I agree with almost everything in his analysis of the trade. The quote from Al is in the second article out of the Bay Area
January 19, 2007 -- SO what if the Suns, who previously won 15 games in a row, now have won 11 games in succession?
So what if Chris Web ber (17 minutes, two points, five rebounds, three assists) made his Pistons debut Wednesday a Palace poop against Deron Williams and the Jazz?
So what if the Ron Artest Welcome Wagon returns to Auburn Hills tomorrow night for the first time since that lovely "Audience Involvement Night" of a couple Novembers ago?
Today's tome is dutifully dedicated to a pair of posses who began play last night combining to be merrily mediocre.
Tuesday's trade of four Warriors for four Pacers was all about dumping toxic Stephen Jackson and catering to the styles of two coaches. Well, maybe not all about, but that pretty much sums up its motivation.
So possessed were the Pacers to junk Jackson in hopes of helping restore law and order on and off the court, and, consequently, become more appealing to the community, they sacrificed Al Harrington and assumed roughly $30 million in additional contract obligation over the next four seasons belonging to Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy.
That's how badly CEO Donnie Walsh and president Larry Bird wanted Jackson deported. Yes, his remaining $24M debt (this season plus three more) could've been bought out, but management didn't feel the assem bly of talent was good enough, big enough or tough enough to get any where worthwhile in the playoffs.
At the same time, by tweezing Rick Carlisle's unremittingly irri tating ingrown hair, Walsh and Bird have removed any excuse their coach might have for a job undone. His structured sys tem has turned off many a core player over 31/2 seasons, including Jackson and Har rington. Swapping their ath leticism and spontaneous combustion, both positive and negative, for improved complementary pieces to Jermaine O'Neal - consulted on the deal prior to it going down, according to a source - means Carlisle got what he wanted, more coachable, more meticulous, deeper thinkers.
When healthy, Murphy averaged double figures in rebounds and points two straight seasons. Due to assorted injuries and issues, the deliberate 6-foot-10 forward hasn't been nearly as effective in far fewer minutes.
Murphy isn't the only one who didn't measure up to coach Don Nelson's quirky qualifications that almost exclusively rely on portable-positioned players who flaunt an agile offense and fast-moving feet; defensive discipline is usually introduced by his successor after a quick playoff expulsion or two, or, worse yet, no crashing of the post-tournament party.
"I doubt Kareem Abdul-Jabbar could've played for Nellie," an East Coast team executive mocked.
At any rate, Nelson dogged Dunleavy from day one, so much so that the media and the fans picked up the lame chant, booed him so lustily in Oaktown, the community named him an honorary Raider.
Adonal Foyle also became an immediate outcast as soon as Nelson appeared, prompting early discussions of a buyout of the nearly $19M left on his two-year guarantee after this season. Furthermore, Derek Fisher was traded before the season even began.
All of the above - Jason Richardson, too - had been signed to large, long-term contracts by VP Chris Mullin before Nelson arrived. Three of those players have been traded. Nelson also had no use for Ike Diogu, the No. 9 pick of the 2005 draft, so he became extraneous as well.
No doubt Foyle will be next to go, and the chronically hurting Richardson (or Jackson) is bound to be dealt before the Feb. 22 deadline or some time this summer.
Clearly, Mullin is banking his career as a Warriors executive on Nelson's master mind. He's subtracting and adding players according to his coach's specifications, just as Walsh and Bird have appeased Carlisle until further notice.
By the way, the report out of who knows where by who knows who that the Pacers are talking to the Clippers about re-routing Dunleavy (for Corey Maggette) to play for his father is completely bogus.
I talked to Walsh and Mike Dunleavy, the coach. They both assure me there is nothing to the story. In fact, the father says his son is extremely excited at the prospects of playing off a certified All-Star post player for the first time as a pro. At 6-9, Michael Jr. is an excellent entry passer and a better than average spot-up shooter. Clearly, O'Neal, Dunleavy and Murphy should prosper feeding off each other.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have the ignominy of the league's most dysfunctional and defensively deficient (106.8 ppg allowed) district. The Nelson household has lost four of its last five games and is just 12-18 after foolin' the folks with a 7-3 getaway.
"We saw a deal that was going to make us better and we went ahead and did it," Mullin said.
Let's just say the bar, as previously Mullin-manufactured, wasn't set too high.
As for the Pacers, they accomplished exactly what they set out to do: They ditched Jackson, who, by the way, instantly reloaded when he heard he was off to Oakland.