How boring is it when CNNSI has to resort to recycling a story from five days ago under the headline "Blockbuster Deal in the Works?"? I saw that headline and thought "oh goody, something is finally happening!", only to find out they merely relabeled this article from last week. So unless you want to read about how Michael Jordan is trying to save his career, there's nothing to see. Next, I trotted over to ESPN.com where there's an Insider Free Preview of John Hollinger's thoughts about which teams improved the most during the off-season. He has the Suns listed at #3. He thinks that Grant Hill "should thrive in Phoenix's running game and take over Boris Diaw's role as the de facto point man when Steve Nash is out of the game". He also thinks that Hill might be our final missing piece for a championship. Charley Rosen at MSN, on the other hand, begs to differ. He feels "there's no way that Hill's oft-injured, 35-year-old legs can keep up with Steve Nash and Co", and points out that three-point shooting isn't exactly Hill's strong point, and neither is defense. Always a glass-half-empty kind of guy I guess. Of course, he said all that three days ago, but this is the first time I've been bored enough to actually click on the article and read it.
So it seems like the most exciting thing going on right now in the NBA is still the on-going Yi Jianlian drama. A few people have pointed out that the decision to play for the Bucks probably isn't really Yi's to make. As a Chinese citizen, his first, last, and everything-in-between duty is to his national team, apparently even above family, presuming they have the same attitude about him that they seem to have about Yao Ming. I suppose when one lives in a place where being a little late for training camp in order to get married means a public lashing in the media, it's probably not a shock that Yi hasn't been rushing to openly defy his agent and country by signing with the team who drafted him. I suspect that even if Yi had dreamed of playing for the Milwaukee Bucks his entire life we might still be in this mess. It is what it is, and if I came off as too overly hard on Yi the individual in my post yesterday, I didn't mean to. My soapbox is pointed squarely at whoever is responsible for deciding that just because this team isn't at the top of the "glamour-factor" scale, that Yi should squander the privilege of getting paid millions of dollars in guaranteed money to play the game he loves. I don't buy for a minute that this is about playing time, but if it is, well, the way you get playing time in this league is to work hard and play well to earn it. Steve Nash had to do it, Raja Bell had to do it, Leandro Barbosa had to do it, and so on. And all of them entered the league with less of an opportunity to make an immediate impact than Yi has now in Milwaukee. Ask Ron Hale, Otis George, or any of the other guys on the Suns' summer league team if they'd like to go there to play for three years. I bet any one of them would jump on it in a second--even without the guaranteed millions. Sadly, the biggest loser in this whole mess could turn out to be Yi himself, and that's a shame.
In other news, former Sun Stephon Marbury is planning to head to Italy when his current deal is through. "I'm not just thinking of doing it, I'm going to do it", he's quoted as saying. Apparently, his inspiration for the idea came from David Beckham, not Mike D'Antoni. Marbury has much more to say to say on the subject in his blog.
Last but not least, our very own SueB will be attending Steve Nash's annual charity game in Vancouver this Saturday. We expect a full report from her when she gets back. In the meantime, check out this article about Nash SueB found and posted in the comments of her previous entry. Finally, don't forget to pinch hit (or is that pinch vote?) for her in ESPN's Who's Now poll where Steve faces off against LaDainian Tomlinson in the second round. Since Sue can't be there to vote for Nash herself, she's asking us to do it for her.