NBA's Blockbuster Trades of 2008

On February 13, 2008, at approximately 9:56 p.m., scientists noted minor seismic activity on the floor of the Indian Ocean. While the near-insignificant activity represented no danger to anyone, researchers were mystified as to what had triggered it. It was eventually discovered that the disruption had originated nearly half a world away on June 14. Unlike many tenured programs that fall back on familiar elements, this edition of Insignificant Knowledge firmly reminded readers that anything can happen in this world, at any time. (By the way, if you’re a seismologist stationed to monitor future activity in the Indian Ocean, consider this fair warning.)

What's up with the NBA trading block nowadays? The Western Conference now is ridiculously overloaded with talent with ten teams are primed for playoffs contention. The Eastern Conference, saved for Detroit Pistons, Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers, remained as sucky as ever before. Trust me, in this post-Michael Jordan era, you may insert Eastern Conference sucks jokes here. Anyway onto the wild, wild, West:

The Spanish Stingray in action.

Can you imagine: Pau Gasol joining the Lakers triumvirate of Bryant, Odom and Bynum? That's three 7-footers at the frontline! And for the Lakers to give up primarily Kwame Brown and two draft picks for the Spaniard? The Lakers fucking stole Pau Gasol. They hi-jacked him. That should be a crime. You don’t give away Pau Gasol for Kwame Brown and a rookie. I don’t care what’s out there, you can get more than that. You gave away a $100 bill and you got back two nickels and a dime. Ladies and gentlemen, they have Darko and Kwame at the four and the five respectively. That’s all I’m going to say. Seriously, The Grizzlies' trade of Pau Gasol to the Lakers has been universally panned throughout the league as highway robbery. It was one of those deals you make in your NBA Live franchise, though, come to think of it, the computer in my game would probably reject it.

The Diesel, 4th edition.

How about Shaq giving the Suns a second dimension to their offense and relieving Amare of center duties so the latter can fully concentrate on the power forward position which coincidentally is his best? Even late in his age, the Big Aristotle does not necessarily have to involve himself in the run 'n' gun offense; an rebound and an outlet pass to any of his Suns teammates (think feeding frenzy) will do the job. Or a quick score down the block in the fourth quarter like the old him will suffice too.

But the reality is, barring an exposure to Cosmic Rays or an injection of Captain America's Super Soldier Serum, Shaq won't ever have another 30/20 game. As a fan, it's hard to let go of that memory of greatness. So, you know, we make excuses. Shaq is fat. He's not in shape. He's faking an injury. He's not motivated. We want to believe that it is these self-imposed obstacles, and not the ravages of time, that have robbed us of the Mighty Shaq of old.
Really, I really can't begin to wrap my head around what Shaquille O'Neal operating in the Suns' run-and-gun offense would look like, but I keep picturing a dragon trying to play hopscotch, so take that as you will. I mean,

Between MRIs and rehabilitation, losing games and luster on his legacy, Shaquille O’Neal is caught in a cycle that promises no fades into a golden sunset. For reasons of his own negligence and nature itself, his body has betrayed him. So did his Miami Heat boss. Pat Riley squeezed one final championship out of Shaq and long had been willing to live with the consequences of a crippling contract. This isn’t the way Superman should spend his golden years. This isn’t how it should end. He’s left the Heat for the third time this season. His hip and quadriceps are inflamed and Shaq needs rest. This is no revelation, but Superman is broken. His days of dominating are done, and there’s no supporting cast to ease him into his golden years.

A blast from the past and a return to the Mavs.

Joining the blockbuster trades family: the soon-to-be-approved deal that'll see Jason Kidd playing for the Dallas Mavericks, joining Nowitzki and Josh Howard. Oh why soon? Well, nobody saw that one coming, huh? The Mavericks pull off a blockbuster trade for prodigal son Jason Kidd, only to have the deal blocked by one Devean Jamar George. When you pull off a stunt like this, you'd better sure as hell justify that the management is wrong for even sending you off. But noooo, George responded to all the angry catcalls from the Dallas crowd by scoring zero points on 0-for-11 shooting in 33 minutes. This suck-off, according to John Hollinger's reference guide - falls somewhere between "definitely renting" and "on the next plane to Yakima." Way to silence your critics, Devean.

Well, he may suck -- and he really, really does -- but HEEEEEE HAAAAAS THE POWEEEEERRRR!!! At least, the power to crush the hopes and dreams of Jason Kidd, the Mavericks, and everybody who was totally juiced to see how this trade was going affect the battle of powers in the Western Conference.
I just had to say one thing: This is the single biggest cockblock in NBA history. I don't mean to come off like Bill Walton Jr., but damn. How does a guy who's making $2 million a year and is probably three months from being out of the league prevent a blockbuster trade for a first ballot Hall-of-Famer? And he had to play (and play badly) for Dallas the very same night. That's like showing up to family dinner a few hours after you decided to pull grandpa off of life support. Simply put, it's superdickery on a grand and historic scale.