Thursday, June 29, 2006

Total Despair By This Nuggets Writer

(FortCollins-CO) I had to take a minute to calm myself down before I sat down to write this article. The people in Nugget management have me in complete bewilderment as to what they are trying to do with this team. I was hoping to have good news to report after the draft concerning any trades or new personnel, but instead the Nuggets decided to trade quite possibly the biggest sleeper in the draft! Now they are in worse shape then they were after they humbly allowed the Clippers to win in five and if that wasn‘t enough they still don’t have a General Manager.
With the 49th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft the Denver Nuggets selected Leon Powe. Powe is a 6’8” power forward from University of California at Berkley who was featured as one of the top sleepers in the draft according to ESPN.com earlier this week. So naturally, since the Nuggets are notorious for blowing it on draft day, they traded their pick to Boston for another second round pick in next year’s draft. If they were just going to trade whoever was around late in the second round it should be no surprise to anyone that they wouldn’t have yet announced who the GM of this team is either. Anyone with a pulse could have just traded a guy like Powe to the Celtics and then had a coke and a smile. So, to recap this off season let me just remind everyone what the Nuggets have gotten accomplished; First, they (Being players and coaches) have publicly trashed each other’s styles and characters in the media. Second, have not signed Carmelo Anthony to any kind of contract. Third, have not traded Kenyon Martin nor signed Nene. Fourth, have not addressed the blatant deficiency at shooting guard. And finally, and most frustrating, is they draft and trade a power forward that could be a big time talent at the same time as being a cheap back up plan in the probable event that Nene or Kenyon Martin do get traded before the start of preseason camp in October.
Is Stan Kroenke purposely trying to sabotage this franchise? I have to ask because this is certainly no way to run a basketball team that is supposed to be committed to getting better in hopes of one day winning the NBA championship (Or at least getting out of the first round).
There is no good news, no good buzz on the street, and certainly no sense being made at this point for the Nuggets. Oh, but just in case your wondering, Julius Hodge is doing fine despite being shot numerous times after an altercation at a night club earlier this year and not being able to contribute for the Nuggets in anyway, shape, or form last season.
If the Nuggets and their management do not get the ball rolling in the right direction soon it is not going to amount to much success in next year’s campaign. Slipping into a cushy third seed isn’t going to happen next year. This is a team that is ready to perish like a poor villager at the foot of the great volcano as it erupts destructively all over the country side. Anything, and I do mean ANYTHING, at this point not concerning Shawn Kemp or any other riffraff that has been plaguing this team since about the All-Star break would seem like a wish granted.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Denver and Minnesota: KG Not Included

(FortCollins-CO) The latest rumor surrounding the Denver Nuggets and their volatile power forward Kenyon Martin involves the Minnesota Timberwolves, but does not include Kevin Garnett. Not that KG and Kenyon would have been a realistic trade to begin with. However, the potential trade does make me a little wet on the chops.
The rumored trade includes the shipping of Kenyon Martin to the Timberwolves for the duo of Marko Jaric and Ricky Davis. On the surface of this trade it would look like the Nuggets are getting a raw deal, but it is with deeper scrutiny that you can see the value.
The Nuggets need scoring, badly, and the addition of Ricky Davis could pay huge dividends in the long and short term pictures. Davis is coming off a season where he averaged 19.1 points per game and squeezed almost five boards. The Nuggets could desperately use a score-first guy at the two spot while Andre Miller continues to just be a pass-first kind of guy. Ricky Davis could potentially be that for the Nuggets.
Marko Jaric is also a player that could flourish within the Denver system. Jaric doesn’t put up awe-inspiring numbers, but what he does do is play solid defense for a point guard and contributes in the scoring column. Last season he averaged 7.9 points per game and 3.9 assists. Modest digits I know, but within the high octane offense of Denver those numbers are surely due to rise, even if slightly. He is also a career 33% from behind the arch, 200-600, and that helps Denver tremendously.
So if you do the math, and I’m sure some of you already have, that’s almost thirty points coming in to the Denver picture. While only giving up less than half of that, which Kenyon Martin was accountable for. Add Nene’s return on the boards and on defense and you got a scenario that would seem to work.
I like this trade because it addresses what problems the Nuggets have currently while keeping in mind who they have returning for next season. One thing that I hope isn’t retuning is the schizophrenic play and persona of Kenyon Martin. Doing this trade wouldn’t be that bad of an idea when all things are considered.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Nuggets Looking to Trade Up in Draft?

(FortCollins-CO) According to www.CelticsBlog.com , the Nuggets could be interested in trading Kenyon Martin to either Minnesota or the Knicks (Still with the Knicks talks) and Andre Miller to the Celtics in hopes of clearing up cap space and or moving up in the draft. How this all is supposed to work in favor of the Nuggets I'm not sure of, but I can try to make some sense of it for all the Nuggets fans who are perplexed at this point with this team.

So if the Nuggets were to get rid of Andre Miller and Kenyon Martin to the previously mentioned teams they would be able sign Carmelo Anthony to a max deal and potentially move up to the sixth draft slot currently occupied by the Timberwolves. If the T-Wolves were to do this, I would assume that the Celtics would be giving the Nuggets in return Wally Szczerbiak and hopefully Dan Dickau. But does this make the Nuggets better? Who is going to be around at the sixth selection in the draft, and are they going to be able to make an immediate impact? These are the questions that are going to need to be answered and not with talk, with wins!

The Nuggets, with the exception of drafting Carmelo Anthony, have been notoriously bad when it comes to drafting potential superstars. Back in 1998, the Nuggets selected Raef LaFrentz while overlooking players such as Dirk Nowitzki, Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter, and Paul Pierce. The year before that the Nuggets drafted Tony "El Busto" Battie while overlooking Tracy McGrady. I know that these incidents are a little in the rear view mirror at this point, but still, can the Nuggets afford another year where their top ten draft pick goes belly-up and puts the Nuggets back into a lottery situation? The answer to that is no, and with the players in this years draft, getting someone that is potentially not going to pan out is more than just speculation.

Only time will tell for the Nuggets, or shall I say, only wins...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nuggets Potentially Having a Big Man Yard Sale

(FortCollins-CO) When the free agency market opens up on July 1st, the Nuggets are going to have quite the list of players who are going to be eligible. Reggie Evans, Francisco Elson, DerMarr Johnson, Greg Buckner, and Nene will all be free agents in about a week. And don’t forget that Carmelo Anthony also is in need of some managerial maintenance.
The most intriguing story is probably the one shaping up at power forward. With Nene expected to make a return next year, the Nuggets have an overload at the four position. Francisco Elson, Reggie Evans, Nene, and the possible return of Kenyon Martin make the four the most confusing to sort out. Nene hasn’t played in a year, but keep in mind, he was a work in progress when he was playing. With Reggie Evans, you know what your going to get consistently night in and night out on the boards and on defense, but that also means that you sacrifice on the offensive end. When substituting Francisco Elson into the lineup you just flat out never know what your going to get, positive or negative. And Kenyon Martin is about as explosive as a C4 one night, but then may not play for the next three games.
The Nuggets obviously need to evaluate this power forward conundrum, and so do I.
With the most recent outburst in the Denver Post I do not think Kenyon Martin did himself any favors in relation to being in a Nuggets uniform next season. So assuming that he will not be back, and that Nene will be at least as productive as he was before he went down with the injury. It is only fair to assume that in this scenario Francisco Elson is going to be the odd man out. With Reggie, the Nuggets can rely on him to grab six or seven rebounds a game. Francisco just doesn’t have any seriously reliable aspect to his game. This is just one possible scenario that the Nuggets need to examine…
The next possible outcome that could come out from this tangle at the four is combining Nene’s potential and Kenyon Martin in a trade that sends both big men out of town. A lot of rumor has been spreading about the conditioning and continued progression of Nene, but what about if he comes back and its all just been a smoke screen for a guy that is held in warm regards, while his stat line is overlooked? Nene has always been capable of great things, but has certainly been in a transitioning phase from young talent to consistent contributor. If this kind of trade were to go through, the Nuggets would then have Elson and Reggie Evans, but hopefully a big time scorer in return for the aforementioned two. With a big time scorer now on the roster, Reggie Evans’s defensive attributes have that much more room to shine, and Francisco’s inconsistencies have a chance to right themselves as he improves.
Ahhh, to have a crystal ball would be nice, but if I can prescribe anything for the Nuggets right now it is to get back to business and get your dirty laundry from off the clothesline in the front yard. Both potential scenarios have their down faults. Lets hear some comments on both.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mutiny On Nugget Ship: Coach Karl vs. Players vs. Players

(FortCollins-CO) Make it an off season of total dissention for the Denver Nuggets. The Denver Post reports that one Nugget has gone public when asked about George Karl’s coaching style as saying, "George's style is a smart-ass fashion. George never takes the blame. He can be an egotistical (jerk). Guys by the end of the year had had enough of it. It showed in the playoffs."
In return to that comment Karl retorted with this statement, “I tell them things in a lot of different fashions. Smart-ass is one way. Most things are told first one on one. If they refuse to listen, I go to something else. I go back to our first meeting as a reference. I'll ask them in front of the team. Is it my job to push players to be the best or let them be soft? My job is not to be liked. My job is to push them to win. A lot of times players just want it one way. Sorry. I'm going to attack things that affect my basketball team. Sure, I know my ego."
To make things even more complex another anonymous Nugget has said this in his coaches defense. “All of the guys on this team are overly sensitive. And quite a few of them are very immature."
So now not only do we have players that don’t care for the coaching style of George Karl, but we have players who don’t care for one another too. Players that don’t like other players, players that don’t care for coaches, players sidling with coaches is not the way to progress in the right direction in the off season. This team is like a house of cards right now just waiting for the hurricane beacon to sound.
What about trade rumors circulating around obtaining a shooting guard or what is happening with the Kenyon Martin situation? Or even better still… How about keeping clubhouse comments in the clubhouse and not airing your dirty laundry in the media. I wish I could say that the next bit of Nuggets information is going to be good, but its looking like the contrary.

Historical Glimpses: John “Spider” Salley

(FortCollins-CO) This installment of Historical Glimpses focuses on one of the NBA’s finest stars on and off the court. A player of such caliber knew what it took to be a winner. Whether he was a main component of a championship campaign or just a role player, John “Spider” Salley knew what dynamics to bring to a true team concept by understanding his role in any given situation. As a result, he was the first player to win NBA championships with three different teams, including back-to-back rings with the Detroit “Bad-Boy” Pistons, the best regular season record setting Chicago Bulls, and the Los Angeles Lakers until Robert Horry joined him in that category just recently. Known for his long reach and jumping ability, John “Spider” Salley is the recipient of this installment of Historical Glimpses.
Salley was born in Brooklyn, New York and attended legendary Canarsie High School. After his high school days were over, John took his game to the Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech. What he accomplished at Georgia Tech was nothing short of spectacular. John Salley would finish his career with the Yellow Jackets as the All-Time leading shot blocker in school history, while having averages of 33.6 minutes per game played, field goal percentage of 58.7%, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.9 blocks, and 12.7 points. In conclusion of his years at Georgia Tech, the institution honored Salley by raising his number 22 to the rafters, enshrining his accomplishments forever.
With the eleventh pick in the 1986 NBA Draft the Detroit Pistons selected Spider to a team that would set the all-time standard in what it meant to be tough. Two years after finishing the regular season 46-36 and drafting the “Spider“, Salley and a tremendous supporting cast were finishing the regular season 63-19 and were poised to win the NBA Championship in a legendary battle with the Los Angeles Lakers. At this point, the Pistons had created a name for themselves by playing some of the most tenacious defense the league had ever seen, or has seen since. Aptly dubbed the, “Detroit Bad Boys”, they squared off against Magic and Kareem of the Los Angeles Lakers after sweeping their way to the Finals. After the previous season’s heartbreak against the Lakers in game seven of the Finals, the Pistons were not going to be denied. The “Bad Boys” swept the Lakers and ruined Kareem’s farewell tour. That concluded a playoff run of sweeping three different ball clubs and only losing two games in total to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. No Piston player finished in the top 20 in scoring, or top ten in free throw percentage, steals, blocked shots, or three-point field goals made. It was truly a team concept and its no surprise that John Salley was an intricate part of something as such.
Next year would be only slightly different, but with the same end result for Spider and the Pistons. The Pistons still didn’t have any player post in the top five of any statistical category, except for Joe Dumars in free-throw percentage. But would still win the NBA Championship at the season‘s conclusion, with their only true test being the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals. Not many players in NBA history are part of back-to-back championships with the same team. Salley was now in that elite category in only his third year in the league. Salley would continue to play for the Pistons for two more years and at the time of his trade to the Miami Heat he was fourth on the Pistons All-Time blocks list.
Salley played three seasons for the Heat and would leave the franchise in similar fashion to how he departed the Pistons. Only this time he would finish third on the franchise All-Time s blocks list as he was traded in the expansion draft to the Toronto Raptors in 1995.
Maybe spiders don’t like the cold, or that the Chicago Bulls knew that Salley was just the team player that they needed to win 72 games in 1996, but John only stayed up north for 25 games before the Bulls acquired him on their way to the NBA Championship. Salley now had three rings on his resume and retired after the 1996 season. He had been player representative for the NBA’s Player Association while with the Pistons, Heat, and Raptors, a consistent winner, and tremendous teammate while fulfilling different roles with different teams. A story book career indeed, but Salley’s story wouldn’t be complete without some tangled webbing, remember he is the Spider…
After dabbling in the entertainment industry and taking a three year hiatus from basketball, Salley returned to the league at the midway point with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that he had once played a part in defeating, to embody the concept of team. His role with the Lakers can be summed up by his newest moniker with the team. Referred to as, “Sensei”, because of his wisdom and success. He would teach the Lakers what it takes to be the NBA Champions. Salley had now won his fourth ring, with three different teams, and had been the first player to ever do so.
Named, “Best Interview in the NBA”, three consecutive years by the Associated Press is no surprise either. John has been an effective communicator on a team level his entire career and it is no surprise that he is continued his success in the world of entertainment. Since his second retirement, John “Spider” Salley has been a co-host on the Fox Sports Net show, “The Best Damn Sports Show Period”, and has continued to be a hot commodity for cameos on other television shows and movies. Salley is also a motivational speaker and an inspiration for young people all over the world. There is not a destination too far for the Spider to speak at, and if there is a positive influence to be made he is always there. His career resume reads like this: Four NBA championships with averages of seven points per game, 1.2 assists, and 4.5 rebounds. He finished his career with 983 blocks and will always be remembered for his long reach swatting balls into the first, second, and third row of seats. Salley was a winner. He knew what it took to win and knew how to execute and lead his team with an often times silent confidence rarely duplicated. A player with many talents is why John “Spider” Salley is this installment of Historical Glimpses.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Martin Speaks Out and Adds New Twist To Saga

(Fort Collins-CO) The Denver Nuggets and Kenyon Martin have officially taken off the gloves and are now in a verbal slug fest in the local media. Martin has now given his side of the story as to what happened over a tremendously frustrating season that concluded with his suspension and termination as a Nugget for the 2005-06 season. The quotes in this story are taken from http://www.hoopshype.com/ and The Denver Post. Personally, if this doesn’t mean the end of the Kenyon Martin saga, maybe nothing will.

First, lets take a look at what Martin says was a surprise benching by Karl in the series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Martin states, "George never told me I was not going to play." He goes on elaborating about how it all played itself out by saying, “I was shocked. He put me in the last of the first quarter. He put me in late in the second quarter. Both times for just small minutes. I'm sitting there thinking any minute I'm going back in the game. We were getting down further and further. I was (upset). I went to the locker room at halftime. I had made up my mind. I couldn't take it anymore. I had had all I could take. Here this was happening in the biggest moment of the season. I told George he didn't have to play me. I went off. Maybe I handled the situation wrong. But look what led to that."

Look what led to that? Does someone need to remind Kenyon Martin that George Karl is the coach and that he doesn’t have to be consulted in regards to any playing time decisions? But, the beauty of it all is there is more to the story.

Martin goes onto further explain that his anger wasn’t just with Karl, but also with certain teammates. "The thing happened with George in the hallway," Martin said. "The coaches were in the hallway talking about the game. It was not an exchange. It was me talking and the coaches listening. I had my say to George. Then I went into the locker room and had my say with the players. Yes, it was full of cuss words both times.”
So now not only do coaching decisions have to be run by Kenyon before hand, but he is also some kind of player-coach capable of negatively evaluating his supporting cast. Evidently, I missed that portion of his contract because I had no idea he was such a multi-faceted individual. I just thought he was signed to play basketball.

Just when you would of thought that it would have been a totally coup against Kenyon Martin after the aforementioned tirades. Kenyon then illustrates what happened as the halftime period ended and an unlikely supporter surfaced. Kenyon Martin said, “Coach Grgurich stayed with me in the locker room, I understand team play. I am not a quitter by any means. He said: 'Don't do this to the team. Guys need you. Guys need you. And if you don't go out there, I'm not going, either. I'm going to stay right here with you.' I had taken off my jersey, tape, socks, shoes. This man picked them all up for me and gave them to me. It hurt real bad. I appreciated what he did.”

Obviously, Coach Grgurich wasn’t one of the coaches that was subject to the profanity rich altercation in the hallway to the locker room. Now if that isn’t enough drama for your liking toss these two statements regarding Kenyon Martin into the mix. Bret Bearup, a confidant and adviser of Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke's, offered this about Martin and Karl: "You've got two people with two different views. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong? I think there is enough blame to go around." One of Martin's teammates offered this harsh analysis of the Nuggets' highest-paid player: "Kenyon was not playing a lot but was in the locker room encouraging guys to 'get tough, get ready.' We were listening and thinking of a guy who was out partying last night, on his feet, but does not practice and play. There is the perception that Kenyon does not want to be a professional. Are you really hurt? Kenyon is obnoxious, ignorant, boisterous."

Sounds to me like total dissent for Kenyon Martin, but Martin also comments about not being very popular with his teammates. Even around the holidays. There was a Christmas party he threw where only a handful of players showed up and Martin supposedly was upset. Martin said he threw the party for guys who did not have families in town and needed a place to go. I could go on and on and on, but the bottom line analysis is this; Kenyon Martin needs to be traded immediately. The Nugget faithful deserve much better than this circus of affairs surrounding a single player. The saga has gone far enough, and it is time to regretfully move on to rebuilding from this mistake of management for the sake of the future. Finding a realistic trade is going to be the hardest part, because at this point, I don’t see many teams looking to adopt a problem like Kenyon Martin.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Nuggets Seriously Looking At Local Talent

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets have reportedly been very seriously considering drafting local talent Louis Amundson from Monarch High School in Louisville, Colorado. Amundson attended UNLV after his high school playing days were over and has impressed many of the Nuggets coaching staff while working out in Denver. The Nuggets do not have a first round pick and are hoping that Amundson is still available when the 49th pick rolls around. Amundson is big on the boards, measuring in a 6'9" and 225 lbs, with a season high 21 rebounds against Hawaii. For the 2005-06 season at UNLV, Louis averaged 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds in 28 minutes per game. If Amundson is around this late in the draft, don't be surprised if the Nuggets select this local talent.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nuggets Balk at Garbage Trade Offers

(FortCollins-CO) I have been keeping my ear close to the streets on the whole Kenyon Martin fiasco since day one and the only thing that I have at this point is my worst nightmare. Of all the speculated trades that have been offered for the disgruntle forward. www.hoopshype.com reports that the Nuggets have laughed at all the aforementioned offers and referred to them as 'Junk'. If the Nuggets are not able to trade for anyone of real value. The Nuggets are going to be stuck with Martin next year. If this does happen, the optimistic way of looking at the situation is to hope that Martin breaks out of this mediocre funk that was his 2005-06 season and plays like a player with a 70 million dollar contract. A tall order indeed. More likely is the chance that he will continue to be a negative vortex that only plays in select games due to his knee injury and cause negative team chemistry. More to come as soon as more is available...

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Historical Glimpses: Adrian Delano Dantley

(FortCollins-CO) 23,177 points and 5,455 rebounds during a fifteen-year career is why I am choosing to focus this edition of Historical Glimpses on one of the most under-appreciated and under-recognized players for his accomplishments while having such longevity in the NBA. He is known simply as “A.D.”. His numbers are staggering and his controversial wait to be enshrined into the NBA Hall of Fame is one of the longest stories running. If you’re not familiar with the Adrian Dantley story be prepared to evaluate the small forward position differently from this point on.

Adrian Dantley was born in Washington, DC and began his ball-playing career at proverbial powerhouse DeMatha Catholic High School. No one thought at this point in his career that he would be much of a basketball player because of his 6’4” height and 245 pound weight. Friends and classmates even gave him the nickname of “Baby Huey” because of his size. When they should have realized that the defining attribute of Adrian was his work ethic. Stories ranging from practicing twice a day to having his own gym key are just mere tips of the iceberg when trying to grasp the dedication and focus possessed by “Baby Huey”. During his high school career at DeMatha, Adrian would use that work ethic to amass a record of 57 wins and only two defeats and would be honored as a high school All-American in 1972. His next stop was the University of Notre Dame.

There was no reason to stop achieving great things for Adrian and he continued to do so. While at Notre Dame, he averaged 25.8 points per game and was named Collegiate All American twice. He would enter the NBA in the 1976 draft after his junior year. Selected sixth overall by the Buffalo Braves, Dantley was about to put his mark on the small forward position at the highest level.

During his rookie year with the Braves Dantley was nothing short of spectacular. Dantley averaged 20.3 points per game, 7.6 rebounds, and nearly two assists. He was an instant offensive explosion and scored at an unbelievably efficient rate of 52% from the field. He also shot 582 free throws in that rookie season and made 81% from the charity stripe. With a breakout season, Adrian was named Rookie of the Year in 1977. This was merely a glimpse of what was to come…for the next 14 years!

Adrian continued his success in the NBA and only got better as the years went by. Before his fourth year in the league he was traded to the Utah Jazz. With the Jazz, Dantley would catapult his scoring averaged all the way to 28 points per game and was still grabbing better than seven boards every time he stepped on the floor. This type of exhibition were going to be the types of games Adrian was going to have for next seven years in a row. The following four years Adrian would average just above 30 points per game while squeezing approximately six rebounds, not to mention winning the scoring title twice! First in the 1980-81 season and again in the 1983-84 season.

The beauty of A.D.’s game was that he didn’t just have one dimension that he beat you with night in and night out, but rather his total mastery of the game’s intangibles. Adrian was one of the best at drawing his man up in the air with a perfectly timed head fake and was strong enough to finish the play and go to the line. Just as headily as he would draw his defender up in the air was how it seemed that he never took a bad shot. One of Dantley’s calling cards was how he always shot a high percentage from the field. A.D.’s career field goal percentage is a staggering 54%. You would think a guy with career averages of 24.3 points, 5.7 boards, and three assists would be a shoe in for the Hall of fame, right? With a NBA honors resume that reads All-NBA second team in 1981 and ’84, Rookie of the Year in 1977, Olympic gold medal in the 1976 games, NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1984, and seven-time NBA All-Star in during the 1980, ’81, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, and ’86 seasons it would appear to be a no-brainer concerning inducting Adrian Dantley into the Hall of Fame, but yet he keeps getting overlooked. This is where the controversy surrounding how great of a player A.D. lies.

The opposing arguments keeping A.D. out of the Hall of Fame stem from the fact that he played for seven teams during his 15-year stint in the league. Adrian was also evaded by the NBA championship during that span as well. The final attempt to persuade basketball fans from appreciating Dantley’s greatness was that he played during an era when there was an overabundance of small forwards that could score.

All of the aforementioned are completely legitimate arguments based upon fact, but the one thing that needs to be understood is that not a single one of them takes anything away from the player that Dantley was. He deserves to be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, case closed. Don’t believe me, just read the three paragraphs before this one!
Adrian Dantley is currently still involved with the NBA today. He is an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets, which is even more reason for this installment of Historical Glimpses. Not that I needed it, because Adrian Dantley has truly given basketball a measuring stick for greatness at the small forward position. It is just that much more telling of what type of player, coach, and person Adrian “A.D.” Dantley was and is. I believe that a collective sigh of relief will be taken when A.D. gets inducted, but until that day is here, it is merely a matter of when, not if.

GM Fix-It Update

(FortCollins-CO) The GM Fix-It sports journalism contest that I entered has informed me that I have made the top twelve and my entry will be viewable at, http://nbagmfixit.vsport.tv/, on Monday June 12th. If you have enjoyed what I have written, please feel compelled to vote for my entry at the aforementioned site. The rest of the competition will be viewable in reverse draft order, making mine the first because Denver has no first round pick this year, until the 28th of June. Then the votes will be tallied and a winner will be chosen. Thanks to my readership, sponsors, and supporters for everything that goes into making this possible.

Monday, June 5, 2006

The Rumor Mill is Spinning Out of Control

(FortCollins-CO) The rumor mill is now officially spinning out of control. The newest rumor to surface is that Andre Miller may be on his way back to Cleveland in return for Drew Gooden and Eric Snow. The hardest part for me to believe, assuming here for a minute that there is legitimacy to this rumor, is that the Nuggets are even remotely interested in any power forward short of Kevin Garnett. The Nuggets currently have Reggie Evans, Kenyon Martin, Eduardo Najera, Nene, and Linas Klieza. Correct me if I am wrong here, but don' t the Nuggets need help around the three-point arch while hopefully getting rid of Kenyon Martin?

I will be keeping an extremely close eye on Nuggets front office all week long, as I feel that the shopping around the league for personnel changes should get hectic real soon...

Are The Nuggets Looking At Shawn Kemp?

(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets have given Shawn Kemp the opportunity to perform at their free agent camp. The former All-Star hasn't played in three years and during that time has been fighting addictions to alcohol, cocaine, and marijuana. The New York Post reported that while playing for the Supersonics that Kemp had an alcohol problem. Shortly after those reports, Kemp checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic for cocaine related problems in 2001. Since then he has been arrested in the Seattle area in 2005 with small amounts of cocaine and marijuana in his car. By the way, this is all while ballooning up to almost 340 pounds.
Now Shawn Kemp is trying to live right and return to the NBA. The only question is this; Is the one time awe-inspiring big man worth the risk of maintaining a roster spot after all the skeletons in his closet are brought out for a dusting? The answer to that is maybe. Here is why.
Kemp was an All-Star six times during his prime days with the Seattle Supersonics. He has been around the block and he knows what it takes to play in this league at a high level. Furthermore, Nugget coach George Karl has personal insight to the man that Kemp is at heart. Karl made this statement when asked about Shawn Kemp. Karl replied, "Shawn always had a good heart, he just now seems a little more clearer, little more matured and more together."
Kemp also has some other personal ties to Nugget management. Director of player personnel Mark Warkentien recruited Kemp to UNLV. Nuggets assistant Tim Grgurich also helped Kemp develop all that raw talent out of Trinity Valley Community College into a headlining career.
In all honesty though, why would the Nuggets be looking at a guy like Shawn Kemp when they have Nene hopefully making a return to the team, a disgruntle situation with Kenyon Martin, and a slew of other forwards including Reggie Evans on their roster?
The answer is that Kemp would not cost much to obtain and maybe, just maybe, might have a good year coming off the bench. The Nuggets would only have to cough up $744,551 for a one-year deal, which is essentially nothing. But just because a guy loses 70 pounds doesn't constitute a full-fledge comeback in my book. If that kind of mentality was in place, why not try and lure guys like David Robinson or Charles Barkley back to the locker room? Plus, I heard that Dennis Rodman was still vying for minutes in some type of summer league...
My mind is still playing with potential offers to propose league wide for Kenyon Martin. Shawn Kemp is going to be around later in the summer and could potentially be a nice addition just inches away from starting pre-season, but for now, I think that the Nuggets need to concentrate on making big moves, not nostalgic ones.

Thursday, June 1, 2006

Nuggets Announce Pre-Season Game In Mexico


(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets announced yesterday that they will be playing the Golden State Warriors in Monterrey, Mexico on October 14th. The game will be held at the Arena de Monterrey. This game marks a homecoming for Nuggets forward Eduardo Najera who is a native of Mexico and only the second Mexican-born player to play in the NBA. Najera had this statement when asked about playing in front of a home crowd. "It is an honor to serve as a global ambassador for the NBA and the Nuggets while playing before my hometown fans,” said N├íjera. “We will be proud to represent the NBA in a very positive way while providing local fans in Monterrey with a great game and first-class sports entertainment.” What's not to love about Najera? The guy is all hustle on the floor and a class act off.

Denver Nuggets Invite Coach Karl's Son To Work Out


(FortCollins-CO) The Denver Nuggets worked out George Karl's only son this week. Coby Karl is a junior at Boise State University averaging 17.2 points per game last season and he has had recent brushes with cancer. The most recent being just three weeks ago when Coby underwent chemotherapy for thyroid cancer. Coach Karl isn't quite sure if Coby is ready for the NBA, but believes that his son will have a pro career in some capacity. Good Fortune for Coby is that he still has a senior year to return to. Coby will be working out for the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Supersonics, and the Washington Wizards after the Denver Nuggets. When Coby was asked about potentially playing for his dad. He had this in reply, "I think he could do wonders with me. He knows me probably better than anyone so that would be an advantage, but that's in a dream world."