What up world? If you’re reading this it’s too late. Nah, just playing. Welcome to another edition of The Blog About Nothing. If you can’t tell by now, I love music, and I’m a Drake fan so I have been bumping If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late nonstop since last Friday morning. I’ve probably listened to the mixtape at least 30 times in the past week. It’s gotten to the point where I know some tracks, word for word. I’m in that deep with it. So consider that the soundtrack to this week’s blog. This week, I’ll go over the shock that was the NBA Trade Deadline, why I don’t care about the NFL Combine, but’ll watch it this weekend anyway, and I’ll take another walk down memory lane. You with it? Let’s do this!
The NBA Trade Deadline went from 0 to 100 real quick. Now, I have a 9 to 5 job like most people. On my desktop I had some windows that were open for work, but I also had two special windows. On those windows were ESPN.com and Twitter. I was being a productive employee, no doubt, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was refreshing those windows every few minutes. By my 1pm lunch break not too much went down. Kevin Garnett looked to be heading back to the T-Wolves, and I liked that move, and the Blazers picked up a solid guard in Aaron Afflalo but not too much went down. The deadline was 3pm Eastern and it looked like we were going to end with a whimper, and not a bang.
Well, I was dead ass wrong. The deadline ended with 11 trades and 39 players flipping teams. Most notably was Goran Dragic going from Phoenix to Miami, Brandon Knight from Milwaukee to Phoenix, Michael Carter Williams going from Philadelphia to Milwaukee, the aforementioned Kevin Garnett going back to Minnesota from Brooklyn, Thaddeus Young going from Minnesota to Brooklyn, Reggie Jackson leaving Oklahoma City to go to Detroit, and a move I think I love: Isaiah Thomas going from Phoenix to Boston. The moves were fast and furious and Twitter was abuzz with all the moves. I’ll keep it real with y’all: from about 2:45 pm to about 3:30 no work got done in my cubicle. All I was doing? Refreshing my Twitter.
I’ll give y’all a mini breakdown of trade analysis. I’m not a big Goran Dragic fan. I think he’s a solid point guard, who knows how to score and run a team but I don’t see him as a piece that pushes teams closer to the mountaintop. However, I like the fit in Miami. I saw the Heat play earlier this season and I wasn’t impressed. With Dragic though, the Heat now have a starting five of Dragic, Wade, Deng, Bosh, and Whiteside. That’s not a bad starting five. For a team that is clinging on to a playoff seed, that’s a starting five that might give an Atlanta, Toronto, or Chicago a bit of a headache in the first round.
Oklahoma City made some good moves yesterday. In dealing Reggie Jackson to Detroit they got rid of a player that didn’t want to be there, and they picked up some assets in that deal and others, that may help push the franchise towards the NBA Finals. The Thunder may be the 8th seed in the West right now but picking up Enes Kanter from the Jazz, and landing D.J. Augustin from the Pistons adds to their depth. I also like the acquisiton of Steve Novak. Novak may be way under the radar, but if he gets minutes with the Thunder, he can be a guy who can take some pressure off of Westbrook and Durant in the right situations. Steve ain’t no star, but he’s a role player that can really nail the critical open corner three.
The Thunder were flirting with picking up Brook Lopez from the Nets, but I think they got the better player in Kanter. Enes is young and he didn’t really get to show his skills with the Jazz (due to the surprising impact of Rudy Gobert) but the kid can play. The Thunder may start Steven Adams at center now that Kendrick Perkins is gone (Perkins was dealt to Utah but is expected to be bought out of his contract) but I can see Kanter getting the big minutes down the stretch. In my opinion the Thunder did enough at the deadline to push themselves deep into the playoffs, no matter what seed they ultimately end up with.
Moving on, I like Kevin Garnett’s return to Minnesota. I got to keep it 100 with the folks: I love me some Kevin Garnett. I’ve always been a fan of his brashness and his intensity, and despite my Garnett #2 Brooklyn Nets T-shirt being played out now, I like the fact that he’s brought that intensity to a young Timberwolves team. The T-Wolves are pretty bad this year. They’ve only won 10 games but they’ve got some promise in Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Anthony Bennett. They just need to know how to win. KG playing out the string in Minnesota should bring that.
I’ll group these next two additions together since I love them both about the same. Michael Carter-Williams joining the Milwaukee Bucks has the potential to be great. The Bucks have played better than expected under head coach Jason Kidd, so picking up Carter-Williams at the expense of Brandon Knight (who has played well this season) can be an upgrade. In Carter-Williams, Kidd will coach a player very similar to himself. Carter-Williams can’t shoot, like Kidd, but like Kidd he has great athleticism and court awareness. If he can mesh with the Bucks quickly, they’ll become a team that might advance past the first round in the playoffs if they land the right matchup.
Isaiah Thomas to Boston is a deal that I love. The Celtics have made a lot of moves the past few seasons, but the one thing they lacked was a scorer. Thomas brings that. He dominates the ball, but with rookie Marcus Smart playing shooting guard, and Avery Bradley being a better defender than scorer, they can rely on Thomas to get those points from the backcourt. Looking at the Eastern Conference standings, the top 6 playoff spots appear to be locked but as many as seven teams have a legit shot at the last 2 spots. So, Boston adding Thomas in an attempt to go for it is a legit move that needs to be recognized.
Now, there were some deals that I didn’t like. I have no clue what is going on in Philadelphia. General Manager Sam Hinkie is trying to collect draft picks, and the 76’ers appear to be all in for the tank, but adding useless salary in Javale McGee, while trading young studs in Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels (who went to Houston) just feels wrong. I’d be real worried if I were a Sixers fan. Also, I’d be worried if I were a Nets fan. Don’t get me wrong, Thaddeus Young is a good player, but the Nets under General Manager Billy King are suffering. Remember the Nets gave up a ton to acquire Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics not too long ago, now all three players are gone and the organization has little to show for it.
All the Nets have done is added a ton of salary and built a mediocre team. Sad thing is due to the Joe Johnson trade, the Nets and Hawks have the option to flip-flop picks in the upcoming NBA Draft. So, even if the Nets fall out of the playoff hunt, the lottery won’t save them. Atlanta will acquire that pick. Besides that though, I think it’s an indictment of Billy King that he didn’t trade Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, or Deron Williams after having them linger on the trade block all season. This organization needed change and needed a new fiscal direction. Neither happened at the trade deadline.
Overall the deadline was an exciting time. It didn’t start out that way but the flourish at the end of the deadline was dizzying. Some fans will need a scorecard to know who’s on their team, while some franchises missed out on an opportunity to revamp their team. The NBA Trade Deadline can be summed up like this: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and it went from 0 to 100 real quick. Real quick. Real effing quick.
So, the trade deadline is over. Now I can move on to the NFL, and this weekend the NFL is having it’s annual NFL combine. Basically, it’s a weekend for prospective NFL draftees to get weighed in and do a bunch of silly drills that really has little to no impact on how they’ll perform as players. For every combine warrior like Mike Mamula, you know the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive end that destroyed the combine yet busted out in the NFL, there is Jerry Rice, who didn’t perform well at the combine yet went on to have an All-Pro NFL career. The event is pretty meaningless, unless you like watching football players run 40 yard dashes, or watch receivers run routes with no one covering them. It’s thrilling stuff, really.
Yet, I know I’ll be watching. Why? It’s the middle of February. What else is there to watch on televison? The baseball season hasn’t started yet, the basketball season might have just got a shot in the arm with the trade deadline, but mid February is more of a doldrums point, and while college basketball is starting to really gear up, it’s still not yet March Madness. Nope, football and this annual workout might still be the best game in town. I want to see what Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston will do in this setting. I want to see some receiver, or some cornerback run some blazing fast 40 yard time. I even want to see if some big old offensive lineman does some crazy shit and run like a 4.5 40 yard dash.
I watch for two reasons: to see a freak show, and to get my first taste on who could be drafted by my team (in my case the New York Jets) in a few months. That’s why I watch the NFL combine even if I don’t care for the damn thing. I hate watch. That’s a good term for it: hate watch. So this weekend, once I get through my usual weekend errands I’ll plop myself in front of a television and listen to some analyst breakdown why a player did or did not win the combine. Sounds like fun, right?
Finally, I’ll take yet another stroll down memory lane. I’m going to take you back to when I was a young kid growing up in Brooklyn, who used to watch basketball and even though I claim to be a Lakers fan (and I am) I used to have posters of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons in my room, and I rooted for Michael Jordan. My loyalty it appears was all over the place in my youth. Despite my youthful admiration for Magic and Kareem, those two were not the only show in town. Unless it was the Knicks. I always hated the Knicks. Still do. However, it’s the 1992 NBA Finals that I want to bring you back to. Let’s go.
June 1992. I was 10 years old. I was about to graduate from elementary school and the Chicago Bulls were taking on the Portland Trailblazers for the NBA title. Michael Jordan was going for his second trophy, but Clyde Drexler stood in his way. I was confident in the Bulls, but something about me liked Portland. They had a good team, and I really liked their jerseys and how the court at the Rose Garden looked (shit like that matters when you’re 10), but deep down I know Michael Jordan was going to crush them fools.
Game 1 of that finals only re-inforced that positive feeling. Michael Jordan would score 39 points in that game. I can never forget after hitting another first half three pointer, MJ would turn around look at the announcers table and shrug his shoulders. Two things about MJ sticks out to me from my early childhood, that moment, and the play he had the year before against the Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals when he went up in the air, switched hands in air, and laid the ball in. Those moments are something I hope I can share with my grandchildren one day. Well, that’s assuming I have children first. I mean you do have to have children to get to grandchildren, right?
Anyway, the Bulls would go on to win the series in 6 games. The reason why I am blogging about that series is that one of those Portland Trailblazers past away this week. Jerome Kersey died this week at the age of 52. He’s a player I remember well. Kersey wasn’t a star on that Blazers team, and he wasn’t the biggest name, but something about him always stuck out to me. He ended his career with over 11,000 points and he did end up winning a title in 1999 with the San Antonio Spurs, but despite hauling down over 6,000 rebounds his play isn’t what makes me remember him. It was something about him.
Don’t know why I was drawn to Kersey, or why I felt sad to hear about his passing but hearing about his passing took me right back to the 1992 NBA Finals. I didn’t even remember he played with the Spurs, or even the fact that he played with the Lakers in the 1996-1997 season. That didn’t come to me at all. It’s that #25 jersey in the black, white, and red of the Trailblazers that popped to mind.
Speaking of the Blazers and that #25 jersey I have to give a quick shout out to current Trailblazer Steve Blake. Blake, who wears #25 has decided to give the number up. Upon Kersey’s passing, Blake asked for and received permission from the NBA, to change his number. He wanted to honor Kersey and he hopes the organization will retire #25 in his honor. Blake will now wear #5, but I have to give the man his due in recognizing he needed to do something to honor the former Trailblazer. May Jerome Kersey rest in peace.
In conclusion: know yourself. Remember that you are a legend. There’s no tellin(g) what you’ll do when you have the right energy. Surround yourself with the right company so that you can make it out the jungle. You’re a star(67). Don’t get used to being the 6(th) man. You can be a bigger star than Madonna is, while waiting for an uber on Wednesday Night (interlude) at 6 PM in New York. OK, that didn’t make sense but I’m almost done here. You see I was trying to incorporate all the song titles from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late into this closing paragraph but the shit started to go left. Thanks Drake. So, before the shit gets too corny (if it hasn’t already) I’ll stop.
I’m done. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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