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Touching on the Celtics, Rockets, Lakers and 'Coreys'

Posted: Sunday August 12, 2007 12:57PM; Updated: Monday August 13, 2007 4:37PM
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In case you fell asleep during those four hours, the NBA did actually have an off-season. Don't worry, I missed it too. With Yi Jianlian's boycott of Milwaukee (did anyone tell him it's one of the few NBA cities within shouting distance of a casino?), the Tim Donaghy scandal (is anyone else wondering exactly when this guy is going to turn himself in?) and the Kevin Garnett trade gobbling up our attention, the NBA certainly hasn't had a quiet summer. But with the FIBA Tournament of the America's looming at the end of the month in Las Vegas, this brief downtime should be put to good use: like busting out the 'ol mailbag.

Kevin Garnett is a joke. In four years the Celtics will have no title, still have no bench and will never have made the Finals, let alone win a title (winning playoffs isn't enough, according to Danny Ainge) and we will have no potential talent for the future.
--Alex, Boston

Couldn't disagree with you more, Alex. Listen, I know Danny Ainge sold his soul when he pulled the plug on Boston's youth movement. Garnett has a shelf life of about two and a half seasons before his body starts to resemble Samuel L. Jackson's in Unbreakable (no one can play as many minutes as Garnett forever), and it is probably 70-30 that Al Jefferson becomes a fixture on the Western Conference All-Star team within three years. But Boston wasn't going anywhere with what it had assembled.

By the time Jefferson and Gerald Green figured out how to win, Paul Pierce would be a year or two from retirement. Putting elite players like Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen -- who are at the tail end of their prime and have never even whiffed an NBA Finals game -- is, at worst, good management and, at best, a stroke of genius. I'm not saying Boston will win an NBA Finals -- but I'll guarantee you within four years it will have played in one.

So Boston is now the consensus "prohibitive favorite to win the Eastern conference"? Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are an imposing collection of great scorers and they will give teams fits. But if Allen gets hurt again, or Pierce gets hurt again (and history suggests that's likely), I don't think the collection of minimum-salary scrubs Ainge will be forced to sign simply to fill out the roster are going to be good enough to make the C's anything more than simply a playoff team and hardly a conference title contender.
--Marshall, Denver

Sigh. I'm sensing a theme here. OK, Marshall, what's your point? If Tim Duncan goes down, the Spurs are sunk. If Steve Nash gets hurt, the Suns might not make the playoffs. The fate of every team in the league is tied to their superstars. Personally, I expect both Allen and Pierce to play in the 75-80 game range this season. Garnett is the one I'm concerned about. The Big Ticket has played 35,536 minutes in his career and has never missed more than six games in a season. The body has to go sometime.

You should compare the Boston "troika" to the Houston "troika." Do you know the outcome?
--Kevin, Boston

Scottie Pippen hated Charles Barkley and vice versa. Plus Hakeem Olajuwon, who already had two championship rings, was unmotivated. That's why it didn't work in Houston. One situation has nothing to do with the other.

Have you seen that new reality show, The Two Corey's? with Corey Feldman and Corey Haim? I'm torn on whether it's really awesome or totally pathetic.
--Mike, Orlando

It's amazing the depths to which reality TV will sink. When a network puts together two Z-List actors who haven't been stars since the Reagan administration and calls it television, that's a joke. Watching Corey Haim cry when he discovered he wouldn't be cast in Lost Boys 2 (which has straight to video written all over it) was maybe the funniest thing I have ever seen. He somehow makes Feldman look normal, that is until he calls himself a working actor and you remember his last real gig was playing Donatello in the Ninja Turtles movies.

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