Just fast forward to the :27 mark and it'll sum up my feelings on the Gooden acquisition.
TJ Who's Your Momma (via grecian)
Yes, yes, Drew Gooden, whee. I can't tell you how excited I am to have this lunatic on the roster. He plays absolutely no defense and he's dealing with a chronic sports hernia/groin problem and an ankle injury. We're savvy.
Two weeks ago, Gooden told the Sacramento Bee, which got to me by way of the internet site Rotoworld.com,
"It's an injury that has bothered me the last couple years," Gooden said. "It's been said to be a lower abdominal strain, said to be a groin strain, an abductor strain, I've heard it all. I'm to the point where I'm frustrated and I need to get down the bottom of what's going on."
The only good news, as far as I'm concerned, is that this quote came from Gooden and not Manu, because let's be honest, at this point, that's just as likely.
Now I think I've made my feelings on this guy perfectly clear in previous posts. Call me judgmental, biased, prejudiced, whatever.
Now I grant you, Mr. Gooden, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall (or at least paying an agent to see it for him), understood that he'd have to clean up his look the second he got traded from the Bulls to the miserable Kings. He knew a quick buyout was in the offing and that his two most likely suitors would be the Cavs or the Spurs and that the Cavs preferred Joe Smith. What better way to make a better impression on Pop than trimming the crazy facial hair? Except, you know, maybe playing some fucking defense. So anyway, here's how he looks now:
Whatever, I still would rather have 'Sho. And I really would rather have 'Sheed or Camby. Hell, I'd probably rather have Smith. I already have a set opinion on this schmoe, and it's not "useful contributor to NBA Champion." Thus far this season his rebound rate is 16.9, which is only a couple of ticks better than Kurt's 16.6. How does that help us?
He'll have to prove me wrong, and I suspect, most of you as well. Having all kinds of injuries is not a good way to introduce yourself though. Then again, Manu came to the Spurs with a badly sprained ankle, so success with that handicap isn't completely unprecedented. And once upon a time in his life, according to R.C. Buford, he was an awful defender too, right?
Why am I comparing the two of them? Why do I find a Manu angle in everything? Clearly I need psychiatric help. Don't feel too bad that he said your question was too long, LatinD. He'd probably have a restraining order placed on me.
Anyway I've said my piece on Gooden and I won't write anything more on the subject until I see him play a game or two in the black and silver. But, again, to sum up my feelings, I will reference a totally unrelated text message Powell sent me as a reply to some random question. It's kind of like an inside joke between us, so inside that he may not even remember it:
"DO. NOT. WANT." - Powell
Spurs 106, Clippers 78 Record: 40-19 SA: 1st in Southwest, 2nd in West
I didn't care who we played, as long as it wasn't the Blazers again. After the double helping last week I've kinda had my fill of them. There is only so much you can watch before you start having bizarre thoughts like, "Am I going insane or does Joel Przybilla look like a seven foot David Beckham (he'd be just as productive for the LA Galaxy... HEY-O!!). The Clippers were a welcome respite.
Unfortunately, without Eric Gordon, Chris Kaveman and the always potentially-felonious comedy duo of Ricky Davis and Zach Randolph, the Clips were also far less interesting (and competitive) than they could've been. I mean, how many fat jokes can I make about Baron Davis? They were so depleted that their starting lineup had one guy, Steve Novak, who was like the 12th man in Houston for a few years, and another guy, Mike Taylor, who I swear I've never heard of. Davis checked in with a typical 28% shooting night while Al Thornton brought back fond memories of K-Mart in Game 6 of the '03 Finals with all of his mid-range masonry from the four spot. Their bench featured super-springy Freddy Jones (this being a Spurs game, he had to hit a 60-foot buzzer beater to end the first quarter) and Brian Skinner, a gentleman ready to take the reins from Gooden as the guy with the dumbest beard in the league.
We had to kill these guys. Coming off the last two games, there was just no excuse not to.
After a rusty outing against the Blazers, Timmy was his usual dominant self and filled up the box score with a line of 18-12-6-3-2. Tony rebounded from a couple of rough games with an outstanding 26 and 10 and probably five of his nine misses were swatted layup attempts. Fin didn't do much of anything for a half but then hit four bombs in the third quarter and Bonner had a so-so 14 on 12 shots. Throw in a solid 9 and 7 from Kurt and 8 and 4 from Hairston, who led all reserves with 24 minutes, and that's pretty much the story of a boring game.
Really, there were only two noteworthy storylines:
1) Pop brought in Mace as his backup point to replace Tony in both halves, perhaps a sign that he hasn't been too pleased with Hill of late. While Mason shot it like an honorary Clip, he did respond with a great overall floor game, contributing nine rebounds, five assists, and presumably, decent defense to the cause. The point guard rotation bears watching.
2) Pop didn't dress PMB for the game, let alone play him, and if the Blazers game (where Pops didn't check in until less than seven minutes remained in a blowout) wasn't a strong enough hint of how the coach feels about the cocky rook, then this should be your wake-up call. Pop doesn't care for his theatrics, doesn't like that the kid told the media he already knows the system when he couldn't make any of the proper defensive rotations, and really doesn't like being told by the fans who to play and how much to play them based on some D-League stats and some garbage time dunks. No matter how much we might want the JV or Fatality to be the roster casualty, it will be Pops who is shown the door for Gooden. Deal with it.
Anyway, somewhere in the game the Clippers announcers mentioned (with transparent envy) that Pop has no patience whatsoever for guys with bad attitudes or bad character and that this philosophy influences all of the Spurs' transactions. The guy referenced Dennis Rodman's time with the Spurs as his one and only experiment with a rogue as the exception that proved the rule, only his timelines were way off, which is perfectly acceptable since he's only a professional basketball broadcaster and not somebody employed to, you know, things involving professional basketball. (Why would he? He works for the Clippers... HEY-O!! Man, I'm on a roll.)
The guy said Pop gave up on Rodman halfway through The Worm's first season when in fact he lasted two full years and also had Rodman as Duncan's teammate when of course he was there only in the mid-90's. (FSM! Tim's not that old!) In fact, Pop never even coached Rodman, he was only the GM at the time.
So this got me to thinking, what are the typical, dumb, cliche things road team announcers have to say about our Spurs? For each guy I'm going to give three common-denominator observations, and a fourth one I made up for "comedic" purposes. See if you can figure out which one is the fake!
A) "As great as he is, the one weakness in Duncan's game has always been his free throws."
B) "Boy oh boy, not much you can do about that banker."
C) "Would you believe Duncan, asking Joey Crawford, 'Who, me?' That guy doesn't think he's committed a foul in his whole career."
D) "Not many people know this, Bill, but every time you mention Duncan's name within earshot of KG, he immediately bursts into tears."
A) "Guys like Finley is what makes the Spurs who they are. This guy was a star in Dallas, but he checked his ego at the door when he arrived there to be a role player on a championship club."
B) "Ooh, lookout, Finley's got the stroke goin' tonight."
C) "He's always been one of the nicest, classiest guys in the league."
D) "Another three for Finley! Can you believe he died three years ago?"
A) "Bonner nails it again! I guess that's why he's leading the league in three point percentage."
B) "The redhead is a New Hampshire native, but oddly, he moved all the way south to the University of Florida."
C) "There's no way Bonner is quick enough to handle [Insert surname of whoever Bonner's guarding that night]."
D) "He might run the court like a guy who soiled himself, but man, can Matt Bonner shoot the basketball."
Roger Mason, Jr.
A) "Wow another three from Mason! Good golly he's got range."
B) "Mason has been Mr. Clutch for the Spurs all season. Remember that Christmas day game in Phoenix?"
C) "Mason's been among the league leaders in three pointers made all year long."
D) "It's one thing to be a shooter, but what really impresses me about Mason is his consistency and his basketball IQ. He goes out and produces night after night and he never, ever takes a bad, selfish, low-percentage, buzzer-beater distance type of shot, you know the kind of shots that professionals don't ever dream of taking with eight minutes to go in the quarter and 12 seconds left in the shot clock."
A) "Geez, is Tony Parker quick. He's a one-man fast break!"
B) Tony, as our viewers may know is married to the lovely Eva Longoria-Parker, who stars as Gabrielle Solis on Desperate Housewives."
C) "Can you believe he lasted til' the 28th pick in the '01 draft?"
D) "Tony told me after that interview that he enjoys the challenge of playing in games where Tim and Manu are injured so much that he often likes to pretend they're missing even when they're on the court with him."
A) "That 17-footer, that's his favorite shot."
B) "Most people wouldn't guess this, but Thomas led the NCAA in scoring and rebounding as a senior at TCU."
C) "He doesn't quite have the springs like he used to, but Thomas knows how to position himself to challenge shots."
D) "Thomas is a nice player, but for the Spurs to have a shot against the Lakers, I think they need to get someone who's more of a rebounding and shot blocking force to play with Duncan... Someone like Drew Gooden for example."
A) "Oberto is one of those European guys who loves to flop."
B) "Oh man, he should have won an Oscar for that one."
C) "Another great pass from Oberto."
D) "Another foul call on Oberto and I just can't get over how much he looks like Evan Stone. You're a big fan of his, aren't you Mike?"
A) "Uh-oh... that's his spot.... You just can't leave Bowen alone in those corners."
B) "Even at 37 years of age, Bowen's still one of the prominent defenders in the league."
C) "He clutches, he grabs, he sneaks up under shooters, that Bruce Bowen knows all the veteran tricks."
D) "BRUCE BOWEN IS A DISGRACE TO HUMANITY! THE MAN NEEDS TO BE JAILED!!!! LOCK HIM UP IN GITMO AND THROW AWAY THE KEY!!!! THIS ISN'T BASKETBALL! THIS ISN'T THE BEAUTIFUL GAME THAT DR. NEASMITH INVENTED!!! THIS IS ASSAULT, PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!!
A) "Ginobili, loves to accentuate contact, and if you breathe on him he'll fall down, looking to draw the foul."
B) "YOU KNOW HE'S GOING LEFT, AND YOU STILL CAN'T STOP HIM FROM GOING LEFT!!!"
C) "Ginobili won the Sixth Man Award last year and led the Spurs in scoring from off the bench."
D) "Now Bob, you've met my wife Suzy and you know her I love her very much, and I hope you viewers at home don't take this the wrong way, but I would totally let Manu Ginobili ride me like Seabiscuit."
A) "Hill's in for Parker. Guess what school he went to, Mike?"
B) "IUPUI stands for Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis."
C) "George HIll is the first graduate of IUPUI to be drafted in the NBA."
D) "And also, Joe, the first guy with three legs to be drafted."
A) "The Spurs brought Udoka in last season in the hopes that he would be their Bruce Bowen of the future."
B) "Udoka is a hard working player but has struggled this year."
C) "Popovich, bringing in Udoka in the hopes of providing a spark."
D) "Whatever you do Billy, DO NOT PROVOKE HIM."
A) "Hairston's a young guy that Coach Popovich is hoping can give them some energy and athleticism."
B) "An athletic play from Hairston!"
C) "That Hairston out of Oregon is one heck of an athlete."
D) "Wow, another three! Hairston's on fire!"
A) "In every stop he's made, all of his teammates and coaches rave about Vaughn's consummate professionalism."
B) "You never hear anyone say a bad word about Vaughn."
C) "You need guys like him if you want to win."
D) "I've always found that having good character and the right attitude is important when you're stealing 1.2 million a year."
A) "Pop usually likes to take Duncan out for a blow at around the nine minute mark of the first and third quarters."
B) "Coach Popovich has not been happy at all with how his team's played defense thus far."
C) "Popovich has said numerous times that all he cares about is making the playoffs, not having home court in them. He really believes in his veterans."
D) "Well folks... Sorry you had to hear that... You know, what makes doing live NBA broadcasts so rewarding is that it's truly the most dramatic, unpredictable reality television there is. You're always on the edge of your seat, wondering how each game will unfold and who will be the hero at the end... Unfortunately, with live TV you have to take the bad with the good, and every so often that means Coach Pop telling Craig Sager to go fuck himself. Our sincerest apologies."