This was one of the more highly-anticipated NBA trade deadlines in recent memory, with names like Amare Stoudemire and Raef LaFrentz’ Expiring Contract flying all around. So, of course, it was a given that absolutely nothing of note was going to actually happen.
(2009’s inductee into the Expiring Contract Hall-of-Fame will continue to not play for Portland this season)
So, what happened? Mostly, Portland decided that they’re OK with what they have, and will take the cap space from LaFrentz’ expiration and a trade exception they acquired for Ike Diogu into the offseason, instead of shipping a few parts to bring in someone like Vince Carter or Richard Jefferson. The Cavs showed some interested in bring in Shaq, but that never really got off the ground. And the Suns backed off on any Amare trades because they’ve scored 282 points in two games since kicking Terry Porter to the curb.
Meanwhile, everyone else seemed scared to make any deal that would add any payroll because of the current economic climate — and David Stern’s recent warning that the salary cap will probably be going down for the next couple of years.
I tuned in just after halftime of last night’s Celtics-Jazz tilt in Salt Lake, and noticed that Michael Rappaport was playing big minutes for Boston for some reason. What the heck was Scalabrine doing in the game? Then I realized that Kevin Garnett wasn’t out there. And while Celtics fans are probably upset about losing 90-85 to the Jazz, they’re much more worried about KG’s strained knee. He’s having it re-evaluated today, but a strained knee could mean anything from a slight hyperextension that will heal in two days to a torn ligament that could end a season. Could another Boston team be derailed by a catastrophic knee injury? New England holds its collective breath.
ESPN cites a Dominican official who says that the drug would not have been for sale in a pharmacy, but could have been found either on the underground market or on the Internet. A-Rod also tested positive for testosterone, which is available over-the-counter in the D.R. So, it appears — and here’s a shocker — that Rodriguez might not be telling us the whole truth here.
(”Like I said, Yuri and I bought the Ebola from a guy named Manny who ran cockfights in Santo Domingo. It was all totally, completely legal. Manny just got it from the pharmacy and then gave it to us.”)
• Is there anything more simultaneously hilarious and tragic than a big, furry mascot seriously injuring itself? During NBA All-Star weekend, the Bobcats mascot made an impressive H-O-R-S-E shot that glanced off the, uh, groinal region of the Bucks mascot, who was standing on top of the basket. No, that wasn’t the injury. That came when the Buck tried some sort of Shawn Johnson-esque dismount that ended with a torn ACL. BALL DON’T LIE brings us the video from the L.A. TIMES:
• FANIQ brings us a three-part video series featuring a guy waiting for a bus with Stephon Marbury. I guess he just happened to find Steph sitting at a bus stop, and asked if he could shoot a couple videos with him. Somehow, this totally makes sense. Here’s part 1:
• The LOHUD YANKEES BLOG says that not only are the Yanks trying to pull some shenanigans with their season ticket holders, but they can’t spell and/or use basic grammar correctly either. Really, this letter is pretty embarrassing coming from a professional sports organization. If George Steinbrenner was still alive, he’d be really angry.
• I swear, you can’t go five minutes without another huge controversy in the world of professional bass fishing. The L.A. TIMES has the story of Kim Bain-Moore, who is the first woman to ever fish in the apparently important Bassmaster Classic. The 50 male competitors are bent that she qualified on a women’s tour instead of the way they did. Because as we all know, a fish can totally tell which gender is holding the pole that destroyed its life.
ESPN THE MAGAZINE has a treatment this week on the perception fans have of the NBA. Of course, race is the central issue. Brian Scalabrine of the Boston Celtics, who is white, said this in the piece:
“The misperception of our league is definitely race-driven. Suppose that for a whole year, none of our players got into a fight, no one got arrested, no one got ticketed for speeding. Do you think the public would have a different opinion of the league? I bet not. But I do think public opinion would be completely different if 75% of the players in the NBA were white instead of black.”Read more…