Chasing Down The Latest NBA News
Steve Nash is a Laker. Up is Down. Black is White.
As Mark has already pointed out, the Lakers have acquired none other than Mr. Steve Nash to run the point for them in the upcoming season, a development that seems, well, a little strange to say the least, considering all of the epic playoff battles that Steve has had against the Lake Show. From what we know it sounds like Steve’s desire to stay on the West Coast to be with his family was a deciding factor, along with the fact that the Lakers could well be one point guard away from a title run.
It didn’t occur to me just how odd this would seem to me until I saw Steve Nash in Laker gold. While that will be something that takes a lot of getting used to, the thing to remember here is that for all the raving of the fans about loyalty, they only thing that truly matters to the players are family, winning, and money, and not necessarily in that order. Which is as it should be. The loyalty of people you will never actually meet is a tenuous thing at best, and shouldn’t factor in to your long term thinking. I’ve made no bones about the fact that I’m not a Laker fan, and I will cheerfully root for Steve to lose come the season, but for now, good on you, Mr. Nash, for doing something that makes sense for you and your family.
And I’ll be a little honest with you. Basketball-wise, this move scares the crap out of me. Steve Nash running pick and rolls with Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol? That seem fair at all to anyone? Laker fans, if you thought the offense looked better with Ramon Sessions at the helm, I can’t blame you. You’ve been cursed with Derrick Fisher for a long time. But in getting Nash, you’ve essentially traded your 90’s model Honda Civic for a classic Porsche. You guys are in for a treat.
Hit the jump for the rest of Jordan’s piece…
The Sharks Are Circling The Mavericks
Mark Cuban must really love this Shark Tank show. Like, really really love it. Why else would he miss Deron Williams’s trip out to Dallas in order to film it? It’s not like he basically threw away a title defense season to clear cap space so he could make a run at signing either Williams or Dwight Howard. Wait, that’s exactly what he did?
Yes, that’s exactly what he did. Cuban gambled big, dismantling a championship squad for a chance at signing players who could become that foundation for a dynasty. Which is a commendable thing to do, really. Go big or go home. It’s a philosophy that is easy to associate with Dallas’ outspoken owner. But the thing is if you are going to put all your eggs in one basket, it might be a good thing to make sure that you are going to be there when those eggs hatch.
Now I understand that Cuban was contractually bound to appear on the show, and there was apparently no way around this, but the fact remains that if the Mavericks’ owner wasn’t such a public figure with TV contracts and such, maybe he could have courted Deron Williams to Dallas. In the meantime Mavs fans (not to mention Dirk) will just have to make do with OJ Mayo and Elton Brand.
JET to Boston, Jesus to Miami
Speaking of loyalty and such, you may have heard that defending champions Miami somehow managed to sign Ray Allen right out from under the noses of Boston for about half of what Mean Green was offering to pay the legendary sharpshooter. How could such a thing happen? Allen apparently had issues with the team for the majority of last season, from reports of tension between him and strong personality of Rajon Rondo, to the team dangling him as trade bait over the deadline.
When the dust cleared, Jesus Shuttlesworth decided he would rather take his talents to South Beach than to stick it out in Beantown. For Boston’s part, they seemingly knew this was happening, as the team courted Jason Terry away from the Mavericks, a player that is known for thriving in the role of bench scorer that Allen is vacating in Boston. The Celtics have mitigated the damage and are looking as if they fully intend on facing the Heat again in the playoffs.
But with Miami adding the greatest three point shooter in NBA history, as well as super-long shooter Rashard Lewis, the important question is if the slightly-new-look Celtics have made the necessary adjustments to beat the Heat, or will the Eastern Conference juggernaut be too much for them once again?
Daryl Morey Masters The Poison Pill
Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey has spent most of this free agency proving that he could not, in point of fact, care less about you or your couch. Morey has long had a reputation of being one of the more clever general managers in the league, and his actions thus far are proving that to be true, even if he fails to accomplish the goal behind a lot of his scheming.
One of the first free agency actions to cause a stir was Morey’s offering of a $25 million dollar contract to Omer Asik, with most of that money being backloaded into the final year. The back loading of the contract made it difficult for Chicago to match without effectively limiting their window of contention to two years, with the league’s new luxury tax making cap penalties significantly heavier.
With Turkish Delight bought and paid for, Morey then proceeded to do nearly the exact same thing with Jeremy Lin of the Knicks. The Rockets offered the sensational point guard a contract with a third year of nearly $15 million, a number that would have cost the Knicks nearly $40 million, with luxury tax fees included, once that third year rolled around.
Granted, the only reason that the Rockets even needed a point guard was that the let both Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic go already this offseason, and it is unclear to me if Lin will be better than either of those two in the long run. Off the court he is much more valuable for the Asian fanbase he brings with him (something the Rockets certainly know how to exploit), but on the court it is entirely possible Morey may have outsmarted himself here.
Jordan Akin can’t wait for the season to start back up, so he can stop watching professional lacrosse on ESPN2. You can reach him on Twitter @jakin1013, or via email at email@example.com.