December 29, 2009

Strange times in the NBA

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

There’s always something crazy happening in The Association, like Ron Artest falling down his own stairs, but two stories have stood out for their wackiness this week. Vinny Del Negro claiming he won’t be fired and Tracy McGrady’s leave from the Houston Rockets.

First, it really goes to show Del Negro’s lack of general awareness to not notice the axe falling. After several reports and many sources commenting on how the Chicago Bulls simply haven’t chosen a replacement, Del Negro has actually convinced himself that he might be able to save his job. Vinny was never a good choice as head coach to begin with and he has shown that the job is clearly over his head. What the Bulls need is a coach that players will actually listen to, not a former player who should be a specialist or assistant coach at best. And frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t fired immediately after the Bulls blew a 30-point lead earlier this month.

Then there’s the whole Tracy McGrady ordeal. After working hard and coming back from microfracture surgery to a team that really had no intention of playing him this season, the Rockets have now decided that maybe they should just give the former superstar a leave of absence; instead of eight minutes per game that is. So, all they have to do now is find a team that’s willing to trade for a temperamental,  oft-injured player who wants to play more minutes than he deserves and is one of the highest paid players in all of sports. That should be pretty easy; the Knicks would love a guy like that.

T-Mac has been showing signs that he is past his prime for a couple of seasons now and also hasn’t been able to stay healthy. At least now that his mammoth contract is expiring, Houston will be free to explore other options and build around some of the young talent that they’ve brought in.

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