“Apparently it’s time to bring out the gimp.”
Ryan Fox --- @Spider_Fox87
Between buyouts galore, a series of unfortunate events for one NBA team this season, and some off-the-court issues, this was one chaotic week in the NBA. We half all this plus the biggest sensation to sweep the NBA nation: 'The Mask'.
Buy, Buy, Buy!
All of last week, we were focused on which basketball player was going to be traded and where he was going to go. Now that has past, the next ‘NBA Watch’ was which players was going to have his contract bought out by his team. The first one for that to happen to was F/C Glen Davis with the Orlando Magic. Then more players followed suit. One day after being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the trade deadline, F Earl Clark had his contract bought out by the team. Then last Monday on 2/24, the New York Knicks bought out the contracts of F Metta World Piece and G Ben Udrih. Then on Thursday, the contracts of Milwaukee Bucks F Caron Butler and Sacramento Kings G Jimmie Fredette were bought out by their respective teams.
But it was on Wednesday, the biggest buyout surprise happened. After getting traded to the 76ers from the Indiana Pacers in what was dubbed the ‘biggest trade’ of the season, F Danny Granger’s contracts was bought out before playing a single minute in a 76ers uniform. As much as you want to scratch your heads and wonder why teams would pull such a maneuver, remember that each team does whatever they think is in their best interest. Even if it means sacrificing a few dollars to shake up the roster.
- As of 2/28, Danny Granger has signed with the Los Angeles Clippers after clearing waivers
- As of 3/1, Caron Butler and the Oklahoma City Thunder have agreed to terms for Butler to join the team after clearing waivers.
As it stands, the Milwaukee Bucks still are in the ‘top position’ of having the best chance of landing the NBA #1 overall pick. Currently they have the worst record in the NBA at 11-46 (.193). Just 3.5 games behind the Bucks are the Philadelphia 76ers at 15-43 (.259), followed by the Orlando Magic at 5.5 games back at 18-42 (.300), and a tie between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics for the 4th and 5th worst records in the NBA 20-39 (.339) apiece.
It’s a Good Week for the Media
If you were a member of the sports media, then this past week was your week for stories. First you had Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo ‘taking time off’ to celebrate his birthday this past Sunday when the Cs were on the road (Mind you he wasn’t slated to play against the Kings and still joined up with them on Monday for their game at Utah against the Jazz). Then you had New York Knicks PG Raymond Felton get arrested for weapons charge on Monday when he waved around his gun at a girlfriend during a dispute (Nothing to worry about since he can’t shoot straight anyways). Next, you have little tiff between Los Angeles Lakers F/C Paul Gasol and head coach Mike D’Antoni with Gasol going to the press and criticizing D’Antoni’s coaching style and then the latter going after the former.
If you thought you had your fill, make room for desert. Finally you had Miami LeBron James don ‘The Mask’ during a game with against the New York Knicks this past Thursday. Essentially it was merely a protective mask that players wear to protect their face when they break their nose but it was all black. Some people (mostly the idiots in Bristol, CT) were saying how LeBron resembled the cape crusader but in fact he looked more like ‘The Gimp’ from Pulp Fiction than anything else. Throw in the fact that the Brooklyn Nets signed F/C Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly homosexual to play at the professional level, and you had enough stories in there to fill the entire sports section of a newspaper.
Big Turds in Big Apple
There is no sugar-coating what is going on with both the New York Knicks. This year, the Knicks are at a bottom-dwelling 21-38. They’ve lost 6 of their last 7 games since the All-Star break, including a 5-game losing streak where given up an average of 116 points per game. Just recently, they were blown out 126-103 by the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden where allowed Warriors PG Stephon Curry to record his 3rd triple-double of the season (27 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds). There’s only 23 games left for them in the regular season but at their current rate, the Knicks will not even make it to 30 wins.
But what’s really sad is the fact that even if the Knicks finish within the bottom 10 of the NBA, they won’t even have a 1st-round pick to fall back on. Instead it would be the Denver Nuggets who will get that pick, stemming all the way back to the trade during the season that brought Carmelo Anthony over to the Knicks in the first place during the 2010-11 season. Last year, they were the Atlantic Division winners and the #2 seed in the East Conference. They were just one or two players away from making their way into the NBA Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, whom they dominated during the regular season. Now the Knicks have taken on their old role during the ‘Isiah Thomas Era’ as just a team with underperforming players with bloated contracts and no draft picks to help build their team. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
If you hadn't seen it yet, basically it's going to be the next big thing going down in South Beach. After suffering a broken nose during a 103-81 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 20th, Miami Heat F LeBron James had to don the traditional protective face mask while he played. However he created a stir when, instead of using the usual clear plastic, he opted to wear a black carbon fiber one in last Thursday's match up against the New York Knicks. The mask didn't bother LeBron as he tore up the Knicks for 31 points on 13-of-19 (68.4% FG) in a 108-82 blowout win for the Heat. However the mask created a stir on twitter and in sports media circle comparing LeBron's mask to the likes of Mankind, Batman, and a BDSM person's mask.
However on Friday, NBA officials have asked LeBron to change his current mask to the usual clear plastic one for the Heats' Saturday night match up against the Orlando Magic. But because the black mask became so popular during it's one-and-only debut for him, don't be shocked if LeBron tries to emulate something similar in the future.
3 = Number of overtimes it took for the Washington Wizards to beat the Toronto Raptors last Thursday in a 134-129 victory over in the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. It was also the number of Wizards players who recorded double-doubles (F Trevor Ariza 16 points & 10 rebounds, C Marcin Gortat 31 points & 12 rebounds, SG Bradley Beal 11 points & 10 rebounds) and how many Raptors players fouled out during that same game (PG Kyle Lowry, F/C Amir Johnson, F/C Patrick Patterson).
63 = Number of minutes played during that same Triple OT game between the Wizards and Raptors. The actual length of the game was 3 hours and 32 minutes.
.250 = Winning percentage of the Oklahoma City Thunder (1-3) since their All-Star PG Russell Westbrook rejoined the team after having a second surgery on his knee this season.
.903 = The winning percentage of the Indiana Pacers this season at home (28-3), the best home record in the NBA so far this season.
31.5 = Average points per game for Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant, which leads the NBA this season.
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