In Bill Simmons' NBA preview, he lists the 33 most intriguing individuals from the 2009-10 season. Listed here are a few excerpts.
On the Blazers' acquisition of Andre Miller
21. Andre MillerWe knew Miller was a bad fit when the Blazers signed him. It just didn't feel right. He's a moody loner; they had great chemistry last season. He needs the ball in his hands; so does Brandon Roy. He likes freelancing; Nate McMillan is hands on. But Portland felt obligated to spend its extra cap money, and nobody else was pursuing Miller, so what transpired was the equivalent of two single wedding guests going through the motions on the dance floor.
I could use someone, and you could use someone. Unfortunately, I hate bald guys and I have a tiny butt; you're bald and you love bubble butts. We have no spark and are destined to fail. But crap, there's nobody better. Screw it, would you like to come back to my room?
I get Portland's thinking: It wanted to turn that cap space into an asset. And I get Miller's thinking: He wanted to get paid and hoped things would work out. But now we're right here. Incredibly, Portland plans on bringing Miller off the bench. He's already miserable. (And available, by the way. Make Kevin Pritchard an offer. Seriously, call him right now.) So what did we learn? Just because you have cap space doesn't mean you HAVE to use it.
On Shaq joining the Cavs
8. Shaquille O'NealRed flag No. 1: He's 835 pounds. Red flag No. 2: He has never successfully pulled off the whole "sidekick" thing; even to the bitter end, he was playing the big brotherlittle brother routine with Dwyane Wade. Red flag No. 3: He's splitting time with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who might be a better fit for this particular team because of his outside shooting. Red flag No. 4: He has never, ever, ever, not in his entire life, played for a coach as offensively challenged as Mike Brown. Red flag No. 5: He doesn't have the luxury of Phoenix's training staff anymore. Red flag No. 6: He's so fat that it's like looking at one of those TVs where the HD is screwed up so it makes everyone seem wider. Red flag No. 7: The Suns traded him for two guys who they immediately bought out for a combined $14 million. Red flag No. 8: The Cavs are better off if he's playing 15-20 minutes a game and that's it. Red flag No. 9: He's so fat that it's possible Delonte West was packing three guns because he got confused and thought Shaq wanted to eat him. Red flag No. ten: He's awfully close to some records, which will make it awkward if Cleveland tries to reduce his playing time.
That's ten red flags. Ten. (To be fair, Shaq doesn't look THAT fat. He just looks a little, um, heavy. Maybe it's the uniform that makes him look doughy for some reason. I just know that, when I saw the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, I couldn't figure out why Aretha Franklin shaved her head. Then I realized it was Shaq.) And that's before we get into the whole, "Shaq seems like a great guy, but if he's a great guy, then why did he leave four teams on really bad terms" thing. Be prepared for him to do more harm than good in Cleveland. One difference: If he crosses LeBron like he crossed Nash, he'll be getting the Braylon Edwards 48-hour ticket out of town.