Thursday, July 23, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
Grizzlies need hero
I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the comments on last week’s column, both personally and “telephonically.” They were gratifying.
It would appear that this is the season for losing “giants” from all walks of life. Unfortunately, that, too, is life.
There is probably not a single media source in the whole wide world which is not aware of the accomplishments of Walter Cronkite. He was a hero.
And speaking of heroes, maybe that is the trouble, or problem, with the Grizzlies franchise. Perhaps the closest that they have come to achieving that end was during the tenure of Jerry West. But he was not on the floor.
The Grizzlies definitely need a hero between the goals. Someone who is respected, more appropriately feared, at both ends of the court.
Go back as far as you may in the annals of ultra successful franchises in the NBA (by ultra we mean those which won championships and/or contended year after year), and you will find heroes who led and performed.
Realizing that there are far too many to name in an article such as this, one could arbitrarily start with George Mikan and end with Kobe Bryant. Sure, such a list would be lengthy.
We are not selling the Griz’ “head shed” short here with second guesses. But one has to admit that they seem to be consistently and constantly in the bartering business. There are many who would be prone to agree that they traded away future “heroes” in Shane Battier and Pau Gasol. Admittedly, tons of Mid-South fans love the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bulls, but untold numbers would love to see the Griz succeed if only for the proximity.
Last week the Griz completed their deal for the services of Zach Randolph. The ex-Clipper has had four teams in the last eight years. Capable and talented, affirmative. Baggage laden? Double ditto. Is this the hero the team needs to join their returnees and draft picks, who by the way, haven’t lost a game in the summer league (4-0)?
Randolph was the pearl of great price ($33 million). Is he going to show his true measure on the hardwood or decide to rearrange the facial features of some of his teammates?
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