Like ESPN’s Bill Simmons, would-be GM of the Milwaukee Bucks and master of the ESPN Trade Machine, I consider basketball-reference.com the bible. A bbr window is almost always open on my desktop, despite that I know basketball refuses to be reduced to a game of statistics.
Imagine my surprise yesterday when I clicked to the bbr link for the 2007-08 Bucks and found that our 2007-08 Bucks had, as of April 21, acquired a sponsor: Aporiatwo.
No info is given about our proud sponsor, but “Aporiatwo” has this message for Bucks fans:
“Why not the Sports Guy for GM? 2nd last in sieve-like defense, another lottery for us loyal Bucks fans. Why not the master of the Trade Machine? Think of what we could get for Michael Redd…”
Yes, it’s come down to this: Bucks fans so disgruntled they welcomed ESPN “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons as GM, probably because Simmons at least promised to make losing a little more fun.
(I’d post a link to Simmons’ fine writing here but “The Sports Guy” has yet to credit the Jinx for the hire-Sam “I Am” Cassell-as-player/coach idea. I wrote it first. Simmons knows it. He’s ducking me, probably because he figures he one-upped me with shock value by proposing Sam as player/head coach. I had Sam in mind for an offensive guru-type assistant. But here’s the kicker, Simmons’ high maintenance “idea” requires an NBA rule change – can’t play and be head coach at the same time. My idea – which came first – is perfectly legal as is. That makes my idea not only first but better – I PLAYED BY THE RULES!!! Simmons, the ball is in your court.)
(Deep breath) Now that that’s off my chest, where we were we? …. Right, disgruntled Bucks fans entertaining Simmons’ madcap GM campaign;
AND mad enough to pay good money to brand our Bucks on bbr page with a “Michael Redd trade” message. The sponsorship cost Aporiatwo $30 cash money.
Aporiatwo, I realize that “trade Michael Redd” has become the motto of the season for Bucks fans, and I’m down with the cause, but … That’s a case of beer and a six pack!!! What were you thinking?
As if some strange synchronicity among Bucks fans was at work, shortly after finding Aporiatwo’s “trade Redd” branding, I clicked over to the RealGM.com Bucks fan forum (which I don’t often do) to see if anything was going on with Scott Skiles’ assistant coach search that I might have missed. Sure enough, at that very moment, the realgms, ballboys and scouts were in the process of trading Michael Redd to Cleveland Cavaliers. Now there’s an idea! (It was the trade of the week last week here on Bob Boozer Jinx).
Although I do admit to taking a certain amount of creative license in calling Lebron James’ cell, I was (and still am) quite serious about the anatomy of the Michael Redd trade to Cleveland. The Cavaliers get Redd; the Bucks get 21-year-old shooting guard Daniel Gibson and the Wally Szczerbiak contract (one more year at $12 million). Keep it simple, get it done.
A few posters on realgm came to similar conclusions – Bucks would have to get Gibson or F/C Anderson Varejao or both; Cleveland would require that the Bucks take Wally’s contract, no way around it. The Cavs cannot afford to keep both Redd and Wally at shooting guard. The realgm-ers also added to the mix the Cavs #19 pick in the 2008 draft.
Gibson and Valejao are young players who can ball. Gibson’s been a better shooter than Redd the last two years (Gibson’s first two seasons in the league). Varejao’s like a young Dan Gadzuric, but less of a train wreck — a monster rebounder and a good defender. Because of Big Ben Wallace’s back and Z-Ilgauskus’ age, however, Cleveland’s not likely to risk parting with Varejao.
Gibson’s an up-and-coming player and a good pickup; and Wally (he’s only 30) would be a good veteran to have around for a year. He would fit in. Redd has nothing on either of them as an outside shooter, and the rest of his game would not be missed. The Bucks get better in the trade without the draft pick, and don’t risk the baggage of any other team’s expensive, tradebait “stars” who could hurt the development of the team. With the pick, it’s a sweet deal. Why would the Bucks turn it down?
Back to basketball-reference.com Other teams have sponsors too, but their fans haven’t been so activist with the messages as Aporiatwo, which is why it’s worth a mention. Most fans who buy player and team stat page sponsorships don’t leave any message at all, but there is this little note from the 2007-08 Miami Heat page sponsor, Eduardo Kupfer:
“Ah Riles, you slay me.”
“Riles” being Heat GM Pat Riley, who recently vacated the Heat coaching job – yikes! How’d you like to see that message for a year on your team’s reference page? Buck up, Heat fans, you’ve got D-Wade.
One last bbr sponsorship note: The charge to sponsor the Michael Jordan page for a year is $520, or $10 per day. It’s much more economical to be a Bucks fan. Marques Johnson sells fo $20; Sidney Moncrief for $25. Kareem‘s takes the sky hook of Bucks players – $220 – but isn’t that the cost of Kareem being a Laker?