Wait till next…decade??
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 28, 2008
So here we are. The NBA season just kicked off a month ago. So many interesting subplots, and of course the most interesting subplot is Kobe Bryant and the impossibly tough to crack Laker defense.
No, wait, that’s not it.
It’s the Hornets slower than anticipated start, with losses to Charlotte, Sacramento and…
Nope, not it either.
Wait, wait, I know: it’s Boston’s 14-2 start (nope)…the Iverson trade (uh uh)…the revitalized Knicks (keep checking)…the return of Dwyane Wade, NBA megastar (not even close).
Ah, yes…the summer of 2010.
I don’t know that the professional sports media can grow further than where we’re at now, considering that the free agent market TWO YEARS FROM NOW is where much of the interesting talk has been centered. And its easy to see why. LeBron James. Wade. Dirk Nowitski. Chris Bosh. Amare Stoudamire. And the list goes on. All set to walk in 2010, all free to sign wherever they wish, provided that team has the cap space to honor their demands.
And in the case of King James, a franchise altering player if there ever was one, the bidding will be intense.
Would this have ever happened a decade ago? Would Knick fans not only condone the dealing of their two leading scorers for “future cap space”…but applaud it?
It’s not limited to New York. When Detroit traded Chauncey Billups and Antonio McDyess earlier this year for Allen Iverson, it was second seen as an interesting development in 2008 — first looked at as a cap dumping measure, as the Answer’s free agency this off-season absolves the Pistons of over 20 million dollars.
Allen Iverson…one of the greatest players of the last decade…salary dump.
We’ve seen the NFL Off-season — centered around the draft, Mel Kiper, Jr., and his bottomless container of hair mousse — blow up into almost an extra NFL season. For fans of perennial NFL losers, the off-season is where hope is found — and where thoughts dart to after yet another 0-4 start.
The Cavs have one shot to keep King James — win the Finals in ’08 or ’09 — and even that likely won’t be enough. After all, once he’s won, what’s left for the hopeful ‘Global Icon’ to do other than…become a Global Icon?
•Everyone’s been laying out playoff scenarios for the Saints for the past few days. I think its safe to say the fever is back. I’m not concerning myself with “who needs to beat who to help us” right now.
My thought process is, it’s going to be hard to win four or five games anyway. If they rally to go 10-6 in this season full of injury and heartbreak, then that gives them a shot — all I can ask for.
Having said that, the Bucs have to play Carolina on Monday night next week. The Saints trail Tampa and Carolina by two games. A Saints win over Tampa cuts their lead to a game. And Tampa or Carolina must lose next week (unless they tie, which might cause Donovan McNabb’s head to explode). So in theory, if the Saints just rattle off the next two wins, they’re at worst a game behind each team — and at best tied for second place in the South, and likely in good playoff position.
Ahem…maybe I ‘have’ thought about this a little.
It’ll be tough. Don’t forget, Mike McKenzie and Charles Grant won’t be back, nor will Tracy Porter. The defense isn’t likely to hold many teams down.
But the Saints may have found a good kick returner in Courtney Roby, a good kicker in Garrett Hartley (he hasn’t missed yet, at least) and should get Reggie Bush back soon to wreak havoc on punt returns.
So if the old saying is true, “two out of three ain’t bad”, maybe this team can make a run with a tremendous offense and a top special teams unit.
At the very least, Saints fans are seeing meaningful games in November and December, and not looking to the draft and the NFL’s ‘extra season’.
I think that’s something we can all be thankful for, this Thanksgiving.