Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
I get why Orlando is trying to move Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis. But getting Gilbert Arenas in return?
Not only does the guy have big money on his contract (3 more years, $60 million), but he's an oft-injured loose cannon.
It's obvious that Magic GM Otis Smith believes the current roster is not capable of contending for a championship. Rather than stand pat and wait for VC's $20 million comes off the books (end of season), Smith is panicking. Why? Because his other major task is appeasing franchise center Dwight Howard.
Howard can become a free agent after 2012 (ETO). And with this the era of elite players dictating where and with whom they'll play, and Howard already squawking, Smith has immense pressure to make his franchise center happy.
If Smith screws this up, Howard will surely bolt. And what better destination than Boston. The team frees up more than $40 million in salary after 2012. There's Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo and Paul Pierce around to woo the championship starved Howard up north.
Call me crazy…
On Page 2, Semih is 80% comfortable here.
“Honestly, he wasn’t expecting to play much,’’ Belgutay said. “But I was always telling him to be ready, because you never know when the chance is going to come. And, he was ready, not only physically, but mentally. The chance came and he is playing decent.
“Plus, he had some bad times. His shoulder was hurt and he was thinking of having an operation. He had some hard times at the beginning but the doctors, trainers, strength coaches helped him and he’s really sacrificed and now he is playing. I think support was important for him because, honestly, he wasn’t expecting to play.
“Slowly, slowly, he feels more comfortable. Now, he feels like 80 percent comfortable here and when he learns better English he will be more comfortable. Communication is important. The language of basketball is not very different, so he can understand the main idea. But, at the same time, the NBA is show business, and after the games you have to talk to the press, so it’s important for his career — he has to show what kind of person he is to people. It’s important for his image.’’
Ilker Belgutay is Erden’s personal trainer/translator. This article shows just how difficult it can be for foreign players to intergrate into the NBA and America. If little things like eating breakfast are a pain in the ass, I can't imagine the stress level for everything else.
Semih has done an amazing job… exceeded all expectations. I really like his game. He'll be backing up Dwight Howard for many, many years.
The rest of the links: