The Los Angeles Lakers have sent the entire league into panic mode after acquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis two weeks ago. Many were outraged with the Lakers Spanish "Hurtar" of Pau, most notably San Antonio's coach Gregg Popovich, who suggested the NBA should have a trade committee to scratch all trades that made no sense.
Pop, how about we have a day care committee for all whiny coaches? Sheesh! I didn't hear any of the Lakers' players or management whine when your team lucked out in the draft of Duncan. The Spurs shouldn't worry too much they still have the veterans from championships past, however, this statement reeks of fear.
Another western powerhouse the Phoenix Suns made the desperation trade of the year, sending the "Matrix" Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for the "Diesel" Shaquille O'neal. The Diesel, Phoenix hopes, will be the defensive presence needed in the middle and the fast break igniter on offense.
What they failed to realize is that Shaq is a fatter, slower, lazier, and less effective version of his former self. Sure he is promising to get into shape to prove his naysayers wrong. However, what is going to happen when he can't get those rebounds to ignite the break away from people like Camby, Chandler, Duncan, Boozer, Yao, Bynum, Biedrins, and Odom all of whom are averaging more rebounds than Shaq this year?
Even if he does end up getting a good amount of defensive rebounds, wouldn't teams also want to utilize the hack-a-Shaq in close games down the stretch to keep Phoenix from running. What now?
The Suns gave up their most versatile player in Marion, for an aging former great center. It seems as though they were desperate to match up with the huge front line of the Lakers. I am not saying that the Suns are going to fall from the western conference playoff picture, I am just suggesting that the Suns panicked and tried their own version of a blockbuster trade. A hopeful attempt at a quick fix that in the near-future will prove to be a horrible move.
Today, rumors of Dallas trading for Jason Kidd has resurfaced. Jason Kidd, despite his age, is still a great game changing player, however, what Dallas is willing to give up is way too much for an also aging superstar.
If sources are correct Dallas is willing to part ways with a very talented 24-year-old point guard, Devin Harris, a proven clutch veteran in Jerry Stackhouse, and expiring contracts of big-man DeSagana Diop and Devean George. Also $3 million dollars in cash and a draft pick. The Nets will be trading Kidd and forward Malik Allen.
This makes absolutely no sense to me. The Mavericks will be losing a young and talented Harris, and a very reliable savvy veteran in Stackhouse. They will also be losing the big body of Diop. This could prove to be disastrous come playoff time, for the Mavs will be way too small in the front court to match up with the huge western conference teams.
Dirk, as we all know, can't play a lick of defense, and Dampier is just useless these days. Kidd is a great all-around player, but let's face it he is not what Dallas needs to push them over the edge especially if they have to part ways with all those key players.
As the other western conference powerhouses try to keep up with the new look Lakers. It seems as though both Phoenix and Dallas are trying to pick up the best players of years past. If this was a line up for NBA Live 2002 they both would be awesome. Too bad its 2008 and both franchises are desperately trying to win a title at the expense of their future.
With the Lakers back to where they belong among the NBA's elite, and the rest of the league frantically playing catch up, all is well again in NBA land. Now if we can only get the Knicks to pull of some magical trades as well; the glory days will be back again. Highly unlikely, however.
Tonight Lakers vs Timberwolves 8:00 PM EST. Lakers should be able to handle the Wolves and end their historical road trip at 7-2. Only the beginning of good things to come.