1. West walks away
Jerry West will always be the logo of the NBA, but yesterday he announced that he will no longer be the face of the Memphis Grizzlies. West told reporters that his five year run as the Grizzlies’ director of basketball operations will end on July 1. Mr. Clutch said “I’m not a youngster anymore,” and said that the constant losing, uncertainty and injuries have all added up to be too much for the soon-to-be 69 year old. West has done all that he can for the Memphis franchise and while they might have some pieces to build on; they seriously need a centerpiece to build around. And according to West, Pau Gasol is not that guy. But with the luck of the bouncing ping-pong balls, perhaps Kevin Durant could become what Gasol never did.
2. Skiles shoots down Curry’s season
If the Tim Duncan/Joey Crawford drama isn’t enough to keep your NBA interest peaked, then perhaps a coach/player rivalry will be more intriguing to you. Last week, Bulls coach Scott Skiles said that the Knicks Eddy Curry is “having a very good year but it seems like he’s being put on a pedestal awful quickly here.” It sounds to us like somebody is upset that Curry didn’t have his breakout season while playing in Bulls’ red. Curry said that his former coach was “very disrespectful” in his comments. This is a great start to a bad blood rivalry, but it’s not going to get a chance to get fully rolling until next season since New York won’t be participating in the post season.
3. Jamison doesn’t mind carrying the load
With Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler out of the lineup there are gobs and gobs of points available for the other 12 players on the active roster. And on Tuesday night Antawn Jamison did his absolute best to make sure that he grabbed as many of those points for himself as he could by scoring 48 points against the Magic. Unfortunately, the 48 point effort was in vain as the Wizards fell by six to Orlando, 95-89. Jamison jacked up 26 of the Wiz’s 80 field goals and attempted 24 of the team’s 44 free throws. Talk about a one many show! Jarvis Hayes was the only other Wizard to finish in double figures with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Tuesday’s Player of the Day: Antawn Jamison vs. Orlando 48 min, 48 pts (FG: 14-26, 3FG: 5-9, FT: 15-24), 9 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl
Wednesday’s Game to Watch: Golden State (41-40) @ Portland (32-49) Portland might be the home team in this contest, but the Trailblazers have nothing to play for. Golden State, on the other hand, has everything to play for as their post season hopes ride on the last game of the last day of the schedule. If the Warriors can pull out the victory, then they are in the playoffs for the first time since 1994, snapping the longest current streak of going without any post season lovin’. However, if Golden State fails to win against Portland then the Clippers can sneak into the post season by beating the Hornets in LA.
Buzzer Beater: Jermaine O’Neal didn’t try to hide the fact that he wanted out of Indy if the Pacers failed to reach the playoffs, but now that the season is over O’Neal is backing off of his demands for an off-season trade. “I want to retire here, but I understand the business part of it. The business part is brutal. If they feel they can’t rebuild the team, they have to tear the team down.” While O’Neal isn’t admitting it, he’s probably still looking for a change of address and one attractive location is in LA; with Kobe Bryant, not Elton Brand. The Lakers desperately need a big man to compliment their superstar scorer but they’ll have to give up some young talent in return; perhaps Andrew Bynum. Unfortunately, The Captain would not be happy with that.