Friday, May 25, 2012

Everyone Involved With Orlando And Charlotte Have Done Lost Their Minds

Now, perhaps this is all just Internet tomfoolery here, but two quick rumors need to be noted.

1) The Orlando Magic actually considered making Shaquille O'Neal their new GM, and

2) Jerry Sloan would consent, on some level, to being the coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

Now, um, the first.

Orlando, didn't Shaq do enough damage to your franchise when he left the first time?

I've watched the NBA on TNT all year long. I'm not sure that I'd trust Shaq with a lunch order, let alone my franchise. He did not succeed in the NBA on conditioning; he succeeded on freakish athletic ability. His teams, when they lost in the playoffs, fell like redwoods, with many a sweep at the hands of what would appear to be similar, or even inferior, talent. What he says in public, on panels, betrays no great intellect; the TNT show would be vastly superior without him. The track record of NBA stars turned GMs is shoddy at best; for every Joe Dumars title, there's a Darko signing, for every Larry Bird award, there's the utter devastation that Kevin McHale rained down on Minnesota. And didn't Orlando just run off another ex-NBA big man, anyway?

Rather, this seems to be entirely about one thing: seeing if this will keep Dwight Howard. Like one man makes a franchise, or makes one that actually wins more than regular season games. When Orlando made its run, it did so with a deep roster of three point shooters and reasonable defense; when they fell apart, it was because the back-end talent on the roster had atrophied, especially on non-Howard related defense.

Oh, and the big man is currently hurt, and might not be the same when he gets back. Especially if he doesn't rehab things well. What's needed here is a Sam Presti-level of geek value, a Houston Renaissance of found value, and a whole better than its parts trade of Howard to create a team with a new identity. And into all of that, you'd bring in a carnival sideshow, a novelty signing, an utterly inexperienced man who has never dealt, on this level, with agents or owners or media or hiring a coach...

Well, I doubt it's going to happen, or ever was in danger of happening. But you have to admire, really, the ability of Magic Management to debase themselves for our amusement. And speaking of debasement...

Really, Jerry Sloan, you'd go to work for Michael Jordan's utter and irrefutable trainwreck team in the backwash of the ACC?

Didn't the Push Off To Win do you enough damage? Aren't you, well, older than just about anyone else involved in the NBA, with the possible exception of Harvey Pollack? Have you noticed how the Hornets have the worst talent in the league, how MJ has shown no ability in doing anything to attract or inspire talent, how free agents regard playing for Mr. Lockout with about as much appetite as playing in the Third World?

I get that Sloan is a big enough egotist to think he can succeed in any environment, and that after time away from the game, he'd be up for taking just about any gig. I also get that he thinks that he can replicate the late era Jazz teams with his system, draft Euros who have no idea what kind of hole they are walking into, and that the Eastern Conference, at least, keeps him from that recurring Kobe Nightmare he's been living for the past 15 years. But if he couldn't make things work with Deron Williams, who is at least good, how is he supposed to get anything out of DJ Augustin and Kemba Walker?

No, this is just a consequence-free salary grab, a few more million and the loving tongue baths of NBA writers who will regard anything over 12-70 as further proof of his genius, and Jordan just slipping into found money for a year or two, until Sloan can stand no more.

It's sad, but then again, so is everything else connected with Jordan for the past, what, 15 years now?

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule