The Philadelphia 76ers today traded disgruntled center Samuel Dalembert to the Los Angeles Sparks for star power forward Candace Parker and a throwback jersey from Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Dalembert is expected to back up Sparks center Lisa Leslie.
According to sources, talks have been ongoing for some time, but were held up due to the Sixers insistence on a signed Magic Johnson jersey. Once that was reduced to a game worn Abdul-Jabbar jersey, things moved quickly.
“We are proud to introduce our new forward, Candace Parker,” said Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski of the 6′4″ dunking machine. “We expect her to be a significant improvement over Dalembert. She is stronger, has a better outside shot, and is far less likely to cost us games by committing four fouls in the first quarter of every game.
“Plus, this Kareem jersey is gonna look sweet on the wall of my office.”
Dalembert seemed thrilled to be traded to a contender.
“It is an honor to be traded to a team with such a rich tradition,” said the soul-rending center. "I hear the seats on the bench there are well padded. I look forward to taking my team killing skills to Los Angeles.”
When asked what Dalembert’s role would be, Sparks head coach Michael Cooper was very clear.
“His role will be to make sure that Lisa has plenty to drink, and that she has a fresh towel with which to dry off when she sits down.” When asked specifically about his playing role, Cooper just laughed and left the podium.
Contacted by phone, Sixers guard Andre Iguodala seemed to sum up the feelings of the whole team, if not the city.
“Wow, I thought we would never unload that mook,” said Iguodala. “To call him useless is an insult to useless people. Who did we get for him? You know what, it doesn’t matter. We are a better team today.”
When told that WNBA star Candace Parker was now a Sixer, Iguodala replied, “Great. She will double his scoring average just by not fouling out.”
Parker seemed to take the whole situation in stride.
“I’m just going to try to fit in and do what I do. I plan to be a team player. [Sixers head coach] Eddie [Jordan] told me that I was a much better fit for the Princeton offense, due to the fact that I have an IQ over 75, unlike Dalembert."
“He said that, not me. I mean, it’s true, but I’m just saying.”
When asked about how she would handle the difference in the game play, Parker expressed confidence.
“Look, I am not worried,” said Parker. "I know what I can do. Obviously, the Sixers do too, or I wouldn’t be here. I can handle the ball, I can shoot, I can dunk, all the things that were missing from that position for the seven minutes a game that he played last year.
“If some high school kid can dunk on (Cleveland Cavaliers forward) LeBron (James), I can too.”
At press time, it could not be confirmed that the New York Mets were trying to trade Oliver Perez to the USA Olympic team for softball ace Jennie Finch and a Mia Hamm throwback.