Hello Dear Reader!
This is possibly a new feature of mine I’m calling “Five Out”. It’s important to name something with a reference to something in basketball. This is easy if your last name is Lowe and you go with “The Lowe Post”, even if Zach Lowe is currently the only basketball person operating out of the low post.
I assure you, there’s nothing in my name that’ll work like that. So to honor the Rockets, I’m going with Five Out. Five is a do-able number of items, and it’s a basketball reference, with a Rockets angle, so there we are.
Maybe it’ll even be a podcast or something, as it seems that ship has long ago sailed, and thus it’s definitely time for me to madly attempt to scramble aboard.
Anyhow, this will cover five bits of news, or speculation, or foolishness related to the NBA. Hopefully it will mostly be Rockets-driven, but it won’t entirely be, and certainly this first one won’t be. Why? Keep reading
1 - Sarver Suspension
Covered heavily, and with the rapid pace of all news right now, I didn’t get time to write a reaction to it. So I’ll tell you my reaction now, and you’ll just have to decide whether you think I’m telling the truth or not.
My reaction was roughly this:
Adam Silver doesn’t seem convinced by this. But he also seems a little angry, because they commissioned an expensive, and extensive, investigation, with real professionals. It would annoy me, too, if I announced results from something like that, and got “Nah.”.
I think Silver undertook the investigation in good faith, while knowing the other owners wouldn’t come down on Sarver. There was no convenient pry-bar to get the team sold, like Shelley Sterling. I think the conclusion, that Sarver was an obnoxious never-left-middle-school asshole, but not quite a monster on Donald Sterling’s level, was probably accurate.
Of course, this does demonstrate the difference between being the owner, and an employee. Sarver would have been fired from nearly anywhere with that behavior, but as he was the controlling owner, it was everyone else’s problem for years and years.
It seems a light punishment. If Sarver is as I believe him to be, a guy who really likes being the center of attention, and will do anything, even awful things, to get that attention, though? a year on the shelf is a long time. I’d hate to be his family for that year.
Is Silver hoping for more? Is he hinting at it? I guess we’ll find out.
2 - Sarver to Sell Suns
We did find out!
Despite owning 35% of the Suns, Sarver seems to have a controlling interest, and can decide to sell the whole team, not just his share. What will the Suns sell for? I’m going with around $3 billion, which must be reassuring to Tilman Fertitta.
Phoenix is currently a very good team, it’s in a good market, it has lots of things that an absentee owner might enjoy, like sunshine and golf. Free agents seems to like Phoenix, though “why” escapes me. The new TV deal is reputedly bigger than the universe, so $3 billion.
Who will buy it? I’m hoping it’s Jeff Bezos, so every Suns player can be tracked for productivity and efficiency, and an AI system can just trade them if they fall behind.
3 - Ime Udoka in Trouble
The night of September 21st featured cryptic “First Post!” tweets from Woj, saying that Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who in one season transformed Boston from a weird mess into an NBA Finals team, was being suspended.
Why would you suspend such a coach? I speculated he was stealing the team’s toilet paper, in case we had another shortage. Otherwise, why punish an amazingly successful coach?
The Twitter is saying he had an affair with a member of the team staff. I have no idea if that’s true, but a lot of The Twitter was also saying they wouldn’t much mind having an affair with Ime. He probably should have asked around, rather than doing this at a work, if he did.
Why? Because if you really do want to have a workplace that isn’t a boy’s club like say, most of the Dallas Mavericks history under Mark Cuban, you really do have to mean it about your rules, rather than just talking about it.
How much does Boston mean it? Will Brad Stevens return to coaching and GMing?
Woj is now tweeting about a season long suspension.
Maybe Ime will be the Suns next coach, in a year? (rimshot!)
4 - Meniscus - The Silent Killer
I may undertake a study of this, but the torn knee meniscus has to be “The “Minor Injury That Kills The Most Careers”. Lonzo Ball should now be mostly famous for not playing much basketball, rather than his dad. Apparently he’s at the “Let’s just do another surgery, maybe it’ll work?” part of an injury gone wrong.
Guess what? So is Celtics center Robert Williams who had the “short recovery time” procedure on his knee in order to play in the playoffs. Like Brandon Roy before him, he’s now getting another surgery, and they’re talking about pain tolerance.
What should be done? Ball got the longer term treatment, he’s still messed up. Williams got the short one, and is messed up. I guess don’t tear your meniscus, because from a basketball perspective, this is stealthily terrible injury.
(We will hopefully get to see a lot of Best Buddies Russell Westbrook and Pat Beverley playing for the Lakers. That started with a meniscus, too.)
5 - Little To Report In Rockets Land
Two Rockets players had good EuroBasket tournaments, with Alperen Sengun looking like a more daring version of Nikola Jokic at times, and Usman Garuba showing the form that got him drafted, along with some slick passing no one knew he had, except the nation of Spain.
In the end, the top NBA stars teams did NOT make it to the top, with deeper teams carrying the day, as Spain defeated France in the Eurobasket Final.
Camp will start soon, and there’s currently no ill-health, or drama at all. That is wonderful.
Sarver’s Suns Sale
Ime, Ime, Ime