May 20, 2004

"Why Kevin Garnett will lose Game 7": Baseball columnist Aaron Gleeman pokes fun at all the KG collapse predictions made before last night's game. The Timberwolves sent the Kings home behind a fourth-quarter clinic by Garnett, setting up a Western Conference Finals matchup with the Lakers. Meanwhile, this is the third game 7 loss in a row for the Kings - what changes are needed?

posted by dusted to basketball at 12:11 PM - 17 comments

His "going to war" comments notwithstanding, I've always been a fan of KG, and am rooting for him to excel all the way to the Finals, where he can then lose to the Pistons. (I'm still a homer) But I think KG is a rare creature in the NBA nowadays...a player with all the talent in the world, yet he doesn't let that stand in his way of being a good guy. He knows he's playing a kid's game for a living, he knows that nothing he does on the court affects the world at large, and he isn't full of himself, and seems to genuinely just have a blast on the floor. Gotta love it...

posted by MeatSaber at 12:30 PM on May 20, 2004

You really think KG is having a blast? It seems to me like he's so intense and focused, more like he's on a mission (sorry for another military reference) than on the playground.

posted by dusted at 12:39 PM on May 20, 2004

I think KG is finally showing the mature competitive spirit that he's lacked in years past. That said, there have been a couple of playoff games where he just hasn't played well and the rest of the Wolves, mainly Sprewell, have had to pick up the slack. I loved the fact that I was at my friend's place with the PVR when Peeler smacked KG with that elbow. We must've re-watched that play a dozen or so times. You could see KG just about to lunge forward and something just clicked and he rescinded. Very cool play on his part. As far as the Kings go, I'll agree with that article that amongst the pieces they have, they need to ditch Webber. The only problem is, with his contract and health issues, they'll likely wind up eating a decent portion of his salary for a few years and not get near what they would had he played even half a season this year. But you could tell that when he came back it just threw the Kings off their game. They may be able to recover from that with a tough off-season regimine, but I kind of doubt it.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:45 PM on May 20, 2004

Kings ditch Webber? OK I can see why that might be a good idea - that won't be a very balanced trade though. If Webber can improve his health even slightly he would be a good player on any team - just not the go-to guy he once was. Still has hands, still has a shot and maybe he learned something from Vlade about team play. I could see him back in the East having some good games with, uh, the Celtics?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:06 PM on May 20, 2004

Danny Ainge would probably trade Paul Pierce for Webber straight up.

posted by dusted at 01:14 PM on May 20, 2004

I seriously get the feeling that Webber might limp using the wrong leg. He just seems to look for an excuse to fold. He might be healthy next season, but he just doesn't have "it" - whatever "it" is. I was at a bar in Northern California watching the Lakers beat the Spurs last weekend, and there were Kings fans all around. I bought a beer for a Kings fan next to me, and we started discussing the merits of each team. No punches were thrown in the making of this list: They're all assholes, except for Brad Miller and Derek Fisher. The most annoying player in the league is Doug Christie, followed closely by Kobe. Kobe is the one player you'd want taking the last shot. Shaq is too fat. Bibby has more rows of teeth than a great white shark. Fisher flops almost as much as Vlade. Phil Jackson and Adelman are both overrated.

posted by dusted at 02:03 PM on May 20, 2004

Since when is Brad Miller not an asshole?

posted by MeatSaber at 02:05 PM on May 20, 2004

Seriously, I hate that guy. A, Asshole. B, even more obnoxious than Jon Barry.

posted by lbergstr at 03:29 PM on May 20, 2004

I don't like Webber's attitude or that pouty frown whenever he misses a shot or gets called for a foul. He's been handed everything his whole life and when it finally came time for hime to work hard and strive, and give it his all, he failed.

posted by insomnyuk at 04:27 PM on May 20, 2004

I guess it's all subjective. My biggest pet peeve is players who protest every call, no matter how obvious. As you can imagine, I'm not a Sam Cassell fan - he's convinced he's never committed a single foul his entire career. Brad Miller is my type of player: tough, inside play and either raises his hand or at least keeps his mouth shut when he gets called for a foul.

posted by dusted at 05:37 PM on May 20, 2004

He's been handed everything his whole life and when it finally came time for hime to work hard and strive, and give it his all, he failed. Such hatred for CWebb. That I don't get. I don't think he's been handed everything his whole life. He certainly was a talented player and didn't acheive what some of us expected but I would make two points. 1. INJURIES. CWebb has been hurt a lot. Shoulder surgery in Washington, ankle surgery, knee surgery. I don't think you can look at his career without considering the injuries. Would you say Anfernee Hardaway and Grant Hill failed? He's really never been able to stay healthy which effects what he can do. 2. MATURITY. Chris Webber made me really happy this year. He was crippled, Garnett was using him, but he played really hard. He showed a lot of heart. It used to drive me crazy when he was back on the Wiz and he'd shoot threes all the time but his game has grown some much since then. He really made himself a great player. Four years ago when he was healthy he went 27pts/11reb/4ast/2blk. You just can't look at that and say he didn't work hard. I don't know what more you want out of CWebb. He was almost MVP and went to the Western Conference finals a couple times. To say that unless you're the MVP and win a ring, you're a failure who doesn't work hard. I call BS on that.

posted by Mike McD at 09:52 PM on May 20, 2004

Such hatred for CWebb. Does he not deserve at least a little of it, though? He's left a path of destruction wherever he's played, back through college and even his High School days. He's a good player, nobody can deny that. But he just doesn't have what it takes to be a champion. I wouldn't call him a failure, but I wouldn't put him in the elite zone either. Not by a stretch. As far as Miller goes, I was infatuated with him as a player right up until playoffs. Then he showed his really dirty side, taking cheap shots and getting ejected. Maybe he's got a history of this (I really don't pay attention to the Eastern Conf. until playoffs, and up until this year, the Pacers never did much in playoffs). That said, I'd still rather have him on my team than CWebb.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:35 PM on May 20, 2004

Would you say Anfernee Hardaway and Grant Hill failed? Yes. And with that, I don't think CWebb is the only one who should be blamed for (this year's) playoff failures. Peja did not show up for the playoff, having had to carry the team throughout the season (#2 in the league in minutes played this season). Bibby has not been consistent. I can't remember the last time Vlade had a good game. And the injuries, as usual, have killed us (along with stupid fouls - thanks a lot, AP!). When it was obvious that Jackson will not come back this season, is when I knew that the Kings will once again not fulfill their potential. All in all, if anyone has to go, Adelman is the man. He's had his chances, now it's time to let someone else try (although, I must say, it would be nice to get a season without major injuries).

posted by CountZero at 03:07 AM on May 21, 2004

I don't dislike Webber, but he has this Eddie Haskell aesthetic that keeps me from embracing him. Might not be an apt comparison, but he strikes me as one of those guys who says the right things and isn't a bad guy overall, but can be so much of a weasel at times that it outweighs everything else. 1) The strangest thing is that he was so classy with the "Timeout" thing as a college sophomore, yet couldn't find it within himself to fess up on the Ed Martin stuff. 2) As much he would like to paint himself as the savior of the Sacramento franchise -- vis a vis his whining about being booed this season -- the Kings did give him the chance to redeem himself. After all, two other teams had already gotten tired of his act. Granted, the Warriors and Wizards haven't exactly contended for titles since, but that might also shed light on how worthwhile he was for those teams when he was there. 3) Along those lines, I had a problem with his complaining about Sacremento's crappiness as a town a couple of years ago, accurate as it may or may not be, the subtext being that "I've spent enough time in the boonies." And the bitchfit when the local paper wrote about his relationship with Tyra Banks, a piece that wasn't exactly hard-hitting or terribly invasive.

posted by jackhererra at 09:44 AM on May 21, 2004

yerfatma: thank you, thank you, thank you

posted by lbergstr at 03:40 PM on May 21, 2004

Can we talk less about why Webber sucks and more about how KG is the Kwisatz Haderach? I mean, seriously, he's done more for Minnesota than anyone since Prince.

posted by lbergstr at 03:42 PM on May 21, 2004

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