Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Damn These Restrictions

When the NBA Draft concluded I asked myself a simple question: Why keep on living? I felt like Sylvester Stallone after Rocky IV premiered; having conquered the art of cinema, elevated the human body's ability to consume anabolic steroids, AND delivered a thrilling knockout to the Soviet Union and in the process the Cold War, Sly was at a crossroads. I dare not compare myself to Sly, but I imagine he felt like a man without a clear path, much as I felt. But Rocky shows us there is always another fight to make people suffer through, and just as Sly fell in love with Brigitte Nielsen and casted her in his next classic movie, Cobra, I have fallen in love with my next obsession: The free agent class of 2008.

Overall the free agents aren't a very exciting bunch. In fact, even using the term "free-agent class" assumes there are some free agents, which there hardly are. So why am I so excited? Because in a miraculous flipping of all scripts, this summer the Sixers have money to spend, and the rest of the league doesn't. It's like working at a summer camp that one magical summer when all the females are blazing hot and the rest of the male staff is gay. Unfortunately it's never quite that simple, and just as half the blazing hot female staff have boyfriends back home, half the free-agents are in some way restricted or unavailable. It's highly frustrating. What we need to keep in mind is this: money will conquer all in the end, just like straightness eventually conquered gayness at camp. If you bide your time, avoid obvious traps and limit the desperate acts, you will end up with someone who makes you happy. At the very least you'll have something you can brag and exaggerate about to your friends back home. The odds simply will not be denied.

So who is out there and what will it take to get them? This question is simple at first glance but quickly becomes a Rubik's Cube of possibility. As a Sixer fan, here is a quick rundown of what the options are as of this week:

Unrestricted Free-Agents:

Elton Brand: A solid, consistent power forward who scores and rebounds and seems like a nice guy. Attending Duke is a con but he has since put in time in two concentration camp-type settings: post-Jordan Bulls and the LA Clippers. He has earned his stripes.
Summer Camp Equivalent: Older hottie who is the complete package of looks and personality who recently broke up with her long-time boyfriend. Word is that she chopped off all her hair and people are curious how she'll look with short hair.

Corey Maggette: Another Clipper, he scores a lot and maybe grabs a rebound if it comes directly to him. I'm not interested in him.
Summer Camp Equivalent: Super attractive tease who parlays big boobs and revealing swim-wear into plenty of attention. Your buddy hooked up with her and said she wasn't cool and kissed like a starving bird. Risky.

James Jones: Totally mediocre guy who can hit a three once in a while. His appearance on this list proves how few real free-agents there are. I checked his stats and was impressed by how terrible they are.
Summer Camp Equivalent: Totally mediocre girl who has one outfit she looks good in and when she wears the one outfit you think hmmm, maybe she's hot, but then the next day she wears something else and you realize she's not hot.

James Posey: Rugged defender and proven winner who will get offers based on his track record of hitting big shots and being a team guy.
Summer Camp Equivalent: Low-maintenance city girl who has had sex, listens to good music, and can roll a joint. She never looks all that hot until the end of the summer when she has a tan and has lost 10 pounds from hiking and swimming all summer, and you're left wondering why you didn't try to get with her.

Restricted Free-Agents:

Josh Smith:
the Holy Grail of upside. Visions of him rejecting dunk attempts, running the floor and finishing with a windmill bung from the free-throw line dance in my head. He's big, he's freaky athletic, he's young, and he's restricted. DAMMIT.
Summer Camp Equivalent: The undisputed most slamming girl at camp. Her early awkward phase appears to be over and she showed up last summer with a booming body, teeth free of braces, and a fetching new hairstyle. Problem is, she's still with her dorky boyfriend, and even if they break up nobody is sure how she'll react to the pressure of being the hottest single girl at camp. Tantalizing but not without risks.

Emeka Okafor: Undeniable defensive presence and former #1 pick in the draft. Scoring skills are average and he gets hurt a lot. Him and Dalembert together would be interesting but redundant.
Summer Camp Equivalent: Was once considered one of the hottest girls at camp until she decided to stop shaving and grow dreadlocks. Still has all the ingredients but too often starts ranting about veganism and you lose patience and look for somebody else to talk to.

Ben Gordon: Streaky offensive player who is small and not particularly great at anything. The Sixers need another scorer and he's not a terrible option at a reasonable price, though I haven't heard they are interested.
Summer Camp Equivalent: The cute girl who made a total fool of herself at the post-camp party last year and hooked-up with the all the wrong people. Needs to redeem herself somehow.

Josh Childress: Afro'd sixth man who will bring hustle, defense, and a touch of scoring.
Summer Camp Equiv: Best friend of the hottest girl in camp, it's hard to tell if she really is cool or just benefiting from reflected glow. Nice legs, bad breath.

This really could go on for days. My basic point is that summer camp is awesome. And there are way too many restricted free agents. As it stands now the Sixers have hosted Josh Smith and will hopefully offer him a contract on July 9th. I read today that they also have serious interest in Brand, and are looking to shed more salary(a Rodney Carney trade was mentioned) in order to entice him further. If they can't sign Brand and Atlanta matches their offer to JSmith, look for Stefansky to get creative and work on a sign-and-trade. No matter what I need to go to bed. Later suckas!!


  1. As always NAKA...pure gold!

  2. i want to play spin the bottle with josh smith.

  3. Incredible post. I wanna bone all of the summer camp chicks.....wait, did I miss the point?

  4. Josh Smith or Brand would be good additions, and all the summer camp girl analogies are incredible. Need I ask who the equivalent of Popeye Jones would be?

    Flintskins kisses like a starving bird. I found that out last weekend when we made out...Pro homo

    Also, I think I found my true calling on craigslist:

    MTV Comedy Pilot is looking for Guys that can FART. (philly)
    Reply to: job-746006021@craigslist.org
    Date: 2008-07-07, 5:11PM EDT

    We are a producing a comedy show pilot for MTV and need guys that know how to rip a lot of farts on demand (or just a lot of farts). Does anyone have this special talent? If so, we will pay you $300 for your skills. Please email me for more info.

    Location: philly
    * Compensation: 300

  5. oh, such a great post. i have no idea who you are (though, i think i could narrow it down to 5 or 6 possibilities), don't even like spectator sports, and have no idea who you're even writing about, but it's amazingly compelling. i think i'm kinda in love with you even though i think you're kinda an asshole.

  6. Pure brilliance...the best read I've had in a while.

    Who's the FA equivalent of that Plain Jane girl you kind of flirt with, but end up dissing cuz you want to smoke an L with the boys? Othella Harrington?

    Big O is going to hear this a lot from GMs this summer: "We really like you as a low-post defender but the whole front office has had really bad diahrea recently and we're just not going to be able to follow through on this signing."

    Let's go visit camp and assign each female counselor an NBA related nickname. I wanna holler at B.J. Armstrong.