With Kobe Bryant now saying he wants to be traded what are the chances that the Bulls can swing a deal for him, since he was considering the Bulls when he opted out of his contract a few years ago? What would it take? Would you trade Deng to get him? --JP, Los Angeles
The big question of the week was not whether it's Daniel "Bootie" or "Booby" Gibson. It was Kobe, Kobe, Kobe. Forget it, forget it, forget it. Yes, Kobe is frustrated and wants to be in the playoffs. You can't blame him for that, though as I've been commuting between Detroit and Cleveland, I'm not sure that's what he has in mind. The Lakers ARE NOT trading Kobe. No matter what he says and demands or asks for. He doesn't have an opt out until after the 2008-09 season. They didn't trade Shaq to keep Kobe to let Kobe go as soon as things went badly. Plus, Kobe averages more than $20 million per season the next three years and isn't walking away from that. He's not Dave Cowens (old man reference).
Kobe isn't a huge fan of Mitch Kupchak's, and it's not like anyone else is there, either. There's been speculation for some time that Jerry West will go back to the Lakers in some capacity and that's all Kobe wants. Well, he wants Jason Kidd or Kevin Garnett or Jermaine O'Neal, too, but he wants to start somewhere. Kupchak has done a miserable job with signings and Bryant has been patient for three years. He's no less impatient than Michael Jordan ever was. He wants to play deep into the playoffs, and we should respect him for that since the players don't get paid in the playoffs and too many settle for going home early. Bryant doesn't want to. So he's putting the challenge to the Lakers, which is what a great competitor does. And he's not about to lie down. He cares too much about his craft and professionalism.
As for the Bulls, I've mentioned Bryant at times if there were a free-agent situation. There's no way the Bulls could make a deal and not become the Lakers. I'd give up Deng, his family members and his kids when he has them. Bryant is generally considered the best player in the NBA. Deng never has made an All Star team. It would take at least Deng, Kirk Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas and this year's No. 1. Then Bryant would maybe be a first-round elimination with the Bulls and want to be traded. There's zero chance the Bulls can or will acquire Bryant or the Lakers will let him go. After all, the Lakers are the No. 1 sports attraction in Los Angeles with no NFL and their celebrity, high-paying crowd (their tickets are the costliest in the NBA) come from the entertainment industry, and there's no greater entertainer in the NBA today than Bryant. Are they going to pay those prices for Thabo Sefolosha and Luol Deng? Kobe is jealous of the guys still playing. Good for him. He cares. L.A. cares about him, too, and he's not going anywhere for at least three years.
I know you're partial to the Bulls, but what do you think the Lakers can do this off-season? That's one messed up team. --Uzair, London
Kobe has thrown down the challenge now. The issue is whether they'll trade Andrew Bynum. Kobe wants them to, but ownership, especially new power Jim Buss, doesn't want to. I suspect dad Jerry will intercede on the part of Kobe and Phil Jackson, who also isn't into building. One key is whether Kevin Garnett steps up and demands a trade to the Lakers and the Timberwolves work something out. In the end, I can see the Lakers pulling someone off with the Pacers for Jermaine O'Neal because I think the Pacers would want Bynum. Maybe Lamar Odom also to the Pacers and Troy Murphy or Mike Dunleavy coming back to the Lakers with some others thrown in to balance salaries. The Lakers will do something significant. I'd do O'Neal this summer and with Garnett able to opt out after next summer, I'd work on him as a friend if I were Bryant and get him to sign a short exception deal and then get taken care of down the road by the Lakers, though with nothing actually signed.
What would we need to trade to get Zach Randolph? The ninth pick? Duhon? --Jon, Hinsdale, Ill.
I'd say more courage than assets given his behavioral record. That would do it, but you'd have to match salaries, so it probably would take doing a sign-and-trade with P.J. Brown, whom I'm sure would take the extra big year of money. And Portland would love a stable veteran like him, even for an excessive one-year cost to get him. They'd even throw in Darius Miles and drive him to the Berto Center if the Bulls wanted.
Do you ever find that trade speculation has real effects (other than making Shaq angry)? Maybe an idle thought causing a free agent's stock or putting pressure on their team to keep them? Do agents or teams ever disseminate rumors for their own purposes? --Matt Nelson, Irvine, Calif.
All the time. Where do you think all this stuff comes from? OK, some from my playful mind, but what many don't seem to understand is when I write about this I always make it clear if it's my suggestion or actual talks. When it's my suggestion it's also a way of talking about the needs of both teams and informing fans about that. The unfortunate part are there are so many irresponsible types running some of these basketball Web sites who do little but pirate stuff from the newspapers and then misstate it as fact when it's just speculation and suggestion for debate. What does and has happened with some of these speculative stories is it gets one general manager to call another and ask if such a deal is possible if one side is interested. It sometimes leads to more talks, though most general managers tend to be conservative, operating under the theory that you can be criticized more for doing something wrong than doing nothing at all. As Mel Brooks observed in Blazing Saddles, "Gentlemen, we've got to protect our phony baloney jobs."
With regards to Portland's No. 1 pick, do they have a dilemma of picking a center like Oden, in which they made a mistake of picking a center in the 1984 draft named Mr. BOWIE, and pass up Durant who can be like Mr. Air Jordan? --Melvin, Dubai
I think they'll do fine with the center. The problem then is they took the No. 2 center, Sam Bowie, who'd had serious injuries in college, going with the need over the player. They had Clyde Drexler, who went to the Hall of Fame, and Jim Paxson, an All Star, so they passed on another shooting guard. They wanted to believe Bowie would be their center of the future, which they needed. It, of course, became a huge embarrassment and they did err in going for position over talent. But this time they need a center and Oden is the choice no matter how good Durant becomes. Houston did fine with Olajuwon and was in the Finals within two years.
I am an avid reader of your column. You have fans all the way here from West Africa. Everyone and their mother knows about the Bulls' desperate need for a inside post scorer. Besides Paxson selling his soul to Satan to get Zach Randolph, I have a new candidate to fill this need. What would it take to get Paul Millsap from the Jazz? He is basically a Carlos Boozer in the making and look how he has emerged in the playoffs. --Kofi Dakrwa, Kumasi, Ghana
Actually, I always felt I was bigger in East Africa. It's a nice thought, though he's mostly a nice role player, a little small for his position. It's why he got overlooked in the draft, which is one of the big mistakes NBA scouts too often make. They concentrate on size and projecting players into a position, sometimes at the expense of making plays. Millsap was the national rebounding leader for three years. It does make a difference, especially in rebounding, which often takes as much thinking as jumping. Though I don't believe you can get Millsap away from the Jazz given his small salary and that he has worked his way into their rotation as a rookie.
I find it interesting that Paxson woke up in his post-season wrap-up and "talked about size in the backcourt." That's amusing, considering he could have drafted 6-6 Brandon Roy in last year's draft. He was clearly the answer but Paxson was infatuated with Ty Thomas' leaping ability and whose basketball skills won't be seen for a couple years. Now, all the sudden, we need a big guard AND a low-post scorer? Then what was the point in drafting Thomas? I can't believe one spends a Top 5 pick on a future maybe. Also, if Paxson says a big guard is a priority, he must believe that Thabo Sefolosha isn't ready. That concerns me greatly because if the Bulls are as close as people think they are, then why draft two guys who can't contribute even in their second years? I want to believe there is an off-season plan here but having yet another rookie maybe on the team is not the answer. --Michael, Chicago
It's always easy to second guess, but the Bulls believed Thomas would be the best player from that draft. He has a chance. We'll see. But thus far I'd say Paxson has done a terrific job in the draft, which isn't as easy as it looks. I wouldn't have always done what the Bulls did, but they've had a good run building it to this point. There was some debate within the staff this season about playing Thomas and Sefolosha more. It's not surprising for coaches under pressure to win to ignore rookies. Jerry Sloan didn't play Deron Williams much until the latter part of the season last year. I believe the Bulls want Thomas and Sefolosha to be regular players in the rotation next season and will be, which raises questions about the roles of Duhon and Ben Gordon.
I'm really discouraged with the Bulls. I don't really see anything to look forward to in the future. Even if they somehow made it to the Finals, they could never win against anyone in the West. I really used to love this game, but with my Bulls looking only like an OK team for the next 10 years, who cares? I think I'm done with basketball. --David, Trevor, Wis.
Have you been watching the Cavs and Pistons? First, they're improving and making steps, which is what building is all about. You can't win a championship ever year as no one does. The Bulls have been providing an entertaining product and putting pieces in place to improve. Being in the East gives them a better chance to get to the Finals and if you get there you only have to beat one team. But that's, to be, beside the point. They have good, young players that are getting better and fun to watch with a good style of play and people who don't embarrass you as a fan. They are a reason to care about basketball.
I think the Bulls need to get over this good character thing and get a couple of dirty, nasty, hard-fouling players. The Pistons made the Bulls look like chumps, as have many other teams. Do you think the Bulls should make a trade to get a big man with an attitude problem? Tyrus is a good start. --DeAngelo, Chicago
I'm not a big believer in goons, though it worked for Robert Horry and the Spurs. Actually, that is the positive I see in Tyrus Thomas' anger. He can be unpleasant to deal with, but as I've said, there are some elements of that which can work in favor of the Bulls. I think he also carries than anger onto the court and will take it out on other players. If that edge isn't pleasant to deal with in the locker room for media and staff, it also can be annoying for opponents to deal with on the court and perhaps that might be enough for the Bulls. The truth is the way the rules are now those types of players don't do you much good because they get penalized too quickly.
The East has been getting a bad rap for at least the last three seasons now, with the common theory being they are the "inferior" conference. As far as I know, success is measured by wins, and ultimately by championships won. So can you please logically explain why the West is SO MUCH BETTER than the East, but yet two of the last three titles have been won (in six games or less, I might add) by the East. This would seem to make them the superior conference. The Spurs barely beat the Pistons in seven games in the only one the East lost during the last three years. --Seth Campbell, Gridley, Ill.
As you say, success is measured by wins and the West teams have far more in head-to-head competition than the East. The biggest stars of the game are in the West, and it doesn't help the imbalance with the Nos. 1 and 2 picks going to the West. I happen to agree with David Stern on this one and see no need for reseeding and changing conferences. The East was far dominant in the '80s and it was almost unfair that the Lakers always had a walk to the Finals given the struggle an East team had to get there. I don't think there is a huge difference between the teams that get there and assuming it's the Pistons and Spurs again, it should be a competitive series.
Why doesn't Chairman get on the phone and hire Jerry West? The Bulls have the best collection of assets in the league but a GM that makes Rumsfeld seem liberal. He sits in his mansion up north and kisses his own backside for turning around the Bulls franchise. The sad truth is that any GM worth his salt should be able to turn things around with multiple high picks (Kirk, Ty, Ben). It's (pressure) time for the Bulls and I want Jerry West around. Can the Bulls offer him a nice cushy position to help Paxson? I'm with Kobe, Go West old man! Keep in mind Kobe likes Paxson and came to visit the Bulls. --Bob Harris, Highland Park, Ill.
No offense to West, though he certainly would take some if he cared, but what's he done outside having the Los Angeles market as a draw? He's been GM of Memphis about as long as Paxson has been GM of the Bulls and I'll take Paxson every day. West hasn't been close in personnel moves and had high picks. He took Drew Gooden No. 4 and traded him 15 minutes later. What has Memphis got but Pau Gasol? And West inherited him. West has hired and fired several coaches and brought in a slew of washed-up players and signed free agents to bad contracts, like Brian Cardinal. He gave up decent players, like Earl Watson, for nothing. If Paxson was running the Grizzlies they might not be for sale. And as far as I know he doesn't have near as big a house as West, who just sold his back to the Grizzlies for almost $4 million. And under West's tenure they failed to win even one playoff game and were the worst team in the league last season. 30th! So let me get this straight: That's the guy you want to run your franchise?
What do you think about Melvin Ely from Spurs? He's going to be free agent this year. Can he be what Bull the need? --Robert, Bialystok, Poland
He might be worth a look toward the end of the summer if the Bulls cannot make another significant move.
How would Yi Jianlian fit with the Bulls> Looks like he'd be a great fit with Ben Wallace at center, Hinrich, Gordon and Deng at the 1, 2 and 3 slots. --Steve Shaulis, Merritt Island, Fla.
Everything I hear now is he'd be gone well before the Bulls pick. The speculation is five to Boston. I don't trust the international game as much since the competition is less, so it's hard for me to judge. I heard Garth Joseph, a former lug in the NBA, averaged about 20 and 20 in that league. I see him more as a project and I think the Bulls won't have time for that with the East so open next season. I see them trying to deal the pick or taking someone more ready.
Since the Bulls now know they will be drafting at No. 9 what do you believe is in their best interest? Obviously, you'll need to wait and see who is on the board at that time, and a lot can change between now and draft day. If the Bulls decided to trade the pick, and package it along with another player perhaps Chris Duhon, who would you potentially acquire? What are the chances of Drew Gooden, Nick Collison, Shareef Abdur-Rahim or Zach Randolph? --Philip Victor, Nanticoke, Penn.
I'd say based on the conference finals, you can get Drew Gooden easily, but he doesn't play strong as much as you'd want. Randolph is available but a big risk with his huge contract. I'm getting off Abdur-Rahim as you can see his physical problems starting to crop up and I don't see getting Collison unless they do a fire sale, which I doubt because I assume they'll let Rashard Lewis go instead.
So how far away is Spencer Hawes? Plenty of mock drafts have him going to the Bulls at No. 9. The scouting reports are flattering, describing him as someone with a complete NBA offensive game, both inside with a variety of post moves to both sides and out on the perimeter. Also supposedly a very good passer out of double teams and on the perimeter. --Leonard, Glenview, Ill.
I know he fits the Bulls' needs better, but that's the issue. He hasn't played much college ball and looks to be a few years away. I can't see the Bulls putting such a raw player in the game much at a tough position to learn and play in the NBA and then expect the production needed for a team that will be talking about the Finals with the Pistons one year older.
Whenever I heard interviews with Ben Wallace this year he always referred to the Bulls as "this team," never as we or us and he referred to the Pistons as "that team." While I don't think he still considers himself a Piston, I don't think he considers himself a Bull either. What are your feelings about how Big Ben has adapted to being a Bull this year? --Bob Preston, La Porte, Ind.
That's a good read on it. I think he likes his Bulls teammates; it's just that he loves his old Pistons' teammates. And why not, given what they accomplished together and how that was the place Ben grew into a real player and All Star. It's like leaving your favorite school to go to a new neighborhood. You never forget the memories. It is Ben's last contract and he'll play it out as well as he can and not cheat the Bulls. But you know his heart isn't in it like it was in Detroit.
What is your infatuation with Noah? He has no offensive skills beyond 3 feet from the basket. Tyson Chandler looks like Michael Jordan compared to him. What are you smoking? --Jim Kramer, Wheaton, Ill.
Though with that hair, I might ask that question of him. I was hoping he could introduce me to his dad. Actually, all the Florida people still are mad at me for saying he was nuts to stay in Gainesville. Wherever that is. I don't think the money means that much to him, but he loses a few million dollars as last year he would have been No. 1 or No. 2. You're right, he's no offensive threat. But he is committed to the game with his hustle and attitude and I believe a lot of good players who don't take the game as seriously, like Rasheed Wallace, would hate playing against him. And I did like Tyson Chandler and always thought he could be a productive player. I like players with hustle and spirit and Noah seems to have that. And I'm guessing he's more entertaining for the media than, say, Tyrus Thomas. That Bulls locker room badly needs some personality.
Over the past 10 years, Tim Duncan has been a dominant force, yet for the past five years his minutes and total stats have been decreasing. Is he declining, or is his play becoming more unselfish as Tony Parker emerges? (My name is not a joke. My parents named me in the '80s, and they still don't know who The Big Fundamental is. -- Tim Duncan Gossett, LaGrange, Ill.
You know Duncan was a champion swimmer in the Virgin Islands until one of the big hurricanes wiped out his pool. Could that have been the inspiration? The Spurs have been smart in reducing his minutes less to feature Parker than keep Duncan around longer and have him sharper for the playoffs. You can see in these playoffs what that's meant. I'd usually say that's unfair to the season and the fans who pay all year, but Duncan and the Spurs have earned that with how hard they've competed for the last decade.
With Portland winning the lottery and most likely taking Oden, the Bulls should make a trade to acquire LaMarcus Aldridge. A package of the No. 9 pick and Nocioni would benefit both teams. A frontline rotation of Wallace, Deng, Thomas and Aldridge would take the Bulls to the next level. Is this possible? --Robin, Kula, Hawaii
I don't see how that would benefit the Blazers. Aldridge is a perfect complement to Oden with his outside shot and is a more classic four. Aldridge, Oden and Roy is Portland's core for the next 10 years and they'll try to add Mike Conley, though I doubt they can.
Now that the draft order has been decided and Memphis and Boston are justly punished for tanking, what happens with Gasol and Pierce? Can't see either team getting much to help them out of the cellar. Of all places for Oden and Durant to go, unbelievable. --Bill, Skokie, Ill.
You are right and I'd like to clear that up as everyone lazily lumped the Bucks in with that. Geez, they fired their coach to try to win more and had a ton of real injuries. They were a playoff team before. I'd say Boston was trying hardest again to not win and Memphis was just a mess. I thought Tony Barone was trying. I'm guessing both are on the market this summer, though given they are the best pieces for each team they'll hold out for a lot and I'm not sure if anyone meets that price.
What do you think are the odds of Chicago drafting Corey Brewer? If Brewer can play shooting guard, the Bulls could kill two birds with one stone. Chicago could fill their height deficiency/defensive problems with Ben Gordon. Plus, this would make Ben Gordon expendable to trade with someone like Nocioni for a big man, like Pau Gasol. --Brent Allen, Waukee, Iowa
I would doubt it. The feeling is he doesn't get past Jordan at eight and hardly seems like a shooting guard but a swingman more like Deng.
Lets say the Bulls keep their pick and draft Julian Wright. Do you see him playing the power forward position? Can he draw the double team, or play with his back to the basket? I know with him, Thomas, and Deng it would be crazy. --Phil G., Chicago
I've gotten a lot of criticism for that suggestion, though I often get as much at home when I suggest pizza for every meal. But if something works... First of all, I don't see a big man who suits the Bulls needs there and you don't get big men who can score in the post and are ready for the NBA with a team that is ready to go for it at that spot. It's nice to project, but we've all seen it take big men longer, and even top five picks. Though Wright is not a shooter, I see him more comfortable in the NBA game more quickly and able to give the Bulls a huge line of athletic guys in the 6-8 range, which can be quite the weapon the way the game is played now on the perimeter. But I'm not even sure Wright gets to them.
I really enjoyed watching Thabo and Tyrus play this year. Assuming they are not traded and work hard in the off-season, how good do you think they will be next year? Do you think either of them will make the Bulls starting unit? -- Anand Sethupathy, Secaucus, N.J.
I think Thomas should unless they get a big-time forward like Gasol.
Would Marc Gasol be on the Bull's radar come draft night? Have't heard much about him in the mock drafts. --Romy P., New York
Not as a first rounder. He's considered low first, perhaps in the 20s for now, though these things change after workouts.
Am I crazy to suggest trading Ben Gordon? I mean, when he's on, he's one of the most exciting players to watch. But he's constantly overmatched on defense, makes too many bad decisions with the ball, and he's entering a contract year. How about Gordon and the ninth pick for Atlanta's Nos. 3 and 11 picks, plus a couple second rounders? They can get a big (Horford) who is a future All-Star, then take the best available player with the other (Jeff Green?). That would make us a more balanced team, and would allow us to keep everybody else. I ask again: Am I crazy? Even a little? --Jeremy, Van Nuys, Calif.
The Bulls will look at Gordon deals for the reasons you mentioned, but he is popular and their top scorer and won't give him up easily. I don't see the Atlanta interest with Joe Johnson there.
I'm beginning to realize that the Bulls probably will not be able to get the "perfect" power forward/center this off-season, i.e. someone who can demand a double team in the post on offense and not compromise our defense. With that said, what do you think of the wizards Brendan Haywood? I've never been a huge fan, but it seems that his offense isn't terrible, he has a nice little jumphook, and he is at least a big body on defense to allow Big Ben to play power forward. -- Neeraj Chhabra, Dyer, Ind.
I think he's maybe the laziest, most under-performing, clumsy, divisive big man in the game. You mean other than that?
Even though I will admit that Hinrich played really well in Games 4 and 5, if you look at his body of work throughout the playoffs and, especially, the first five minutes of the second half of Game 6 when his decision making resulted in him single-handedly dribbling, turning over the ball and bricking away control of the game to the Pistons, is it not time for the organization to finally admit that the answer to the point guard position (even the face of the organization) is not Kirk Hinrich? They need a real point guard and, if Hinrich is a keeper, he is a bench player with a prominent role in the rotation backing up both guard positions? --Eric Harrell, Crownsville, Md.
Chauncey Billips has now been lousy for the first three games of the conference finals against nobody, really. Kirk isn't perfect, but Deron Williams got his behind kicked by Tony Parker the first two games of that series and responded by scoring. This is much debated by Bulls fans and Kirk isn't perfect. But who exactly are you going to get and how? Mike Conley doesn't get to nine, and that would be starting over again and without the defender Kirk is. The only point guards--and Gilbert Arenas hardly is one the way he doesn't defend and shoots all the time, better in the East are Billups and Kidd. I think the Bulls have bigger issues to deal with.
Try to cut a deal with Atlanta. They desperately need a point guard. We need a power forward. Deal Hinrich and the No. 9 pick to Atlanta in exchange for No. 3 and Atlanta's No. 11. Draft Horford at 3 and a point guard at 11. --James Johnson, Elgin, Ill.
I think this is the ultimate fan fantasy as fans love the draft. I get the most mail during the year at draft time (and no extra pay). Let me say this slowly: N-O. You have to keep starting over with rookies. Oden is going to be terrific, but I don't see Portland making the playoffs next season. It took Shaq awhile. Horford is raw and a point at 11 would be a two-year step back. And with Ben Wallace, the Bulls have about a two-year window to get something done. The East is a mess if you've seen the conference finals. Time to go for it now.
Why are so many talking heads and fans suggesting that the Bulls need a "true" point guard? If you look at Kirk's numbers over his first four seasons compared to Billups he stacks up well. It took Chauncey's fifth team to realize he was special. Why can't Chicago fans wake up and realize what Team USA already knows? --Mike, Anchorage, Alaska
And living here we always thought our brains froze. If you could figure that out in Alaska shame on us. I think it's the short days in the winter that keep us from waking up and seeing these things.
What is with last-second shots in basketball? I just watched in horror as Lebron James held the ball at the top of the key in an attempt to win Game 2 of the conference finals. Whatever happened to running a designed play, perhaps some motion with Lebron coming off some screens, free him up like that? I've seen countless conclusions to hoops games (college and pro) where the final shot has become one guy holding the ball at the top of the key and driving left or right for the final shot. The other guys are spread out on the perimeter. It makes no sense. It takes no coaching ability to tell you best player to hold the ball and then drive. When did this trend happen? Even Jordan's game winners came of real plays, right? I think this has really dummy-downed hoops, agreed?Gordon Comstock, Skokie, Ill.
This is most exaggerated on the Cavs, who run few plays and have little offense. But you are right in that this does happen too often. Though when LeBron drove in Game 1 and passed everyone beat him up for it. There are some occasions to do this to make sure the other team doesn't get a last shot, but, yes, I'd like to see more action at those times and from the better coaches you will.
How does LeBron get away with knocking out Chris Webber like that and Kobe gets suspended twice for the same thing? --John, Washington, D.C.
That is a good question as LeBron got assessed a flagrant 2 on that mostly undetected shot in the conference finals, which should have meant ejection. The issue to me is the NBA should never have suspended Bryant. Or Stoudemire. Or Diaw. This is getting ridiculous and hurting the interest in the league. Favoritism? Still mad at Kobe for all the bad publicity for the Colorado case? It's just unequal justice in the NBA all the time, which is another reason it was bogus when the commissioner said he had to suspend Stoudemire.
You have to make a choice: Deron Williams/Carlos Boozer, or John Stockton/Karl Malone (the way they played together after 2-3 years). Whom do you pick? --Leonard Jones, Bolingbrook, Ill.
C'mon. Are you serious? No one will ever approach Stockton's assist records and Malone was a 25 and 10 guy for years and a brute force. Boozer is a nice player and good competitor, but nowhere near the player Malone was and Williams is getting a lot of publicity with a great conference finals, but isn't quite the tough guy Stockton was the way Stockton set picks and worked inside for such a small man. And Stockton was a great shooter who just chose not to shoot that much. Send me this question again in 10 years. Use a bigger font because I assume I'll be in assisted living by then.
What are the chances the Bulls would trade Ben and the ninth pick for Seattle's second pick? I would like to see Kevin Durant in a Bulls uniform. --Chris, Highland Park, Ill.
And you all make fun of me for my trades. No one is trading 1 or 2.
Why do 40-percent free-throw shooters like Wallace and Shaq not consider shooting underhand like Rick Barry. I assume they would be embarrassed by shooting underhand. However, shouldn't Ben be embarrassed enough by being the worst free throw shooter in the history of the game? --Jeff, Jupiter, Fla.
I guess if someone will pay you $15 million a year, you get over the embarrassment. Shaq has said it would be too embarrassing, though Barry never seemed to mind. What's forgotten is Barry was so good he could have shot them over his head and made 90 percent.
Speaking as an agent who would love to try to broker this deal, I'd like to defend Zach Randolph on each and everyone of these "alleged" incidents you mention in a . 1995 Thirty days in juvenile detention for shoplifting. This is included in most elementary curriculums nowadays anyway! High school years: Thirty days of house arrest for battery. He thought it meant, House Party 2, cause this was when Kid and Play was still hot. Thirty days in juvenile detention for receiving stolen property, a gun. But did he steal it??? NOPE 2002 Underage drinking arrest in Marion, Ind., his hometown. Who hasen't been arrested for underage drinking in INDIANA? 2003 Team suspension by the Trail Blazers for sucker-punching teammate Ruben Patterson in practice and breaking his eye socket. We should be thanking him for this one, Ruben has had it coming for a long time! 2003 Arrested in Portland for driving under the influence of intoxicants and marijuana. Is this really still a crime? 2004 Accused by police of lying in an investigation of his brother shooting three men in an Indiana nightclub. Blood is thicker than Bacon Grease!!! 2006 Suspended by the Trail Blazers for making obscene gestures to fans after a game in Indiana. Have you ever met a Pacers fan???? Please, let's keep this real! 2006 Sued by a Portland woman for sexual assault, though prosecutors didn't file criminal charges. The cops are lucky he didn't sue! 2007 Left a strip club without paying the bill while he was on bereavement leave from the team and missed three games after the death of his girlfriend's cousin. Sounds like the victim was Randolph here, I mean, the fact that a strip club had the nerve to actually charge him??? You know we are in hell, when strip clubs start making NBA players actually pay, what's next??? NFL players wont be able to murder their wives anymore?? 2007 Earlier this month, police were called to the parking lot of a strip club where Randolph and teammate Darius Miles were part of a gathering and a gunshot was fired. Duh, he was only there to pay his bill and apologize, when some fool recognized Darius Miles from his days down in Southern Illinois and wanted to give him a SHOUT out, not shots fired. So, you see, the whole story just got reported wrong. There's no video is there?The fact of the matter is, none of this would happen in Chicago, because, WE HAVE REAL CRIME IN CHICAGO. --Brian D. Culhane, Phoenix
I'll close with that one. Do you write for Letterman? Some believe in charity and good will. I like humor. Thanks.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times