By Mihnea "Mike" Gheorghita
I’m a big fan of young guys in the NBA who have visible franchise player potential. As I was telling Cory the other day, it’s easier for a football (still not calling it soccer) fan to think that way because commitment is a bigger deal there than in the NBA, where most players switch teams once every 3 years or so. Also, the fans of the NBA have been forcefully turned into Big 3 loving teams, as the balance that existed prior to situations such as Garnett-Allen-Pierce-Rondo, James-Wade-Bosh, Stoudemire-Anthony-Billups was simply swept away.
Don’t get me wrong, the Carter-Kidd-RJ era was more than most fans expected (well, some may have expected a ring), but it’s beyond me why star players consider that teams such as Garnett’s T-wolves and Chris Paul (apparently contemplating orange and blue for next season) with the Hornets can’t make an impact like they used to. Well actually of course they can’t: it’s either playing against leftovers like the Cavaliers, or Mega-Miami. There’s black and white, but no gray anymore.
Back to the matter at hand. Regardless of their love for All-Star clusters, fans still have a deeper appreciation for that long-lost notion I mentioned: franchise player. Boston’s got two, Miami’s got one, Knicks have none. As Nets fans, you can’t possibly use that comment section below and tell me that you even feel that Deron Williams is a true “Net” yet.
Brook Lopez IS franchise material. As Dwight Howard (and Shaq, Duncan, Willis Reed and many others did) himself proved it, you don’t have to be a guard to make fans comfortable when they see the back of your jersey in the arena. When Chinese food lover Josh Boone went down, Brook was given his chance, and boy, he did not disappoint. Now, as you may have read, the Nets are reportedly ready to ship Senor Pez along with picks to Orlando for Howard and the very ancient Hedo Turkoglu.
Why am I not ecstatic? Because that trade can be done without wasting our best draft pick in years. When you have $7mil worth of Outlaw ready to dispose, plus considerable cap space, why oh why would you choose to make the same mistake the Knicks made? Orlando needs a guard. Richardson isn’t getting any younger and sure as hell Nelson any better. Sure they’ll miss their best big man since Shaq, but they can get two options instead of one, plus one eager 3pt shooter, who can improve considerably with more playing time. Check this out! You can replace Sasha with Morrow, as he's more of an incentive, since MarShon Brooks is a worthy replacement. It still goes.
Maybe it’s just me, but I really think that the only fresh start that Brook needs and truly wants is a move to a big city, and a jersey that spells “Brooklyn”. He’s stated on more than one occasion that he’d be more than happy to play either back-up to Howard (should the Nets get him), or even PF to get the twin towers thing going on. It’s understandable that no one wants him at the PF position, he’s slow and his defense is atrocious at times, but what better motivation could you ask for than playing side by side with someone like Dwight Howard?
To end this, I think it’s a personal jinx of some sort. My wardrobe houses Kidd, Carter, Harris, Lopez and Williams jerseys. In that order, the first 3 have shipped out about a month after I purchased the jerseys. Now Lopez is being dangled in front of Orlando. But what about the Williams #8 jersey?
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