August 18, 2005
Since Marko wasn't a true point guard, couldn't create his own shot, and had no leadership abilities whatsoever, I never understood what he brought to the table -- he's your classic Euro who looks great on paper, but when you watch him night after night, you can't stop picking his game apart. He's also one of the five or six worst decision makers I've ever seen at the end of games, the kind of guy who leaves you shaking your head as you're walking out of the arena, saying, "How could they have the last shot and not even hit the rim?" I couldn't stand him.
At the very least watching Jaric this season will be interesting, because clearly the Wolves see something in him that the majority of people do not. They've apparently been trying to get him for quite a while now and gave up an awful lot for the right to hand him a six-year, $40-million deal.
They're going to be at the bottom again. ... I know for a fact that Kevin Garnett is disappointed. Kevin wants some guys he can go to war with. ... If they think Marko Jaric is a replacement for me, they're out of their minds. I'm happy for him. I'm happy he got paid. But that's not an upgrade. As players, we know.
As for Cassell, he wasn't exactly able to "go to war" much last season, and he'll turn 36 years old in November. Also, most wars involve playing defense, as well as offense, and Cassell was about as interested in that last season as I am in the WNBA.
That's a huge dropoff for a business that was reportedly booming, but it should come as no surprise to anyone who has read my numerous rants about the problems with live poker. As I wrote after coming back from the card club in June:
Canterbury Park Holding Corp. profit fell 27.9 percent in the second quarter of 2005, as gains from poker were offset by competition from online gaming, the company reported Friday.
Add in having to tip dealers and waitresses while sitting in a smoky room and perhaps the profit loss would be more accurately characterized as "only 27.9%."
Every time I play live poker, I find myself wondering why exactly I am there, rather than just playing online. There are so many advantages to playing online that it seems silly not to, yet there is something continuously appealing to me about driving somewhere and waiting on a list for an hour to play at a slow pace with weird people.
But let's say it was noon, everyone was out doing work on their yard, and I couldn't get away with wearing shorts that hung past my knees. Frankly, I was a little disgusted by the amount of pasty, white leg I saw Sunday morning, so I can't even imagine what someone who isn't me would have been faced with had they come out to grab their newspaper or something.
I believe someone should undertake a study designed to determine the correlation between having a fat guy in a neighborhood prior to the baggy shorts era and the number of people in the neighborhood who gouge their own eyes out with plasticware. I'm guessing the correlation is similar to the one between OPS and runs scored.
Today's Picks (87-78, +$790):
New York (Mussina) -110 over Chicago (Garland)