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House Cleaning Odds and Ends

June 17, 2009

–I will no longer (on occasion) petition for 3rd Quarter Collapse to exchange names with SLC Dunk. The Magic deserves that name. Seriously. (Note: This was written before the end of the series. I’m not rubbing anything in.)

–Biggest news of the offseason so far? The Jazz picked up Fes’ option for next season but I don’t get the feeling that either side is thrilled about it. Both the sltrib and desnews articles talked about how 1) Sacramento is interested; 2) team officials weren’t pleased with his complaining about playing time on Facebook; 3) team officials aren’t pleased with his decision to play for the Ukrainian national team instead of the Jazz’s summer league team this summer.

Just for the record, I really think that he needs the summer league experience, but I don’t have any beef with him wanting to play for his country. That is, I felt that way until I read the following day that there is actually no scheduling conflict, and Fes simply wants to stay in the Ukraine all summer.

I also get a sleazeball vibe from his agent. I know it’s an agent’s job to talk up his client, so I’ll let stuff like “He’s made tremendous strides, on and off the court, from year one to two, so there’s no reason to think that growth is not going to continue” go, but “I don’t know big guys that don’t have issues with conditioning“? Seriously?

–Just as an “oh, by the way,” Tag is interested in unretiring and playing “10 or 15 minutes a game, get some rebounds and block some shots.” And his 6’5″ 15-year-old son is already looking forward to being better than Pops. lol.

–Apart from playing for the Russian national team this summer, AK will also be working out at the Peak Performance Project for the first time. Like the post says, it’s encouraging to see AK “making an increased commitment to the Jazz’s off-season program and suggests that Kirilenko will be back in Utah next season.” I can’t wait to see how the training translates to the floor. I am emotionally needy for an AK break-out year. (Peak Performance Project is where Ronnie B (one of the ten Jazzmen that worked out there last summer) grew his muscles last offseason. This is a good look at PPP.)

–Speaking of Ronnie B and national teams, Brewer and Sap have been invited to USA Basketball’s minicamp next month.

–Man, Paul Westphal has aged.

OK, so the last time I saw him Barkley was still playing for him, but that wasn’t that long ago, was it? C barely recognized him, and he looks more like Popovich than he does his younger self.

–Is there anyone, anyone at all affiliated with LA and/or the Lickers that isn’t an ass? Besides well-documented examples Phil Jackass (who, by the way, won’t let Sun Yue talk to his family back home during the Playoffs because contact with his relatives would be lack of “focus”), Shaq, and course Me I Me I Me I Bryant, we now have to add Licker fans, the LAPD loudmouths, and Kareem to the list. DHO responded to Kareem with class, but that doesn’t mean Kareem should have been yapping away like that. Do we ever hear SVG talking about how Sasha has been delinquent in getting his testosterone shots and how Gasol is even uglier in person?

–Listen to this (mp3).

–Tim Buckley on where Boozer-in-Utah started unravelling:

A night in Milwaukee during Boozer’s first season with the Jazz when Jerry Sloan offered a very candid assessment of and desire for better defensive play from both Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur, and in the intervening days Larry Miller went on the radio and really piled onto that specifically with regards to Boozer, and when Boozer, being a little bit sensitive as he is to criticism as harsh and as specific as Larry liked to dole out, kind of went into a little bit of a shell, eventually came up with a trade request that was not met at the trade deadline that season but which was met one game later with a somewhat arguably mysterious foot injury that cropped up right after the trade deadline and amazingly seemed to be healed the day after the season ended.

Boozer’s first year in Utah was before(ish) blogs, streaming Utah sports radio, and the like, so I don’t think I ever really knew about this. And now that I do…the Hatorade is overflowing from the bottle even more.

–Not to sound like an insensitive prick (in other words, I am about to sound like an insensitive prick) because it’s good news that Carlos and CeCe are attempting to reconcile. However, it does not surprise me at all that he would file for divorce while the Jazz are fighting for homecourt in the Playoffs and then try to reconcile during the offseason. It’s always drama with the drama queen.

–The countdown continues. Tick tock, tick tock. Carlos, only 13 days left for you to opt out.

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