I remember when I was young and had no real sense of time, I would ask my father “when is Christmas?” and he would answer, “shortly after basketball season begins”. So every year when basketball season began, I would start narrowing down my Christmas list. Over the course each year, I had looked at and like many different toys, but when basketball season came around I had to decide what was more important than what. Well, basketball season is still a ways off so I can be quite free with this list. I don’t expect to get all of it anyway.
1. Lamar Odom under contract ASAP.
This has gone on long enough. This is a no brainer, WE NEED ODOM! Okay, LA is my team and Kobe is my man, but I think he should’ve renegotiated his contract to free up some money for Odom. He won’t miss a couple of millions dollars (easy for me to say). 18-19Mill per year is enough for any human being. Everyone wins with that scenario, Odom is happy, Artest is happy and ultimately Kobe, Pau, Coach Jackson and the entire organization will be happy for another three or four years because they will always be contenders and probably will win another championship within that time frame.
I would personally feel better as a representative of the “Kobe is the Best Player on the Planet” movement when I’m arguing his legacy ten years from now. Not only would it help Kobe (and I) in his personal goal (and mine) of 6 championships, it would really show his commitment to the Lakers after the fine job that they’ve done since he demanded a trade two years ago. Sacrifices must be made by you too Mr.Bryant.
2. Luol Deng healthy.
Did anyone watch that Boston vs Chicago first round series? What am I talking about?…Of course you watched it, everyone did. I was really pleased at what I saw from those young guys Rose, Noah and Thomas. I like Ben Gordon but I am glad that he is gone. I wanted him gone, but I would’ve traded him a long time ago and tried to get something in exchange. He is a lot like Allen Iverson in my opinion, he’s very explosive and can score in bunches but doesn’t really make your team better. Chicago and Derrick Rose will be better with Hinrich on the court. He has a higher basketball IQ, he’s more of a pass first guard and he plays hard-nosed defense, but to keep everything in perspective, he is still a role player. Noah and Thomas too. I mean, Rose is good but just ask LeBron and D-Wade, it’s difficult to succeed in the NBA without another scorer riding shotgun. That’s where Deng comes in. He’s riding shotgun this year, and I hope his rifle is pointing out of the window and not sitting in his lap as he’s had the tendency to do in the past.
3. Greg Oden play 70 games.
I know what you are thinking, and you’re wrong. Oden is not a bust. He is still all of the potential that he was coming out of Ohio State. First of all He’s only 21 years old. Shaq is almost 37 now and Kareem and Mutombo played into their forties. Theoretically, Oden can still play 17-19 years. As far as the injuries are concerned, you know what they say about young bones and healing. I have no doubts that he is 100 percent right this minute. He’s also stronger and has a firmer grasp on how basketball is played in Portland and his role. To be quite honest with you, I was even a bit hazy on his expectations coming out of college myself. He was coming to a team that already had two 20 point scorers, so I never expected him to be a big scorer or go-to guy anyway. I did expect him to average over ten rebounds and 2.5 blocks a game, and I still do. If he could score somewhere in the mid-teens, which is not totally out of the question, that would also help out considerably. In conjunction with LaMarcus Aldridge’s near 20 points and 10 rebounds, Brandon Roy dropping something in the mid- twenties and adding 5 or 6 assist and rebounds next season and hopefully Bayless evolving into a solid point guard, they’re going to be tough to deal with for years to come.
It’s always nice to see a couple of Indiana guys get contracts. Congratulations and good luck to Sean May on his new contract with Sacramento. I hope it works out for you. Also congratulations to Josh McRoberts for getting extended by the Pacers.