Tas Melas

tas melas

Tas co-founded The Basketball Jones and is a contributing personality at The Score. After getting a degree in the media field, he ran around getting coffee for people in the Canadian broadcasting industry at CBC, Odyssey TV and TSN. Tas enjoys John Legend, performing the wave, and the movie, Scent of a Woman.

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Due to a lack of liquidity, we can’t show you our entire 22-minute television program from Thursday night. But what we can show you is this slap-chopped, jump-cuttin’ remix that features the Ringo of the Miami Heat, a hotly contested round of Crossfire, a clandestine Bookoff Payoff, and Macho Man Randy Savage snapping into a couple of card-playin’ Wankers. Bourré!


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Steve Nash is not going anywhere

From everything I’ve seen, Steve Nash doesn’t have a “Black Swan” alter ego — the man seems to be a pretty straight shooter. When he signed that extension in 2009 to play in Phoenix until the summer of 2012, he was entirely willing to do so, with one caveat: the Suns franchise had to remain committed to winning.

In late October, Nash was already frustrated with the newly assembled roster mainly its lack of chemistry and size. This was the preseason. With no real games played, I would assume he wasn’t happy with the team’s biggest acquisition this summer — the Party Machine, Hedo Turkoglu.

Fast forward to this weekend’s trade with Orlando which sent out Jason Richardson, Turk, and Earl Clark for Marcin Gortat, Vince Carter, Mickael Pietrus, cash and a first round pick. Cue the Nash chatter: “Steve will be the next Sun to go.” Mind-boggling as the deal clearly shows the team is willing to give Nash exactly what he wants: size and less dancing.

The team he led to the conference final last spring was no juggernaut. Last year’s Suns were expected to exit the playoffs in the second round at best. With Turkoglu gone, I’m sure Nash is comfortable leading a comparable squad which currently sits at .500 and plays the easiest schedule the rest of the season (Phoenix plays 20 games against opponents on their second game of back-to-backs while the Suns are rested).

The Suns aren’t in a hurry to trade arguably the best player to ever don their jersey. And after this weekend, their leader just got a little more comfortable conducting the little engine that could.

Trade bait? Hardly.

The Miami Heat’s new hand thing

While hitting shot after shot against the Orlando Magic on Friday night, the Heat players were constantly throwing up this hand gesture. So, what does it mean?

My guess is they’ve heard enough of all the negative chatter directed their way. It could be some sort of “Shut Your Mouth” idea — “We’re so good, you can’t say anything.” Kind of odd because the Heat were at home. Either way, that 26-point blowout silenced all the early season bashers.

The Basketball Jones is getting you caught up on all 30 NBA teams before the season starts October 26. Up next, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong’s favorite NBA franchise, the Houston Rockets. Blast off, yo.

I say this with surprisingly mixed feelings: Vince Carter is approaching the end of his career. I recently came across this post that reminded me that this season is the final year of his guaranteed deal with the Magic.

I still remember VC’s first return to Toronto as a Net when the over-sized child in me screamed, “You’ll never win anything, Vince!” from the nosebleeds. Even then, in the back of my basketball brain, I didn’t necessarily think it was true. Even weirder? I didn’t necessarily want it to be true.

I’m one of those, “make the most out of your abilities” types, and as much as I shared the “Half-man, Half-a-Season” anger with the Raptor faithful (hell, I even wore this shirt after Vince’s divorce in ’07), it just didn’t seem right that VC’s incredible gifts could win him dunk contests, but not playoff games. The NBA has seen plenty of talented, but aimless ballers like Vince, so it’s impossible to feel sorry for him. Still, there’s a part of me that remains perplexed at his disappointing career.

Despite his jaw-dropping abilities, he’s reached only one conference final, which was last season, and then proceeded to make very little of his presence felt in a six-game loss to the Celtics. He averaged 5.5 points in Orlando’s two wins versus Boston and shot 37% overall for the series.

Vince will be 34-years-old in January. He’s had every chance to lead a team. Yes, this is a redemption year for him, but so have many others in his career. And, Orlando is prodding him to produce more in ’10-’11? Ask Rashard Lewis for more, hope Jameer Nelson bounces back, give JJ Redick more minutes at shooting guard, but unless the Magic have uncovered the special cure, the sad cliché persists: What you see is what you get from Vince.

Just over a year ago, Rasheed Wallace signed a contract to play basketball for three seasons with the Celtics. This summer, he decided he’s had enough of the NBA scene and is retiring. I’m fine with that, and no matter how anyone feels about the polarizing ‘Sheed, the guy should not receive a buyout, as is being reported.

How the hell does this make sense? I don’t care if there’s guaranteed money involved or that he’s only getting a portion of the guaranteed dollars. Wallace gave the Celtics his guaransheed that he’d play until 2012 (and we can use the term “play” pretty loosely when talking about Wallace). Either way, he’ll still get his pension package, he’ll still be able to shine his ring, and he’ll still get several YouTube mixes celebrating his spastic moments.

According to this CBA rule, if the Celtics wanted to be hard-asses about it, they could likely get out of every dollar they owe him. But they don’t owe him anything! He owes them at least one more year of half-assin’ it (year three of the contract is reportedly a player option). But, the Celtics are a forthright organization and they wouldn’t pull off a move like that. Dan Gilbert on the other hand …

Am I being hard-headed, stubborn, or just plain old school? Rasheed Wallace should be playing for any money given to him based on the future. And, don’t tell me needs money to feed his kids. It’s Ramadan. He’s likely saving money while fasting with his children. (I know, I didn’t know Rasheed was Muslim either.)

On Tuesday, LeBron James tweeted this:

Early this morning, The Basketball Jones got their hands on the extensive list of “haters” which LeBron has compiled:

  • Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, the city of Cleveland, DAN GILBERT, Fefe Dobson, guests at Carmelo Anthony’s wedding, Savanna Brinson, Anthony Tolliver / Paul Rudd / Steve Carrell, Arash Markazi, Brian Austin Green, Jason Kidd, Charles Barkley, Stan Van Gundy, Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, Bristol, Connecticut, Justin Bieber (but that’s cool, I really like him, he’s performed with Drake).