Friday, July 3, 2009

All Dollar Bills

Two quick apologies before I begin. First, an apology for being away for so long. My schedule's gotten really cluttered; and with the events over last weekend, I just didn't feel up to it. My second apology has a similar premise to the first. This post was originally supposed to be my NBA Wish List that I had begun to formulate while watching the Draft aka "Curry, Point Guards, and Cash Considerations." These recent transactions have sent tremors through the NBA world. To me, they prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same. More after the not-so random picture.

The Lake Show getting QB's Finest is the latest move in an arms race between the five title contenders. But true Basketball fans already knew that there were five contenders: LA, Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio, and Orlando Portland Orlando The rest of the Association are just hoping to make an impression in the playoffs. Yes, superheroes like Carmelo, CP3, Deron, and Wade will undoubtedly use their abilities to push these contenders. But in the end, those five teams will be the best five teams in the Association.

Some of you may be thinking that there's always a team that exceeds expectations, much like Denver did last year and Golden State did two years ago. Well, that's respectable for those franchises and it does provide some impulse to the regular season. That aspect combined with other splendid individual surprises like Mr. Durant, Harris, and Granger of a year ago; and we'll briefly talk about those subplots during the 30 x 82.

When this offseason was approaching, there was chatter going around about how moves will be made based on financial logic. And while revenue remains the root of all NBA evil franchises' respective decisions, it's still and always will be in terms of value. In the case of Ron-Ron to LA, the Lakers got a better, tougher player for the mid-level exception, letting Ariza—a journeyman with these under his belt (note the different jerseys)—go when he would've cost more than that. Jefferson to the Spurs is another example of how the Spurs stay among the elite while other franchises fluctuate between success and rebuilding. The Shaq-uisition is a frontcourt upgrade for a team that won 66 games.

When the dust settles, and people have stopped dunking on Hasheem Thabeet; and Steph Curry has stopped torturing Knicks fans with three after three on the opposite coast; and Brandon Jennings does whatever Brandon Jennings does, those five teams will be atop the standings. They will be the ones we care about and want to see for seven-game series. All it took was one team to make a power move, and the rest of the top-tier franchises attempted to trump each other. It's not about money. It's about who was bold enough to take that chance and force the other teams to respond in kind. Five teams did, and the other 25 are just playing to be "best of the rest."


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