Oly Sandor’s NBATake: Webber linked to NYC, Garnett has new ‘teammates’ and Nene gets paid
No love for a former Fab Fiver
There have been reports that Philadelphia recently tried to trade Chris Webber to New York. No surprise here-this move would make sense for ‘Philly’. Comcast Corporation owns the 76ers and there are rumors that the cable provider wants out of the NBA. But in order to attract potential buyers, Comcast will have to clear some salary off their bloated books. And after failing to move Allen Iverson, Philadelphia are now attempting to deal their overpaid, wonky-kneed forward.
Webber, who averaged a respectable 20.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game last season, can still contribute. But when will his tender knee completely give out? And what other NBA team would be willing to assume his twenty million dollar per season contract?
If the trigger-happy Knicks won’t trade for the expensive forward, then it’s unlikely another NBA team would roll the dice and hitch their wagon to ‘C-Webb’. Philadelphia should plan for Webber to be their opening-day starter at the four-spot.
One other thought: if ‘Philly’ decides to trade their veterans and rebuild, then what happens to Billy King, the team’s current GM? He’s made terrible trades and doled out several inflated contracts, leaving the team with little salary cap room. Blockbuster trades may just be the start of bigger changes to come in Philadelphia.
The Big Ticket now running with Prince?
A few days ago, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Kevin Garnett criticized the Timberwolves in an interview with SLAM Magazine. Garnett’s still frustrated with Minnesota for firing former coach Flip Saunders and ditching Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell.
In an ideal world, Garnett and Minnesota would part ways. Garnett needs a change of scenery and Minnesota, like Philadelphia, should start to rebuild around younger players.
But there’s a complication. For a team to acquire Garnett, they must possess two things: blue-chip prospects and the ability to take on a huge salary.
This is a rare combination. For example, the few teams that can offer the Timberwolves the right package of blue-chip players, the Bulls and Grizzlies, can’t afford Garnett’s twenty million dollar salary. On the other hand, the few teams that can afford Garnett’s salary, the Knicks and Lakers, can’t offer the right package of young players to complete a deal.
Unless the NBA allows the Bulls and Knicks or Grizzlies and Lakers to merge, K.G. will be staying in Minnesota. This situation is unfortunate as Garnett is a special player.
There’s another option, of course. The 2004 MVP could listen to Prince, a fellow Minnesotan, and ‘purify himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.’ And if purifying himself doesn’t work then perhaps ‘The Blouses’ can find minutes for Garnett at the four-spot.
You heard it here first. Garnett could start playing ball with Prince and ‘The Blouses.’
(Click or cut and paste the link below if the last reference made no sense. Dave Chappelle Show, Season 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yajy_1T-7MU)
Imagine this. It’s the afternoon game on Christmas day, 2006. The Knicks are enjoying an unexpected basketball renaissance and Madison Square Garden is straight buzzing. Marv Albert is diligently rehearsing his trademark ‘yes’, while Spike Lee is pouting because Reggie Miller has been retired for two seasons and he has nobody except the perpetually overweight Jerome James to yell at. And James never yells back at Do the Right Thing because the round center is completely content do nothing for 6 million dollars a year. Who wouldn’t be?
With seven seconds left, the game is tied at 94. Prince, that’s right Prince, runs a high pick-and-roll with Garnett. The Grammy winning singer uses the pick, dribbles to the right and then fires an absolutely perfect no-look pass to the power forward.
Prince then yells out: “shoot the ‘J’. Shoot it.” Garnett calmly sinks the game winning jumper.
There’s no time left on the clock. The Horn sounds.
‘Purple Rain’, ‘The Big Ticket’, Mickey Free, and ‘The Revolution’ find Lee sitting courtside and simultaneously yell: “Bitches.”
But there are no hard feelings. ‘The Blouses’ serve Lee, James Dolan, Isiah Thomas, Commissioner David Stern, and the entire Knick team pancakes.
Garnett, however, does not serve pancakes. He’s post-game chilling with music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who purchased an NBA expansion franchise over the summer and called them ‘The Blouses’ in honor of their good friend Prince.
(Again, click or cut and paste the link below if the last reference made no sense. Dave Chappelle Show, Season 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yajy_1T-7MU)
Let’s return to reality. Is that possible after dropping classic Chappelle?
Same question for Minnesota: where does a rebuilding project leave GM Kevin McHale? The former Celtic has made several mistakes and his run in the front office may be up. Mind you, my time as an NBA writer is likely up after that Chappelle reference.
Nene gets paid
Yes, NBA salaries are out of whack. Exhibit A: Denver, in the spirit of Christmas, signed Nene to a 60 million dollar contract for posting career averages of 10 points and 6 rebounds per game.
Nene’s inflated deal changed this summer’s free agent landscape, complicating negotiations for the Sonics and Cavaliers with their own power forwards. Good news for Seattle and Cleveland. Chris Wilcox and Drew Gooden both re-signed for a more reasonable 7-8 million dollars per season. But keep in mind that Wilcox and Gooden’s deals are both for three years and short term contracts are easier for NBA teams to include in trades.
Good Work Mutombo and Marbury.
The finger-wagging post and self-proclaimed “best point guard in the NBA” deserve credit for giving back. Dikembe Mutombo has donated fifteen million dollars to constructing a hospital in the Congo, while the much maligned Stephon Marbury has created an affordable sneaker for underprivileged children.
By the way, I’m out like Charlie Murphy and his crew of flunkies!
Point blank: Oly Sandor is the hottest NBA analyst in the game and a die-hard Dave Chappelle fan. His unique style has been featured in the most prominent basketball websites, magazines, and radio stations. You can find his exclusive semi-daily NBATake and weekly NBA Breakdown at http://www.olysandornbaanalyst.blogspot.com