Kick off your shoes, grab a drink, put your feet up and make yourself comfortable. It looks like we could be at this lockout thing for a long, long time now.
The longer this drags out, players are going to get hurt.
The question is, which players get hurt the most?
The conventional wisdom is guys like Kevin Garnett — set to make $21.2 million in the last year of his deal, plus the Celtics have one more season before they enter a rebuilding mode. Or maybe Kobe Bryant because of his age (plus the $25 million he is owed, that much money doesn’t suck even if you are rich). Maybe Dirk Nowitzki because he doesn’t get to bask in the glow of his accomplishment and defend the title. Maybe the Miami Heat trio because they want a ring and who knows how long ownership can keep that team together under the new system.
Matt Steinmetz over at CSNBayArea.com tackled that question and put together an interesting list with some unusual names. Here are a few highlights.
Vince Carter, Phoenix Suns: Yes, he’s made a ton of money during his career, but it still would hurt to go without the $18.3 million he is due in 2011-12. Especially since it’s the last year of his deal and he’ll never sniff that financial neighborhood again.
Charlie Bell, Warriors: Bell has never been a big-money guy, and that’s why losing out on his $4.1 million this year would hurt. He’s also on the last year of his deal and the very real possibility exists that Bell’s career could be over.
Mehmet Okur, Utah Jazz: He played only 13 games last season because of injury and 2011-12 is the last year of his deal. He’s scheduled to earn $10.9 million. Okur is getting up there (32) and doesn’t look to be a part of the Jazz’ long-term future. Otherwise, why would they have drafted Enes Kanter?
James Posey, Indiana Pacers: He will turn 35 years old in January, and while he was once a valuable role player, his play has slipped the past couple of years. Posey was set to earn $7.6 million in 2011-12, which would have been the biggest payday of his career.
Who would be on your list?
Andre Drummond is a terrible free-throw shooter…except, apparently, when he’s shooting from the other free-throw line. Monday night against the Raptors, Drummond cut Detroit’s deficit to five at the end of the third quarter with this three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer:
Now, if only he could work on his accuracy from his own free-throw line.
Not a lot has gone right for the Nets this season, but an impressive clutch shot by seven-time All-Star Joe Johnson gave them their 14th win of the season on Monday. With time expiring, Johnson banked in a long three-pointer to put Brooklyn up 105-104 over Denver and secure the victory:
Johnson had 12 points on the night.
For about a week, word has circulated throughout the NBA that George Karl’s days in Sacramento were numbered. They’ve lost eight of their last 10 games, and players have more or less checked out on him. Remember, it’s only been a year since the Kings unceremoniously ousted interim head coach Ty Corbin to bring Karl in, which came on the heels of their puzzling dismissal of Mike Malone in December 2014.
Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Kings have made the decision to let Karl go:
The decision itself isn’t surprising—it always seemed to be a matter of “when,” not “if” Karl would be fired. But the optics here are not good. If everybody knows it’s coming, it makes no sense to leak that the change is going to happen hours or even days before it’s made official.
The report of the Kings’ decision on Karl comes on the heels of a concerning bombshell Rajon Rondo dropped following Sacramento’s 120-100 loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night.
Via the Sacramento Bee‘s Jason Jones:
Sports Illustrated‘s Jake Fischer further reported that only three players indeed showed up on Monday morning:
That’s a bad look for everybody involved. An optional shootaround is more or less unheard of in the NBA, and if only three players bothered to come, that’s an unignorable sign that the team has quit on Karl.
Since he came into the league, Karl-Anthony Towns‘ offensive footwork has been unusually advanced for a rookie. He showed off his impressive moves again on Monday night, getting to the basket around Luke Babbitt with this spin: