Before we get into writing about football all the time here at BSD, I thought I'd do a quick recap of the Olympic Basketball tournament and the NBA off-season.
The most interesting impact of the Olympics on the NBA season will be the injuries to two very important players:
Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs - Re-aggravated an ankle injury in his foot. Supposedly should be ready to go come Halloween.
Jose Calderon, PG Toronto Raptors - After trading TJ Ford out of Toronto during the offseason, Calderon was going to be getting substantial minutes this season. Unfortunately, he too got injured during the Olympics. He should be having tests this week to determine the severity of the tear in his thigh muscle.
Olympic Players Making a Statement:
Rudy Fernandez, Guard, Portland - Holy tamale Batman! He had 22 points, five 3-pointers, in only 17 minutes against the US. He kept fouling though, but whenever it seemed like Spain was going to lose the game, Rudy Fernandez kept bringing the team back! Also, just to be clear, he is extremely explosive, as at one point during the game, he dribbled hard to his right, into the paint, and suddenly, out of nowwhere, the 6'6" guard exploded off the ground and dunked over Dwight Howard... while getting fouled! This guy can definitely play, and should be a fantastic addition for Portland who also gets Greg Oden this season.
Marc Gasol, Center, Memphis -Put up 11 points and 5 rebounds in only 23 minutes against the US in the final. Gasol even had a couple of nifty post-up moves during the game. This Gasol is only 23 years old and it seems like he actually could make an impact this year, if he plays like he did in the gold medal game.
He could also make a big impact on the entire world if he and brother Pau decide to accept my offer to star in a new sitcom, "My favorite Gasol." I think it would be really funny to write a sitcom and they can get into mischief, go on double dates together, do home improvement projects, Marc can "borrow" Pau's car for a weekend road trip, they can go to a dance marathon... really the ideas are endless!
Hamded Hadadi (or Hamed Ehadadi according to Yahoo!), Center, Free Agent - After getting clearance from the US government, this Iranian is now a free agent for the NBA and can work in the United States. He's 7 foot 2 inches tall, averaged 16 points and 10 rebounds per game in the Olympic tournament, including a 15 point, 8 rebound performance vs. Andrew Bogut and a 21 point, 16 rebound performance vs. Argentina. According to the Tehran Times in Iran, he is joining the Memphis Grizzlies. It seems kind of strange if this is true, because this means that Memphis will have collected three foreign 7 footers for this season: Darko Milicic, Marc Gasol, and Hamed Hadadi.
NBA Off-season quick recap:
(info courtesy of NBA.com)
Teams that made big additions
Philly - Added Elton Brand
Houston - Added Ron Artest
Cleveland - Added PG Mo Williams
Team that made a lot of moves but thinks they got better
Milwaukee - Added SF Richard Jefferson, SF Joe Alexander (rookie), PG Luke Ridnour, but LOST PG Mo Williams, SF Yi Jianlin, SF Bobby Simmons, SG Desmond Mason
Team that added a player to make the Jason Kidd Trade look better on paper
Dallas - Added Center Desagna Diop, who was traded to New Jersey in the Jason Kidd trade. It still was a bad trade though, as Kidd at this point is not as quick or as effective as Devin Harris, who they gave up.
Teams that stole players from each other, made a lot of moves, but each got worse in the process
Golden State - Added Corey Maggette, PF Ronny Turiaf, PG Marcus Williams, but LOST PG Baron Davis, SG Mikael Pietrus, and SF Matt Barnes.
I think that means they got worse. G Monta Ellis may play PG, though he is more of a SG, though there is some debate of course as to how effective this will be. I say thumbs down.
Clippers - Added PG Baron Davis, C Marcus Camby, SG Eric Gordon (rookie), SG Ricky Davis, PG Jason Williams but LOST PF Elton Brand, SF Corey Maggette, PG Brevin Knight.
I think this means they also got worse. PG Baron Davis will have to make up for the scoring of Elton Brand and Maggette, unless Eric Gordon is really good. Plus, Ricky Davis is the ultimate loser. He's only been in the playoffs twice in his career (with Boston in 2004 and 2005), and each time the team lost.
Team that made a lot of moves to Free up Cap Space in 2010
New Jersey - See the article written earlier this summer. They have a very young team (though since the article, the Nets lost Kristic to Europe, and M. Williams via trade, meaning the Nets only have 15 players now.)