Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wallace Euphoria: 6 Years, $57 Million

All right, everybody, calm down. It appears that Gerald Wallace will be a Bobcat for the next 6 years, at less than $10 mil per—nothing to see here…

Oh, who am I kidding? I’ve never reacted maturely to good news. As soon as I read the headline last night I blasted “Crazy in Love” and began strutting down my block like Beyonce in the video. I basically have two loves in this life: my wife and Gerald Wallace—actually, make that three, because I’m also in love with a boy named Chien-Ming Wang. But anyway, this is incredibly great news. This could be a generational thing for Carolinians; twenty years from now, we might be asking ourselves where we were when we heard Crash re-signed?

Not surprisingly, I was on my hands and knees, cleaning up cat vomit. One of my cats has been puking up so much recently that I’m starting to think she’s bulimic. My morale has been south of bad ever since word spread that Dallas was interested in Gerald. And by all accounts, Mark Cuban was coming up on our rearview mirror quick, like those T-Rexes in Jurassic Park. I’m still not feeling completely safe, because so far, Wallace and the team have only agreed “in principle.” "There's still some paperwork issues to work out before we can get everything signed, but we're happy," Bernie Bickerstaff told The Associated Press. Okay well, make sure that Lexmark has got enough paper, check the print cartridges, Save File As “Awesome Contract_G Wallace,” and let’s get this puppy signed, Bernie! What’s the holdup?!

Our deal with Wallace looks especially good against the backdrop of some truly hideous ones this week. Darko Milicic to Memphis for “substantially more than $5.3 million a year” (according to, Jason Kapono to Toronto for $5.36 million, Steve Francis getting paid not to play for $30 million, and the mother of them all: 6 years and $115 million to Rashard Lewis. I was actually in a bar with coworkers when I saw that last one, and if I hadn’t been drunk already, I would’ve sworn I was drunk.

But enough about the others, here’s to us! We’ve got a great nucleus of stars at every position: Felton, Wallace, Richardson, Okafor, Bre—well, four-outta-five ain’t bad. We’ve also got some bright electrons with Carroll, Herrmann, and Morrison (I still haven’t given up). And if we can re-sign Jake Voskuhl, he can lend some stability; he’s like the noble gas of the group. We also should have approximately $8-9 million remaining in cap space to get a competent backup point guard, so let’s say a little prayer for MJ to make something happen. And on that note, I’d like to thank’s Kelly Dwyer, who actually had poor MJ ranked second-to-last in his rankings of GMs, 4 slots behind Isiah Thomas and 11 behind Steve Kerr, who I’m not sure has even officially taken the job yet. That can’t sit well with Mike, and we all know how he reacts to being slighted…

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wallace Paranoia

“It is what it is,” Adalius Thomas told New England reporters after leaving the Ravens for the Patriots a few months ago. “I don’t worry about things I can’t control. And that’s one of the things I can’t control, so I didn’t worry about it.” People are always gushing about Thomas’s versatility, and I can see why. Not only is he a fearsome pass rusher and run stopper, he can also cram two stupid clichés into one quotation: “it is what is” and “I don’t worry about things I can’t control.” He even reformatted the latter into a syllogism. If only he had speculated that at certain points in his career, he’d been guilty of “trying to do too much,” he would have pulled off the rare cliché hat trick.

But getting back to the “control” one, I hate it when sports guys use that phrase. What are they talking about? “I don’t worry about things I can’t control,” ex-Seattle Supersonic VP Lenny Wilkins told reporters after last month’s draft. It makes no sense, because things you can’t control are precisely the things you should be worried about. Thus, I have no influence over whether or not Gerald Wallace re-signs with the Bobcats, and as a result I’m really, really worried about it. In fact, I’m terrified he’s going to leave us for Phoenix or Memphis or something. If only I could have some sort of control over the situation, then maybe I wouldn't be so worried, but I don’t…

Shortly after the free agency period opened up, I watched with apprehension as GMs lined up to purchase Wallace like he was an iPhone (and what was the deal with that, anyway? Why were people lined up for 24-hours just to get a phone? I mean, I can see standing in line for days to get the new Harry Potter book or something, and even yours truly waited until midnight once in 1991 to get the release of Use Your Illusion I&II, but at least with those things you can read/listen to them right away and enjoy them. What did these people do once they finally got their iPhones, make a call? I don’t understand). Ever since open season began, I’ve watched the ticker at the bottom of ESPN Sportscenter daily with dread, looking to see if we lost Crash. I hate how that ticker goes too; you have to sit through all the endless “AL” and “NL” scores, then the “AFL” scores, then sometimes things like “TENNIS,” “NCAAW,” and “HORSE” before finally “NBA” pops up. And then there’s this horrible pause that leaves you dying in agony, just waiting for the little blurb to say something like, “CHA F Gerald Wallace Signs 4-yr. $50 MIL Contract with NYK…Bobcats expected to get Eddy Curry, former player Allan Houston in return.” This tension has got me at the end of my rope. I feel like pulling together Danzig and Bananarama and having them write a song called, "My Dirty, Black, Cruel, Cruel Summer."

So far nothing has happened yet, but the longer this contract impasse stretches out, the more I worry. At least the Observer’s Rick Bonnell thinks the chances are good that G-Dub is coming back. Then again, the Observer also had an article out today with the headline, “Dudley Dazzles Bobcats Coach,” yet if you read the whole piece, you saw that the only thing Coach Sam Vincent actually said about Jared Dudley is, "I like his energy…I'm impressed with his rebounding ability and he's getting a lot of offensive putbacks." That hardly sounds “dazzling,” so maybe the Observer is as desperate as me.

At least Matt Carroll’s aboard, but if we lose Crash and don’t do anything else, that means…oh dear lord, Adam Morrison starting at the 3? That’s like replacing The Sopranos with John From Cincinnati. For now, I’m going to keep the faith, as Billy Joel once did and George Michael implored of us all. But it’s control that I wish I had, and unfortunately I have none. Maybe I’ve been trying to do too much.