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THE UNOFFICIAL NBA MAGAZINE

Kobe Vince What impact will Carter have on the Magic?

Griffin Will rookie Blake be as good as advertised?

Can Bryant make it two in a row for the Lakers?

Rasheed Is Wallace the missing link for the Celtics?

PLUS Iverson • Marion • 2009 Finals

AUGUST 2009 UK ISSUE 1 A Blank Screen Publishing Publication


CONTENTS

tear DROP

THE UNOFFICIAL NBA MAGAZINE

Kobe Bryant will be biting more than his jersey if he doesn’t reach the Finals next year in his quest to top his idol: Michael Jordan - can he do it?

NEWS / EVENTS NEWS page 4

DRAFT PICKS

O’Neal goes to Cleveland

Marion goes to Dallas

Turkoglu goes to Toronto

Who’s going where?

page 24

What team wants him?

page 28

EUROBASKET 2009 page 20

Can GB top Spain?

page 30

TEAM SNAPSHOTS page 22

The talkers of 2009

page 31 With Ron Artest at the Lakers and Trevor Ariza gone to the Rockets, will Kobe and co be looking at another shot at a potential title?

tear DROP is published by Blank Screen Publishing. For further information, please email: blankscreenpublishing @live.com. tear DROP is an original brand and publication that takes every care to ensure all content is accurate, fair and objective. The publisher regrets that they cannot accept liability for error or omissions that may occur. The copyright of images and articles featured remain with their orginators. Note: no money was made during the production of this, so keep your lawyers away! Images/ copy: © NBA/Getty Images 02

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ALLEN IVERSON’S WOES page 18

HEDO TURKOGLU page 32

Can they repeat success?

FREE AGENT TRACKER page 16

SHAWN MARION page 10

FLASHBACK Kobe in flight

Carter goes to Orlando

SHAQUILLE O’NEAL page 8

NBA FINALS 2009 LA versus the Magic

page 14

VINCE CARTER page 6

SUMMER LEAGUE Benchwarmers get ready

Wallace goes to Boston

TEAMS / BUSINESS LA LAKERS

RASHEED WALLACE

All the good stuff

Griffin, Harden and Flynn

THE PLAYERS

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EDITORIAL

The battle for next season is already hotting up... It’s pick and roll for teams GMs going to work vying to grab the best free agents available

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here are no myths in basketball: the best players win the titles and all the coveted awards and such. It’s that simple. You got skills - you shall be rewarded. And teams know this as well. They will pay a nifty buck for this. So while we determine which player may be the best value for money on the market this summer, it’s easy - the best players are. All the headliners from Shaq to Vince to Hedo and Ron are moving home and with the teams who fell second, third and last place last season desperate to get some of that action or they’ll lose their jobs, well, it’s time to knuckle down and start luring those big bad boys to the cabin of fame and fortune - and NBA rings, of course. The job of recruitment is more than looking at a player’s CV. It’s a position of knowing if that player is right for the organisation. He may not be the best player (and this will not help anybody’s recruiting) but he must fit in within the team’s rebuilidng strategy and unfortunately for

all the best players in the world, this form of logic precedes at all levels of the game. It’s not the smartest logic, because as time shows that even the best players will learn and develop team-sharing abilities, but most teams will ignore this outlook. Many GMs convince their owners that a team is what will get people on their bums on seats to watch games on a regular basis, but fans are fans for a reason - they don’t care about teamwork. They want to see wins. If a player scores 50 a night and their teams every night then it will be a real treat to watch other teams trying to shut down this hot shooter every game. Of course, hyotheticals don’t win games, but the best players do - and until GMs realise this. The NBA will struggle to spread its brand of unique basketball across the world. I mean, look at Allen Iverson now - once the best player in the world: and he can barely get a job offer - sad.

Editor

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“The job of

recruitment is more than looking at a player’s CV. It’s knowing if that player is right for the organisation This summer it’s been all the trades – with Rasheed and Garnett teaming up; Ron and Kobe; Dwight and Vince - and your laptop for a new iPhone!

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NEWS

Ricky Rubio doesn’t plan to return to Spanish club team Ricky Rubio plans to part ways with Spanish club DKV Joventut even if the Minnesota Timberwolves cannot reach a deal to bring their first-round draft pick to the NBA. Timberwolves president David Kahn was in Spain this week to try and help the fifth overall pick negotiate a buyout of his contract with Joventut. Rubio is at odds with his boyhood club over a buyout clause that could cost the 18-year-old point guard as much as $6.6 million.The NBA’s collective bargaining rules limit the Timberwolves’ contribution to $500,000. Regardless of whether Rubio makes the trip across the Atlantic next season, he won’t be playing at Joventut. “I want to continue with the club but, after everything that’s happened, I don’t think they’re too comfortable having me in their squad,” Rubio said on Wednesday. “I want to play in a winning team, on a team that can achieve many things.” Rubio signed with Joventut at 14 years old, becoming the youngest player ever to play in a Spanish ACB League game. He rose to prominence over the next few years, playing for Spain’s silver medal-winning team in the Beijing Olympics at 17 and becoming a popular player thanks to his flashy passes and floppy hair. Minnesota drafted him fifth overall in June and holds his NBA rights for as long as Rubio is playing basketball professionally. But it is not exactly clear what ramifications, if any, Rubio’s

Will Rubio save Minnesota from its misfortunes and get them into playoff contention? Or will the Spaniard remain distant and wait til he grows a beard?

parting with Joventut has on the Timberwolves’ chances of bringing the popular point guard to the United States this season. Rubio has two years remaining on his deal with Joventut.The enormity of the buyout has a player who made less than $100,000 last season thinking twice about coming to the NBA right away. That’s what prompted Kahn to fly to Spain on Monday. He met with Joventut officials to see if he could help resolve the issue, but declined to comment -- both on the news that Rubio will leave Joventut and the trip in general -- when reached by The Associated

Press on Wednesday. Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are both interested in signing Rubio if he cannot make it to the NBA this season. Unlike the Timberwolves, they are not subject to the collective bargaining rules of the NBA and could pay the entire buyout fee to get him. Kahn has said in the past that the rebuilding Timberwolves are willing to wait a year, or even two, for Rubio to come to Minnesota. But the sooner Rubio can get there, the better for a franchise that has struggled to fill seats at Target Center since trading Kevin Garnett to Boston two years ago.

Swingman Anthony Parker to help shore up defensive woes in Cleveland’s backcourt, and be a spark off bench Danny Ferry finally reached agreements with a pair of players on Wednesday, bringing back Anderson Varejao with a six-year contract worth $50 million, and bringing in Anthony Parker, as reported by The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. While the Cavs swung and missed with Ron Artest and Trevor Ariza, they’re still -- on paper -- a better team than the one that won 66 games last season. They acquired Shaquille O’Neal for Ben 04

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Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic, neither of whom made much of an impact last season or will be playing much next season in Phoenix. And now, they’ve added Parker. Parker, at 6-foot-6, can play the two or the three and defend any wing the Cavs may face. He’s a clear defensive upgrade from Wally Szczerbiak and can help 6foot-3 guard Delonte West guard bigger players.


NEWS

Krzyzewski returns to coach the impressive US basketball team, and looks forward to the 2012 Olympics in London Mike Krzyzewski could have left international basketball on top, having returned the United States to its longtime position as the world’s best. That’s not what coaches like Krzyzewski do. “It was very easy to walk away, but I just don’t think people who are accustomed to competing or high achievers walk away,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “You just keep competing.”

So that’s what Krzyzewski plans, right on through the 2012 Olympics. USA Basketball announced that Krzyzewski will return to lead the United States in next summer’s world championships and when it defends its gold medal in London. The Americans won the championship last year in Beijing and will bring the leadership of that team back for another run. Krzyzewski’s entire staff of assistants also will return.

Pacers buy out Tinsley, avoid arbitration hearing The Indiana Pacers suddenly ended their year-long banishment of Jamaal Tinsley on Wednesday, agreeing to buy the 31-year-old point guard out of the final two years of his contract after not allowing him to play during the entire 2008-09 season. A league source said that the Pacers will give Tinsley approximately $11 million of the $14.7 million that remained on his deal. Tinsley is now an unrestricted free agent and able to sign with any team in a week. Tinsley has not played since January 2008, after missing the final three months of the 2007-08 season with a knee injury, and after numerous run-ins and suspensions that had soured both local fans and the organization. After that season, Pacers president Larry Bird said that Tinsley wasn’t in the team’s future plans and that it would try to trade him, and told him to stay away from the team’s practice facility and arena. However, other than a near-deal with the Denver Nuggets at the beginning of last season, Indiana came up with nothing, and Tinsley sat home in Atlanta all season. He filed a grievance against the Pacers last spring, looking to either be bought out or released. The arbitration hearing was scheduled to be heard next week, but the Pacers headed that off by quickly coming to terms on the buyout. “I asked Jamaal to call Larry Bird and (general manager) David Morway tonight,

Tinsley has lived a life. He gets a nice payout, but almost gets shot, is arrested and a whole lot of mess that should never happen to an NBA player

and apologize, and thank them,” his agent, Raymond Brothers, said Wednesday evening. “He called both of them up and thanked them for the opportunity. There’s no bad feelings, he’s not bitter. He’s just looking forward to playing again.” The buyout provides Tinsley with what will likely be a final chance to get his career back on track after years of incidents, injuries and on-court fits and starts. With several teams still looking for a quality starter or backup, someone is sure to take a look at the 2001 first-round pick who was once one of the league’s up-and-coming young talents. He averaged 9.4 points and 8.1 assists as a rookie. Then he helped the Pacers claim TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

the league’s best record in 2003-04, and the team was 34-9 in his regular-season starts after he came off the injured list. Tinsley was the last player remaining on Indiana’s roster who was on the team when its fortunes fell through the floor with the 2004 brawl in Auburn Hills, when Pacers players went into the stands to confront fans after an on-court tussle between Ron Artest and then-Piston Ben Wallace. Tinsley was not involved in either altercation and was one of the Pacers not suspended by the league after the fight, and averaged a career-best 15.4 points per game that season, but he didn’t avoid other trouble several times during the next few years. 05


DRAFT PICKS

Griffin aims to turn the Clippers around

Blake Griffin was the number one selection in June, but can he make the Clippers into a franchise worth reckoning with - we doubt it, but he will do okay

“Who will be the first out of the gate to prove that they’re the most dominant, most clutch

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DRAFT PICKS

A solid selection of primetime players were picked at the NBA Draft in June, but only a few will have any impact

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player comes, a player goes. Who is the one to turn the NBA into something special this upcoming season? Blake Griffin or James Harden - maybe. Well, with Oklahoma and the Clippers desperately needed some franchise quality players to take them into the playoffs, it come be their final time to shine. Admittedly, the talent from the draft is few and far between, with Griffin dominating the power forward position in college and likely to be a Michael Beasley-clone in the NBA: but not coming off the bench. Griffin will average around 15 a game with solid numbers elsewhere, but it’s obvious he’s no shining star that possesses Wade, James or Anthony qualities. Players like that are truly

hard to find. But the left-handed Harden is one to watch, also. He has strong leaership abilities that his games exerts regularly, and can fly down the middle for a rousing dunk that will catch the veterans sleeping in their mid-30s paces and static foot movement. Jonny Flynn is a point guard will super skills and will run rings around the opposition. But it’s possible that he’ll also run rings around himself, trying to establish his ability as credible. There’s many point guards - as America leans to breeding good ballers, streetballers with a knack for flair and the dramatic. But basic understanding and fundamentals in a team sport will not go unnoticed by NBA fans, soon bored by highlight reels and lack of team chemistry. Flynn must learn to develop his full court awareness, but with NBA players around him, his University of Syracuse days are

behind him and his need to be a one-man show will no longer be necessary. So with money and fame soon upon our latest arrivals to the league, it’s become a question of who will be the first out of the gate to prove that they’re the most dominant, most clutch, the most appeasing to their team and coach - and of course, the player that manages to get its team into the playoffs.

Harden and Flynn are two players to watch out for this season. But will they get rookie fever and lose control before they’ve even started?

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SUMMER LEAGUE

Rookies get a schooling from pros Talent is never a question, but team play sometimes is, as young guns look for contracts

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0 days in Las Vegas for most in attendance, the NBA Summer League has finally come to a conclusion. On the final day, the stands were empty, many of the top players took the day off, and the quality of basketball was a bit down. NBA personnel could be seen jettisoning immediately after their team concluded their play, if they already hadn’t skipped out. We made it ‘til the end, and here is the recap of the final day’s games. James Johnson was the star of this game, capping off his up and down summer league performance with a great all around game. His 18-point, 7-rebound, 4assist showing was evidence of the mismatch problems that he can cause... if he decides to play hard. Talent has never been a question throughout Johnson’s career. Effor t has. With his size, he can play both forward spots, stretch the defense, and create buckets for others. The Bulls’ staff will go through some growing pains with Johnson, but if they can keep him motivated, they’ve got themselves a good one. The NBA’s Rookie of The Month for July, Jonny Flynn, had his worst game of the summer league. He just never really seemed like he got in a groove after star ting the game off of the bench. Flynn did have some pretty penetrate and kick plays en route to his 7-assist outing. The bright spot for Flynn was having top dunk of the day: A windmill in transition to end the game.

Third year forward Corey Brewer is looking nearly completely recovered, after suffering a knee injury last season. His jumper was on point from both mid-range and three, probably because of the countless hours that he spends honing it at the Target Center. The ex-Florida Gator put the clamps on people defensively and played his best game of the summer in our eyes. DeMarcus Nelson made his best case to show that he should be in the League next year with the effort that he put on display on both ends of the floor. Not

most of it. He’s a straight monster in the paint who looks to dunk everything, and usually he can because of his massive size at 300 pounds. Sure he’s not the most skilled guy and struggles defending the perimeter. You just can’t ignore 7-footers who play hard and offer that kind of potential. Siler would be a great guy to stash in Europe or the D-League for a couple of years and see how he develops. Hint hint?

“ Hasheem Thabeet ended his

dismal summer league with yet another poor outing... simply looked like he didn’t care

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a great shooter from deep, he knocked down a couple of Mid-range jumpers, converted in the paint, and had one monster of a dunk in traffic. Like normal, he played great D and played harder then just about everyone else out there. Deserving a blurb is Timberwolves 70 center Garrett Siler. After attending a music academy in high school and averaging less then 2 ppg, he landed at Augusta State in Georgia. Playing D-II ball didn’t get him much love. Siler has had his chance to shine now and is making the TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

SAN ANTONIO SPURS VS. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Hasheem Thabeet ended his dismal summer league with yet another poor outing. He had a forgettable first half with a below average second half performance. The Tanzanian native just simply looked like he didn’t care in the first half, allowing Ian Mahinmi to score 8 points on him in the game’s first few minutes. To his defense, the 2nd pick in the Draft was much more aggressive in the second half and put up the bulk of his numbers in that stanza. It just doesn’t sit right with me when your 7-3 shot blocker doesn’t even average 1 block a game over the summer league (he averaged 0.8) and had 2 games with 0 blocks.


Tip, tip and away. The balls were rolling for the summer action but despite the razzle-dazzle of it all, players will be on the bench or looking for jobs

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NBA FINALS 2009

Los Angles Lakers beat Orlando Magic 4-1 KOBE and his team did the predictable: they closed down the Orlando Magic. Why? Because the Magic didn’t anyone going to the hole on a regular basis. Yep, even Dwight Howard. For all his aggression and amazing leaping ability ability, Howard never bothered the inside play of the Lakers and so, the Lakers dominated inside and proved they were the smart opposition. A few stolen moments in the contest could have the series been a tad more tigher, but the Magic’s insexperience killed them before they even started. Game 1 was a blow out for the Lakers. Game 2 - the Magic were unable to put away their chances. Game 3 for the Magic was a desperation win, while in Game 4, Jameer Nelson committed the All-star sin: listen to

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your coach. Game 5 was the conclusion and by then, the Magic’s energies were tied away in a postplayoff holiday trip in St Tropaz or somewhere else where Puff Daddy hangs out. Trades and player movement soon became the talk ot the town, but really the skill of Kobe Bryant, the athleticism of Odom and the calm demeanour of Gasol held the Lakers together and with this unit, we should see them this time next year with another trophy. So, goodbye the Magic - it’s been nice, but the whole world predicts you’ll make the playoffs and stumble trip again. With Phil Jackson claiming another title, it’s the consistent and almost sickening play of the best players and coaches that prove team relies on execution and nothing else.

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

See you all next year, folks! Peace!


The Lakers destroyed the inexperienced Magic, and proved that with a little teamwork and a some clutch play, you can make good things happen.

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LAKERS

Gasol is the quiet leader on the Lakers with a gangly, unique style but the silent ability to take on the ďŹ nest centres and still come on out on top.

The secrets to Laker success 12

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teamwork

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LAKERS

Three straight Finals trips Ron Artest will give L.A. a for Lakers? little bit of toughness and someone to watch the MVP’s (Kobe Bryant) back

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fter so much lip service given their desire to keep the roster of the 2009 NBA champs together, it didn’t take long for L.A. to hold the door open for Trevor Ariza’s exit. Does any of that matter when the Lakers still have Kobe Bryant? The short answer is: No. Los Angeles Lakers Gained -- Ron Ar test Lost -- Trevor Ariza Up in the air -- Early projection for 2009-10 season: What was essentially a swap of Ariza for Ron Ar test might seem like an even-up deal on the surface. But while the Lakers were concerned about the possibility of overpaying if they met Ariza’s original demands did they underestimate the potential of Ron Ar test’s prickly personality down the line? Artest will give L.A. a toughness and someone to watch Kobe Bryant’s back. But he will still be the third option in the offense, also behind Pau Gasol, and that’s something that could test even the Zen serenity of Phil Jackson. With Kobe and Ron Ron as a 1-2 punch, the Lakers will be right in the thick of things in the Western Conference. But if they take the floor on Opening Night missing both Ariza and Odom, the defending champs will slip back to being

another team in a hunt, not the lead dogs. It’s usually not easy to like a team that is coming off a 19-63 season. But it’s hard not to feel upbeat about a summer that saw the Clippers get the real deal with No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin and unload the big contract and me-meme play of Zach Randolph. They got Quentin Richardson’s expiring contract in return and that should give the perennial doormats even more flexibility in the future. Things already look promising with a core built around Griffin that includes Baron Davis, Eric Gordon, Al Thornton, Marcus Camby and Kaman. The

of a laboratory. Now the Suns have to come to grips with Stoudemire’s contract demands while re-signing 36-year-old forward Grant Hill and looking to extend the deal of 35-year-old point guard Steve Nash. On the youthful side of the roster, Channing Frye is a nice pickup whose outside shooting touch will help space the floor and draft pick Earl Clark is long and athletic with good upside. If Stoudemire’s head is in the game, the Suns could hope to squeeze in at the bottom of the Playoffs. But mostly next season is about team owner Robert Sarver saving money. Can the Warriors get anyone to take Corey Maggette off their hands? Or Brandan Wright? Or Andres Biedrins? Heck, can Chris Cohan get anyone to take the entire franchise off his hands? In the early summer there have already been handfuls of rumors that Cohan has had enough suffering and is ready to pull the plug on his stewardship. Cohan denies he’s looking to sell. But why not, since the Warriors look like they’ve only got more of the same old stuff to peddle on the court. Curry should make an interesting, if undersized, backcour t fit with Monta Ellis that will keep the scoreboard flickering once more at the Oracle. Mix in Anthony Randolph with the sharpshooting Anthony Morrow and the always revved-up Stephen Jackson and you’ve got the same bunch that can be highly entertaining on some nights and yet underachieve over a full season.

“Does any of that matter

when the Lakers still have Kobe Bryant? The short answer is: No bottom half of the Western Conference playoff bracket is ripe for the taking if the Clippers don’t find a way to shoot themselves in the foot again. -- Now that The Big Cactus is gone, the Suns are saying they want to go back to being the up-tempo, run-and-gun-andfun circus that made them a perennial Western Conference contender under Mike D’Antoni. Of course, that was before GM Steve Kerr came on the scene to -- what? re-mold? rebuild? destroy? -- some of the best chemistry outside

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BIG TRADES

d e e h s a r e c a l l a w No. t s e w e n e h t , e c a Wall

g in d d a f o l a o g e ring h b T o t is ix m e h t o reen, t g ic lt e C n o d o t 30 nship io p m a h c h t 8 1 ’s ise home the franch

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left shoulder, raised high on the back wall of the practice court. It’s the scoreboard -- a scoreboard that will serve as an indicator throughout the season to he and his teammates of what’s taking place on the court during practice.Today it was an indicator, too. The time of that scoreboard read “20:10”, the score was all knotted up at “18”, and the player section showed “30”. Translation:The goal of adding Wallace, the newest No. 30 to don Celtic green, to the mix is to bring home the franchise’s 18th championship banner in the year 2010. Wallace’s main goal this offseason was to join a team that had legit championship aspirations, and that goal was evident by his initial list of possible destinations: San Antonio, Dallas, Boston, Cleveland and Orlando. Boston was on that list, but that wasn’t good enough. When the Big Three made the decision that they couldn’t allow Wallace and his family to call anywhere other than Boston their Rasheed home, they decided is from the old to take it into their school where hard work gets it done. He own hands. pushed around Allen Ainge, Rivers Iverson but wasn’t quick and owner Wyc enough for LeBron - but in Boston Grousbeck took a recruiting trip to Detroit to try and woo Wallace into joining their team. Their arrival was expected, but what Wallace met the Boston press for the Wallace didn’t see coming was three future first time. Hall of Famers flying to Detroit to recruit him Throughout the press conference, it was as well. hard to ignore what was sitting over Wallace’s .he Celtics’ shrewd move for ‘Sheed tops summer’s best buys. Five familiar faces of the Celtics’ basketball family took the stage today to introduce their newest member, four-time All-Star forward/center Rasheed Wallace. With President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge, Head Coach Doc Rivers and his new running mates, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett by his side,

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“As soon as I came around the corner and into the little conference room, and to see [Garnett, Pierce and Allen] there, that I wasn’t expecting,” said Wallace. “That showed a lot. That showed me that they really want me to be a part of this team, that they’d open their arms for me and my family to be a part of the Boston Celtics now.” That recruiting tool worked, and now Wallace bolsters a frontline that Pierce called “arguably the best frontline in the NBA.”The arrival of ‘Sheed in Boston has a lot of fans giddy, but the statements coming out of the Big Three today shows that they’re pretty energized themselves. “I’m just overly excited,” said Garnett. “... I don’t really chase too many people. I don’t really go out and seek guys or try to manipulate, but this was totally worth it. This was my chance to play with another great big, another person who’s not only as passionate but also as intense, and is [very] versatile skill wise.” Pierce chimed in to say, “It gives you an extra boost of energy. The last few weeks, it’s hard for me to stay out of the gym.” Every person on the stage indicated that this marriage was one that was on the radar from the very last day of the Celtics’ regular season. Allen spoke about how he, Pierce and Garnett held a meeting after their final game and decided that Wallace was the one piece of the puzzle that they needed to add this offseason. Rivers agreed with that idea wholeheartedly. “Right when the season ended, you looked at the free-agent list and there was one name that popped out right away, and it was Rasheed’s,” he said. “Obviously we didn’t know if we could get him or not, but we knew that’s who we wanted.”


BIG TRADES

“Wallace’s main goal was to join a team that had legit championship aspirations: San Antonio, Antonio Dallas, Boston, Cleveland and Orlando.

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Wallace is getting old, but his experience is unquestioned. That threepoint shot will confuse players and his strength on D is sure to win fans over

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BIG TRADES

vince r e t r a c ar ter, C e c in V r o f lu g urko oT d n By trading Hed a g in z e iv s n e f eir of h t t p e k ic g a M the run g n lo e h t in y e n saved mo

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an a team knock off the MVP of the league, take down the club with the best regularseason record and advance all the way to the NBA Finals and still wind up being overlooked? Say hello to the Orlando Magic. Of course, being unappreciated and unloved was a strong motivator and worked out for Orlando last season. So maybe the inhabitants of the Magic kingdom will be happy to sit in the back seat again while rejuvenated Boston and re-armed Cleveland get all of the headlines in the Eastern Conference.

CARTER FOR TURKGLU Not that the reigning Eastern champs sat idly themselves. By essentially trading Hedo Turkoglu for Vince Car ter, the Magic kept their offensive zing and saved money in the long run. They forked over the cash to keep Marcin Gor tat in the middle and reeled in Brandon Bass to make them even longer up front. In Miami, the chicken-and-egg dance between the Heat and Dwyane Wade over who’ll commit first continues, while there’s been a definite upgrade to the backcour t scoring punch in Atlanta with Jamal Crawford joining a re-signed Mike Bibby. If Gilber t Arenas is healthy and back to his old form, the Wizards under new coach Flip Saunders might be ready for one of the most dramatic liftoffs outside of Cape Canaveral. Year Two for Larr y Brown in Charlotte will either 16

see the Bobcats claw their way into a first-ever playoff spot or the peripatetic leader to begin looking for the door.

The former dunk champion is getting on a bit, so whether his shot is as reliable as his dunks were, Vince better hope his knees are in working order now...

Orlando Magic Gained -- Vince Car ter, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Bass Lost -- Rafer Alston, Tony Battier, Cour tney Lee, Hedo Turkoglu Up in the air -- After saying that $34 million over five years was too much to spend on a backup center, Magic GM Otis Smith matched the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet to Marcin Gor tat. Of course, that doesn’t mean he’ll still be on the roster come Christmas day. The Magic have only nine players under contract and the free-agent pool is beginning to thin out considerably.

PROJECTIONS Early projection for 2009-10 season -- It was a bold move for a team that advanced to the NBA Finals to allow key player Hedo Turkoglu out the door. But the Magic made the best of the situation by making the first move and TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

dealing for Vince Car ter and Ryan Anderson. They also picked up a trade exception wor th $8 million to $9 million in the Turkoglu deal. The $53 million over five years to keep Turkoglu would have been a steep price and there’s every reason to think that Car ter can fill that slot -- if not improve it -- with only two years left on his contract. It keeps the team dynamic yet flexible in the near future. The signing of Brandon Bass to a 4-year, $18-million deal gives the Magic a young, active power forward, who allows Rashard Lewis to return to a more comfor table spot at small forward. If they hold onto Gor tat, they’ve got plenty of size up front. With Boston healthy and Cleveland reloaded, the Magic will be overlooked but dangerous again in the East.


BIG TRADES

“The $53

million to keep Turkoglu would have been a steep price and there’s every reason to think that Carter can fill that slot

If Vince can still dunk like he does here, Orlando will be smiling all the way to the Finals, but if he can’t then forget it. He’ll be a poor replacement for Hedo

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BIG TRADES

e l l i u q sha l a e n ’ o all himself

c o t d e w o ll a e b l ts e g e O’Neal wil h if d n la e Clev in s t n a w e h g anythin ump h e h t r e v o s e LeBron Jam

S

o what do you do after you’ve already lapped the field in the division last season by 25 games, have the reigning MVP in your lineup and yet that nagging loss to Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals sticking in your craw? If you’re the Cavaliers, you bring in Shaquille O’Neal, of course, and send the basketball world scrambling for another set of nicknames for the itinerant center. Remake by the Lake? Shaqalier? The Big O’hio? Ring Bearer? O’Neal will be allowed to call himself anything he wants in Cleveland if he gets LeBron James over the hump and hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy at precisely the time next June when he becomes a free agent. The Bulls bid farewell to Ben Gordon, but are counting on Derrick Rose and maybe a few other late summer moves to take them up a notch. Meanwhile Gordon and fellow free agent Charlie Villanueva have taken up residence as centerpieces in Joe Dumars’ reconstruction plan in Detroit. Tyler Hansbrough gives the Pacers the kind of hard-nosed, scrappy player with whom Larry Bird can identify and

the Bucks are hoping that a season not plagued by injuries can get them up off the floor. Cleveland Cavaliers Gained -- Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Parker, Anderson Varejao, Daniel Green, Christian Eyenga Lost -- Sasha Pavlovic, Ben Wallace Up in the air -- After locking down forward Anderson Varejao with a six-year contract worth almost $50 million with incentives and getting Anthony Parker fEarly projection for 2009-10 season -- The Cavs definitely made the biggest splash in the pool this summer when Shaq did a cannon ball into their laps. They only gave up Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace and now Shaq is promising to win a ring for the King. Shaq seems to be on hand to deal with Dwight Howard in another series with Orlando. But does he lift them past a rejuvenated Boston bunch? Was it telling in any way that Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza and Charlie Villanueva all passed up a chance to join Shaq and LeBron? After Mo Williams’ offense was eventually shut down

“The Cavs definitely made the

biggest splash in the pool this summer when Shaq did a cannon ball into their laps 18

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

by the Magic, Anthony Parker’s outside shooting touch will be welcomed. They likely overpaid for Varejao, but need his active body on the frontline if they’re going to get back to the Finals. But one season after they finished with the best record in the East, the Cavs might have slipped back behind Boston again.

Shaq may be slightly rusty and a shadow of his former self, but he can stil put it down. If James gives up the ball every now and then, the Cavs could go all the way


BIG TRADES

Don;t let the smile foll you. Shaq is one mean cookie. And you know that he really wants to show the LEague that he’s worth every penny.

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

19


BIG TRADES

hedo u l g o k tur t signed a 30 year old, s Toronto, you’ve ju r over o f r e t o o h s ic t le ath not par ticularly mmm.... h S R A L L O D $50 MILLION

Hedo is a strange entity. We know he can shoot and has great court awareness, but he fades too much.He can’t rely on Howard anymore.

S

ince hearing about Hedo Turkoglu’s intention to play for the Raptors this upcoming season,Toronto fans (myself included) have been worried about what the move would mean for their team’s chances of improving their depth this off-season. Now, it seems Bryan Colangelo has pulled off a fourteam deal that will allow Shawn Marion to be paid more than an average salary in Dallas and give the Toronto Raptors the ability to inject some more talent into a roster that, as presently constructed, is very thin. Some of us doubted that this would be possible, as multi-team trades are very difficult to pull off in the NBA and it seemed that there was no reason for the Orlando Magic to help the Raptors out by including Turkoglu a sign-and-trade scenario. However, after hours of number crunching and phone calls, the Raptors and Mavericks, with the help of the Memphis Grizzlies, have facilitated a deal that Orlando couldn’t turn down. When this trade is officially completed, the Magic will receive a trade exception worth an estimated $7 million that will allow for them to acquire additional talent. This is exactly how GM Otis Smith was able to land Rafer Alston for virtually 20

nothing at last season’s trade deadline, a move that opened the door for them to make the NBA Finals with their allstar point guard Jameer Nelson unavailable. Where does this leave the Raptors? Well, firstly, they have acquired Devean George and Antoine Wright in this deal, players who address their shallow wing depth and whose contracts come off the books at the end of the upcoming season. Additionally, they have the mid-level exception. Some players that have been signed at MLE-value this summer include Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, and Marcin Gortat. The Raptors can use this to sign a player who can come in and contribute right away. They also have the bi-annual exception, which many people believe will be used on serviceable center Rasho Nesterovic. There are rumblings that this puts the team in a position to bring back guard Carlos Delfino even before delving into either of TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

those two exceptions. I’m not sure the truth of that last point, but, regardless, the opportunity exists to add some key pieces to the rotation before the start of the season. Whilst I still quite strongly disagree with the idea that Hedo Turkoglu is worth his enormous multi-year deal, Bryan Colangelo has given his franchise more options than it seemed to have yesterday. The team is not limited to filling out the roster with minimum-salary level players. Essentially, this means the Raptors might have more than four good players on the team next season. This is what we were hoping for in Toronto, and for this, Mr. Colangelo should be applauded. However... Toronto, you’ve just signed a 30 year old, not particularly athletic shooter for over $50 MILLION DOLLARS. Are you planning ahead, and already rubbing your hands in delight when you trade him in four years to a team that needs some cap space, or something? I’m just hearing on ESPN now, from Rick Bucher, that Toronto had the inside pole on Portland, too--his wife likes Toronto, it’s


BIG TRADES

“Turkoglu and his wife, Bana,

arrived in Toronto to officially sign a five-year contract worth about $53 million TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

Jameer Belson can’t suke to Hedo anymore. The Turk has gone to Toronto and looks like he may have a home there. Hope his wife likes the criiba

21


BIG TRADES

shawn n o i r a m rent e f if d ly t n a c ifi n be sig Marion is going to be traded again. His lack of a shooting touch and low post game is still bothering teams, but as long as he can jump, he may find a team

T

o er v e Dallas is going t n is m is ic t le h at at h t d n a n io r a M with p to easy to match u

eam president Donnie Nelson has seen his priorities shift during his stay in Las Vegas. Nelson had hoped to watch more basketball, especially promising firstround pick and potential Kidd successor Roddy Beaubois. Nelson also wanted to check out the other teams here, and with mingle with fellow league executives, agents and coaches in the relaxed atmosphere of the stands. Instead, he’s spent most of the week holed up in his hotel burning up the phone lines while $5.8 million burns a hole in his pocket. “We’re good to go with what we have,” Nelson said, “but we’ll keep poking around.” Free agent Lamar Odom is on Dallas’ 22

radar, though team insiders believe he’s headed back to Los Angeles. The Lakers have hardly stood pat, swapping out promising Trevor Ariza for proven Ron Artest. The other contenders in the conference have taken a more low-key approach. After their trip to the West finals, the Nuggets seem content to let their roster ferment for another season with Chauncey Billups in the fold from Day 1. The Blazers have been busy courting Hedo Turkoglu and Paul Millsap, and have neither to show for it. Retaining players is more of a priority than adding in places like New Orleans and Utah. “Denver had a great year and extended the Lakers,” Buford said. “Houston has had a tough summer athletically, but I think they’ve added some good pieces. Dallas is going to be significantly different with Marion and that athleticism is never easy to match up to.” Carlisle has already begun studying the personnel combinations for a roster that includes Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Howard, Jason Kidd, Kidd and Marion. After winning a Playoff series for the first time in three years, the Mavs could be poised for a return into the West’s top four. “Right now it’s about who we surround Dirk with and who we put out there with TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

Kidd,” Carlisle said. “We have to make sure Kidd has enough weapons and we have to make sure Dirk has the right guys around him. “Marion is one of the really unique players of the last decade. He can do so many things defensively. He can do so many things offensively. He plays multiple positions. He runs, he rebounds and he’s just a terrific basketball player. For us it’s like putting methane in the gas tank. It juices up our team.” It took a change of heart in the Pacific Northwest for Marion to land in North Texas. Turkoglu’s decision to spurn Portland in favor of Toronto started the chain of events. “If Hedo doesn’t go to Toronto, we’re not looking at any opportunity to get Shawn,” Carlisle said. “We could have seen a situation where Portland adds an All-Star caliber guy at forward and Marion stays in the East. There are a lot of things that operate in a fragile way with respect to each other. “If you work hard enough, you fall into some breaks.” And maybe catch the Lakers. “They’re the best, but there are five or six other teams in the West that are just as good as each other,” Popovich said. “Evbody is trying to gear up for the Lakers, so I think it could be one of the best seasons ever. And we’ve had some good ones for the fans the last four or five years.There are so many good teams that I think i could be a great year for fans watching the NBA.”


BIG TRADES

“Marion is

one of the really unique players of the last decade. He can do so many things defensively.

Marion can dunk and rebound with the best of them, but his qbility to float on an offence is cause for concern. If Jason Kidd can throw alley-oops he’ll be fine

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

23


BIG TRADES

ron t s e t r a

Ron Artest signed with the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, the team he wanted to join for years. Artest, who played for the Houston Rockets last season, received a five-year deal worth about $33 million, according to his agent, David Bauman. Seated next to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Artest professed that he has wanted to be a Laker for several years, but the timing was never right. “This was a long time coming,” Artest said. “As I started to compete against the Lakers and against Kobe [Bryant], I had respect for him and I always wanted to be a teammate of his.” During the Playoffs, Artest could be seen

courtside at Lakers games and was in attendance during the NBA Finals last season, when Los Angeles lost to Boston. After the Celtics clinched the championship in Game 6, Artest approached Bryant in the locker room and told him he wanted to help him out. “I just wanted to make that connection,” Artest said. “I wanted to let him know that No more beef in LA. Artest is he played tough and he played great and I now a Laker. Thanks to can’t wait to be a teammate of his.” Odom, who helped push Artest agreed to a deal last week, but Ron-Ron over the edge anf couldn’t sign it until Wednesday. The Lakers get that deal signed asap. Nice work, LA. also re-signed guard Shannon Brown.

free agent tracker list PLAYER

POS

AGE

EXP

TYPE

OLD TEAM

NEW TEAM

CONTRACT

ALLEN, MALIK

F

30

9YRS

UFA*

MIL

MIL

---

AMUNDSON, LOUIS

F

26

3YRS

UFA***

PHX

PHX

1

ANDERSEN, CHRIS

F

30

6YRS

UFA

DEN

DEN

5

ANTHONY, JOEL

C

26

2YRS

RFA

MIA

---

---

ARIZA, TREVOR

F

23

5YRS

UFA

LAL

HOU

5

ARTEST, RON

F

29

10YRS

UFA

HOU

LAL

5

BARNES, MATT

F

29

7YRS

UFA

PHX

ORL

2

BASS, BRANDON

F

24

4YRS

UFA

DAL

ORL

4

BIBBY, MIKE

G

31

11YRS

UFA

ATL

ATL

3

BOOZER, CARLOS

F-C

27

7YRS

UFA*

UTA

UTA

1

BOWEN, RYAN

F

33

9YRS

UFA

NOH

---

---

BROWN, BOBBY

G

24

1YRS

RFA*

MIN

MIN

1

BROWN, DEVIN

G

30

7YRS

UFA*

NOH

NOH

1

BROWN, SHANNON

G

23

3YRS

UFA

LAL

LAL

2

BRYANT, KOBE

G

30

13YRS

UFA***

LAL

LAL

2

24

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE


FREE AGENT NEWS BYNUM, WILL

G

26

2YRS

RFA**

DET

---

---

CARNEY, RODNEY

F

25

3YRS

UFA

MIN

---

---

CRAWFORD, JAMAL

G

29

9YRS

UFA*

GSW

ATL

2

CURRY, EDDY

C

26

8YRS

UFA***

NYK

---

---

DANIELS, MARQUIS

F-G

28

6YRS

UFA***

IND

---

---

DAVIS, GLEN

F

23

2YRS

RFA

BOS

---

---

DAVIS, RICKY

G

29

11YRS

UFA*

LAC

LAC

1

DIAWARA, YAKHOUBA^

F

26

3YRS

UFA*

MIA

---

---

FELTON, RAYMOND

G

24

4YRS

RFA

CHA

---

---

FESENKO, KYRYLO

C

22

2YRS

RFA**

UTA

UTA

1

FINLEY, MICHAEL

F-G

36

14YRS

UFA*

SAS

SAS

1

FOYLE, ADONAL

C

34

12YRS

UFA

ORL

---

---

FRYE, CHANNING

F-C

26

4YRS

RFA

POR

PHX

2

GARDNER, THOMAS

G

24

2YRS

UFA

ATL

---

---

GEORGE, DEVEAN

F-G

31

10YRS

UFA*

DAL

---

---

GOODEN, DREW

F

27

7YRS

UFA

SAS

DAL

---

GORDON, BEN

G

26

5YRS

UFA

CHI

DET

5

GORTAT, MARCIN

F

25

2YRS

RFA

ORL

ORL

5

HAYES, JARVIS

F

27

6YRS

UFA***

NJN

NJN

1

HEAD, LUTHER

G

26

4YRS

UFA

MIA

---

---

HERRMANN, WALTER

F

29

3YRS

RFA

DET

---

---

HILL, GRANT

F

36

15YRS

UFA

PHX

PHX

2

HOUSE, EDDIE

G

31

9YRS

UFA*

BOS

---

---

HOWARD, JUWAN

F

36

15YRS

UFA

CHA

---

---

HUNTER, LINDSEY

G

38

16YRS

UFA

CHI

CHI

---

ILGAUSKAS, ZYDRUNAS

C

34

13YRS

UFA***

CLE

---

---

IVERSON, ALLEN

G

34

13YRS

UFA

DET

---

---

IVEY, ROYAL

G

27

5YRS

UFA*

PHI

---

---

JACK, JARRETT

G

25

4YRS

RFA

IND

TOR

4

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

25


FREE AGENT NEWS JONES, DAHNTAY

G

28

6YRS

UFA

DEN

IND

4

KIDD, JASON

G

36

15YRS

UFA

DAL

DAL

3

KORVER, KYLE

F

28

6YRS

UFA***

UTA

UTA

1

MAGLOIRE, JAMAAL

C

31

9YRS

UFA

MIA

MIA

---

MARBURY, STEPHON

G

32

13YRS

UFA

BOS

---

---

MARION, SHAWN

F

31

10YRS

UFA

TOR

DAL

5

MCCANTS, RASHAD

G

24

4YRS

RFA

SAC

---

---

MCDYESS, ANTONIO

F-C

34

13YRS

UFA

DET

SAS

---

MCROBERTS, JOSH

F

22

2YRS

RFA

IND

IND

---

MENSAH-BONSU, POPS

F

25

2YRS

RFA

TOR

---

---

MILLER, ANDRE

G

33

10YRS

UFA

PHI

POR

---

MILLSAP, PAUL

F

24

3YRS

RFA

UTA

UTA

4

MOON, JAMARIO

F

28

2YRS

RFA

MIA

CLE

---

NESTEROVIC, RASHO

C

33

11YRS

UFA

IND

MIL

---

ODOM, LAMAR

F

29

10YRS

UFA

LAL

LAL

---

OKUR, MEHMET

F-C

30

7YRS

UFA***

UTA

UTA

1

OLLIE, KEVIN

G

36

13YRS

UFA

MIN

MIL

---

PACHULIA, ZAZA

C

25

6YRS

UFA

ATL

ATL

HHH4

PARGO, JANNERO

G

29

6YRS

UFA

---

CHI

1

PARKER, ANTHONY

G

33

6YRS

UFA

TOR

CLE

2

PETRO, JOHAN

C

23

4YRS

RFA

DEN

---

---

POWE, LEON

F

25

3YRS

RFA

BOS

---

---

PRICE, RONNIE

G

25

4YRS

UFA

UTA

UTA

---

RICHARDSON, QUENTIN

G

29

9YRS

RFA***

NYK

---

---

ROBINSON, NATE

G

25

4YRS

RFA

NYK

---

---

ROSS, QUINTON

G

26

6YRS

UFA

MEM

DAL

2

TURKOGLU, HEDO

F

39

9YRS

UFA***

ORL

TOR

5

VAREJAO, ANDERSON

F

28

5YRS

UFA*

CLE

CLE

6

VAUGHN, JACQUE

G

34

12YRS

UFA

SAS

---

---

26

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE


FREE AGENT NEWS VILLANUEVA, CHARLIE

F

WAFER, VON

24

4YRS

UFA

MIL

DET

5

G

23

4YRS

UFA

HOU

---

WALLACE, RASHEED

F-C

34

14YRS

UFA

DET

BOS

2

WARRICK, HAKIM

F

26

4YRS

RFA

MEM

MEM

---

WILCOX, CHRIS

F

26

7YRS

UFA

NYK

DET

2

WILKINS, DAMIEN

F

29

5YRS

UFA***

OKC

---

---

WILLIAMS, MARVIN

F

22

4YRS

RFA

ATL

---

---

WRIGHT, LORENZEN

F-C

33

13YRS

UFA

CLE

---

---

d r a h ric n o s r e jeff

Gregg Popovich feels the pressure of winning a title. Well, kinda. “If we don’t win it, I should probably be fired,” San Antonio’s coach quipped Thursday. “Without a doubt.” The Spurs emerged from their first-round loss to Dallas knowing they needed more. The Mavericks felt the same way after they were ousted. Now they’ve each gone out to get it, undergoing the most radical roster updates in the Western Conference with an eye on the champs. “We’re all gunning for the Lakers,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. San Antonio’s haul, at least on paper, appears more impressive of the two Texas rivals. Richard Jefferson and Antonio McDyess, a pair with plenty of postseason skins, were added without comprising the Tim Duncan-Tony Parker-Manu Ginobili nucleus. The Spurs followed their uncharacteristic first-round loss (to Dallas) with a spree that puts them, in the minds of many, back in their usual spot again with the Lakers at the top of the conference heap. Jefferson adds a scorer and potentially takes pressure off Ginobili, who has grown more injury prone in recent years. Duncan needed more bangers down low and he’s getting a couple

said. “They’re bringing in a lot of talent and great guys. I can’t wait to get out there and put all the chips together and compete for a championship.”

in McDyess and second-round steal DeJuan Blair. “We couldn’t have painted it any better,” Popovich said during his brief stop at the NBA Summer League. “For us getting healthy is the most important thing, to make sure Timmy and Manu are straight, obviously. You have to have your horses to get it done these days. “The part that you can try to control, as much as you can, is the Draft and free-agent signings and trades. We’ve done a little bit of each. We were able to make a good trade, we were able to make a signing and we had a good Draft, so all three came forward and presented an opportunity this summer and we were able to take advantage. That doesn’t happen every often to get something in all three areas. With that I’m thrilled.” So is George Hill, the Jefferson second-year backup to can dunk on a few players but his career Parker who’s back at needs n uplift. San AntoSummer League to work nio won’t be the team for on his game. him, but it may help him “Pop and [general reach All-Star status. Maybe? manager R.C. Buford] do a great job in the front office,” Hill TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

27


ALLEN IVERSON

Iverson would like to play for a contending team, but he’s given no indication yet he’d be willing to be a bench player

Y

es, the Los Angeles Clippers are having talks with Allen Iverson. But a signing does not appear imminent, because Iverson is still chafing at the idea of coming off the bench. Sources confirmed the Los Angeles Times’ report that the team has offered Iverson a one-year deal at the mid-level exception of $5.8 million for next season. But, those sources said, Iverson remains reluctant to take a reserve role, which would be behind incumbent Baron Davis at the point or Eric Gordon at the two, just as he chafed in Detroit this past season playing behind Rip Hamilton. Even though Iverson would like to play in a big city, or, at the least, for a contending team, he’s given no indication yet that he’d be any more willing to be a bench player in Los Angeles than he would be elsewhere. One source with knowledge of the team’s intentions said that Iverson was not the only player the Clippers were approaching. They also spoke with representatives for Milwaukee guard Ramon Sessions, as well as Indiana’s Jarrett Jack, before Jack signed an offer sheet with the Toronto Raptors, in their pursuit of a backup point. Another source said that Coach Mike Dunleavy needed some assurances from Iverson’s camp that he could accept a reserve role before getting completely behind the pursuit of Iverson. In the interim, Iverson is still being pursued by Miami, Memphis and Charlotte. However, the Clippers do remain a strong possibility for Iverson. Los Angeles could provide all 28

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

kinds of ancillary income opportunities for Iverson. And the Clippers could have significant room under the cap after this season, which would give Iverson a chance to recoup some income if he were to accept the one-year offer at the mid-level.

MEMPHIS, PERHAPS? Free agent Allen Iverson is in talks with the Memphis Grizzlies about a new contract, but owner Michael Heisley said Wednesday that talks between the team and the 10-time All-Star are only in the preliminary stages. On the same day that he agreed to let his team take part in the three-team deal that sent forward Shawn Marion to the Mavericks in a sign-andtrade deal, with his Grizzlies taking the contract of guard Jerry Stackhouse, Heisley acknowledged in a telephone interview that the Grizzlies had had discussions with Iverson’s agent, Leon Rose, and he said he would like to meet with Iverson in the coming days to assess Iverson’s desire to come to Memphis. “It’s something we’ve talked to his agent about,” Heisley said. “We have not come to anything close to an understanding. We’re just exploring.” The 34-year-old Iverson is looking for a new home after last year’s trade from


ALLEN IVERSON

Iverson just needs to finish a few layups and he’ll be the man again. Even at his age, teams should not sleep on his ability to change the conplexion of a game

Denver to Detroit ended disastrously, with Iverson chafing at coming off the bench for then-coach Michael Curry and saying he’d rather retire than be a reserve. Citing a back injury, Iverson and the Pistons agreed that he would be left off the team’s postseason roster, and the team moved quickly to use the $20 million in cap room created by not giving Iverson an extension, agreeing to deals with Bulls guard Ben Gordon and Bucks forward Charlie Villanueva. In this economic climate, no team is going to give Iverson anything close to the money he used to make as one of the NBA’s true superstars in Philadelphia. And it may even be difficult for Iverson to find a team willing to give him the full mid-level

exception for next season, starting at $5.854 million. But Iverson has been linked by various reports to both the Grizzlies and Miami Heat, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday that Heisley was giving serious consideration to giving Iverson a oneyear, $5 million deal. Heisley didn’t say that the Grizzlies wouldn’t ultimately sign Iverson only that such a decision has yet to be made. “More or less, we’re going to have discussions initially with his agent,” Heisley said. “But it’s very, very early. I don’t want people to think there’s more to it than that. It’s very, very early and it’s nothing more than exploratory.”

“It may even be difficult for

Iverson to find a team willing to give him the full mid-level exception for next season

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

29


EURO BASKET 2009

Deng and Gasol are on a mission this summer to prove who will be the best team in Europe. We a;ll know that Spain has it locked donw!!!

Europe gets set for basketball

G

reat Britain have been drawn against reigning world champions Spain in EuroBasket finals in Poland. GB will also face former Yugoslav nations Serbia and Slovenia in a tough opening group in Warsaw. “They need to show consistency at the top European level to convince world governing body Fiba they are worthy of a host’s spot in the 2012 Olympics. It’s going to be difficult but there’s no reason to be scared of anybody,” said coach Chris Finch. But the draw in Warsaw, in which GB were e of the four th seeds, did them few favours in their quest to establish themselves among the European elite. World champions Spain are arguably the best team in Europe at the moment. They reached the last EuroBasket final two years ago and won an Olympic silver medal in Beijing. Slovenia regularly qualify for the European 30

finals and came close to securing their first Olympic berth earlier this year. Third seeds Serbia were world champions in 2002 and won the European title five times from 1989-2001. “They’ve been down but they’re on the rise again a bit,” noted Finch. “They seem to be going in the right direction. It’s going to be difficult but there’s no reason to be scared of anybody.”

18-20 September. If Great Britain can reach the second phase, they will stand a good chance of making the 2010 World Championships, by virtue of either a qualifying spot or as one of four other teams Fiba will invite.

EUROBASKET CAMPAIGN Great Britain have received a pretty decent draw and could even qualify from their group if they get some luck. Great Britain will open their EuroBasket campaign in Warsaw against Slovenia on 7 September and will play Spain and then Serbia in the next two days. If they make the top three in Group C, they will qualify for the second phase in Lodz against the three best teams from Group D. The final phase of the tournament - the last eight - will be played in Katowice from TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

EuroBasket 2009 GroupA

GroupB

GroupC GroupD

Croatia

Russia

Spain

Greece

Germany G Britain

Turkey

Macedonia

Latvia

Serbia

Lithaunia

Israel

France

Slovenia

Bulgaria

Poland


SNAP SHOTS

We look forward to a new year, and look forward to a new season. Which players will grab the headlines this year>

TEAR DROP MAGAZINE

31


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mean to FINISH!

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