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Smack / Sep 23, 2009 / 4:50 am

Bobcats finish their playoff(?) puzzle; another challenge for Jordan

Ray Felton

Ray Felton

Ray Felton‘s objective should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to this summer of free agency: Sometime around January/February, Ray wants to be in the All-Star conversation, setting himself up lovely for a fatter contract in 2010, and as icing on the cake, making everyone wonder just why the hell it took so long for somebody to get him signed in the first place. Felton agreed to the Bobcats’ one-year qualifying offer yesterday ($5.5 million), setting Charlotte up for another run at getting that elusive first-ever playoff berth with Felton and D.J. Augustin at the point, Raja Bell/Gerald Henderson at the two, Gerald Wallace at the three, Boris Diaw at the four, Tyson Chandler in the middle and Alexis Ajinca getting cramps from sitting down for extended periods of time. With Larry Brown calling the shots, is that a playoff team’s rotation? … Some other minor moves were made Tuesday: Chicago re-signed Aaron Gray for one year, the Wolves waived Chucky Atkins, and the Rockets traded James “Flight” White to the Nuggets for the draft rights to Axel Foley. Can this please be the year when White gets some decent playing time? We need to see that guy in the NBA dunk contest before he starts losing inches on his vertical … Meanwhile, the Salt Lake Tribune says Matt Harpring looks about ready to retire — or at least he won’t be able to play this season — due to chronic knee and ankle issues. Who would’ve thought Harpring would leave the NBA with a better reputation and more respect than ex-Georgia Tech teammate Stephon Marbury? … When Al Jefferson was pegged as the 25th-best go-to guy in the NBA (according to Dime’s Austin Burton), the reaction was surprisingly supportive of Al. Most readers thought it was too low, but think about it: Considering there are 300-something players in the League, coming in 25th on a list of the best of the best isn’t an insult. Everyone around here knows Big Al is nice. Check out #24 on the go-to ranking later today … Offseason is a great time for overzealous optimism, but Miami coach Eric Spoelstra might be taking it too far. First he told the Miami Herald that Jermaine O’Neal has “looked like the guy I remembered with the Pacers, but stronger,” which isn’t that bad. But then Spoelstra said Quentin Richardson is “in the best shape of his life” and checking in at 230 pounds. OK, that’s gonna border on false advertising if we see Q-Rich glued to the Heat bench looking like he just got kicked off “Biggest Loser” … Funny story: An Oregon football fan made the road trip for the Ducks’ season opener at Boise State (the game where LaGarrette Blount played Marvin Hagler on homeboy’s chin), and after the team laid an egg, he sent head coach Chip Kelly an invoice for his expenses. And then Kelly actually wrote the dude a check! Has your favorite basketball team ever made you feel like you wanted your money and/or time back? What was the most memorable example? … Oh look, it’s THESE GUYS again. Real or fake, their overall goofiness stands out more than anything else … Michael Jordan vs. Bryon Russell, 1-on-1, with $100,000 on the line. Maybe dominoes or cards, but basketball? Nah, we’re good. Utah Flash (D-League) owner Brandt Andersen has laid down the challenge, saying he’s already talked to Russell and “left a message” for Jordan. Of course Russell would be down; he was just recently trying to make an NBA comeback at 38 years old, so he thinks he can still ball, and this is another shot at some time in the spotlight. As for Jordan, we’re guessing he doesn’t care — especially if the big showdown is supposed to happen at halftime of a D-League game. Not to mention Andersen is clearly on a PR mission; he’s the same guy who extended an invite to Starbury last week to try out for his team … We’re out like Chucky …

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  • D.H.

    Will the other DH please stand up?

    Bobcats could be dangerous, especially if Crash can stay healthy.

    Did I mention . . . f . i . r . . . nah.

  • D.H.

    did I mention James White vs Lebron at this years dunk contest would be nice . . .

  • vince

    When it comes to go to guys, I don’t think I could name 15 players better than Al Jefferson.

  • BRUCE

    That’s for tribute to SHAWN “Reign-Man” Kemp!

    REIGN-MAN people not Rain-Man! Please do not insult one of the greatest dunkers ever, if not the greatest!

  • dave

    “Alexis Ajinca getting cramps from sitting down for extended periods of time.”

    hahahha thats a good one! i dont even know who tat guy is really haha..

  • K Dizzle

    Kobe
    Pau
    Timmy
    Tony P
    Manu
    Melo
    Chauncey
    Ray Ray
    Pierce
    KG
    Bron
    Vince
    DWade
    Roy
    Deron
    CP3
    Outlaw
    Hedo
    Dirk
    JJ

    off the top of my dome

  • alf (from melmak)

    Big up to Harpring. He had one heck of a career. A blue collared worker who actually can score inside and outside.

    There are not a lot in the league right now who will let their bodies kiss the floor every night, take on the best player on the opposing team, and even asked to score.

    Remember the post Malone-Stockton days when he was the focal point of the Jazz offense? He was a solid contributor.

    My meal allowance says make the Jordan vs. Russell one-on-one as a sidelight during the All Star Games next year. Or better yet, make it a hell in the cell match in WWE with Rodman and Malone as their respective partners.

  • sh!tfaced

    Jermaine O’Neal’s in shape?! At 22+ mil, 3rd highest paid in the L. Financially in shape, definitely, and not stronger but richer.

    Q-Rich, despite all the traveling, is in shape, Beasley from rehab is in great shape. Guess Brandt Andersen isn’t the only one on a PR mission…

  • alf (from melmak)

    By the way, I do not if it has been touched here in Dime but the Nets is about to be bought by some Russian tycoon for $700 million.

    I have read some funny comments about it over at ESPN including renaming the team as the New Jersey Nyets, the Sputniks, or even the Comrades.

    The Russians are coming thanks to the financial crisis.

  • Shrink This

    We heard the same thing about JO last summer. I’ll believe it when I see it…

  • That’s whats up

    Jordan vs. Bill Russell would be more competitive

  • http://twitter.com/PoppiGEE POPPI GEE

    Man now watch James White start doing dramatic things in Denver and I always thought dude should have had more tick in Houston.

    Dang Houston should have kept dude.

    Axel Foley? Really? His claim to fame is ??? I need someone to justify this one for me.

    Anyway if anything that Bryon accomplished by calling out MJ was just to make his name be out there again. He had to know MJ wasn’t going to do it so his mission was complete in just getting press.

    Jermain O’Neal very well may look like that now and then go back to regular when the season starts right before a nagging injury.

    I am glad A.I. is on a team and all and I hope he does well in Memphis. I sure would have loved to see him playing with this chip on his shoulder in Charlotte though, back with Brown arguing about practice like old times.

    Tired of players trying to make glorious returns. Hey if you retired go wreck shop in a lower league and be the man or do work on the playground and in gyms.

    I’m out like players that would be so mad, worried, petrified and in protest if teams said they were taking a look at John Amaechi because he was trying to make a comeback!

  • jzsmoove

    The Nets just got bought by that fellow Bruce Ratner wasnt it? I dont think owners could switch so rapidly, the NBA board dont allow it. Thats why Grizz owner Heisley still owns that pathetic franchise. Even now, everybody still wants to be like Mike. Or get some of his shine at least. Bobcats will come out short again,meanwhile trading away G Wallace in the process and rebuilding (rebuilding what?).

  • Patrick

    @Gee

    I would trade James White for Eddie Murphy. At least for Axel Foley Eddie Murphy. Probably not for any movie in the last 10 years Eddie Murphy.

  • Diego

    @ Poppa Gee:

    I think Axel Foley’s claim to fame is “Beverly Hill’s Cop.”

  • Diego

    Damn, Patrick just beat me to it!

  • No J Mayo

    @ 2…Lebron would be wise to duck Flight White. Bad PR to get dusted by a guy that can’t get a minute of burn

  • http://myspace.com/40sand9s loc

    Mo PEte owes me a new pair of air kobes for having to watch him get wrecked for 81….

  • LakeShow84

    Damn i had a Beverly Hills Cop joked lined up and everything..

    And ima go out on a limb and say the Bobcats make it into the playoffs this year.. LB’s had that team for a year and they starting showing signs towards the end of last year.. If Crash doesnt burn they should be ok.. But for someone whos nickname is crash dude is awfully fragile.. a collapsed lung?? Spare me..

    Jermaine Oneal was supposedly looking great last year too before he debuted for Toronto.. Can someone name to me the last year 20MILLI player who was traded in his FIRST year with a new team?? yeah didnt think so..

  • LakeShow84

    Bet Lebron tweaks his ankle or something before the Dunk contest..

  • d

    Probably the best move for White. He’s buried on the Houston bench behind a ton of wings it seems like. I doubt he would have ever gotten any tick.

  • http://luckylester.com luckylester

    If James White and LeBron are going heads up in the finals, and White’s dunk isn’t twice as nice as Brons, then Bron will win. Popularity alone will win this one guys, and then Dime can write all about it, and everyone can comment about how F’d it is, and well, that’s the good stuff.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Luckylester..

    Thats exactly what happened when Lebron was in the High School dunk contest..

    Anyone who watched that COULDNT have been impressed..

  • doc

    Lebron stinks,Lebron sucks,Lebron cant dunk.Child Please!

  • doc

    Who gives a fuck if James White win a dunk contest over Bron.Tell him get in a game.Yall act like we never seen benchwarmers win the dunk contest.And they gave dunk contests to yall favorite testicle owner MJ.I dont see yall complaining for Nique though.Fuck outta here!

  • http://www.btv.com.ph sh!tfaced

    AXEL FOLEY!! LOL. They need to trade that guy to LA