At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old retired NBA player, I'd like to say one thing about the recent free agency signings: ARE YOU ALL F--KING CRAZY?
Ian Mahinni @ $64, mil for 4 years?
Jon Leuer @ $42 mil for four years?
Bismack Biyombo @$72 mil for four years?
Marvin Williams @ $54 mil for four years.
Eric Gordon @$53 mil for four years and he hasn't played a full season without significant injuries his entire NBA career.
The Mavs are going to offer Harrison Barnes $95 million over four years, and the Warriors will have to match that offer to keep a player who is a strong defender, but has not improved his offensive game since his rookie year. Sorry, Harrison, I've been a fan of yours, but I'm right, and you know it.
There are a few signings that seem okay to me, but okay in the sense that they're not insane like the ones I've listed above. Ryan Anderson can't defend, but he is a proven 3 pt shooter. Al Horford is worth every penny. Courtney Lee at $50 mil is high, but he's a proven vet. There's no way I'd pay Luol Deng who's losing his skills, $72 mil, but I'm not upset as he's a stand-up tough veteran who's never let his team down. The Sacramento Kings are going to pay Aaron Afflalo $50 mil for two years, (probably less than half guaranteed) which, given the new cap, is not a bad deal considering Aaron has one-on-one skills and plays defense. I'm hoping the Kings won't sign Dion Waiters. There's never been a Syracuse player who's had a clue how to play man-defense, plus, by all accounts, Waiters has some locker room issues. The Kings already have one Six-Foot-Eleven Locker-Room Issue.
Speaking of Issues. Do the Hawks really think they can win with Dwight Howard?
Is it just me? I know all of these contracts are not entirely guaranteed, some maybe not at all, but so what? There's got to be some principle taken into account. I compare it to teaching. Do you give a student who's earned a C, a B, or a B student an A? All I can think of is the NBA is deflating excellence and rewarding mediocrity at the expense of their truly proven All-Stars.
What all the NBA teams should be doing with this increase in the cap is tearing up the contracts of their dedicated, proven All Stars (Stephan Curry comes to mind) and paying them some of the bucks going to these also-rans. Then, tell John Leur's agent (and similar C students) they're ready to sign him for 4 mil a year for two years, no guarantees and if he doesn't like it, he can see if there's a spot for his player in China. Mahini can go back to France for I care, or anybody should care.Mozgov, 64 mil? Are you kidding me? Kent Bazemore, 70 mil? After the third pass he doesn't have a clue who he's guarding.
Does anybody think Jeremy Lin's contract is a teensy-weensy bit high? Where are the NBA's standards? What messages are we sending our kids with these inflated contracts? You get an A if you simply show up for class? And don't believe for a second that this is an isolated problem in this country. How many CEOs of multi-national corporations are truly earning their pay and frigging stock options? Have we become a country of Dwight Howards?
Shouldn't we become a country of Dwayne Wades, LeBron James', Kevin Durants and Stephan Currys?
A serious blog deserves a lighthearted poem: Chinese Checkers is not a sport, but what the heck, it's life..
Chinese Checkers by Arleen Cohen
tells me how to move,
like a grasshopper across
the multi-colored field
springing from hole to hole
outmaneuvering the beetles.
I see the sacred star
and one by one
I deposit my eggs
until it is
filled and full.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.