Thursday, April 24, 2008
Behind The Scoreboard
First, “thanks” for your comments on last week’s column. They are greatly appreciated.
I really thought that writing this week’s offering would be a snap. I knew that I would be covering the NBA, specifically the playoffs. After mulling it over a little, some of the “easiness” sort of drifted away.
Forget about objectivity, I caught myself being downright accusatory.
I ran into Greg Mosley last week. He is one of the county workers who helps to keep our roads looking good. He asked the question which surfaces every year during this time, when it is known for sure that the Memphis Grizzlies missed the playoffs, again: “What about the Grizzlies?” And he had a follow-up: “Would it be different if we gave the Grizzlies the same kind of support that the Memphis Tigers get?”
And that opens the flood gate of accusations. Recall if you will the trades which the Griz completed about mid-season. Were we not told that these deals would benefit the team not only this season but into the future? The hierarchy dispatched Pau Gasol off to L.A. for what amounted to be “phantom returns.” The Griz duplicated their last season, going 22-60 and becoming one of the eight teams which finished under 30 wins.
The Griz was not the only team masking the mid-season deal, probably just the only one which profited the least. At about the same time that Pau shipped out, the Heat trundled Shaquille O’Neal off to the Phoenix Suns. Two other high profile players got new homes – Jason Kidd went to Dallas and Mike Bibby was sent to Atlanta.
The Lakers and Suns went one-two in the Pacific-West, the Mavericks and the Hawks also made the playoffs. Miami and Memphis, both a big negative.
There are rumblings in Miami as there are in Memphis. Talks of still more trades on top of those already secured and the upcoming draft. Rumors that coaches might be released. First year coaches. Chicago already has the distinction of firing two head coaches in the same season – post Jordan-Jackson era Scott Skiles and their interim coach, Jim Boylan. The Bucks fired their head coach, after one year, Larry Krystkowiak. They had already dismissed their general manager.
Will Marc Iavaroni (Griz first year coach) be the next victim of the coaching carousel? He was very candid in his answer when asked that question. He said that he would love to be at Memphis this fall, but it wasn’t his call.
So, Greg, we the Griz’s fringe fans can only hope that the right deals will be made so that they will command our support.
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