Tag:Bobcats
Posted on: November 16, 2009 11:51 am
Edited on: November 16, 2009 1:05 pm
 

Jackson gone; now the real fun begins

Stephen Jackson has been rescued from Golden State, and he's going from playing for one hard-to-please, curmudgeonly coach to another.

The Warriors obliged Jackson's trade request Monday, sending the disgruntled swingman to the Bobcats along with Acie Law for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. The deal resolves one of many complicated plotlines for the tumultuous Warriors, but leaves several others still unsettled.

Jackson was miserable with the Warriors, despite having been rewarded with a three-year, $28 million extension that kicks in next season. Jackson and Monta Ellis, who was even more richly appeased with a $66 million deal two summers ago, believe Warriors management failed to deliver on promises to add a veteran, playoff-caliber supporting cast this past offseason.

The arrangement with Charlotte put a crimp in the Cavaliers' plans to add more scoring punch to their lineup via Jackson; several members of the Cavs organization have a history with S-Jax and believe that could've tamed his wild side, a task that now falls to that noted lover of reclamation projects, Larry Brown. It also avoids what would've been a circus-like atmosphere Tuesday night, when the Warriors pay a visit to the Cavs.

UPDATE: The removal of Jackson lowers the volume on the circus music emanating from the Warriors for the time being. As CBSSports.com reported Friday, an alternative to an imminent Jackson trade that gained renewed traction last week was a scenario that would've seen coach Don Nelson step into a consultant role with lead assistant Keith Smart taking over the head coaching duties. Despite denials from team president Robert Rowell, who was scheduled to meet with Nelson after the team's current road trip to discuss the direction of the team, the rise of Smart to the first seat on the bench is an option that has been contemplated since last season. In fact, Smart already has been assured that he is Nelson's heir apparent, according to three people familiar with the situation.

One of the sources with knowledge of the team's plans to address the chaos generated by Nelson's rifts with Jackson and Ellis said Sunday that the possibility of accelerating Smart's takeover emerged as an agenda item around the middle of last week. Nelson, who has vowed to honor the two-year, $12 million extension he signed this past summer, was in full control of that scenario, added a source who said the timing of any handoff to Smart would be Nellie's call. Nelson, who is 20 victories away from becoming the NBA's all-time winningest coach, would still be honoring his contract even if he'd concluded that it was time for Smart to take over.

Concerns that airing Nelson's plans would hinder the team's efforts to trade Jackson are now moot. Thus, the coaching succession plan will likely return to the back burner. But one transfer of power will occur without delay: Ellis taking over Jackson's role as the team's disgruntled star.

UPDATE: Why does Charlotte do this trade? Beats me. Why does a Brown-coached team do any trade, besides for the fun of having to someday undo it? Here's one theory: Vlad-Rad's contract is much worse than Jackson's; at least with Jackson, you get a productive player for $10 million a year. The Warriors are now stuck with Radmanovic's $6.9 million next season, though Bell's $5.3 million comes off the books in '10-'11.

More importantly, where were the Cavs in all of this? All indications point to the fact that Jackson was Danny Ferry's for the taking, and he opted not to be a taker.



Posted on: August 21, 2009 1:15 pm
Edited on: August 21, 2009 4:17 pm
 

Iverson gives play-by-play of his own demise

When Allen Iverson entered the NBA in 1996, people wore beepers. Seriously, Twitter Nation, to communicate with someone, here's what you did in 1996: You called their beeper number, listened for the beeps, punched in your phone number, and waited. Sometimes they'd call you back, sometimes they wouldn't.

It was slightly more effective than smoke signals, or rotary dialing.

Which brings us to the technical innovation of 2009 and how Iverson is using it to offer play-by-play of his own demise.

Iverson, a certain Hall of Famer coming off a $20 million-a-year salary who can't find an NBA job, has been waxing poetic about his comeback via Twitter updates. We call it a comeback because, well, Iverson does -- and also because he was for all intents and purposes retired down the stretch of a miserable stint with the Pistons last year. A proud 10-time All-Star, Iverson couldn't stomach coming off the bench for Michael Curry, who became only the latest coach to get fired after coaching A.I. Iverson went so far as to say that he'd retire for real before coming off another team's bench. But what he really couldn't stomach was the decline of his game. He's 34, his body has absorbed incalculable mileage, and he can't do the one thing he's always done better than anybody else -- get to the basket and score, by any means necessary.

Neil Paine of Basketball-reference.com analyzed Iverson's statistical decline and was spot-on in concluding that one of the problems is that while A.I. can still get to the basket, he's finishing with a lower percentage than he used to. That's what happens to players like Iverson when they get old; they don't fade away, they flame out like a comet.

I don't want to get too much into Iverson's sudden Twitter fetish. You can read the updates yourself. But the tone and volume of updates picked up noticeably this week, with A.I. saying that his "people" are telling him that he's "close to a deal." That was Wednesday morning. Still no deal.

Iverson also has floated the teams with whom he's apparently close to signing. "Waiting for the call," he wrote. "Charlotte, Miami, NY." Iverson, who has thrived off negative energy from his doubters since the moment he was drafted, also wrote, "If you think I am just going away, think again! ... I have heard all of the doubters, but they should know that I will not be broken."

Bobcats coach Larry Brown said this week that he'd gladly coach Iverson again, but didn't want to insult him with an offer that probably would be somewhere between the minimum and the mid-level exception. Miami? Why? As for the Knicks, we told you three weeks ago on this site that the Knicks had "zero" interest in Iverson. That remains true. Just ask the dozen media outlets that wrote it again this week.

Before you brand me an Iverson hater, think again (as A.I. would say). I've known him and covered him since his rookie year. I haven't liked everything he's done, but I've always liked him and enjoyed watching his career. For me, Iverson and Kobe have been my favorite post-Jordan players to watch. So if you're looking for A.I. bashing, or if you want to read someone who's hoping Iverson fails in his attempt to revive his suddenly dormant career, you've come to the wrong place.

I hope he succeeds. I hope he winds up somewhere that's a good fit, on a team that he can help. Some people are ready for the smiling, sanitized stars of the new NBA to take over and leave Iverson's rough public image and his innovative/frustrating/selfish game in the past. Not me. 

But in all the Twitter updates, amid all the bravado, I don't see the one line that Iverson needs to write. I don't see him stating that he'd accept a bench role, that he'd be willing to do what he could've done in Detroit -- which is allow his scoring gifts to impact the game as a reserve. If Iverson would say that, he might actually be getting some interest from teams other than the bottom-feeders whose intentions are really about the lowest common denominator: signing Iverson to sell tickets as opposed to signing him to improve their team.

I don't know how many more Twitter updates we'll see before Iverson signs somewhere. Maybe I'll page him and ask.



 



 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com