They're already arguing...over who gets to leave the team first.
Hey, everybody. I still look and feel like somebody whacked me in the left eye with a life-sized Kobe Bryant bobblehead doll
...but I am getting better. So, in between working on the Livin' Large epilogue, I decided to get my feet wet by reporting a little recent 'bawful. At first I didn't know what to write about, but then I waited five minutes and the material pretty much wrote itself.Stephen Jackson:
With the untimely (but not all that surprising) death of Michael Jackson, Golden State's very own Stephen Jackson has become the world's reigning "Wacko Jacko." And here's his latest misadventure: Jackson recently demanded a trade to "Cleveland, New York or one of the Texas teams." Naturally, this demand was made not to Warriors management or coaches, but at South Street Seaport in New York during a block party put on by their sneaker company Protege
. Mind you, Jackson signed a three-year extension
worth $28 million last November.
The NBA fined Captain Jack $25,000 for "public statements detrimental to the NBA."
(Imagine what David Stern would have fined him if he'd blasted management and teammates en route to his trade demand
and all that had been caught on camera phone by a couple schlubs in a parking lot. I bet the league would have really cracked down...on that...oh nevermind.) The Warriors, on the other hand, tried to sweep the situation under the rug
Then came media day and the chance for a fresh start...that ended up being as fresh as flatulence on an elevator. Said Jackson
: "What I said is how I feel. Point blank. And that's not going to change." But wait, there's more
: "I'm made for the playoffs and championships. That's what I play for. I'm Big Shot Jack." Forget the fact that somebody needs to hit "reset" on his reality button...wasn't New York one of his trade destinations? Didn't the Knicks finish 32-50 last season? And when was the last time they even made the playoffs anyway? As always, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.Monta Ellis:
Don't make the mistake of assuming that Jackson was the Warriors' biggest distraction at media day. He most certainly was not. That honor went to Monta Ellis, the team's franchise player. Ellis -- the same dude who torpedoed Golden State's 2008-09 season when he tore a ligament in his left ankle and sustained a high-ankle sprain in a "low-speed" mo-ped accident
shortly after inking a six-year, $66 million contract extension -- went on record saying that he didn't think he could play alongside newly drafted point guard Stephen Curry. Here's how that conversation went
Question: "Do you envision yourself playing together in the backcourt?"
Ellis: "I can't. I can't answer that. Us together? No."
Q: "Why not?
Q: "Why not?"
Ellis: "Just can't."
Q: "Too small? Too similar?"
Ellis: "Just can't."
Q: (Do) you understand they say you can?
Ellis: "They say we can, but we can't."
Q: You wouldn't want to give it a shot?
Ellis: "I just want to win. That's not going to win that way. You can't put two small guys out there and try to play (point guard) and (shooting guard) when you've got big (shooting) guards in the league. You just can't do it. OK, yes, we're going to move up and down fast, but eventually the game is going to slow down. You can't do it."
Good thing the Warriors only have five more years left on that contract extension...Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince:
The Pistons may have torched the 2008-09 season by trading Chauncey Billups for Allen Iverson, then lost Rasheed Wallace to the Boston Celtics, then spent spent over $90 million on Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva, and then
brought back a five levels past
washed-up Ben Wallace...but don't tell Rip and Tayshaun that the team is rebuilding.
Said Hamilton: "I don't look at it as rebuilding. We want to win and we want to win now. I don't think Ben (Wallace) came back here for a rebuilding time. He feels we have an opportunity to do something special. We have a great group of guys but we have to learn."
Added Prince: "People think it is a rebuilding year, but this is an opportunity to show last year wasn't the real Detroit Pistons. It's been a great organization since I've been here and what you saw last year was unacceptable from all aspects."
Still no word on whether or not those quotes were delivered with a straight face.Jermaine O'Neal:
Yes! The man that we have dubbed "The Drain" has announced that the injury problems that have made him a mockery for the past few seasons are finally history. Said O'Neal: "I'm 100 percent (healthy). The knee isn't giving me any problems. If I had any summer to get back, this was my summer."
So how'd he do it? Here's how
O'Neal underwent two rigorous off-season workout programs -- a seven-week session with the Heat's trainers followed by an eight-week session with noted fitness guru Tim Grover, the Chicago-based expert who helped Heat guard Dwyane Wade regain his health last summer.
"What he's done this summer," coach Erik Spoelstra said, "is akin to what Dwyane did last year."
Wow. Impressive that, after all these years, Jermaine would get super-serious about his physical conditioning. I wonder...what could have changed? Oh, by the way, did I mention that this is a contract year
for The Drain? Dismissed as coincidence...
Labels: Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Jermaine O'Neal, Miami Heat, Monta Ellis, Rip Hamilton, Stephen Jackson, Tayshaun Prince