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Posts Tagged ‘Simmons’

Free Love isn’t harmful…

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Last year when Minnesota T-Wolves coach Kurt Rambis sat his best, or second best, player, it was largely viewed as a necessary evil, a function of having two players, in Love and forward Al Jefferson, who couldn’t defend my grandmother and thus couldn’t be paired together in the front court. So, it was assumed that after giving Jefferson away this offseason for a box of donuts and twenty-three cents, that Love would become the centerpiece of whatever game plan was materializing in Minnesota.

Instead, on opening night in a one point loss to Sacramento, Love played a sparse 23 minutes. I mean, I guess it was understandable, because the Wolves had all world talent Anthony Tolliver in the game’s closing minutes, so why play Love? From there, the madness only increased, as Love played 27, 24, 25, 30, 26, and 29 minutes over the next six games before seeing a reasonable 38 minutes of playing time in a 99-94 loss to the Lakers. That was the best game the 1-7 Wolves had played to that point and Love contributed 23 points and 24 rebounds. The next night Love played 28 minutes.

I don’t know what Rambis has against Love. Maybe he doesn’t value slick passing big men, or he likes giving away rebounds, or maybe a girl once broke his heart while Sloop John B played in the background? Who knows. Who cares. At some point the General Manager has to call Rambis in to his office, sit him down and say,

“Kurt, I like you. Your hair’s always meticulous, you smell terrific, and my team under you has a tremendous 18-74 record, but if you don’t play Kevin Love 38 minutes a night, I’m going to treat you like tuna.”

Of course, the Wolves’ GM is David Kahn, which just layers this theatre of the absurd with incomparable incompetence. It’s why Simmons has had a running freeLove twitter joke going. And it’s why opposing GMs all over the league have been eyeing Love and thinking about whether they can acquire him for a future first, cash considerations and Earl Clark. The strange part is that the Wolves aren’t exactly San Antonio north. They aren’t winning 50 games year after year. They don’t have assets coming down a perpetual pipeline. Under Kahn they’ve made one misstep after another: from the terrible 2009 draft where they drafted 28 points guards and completely botched the Ricky Rubio pick (and as a reward, have subsequently seen his value drop faster than President Obama’s approaval rating), to this year’s draft where they selected 28 small forwards, to the summer where Kahn gave Darko Millicic, yes DARKO Freaking MILLICIC 20 million dollars, to the day where Utah GM Kevin O’Connor drank Kahn under the table and convinced him to trade Jefferson for two heavily protected future first round picks and Kosta Freaking Koufos. At this point, the only piece that the Wolves have that has any value is Love. Yes, his defense is Lindsay Lohan babysitting your kids scary, but he’s an efficient scorer, an unselfish player, and a bull on the boards. You need to play the man as often as you can, both to help him develop and to give your team any chance of winning.

Which is what makes last night’s game against the New York Knicks so interesting, both amazing and disappointing. Kevin Love, whom Kurt Rambis refuses to acknowledge as the Wolves’ best player, did something that NO professional basketball player has done in 28 years. In 40 minutes of action, he dropped 31 points on the Knicks, while grabbing 31 rebounds. 30 and 30. Insane. The disappointing part for fans of Love (like Simmons and myself) is that surely this makes even Kahn and Rambis realize that they can’t trade the baby Beach Boy. Of course this is the same management that drafted three points guards two years ago, none of whom have played a game for the Wolves this year. So, maybe there’s still hope…

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Isiah Thomas, the Master Narcissist…

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

While drinking my Cup of Joe this morning, I almost showered my darling wife in coffee when I came across Ian O’Connor’s ESPNNewYork.com article, Exiled Isiah Itching for an Encore.  Now, leaving aside the fact that my wife was not at all pleased to have her shower with cream, lets look at some of the more salient points of this piece for insight into the state of Thomas:

Exiled in Miami, haunted by his proximity to LeBron James, Thomas embraces his articles of blind faith like one would a baby in a storm

Huh?  Haunted by his proximity to LeBron James?  What?!?  Why?!?

Isiah believes James (and perhaps Dwyane Wade) would be starting for the New York Knicks if Isiah had remained president of the team.

Really?  REALLY?  Wow.  You have to love the narcissism of Thomas.  I think that Pat Riley deserves credit for reeling in the three big fish to the Heat, but really his greatest work this summer was how he assembled a team around those three.  Do you actually think that LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh were going anywhere other than Miami?  This wasn’t about Pat Riley (although he surely helped), it was about the three of them wanting to play together in South Beach.  What does Isiah think his presence would have meant?  Would he have made it a sunny 85 degrees all winter long in New York?  Would he have turned the Hudson turquoise?  Would he have convinced all the women in suits walking down fifth avenue to wear bikinis instead?  Well, actually given his history he might have tried that last one (too low?).

Even if I’m wrong, even if the location was only a minor factor in their decision and the Big Three could have been swayed somewhere else, whose presence is getting the attention of LeBron and Wade:  Is it Pat Riley and his 5 NBA titles, with his 17 seasons of 50 or more wins (including 7 above 60)?  Or would it have been Thomas with his spotty record in Toronto, his destruction of the CBA, his five coaching seasons in which he compiled a .456 winning percentage, and his lost sexual harassment suit?  Seriously Isiah?  Seriously?

Speaking of that sexual harrasement suit, O’Connor writes,

The sexual harassment trial amounted to the final, fatal hack. “I think if you take away that trial,” Thomas said, “I’m still there, we make the playoffs a couple of times … and I don’t know if Miami has LeBron or Wade. We may have had LeBron and Wade.”

This paragraph shows just how deeply Thomas doesn’t get it.  Not only is he prattling on about how they’d have gotten LeBron and Wade, but he blames the trial for his undoing in New York, not realising that the whole point of the trial was… finding him culpable of sexually harassing Anucha Browne Sanders.  That’s not the trial’s fault Isiah, that’s YOUR fault.  That’s why your boss had to pay Sanders 11 million.

Instead of admitting guilt, or accepting any form of culpability, Thomas continues to deflect,

“If the things that she alleges did happen in her daily working environment, I have great sympathy for her. If those things happened in her daily working environment, then yes, she is a victim, and I do have great compassion for her.

Unfortunately Isiah, that’s not how this works.  You were found guilty, which makes her the victim.  Even if you don’t believe it, the best thing you can do at this point is to be penitent.  Instead of saying, “if these things happened…”  Say, “I am so sorry for everything that happened to Anucha.  Nobody deserves to experience what she went through and I am sorry.”  Whether you believe she suffered or not isn’t relevant.  At least not publicly.  If you truly believe yourself innocent in the affair, then that’s fine, but publicly be repentant, and show sorrow for what she suffered.  In this case, it isn’t about your experiences, it’s about hers, but Isiah continues his vain outlook,

“My wife and kids and I, we were persecuted like I’ve never seen anywhere in sports. [The criticism] just got so mean and … as a family we were just hanging by a thread every single day. We were just hanging by a thread and just trying to hunker down and weather the storm. My mother was dying at the time, and it was the most awful time in my life. We were going through hell.”

I imagine it was hell for your wife and kids and obviously the passing of your mother is tragic, but again (with the exception of his mother’s passing) that’s a hell perpetrated by Thomas, not Sanders, not the trial, not the media in New York.  Isiah himself.

Of course, Isiah’s neurosis run deeper than just the trial.  On the topic of how talented the Knicks’ roster was,

But there were 24 All-Stars last year,” he said, “and I left New York with two of them, David Lee and Zach Randolph. Jamal Crawford became a sixth man of the year.

No Isiah, you didn’t leave the Knicks with two future all stars and a sixth man award winner, you left them with disparate pieces that did not work together.  Randolph had averaged almost 20 points and ten rebounds a game during in his six years in Portland, everyone knew he could score, but he couldn’t stop a donut, and together with Lee all you had was too much of the same thing.  On top of which, while Crawford did have a nice year last season, he remains a fundamentally flawed player who still jacks up too many shots, doesn’t defend, and doesn’t get IT.  In the Basketball Bible, Bill Simmons credits Thomas with giving him the secret to NBA success, but none of the primary guys acquired by Thomas (Stephon Marbury, Vin Baker, Crawford, Eddy Curry, Jerome James, Jalen Rose, Steve Francis, Randolph) were guys who understood the “secret” of how to win a title in the NBA.  Not a single one, got IT.

Thomas has gotten some credit for his talent evaluation and his draft record is good.  Obviously his best pick was David Lee with the 30th pick in the 2005 draft.  Lee’s a scoring machine and he’s a good rebounder, so even though his defense is weak, he was superb value at 30th.  There were other successes (for instance, in his first draft with the Knicks Thomas plucked Trever Ariza with the 43rd pick), but lets not make it out like he was the modern day Red Auerbach or anything.  In 2005 with his first pick, Thomas took Channing Frye 8th; Frye has been a solid pro, but since I tore him apart last week and since Andrew Bynum was picked two spots later, well… The year after that he took Renaldo Blackman 20th, right before the Suns took Rajon Rondo.  Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson are fine, but they aren’t exactly world changing talents.

What about the picks he traded away?  Because there was Thomas’ greatest crime to the New York Knickerbocker franchise.  In the Eddy Curry deal he sent away the picks that became Joakim Noah and LaMarcus Aldridge.  Wow, how good might the Knicks have been with that front line?  And, of course, there’s the possible number one pick that terrorized Knicks fans all of last year, as Utah looked like it might really benefit from Isiah even after he’d gone (instead they ended up with just the 9th pick).  So, yeah he can identify talent, but he still missed on draft picks, and he had no idea of how to put the pieces together and no idea about how to protect assets.

Of course, Thomas blamed Larry Brown for trading Ariza and he blamed James Dolan for hiring Brown.  As for the Curry trade, in a frightening sign, he still thinks that was a good idea,

“There was a method behind the madness,” Thomas said. He was confident Curry would opt out in 2010 to clear the necessary space for a fellow client of Leon Rose, name of LeBron James… “They were just all friendly, and they were all on the AAU circuit,” Thomas said.

Really, he was confident that Curry would opt out?  But he also thought that Curry and James being AAU buddies would help?  So which was it Isiah?  Were you confident Curry would lure LeBron?  Or were you confident he’d opt out?  Because nobody else was, Curry’s contract was lampooned as a bad deal the second it was signed, and how close were Curry and LeBron as AAU friends considering that when Curry was a high school senior LeBron was in grade nine?  So, looking back now, it’s easy to say that you planned to bring LeBron to the Knicks, but it’s hard to see how the attrocious Curry deal helped you accomplish that mission.

Which brings me to my final point, how exactly was Isiah going to acquire LeBron?  He showed NO ability to manage the salary cap, acquiring one overwhelming, onerous contract after another.  The only way he was able to add talent was by trading expiring deals for other team’s poisonous contracts.

Hired as president of the Knicks in December of 2003, Thomas said he targeted James as the centerpiece of a future title winner in New York “from the first day he got in the league, as soon as I got the job.”

The notion that he identified LeBron back then as a piece that would be great for the Knicks is wonderful.  Likewise, when George Steinbrenner passed away, I decided that it would be a good idea if I bought the Yankees.  All I need is a billion dollars and a dream.  Unfortunately, whether or not Isiah identified LeBron as the piece he needed to win a title in New York, in reality you need more than a dream to make something happen.

Thomas guessed James would ultimately sign an extension with Cleveland that would keep him with the Cavaliers through 2010, but went about acquiring players he thought would appeal to LeBron, anyway.

Really?  He identified that James would sign a short extension with the Cavs instead of the full one?  A style of extension that until James, Wade and Bosh signed theirs nobody had done?  Really?!?  Sure you did there slugger.  I believe you, thousands wouldn’t, but I do*

*Too bad for Knicks fans, the only other person who believes Thomas is Knicks owner James Dolan…

Bill Simmons and the basketball Bible…

March 5, 2010 Leave a comment

This site is called Sports on the Brain, because I spend a disproportionate amount of my time reading and thinking about sports. As the title suggests, when others are day dreaming about an afternoon on their boat, the blonde in the next cubicle, or world domination, I’m thinking things like ‘if Steve Nash had re-signed with Dallas in 2004, would they have won a title, or three?’

Yet, few things have ever gotten that infirm, one legged chipmunk hopping around the wheel in my head like Bill Simmons’ Book of Basketball. Now, Simmons is probably the most read sports writer in the world and he needs my plug like Tiger Woods needs a wing man, but… If you are a fan of basketball and you don’t already own this book, well… Click on that link, now, Now ,NOW. If you aren’t a fan of basketball, well you should be, so go buy Simmons’ book and by page 214 we’ll have you.

If, as Simmons has said for years, Larry Bird is the basketball Jesus (I think owing to the fact that he once turned water into light beer at a party or something, I’m not really sure), then Simmons’ book is definitely the Basketball Bible. Seriously, Simmons is a Bird disciple, and this book extols the greatness that is Bird’s religion. At some point Simmons addressed the Bible as a potential name, along with fifty or so others he considered, but for publishing reasons it wasn’t meant to be. However, that wont stop me from calling it by its proper name…

The book has its flaws, not the least of which is about 200 pages worth of porn references, but it’s also a seminal piece of work, filled with stunning insight, obsessive research, and an all time deconstruction of Wilt Chamberlain. The Bible instantly enters the cannon of essential sports books, along with Lords of the Realm, the Soul of Baseball, Breaks of the Game, and Bad as I Wanna Be, by Dennis Rodman.

At the center of the Bible is a discussion with Isaiah Thomas in which the beleaguered (then) Knicks GM shares with Bill “the Secret.” I’d tell you what the secret is, but the book’s 700 pages long and I’d hate to ruin the ending for you…

Let me repeat part of that last sentence, because it’s an important piece of this puzzle: ‘but the book is 700 pages long.’ Well, technically 697, but who’s counting. So, starting this book is something of a commitment. Personally, I chose to read it in parts, picking it up and reading wherever it fell. Sometimes I would find a specific section and read that, but I did not read it from North to South. Now, shortly after I finished the Bible, my friend Punshon bought the book and several days later sent me this email:

Subject: Sportsonthebrain and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar…

Body: ….are both ninny’s!

I absolutely cannot believe that you did not read this book from start to finish. Reading ahead, picking your spots. You’re like all the “superstars” of the nineties, with their $100 million dollar contracts and everything too soon. No appreciation of the process. No savoring of a hard earned victory. Like a kid who cannot help but peek at their presents.

Now, Punshon has a point and he might be right, on the other hand he’s a ginger, so who knows. What I do know is that in his introduction Malcolm Gladwell wrote:

If this were a novel, you would be under some obligation to read it all at once or otherwise you’d lose track of the plot . (Wait. Was Celeste married to Ambrose, or were they the ones who had the affair at the Holiday Inn?) But it isn’t a novel. It is, rather, a series of loosely connected arguments and riffs and lists and stories that you can pick up and put down at any time.

So, if Gladwell says I can pick it apart like MJ attacking the Cavs defense, well, it works for me. Besides, what the Bible really is, is an excuse to think about hoops. To think about, to debate, to articulate about why Steve Nash’s MVP in 2005 was deserved, or why Bill Russell, despite 11 rings, is not the second best player in NBA history, or why my all time wine cellar team wouldn’t include Kobe Bryant.

Simmons’ hoops knowledge is both deep and nuanced and through most of the book he had me nodding along like a long necked bird on an accountant’s desk, but there are times when I disagreed. And that’s really the beauty of the whole book. Not the moments when you think Bill’s right, but the moments you think he’s wrong, or if not wrong, then the points when you would cut right, while he drives left.

The Bible is a masterpiece and over the next few months, when I’ve nothing else to write about, I will pursue a one-sided dialog with Simmons…

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The Space Time Continuum and Kevin Durant…

February 6, 2010 Leave a comment

In Bill Simmons’ most recent mailbag, he posed a question that his father and him had been discussing:

If you could go back in time “Lost”-style and fix the 2007 lottery so the Celtics landed the second pick, would you keep what happened (No. 5 pick, KG trade, 2008 title, everything else that happened up to now), or would you switch it so that they ended up with the No. 2 pick and Durant?
–Dr. Bill Simmons, Boston

Now, you can see Bill’s answer here and while I agree with what he says, I must admit that I was a little surprised by the ease of his answer. I would almost certainly trade the 2007 championship for a decade’s worth of Durant, but it’s a purely hypothetical question for me, because, unlike Bill, I didn’t celebrate in 2007 (and yes, I realize it’s a purely hypothetical question for him too, but you smart alecks get my point). Giving up a title is a difficult proposition, because as great as Durant is,* there have been plenty of Hall of Fame players who spent a decade in a city and couldn’t bring a title there (think Malone, Ewing, Barkley, Baylor and even Kevin Garnett before he left Minnesota). So, even if Durant ascends to among the all-timers, there’s no guarantee that he would bring the Celtics a title…

*(and, if you haven’t noticed, he’s not just great, he’s phenomenal. His scoring average in his first three years has gone 20-25-30. He’s 22 and still learning the nuances of the game, but already he’s a top seven player. Within two years he’ll be top three… the other two? The King obviously, and Chris Paul).

… Still, as I read the question, I couldn’t help but remember a blog article I read somewhere a long time ago, in a galaxy… somewhat near this one. The column postulated on this very scenario. No not the part about going back in time, the part about drafting Kevin Durant in the 2007 draft. Wanting to re-read what the author said at the time, I went looking for it and sure enough you can find it here. The writing’s a bit rudimentary and the trade that he proposed for Paul Pierce doesn’t look so great in hindsight, but… I’ve got to say, I like his style and I have a sneaky suspicion that his future wife’s going to be beautiful. I don’t know why I think that, lets just call it a hunch.

Anyhow, as Simmons notes, the Celtics with Durant would have had a young nucleus of KD, Al Jefferson, Rajon Rondo, and Kendrick Perkins. They also had the expiring contract of Theo Ratliff and, of course, the Truth. Now, Paul Pierce was what that old column was really about. What could the Celtics do with Pierce? It was the second part of a two column look at the sagging fortunes of the Celtics. They could have kept him to mentor the kids, or — more likely — they could have moved him for cap space, young guys and picks.

And this is where things get really interesting, if the Celtics had made the right moves, they could be entering this offseason with Durant et all, and because those guys are still on cheap contracts, the Celts could also have had a boat load of cap space. So… would joining the NBA’s most important franchise, in a sport rabid city, with that impressive young core be something LeBron, Wade, or Bosh would consider? Because if it is, then that’s a future reality that is definitely worth trading the 2007 title for.

JA, Kobe, and a Bunch of BS…

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday Kobe Bryant passed Jerry West to become the Lakers’ all time leading scorer. The inevitability of this achievement led to a plethora of “Greatest Laker of All Time” lists, which certainly seems like something I’d dwell on, but as John Hollinger’s list basically mirrored what I’d say, much better than I’d say it (although I’d probably move Kareem over Shaq, and West at five seems a little low, but…), so instead I’ll just give you the link and move on.

Kobe’s achievement, and don’t get me wrong I do think it’s a considerable achievement, also led to ESPN’s JA Adande making an appearance on the BS Report, ostensibly to talk Kobe, but really just to talk hoops for an hour. If you haven’t given it a listen, you should, because it’s deep fried goodness.

Now, let me preface what’s coming by acknowledging that I’m a JA fan. I think he’s a solid writer, with a savvy understanding of hoops, and a modern outlook on the state of sports, but having said that, he is the worst Kobe-homer I read regularly.

In the podcast JA claims he’s far from a Kobe guy and that he used to regularly rip him, and maybe he did, but in the time I’ve been reading his work (basically since he joined ESPN), JA has been a rabid Kobe supporter. What makes me say this? Well, Adande keeps saying things like:

This year, and for all time, I’m picking Kobe to take the last shot.

Seriously JA? Him? Over Michael Jordan? Or Larry Bird? Over Carmelo Anthony, who’s been much more “clutch” in his young career. Ok… but it’s a good thing that you’ll never have to make that statement with your life on the line. There is an abundance of evidence at this point that despite the flashy shots that everyone remembers, Kobe misses his fair share of buzzer beaters. Yes, Kobe is a great player and he has a full arsenal of shots that allow him to get solid looks at the basket, but… the reality is that Kobe just doesn’t make those shots as often as we believe. Not acknowledging that, and ridiculing the numbers as your defense, is just asinine. Saying that you’d take Kobe to take the last shot over anyone all-time, well that’s almost as absurd as this:

Bill: … I do think he’s got that side of Wilt that is driven a little bit by individual records and, Laker fans are going to be mad, I’m sorry, but I think one of the reasons he doesn’t want to sit out four weeks, is that’s 500 points, that brings him 500 points closer to the record.
JA: The numbers matter to him, it’s all about him building his case as the greatest ever. If he can wind up with the most points, and if he can wind up, I don’t think he can get to Bill Russell, but if he can get to six maybe seven…
Bill: He’s got to get to six. He’s got to tie MJ.
JA: Yeah, then he can start having that conversation…

Now, I hope you understand why that made me drop the fry basket, spill hot oil down my leg, ignore the searing, burning pain, and ask… I’m sorry, WHAT? But, just so that we’re on the same page here, there is about a 0.02% chance that when Kobe retires he’ll be regarded as the NBA’s Greatest of all Time (from hereafter referred to as the GOAT).

There are small pockets of people who will tell you that Wilt, Kareem, or Magic is the GOAT, but if you polled most NBA observers, I think that the overwhelming majority would say that Jordan was the best. Kobe might get to a point, actually he might already be at that point, where a very small minority (say obsessive Laker fans under the age of 25) think he’s better than MJ, but… well… there are people who believe that the moon landing was faked, know what I’m saying?

For Kobe to pass MJ on the majority of ballots, he’d have to successfully accomplish three things. First, he’d have to win at least three more titles. Despite what JA and Simmons allude to, it’s not enough for Kobe to match Jordan’s title count. Kobe has to beat six, preferably going away. Jordan won six titles with six finals MVPs, Kobe only has one in four titles. I know that Jordan wasn’t winning those titles on his own. Scottie Pippen was a great second banana, but for Kobe’s first three titles, he was the 2nd banana. Hard to be the GOAT when you weren’t the best player on the majority of your title squads.

Second, Kobe will have to surpass Kareem and become the NBAs all time leading scorer. Kobe, like MJ, is building his GOAT resume on the premise of being a scorer. Yes, they were both outstanding defenders, but come on… It’s not like we’re talking about Bill Russell here, they’ve built their legacies on being assassins on the offensive end.

However, as a scorer, Kobe is lagging well behind Jordan. Right off the bat, Kobe has led the NBA in scoring twice, Jordan led the league ten times. Kobe’s career average is a very impressive 25.3, but Jordan averaged 30.1. Given that Kobe has yet to enter his decline phase, and hasn’t averaged 30 a game in three years, I think we can be confident that he wont match MJ’s per game average. So, for Kobe to be considered the best of all time, he’s going to have to entrench his name in the record book by climbing mount Kareem (climbing mount Kareem? Yikes, that was awkward… just be glad I didn’t write, “by mounting Kareem.”).

Finally, Kobe will need to win another couple of MVPs. This is another area in which the Mamba’s lagging well behind the crowd; Kareem has six, Russell has five, Bird and Magic each have three. And, (not to turn this into a head to head, but if you’re going to knock out the champ, you have to first meet him in the ring) MJ has five, but he should have won in 1997, and had very strong cases in 1987, 1990, and1993.

Kobe? Well, Kobe has one, and it’s hard to argue he should have many more. He wasn’t the MVP of his own team until probably the 2003 season, but he wasn’t better than Kevin Garnett that year (actually he finished fifth, which give or take a spot was about right). In 2004 he wasn’t better than the Nash-Shaq pairing that spearheaded a weak ballot. You could argue that Kobe should have won in ’06, but then you could argue that Chris Paul should have won in Kobe’s year, so… basically, you have a player trying to be in the discussion as the best of all time, who was only the MVP of the league once? Yeah, that doesn’t make much sense.

So, what are the odds of each of those three things happening? Hollinger tackled the odds of Kobe catching Kareem and set them at about 44%, so there’s some hope there. The odds of Kobe winning a few more MVPs though? Well… I think this year he finishes a distant 2nd or 3rd, depending on whether his finger continues to hamper him (and note, I’m saying where I think he’ll finish, not where I’d place him). Next year? The King will still be the prohibitive favorite, but if voters are suffering from “LeBron fatigue”, Dwayne Wade, Paul, Carmelo, and Kevin Durant will all be hounding that award like a Rick Pitino full court press . Basically, I think Kobe’s MVP years have passed him by. I’d put the odds at an optimistic ten percent that he wins another and somewhat less than 5 percent he can win more than one.

Now, there is a real chance that Kobe can win another title or two, but of course that’s hard to predict at the best of times and harder still to predict before we know what will happen in the Summer of LeBron. For instance, if the Lakers were to trade for Chris Bosh, I’d have to they’d be the favourites for the next three years, but if LeBron, Wade and Bosh all team in Miami, or LeBron and Bosh pair up with Derrick Rose in Chicago, well then it’s suddenly an uphill battle for the Lakers.

So, long and short (well, really more long and longer) of it, I think the 0.02% I pegged at the start is about spot on. Now, LeBron on the other hand…

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