Is there a more slumbering time to be a basketball junkie than the dog days of summer, when it’s so dam hot you can’t get a game on without melting the soles of your shoes? Last year I broke the tedium by posting video of stripper babes dancing in a hot tub at a Las Vegas nightclub (the post had something to do with NBA summer league in Vegas) but that was when The Jinx was still on the Journal Sentinel sports server — my dancing stripper babes in their Vegas hot tub had to come down.
This summer, I’m too swamped with various get-rich-in-the-slowest-way-I-can-possibly-come-up-with-next schemes to even blog about “The Decision,” which I didn’t bother watching because ESPN’s basketball coverage tends to be nauseatingly bad no matter what the subject matter is.
Lebron James as prima donna with Michael Wilbon’s nose in his keester for an hour is excruciating to think about, much less envision as watchable TV programming. But ESPN couldn’t help itself and neither could Lebron. One would think a guy who shares a hometown with avant-punk marketing geniuses Devo (“Are We Not Men?”) would know better. Or maybe being from Akron, Ohio, is like, well, being from Akron. (What was I trying to say here?)
Lebron might have saved himself a lot of criticism (and the world would undoubtedly be a better place today) had he simply taken the story to the better basketball broadcaster, TNT, where he could have taken his knocks from the Round Mound, Kenny the Jet, McHale and Weber like any ballplayer should. It might even have been interesting.
Two things to be thankful for:
1. Lebron’s not a Chicago Bull, good on many levels for the Bucks (who get a more balanced rivalry) and it’s not all bad for the Bulls, either. They’ll have to gut it out Lebron-less with guys like Rose and Noah who are growing into bigtime stars (and headaches) just fine in their own right. Bogut-Jennings vs. Noah-Rose didn’t need Lebron in the mix to distort their emerging rivalry.
2. Now that he’s playing on Dwyane Wade‘s team, The Nickname “The King” will die the mercy killing it deserves.
Bucks note: A lot of moves by Bucks GM John Hammond this summer, my favorite one the resigning of guard John Salmons to be Brandon Jennings’ backcourt running mate for the next few years. Great job by Hammond defining the Bucks needs and the value of Salmons to the team for themselves rather than allowing the market to determine those things.
The Bucks have guaranteed 30-year-old Salmons about $36 million over four years, which is right about what Salmons was worth in light of other starting shooting guard salaries (Ben Gordon’s to name one).
There are plenty of Bucks fans who think four years is far too long-term for a 30-year-old guard, but wait — there’s a fifth year too, which the Bucks can buy out of if Salmons is shot at 35. Yes, the Bucks wanted The Fish that bad, and they landed him.
Good work by Hammond, enuff said. I don’t want to think about Corey Maggette just now. Or Drew Gooden.
And Hammond isn’t finished shaping the 2010-11 roster. Not yet.
What’s this link? … which I found laying around on the site.
“This is no time to quibble about details.
“Outside of the Milwaukee Bucks’ overpowering run to the 1971 NBA championship, the 4-minute finish Wednesday night was, without question, the greatest stretch in franchise history. Are you kidding?”
That was Journal Sentinel Bucks columnist Michael Hunt writing at the height of Bucks excitement, just moments after Ersan “Bobby Jones” Ilyasova stunned the Hawks by stealing Game 5 right from under their uninspired noses.
Is he kidding? Apparently not. Where was the Milwaukee daily newspaper’s Bucks columnist during the Nellie years? …
…. When in 1983 the Marques-and-Sidney Milwaukee Bucks swept the Bird-McHale-Parrish Boston Celtics out of the playoffs.
Sure, Game 5 against the Hawks was thrilling. But the Bucks didn’t win the series. And they were only playing the Hawks.
Sweeping Larry Bird’s Celtics was the unthinkable impossible. The 1983 Milwaukee Bucks, to this day one of the best teams in NBA history to not win the title, swept Larry Bird’s Celtics. How quickly we forget.
How it is that the Milwaukee daily sports guy has apparently forgotten Nellie and even been dismissive of the Nellie era lately (this isn’t the only recent bout of Nellie forgetfulness by Hunt) is a mystery, one I don’t have time to solve at the moment. For now, let’s say that the hangover from the Michael Redd era will be with Bucks fans for a while, and it has many strange side-effects.
I’d better get to work on a few more of those fish tie blogs.