The 2009-2010 NBA Season is upon us and this is an exciting time. What will the Knicks do to make NYC more attractive for LeBron? How many points will Vince Carter average now that he’s been traded again? When will Dan Dickau retire? These are all questions that may be answered this season. In honor of my vocabulary sensei Walt "Clyde" Frazier, I present 30 “dishes and wishes” on this NBA Season. There is no rhyme or reason to the order of these teams, I leave that to other previews. That said I think the Magic are looking strong this year. Now on to it.
1. New York Knicks
Dish: We know the story here, this season is just killing time until next summer when the Knicks will make a play into the free agent market. In the meantime the Knicks hope to keep David Lee and Nate Robinson happy enough to hang around through the addition of a big gun
Wish: Please let someone get drunk enough to accept Eddy Curry in a trade. We will need other GMs involved to make this happen. Kind of like when you’ve been out all night and your friends encourage you to eat that other Big Mac also. Hopefully this happens. Honestly it doesn’t matter what comes in return, something, nothing, whatever.
2. New Jersey Nets
Dish: Well they have officially gotten rid of every cool player from the last five years with VC moving on. Nothing against Devin Harris, but we know this team is in a bit of a rebuild mode. As bad as the lower half of the East might be, I just don’t know if there is a spot for this team. On a side note can they move to Brooklyn already? Either move or don’t, enough stories about the red tape for the arena in NY. Sad thing is these stories are just heating up.
Wish: They stay in New Jersey. I don’t think New York needs a second team, it gets a little ridiculous. I know it works well for baseball, but New Jersey needs a basketball team of their own and what will become of the Izod Center. Seton Hall and the Devils have already peaced out. What will become of exit 16W? I’d rather not think about it.
3. Denver Nuggets
Dish: Ok so everybody is back on the Billups bandwagon after he took over for Iverson. I kind of feel like towards the end of his Detroit tenure the vibe was he was no longer Mr. Big Shot with all the clutch plays and the like. The forwards on this team are solid, K-Mart, Nene (when healthy), and the bird-man. A very intriguing mix, and yes I’m still high on Martin. I like when people attack the rim like it stole their wallet.
Wish: Chris Anderson redeems himself at the Slam Dunk contest. (Warning this will be a theme here). His appearance a few years back was gross and he’s a talented jumper. Perhaps too awkward for the dunk contest, but I don’t care, put him back in. Maybe he can jump off a trampoline or have Voshon Lenard make a guest appearance and tow him on roller skates on a four wheeler.
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
Dish: Shaqie Robinson has arrived in the home of Drew Carey to help the “King win a ring.” Everyone thinks that Shaq won’t share the spotlight with LeBron, but I’m more of an optimist with this. Maybe it will work, hopefully Shaq realizes this is his last best chance to win yet another ring. He should just float in the key and work on follows and defense. Who knows if he will do this
Wish: This whole thing blows up, LeBron gets pissed and starts looking for houses in the Hamptons en route to the signing with the Knicks. Shaq starts filming season 2 of “Shaq vs” during the playoffs where he uses off days to work on pass blocking with Orlando Pace.
5. Utah Jazz
Dish: Jerry Sloan is still coaching here. That and Deron Williams were the first things that came to my head when pondering this team. The Jazz seem to always be good, but not great. They are in such a tough mix in the West that I don’t know they will ever make it out of there with their core guys. I like their people but I feel you could think of someone better at every position. It’s like they have a bunch of great guys, just not the greatest guys. That said I did just draft Deron Williams early for my fantasy squad.
Wish: Bring back those sweet green jerseys from the New Orleans days. Perhaps one of my favorite old school uniforms. Keep that blue and white and whatever else, but just make the green with the old Jazz look part of the regular rotation. I know they sell them on a somewhat regular basis, but this would cause them to sky rocket. Believe me.
6. Los Angeles Clippers
Dish: Here in Southern California the hype surrounding the Clippers is running wild…psych! It is nice that Blake Griffin is a Clip and by all accounts Baron Davis looks to be in some quality shape. Articles I have read by other writers state the man has lost weight and grown a beard, this should equal a rebound year for B-Diddy. Chris Kaman is back after a year in which he may or may not have been injured, I just don’t remember seeing him out there a whole lot. Whatever happened to Shaun Livingston?
Wish: This team finally moves to Anaheim. I’d go to a ton more games if this were the case and they would stop being the step brothers that are treated like crap by the Lakers. There is the sweet Honda Center, home of the Ducks, where they could call home and a large fan base including all of San Diego, former home of the Clippers, that might root for them. It will never happen since their owner wants to be big pimping in LA, but it should.
7. Milwaukee Bucks
Dish: This one time I went to a Mets game with my dad and it was the summer and real hot. This man next to us had a flannel shirt on with long sleeves and I was very confused. Around the second inning this man unbuttoned one sleeve and out slid a can of Old Milwaukee beer. It was amazing. My dad and I just laughed at each other.
Wish: Michael Redd gets some more respect. The guy is a heck of a shooter and does anyone remember he was on the Beijing Olympic Team? Gun to my head I would have told you that Scoonie Penn was the better guy coming off that OSU Buckeye squad, but here is Redd putting up big numbers. Sure he is mostly an outside shooter, but that’s still a nice thing to have.
8. Phoenix Suns
Dish: This team used to be so much fun to watch, and then they got a few unlucky bounces in the playoffs, scrapped the system and now are kind of a hybrid of what they used to be. I don’t have a good comparison to hybrid cars, but what I will say is they aren’t as popular as the corvette. This is what the Suns used to be, a pedal to the medal squad. They still have Nash, but Amare is carrying some random injuries on his resume, and now Thunder Dan is on the bench, and now the baby is crying.
Wish: Activate Thunder Dan. If anyone watches those all-star game shootouts that involve a current NBA, current WNBA, and legend player, as closely as I do, they then know that Thunder D can still make it rain like Michael Irvin at a Texas strip club in the mid-90s. Put him out there, he would feed off Nash so well just standing in a corner launching three pointers.
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
Dish: No Ricky Rubio, No problem. I like Rubio, I saw him play in the Olympics, he looks like he will be great someday, but I’m not of the idea that he would have turned this T-Wolves team around right away. So perhaps a little seasoning overseas might be the best thing. Key here for the Wolves is do not trade his rights no matter how much people make you feel stupid for still having them. There is a nice young group with Love and Al Jefferson (provided he is healthy). Let’s not forget Johnny Flynn, a total beast in that epic Big East overtime battle last March against UConn. So they have that going for them.
Wish: Sign Starbury in the middle of the year. He says he’s not playing this year but by about January he will be on some justintv video rambling about wanting to hoop again and he could spice things up a bit. Put on the old jersey and return to the place where he started and everyone had such high hopes for him. Perhaps you can go home again and this might work him. He could also grow his hair out and cover the head tattoo so nobody thinks he’s crazy.
10. Los Angeles Lakers
Dish: Here is Southern California the hype surround the Lakers is wild!...for real. People love their Lake Show out here. Was it a bit odd to pretty much trade Ariza for Artest straight up? Perhaps, but Artest when he is on his game is way better than Ariza, everyone must agree on that. Secondly I think Phil just got bored with things. He has a history of adding wild cards (Rodman) so maybe it works for them. Maybe Kobe molds Ron Ron into the perfect teammate, somebody who can have his back and just snuff out anybody who tries to get in Kobe’s face.
Wish: Pau Gasol shaves his beard. It’s just not working out and it should leave. I struggle to take him seriously with that beard. Other than that, a greatly talented guy that is probably better than I thought. It could be a charity event for Kobe as he fully rebuilds his image. Pau shaves for charity, it could raise so much money. I also want to see Andrew Bynum welcome Kareem back into his life. I read an article in the newspaper that Bynum kind of told the “Big Goggles” he didn’t need him anymore. Just let Kareem stay, let him sleep in your bed, can we stop this cruel game you vicious bastards!
11. New Orleans Hornets
Dish: Tyson Chandler finally got to move teams going to Charlotte and then the Hornets got a hold of Emeka Okafor. If I had typed that sentence in 1997 there would be total confusion in North Carolina and Alan Bristow would have been staring at it like a guy on shrooms working a Sudoku. Luckily none of that will be happening and the Hornets unloaded a guy that they had to since they fake traded him to the ThunderCats last year. All said he should have stayed. I like Okafor but the dude is not catching those Paul lobs like Chandler did.
Wish: The Hornets get something done this year. With their economical situation it has become obvious that their window at being good just won’t be open very long, so it is important to they make moves this year while they still have some key pieces. Before you know it, the articles will crop up about the Hornets money woes, E:60 will do a story on how they have one guy that does their website and tapes ankles, and CP3 will be bandied about in stories wanting to leave. Let’s avoid this mess and get this team headed towards the Finals.
12. Toronto Raptors
Dish: Hedo Turk-a-loo (phonetics) spurned the Blazers for reasons nobody knows to go to Toronto. He must really be big on that free healthcare initiative (I’ll be here all week). Seriously though, what are you going to do in Toronto? I think Bosh is bouncing as soon as possible and something about this team I just don’t like. Is Andrea Barn-yani (phonetics) really that good? Some say he is, maybe that is true. Jay Triano is their coach, he should definitely open an Italian joint in Toronto called Triano’s, I’d go.
Wish: This team stops making new alternate jerseys. To quote Kenny Smith “It’s Over!” Just stop, you have white, red, purple, and black. Please no more, I can’t take it anymore. You know somebody up there is getting the final mock ups of a fifth jersey that has just a giant dinosaur footprint on it and nothing else. No names, no numbers just the footprint. This can’t be allowed to happen. Thanks for coming to Triano’s.
13. Houston Rockets
Dish: Anybody remember Tracy McGrady? It’d be cool if he was good again, hopefully he can get back on track this year. It will be a trying season because Yao Ming is already on the shelf for the season with an injury. That has to be the worst feeling, to have your top center out before the season can even begin. Also just in case it hasn’t been stated the Rockets Carl Landry is a dead ringer for “Poppa Doc” from the movie 8-Mile. Clarence parents have a real good marriage…
Wish: More burn for Pops Mensah-Bonsu. Perhaps not known by many but the third year man out of GW, that’s George Washinton, has some serious hops and is just a strong energy guy. I’m always pulling for folks from smaller conferences and it’s no different with Pops. It’d be awesome to just see him shatter the backboard on a jam at the Toyota Center. There I go again day dreaming. Also Chase Budinger, guy has great hops, get him the ball also. I like people that can dunk.
14. Miami Heat
Dish: Will Dwayne Wade leave after this season? Will Michael Beasley hand over the keys to his twitpic account? Will Pat Riley let the team get good then bounce Erik Spolestra and take over as coach? These questions and more answered on this season of Miami Heat. Fun fact, center Jermaine O’Neal is making 21 mil this season, which is of course ridiculous. O’Neal will be key because without him playing up to par this group just doesn’t have the pieces to go far in the East.
Wish: Quentin Richardson has a nice season. Talk about getting picked last during recess. This guy probably set a record for being traded in the offseason. People really didn’t want him. He needs to go back to wearing headbands all the time and then doing that thing where he punches his own head after big shots like when he was on the Clippers. Basically my thought is when things aren’t going well in your NBA career, revert back to what you used to do when everyone thought you were awesome.
15. Golden State Warriors
Dish: Turns out Stephen Jackson wants a trade and like yesterday. Remember when this guy won a title with the Spurs and all the stories were about how Jackson was a nobody that worked his way into the league. The guy just kept scrapping and fighting and finally got on with the Nets and then the Spurs. Somewhere along the line he became big time and now he is calling the shots. I get it, he wants to be traded. So say your sermon and then be done with it. At this point he should play and try and play well so that people will want him. It’s bad enough he has made it known he will complain for a trade once things don’t go his way.
Wish: Nelson plays the heck out of Anthony Randolph. Let this guy play 48 minutes a night. I was so bummed when I missed him in my fantasy draft because he had some serious potential. Randolph reminds me of myself at the roller rink. I was weird and uncoordinated but full of roller skating energy. Then once I was given some time I figured it out and could do ok but then we would have to leave because our rink time was up. That is what Nellie does, he takes Randolph out of his skates just when he is getting going. Just let him stay out there and scrape his knees and crash into the older girls and he’ll figure it out.