How much does it take to end an NBA career? Crazy enough, a criminal conviction is probably less damaging than a League suspension. When we heard yesterday that Delonte West had been handed a 10-game suspension by the NBA for his Chow Yun Fat impersonation, the first question somebody asked was, “Is his career over?” At first glance, you’d say no way: Delonte is only 27 years old and can be a solid contributor on a good team. And never mind that he pled guilty to riding around strapped like the revolution was about to be televised, but that 10-game suspension is going to make it tough to get back in the NBA. Rosters are already filling up, so if a team doesn’t sign him before the season begins, he’d have to be a midseason pickup. But usually when you sign a guy midseason, it’s because you have injuries or an immediate need at that position; so who’s going to pick up Delonte in that situation when he can’t play for the first 10 games in which he’s eligible? … Speaking of guys having a hard time getting back in the NBA, we finally had a whiff of interest in Allen Iverson. A rumor broke yesterday that the Hornets had A.I. on their radar, but then it was shot down. Iverson could work in New Orleans; now that Darren Collison has been traded, N.O. is once again in a position where Chris Paul doesn’t really have a backup, and they’re also thin at two-guard with just Marcus Thornton, Marco Belinelli and (maybe) rookie Quincy Pondexter, who is more of a three. If there’s anybody A.I. would have to accept a reserve role behind, it’s CP3 — if he’s going to do like he’s tweeted and accept a reserve role. But do you want to saddle first-year coach Monty Williams with a potentially explosive situation like that? So we can see where the Hornets would pass … And it’s crazy how A.I. can’t buy his way into the NBA, meanwhile Rudy Fernandez will do anything to get out of the League but he’s stuck in Portland … You can see Rudy in action when Spain plays Team USA tomorrow (NBA TV, 3 p.m. EST), and today the U.S. plays Lithuania (NBA TV, 5:30 p.m.). Linas Kleiza is the most recognizable name on the Lithuanian roster, but they’re usually good overall, one of the top medal contenders in the European Championships. They won’t be as athletic or fast as France, but will be tougher and better shooters … So Amar’e Stoudemire himself said Isiah Thomas had nothing to do with recruiting him to sign with the Knicks. If you remember, that was one of the main reasons NY’s bigwigs said they were hiring Isiah as a consultant. So either Isiah somehow convinced the team he did talk to Amar’e when he really didn’t, or the team just made up a reason to re-hire Isiah. Or maybe his “help” in recruiting was telling James Dolan, “Hey, you should sign Amar’e Stoudemire. He’s good.” … Nenad Krstic is the luckiest dude in the world right now. First, because he went on his chair-throwing, Greek-punching rampage in a FIBA game and not in the NBA, he’ll probably only be suspended for a few games. Second, since the game between Serbia and Greece took place in Greece, he had to spend a night detained by Greek police. Why is that lucky? Would you want to spend a night in a Serbian prison? Very good chance you wind up missing a vital organ … We’re out like Rudy …
Smack / Aug 21, 2010 / 12:01 am
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