Posts Tagged ‘Gilbert Arenas’

This corner says, “Amen,” to SOMM’s, “Is this the end for David Stern?”

Friday, January 8th, 2010

By a gigantic margin …

———————————–

Updated: Arenas Suspends Arenas, But New Crittenton Story Changes Incident Dynamic… Is This the End for David Stern?

[excerpt #1]

Stern came down on Arenas in his usual heavy-handed manner. In his statement Stern played pop psychologist in judging Arenas “not to be fit to take the court in an NBA game.”

If true, the suspension is undo and should be revised to include that Arenas should undergo psychiatric treatment immediately and that his reinstatement into the league should, beyond any criminal punishment, entail that a psychologist or psychiatrist find Arenas mentally and emotionally stable enough to continue with his NBA career.

Since Stern did not include the aforementioned in his statement of suspension, Arenas’ lawyers should immediately sue Stern for defamation of character as his statement is, as of the moment, false, and can bring harm to Arenas because it can be used by NBA teams to use to keep Arenas from potentially ever again playing in the league.

And this is but Stern’s most recent faux pas in the handling of the incident involving Arenas, Crittenton, and the Washington Wizards.

Despite feigning deference to the police in his statement, Stern had every right to suspend Arenas immediately as the Wizards guard violated the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as it prohibits its employees from possessing firearms in an arena, when traveling, or when participating in an NBA function. In no way should David Stern, in his capacity as commissioner, have felt compelled to wait for a criminal investigation – at all.

That Stern delayed his suspension of Arenas brings into suspicion his motivations for the punishment. Or, at least it should.

[excerpt #2]

According to new information in a Washington Post article by Mike Wise, after Arenas put the guns on a chair and told Crittenton, “I’ll make it easy for you,” indicating that Crittenton choose a gun, the Wizards guard took one of Arenas’ guns and threw it across the floor where it landed at a trainer’s feet. Crittenton then, allegedly, pulled out his own gun, loaded one chamber with a bullet and, inexplicably, began singing. Two teammates left the scene going to the trainer’s room, where after some moments, Arenas followed. When Arenas returned Crittenton was gone.

[excerpt #3]

And if all of this is true, it is Crittenton, not Arenas, who should be demonized. It is Crittenton who should be hounded by the press and the commissioner. It is Crittenton who should be the pointed subject of any police investigation of the incident.

Stern actions should be as follows: immediately suspend Arenas until the outcome of the police investigation and any resultant court proceedings; immediately fine the Wizards the balance of Arenas’ six-year $111 million contract signed in 2008, put the money in escrow and give it to some highly-visible charity, and do not allow the Wizards to use the lost salary against their salary cap next season, and; if the new reports are true, ban Crittenton from ever playing gain in the league, if not suspend him for two or three games without pay for verbally inflaming the situation between he and Arenas with his gun talk because it was that statement that escalated the incident to the point where Arenas displayed his guns in the locker room.

Instead Stern waited, and stalled, and fell silent. Then, when the calls for Arenas’ head grew so much louder than the calls for punishment for the Pollin family – the Wizards owners – that those cries could be ignored, Stern acted to protect one of his employers (the late Abe Pollin owned the Wizards and presently the team is owned by the Pollin family until a new owner or ownership group can be found) and came down so hard on Arenas that the only debate left is whether or not Stern’s punishment is too harsh. Because the lull has cooled any heat that might have come the Wizards management’s way, the organization feels safe enough to release their own bold, holier-than-thou statement:

“Strictly legal issues aside, Gilbert’s recent behavior and statements, including his actions and statements [Tuesday] night in Philadelphia, are unacceptable.” Some of our other players appeared to find Gilbert’s behavior in Philadelphia amusing. This is also unacceptable. Under Abe Pollin’s leadership, our organization never tolerated such behavior, and we have no intention of ever doing so.”

What is unacceptable is that the Wizards organization has not, along with Arenas, been called to the carpet by Stern.

This slow to react move by Stern followed by the oh-so predictable suspension and harsh words for Gilbert Arenas should be called out in the mainstream press – loudly and unceasingly. And if editors, producers, writers, and newscasters cannot find it within themselves to do the job, the NBA Player’s Association must make protecting Arenas’ guaranteed contract and fining the Wizards a top priority. Then the NBAPA must take their cause to the press and force them to report the issues at hand, including the duplicity of the Wizards management in either knowing and allowing Arenas to keep the guns at the Verizon Center and/or covering up the fact that he had the guns after the December 21 incident.

Now, with Wise’s article, the incident is evolving to the point where Stern is losing control over the incident. He now must clear out all of the players who were witnesses. He also must turn his wrath to the organization. Perhaps Grunfeld will be the fall guy for the Pollins, as he was a former player, and is, in the end closer to the players than he is the Pollins. But Abe Pollin was the employer of everyone involved, so Stern is potentially facing a situation where, as mentioned previously, he must seek to punish one of his employers.

If this is not enough to move Stern, every accusation levied at the league, from shielding certain players from unfavorable press and covering up their misdeeds to game-fixing can be viably levied at Stern and the owners. Nothing will be out of bounds; no complaint, no “conspiracy theory” will be off limits. Between the usual conspiracies and the thought that the onus of responsibility moves right up the chain of command to the top of the Wizards organization, Stern’s very reign over the NBA might well be in jeopardy. Employees are not usually charged with meting out punishment to employers. Stern and all commissioners of professional sports leagues, are able to act in that capacity to some degree. But this is on a different level and Stern might find himself in a position where he must make heavy-handed statements about the Wizards upper management to the press and consider serious monetary – at least – punishment to his employers.

That usually spells the end of the road for someone, and it won’t be the owner. Stern, in the end will be charged with allowing this incident to spin out of control and the other owners will no longer be able to tolerate the bad press and worse image of the NBA. It is already difficult enough for the owners to navigate their way through the world of corporate sponsorship when the vast majority of the “product” is Black and is still subject to the ever-evolving control mechanism of racism. It is made worse when the press, such as ESPN, highlights the number of Black athletes in the league and makes a thinly-veiled claim that reverse racism is at work in the league.

This one is bad, real bad.

And as of this moment, what is left of Stern’s shine is nearly gone. Can Stern somehow recover?

———————————–

this is the best article written, thus far, about the entire Washington Wizards situation, related to Gilbert Arenas, Javaris Crittenton, Ernie Grunfeld, the Pollin Family, the NBAPA, a U.S. Federal Grand Jury, D.C. law enforcement authorities, and the NBA’s Commissioner.

With this solvo from SOMM … which is actually the first account of this type that’s been read by these eyes … the proverbial clock may, indeed, have finally begun to tick … for none-other-than Mr. Stern, himself. 

Toronto Raptors Season Preview: Game 19

Monday, October 19th, 2009

re: How an astute NBA observer might expect the first part of the schedule to unfold for the Raptors this year

Game 19 – vs Washington [Tue Dec 01]

 

RAPTORS

ADV

WIZARDS

PG

Calderon

=

PG

Arenas

OG

DeRozan *

=

OG

Stevenson

SF

Turkoglu $^

=

SF

Butler

PF

Bosh

=

PF

Jamison

C

Bargnani

=

C

Haywood

 

 

 

PG

Jack #

=

PG

Foye ^

OG

Belinelli ^

=

G

Young

SF

Wright ^

à

SF

Miller ^

PF

Evans ^

=

PF

Blatche

C

Nesterovic $

=

C

McGee

 

 

 

G/F

Douby

=

SF

McGuire

PF

Johnson ^

=

PF

Oberto $

 

 

 

HC

Triano

à

HC

Saunders

 

 

 

+0

OUTCOME

+2

Legend: ADV – Individual match-up advantage; * - 2009 NBA Draftee; ^ - Acquired via trade; # – Restricted free agent; #M – Restricted free agent, matched offer; $ – Unrestricted free agent; $R – Unrestricted free agent, re-signed; $^ – Acquired via Sign & Trade; Italics – Returning player; ? – Injured, status uncertain.

Despite the small individual match-up advantage that the Wizards have in this game, the Raptors should be ble to emerge with the victory, on their home-court.

Washington plays at home on the Sat Nov 28 [vs Charlotte] then has 2 off days before beginning a stretch of 4 games in 6 days that looks like this:

Tue Dec 01 at TOR
Wed Dec 02 vs Mil
Fri Dec 04 vs Tor
Sun Dec 06 vs Det

only 1 of which is on the road. Expect the Wizards to play well at home in these games and mail it in on the road.

Raptors expected W-L Record: W, 7-12

Comparing the Raptors to the Wizards

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

FINAL SCORE: RAPTORS 98, Wizards 100
Complete Game Info

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The Wizards’ [15th place, 19-61/.238] immediate future is so much brighter, in comparison with the Raptors’ [14th place, 30-49/.380], that it’s not even funny.

STARTERS
Arenas vs Calderon
Young vs Parker [past his prime]
Butler vs Marion [past his prime]
Jamison vs Bosh [playing out of position]
Haywood vs Bargnani [not a dominating Center]

KEY SUBS
Crittenton vs Ukic [not yet ready for the NBA]
Stevenson vs Kapono [an albatross]
McGuire vs Graham
Songaila vs Humphries
Blatche vs O’Bryant [not an NBA-level player]

EXTRAS
James vs Banks [not an NBA-level player; an albatross]
Dixon vs Douby [not an NBA-level player]
McGee vs Jawai [not an NBA-level player]
Pecherov vs Voskuhl [not an NBA-level player]
Thomas vs ?

UPCOMING DRAFT PICK
No. 1-3 [overall] Selection vs No. 8-9 Selection [if not traded again]

Thinking back to where the Raptors’ player roster was in Jan-Feb/06, before Bryan Colangelo [Pres/GM] was hired, and comparing it to the current one:

Raptors Roster 2005-2006

27 – 55 .329 (pythagorean: 31 – 51 .382)

Name G Min Pts PPG FGM FGA FGP FTM FTA FTP 3PM 3PA 3PP REB RPG AST APG STL BLK TO
Chris Bosh 70 2753 1572 22.5 549 1087 .505 474 581 .816 0 13 .000 647 9.2 181 2.6 50 79 157
Mike James 79 2922 1604 20.3 576 1228 .469 283 338 .837 169 382 .442 262 3.3 460 5.8 72 3 206
Morris Peterson 82 3139 1374 16.8 478 1096 .436 241 294 .820 177 448 .395 381 4.6 190 2.3 104 15 126
Charlie Villanueva 81 2364 1053 13.0 435 940 .463 113 160 .706 70 214 .327 521 6.4 88 1.1 60 63 99
Jalen Rose 46 1238 557 12.1 180 446 .404 166 217 .765 31 115 .270 129 2.8 113 2.5 20 10 65
Matt Bonner 78 1711 583 7.5 209 467 .448 63 76 .829 102 243 .420 284 3.6 56 0.7 49 31 32
Joey Graham 80 1579 533 6.7 198 414 .478 108 133 .812 29 87 .333 244 3.1 60 0.8 37 13 92
Jose Calderon 64 1485 349 5.5 132 312 .423 78 92 .848 7 43 .163 141 2.2 288 4.5 42 4 101
Andre Barrett 17 261 78 4.6 35 97 .361 6 9 .667 2 13 .154 22 1.3 50 2.9 10 0 14
Antonio Davis 8 191 35 4.4 14 31 .452 7 20 .350 0 0 .000 36 4.5 7 0.9 3 1 8
Pape Sow 42 591 147 3.5 53 123 .431 41 57 .719 0 0 .000 146 3.5 8 0.2 21 19 30
Eric Williams 28 356 91 3.3 29 75 .387 28 38 .737 5 18 .278 50 1.8 15 0.5 7 2 15
Darrick Martin 40 340 102 2.6 34 97 .351 18 24 .750 16 40 .400 20 0.5 57 1.4 17 0 15
Rafael Araujo 53 618 125 2.4 55 152 .362 15 28 .536 0 2 .000 145 2.7 21 0.4 25 6 42
Loren Woods 27 324 62 2.3 28 59 .475 6 14 .429 0 1 .000 110 4.1 4 0.1 9 23 16
Aaron Williams 14 99 25 1.8 10 19 .526 5 6 .833 0 0 .000 15 1.1 1 0.1 4 3 5
Alvin Williams 1 10 1 1.0 0 3 .000 1 2 .500 0 2 .000 3 3.0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2006 No. 1 [overall], 1st Round Draft Pick
2006 No. 5 [overall], 2nd Round Draft Pick

is enough to put tears in the eyes of someone who really knows how to go about building a championship calibre NBA franchise, given the assets at their disposal 3 seasons ago.

———-

Where exactly each of these teams go from here will be determined by their respective General Managers, one of whom is already a 2-time NBA Executive Of the Year Award winner … the other of whom has yet to be recognized by his peers in this way [i.e. Ernie Grunfeld].

If the actual wager was …

Which one’s team is going to finish with more WINS during the 2009-2010 season AND go further in the NBA Playoffs?

on whom would YOU be willing to bet a sizable portion of YOUR own hard-earned money?

Ranking Jose Calderon as a Point Guard

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Saw this quote two days ago in a solid Olympic Scouting Report [courtesy of Xavier, a European coach, at Forum Blue and Gold]:

Jose Calderon would be a starter in 25 of the 30 NBA teams … “

and, as you might expect by now, it started the wheels a-turning.

============================

Where exactly does El Matador [Jose Calderon] stack up in today’s NBA, versus the likes of:

[in alphabetical order]

Alston, Rafer; Arenas, Gilbert; Barbosa, Leandro; Bibby, Mike; Billups, Chauncey; Blake, Steve; Calderon, Jose; Conley, Mike Jr.; Davis, Baron; Duhon, Chris; Ellis, Monta; Felton, Raymond; Fisher, Derek; Ford, TJ; Foye, Randy; Gibson, Daniel; Gordon, Ben; Harris, Devan; Hinrich, Kirk; Iverson, Allen; Jack, Jarrett; Kidd, Jason; Livingston, Shaun; Lowry, Nick; Marbury, Stephon; Miller, Andre; Nash, Steve; Nelson, Jameer; Parker, Tony; Paul, Chris; Ridnour, Luke; Rondo, Rajon; Roy, Brandon; Telfair, Sebastien; Terry, Jason; Tinsley, Jamaal; Udrih, Beno; Watson, Earl; West, Delonte; Williams, Marcus; Williams, Deron; Williams, Jason; Williams, Mo

Do you think Calderon would be considered as The Starter for as many as 25 of the NBA’s 30 teams?

Where do you rank him, as a Point Guard, heading into the 2008-2009 season? [i.e. as No. ?]

In your personal rankings, is Calderon in your:

i) #1-5
ii) #6-10
iii) #11-15
iv) #16 plus

===============================

Once again, all are welcome to participate.


Note 1:
Final Results will be published Thu, August 14, 2008.
Note 2 : As a precursor … this ranking was published here Dec 19, 2007; followed by this one [Jan 30, 2008].

Washington Wizards: Where hard work meets top drawer NBA talent

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

Amongst the NBA’s boxscores from last night, astute observers should understand the significance of this score …

Wizards 95 @ Hornets 92 (Feb 25

When Washington (27-29, 2nd Southeast, 6th Eastern Conference) wins a road game, at New Orleans (37-18, 2nd Southwest, 5th Western Conference), it means more than just a W for the visitors.

Kelly Dwyer, Ball Don’t Lie: Behind the boxscore, where the Washington Wizards Care 

But, to simply view this collection of players as a ‘hard-working bunch’ is to actually de-value the job that’s beendone, to this point, by esteemed Wizards’ GM, Ernie Grunfeld, in constructing a high fine team that, despite some serious setbacks that might have put a lesser man, down and out for the count.

Grunfeld has put together a group of good sized, very athletic players with terrific complimentary skill sets, comprised of eight (8) 1st Round NBA Draft Picks & five (5) 2nd Round Selections, that can Rebound, Defend & Score the ball with as much proficiency & balance as any team in the NBA … when completely healthy.

Wizards Roster 2007-2008

Num Player Draft # POS HT WT DOB FROM YRS
0 Gilbert Arenas * 32 G 6-4 215 01/06/1982 Arizona 6
32 Andray Blatche 49 F 6-11 248 08/22/1986 South Kent Prep (CT) 2
3 Caron Butler * 10 F 6-7 228 03/13/1980 Connecticut 5
6 Antonio Daniels 4 G 6-4 205 03/19/1975 Bowling Green 10
33 Brendan Haywood 20 C 7-0 263 11/27/1979 North Carolina 6
4 Antawn Jamison 4 F 6-9 235 06/12/1976 North Carolina 9
8 Roger Mason, Jr. 32 G 6-5 212 09/10/1980 Virginia 3
5 Dominic McGuire 47 F 6-9 220 10/20/1985 Fresno State R
14 Oleksiy Pecherov 16 C-F 7-0 234 12/08/1985 Ukraine R
9 Darius Songaila 51 F 6-9 248 02/14/1978 Wake Forest 4
2 DeShawn Stevenson 23 G 6-5 218 04/03/1981 Washington Union HS (CA) 7
36 Etan Thomas * 12 C 6-10 260 04/01/1978 Syracuse 6
1 Nick Young 16 G 6-6 200 06/01/1985 USC R
* Injured

The fact that this group is continuing to perform at a level which will earn them a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, should they maintain their current pace for the balance of the season … in spite of serious injuries to Gilbert Arenas, Etan Thomas and Caron Butler – 2 starters and, overall, 3 of the top 8 players – is a testament to their outstanding character, the daily work of their coaching staff (Eddie Jordan & Co.) , and the basketball acumen of their GM.

Should the Wizards make it to the post-season, this year, with their full comportment of players … they will be another very dangerous ‘bottom-end’ team for one of the top dogs in the East to contend with.