I hear that all your favorite NBA players are playing basketball overseas next year. I hear that all your favorite teams and all my favorite teams are holding cheerleader tryouts for the next six months. I hear that the captains of our favorite teams are all moving to Turkey and China to start hoops camps for children, or whomever, really. I hear that the league laid off more employees this week than your local newspaper did last year. I hear our autumn prospects for U.S. professional hoops are bad and getting badder. These stories will continue for months (and also down into the rest of this post!), so let us take a moment and officially acknowledge a sad moment in the league – The Spurs letting George Hill go to the Pacers!? No. Well, yeah, but that’s not what I was going to say. I was going to give one last huzzah to Rocket favorite Yao Ming, who won’t officially announce his retirement until next week. The 30-year-old Yao averaged 19/9 throughout his career, popularized the game in Asia like no one before him and may be my father, I can’t be sure. We both have dark hair and my first word as a child was “Yao.” To be fair, I said that word after hitting myself in the head with a Mr. T action figure, so the word might actually have been “Ow.” At any rate, we’re all looking forward to Yi Jianlian stepping up his game and filling the gaping hole Yao left in our hearts.
And here’s the fantasy basketball that’s happening in your neck of the woods. (©Al Roker)
Wait! Stop reading and read this (!): I need more input on what Razzball is going to do if the lockout carries into the regular season. Read this and tell me what you think. Thanks for stopping. Go ahead and start again:
Kemba Walker – Silas says the ‘Cats are going zone next season to allow the length-challenged Walker and D.J. Augustin to a) play together in the backcourt, b) showcase the lack of defense in Charlotte’s frontcourt when c) every other team posts up on the pair of Mere Cats all day long.
Nate Robinson – Sugar Nate said he might try football if the basketball lockout lingers. No, he did not acknowledge that football is currently in a lockout too. Yes, Russell Westbrook knows that if Robinson finds out, it’ll crush the little guy. No, Russell Westbrook doesn’t have the heart to tell him.
Gilbert Arenas – Tweeted that the Wiz may have leaked 2009’s gun story because his “money making days [were] up.” Who knows what that gong show of a clubhouse was like, but as far as his talent and value as a player in the only 32 games he played two seasons ago, he averaged 37 mpg, 23/4/7, with 1.6 stl+blk and nearly two 3ptm per game. My guess is, he still had some money left to be made. But seriously, if you’re on Twitter and you’re not following @agentzeroshow, you’re Twittering incorrectly. And while you’re there, hit up @RazzballHoops. In the coming months, I’m going to be more active.
Omri Casspi – The Great Casspi is expected to start at the three next season. “Flibbertyjibbets!” said the one dude in Cleveland who just received his authentic Alonzo Gee jersey in the mail. (Only he didn’t say “flibbertyjibbets.”)
DeMarcus Cousins – Likely to form a three-headed Hydra in Sacramento’s frontcourt with J.J. Hickson at the four and Jason Thompson subbing in for both. I know what you’re thinking – Who’s Jason Thompson? No. Well, yeah, but that’s not what I was going to say. I was gonna comment on Sammy Davis Dalembert likely seeking employment elsewhere in 2011 … There. I guess that was me commenting on it. Just now.
Turkey– The country is taking all our best players. First it was Deron Williams and Zaza Pachulia and now it’s Sasha Vujacic (rumored to be signing with Anadolu Efes) and Jamal Crawford (currently considering an offer from an unspecified Turkish club) … I realize now that “best” might have been too strong an adjective.