Thoughts on Ricky Rubio

Kurt —  June 30, 2009

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball
A couple years ago I got to meet and hang out with Xavier, FB&G’s defacto European corrispondent, and at the time he said I needed to see more of this 16 year old named Ricky Rubio. Now, Rubio and his future plans are the talk of the NBA, and Xavier (a professional youth team coach) kindly has provided us a perspective from Spain on the player and everything going on around him.

Since Ricky Rubio said he was planning to enter the 09 NBA draft I’ve been reading plenty of things about him, some of which I do not agree with. I’ve wanted to talk about him since before the playoff started but the Lakers where on the championship run and Rubio was not in team’s plan I decided to postpone this conversation to a better time. I think this time has come.

First of all, on the court basketball. Rubio is not NBA ready. He has incredible talent, feel for the game and has been playing pro since he was 15, 4 years ago. I read somewhere he has zero althletic ability and the PG transition from college to NBA is tough but from FIBA ball to NBA is even harder. Not every PG hits the league as ready as Rose or Paul. His shooting mechanic scares me, a lot; he has to work on it. Of course his shooting is a concern but so was Calderon’s and look at him right now. Ricky is the kind of kid that would hardly make the rookie all-star team but probably be starting with the sophomores a year later. I have no doubt that Ricky is the second best thing of this draft. He won’t save any franchise, nor will Griffin, but in this weak draft those two are the cream of the crop. Minnesota or the team that finally signs him if he makes it to the NBA, will have a gem to work on, but have to understand that his first year will be a transition year, he’s very young and will take a big leap upwards by his second NBA season. In the future I could see him being an above average defensive PG, Nash-like passing skills but not as close as a shooter.

But then there is the off court issue. Things could have been done better, for sure, but the situation is at a point that is impossible to go back.

The buyout issue: Back when he was 15, Ricky signed his first professional contract that settled a high buyout along with a high salary for a 15-year-old boy, which he approved. Joventut is mostly a club that creates players, finds them at 11-12 and teaches them basketball so they can someday play on the senior team (for the record, two Joventud players have been drafted this year in the first round, Rubio and Eyenga, and also Henk Norel in the second round, Rudy Fernández has also been raised in Joventud youth teams). The buyout is like a security for the team that all the money invested in raising the player will not be lost whenever a richer club comes and pays a few bucks for the kid. During 08 summer, Ricky asked the team to reduce the buyout. There were rumors of other top European teams trying to sign Rubio and Joventut offered him to lower by the half his NBA buyout by doubling the money an European team should pay. Rubio didn’t accept that saying he was planning to complete the whole contract with the team. A year later, he denounced the team that has created him for not lowering the buyout to let him play in the NBA. His agent says that his salary is too cheap compared with the high buyout. Usually, it’s the new team that pays the buyout or a compensation agreed with the club, but as the NBA do not allow teams to pay it, the player has to clear that issue. A friendly agreement was arranged last year with Rudy Fernández but after this public denouncing a friendly ending seems almost impossible.

Being the 5th selection: That was really a kick in his balls. If Minnesota jumped on the 2nd pick and drafted him there would be no problem (unless the second was Memphis where he wanted nothing to do with them, his feelings are that Mayo is Memphis PG of the future plus other Spaniards with similar winning mentality as him having trouble there). Don’t make any issue about the “Minnesota is cold” thing. He also said about OKC that his best friend lives nearby. As I read that I talked to that friend. After the conversation I had the impression that the answers where just that, quick answers. The important thing here is the money. Being a 2nd or 3rd pick guaranteed him an easy buyout payment in the case a friendly arrangement wasn’t possible. The 4th pick had more problems but he liked the situation for him (few pressure, nice weather and still an interesting contract) but then Sacramento took Evans and Sota just drafted the PG they wanted right after him. That doesn’t give him confidence. How would you feel if you had to pay to take a job and your new company just hired someone to do the same exact thing as you? With his contract set by the 5th pick, his chances of paying the buyout and still make some money rely on playing on a big city team where he could sign for bigger sponsor endorsements. But the reason the Kings or the Thunder didn’t select him is Dan Fegan. Rubio did few workouts because of his agent. A big buyout from Spain and no possibility to really test the kid against other players is what kept the Kings perfect fit away from him. His aggressiveness and bad ways were well reported as happened with Yi. When I found out that Rubio signed with Fegan my first thought was “Oooh god, that’s gonna be ugly”.

The future: in coming days we’ll know what the judge say about the buyout issue. That will determine how hard will it be to be free from Joventut. Coming back to his longtime club seems unlikely as team president said, “asking a judge to take part opens a wound which remains open” so he’ll probably be looking for another Euro team (Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Unicaja Malaga are considered frontrunners) or signing with the Wolves or the NBA team that hold his rights.

I’m a Joventut season ticket holder, I coach for the youth program that developed Ricky before he went to Joventut. I’ve seen a lot of this kid and he deserves being in the NBA. I fully understand that he doesn’t want to go to a losing team or a team he feels he don’t fit if he has to pay for it and I really wish him the best, but I’m not happy with how the things have evolved. Both Spanish and American agents have done a bad job and the kid is paying for it.


69 responses to Thoughts on Ricky Rubio

  1. >>Being the 5th selection: That was really a kick in his balls.<<


    Love this guy.

  2. Great insight from another solid contributor. Thanks!

  3. Very interesting post – thanks.

    It looks like, at the end of the day, the root of the problem is Dan Fegan!

    It always comes down to agents, right?

  4. Thanks for the very unique viewpoint.

  5. Great read. I really wanted this guy, but now I’m sort of “meh” about the whole thing.

    We’re going to need a PG, but the solution isn’t now.
    Give Nash the MLE next year. Keep signing veterans to short deals on the MLE, and keep trying to find stuff in the draft.

  6. Everyone seems to think that Rubio does not want to play Minni because it’s cold and a small market.

    Funny, because I think the biggest reason ANY draft pick would think twice about playing in Minni would be the owner’s track record with Garnett – not to mention the T-Wolve’s own “championship” record. Sure, Garnett got everything he wanted financially from the owner, but this team does not have a history of loading up with all-stars and making championship runs nor does it have a reputation of having more than one well paid superstar. Considering Rubio would owe $5m before he even sets foot on a court, he has to be concerned about whether this team has the cash to make him a well paid NBA guy. Also, Minni’s track record is less than desirable. I mean, if even Kevin Garnett (who had roots as deep as trees) left, why would a rookie that is looking to make an impact on the NBA play for them if he has other options to consider?

  7. If I’m reading this right, the issue isn’t weather or market size or even the quality of the team or ownership, it’s money. Rubio would have preferred to be a higher draft pick so his higher slotted contract could pay his buyout in an easier manner than his #5 pick slotted contract. Or, since he was picked at #5, he would have preferred to not have another PG picked by the same team with the very next pick because of how that teammate might encroach on his ability to get playing time, build his brand recognition up, and ultimately get a better second contract. Makes sense to me. It’s not the best way to handle things, but he’s young and it’s not like his perspective is completely invalid.

  8. Good insightful post Xavier on this kid from Europe. So he is going to have to pay the buyout anyway it sounds like, hopefully for him it will not be to painful. Maybe a city like NY or any high profile city can get him and then his endorsements will be plenty to survive on for awhile. I mean, if Rubio is as good as it sounds like he will be, money will not be a problem over time. At like 22 he could/should be making many many $$$$ a year anyway, so none of this really affects his long term outlook money wise. Looking forward to seeing him in NBA action, whereever.

  9. One question I have, in a “worst case” sort of scenario.

    What happens if:
    1) The T-Wolves do NOT trade him.
    2) Rubio decides to play in Europe and finish out his contract there.

    At what point, if any, do Minnesota’s Draft Day rights to Rubio expire? Can, for example, Kahn simply decide, “You play for us, or you play for no one.” and keep to that while Rubio plays for years in Europe and never sees the NBA?

    Or, worse for the T-Wolves, do their Draft Day rights expire in 2 or 3 years? Years that Rubio happily plays in Europe and then re-enters the Draft once those rights are expired.

    How does the NBA address all that mess?

  10. This is completely off-topic, but what do you guys think about the Lakers getting new alternate black road uniforms next year? I saw this on the bleacher report.

  11. Cool, didn’t know we had an european correspondent.

    “zero athletic ability” seems to be a bit of an exaggeration isn’t it? He seems to be quick on his feet, if not the most hops or breakout speed. It was like he was playing soccer instead of basketball, but that doesn’t mean he’s not athletic. Against the US team he was very quick to the ball in loose ball situations and seemed to be a nifty ballhandler. I think he has the potential to be a much better defensive player than Nash.

    Speaking of, certainly we are just talking about potential here. Which brings me to wonder about his work ethic. The things I’ve read about Rubio are either his motivations to be on the right team or his enormous potential, but not so much his character. It’s like everyone has seen the guy, talked to the guy, and played with the guy. But nobody knows him.

  12. Do you have photos of the uniforms?

  13. 9, I think draft rights don’t expire for awhile, certainly more than 2-3 years. I heard awhile back that it was 10 years, but I’m not sure on that.

  14. Not sure why this is not going through, but here is the link:

    Apologies if this posted like 6 times.

  15. Some Rubio observations:

    -he never finishes strong and doesn’t jump very high

    -he only makes jumpers (more of a set shot, really) when he’s wide open

    -most of his steals are gambles in the passing lane instead of strength/position based rips

    Yes, he’s an amazing passer. So are Jason Williams and Brent Barry. His crossover is deadly, too, but without being a good finisher or shooter, that doesn’t mean much in the NBA. Not to be a hater, but I see plenty of holes in his game.

  16. Xavier rocks! I’m looking forward to reading more reports from Europe.

    I do think Rubio needs to suck it up, a little. No situation is perfect. If he has confidence in his skills, then competition with another young PG shouldn’t scare him. In fact, I’d argue that sort of competition could actually accelerate his growth in the NBA. The money point I understand completely. But I’m not a big fan of almost demanding PT before taking a step in the NBA to prove yourself. And, I agree, Fegan is a douche. There are other agents out there that get their players the contracts they want, without burning bridges along the way.

  17. I’m not a big fan of those black jerseys. Doesn’t look good mixed with the purple and gold. They may look more “intimidating,” as the article says, when on a player, but just looking at that picture, I’m not sold. From the comments on that site, though, seems that most people like it.

  18. If he doesn’t go to the NBA this season, he is taking a chance that his stock drops, and he’ll end up with less money. Happens to a lot of players.

  19. thanks for the insight on rubio. interesting read, and I hope things work out for the kid.

    re: uniforms…that looks bad@$$ !

  20. I don’t understand why Rubio doesn’t just sign a 100 kadrillion dollar deal with Nike to pay off his buyout. God knows Nike would kill to have the next Pete Maravich running around in their shoes.

  21. I don’t think that article says the Lakers “will” change their uniforms. I think it is “encouraging” them to do it.

    Personally, I don’t think it will happen. If it took this Laker team 30 years to play in white, why would they all of a sudden add a new uniform color? Plus, the Lakers don’t need new colors to sell uniforms. Their jerseys are already popular enough as-is.

  22. Also, pretty good article on RealGM talking about the contracts for Mbenga and Powell. Turns out waiving them both may just be the best move, then re-sign them for a smaller luxury tax bill, albeit quite marginally smaller (like a few hundred thousand).

  23. Something in the article caught my attention. It said that Jeanie Buss designed the sunday white uniforms in honor of Chick Hearn? I never heard of that story before and really haven’t found a credible source that verifies it. Has anyone else heard any information about the origins of the Sunday whites?

    I always assumed it was just a play on wearing white on Sundays and holidays for church (like the old old old days).

  24. So if the blame for missing workouts in Sacramento is solely Dan Fegan’s, who’s to blame for the bad blood between Rubio and Joventut?

  25. Linked from Free Darko, discusses some of the poor coverage of the Rubio “situation”:

    ESPN should require its reporters to keep sentences beginning, ending, or meddling with “league sources” or “our sources” or “people familiar with the situation” to a minimum. Maybe keep it to one in fifteen. Every fifteen sentences Hollinger or Adande can use an unverified, never-never source to fill the gaps of their poorly written, poorly researched, poorly thought through garbage points of view. Then again, they probably have tremendous mounds of pressure to publish the dirt they do. I’m sure they’d like two days to do the nitty gritty on the Jefferson for peanuts trade, but they’ve got a 4pm deadline. Understood.

    Needless to say, Kurt for president.

  26. 9.
    I guess that in that situation he would probably play for the Twolves, but hey, we are talking about 2011, in 2007 we had Smush running the Laker show… 2 years can change a lot.

    I don’t remember the name of the writter, but I read less than 3 weeks ago, a comparisson between Jennings and Rubio and the guy said no one have seen Rubio dunking EVER. God… talking about a basketball player without even see him play its the woooorst thing you can do. I tell you he can dunk, but mostly in fast break situations not on someones face.

    About his work ethic. The kid’s got it. Its not a Kobe work ethic but he dedicates his time. Think of that, his day to day this past season was like that: He goes to school in the morning, eats something and quickly gets to the team’s facilities. Trains with a personal trainer about an hour to make up the morning session the team had, and then takes the normal team session of the afternoon, then he has to go home finish homework and get to sleep for another tough day. College players hit the court much less than this kid did last season.

    24. I think its both from Fegan and Ricky’s spanish agent. Rubio’s family has been changing its mind about what to do this year and they got an offer to reduce the buyout a summer ago. They also had a precedent in Rudy Fernández, with whom Joventut agreed to sign him a better contract for an extra year to let him free to the NBA the next year, so a friendly end was a possibility.

  27. Xavier,

    Thanks. I’m someone who thinks Rubio is justified in in hesitation. You helped shed more light on the situation. Minny knew this was going to happen, and it’s really just a matter of the team who wants him (NY?) ponying up the goods.

  28. MannyP13 was correct; that article didn’t ever say the Lakers were looking at going with black jerseys. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    I personally hate the white uniforms. The Lakers were the only team in the league that wore colored uniforms at home, and that was among the many cool things that set them apart from the rest of the league. Then they gave in to the cash grab mentality that’s so prevalent in sports. If many colors are so great, why stop at three or four? Why not wear pink or brown on Thursday road games, and striped orange and red jerseys on home games in March?

    Enough’s enough. The whites are here to stay, sadly, but they shouldn’t go farther.

  29. 27.
    But what goods? NY has nothing Minny wants…
    Heard of Minny rejecting a Brooks+Battier offer from the Rockets. I mean, thats… woow. I love Rubio, he’s my hometown kid, but I would do that trade.

  30. #9. 3ThreeIII,
    I don’t think a team’s draft rights ever expire. Those rights are property that is owned and are not lost unless done so under their own accord (ie trading those rights to another team). I mean, look at Arvydas Sabonis. Portland drafted him in 1986, but he didn’t play for them until the 1995-96 season. That’s 10 years!

    Back to Rubio and his “potential”, this kid is only 18. He’s got so much more growing to do and he’s already shown a feel for passing that comes along once every 10-15 years. He’s clearly a special talent and has plenty of room to still get better considering his young age. I mean, there was a point in time where Bynum and Biedrins were 18 year old kids with plenty of holes and were all potential. Now look at those guys and their impact for their teams. I understand that they’re big men and Rubio is a PG, but in terms of age I think this only works in Ricky’s favor as far as what he looks like when he’s actually a finished product. If the work ethic is there (and Xavier says that it is), then I think we’ll be talking about this kid for the next 15 years as one of the better talents in the league. Remember too, people can learn to shoot. Magic Johnson did – hell, Avery Johnson did.

  31. j.d. Hastings June 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Good to see you back, Xavier! Did you get a chance to see Coby Karl play?

  32. A little off topic (but still in keeping with the international theme of the post), there was a good article about Kobe’s efforts to make inroads in China in the Wall Street Journal:

  33. oo, i don’t like the black uniforms. looks like poor photoshop.

  34. 31.
    The same way euros have a tough time adjusting to the NBA, americans find it hard to adapt to FIBA basketball. He did a nice job although he wasn’t even the 7th or 8th man of the team. If he don’t make it to the NBA this year and stays here for another year he’ll gain great experience

  35. No to the black. It’s so cliche and over done. Seems like every team in every sport has special black uniforms vs. their actual team colors.

  36. Actually, the Lakers already sell an alternate black jersey, it’s just not worn for the NBA games.

    Why do I think that black jersey idea is stupid? The Lakers are purple and gold. The white jersey is in memory of the great Chick Hearn. What was that person’s suggestion for wearing the black jersey? For “important road games.” Really? Hasn’t he noticed that NBA teams and players always say they don’t mark their calendars for specific games?

  37. So much of Rubio seems to be an unknown quantity; he could be the real deal and that wouldn’t surprise me, but for every Kobe or Dwight there are an even greater number of Kwame Browns, so caveat emptor.

    On a more pressing note though (since it’s not like we’re getting Rubio next year or the years after that): please lord… NO, NO, NO on the black uniforms. I hope I don’t sound like a fashion whore, but one of the big things that made me a Laker fan as a kid were the purple and gold uniforms. The Lakers have a classic look and honestly should never change a *stitch* on the current uniforms. The slanting font, the yellow at home – it’s classic and doesn’t need to be updated. I can live with the 2000 updates and even white uniforms on Sundays (are teams required to have alternate uniforms?), but really – If you’re a championship team, why get away from what works? This is the best uniform set in the NBA bar none (honorable mention to the Bulls), and please, let’s not change the uniform any more – it’s perfect as it is.

  38. j.d. Hastings June 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Mike Trudell posted on twitter that boozer is opting the STAY in Utah. That makes Odom a bigger target and may increase his price. 🙁

  39. 38 –
    If we lose Odom because of that I think we need to target R. Wallace with the MLE as a stop gap. I’d prefer Odom, but that would be my backup plan. (We still obviously still need to sign Ariza)

  40. Xavier, do you have any information on Donatas Motiejunas? Many scouts are name-dropping Dirk as his potential. Do you see similar characteristics in Donatas game that would remind you of Dirk?

  41. A player cen re-enter the draft if they go a year without playing professionally. Also I believe Rubio’s contract buyouy drops to zero in two years. So theoretically he could come to the NBA as a twenty year old and have more options because the money loss won’t be a factor. In my opinion there is no way he should agree to play for essentially free. What if he had a Livingston type injury? No more career and no long-term security.

  42. 40. Motiejunas… great prospect. The problem is that every euro 7 feet tall who can shoot the midrange is considered the next Dirk. Gasol came out with the same label and look at him right now.
    But Motiejunas is by large, one of the greatest prospects out of Europe, the second best player born in 1990 after Rubio. I remember seeing him in the euro under-18 national tournament and was pushed arround by Kufos (playing with Greece). He’s silky, lefty, with a pretty shooting mechanic. A nice player to keep track of.

  43. 42. He’s obviously a top 15 talent. Do you know when he might declare for the draft?

  44. It’s Official: Kobe will not opt out this summer.

  45. Seen highlights of the kid play, watched the olympics. I put him in the category with every other player drafted: WORK IN PROGRESS. Even the best young ballers have a lot of developing and maturing to do. We all thought Lebron James was the total package when it came to skill set and maturity. He proved us wrong this year in the ECF when he showed poor sportmanship and tried to justify his actions. Ill wait till I see him play more to pass judgement on the kid.

  46. Now here’s a twist. In the article, it states that Kobe and the Lakers are working on an extension. Based on Larry Coon’s Kobe Primer Article, Kobe will make around $7M less if he just signs an extension and not opt-out, thus saving Jerry Buss $14M overall. Is Kobe taking a “pay cut” to help resign LO and Ariza??

    Larry Coon’s Kobe Primer:

  47. I visit FB&G for my sports news (Laker fan first, other sports second) so when I saw the title of this post, I was kinda hoping that there was a way that we traded for Ricky Rubio hehe

  48. The Dude Abides June 30, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    38, 39: All that means is that Milsap is now more available to teams with cap space as a restricted free agent. He could even be seen as MORE desirable than Boozer because he’s younger, slightly less injury prone, plays better defense, and would probably command a lower salary.

    Also, Mehmet Okur could still opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. I haven’t heard anything yet about his decision.

  49. Utah has resisted going over the luxury tax in the past; if ownership won’t bite the bullet this year, they will definitely lose either okur or millsap.

  50. Great stuff today, gotta love having different perspectives on this blog.

    As for the blacks, urgh, no, that just doesn’t look right. Too Trailblazer-Heat like… and didn’t Toronto also have something black?

    I like the whites, however, they look very classy…

  51. j.d. Hastings June 30, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    I feel like I’m on the steep ascent of a roller coaster that we’ll officially crest in 3.5 hours. Everybody ready for the FA ride?

    espn says that Okur’s staying put.

  52. j.d. Hastings June 30, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    No on the black uniforms. Looks like some sort of sci-fi costume. I like the white uniforms, except for the fact that they look like Pacers uniforms.

  53. The black is alright just looks a little knock- offish. Yeah it’s about to become the wild wild west. It makes for a drama filled off season, then to see what actually happens during the season. This time every other year I would already be talking about football, so something must be up. Its in the air!

  54. Actually, I’m sick of these over priced prima donnas! Why don’t you try not showing up to work and see what happens!!

    These types of athletes should just shut the heck up and play ball. To make millions of dollars playing a stupid game – freaking ridiculous!!

  55. Peanut Butter Spread June 30, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    I have mixed feelings about the Rubio situation. On one hand, I think it’d be really great to see how he fares in the NBA, on the other hand, I’m just done with the soap opera.

    Second, hypothetically, I like the idea of having a Sunday away black uniform with purple and gold accents on the borders, but heck, I like the Sunday whites a lot better.

    Why? Because we were undefeated in the 08-09 season when we played in our Sunday whites. The power of Chick Hearn. Bless his soul.

    Third. Kobe not opting out saves the Lakers 14 mil correct? If so, hopefully that’ll be enough to re-sign LO, TA, and SB.

    I can’t wait for next season already. I can’t wait to see how our team responds after winning the championship.

  56. 55. Just to be clear, Kobe not opting out saves us nothing next year. If he signs and extension (as opposed to opting out after next year) he will leave between $7 and $8 mil on the table over the course of the next five years, which with the tax will mean a Lakers savings of $14+ million, but those savings would not be realized until the extension kicked in, so in a couple of years.

  57. I think Kahn should trade Rubio. Not that I think Flynn is better, but a Rubio trade on the surface may yield a bigger return. I just don’t see him suiting up for the T’wolves at all. The T’wolves may want a center or two guard for Rubio. Memphis is a good match but Conley took a step forward last year.

  58. 39. If the Lakers are unable to sign Odom, I wouldn’t join a bidding war for Rasheed Wallace’s services. I would go after Antonio McDyess. I think he’ll be much more productive over the long haul than Wallace and cheaper. I would sign another player along with re-signing Ariza.

  59. Interesting part of a HOOPSWORLD article:

    That said, they have a ton of spending power which often trumps playoff aspirations. In addition to a possible offer to Turkoglu, the Pistons are said to have about $8 million earmarked for Trevor Ariza.

    People close to Ariza say he wants to return to the Lakers “no matter what,” but that’s not necessarily the sentiment you’ll hear from his agent David Lee.

    The Lakers are facing massive luxury taxes and still consider Lamar Odom a priority. Where a big dollar offer for almost 30-year old Lamar will come from remains a mystery. The market may be softer for Odom than Ariza.

    L.A. appears committed to returning both with rumors that Adam Morrison, Sasha Vujacic and even Jordan Farmar are on the block for money-saving deals.

    If the Lakers were outspent on Ariza, they could turn to players like Ron Artest, Shawn Marion, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes or even restricted free agent Josh Childress.

    Another team said to have money available for Ariza would be the Blazers, should Turkoglu land elsewhere.

    While nothing is a lock, count on the Lakers retaining their two big free agents along with guard Shannon Brown who was an important midseason acquisition by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

    Should the Pistons manage to steal away Turkoglu or Ariza, look for Tayshaun Prince to be actively shopped in trade.

  60. I don’t like Rasheed Wallace at all

  61. 58

    I agree with that; McDyess is more reliable and a far better rebounder than Wallace, and would probably come cheaper.

  62. doesn’t it get hot with black? granted they’re indoors with A/C, but still, those bright lights.

    I saw a study that showed teams w/ red uniforms are perceived as being more aggressive and therefore get more favorable calls. I don’t know what black does. No I don’t want the Lakers to switch to red.

    As for wearing black for special games: just say no. We don’t want the other team to think they’re special.

    Does the league allow one player to have a different colored uniform? Maybe we’ll have a rotating designated black jersey guy.

  63. if the Lakers do introduce a black uniform, it will no doubt expand the license and merchandise revenue to the NBA, and the team (I’m pretty sure there’s some kind of revenue share) and each player who has jersey sales will also benefit.
    not a bad way to help pay for a few free agents, eh?

    man, soon, 9:01Pm pacific, we just might hear some rumblings…I know, chill, but I seem to recall the lakers making an offer at 1 minute past the hour in recent times when they really wanted someone.

  64. 63 – Yup, Mitch jumped on the phone a minute after midnight to re-sign Luke Walton to a multi-year deal. If he was that eager to get Walton back, the entire Lakers front office must have their fingers hovering over the phone, ready to pounce on Ariza/Lamar.

  65. j. d. hastings June 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Man, the whole Buss family should have Odom and Ariza over for dinner tonight, so they’re playing wii when 9 strikes and they can get it done…

    I’m a big fan of Ariza’s but 8 million is too much. Having said that, it’s less reasonable to ask him to leave money on the table than Kobe or Odom. They are coming off huge deals and these contracts/extensions would be the icing on their financial cakes. Ariza is looking for his first big pay day. While 8 v. 6 million a year sounds greedy to us, he’s got family and a long retirement to plan for.

  66. j. d. hastings June 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Rockets Gm Darryl Morey just tweeted:

    “Meeting in a few w/ Gortat.Send a note to him NOW at .He will receive.Show him how much we want him in Red!”

    Wow. Its a new age, baby!

  67. j. d. hastings June 30, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Also: how many rockets fans really love gortat enough to email him? (v. how many smarmy jerks will email that account just to say smarmy jerk things?)

    I hope they just plan to forward him the nice messages and edit out the bad ones.

  68. New free agent feeding frenzy thread up.

  69. So it’s 12 minutes after nine.
    Are all the free agents resigned yet?