July 11, 2004

Rolling... in my 5.0 with my rag-top down, so my hair can blow.: Shaq and Dwayne on the beach. But, is it worth it?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey to basketball at 09:24 PM - 23 comments

Beachfront Avenue!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:26 PM on July 11, 2004

With Kobe playing General Manager while still not under contract, it's the insane running the asylum. The Lakers are getting three small forwards. Odom and Butler are good pickups, but Grant couldn't play center in the East. My biggest worry is Kobe. He is (my God, could anything be more obvious) not a team player, and no matter where he plays, he's going to demand the ball 100% of the time. I believe the ideal system in Kobe's mind is four pass-first point guards and himself. I feel sorry for Odom, who I think could be a superstar if he ever got his own team. He went to Miami to play for Riley... that didn't happen. He's going to back to L.A. where he got in a bunch of trouble. He's joining the Lakers, but it's Kobe's Lakers, where he'll need to play point guard to ever get the ball in his hands.

posted by dusted at 12:02 AM on July 12, 2004

Cool by me.....get Shaq out of the West and not in Dallas. I hereby officially unyoke that soapbox. I'm guessing the Lakers will pull one more trade off, either dealing Butler + or Odom +. They're stuck with Medvedenko at center, and that's just not going to fly, Kobe or not. I imagine a decent bidding war between the Lakers and the Mavs for Dampier right now, both willing to give up something decent plus jettison some of the chaff in exchange for a pretty legit center. Here's hoping Cuban pulls it off.

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:31 AM on July 12, 2004

Add on, the Heat are left with what now? Shaq, Dwayne Wade and...Rafer Alston? Funny to see that the new East SouthEast (or whatever the hell that division will be) has been shaken up so much these past few weeks. Six months ago, I was saying that it'd be hilarious to see the Bobcats come in and win the division, thereby getting the automatic playoff berth. I don't think that'll happen any longer, but the thought of Orlando and Miami fighting for it seems....boring at best. Also of note, and I'm not sure if either of Weedy's link allude to it, there are apparently talks of MJ becoming a partial owner of the Heat. Is it just me, or is this the most interesting off-season in quite some time? Especially considering the draft was kind of ...

posted by Ufez Jones at 01:38 AM on July 12, 2004

Shaq is my favorite player. But I'm still not gonna watch Eastern conference ball.

posted by molafson at 02:11 AM on July 12, 2004

It is hard to tell who this trade makes less sense for, LA or Miami. Miami suddenly has a center who can dominate the East (if he's at even 80%, he'll lead the league in scoring) but nothing else. And LA... if Kobe really is playing GM, he's doing a terrible job of it, unless he's got another trade up his sleeve. The Jordan tidbit is interesting- Riley-Jordan? I can't imagine the level of ego clash there. But I suppose trading for Shaq now would make more sense, then- it perfectly fits the Jordan-as-GM model of getting a mega-superstar past his prime, then blowing up the team's youth model in order to maybe make it to the playoffs.

posted by tieguy at 08:09 AM on July 12, 2004

Add on, the Heat are left with what now? Shaq, Dwayne Wade and...Rafer Alston? Rafer is headed back to the Raptors...

posted by smithers at 08:18 AM on July 12, 2004

Dwyane Wade and Shaq is as good a combo as TMac-Yao right now, imo. In 3 years, that's not going to be the case, but "maybe make it to the playoffs" is way too pessimistic. Barring injury, the Heat have made a move that will almost assuredly make them Finals contenders for the next 2 years. 2 years after that, they will have $30 mil worth of salary cap space with which to lure another superstar. So this is not a bad move at all for the Heat. What's interesting to me is just how bad the Lakers are looking talent-wise, even with this trade, next year. Jaric/Livingston certainly looks better for the future than Payton/Fisher (if they even retain Fisher), Maggette v. Butler and Brand v. Odom already show the Clippers with a decisive edge now. The Clippers honestly have the better talent, and the Lakers are lucky they can pay Kobe $30 mil more than the Clippers or Kobe would have already bolted.

posted by platocave at 08:49 AM on July 12, 2004

According to the article, Shaq's agent says that they are dropping they're contract extension demand.... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Right. Give it till the 2nd, maybe 3rd game of preseason, and Shaq will be screaming for Arison & Fund to extend him. At least the Lakers will be more "watchable" though less likely to contend. Oh well.

posted by lilnemo at 03:00 PM on July 12, 2004

I can't wait to see solo Kobe. Is there a word for anticipatory Schadenfreude?

posted by lbergstr at 03:09 PM on July 12, 2004

How much schadenfreude can you anticipate when the guy is choosing between $100 and $130 million?

posted by dusted at 04:54 PM on July 12, 2004

ok his salary might go up, but without shaq drawing defenders the rest of his numbers will plummet. ha ha ha ha ha.

posted by lbergstr at 05:30 PM on July 12, 2004

I just realized that acquiring Caron Butler pushes George out of the starting lineup. PRAISE GOD.

posted by lilnemo at 05:33 PM on July 12, 2004

...the rest of his numbers will plummet. I think it's a toss up. PPG will probably stay the same, FGA obviously will jump, as will FTA. FG% however, may sink to Iverson levels. RPG should jump. APG, (due to roster fluctuation) is yet to be determined. I'm pretty sure the numbers will be there. Whether or not Kobe is considered a top 5 player again is very questionable.

posted by lilnemo at 05:37 PM on July 12, 2004

Shaq may or may not dominate in the East, but I think either way he is done come playoffs (if the Heat are there). If he doesn't get in some serious shape, the nightly pounding of Eastern ball may wear him out quick. I think it all really depends on how hard Shaq is going to work. Will he be in shape and play some defense, or the fat guy hanging out under his own basket? If his recent trend continues, Miami may have gotten the bad end of this deal.

posted by pivo at 05:55 PM on July 12, 2004

...nightly pounding of Eastern ball may wear him out quick... I think this is an important point. Eastern Conference teams, due to a relative lack of size, tend to be fast-breaking, ball-pressuring outfits. The Heat in particular. Acquiring Shaq calls for a dramatic change of pace from a dynamic full-tilt running assault, to micromanaged half court sets. Are there any capable spot up shooters on the Heat roster? Rasual Butler? Maybe. Dwayne Wade? Maybe. Eddie Jones? They tried this before. Heat player who looks to benefit most from the trade? Udonis Haslem. Removing Grant and Odom makes his prime competition for the 4 spot Malik Allen. If his recent trend continues, Miami may have gotten the bad end of this deal. And I quote the Sport's Guy: Next year will be Shaq's 13th season. Just about every Hall of Fame center started declining between seasons 12 to 14 -- Kareem, Wilt, Hakeem, Ewing, Robinson, Mokeski. Russell saw the writing on the wall and retired. Only Moses and Parish kept chugging along, but neither of them was nearly as good in his mid-30s. Even Shaq watched his scoring average drop six points last year. Nowadays, when Shaq submits monster games like that 36-20 in Game 4, you say things like, "Wow, Shaq really has his legs tonight," and his coach says stuff like, "We wasted one of the all-time great efforts by Shaq tonight." Back in his prime, a 36-20 wasn't a cause for celebration. You expected him to repeat the performance 48 hours later. He's wearing down. Slowly. Subtly. That's the real reason L.A. chose Kobe. But by dissing Shaq in the decision process, they opened the door for a Clemens-like revival over the next 3 to 4 years -- something that never would have happened had he remained a Laker. Now he's about to pull an Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill." It could go either way. Too bad it came to this. It's sad to think that Shaq could have another 20/10 season considered "a failure".

posted by lilnemo at 06:21 PM on July 12, 2004

Oooh, Laker owner Jerry Buss piles on Shaq: "We were kind of on the fence anyway," Buss said. "We were thinking, `Should we trade him this year, should we keep him?' At some time, we know his asset value is going to decrease, that's completely obvious. The question is, at what point can you trade one asset for other assets and keep the franchise at the top of the heap?"

posted by lilnemo at 07:01 PM on July 12, 2004

I think Wade will work well with Shaq. I say that more from seeing Wade in Conference USA - I think he can do the spot-up shooting. I believe Wade has a rather high FG% particularly for a rookie (I checked, it's .455% highest on the TEAM in the playoffs, .465% in the regular season). You don't get that from driving to the basket, commentators aside, that comes from a good midrange game. So Wade may be even better with Shaq, although that's without a sophomore jinx. I think Eddie Jones will be good with Wade and Shaq. Jones can slash, Wade can distribute and shoot. Maybe Haslem, Allen and Butler can platoon at the forward spots. I think Miami will have to pick up some free agents, maybe some diamond-in-the-rough rookies to make this work. I don't see this making Miami a Finals contender without another good player or two. This Miami lineup is not better than the Lakers were, imo. If Shaq goes on the revenge tear suggested by Bill Simmons and returns to a good playing weight, maybe that can help them challenge for the East's top spot. Maybe he just needs some controlled carbs.

posted by BobbyC at 09:08 PM on July 12, 2004

It's a great trade that leaves both teams with a shitload of holes and no depth. Only in the NBA.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:00 AM on July 13, 2004

Just a quick note: A Google search for the word "Shaqenfreude" comes up with no results. Or maybe now it'll come up with just this page. Let it be known that the word was coined here, then.

posted by taupe at 12:22 PM on July 13, 2004

That is *sweet*, taupe!

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:52 PM on July 13, 2004

taupe- Direct yourself to the SpoFi wiki. Stat!

posted by lilnemo at 05:06 PM on July 13, 2004

It's now official.

posted by dusted at 04:17 PM on July 14, 2004

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