Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shark Jumpers Of The NBA

The expression 'jumping the shark' usually refers to a defining moment when something/someone/someplace has turned a corner, gone from great to awful, relevant to meaningless, and can never be reconciled or repaired again.

Last year, we saw AI tumble from grace during his disastrous stint with the lying, deceitful Detroit Pistons, who promised him a rose garden and gave him a public reaming instead. This year, the Grizzlies made a big show of introducing him, sold some tickets, then stuck him on the bench. Predictably, he flipped out, made a fool of himself, and is currently no longer with the team. Or the league, for that matter. Funny to think that two years ago, Iverson had a 50 point game with Denver.

Elton Brand's doing some hardcore sharkjumping of his own at the moment. Looking slower than a tree sloth and about as athletic as Chuck Nevitt, Brand's disappearing before our very eyes, eclipsed by the emerging Marreese Speights. I don't understand why Philly brought Brand there in the first place. It's a team full of slashers who want to run and attack the rim. The last thing they need is a lumbering, undersized big clogging up the paint.

Don Nelson has the rare opportunity to become the winningest and most hated coach in history DURING THE SAME SEASON. This year's Warriors are dreadful and he appears to be doing absolutely zero coaching, unless you count stunting the growth of Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow as some kind of tough-love psychological ploy.

Gilbert Arenas had a 12 turnover game last night. Yeah. His 2-6 Wizards, despite hiring Flip Saunders and adding Randy Foye, are still garbage. Yes, they're missing Antawn Jamison but it's not like they're losing nail-biters; they're getting their asses kicked by double digits every night. And when that happens, players making 100 million bucks tend to get blamed. And traded.

Not hearing too many people referring to (the corpse formally known as) James Posey as a 'glue guy' anymore. Dude's a mannequin out there. A ghost. I ripped Danny Ainge for letting him go after Boston won the ring two years ago. My bad. It doesn't feel good to admit that Danny Ainge is smarter than I am. It burns, actually. It burns.

Mike Bibby said before the season that he was going to be more of a facilitator this year. Maybe he doesn't know what the word 'facilitate' means because he's averaging less than 4 assists and getting routinely roasted by every opposing player he 'guards.' His minutes are evaporating as shot-happy Jamal Crawford fills in the void. Because the team is 5-2, the Atlanta fans aren't calling for Bibby's head...yet. But there's no question his game and desire have fallen off a freaking cliff.

Speaking of fans (or lack thereof), I'm seeing some pretty large sections of empty seats in almost every arena, even for teams that are doing well. And the season's less than a month old. Not a good sign. Instead of focusing on individual players who've jumped the shark, maybe I should be talking about the entire league outside of Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, Portland, Dallas and LA.

Pictured: OG Shark Jumper, Fonzie (and bitchen action figure)

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