View Full Version : LA and Kurt Thomas, or an Athletic Big?

02-10-2003, 06:59 PM
Lakers Looking. By Steve "BskBALL" Kyler
Feb 1, 2003, 11:51
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OK, last week we talked about Amare Stoudemire as the next big thing, but have you guys noticed Smush Parker? WOW, this cat went undrafted, not even a 2nd round gamble,
just flat out not in the League. The Cavs picked him up on a whim in September after he was cut from the Magic summer squad. On Wednesday he went 6 for 10 against the Magic backcourt, who had nothing for him, splitting the defense and making plays hanging 21 points (a career high) on a decent Orlando backcourt defense, turned around and played the Hawks for 24 minutes and logged a 2 for 4 performance in limited minutes. Spurs backup guard Steve Kerr said of Smush "He's a nice player" His teammates feel the same way, so does his coach Keith Smart, saying he had almost counted Smush out, but expressed a confidence in his young point guard. Smush himself was bashful about the attention in Orlando saying "I go out there with a Play Hard attitude every time I step out there on the court, The Magic gave me a great opportunity to come in and I am grateful, they were the key start to where I am at now, but I just go out there to win. I don't care who I am playing against. What player, or what team I just want to go out there and win... I couldn't be in a better position, from a year ago playing at Fordham, now I'm starting in the NBA. Its a great accomplishment for me, and I am here to stay" Talk about another young man with his head in the right place. If you haven’t caught a Cavs game, your missing an exciting young team.

WHAT HAPPENED TO DARIUS?: In my many travels I had not had the chance to interview Darius Miles
until this week… Am I the only one who’s noticed a hesitance in D-Miles’ game... possibly even some fear or doubt in his eyes? Darius professed that he was 100% healthy so you can erase lingering knee issues, but while talking about defending Tracy Grady, Darius just didn’t seem very confident – bordering on confusion saying "I was just trying to find what way I can bother him a little bit, when the man is averaging 30, there's no way you can bother him. I just tried to like crowd him up and do the best job I can." I feel for my man and all, leaving his friends in LA for the Cavs would be a culture shock to just about anyone, but it seems like someone need to give D-Miles a big hug and tell him to get after the game again – it won’t be me, but somebody needs to tell him everything get better when you get after it… just ask Smush Parker… D, you’re the man, act like it.

Poor Robert Horry…
It isn’t a huge secret that the Lakers have rumors circling them like sharks in the water, but here is what’s going on… Every time Mitch Kupchak presents a trade idea, Phil Jackson responds with comments about rewarding loyalty. See Phil’s side is he has asked guys to sacrifice their own career goals for the chance to win titles, many guys have taken backseat roles or done things that might have effected their ability to command big money, so how do you reward guys who have taken your role at their own expense… do you trade them when they are down, or do you show them you believe in them and maybe they rally? It’s a compelling argument. Its also no big secret that Phil is opposed to mid-season change because of the challenges of his offensive system. That hasn’t stopped the talk, whether its Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, or Latrell Sprewell lots of players are linked to the Lakers and almost every deal mentioned sends out Robert Horry and luggage. The reality is the Lakers are looking at options at the four spot, and if Kurt Thomas could be pried away from New York for Horry they may make that deal. Marcus Camby would love to be a Laker but it doesn’t seem likely, and Latrell Sprewell would have to share minutes as a Laker too, and that’s the source of the issue in New York, and lets not talk about how Kobe reacts to them bringing in another two guard. As for the talk of Horace Grant (he’s done) or Jason Terry (doesn’t fit) is simply speculation according to the Lakers. If a deal is made, which I am being told it won’t, it will be for an athletic 4 spot player that could start.

You’ve got to hand it to Spurs fans, they are still everywhere. Last night in Orlando, the Spurs faithful were properly represented, right down to the face paint and foam Spur hats. Its nice to see a road team get that kind of love, but even more was the media turn out for David Robinson. While the Magic did not make a huge deal out of the retirement, local TV turned out in droves to report on the Admiral.
Noticeably absent from the game was Steve Smith who is in the final year of his contract and likely the final year of his career. Rumors early in the day hinted that the Knicks may have made a push for Smitty’s deal, possibly offering Greg Popovich’s team Latrell Sprewell, lets forget for a second that PJ Carlisemo is an assistant there. Sources near the team indicated Smitty missed the game due to personal reasons stemming from the death of a long time friend and attorney, not that he was held out because of a pending trade. Dusty Garza from the SpursReport offers that Smitty may be headed to Atlanta, in exchange for a Shareef Abdur-Rahim package, but Hawks sources doubt there is anything there, but the idea seems sound enough. The big problem is the Spurs and their off-season plan. There has been a long running thought that San Antonio would make a push for Jason Kidd, although with the emergence of Tony Parker, its unlikely that works even though Spurs fans want it, and if the club trades for a contract like Shareef or Latrell, both players Greg Popovich has coveted at one point, then a Jason Kidd offer isn’t possible as they wouldn’t have the cap room. Regardless of what deal is on the table the Spurs are getting love for Smitty and his ending contract, and it seems like Smitty is agreeable to a move.

OK so the Ohio High School Athletic Association has ruled LeBron James ineligible for accepting two ‘throw back’ jerseys worth roughly $800.
The Storeowner openly admits he gave them to LeBron, because he was a celebrity. LeBron wore one of the jerseys to a game, so we know he took it. The two big issues here are… Why is anyone surprised?… and Why wasn’t there due process?… The Ohio High School Athletic Association couldn’t nail LeBron for the Hummer he received on his 18th birthday as a gift from his mother, they wanted to and will likely change the rules this summer to keep anyone else from being in that position. LeBron’s family says they will file an appeal and seek an injunction so LeBron can continue to play. Time Warner says they will continue to televise St. Vincent-St. Mary games in their pay-per-view deal but the organizers of the McDonald’s All-American game, expected to be LeBron coronation as King, made it clear LeBron could not play in their game if he is ineligible. Most NBA GMs that haven’t seen him live planned to see him at the McDonald’s game.

Here are some of the random stories from the week…

NOT SHOPPING: Atlanta Hawks GM Pete Babcock
told media that all of the rumors of his club shopping players was untrue, but did confirm his club was looking at options saying of the trade rumors "That's absolutely untrue. We don't market our players. We have players we'd prefer to keep and build around, [but] we're talking to everybody about every conceivable possibility to straighten it out, because we don't want to ride the course the rest of the season. The course run is not a real productive one." Several teams are reported to have interest in Theo Ratliff the most prominent being the Philadelphia 76ers, but a rumor this week also mentioned Ratliff to the struggling Raptors in a package that would include the retired contract of Hakeem Olajuwon, something that would amount to a cap reduction move. Babcock is holding firm that he has nothing pending. A league source says if Atlanta makes a deal it will be consummated at the All-Star break in Atlanta.

SHOULDN’T HAVE SAID IT: Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban when commented to media this week said he felt that the Online All-Star voting that was extended in Chinese, benefited Yao Ming, but the same was not done for French, German or Yugoslavian players saying "If you really want to extend it and be global, they should have had it in French, German, Chinese and Canadian. You've either got to do it in all languages or in no foreign language."… Someone tell Mark Canadian’s speak English or French.

BROWN STAYS:76ers head coach Larry Brown
instigated reporters this week hinting that maybe it was time for a new coach in Philly, after he left a team workout, leaving the players to organize a scrimmage themselves and was said to have had a closed door meeting with 76ers GM Billy King. Brown then made an appearance on the Tony Bruno Morning show, basically sounding like his normal self. Brown told reporters in Miami that he was not going anywhere saying "I'm here for the long haul... I'm not going anywhere… You guys listen to 100 things I say and write about one. I love this team. The Sixers have been very important to me and I love this city. I'm disappointed we've had the injuries, and I don't get to see the team we projected having. And I coach execution, I'm not supposed to coach effort… If I'm going to leave, I'm not going to leave at this time. What am I going to leave somebody with?" Am I the only one who thinks Larry Brown is bi-polar?

02-10-2003, 08:03 PM
AM I reading it wrong? WHy does it keep mentioning Camby with the Knicks?

02-10-2003, 08:09 PM
in my hoopsworld days, it was very unusual for hoops to screw the pooch.. but the pooch has a sore booty after that mistake(s)

02-10-2003, 08:20 PM
i hope the lakers dont get anyone before the deadline.