All Over the Place Odds and Ends
One. Earl Watson’s interview with KALL today was one of my favorite interviews of the
summer extended offseason. Best bits:
On understanding how the lockout sucks for fans and arena workers
I was a fan first. I remember when the Kansas City Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento. I was heartbroken.* You couldn’t tell me anything about Christmas coming up or anything. I was just so completely heartbroken that it tore me up. So I understand fans being [upset], especially in a city like Salt Lake City where the fans to me are the best loyal fans in the NBA. So I understand that and I also understand the workers because my mom, I used to leave school on Friday and miss every football game to help my mom clean up commercial buildings, to clean up, pick up the trash, vacuum, take out the trash. So I understand the value of hard work and depending on the finances and the bad economy to add on top of that. …
*Funnily enough, Phil Johnson was the head coach of that Kings team before, during, and after its relocation.
I know in Seattle [arena workers] that was there for 40 years. So when Seattle moved from Seattle to Oklahoma, that tore me apart and I really had a hard time adjusting with that on a moral sense and a character sense. I just really couldn’t be as excited about Oklahoma City, which [was] basically why I asked for a buy-out. People don’t understand, I can’t do things unless it’s the right way. I really struggled with that.
Summer Offseason pickup games and not being a Lakers fan
The other day, played pickup with Kobe, Matt [Barnes], Ron Artest…James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant. It’s been a combination of guys coming through Los Angeles playing basketball. And the games are so intense, and I’m not really that big of a Laker fan so I always try to make sure my team beats the Laker trio and their group of players.
On future errand boy Alec Burks and re-signing with the Jazz
I’ve actually known [Alec] Burks since he was a kid ’cause he’s from Kansas City…so it’ll be really cool to actually interact with him on this level and potentially assist him some nice points on this level…if I resign which I hope I do with Utah, [I'll] have a pretty good rookie to handle some of my chores.
SLC charity game; you’re captain. Who are you picking first?
You already know who I’m picking first. I’m picking Jeremy Evans, because we need each other to be successful with the lobs. I have to find a guy that can catch my lobs, so I’m picking Jeremy Evans. Absolutely.
Pretty sure I’ve said this already, but I want Earl Watson back. Absolutely.
Two. Enes Kanter: “Maybe, I was just thinking, after my basketball career I can be a pro wrestler.” (Trib)
[cue Chandler Bing] Could it be any clearer? A raw young big who loves to “play toughness” and has a passion for wrestling, that would benefit immeasurably from some dedicated big man coaching? The signs just keep pointing to Karl Malone. And yet… [this is the silence when Greg Miller is asked about Karl Malone] …
One other thing: Kanter has been experiencing soreness in his knees due to playing only sporadically. Not a cause for concern in and of itself, but a huge cause for concern knowing that he basically hasn’t played in two years.
He needs to play, period. Somewhere, anywhere. Earlier this summer, his agent said that he’d had offers from Chinese teams, but that those came off the table when China implemented the “no opt-out” rule. As far as I know, he can’t play in Europe either because his old team in Turkey holds his rights in Europe and their mission in life is to dick him over for leaving the team to play NCAA ball in the U.S. At this point, he needs to just take the plunge and go play in China if that’s still a possibility. He won’t be able to come back til the season’s over, but the season in China is over in March and he won’t really be losing that much time even if the lockout ends the day after he signs. He needs to play.
Three. The LA Times recently did a piece on where each NBA owner stands on the lockout. Here’s Greg Miller’s blurb:
The LA Times got it exactly right with its placement of quotation marks.
Four. Familiar face spotted in the Euroleague:
When Raul Lopez left the Jazz after several years of knee problems, it seemed like his career was pretty much finito. Have to say I’m surprised he’s still playing. Then again, Curtis Borchardt was still playing last year too…
Five. Farewell, Andrei Kirilenko basketball-reference.com sponsorship. The one-year sponsorship cost $35 one year ago, but they want $60 to renew for a second year.
Update: I guess $60 was a discount rate for renewal. The price on the page is now $145.
P.S. I got the sponsorship on Jerry Sloan’s page for $10 a few days after he resigned. I have a feeling I won’t be able to afford that renewal either…