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Friday, February 29, 2008

Sam Cassell Finally Released...Now Where To?

Sam Cassell, point guard for the LA Clippers who are in last place in their respective division, was finally released Thursday after requesting to have his contract bought out. This Florida State Alumni just had his jersey retired in Tallahassee and now wants to move back east.

Will he hop on the train to join his ex-Timberwolve Kevin Garnett in Boston? Or will another potential playoff team pick him up? Cassell must pass midnight Friday's waiver period, after that he can join whatever team will pick him up. This 38 year old injury-prone point guard needs to go to a team that needs help now obviously. If he does in fact move to Boston he will find out he has to play under Rajon Rondo and Eddie House. Do the Celtics really need Cassell?

If the Denver Nuggets are hoping for anything better they are dreaming. The Nuggets are half a game out of the playoffs under the Rockets and in need of something even though Karl and AI think the team is just fine. The Nuggets have had some incredible signs recently to tell them they need to pick up Cassell.
-First off, one of the teams that is jeopardizing their playoff picture is the Houston Rockets. Now that they took a huge blow with the injury to Yao Ming the Nuggets have an opening to secure that last playoff spot in the highly competitive West.
-Secondly, right before the trade deadline the Nuggets beat the Celtics and somehow believed that they are fine the way they are...the same way they were last year when they lost in the first round...and the year before. They then shut down all trade talk and didn't pick up a much needed PG, or Ron Artest, or Zach Randolph. As a result, the Nuggets lose their next three games, two of which were to the Bulls...and the Bucks.
-Thirdly, now, Cassell is dropped and teamless. A PG who needs to help out now. Chucky Atkins is hurt, Anthony Carter and Taurean Green aren't prize pieces, pick up Cassell!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Montana Tech Keeps Sampson's Name

The school that gave Kelvin Sampson his first job as a head coach has no plans in changing its court name that honors him.

Sampson recently was suspended from the University of Indiana and accepted a $750,000 buyout of his contract following a mess of recruiting scandals.

As for Montana Tech, who he coached from 1981-1985, still supports him and honors him as a great man and great coach. Sampson shaped the poor team into a winning team in just one season and now the Orediggers are a winning program. Sampson coached M.Tech with the salary of $1,100 a year and later donated $50,000 to renovate the school's physical education building.

To commemorate Sampson, Montana Tech placed his signature on the basketball court. "We're not a big school, but we're extremely loyal, and we're not going to get caught up in that whole game," McClafferty, athletic director of Montana Tech stated. "Our court will stay Kelvin Sampson Court. We still love the guy, and if he wants to come back and coach here, we'd sure take him."

It makes me happy to see this school stay loyal and handle this situation with class. Knowing that this man made their program into what it is today, Montana Tech won't turn their back on him and erase him from their history.

The Orediggers aren't doing so well this year however, they are 1-9 in Frontier Conference play, and 5-19 overall. (Mr. Sampson? Are you listening?)

Go Orediggers!

Friday, February 15, 2008

All-Star Trade Deadline!

Oh man... You have to love the weeks before the All-Star Break in the NBA. The blogs, airwaves, and sports channels are filled to the rim with trade talk, rumors and unhappy players! Now-a-days, the All-Star break isn't recognized as much for the spectacles as it is the sign of the trade deadline finally among us. Whether teams build up trade talk and finally decide against it, teams rushing into a trade, or teams finally building the guts to pull the trigger, the trade deadline/All-Star Break is the best time of the season.

Like I stated in my last article, the 2007-2008 NBA Season is the season of great changes. From the Boston Celtics getting ridiculous, to the Lakers getting one of the most one-sided deals in a while in Pau Gasol, and finally to the Marion/Shaq trade, this season is only going to get better.

I just don't want the trade deadline to come!

These past few days have been quite fun for a fan of the NBA and not particularly a fan of the Dallas Mavericks and the New Jersey Nets. Jason Kidd was supposedly packing his bags for his move to Dallas, when one of the extra bodies of the trade pulled out the rare "No-Trade Clause" of his contract. Devean George, the guy who after stops the huge trade between the East and the West shoots 0-11 from the field, is crazy! George might have his reasons for staying in Dallas, whether it be the playing time or the money, but sometimes you just have to know your role and follow. (Devean George does have some championship rings, don't get me wrong, but c'mon..)

But, I couldn't help but overhear while watching the Nuggets/Warriors last week that George Karl and my Denver Nuggets are hoping to get Ron Artest from the Sacremento Kings. The only thing stopping this trade is the Kings interest in the young and promising Linus Kleiza. The Nuggets don't need another small forward or shooting guard unless Allen Iverson is going to be the permanent point guard. Artest's defense would be a nice perk to the Nuggets sluggish perimeter defense, however.

As a fan of the Baby-Blue Nuggets, I hope this deal goes down in flames. What Denver needs to find is a point guard who can actually bring some game or a power forward who is not always hurt (nothing intended against Nene, my prayers are with him).

The Nuggets have a group of guys who are expendable. Look at J.R. Smith, Nene, Kenyon Martin! I don't know if Karl and the guys in Denver heard about someone from LA looking for a trade by the name of Sam Cassell. Cassell would be a great addition to the Nuggets and give them some help , even though his age is a little damper on the trade. Denver needs to take a stand and say simply "NO" to whoever even shows interest in Najera or Kleiza. These guys are too good of role players to give up.

It would be a great day in Denver if a strong point guard joined forces with the Nuggets and the health issues were resolved with the big men.

I can only hope that the Nuggets figure out something to keep up with the continuous growth of the Western Conference. I just hope they realize that if they give up Nene or K-Mart and get Artest or a point guard that they are getting smaller while the West is getting bigger and plan accordingly to compete with them.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Suns Get Some Heat?

The Suns and the Heat have come to an agreement in a trade that sends Shaq to Phoenix in return for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. Did the Suns just get some wasted Heat, or are they just getting hotter?

This major trade that sent Shaq back to the west and the unhappy Marion and young Banks to the Heat came just days after the New Jersey Nets' point guard Jason Kidd requested a trade and weeks after Rashard Lewis shipped to Orlando and Kevin Garnett/Ray Allen to Boston. This 2007-2008 Season has already been dubbed "The Move-While-You-Still-Can Year."

One can only imagine what Steve Kerr and the Phoenix Suns were thinking when they accepted the trade to grab the dominant center of the past decade with bad knees and give away automatic the automatic double-double machine. Everyone can see right when they see this how it is a bad move for the Suns and a good move for the Heat, but there are some high pros that can shine over those cons.

1: Can Shaq provide a counter to Duncan and the Spurs in the playoffs?
   -Steve Kerr could have been thinking future. With the Spurs as the main competition, the Suns needed to change something and attack them from a different angle. The Suns could go big on the court and have Amare Stoudamire and Shaquille O'Neal on the court to prevent Duncan from just shutting down the Suns' inside game.

2: Could Shaq bring his rings...I mean... experience?
3: Did the Suns get rid of unhappy mojo?
   -Shawn Marion wasn't the happiest of campers in Phoenix. At the beginning of the season with Kobe trades were the talk-of-the-town, Marion also was requesting a trade, blaming his unhappiness in Phoenix. Is the credit not being spread around down in Arizona?

What we don't know is how Shaq will immediately fit in with the Suns' fast-break, run-and-gun offense. Only time will tell how everything works out, and how long Shaq's knees will be able to play.

--On the other side of the nation, the Heat made an amazing trade. They need to start rebuilding and freeing up cap-room. Getting rid of O'Neal freed up some space to start shopping for some great Free Agents at the end of the 2008 season, which is going to be a great season for those teams that are shopping (ie. Baron Davis, Chris Webber, Monta Ellis, Allen Iverson, Jermaine O'Neal, Elton Brand, Corey Maggette, Gilbert Arenas)