Yahoo NBA Columnist and Friend of RotoRadio Adrian Wojnarowski wrote a column yesterday that should leave no doubt as to how malignant a cancerous growth Allen Iverson was, is, and will be. Iverson, who backed out of his duties with Memphis earlier this week, has now declared himself a team player for the right situation, a comical slap in the face to any NBA fan with a modicum of intelligence. Meanwhile, Iverson protege Stephen Jackson, who clearly thinks he is far better than he is and hurt those exciting Golden State teams from a few years ago far more than he helped them, is banished to Charlotte. While it isn’t hard to feel sorry for Jackson for having to endure the whims of a concussed Don Nelson, the truth is also this: Jackson will be his typical selfish, inefficient and boorish self in Charlotte. For Larry Brown. More disaster awaits.
Two things I pull from these events:
1) Wojnarowski is a must-read and the NBA provides plenty of fodder for Woj, who has the ability to find the real culprits amongst the many sides to a story. It’s a match made in heaven for readers: Someone who cuts through the B.S., writes with the dexterity and force of a columnist, and has the sources and drive of an investigative reporter. Disclosure: Woj is a friend of mine and, as I said before, a friend to the RotoExperts hoops team, Tom included. But as an NBA fan, I can’t think of a better fit for national coverage of our favorite pro sport. But don’t take my word for it: read him on Yahoo, and start with that Iverson/Jackson piece.
2) Brandon Jennings. “Huh?” you say. Well, this preseason I couldn’t shake the sense that Jennings had too much Iverson and Jackson in him, and that he wouldn’t get it done this year because he was too much cockiness and not enough experience. Well, it is safe to say that Jennings is the fantasy steal of the year so far, and this week has been his coming out party. But I think the best thing that can happen to Jennings this week is off the court: learning from the Iverson and Jackson situations. Jennings is a special talent, for sure, and his ego will balloon predictably if he keeps this up. I just hope he ignores the worst of Iverson’s and Jackson’s selfish ways, whether it be as soon as Michael Redd returns to the lineup Friday or 12 years from now when he has to swallow his pride to play for a Memphis or Charlotte.
Now on to last night’s action while hoping Chris Wallace isn’t still employed by the Grizz in 12 years…
Golden State dressed seven bodies for their game at Cleveland, yet weren’t embarrassed despite two of those bodies being Vladimir Radmanovic and Mikki Moore. The Warriors will be better without Jackson; you watch. However, if they trade the far-from-gruntled Monta Ellis as rumored, all bets are off. I’m holding on to Stephen Curry for dear life and making a desperate lunge for Anthony Morrow on all waiver wires as nobody knows what Nelson’s next move will be. Anthony Randolph played just 25 minutes last night and was disappointing with 13 points, eight boards and no blocks, but you have to think he’ll see a ton of time until Andris Biedrins and Ronny Turiaf are back in the lineup.
I have to give New Orleans credit for winning without Chris Paul against the Clippers at home. Darren Collison started at point but saw just 23 minutes of action while finishing with 12 points and six assists. He’s a solid deep-league add right now and should improve game by game. David West actually played his best game of the year, scoring 24 points on 9-14 shooting while pulling down 10 boards, dishing out 5 assists and not missing at the line in six tries. More of that, please, David. Sincererly, your fantasy owners. Al Thornton continued to thrive with Eric Gordon out of the Clipper lineup. Thornton had 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting and is rolling right now.
The Nets are still winless but that didn’t stop Brook Lopez (26 pts, 16 reb, 5 blk) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (27 pts, 12 reb) from putting cheshire smiles on their fantasy owners’ faces. The Pacers topped New Jersey, 91-83, behind fantasy surprise Dahntay Jones, who tallied 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, two turtle doves and a block. After each win the Pacers go to the local watering hole and laugh for hours about how I drafted Troy Murphy in the third round.
Carl Landry (27 pts, 9 reb vs. Phoenix) and Will Bynum (24 pts, 6 ast, 2 stl at Lakers) don’t have much in common other than joining Ersan Ilyasova (19 pts, 12 reb, 4 threes Monday vs. Dallas) as the trio that has me in the lead over Tom and Greg in the Damn Lies Deep Sleepers Bragging Rights Challenge, which I just made up. I picked those guys in a preseason column and they are all looking very solid right now (Landry, Bynum and Ilyasova, not Tom and Greg, who are shaky at best both on and off the court).
Oh, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the annoying news from Tuesday: Jameer Nelson is going under the knife again and could miss six weeks with a torn meniscus. Suddenly I’m craving some White Chocolate. Does this make the best pickups of the week Ben Wallace and Jason Williams? Should I grab Juwan Howard just to be safe? And are they all better options than Allen Iverson right now? Yes, yes they are. This wasn’t so annoying after all.