At first I thought this would be a tough week to make fun of the Bobcats. In fact, I was so nervous that I spent Monday on YouTube looking up old footage of Primoz Brezec for inspiration. This is because our three early-week moves made—dare I say it—sense! We signed Reggie Williams for peanuts and let somebody else pay $7 million for the pleasure of watching Kwame Brown lumber around and slap the ball away from the hoop (regardless of whether it’s offense or defense), before inevitably stringing up a beautiful line of injury DNPs for all the world to admire. We also invited Melvin “Poor Man’s Chris Wilcox” Ely to a risk-free tryout. Really, other than ruining my first prediction before the season even started, I had no quarrel with any of these decisions. Worse, they had no comedic value!
Fortunately, as he so often does, Boris Diaw, bailed me out. The pudgy Frenchman and noted Segway-admirer is now our starting center! This is funny for two reasons. First, just two days earlier, Diaw was practicing as a point guard while Kemba Walker remained un-signed…and now he’s the center. Second, as the starting center, Diaw declared (with a straight face) that his first order of business would be to gain weight. Diaw’s been known to enjoy delicious food now and then (usually now), so I’m confident he’ll be up to the task…of gaining weight, that is. I have no idea if he can play center.
Weight was actually a popular topic this week. Gana Diop is 25 pounds overweight, while hopeful job applicant Ely has supposedly dropped 30 pounds and impressed coach Paul Silas. “I heard he’s a really good offensive player – a post-up man with both hands,” Silas told the Observer. I’m both encouraged by coach’s assessment and alarmed by coach’s apparent lack of firsthand knowledge of Ely—why has he only “heard” of Ely? Is there no film available?
Either way, I hope coach heard right, because our front court right now is a fiasco. We have a nominal center who really only eats like one (Diaw), backed up by a guy who’s self-admittedly out of shape and who isn’t good anyway (Diop). At the 4-spot, Tyrus Thomas has missed about half of each of the last two seasons with injuries, and he’s backed up by a guy who’s not technically on the team (Bismack Biyombo). Though I enjoyed coach Silas’s endearing/homoerotic praise of Biyombo’s “stamina” on Friday, I don’t see how this rotation is going to work.
And this brings us around full-circle: Brown is not worth more than the veteran’s minimum, and the Warriors were nuts for offering $7 million to him, but you do need someone to play the position. And my laughter at the Warriors stops the moment I realize $7 million is the same salary we’re currently paying to Diop…and he has two years left on his deal. Would ~$6 million (about the amount we have in available cap space) be enough to lure Samuel Dalembert? One would think so…until one realizes that Dalembert has racked up $58 million in 6 years. For all I know, Dalembert might consider a $6 million offer insulting; he’s probably made more getting thrown off Olympic teams. And he’s about all that’s left on the free agent market.
Thus if owner Michael Jordan truly believes Charlotte is “starving” for a winner, then perhaps he should have “forked over” the money to Kwame Brown, because I’m afraid the “cupboard is bare,” and we can’t afford to “weight.”*
*In case you can’t tell, I charge by the pun.