P.A.T. Bound

You have probably seen the tattoo on Stephen Jackson’s shoulder that reads “PAT.” it stands for Port Arthur, Texas, Jackson’s hometown. He is kicking off his foundation with some community events and I’m going down there to learn about the real Jax.
Here is what I want to know from you: if you had one question to ask him, what would it be? Give me a question and I will try my best to get an answer. I will post his answers on this blog.
Let’s hear ’em!


Best Bobblehead Ever?

Tomorrow at 9 a.m., the Warriors mini-plans go on sale (online or by phone only). Everyone who purchases a mini-plan will receive a Stephen Jackson Bobblehead. People will be astonished by how accurate this bobblehead will be.
Normally, bobbleheads are an artistic joke. They hardly ever look anything like the person, relying on a couple of distinct features (like the jersey number) to let you know who it is. But this bobblehead is surprisingly dead on. I was shocked looking at it. This is like the new age of bobbleheads! Check out the lineage of bobbleheads


Kobe Bobblehead

Caron Butler

Caron Butler Bobblehead

They got my man Caron looking like Arsenio Hall!

Chris Mullin

Chris Mullin Bobblehead

Looks more like Andris than Mullin. If not for the flat top, I’d probably say it’s more a young Robert Englund (dude who played Freddy Krueger) than Mullin.

Stephen Jackson

Stephen Jackson Bobblehead


$58M for Josh Smith – Good Price?

I know there are a lot of you out there who want Josh Smith on the Warriors roster. Well, the AJC is reporting that he signed a five-year, $58 million offer sheet with the Memphis Grizzlies.
Of course, that begs the question, would you want Josh for $58 million?
Now, obviously several factors played into that number. For starters the Grizzlies are the only team left with money, so they have the negotiating edge. Second, he’s signing fairly late, so the market has already been set and Josh is running out of options. Neither was the case when the Warriors were perusing Free Agent Mall, so one could argue they couldn’t have gotten Josh Smith for $58 million in early July.
But, if they could’ve, I think it certainly would’ve been a better move to get sign Josh instead of Maggette (for less than $2M more a year than what they paid Maggette). They probably wouldn’t have been able to keep Azubuike. I think they could’ve, it’s just they would’ve been even closer to the tax. But I’d sacrifice Buike to get Josh.
Here’s what the lineup would look like if the Warriors signed Josh (and the Hawks declined to match), compared with the current lineup:

PG Monta Ellis PG Monta Ellis
SG Stephen Jackson SG Corey Maggette
SF Al Harrington SF Stephen Jackson
PF Josh Smith PF Al Harrington
C Andris Biedrins C Andris Biedrins

I like the lineup with Josh Smith better. Harrington would get to play his more natural position, which is small forward. Marco Belinelli would get a clear path to back-up shooting guard minutes (might as well find out what can do now), instead of Kelenna Azubuike, who is better at this point. The Warriors get a defensive presence in the lineup and are more athletic (can you imagine Monta and Josh on the break?).
Corey is a better scorer than Josh, so they would be losing some much-needed offense. But Josh fits the future formula better. He and Monta and Andris could’ve been the core for years to come (and don’t forget Randolph).
To be sure, the Warriors probably couldn’t have gotten Smith for $58 million back then, especially with the numbers that was being thrown out back then. And there is no guarantee the Hawks won’t match, even though Smith wants out. But if they could’ve gotten him for that price, would it have been a good move, or do you like the team as currently constituted better?


Scary Schedule

Wow. The league’s schedule makers didn’t do the Warriors any favors.

• Monta’s first game as a starting PG is against CHRIS PAUL, the best in the league. That’s cold. Of course, they probably were expecting the BD-CP3 match-up. His showdown with Chris Paul is followed by roadies against Jose Calderon and Devin Harris.

• 10 of first 17 are on the road, 7 being played in Eastern Time zone and one in Central Time zone. Then 11 of 17 in December are on the road, all but one on West Coast time. If this was a veteran team that had been together for a while, this might be a good thing, get their sense of urgency up early. But with so many young and new players, this is a tough way to start the jelling process- so far away from their comfort zones

• There are EIGHT back-to-backs in the first two months, seven ending on the road (including one in Denver, arguably the toughest end to a back-to-back)

• The Warriors play 28 games after the All-Star break, 17 are against teams that made the playoffs last year. Add 3 more against the Clippers and Bulls, both of which figure to contend for a playoffs, and two games against the rival Kings.

• If the Warriors should be in the playoff hunt down the stretch, they are going to have to earn their spot. They close the season vs. Houston then at Utah the next night, vs. San Antonio and at Phoenix. Ouch.

On paper, without seeing them in training camp, here is how I see the season breaking down:
October: 0-2
November: 6-9
December: 8-9
January: 6-8
February: 5-5
March: 7-9
April: 3-5
’08-09: 35-47

Am I crazy or dead on (at least as dead on as you can be in August)? At this point, what do you see the Warriors record being?


2008-09 schedule

Here it is!

Wed Oct 29 New Orleans 7:30 PM
Fri Oct 31 at Toronto 4:00 PM

Sat Nov 1 at New Jersey 4:30 PM
Mon Nov 3 at Memphis 5:00 PM
Wed Nov 5 Denver 7:30 PM ESPN
Fri Nov 7 Memphis 7:30 PM
Sun Nov 9 at Sacramento 6:00 PM
Tue Nov 11 Minnesota 7:30 PM
Thu Nov 13 Detroit 7:30 PM
Sat Nov 15 at L.A. Clippers 12:30 PM
Tue Nov 18 Portland 7:30 PM
Fri Nov 21 Chicago 7:30 PM
Sun Nov 23 at Philadelphia 2:00 PM
Tue Nov 25 at Washington 4:00 PM
Wed Nov 26 at Boston 4:30 PM
Fri Nov 28 at Cleveland 4:30 PM
Sat Nov 29 at New York 4:30 PM

Mon Dec 1 Miami 7:30 PM
Fri Dec 5 at Houston 5:30 PM
Sat Dec 6 at San Antonio 5:30 PM
Mon Dec 8 at Oklahoma City 5:00 PM
Wed Dec 10 Milwaukee 7:30 PM
Fri Dec 12 Houston 7:30 PM ESPN
Sat Dec 13 at Denver 6:00 PM
Mon Dec 15 Orlando 7:30 PM
Wed Dec 17 at Indiana 4:00 PM
Fri Dec 19 at Atlanta 4:30 PM
Sat Dec 20 at Charlotte 4:00 PM
Mon Dec 22 at Orlando 4:00 PM
Tue Dec 23 at Miami 4:30 PM
Fri Dec 26 Boston 7:30 PM
Sun Dec 28 at L.A. Lakers 6:30 PM
Mon Dec 29 Toronto 7:30 PM
Wed Dec 31 at Oklahoma City 5:00 PM

Fri Jan 2 at Minnesota 5:00 PM
Mon Jan 5 at Utah 6:00 PM

Wed Jan 7 L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM
Sat Jan 10 at Portland 7:00 PM

Sun Jan 11 Indiana 6:00 PM
Wed Jan 14 Sacramento 7:30 PM

Fri Jan 16 Atlanta 7:30 PM
Mon Jan 19 Washington 1:00 PM
Wed Jan 21 Oklahoma City 7:30 PM

Fri Jan 23 Cleveland 7:30 PM

Sun Jan 25 L.A. Clippers 6:00 PM

Wed Jan 28 at Dallas 6:00 PM ESPN
Fri Jan 30 at New Orleans 6:30 PM ESPN
Sat Jan 31 at Houston 5:30 PM


Mon Feb 2 San Antonio 7:30 PM

Wed Feb 4 Phoenix 7:30 PM
Fri Feb 6 at Phoenix 7:30 PM ESPN
Sun Feb 8 Utah 6:00 PM
Tue Feb 10 New York 7:30 PM
Thu Feb 12 Portland 7:30 PM
Wed Feb 18 L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM ESPN
Sat Feb 21 Oklahoma City 7:30 PM
Mon Feb 23 at L.A. Clippers 7:30 PM
Fri Feb 27 Charlotte 7:30 PM

Sun Mar 1 Utah 6:00 PM
Tue Mar 3 at Minnesota 5:00 PM
Wed Mar 4 at Chicago 5:30 PM
Fri Mar 6 at Detroit 5:00 PM
Sat Mar 7 at Milwaukee 5:30 PM

Wed Mar 11 New Jersey 7:30 PM

Fri Mar 13 Dallas 7:30 PM

Sun Mar 15 Phoenix 6:00 PM ESPN

Tue Mar 17 L.A. Clippers 7:30 PM
Thu Mar 19 at L.A. Lakers 7:30 PM TNT
Fri Mar 20 Philadelphia 7:30 PM
Sun Mar 22 at New Orleans 4:00 PM
Tue Mar 24 at San Antonio 5:30 PM
Wed Mar 25 at Dallas 5:30 PM

Sat Mar 28 at Denver 6:00 PM

Mon Mar 30 Memphis 7:30 PM

Wed Apr 1 Sacramento 7:30 PM
Fri Apr 3 New Orleans 7:30 PM
Sun Apr 5 at Sacramento 6:00 PM
Wed Apr 8 Minnesota 7:30 PM
Fri Apr 10 Houston 7:30 PM
Sat Apr 11 at Utah 6:00 PM
Mon Apr 13 San Antonio 7:30 PM

Wed Apr 15 at Phoenix 7:30 PM


Who’s Your Starting Five?

Not come opening night. That is too easy. I ask because Warriors fans I know have been making strong cases about who will wind up being the Warriors five best players.

Opening Night
PG Monta Ellis
SG Corey Maggette
SF Stephen Jackson
PF Al Harrington
C Andris Biedrins

Will this lineup last? Here is a popular lineup I keep hearing.

PG Marcus Williams
SG Monta Ellis
SF Stephen Jackson
PF Corey Maggette
C Andris Biedrins

This lineup would be a nightmare for the Warriors. Why? It means the Monta-at-PG experiment didn’t work, that Al Harrington has been bumped – again – and will probably be publicly demanding a trade, that Corey Maggette is guarding David West and Carlos Boozer and Pau Gasol.
I think the first lineup is the one that has to work. Monta and Andris are locks at starter because of the money. They would both have to play pretty poorly in order for Nellie to be willing to take all the questions about why either aren’t starting.
That leaves three spots left. Actually, two spots left. Stephen Jackson MUST start.
You almost have to say one spot is left. Can they pay Corey $50 million for him to come off the bench?
That leaves Al Harrington as the only starting spot with flexibility. But benching him would mean problems with chemistry.

So, barring injuries, what do you think the starting lineup will be come January?


Mark Cuban’s response

I have a story in today’s paper about Nellie winning a $6.3 million judgement over Mark Cuban in court on Thursday. Via email, Cuban granted to my request for a response. It was too late to get in the paper, but his answer is way too interesting not to publish.

Cuban’s response:
“As you wrote in the article, I breached the consulting contract by
withholding 25k dollars rather than immediately informing Nellie that he
was in breach. As a result, I breached first and owe him and am happy to
pay it.

“The good news is that from Nellie’s testimony under oath, I got to find out
the truth of what happened prior to Nellie taking the Warriors job and it
certainly was not what was said publicly.

“It was not something that happened quickly, as was quoted in the press.
Nellie and Chris Mullin were meeting and having discussions about the
Warriors’ draft while he was under contract to the Mavs and we were playing
in the Finals (in the summer of 2006). Nellie and his lawyers had their first conversations
about the coaching job long before he took the job. The list goes on.

“Sometimes finding the truth is expensive. In this case I just have to pay
him what I would have had to pay him anyway and some legal fees, so it
didn’t cost too much. In fact, it was a small price to pay. In any event,
now Warriors fans get to enjoy and appreciate the drama queen that is
Don Nelson.

“Maybe some day I will post the deposition transcripts, they make for
incredibly entertaining reading.”