LeBron James. Chris Bosh. Dwyane Wade.
Three of the brightest stars in the NBA scheming to play together in South Beach, changing the landscape of the league and the free agency frenzy in one fell swoop. The craziest thing about this news? This wasn’t even that strange, considering the rest of what went down during the 2009-2010 NBA offseason.
Here’s a list of some of the more oddball moves that have happened … with more than two months still remaining until preseason tips off again.
- The Wrath of Kahn. Yes, oh yes, I had to start this list off with Wolves GM David Kahn and the situation he’s creating in Minnesota. Giving Darko Milicic a $20 million contract. Picking up more point guards than I can count and then trading one of them away the night that it’s announced starting point guard Jonny Flynn will miss three months with hip surgery. In an offseason with what feels like a million questionable moves, no one has been behind more of them than Kahn.
- Amar’e Stoudmire’s “enlightenment.” Not only is Amar’e moving on from Phoenix to play for the Knicks, he’s spent a chunk of his offseason studying the Jewish faith. In an interesting twist, Stoudemire’s mother claims to have Jewish roots and in an effort to learn about his heritage the new Knick went to Israel and is embracing all things associated with Judaism.
- The firing of Kevin Pritchard. The NBA’s a business and we all know that anyone can lose their spot at any moment. But anyone that tells me they thought Kevin Pritchard would be unemployed in the summer of 2010 gets a skeptical glance. While in Portland, Pritchard earned the rep of being a drafting mastermind as well as one of the highest-profiled GMs in the league. Surely it won’t be long before he ends up working elsewhere.
- Joe Johnson as max, max, max player. What’s more shocking here? That the Hawks throw all of their money at Johnson this offseason or that it takes him a few days before deciding he’d better jump at the opportunity?
- The Green Giant. Shaquille O’Neal being spoken of in the same breath as Kwame Brown as teams debated on which veteran big they’d rather have. Not crazy enough? Anthony Tolliver will be making nearly twice as much as S. O’Neal this season, who signed on for two years with the Celtics. Yes, the Celtics. Purple and gold and green don’t ever go well together.
- X (Ain’t) Gonna Give It To Ya. After selecting Xavier Henry with the 12th pick in the draft the Memphis Grizzlies still have not inked their rookie to a contract as the two sides are at odds to the specifics of the contract. Is money really that tight in Memphis? If so, yikes.
- The disaster known as Dolan’s Knicks. You want crazy? How’s this for crazy: The Isiah Thomas-era in New York is one of the most embarrassing periods for the Knicks franchise. Besides his track record as a GM and coach, the Knicks lost $11.5 million in that sexual harassment suit filed by a former employee. So what does James Dolan do this offseason? Re-hire Thomas as a consultant with the team, naturally.
- Dan Gilbert’s angry Comic Sans. In a move no one could have predicted, Cleveland’s owner vented with Cavs fans in the aftermath of LeBron James’ decision, posting a letter to supporters absolutely ripping LBJ to pieces. While the outburst may have felt cathartic in the moment, there may be a backlash to his madness as the bold move could scare off potential free agents.
- The Decision. If Gilbert’s letter was crazy, James’ decision to announce his decision live on ESPN was certifiable. Choosing to be on live television to announce in front of millions that you are spurning your hometown team, breaking hearts all over Cleveland and embarrassing the franchise in the process … not a good way to leave town. Not a great way to say thanks for the support. Just not a classy thing to do.
I feel like that covers it, but fully expect you all to chime in with those that I may have missed. With all of the movement going on this offseason, I can barely keep up with who signed where, when and for what, let alone remember all of the other drama that has unfolded thus far.