Question for Steve Kerr: Why stop with Shaq?I bet those fat kids are still available.
Shaq to Phoenix.
Shaq to Phoenix?
SHAQ TO PHOENIX?!
The Gasol trade
really surprised me. The Giants beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl absolutely stunned me. But this trade...this Shaq to Phoenix trade...I'm very nearly speechless.
Okay, I said "nearly."
What were the Suns thinking
they thinking?! I mean, the whole reason they (supposedly) dropped out of the Kevin Garnett Super Summer Sweepstakes was because Robert Sarver is a bloodless miser, and he didn't want to part with a young star (Amare Stoudemire) to take on KG's ginormous contract. Well, guess what? He parted with a young star (Shawn Marion) to take on Shaq's third-highest-in-the league contract ($20 million per year), and that beastly thing runs through 2009-10! By that time, I would sooner bet that Shaq's freakish skeleton will be on display at the Smithsonian than that he'll be slamming it home off a Steve Nash alley-oop at the end of a Suns fast break.
Shaq isn't a good fit for the Suns in any way, shape, or form. Particularly since his way is old, his shape is fat, and his form is...still fat. Can he run with the Suns? No. Can he provide the interior defense they need? Not without picking up a bunch of fouls and ending up on the bench. Can he boost their woeful, last-in-the-league rebounding numbers? Well, he's averaging a career-low 7 RPG and an aching hip has kept him in street clothes for the last few weeks, so you tell me.
Last October, I wrote (through TrueHoop
) a mini-article
for ESPN in which I questioned the existence of Steve Kerr's testicles. All I wanted was for the man who drilled the championship-clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1997 NBA Finals to show a little of the courage I know he has to have. But Jesus salsa dancing Christ, Steve, this is not
what I meant. Trading for Shaq isn't gutsy, it's just crazy. If the Suns wanted a huge, lifeless hunk of meat, why didn't they just trade for Wilt Chamberlain, or maybe Andre the Giant? They're cheaper, they eat way less, and their PERs are nearly identical to Shaq's.
From a basketball perspective, I'll admit that Shaq gives the Suns a low post presence (which they've sorely needed) and will allow Mike D'Antoni to move Stoudemire back to the power forward spot, which is his natural (and most effective) position. And from a business perspective, the trade will draw national attention to the Suns, transforming them -- win or lose -- into The Big Storyline in an NBA season full of big storylines. That means ticket sales, and television ratings, and merchandising, and people rushing out to buy Shaq's new Suns jersey. In short, it means money, and, as we all know, Robert Sarver loves him some money.
All that being said, this trade stinks of reactionary desperation. Sarver didn't roll the dice on a KG trade, so he's had to watch Boston go from being the worst team in the league to (maybe) the best. Then the hated Lakers -- through the savvy acquisition of Derek Fisher and the continuing development of Andrew Bynum -- closed the gap on his team during what is probably the last year or two of the Suns' championship window. And that was before
the Gasol trade. Once Pau went to L.A., Sarver had to make a move. A move nobody saw coming. A move to shock the world.
But not a move that's going to help Phoenix win an NBA championship.
Anyway, here's the rest of the worst of the night...Indiana Pacers:
They shot almost 70 percent in the first half, yet the game was tied 59-59 at the intermission. When you shoot that crazy of a percentage and still can't take even a one-point lead, you're probably in trouble. And they were. Indiana scored 9 points in the third quarter and eventually lost 116-89. At home.Jamaal Tinsley:
He was the driving force behind the Pacers' early season "We don't suck as bad as everybody thought we would!" push. Now he's been reduced to a meaningless bench player. Last night's line: 8 points (3-for-7), 2 assists, and1 turnover in 18 minutes.Boston Celtics:
They shot 57 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc, and 90 percent from the foul line. And lost. Yes, I know the Cavs are hot and Lebron James almost had a triple-double, but the Boston defense is a shadow of itself without KG.Washington Wizards:
They were up by 12 points in the fourth quarter, which should have been more than enough against a team like the Sixers (19-30). But it wasn't. The Wiz shot 5-for-20, missed all 10 of their threes, and committed 7 turnovers in that final stanza, and lost 101-96. Do they need Gilbert Arenas? Uh, yeah, I really do think so.Kobe Bryant:
The Black Mamba swallowed his own tail last night, shooting 3-for-13 and amassing more turnovers (7) than points (6).New Jersey Nets:
That Kobe line should have meant good things for the Nets, but it didn't. They still lost to the Lakers by 15 at home. That's how badly they suck.Do something to cheer me up:
Go read my NBA Closer column
Labels: blockbuster trades, Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Jamaal Tinsley, Kobe Bryant, Phoenix Suns, Shaq, Washington Wizards, Worst of the Night