Wednesday, August 18

RE: AI to Supes? Keep dreamin'...

It ain't gonna happen. Seattle teams, regardless of sport, are never in the running for big money superstars, because they know that going to Seattle will have a negative effect on their street-cred (read: endorsement deals) and their bank account. I love my hometown, but let's face it--Seattle just has a remote, grungy, pasty-white suburban image that it can't erase. Could you ever imagine a T-Mac, AI, Kobe, Shaq or KG choosing Seattle over a half-dozen other more populated, "urban" markets? A guy like Ally I vetoes a trade here without blinking. Even has-beens like Kenny Anderson seem to look at Seattle as being the southernmost city in Alaska and high-tail it out.

I can think of only 3 ways a small-market team attracts/keeps/trades for big-ticket players:
1) Draft 'em. That's how we got Gary and Shawn. Or look at the T-Wolves and KG. And in baseball, Junior and A-Rod. Acquiring a star before they blow up also falls under this--see: Indiana Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal.
2) Back up the Money Truck. Look what guys like Paul Allen and Mark Cuban have done (not that Dallas is a small market, but well, they did suck for a long time). Good players consider signing with or being traded to the Seahawks, Blazers and Mavs because they know they'll be pampered, and that there's a commitment to improve the team every year.
3) Get a Brand Name Coach. This kind of relates to the Money Truck, but if you can get a legendary coach for your squad, your town suddenly shows up on the radar for good players. Was Miami a big NBA destination before Pat Riley showed up?

You get maybe two of those three things working for you, then maybe, maybe you get AI to give up cheese steaks for salmon.

4 comments:

Paul Merrill said...

I agree, and personally I’m GLAD A.I. doesn’t want to come here. You think Vince Carter is overrated? Iverson is on the downside of an unremarkable, over-hyped career and will someday be remembered as a poor-man’s World B. Free.

Have you seen him in the Olympics? The guy has Tim Duncan and Shawn Marion on his team, and they barely made it past Greece! GREECE!!

Iverson is my least favorite kind of player: Someone who scored 40 points a game by hoisting up 100 shots. Someone who turns the ball over more times than he takes it away. Someone who forces his coach out, and that same coach goes and wins the championship the next year with another team.

I’d rather see the Sonics bring back Gary’s 45-year-old ass than see A.I. in green and gold. Speaking of which…

Pete Nussbaum said...

Re: AI

Number of playoff series won by the Sixers in the 5 years before AI arrived:

0.

Number of playoff series won by the Sixers in his first 5 years with the team:

5.

Say what you want about AI: he's a lunatic, he's a ballhog, he's got too many tats, he's a loudmouth, but remember to say that the man busts his ass every second he's on the court.

Or, put this way, who else, other than Shaq or maybe Tim Duncan, would have taken the '01 Sixers to the NBA Finals? Think Ray Allen would have? Steve Nash? Kobe? Garnett? I don't think so. Jesus, the second-leading scorer on that team was Aaron Freakin' McKie, and they made it to the Finals!

As for AI and the Olympics, why is it only his fault the team is losing? Is it his fault Tim Duncan can't make a foul shot to save his life or that Richard Jefferson's 3-point stroke is somewhere in the Adriatic?

Paul Merrill said...

No doubt, Iverson works his ass off on the court, but all the hustle in the world doesn't matter if you don't understand the game (see Kemp, Shawn). He has tons of talent and balls of steel, but he's never going to win a ring unless he learns how to get his teammates involved. The same was said of Jordan, though, and he was almost 30 before he figured it out, so maybe A.I. still has hope.

As far as Iverson "taking" the '01 Sixers to the Finals, I would say it had as much to do with Larry Brown and a very weak Eastern Conference as it did Iverson. Notice how quickly they went in the dumper once Brown left?

It's not all Iverson's fault that the Olympic team sucks, of course, but going 4-14 from the field against Greece (GREECE!) doesn't help. I think the Cream Team might actually be turning a corner, however... they beat Australia today! USA! USA!

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