NOTE: Grammar edited after a full night’s sleep. :-)
I was going to write a lengthy discussion on the Nets recent moves, but there isn’t anything to say about the Nets loss of Martin and now Kittles that hasn’t been said by the best blog done by a Nets fan: These Days. Shaddax’s blog covers everything from basketball to football to baseball to boxing to hockey. Although he specializes on the New York area teams, These Days seems to cover just about everything happening in every league. If that isn’t enough to make you want to peek over and see what’s happening, then check out a sample of his solid writing (about being a GM in NYC):
…I’m sick of people parroting that idiocy about “oh, it’s New York, you have to go for it in New York”… People might say bad things about you on talk radio? Well guess what: if you give a shit about what Al from Scarsdale or Vinny from Yonkers has to say about the team, then make one of them the GM, clear your desk out and take up some other occupation. Or learn how to lie better, and just say nothing could be worked out. Either way, if you don’t have the stomach to come up with a plan and see it through, if you don’t have the perspicacity to tell the difference between a lucky run in a crappy division and a legitimate contender’s chance, if you don’t have any clue what makes a player good or bad, then get the hell away from my team. I’m sick to death of having every franchise in town held hostage to “they say” crap.
Getting back to the Nets, they could have really made a good try at turning around this franchise. In fact they should have retoolled to make another championship run. Something tells me they knew they weren’t going to keep Kittles and Martin from the beginning. So why not put them out there early & try to get Shaq or McGrady? They could have traded both at the onset of the offseason, and with the $20M they got back in trade exceptions, made a run at Kobe Bryant. Even if they didn’t try to get one of the best available players, there were a bunch of quality guys that were available that the Nets might have acquired to give them a stronger team.
New Jersey waited too long, and now the Nets only have slim pickings to choose from. Instead of trying to get Boozer, Okur, or Ginobili, they can try to get Dampier, Crawford, and Rodney White. That’s if they choose to spend their trade exceptions, instead of pocketing the money. Honestly with their new ownership I doubt they’ll sign any long or expensive deals in the near future. Imagine how bad things will be if they trade Jason Kidd in a similar fashion.
John Hollinger wrote a column calling the Warriors the “new Clippers.” Without any improvements, the Nets should easily win this crown. In fact, you could argue that the Nets would be worse than the Warriors. Sure it’s easy to point to Derek Fisher’s laughable 6 year contract and say “top that”. But at least Mullin is trying to win. If the Nets trade Kidd for cap relief, then they’re sending a clear sign to the rest of the league: “We don’t care if we win.” Even though they’ll be under the cap and able to sign players in the future, throwing up a white flag now will scare away fans and free agents for years to come.