By Chris Hathwell




After six straight east finals and only one title to show for it, GM Joe Dumars, tired of being the Atlanta Braves of the NBA, has apparently decided being the early 2000’s Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA is a better idea for the NBA. Only problem is, the Blazers never won anything because they had no leader and no elite scorer for crunch time. Perhaps he’s actually tring to copy the current Blazers model (aquire young assets) but’s it’s coming off more like the Pittsburgh Pirates model (simply acquire a different set of bodies without regard to position, contract value, or talent level) although one of Detroit’s young pieces (Jonas Jerebko) is already out for at least this season, so there is a nice Portland parallel there.

You’d think old number 4 must have something big up his sleeve that the rest of us can’t see, because why else would he pass on trade offers to aquire Chris Kaman, David Lee,and Al Jefferson, not to mention sign Charlie V. and Ben Gordon to ridiculous contracts the summer before the best free agent class ever? Surely having 17 swingmen who can’t really shoot the 3, see the floor, or play any defense cant be his vision, right?

Pity head coach Jon Kuetser (pronounced queefer, also rhymes with Tom Keifer, lead singer of 80’s hair metal band Cinderella) for having to mold a competitive team out of this mess of a roster.

 Thing is, if this was A 1987 College team and the queefer could get his dudes to go out there and press for 40 minutes, or this was a 6″7 and under league he might have a chance, but as it stands, Tom Keifer might as well be the coach.

Trust me, I understand he is trying to rebuild while staying competitive, but it obviously isnt working. It’s not like they’re just a center away.  There’s no real point guard either, just a dude that looks like 50 Cent and plays like a morph of D-Wade and Harold Miner. And no, that’s not a good thing.

Furhermore, by overvaluing Tay and Rip and passing on the aforementioned trades, Joe D has reduced their value as the whole league watched em both get hurt last season, and now every GM in the league can see the glut of overpaid, declining swingmen, so when Dumars finally gets around to trading someone, theres no way he’s getting equal value.

So with that said, here’s a quick overview of what’s here now:

Stuckey-he can put his head down and go get you 2, and hes still young, but he is more ideally suited as a 2 guard in a system with lots of outside shooters.

Rip-the consumate pro and a great teammate, he’s got a great mid-range game and can simply out-will his opponent, but he needs alot of screens to get open and a point who can put it where he needs it.

Prince-another solid teammate who has a great all-around game, but dosent excel in any particular area.

Charlie V-he can shoot and is capable of erupting for 25 point games every once in awhile, but he’s more likely to shoot his team out of a game with 6 ill-advised attempts in a row, and brings nothing else. Every time I have seen him play in person, his body-language is just terrible. not to mention he’s a hair-less freak. no hair to match his no heart i guess.

Wallace-can still be ben wallace for about 28 minutes a night.

Monroe-looked very skilled and very eager in the summer league, this might have been a real steal at number 7.

T-Mac-a sad shell of his former self, he should be drunk and in turkey with iverson.

Gordon- a great scorer, but he’s little, can be exposed on D by lesser talents, and dosent like being a bench scorer, although that’s the role best suited to his game.

Bynum-another undersized score only point, at least he plays with a chip on his shoulder.
Maxiell: an undersized 4, he’s springy, but he plays with a brick of chipped beef on his shoulder.

Daye-he’s skilled, but maxiel needs to share some of his chipped beef with him. alot of it.

Wilcox- still thinks he’s on the bench with Melvin Ely and Keith Closs.

Thing is, this team has some guys who can play the game, but collectively they’re a fucking mess, and forgive me if i dont trust Joe to turn it around anytime soon.

IF THEY GET LUCKY: all of the competition for minutes motivates some of these guys to play defense and share the ball, helping coach queefer establish a rotation, a real leader emerges, and dumars turns the rest of his assets into a 5 and maybe a real point guard, and they are right back where they were, sporting a deep team infused with more youth.

IF THEY DON’T: ego’s, apathy, and a lack of beef leads to a slow start, and Dumars finally blows the team up for real, turning Prince, Rip, T-Mac, and hopefully one of last summer’s bad contracts into cap-space and maybe a few protected first rounders. they lose alot of games while the young guys develop, and land a high lottery pick to form the new nucleus.

REALITY: there is obviously some talent here and tons of depth at the wings, so they will win some games. however, a lack of bigs, an absence of a a true team identity, and injuries to the wrong people will keep them in the 30 win range which is never a good place to be: no playoffs and not enough ping-pong balls. Maybe Joe willl the rabbit out of his hat and land the big they desperately need, or maybee the new owners , alarmed with his recent isiah-ish behavior, will just fire his ass and bring in the real thing. wouldn’t that be awesome.

(Piston bonus) MAN, THEM BOYS WERE BAD

The immortal “bad boys” teams, back to back champions at arguably the most competitive time in league history, were not only deep, talented, well coached and intimidating,   clotheslining fools and turning “no easy buckets” into an artform, they were also blessed with an abundance of colorful characters. I defy anyone to find another team with so many awesome nicknames.

Dennis Rodman aka The Worm

James Edwards aka Buddah

Vinnie Johnson aka the Microwave

Bill Laimbeer aka Lambs

Isiah aka Zeke

RickMahorn: aka Unicorn Horn

John Salley aka The Spider

Alright, one of those is not real, but it should have been. I mean, are you fucking with a dude named UNICORN HORN? Anyway, it wasnt like he needed it- no sane man was fucking with Mahorn no how.


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