Monday , Feb , 02 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

14th Edition – 02/02/2004

Life is beautiful…but it’s also unfair. Believe me, I know. Especially since I’m a Libra. See, if you’re into astrology, then you know that Libras are all about fairness and balance. It’s a concept that I believe in and live by. However, as everyone is aware, life has it’s own set of rules. It sucks, but the trick to dealing with it is accepting how unfair life can be before the unthinkable happens (missing Game 6 of the ’98 Finals because you had to go to your final review for your Statistics exam…I’m still bitter.) and then…just rolling with the punches. Still, there are times when things occur that are SO UNFAIR that nothing seems to be a justifiable explanation. Like people having to watch the Patriots and Panthers play in the Super Bowl (of all games…THE SUPER BOWL!), and the injustice that was committed against Byron Scott.

14th Edition - 02/02/2004Talk about hangin’ a guy out to dry…

After leading the New Jersey Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals, Scott was eligible for a contract extension. You would think such an accomplishment would be enough, but it wasn’t. And the extension never came. But what did were questions; some of which included whether former assistant Eddie Jordan really deserved the coaching credit, Scott’s decision-making against the Spurs in the Finals, and if his “rocky relationship” with all-star guard Jason Kidd would result in him bolting New Jersey? With so much in limbo, especially the latter, it was clear to everyone what was going to happen. Despite signing Kidd (unrestricted free agent), Nets’ President Rod Thorn had no intention of bringing Scott back once his contract expired. So instead of being straight with him, Thorn allowed Scott to enter the 03-04 season at “lame duck” status. And we all know what that means…mutiny.

Right on cue, the Nets began to systematically tank the season. The two-time defending Eastern Conference Champions are barely hovering above .500. With the miserable state of the east, that type of win-loss record is inexcusable. They’ve had loses by 47 and 21 to Memphis and Miami respectively, as well as some other perplexing defeats this season, it was quite obvious (to me) what was going on. And as much as Jason Kidd wants to deny it, he played a major role in this episode of “Shaft.”

Since he re-signed, Kidd’s been in Rod Thorn’s ear about his displeasure with Scott on several occasions. Rumor is he displayed little to no reverence to his head coach in the locker room, which probably did wonders for Scott’s reputation with the other players. Kidd also MADE Thorn gamble on Alonzo Mourning, which resulted in the buyout of Dikembe Mutombo’s contract for around $25 million. Unfortunately, Mourning was forced to retire due to his kidney ailment and because they paid Mutombo to go away, the Nets have no size and are the third worst rebounding team in the league.

At any rate, we enter the Lawrence Frank Era (which, by the way, won’t cross the Brooklyn Bridge). Now we’ll see how the Nets perform since their “deterrent,” who happens to be the franchise’s most successful coach has been pink slipped. Call it a hunch, but I’m betting they don’t even make the Finals this year. Now wouldn’t that be justice…and beautiful?

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Rick Fox is out, Shaq’s out, Shaq comes back, Karl Malone’s out, Shaq’s out again, Kobe’s out, Kobe’s back, Shaq and Fox are back, Malone’s still out and his return is up in the air, and now Kobe’s out again because of a lacerated finger. Are the basketball gods trying to tell us something?

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Darius Miles better hope this new flick he’s starring in has a better turnout than his career (I guess I can’t forget the obligatory “so far”). After floundering in Cleveland, the Cavs shipped him off to Portland for essentially nothing (Jeff McInnis and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje). Who would’ve ever thought that a player would be longing for the days when they were a Clipper?

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After departing New Jersey–rumor is the Coaching Grim Reaper just boarded a flight leaving Boston (resigned/fired, in this case–it didn’t matter) and is headed towards Philly. Randy Ayers…and to quote the Soup Nazi, you’re “NEXT!!”

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Two years ago, who would’ve thought that Carlos Boozer would have a more promising NBA future than Jay Williams? Life is ill.

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Unfortunately for Celtics forward Vin Baker, I think he probably drank away the rest of his professional career. Hopefully he can get the rest of his life together.

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Was that Darrell Armstrong who dropped 35…against the Spurs…on the road…for a win? And this is the same guy that the Orlando Magic said was finished?

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I just found out that tickets to the All-Star game aren’t available to the public. Why?

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Memo to all perimeter defenders: MICHAEL REDD CAN SHOOT–GUARD HIM!!

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Ron Artest just released a mixtape with Canibus called Truwarier All-Stars. Just what the STRUGGLING rap game needed–another ball player who CAN’T rhyme.

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Some say Tim Duncan may be more dominant… Yao Ming trumps him as a starter in the All-Star game–again… he can’t play a full season anymore… are the Lakers willing to invest so much money into an all of a sudden “injury prone” player? For Shaq, it seems like times they are a changin’. Are we witnessing the decline of Shaquille O’Neal?

Aiight.