Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday two-fer

A quick two-fer today…

What’s in a (Brand) Name?

First, do you remember last week when I said Golden State had become the new Clippers of the West for letting Baron Davis get away…? Well, scratch that. The actual Clippers have managed to take that distinction back by letting their leading scorer, and the only player to really put butts in seats, get away in free agency. There is a MAJOR spin campaign going on right now between Elton Brand’s agent and Clippers management (which is a whole different column topic all together), but what is clear is this: After showing a willingness to loosen the purse strings in order to win, Clippers owner Donald Sterling dumped close to $65 million on Davis but then clearly had trouble getting together with Brand on a new deal that would most likely have spelled playoffs this year for the much-maligned Clips.

Now, there is plenty of blame to go around, mind you. According to some reports, Brand and his agent stopped returning calls when the Clippers were ready to match the deal from the 76ers (around $81 million), and of course Brand’s agent (David Falk, who reportedly held a grudge against the organization for their previous slight of a different client) is counterclaiming that the Clippers first offer ($75 million) was an insult. However this happened, few teams have been doomed to continued mediocrity quite as dramatically this off-season as the Clippers. It’s not too late to get your condo in Oakland back, Baron.

Hey, It Worked for Michael Irvin

Second, Matt Jones (hopefully, soon to be former Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver) was arrested last night with six (6) grams of cocaine… For those of you uninitiated into the world of illegal narcotics, 6 grams is quite a bit for one person. In fact, the law (in Arkansas, where he was arrested) says that possession of anything over one (1) constitutes intent to deliver.

Jones was a first round pick in the 2005 draft and was hailed as The Great White Hope for aspiring wide receivers everywhere when he went over 1,000 yards and caught 9 TDs in his first two years on a club whose strengths were at RB and on Defense. But, Jones caught a case of Moss-itis last year, complaining about not getting the ball and not giving best-effort in practice or games in which he played, causing the team to inactivate him for three games. He has been pushing publicly to be released for months, but the Jags are worried about him going to a divisional rival and to this point have refused to release Jones. But, whether this is a cry for help or simply a (coke) straw that Jones hopes will break the Jaguar’s back, it seems inevitable now that he will have to be cut.

While this story is sad (and could turn tragic… we’ll wait and see), at least it is a nice departure from the normal alcohol-and-weed arrests that have been so much in the NFL news of late. Way to take it to the next level guys!


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