Some of you may have varying opinions on Stephen A. Smith, but I would advise you to consider the following before passing judgment on the value of a rumor sourced from him. If you ever watch SAS work a room full of All-Stars, it’s just about the most fascinating thing you’ll ever see. He’s one of the very few individuals I’ve ever seen have All-Stars drop what they are doing to go reach out and approach him. This was in public, I can only imagine what happens behind close doors. The long and short of it is that Smith may not be your cup of tea, but he’s not some blogger sitting somewhere making up rumors. That’s my job. KIDDING. (I only make up terrible nicknames.)
So this report from him via ESPN on the Lakers being interested in finding the answer to their troubles in The Answer? It’s probably got legs at one end of the vine or the other.
Allen Iverson, who sources indicated the Lakers had some interest in as long as he was willing to go to the NBA Developmental League for a few weeks first, is not the answer. Hes simply not a point guard. The Lakers are also said to be interested in former Toronto Raptors point guard Rafer Alston, who helped the Orlando Magic reach the NBA Finals in 2009. But who knows if that will materialize into anything?
via Showtime is only a memory for Los Angeles Lakers against New York Knicks – ESPN Los Angeles.
“Hey, your offense suffers because it lacks players who can produce off the ball, your big men have been inconsistent, and your best player feels its in his best interest to take 28-plus shots a night, then receives no criticism on drowning the offense because he manages to score 30-plus. I know! Allen Iverson will solve all these problems!” (Note: You can’t really blame Kobe for taking shots when his options are Troy Murphy and Jason Kapono while Andrew Bynum continues his slide back into the cuckoo nest, but it paints a more complete picture of the Lakers’ offensive troubles.)
Allen Iverson will not solve all these problems. Now, it’s clear that this was just a fleeting consideration, a flyer, a “why not?” approach. But it does show how desperate the Lakers are for someone to orchestrate the offense and create opportunities. I mean, Rafer Alston, guys?
Someone might want to tell management and the coaching staff that it isn’t 2008. The times are not a-changing. They have done changed.
Kobe and Iverson on the same team. We’re going to need to clone possessions in a hurry.
Rafer Alston is out of the NBA — he played last season in China — but the man still knows how to make headlines.
The former NBA point guard is being sued over an alleged altercation from a year ago, according to the New York Post.
The former NBA athlete, 35, who’s originally from Jamaica, Queens, attacked fellow Perfection Gentleman’s Club patron Erick Franceschini, 32, of Milford, Conn., during a knock-down-drag-out free-for-all in July 2010, according to papers recently filed in Queens Supreme Court.
Alston smashed Franceschini with the bottle during a dispute that began in the Woodside, Queens, club and spilled out on the street, said Franceschini’s lawyer, John Rapawy.
Skip to my Lou indeed. According to the allegation Alston was not involved with the start of the fight in the club but hit Franceschini on the head when the incident spilled outside. On the night of the fight Alston was not arrested, although an assault complaint was filed against him.
I’m sure the fact Alston made more than $28 million in his 10-year NBA career is purely coincidental to the lawsuit.
Alston is a Queens native and played for a number of teams in the NBA including the Bucks, Rockets, Magic, Heat and Nets.
There is no video of the incident, but if you want here is a link to video of Alston slapping Eddie House upside the head.
Rafer Alston has options.
Not in the NBA, nobody stateside is taking his call. But in China, options a plenty, as niubball.com reports (via Hoopshype). He reportedly going to sign with the Zhejiang Guangshua Lions, but…
The same article is reporting that Alston, despite agreeing to come to Zhejiang, personally reached out to Qingdao Double Star two weeks ago and the two sides have mutual interest in each other. If a deal is reached, Skip will sign an agreement with Double Star similar to Stephon Marbury’s with Shanxi Zhongyu that would include opportunities on the business side of the basketball in addition to an annual salary.
Good for him finding the best deal he can.
Our own Rob Mahoney said it before but it bears repeating — China may be the eventual home to all of the NBA’s high-volume, low-efficiency point guards. Which is fine by me. China gets some streetball flair from Skip to my Lou and we get more efficient basketball. Everybody wins.
The Chinese Basketball Association may not have the same draw as more prestigious European leagues, but what it does have is a type. Stephon Marbury. Steve Francis. Maybe Allen Iverson. The CBA has become a post-NBA destination for low-efficiency scoring point guards, and according to the Hoops Market, we can now add two more prospective names to that list: Flip Murray and Rafer Alston.
The Zhejiang Lions (home of former lottery pick Rodney White and quasi-NBA big man Peter John Ramos) are reportedly interested in bringing in either Murray or Alston. The Hoops Market notes that Murray does have a few NBA offers that would dissuade him from signing in China, but Alston, on the other hand, appears to be knocking on NBA doors without anyone answering.
NBA GMs know what Alston can do, and they’re not interested. They’ve seen him top 40% shooting just two times in 11 seasons, and that such a mark has never deterred him from firing away. Alston has pouted and caused trouble, in spite of being an infinitely replaceable player. My only concern: did all of that seriously take 11 years to discern? I suppose we have the Toronto Raptors to blame for signing Alston to a six-year, $25 million contract in 2004, but part of me is still surprised that no team tried to cut Alston loose prior to both the Nets and Heat doing so last season.
Apparently his trade value (as either contract filler or overvalued player) was just high enough to avoid such a fate.
Murray may be hanging around (which makes sense; for all of his faults, Murray is still useful as a bench scorer), but Alston seems to have been kicked out. Whether he ends up joining Zhejiang or not is his choice, but the NBA isn’t his home anymore.