The Warriors couldn't hold off the media cycle any longer, and now the opening season news is not "hey, isn't Acie Law awesome in the preseason?" but instead, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE MORONS DOING?!?!" Or words to that effect.
The Warriors have successfully stifled/avoided serious criticism from most corners since the 2007 freak lucky streak and dream Don Nelson interpersonal pissing contest first round playoff matchup, pushing hope and hyping swagger, testosterone, balls, whatever it was they stole the easy games with for NEVER a full season end to end. Injuries, youth, bad attitudes from Anthony Randolph and Monta Ellis, bad play from Andris Biedrins and Brandan Wright, whatever the excuse and the lie. It all worked for the majority of the fairweather fanbase blindly paying for this slop and rubbing their team icons in private.
Now the only marketable stories are the general dysfunction and the weird problem player halfway house the team has firmly and irrevocably established, once and for all, as its sole defining identity. It's been common league knowledge for a long time, even as the man makes some strides at the league committee level, that Chris Cohan is effectively a complete non-threat in competitive basketball terms. But the latest bull shit means just about nothing beyond coincidence of reports of possible team sale for the team's longterm future. This man was booed on his own floor at an All Star game, after all. TEN YEARS AGO!!!!! (as of the coming A.S. game).
He can take it. He's already recovered from the latest daily email Rowell sent him, "still shitty," and moved on to his tennis game. Or whatever he does besides figuring out how to competently lead a professional basketball team anywhere but his own tax-evading bank account.
Sucks to be us.
So in the midst of Stephen Jackson's (finally) publicized trade demands, the Warriors pull their usual clever deal and lock up the guys whose names you'll be inserting into this year's round of "Why the hell is _____ playing more than [Insert name of favorite under-25 player here]???"
Oh, first, on the "finally" part: like Al Harrington and Mickael Pietrus before him, this was a long time coming. Monta Ellis is absolutely next, maybe Biedrins too even though we all already know he's on the block as a salary dump/major trade value chip. Jackson grabbed his cash, just like Baron, and completely bamboozled a man with no business making longterm basketball decisions, Robert Rowell. No, that doesn't mean Jackson should be our next President, but it does seem about adequate for the Warriors' typical job search.
Remember, it was all cool last season. We were a young team on the rise with our fierce captain at the helm. But reports are slowly trickling in that Jackson wanted out last year. It's nice to have the information on TIME, this go-round, instead of Steinmetz's and others' famous year-after-the-fact leaky acknowledgments of Al Harrington's issues before the great money-laundering moves for Crawford-Claxton. The team made its own bed here, pushing Jackson as a credible leader and playoff maker, not merely playoff hot streak hot dog, and he failed miserably. And knows it.
To quote Bob Fitzgerald, emphasis shifted: "Stephen Jackson CAN'T play any better."
To quote the world: "No shit."
And so as Warriorland awakens to yet another jackass hangover after yet another reckless binge of baseless optimism, the Warriors make their customary moves while the coffee is still brewing and the bowl is still clung to (read it both ways honestly, I dare you). While the cycle pukes $tephen Jack$on green, they ink obvious problem Mikki Moore and potentially get CJ Watson over the barrel for, if nothing else, another season of playing more minutes than everyone but $tephen Jackson and Kelenna Azubuike.
Pop quiz, who played the most minutes for the team last year?
That's right, it was Kelenna Azubuike, a player the big fish forum trolls from Rowell's dinner parties say is now nothing but another expiring contract/get paid and get out budget rent-a-shitwing. Congratulations, those of you who regurgitated Bob Fitzgerald/Ray Ridder's glowing D-League coverage on Watson and Azubuike. Feeling proud? Like you're a part of their inspirational story? Get over it. They're the next round of Matt Barnes Nellie Ball mediocrity-gone-hyperdrive-PR spin, then just plain gone. Nellie's done this forever, as I've covered in the past, and Rowell is a connoisseur of fine bullshit, etc.:
And now Mikki Moore WILL play big minutes like Austin Croshere was supposed to and he WILL affect RANDOLPH, Biedrins, and Wright.
Get ready, you incredible schmucks. It's happening.
Watson makes the Ellis dump a near-certainty and Stephen Curry will NOT be playing any more point guard than Stephen Jackson just got finished playing. If that. And we all saw the nice 29 win brilliance that produced. But hey, you probably cleaned house in your fantasy league for that one month, right? Right.
A few predictable fan forum sorts were bending over backwards to proclaim these two items non-news and even Adam Lauridsen downplayed the Moore signing and Watson's status. http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2009/08/31/motion-sickness-moore-watson-and-jackson/
But the real story here is that the team's three major minute guys last year were Azubuike, Jackson, and Watson, with Crawford, and it doesn't look like much will change this year. Nelson has a documented gimmick and now he has his two veteran half-ass bigmen, Turiaf and Moore. Turiaf is a solid reserve big and a quality guy you want leading your team's bench and locker room vibe. But the team's heavy Turiaf hype as Biedrins' minutes were screwed with mercilessly (and perhaps even his incentives for games played) is mere prelude to the latest dump of yesterday's franchise centerpiece.
Turiaf, great as he is, is no excuse for shitting on Andris Biedrins like the team has and will continue to. The onliners who felt out the Milkki Moore reactions a few weeks before he was signed know well enough how tenuous their world is now. They can deal with it themselves when it leads to serious problems with incredibly talented young bigmen.
The fanbase was happy to relish the failures of Ike Diogu and Patrick O'Bryant, as well as Mike Dunleavy (not a bigman, but a NELLIE POWER FORWARD!), but one of these players has already proved that he was NOT the problem, convincingly. Dunleavy away from Nelson and Baron Davis' shitball antics is a quality NBA player. And his contract expires next offseason. Ouch. Murphy is still a stiff but a league-leading rebounder type stiff. Weird stuff. If Brandan Wright or Andris Biedrins or Anthony Randolph go on to greatness elsewhere (either recognize the odds with this team or shut the fuck up, I say: Randolph's no more reason for hope than Webber was. He's LESS- Webber was better)... it won't surprise any of us.
Same with Ellis, who WILL go on to greatness elsewhere. The Bandwagon imbeciles and Team PR Plants have harped on his attitude, harped on his point guard game, and harped on his injury risk at GREAT length. Baron Davis was apparently no such risk until he was too expensive or too Chris Mullin-y. But Ellis is clearly on the outs with management, so he gets no free passes.
It's science. The Warriors snuck it past you again. Buried the real story under the big fat media hype. Wanna bet $tephen Jackson goes nowhere, actually, and really couldn't care less who pays him as long as he gets to chuck and bitch and sit on his ass wile the opposition runs up the score on the other end now that he played a few games of defense on Dirk and got the money locked up? In that case, here's your core roster as the season progresses:
You bank faith on Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow and Stephen Curry getting those big time minutes. You go right ahead. But I've seen this all before. Last season, most recently. Ellis, Wright, and Biedrins, last year's Hope-based initiative contingency, are already on their way out of town.
I guess you've forgotten.
They're sneaky bad that way in Warriorland.