It’s not official yet but consider Chris Webber a Piston. The deal was nearly closed a few days ago but got hit with the three day weekend. For Webber, it must be a nice situation to go back home to where he was a major star in his college days with Michigan.

Chris Webber is expected to start for the Pistons together with Rasheed, Billups, Tayshaun and Rip. I guess this means that Rasheed will have to move over to the center position, where he’s spent some time playing in the past. It’s a nice situation to start over and show the world that he can still be helpful to a contending team. It’s going to be easier for him since there’s no pressure for him to produce more than he can since there are others who can assume that load for him. Maybe that will help get his groove back and possibly be closer to the C-Webb of the Kings rather than the disappointing highly paid veteran of the Sixers.

Whatever happens I just hope that he won’t disappoint. He doesn’t deserve to spend the twilight years of his career playing like he did with the Sixers. Hopefully a return back home will motivate him enough to not allow that to happen.

For those guys who think the your players and coaches have been wronged by the NBA officials this piece of news should be quite the retribution:

NBA official Rodney Mott was suspended three games without pay Friday for making an obscene gesture toward a fan and also using inappropriate language.

Mott made the gesture and remarks after the Portland Trail Blazers’ 93-90 loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday night in Portland.

The 49-year-old Mott is in his ninth season as an NBA official.

Yahoo Sports 1/012/07

A ref suspended… that cracks me up!

So the Denver Nuggets and the Milwaukee Bucks made a trade - Earl Boykins and Julius Hodge For Steve Blake. My message to the Nuggets: What the hell?!!!

Ok so Denver did it from a business point of view to try to get some breathing room from the luxury tax they’re paying. Milwaukee needed some backcourt scoring help since they lost guys like Redd and Mo Williams to injuries.. I guess both teams had their reasons but I still can’t help from screaming about what Denver just did.

It’s a good thing Denver has the two leading scorers in Melo and AI plus a great offensive player in JR Smith too. Boykins was always an important scorer for the Nuggets especially in crunch time and the Bucks will benefit from his presence greatly. I think Hodge is a nice offensive bonus too. The Nuggets get a decent player in return in Steve Blake but he’s definitely no Boykins. I guess the idea is to give AI and Melo more ball to move around. But in the meantime, while Melo is still suspended, the Nuggets are sure going to miss Boykins.

I knew Dikembe Mutombo is one heck of a defensive player. I mean he wasn’t Defensive Player of the Year for four times in his career for nothing. But I never really knew that he was that high up in the all time blocks list let alone breaking a record that leaves him now at second place. I guess it’s because he’s been around for so long and we haven’t been celebrating anything much about his work that we tend to push him aside and forget that he’s still a defensive force.

So yeah. Mutombo is now the second in all time blocks passing the legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was quite a great defensive force too. Mutombo did it during a Rockets-Lakers game where he blocked center Andrew Bynum. He had 5 blocks in that 102-77 Rockets victory.

“When I came into the league 16 years ago, I told myself that I just want to be remembered for one thing,” Mutombo said, “just to be one of the great defensive players to ever play this game.

Rocky Mountain News 1/10/07

Mutombo is still 639 blocks away from Hakeem Olajuwon’s all time record and at this stage of his career, beating that will be quite an impossibility. But heck, second place is not bad at all and beating Kareem’s record is quite a feat especially considering that Kareem had a much longer career than I’m sure Mutombo will have.


The surefire indication that the C-Webb-Iverson duo in Philadelphia didn’t work out is the fact that both are not with the team anymore. Allen Iverson got traded to the Denver Nuggets a few weeks ago and now Chris Webber’s contract got bought out.

Webber was showing sign of disappointment because of a lack of playing time brought about by lack of efficiency in his offensive output. In other words, he wasn’t the Webber of old anymore.

“I thank Chris for everything that he did for this
organization,” team president Billy King said. “This move was
made to help this organization move in a different direction and
allow Chris to move on.”

ESPN 1/10/07

Now that his departure from the Sixers has been made official, of course rumors about his next destination have come up. Webber himself expressed interest in signing with the following title contending teams: LA Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks for the Western Conference and for the East, the Miami Heat and Detroit Pistons.

ESPN 1/10/07

The Pistons is a nice choice for him especially if he wants to go back home where he played college ball. But if it’s winning a championship he really wants then the best choices would be either the Dallas Mavericks or the San Antonio Spurs.

I could have told them it wouldn’t work even before it happened but alas, as the saying goes Alea jacta est! (the die is cast). It has been done and the Knicks are now paying the price for making that stupid deal to acquire Steve Francis from the Orlando Magic. The Marbury - Francis back court experiment failed and Francis has since fallen out of the Knicks’ favor. Francis and the Knicks are going to sever their relationship soon.

A source claims the Knicks and Steve Francis - exiled to Houston supposedly to rehab a tender knee - are discussing a contract buyout; what remains of this season’s $15 million salary and the next two, $16.44M and $17.8M.

Former Knicks Maurice Taylor and Jalen Rose also had their hefty contracts bought out earlier so the news about Francis going by the same route isn’t a surprise at all. It’s the only way to get rid of the mess of a contract situation the Knicks have and yet they still have a lot of hefty contracts to deal with including the big one Jared Jeffries signed in the offseason.

Another strange piece of news is that Chris Webber could be a Knick and Francis a Sixer - a mere changing of teams.

On Francis joining the 76ers:

According to the same source, stage two of Francis’ buyout conversation, coordinated by agent Jeff Fried, is dialogue with Brown about his client joining the 76ers after he clears waivers.

On Webber joining the Knicks:

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, a report surfaced last week the 76ers were discussing a contract buyout ($20.72M/$22.3M) of Chris Webber

It’s no secret Webber and Thomas are boys. When he was a free agent four years ago, Thomas’ Pacers were one of the few teams C-Web seriously considered playing for; in fact, he went through a whole interview process with Indiana before re-signing with Sacramento.

When (not if) Webber’s buyout agreement is finalized, I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t wind up a Knick for at least the remainder of the season.

From Peter Vecsey, New York Post 1/09/07

There’s a pretty interesting rumor cooking up about a three way deal involving the Wizards, Hawks and the Blazers. The deal is reported to look like this:

The Blazers send Jamaal Magloire to Washington, the Wizards send Brendan Haywood and Jarvis Hayes to the Hawks and the Hawks send Salim Stoudamire, Esteban Batista and Lorenzen Wright to the Blazers

ACJ Sports Talk - Hawks Blog 1/08/07

Whether is true or not is yet to be found out but it sure looks interesting. First of all the deal really does seem to give the teams what they need. Haywood could help the Hawks up front(that’s why they drafted Shelden Williams right? More help should be welcome) and Hayes is a great offensive player when he’s healthy. Magloire is a nice center who can deliver for the Wizards what Haywood could and more. Plus keeping Haywood away from Etan Thomas is probably the best thing to do after that fight that happened between them earlier. The Blazers could sure use the help of Salim Stoudamire to add depth and offense to the back court while still keeping a decent replacement for Magloire in the roster in Lorenzen Wright.

In other words I don’t really have a problem with this deal if it’s true and it happens. Usually when a multi team trade occurs, there’s always a team that seems to lose more than they gain. Maybe it’s a cap space management strategy but sometimes it’s just dumb management. I’m glad a deal like this works theoretically because if they do to make this deal, it seems like a win scenario for all parties.

This season has seen several surprising players who have upped their game to the point where it warrants praise. The season has seen guys like Kings’ Kevin Martin and Lakers’ Andrew Bynum fit that category but something worth noting is the things in Golden State, The Golden State Warriors have become one of the most exciting teams to watch this season and it’s because of several of those players who have who have from obscurity last season and became very much improved under coach Don Nelson.

The Warriors is no longer about just Jason Richardson (who recently went down with an injury) and Baron Davis and the heck it was never about Mike Dunleavy Jr. ever. Mickael Pietrus, Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis and even Matt Barnes: The hope of the Warriors’ playoff dream rests on their shoulders.

Mickael Pietrus

Pietrus has a similar story with that of his fellow Frenchman Boris Diaw. Both were nothing much earlier in their career but a change in system made them improve A LOT! Diaw had a change in team while Pietrus had a change in coach.

Andris Biedrins

For me this guy wasn’t much of a surprise. I mean I haven’t seen him play before but I trusted that, since he was chosen with a lottery pick and that his scouting report looked promising, he must be good - at least down the road. That’s why it eludes me why the Warriors needed to draft Patrick O’Bryant, who’s now in the d-league by the way. I guess the mentality is whoever gets to develop faster between O’Bryant and Biedrins gets to start. Well, guess who won and he’s a Nelson favorite too!

Monta Ellis

Well he’s not really a surprise too but what he does on the court still makes us jump off our seats. He was actually one of those supposed to be first round picks that fell to the second round because of a fear of an injury. In a way his story and even his game reminds me of “Agent 0″ Gilbert Arenas, who was also talented player who fell to the second round because they thought he was too short to play. Hey guess what, Arenas was a Warrior too.

Matt Barnes

This journeyman never really accomplished much in his days with the Clippers, Kings, Sixers and Knicks. But he certainly has shown enough reason for the Warriors to keep him with his excellent upping of his game this season. In the past he has never averaged more than 5 points a game in no more than 20 minutes of action. This season he’s posting an 11.4 point, 4,5 rebound and 2,2 assist average per game in about 25 minutes of action. Those are ststs similar to those of Dunleavy Jr except that for Dunleavy those numbers suck, for Barnes those are great.

It sucks that Jason Richardson went down with an injury but with these guys, I’m sure he won;t be missed too much.

After leading the New York Knicks to their worst record of all time as a coach, Larry Brown is trying to resurrect his career in Philadelphia as new their Executive Vice President. I was very certain Brown never wanted to quit just yet and all that was keeping him away from the 76ers was Allen Iverson. Now that he’s gone, Brown rushed to take the opportunity. This is a nice opportunity for Brown to redeem his reputation. An executive position is great since he won’t need to deal with the players as closely as the coach does and he won’t need to coach to not repeat what happened with the Knicks (I wonder though if he will offer to coach if coach Cheeks is canned).

The way I see it, the Sixers are well on their way to becoming a laughing stock franchise like the Clippers were before. With Brown’s help, the only way they can really go is up. You really can’t make things any much worse there. So if Brown fumbles there’s not much damage but if he proves useful he can actually give team president Billy King a clue how to make things better there.

“That’s a good move. He’ll do a great job,” Iverson said after the Nuggets’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

SI 1/06/07

Whatever the outcome of his new job is in Philly, this should be good for him. He needs to do something to justify that huge contract buyout he got from the Knicks! It deosn’t sit well with me that he laughed all the way to the bank on that one despite getting fired for a bad coaching job. /horns

The life of a professional basketball player is a hard one especially if you’re one of those journeymen who go from team to team, league to league just to earn an honest buck and make a name for yourself to finally get that stable job with a team that wants you. Such was the life of Awvee Storey who played for the Dakota Wizards of the NBDL after short stints in the NBA as part of the New Jersey Nets and the Washington Wizards. Then that unfortunate event happened where he got into a fight with Lithuanian teammate Martynas Andriuskevicius, who received a life threatening punch from Storey.

the league said Storey’s contract “has been terminated and that he has been dismissed for conduct detrimental to the league.”

SI 1/05/07

Not that I approve of his actions but I feel for him because of what this means for his career. This will certainly make things harder for him to get a job at another league because he’ll be known for this. Teams will take a long hard look at him when deciding to get him or not. Or maybe not…

Remember how guys like Ron Artest and Latrell Sprewell have bounced back even after their past destructive actions. Maybe Storey could get that second chance. It will certainly be harder for him though since he doesn’t have the talent those guys have.