Thoughtful NBA Articles both New and Old to pass the time during the off season doldrums.
1) Free Agency Winners and Losers - Zach Lowe Grantland
The last 100 or so hours have been absolute madness, starting with LeBron James’s jolting departure to Cleveland followed by the Heat’s frantic reaction in snatching Chris Bosh away from Houston and other suitors. Team executives, half of whom brought major cap space to this offseason, spent more than a year modeling how free agency might play out under a rising cap. The first batch of evidence is in, and it will work as an instruction manual as the cap level rockets upward.
2) No Escape From New York - Bill Simmons Grantland
This wasn’t one of our happier years at the "You Can Absolutely Win a Title If Carmelo Anthony Is Your Best Player" Fan Club headquarters. Our man missed the 2014 playoffs in the rancid Eastern Conference, then received a rude comeuppance from his new Knicks boss, Phil Jackson, who lobbied him publicly to stick around at a discount price. The Bulls couldn’t carve out enough cap space for him. The Lakers couldn’t offer a good enough supporting cast. The Rockets never gained momentum, for whatever reason. Carmelo ended up re-signing for $122 million for five years, pretending that was the plan all along … even though it wasn’t.
3) The Birdman’s Vengeful Ghost - Newsweek
On the morning of May 10, 2012, Chris "Birdman" Andersen got in his custom-made Jeep truck and drove north, up I-25, the picturesque road that slices through Colorado like a straightedge razor. While most of his Denver Nuggets teammates lived downtown, near the arena, Andersen preferred the natural beauty and solitude of Larkspur, a tiny hamlet of 250. The 45-minute drive to the Pepsi Center would allow him to clear his mind and focus on that evening’s playoff game against the Lakers.
What I want to know is why Javaris Crittenton, the former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, a quiet Bible-touting honor roll student and much-loved son of Atlanta, is now in jail facing charges of murdering a 22-year-old woman, attempting to murder two others, running huge quantities of drugs across state lines and being a member of the Mansfield Family Gangster Crips – the street gang that is the pulsating heart of this three-square-mile area.