Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Prove Danny wrong, 'Toine
By Bill Walton
Special to ESPN.com
Let me get this straight now. Danny Ainge trades Antoine Walker from the Boston Celtics to the Dallas Mavericks which is a better team with better players. The Mavericks are a squad that is much closer to being a championship contender, with a free-spending owner who regularly overpays his players while spending lavishly on every creature comfort known to man so that his employees can have more fun and enhance their possibilities for success. And Antoine says that Danny is trying to wreck his career? What am I missing here?
Danny Ainge traded Antoine Walker so that Danny -- in his vision -- could improve the Celtics. Danny is and was under no obligation to Antoine on any front, other than to pay him based on a previously agreed contract. Antoine worked for Danny and Danny did not see a future with Antoine that he liked. Making those kinds of assessments is what Danny is paid to do. It is Danny's prerogative to do as he sees fit and he will be held accountable for everything. Danny Ainge is responsible for the Celtics -- not the happiness of Antoine Walker. All Antoine can do about it is prove Danny wrong. The great thing about the NBA is that Antoine will get his chance. Danny has made his move. Antoine, it's your turn.
And now after claiming that one of the main reasons for trading Antoine was Walker's detrimental impact on franchise chemistry, Danny trades for Ricky Davis. The sky is yellow and the sun is blue. I know, as Danny's former rebounder, that he really enjoyed getting booed as a player. I don't think what happened in Boston on Monday night is the same thing, though.
Is there anything more beautiful than watching Kobe Bryant run the triangle offense? Isosceles must be so proud.
After Detroit's Friday night home-court debacle against Seattle, I could not escape the more-than-a-few Pistons loyalists who were wondering whatever happened to the good old days of Rick Carlisle. Some even suggested that Larry Brown might have taken Phil Jackson's "Let 'em play through it" strategy four games too literally.
If Rumsfeld's Pentagon found significant fraud in Cheney's Halliburton during the fleecing -- excuse me, rebuilding of Iraq -- imagine what was really going on? What could possibly be next? Bechtel short-changing the poor little school children of Baghdad? Or maybe even the possibility of Baker Botts or the Carlyle Group getting their clean, unsoiled hands caught in the public cookie jar. The only clear solution to restore complete confidence and trust is to have Henry Kissinger come in and investigate. On our tab, of course.
Darko Milicic has scored. We can put to rest all the speculation that this was a mistake.
I was ecstatic to see such progress and how well the LeBron Cavaliers played the other night in their home-court waxing of Detroit. Then I saw the Pistons play the next night and I wasn't so sure it had anything to do with LeBron James.
Is Darius Miles the only guy ever for whom things were better as a Clipper?
Now that Paul Silas has banned rap music from LeBron's locker room as a disturbing nuisance, I can only ponder what was the revelation that led him to this astounding new discovery?
|Antoine Walker feels Danny Ainge wanted him to be 'an average player' in Dallas' talented mix.|
When Jamison Brewer gets into the game for the Indiana Pacers, how are we to know whether it's retro night or not?
I see where Danny Fortson is back helping the Mavericks win games. Anybody heard how Zarko Cabarkapa is doing?
Three movie recommendations for those of you who don't live where life still exists outdoors this time of year: "Mystic River," "21 Grams" and "The Cooler." When walking out of those films, my wife Lori had the presence of mind to note that maybe our problems aren't so bad.
What makes Rasheed Wallace's hateful diatribe late last week all the worse was that he came out and played the game of his life the next time out in the Blazers' dismantling of the Lakers. I used to care, but things have changed.
The Bulls are playing really well after their big trade with Toronto.
With the capture of Saddam, why can't I clear my head of the notion of coaches always claiming their upcoming opponent is the greatest foe they've ever faced?
With all the wonderful success coming Baron Davis' way, purportedly a direct correlation to a significant weight reduction and a newfound commitment to physical fitness, I can only ponder what is going through Tractor Traylor's stomach -- excuse me, mind -- just across the locker room.
At the top of the list of the multitude of highlights at this weekend's NBA Retired Players Association's board meetings and convention in Las Vegas was the re-emergence of Marvin Barnes. Clean and sober for four years now, Marvin has gotten things back together. Living in Providence, Marvin is once again entertaining us all while simultaneously giving back to those who gave him so many chances way back when. We could not be happier for him or more proud of this remarkable spirit.
Oscar Robertson -- one of the founding fathers of the NBA RPA (and in prominent attendance in Las Vegas) -- was recently supplanted by Reggie Miller as the NBA player with the 10th-most minutes played in the history of the NBA. It just doesn't seem that long ago that Pacers fans were irate that Indiana drafted Reggie instead of Steve Alford.
I'm heading back to UCLA this Saturday to witness and participate in the naming of the court at Pauley Pavilion in honor of John and Nell Wooden. I can't wait to see up close and personal this year's version of the Bruins particularly after their strong start with impressive home-court victories over Ben and Jerry's, UC Riverside and now the overtime vanquishing of Loyola Marymount. Like the Blazers and Celtics, the long road home is filled with rubble.
Congratulations to Cedric Maxwell on the long overdue retiring of your No. 31. I'm sorry for ruining your life.
Bill Walton, who is a regular contributor to ESPN.com, is an NBA analyst for ESPN. Also, click here to send a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.