Dear Doc, Let J-Crossover Loose

Dear Doc ,

I know you had a plan going into this season. I know that plan probably involved lots of CP3 and DeAndre pick and rolls, isos for Blake to show off how hard he’s been working with KG, and a few plays for J.J coming off of a couple screens. That plan is no longer feasible. Without CP3 most of these actions will be difficult to get going.

The roster you are stuck with is one that will have its struggles putting up points, but I think I have a solution: start Jamal Crawford. Continue reading

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Keep Gettin’ Them Checks 2017

As the NBA All-Star Teams are announced I find it appropriate to recognize another group of players. Players who have succumbed to father time’s will,  yet made the decision to play in spite of this. Gaining the moniker “veteran” and  following the great mantra of Jalen Rose, these men have decided to “keep gettin’ them checks”. In honor of Gilbert Arenas and those who follow him, here is the third edition of the Keep Gettin’ Them Checks All-Stars. Feed them kids and pay those bills gentlemen. 

Rules

Minimum of 31 years old

Guards: <5 PPG, ❤ APG, <4 RPG, <1 SPG <1 BPM (Jacque Vaughn Standard)

Forwards <5 PPG, ❤ APG, <6 RPG, <.7 BPG, <1 BPM (Brian Cardinal Standard)

Centers < 5 PPG, ❤ APG, <6 RPG, <.7 BPG, <1BPM (Jason Collins Standard)

 

CJ Watson PG (ORL)

Wizards v/s Bulls 02/28/11

CJ getting minutes as a starter because Derrick Rose destroys his body yearly. Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Tony Allen

Numbers Like: Greivis Vasquez

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
33 2.6 13.2 1.4 6.2 -5

Playing on what looks like to be the next SuperSonics, Watson has gone from solid back up to watching Elfrid Payton and Jameer Nelson try their hardest. At least he has a front row seat.

Steve Novak PF (MIL)

steve_novak_march_2012by-scott-mecumflickr-steve-novakcc-by-2_0httpcreativecommons-orglicensesby2_0_via_wikimedia_commons

Steve Novak was the best NBA shooter in this picture. Credit: Scott Mecum via Flickr

Paid Like: Brandon Bass

Numbers Like: Georges Niang

G PTS MIN 3P% PER BPM
8 .6 2.8 16.7% 1.4 -13.2

 

Remember when Steve Novak made as many threes as Durant? Remember when he led the league in three point percentage? He was poised to replace Mike Miller as America’s favorite old white guy with a sweet three point stroke. Heavy lies the crown, too heavy for him.

Jason Terry SG (MIL)

4_jason_terry_by-gennaro-masi_flickr-4-jason-terrycc-by-sa-2-0-httpcreativecommons_orglicensesby-sa2_0_via-wikimedia-commons

Jason Terry during the year where he was killed by LeBron and resurrected as a Frankenstein creation . Credit: Gennaro Masi via Flickr

Paid Like: Raymond Felton

Numbers Like: Sheldon McClellan

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
37 3.2 17.3 1.3 7.1 -2.4


It was only a matter of time. The Jet is slowly descending. Success at 39 in professional athletics is waking up with minimal pain and requiring minimal treatment. One of the last five players still in the league who was drafted before Y2K. As he once said though:“Jet love the kids”. He does. Enough to get this direct deposit.  

Mike Miller SF (DEN)

DSC_1465

Mike Miller receiving advice on how to destroy his body as much as possible.

Paid Like: Anthony Morrow

Numbers Like: Pat Connaughton

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
7 1.7 5.1 .9 11.4 -3.3

He rose from the grave through extensive rehab in an effort to steal get his crown back from Kyle Korver. The stroke is there, but the numbers aren’t. The question now is what are his aims? Is he grooming Danilo Gallinari as his protege?

Udonis Haslem C (MIA)

udonis_haslemby_keith_allison_ccby-sa2_0httpcreativecommons_orglicensesby-sa2_0viawikimediacommons

The bulldog in his heyday. Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Thabo Sefolosha

Numbers Like: Deyonta Davis

G PTS MIN TRB PER BPM
14 1.9 7.9 2 9.6 -4.6

Toughness is a quality that now seems to be highly underrated by general managers of teams today. Just like the NHL, enforcers are a thing of the past. But relics should be treasured. For being the last of a dying breed, I salute you UD. You got your rings, now keep getting them checks.

Reserves

 

Marcelo Huertas PG (LAL)

marcelo_huertas_gerard_reyes_www_flickr_com-photos-gerardreyes-6784868987-in-photolist-bkyeam-o1wert-ttev19

Marcelinho before he was eligible for this team. #GoMarce Credit: Gerard Reyes via Flickr

Paid Like: Mitch McGary

Numbers Like: Tyler Ennis

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
19 2.6 10.5 2.5 9.2 -7.1

 

This man came into the league eligible for this team. His play confirmed his membership. Averaging nearly a turnover a game, the former Shaqtin MVP candidate, is one of three members on the Lakers’ roster born before 1985. Despite his penchant for embarrassing plays, this man still maintains a roster spot. #GoMarce

Paul Pierce SF (LAC)

Paul Pierce Injury

Paul Pierce in a position he will continue to occupy for the rest of his NBA career.  Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Will Barton

Numbers Like: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
12 3.8 12.3 .2 4.3 -4.9

KG left. Ray Allen left. You couldn’t take the hint could you? You had to go chase a ring in L.A didn’t you? You had to have your family and friends close didn’t you? Join the other members of the Boston Three Party on the other side. Join them in obscurity and being the center of 10-day contract rumors, like Ray, or at the analyst table, like KG,  (You had fun with Jalen didn’t you?).

Sasha Vujacic SG (NYK)

Sasha Vujacic

Sasha running from his true headband self. Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Rodney Hood

Numbers Like: Malik Beasley

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
23 2.2 8.5 .9 7.5 -4.1


I miss the old Sasha. Wearing the headband Sasha. Remember what Kobe got ya? It was a ring Sasha. I hate the new Sasha. The limited threes Sasha. Still in the league Sasha? Knicks you should leave Sasha.

(If you’re on the Knicks at this point I’m just going to assume you’re only in it for the money).

Anderson Varejao C (GSW)

lebron_vs_lakers

Rumor has it Andy plotted his betrayal in this exact moment. Credit: Erik Drost via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Al Jefferson

Numbers Like: Miles Plumlee

G PTS MIN LeBron Betrayals PER BPM
11 1.2 6.6 1 9.5 -0.6


I don’t know how LeBron chooses who he likes but when he does he gets his guys. This man, Mike Miller, and James Jones have made their lives to roll with him. Except Varejao betrayed the player/coach/GM/mafioso boss and suffered a finals loss because of it.

Alan Anderson SF (LAC)

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Alan Anderson playing on his world tour. 

Paid Like: Clint Capela

Numbers Like: Shabazz Napier

G PTS MIN AST PER BPM
16 3.1 11.5 .5 4.4 -4.9


He’s been on a world tour all across the land played in each and every country with a ball in his hand. New York, Crotia, Israel, China. Unfortunately the New York stop was with the Nets in the last two seasons. His current stop is on the Clippers.

For next season I’m on the lookout for the following players to be on this team for the first time:

Tony Parker

Andre Iguodala

George Hill

Beno Udrih

Taj Gibson

Arron Afflalo

Brandon Rush

 

Bobby Bonilla Hall of Fame Nominees

The following men have embodied the true spirit of the mantra “Keep Gettin’ Them Checks” in the manner of the greatest check collector ever: Bobby Bonilla. Here are the nominees to join the inaugural class alongside Gilbert Arenas.

 

Elton Brand

Washington Wizards v/s Philadelphia 76ers November 23, 2010

Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: JaMychal Green

After playing on the Clippers, when that meant something completely different, this man has earned his money. I’m happy he’s getting it from their modern day equivalent: the 76ers.

 

Caron Butler

caron_butler

Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: David West

Shoutout to the man name “Tuff Juice” who managed to finesse the most dysfunctional NBA team into paying him while he racks up no mileage on his body. Though he is not on the level of Bobby Bonilla and the GOAT Gilbert Arenas, his veterans’ minimum will do him very well over the next three years.

 

Yi Jianlin

Washington Wizards v/s Denver Nuggets January 25, 2011

Credit: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Bobby Brown

Will he ever play in the NBA as much as he does the CBA? Probably not. Will these NBA checks still keep clearing? Definitely yes.

 

Anthony Bennett

anthony_bennett_by_jeremy_rincon

Anthony Bennett the moment he realized Dan Gilbert made a huge mistake. Credit: Jeremy Rincon via Wikimedia Commons

Paid Like: Justin Holiday

The youngest to appear on this list, but just like the Hall of Fame changed its rules for Shaq so shall we for this finesse lord. His youth does not detract from his ability to collect checks. He faked it and he made it. The checks from the Nets are real though.

 

 

Don’t worry about Anthony Davis

Since he didn’t make an All-NBA team and won’t get that Derrick Rose rule money, people are a little bit down on Anthony Davis.

With his play and having a heavy influence on the success, or failure, of the New Orleans Pelicans, the trend of his play should be examined in light of his recent retrogression. Davis’s season should be looked at through a historical lens, put up against of other players who previously achieved similar productivity to Davis during his 2014-2015 season. I performed an analysis will try to see if there is a need for Pelicans fans to worry about their burgeoning superstar, or if it was a fluke season.

The group of players that I prop Davis up against is quite elite company: players who obtained a BPM of 7 or higher in a single season. There are only 33 other players who have managed this level of play. This group consists of many Hall-of-Fame players (David Robinson, Magic Johnson, etc.), current superstars (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, etc.) and players who maintained high success for brief periods in their careers (Mookie Blaylock, Andrei Kirilenko, etc.).

As FiveThirtyEight pointed out in this article, Davis’s drop was one that was highly unlikely to occur and nearly unprecedented. Fans may find solace in recognizing many of the names in that chart. In fact a few of the players were included amongst those who posted a BPM of 7 higher in a single season during their career (Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Blaylock). However, two of the three, Wade and Paul, were as a result of missing a fourth or more of the season due to injury. Blaylock on the other hand played nearly all of his team’s games that season seeing minutes in 73 of 82 games.

Davis also has some company when it comes to the timing of his drop in BPM. Of the 14 players who managed to have a BPM of 7 or higher in third year of their career nine out of fourteen saw a decrease in that number at the end of their fourth year. However Davis sits atop this list.

 

Player Season BPM BPM in Previous Season Difference
Davis 2015-16 2.2 7.1 -4.9
Robinson 1992-93 6.7 10 -3.3
Hill 1997-98 4.8 8 -3.2
Carter 2001-02 4.1 7 -2.9
Jones 1977-78 5.1 7.7 -2.6
Durant 2010-11 2.9 5.1 -2.2
O’Neal 1995-96 3.5 5.4 -1.9
James 2006-07 7.4 9.3 -1.9
Westbrook 2011-12 3.2 5 -1.8
Olajuwon 1987-88 5 6.6 -1.6
Ginobili 2005-06 6 7 -1
Johnson 1982-83 7.4 8.3 -0.9
Duncan 2000-01 5.4 6.1 -0.7
Barkley 1987-88 9 9.2 -0.2

 

So the question then becomes are the numbers in Anthony Davis’s four year career more indicative of a future career path of a talented role player who exceeded his talent for one season, or is it one of a hall of fame player who will go on to dominate an era? Is Anthony Davis Mookie or Hakeem?

To try to decide which is closer to the truth I plotted the BPMs of all 33 players (including Davis) through their first six seasons (if possible*) to find a trend amongst the data. The overall trend was upward and Davis’s individual trend line closely resembled the line but had a lower significance level as well as coefficient. With the chart below you can compare Davis’s trend lines to other individual players first six years. Play with it after you click the link.

 

BPM of Great Players Over Career Years

 

When you look at each player’s line of their first six years when plotted against time by actual year (rather than year of career), Davis’s line seems to coincide with a pattern seen in many other player’s first six year plots: a peak followed very quickly by a steep decline. Continue playing with my charts.

 

BPM of Great Players Over Time

 

It appears that many players who are destined for eventual Hall of Fame careers go through growing pains through the first few years of their careers. This is true of every nearly every player on the list, save that of Blaylock. Blaylock’s career was one of steady progression and then a steep decline according to his BPM numbers. In his first few year  This trend is seen in no other player’s first six seasons.

When you consider the fact that Davis has just now recently come clean about his nagging injuries that he has been playing through it makes his decline even more understandable. Davis seems to be headed for a career closer to that of CP3 than Blaylock (thank goodness).

*BPM data for Bob Lanier, Julius Erving, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is not possible to attain for the first few years of their careers because the statistic of steals was not kept at the time.

Bumgarner the Hitter

Madison Bumgarner is pulling off a feat that was more common towards the beginning of the live ball era: dominance on both sides of the plate. His batting line of .255/.281/.491 more closely resembles his center-fielder’s Angel Pagan (.258/.290/.308) than the other members of the starting rotation like Chris Heston (.227/.227/.273).

With this in mind, it is not a surprise that manager Bruce Bochy has begun to utilize the bat of Bumgarner just as much as he does his arm by playing him at pinch hitter. In an era where most of the starting pitchers today hit around 20 points shy of the Mendoza line, Bumgarner’s new role is making headlines. A managerial decision like this may have been no large news to baseball fans a century ago.

As the Society for American Baseball Research’s Bob Davids informs us that pitchers were some of the first players to be used as pinch hitters when the position was first allowed in 1891. Pitchers before the live ball era showed success in the spot to the extent that, the pinch hitter with the eleventh most hits of all time is a pitcher, Red Lucas.

What seems to be separating Bumgarner far above other starting pitchers who hit this season is his power. His .491 slugging percentage is at least 200 points above any starting pitcher not named Tyson Ross.

Given the context of history, where does Bumgarner’s current season performance at the plate rank among other pitchers historically? Or even some of his modern day peers? To get some insight use the interactive graphics below to see other pitchers with similar or better hitting stats along with their hitting relative to their WHIP or ERA. I hope Don Mattingly does not get a hold of this. 

Bumgarner v. Other Pitcher’s Hitting

 

The Ballad of Joe Dumars

As Stan Van Gundy enters in to his totalitarian rule of the Detroit Pistons it signals the official end of a player having a nearly three decade run with a team. A former player that immediately moved to the front office, making no sideline appearances along the way. Here is his ballad.

The 18th pick of the 1985 NBA Draft was greeted with a reception congruent to the player’s personality: silent. The same way he moved into the top ten all-time NCAA scoring list at McNesse State University. His walk to greet David Stern seemed almost nervous. He initially looked to the floor on his way to the podium. Joe Dumars had officially arrived to the NBA.

His interview following his selection showed more of his soft-spoken and unselfish nature. He immediately had to field questions as to how he would function on a team that already had a dominant guard in Isiah Thomas. “I think I can make the adjustment” Dumars sheepishly replied. An eager team player excited to play with someone he admired. A far-cry from the brash, physical, and then unhappy Rick Mahorn the Pistons had acquired just a day earlier.

Even though the the 76ers with Moses Malone managed to sneak themselves a title, albeit in a dominant sweep, the 1980s NBA was dedicated primarily to the league’s two most prolific teams: Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. “Showtime” Lakers were the dominant team to start the decade.  as the NBA’s best and most entertaining team, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy thrived regardless of who the coach seemed to be. Though they seemed to thrive under the mafioso Pat Riley. The Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish led Celtics  were a 1980s Spurs: solid fundamentals and high levels of execution. Not to mention they had plenty of physicality (see Robert Parish forearm to Bill Laimbeer).

Near the end of this decade these two coastal royalties began to falter in the age old struggle against old age. Rather than casually pass down a torch, both teams clinged on their perennial success to the bitter end. Despite this, some team needed to fill the gap between the end of Celtics/Lakers dominance and the prominent rise of the basketball Messiah from North Carolina, Michael Jordan. Enter the Bad Boy Pistons.

Isaiah Thomas was the frontman for the group. He was the first and longest standing piece of the Pistons, drafted 2nd overall in 1981. Bill Laimbeer was next in a 1982 trade to Cleveland. With these two alone the team managed a bit of success, but wasn’t at the same level of the elite teams.  Dumars and Mahorn changed this with their arrivals in 1985.

The backcourt combination of Thomas and Dumars was difficult to guard and get through. Entering the league with a reputation for being a scorer, Dumars quickly became known for his defense. This paired quite well with a dominant defensive guard like Thomas. Chuck Daly’s team was forming an identity.  Despite a record and playoff result in the 1986-1987 season mirroring the previous season there were expectations for this team now.

Those expectations were met the following year during the 1988 playoffs. Off-season additions of John Salley and future Hall of Famers Dennis Rodman and Adrian Dantley. Dantley was a savvy veteran who served as a mentor for many of the Pistons, but formed a particularly close bond with Dumars. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free-Press described them as “best friends”. A swollen Isiah Thomas ankle and a “phantom foul” by Lambier were the only two things separating this team from the start of a three peat in a seven game Finals series against the Lakers.

The following year would feature a rise in Dumars and the same finals matchup. Dumars’s stats saw an increase in nearly every category except steals, which dropped from 1.1 per game to .9. Midway through the season however, he would see his mentor, Dantley, be traded to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre. His finest performances would happen during the 1989 playoffs on both ends of the floor, first being defensively. Starting in the playoffs the previous year the Pistons instituted a defensive strategy that would be later known as the “Jordan Rules”. Though this strategy ended up making Jordan deal with a lot of double teams, the primary defender he faced was Dumars. Jordan would later be quoted as saying that Dumars was the most difficult defender he ever faced. Then came the Finals.

A rematch from the previous year excluded Byron Scott and Magic Johnson due to respective hamstring injuries. With no Scott or Johnson, the Detroit backcourt was nearly unstoppable. Dumars averaged 27 in the four game sweep scoring over 30 twice. Floaters, fall-aways and crossovers accompanied his tight defense (including a game saving block followed by a save on David Rivers in Game 3). He was named the MVP of the series. The 1990 season followed with another rise statistically for Dumars, his first All-Star game selection, and another championship (despite the loss of his father).

The next five years wouldn’t be so great for Dumars. In 1991 Jordan became ready with Pippen at his side.Chuck Daly would leave following the 1991 season. In 1992 Ewing and the Knicks started to rise as well. In addition to other teams getting better, the Bad Boys had become old men. Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer would retire in 1994, along with Dennis Rodman getting traded to San Antonio. The draft that year would provide the new teal colored Pistons a spark in Duke University’s Grant Hill.

Dumars was now in the role of Adrian Dantley. He saw many much of himself in Hill, particularly in their quiet natures. Joe would give Grant advice and guide him though he didn’t think he needed much. “You don’t need a sledgehammer with Grant, just a chisel” he said in a 1995 interview. Dumars would see the playoffs three more times before his eventual retirement in 1999.

Few people make the transition from having a highly successful NBA playing career to having that same success on the sideline or in a front office position. In the last decade or so the first name that comes to mind is Larry Bird and his work with the Indiana Pacers (also Danny Ainge if you consider his playing career highly successful). Dumars also made the wonderful transition from the court to the front office.

He gained the position of president of basketball operations almost as soon as he stepped off of the court in a playoff loss to the Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, and “Thunder Dan” Miami Heat. What ensued was a thirteen year coaching carousel with the longest tenure being three years, a championship, and the signing of many washed up veterans. The first move he made was one that was a bit difficult for Pistons fans but ended up being very beneficial. Shortly before the 2000 season, the man he claimed made it worthwhile to continue to play, Grant Hill, was traded for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace, a future staple.

The next two years would feature just as shrewd moves made by Dumars. Rick Carlisle was put in as head coach. Mehmet Okur and Tayshaun Prince through the 2001 and 2002 drafts. Jed Buelcher, Jerome Williams, and former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves into Jon Barry, Clifford Robinson, and former high school and college star Corliss Williamson in 2001. This was followed by a trade the next season for Richard “Rip” Hamilton losing Jerry Stackhouse. This was another highly questioned move considering Stackhouse had just scored 57 in a game that season. These moves led to a sixth man award for Williamson, defensive player of the year award for Wallace, and a coach of the year for Carlisle in the 2003 season.

The 2003 season contained a very important step before the 2004 championship season. Dumars signed a player that was inconsistent near the beginning of his career, but was fresh off of a breakout season in Minnesota. He was similar to Dumars in that he could play and wore the number four on his jersey (though this was not an option in Detroit). Dumars and the Pistons signed Chauncey “Mr. Big Shot” Billups to a six year $35 million dollar contract from free agency.

Even with his constant improvement in his short tenure, Rick Carlisle was let go and replaced by Larry Brown in 2004. Brown was known for his excellence in coaching and similar tenure lengths to Carlisle’s in Detroit. Dumars coupled this signing with an acquisition of Rasheed Wallace in a three team trade with Boston and Atlanta. Sheed would provide a lot of energy to a superstar deprived team as they won in five against the final Kobe and Shaq Laker team. Dumars has ended another Laker era. This time from the front office. The next season would be another Dumars led team to the Finals…with a different result. It would also be Brown’s last and the start of the Flip Saunders era. Lastly, the 2005 season was marked the start of what would become a trend for Dumars’s signing habits: aging veterans.

It started with the signing of Derrick Coleman. Coleman would only play five games for the Pistons as well as be a participant in the most entertaining game in NBA history. Coleman was obtained in a trade for a declining Corliss Williamson with the Philadelphia 76ers. 2005 also marked Dumars second subpar first round pick in Jason Maxiell (the first obviously being Darko Milicic in 2003). Maxiell was a watered down version of Ben Wallace (who he was supposed to replace), never quite becoming the shot blocker or defender Wallace was.

The herd of aging veterans grew with the additions of Dale Davis in 2005, Tony Delk in 2006, and hometown hero Chris Webber in 2007. While they did lose quite a few role players, (with the exception of Ben Wallace leaving) the starting lineup involving Rasheed Wallace, Billups, Prince, and Hamilton had stayed intact. Dumars made sure to keep his core guys. This helped the Pistons to achieve the feat of reaching six straight conference finals from 2003-2008.

Flip Saunders had the highest winning percentage of any Pistons coach since they had moved to Detroit from Fort Wayne. After the sixth conference finals loss, however, Dumars was no longer content. “Everybody is in play” he said in a 2008 interview. He stuck to his word.

At the start of the 2008-2009 Dumars fired Flip Saunders, replaced him with assistant Michael Curry, and traded Billups for another superstar veteran far past his prime: Allen Iverson. “The Answer” was not the solution for the problems that the Pistons had at the time. Neither was Michael Curry. 17 PPG was a far cry from the 30+ production we Iverson nearly a decade earlier. The offseason addition of Will Bynum was not the best back up plan either. This was the last time the team made the playoffs, but no thanks to Curry. The team finished with their first sub .500 winning percentage since 1999. Curry and A.I each exited at the end of the season.

The 2010 season were when things began to get bad. Enter John Kuestner.  Much like Dumars’s own experience, the core of the 2004 championship team was aging and leaving. Rasheed Wallace left for Boston. Dumars continued his trend of signing old former stars, this time a familiar face, by adding a now older and less effective Ben Wallace for the remainder of his dwindling career. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva joining the team were a slight alteration to the old veteran trend, but they could not compensate for the disappearing core.The draft picks were not working out extremely well either.

2005 pick Jason Maxiell started the season under his third coach in five years. 2006 pick Will Blalock lasted only one season not filling the role of Billups predecessor. 2007’s Aaron Afflalo was scrapped for a second round pick. 2009’s D.J White was instantly traded for Walter Sharpe. The new rookie class of DaJuan Summers, Austin Daye, and Jonas Jerebko did not show a change in trend (despite the high effort from Jerebko). 2007’s Rodney Stuckey was on his third coach in three seasons, but still managed to have a career year and serve as a bright spot. With an aging group of veterans and struggling young players the team found winning to be quite difficult posting a 27-55 record.

In the 2010-2011 season Dumars hopped back on the washed up veteran horse by signing Tracy McGrady. T-Mac’s production was nearly half of what it was during his prime. Dumars still had not learned his lesson. His drafting abilities seemed to have improved though based on his selection of Georgetown’s Greg Monroe. Despite this, the team performed poorly and the carousel continued to spin.

Lawrence Frank showed no signs of reviving this team. He was helped by Dumars greatest addiction with a trade of Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette. To start the 2012-2013 year, with Ben Wallace retiring and Rip Hamilton leaving for Chicago, Tayshaun Prince became the final member of the 2004 squad. Prince would leave for Memphis the following year.The center had formed a singularity.

The new Detroit Pistons were full of talent still. Continuing with the draft momentum of 2010 the team added Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler in 2011. Dumars then would draft Andre Drummond in 2012. This fresh young core of players has struggled thus far under the tutelage of Frank, Mo Cheeks, and the even worse John Loyer (according to ESPN). In his final year of 2014 Dumars had his old habit creep up one final time by signing Josh Smith, the patron saint of bad shooting, and former floor general Chauncey Billups.

The losing finally caught up to Dumars, when he lost his job. As Chauncey Billups stated “That’s the NBA, sometimes it’s just time for a change, and obviously that time’s now, but what he did here was remarkable”.

Stan Van Gundy inherits his dictatorship from a man who was an integral part of a franchise for 30 years.

     

 

Slumlord Billionaire

In the wee hours of Friday, April 25, a recording surfaced of as of now L.A Clippers owner and formerly NAACP award recipient Donald Sterling.The voicemail is allegedly Sterling making racist remarks linked to a photo that Sterling’s not wife girlfriend, V. Stiviano, (Sterling’s living like 2Chainz) posted on Instagram of herself and Magic Johnson.  I guess this means no more cursing at his players, especially the black ones.

As with all matters involving racism in today’s world nearly every news network and person on social media has voiced their opinion. What I’m really waiting on though is that initial inevitable conversation between Sterling and members of the Clippers roster. He better get ready for the Riley Cooper treatment (from DeSean Jackson, not the Eagles organization).  I’ve decided to write a brief screenplay depicting what I think the situation will be like. I call it The Conversation.

 

INT. CLIPPER’S LOCKER ROOM

 

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, and Donald Sterling are all in the locker room after a 2014-2015 regular season win while the rest of the team has left. All three players are at their respective lockers

 

DONALD

(lifting arms) Chris, Blake, Matt, great win out there tonight guys! It feels really good to be back with the team.

 

CHRIS

(staring at locker) Thanks…

 

MATT

It don’t feel good having you back! I guess you forgot that only J.J and Hedo are the only non-black players. Or did you forget about me too?

 

DONALD

Guys I’m really–

 

BLAKE

(sitting on ledge of locker; voice cracking, nearly crying) Did you think I was white when you signed me?! I’m black too!

 

DONALD

If you just let me ex–

 

CHRIS

Is it still okay if I bring Chris Jr. to the games? Maybe him and I should just make commercials and appearances privately now.

BLAKE

(crying) I will too!

DONALD

I said I was sor-

MATT

Glad I stopped sticking up for you niggas

 

Doc Rivers enters the locker room

DONALD

Hey Doc! Great Win!

 

Doc, Chris, Blake and Matt all silently stare at Donald.

 

DONALD

I think it’s time for me to go

Sterling exits sheepishly

 

[END]

 

With that soon to be BAFTA winning screenplay now released for the world to witness, I present highlights from this entire saga.

 

1. Rapper’s Delight

At a pace similar to when ‘Control’ was released or just your average series of DJ Vlad “Hip-Hop Reacts” videos, many artists are chiming in with their opinions on the matter. The initial trailblazer was perennial west coast representer Snoop Dogg (Lion?). The most standalone statement being when he called Sterling a “racist piece of [feces]”. Lil Wayne also threw his hat into the ring and I’m sure more rappers will be soon to follow.

 

2. Donald Sterling’s Wife?

In what looks to be a marriage on the rocks, Donald Sterling’s still for now wife, Shelly Sterling, attended game four of the Clippers-Warriors series with her husband nowhere to be found. From the moment the first cutaway to her happened during that game, she’s been on a self-defense spree since. She was very quick to inform people that she herself is not racist. Which is laughable considering that she was quite helpful in her husband’s housing discrimination playing dress-up as a government employee. She also noted that her family’s priority is the Clippers organization. Yeah…

 

3. Clip-Show

I’m not just talking about the protest with the inside-out warm ups. That was a nice gesture, but I really expected more. Especially considering that the team’s captain is also the head of the players union. Chris Paul has stated that the players union will do something, but has not really stated his thoughts on the matter. It was nice to hear from Doc Rivers (and family), though he did not completely appease me either. When asked whether he thought that Sterling should be removed from the team he simply walked away. I just don’t understand what the Clippers players have to lose by commenting on this situation…other than another playoff game.

Other highlights include Keith Olbermann calling on Clippers players to sit, every retired NBA player in the media commenting on the matter (including the aforementioned Magic Johnson), and a release of an extended version of the tape in question. Oh, and the NAACP rescinding their LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT award for Sterling.  I’m sure there will be more to come as everyone contributes their two cents to the discussion.

To be completely honest, basketball fans shouldn’t be surprised about these statements coming from Sterling. Eight years ago ESPN’s Bomani Jones wrote a piece talking about the atrocities Sterling committed with housing discrimination against minorities. Hell, a video Nick Cannon’s from interview on Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable posted in July 2013 on YouTube is titled “Does Nick Cannon like the Clippers’ racist owner Donald Sterling?”. Dan Le Batard said in this interview “he’s not good with black people”. I think that pretty much sums it up.

 

*Donald Sterling has since been fined $2.5 million and banned for life from the NBA