The NBA = Fantasy Basketball

It all started on draft day, when the Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to the Great White North for a shovel, a bag of lime and a garbage bag.  Since then, all hell has broken loose around the NBA.  After that trade there was an obvious backlash from fans in Chicago upon receiving: Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and moving up 9 spots in the draft to select Lauri Markkanen.   Yikes.

In the aftermath, the NBA has gone all “Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle” towards becoming the real life fantasy basketball league that we all wanted but never knew we needed.

Chris Paul opted-out of the Clippers road-side garbage-fire and took his State Farm Insurance branch to Houston.  In return, the Rockets will be sending the Clippers: Patrick Beverley, forward Sam Dekker, forward Montrezl Harrell, guard Darrun Hilliard, guard DeAndre Liggins, guard Lou Williams, forward Kyle Wiltjer, a future first-round pick, and cash considerations.  Although there are mis-leading reports about some of those fictitious players staying in Houston, still waiting for a full report on the details.

If LA was determined to grow their bench while simultaneously downgrading their PG situation, thus leading to a Blake Griffin departure…then they seem to have exceeded expectations.  Also, THIS.

Phil Jackson got his crazy ass fired from his zombie Knicks job.  The self-proclaimed “Zen Master” has Zenned himself right out a job with the storied franchise while 99% of Knicks fans all sigh together in complete exhaustion.   Seriously what’s been worse overall:  1) Being a Knicks fan during Phil Jackson’s time in office. 2)  Being a 76ers fan and being forced to “Trust The Process” ever since Iverson left.  3) Being a Kings fan…in general this must be a self-mutilating disease of an existence.

Jackson managed to make a bad franchise even worse over the last 3 years, causing everybody’s rich douchey uncle (James Dolan) to eat the $25 million he still owes Phil just to get him out of Madison Square Garden.  Jackson’s tenure will be highlighted by:

(a) His ability to sign Melo to a ridiculous extension at age 30 (Carmelo Anthony signed a 5 year / $124,064,681 contract with the New York Knicks, including $124,064,681 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $24,812,936. In 2017-18, Anthony will be 36 years old and earn a base salary of $26,243,760).  

(b) Signing Joakim Noah after the Bulls broke his back in half (Joakim Noah signed a 4 year / $72,590,000 contract with the New York Knicks, including $72,590,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $18,147,500. In 2017-18, Noah will earn a base salary of $17,765,000), he’s played in 75 out of a possible 164 games in the past 2 years.

(c) Accidentally drafting a future star in Kristaps Porzingis, and then alienating him and pissing him off so much that the 21 year old skipped his exit interview with the Knicks at the end of the 2016-17 season.

(d) Attempting to continue the tradition of his “Triangle Offense” in the NBA, forcing it upon ill-equipped players and coaches who don’t understand it.  The triangle offense worked perfectly when Phil had players like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.  But asking Carmelo Anthony, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah to do the same is like asking George Costanza to explain Marine Biology.

Scottie!  Scottie!  Get the ball to Michael and get the hell outta the way!

Lastly, today we met the Sacramento Kings newest soon to be traded asset:  Serbian guard Bogdan Bogdanovic!  With the 27th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns selected Bogdan Bogdanovic (not to be confused with Wizards forward Bojan Bogdanovic or famed Serbian architect Bogdan Bogdanovic). Three years later, Bogdanovic is finally coming to play in the NBA, reportedly agreeing a three-year, $36 million dollar deal with the Sacramento Kings. That’s the highest amount a rookie has ever made in the NBA, and a huge chunk of change to pay for a dude who has yet to play at the highest level. So who is this guy?

I can’t wait to see what happens next with Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Paul George, Gordon Hayward and of course, Lebron James’ Cavs.  On the highway of life that is the NBA, we’re all just broken down jilopies on the shoulder watching the Warriors fly by in a Ferrari.

 

Bye Felicia: DeAndre Jordan to Dallas

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DeAndre Jordan signed a max deal with the Dallas Mavs yesterday, 4 years at $80 million.  Not a bad haul for the league’s leading rebounder.  It’s been reported that Jordan was fed up with the increasing criticism he was taking from teammate (and arguably the best PG in the league) Chris Paul.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz, the relationship between Jordan and Paul went downhill faster than an unattended rigshaw carrying an overweight mailman last season, when Paul grew more and more fed up with Jordan’s play on the court and apparently wouldn’t slap hands with him anymore:

Jordan and Chris Paul had gotten into it more than once, which led Jordan to start seriously contemplating what it might be like to play elsewhere in 2015-16.

He was tired of Paul’s constant barking and petty gestures, like distributing high-fives to the three other guys on the floor following a timeout but somehow freezing out Jordan.

TheCoLA take on the situation:

  • Deandre Jordan just made the same bad decision that many other big men with great point guards have made before.  Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire come to mind immediately when discussing big men who left great point guards only to realize they needed someone to give them the ball.
  • Jordan got less credit than he probably deserved in LA due to playing with two HUGE all-stars (Blake Griffin and CP3) but he gained a little more swagger than probably necessary after a few seasons of lob city courtesy of a top-5 pass-first point guard who made it pretty damn easy for him night in and night out.
  • DeAndre has every right to go get his money and chase a bigger offensive role in Dallas, but in all honesty there’s no way he has the success he had in LA without a GREAT point guard.  DeAndre doesn’t have the back-to-the-basket skills or any resemblance of an actual jump-shot, so where’s this bigger offensive role going to come from in Dallas?
  • Jordan is a pick and roll to the basket big man with shooting range to about 5 feet (not to mention his ATROCIOUS freethrow %); so tell me again, how does he think he’ll be better off without Chris Paul?

CP3 may complain a lot, he may make too many sour faces on the court, he may not give you a high-five as often as he should.  BUT, he’s the best passing point guard in the league and he EXCELS at pick and roll situations.  He has a 6th gear that very few players in the NBA have, he’s a leader and he runs the team flawlessly on the court.

DeAndre is replacing CP3 with Raymond Felton, JJ Barea and Devin Harris….combined those three players have been to one all-star game compared to CP3’s eight all-star appearances.

Sounds to me like DeAndre was too sensitive and never realized he needed to get on the same page as CP3, or maybe he just wanted to move home to Texas and not be challenged to get better by anyone.

Sorry DeAndre, you were fun to watch but this looks like the final act of your NBA screenplay.  Enjoy fighting for the 8th seed in the West.