Happy Holidays, everyone!
Coach K just claimed his 8,004th college basketball championship. Ho hummm…
Earlier today, we heard Mike Krzyzewki say “nyet” again to the rumors that the Russian tycoon soon to own the NJ (aka Brooklyn) Nets would lure him to the NBA with an offer of up to $15 Million dollars per year.
Months ago, we heard Andy Reid say Donovon McNabb would be back with the Eagles next season. We all know how that turned out.
So. Don’t be too surprised if good old Coach K ends up in Newark and/or Brooklyn before too long.
Here’s why. He’s up there in basketball years. He’s 63. He’s done it all on the college level. Duke hadn’t been to a national title game in something like six years. But, the Blue Devils are back on top now.
What better time than now to leave. He’d leave as a winner. He’d end up with a contract that would take him into retirement with a literal fortune.
Most important and seductive. Coach K would get a shot at finding out if he can do it on the very highest level the game has to offer.
And that, my readers, will be the thing that ultimately drives him to leave Duke.
Mark my words. It will never be easier or more tempting than RIGHT NOW…
Washington Wizards teammates Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton may have pulled guns on each other in the Wizards’ locker room. According to the report I read on MSNBC.com, the incident either happened on December 21 or December 24. Nice way to celebrate the holidays, guys!
Anyway, according to the reports I read, Crittenton was upset over some gambling debts he felt Arenas owed him. When Crittenton confronted Arenas, Gilbert was reported to pull his gun on him.
The response? Crittenton pulled his gun on Arenas. For whatever else you may think about Arenas, clearly this guy is no pro with a gun. Isn’t the whole point of pulling a gun on someone to make sure they don’t pull one on you?
I’ve watched a lot of movies and even read some books, so I’m pretty sure that if I pulled a gun on someone I’d mention something to them about “freezing”. Like, you know, staying where I can see you so that you CAN NOT pull a gun on me.
Apparently, Arenas missed that lesson. Maybe he was busy practicing his jump shot or gambling.
Whatever. The NBA will be dealing with a whole host of questions here. Like, how did either of these idiots get a gun into an NBA locker room?
To me the bigger question is why would Arenas, who makes gazillions not just pay Crittenton the money he owed him?
All that will be answered in time, but for now recently deceased owner Abe Pollin must be in the afterlife somewhere disappointed that two of his Wizards are living up to the old team nickname that he changed due to worries about gun violence in DC.
Guess you can take The Bullets out of DC, but you can’t take The Bullets out of The Wizards…
PS – reportedly, Arenas has even been tweeting about in on Twitter. Nothing beter than self-incrimination to start off the new year!
So “The Answer” is retiring and I have yet to figure out what the question was.
Maybe it was “what self-serving player is going out exactly as he deserves, unwanted?” Or “What supremely talented player never won anything in the NBA?”
Then there’s “what knucklehead couldn’t be bothered to see that actually practicing helps the whole team included himself?”. Maybe it’s “who’s blowing a chance to redefine his career by refusing to accept that he might win a title by accepting a lesser role now that he’s 107 years old?”
But ultimately, if I had to put big money on it, I think the question is “who is too much of a pain in the ass to be worth it anymore?”
Ahhh. Yes. That easily could be Allen Iverson.
Iverson is not exactly Stephon Marbury, but he’s learning a similar tough lesson. In life or at least in NBA life, people will put up with you if you’re a difficult personality so long as you’ve got the talent that makes it worth dealing with your baggage.
When the lowly Grizzlies and desperate Knicks decide that Allen Iverson is no longer worth it, that’s the answer that only A.I. can answer for.
I hate golf. But, despite that I’m starting this post out with a golf reference to make a point that needs to be made.
Tom Watson at 92 or 59, whatever age he truly is, got real close to winning the British Open or some other completely over hyped golf tournament this past weekend. Even I, who never watches or listens to sports talk radio about golf, couldn’t help but be fascinated by how close Watson came to winning such a big tournament at such an advanced age.
I think it was the 43 year old in me rooting for the 59 year in him.
PS – the old guy chocked.
Anyway, sports is a tough business. Age isn’t kind in sports and you don’t often win when you bet on it.
The Phoenix Suns are taking a big bet on Steve Nash. The two-time league MVP is set to sign a two year extension to his existing deal that will now keep him with the franchise until he’s 38. Nash is 35 now and you can bet his best years are behind him. He’s never going to win another MVP. Write that down!
Even worse, the best years are behind the Suns. Point guards top out around their mid thirties. Having elite skills and elite players surrounding an aging point guard can mask their decline a bit, but make no mistake that age wins ever time. NO athlete is immune. Not even Jordan or Armstrong.
The Suns are a fading franchise. The coach who brought out the best in Nash is now toiling in New York with even less talent. Nash may lose his best piece if Amare Stoudamire doesn’t get a deal he likes next year. Extending Nash might have made sense if his supporting cast were say the LA Lakers or their arch rival Celtics. But, they’re not.
They say you get what you pay for. Pheonix will soon find that to be very true. They’re going to overpay for the last pro years of Steve Nash’s career at the exact time they should be spending Nash money on bringing in young talent to re-stock with.
Nice work, Suns!
Grant Hill has always seemed a class act to me. While injuries stopped him from fulfilling his promise as one of the first “next Jordan’s”, Hill has to be admired for the way he’s battled back.
He actually played a ton of games last year for Phoenix and was an effective member of the Suns’ squad. At an advanced age and having made a bunch of money in his career, you’d think the last motivation left for Grant Hill would be a championship.
And you’d be wrong.
Rumors are swirling that Hill is going to sign with the New York Knicks.
Even if everything breaks the Knicks’ way, LeBron won’t even be in Manhattan for another year. By then the brittle Hill will be one year closer to 40. How much will he have left?
And has he looked at the Knicks’ roster recently? That team is more than a LeBron James and old version of Grant Hill away from a title.
Apparently, the Celtics are in the Hill chase too. Here’s hoping Grant Hill regains his sanity long enough to sign on with Garnett and the gang.
Playing in Boston would give him a much better chance to go out a champion. And not even Michael Jordan did that….
For the life of me I don’t understand why NBA teams are so interested in Jason Kidd and Steve Nash. It’s 2009. If it was 1999 or even 2004, I would get it.
Kidd is a free agent and Nash is one year away from free agency (I think) and still the piece around which Phoenix intends to rebuild. Why?
Kidd (I think ) is 36. Nash is right there with him. If I wasn’t so lazy with the research, this post would be even more impressive.
But lazy or not, my point is that point guards don’t last much beyond their mid-thirties. I’d even venture to say that many of the greatest point guards were done being truly great by their early 30s.
John Stockton, off the top of my head, probably stayed as effective as anyone deep into his 30s. Stockton, though, is the exception.
My advice for NBA teams would be to think of both Nash and Kidd as one year investments. At their advanced ages for basketball, they’re both running out of time. Kidd, in particular, has played a lot of basketball when you factor in his coming out school so early.
Jason Kidd and Steve Nash belong in the Hall of Fame some day. Where they don’t belong right now is in a smart NBA team’s future plans beyond the next year.
Mark my words. I’m not wishing either of them bad things, but it seems inevitable that you’ll see even sharper declines in each of them sooner than later.