Tuesday , Feb , 05 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

And So the Circus Begins: Trade Talks and the All-Star Game

And So the Circus Begins: Trade Talks and the All-Star GameI was going to write something about the All-Star Game, but then something got in the way. I had a really good joke about what being worse: two starters coming from a non-playoff team (Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony) or Tracy McGrady being voted in by the Chinese? T-Mac’s not on the squad and Denver’s back in the top 8.

Still, it’s a shame that neither of the top two point guards (Chris Paul and Steve Nash, in that order) were voted in. Perhaps as shameful is that Tony Parker will be watching the game from his couch. It’s got to be hard on the guy to be watching that game with his wife. First, it’s always hard to watch a game with an uninterested female. Second, she just learns secrets from him that she then blabs to the media (like, say, faking injuries).

Here’s a joke I “heard”:

“Did you hear about the new sandwich Burger King sandwich endorsed by Manu Ginobili?”

“It’s called the Flopper.”

I digress.

We’ve also got trades and trade rumors galore.

By now everyone knows about the punishment that the Grizzlies are trying to inflict on their fans. They trade away Paul Gasol for Kwame Brown and then they bring Jason Collins back into the mix. I guess Casey Jacobson is going to get a lot more playing time. The beauty of this one was that it seemingly came out of nowhere. No long negotiations or players pouting on the sideline. Bam! There it was on a Friday afternoon. Getting rid of Kwame Brown is enough to make Lakers’ fans excited, but to pick up Gasol in the process?

As I sit here typing, the guy on ESPN said the Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal trade is a mortal lock. Sure, Gasol makes the Lakers better and the Suns should probably do something, but Andrew Bynum is unlikely to return to form this year so it’s not an issue this season.

Maybe the Miami reporter goes to the same crack dealer as the fellow who called Mark Cuban about Jason Kidd? When I was at the Suns-Heat game earlier this year, I noticed Shaq at the Heat’s defensive end of the court, guarding the lane, when his team was taking free throws. That shows you how fast he can get up and down the court. He’d probably have a coronary even thinking about running with the Suns.

This is the worst form of Yellow Journalism since the USS Maine. If you say it loud enough, that seems to add credibility these days. Just ask Screamin’ A. Smith.

By all indications, Sam Cassell is going to leave the Clippers – one way or the other. That makes sense. They need to get something for the 38-year old veteran and there are a number of teams in the market for a solid, veteran back-up point guard. Of course, the deals that make the most sense hardly ever happen.

It should be a fun couple of weeks. There will be breaking trade stories every few minutes, pathologically reported and quickly forgotten. Buckle up.

On the downside of all this is that Kobe Bryant is going to stay put. It was so much more fun when those rumors were floating.