Ben Gordon Signs With The Pistons

ben_gordonOK, I’ve been wrong before. It’s not often I don’t get basketball related things right, but it happens sometimes. I remember when I thought that Tayshaun Prince was going to be a bust in the league. Rip Hamilton too. Both of those guys turned out to be decent pros don’t you think? Well, I have another one to add to the list as I thought there was no way on earth Ben Gordon would get the same kind of money he turned down in Chicago. Wrong again.

I wrote an article called “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Gordon” where I basically said BG was stupid for turning down $50+ million dollar contract offers from the Chicago Bulls two summers in a row and he would never see another deal like that again. But Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons proved me wrong as they offered him a 5 year, $55 million dollar deal.

As a life-long, die hard Bulls fan it pains me to see a guy who was no doubt the only real scoring threat we had leave. What hurts worse than that is seeing him go to the Pistons who I’ve hated since they days of the “Bad Boys” beating up on my beloved Bulls. At first I blamed management for not trying harder to get a deal done with him. But now that he just signed for virtually the exact same money that he was offered here in Chicago (the Bulls offered 5 years, $50 million), there’s no doubt in my mind that BG has a very big axe to grind with management and he signed with the Pistons — a divison rival — just so he could stick it to his old squad four times a year.

Still, my basketball mind says this signing leaves more questions than answers. The biggest one being how long is Ben Gordon going to be happy with coming off the bench if the Pistons don’t plan on moving Rip Hamilton? BG was very unhappy coming off the bench in Chicago even though he was much more productive in that scenario. He’s always maintained that he feels he’s a starter in this league. I can’t knock his professionalism because even when he was unhappy in his role, he didn’t quit on the Bulls and he came to play every night. That’s why he was a fan favorite. Still, when you have a player sulking or complaining about their role it undoubtedly has an effect on team chemistry.

Chicago Bulls fans have a history of still cheering and rooting for guys even after they leave town as long as they played hard while they were here and represented the name on the front of the uniform with pride and passion. Had Ben Gordon gone anywhere else besides Detroit, he would still be loved here in the city. Now, this “Natural Born Killer” just became “Public Enemy #1”.

Chuck Daly – R.I.P.

The basketball world lost a great one today. Chuck Daly passed away this morning at the age of 78. The man who coached the first “Dream Team” and created the “Jordan Rules” lost his battle with pancreatic cancer 2 months after being diagnosed with it. He will most definitely be missed.

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Rasheed Wallace – Greatest Postgame Interview EVER!!

A little throwback moment for you guys…LOL

Allen Iverson Cut His Hair!!

Cornrows are officially dead now…

AI - No Hair

Allen Iverson Hair Cut 2

Carlos Arroyo – Orgullo De Puerto Rico

arroyoI can’t remember where or when it was I first heard about Carlos Arroyo, but my best guess has to be around ’03 when he played for the Utah Jazz.  I mean let’s face it, when the guy who replaces a Hall of Fame PG and legend in John Stockton is a kid from Puerto Rico, the world does take notice. In any case, I started doing my homework on the kid because that’s a pretty big deal wouldn’t you say? Not to mention my wife is also Puerto Rican and that was the same year that I met her so I basically immersed myself in the culture. I went from listening to Nas and Jay-Z to Don Omar y Daddy Yankee. From Hip-Hop and R&B to Salsa y Reggaeton. I couldn’t understand the words but the beats and the music were hot so that was fine with me!

The first thing I found out about my man Arroyo was that he played at Florida International University with Raja Bell of the Phoenix Suns. I had no idea that dude wrecked shop in college the way he did. FIU’s all time assist leader, all time steals leader, second player in school history to put up 1600 points, all Sun-Belt, retired jersey…THE MAN. Impressed, I did a little more digging and found out that while he was in school, he also played for a team owned by his father. This cat would fly from Florida to Puerto Rico to play games and then fly back again to go to class. I mean c’mon, seriously how sick is that?!

At the Athens Olympics in 2004 is when he really blew up. He basically went to work on Allen Iverson and Stephon Marbury when Puerto Rico knocked off the US in pool play. It was the first ever Olympic loss for Team USA since they started using NBA players in 1992. He had 25pts, 7 dimes and 4 steals in that game and on the world’s biggest sports stage he was the brightest star in basketball. I have to admit, when he popped his jersey in D Wade’s face and stared down the rest of Team USA, I thought that was pretty cool. It was the single defining moment of those Olympic games. Puerto Ricans have a lot of pride and that very moment exemplified that pride.

The sad thing is that he could never translate that one shining moment in his career and his proven ability as a scoring PG — based on his success in college and at the international level — into success in the NBA. The Jazz traded him to Detroit in ’05 where he almost became the second Puerto Rican born player to win an NBA championship. A year later he was traded to the Orlando Magic and two years after that — just this past summer — he was part of an exodus of NBA players who jumped ship to the Euroleague when he signed a 3 year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel after playing almost 7 years in the league.

By NBA standards Carlos Arroyo was certainly not a star but on La Isla Del Encanto, he is their biggest basketball star and I wish him the best of luck in the Euroleague. Boricua!!

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The Answer’s New Clothes

AI & Joe D

 

AI

 

Iverson Traded To Detroit For Billups & McDyess

Word on the street is that a deal is in the works to trade Allen Iverson to the the Detroit Pistons for Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess (who probably won’t play for Denver and will most likely be bought out by the team). Speculation had been running rampant since training camp that AI probably wouldn’t finish the year in Denver and it seems that Joe Dumars has always wanted AI. He almost brought him to Detroit a few years ago when he was in Philly. This move helps Denver immediately by upgrading them at the PG spot and giving them a proven winner and NBA champion in Chauncey. It also gives him a chance to possibly finish out his career “at home” since he’s originally from Denver.

This deal ultimately won’t help the Pistons win right away, but I don’t think Joe Dumars made this deal with “win now” in mind. Not to knock AI because he is certainly a Hall of Fame player and one of the best ever to play in the NBA, but adding him doesn’t make the Pistons a contender for the eastern conference crown or an NBA title. The only benefit this deal gives Detroit is that AI has an expiring contract and it looks like Joe D is already in the process of freeing up cap room to make a run at the coveted 2010 FA class which includes LeBron James, D Wade and Chris Bosh. It also gives him flexibility during next summers FA signing period as well. So adding Iverson now amounts to what is essentially just a one season “rental”.  The immediate issue for Detroit is going to be figuring out their lineup. Trading away Billups indicates that the team is very high on Rodney Stuckey and if they intend to start him at the one, between AI and Rip Hamilton somebody is going to have to come off the bench at the two spot. So in the short term, the Nuggets win on this one because of their dire need at PG and they’re certainly in “win now” mode. I still don’t think that they’ll be better than a 5th or 6th seed in the playoffs and even by adding “Mr. Big Shot” it doesn’t make them title contenders either. But in the grand scheme of things…Detroit wins big time on this one.