Sunday , Aug , 02 , 2009 Oly Sandor

Should your team sign that beep Bruce Bowen?

He made a tremendous living kneeing, elbowing, and doing God-knows-what-else to your team’s best player. His tactics on Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and Steve Nash left you swearing at the television, while your significant other watched your tirade and likely wondered how she ended up with you …

Should your team sign that beep Bruce Bowen?


For years, you had good reason to hate Bruce Bowen.

He made a tremendous living kneeing, elbowing, and doing God-knows-what-else to your team’s best player. His tactics on Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and Steve Nash left you swearing at the television, while your significant other watched your tirade and likely wondered how she ended up with you.

To top it off, Bowen won big, playing a key role in three of the San Antonio Spurs four NBA Titles. Yes, Karma didn’t apply in this instance. Mr. Grey area, the man who broke or bent the accepted norms of basketball, wasn’t supposed to bask in the warm glow of the Larry O’Brien trophy.

That wasn’t the worst of it, though. Deep down, you’d take Bowen on your team. Admit it: your squad was full of spoiled pussies and needed Bowen-type toughness to win four gruelling playoff rounds. It was a classic case of if you can’t beat him, join him.

Well, Bowen is a free agent and can join your team. This summer, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Richard Jefferson trade and was recently bought out by the cap-conscious club. So channel the hate. Instead, consider what he could offer your team for the veteran’s minimum.

The offensive revolution was fun, but it doesn’t produce champions. After all, defensive teams – Los Angeles, Boston, and San Antonio- have won the last three NBA Titles, not Phoenix’s ‘Seven Seconds To Shoot’ or Golden State’s up-tempo game.

More specifically, the Lakers, Celtics, and Spurs won by getting stops. When necessary, they dug down and prevented opponents from getting that late hoop. Players like Bowen establish a successful defensive approach; they talk, provide help, and do anything to keep their check from scoring.

Toughness matters. Two years ago, Los Angeles got bullied by Boston in the NBA Finals, so they increased Trevor Ariza’s role and won it all this June. James Posey was a big reason for the green-and-white capturing their seventeenth banner, while Bowen was the glue guy for San Antonio’s championship seasons in 2007, 2005, and 2003.

There are negatives. He is 38, struggles with shooting, and would come off the bench. However, Bowen, a true professional and team-first guy, would make a great practice player for the regular season and would excel as a defensive sub come playoff time.

 

(Would you welcome this to your team?)

There is a stigma with Bowen. You’ll forget, and maybe forgive, his past in San Antonio if he helps your team win.

Would you want Bowen on your club? Why? Why not? Get at us in the comment box below and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for more NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of jmtimages.