Wednesday , Feb , 27 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Is Brent Barry the Key to Winning the West?


Is Brent Barry the Key to Winning the West?Shocking, isn’t it, that the question is being asked. Shortly (perhaps by the time this piece hits the Web), he will have made up his mind. The Phoenix Suns need another sharp-shooter to help Shaq’s spacing, the Spurs would like him back, and the other contenders would welcome his presence as well.

The Denver Nuggets, at 33-23, sit in Ninth in the West, which would be good enough for a four-seed in the East.

Why delay the inevitable? Let’s change the “Western” Conference and the “Eastern” Conference into the Premier League and the First League – keeping the D-League as the farm division. It would be just like European soccer where the top two teams from the First League get bumped into the Premier League and the bottom two teams in the Premier League get relegated. That way, next year, Boston and Detroit would be in the “West” and Memphis and Minnesota would go “East.”

Things are not going to change anytime soon. Ben Wallace roaming around the Midwest is not going to change the fate of any team or teams. Sam Cassell backing up the point guard he tried to decapitate a few weeks ago is not a huge improvement. The only thing of value that the Bulls obtained is the intellectual property rights to another website for its newest guard. The Heat are going nowhere even faster with Shawn Marion lamenting, “I’m crying inside right now, because I feel like we’re playing so hard and we still couldn’t come up with a win.”

Moving Brent Barry around in the East would not be considered a monumental deal, but here, in the West, the playoffs may depend on it.

There would have to be some adjustments in my new league system (e.g., in England even the lowly teams are given a shot at the big boys in a tournament at the end of the year), and some adjustments would need to be made. However, why do we keep going down this road? Occasionally, an Eastern team does something in the Finals, but we can get all the same competition and output following this system.

Drastic changes need to be made simply because of the reality that Brent Barry has become such a hot commodity.