Just Say No, Reggie

Please stay retired, Reggie Miller. You had a great career, hit some three-pointers, defied logic with your bony body and offered some special memories - especially for Spike Lee and fans of the New York Knicks - but please don't come back. The game isn't longing for Miller Time. Doesn't need it, anymore.

If you haven't heard, the former Indiana Pacers star and current TNT analyst is considering a comeback with the Boston Celtics. Apparently, Miller - who retired in 2005 as the all-time leader in three-pointers - has had conversations with Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and coach Doc Rivers and is mulling taking another run at the NBA title that eluded him for 18 years in Indiana. He thinks he has a better chance teaming up with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Who wouldn't? I'd like to suit up, too. Be M.L. Carr 2.0. Waving a towel and riding pine.

Miller has been working as an analyst for TNT since retiring in 2005. He released a statement through TNT this afternoon that reads: "I'm always flattered when my name is mentioned as someone who can still help an NBA team win a championship. I've had limited discussions with Celtics management about their roster and a potential role for me. At this time I'm enjoying my role as an analyst with TNT."

I hope he stays in the booth. This isn't like Michael Jordan coming back "wearing the 4-5," or Jordan coming back wearing the bronze and blue. We wanted Jordan to return in 1995, didn't mind him returning in 2001 - until we saw him break down and look incredibly human for the first time in his career. But in Jordan's defense, he was in his 30s both times he came back. Miller turns 42 later this month.

Reggie's a Pacer for life. He should remember what he said about Karl Malone when he left Utah to chase a ring with the Lakers. "I didn't want to be like some other guys who jump on another team's bandwagon just to get a ring," Miller said back in the summer of 2003. What does this sound like?

He's supposedly going to play about 15 minutes a game, backing up Allen, which doesn't seem too bad. But it's pretty sad when guys just can't stay away. Remember Scottie Pippen using whatever that silly competition with the WNBA players is during the all-star weekend to announce that he wanted to return for a championship contender?

These guys need to quit it.

I really don't blame Miller for thinking about coming back. It's difficult for anybody who competed at that level to simply walk away from the game. It's even tougher when NBA front office executives are whispering in your ear.
I have to seriously question the Celtics.

What are they thinking? They made an awesome trade in getting Garnett, which made the Cs relevant again and made some sense out of the trade that brought Allen to Boston in late June. But they have followed that up by signing a homeless man's version of Miller in Eddie House, Scot Pollard, a great guy who hasn't played a lick since 2002, it seems, and Jackie Manuel.

Those signings are quite perplexing, since the Celtics moved thisclose to being a serious contender then decided to surround a three-course gourmet entrée with scraps.

Boston had the thinnest supporting cast in the NBA, but they have done nothing to improve an incredibly weak bench, led by Tony Allen, who is recovering from knee surgery, and Brian Scalabrine. Exactly. Pretty thin. It's bad enough that Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins have to start by default. But they have to go all the way with this one. They cannot waste the prime years of Garnett, Pierce and Allen by giving them an unheralded group to back them up.

I know people like to say that Cleveland got to the NBA Finals with just one superstar, so the Celtics should have no trouble with three. But, really, how bad was Cleveland's supporting cast? Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Drew Gooden are better than people want to give them credit. And, I'd take Daniel Gibson and Anderson Varejao over any player currently on the Celtics bench.

If you're going to go all in, and throw $56 million at three players, why try to get the other 11 guys on the cheap. Championships cost money. Boston is already going to pay the luxury tax, what's a few million between championships.

I'll admit that when the Garnett trade was made, the big-name free agents had already disappeared, but why not make a run at P.J. Brown or James Posey? Miller makes no sense whatsoever.

By Michael Lee |  August 8, 2007; 7:06 PM ET
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Comments

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1st

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 7:21 PM

Michael, gave you ever considered actually using the "Wizards Insider" blog to blog about the Wizards? Maybe? What's the deal? The Post didn't give you a general NBA beat and you're cranky about it? Take it up with the editors, and stop spamming the Wizards blog.

Posted by: Todd | August 8, 2007 7:59 PM

second

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 7:59 PM

Todd, actually the blog belongs more to Michael and Ivan than to you. If you don't want to hear about the NBA in general than just don't read the post.

If all the hate keeps up on the blog (about EVERY flippin' thing - is everyone on here 12???) then the Post may remove it entirely. Will that make all of you happy?

Posted by: Lisa | August 8, 2007 8:28 PM

Should we be calling Bostin the home of the NBA Seniors Tour? Are they getting Pippen and the WNBA players as well?

Posted by: sfam | August 8, 2007 8:29 PM

Ivan,

The bottom line is, can he still play? At 42, he's been away from the game for quite some time, yet im sure his legs are more than well rested. He brings an amazing legacy to the game and asking for 15 minutes a game is quite reasonable. Just imagine, RM coming off the bench nailing 3s, and like a relief pitcher he comes with a speciality. "Shooting," just his mere presence on the court will make D-Fenses think twice, he'll spread the floor giving KG space in the interior.

Celtics and RM have nothing to lose. It's Ok, to each one's words... How can you not resist?

Posted by: Jamison on the Rocks | August 8, 2007 8:47 PM

I hate having to explain this, but every time I write something somebody asks why I don't write about the Wizards.
Why, you ask? Because Ivan Carter covers the Wizards, and is doing a great job of it. I cover the NBA. The Post actually gave me the general NBA beat, Todd. I covered the Wizards one season and got this job almost two years ago. If you read the paper, you might realize that.
Taking it a step further, if you read the line underneath the "Wizards Insider", it says "The latest NBA news. . ." It doesn't say, this is exclusively about the Wizards.
In case you forgot, the Wizards are part of the NBA. If there is a major development in the NBA, I will write about it. That is my job. Imagine doing your job everyday and having somebody ask you to do something else - everyday. It can get on your nerves.
So for everyone who is confused: Ivan writes about the Wizards. I write about the NBA, and sometimes - but rarely - that includes the Wizards. Are we clear?
Feel free to pass it along so that I don't have to keep getting these moronic posts whenever I write something.

Posted by: Michael Lee | August 8, 2007 9:27 PM

Go Mike!
I've been wondering what exactly these folks were missing. You and Ivan both do a great job. It's a pleasure to read you both in the paper and on this blog.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 8, 2007 9:38 PM

I gotta say that both Michael's and Ivan's posts tonight were very well composed. It's rare to have two good writers covering hoops for one newspaper, and the WaPo has a few other excellent sports writers on staff as well. Best Sports section in any newspaper in the country, IMO. Great job, guys. Keep it coming.

Posted by: Prazak | August 8, 2007 9:39 PM

The bad thing about Reggie possibly being on the Celtics is that he'd probably be the 3rd best shooter on the team. I'd put Ray and Paul before him. Reggie was never a good defender and was known more as a streaky/clutch 3 point shooter, not a consistent 3 point shooter (he never won the 3 point contest) and looked bad trying.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 8, 2007 9:43 PM

Micheal, What is Boston's cap situation? Do they have anything to offer anyone besides they minimum salaries? Do they have the MLE or the LLE left to spend?
It was my impression that they'd have to fill out their roster with min. salary deals. Any information on that would be greatly appreciated.
Love the Blog guys, one suggestion, the Baltimore Sun's Orioles Blog doesn't post entries immediately, there is a time delay. Crap like we've seen on here lately doesn't get posted. After awhile it just goes away. Either that or just wait for school to start.

Posted by: GM | August 8, 2007 9:52 PM

I really enjoy this blog and appreciate all the work Michael and Ivan do to make it happen, but I do occasionally check out the Times and John N. Mitchell's take on the Wizards. I notice John hasn't had an article since he evidently got the facts wrong on AB's contract (7/28). Seems like a lot has gone down w/o a word from their beat reporter. Does anyone know if he is on vacation, or was John disciplined for the AB mistake?

Sorry for this being off topic.

Posted by: DOC | August 8, 2007 10:11 PM

THANKS MICHAEL!!! I loved Reggie when he played, his last season in the NBA he was breakind down and now he will just not be that good. I do not want him to tarnish his legacy. As for someone who said Reggie can just come in and relieve...think about it. If he just comes in and starts hitting all of these 3s (unlikely), you think they will just keep him on the bench??

Posted by: ArenasMVP | August 8, 2007 10:19 PM

Thanks for the good article Mike! I was a hoosier during Miller's glory years and I'd like to remember with a warm glow Miller getting away witha push against his airness ... ahhhhhh... God I hated MJ, always beating the teams I was rooting for...

Anyway I want to hold on to those memories, not create new ones of miller limping around at 42 getting his three blocked. Yuck.

Posted by: Zonker | August 8, 2007 10:31 PM

Keep up the good work Michael! This blog rocks!

With that said I disagree completely with you that Reggie should not consider a comeback. Why shouldn't he come back? Because we want to forever remember him as a "Pacer for life?" Because he is in his forties and probably isn't as good as he used to be? Sounds pretty selfish to me. I think that if an NBA team (one w/ KG, Jesus, and the Truth at that) thinks he's good for 15 min/gm, he has earned the right to at least consider the possibility of returning. Worst case scenario, Reggie isn't as good as he used to be and he fades into the sunset after the season. This talk of "ruining a legacy" is overstated. Honestly, I'm a Wiz fan and I NEVER speak of Michael Jordan as a Wizard. Far as I'm concerned it never happened. Best case scenario? CHAMPION-CHIP!

Posted by: Essex | August 8, 2007 10:49 PM

Thanks for the posts Mr. Lee and Mr. Carter. I like the wham-bam-thankya-maam back to back posts, made for some good reading when I got home this afternoon. Always good when I can read about my Wizards long enough to distract me from politics. Keep it up guys, and remember we enjoy reading your thoughts and speculation as much as reading the buzz about Bulletproof and JNC, so don't feel like there's got to be something new to report for you guys to post. We'll still read it and enjoy.
Thanks again guys

Posted by: Emmet | August 8, 2007 11:27 PM

Hey Zonker, You didn't capitalize that "h" in Hoosier, so I'm not so sure....

Posted by: Prazak | August 8, 2007 11:42 PM

Off topic, but amen!

NBA news absolutely impacts the wizards.
I think you guys are doing a great job, we are really fortunate to have such good coverage in this area. I bristle every time someone here writes one of those condescending posts. Come into anyone's workplace and tell them how to do their job. You'll get a lot worse than Michael gave.

Meantime, I hope Reggie doesn't return, but the fact that they made an attempt at him... kind of solidifies my opinion that Boston is in a desperate situation.

Posted by: greg | August 9, 2007 12:11 AM

Ivan and Michael,

Dont pay attn to what others may say. The truth is that we love your insights on the NBA in general and the Wizards in specific.
You guys are great. We are lucky to have you both.

Posted by: aprius | August 9, 2007 12:59 AM

Everyone needs to stop slamming both of these guys. Ivan offers the best Wiz coverage around, and Mike handles the rest of the league. We have to play Boston multiple times this year, doesn't that make it a relevant topic? I think so. If all you haters think you can do a better job, start your own blog and go away.

Posted by: akmed0 | August 9, 2007 1:04 AM

Well if they sign Reggie Miller, Boston is the new home of the hottest show in NBA history "The Old and the Worthless."

Posted by: George Templeton | August 9, 2007 1:19 AM

No, Reggie Miller shouldn't do it. There will be great curiosity and many of the Boston fans will actually come to see him. But after a while the curiosity factor will go away and he will be treated just like any basketball player, meaning he could get booed off the court.
On the other hand Ainge needs as many stars for as little money as possible. He has to fill those seats, cause he knows he will be paying luxury tax. So anything to bring in the fans and/or keep the rest of the bench payroll low, so old stars, old non-stars, that are willing to take the lowest salaries possible, whatever works. And that's the other reason why guys like Reggie should not do it, Ainge will just use him for the star power he represents. There are younger players who need a job, Reggie should pass the on the offer.

Posted by: rgz | August 9, 2007 7:47 AM

wah wah wah wah wah michael lee go cry somewhere else. Mike and Ivan act like little girls. You guys are writers there are going to be critics. Both of you grow some balls and quit whining. My god

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 8:38 AM

To the Insiders....

I have been a fan of the Celtics growing up and have gone to a lot of the games last year and years before that.

Although the article was based on Reggie's "comeback". One part of your article really caught my attention.

"It's bad enough that Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins have to start by default. But they have to go all the way with this one."

Just to let you know Perkins and Rondo are not starting by default. Rondo and Perk are not just some scrub that the C's picked up from the NBDL.

These two are exactly who KG, Pierce and Allen needed. Rondo showed great promise last year. He played great defense and did a good job setting up his teammates. Perkins on the other hand was our enforcer. He was the guy that does all the dirty work down low. The only downside of their game is that they are not great scorers. Rondo is not what you would call a good shooter and perk is a little stiff on the offensive end. But With KG, Pierce, and Allen, you won't need guys that are great scorers. You need guys that can support them.

I suggest that before you start writing articles, do some research first. Actually watch some of the games not just the games where the C's plays your home team. Or better yet ask a boston writer!

Posted by: Joe | August 9, 2007 8:49 AM

You guys are such hypocrites. Jordan was a Bull for life, yet you wanted him to return as a Wizard--in a leading role, no less! How about what's best for the player?? If the guy wants to give a shot, let him. It's not like Reggie will be expected to carry the team, unlike your Michael Jordan.

Posted by: Dan | August 9, 2007 8:49 AM

Gentlemen,

I love the wizards blog, thanks! Why is there always so much "hate" for players wanting to make a come back and play in a lesser role? I loved the last Jordan come back, he wasn't the same but he provided some of my most memorable Wizard memories. The 50 pt game, the inbound pass off someone's back, the two handed block on the backboard. His legacy wasn't tarnished. The same goes for Reggie Miller. If you were down and needed someone to shoot a buzzer beater. Garnett, Pierce, Allen, or a recently un-retired Miller. Maybe you let Ray Allen take the shot, but I think... give it to Reggie...

It would make me smile to see him in a Celtics uniform.

Posted by: Mike Quinn | August 9, 2007 9:08 AM

Mike - love the commentary and some of us do understand the difference between your gig and ivan's. you both do a great job, and this post in particular is right on point. ignore the posters who have nothing better to do than criticize out of their ignorance, and please don't get discouraged. the wiz insider is one of my two or three favorite things on the web.

i think you hit the nail on the head without specifically saying it. the celtics have what, 85% of the salary cap on three players. This means that their bench is totally thin. While I am the rare NBA player who never really liked Reggie's games (tho maybe it was mostly because of his whining and scowling antics), the Celtics want him because even at 42 the dude will definitely deserve to be in the rotation (probably every players on the wiz would in an 8 man rotation on that team). He will also be cheap. From Reggie perspective, he can probably get his head around it on the basis that he will be playing and so contributing, and not just riding the bench to get a ring.

The Celtics should be fun to watch, but I don't think that team is going to do it. Too thin: are there enough balls on the court for Ray and Pierce, and it there are, there won't be for Garnett; doc rivers is still a crappy coach; im not sure they are big enough to compete against teams with wide bodies; each of these guys are in their thirties, someone may get hurt; and the "pull three greats together to make a late career run" attempts in the past haven't worked that well in the past. You always need someone with young legs to help carry the team.

Posted by: charles jones | August 9, 2007 9:19 AM

Joe,

Thats a homer opinion if i have ever seen one. Rondo has some talent could be solid but had no jump shot and isn't ready to start on a championship team. As for Kendrick Perkins he is still a work in progress and is no where close to being able to start for a championship team. Both guys are alright and could be very good in the future but neither is ready now for playoff championship basketball. They should have brought in brevin knight and dikembe and brought rondo and perkins off the bench.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 9:19 AM

whoops - meant NBA "fan" -

Posted by: charles jones | August 9, 2007 9:20 AM

Charles Jones brings up an interesting point. How often has it worked out bringing three veteran allstars together on the same roster to make a run at the title?
Back in the late 60's when the Lakers brought together Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Wilt Chamberlain it was supposed to be a super team that would dominate the league. I think that group won their only title after Baylor retired.
Depth and chemistry will be to vexing problems for the Celtics. Another question that Reggie's flirting with a return brings up, who is the go to guy down the stretch? Is the 42 year old guy your most proven clutch performer? Garnett, Allen and Peirce have all had their moments in their career, but when you think of guys that you want with the ball in their hands as time is running out, do you think of any of them?
The Celtics have alot of challenges, the biggest of which could be health. Our big three logged more minutes than any other in the league until they started to break down last year.
Boston's big three are all going to be Jamison's age, we saw how much wear and tear got to him last season. Peirce and Allen have been having chronic health problems for several years and for his age Garnett has logged more NBA minutes than anyone in history.
How often did we see the Wizards starters build a lead last year, only to have Jordan have to rush them off the bench early because the reserves were blowing it and giving up a run? Boston could have a similar problem, looks like Ainge is trying to figure out who'll score when his starters are getting a blow. Can Reggie fill that role at 42, and if not Reggie, who?
The Wizards moves this summer aren't exciting to the fan that wants to see us bring in a superstar, but Grunfeld is bringing in some young, talented, and atheltic depth. Many of the bench players can play multiple postions which gives Jordan flexibility to respond to other team's coaching moves. We don't always have to go small this year, he'll have roster choices to match up better.
When Doc looks down his bench he'll get to see what new "look" Pollard's dreamed up while he's not playing! At least he'll be well rested, I don't think he's gotten any serious playing time in about five years!

Posted by: GM | August 9, 2007 10:14 AM

Players like Reggie should keep their legends intact.

If it didn't work for Jordan the last time, why would it work for Miller Time?

Posted by: ScottVanPeltStyle.com | August 9, 2007 10:35 AM


"If it didn't work for Jordan the last time, why would it work for Miller Time? "

Jordan was meant to carry a team, Reggie
Miller would be a reserve playing ten minutes a game. There's a slight difference in role.

It's worth a try I guess although I think it will fail.

What's next, the O's will sign Hank Aaron next year? He's only 70, he can still play DH :).

Posted by: Dawg | August 9, 2007 10:41 AM

GM's post is on target. As teams go deeper into the season and then the playoffs the depth of your bench becomes crucial. I believe Ernie did a good job adding athleticism and youth to last year's very weak bench and while the Wiz off season doesn't appear to be glamorous it might have been very effective....given the big 3 stay away from bad injuries and someone commits to playing DEFENSE.
And Michael, you have to tolerate the "dangers" of the internet. This kind of open forum, while attracting mostly knowledgeable hoop fans, also permits morons to post their idiotic ideas. Most of us want to read both yours and Ivan's distinct perspectives and understand your different roles. Your posts are terrific...keep them coming.

Posted by: arnie | August 9, 2007 10:53 AM

How do we know that was THE Michael Lee? S-K-E-T-C-H-Y

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2007 11:39 AM

yooo buddy!! are you crazy man, your telling the all-time 3-point leader and probably the best shooter that ever played in the NBA to say no to come and play with KG,Pierce and in my opinion the best shooter in the league right now Ray Allen???? i think your just saying that cuz ur a Wizards fan and can't appreciate the face that if Reggie comes back the Celtics will be back officially. and Miller is a guy who played his heart-out night in and night out and couldnt get a ring because of MJ and his majesty,nobody was able to get a ring back then and when he did make the finals he ran into a 7 foot big man named SHAQ. so i have to completely disagree with your article Micheal and Ivan, Reggie just come back man and do what you gotta do to get yourself a ring that you deserve. i can't wait to see him come back. IMagine him and Allen on the 3 point lines n KG in the Middle along with Pierce?? whoz gonna guard who. You try to double KG in the post he can dish it out to Reggie or Ray at the 3 point-line and you know when there open itz going on without a shadow of a doubt

Posted by: Immy | August 9, 2007 11:41 AM

I am not a born and raised Indiana Hoosier. In that respect I'm a Buckeye, Ohio born and raised. Went to school at IUB, so that makes me a hoosier, small h.

Heheh.

Posted by: Zonker | August 9, 2007 11:42 AM

This makes Reggie a bit of a hypocrite, doesn't it? Cuban went after him hard last year to join the Mavs and Miller said no, because he didn't want to jump on somebody else's bandwagon for a shot at a ring. How is this any different?

Posted by: kalorama | August 9, 2007 11:54 AM

Awvee Storey signed with Milwaukee ...

The Wizards developmental league affiliate, the Dakota Wizards, won the developmental league championship. Who knew? They don't have any players from the NBA Wizards by the way ...

So how are we going to get rid of Etan and Brendan and who are we going to sign to play center?????????????????

Posted by: rb | August 9, 2007 12:36 PM

"The Wizards moves this summer aren't exciting to the fan that wants to see us bring in a superstar, but Grunfeld is bringing in some young, talented, and atheltic depth. "

To elaborate on your thought GM:

EG seems to be trying to improve the team through chemistry and continuity, and is relying on improvement from the young players to make the Wiz better - rather than a big splash in the Free Agent market.

Addition through subtraction (no Jarvis, no Taylor, no Ruffin), means a better bench (healthy Songaila, more experienced Blatche).

If any of the young players play well enough to crack EJ's rotation (McGuire, Pech, Young) - we may actually have a GOOD bench.

Posted by: Rook | August 9, 2007 1:01 PM

With Ruffin and Hayes minutes going to Blatche, McGuire, Pecherov and Young, and possibly Booth and Mason, we've gained alot of flexibility on that bench.
With Ruffin and Hayes we had limited and no offense teams could easily adjust their defense to compensate for the fact they were in the game. Crowd Arenas to take away the 3, everybody else slide a step off your man to get closer to the lane, when Arenas drives make him go through a picket fence. With Jamison out of the lineup our shooters weren't going to hurt anybody, by crowding the lane they were also waiting for Butler and his mid range game.
Our increased depth will increase our offensive firepower off the bench. The dirty little secret of last year's Wizards was for a team with a rep as an offensive team, we had very few good offensive players. That really showed up when Gil went down, we had very few guys that could get their own shots.

Posted by: GM | August 9, 2007 1:18 PM

Please stay retired, Reggie Miller."

Aww, come on now Mike. If this was your beloved Kobe you'd be all for it. ;)

I think he should give it a shot. From what I hear they just want him to give 15 minutes a game or so. It's not like they are asking him to carry the team.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | August 9, 2007 1:26 PM

This is such a dumb blog entry. Another thoughtless "Who's Now"-ish post from Michael Lee. Lee states, "The game isn't longing for Miller Time. Doesn't need it, anymore."

Like that is the issue. The issue is whether Reggis Miller (1) wants to play another season; and (2) will be good enough to help the Celtics in the way that the Celtics want his help. Period. I don't know if those requirements will be met, but I'm positive that Michael Lee doesn't know the answer. This would be a good post if Lee had information about Miller's mindset or his health/conditioning. But instead all Lee has is his armchair opinions, which I'm pretty sure Miller won't consider when he makes his decision.

Posted by: Sean | August 9, 2007 1:43 PM

I have to agree with Mike Quinn. In my mind Jordan's legacy wasn't tarnished at all. He gave DC some of the best individual games we've seen in many years, until Gilbert showed up here. That 2 hand block off the backboard was clutch defense (something we don't see too much of around here), and does anybody remember that double OT game against Indiana? I was there, 2nd row. Unbelievable. He may have been in his 40's but he was still dunking on people in that game. Despite how many people knock him Jordan was still an All-Star caliber player then. He just not the absolute best player anymore. Nobody is the best when they leave, unless you're Barry Sanders.

As for Miller, I wouldn't mind him, Scottie or Barkley coming back. It's probably just because I'm curious to see if they can even take a couple trip up the floor without getting winded more than anything. I'd much rather see Miller come back than these Charles Oakley rumors going around. Even when he was with the wiz he could barely touch the rim. That rumor has to be a joke.

Posted by: KJD | August 9, 2007 1:52 PM

MJ's legacy was not tarnished by his short playing tenure with Les BouleS, but for sure, he as an individual was chumped up and clowned by Abe and thrown out in the trash like a used r#bber. He was made a fool of, deservingly or not, but he contributed to that end result by acting like he was holier than everyone else, so blame is spread equally. MJ lost more than he gained here, by a longshot.

I couldn't believe MJ was invited over to Abe's house for dinner the first time, was served Salmon, and had never tasted salmon before nor did he know what it was (as reported by the Post at that time).

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 2:17 PM

Heh, Mike Lee is back!! Thanks for another great article.

Glad you're back in one piece.

I,m curious though. Was there any real substance to the Suns Marion(the matrix) trade discussions and; how strong or real are the Jermaine O'Neal to LA discussions? Its rather hard to tell from what I read.

If, no O'Neal...what is Kobe's position?
As it appears - they won't be contending to win a newspaper more or less a playoff.

Oh! & one more question re: The East - With Eddie House heading to Boston - does that leave NJ a bottom feeder along with Philly in the east again this yr? Or can they pull a rabbit out of their hat? (Kidd, Jefferson and Carter)

Thanks Mike

Posted by: Robin | August 9, 2007 2:17 PM

MJ's comeback was a whole lot of sound and fury signifying nothing (excepting lining his and Abe's pockets). I don't think its a coincidence that his best personnel moves came when he was a GM and not a player and his absolutely worst one came when he was playing and traded someone who dared challenge him (Rip Hamilton). Other than that his comeback was great!

Posted by: George Templeton | August 9, 2007 2:43 PM

u got to be out of your mind thinking that clevelands bench is better than ours, as well as lebrons supporting cast! u think lebron wouldnt trade gooden and Ilgauskas for pierce and allen? if you dont think so then i question your knowledge of the game. and as far as the bench goes, clevelands bench did nothing for them, the celtics bench isnt top 10 by no means but it is serviceable. house averaged 9ppg, pollard is there for dirty work, allen was putting up almost 20ppg when pierce went down, big baby will give you a ryan gomes type game. by the way, whats the wizards up to these days?

Posted by: fredtiii79@gmail.com | August 9, 2007 2:49 PM

On the nose, George.

Jordan's comeback was nothing but a big self-gratifying ego stroke that set back the team's development by having him elbow his way into the time and space that should have been used to develop young players.
Props to Pollin for knowing when to cut the string instead of knuckling under to know-nothing public opinion by giving Jordan even more time to screw up his team.

Posted by: kalorama | August 9, 2007 2:58 PM

Didn't Courtney Alexander get traded for complaining that he didn't want to play in a slow it down, MJ offense, but was young and wanted to run? He was banished to NO and has not been heard from since.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 4:11 PM

DC Man88 - that, and the fact that he couldn't SHOOT!!!

Posted by: Rook | August 9, 2007 4:30 PM

Rook,

Check these career stats out:

Courtney:
Career FG: .422
Career 3: .339
Career FT: .813
ShotsPG: 8.3
FTPG: 2.2
TO: 1.09
MPG: 21.7 min
PPG: 9.0

Gilby:
Career FG: .428
Career 3: .361
Career FT: .810
ShotsPG: 17.2
FTPG: 7.42
TO: 3.32
MPG: 37.5 min
PPG: 22.9

Given all that, their shooting percentages are quite close, but since Gilby has the ball in his hands, takes A LOT more shots and has more PT, his PPG is much higher, thus giving people the perception that he's an accurate shooter. Percentages are even worse for Iverson.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 7:12 PM

Arenas's career stats point out the most important thing about his game, his scoring efficency. For his career he's averaged 22.9 pts. per game on 17.2 shots per game. Last season he average 28.3 pts per game on just over 21 shots per game.
Add in his assists and you have one of the most efficent scorers in the league.
I don't know that Courtney's problem wasn't so much that he couldn't shoot as he couldn't get his shot. He averaged almost 22 minutes for his career and only got just over 8 shots per game. Not good figures for a position that most team regard as a scorer's position.
That and the fact that he wasn't much of a defender probably led to some horrendous plus/minus figures when he was in the game.
Long story short, the guy couldn't score and got torched alot.

Posted by: GM | August 9, 2007 7:46 PM

What's misleading about that assessment is his scoring:shots ratio. Gilby derives a lot of his points from the FT line, where he averages 7.42 shots from the charity stripe per game for his career.

Based on his FT average, he gets an average about 6 pts a game from the stripe (7.42 * 81%), so essentially on average, he's getting 16.9 points on 17.2 shots. Of the 17.2 shots, 11 from 2 and 6 from 3. This gives a max possible of 40 pts. Therefore, his shooting is off, but his scoring ability looks good b/c of his FT's.

Last season, he was getting 22.3 points for 21 shots. Of the 21 shots, 13 from 2, 8 from 3. This gives a max possible of 50 pts. Again, his shooting is off, but his scoring ability looks good b/c of his FT's.

All this means is that his high scoring average is based on him taking a ton of the shots and by masking his low shooting percentage by getting to the line often.

Courtney by no means is a superstar, but his low output can be attributed to the fact that both MJ and Rip Hamilton got most of the touches while this team was coached by Leonard Hamilton and Doug Collins. Otherwise, statistically speaking, his percentage stats are similar to Gilby's. Gilby sure as heck won't be able to continue to take the beating he takes to get to the FT line to pad his scoring average.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 8:47 PM

Yeah - I conceed the point DC Man88, You're absolutely right. Courtney Alexander is a better player than Gilbert Arenas. Boy, it's too bad we didn't see those revealing stats before we let Courtney go.

It's mystifying that the GM's in this league can't see it the way that you do..!! The opposing coaches too. They all seem to be star-struck by "Gilby", trying their darndest to come up with a way to "contain" him.

EG should trade Gilbert to NO for the rights to Courtney.. I'm pretty sure he's not playing anymore, since there are no stats for him since the 02-03 season. At least he should be fresh.

That way, we can be rid of one of the worst players in the league ("Gilby" the self promoter), and get something great in return (Courtney Alexander, with statistically close shooting percentages) - and we won't have to hear about "Gilby's" ego/selfishness any more from DC Man88.

Posted by: Rook | August 9, 2007 9:16 PM

You're absolutely wrong Rook. Nobody ever said Courtney was better than Gilby, especially not me. I only disproved your statement that Courtney "could not score." Someone who couldn't score wouldn't be averaging 17 pts./game during the 00-01 season in DC for a 27 game stretch, especially a guy who doesn't bring the ball up the court.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 9:25 PM

I never said Courtney couldn't SCORE, I said he couldn't SHOOT!

In most NBA offenses, the shooting guard must be able to hit the open (and sometimes guarded) shot.

I watched all those games - he could slash to the basket, he could make free throws, he could short runners in the lane. A lot of his scoring came from layups. He could not hit a wide open jump shot. He could NOT SHOOT!

Which is why he is no longer in the league.

Posted by: Rook | August 9, 2007 9:32 PM

In Miller's last three years he dished out some pretty good numbers playing about 30 minutes a night.

Even if we're just talking about 15 to 18 minutes a night I can't see how Miller wouldn't be an improvement over the current Celtics bench -- especially on offense. I would say go for it. With Garnett, Allen, Pierce, and zero bench, the Celtics literally have nothing to lose.

Posted by: JPT | August 9, 2007 10:23 PM

"I never said Courtney couldn't SCORE, I said he couldn't SHOOT!"

So if you say Courtney could not shoot, and his shooting percentage is nearly identical to Gilby's, so now what? Are you saying now that Gilby can't shoot either? Gilby takes far more shots than Courtney did in a game, which resulted in more points.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 9, 2007 11:54 PM

DCMan88, I'm reading that Courtney didn't have great range and wasn't a clutch shooter.

If that's what Rook is saying I would agree.

What you say DCMan88 is true. If a player takes more shots, he will get more points (I hope).

But there's a point where a guy who takes a lot of shots will actually see his shooting percentage fall. Unlike the rotation player, or the starter who is the 3rd or 4th option, a guy like Arenas gets matched-up against the opponent's best defender, he sees double-teams, he's taking shots after 45 minutes of game action on tired legs. He doesn't get many freebies or uncontested looks.

I would agree with you on the other side that the bench player may have rusty legs and it may take him time to get into the swing of the game action. His shooting rhythm may be off. But Alexander had his chances. He started about a 3rd of the games that he played in the NBA (about 60 out of 180 games) -- not bad.

Still, even though Arenas attempted 5 times more tres last season than Courtney did during his entire career -- he STILL shot 2 percentage points higher.

When we're talking about a 2 percentage point difference over 2,400 shot attempts under conditions that Alexander rarely faced as a player, that's a significant difference.

Posted by: JPT | August 10, 2007 1:42 AM

If DCman88 is going to post stats he should at least have an idea about what they reall mean.
Arenas is incredibly efficent on offense and getting better every year if you look at his stats. If you want to put up a stats comparison put up Jordan's career stats because he's the offenseive Bell Cow of the league all time.
I'm not comparing Arenas to MJ, Arenas needs to keep putting up numbers like this for another 10 years before you even mention the two together. but take a look at the numbers and compare. You'll understand that the ability to put up the numbers that Gil has with the efficency that he does is fairly rare.
Compare Arenas's stats with the other top 10 guards and small forward and the league now or even go back and compare this season with some of the all time greats. You might be more impressed when you look at him from that standpoint.
It's harder to compare centers and power forwards statisticly to shooting and point gaurds because put backs greatly increase their shooting percentages and raise their scoring efficency.
Rook and JPT are right, most guys cannot maintain their shooting percentage as their number of attempts go up. Particularly if the become the primary scoring option.
What makes guys like Jordan great is that they can take alot of contact, which statisticly is measured by free throw attempts per game, and still manage to score from the floor as well as the line. Old Earl "The Pearl" Monroe was one of the greats at taking the hit and making the three point play "the old fashioned way".
When a guy can take that much contact, handle the ball a high percentage of the time, and still shoot a respectable shooting percentage, while making about 10 trips to the line per game. He's a pretty good player.
The Wizards need to reduce his offensive load somewhat, so he can concentrate on improving his defense as well which should make him one of the best in the league all around. I've been watching NBA basketball for 41 years, guys with Arenas's talent don't come around every year. We're lucky to have him to build a team around.

Posted by: GM | August 10, 2007 7:51 AM

JPT, a slight 2 percent better shooting percentage does give Gilby slightly more shots made, obviously, but the point of the stats was that Gilby's overwhelmingly higher total average is attributed to the many more shots he takes as a starter and as a point guard who controls who gets the ball. Many times we've seen Gilby just bring the ball up the court and jack it up. He's Les BouleS first and second option, with AJ being the 3rd option.

Given that, in the East, Gilby gets matched up against an opponents PG who generally is not as quick as he is, not as tall, and can't jump as high. Who are the PG's in the east? Brevin Knight, Jameer Nelson, Sebastian Telfair, Felton, Mo Williams, Chucky Atkins, Speedy Claxton, JWil, etc.? Only JKidd, Chauncey, and Hinrich would be considered tough for Gilby.

It's just ridiculous. A discussion showing a similar shooting percentage between two players goes off on a long winded discussion up to including verbage on MJ where MJ's name is brought up even though "I'm not comparing Arenas to MJ..." nevermind mentioning Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. Whatever....

The point is, the more shots one takes, the more he will score, and the more he will get to the line. If you don't take shots, you're not likely to get fouled as much as someone who's got the ball in his hands most of the time. Also, building a team around a ballhog is not as smart as building a team around a PG who can set up and pass. I'd gladly take someone like JKidd, Deron, Nash, Chris Paul, and players with mentalities like them over ballhogs like Iverson, Gilby, etc. There's just much more glamour in putting the ball into the basket rather than putting the ball into an open teammate's hands for the shot.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 8:51 AM

The point is that if you're going to post stats and use them to compare players you should have an idea of how that player's stats as a starter compare with other players that have played a similar number of minutes per game.
Comparing a guy that averaged 8 pts. on 21 minutes per game in a breif career to Gilbert is....There's not a nice way to say it so I won't bother.
People that want to quote stats that have no clue as to what a coach looks for when he looks at a team or a player's stats are just typing. The biggest mistake I see is guys the come on here that want to project a part timer's production out over 48 minutes.
Or comparing a guy's stats in games that he plays over 30 min. a game to his year stats and saying automaticly that if he'd only play more he put up Allstar numbers.
That ignores matchups and opponents, most of the time a guy is a reserve for a reason, or gets inconsistant playing time because of inconsistant production.
Etan and Brendan can't blame their production on Eddie or each other, over their careers they have both been consistantly inconsistant. But when you average out their production it's been that of a reserve, neither has grasped and held the starters role. So when either one of those guys is riding pine they have no one to blame but themselves.
As I said in my Post Gilbert needs to put up the kind of numbers he posted last season for 10 more years before any comparison to Jordan can be made. But compare the numbers he has put up to many of the top Gaurds now and in the past. Viewed against other starters that have logged similar minutes and have been their teams primary scorers they're quite impressive.

Posted by: GM | August 10, 2007 12:05 PM

DCMan88, I remember Arenas seeing a lot of double-teams -- especially when Jamison went down. The fact that he's shot 36% from 3 point range in 2,400 attempts over something like 6 years is better than respectable -- especially from a primary player. The fact that he is getting some of those shots off the dribble too is a significant statement.

Yes, Arenas jacks up some threes, but, as I said, if you take a lot of shots, after a while you start seeing defenses adjust -- especially if the player is making them consistently.

If Arenas cut his attempts in half to 250 he could probably raise his percentage to around 40%. He could probably shoot 45 to 50% from three range if he was the second, or third option -- meaning he would be getting a lot of wide open uncontested looks (which is one reason that it's good to see guys like Stevenson shooting close to 50% from the field, while guys like Hayes who struggle to shoot 40% from the field make coaches want to tear pull a Jerry Tarkanian).

As far as the comparisons go, guys like Kidd and Arenas are on a similar plane. As a coach you'd be happy to coach either. In terms of potential, I think Arenas actually has a fair chance to surpass Kidd, but I would agree with you as well if you were to say that right now Kidd is the more complete player. He is --he also is a 13 year veteran.

Posted by: JPT | August 10, 2007 1:38 PM

Exactly JPT, it's much easier to be a high percentage three point shooter when you're a catch and shoot guy. Arenas's impact on the wizards offense could also be measured in comparing shooting percentages of the other players when he was injured.
Stevenson for one, dropped dramaticly. I'm not a big stats guy, I go by what I see, but using Arenas's stats to somehow try and make the case that he's not a good player is twisting the facts.
My Grandfather used to say,"If figures never lie, how come liars love to figure"?

Posted by: GM | August 10, 2007 2:06 PM

JPT, you wrote a lot about Gilby taking shots while double teamed. If you recall last season, when even ONE of the other big 3 were out, Gilby couldn't hit the side of a barn. That's why Les BouleS tanked the entire 2nd half of last season right after all star weekend (winning about 30% of their games).

"If Arenas cut his attempts in half to 250 he could probably raise his percentage to around 40%."

Also, in your assessment, you use a lot of "if he, then he could." None of that really means much because you're essentially projecting what he "could do if he..." which parallels people arguing that you can't project a part timer's stats with a starter's stats.

With regard to Kidd, with you saying he's "more of a complete player although he's a 13 year veteran," JKidd has been doing what he's doing since he started in this league, which is pass first, rebound, take smart shots, make his teammates better with easy shots, and carrying his team to playoffs. Guys in this league openly say they want to play with him, and others like Nash. I don't see anyone coming out and saying they want to run with Gilby.

Also, I'm not wasting any time talking about comparisons to MJ, reminiscing about the old days of the NBA, or regurgitating cliches used by grandfathers born during the 18th century. It means even less than what people here says stats do.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 6:45 PM

DCMan88,

1. "you wrote a lot about Gilby taking shots while double teamed. If you recall last season, when even ONE of the other big 3 were out, Gilby couldn't hit the side of a barn. That's why Les BouleS tanked the entire 2nd half of last season right after all star weekend (winning about 30% of their games)."

This isn't entirely true -- when Jamison was out Arenas's numbers suffered big time -- it's hard to say what kind of impact Caron's loss had, because Arenas's injury followed closely behind his . . .

e.g. from Nov. to Jan. he shot around 40% from 3 point land; in Jan. his numbers fell to about 34% and then in Feb. when Jamison was out for the entire month Arenas shot 17%; the rest of the season Arenas shot close to 38%.

I'm not sure what you are trying to demonstrate with your statement -- obviously Arenas was under even greater pressure when the other major perimeter player on the team went down. I would agree with you that his shot selection stunk, and that he didn't handle Jamison's absence well. He tried to do too much. He needs to improve in this area. Even with this weakness, he's still an elite player.

As far as Kidd and Arenas go, I think you're overstating the case against Arenas. Obviously other scorers would want to play with a guy who has a pass first mentality. But as a GM, or a coach, if you're looking at pure scorers odds are you'd take Arenas over Kidd.

I'm not quite sure what your beef with Arenas is. If your point is that he's not a perfect player, then I'd say yeah that's right. If you say he's not a "generational player" like MJ or even LeBron, I'd say, yeah that sounds about right. If you say Arenas is not an elite player, because of the flaws in his game, I would say that's absolutely crazy. Gilbert Arenas is in the same conversation as Chris Paul and Jason Kidd -- each has strengths and weaknesses that the other does not. There's a reason that Arenas gets recognition each January from coaches, players, and fans in the league. There's also a reason that the Wizards are likely to offer him a max contract next offseason. If they don't odds are someone else will.

Posted by: JPT | August 10, 2007 10:00 PM

"This isn't entirely true -- when Jamison was out Arenas's numbers suffered big time -- it's hard to say what kind of impact Caron's loss had, because Arenas's injury followed closely behind his . . ."

Did you watch that infamous West Coast road trip where Caron did not play? Instead of going 4-1 like they were supposed to, they went 1-4 and let Miami leap frog them. They lost to Portland who was Randolph (Gilby predicted 50 pts but shot 4-16, 0-7 from 3), beat a Seattle team during that roadtrip that was without Ray Allen, lost to GS (sans Jackson), lost to Clips (sans Cassell and Livingston), and lost to Utah. Most of these teams were .500 teams without their stars. During this trip, Gilby complained to the media that EJ was turning up the focus on D.

The point I'm trying to make is that Les BouleS were leading the east up until the all star break where Gilby, as I said back then, should have sat out the all star game to rest up his sore shoulder for the second half. Instead, a guy who was supposed to be an underdog, who already had a coming out party, was so hyped about self promotion that he forgot what his job was and that is to stay healthy and help his team win games. Even Nash sat out b/c he wanted to rest up for his team.

Instead, Gilby played and didn't heal and did the 3 point contest which probably threw his 3 point stroke off. After the glamor from the all star break was over, he coasted the rest of the 2nd half of the season as the team tanked. From #1, to barely making the playoffs in the sorry eastern conference.

As a GM, I'd take Kidd without a second thought. Kidd directly makes his teammates better. Remember, this is a team sport, not an individual sport.

I think Gilby is a great individual player, but the people on this blog are star struck and for some reason, see him as an individual savior. What I see is a hypocrite who championed himself as an underdog but then has a coming out party and does endless self promotion and whines that Adidas is not marketing him enough.

Are you new here? If you are, you did not read the many posts where I posted Arenas' sick comments about what his dreams are. How he threw his jersey into the court after making a game winning shot and hoped people would "kill each other" over his jersey, and how he was disappointed when no one did.....how his dream commercial is where people jump from the nose bleed section and hurt themselves during their fall to get the jersey, and then a little girl with his jersey gets clotheslined by a kid in a wheelchair for his jersey. These are sick thoughts, but people excuse him by calling him "quirky."

I'm interjecting with these points to add a little balance to this blog that leans heavily in favor of Gilby. People in this town are so desperate to be associated with a winner and star that they have elevated Gilby to super star status. What has Gilby done with the team since Larry left the team. When Larry was here, they went to the second round. Since then, Les BouleS have regressed each year.

With regard to him and his contract, he said early in the season that he would not be a KG or an AI where they maxed out and they hurt their teams b/c their teams could not afford to bring in any help. Ok, fine, I took his word for it. Then, he changes his mind and says the reason he opted out was that his injury made him feel that he needed to protect his family financially. It was a crock of an excuse. He was already set to reap in almost 100 mil from his current contract, but now he wants max money instead. It's even worse than Latrel saying he needed more money than his 21 mil contract.

Here's another reading for you to enjoy:

""I asked Arenas last month what he thought the Wizards had to do to appease his wishes. He wouldn't campaign for the Wizards to acquire certain players, but he did say, "If you want a championship, you got to get a championship team."

He added: "I know this might not sound right, but the championship teams treat themselves like champions. You go into Miami's locker room, I'm like, 'Wow, what the hell is this?' Everything from their game-day meals for their players to every state-of-the-art thing you can imagine. As a player, why would you want to leave the locker room? I could sit there all day.

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "

Whether Arenas was telling Abe Pollin and Ernie Grunfeld to upgrade the Wizards' facilities is up for debate. But he was clearly illustrating how the defending champions take care of their players. How the Wizards interpret Arenas's words gets to the issue of how much leverage stars have in this league."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042402488.html"

Arenas said Jordan spent too much time on defense during a slump. Jordan came back at him, questioning Arenas's leadership. At a time when both organizations could have taken a stand against one or more marquee players for words that straddled the insubordination line, nary a peep was heard from upstairs. Running the risk of alienating LeBron James or Gilbert Arenas seemed too great for management to get involved."

"Jordan said he has not spoken with his all-star guard since the night of the injury and has not requested that Arenas attend practices or games.

Butler, who has been out since injuring his hand on April 1, has attended practices and sat on the bench at home games, including yesterday's, when he enthusiastically supported his teammates throughout.

"Gil is Gil," Jordan said. "He's very, very different. There's nothing that we are making mandatory for him unless our front office, you know, has a different idea for him. I know how Gil is. We all know how Gil is. So, there's nothing mandatory for me.""

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 10, 2007 10:44 PM

DC Man88,

I see your points--and the truth is I don't think I disagree too much with your analysis here. I think your original posts threw me for a loop because you were comparing Courtney Alexander to Arenas.

As far as your larger point goes, pro basketball is definitely a team sport. Even if you have one great player (and I mean a REALLY great player--Wilt, MJ, and, I'd even give a nod to LeBron) he doesn't win a championship without at least some semblance of a supporting cast.

On the other extreme there are teams like the Larry Brown's Pistons that didn't have any dominant players -- just 5 really good ones (as well as some good role players) who meshed well and made some noise.

If the Wizards were to make it to the Finals they would probably need to follow the Piston's model more closely than the 1990s Bulls -- as well as catch a couple lucky breaks.

But I think it's important to emphasize that Arenas has the ability to be a part of a championship team. His set of skills is much less adaptable than Kidd's, but given the right mix of talent, the right coaching, and the right attitude as a teammate he could definitely add an NBA championship to his resume.

Posted by: JPT | August 11, 2007 5:30 AM

Guys, remember, Arenas is only 25 years old. When Jason Kidd was 25, he had just three playoff wins in his career. When Kidd was a rookie in Dallas, he feuded with Jamal Mashburn and Jim Jackson, and that eventually led to him getting shipped out in Phoenix, where he was initially a wild child. While in Phoenix, Kidd reached the second round only once. It was only after he got traded to New Jersey where he realized sustained playoff success, and that was when he was 28. He was always aesthetically pleasing, but like Gilbert, it didn't result in much playoff success right away.

Point being, Gilbert's still very young, and young stars rarely know how to handle themselves right away. The difference is that whereas other guys don't bring things up in the media, Gilbert does. GM mentioned MJ because MJ was very much the same way (I recommend reading Sam Smith's book on the 1990-91 Bulls for further reference), not to compare the two players' games.

I think it's silly to exclusively blame the second-half collapse on Gilbert. The way they were playing last year, they were doomed for a second-half collapse. All those December wins came because everyone was deferring to Arenas, and Arenas was lights out. It wasn't a recipe for success, so they came back down to earth. Eventually, Arenas was going to struggle, and when he did, so did the team. Certainly, that's Arenas' fault to some degree, but the rest of the players couldn't come through without him because they were too used to watching.

I really don't think there's a right way to win a championship. The right way to win is to make the best team possible and then retroactively create the rules. Those Laker teams from 2000-2002 never fully grasped the triangle offense, yet they won three straight titles. The Bad Boy teams in Detroit finished in the bottom half in the league in assists both times they won the title. The Wizards should not try to emulate anyone. Instead, they need to figure out how to get the most out of what they have, which is definitely not what they've been doing the past couple years.

The key this year will be developing that bench. Some of that falls on Gilbert, but not all of it. Gilbert needs to mature and realize that his scoring might have to take a drop to develop everyone else, but Eddie needs to put reserves in the right situations for growth. To place it all on one person's shoulders is, in a word, ludicrous.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 11, 2007 11:59 AM

Based on all that, it's silly to think Gilby is a franchise player deserving of any max out contract. He can't carry the team, he doesn't want anything to do with leadership, and he's a "me" player. Therefore, it just sounds more and more ridiculous when Gilby apologists on this website declare him as some sort of savior, MVP, or some great thing to be revered upon and honored that he would be in this town.

If he doesn't come out at the start of this season with a team mentality, play some D, and just plain shut his blow hole, then he'll prove to all that he's just another prima donna professional athlete who's got the town duped and will be another flash in the pan who can't get this team past the 1st round of the playoffs.

Gilby apologists will come out in force and say he's young, he's quirky, he's only Gilby being Gilby. If Gilby wants to compare himself to the superstars in this league, then he should look at Lebron who carried his team to the finals even though he came straight out of HS and wasn't even schooled for 1 season in any major university, nevermind Arizona. OH yeah, and LeBron didn't choke on the free throw line last season during the playoffs either.

Or, he should study notes on his hero Kobe who's got 3 rings, a 9 time all NBA, 7 time all DEFENSIVE selection, 2 time scoring champ, etc. Apparently Gilby can't focus on offense and defense in the one game, but Kobe can be elected to the all defensive team and be a scoring champ.

Other non-knuckle head prima donnas that Gilby should call up include Chris Bosh and Deron Williams. Oh yeah, these guys are younger than Gilby at 23 years old.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 11, 2007 4:21 PM

Way to totally ignore the comment.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 11, 2007 4:47 PM

Age is but a number my friend.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 11, 2007 4:55 PM

"Age is but a number my friend."

In the NBA, not really.

I think we can all agree that the ultimate goal here is to win a championship. Sure, we'd love to get to the second round first, but ultimately, the championship is the pinnacle.

Consider this: Since the ABA/NBA merger thirty years ago, only five teams have won the title when the team leader in PER was 25 or younger. Here they are.

2005/06 Miami Heat (Dwayne Wade, age 24)
1984/85 Los Angeles Lakers (Magic Johnson, age 25)
1978/79 Seattle Supersonics (Gus Williams, age 25)
1977/78 Washington Bullets (Mitch Kupchek, age 23)
1976/77 Portland Trailblazers (Bill Walton, age 24)

Not a stats guy? You can add the 1998/99 San Antonio Spurs (Tim Duncan, when it was David Robinson), the 1980/81 Boston Celtics (Larry Bird, when it was Robert Parish, by far), and maybe the 2001/02 Lakers with Kobe (although Shaq's PER was much higher) but you'd have to eliminate the 1977/78 Bullets (Elvin Hayes was the best player, and even if he wasn't, it definitely wasn't Kupchek), the Sonics (You could make an argument for Dennis Johnson) and the 84/85 Lakers (Kareem and Magic were really 1 and 1a). Either way, it's a small minority out of 30.

Through the annals of history, so many stars had to go through rights of passage before they ever won a title. Julius Erving was 32 when he first won with the Sixers in 1982/83 (and by then, he was the second-best player on his team). His teammate, Moses Malone, had to wait until he was 27. Both lost in their first year in the finals, Erving in 77 and Moses in 81. Isiah had to wait until he was 27, and he also lost his first finals appearance. MJ was also 27, and he had all those battles with the Pistons. Hakeem Olajuwon was 31, and also lost his first finals appearance, as did Shaq, who was also 27 and lost to Olajuwon's Rockets in 95. Rasheed Wallace (Detroit 03/04) was 29.

Even the two sure fire teams on that list have mitigating factors. Wade had Shaq, who was slowing down, but was still a decent force, and he also had the referees. Walton had Maurice Lucas to do much of the scoring.

So if we're measuring by championships (which kind of is the only reason you play the games), it's clear age is not simply a number.

Gilbert's not perfect. I don't know about other people, but I certainly don't think he is. He has fatal flaws, just like 90 percent of the rest of the stars in the NBA. Gilbert hasn't ordered anyone to be traded (like Isiah), he hasn't, to the best of our knowledge, feuded with the general manager (like MJ did with Jerry Krause). He hasn't backstabbed his coach in order to get him fired (like Magic Johnson with Paul Westhead). He hasn't held his organization hostage while he decides whether he really wants to be here (like Kobe). He hasn't purposely missed practice to piss off his coach (like Allen Iverson). He hasn't stopped trying just so he could orchestrate a trade (like Vince Carter in Toronto). To pretend that these star players are somehow unflawed is to be incredibly naive.

You say he's not a max contract player. Fine. But someone is going to give him maximum money if we don't next season. Either we pay him or we lose him. If we pay him, maybe it's not a guarantee that we become title contenders with him, but if we don't pay him and he bolts, I guarantee you we'll never get the chance. Gilbert has a reputation as a ball hog, but Larry Hughes, Caron Butler, and DeShawn Stevenson, to name a few, have had the best seasons of their careers playing next to Gilbert. If you take Gilbert away, I see no reason why their production won't take a significant hit.

So yes, Gilbert has improving to do. I agree. But not building around him is the absolute worst thing we could do. It would be like trading Earl Monroe to the Knicks because we didn't think his one-on-one style would ever take us to the top, only to see Monroe figure it out and win a title with New York. I'm pretty sure, if you're a Wizards fan, that you don't want a repeat of that.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 11, 2007 6:34 PM

"In the NBA, not really. "

I guess people like Bosh, Deron, Chris Paul, and others can act like normal human beings without people apologizing for them that they are only 23, or 22 in Paul's case.

BTW, nobody's saying Gilby should have won a championship by 25. I'm saying he shouldn't be acting like a fool (disguised as quirkiness) like he is while others younger than him have don't "act a fool" while contributing to their team's success much further into the playoffs.

"Gilbert hasn't ordered anyone to be traded (like Isiah)"

Kwame Brown didn't max his potential while he was here, but wasn't Gilby accused of undermining him through EJ?

"he hasn't, to the best of our knowledge, feuded with the general manager (like MJ did with Jerry Krause)."

He's openly said he refuses to get into who he wants here, but then said he needs people like Deshawn on this team. Also, please reference the quote above where Gilby said from his own mouth:

"We've been doing a better job, but it comes down to this: You treat your players like champions, they want to be champions," he added. "All the best teams in the league treat themselves first-class every day. Other players come over and think, 'They got this, they got that. Oh, I want to be here.' "
"He hasn't backstabbed his coach in order to get him fired (like Magic Johnson with Paul Westhead)."

Didn't he come out and complain that EJ was making him play defense?

"He hasn't held his organization hostage while he decides whether he really wants to be here (like Kobe)."

Ok, so opting out of his contracting and saying he doesn't know what he's going to do and that it will be determined by the team's approach towards free agency despite him wanting max dollars which goes against his initial PR campaign that he wasn't going to hamstring the franchise like KG or AI ring a bell? How are Les BouleS or Abe Pollin going to pay for or spend more money on attracting other free agents when Gilby wants more money to be able to "feed his kids?"

"He hasn't purposely missed practice to piss off his coach (like Allen Iverson)."

Wasn't Gilby fined by the team for being late for practice? Also, read my quote above by EJ where EJ said he had no clue where Gilby was after his injury (didn't return EJ's phone calls) even though the good solider, Caron, was always on the bench supporting his team. Caron even volunteered to fly out to the West Coast to support his team even with his bad back.

"He hasn't stopped trying just so he could orchestrate a trade (like Vince Carter in Toronto)."

Why would he "stop trying" if it's going to be the year where he wants to show that he deserves the max contract?


I don't have a problem with Grunfeld giving Gilby whatever any other team can give him (ie. a max 5 year extension). Les BouleS can give him six, but if I were grunfeld, I would match the 5 years and give him maybe 1 dollar more.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 11, 2007 7:18 PM

Question for Pradamaster,

"1977/78 Washington Bullets (Mitch Kupchek, age 23)"

Mitch Kupcheck was the team leader (at age 23) of the championship Bullets in 78/79 which featured established veteran stars Wes Unseld, Elvin Hayes, Bobby Dandridge and Kevin Grevey? That's a stretch!

Posted by: Pat | August 12, 2007 1:16 PM

Pat, please re-read the entire comment.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/teams/WSB/1978.html

Kupchek had the highest PER on the team. Look it up. That was the criteria of that comment.

Was he the best player on the team? Of course not. But that wasn't my point. The only reason I used PER was to create a semi-objective way to evaluate a team's "best player." If you read the very next paragraph, I say that there's no way that Kupchek was the best player on the team, even though he had the highest PER.

As for DC Man, I think you're stretching it with a lot of those examples.

"Kwame Brown didn't max his potential while he was here, but wasn't Gilby accused of undermining him through EJ?"

Lots of guys didn't like Kwame, and rightfully so. This isn't like Isiah ordering the trade of Adrian Dantley, the Pistons' second-best player.

"He's openly said he refuses to get into who he wants here, but then said he needs people like Deshawn on this team."

I never claimed that Gilbert hasn't questioned Ernie Grunfeld, but he has never come out and said that he hates the direction of the team. Prior to the 1990/91 season, Jordan basically ordered Jerry Krause to pursue Walter Davis, then a free agent. When Krause didn't do it, Jordan basically ordered him to try again at the trade deadline. Beyond that, he constantly stated that he hated Krause and could never work with him. I suggest you read Sam Smith's "The Jordan Rules" for further reference.

We have no idea what's going on behind the scenes, but I doubt Gilbert is constantly feuding with Ernie Grunfeld the same way MJ feuded with Krause. I strongly disagree with those that say Ernie re-signed Stevenson only to appease Gilbert. Ernie realized the team needed stability at the 2 after so much instability. Question that if you want, but I guarantee you that Ernie came to that conclusion independent of Gilbert.

"Didn't he come out and complain that EJ was making him play defense?"

Again, we're talking about degrees here. Arenas certainly has disagreed publicly with Eddie Jordan, but he hasn't tried to get him fired. During the 1981/82 season, Magic basically told management to fire Paul Westhead or trade him. Gilbert's never gone that far.

"Ok, so opting out of his contracting and saying he doesn't know what he's going to do and that it will be determined by the team's approach towards free agency despite him wanting max dollars which goes against his initial PR campaign that he wasn't going to hamstring the franchise like KG or AI ring a bell? How are Les BouleS or Abe Pollin going to pay for or spend more money on attracting other free agents when Gilby wants more money to be able to "feed his kids?""

So Gilbert's not allowed to try to explore his market value? Shouldn't Ernie Grunfeld's comments after the announcement, where he basically said he expected this, give you a clue? Gilbert never demanded a trade, after all. Perhaps there's some level of hypocrisy in his decision, but if you really believed he was going to actually sign a contract that's well below market value, you're incredibly naive.

I also encourage you to get a better understanding of the salary cap. Since the new collective bargaining agreement came into effect, only one team (Detroit 03/04) has won without a max contract guy. Hell, the Lakers had two (Kobe and Shaq). A competent general manager can build a team around a max contract guy. KG and AI didn't fail because their max contracts hamstrung their teams, they failed because Kevin McHale and Billy King made idiotic moves that killed their cap flexibility. Because of all the free agent exceptions in the collective bargaining agreement (MLE, LLE, Bird Rights, etc.), teams are able to plug their holes easily even with a max-salary guy. Just look at the Spurs for a model.

So no, Gilbert signing a max money deal doesn't kill the Wizards' chances of building around him.

I imagine that, after Gilbert made the comment, somebody told him what I just told you, and he realized how silly the comment was.

"Wasn't Gilby fined by the team for being late for practice? Also, read my quote above by EJ where EJ said he had no clue where Gilby was after his injury (didn't return EJ's phone calls) even though the good solider, Caron, was always on the bench supporting his team. Caron even volunteered to fly out to the West Coast to support his team even with his bad back."

Degrees, my friend. I guess I missed the press conference where Gilbert said how stupid practice was. Everyone misses practice sometimes. Everyone comes late sometimes. It happens. But Gilbert isn't calling out his coach in a famous tirade about the perils of practicing.

Also, Paul has yet to make the playoffs in his career, and Bosh has yet to advance out of the first round. Deron Williams had Carlos Boozer to help him out. Tony Parker had Tim Duncan. And Gilbert isn't nearly as good as LeBron James, so that's also a pointless comparison.

You love to mention that, since Larry Hughes has left, Gilbert hasn't been out of the first round, so the team has gotten worse. I guess you're technically right, but let's think about this for a second. In 2004/2005, the Wizards won 45 games and got the 5 seed despite being outscored by their opponents during the season. They did so in a putrid conference with only two good teams (Detroit and Miami). Chicago, with 47 wins, was the third-best team in the conference. Boston won the Atlantic with 45 wins. Indiana was decimated by the Malice at the Palace and won only 44 games. Philadelphia and New Jersey were mediocre despite midseason trades (Vince Carter, Chris Webber). The Wizards then played a Bulls team missing two starters (Luol Deng and Eddy Curry), lost the first two games, escaped in Game 5 on an Arenas jumper (which you conveniently forget), and then got spanked by Miami in the next round. The next year, they lost in the first round, yes, but they played a Cleveland team that won 50 games and were at full strength really tough. Then, this year, they were leading the East until injuries hit. Technically, they did worse in the playoffs, but after taking a closer look, I don't know how you can say the team was better off with Hughes.

For the record, I'm not totally disagreeing with you. I'd like to see him tone down Gilbertology a bit, especially because he really didn't have all that great of a season last year. But not re-signing him for as much as it takes is a huge mistake. He's still very young, and he still can lead this team far with the right personnel.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 12, 2007 3:16 PM

Oh, and Pat, if you're confused, PER stands for Player Efficiency Rating, a metric created by ESPN's John Hollinger.

To find the PERs of that Bullets team, go down to the "Advanced" numbers and it's the 12th column from the right. As you'll see, Kupchek's 17.7 PER was higher than anyone else on the team.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 12, 2007 3:32 PM

Pradamaster, Your comments are very on target, two years ago when the Wizards came back and won 4 straight after dropping the first two to a very young Bulls team we were probably an over acheiving team. Getting into the second round against the Heat we were over our heads.
The last two years playoff losses to Cleveland have been disappointing. This year I think the players that were still healthy gave a good effort, but what team would be able to advance with two out of three of their best players out for the year? The loss to Cleveland the year before was disheartening for any Wizard's fan, but realisticly was losing three games in the final possession to a team with the league's rising young marketing star really that shocking in retrospect?
I'm not a betting person, but if I was I wouldn't have staked a big bet against Lebron in that series. I'm also not comfortable with some of Gilbert's self promotion. On that score I identify more with Joe Gibbs. But I can also understand the logic of, if you got to be a Star to get "Star Calls" then why not promote yourself as a star.
I agree Arenas getting max money next summer won't stop us from continuing building a contender here. Arenas is a three time AllStar and a second team All NBA player, if we don't give him max money at 26 to 27 years old to secure a cornerstone of our team thru the prime of his career, where should we be spending that money?
More than any other sport you have to have stars to win in the NBA, I can't understand the logic of somehow thinking we can dare Arenas to walk by offering him $1.00 more than another team could. For a team that is trying to establish a young competetive core to compete for the title and make the playoffs year after year, what possible message does that send to your other players that you're building around?
Grunfeld choose Arenas to build around, unless something extreme happens this upcoming season, I can't see him changing that. This off season he's continued to assemble a roster that is built around our young core, as a fan I can't see why we'd change that path.

Posted by: GM | August 12, 2007 6:43 PM

Pradamaster, I think you should change your name to Spinmaster. I've never heard so many apologies since Sen. David Vitter speech on TV after being exposed by the DC Madam.

"Lots of guys didn't like Kwame, and rightfully so. This isn't like Isiah ordering the trade of Adrian Dantley, the Pistons' second-best player."

The counterpoint to your statement that "Gilbert hasn't ordered anyone to be traded (like Isiah)" was my example with Kwame. Now you're covering for Gilby by saying "lots of guys didn't like Kwame." Are we talking about Gilby or "lots of guys?" We're talking about Gilby.

I found it curious that Kwame had a great game during the playoffs against Chicago, but then didn't get any PT the next game. Kwame came out and accused him after that, and threatened to slap the crap out of Gilby.

"I never claimed that Gilbert hasn't questioned Ernie Grunfeld, but he has never come out and said that he hates the direction of the team. Prior to the 1990/91 season, Jordan basically ordered Jerry Krause to pursue Walter Davis, then a free agent. When Krause didn't do it, Jordan basically ordered him to try again at the trade deadline. Beyond that, he constantly stated that he hated Krause and could never work with him. I suggest you read Sam Smith's "The Jordan Rules" for further reference."

Why do people keep comparing Gilby to MJ? If MJ, a guy of his stature, came out and ordered Krause to do something, and Krause didn't do it, and then MJ stuck around anyway, what pull would Gilby have over what MJ had? None.

The point you are missing is that Gilby is putting on a PR stunt by saying he doesn't want to be involved in saying who he wants on the team, but then hints that he wants DS on the team, and then opts out of his contract which makes it harder for EG to go get other people. Gilby either needs to shut up about personnel, or be vocal. He's pretending to do both.

"We have no idea what's going on behind the scenes, but I doubt Gilbert is constantly feuding with Ernie Grunfeld the same way MJ feuded with Krause."

I don't think anybody has ever said Gilby was feuding with EG. Only that Gilby is sending mixed messages.

"I strongly disagree with those that say Ernie re-signed Stevenson only to appease Gilbert."

This goes back to your orginal statement that "nobody knows what's going on behind the scenes." How did you know that EG didn't resign DS to appease Gilby?

"Ernie realized the team needed stability at the 2 after so much instability. Question that if you want, but I guarantee you that Ernie came to that conclusion independent of Gilbert."

Do you consider stability more important from veteran leadership like AJ and Caron and AD, or someone like a hot dog like DS who disappeared during the playoffs? Last I checked, Caron and AJ will be on this team next year, and both those guys are way more important for "stability" than DS.

"Again, we're talking about degrees here. Arenas certainly has disagreed publicly with Eddie Jordan, but he hasn't tried to get him fired."

Again, you're apologizing for Gilby again. Your statement was "He hasn't backstabbed his coach in order to get him fired (like Magic Johnson with Paul Westhead)."

Where were you when EJ was asked for his opinion about Gilby saying he was forced to play D? I saw the interview, and EJ was plenty hot under the collar. Les BouleS lost that game and the last thing he needed to hear was a player on his team saying he was forced to play D.

"So Gilbert's not allowed to try to explore his market value? Shouldn't Ernie Grunfeld's comments after the announcement, where he basically said he expected this, give you a clue? Gilbert never demanded a trade, after all. Perhaps there's some level of hypocrisy in his decision, but if you really believed he was going to actually sign a contract that's well below market value, you're incredibly naive."

Again you are apologizing. It's not about naive. It's about credibility. If you have a player who's singing a tune that makes him sound like an all around, not greedy, good guy, but then changes his tune, what are you to think?

Also, let's not forget his excuse. He said he needed 15 more million dollars on top of the already guaranteed 100 million dollars in order to "feed his kids." Huh?

Not to mention, calling out his fellow NBA player fraternity with "I don't want to be like KG or AI who maxed out and held their teams hostage." How would you feel if you were KG or AI being called out like that, and then seeing Gilby doing the same thing. You'd call him a g#ddamn fraud opportunist.

"I also encourage you to get a better understanding of the salary cap. Since the new collective bargaining agreement came into effect, only one team (Detroit 03/04) has won without a max contract guy. Hell, the Lakers had two (Kobe and Shaq). A competent general manager can build a team around a max contract guy. KG and AI didn't fail because their max contracts hamstrung their teams, they failed because Kevin McHale and Billy King made idiotic moves that killed their cap flexibility. Because of all the free agent exceptions in the collective bargaining agreement (MLE, LLE, Bird Rights, etc.), teams are able to plug their holes easily even with a max-salary guy. Just look at the Spurs for a model."

I think you missed the entire point. You cite examples of Shaq and Kobe as max players winning a championship. So, what's the record out there? How many teams with max players have never won a championship? I'd venture to say that there's an overwhelming majority of teams with max players that haven't won squat compared to teams with max players that deserve max money (shaq and kobe) who have championships. How many championships have Ray Allen, KG, AI, Juwan, TMac, Paul Pierce, Vinsanity, Steve Francis, Marbury, Jermaine O'Neal, Baron Davis, Bibby, Dirk, etc. won? And, most of these guys are much better than Gilby, and have done more than Gilby, thus possibly more deserving of max dollars.

"So no, Gilbert signing a max money deal doesn't kill the Wizards' chances of building around him."

It doesn't kill, but it does hurt. Especially if you have a penny pinching owner like Abe Pollin.

"Degrees, my friend. I guess I missed the press conference where Gilbert said how stupid practice was. Everyone misses practice sometimes. Everyone comes late sometimes. It happens. But Gilbert isn't calling out his coach in a famous tirade about the perils of practicing."

Apologizing again, my friend. Add to him missing practice or even games by being consumed with online poker, playing a game of pool during halftime, etc. If Gilbert just missed a practice or was late b/c he had to go pick up drycleaning that one time, do you think the team would actually FINE him for that? Fining usually comes after many occurrences, many of which we probably don't hear about since Gilby's image is sheltered for the most part by Les BouleS. That's why they keep him and have kept him away from the press during last season, as Ivan reported, after the "I don't want to play D" revelation.

Recall, a reporter asked AJ and AJ said he took Gilby aside (out to the woodshed) and talked to him.

"Also, Paul has yet to make the playoffs in his career, and Bosh has yet to advance out of the first round."

Awww c'mon now Mr. Apologist. Chris Paul is all of 22, Bosh is all of 23. Didn't you apologize for Gilby that he was only 25? I think 25 is older than 22 or 23.

"Deron Williams had Carlos Boozer to help him out. Tony Parker had Tim Duncan."

I guess besides Gilby Arenas, you've never heard of Antawn Jamison or Caron Butler on Les BouleS. Both of these guys are all stars.

"And Gilbert isn't nearly as good as LeBron James, so that's also a pointless comparison."

Profound dude! So if Lebron deserves max, then why does Gilby deserve max? Gilby is not an elite player yet.

"Technically, they did worse in the playoffs, but after taking a closer look, I don't know how you can say the team was better off with Hughes."

Didn't say the team was better off with Hughes. I said Gilby hasn't won anything without supporting high level cast, and it was proven when either Caron or AJ were out last season. For a wannabe max player, he can't carry the team.

"But not re-signing him for as much as it takes is a huge mistake. He's still very young, and he still can lead this team far with the right personnel."

Gilby needs to prove this season that he's a max player. So far, he hasn't done it.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 12, 2007 10:09 PM

If I were a betting man, I'd bet we will see more of the same Gilby this coming season. That means a shoot first and shoot second point guard. It's his year to prove he deserves max money, and max money will be attained by scoring as much as possible, nevermind team play or team chemistry, which is by far not Gilby's strength.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 12, 2007 10:23 PM

But we know you are a betting man DC Man88. You made that clear many many months ago with you post about losing $7,000.00, your car, and a girl friend all on a big bet you made on the Cleveland playoff game where Gilbert missed the two free throws.
You blame Arenas for that, so we all get to read your Gilby comments over and over. It would be nice if you could just move on. Every thing you post eventually gets around to Arenas. How many times are we going to get to read about your E-Mail exchange with him? You have become somewhat fixated with the man, to the point it is now your daily concern with if deserves a max deal.
I think it's Pradamaster's point that Arenas getting a max deal isn't going to hamstring the Wizards and their building a good team here. For thoose of us that have been longtime fans, we've waited for a GM to build a team and make sound moves to make us an annual contender. We are in the midst of a run that we haven't seen since the 70's.
I like to talk about possible trades and moves the team could make as much as anyone. But you know, if Arenas walks and goes some where else, we'll have cap room, alot of other good players, and a good GM, and I'll still root for the team that I've been rooting for since I was nine years old. One way or another he'll eventually be gone, I hope it's after he wins us a couple of titles and he retires. But we'll see, I got used to see Earl Monroe in a Knicks uniform so it could happen again.
Jordan's Nike commercial that I always loved the most was the one where they showed the times that he missed a shot at the buzzer and his team lost. Nobody, not even Jordan, hits every shot and wins every game. The times your team doesn't pull one off at the end make the times they win seem that much better.
That's why this old guy(fart to you) likes sports. All of these guys, even the best, have their time and then move on. And if you love sports there's always someone to cheer, someone to hate, and someone to cheer for even if you hate it when they lose. And you swear to God you're never rooting for them again, and damn there you are next year beleiving this will be their year.
Maybe at the heart of it us Wizards fans are kind of like Cub fans in a way. In the end we've been trained to kind of expect something is going to go wrong most of the time. But it sure is fun when we win! Do you feel any better when they lose?

Posted by: GM | August 13, 2007 10:35 AM

GM again with the false personal attacks. Just remind yourself when you get served up with some in return, don't cry like you usually do.

The only thing that's true is that I was a Gilby fan until he proved to be a hypocrite. I bought into his hard luck story, but dude could not let it go with his me against the world BS. Then he did a 180 with his coming out party. Truth revealed that Gilby is an opportunistic fraud, regardless of what he does on the court.

I was right last season when I predicted his and the team's demise. We can only hope that Gilby will shut his pie hole this season and leave all of it on the court.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 11:22 AM

Yeah, GM kind of hit it on the nose.

In your attempt to shoot down all the specifics, DC Man, you're missing the point. Superstars are flawed. They aren't the saints they are made out to be. Every great player in this league goes through growing pains. Gilbert's still going through his, and it's too early to tell whether he'll flame out or whether he'll mature. Chris Bosh will go through growing pains. So will Deron Williams and Chris Paul. Not re-signing him would be a major, major mistake.

I'll only respond to one of your comments directly, because I'm officially done discussing this with you.

"You cite examples of Shaq and Kobe as max players winning a championship. So, what's the record out there? How many teams with max players have never won a championship? I'd venture to say that there's an overwhelming majority of teams with max players that haven't won squat compared to teams with max players that deserve max money (shaq and kobe) who have championships. How many championships have Ray Allen, KG, AI, Juwan, TMac, Paul Pierce, Vinsanity, Steve Francis, Marbury, Jermaine O'Neal, Baron Davis, Bibby, Dirk, etc. won? And, most of these guys are much better than Gilby, and have done more than Gilby, thus possibly more deserving of max dollars."

There are thirty teams in the NBA. Only one wins a title each year. Twenty-nine teams fail by that defintion. All you've proved is that it's difficult to win a championship in this league. That's true all the time, max player or not.

But only one team has ever won a title since the new collective barganing agreement without a max contract player. Before that, there were really only two teams (Seattle 79, Washington 78) that won without a sure-fire superstar. Sure, superstars are loosely defined, but if the NBA had this payroll structure, MJ, Olajuwon, Isiah, Bird, Magic, Kareem, Dr. J, and Moses would have all been max guys.

Having a max player gives you better than a 1 in 30 chance to win the title. Ergo, it's the best way to build a team. Just because lots of teams fail doesn't demean the whole system.

It seems that you'd rather be right than root for the team. You'll keep beating that drum, and if you're suspicions prove to be true, I'm sure you'll be right there to say so. But to what end? What exactly are you trying to prove? We all know your position, you don't need to keep restating it. I honestly believe people don't respond well to you not because they don't agree with you, but because of your demeanor. I know that's the case with me. If you just respected people more instead of berating anyone who tries to have an honest discussion with you, you might learn something. This isn't a discussion about being right or wrong, yet you continue to make it that way. That's being the absolute worst kind of fan.

I'm sure you'll continue your crusade, but you're not accomplishing anything. Perhaps it's time you stepped down from your soapbox.

Posted by: Pradamaster | August 13, 2007 12:26 PM

"Superstars are flawed. They aren't the saints they are made out to be."

That's the point I've been trying to make since day 1 to all the gilby lovers and apologists here. Finally you admit the obvious.

"It seems that you'd rather be right than root for the team."

Sorry, but I don't root for the team, especially not players, unconditionally. I don't buy into the BS like most people do. I don't fall for the lies.

"I'm sure you'll continue your crusade, but you're not accomplishing anything. Perhaps it's time you stepped down from your soapbox."

Not a crusade my friend, but pointing out of the obvious when people such as you put people up on a pedestal to be some sort of hero or god of this city. I would have no ground to stand on if Gilby didn't provide plenty of ammo for me to point out his hypocrisy. I think you need to focus your energy on the 99% of the people on this blog that believe in this superstar and how "we are lucky to have him on this team."

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 12:43 PM

Gee, I feel like I just read the UniBomber's manifesto...

Posted by: GM | August 13, 2007 1:55 PM

thanks.

Posted by: DC Man88 | August 13, 2007 4:08 PM

Michael,

Okay, I have to say that I generally like your stuff and enjoy reading most everything you put out. This is the first time I have ever been motivated to really disagree with you. I hear your points about the pluses and minuses. But I want to make something very clear about Reggie's comments about the Karl M. and Gary P. signing with the Lakers

You wrote:

He should remember what he said about Karl Malone when he left Utah to chase a ring with the Lakers. "I didn't want to be like some other guys who jump on another team's bandwagon just to get a ring," Miller said back in the summer of 2003. What does this sound like?

You missed the point entirely. Reggie was saying, why ride someone else's coat tails? The Lakers had won NBA championships year after year. So I think that a lot of Karl and Gary's fans were upset because they didn't find their own way to a championship. It would be meaningful to go to a team that hasn't won, or at least not recently won, a championship...then the vet in that case has a chance to build something of his own. I think the fans can respect that. But what Karl and Gary did was just go the easy route...and frankly I am glad that it backfired for both of them. I was VERY happy to see the Lakers lose that year. Had those two guys gone to another team that was close...but they helped them get over the top...then that would have been respectable. I kind of felt the same way about it (I didn't really like the way Finley picked up his ring with the Spurs either). So I think that if Reggie joins up with the C's...then he is going to be a part of building something new...something that hasn't been done before...or at least not in a long time or involving anyone on the current roster.

Posted by: Sean C. in Arlington | August 13, 2007 8:06 PM

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