Friday, February 22, 2008

Big Ben is gone!

The Bulls, as close to imploding as they are (if they haven't already), made a big move earlier today, trading away Big Ben Wallace to Cleveland as part of an 11-player deal also involving Seattle.

In the deal, according to the Chicago Tribune:

The Cavs get Wallace, Joe Smith and a second-round pick from the Bulls as well as Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West from the SuperSonics. The SuperSonics gets Adrian Griffin from the Bulls and Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall from Cleveland. The Bulls in return get Larry Hughes, Drew Gooden, Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown from Cleveland. Of course, this is assuming the league, which K.C. Johnson of the Tribune expects it will.

In the end, this could be a good deal, but it has its bad points.

First, the
Bulls give up on Wallace, who was brought in before the 2006-07 season for $60 million from the Pistons. Big Ben produced 6.4 points and 10.7 rebounds a game in his first year as a Bull, but dropped to 5.1 points and 8.8 boards this year. He had expected to be the missing piece in providing a quality big man to push Chicago back into championship contention since the Michael Jordan era.

The Bulls also lose out on Joe Smith, who was averaging 11.2 points a game and providing some nice stability and veteran leadership to a young team.

Both those guys go to defending conference champs Cleveland, who are currently fifth in the playoff seeding. Lebron James gets a solid big man to help him on the boards, and they get that same veteran leadership.

In return, the Bulls gets center Drew Gooden and guard Larry Hughes. I used to hate Gooden with a passion while I was attending Iowa State and he was starring at Kansas. Of course, I could probably say the same for Kirk Hinrich, and look where he wound up. Gooden was averaging 11.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. The Bulls trade a couple of rebounds for some more scoring than they had with Wallace. Plus, Big Drew is seven years younger than Wallace, and will be able to contribute more on a young team.

Larry Hughes could work or not (how's that for decisive!). The 9-year veteran is averaging 12.3 in 32 minutes a game, but is shooting about 38 percent from the field. His shot selection has been so horrid at times that a Cavs fan site called "Hey Larry Hughes, Please Stop Taking So Many Bad Shots" with the actual address of was created (and they are now celebrating). Plus, Hughes has a monstrous contract ($12.3 million) and could push out Ben Gordon, who is a restricted free agent after this season. Plus Hinrich makes $10 million next season, Johnson said in the Tribune, so this is getting expensive.

It's a matter of waiting and seeing if owner Jerry Reinsdorf has raised the white flag a
gain with John Paxson.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Giants win Super Bowl!

Do you believe in miracles? The Giants have won the Super Bowl!

A contrast of two competing towns at Super Bowl XLII. First we have the front page of the Web site for the New York Daily News:

Then we have the front page of the Boston Globe, lamenting the end of the Patriots' run for a perfect season:

The New York Daily News's Gary Myers already is punching in with his 2008 predictions.

My question, though, is what will Bill Simmons and the Boston-loving bunch at ESPN say about this Monday. We can only wait and see.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Super Bowl predictions

Super Bowl XLII is upon us, and it’s time for some predictions:

-- The Fox pre-game show will last a record 63 hours, leaving studio Terry Bradshaw sputtering like Dan Rather during coverage of the 2000 presidential election.

-- Bill Belichick will swipe his NFL-required game sponsored clothing with some homeless guy he meets in downtown Phoenix. The homeless guy is last seen hitching to Vegas wearing an ad for Reebok.

-- Tom Coughlin will attempt to crack an Elvis-type smile, and wind up on the Giants’ injured list.

-- During the national anthem, Fox will show the first of its 964 shots of Tom Brady’s girlfriend, model Giselle Bundchen.

-- The first of 23 replays of Peyton Manning winning last year’s Super Bowl will be shown, causing every Bears fan in Chicago to angrily swear under their breath at Rex Grossman.

-- The 1972 Miami Dolphins are spotted in the north end zone, rapidly stabbing the right shoulder of voodoo dolls of Brady.

-- Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison gets the first of his three game misconduct after slapping Giants QB Eli Manning who kept asking him about performance-enhancing drugs.

-- Manning’s father and former Saints QB Archie Manning, especially after he storms the field to defend his son from Harrison. Harrison retaliates by wearing a paper bag on his head.

-- Oh yeah, and the game. The Patriots will narrowly achieve their perfect season, winning the game 20-19 after Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes invokes memories of Scott Norwood and misses a game winning 46-yard field goal that sails wide right.