The Blog: Hornets on the move, Chris Webber fined, and more...
What’s good, basketball fans?
Even in the middle of the off-season, the NBA wheels keep turning. We’re currently a little over a month away from the opening night of the preseason, our first opportunity to see the results of the summer transactions. This coming year has the potential to be one of the best in a long while, with legitimate superpowers Miami and San Antonio in line for dominant outings. A little further down the table, there’s a Houston squad with real potential, the ever-entertaining Phoenix, defensive monsters Detroit and Indiana, and run-and-gun Denver and New Jersey teams.
Until it all kicks off, we have to amuse ourselves with the latest goings-on in offices and conference rooms, although today’s news also throws up an episode with the other type of court as its setting. Let’s get right into it.
Katrina May Force Hornets Out Of Town
If you’ve seen images of the ruined Superdome in the news, you’re likely to have also seen the New Orleans Arena, home to the Hornets. While league officials haven’t been able to examine the interior, it seems unlikely that there will be any NBA basketball played there for a long time. Discussions are currently underway as to alternative sites, with Baton Rouge, Birmingham and Nashville all being mentioned as possibilities.
An email from deputy commissioner Russ Granik claims that even if the arena is in a sufficient state to host games, it may still be impossible to play there given the damage to the infrastructure of the city. He has warned the league’s other twenty-nine teams of possible venue changes, strongly suggesting that the Hornets are unlikely to be back in the Big Easy until at least 2006.
Whatever transpires, we at HoopsVibe wish our best to the Hornets, the city of New Orleans, and all those affected by Hurricane Katrina. If you wish to donate to the disaster fund, you can do so at http://store.yahoo.com/redcross-donate/.
For more: http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/sports/112557215834140.xml&coll=7
Chris Webber Fined $100,000
We learned today that C-Webb was slapped with a fine of one hundred grand for misdeameanour contempt for lying to a federal jury about cash he received from Eddie Martin during his college days. Although a phenomenal amount of money to ordinary folks, it’s a drop in the ocean for Webber, who could write one of those cheques every week for a year and still be a millionaire. What’s more, it could have been far worse. The University of Michigan was originally pushing for $700,000 from Webber for legal fees and to cover the cost of the penalties imposed by the NCAA, which still would have been back-of-the-sofa money for him.
Earl Watson the Newest Nugget?
While the phrase “nothing’s finalized” has been flying all over the place, the deal to bring Earl Watson to the Mile High City is effectively done. My question is this: What the hell are they going to do with him? Denver already has a superior point guard in Andre Miller, with Earl “The Squirrel” Boykins filling the backup role as well as any in the league. With Spree’s signing looming, it seems odd to pull a deal which would give money to a third-string player. Even with Andre and Earl playing a few minutes at the two (they often ran alongside one another last season), Watson won’t see much court time, which is a waste given that he averaged a solid eight and five last year without turning it over too often.
In Other News