Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Odds and Ends: Okafor Edition

Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler
Be careful what you wish for. Yesterday, bewildered by the Charlotte Bobcat's lack of moves, I laid out a series of suggestions. Notably I said: "Try to trade for a unicorn. It makes about as much sense as anything else right now." Apparently the Bobcats took my advice to heart, though apparently couldn't find a unicorn to trade for. So, logically, they decided to trade Emeka Okafor for Tyson Chandler.

I'll be blunt: I ain't crazy about the trade. I'll link to the different writers/blogs breaking down the trade, but let me give you my take first. Emeka Okafor's reliable and consistent performance in terms of scoring and rebounding were a real asset to the team. By almost all statistical measures, Tyson Chandler is a worse basketball player who is paid more than Okafor and is more prone to injury. That said, some of the defensive statistics (links below) point out that Chandler is a great defensive center. Caveat: Charlotte Bobcats are already a great defensive team that has trouble scoring and this move seems to exacerbate this issue. Finally, Emeka Okafor had a ridiculously long contract that was considered somewhat immovable. Chandler has a shorter contract that will expire sooner and will be easier to trade. So, long story short: Probably not a great move, but there are potential upsides. For some more fine-grained analysis (including all the stats breakdowns you could ever want) here's what other people are saying:

Queen City Hoops
Bobcats Planet
Bobcats Baseline
John Hollinger

Again, generally impressed by the speed of the analysis by the NBA blogging community, particularly the Charlotte folks. Speaking of which...

Shaq Does Wrestling and Cavs the Blog
For a great instant response to Shaq's appearance Monday Night Raw, I refer you John Krolik's Cavs the Blog which breaks the matter down as well as I think anyone can. The article is here. Now is a good time to point out that this is a great blog that all NBA fans should be reading. Smart, funny stuff. I'm recently pretty fond of a piece he wrote that has a nice little riff on GM psychology. Anyway, as Shaq is one of my favorite topics on this blog, and Shaq is now on the Cavs, expect more talking about and linking to Cavs the Blog.

Odds and Ends: EVEN QUICKER
1. Does being Wu-Tang even mean anything anymore? I was able to overlook Method Man's acting career and all the merchandising, but RZA's turn as Seth Rogen's coworker in Funny People is really killing the mystique for me. Maybe more on this later if I don't get Shaqed out.

2. The Blowtorch says everything that needs to be said about Andre Miller.

3.Hey ya'll get that I like Free Darko right? Good stuff lately on other Love in the Time of Lebron icon, Allen Iverson and issues of authenticity. Also, this weekend there was a nice wide-ranging article about Allen Iverson and the Marburython amongst other things.

4. Finally, it bears mentioning that this Monday morning I was expecting to see some big ol write-ups and highlights of the Marburython, but no one has done a full and thorough job yet. I am eagerly awaiting someone to compile all the highlights and to interview some psychologists to let us know what the Hell is going on. The whole thing smacks of tragedy and probably imperils the chances that teams will want to sign Marbury, but I find myself liking the guy more and more. I'm still trying to navigate the territory of whether this makes me a sicko using a genuinely mentally ill person for my own personal entertainment or an eager spectator watching a mildly unhinged weirdo hamming it up in front of a camera. As smarter people than me have noted, the Free Darko post about Marbury and Tracy Morgan/Jordan is seeming more and more prescient and is, right now, still the best thing written about the Marburython despite not actually being about it.

5. That last one wasn't so quick. Whatever.

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