Tuesday , Dec , 30 , 2008 Christopher Sells

Baron vs. Jack, the Dunk Contest is Wack and Mac’s Trick Back

… Or is it his knee? It’s hard to keep up these days.

Baron vs. Jack, the Dunk Contest is Wack and Mac's Trick BackHe Said, He Said
We’ve all said something to someone that we didn’t really want them repeating. Whether it’s what you did with whom or how feel about this person or that person, it’s generally nice if your conversations stay between you and the person you’re speaking with. Someone forgot to tell Stephen Jackson.

Yesterday, Jack started telling us all about the visit he and Baron Davis had over the holiday and how Davis allegedly wanted to return to Golden State. Today, Baron basically comes out and says that Jack doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about.

"{ { {No, I don’t want out," [Davis] told The Times on Monday at practice. "I don’t know what Stephen Jackson got from my conversation. That never came out of my mouth….I’m committed here to turn this thing around. I like the talent on this team, I like the promise.} } }"

So did Davis actually say that he wanted back into G-State? I’d have a hard time believing that he wanted to jump from one losing team to another. And the Clippers appear to have a more talented team. They’ve still got some issues to sort out, but the combination of Davis, Al Thornton, Zach Randolph and Chris Kaman/Marcus Camby (whichever is healthiest at the time) isn’t too shabby. Maybe Jackson is just nostalgic for the days when the Warriors won just enough to be angry about missing the playoffs.
Not A Slam Dunk
Can someone please just take the Dunk Contest out back and shoot it? Put it, and us, out of our misery, please. It’s no secret that the powers that be have been trying to tinker with it for years now to make it interesting again. Well, Vince Carter isn’t walking onto that floor. Dominique Wilkins isn’t walking onto that floor and neither is Michael Jordan. And if they do, they’re gonna be old and gray and not able to do anything but pull muscles of they try to dunk.

The latest incarnation of the contest has the NBA announcing most of the field– Dwight Howard, Rudy Gay and Nate Robinson– nearly two months before the actual event and asking the public to vote for the player who will receive the remaining spot. Personally, Joe Alexander, Rudy Fernandez and Russell Westbrook don’t do it for me. My man Oly has some suggestions for other players that he’d like to see participate, but I just think it’s time to retire it. Maybe only bring it back when some worthy names want to participate. Or open it up to the NBDL guys who would love to be on the big stage with the bright lights.

Firing on all Cylinders

The Pistons have been less than impressive since the Allen Iverson/Chauncey Billups trade. They went from being mentioned as competitors for the Eastern crown to just another average outfit in the Central Division.

Pistons Coach Michael Curry has been trying to find ways to get his team back on track, one of which was going small, starting Iverson, Rodney Stuckey, Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace. An injury to Hamilton forced Curry to go with a more traditional lineup recently, and the word is that he’s thinking about keeping it that way.

This means, of course, that either Iverson or Hamilton could become the team’s sixth man. I’m under the impression that both players are starting quality, but there are only so many spots on the court. The real solution might be to trade one of them, but I’m guessing that the team has fallen in love with the cap room that will accompany the expiration date on Iverson’s contract. The things people do for money.

We Have a Problem
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Tracy McGrady is injured. The latest news isn’t if he’ll miss games, but which ones. T-Mac and the coaching staff have met and decided that
the oft-injured guard will not play back-to-back games, i.e. Shaq. So, providing he doesn’t hurt himself in a game or getting out of bed, McGrady will miss at least nine more games by my count. And of course the team will have to learn to play both with and without him and transition into playing with him full-time when the Playoffs roll around. If the team’s dreams of a championship this year hadn’t died yet, this might just be the nail in the coffin.

All LeBron, All the Time

I understand why NBATV would decide to program a full 24 hours of LeBron James this week. It’s the holidays and it gives some people some time off, plus LeBron is good for the ratings. But really? If we’re gonna have this, can we get 24 hours of all the other NBA greats on their birthdays as well? I’d watch Jordan for a full day, likewise Magic, Bird, Barkley, Dr. J, etc. In case you didn’t know about the LeBron-a-thon, you can catch the tail end of it this evening, leading up to the Cavs and Heat game on NBATV. Happy viewing. and if you’ve got any pull with the league, make sure they get those other greats some shine when the appropriate time comes. Bryon Russell’s birthday is tomorrow. Make it happen.

[image:http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinn3411/]

http://www.nba.com/video/channels/nba_tv/2008/12/30/nba_20081230_pregame_rituals.nba/index.html?player=nba_tv