I’m gonna have to be brief with today’s NBA notes, as I need to go purchase some kind of baby gift for the Hillenbrands.
1) Sixers prez Billy King denies his bosses vetoed a Kenyon Martin-for-Allan Iverson swap. Not that Iverson isn’t available, just the part about Ed Snider being worried about gimpy K-Mart. (Philly Inquirer).
2) Sixers fans plan a march in to protest A.I. trade rumors. And they say the public is apathetic about today’s hot issues. (Philadelphia Daily News)
One scene from the news conference still lingers naggingly the day after. Despite all the green and gold balloons that wiggled festively around the Furtado Center on Tuesday, the mood was funereal.
Clay Bennett, who should have been ecstatic that he had purchased an NBA team, never really smiled. He looked like he was buying a condo in Kabul, not a basketball team in Seattle.
And when Schultz presented him with a Sonics’ No. 1 jersey ” wasn’t that Gus Williams’ number? And isn’t that number retired? ” Bennett looked as thrilled as if he had just been given an oven mitt.
“The guy [Bennett] said something like, ‘I’m going to give it 12 months,’ ” Whitsitt said. “I’m thinking, ‘Whoa, there’s four years left on the [KeyArena] lease, and he’s giving it 12 months?’ Well, hopefully it’s a good 12 months.”
6) The San Jose Mercury News’ John Ryan reports that Oracle’s Larry Ellison made a failed bid for the Sonics with an eye towards moving the team to San Jose.
7) Tension, fame, etc. Steve Nash got a haircut.
8) The NBDL’s Austin Toros have released their 2006-07 schedule. That Boxing Day clash with Arkansas is looking awfully tasty.
9) While Joe Dumars is taking the high road in characterizing Big Ben’s contributions to the Pistons, Flip Saunders tells the Detroit News’ Terry Foster that “he will dust off plays he felt he could not use last season because of the offensive liabilities of Wallace.”
“The playbook was probably half of what it was because of that situation,” Saunders said. “Now we will be able to have an offense where we can utilize everybody. We are going to have guys who are going to come over and trap and cheat over early because they are going to have to guard all of those guys. I think some of our guys are going to be more effective because of Nazr and Flip, because offensively they are able to do things.”