Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Chicago Has Ben

Just as long as it's clear that when we call for hack-a-Ben, we send Ben Wallace to the foul stripe, not Ben Gordon. The upstart Bulls will look pretty good for next season with the addition of Wallace, and as a Detroit devotee, I admit to being disappointed that the difference came down to a few million chips. I mean, when offering 49-50 million, what's another one or two? Woe, Detroit basketball. Of course, I enjoyed seeing the Bulls rise as over-achieving underdogs this season, and, if it had to happen, I'd rather see Wallace with Chicago than with, say, the Pacers, the Nets, the Knicks or the Heat.

I suppose this introduces new pressure to the Bulls. They exceeded expectations late last season, even mightily testing the eventual NBA Champion Heat in the first round of the playoffs. But now they must finish among the top three in the Eastern Conference to keep everybody happy, including some of the hungry young players coming off the bench. Their depth and balance at multiple positions might be unmatched, which means they should be really good. Right?

Back in Motown, I say Pryzbilla. Or give Darko another chance. He was picked to ahead of some decent players after all. Gotta end before tears well up.

Added: Trouble for Benny the Bull.
Added: Good on the Pistons for filling in with Nazr Mohammed.
Added: You're reading Earth Wide Moth entry #600. Guess I should make a wish or something. I wish I had an idea for entry #601.
Added: Ph. is talking about it over here. Nothing to worry about, he says.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at July 4, 2006 10:30 AM to Sport

I can't tell you how excited I was to hear this. If the Chandler to NO/OC goes through, that means that Ben and PJ Brown will be mentoring Tyrus Thomas, and it gives the Bulls instant playoff cred. And Eddy Curry, the gift that keeps on giving, may give us another lottery pick next year on top of that. It's been a loooong time since I was actually proud to be a Bulls fan, since I felt like we had something to look forward to...

Posted by: collin at July 4, 2006 3:51 PM

Oh, the many generosities of Eddy Curry. You're right about this being a bright moment for the Bulls, and the rise of the Bulls never bodes well for the Pistons. But! I have to wonder how long the Bulls will be able to keep everyone satisfied with PT, salary and touches (introduce doubt, isn't this what nay-sayers do?). It seems like a dangerously deep group.

Posted by: Derek at July 5, 2006 8:27 AM

This isn't exactly on point with the main gist of your post, but i find it interesting that whenever folks are criticizing/talking about the salaries of well-paid professional ____ (be they athletes, CEOs, composition instructors ;) , whatever) that a million dollars is nothing but a drop in the bucket.

My last year as a GTA at SIU we received a $40 raise per check (which came out to $360 over the course of the pay schedule). $40 will barely fill my car's gas tank. Even so, that drop in the bucket was significant to me b/c it demonstrated that the administration was at least considering trying to address our working conditions. Even if it was just a token effort, it was still an effort.

A million bucks is a million bucks whether your Donald Trump, Ben Wallace, Derek Mueller or Chris Drew (i don't know why i just threw our names in there).

ps. Heat to repeat!
(...as Eastern Conference champs)

Posted by: chris at July 5, 2006 10:42 PM

I'll grant that I get drawn into the idealism that some things run deeper than money. It might mean that I'll never be a very good climber, but I've made a two or three decisions that weren't about the money in the end (heading back to grad school, for instance).

I'd probably also try to make the case that once you're solidly a millionaire, the margin due for tipping loyalties should go up. But I can't confirm this until I become a millionaire. Also, it's so disappointingly rare to see athletes or coaches stick with a team for very long these days. But yeah, if I was Ben Wallace, I'd probably take the deal in Chicago. More for the reasons of Flip Saunders and the Bulls being up-and-coming than for the difference between 50m and 51m and change (or whatever).

Posted by: Derek at July 5, 2006 11:01 PM

Don't forget: Detroit has Orlando's first round pick next year (from the Darko trade). So they will get a top ten pick. Ben will be missed, but life goes on. Dumars got a bit burned when he let Darko go...he was counting on keeping Ben. But it's only his second major mistake (drafting Darko was number one). The real issue the Pistons need to address, and so far they are not addressing it, is the bench. Miami beat Detroit because Detroit did not use a bench.

Posted by: jeff at July 9, 2006 6:37 PM

You're right. Depth must be a priority for them to contend late in the season next year. Cato, Delk and Dale Davis didn't offer much of anything in the playoffs. Maybe Delfino will begin to have an impact (as a reserve, anyhow). And I wasn't thinking of the pick from the Magic. That oughta help, especially if Orlando is terrible.

Posted by: Derek at July 9, 2006 9:23 PM