1 LeBron James-he saved pro basketball in Cleveland.

Jason said...

And WWE should be under a microscope.

That said, I still can't fault them for Monday night. Don't care what anyone who doesn't watch thinks.

GuyInTheCorner said...

I'm pretty sure that the growth harmone thing was because the kid was very undersized. Apparently it is normal for the kid that size to get those hormones. I could be wrong though.

Big D said...

Regarding Bonds as an All-Star:

The discussion really begins and ends with one fact - the game is in San Francisco. Any other American Baseball city, and he'd be boo'd of the stage. In San Fran, he'll get a standing ovation and countless ooooh's and aaaah's when he inevitably comes out from the back room to take part in the home run contest after publicly saying he won't do it.

I know none of this has happened yet, but it will. Trust me. Bonds will tell the media that he's too old, or he doesn't want to risk injury, or that he's not a sideshow spectacle... then as they're announcing the Derby participants there will be some sort of buzz in the crowd. One of the NL players will pull out with "flu-like symptoms", and Bonds will be there to save the day for the hometown fans.

Period. If I could bet on it, I would.

CycleDan said...

Jason, et. al.
Thanks,
The article didn't mention that the son had a medical reason for the injections. That is a real good example why we shouldn't take everything the media presents in a sensationalist way as the truth.

Dan Mega said...

The Chicago media is reporting that the White Sox are in agreement with Mark Buerhle for 4 years, $50 million. That is pretty damn cheap for a good lefty.

Erik said...

I think it is interesting to note that 3 of the pitchers over 40 playing today were from the Atlanta Braves heyday in the mid 90's. Really goes to show how awesome that rotation was back in the day.

ryan from boston,ma said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2918089

Not what I'm looking for...david stern re-signs ESPN/ABC deal with NBA...UGH!!!!!

PUT IT BACK ON NBC FOR GOD ####### SAKES.

/rant

Boomhauertjs said...

I agree with you Ryan 100%. At least they could bring back "Roundball Rock".
Back in the day, NBC was the best network for MLB, NBA, and NFL. Fox's MLB is ok, ABC's NBA is terrible (though TNT is great), and CBS's NFL is unbearable (they're the bastards who added the extra commercial break after a kickoff).