W*A*S*H*

November 18

                      Let’s get the latest from the Warriors Ambulatory Surgical Hospital:

                      Raja Bell will have surgery on his wrist that will end his season if it requires screws.  That will be only the latest screwing in Warrior-land.  The Warriors apparently knew of the injury but dealt for him anyway, further proof they only wanted Raja for his comely expiring contract.  Elsewhere …

                     C.J. Watson has the swine flu.

                     Kelenna Azubuike will have season-ending surgery on his knee Wednesday.

                     Biedrins, Turiaf, Randolph, Devean George;  all sidelined.

                     As far as we know, no Warriors have contracted dengue fever, dropsy, shingles, blue skin disorder, or progeria.   Yet.

                     Oh well, at least they have Monta Ellis.

                     Oh, wait …

                     Now stories have surfaced that Monta’s agent will speak to Warriors’ management Thursday about Monta’s future, amid rumors Ellis wants out.  Maybe he wants out before he contracts H1N1.  Or before his career dies a slow, painful death.

                     I know some people will miss Ellis, who has terrific ability, but his jump shot isn’t what it used to be, and he can be childish.  He’s still pouting because of the fine and suspension from the moped incident, both of which were justified, and he has decided to put tattoos on every part of his body but his tongue. 

                    Rick Bucher of ESPN told Gary Radnich on KNBR this morning that team President Robert Rowell didn’t want anyone around who didn’t want to be there.  If that’s the case, there wouldn’t be enough players to suit up the minimum eight.  The Warriors have become basketball Siberia.

                    When one player complains about the coach and management, that’s an anomaly.  Stephen Jackson was an ingrate.  When more than one player has a beef, then it’s a pattern.  The common denominator:  Coach Don Nelson.

                   Nelson rightly deserves credit for helping revive the franchise in 2007, but that is a distant memory now.  As in other cities, he seems to have worn out his welcome.  If it happens more than once, it’s a pattern.  While Ellis can be faulted for his two-wheeled escapades and his poor attitude, Nelly can be faulted because whatever plan or message he has, is falling on deaf ears.

                   Nelson will stick around to get the coaching wins record, now 21 away, so if you’re a Warriors fan who dislikes Nelson you’ll pray he locks that up this season.  He’s had a great career but either he’s grown tired of this scene, the players have grown tired of him, or both.  

                   In the constant search for bright sides, I can say this:  Nelson has no choice but to play Anthony Randolph and Stephen Curry now.  In addition, Ellis will certainly garner value in a trade, and it would be nice to get a good power forward in return.

                  After that, Corey Maggette and his boat anchor of a contract should be dealt.  I will take anything for that — expiring contract, even expiring players.  Then, wait for Biedrins, Turiaf, Watson and later Brandan Wright to heal. 

                  Then, wait for Nelly to get his wins record and find a new coach.  Although I don’t trust management to make a good decision on a replacement.  That leads to the next step …

                  Chris Cohan: sell Winthorpe, sell !!!! 

                  Larry Ellison, Line One. 

                  I know people who have worked for Ellison and think he’s an egotistical jerk, but maybe his ego won’t tolerate the current losing culture.

                   I know the odds of Cohan selling are slim, especially since the value of the franchise is evaporating like the Polar Ice Cap, but maybe he’ll grow tired of his name being dragged through the mud, the very symbol of incompetence.  No rich guy likes to be known for that.

                  A sale must happen, or all the salary cap space the Warriors are clearing out ( $21 million in the latest deal ) won’t mean a thing.   No player in his right mind would want to play here.  Even some players who are a little off  (Stack Jack) are avoiding Oracle like the swine flu.  

                 UPDATE:  In an inexplicably stirring effort, all seven active Warriors score in double figures as the W’s take it down to the wire but lose in Cleveland, 114-108.  They come up with a game like that, but can’t beat the Clippers at home?

                  ***

                 The Raybuck awards are 2 for 3.  Zach Greinke is the deserved winner of the AL Cy Young Award, going 16-8 and putting up fantastic numbers for a last-place team.  He was damn near unhittable for part of this season.

                Wednesday it’s Managers of the year.  I like Jim Tracy of the Rockies in the NL, and I’m going to yank a Raybuck from Ron Washington and give it to Mike Scioscia.  Just what he needs, another tri-tip sandwich.

                Thursday, I like Tim Lincecum for the NL Cy Young.  You know he’s craving a Raybuck.

                 ***

                 Monday night was one of the worst sports-viewing nights in recent history.  First, Browns-Ravens, so bad it might have seared a retina or two.  A very bad advertisement for the NFL, capped off by the idiocy of the meaningless pass and lateral on the last play which knocked Josh Cribbs out.

                 That was one time I sided with an agent.  Cribbs’s agent is furious with the Browns.  Cribbs is their best player and in a 16-0 game there was no way he should have been out there.  Fortunately he’s out of the hospital and OK today.

                Later, UCLA and Cal State Fullerton in the tipoff to ESPN’s 24 hour college hoops marathon.  Many people probably didn’t bother to hang around for the final 23 hours.  There was an epidemic of bad basketball at Pauley Pavilion that would make the Wizard shield his eyes witha  rolled up newspaper.

                I don’t know what Ben Howland has been doing the last year or so, but he hasn’t been recruiting.   Cupboard?  Bare.

               The Bruins shot the basketball like they were drunk.  The Titans weren’t much better.  The game started at 9, but it looked like Game 3 of the marathon at 1 a.m.  The final was 68-65, IN DOUBLE OVERTIME.

               Nikola Dragovic apparently spent the off-season taking suck pills.  When Michael Roll is your best player and senior leader, you’re in trouble.  Outside of Malcolm Lee, I don’t see one guy on this team who can remotely create their own shot.

                 UCLA will not finish third in the Pac-10 as predicted.  Unless the rest of the Pac Ten is a steaming pile.  Cal will run them off the floor.

                  ***

                 How many good college basketball players are there, anyway?

                 I’ve seen just one, so far.  Kentucky’s John Wall.  A point guard with tremendous quickness and strength, if he can develop a consistent outside shot he’ll be special.

                In the meantime, Countdown to Probation has begun at Kentucky.  John Calipari is only an investigation away from something untoward being unearthed.  Hell, they’re still cleaning up the slime trail from Memphis to Lexington.

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