So basically, Jason Kidd is a three-year contract magnet. By May of next year, I fully expect some team to offer him a three-year contract to run their team as general manager. Which would mean April of 2015 is when he would get a three-year contract to join Adam Silver as the league’s deputy commissioner, and then March 2016 Kidd would get yet another three-year contract to be the commissioner of the entire league. Pretty sweet career path, but once he gets that top job, I’m not sure who else can get offer him a three-year contract. I’m sure he’ll figure out something.
After a 47-win season during his first year in control of the Raptors’ holodeck, Bryan Colangelo has struggled to put together a winning team. In the six seasons since, Toronto has reached .500 only one other time, and even that was just a 41-41 campaign during the 2007-08 season. It’s Bad News Bears over there, and Bryan Colangelo is kind of Walter Matthau.
But that’s OK, because the Raptors brought in some new management, which means Bryan Colangelo is on his way out. Sort of, if by “out” you mean “down the hall.” From the Globe and Mail:
Bryan Colangelo will remain on as team president, but the search for a new general manager has begun, the Toronto Raptors confirmed on Tuesday.
The revamped senior leadership of the National Basketball Association team was outlined by Tim Leiweke, the incoming president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, in a news release.
MSLE is also continuing a search, with input from Colangelo, to identify candidates for the new GM, a process the team hopes to complete in the next 30 days.
“After thorough evaluation and considering all the options, we have concluded that these changes will be in the best interest of the organization,” said Leiweke. “By splitting the roles and having both men report directly to me, we are adding depth to the basketball operations group and giving the Toronto Raptors the best chance of competing for championships in the future. The new GM will inherit a great situation in Toronto, as all of my due diligence around the League indicates that we have a fine, young core and a few key moves will make us a playoff contender next season.”
While the new GM will have autonomy over basketball decisions, Colangelo will continue to advise Leiweke on basketball-related matters while also broadening his involvement with the business side of the franchise.
I know what you’re thinking and I’m thinking it too — this is gonna get weird … two GMs. I mean, why would you keep a largely failed GM around to give advice on basketball decisions when you are hiring a new GM who is actually in charge of basketball decisions? It’s bizarre, and the only thing I can think of that is even comparable is the John Paxson/Gar Forman braintrust that makes decisions for the Chicago Bulls.
So why would the Raptors want to keep Bryan Colangelo around when it’s not really necessary? Well, there are actually a lot of reasons.
He is a Colangelo, so he pretty much knows everybody in the league.
He’s got like a million scouts overseas.
Everyone really likes his high-collared dress shirts and they’d like to continue sharing his tailor.
Bryan eats at the best Portugese chicken places in Toronto and can always get a table, and Tim Leiweke looooooooooves Portugese chicken.
Kind of nice to always have someone to blame everything on.
Will serve as a nice sounding board for the new real GM, in that they can ask Colangelo for his opinions on various moves. If he likes the idea, the new guy will immediately know not to do it.
Didn’t want to have to deal with all the “Colangeral Damage” headlines.
Would be weird to fire a guy named “Bryan” with a Y without saying he’s “fyred,” which looks really weird, so why even bother in the first place?
Still pretty fun to hear him answer the phone by saying, “Colang-hello.”
It’s going to take more than one person to sign every poor-shooting swingman in the league at the same time.
As you can see, keeping Bryan Colangelo around to make the Raptors more interesting is simply a matter of convenience. No one wants to give up Portugese chicken or high-collared dress shirts. It makes sense.
If you watched last night’s Lakers-Spurs game or today’s episode of The Fix, then you already know that both Steves, Nash and Blake, got hurt in Los Angeles’ loss. And if you watched Game 1, then you know Jodie Meeks got hurt in that loss. And if you like basketball, you already know that Kobe Bryant is out with a torn Achilles tendon. And if you know how teams work, you know this news from the LakersTwitterfeed is really bad.
INJURY UPDATE: @SteveBlake5 had an ultrasound today, confirmed a moderate strain of his right hamstring. He’s out indefinitely.
INJURY UPDATE: @Jmeeks20 will have an MRI test this afternoon on his sprained left ankle. His status for tomorrow’s game is doubtful.
INJURY UPDATE: @SteveNash recieved 2 epidural injections in his back today & a cortisone shot in his right hip. He is doubtful for tomorrow.
Fun tweets, to be sure, but this means now is probably a good time to take a quick inventory of which Lakers guards that exist might actually be healthy enough to play on Friday. After scouring every piece of available information, I’ve determined that these are the noteworthy Lakers’ guard options for Game 3.
Chris Duhon, point guard
Andrew Goudelock, shooting guard
Darius Morris, point guard
Magic Johnson, point guard who would probably come back in a second if the Lakers weren’t joking
As you can see, there are not a lot of options here. It’s pretty much sucky current players, a coach for another team, an old guy or Will Ferrell. Considering Will’s like 6-foot-3, he might be the best choice. Let’s hear your ideas in the comments.
The equally injured Bulls and Knicks played basketball last night. And even though Steve “No Contact” Novak is the only player who took the court who is listed taller than 6-foot-9, there were still physical moments in a game that most closely resembled a men’s league, where the tallest player on the court is the default center and everyone just guarded whoever on the other team was their same size. The majority of those moments came when Carlos Boozer and Carmelo Anthony were matched up in the post, which makes sense since those were the only two players in the game who have any sort of postup acumen.
But even though Melo has been getting his power forward on this season, he wasn’t quite ready for Boozer’s shoulders and screaming style of basketball. Which led to this quote, courtesy of Newsday’s Al Iannazzone:
“Boozer is Boozer,” Anthony said. “Sometimes I don’t think Boozer be knowing what he be doing out there as far as clearing out and the way he plays. He’s so wide, shoulders is wide, elbows just be flaring. I think sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s doing out there.”
Yes, fair. That is a big part of Boozer’s weirdly effective offense game — he’s just one of 17 players this season who is averaging at least 16 points a game on at least 47 percent shooting, and the other 16 players are all really good — wherein he just bashes in to people because he’s certainly not jumping over them. And even though I can’t confirm this, I feel like that’s part of the reason he has a last name that rhymes with “Bruiser.” It can’t just be coincidence.
But since he mentioned it, we should probably let Carmelo Anthony know that there are a whole bunch of other times when Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing. These include but are not limited to the following:
When playing defense.
When deciding the proper times to scream about and-ones or rebounds.
When renting his house to Prince and not expecting it to turn purple.
Obviously there are a lot of times when Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing, but like Carmelo Anthony said, “Boozer is Boozer.” That doesn’t hold quite the caché of “Manny being Manny,” but I think it’s a fair substitute. And hey, if you can think of other times Carlos Boozer doesn’t know what he’s doing, let’s hear em.
Stephen Jackson sprained his ankle on Mayor Bloomberg’s ankle and now Gregg Popovich is doing his Spurs-y best to rid the NBA of sideline food ordering. I’m not joking. From Spurs Nation:
“After what happened, I have no doubt the league has contacted teams to make sure everybody shores up their discipline in that area,” he said. “It’s obvious people shouldn’t be ordering beers or Cokes or hot dogs when the game is going on.”
That’s right — no beers, Cokes or hot dogs during the game. Notice he makes no mention of where you can’t order, just that you shouldn’t be able to order food or drink during the game at all. He’s probably against nachos, Fiddle Faddle and manly nut snacks too, but that remains to be seen. Gregg Popovich wants your focus on the game, NOT on eating delicious, overpriced snacks. (This is probably why Boris Diaw has been effective as a Spur.)
However, it isn’t just the simple act of ordering food that Gregg Popovich hates — he’s also against a whole bunch of things that always happen at basketball games. For instance:
Don’t take a picture of the court and put it on Instagram.
SUB RULE: If you do Instagram a court photo, DO NOT use the Toaster filter.
Cheering for food-based promotions is prohibited.
When you go in to the bathroom, don’t take a middle urinal when the side ones are open. It’s weird.
No wearing a basketball jersey over a dress shirt.
Don’t look at the cheerleaders. They’re there to work out, not get creeped out.
Wash your hands in the restroom.
DO NOT make jokes about how the mascot is a little too fanciful for your tastes. That is his job.
No standing to cheer. It makes your feet stick out further, which is dangerous.
Better yet, no cheering for fans who have not either a) played in the NBA b) coached in the NBA or c) devoted your entire life to studying the game because you just don’t get it, OK?
Only fans in the upper level are allowed to carry their keys.
Don’t look at me.
I’m sure there are a host of other things that Gregg Popovich hates, but these are the most important. We can’t have fans having too much fun at the game, lest they forget to pay attention to what’s happening on the court. And seriously, don’t even think about eating when you’re around Pop. He can smell it on your breath.
One of my least favorite things about the NBA is that every time a bench unit does well together to the point where they’re recognized by the media, they almost always get nicknamed “The Bench Mob.” The Kings have been the Bench Mob, the Celtics have been the Bench Mob, the Bulls were the Bench Mob as recently as last season, and people are already trying to make the Nets’ bench full of old, bald shooting guards in to the new Bench Mob. This sort of thing would not stand for individual players, so it shouldn’t stand for benches.
And that’s why this sort of thing is such a breath of fresh air. From ESPN :
We all had our own lame ideas [for a bench nickname]. I threw out “Lob Deep,” but was immediately shot down. Dan Woike of the Orange County Register threw out “Mob Deep,” but he found out the New York Knicks had used that nickname last year. Woike then got a tweet from a San Francisco Bay Area follower with the handle @squidwai and “A Tribe Called Bench” was born.
Over the past three games, the Clippers have started to play highlights of the second unit to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario” and the #ATribeCalledBench hashtag has started trending on Twitter in Los Angeles during Clippers games.
OK, so “A Tribe Called Bench” is a pretty bad nickname and not even the best iteration of that particular phrase in this particular situation — I’d vote “A Bench Called Quest,” since it doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense to have two collective terms in the same nickname for one unit — but at least someone is trying something other than Bench Mob. I appreciate the ingenuity of reaching for a classic rap group to describe one of the most exciting 5-man squads in the league.
And because it’ll be fun to call Eric Bledsoe “The 5-Foot Assassin” or Lamar Odom “The Ummah,” let’s try to figure out an actually great nickname based upon A Tribe Called Quest’s works. Together we can do this.
The Paths of Rhythm
The Love Movement
Vibes and Stuffs
Layups to Go
The Clips, Part II
The Funky Diabetics
Industry Rule No. 4080
The Award Tour
RRRRRROAW RRRRRRROAW, the Dunkin’ Dragons
The Low End of the Bench Theory
Maybe you are thinking that none of these are good nicknames, and maybe you are right. But that’s where you come in — leave your best ATCQ-themed nickname for the Clippers’ bench in the comments below. Winner gets the satisfaction of being great at the internet.