Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Trust in Jerry at Your Own Risk

So, here we go again with another exciting game of “What did Jerry Just Say?”.
It sure sounded like he was hinting that he is bringing that lunatic back. And if you don’t know who the lunatic is, just stop reading right now.

However, those of us who are convinced that he must be done with the lunatic can only assume this is a last-ditch effort to secure some level of trade value before the March 3/June 3 deadline hits and a decision must be made.

If you tell everyone he is not going to be with you, and then pick up the phone to work out a trade, the guy on the other end of the line will be fighting back laughter. Now, if you speak courageously, you might still hear giggling, but Jerry is trying to sell another used car.

Right? I am right, here, right? I mean, the alternative is that Jerry is just as lost without a compass as he has ever been.

Here is Mickey to clear it all up

Now "chemistry" seemed to strike a raw nerve with Jones, and when asked if he was worried about the reported "chemistry" problem on the team, Jones said, adamantly I might add, "Not at all. Not at all. Not-at-all. I'm just not. They are a figment of the result - you didn't hear about those kinds of things when we were winning. You hear about those kinds of things when you're losing. So I'm just not. And if you all knew more about some of the things you're writing about, you wouldn't be as concerned."

And when told his fans are not happy, and they don't seem to have anything to be optimistic about, not as optimistic as he seemed, well, Jones had an answer for that one, too.

"I make comparisons," Jones said. "I look at other sports, I look at other teams, I look at the fact there was one team (in the NFL) that's satisfied today, one, in my mind, and that's the Pittsburgh Steelers. The other one that ought to be the next most satisfied won nine games and lost seven and played well in the playoffs. (The Cardinals) had a tough time in their last five games and yet they were almost world champions.

"So I would say to the fans that are (frustrated), I'm as disappointed, and resolved as you could ever imagine to do the best job of putting a team on the field. Winning will make people happy . . . winning will make 'em happy. I don't know that there's a player right now who could take the disappointment away from the equation. The only thing that's going to take the disappointment away is to win ball games. That's what we're going to try to do."

But I know, just like us guys, you guys want to know about Terrell Owens. Is he staying or is he going?

Again, Jones isn't saying, although before the press conference was over, he did kind of cryptically answer the question, leaving himself open for interpretation, which he has been dearly trying to avoid on this subject.

So for starters Jones, when asked about if it's one of the tougher decisions he's had, deciding what to do with Owens, said, "I don't know that it's any tougher than decisions we've made, that I've made over the years . . . no tougher. There are several decisions on our roster that you look at, that you have to. This is the time of year you do that, and I'm not trying to be trite, but as you all know we're evaluating players in college, we're evaluating (free agents) and we're evaluating our own roster. This is an ongoing thing. Not any different than this time last year. Not one bit different."

Ah, but it was pointed out last year he signed Owens to an extension, adding three years to the final year of his contract and handing him $13 million in guaranteed funds.

"That's what I'm saying, this is not one bit different . . . not one bit different," Jones said.

Ah-ha, and this is why it's wise for Jones not to address this subject, leaving himself open for interpretation because the next question was, so you are acknowledging you do have a decision to make?

"No I'm not, no I'm not at all," Jones said. "I'm just saying we're not, I'm not talking about what we're doing with our roster, and you guys got the roster and know the people on the roster and so I don't have to go into that. Our roster is our roster, and changes to that are pure speculation and have been."

And then came maybe his first salty response, Jones bringing this up on his very own, knowing there have been reports out there about how he's invited players to his house to discuss the viability of keeping Owens.

"And by the way," Jones said without provocation, "I would like to have seen anybody who has come over to my house to visit about our roster - another player. That hasn't happened - haven't been near my house to visit about another player on the roster. I heard that speculated, that I've had people come over - players come over and talk about it. That just hasn't happened."

Well now.

But the sparring didn't end there, and by the way, Jones did say he has not spoken with Owens' agent Drew Rosenhaus about anything this off-season pertaining to his client's continued employment out here. But before the session was completed, Jones alluded one more time to Owens, without even mentioning his name, maybe adopting the Bill Parcells philosophy of not using his name when referencing the wide receiver.
"So that's what we're trying to do here, kind of manage that," Jones said when talking about how frustrated and mad everyone seems to be with what happened last year. "It has nothing to do with the information. You'll get every bit of the information that you should have. You and I both know that the one you are asking about all the time, if I have an answer for . . . if I gave you the answer you want to hear, then you would already have had it, so the fact you don't have it ought to tell you something. Or it should."

With the NFL Combine tomorrow, here are some pre-combine rankings:
National Football Post Positional Rankings

And the National Football Post latest Mock Draft

The excitement in Lubbock rages on ….

Texas Tech's 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday given to football coach Mike Leach to sign its latest contract extension offer came and went with still no resolution.

"Coach Leach has declined our $12.7 million contract," Tech athletic director Gerald
Myers said in a statement Tuesday. "We will enter the decision-making process and should have some announcements by next week. Our decisions will be based on the best interest of Texas Tech and all of its supporters."

The Texas Tech Board of Regents, however, announced Tuesday a "special called teleconference meeting" from 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, when in executive session, they will have a "discussion and consideration of matters ... including but not limited to the position of the football head coach."

In a phone interview Tuesday evening, Leach was asked if he was worried about being fired.

"Not really," Leach said. "We have an agreement both parties signed. We agreed to do two more years, and I don't see how that could be unsatisfactory to anybody. Why anybody would have a problem with two years left on my contract, I don't know."
He admitted disappointment with the events that have led to this point.

"Yeah, me and a lot of people are," Leach said.

About 40 people showed up at a rally on Leach's behalf just before noon Tuesday at the school's football offices in Lubbock to show their support. Leach, who returned to Lubbock late Monday after attending a rugby match in Wales on Saturday and the Daytona 500 on Sunday, briefly addressed the crowd, many of whom were students holding signs.

Really? Leach went to a Rugby match in Wales on Saturday, and the Daytona 500 on Sunday? That is a tough-to-predict sports weekend with the fellas.

And now, with the NBA Trade-deadline just 1 day away, it is time for another episode of “This trade makes no sense!” …starring the Hornets!

The next 24 hours are going to be interesting, but let’s now understand something quite clear: These trades are not about anything but cash. New Orleans wasn’t happy with Tyson’s season, but you don’t give up a promising 26 year old big less than 1 year after your playoff run unless you are hemorrhaging money.

It was very noble of them to stay in New Orleans, but isn’t it far to ask if the economic model of an NBA Franchise can work there in these trying times?

Mark Cuban – be a vulture if there are sales like this to be had. There is no guarantee these sales will last forever.

As franchises go, the Hornets have the most streamlined front office in the NBA. Beyond the practice gym, there are modest connecting offices with thin walls between Bower and his assistant GM, Brian Hagen. There’s the front office, just a GM and his assistant. The Hornets have two full-time scouts on the road. And that’s it. Most teams have three and four times the personnel, but not the New Orleans Hornets.
They’re the barest-bones operation in the NBA and yet under Bower they’ve shown themselves to be a model of resourcefulness and resolve.

George Shinn is the one NBA owner without another industry where he makes his money. The Hornets are his business, and Shinn runs this organization like the corner Mom and Pop. The Hornets hire cheap, and hire cheaper when those talented people move up and out to the rest of the NBA.

Against all odds, bouncing between Oklahoma City and New Orleans, Bower made the Hornets one of the most thrilling young teams in the NBA and a contender in the Western Conference. Maybe the greatest validation of his work was the that Paul passed on a chance to become a free agent, a chance to leave perhaps for the cash-flushed Portland Trail Blazers and signed a contract extension with the Hornets.
So, yes, it felt odd to click to the Hornets’ team website on Tuesday night, and next to the modest administrative masthead, there were links to several non-sanctioned New Orleans’ blogs. In the middle of it all, there was a photo of Bower with the word “MORON” stamped on his forehead. Yes, this abuse is part of a GM’s job, but the shortsightedness from die-hard Hornets fans had to leave even fair-minded folks exasperated and thinking: Come on, you think Bower desperately wanted to trade Tyson Chandler to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox?
“Teams like us have to be able to get value for our players,” Bower said by phone Tuesday.

Yes, the Hornets payroll would’ve been over $76 million next season with the 7-foot Chandler on it. Still, New Orleans is 30th in the NBA in rebounding, and Chandler, who blossomed into a terrific pro as a Hornet, had lost productivity and an ability to stay healthy. As much as people wanted to portray this trade as a pure salary dump – and yes, that had a lot to do with it – Bower was still banking that he had gotten the most out of Chandler and it was time to reshuffle his frontcourt.

“We needed change,” Bower insisted. “We needed to show improvement over our first 50 games.”

Across the NBA, the landscape is dramatically changing. The excess of old is going fast, and those unable to get fit in the short and long run promise to pay a steep price. The luxury-tax threshold will drop lower next year. Season tickets, corporate sponsorships and arena suite renewals could be off 50 percent. Owners are desperately trying to dump salary, and the haves are determined to fleece the have-nots on talent that richer teams can afford.

SportsBusiness Journal reported the NBA just secured an additional $175 million league-wide line of credit – on top of the $1.7 billion it had – to assist the 15 teams that told the commissioner’s office they’d like to tap into the fresh borrowing. Three NBA front office executives told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that it’s believed as many as seven NBA teams could need that money to cover operating and payroll costs by the summer.

Do I have some of the kindest fans in the world?

Subject: Don't look at the Orlando-Charlotte boxscore
Date: 2/17/2009 8:40:57 P.M. Central Standard Time
From: michaelandfaith@_______

It'll only make you feel stupid. Howard is DESTROYING Okafor.

For the record, I have already admitted how poorly I got my 2004 NBA Draft thoughts over and over again.

Not only did I get that one wrong, I got it waaaaaaaaaaaay wrong.

But, I don’t share my email account with my wife. Bro, you might need to change that address.

Anyway, here is the boxscore from that Magic-Bobcats thriller

Okafor 14 and 9. Pretty good, right? Well, Howard had a fair night, too. 45 points, 19 rebounds, and 8 blocked shots. Good Gracious.

Brad Richards is not used to being hurt

This is new territory for Brad Richards. In the 629 regular-season games his NHL teams have played, Richards has dressed for 619 of them.

So being out for six to eight weeks with a distal radius fracture in his right wrist is a bit depressing.

But Richards, who injured the wrist Monday when it was pushed awkwardly into the boards in a 3-2 win over Columbus, said Tuesday he is trying to be optimistic about his recovery.

"I'm going to prepare myself for the best," said the 28-year-old center, who ranks second on the Stars in scoring with 48 points. "I've never been through anything like this before, so I know it's going to be tough. But I watch someone like Brenden [Morrow], and I see how hard he's working, and I'm going to take the same approach."

Morrow is out for the regular season after reconstructive surgery on his knee but is with the team every day and is pushing to return in late April.

Richards will not require surgery but will wear a cast for four weeks and then have the wrist re-evaluated. If he is able to return in six weeks, he could play in seven games before the end of the regular season. If it's eight weeks, the Stars would have to make the playoffs for his return.

"I would like to play as many as I can," he said. "I know there's a lot of the unknown out there, and I know that we'll know a lot more when the cast comes off, but I would love to be able to play for two weeks."

The Stars, meanwhile, dealt with the injury by recalling Chris Conner from Peoria. They also expect to get Landon Wilson back from a rib injury soon and will move forward without significant changes.

Stars Wars comedy #1

Star Wars comedy #2

Don’t know John Salmons? Here is his Mixtape

Liberty’s best player since me. Seth Curry


dim499 said...

An all around very entertaining blog entry today. A+

dim499 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil K. said...

John Salmons?

Look out that window...

His "highlight" video started with a routine dunk and a pull-up 20 ft'er. Not that impressive. Most of his moves were against a weak defender. Boring.

MK said...

Someone can't take a good-natured ribbing, bro.

You nailed it though: I share a home email with my wife so I am barely a man. The shame of it all.

"We're having fun, no?"

Nelvis said...

Salmons has come a long way from starting out with the 76ers. I was hoping the Mavs could grab Salmons or Francisco Garcia from the Kings without giving up Josh. Since John is gone, here's hoping Wright his improving play.

I think Seth is going to be as good as his brother. How did Coach K and the rest of the Acc miss on these two is beyond me.