The Fundamentals

» July 16, 2008 9:53 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Jeremy of Pickaxe And Roll:  “We all knew money was going to be a major factor in the team’s decision making and it was no surprise when they let Eduardo Najera walk and sign with the New Jersey Nets.  Najera’s departure saved some money and certainly weakened the team, but it appeared that Stan Kronke was willing to foot a big bill again next season for a team that had little hope of providing any payoff for that investment.  Apparently Kronke saw the light and realized that keeping this team together at a cost of around $100 million dollars made little sense.”

Travis Heath of HOOPSWORLD:  “For the benefit of those who don’t understand the exception, if a team trades away a player with a higher salary than the player they acquire in return, they receive what’s called a trade exception.  Teams with a trade exception have up to one year to exercise it. This gives teams the ability to take in more salary than they send away as long as the total in salary they get in return is less than or equal to the difference in salary from the original trade. In this case, the Nuggets can take back up to $10 million in salary.”

Woody Paige of The Denver Post:  “They call that outrageous deal a plan to win a playoff series? They call that ridiculous move a way to improve the defense? They call that nonsensical decision the solution to the Nuggets’ problems?  They should call that the 9-1-1 deal.  So, now, the Nuggets need a starting point guard and a starting center.”

Ramona Shelburne of The Los Angeles Daily News:  “Camby is due $8 million this season in salary and $2 million in bonuses, meaning the trade saves Denver between $16 and $22.5 million (taking into account the bonus money Camby could earn this year). Whatever the cost, the Clippers will take it.”

Alex Boeder of BrewHoop:  “Tis the season to be melancholy, at least according to those who warn against “losing” star NBA players to international duty.  In the weeks preceding, during, and quite probably after the Olympics, this will be reinforced by some who whisper and still others who scream about the dangers of playing competitively outside the NBA. At best, you’ll hear anecdotal evidence.  While there is an inherent risk in any physical activity, there isn’t a lot to worry about based on recent Team USA player’s performances the NBA season following international duty.”

Jeff of CelticsBlog:  “There’s a name out there that keeps floating around in rumors that sounds crazy, but upon further reflection might just have a chance of happening.  The name is Stephon Marbury (or “Starbury” if you prefer).  I know, I know; that’s nuts.  Who would want a looney bin malcontent with and overinflated ego and a fresh tattoo on his head?  Could it work?  I haven’t got a clue.  But there’s a couple of reasons to believe that maybe it could.”

William Bender & Joseph Santoliquito of The Philadelphia Daily News:  “Court filings by Donaghy’s attorney, John Lauro, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg, the lead prosecutor on the case, indicate that Donaghy not only dimed out Battista and Martino, but also leveled allegations against NBA executives and other referees. There is no mention of Foster in any of those filings.  Federal cooperation agreements typically require a defendant or witness to reveal everything the person knows about activity related to the charged crimes or other crimes of which they have knowledge.  If Foster was involved with the gambling and Donaghy withheld such information from investigators, the ex-ref would have violated that agreement and prosecutors in Brooklyn would likely have revoked their letter asking U.S. District Judge Carol Amon for leniency at his sentencing. Goldberg, who declined to comment yesterday, has not done that.”

Will Brinson of FanHouse:  “Circumstantial, as it may be, there is a lot to be uncovered in these NBA referee scandals when it comes to the action that Las Vegas receives on particular games. Obviously, the 130 phone calls from Tim Donaghy to Scott Foster are in and of themselves very bad news. Donaghy = guilty, and those swell-piece hits define “by association”.  As R.J. Bell of Pregame points out, there might be a lot more to the Foster business than just the phone calls too.”

Eric Musselman’s Basketball Notebook:  “It’s so important for a GM to hire his type of coach, both from a personal and professional standpoint. The interview process should be more about philosophy — from both sides — than X’s and O’s. That’s not to say that you don’t cover the brass tacks, but spending time on vision and big-picture stuff is critical.  As a coach or any professional, it’s important not to be active versus passive. Instead of simply sitting and answering questions during an interview, do your own “interview” of sorts, asking specific questions to the GM and owner to make sure it’s a good fit and that you’re on the same page.”

The Blowtorch:  “There’s an old saying, “If you win the MVP, people will make a ton of shoes about it.” It’s not a particularly good saying, but I think it fits. Since the season got over, there have been a ridiculous amount of Kobe Bryant shoes, shirts, and baked goods made available that celebrate his first MVP. This does not trouble me. Kobe is a marketable athlete who is becoming less and less unlikeable by the year. Get money and all that.  What troubles me is his logo.” (PG-13)

Austin Kent of Hoops Addict:  “With the final 34 seconds of their Olympic hopes quickly evaporating off the Athens, Greece shot clock, Jermaine Anderson took his team, his country and the fate of his facial hair upon himself.  When the point guard’s three-point offering fell through the bottom of the net, giving his club a 78-77 lead, Canada had consummated one of the greatest comebacks in international basketball history.”

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