Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Selfish Bronny?

So Bron Bron re-uped with the Cavs, which was about as surprising as jumping into a pool and getting wet, although all those conspiracy theories sure were fun. And that was nice of Simmons to scare the bejeezus out of me. Thanks, Bill.

Instead of signing his max deal ('bout 80 mil over 5 years), however, it looks like LeBron will sign a three year deal (with a player option for a 4th) for about 60 mil. Reason being that after the next three seasons (well, four, including next season), he'll have been in the L for 7 years, meaning he can sign for the most money allowable, since he'll be a veteran and all. Plus, the cap is likely to be higher in Year Seven of the Reign of LeBron, so that's some extra cake too for number 23.

The question: Is that selfish?

Clearly, from a business standpoint, it makes sense. As Simmons notes in this article (although not in this context) LeBron could pull a Ricky Williams for the next three years and still sign a max deal. He'll be signing max deals for the rest of his career. So why wouldn't he want to sign one ASAP? He's guaranteeing himself more green. Financially, its the right move.

On the other side, he hasn't made the strongest commitment possible to Cleveland, who is probably going to be scared blind again in three years. Since he'll be unrestricted and all. And he held out for 30% of the cap, instead of 25%...I mean, at that point, do you even need that much money? Unless you're Bassy and rolling 150 deep, once you have that much money, you're pretty much set, right?

But if I'm LeBron, I'm doing this, and it has nothing to do with the money. Yea, I want to bring a title to Cleveland...but I don't want to do it alone. Getting crushed by four Pistons at a time was fun and all, but hopefully I can get some better help than Damon Jones, yes? (Freakin' MIKE GANSEY - a p23 fave, by the way - isn't better than The Butler? He's just as good a shooter - probably better - and can actually get in someone's way, if not actually guard them. Plus, he could be the first player I can remember to wear a t-shirt under his jersey. I see no downside.)

The point is, this puts the onus on the Cleveland brass. The message is clear: Yea, I'm staying and I want to be here and win here, but if you guys keep shelling out dinero for scrubs like Damon Jones and Larry Hughes, I'm outta here. Which is good. Very good.

Everyone's a little uncomfortable. And that's good. No one's getting comfortable or complacent. The thing is, Bronny won 50 games with a buncha scrubs. And the better he gets, the more games Cleveland will win. So it'll be hard to tell how hard they are trying to get better. Here's how you can tell if they are:

Did they genuinely try to get a point guard?

Did they genuinely try to get a sharp shooter?

And that's the list; The LeBrons can make due with the rest. Will that happen? Well, I'm sure we'll witness something over the next four years.

The other question: Will LeBron's draft mates follow his lead? Technically, they haven't signed their deals yet; they can't do that until the deadline passes. If I was Wade, or Melo, or Bosh, or Darko...er, if I was one of those four, I don't think I'd do it. Just take the money on the table. Those three teams seem committed to building a winner: Miami traded for Shaq and brings HoF coaches out of retirement; Toronto hired Colangelo and has been active in the draft and in trades. Maybe only Denver is a shaky situation. Melo and George Karl ain't exactly drinking buddies, and they just fired their GM. Plus throw in the whole K-Mart fiasco, and its worth considering. Ultimately, though, they've shown they are willing to spend the money.

I still think I'd take the max deal now. But that's just me. I don't have to keep La La happy for the rest of my life.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

RIP, Barbaro. Please?

I wish Barbaro would die.

Quickly, too, so I don't have to hear that much about it. Maybe a bullet to the head, or he drowns in his special little pool. A horsie heart attack, perhaps. Whatever. Just get him the hell off my radar.

Apparently, our little champ has developed "potentially serious" complications. I can only pray. If "potentially" means "really" and "serious" means "dead," you can call me officialy giddy.

I'm sick of having to hear about him (Good God, that sounded like Skip Bayless. I'll simmer). I would honestly rather hear another Barry Bonds story at this point. Barbaro makes steriods seem fresh and interesting. (Ironically, though, they may have the two largest heads I can think of. Lick finger and draw an imaginary tally on my imaginary board that keeps track of clever things I say.)

At first, I guess I can see why Barbaro was getting some ink. Lots of people watched Elmer's golden boy snap his leg live on national TV, so I'm sure they wanted to know what happened. But now? Let it go, man. Let it go.

I'm genuinely at a loss as to why he gets so much attention. He's a damn horse. A HORSE! Let's put it this way: if the jockey riding Barbaro had fallen of the horse, been trampled, and sent to the hospital in critical condition, we wouldn't hear as much about him as Barbaro. I don't know if that's funny or sad or both. We might have heard about it initially, but months afterwards? Nu uh.

The support of the public over a walking glue stick has been appalling. (No, not appalling; that makes me sound like Jay Mariotti. All I need after that is to yell "WHAT ABOUT THE KIDS?!?!" and wear my hair all wavy, and I'd be Jay. So not appalling.) The support has been...well, pathetic. That works, I think.

Explain to me your mindset when you write a letter of support to a horse. And like, thousands of people have done this. I just don't get it, and I'm not trying to be clever or funny or anything...please explain to me your thought process. I won't even question it. I just want to hear one. Yea, yea, there's all those "he can't read" jokes...but you know what? He can't. Plus, he's a horse. Why didn't anyone write any letters to the animals that died in Katrina? Surely, their suffering was much greater, and much nobler. But no one did. Know why? Because they are animals and they matter less than Mexico.

The whole situation is just pointless. Which is why I'm voting for Barbaro to end up like the horsie from the Godfather: headless, drenched in its own blood, and dead. Really dead.

Of course, then you'll have all the tribute pieces. And all the reasons for why he died article. And I'm sure ESPN will cut in with live coverage of is funeral. Damnit. That's no good. Maybe he should just get better real quick and go live a quite life in anonymity?

Nah. Dead is better.

Read the Rest After the Jump...