Monday, July 10, 2006

In a perfect NBA world...

Last week, in one of a thousand articles speculating on the inevitable(?) trade of Allen Iverson, Stephen A. Smith tossed out the idea that Philadelphia should try to get someone like Carlos Boozer in exchange. I assume that Smith was inferring that they do so as part of some multi-team deal, but the notion is too amusing to pass up...

What if the Jazz scored Allen Iverson?

As of last Thursday, I officially became a partial season-ticket holder for the Jazz, along with two of my co-workers. Therefore I have an increasingly vested interest in the status of the team. I wasn't bowled over with glee at the draft--though it has continued to look better in the days since--but I am pretty upbeat about the addition of Derek Fisher. I'm happy they re-signed Harpring, pretty much neutral about Araujo, and still waiting for someone to return my phone call after I left a voice mail asking about any possibility of season-ticket holder/Jazz Dancer exchange events.

I really want the Jazz to win. Really. But the notion of watching a season with Allen Iverson on the team? That's almost too absurd, too perfect, too brilliant to pass up.

As funny as it sounds, there is one intangible Iverson has that Sloan would love: a 76-man posse. No really, Iverson is about as tough as they come, and the Jazz really need that. Unfortunately, they also need a guy that can shoot...preferrably more than 35% from the field.

Then there's that posse thing...

I guess if he came to Utah, we could just turn over Port-'O-Call and let "The Answer" have his run of things for a few months. I don't know, maybe the guy really likes skiing and would actually have a blast here. It's possible.

On a related note, LeBron James is supposedly going to sign a four-year extension with the Cavs instead of the five-year megadeals all his '03 peers have already inked. Speculation here is that King James is holding onto his option to bolt for NY or LA if C-Town can't pull a title in the next five years. The official word, however, is that LeBron loves his home and has no desire to leave, that he wants to be the guy to "break the Cleveland curse".

As a guy that counts C-Town as a second home of sorts (Mom raised there), I love the idea of LeBron sticking to his roots. As a guy that watched the Cleveland Browns (the closest thing I've ever had to a Utah Jazz in the NFL) lose three AFC title games in four years to the Denver (isn't Salt Lake one of our suburbs?) Broncos, I would love to see some team from Cleveland break through. Cavs, Browns, Indians, whatever.

The whole team loyalty/max contract thing stirs a big pot for me.

If Allen Iverson could manage a herculean change of heart and suddenly decide he so wants a title that he would be willing to bite his tongue for a year in Utah to pull it off, that would be great. I'd love to see Kevin Garnett do the same thing. Cause this is one of the things I can't really figure out about NBA players: they all act like they are so desperate for a ring, but hardly anyone will consider taking a smaller paycheck to do so.

Until Karl Malone and Gary Payton tried to latch onto Shaq and Kobe's party in 2004, the closest thing we had to a genuine "humble moment" was Barkley and Drexler going to the Rockets. But how many guys in the 90's could have sucked it up, joined the Jazz, and easily propelled Utah to a title? Why did Karl only decide he didn't care about the money when he opted to go to LA?

Look, I understand that it's a different world for millionaire athletes, especially when someone is chucking eight-figure offers at you when you're 21 years old. But seriously, if you are as competitive as you claim to be, if you want a title as bad as you claim, prove it. Jason Williams and Antoine Walker just got at title in Miami, for Pete's sake. Are you telling me the same thing couldn't happen in Utah?