Headed to Salt Lake City
Getting ready to hop a flight from LAX to Salt Lake for tonight's game against the Jazz. No shootaround today so I can't give you an update on Antonio Daniels yet. He left last night's game in the first quarter clutching his left wrist and he was in obvious pain. He did not return and left the locker room before I could grab him last night. (deadline was crazy as you can imagine). Coach Eddie Jordan said he didn't know Daniels' status when he met with us after the game. I'll know more later when I get to the arena for pre-game.
That wrist has been a problem for Daniels for at least two months and I have a strong feeling based on conversations with him that it's worse than a sprain. However, he wouldn't say too much. We'll see. It's a problem because this team does not have another point guard and really hasn't had one all season (except for the Mike Wilks 10-day experiment).
This is where Abe Pollin's insistence on not paying the luxury tax combined with the injury issues have really hurt this team. Not that Abe is alone - several teams have made the hard and fast decision to avoid the tax at all costs - but every team doesn't have one three-time all-star out with a knee injury and his backup playing on a bad wrist for the two most important months of the season.
From my seat, this team has needed a quick, defensive-minded point guard type coming off that bench all season and simply hasn't had one.
I asked Gilbert Arenas last night whether the team's luxury tax policy would impact his thinking this summer. His answer was interesting.
The question I asked was as follows: "Given the luxury tax policy, do you think this organization is truly committed to winning a championship?"
Arenas: "Going over the luxury tax doesn't really have anything to do with winning a championship. I mean, look at the Knicks (that was funny). San Antonio has won championships and they haven't crossed the luxury tax. Players have to take sacrifices. Tim Duncan has made sacrifices to help the team and I'm willing to do the same thing to keep this young nucleous intact."
Nick Young was really flowing last night and it was fun watching him react to the performance. The kid grew up in Los Angeles, played a short bike ride down the road from StaplesCenter at USC and views Kobe Bryant with awe so doing what he did last night had to be the highlight of his life so far. It was really neat to see the crowd react to him as well. Even Lakers fans were rooting him on, especially the folks sitting court side.
The last time the Wiz came to Staples to face the Clippers, Young was going through a classic rookie funk and played less than two minutes.
Eddie Jordan: "He sort of grew up from the Clipper game. We didn't think he was prepared to play. From that time to this time, he's worked on being a professional, worked hard on his game and it showed tonight. I'm happy for him, not just as a basketball player but as a human being. "
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