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View Full Version : Inside info on why Reggie was protected but not Brezec



Unclebuck
11-14-2004, 07:50 PM
Surprise surprise there is more on the Artest situation, but I am posting this because of the Brezec discussion. It is in the middle of thre article


This silence can't be golden
By Peter May | November 14, 2004

What does Larry Bird think of Ron Artest's recent sabbatical? He's not saying. But given that this was a guy who came out of traction to play a game, we can pretty much assume what he has said behind closed doors.

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That's where Bird was holed up Friday, on the longest telephone call in history. The Pacers president of basketball operations has resolutely refused to comment publicly on Artest's two-game timeout and the changing-by-the-day reasons for it. He has left coach Rick Carlisle and president/CEO Donnie Walsh to speak to the situation. You'd have to think he has Artest's face on a golf ball and has whipped out a titanium driver and headed to the first tee.

Artest returned to the Indiana lineup Friday night after missing two games. Why did he miss two games? Carlisle said Artest was benched for conduct that "compromised the integrity of the team." Carlisle left it at that on Day One. Artest subsequently replied that he didn't know the meaning of the word "integrity."

It then leaked out from Artest that he was tired and needed a break. This was the same guy who, in Slam Magazine recently, made an after-the-fact impassioned appeal to be on the Olympic team. Gee, if USA Basketball had taken him up on his offer, the Pacers might have been without Artest until March. Artest also hinted that one of the reasons he was tired was the work he was doing on a CD that is due out Nov. 23. (ESPN mentioned that date at least four times in its "SportsCenter" report Thursday.) Guess where the Celtics will be on the 23d? In Indiana.

Predictably, Artest got skewered from coast to coast, with a few exceptions. The New York Post's Pete Vecsey said Carlisle mishandled things, and Bill Walton, in an e-chat on ESPN, said, "One question that screams out at me -- why didn't Rick Carlisle simply say, `no,' and try and talk him out of it?" Maybe because Carlisle knows Artest as well as anyone.

But, for the most part, Artest was easy fodder because of his combustible past. It sort of reminded me of Bette Davis's line in "All About Eve" when she first lays eyes on a very young, very attractive Marilyn Monroe at a cocktail party: "She looks like she might burn down a plantation."

And that's what gave this story some legs. In hoopese, Artest has priors. There have been numerous suspensions and incidents. He's not David Robinson. But, in an attempt to explain himself, he largely made things worse.

In a chat Friday with ESPN.com, he said he "did it the wrong way . . . I wish I could have done it a little differently." Done what differently? He mentioned possible retirement if the Pacers won the NBA title, even though he has $29 million coming his way. (In other words, forget about it.) He said if the Pacers had granted his wish, he would have been gone for a month or so "and not worried about the pay." Continued...

Asked if he wanted the Pacers to keep him, Artest said, "I love the Pacers. I like the organization. I like the team. But just as much as I like Indiana, I've got to be able to show people what's me. I can't lie to people. This is Ron Artest. I was in a studio all summer and I came back and had 31 [points] in my first game. You have to accept Ron Artest the way he is. And, if not, that's OK."

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It's not exactly a trade secret that the Pacers explored moving Artest over the summer, which speaks to their own discomfort with him. Nothing came of it. There is a won't-go-away rumor of Indiana dealing Artest to Sacramento for Peja Stojakovic because (a) they're both All-Stars, (b) they're both unhappy or distracting, and (c) their salaries match.

But Sacramento -- and everyone else -- knows about Artest and what a handful he can be. Maybe that's why Bird was so conspicuous in his silence; you don't want to devalue your own players.

Then again, anyone who knows Bird has to know how he feels about all this. And everyone knows about Artest. You have to take the whole package, which includes an excellent basketball player with, unfortunately, more baggage than Kate Winslet had on the Titanic.




Brezec's prospects have expanded

The leading candidate for Most Improved Player of the Year was in town Friday night. The expansion Charlotte Bobcats feel they got lucky with center Primoz Brezec, who was left unprotected by the Pacers in the expansion draft.

In three seasons with the Pacers, Brezec appeared in 62 games, a total of 343 minutes. Nonetheless, Larry Bird tried to keep Brezec on the protected list until the very end, when he decided to not risk losing Reggie Miller.

"All the time, Larry was telling me, `Don't worry, we're going to protect you,' " Brezec said. "Then he called me and said, `We're scared they're going to take Reggie.' I can understand why they did it. If it's between me and him, you've got to protect Reggie. He is the franchise."

The Bobcats figured something was up when Indiana offered enticements not to take Brezec. That's usually a giveaway. And once they got a glimpse of the 7-foot-1-inch Slovenian, they quickly signed him to an extension. Next year, and in 2006-07, Brezec will earn $2.75 million. That, my friends, is a bargain if Brezec continues to improve, which he likely will because he's going to get the time and he is a hard worker.

Said Bobcats coach/general manager Bernie Bickerstaff, "He's 7 feet. He can shoot. He has a great work ethic. If he falls on his face, I can live with that." Continued...


Brezec was never included on any of the Pacers' playoff rosters but he was always a fixture working out before games.

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"There are a collection of guys who work like that, take a lot of shots before games -- he's one of those guys," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "He scares the hell out of me."

Brezec said he was happy in Indiana, but, with no place to go there, is even happier in Charlotte.

"It's all about getting in the right place at the right time," he said. "I think Charlotte is the best thing that ever happened to me."

Destined4Greatness
11-14-2004, 08:23 PM
Ah Good, If it was a choice between Reggie and Brezec. Screw Brezec

Bball
11-15-2004, 03:20 AM
So why couldn't they have tried to make a deal offering incentives not to take Reggie?

Would Charlotte really been that stupid to take Reggie Miller?

A good portion of the forum is not exactly fretting over the fact that Reggie is injured and relegated to the bench right now.

Altho if the Pacers weren't going to play Brezec anyway then leaving him unprotected was the right thing to do (for Brezec).

-Bball

sixthman
11-15-2004, 09:22 AM
So why couldn't they have tried to make a deal offering incentives not to take Reggie?

Would Charlotte really been that stupid to take Reggie Miller?

A good portion of the forum is not exactly fretting over the fact that Reggie is injured and relegated to the bench right now.

Altho if the Pacers weren't going to play Brezec anyway then leaving him unprotected was the right thing to do (for Brezec).

-Bball

Exactly.

What we had to offer, besides money, was our first round pick.

I wonder if the Pacers offered the pick? Then, of course, had we given away the pick as incentive not to take Reggie, there was the question of James Jones also then being left unprotected. So we might have had to lose the pick and James Jones to keep Primoz.

Anthem
11-15-2004, 09:45 AM
We knew this was comin when we gave Reg his last contract. I continue to be shocked that there wasn't a poison pill in Reg's contract. Seems logical to me. In fact, when Reggie was negotiating, this was an issue I brought up repeatedly.

I've been very disappointed with DW about this one. It's stupid for us to waste a protected slot on a guy that's not a part of our future.

ChicagoJ
11-15-2004, 10:13 AM
If the decision became the first-rounder (Harrison) vs. Brezec, then I guess I can live with it.

Had we not lost Byron Scott in an embarassing way, DW might've taken the risk of leaving Reggie unprotected. It's hard to blame him.

I thought Brezec was better than Pollard, but I'm not sure Brezec can be a better post player than what Harrison should become in a season or two. :shrug:

Bball
11-15-2004, 11:09 AM
If the decision became the first-rounder (Harrison) vs. Brezec, then I guess I can live with it.

Had we not lost Byron Scott in an embarassing way, DW might've taken the risk of leaving Reggie unprotected. It's hard to blame him.

I thought Brezec was better than Pollard, but I'm not sure Brezec can be a better post player than what Harrison should become in a season or two. :shrug:



I don't think there was a snowball's chance in Hell that DW would've left Reggie unprotected.

-Bball

Slick Pinkham
11-15-2004, 12:11 PM
I believe that an earlier article by Peter may in the Boston Globe a few weeks back indicated that DW approached Charlotte about paying them off to not select Reggie if he were left unprotected. They declined.

This is what happened, IMO:

1) DW says: If Reggie is left unprotected, if we pay you (insert dollar amount), will you not take him?

Charlotte answers: no guarantees

2) DW says: If Brezac is left unprotected, if we pay you (insert dollar amount), will you not take him?

Charlotte answers: no guarantees

DW then decided that the potential fallout from losing Reggie would outweigh the damage from losing Primoz.

I think that Reggie could have been left out there and no way would he have been picked, but I understand DW's reluctance to take that chance, even if it was a 1% chance.

Kegboy
11-15-2004, 01:17 PM
It should be noted that, while Charlotte had little-to-no use for Reggie themselves, he would have been a valuable trade chip. For example, you can't tell me Isiah wouldn't have jumped at the chance to get him, if for no other reason than to thumb it to Bird. Contenders like SA, Miami, and even Detroit for that matter would all have been burning up the phone lines, as well.

I love Primoz, but we made the right decision. Now, if only we'd convinced Reggie to have an option this summer...:(
---
Asked afterward if O'Neal's absence contributed to Charlotte's win, Knight bristled.

"What about Primoz? They didn't have Shaq, but we didn't have Primoz," he said.

Sherlock
11-15-2004, 08:13 PM
I mean, if Reggie's contract is expired this summer, then we don't need a slot to protect him. We could just protect Brezeck and re-sign Reggie. I wander why Donnie did not do that. :rolleyes:

BigMac
11-15-2004, 08:42 PM
I think that Reggie could have been left out there and no way would he have been picked, but I understand DW's reluctance to take that chance, even if it was a 1% chance.

I so don't agree with that. If Reggie was available, he would have become the spokesman for the Charlotte Bobcats-the owner being owner of BET (Black Entertainment Television) and to get a future HOF'er to be on the first team for him would have been a no-brainer. Especially with his low value contract.

We should have Traded Primos for a future draft pick before the expansion draft-that was the only way we would have received anything for him.

One of the two was gone. Whomever was left unprotected. Period.

Hicks
11-15-2004, 08:49 PM
Especially with his low value contract



:spitout:

Reggie makes more this year and next than Stephen Jackson does. :o I don't think Reggie as-is is worth 5.6mm this year, nor 6.25mm next year.

Or am I grossly misunderstanding your post? :confused:

Smokin420
11-15-2004, 09:32 PM
I feel like I am surrounded by golddiggers. If you were women you would marry an old rich man. Well some of you would. I am sure there are a few of you that arent too pretty on the eyes. Thus is life on the internet. Anyway, i digress.

Reggie is the heart and soul of this franchise. For the money he has generated for the franchise, for the memories he has given me, and for his hall of fame career there arent many peopl on htis team I wouldnt lose not to see him in another uniform.

I dont want to see him leave the Pacers on his own accord attempting to chase a championship and I dont want the Pacers losing him in a freakin expansion draft. Manyh of you fail to realize he was the spark to the fire for the last 15 years. He may be a pseudo-bench player but he deserves to retire a Pacer and he deserves to start. Until he proves he can't ball he deserves the SG spot for as long as he wants it.

Give up Reggie for Brezec? Not even if he averaged 20 - 10 the rest of his career. He was loyal to the Pacers and the Pacers should be loyal to him. The argument should be Brezec over Jones or Bender. Reggie isnt even a question.

You golddiggers kill me. I bet you were Bulls fans in the 90's and either Lakers/Celtics fans in the 80's. truly sad.

Anthem
11-15-2004, 10:07 PM
Give up Reggie for Brezec? Not even if he averaged 20 - 10 the rest of his career. He was loyal to the Pacers and the Pacers should be loyal to him. The argument should be Brezec over Jones or Bender. Reggie isnt even a question.

You golddiggers kill me. I bet you were Bulls fans in the 90's and either Lakers/Celtics fans in the 80's. truly sad.

You're kinda missing the point. The point is, Reggie was never in any danger of being picked. And if Donnie had handled the contract differently, the issue never would have had to come up.

Smokin420
11-15-2004, 10:12 PM
I think your missing the point. You dont expose the player who has kept you competitive for 15 years. Its that simple. If you cant grasp that then I feel sorry for you.

sixthman
11-15-2004, 10:18 PM
I mean, if Reggie's contract is expired this summer, then we don't need a slot to protect him. We could just protect Brezeck and re-sign Reggie. I wander why Donnie did not do that. :rolleyes:

I'd like to see the explanation of that one, too.

Had Reggie been given a one year contract, instead of a multi-year, then Reggie would not have needed to be protected; he would have been technically a free agent.

I'd guess that Reggie and his agent demanded and got a multi year contract, regardless of whom had to be unprotected the next summer.

Anthem
11-15-2004, 10:24 PM
If you cant grasp that then I feel sorry for you.

I'm sure in our future lives we'll all bow in honor of your wisdom.

BigMac
11-15-2004, 10:28 PM
Especially with his low value contract



:spitout:

Reggie makes more this year and next than Stephen Jackson does. :o I don't think Reggie as-is is worth 5.6mm this year, nor 6.25mm next year.

Or am I grossly misunderstanding your post? :confused:


I think you got my point but a contract like Reggie's on a team that is well under their available cap space would be very inviting for an expansion franchise. He would be the player on all of the promotional literature, be the guy who was the icon for the team in its infancy.

The price of his contract would be a drop in the bucket for the Bobcats because they would be able to market Reggie if he were there and I imagine would add instant credibility to a rookie ballclub and yes, he would add season ticket sales, advertising revenue, merchandise revenue, etc.

He's a HOF'er, and last I checked there weren't any other HOF'ers in the expansion draft unless they were retiring (i.e. Scottie Pippen) and didn't have $15 million contracts (Houston-not a HOF'er, Grant Hill-not a HOF'er). Again, that would have been a win-win for Charlotte and Donnie, Larry, and Rick knew it-as did Bob Johnson and Bernie Bickerstaff.

Good luck to Primos but if I had a choice of Reggie now on my team or Primos, even in the future if he becomes a great player, I pick Reggie every day. Is there no more loyalty among fans? The Pacers seem to be the only franchise that rewards loyalty to its players over and over. And they are the only team that I know of that only trades a player that is in the general playing rotation if the player either requests it (Al Harrington, A.D.) or complains about the contract he signed (Dale Davis), or is a free agent and is worked into a sign and trade (B.Miller). I think they main thing to keep in mind is to trust Donnie (and Larry) because they will not let us become a bad team. It just will not happen.

Anthem
11-15-2004, 10:38 PM
If they were gonna take a legacy / goodwill guy, they'd hage taken Mourning.

Nobody in Charlotte likes Reggie. Mourning was one of their first draft picks. The city loves him.

There were other good pickups that they ignored. They didn't take anybody with a salary. What's more, they said that up front.

Hicks
11-15-2004, 10:53 PM
If you cant grasp that then I feel sorry for you.

I'm sure in our future lives we'll all bow in honor of your wisdom.

:laugh:

:bowdown: :D

Hicks
11-15-2004, 10:56 PM
If they were gonna take a legacy / goodwill guy, they'd hage taken Mourning.

Nobody in Charlotte likes Reggie. Mourning was one of their first draft picks. The city loves him.

There were other good pickups that they ignored. They didn't take anybody with a salary. What's more, they said that up front.

Great points. 2nd point you made, about not taking anybody with salary, and them saying so upfront, is why I feel Reggie wouldn't have been taken.

Smokin420
11-15-2004, 10:58 PM
Bowing to another guy I am sure isnt new to you....orHicks for that matter.

So who plays the woman between you two?

Anthem
11-15-2004, 11:01 PM
I'm sure in our future lives we'll all bow in honor of your wisdom.

:laugh:

:bowdown: :D



Or now is good. :laugh:

Seriously, I'm ready for this guy to leave. He comes out of nowhere, insults me, has no freaking clue about your avatar, and spams for another board.

I know we have standards for when we tell people to go away and not come back, but wouldn't it be fun to say "you know what? We don't need your kind here." Petty of me, I know. I'm terrified at the thought of how crotchety I'm gonna be when I'm Indygeezer's age. :o

Actually had a bad dentist's appointment this afternoon and I'm grumpy. But still.

EDIT: Newguy, I wrote this before I saw your infantile response. Before, I meant it as a joke. Now I don't. Watch your mouth or leave and don't come back. If you don't want criticism, don't start with this "I feel sorry for you" crap.

Smokin420
11-15-2004, 11:02 PM
You make a great point. Disrespect your franchise player for the last decade and a half for a foreign 7 footer that had showed little as a PAcer. A center mind you in the time the Pacers were hurting at the spot.

Makes sense to me. :rolleyes:

Hicks
11-15-2004, 11:04 PM
Bowing to another guy I am sure isnt new to you....orHicks for that matter.

So who plays the woman between you two?

Consider this your warning. Keep up the BS you've already been starting here and in other threads, and you become the 235283457th flash in the pan of a troll we've banned. Or, you know, you could show everyone here basic, general respect and stick to talking basketball without the low-blow insults.

Smokin420
11-15-2004, 11:04 PM
Ban a guy with dissenting opinion. Cant debate your side? feel outmatched?.....the answer is to ban him.

I shared the site because its a bball site with funny smileys. Cant be at two message boards at once oh great proliferator of thinking?

Hicks
11-15-2004, 11:06 PM
You're off-base. And short-sided if you don't see why you're wearing out your welcome. It's not the disagreement, it's the condescending, rude attitude that comes with it, including low-blow insults. We don't tolerate jackasses.

Anthem
11-15-2004, 11:07 PM
Plenty of dissenting opinions on here, boy. You're the one that resorted to personal attacks when somebody disagreed.

Shade
11-15-2004, 11:21 PM
Smokin420 is ChcBearsFan. Here's only here to troll.

Hicks
11-15-2004, 11:27 PM
Smokin420 is ChcBearsFan. Here's only here to troll.

^ Yep. See my "*sigh* Politics" thread.