It’s Time for Avery Johnson to Save the Pelicans

The Pelicans fired Alvin Gentry today and it’s hard to tell whether or not to feel surprised or unsurprised. He did have orders to treat Zion like a china doll and it’s almost a given that the front office preferred lottery balls over a playoff appearance this year. But even before this year, his tenure was hard to argue as anything more than disappointing.

Good dude great guy, big supporter of weed and social justice, used to work for the Warriors etc. But at no point in the past five years did he ever show any qualities that surpassed those of his predecessor, the legendary Monty Williams who just ran the table with the Suns.

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It’s very obvious by now the Williams firing was the wrong move, but you can’t blame New Orleans for taking risks in their AD window. It was impossible to know at the time that AD was the problem and not Williams, but hindsight is 20/20 especially this year.

It’s a tough pill to swallow regardless. Maybe the Pels hire some sick young wizard assistant we don’t know of, but chances are slim that there’s anyone out there who can hold a candle to Monty Williams.

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Well, actually I can think of someone. A very intriguing local legend who’s out of a job right now…

A lot of people forget that the Mavericks were on the brink of a dynasty before blatant rigging by David Stern and his (hopefully) deceased cronies in the NBA. It was absolute bullshit and it’s made history a lot worse than it should be for a lot of people, especially for Avery Johnson.

Things have gone south for Avery since that time yes. Baron Davis turned into God and spoiled one of the greatest seasons a team has ever had. The Nets got all Nets-y. The NCAA had a bribing crackdown that brought his burgeoning Bama project to a halt.

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But make no mistake, that Finals run in 2006 would 100% never have happened without Avery Johnson. Before him, we had years of the worst defense you could possibly imagine. He took over and orchestrated a complete 180 that took us to The Finals in just his first full season..

Dirk is not the legend he is today without Avery Johnson, and that is a fact. The Mavs would have had a dynasty even before Carlisle if the 2006 Finals were not rigged, and that is a fact too.

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There will always be legend in the Little General. I know it and I’ve seen it. What better place than home (and with Zion!) to reclaim that legend.

Make it happen Gayle

It’s Time for Avery Johnson to Save the Pelicans

The Pelicans Are Back to Benching Zion and It’s Stupid

The Pelicans training staff has really emphasized the anal in their analytics all year, but last night has put me at the breaking point. Zion Williamson had 13 points in his first 15 minutes, and then he never scored again because he wasn’t allowed to play anymore.

It’s truly baffling how much the Pels are babying him at this point. They don’t care at all about making the playoffs it seems, and that is dumb. Getting that first playoff experience is crucial for building contenders. Your approach going into the season and your understanding of what it takes to reach the next level completely changes after playing on that stage. Why are the Pels so content to wait on that?

Their training staff is supposed to be one of the best in the league. David Griffin poached them from Phoenix last year, and everyone lauded it as a great move and an example of the superior network Griffin had to make him a desirable team president in the first place. They probably know more than us, but they also didn’t come from a winning organization themselves. Maybe their voice is a bit too powerful in the organization.

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Zion was ramped up to full minutes months ago. He looked fine, but the playoff opportunity had already appeared squandered. Pels got a reprieve when the league set up the 9 seed play-in series for the bubble, but we decide to go right back to square one in the first game.

In such a close and important game, what could’ve been the harm of putting him in for the last five minutes? What could possibly go wrong in 20 minutes that wouldn’t have gone wrong in 15? Were they scared of going to overtime and having the optics of benching him then? I still would’ve taken that over what happened last night.

Maybe part of the handshake deal that got Gayle the Zion pick for AD also included a top lottery pick this year? That would be cool. Otherwise, Pels are fucking blowing it.

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While that game was important, Clippers-Lakers was absolutely meaningless. Didn’t watch a minute. Most of these games will be meaningless actually, except for the Mavs trying to jump up a seed to avoid Clippers first round and the fight for the final spot in the West.

I really hope it’s anyone but Memphis. Blazers could beat LA pretty easily so I guess I will start cheering for them. Maybe Memphis could fall apart Lester City style and we could have a Pels-Blazers play-in series. If the Pelicans won that, they’d be facing AD having just accomplished everything AD accomplished in his entire tenure in NOLA. That would be cool too.

The Pelicans Are Back to Benching Zion and It’s Stupid

The Lakers Are Falling Apart and So Is LeBron’s Stupid Movie

A year ago when the world was normal, the mercenaries that joined the Lakers had valid business reasons to work under the shitshow that is playing for LeBron. They expected to do his bidding while living a free life in LA, but this bubble tourney is way more than they bargained for. Ship jumping has commenced.

Avery Bradley opted out. Dwight Howard had to be begged and pleaded to come, but will probably follow in Bradley’s footsteps soon because his teammates are boring as shit (or they just hate him, or both). Jason Kidd is doing interviews and is probably checked out.

It took less than a day for Rajon Rondo to escape the bubble with a million dollar wound – a ‘broken thumb’ in his very first practice. This is no surprise coming from the smartest man in the league, so let’s take a quick aside to appreciate the common man’s hero of the NBA.

Rondo is a true mercenary with a pay:work ratio that awes us no less than it shames us. Besides coasting through every single regular season game with a steady 0% effort level, here are some other things Rondo has done to earn his $55M over the past five years:

  • Peacing out on the Mavs for an early vacation after 30 minutes of playoff basketball in 2015 because Carlisle wouldn’t let him call plays
  • Humiliating his old team in 2017 by singlehandedly carrying the Bulls to an upset over the Celtics, before peacing out for vacation with a ‘thumb injury’ before they could clinch
  • Singlehandedly reviving basketball in New Orleans by carrying the team to a sweep over the Blazers, and then peacing out for vacation right when the Warriors series started

The last point should be especially concerning for Lakers fans as anybody who’s followed AD from the start can remind you that he’s never come close to winning a series without riding the back of Playoff Rondo. 

Pre-Covid, LeBron Stans everywhere boasted their beliefs that the NBA would rig a title to the Lakers for Kobe. Why these people think LeBron of all people is worthy to honor Kobe beats me. It seems like they were opposites in the way they approached life, but to be fair this was also all before the Jordan documentary that reminded us what great American competitors are about. Even still, did they just forget that Dwight Howard was on the team too? Kobe HATED Dwight.

Fortunately the post-covid world can put those silly hopes and dreams to bed. Remember what this season was all about for LeBron – promoting his stupid movie. It started with him protecting his interests in China for that stupid movie, and it’s ending with him protecting his interests in China for that stupid movie. You know who has ZERO interest in seeing that stupid movie succeed? Disney.

They’re gonna want him the fuck out of that campus as soon as possible and I’m all in for watching that happen.  Fade the Lakers.

Round 1 lock – Pelicans in six.

The Lakers Are Falling Apart and So Is LeBron’s Stupid Movie