Friday, February 04, 2005

Fuming on Friday

By Anthony Peretore

Since Paul came out with a great idea for a weekly piece (TNB on TNT), I thought I’d take a stab at doing the same, but stick with something I do really well: complain. There are countless things wrong with NBA today, but most of these flaws can be viewed in a humorous light rather than as blemishes detrimental to the game. I’ll do my best to give you the run down of several teams and what really irks me the most about them. Enjoy…

Boston Celtics
It’s no secret that I love the Celtics. Despite the fact that I was too young to absorb a championship, live 2+ hours away from Boston and can’t even watch them on television, I somehow remain loyal. But that’s what bothers me the most—that I can’t watch them on TV. Here’s the story: I live in Connecticut and for you non-Geography majors, that means I border both Massachusetts and New York. Originally I decided to splurge for the League Pass and then I’d be able to watch all the Celtics games and any other game I wanted. So I called my cable provider (extremely excited) and asked for the details.

Gladice: “Yada, yada, blah, blah blah, and keep in mind all Knicks, Nets, and Celtics games will be blacked out.”
Me: “WHAT?!?!? WHY?”
G-Love: “Because sir, the league wants its fans to attend the games since they are so close to the venues.”

Does that make any sense at all? Who am I Rockefeller? Gee, I can’t watch the Celts on TV, why don’t I just quit everything in my life and attend all the games instead? Wouldn’t I go to more games if I was able to watch them? Wouldn’t I say, wow, the Celts look good, I should get some tickets? Doesn’t that make more sense? Who made this blackout rule anyway, Hitler?

So, long story short, in order to get the games I’d have to get the dish, have some guy name Ray come over and bolt the damn thing to my house and talk to me about a blown gasket on his ’63 Camaro for two hours. Then, once it’s all set up, in addition to paying the monthly fee, I’d have to order the Fox Sports package which is like another $12 a month. So, not only would I have to completely change cable providers, but I’d also have to pay extra just to watch my mediocre Celtics play a few times a week. Oh but I’ll get sweet USC-Oregon women’s games on the weekends and at 11 P.M. on Thursdays. Why does this have to be so complicated?

New York Knicks
The only reason this team makes me mad is because I think all major sports flourish when a team from New York is in contention. For instance, was hockey ever more popular than it was in ’94 when the Rangers won the cup? So how do we make the Knicks better? I strongly believe the only way to do this is to just do the unthinkable. Isiah’s tried to make logical moves, but they’ve all backfired for the most part. And with Allan Houston single-handedly destroying the team for the next few years with his awful contract, why not just give up and self-implode? For starters, I’d let Isiah coach the team and make Vin Baker the GM. A starting lineup of Cuervo, Daniels, Bacardi, Beam, and Patrone with Bartles and James off the bench would not only be a fan favorite, but they’d probably beat the current Knicks. Sorry Vin, I really do have sympathy for your drinking problem. Why wouldn’t I? You conned the Celtics into believing you were sober when in reality you only played well in preseason last year because you were bombed. I’m really glad the C’s are still paying some of your contract. No, I really am. This team is in big trouble. I can’t imagine anyone (besides Chris Mullin) taking in Houston ($57.4 M over the next 3 years including ‘04-05), Tim Thomas ($26.9M for two years) or Penny Hardaway ($31.1 M for two years). These are astronomical contracts for three guys who are terrible. I can’t think of a worse situation for any team to be in. Knicks fans, back away from the ledge…

Cleveland Cavaliers
You’re telling me there’s no way for this team to get Michael Redd right now? Well, I looked into it and it would be extremely difficult for these two teams to get anything done. Milwaukee could send Van Horn’s monstrous contract over with Redd, but unless the Cavs sent Zydrunas Ilgauskas back, it would be relatively impossible. This infuriates me because the Bucks are going to lose Redd in free agency this summer when he makes just $3 million this season. That means they will only have $3M left over from Redd’s departure to put towards another free agent. But whatever, can you ever see the Bucks winning a championship, I mean ever?

Indiana Pacers
I hate Stephen Jackson with a passion. Isn’t it bad enough what he did in Detroit and now he’s “verbally abusing officials?” Why can’t he just shut his mouth and play basketball? He should have gotten another ten games for this. That’s like a 5-year old kid being put in timeout for drop kicking his sister in the face. Then when his 30 minutes in the corner are up, he goes and sticks some Juicy Fruit in her hair while she’s watching “Rugrats.” Now would his mother calmly give him another 1 minute in timeout or would she beat the crap out of him? I say the latter. Jackson just needs a good ass beating. How about this scenario: after getting blown out for the fifth time in a row, KG has decided he’s finally had it. Jackson goes up for a lay-up and Garnett just loses it and beats Jackson like it was his last day on earth. Too bad the Pacers don’t play the Wolves again.

Washington Wizards
(Side note: what makes me most furious at work is when I go to the bathroom for a ‘number 1’ there’s never anyone in there, ever. Then when nature calls for a slider, sure enough there’s like a conference call in each stall. Why can’t I catch a break?)
On to the Wiz…They’re kind of in the same boat as Cleveland with a very solid nucleus but just one player away from contending for the East crown. There are plenty of guys out there that make sense for Washington. As I mentioned in my article “5 Trades That Need to Happen” earlier this week, I believe their best bet would be to go after Donyell Marshall, if they can stay away from Jalen Rose’s contract. This way here they get Marshall for a year and then Jared Jeffries can take over at the ‘3’ again next season. Arenas, Hughes, Jamison, Marshall could be tough to handle come April or May. But the Wizards won’t do anything and they’ll make sure to keep Kwame Brown around so he can rot their payroll for the next 5 years and pick up a marijuana habit (if he hasn’t already). This will lead to him, Michael Olowokandi, Joe Smith, Pervis Ellison and Kent Benson all being picked up for ESPN’s first reality show called “Number One Busts.”

Miami Heat
Christian Laettner kind of bothers me. I mean, the guy was on Dream Team I, the greatest basketball team ever assembled. He came into the NBA and lit it up in his first few seasons, got injured, had one more good year, then completely fell off the face of the earth. In his first three seasons he averaged 17.1 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.3 SPG and 1.1 BPG. Not many guys do that in the initial stretch of their careers. Then Laettner played in only 44 games in ‘95-96 and just 30 in ‘96-97. Coming back from injury in his first full season with the Hawks (how many of you even remembered he played in Atlanta?) he put up the best numbers of his career: 18.1 PPG, 8.8 RPG, and 1.2 SPG. But just as he appeared back at full strength, his averages slipped to 13.8 PPG and 6.6 RPG the following season and from that point on he’s basically just stunk. From ‘98-99 through ‘03-04, Laettner has had an average season of 59 games, 9.0 PPG and 5.3 PPG—thanks for nothing Laet. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on a player riddled by injuries his whole career, but he’s the first guy who broke my heart (man, that doesn’t sound good). After he hit that buzzer-beater against UConn in 1990 I vowed to hate him forever. Now I guess I can feel some pity for him.

Houston Rockets
Yao Ming has been the most inconsistent player in the league this season. Check out these games: 33 and 12 against Sactown, 32 and 7 vs. Lakers, 27 and 10 against the Spurs, 40 and 10 vs. Toronto, and 22, 12 and 3 blocks at New York. Plus, the Kings, Spurs and Knicks all have formidable front lines. Now take the other side of the coin and consider the fact that Yao has had 5+ fouls in 17 games this season. That means he’s been stuck on the pine in crucial situations in 36% of Houston’s games. Does he realize that he is 7’6” and that if he just stands straight with his hands up he’s as tall or taller than the hoop itself? Where are all these fouls coming from? Why did they hire Patrick Ewing again? And I’m already sick of the fact that he’s going to be the starter center for the West All-Stars for the next 10 years. By the way, if you haven’t already go to and check out the All-Star uniforms. Even though I’m not a jersey guy (and I don’t think any white male over the age of 16 should be), I may have to get one.

"Damn Yao, that's some good s***!"--No wonder there's no
practicing getting done with these two

Finally, nothing bothers me more than players with enormous contracts that totally cripple teams for years. So, after much research on, here, in my opinion, are the ten worst contracts in the NBA today:

The first salary listed is for this season ('04-05) with each ascending number representing the following year's wage.

10 Worst NBA Contracts
10. Maurice Taylor, HOU-->$8.5 M--$9.1M--$9.8M
9. Adonal Foyle, GS------>$6.5--$7.4--$8.3--$9.2--$10.1--$10.5M
8. Michael Finley, DAL---->$14.6M--$15.9M--$17.3M--$18.6M
7. Antonio Davis, CHI------>$12.0M--$13.0M
6. Raef LaFrentz, BOS--->$9.1--$9.1--$10.0--$10.9--$11.8--$12.7M
5. Penny Hardaway, NYK-->$14.6M--$15.8M
4. Eddie Jones, MIA-------->$13.4M--$14.6M--$15.7M
3. Jalen Rose, TOR--------->$14.5M--$15.7M--$16.9M
2. Brian Grant, LAL-------->$13.3M--$14.5M--$15.6M
1. Allan Houston, NYK------>$17.5M--$19.1M--$20.7M

Since it’s not fun to leave on such a sour note (especially on Friday), I’ll also provide you with a list of the best contracts (once again, in my opinion) in the NBA today, excluding those remaining on rookie salaries:

10 Best NBA Contracts:
10. Michael Redd, MIL----->$3.0M--$3.0M
9. Nazr Mohammed, NYK-->$5.2M--$5.5M
8. Bruce Bowen, SAS------->$3.0M--$3.4M--$3.7M $4.1M
7. Chris Mihm, LAL------->$3.4M--$3.8M--$4.2M
6. Rafer Alston, TOR---->$3.5--$3.8--$4.2--$4.5--$4.9--$5.2M
5. Corey Maggette, LAC--->$6.2M--$6.7M--$7.3M--$7.8M--$8.4M
4. Ricky Davis, BOS--------->$5.5M--$5.9M--$6.4M--$6.8M
3. Primoz Brezec, CHA----->$1.6M--$2.5M--$2.7M--$3.0M
2. Chauncey Billups, DET--->$5.5M--$5.9M--$6.4M--$6.8M
1. Ron Artest, IND--------->$5.8M---$6.5M--$7.1M--$7.8M--$8.4M

Keep in mind I had like 8 guys with rookie contracts up here originally but after discussing it with Paul, we determined that wasn’t really. Those guys have limitations to how much money they can make. These guys up here have either stepped up their games after signing a new deal or their agents just stink. I’m sure many people will disagree with Artest, but not many guys put up 20+ a game and dominate on the defensive end as well. While LeBron is making $50 million in ‘08-09, Artest will be getting paid a measly $8.4M. Think about that.


At 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All your comments on Stephen Jackson cracked me up because I feel the exact same way.

But the drop-kicking his little sister in the face analogy was a little mean. Although he probably would've done that as a child...

And I agree about Yao. I don't think he really deserves the starting center spot, but whatever.


At 10:30 PM, Blogger Paul Benedict said...

Anthony--I have to comment on this. You're telling me for an extra million a year, you wouldn't take Corey Maggette over Ricky freaking Davis????!!!!!! Not only is Corey clearly a better player, but he also doesn't have Ricky's Sprewell-esque attitude. Quit smoking with Pat and Yao bro

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Anthony Peretore said...

IM A FREAKIN CELTICS FAN!!!!!!!!!!! But yes, Maggette probably would be the better option. I kinda rushed to get this piece up yesterday because my pregnant boss (whose moods change more than Christina Aguilera)was busting my ass. So, those rankings may be a bit skewed. Just keep in mind that they are the 10 best and 10 worst and order them how you like. Thanks for hurting my feelings Paul. Great friend you are.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home