Weekly Countdown (cont.)
4 Questions rescued from the spam
4. Yes, the Pistons will get better. And yes, Allen Iverson is a very impressive player. But it doesn't matter. The Pistons are worse defensively (without a doubt), they've lost their chemistry, he doesn't want to play point guard, they're way too old, and of course there's a very good chance that they will turn on their third coach in a row. But none of this matters. We're talking about the Pistons as though they're a factor. They aren't. Joe Dumars is thinking about the future and maybe taking a mad stab at becoming a contemporary contender, but it won't work.
In most cases, you represent the majority opinion (though they definitely aren't too old -- wings Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince are in their prime years, and most of the role players are young). The Iverson trade is a good gamble to take because the cap space can instantly bail out the Pistons this summer. But this is one of those moves that defies instant judgment. It's easy to say that Hamilton will languish while Iverson dribbles out the shot clock. But maybe Iverson will surprise us. He's an ambitious guy, and maybe he will adapt.
3. Is there a possibility that another franchise will relocate after what happened to the Sonics? My guess is Memphis.
My guess is the Nets, who have been trying to move to Brooklyn. If that falls through as many believe it will, then it will be no surprise if they are sold and the team is moved to another market. The other vulnerable franchises include New Orleans, Memphis and Charlotte (which appear unlikely to break its leases), as well as Sacramento and Milwaukee (which can escape).
"The Nets aren't going to be moving to the Barclays Center, that's not happening,'' a rival NBA owner said of their proposed move to Brooklyn. "And they're losing money.''
2. Regarding the Grant Hill section from last Friday's column: When are people going to realize that the vast majority of people couldn't care less about the political leanings of athletes? Their opinions are worth the same as anybody else's, no more, no less. Each player is certainly entitled to be vocal about his politics, but why should we care?
I agree in general, but in this case Hill had an informed perspective on a highly visible constituency -- a few hundred rich African-Americans. What I find interesting is the premise that most NBA players were raised as Democrats, switched to the Republican side for tax purposes, and have gone back to the Democrats now that Barack Obama has come along.
Basketball will be the sport of the White House over the next four years, much as baseball was the pastime of the Bush administration. The next NBA champion may be invited to shoot hoops with President Obama on the new basketball court he has promised to build.
1. How does Derrick Rose compare with Steve Francis before the latter got nipped by the injury bug? They are about the same height and size and both are great finishers and penetrators.
I asked an NBA scout for his analysis: "I would have never put those two together. Francis was a massive scorer who had to learn how to play with other people, but I don't see Rose like that. Rose can put up points and score in transition. But he's a point guard. I never thought of Francis as a point guard. His mind-set always has been that he knows how to score, and he's trying to get himself open.
"For sure, Rose can get to the rim. But with most guys in the league, you see early in their career that they're going to the rim a lot, and as the years go by they're doing it less and less and less. They take a lot of pounding going inside, they become better shooters, and they worry about their longevity in the league. [Tracy] McGrady and Vince Carter are guys who rarely take the ball to the rim like they used to.''