The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me (Pt. 2)

Check it out kids, it’s the Isiah Thomas Memorial Bone-Stupid Trade of the Offseason!*

Arnovitz hits some of the generalities of this pretty well. I’m too amused to think coherently about this, so I’m just going to go with mocking bullet points:

– First off, my condolences again to QRich, a nice guy who tries hard. No one really deserves to play for the Clippers, let alone twice; let’s hope his karma’s better in the next go-round.

– Possessed of an extremely young team full of impressionable young players largely regarded as upstanding citizens like Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Hasheem Thabeet, Darrell Arthur, OJ Mayo, etc., and needing to maintain every possible positive link with their community in order to ensure continued support for a lousy squad, the Grizzlies trade for Zach Fucking Randolph. Zach Randolph, who burned bridges and got run out of town for the last three teams he played for, two of them in consecutive years. Zach Randolph, who’s been arrested a bunch of times, including outside a strip club and last year for drunk driving. Zack Randolph, renowned for giving perhaps the least effort of any player in the league. Zach Randolph, who’s not even in a contract year, so is neither an expiring deal nor likely to be motivated by the need to earn a new one. Zach Randolph, who got as much publicity as a Clipper can last year for punching a guy during a game and who had previously punched a teammate in practice while he was with Portland. Zach Randolph, responsible for this. Zach Randolph, who I could go on about for days. This is the guy they chose. Has there been any move more representative of the utter historical futility of this inept botch-up of a basketball organization than this one? I vote that this beats out the Pau Gasol trade and even Big Country Bryant Reeves. That guy sucked on his own; Zbo might take five or six guys down with him. I need Bill Simmons to write a column about this, because really no one else can do it justice. It’s not even a basketball move, it’s a fucking social sciences experiment-meets-reality-TV. Real World Memphis, with Zach as the housemate everyone hates. He’s gonna be sticking his dick in the peanut butter and wiping his nose on the drapes by Christmas, metaphorically speaking.

– Be serious now. As a Knicks fan, can there be any more clear sign of how far the team has come than to watch the Grizzle and the Clippers make the same mistakes our team did the last few years? The Knicks won’t make the playoffs next year and they’re still very, very much a work in progress, but it’s damn nice to be able to laugh at other teams for once. A clear sign of separation from that level of team. Tastes like victory, however small.

– I gotta be honest, I don’t really care about either team, but I’d pay $50 right now to be able to watch the Grizzlies practice whenever I wanted next year. Guaranteed it’s better than 90% of the professional comedies on TV.

– Clippers management sucks and they don’t know what they’re doing, but I’ll give them this: at least they were willing to admit they were wrong and make a nothing-for-something trade to get Zbo out of town after one year and the fuck away from Blake Griffin. They’ll still be terrible next year, but there’s a pretty decent chance their win total goes up from 19. Think about that, if it happens: replacing Zbo, a 20-10 guy in his theoretical prime at age 27, with a rookie considered the weakest on-paper #1 overall in a decade, might make the Clips better. Lots of lessons in that one.

– And if that doesn’t work out, with a few injuries the Clips might be the worst team ever, which is always fun to watch if you’re not a fan of that team.

– Memphis management though…what the heck is going on here, then? When they were cutting costs and spending little, I understood that; they’re in a weak market with a young team, no reason to overspend or overcommit before you know what the mature version of your roster may be lacking in a few years. But to move away from that strategy for the sake of Zach Randolph, perhaps the most universally loathed player in the league, defies belief. Why? How can professional people have such a total inability to learn from the mistakes of their peers? This same thing was tried in New York where Zeke got Zbo for pennies on the dollar, and it failed in every possible respect, in the largest media market in the country. So then Zbo gets traded out West, again for pennies on the dollar, to the second largest media market in the country where he again fails catastrophically both on court and off. How much warning do you need? If there were some sort of cost savings for the Grizzlies I could maybe sort of understand it, but they’re taking on MORE MONEY for the sake of ZACH RANDOLPH. I don’t even care what happens from this point, this is hands down the single worst move any NBA team will make this offseason: it brings in a bad player, it costs millions more in cash, it’s hard to get out of (in theory at least; there’s apparently a lot of suckers in this league), it’s likely to piss off and demoralize fans especially the more passionate and better informed ones, and there’s a pretty decent chance that it will be a horrible influence on a young and promising team. Absolutely zero buys.

What on earth is even the theoretical upside? Even if Zbo is a positive influence on a team which he’s probably not (2 year Adj. +/- of -0.65), even if you need a 4 which you probably do, why THIS guy? 3 Shades of Blue just had a post evaluating David Lee and Paul Millsap for the role. Either one might well be gettable given Utah and the Knicks’ cap/tax situations, and either one of them is 3 times the player Zbo is, and not a quarter of the headache. But hey, why wait and try to get someone who’s actually contributed to a winner or has a good statistical profile or is liked by fans and teammates, when you can throw big money at ZACH RANDOLPH. What the shit? YOU ARE SIGNING ZACH RANDOLPH. STOP. If it were ever possible to take a very young team guaranteed to be maturing into higher levels of production and which only won 24 games last year, and make them win fewer games the next season by ADDING a player, this would be the move to do it. Doomed is too nice a word for this one; it leaves too much hope out there. Taking all relevant factors into account, this is one of the very worst personnel moves I have seen in all my 20 years or so as a basketball fan, and with any luck it’ll be a long time before we see anything quite this bad again. What a fucking clown show.

*I know he’s not dead. But his career sure is.

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July 2, 2009 - Posted by | Other NBA, The NY Knicks |

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