Chris Paul has met with the management of the New Orleans Hornets and did not request a trade according to Hornets' General Manager, Dell Demps. In a statement read by Harold Kaufman of the Hornets' management team, this is a direct quotation from Chris Paul commenting on yesterday's meeting: ``I have been a Hornet my entire career and hope to represent the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana for many years to come``. The operative word here is ``hope``. While the meeting came off as positive, we didn`t hear directly from Chris Paul himself (at the time I am writing this) except from a prepared statement. But since this statement is all we have to go on right now, let`s roll with it. This statement sounds more like he`s running for office and not trying to keep or look for a new job in the NBA. Sure, I know sporting events are a welcome distraction from the every day woes of the average fan, but some of these players are being heralded as the second coming of the Holy One himself. The City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana have been through hell and back with Hurricane Katrina and I hope for their sake Chris Paul stays for that reason. But realistically, he is responsible for winning basketball games and the future of the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana is the responsibility of their local governments and the United States Government. Since Chris Paul has two years left on his contract with the Hornets, he has to wait before he has full control of where and when he goes. But the moves he has control over now are the firing and hiring of agents, which he has done. He is now represented by Leon Rose who also represents LeBron James. Paul has also agreed to work with LeBron James` LRMR marketing agency. Hmmm. Maybe he does want to play with LeBron in Miami. But please, for the love of all things sacred and the game of basketball, read the fine print before you declare you hate a player for making a decision based on what`s best for him, instead of the city in which he lives. Now we can move on to some discussion on my stand-out trades and another fine being doled out by the NBA for disparaging comments.
Matt Barnes and Kobe Bryant: the new Batman and Robin
I love this move. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. But I really don`t think this is a case of anything going beyond trash talk. There is a difference between genuine hate and trash talking rivalry - any athlete knows this. Remember, Matt Barnes went to UCLA and Kobe Bryant personally rallied for Barnes to play in Los Angeles. These are key points. Barnes could have gone to the Cavs for more money and Miami was also on the table of options believe it or not. Think back to last summer and Ron Artest signing with the Lakers. Kobe pushed for him even after physical battles during the regular season and a confrontation in the playoffs. Maybe Barnes is a second choice since Kobe pushed for Raja Bell who ended up with the Utah Jazz - who knows. All I know is, the Lakers are showing they are ready to take on the league and the `three kings` in Miami this season.
T-MAC is `take me back` in Chicago
We have heard this story before. Think back to 10 years ago. Chicago was also in his list of options in 2000 but ended up going from the Raptors to Orlando instead. It was a different time then. The Chicago Bulls were in the post-Jordan era and Tracey McGrady was not willing to take on the baggage. Now he has players like Derrick Rose in favour of him coming to Chicago but I would be a little weary of that. Remember, 10 years ago Derrick Rose was 11 years old right when Tracey McGrady was really becoming `T-MAC`. So this may just be a case of Rose wanting to play with the guy he grew up watching in all those highlight reels. For it to work in Chicago for McGrady this time around, I really don`t see him starting. Maybe as the Bulls` 6th man. There are a few players I wouldn`t want to see minutes taken away from: Ronnie Brewer, Kurt Thomas (more of a proven veteran leader than McGrady), Luol Deng and of course, Carlos Boozer and Rose. Plus, don`t forget about McGrady`s back and knee. I wouldn`t want to see him working the hot-cold baths in the training room while his team is out on the road trying to win basketball games.
David Stern forgot how to add and subtract
This one just kills me. Minnesota Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations David Khan was recently fined $50,000 for comments he made about Michael Beasley`s past marijuana use. According to my source, the Timberwolves as a team were also fined for the comments its President made. This means the NBA is collecting $100,000 dollars for comments they feel are equal to the severity of Dan Gilbert`s rant on LeBron James leaving Cleveland. I think Dan Gilbert`s comments on LeBron James are far worse than what David Khan said about Beasley. By the NBA essentially fining both situations $100,000, they are saying both hold the same weight. In a radio interview on an ESPN affiliate, David Khan called Michael Beasley (who was recently acquired by the Timberwolves) ``a very young and imature kid who smoked too much marijuana``. Not a good thing to say about a player who is supposed to be a part of the Timberwolves family and should be fined. Good move on that part. But not status worthy of Dan Gilbert`s hissy fit.
Basketball Beyond the Floor
Remember to join me here on the DNB this Thursday when we will be discussing WNBA retiree Lisa Leslie`s life and career chronicled in Don`t Let the Lipstick Fool You. You will agree with the title after you read this book. Happy reading and see you on Thursday.