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Timmy NOOOOOOO! She's only 14!!!!

By Michael Erler on February 29, 2008.

Hey, long time no posts. By now the SpursDynasty gang knows my situation. I kinda have a life now and I’m all kinds of busy on my fledgling journalism career, writing one, sometimes two stories a week. It’s grueling, my life. Just fucking grueling.

Anyway, if you want to catch up on my life and my thoughts on all things Spurs/NBA (before the trade), here you go: Boop.

As for our trade, even I, your humble grouch, have to give it a solid “B.” Here are the pros and cons, as I see it.

Pros:

- Death to Tinyball. We’re simply not very good at it. Of all our smalls, the best rebounder is the frail, skinny Argentine guy with the bus parked on his face. Brent was our smallball specialist (it seemed as if Pop only played him in this alignment) and he got exposed defensively more often than not. When we played small, we did so because a) our bigs sucked that game b) we were down 15+ points in the 2nd half or c) Pop was in one of his moods. Usually some combination of the three. Now, with a legitimate fourth big in the rotation, (not even counting The Red Rocket) chances are slim that three guys (RoHo/Fab-O/KT) will all suck simultaneously and force Pop’s hand.

- We didn’t trade for Ron Artest. I ignored the rumors at first, but the stronger they got, the more I started to get a tic on my right cheek. I can’t even rationally discuss how much his acquisition would have bothered me. Basically, it would have completely shattered my faith in what the Spurs stand for as an organization. And really just shattered my faith altogether. Right now God and I are pretty tight because I see that it was his infinite wisdom that led the cheating/arrogant/pompous Patriots to lose the Super Bowl. I mean, if they lost any old regular season game then yeah the Massholes wouldn’t have that UNDEFEATED caveat to throw around for the rest of our lives, but they’d still have an 18-1 season and a god forsaken fourth Super Bowl in seven years. Instead, God, the wacky prankster that He is, let them win the first 18 before smoting/embarrassing them on the ultimate stage and making the Pats look like a bunch of clowns (just like the ’06 Mavericks). Anyway, I’m pleased as punch that we didn’t tempt karmic fate and anger God by trading for that fucking psychopath.

- Frankie Van Missdunk is gone. Oh, thank Christ, the nightmare is over. I suppose we will never know whether Elson was just lazy, stupid, or just some demon who escaped the unspeakable atrocities of the seventh circle of hell just to torment us here on our plane of existence. It’s somewhat ironic that for a man gifted enough to be able to speak five languages fluently, that Elson just couldn’t come to some sort of understanding with his coaches, teammates or even at times, with the basketball itself. The Spurs playbook to him must look like what Greek text would look to us, right? I don’t know if he simply lacks the passion for the sport or he spends all of his off hours rocking the ganj, (he is from Holland, after all) but I grew weary of his listless, uncoordinated and most of all unintelligent play some time ago, and I imagine my patience with him far outlasted Pop’s. Not only will I not miss him, but my contempt for him has sunk to such depths that it’s a tick above wishing him personal bodily harm. In fact, yes, I kinda hope he twists his ankle some day. Nothing serious, just, you know, to keep him out a game or two and make him think about it. Don’t give me that look! He’s probably not even going to be in the league by this time next year.

- I LIKE Kurt Thomas. Always have. He’s a perfect Spurs-type player, solid but not flashy, more defensive than offensive oriented, a good team guy, and older than dinosaur poop. He’s an immense upgrade over Elson in every single way imaginable except his name isn’t as fun to say. Also, he also happens to have a funny shaped head, so really we’re not losing anything there in comic value. Thomas, while being a decidedly less explosive athlete than the dunk-flubbing Dutchman, has the advantage of a) experience (Kurt has logged over 21,000 NBA minutes where Elson has a couple ticks over 5,300) and b) having a fucking clue about what he’s doing.

Was Thomas’ “success” guarding Timmy last playoffs a little overrated? Of course it was. But he guarded Duncan as well as someone who is 6-9 240 and can’t jump possibly could. He certainly fared better than Amare ::giggles:: or Marion, the guy who supposedly was versatile enough to guard anyone of our big three equally well. You know who else is versatile enough to guard our big three equally well? Me. I guarantee I will stop all three of them with equal success.

(Eh, maybe technically I could “stop” Timmeh and Tony more because they’ll miss the occasional free throw. Against Manu, I’d be hopeless. Then again, I’m not fast enough to get close enough to Tony to foul him or strong enough to stop Timmeh from dunking on me while I hack him, so…)

- Manu is playing out of his mind. What does this have to do with the trade? Nothing. I just thought I’d mention that Manu is playing out of his mind. He’s having a career season in every category but dunks, shooting percentage and turnovers and has set single game career highs in rebounds, assists, steals, points in regulation, and times hit in the head or face area. John Hollinger gave him a nice little reach around this morning, and well, all feels right with the world.

Cons:

- No Brent Barry, duh! He was my third favorite Spur, but he never did quite get along with Pop, who tends to dislike players who can’t, you know, guard anybody. Unless they’re Michael Finley. But Fin has pictures of Pop doing something rather unmentionable with a bottle of Bordeaux, so he doesn’t count.

What does the loss of Barry mean? Less flair and imagination on offense, less 30 foot three point attempts, less laughter on the Spurs bench and team charter, and no more of those “no look except he’s totally looking” passes that fool nobody. I’m not quite sure what we lose with him gone, in terms of results. Yeah, we probably won’t have the ammunition to come back from 20 point deficits quite as easily, but with another quality defensive big, we probably won’t be down 20 anytime soon either. Personally, I’m upset that the Spurs lost one of their flashiest players, even though I know deep down that Barry was always more sizzle than steak. Now outside of Manu we’re more rough-and-tumble than ever and the network execs are going to groan even louder. Really, he’s like a scrub shooting guard version of Amare, he lights up the scoreboard for both sides: The Spurs score 5.3 more points per 100 possessions with him and give up 3.5 more on the other end. Is it any wonder why the Suns are making such a push for Bones? He’d fit right in there.

Mostly, I’m afraid that the loss of Brent will lead to more emceeing from Bruce Bowen for future Spurs ceremonies. Just the thought of it gives me chills. I’d rather see Bruce try to dribble coast to coast and finish with a lefty reverse lay-up than see him with another microphone in his hands. He’s not any good at that, why doesn’t anyone have the guts to admit this? It’s simply not his forte. I say next year we let the Red Rocket try it. Or Manu. In Spanish. I’m open to any alternatives.

Postscript:

I wrote almost all of this a few days ago and never had the chance to finish it. No
w it appears that Barry will come back to the Spurs after all. Obviously this would push the trade from a “B” to an “A++++++.” I wasn’t sure Barry would pick us over the Suns, where he would thrive in their system, but then last night I had a dream.

A very weird dream.

I was back in my grandparents’ house and I was hanging out with, of all people, Tim Duncan. Not Manu, people, but Tim Friggin’ Duncan. I’m as shocked as you are. And he told me personally that Brent was coming back. Anyway, we were bored, didn’t have much to do at the house (no video games) so I think we were playing darts.

Then Manolis’ 14 year old step-sister came into the room. And Timmy introduced himself and gave her kisses on both cheeks. But like loooooong kisses. Uncomfortably so, you know? I was getting creeped out, and it was just a dream.

That’s it, that’s all I remember.

Still, a good omen, right?

Anyway, I totally get why Brent took so long to make his decision. He must be royally pissed at Pop for the trade and I really do believe both sides when they say there were no Stackhouse style shenanigans going on here. I just wish there were, so there were no hurt feelings. Maybe Barry is just the greatest actor of all time. Maybe the Spurs saw how the Stackhouse drama went down and wanted to make sure that nobody in the league could accuse them of engineering the same thing. I just don’t think it went down that way, not quite.

I mean, I’m sure Sam Presti told Pop that he was going to waive Brent right away and that Pop knew all along he’d have a shot to re-acquire him, but I don’t think he cares that much either way. If he can get Brent back into the fold he will, but he’s not going to promise him playing time or a role or anything. Brent will have to earn his opportunities just like always. There are only three sacred cows on the team, Barry knows this. I think Pop knows Brent’s weaknesses as well as his strengths, and Plan B all along was to exploit him mercilessly on defense if Barry ever took the floor against the Spurs in the playoffs.

“We like you, we’d like to have you, but we don’t need you and we will beat you if it comes to that.”

Yeah, Pop’s sales pitch was probably a little warmer than that, but not a whole lot, I’d guess.

The Suns’ courting process, by contrast, I’m sure was considerably warmer. They probably promised him 25 minutes a night and the chance to handle the ball quite a bit and probably tried to appeal to his ego, asking him wouldn’t he like to shove it up Pop’s keister for dealing him away. But Brent’s no dummy. He knows the Spurs will always have the edge on the Suns as long as Pop coaches the former and D’Antoni the latter. One guy actually makes mid-game adjustments and uses his bench, the other guy strategizes by shouting “C’mon guys” a lot. It’s really a no-brainer. If you want to feel important and score a lot and be home with the family by the middle of May, pick the Suns. If you want to be a part of a TEAM and want to have a legitimate shot at winning another title, you pick the Spurs. For a guy with Brent’s basketball I.Q., this should be simple.

If the Spurs do get Barry, then this might be the most complete roster we’ve ever had. I mean, we’d have EVERYTHING. Bigs who can rebound, guard the post and can the 15 foot jumper. A wingman besides Bowen who can guard people in Udoka. A scoring back-up point guard. About eight guys who can bury a three (Manu, Bones, Fin, Mouse, Bruce, Ime, Horry, Bonner). We can play big, play small, play slow, play um… less slow. We’d be the only team with a decent chance of derailing the runaway freight train that are the Lakers.

Fuck I’m excited. I haven’t felt like this since 2005. A deep Spurs team, Manu going apeshit AND a daunting playoff field? This is gonna be crazy.

You know what I really want to see tonight? I want the Spurs to announce Barry’s signing right before tip. I want to see him wearing a suit wave to the crowd from the Spurs bench, basking in the standing ovation. I want to see Cuban shaking his head in disgust and the camera quickly panning over to get Stackhouse’s reaction. I want to see the Spurs crush the fucking Mavs. And I want to see Tony light up Kidd for 30.

(While Manu gets 31, naturally).

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Comments

  1. Anonymous February 29, 2008

    Thanks, stampler. Seriously, thanks bro. Just when, like every year at this time, I start worrying… God sends down an angelic message from your lips. The juices of excitement are flowing through my sack right now, bring on the playoffs.

    Good luck to you and good to read your writing again!!

    -SgtinManusArmy on PTR

  2. Dingo February 29, 2008

    Great post, Michael! It’s good to have you back.

    Last night’s game wasn’t quite as you fantasized it — Brent didn’t announce he was coming back; Manu and Tony only scored 17 and 10, respectively — but it was a nail-biting win over the new look Mavs and the Spurs 7th in a row.

    Do you really think we can beat “the runaway freight train that are the Lakers”? I sure hope so.

  3. Carlos March 2, 2008

    GO SPURS GO!
    What a march challenge is coming! i think the spurs will do it again this year, with manu on fire and tony re-loaded.

    MANU T-SHIRTS that rocks

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