Now that the trade deadline has passed, what was the most interesting move that did or did not happen?
Brian Benjamin: In a wide open lockout shortened season where's my all-star trade? I was surprised to not see any trades for big name players to try to push a contender over the edge. Although the most interesting trade to me was Denver giving up Nene after signing him to a big deal over the summer. JaVale "Blooper Reel" McGee isn't a game-changer for this team. The real purpose might be to free up more minutes for rookie Kenneth Faried.
Luke Hasskamp: Well, since I live in L.A., and have to put up with insufferable Lakers fans on a daily basis, I'll go with the Ramon Sessions trade. People out here love talking about how this is the move the Lakers needed to make for a legitimate playoff run. (They also love those flying those little Lakers flags from their cars.) Lakers fans are very excited about the two games Sessions has played with the Lakers. "Perfect fit!" God damn it, I am so sick of hearing about the Lakers.
What I do find interesting is how many people seem to actually miss Derek Fisher. Some folks out here were legitimately pissed about losing him, which is kind of hilarious because he was pretty shitty this year, and left-handed. And seeing Fisher demand a buyout from Houston is pretty classic. I hate the effing Lakers
Jacob Greenberg: I mean, sorry, but it's the Monta trade, and what that transaction has meant for the overall culture and direction of the franchise under new(ish) owner Joe Lacob. The fans have spoken, and the honeymoon phase with new owner Joe Lacob has officially ended. While it's true that Lacob has only owned the team for 18 months, Warriors fans have watched this debacle for 18 years, and only gotten one playoff berth to show for it. Lacob is right: winning solves everything. So he'd better win, because though this my be his first tabula rasa trade, it's my...well, I've seen them wipe the slate clean too many times. This is a make or break moment for Joe Lacob, and I have no idea how things are going to turn out.
Omar Bagnied: As a DC native I was happy to see blooper savants Javale McGee and Nick Young get shipped out. I feel bad for Nene. Nobody thrives in DC.
The trade deadline is also the unofficial start to Tankapalooza 2012. Does the NBA need to do anything to prevent tanking?
Brian Benjamin: To begin, I don't think players will ever try to tank. These guys are competitors. They don't know how to tank. The owners and GMs on the other hand will sometimes create a situation for their team to not be very successful in the short term. And sometimes it's hard to bring your A-Game every night when you keep losing by 20. If the owners want to lose out on ticket sales for this season and next for a chance (not a guarantee) at getting a higher draft pick which gives you a chance (not a guarantee) of drafting a future all-star then so be it. No changes needed.
Luke Hasskamp: I don't care about tanking. I do not think it's a problem, and the lottery already diminishes any incentive to tank. Plus, the lottery is rigged anyway. We all know this. See Minnesota Lottery Picks: 1990 - Present.
Jacob Greenberg: Tanking's such an ugly word. Can we call it something like, Professional Basketball Bankruptcy? It's not really about paying debts to creditors, but instead, restructuring your franchise to put yourself into a better position to succeed on a number of fronts. Much like Chapter 7 bankruptcy, Professional Basketball Bankruptcy requires a team to liquidate its assets and scale back its operations to be able to get it to a place where it can rebuild its financial and competitive foundations. And, much like real bankruptcy, Professional Basketball Bankruptcy requires the team to be smarter and more responsible with their remaining (and future) assets wisely. Everyone makes mistakes. If you succeed afterwards, all is forgiven.
Omar Bagnied: Despise tanking. Why do you exist as an NBA franchise if your goal is not to win games? Whoever does this should be relegated to whatever league the Harlem Globetrotters play in, and assume the role of 'that other team'. Tanking is unfair to every fan that paid money for a game ticket. The Warriors made the decision to tank when they traded Ellis last week, and the fans audibly assaulted Lacob like he owed them money (and he does). And I loved it. I hope this catches on. Fans across the league should demand refunds and cease attendance until management proves their goal is to win.
There's not much the league can do to prevent tanking. I think giving the worst team the highest percentage at the first pick is as right as it can be. To be honest, the NFL can learn something from the NBA's lottery system.
The Diss. favorite Steve Nash is still in Phoenix. Where will he play next year, and will he ever win that title?
Brian Benjamin: If Nash is in Phoenix next off-season I will have lost some respect for him. The guy needs a championship to complete his career and I don't want him settling for mediocrity. I see him in Orlando, Miami, or Dallas next year. But I think he'll only win one if he takes the veteran minimum in Miami.
Luke Hasskamp: Steve Nash will never win a title. He's like Charles Barkley. Though, unlike Charles Barkley, he will remain with the Suns for the remainder of his career. I guess he's just a really loyal guy, which is pretty cool, but I still would have liked him to get his.
Jacob Greenberg: Eh, he's playing in Phoenix. I've given up all hope of Steve Nash being traded. He doesn't really seem to be wired like other magnanimous players. Fulfillment for him seems to come from playing with guys he likes, with a renowned training staff that he trusts, in a city that he's comfortable in. Championships don't seem to be the measuring stick in the mind of Ol' Stevie, and I'd bet he's just pretty happy with how spectacular his career turned out. We've all got to get used to the way Steve thinks -- honestly, it's a sort of refreshing mindset in today's NBA.
Omar Bagnied: My man, Steve Nash. He just keeps ballin'. He's got Phoenix gunning for that 8-spot. I'll enjoy seeing him finish out this season with the Suns. He's still got a couple seasons left in him. I don't want to see him go down the Gary Payton/Karl Malone route and go to a team just because he's chasing a championship. It was so embarrassing for those two, they ran to Los Angeles and couldn't get one. And Shaq...in his final seasons he signed with whoever had the best team. Three teams in three seasons. Nothing to show for it. Kobe winning that epic struggle between the two.
Tangent: I like Steve Nash too much to wish that upon him. In the past I've said that Miami would guarantee a championship if they signed him. I still think it's true, I just couldn't stand it not to be.
What the hell is Dwight Howard doing?
Brian Benjamin: Dwight isn't thinking. He's reacting. Orlando played their politics right and he couldn't keep up. Maybe he thought this was the only way he could keep the Magic fans happy? Maybe he got some bad advice on how to maximize his next contract (note to Dwight, keep putting up 21 and 15 and you'll maximize your next contract)? Maybe he didn't understand that other states actually charge you income tax? Or maybe Epcot promised to name their next attraction after him? Or maybe this was just some poorly played fake trade demand when he knew that he would always come back to Orlando so he could be the anti-Lebron? Whatever he was thinking, he wasn't thinking very clearly about it.
Luke Hasskamp: Dwight Howard is an idiot and a piece of shit. People give LeBron shit about 'The Decision,' but I think what Dwight Howard has pulled the last year or so is so much worse. I think the last-minute signing of the waiver was a calculated decision by Howard, his agent, and his PR folks to make an effort to not drive his reputation completely into the ground. I really think the media and NBA fans should be taking him to task much more than they have. He's a selfish, arrogant little child who is more concerned with stroking his ego than winning titles and achieving great things on the court. I really object to the notion that he is a top 5 player in the NBA. Seriously, make some effing free throws. You are one of the most athletically gifted people in the game. You should be doing better than a coin flip, genius.
Jacob Greenberg: I don't care. I'm sick of Dwight. I'm sick of the Magic. No more Magic questions until Penny Hardaway comes back.
Omar Bagnied: I don't know what's going through this guy's head, and I don't care. I saw his team get crushed by Chicago last night. He's not going to win anything in Orlando - inconsequential to me.