The David Stern NBA Proudly Presents…2009

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The David Stern NBA Proudly Presents…2009

I had to take a shot at David Stern;  I couldn’t help myself.  He’s so easy to pick on.  You know how the English Premier Soccer League is actually the “Barclay’s Premier League”?  Well I thought David Stern always secretly wished he could be the namer of the NBA, so now we have David Stern’s secret (or not so secret, depending on how you interpret his behavior) desire.

The NBA is much like the NFL…it’s pretty obvious.  I wasn’t sure how to do a proper “preview” so I’m doing all my normal segments, making some predictions, giving out some awards, and calling it a day.  Here goes…

The Obvious…Generally Speaking

–  Alright, we all know the only teams who have a shot are:  The Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Magic, and Cavs.  But, can we be honest for a second?  Don’t we think that one of these teams isn’t really a contender?  Think about it…

–   The Cavs picked up Shaq.  Yeah, they picked up a fat, out of shape, old guy, with a bad hip.  Oh, and who is eternally lazy.  Yeah, that’s the move of the millennium.  Let’s rank it right up there with the Richard Jefferson trade to the Spurs for a guy with a heart condition or the Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown swap.  That Danny Ferry really pulled a fast one there….  How long before Shaq starts making “king” jokes and it turns serious?  I give it 20 games.

–  The Spurs retooled and added Richard Jefferson, but they spent all last season trying to save Tim Duncan and a (really) banged up Manu and it didn’t work.  Jefferson isn’t enough to solve their problems.  They’re old and their window is nearly shut.

– The Magic lost Hedo (what a dummy!) and picked up Vince Carter.  {Did I mention Vince Carter is a mental patient?}  They have an “unclutch” big man and Jameer Nelson finally totally rehabbed.  Without Hedo I don’t think they can move the ball the way they would normally want to.  How in the heck can they change up the game when Dwight falls flat?  They can’t…no Hedo = no fun in Orlando.

 

–  The Celtics are older than the Spurs.  KG isn’t well.  Doc Rivers (who I like) can talk all he wants about how KG is fine…he isn’t.  He’s done.  It’s over.  He’ll play til he’s 40, but he’ll never be the same.  Paul Pierce ain’t no “spring chicken” either.  Ray Allen is the clutchest shooter…ever, but he’s old too.  Eddie House is a nice piece, but not a leader.  Rondo is a GREAT player, but is he too volatile to hold this team together?  Is his ego too bruised to be effective?  Kendrick Perkins needs to shave his goatee, and Big Baby better have added something else to his game this summer because ain’t no one gonna be surprised by that fade-away jumper this season.

–  The Lakers traded Ron Artest for Trevor Ariza (basically, but it only worked out that way because Ariza’s agent is an idiot.)  Ron Artest can hit a few 3′s here and there, but can he get hot like Ariza?  I don’t know.  Andrew Bynum needs to become a MAN this season.  The Lakers need to figure out how to FORCE him to become a player, like, immediately.  If they don’t then they just wasted a whole stack of cash on this kid (and it will severely piss me off.)

 At This Point…

…I believe that only the 5 teams I mentioned have a shot at the Title.  However, every other team in the league has a shot to be a spoiler.

…The Rockets could come out nowhere with Avery Brooks at the helm (no thanks to Daryl Morey and his statistical mumbo jumbo.)

…If Mike D’Antoni can get his crazy fast offense going he might be able to mess with the playoff order in the Eastern Conference.  No that he’s rid of Stephon Marbury he has NO excuse.

…I think the Hornets will make some noise, but Chris Paul’s wait to get to the top will be much like MJ’s.  Long, and with MAJOR history (Magic, Larry and the Bad Boys for MJ, and Kobe, Dwight, LeBron, and TD for CP3) in front of him.

…I expect George Karl to bomb out this season.  I just don’t like him, I think his teams get lucky every now and then and he’s just kind of annoying.

…I’m hoping the Bulls can make some progress and take the 4 spot in the East from Atlanta.  Honestly, how in the hell did ATLANTA of all teams have a better record last season than the Bulls?

…The JailBlazers are young and full of potential (and it never turns out.)  What else can I say?  LaMarcus Aldridge and all those cats are great, until they NEED to be.  They have the most massive amount of talent that you could imagine and no one ever notices because they quietly fizzle every season.  Is it the coaching?  Is it the management?  Is it the players?  I think it’s a sad combination that kills this club.  Portland will never win another title.  They had Clyde “the Glide” and he got stopped by MJ.  Now, they must figure, subconsciously, that they can’t hold Clyde’s jock, so they shouldn’t believe.

…I hope Joe Dumars’ signings of Charlie Villanueva and Ben Gordon work out.  On the one hand it would be excellent to watch those two come in and take over.  On the other hand it would be monumentally depressing to see them come in, sit on the bench, do nothing, and still make all that money.

…I think Kevin Durant can win a scoring title, but the Thunder will basically do nothing.  Maybe in a few years we’ll see a realignment in Basketball to get the Thunder in the East.  Who would they move to the West?…I vote for the Raptors (I mean, they play in Canada, isn’t that like the Wild Wild West?  Come on, kind of?)

…Deron Williams needs to get in line with Chris Paul.  He’s great (I like him alot) but I’m afraid he may be John Stockton II.

…The Clippers suck.  I mean, are we surprised?  I’d kind of like them to be good because I like Blake Griffin, but he’ll die trying to save that disaster of a franchise.  O Donald Sterling, you’re a sly one.

…don’t you hear that banging sound?  The screaming?  Know what that is?  That’s Baron Davis cursing Elton Brand and punching walls for leaving him stranded in Golden State.  (P.S. – Stephen Curry better get it together or Baron’s next punch my be through that kid’s face…

…Gilbert Arenas is a bum who has alot to prove.  He is the biggest diva in the sport and he hasn’t done a damn thing with what he has.  Washington oughta take their cash back.

A Conversation or Two That Never Happened This Offseason…

 

David Stern: Hey, Adam, you think we can get away with not paying the refs and just getting replacements.  I mean, no one could ever prove it, but we have no idea what these officials are doing.  Why don’t we just let it ride and see what happens.  If we play our cards right all the free agents for 2010 will look horrible and we can screw the players on the next CBA. Come on, you know you want to.

Adam Silver: Dave, Dave, you know we already to skate that whole “Tim Donaghy is an isolated case thing past everybody and almost got busted.  Do you really think it’s worth it?”

DS: Adam, this is the American Public, we can dot this.  Besides, you’re a softie, I’ve screwed with people like this for eons…come learn from the Master.

AS: *shrugging his shoulders*  OK boss… {his phone rings}  Uh huh, uh huh, ok I’ll tell him…. Boss, the arbitrator just cut a deal with the refs.

DS: Damn!  {slams his fist on the table} Curse you less-crappy officials!!!

Another…

Michael Jordan: Hey Kobe, it’s MJ.  Did you catch my Hall of Fame speech?

Kobe Bryant: Hey Mike, yeah I saw it, were you on acid again?

MJ: Nah, man.  Just having fun.

KB: Oh, ok. So, whatcha want?

MJ: So, you’ve got 4 baby.  How does it feel to be 4 behind me?

KB: Fine I guess.  {seething in silence}

MJ: Just call me when you hit 6 baby!  Peace out!  {hangs up}

KB:  {Kobe’s just shattered a coffee mug in his bare hands} Hey, baby!  I’m headin’ to the gym!

{For the record, I think the Lakers are going to 3-peat again…not because I’m a Lakers fan, but because I think Kobe hates MJ so much that he’ll do anything to win the other 2 titles so we can have a conversation about who’s better.  I welcome that conversation, because when we get there come to this column and I will eviscerate MJ right here on this column.  Mark your calendars for June 2011 folks.

In General Terms…

There are only a few games this season that are screaming “Holy crap, watch me NOW!”  Let’s review:

Opening Night:  Boston @ Cleveland… This is what the NBA wanted in the East Finals.  Ain’t gonna happen this year either.

October 30th:  Chicago @ Boston… I want to see a rematch of that insane 1st Round Series from last season…don’t you?

November 5th:  Chicago @ Cleveland… How many times does Joakim Noah have to a make  a stupid face before Shaq decks him and gets suspended for 10 games?

November 11th:  Utah @ Boston… If Utah come stomp Boston early then Boston will have shown us their true age.

November 19th:  Utah @ San Antonio… See above…

December 3rd:  Boston @ San Antonio… The Battle of the Broken Hips.  I can’t wait to see who looks older, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, or KG

Christmas:  Boston/Orlando, Cleveland/Lakers… The Lakers prove Shaq was a good or back move and Orlando puts the nail in the Celtics’ coffin.

January 12th:  Lakers @ San Antonio… Mid-season momentum game for someone…

January 21st:  Lakers @ Cleveland… Kobe shows LeBron what desire is…

January 31st:  Lakers @ Boston… The Lakers throw the dirt on the Celts

February 7:  Orlando @ Boston… Orlando goes into Boston to make sure the Celts are actually dead.

February 18th:  Boston @ Lakers… This is a good chance for Boston to prove they aren’t dead.  At this point KG, Paul Pierce, or Ray Allen or any combination of the three will be injured, coming off and injury or brushing off retirement talk.

February 21st:  Cleveland @ Orlando… This is the point in the season when LeBron is going to Danny Ferry and flipping him off “double-barreled” because he hates Shaq so much…and then he has to live down the rematch with Orlando.

March 8th:  San Antonio @ Cleveland… What the over/under on the combine perceived ages of TD and Shaq?  100?  110?

March 14th:  Boston @ Cleveland… And on Shaq and the Three Amigos?  200?  250?

March 21st:  Detroit @ Cleveland… We find out if the Gordon and Villanueva acquisitions were worth it deep in the season.

March 24th:  Lakers @ San Antonio… Another momentum game.  Or, a game where we see how shut that window of San Antonio’s is.

April 4th:  Cleveland @ Boston… One of these teams will be fighting to prove who’s more miserable…

San Antonio @ Lakers… Either the Spurs look like dust (because they grew so old they disintegrated) or I’m wrong and they’re duking it out for the best record in Basketball.

The Awards…

Best Pick-up: Richard Jefferson and Ron Artest – Only time will tell who really was worth it.

Worst Pickup: Gordon and Vilanueva – I’d like to see it work, but I don’t think it will.

Coach of the Year: Phil Jackson/Stan Van Gundy – If anybody can recover from losing Hedo it might just be Stan Van Gundy.  I know I had harsh words for Stan Van, but I think he might be able to do something here.  And Phil, I predicted a 3-peat, that means he’s doing something right.

Anti-Coach of the Year: Don Nelson for misusing Baron Davis and Stephen Curry…

MVP : Kobe, Dwight, LeBron, or CP3.  Whoever steps it up the most…NOT a Celtic or Spur

Anti-MVP: Shaq, Trevor Ariza (for being stupid enough to think he could fix the Rockets), or KG (for being done and not admitting it), Andrew Bynum if he still plays like a 14 year old boy, and Elton Brand because he sucks.

Peace out folks…enjoy the NBA this season and tune in on Wednesday for more from the General.

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