Friday, February 8, 2008

Around the Internets

Some of you may have already seen this on Deadspin, but I had to put it up. Some vaguely identified Giants fan got himself from City Hall all the way to the field at Giants Stadium on Victory Parade Tuesday. Not impressed? Well, he did it with the team and on the team bus. He's got a ton of pictures to prove this amazing story...

...Sometimes after enough time passes tragedy becomes comedy. That may be true, but I still don't think that the seven worst Mets losses of 2006 are funny at all...

...A Philly sports blogger (who has made quite a name for himself) actually got an interview with the Sixers GM. Does anyone have Isiah's number? I'd love to give him a call...

Friday's Starting Five

Shaq-for-Marion Edition

1. Miami Heat management. They had a last place team built around an old guy. Even worse, the old guy was due $20 million for the next two seasons and he was complacent, having brought the fan base a championship as he had promised. The Heat were essentially held hostage until Shaq retired. Until, Steve Kerr swooped in. Now, they’ve unloaded The Big Albatross and his cap number and added Shawn Marion for at least the rest of the season. And better yet, they don’t necessarily have to keep Marion, who can opt out at the end of the year. Their options are wide-open and they can now build a team around Dwyane Wade that should stay together through his prime.

2. Shawn Marion. Yes, he just went from arguably the league’s best team to arguably the league’s worst, BUT he wanted out of Phoenix, unless they were going to extend his contract. They weren’t and he got out. He got what he wanted in that “be careful what you wish for…” sort of way. Still, Marion is under 30 and is looking for one more contact before he goes begging contenders for a roster spot, a la Karl Malone and Gary Payton. More importantly, he gets to spend the rest of the season in a pressure-free situation playing exclusively for that contract rather than having to put that concern behind the team concerns of winning that are obviously more pressing in Phoenix.

3. Jason Kidd. Mark Cuban called ahead to the Teterboro airport to reserve a landing strip once this trade was announced. Someone, likely Cuban, will continue the arms race by snagging Kidd from the Nets. And, the Nets couldn’t be happier.
4. The East. By unloading Shaq’s bloated contract and distended game to the West for Marion and Banks, which has paved the way for J Kidd and his aged game to head Left as well, the Eastern Conference is setting itself up to potentially catch the West in a few seasons. With the Suns (and hopefully) Dallas mortgaging their futures and sending young talent and cap space East things are looking up for us.

5. Shaquille O’Neal. No matter what happens from here on out, The Big Aristotle is better off for this deal. If he had stayed in Miami he would have just plodded through the next few seasons before retiring without even sniffing the playoffs again. It would DEFINITELY have been an ignominious end for one of the game’s luminaries. Now, he gets to be an underdog again (every athlete’s motivational currency) and a free ride to the postseason. He might not be up to the challenge, but he just MIGHT be. And, that possibility makes him better of by a long shot.