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The Calm Before The Storm; Greg Oden May Have A Big Payday

We don’t really want to use the word. Let’s just leave it at this: the NBA is on its way to a thing – a thing that only happens when the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. This thing rhymes with “flock route” which also might have something to do with birds flying south for the winter. This thing could last ’til the winter. And even though the two sides involved in preventing this thing are meeting today for the last time before the CBA expires, this thing is still probably going to happen. We’ve all heard the buzz words “flex cap” and “rollbacks” and “BRI” – and though it’s so hard to tell right now what’s real and what’s just pub – we’re finding it harder to see this thing not lasting awhile. Let’s all get some collective hope together that King Stern doesn’t let this “flock route” last too long … So say if we were sick all the time and only showed up to one out of every four workdays, we’d assume we wouldn’t be here at Dime too long. Apparently, if you’re a highly touted draft pick, that’ll get you at least $8.8 million. What would you do with that much money? Would you A) stash it all in the bank? Would you B) do what Chris Bosh did and stage a Hangover 3 bachelor party, complete with shooting ranges, paintballing, etc, etc. Or would you C) sign Greg Oden? Portland chose C. As we all know, Oden – a dominant big for one year at The Ohio State University – was drafted one pick before Kevin Durant. The same KD who’s won a scoring title and been to the Western Conference Finals (Sam Bowie anyone?). Despite playing in only 82 of a possible 328 career regular season games, Oden did get his qualifying offer from Portland, making him a restricted free agent. Oden was a monster at OSU, and has been super-productive when he’s on the floor – but there’s that big-time caveat when he’s on the floor. Ya got to feel bad for the guy. We do hope it works out for him. He’s got a chance to be a good one if he can kabash that injury big … If you are heading to any type of formal setting (wedding, business meeting, Thursday bingo) NEVER ask MJ for fashion tips. Just don’t do it. He’ll have you looking like Diddy and Mase in the ’90s … Mark Cuban has added $20,000 to the reward for information leading to the arrest of those who beat and raped a woman who had been out at a Dallas bar watching the Finals. Suddenly, Cuban just went from insanely annoying to really cool … Keep reading for all of the offseason transactions and the Lakers’ hire of John Kuester…
Also, word came down from the league that Charlie Bell of the Warriors and Jarrett Jack of New Orleans have been suspended for each of their first games of the 2011-12 season (whenever that actually might be). Both of these fellas were caught and pleaded no contest to reckless driving in California and Georgia, respectively. If these guys were driving a couple of Prii (the plural of Prius…for real) this wouldn’t have happened. And so what if we were playing the “Cops” theme song while putting this together? Don’t judge us … Anyone need a shooter? James Jones is now a free agent, declining his option with the Heat. Hmm. Jones has a finance degree, so MAYBE he knows something we all don’t. Or maybe not … Some roster-shaping highlights: Taj Gibson in Chicago, C.J. Miles in Utah and Stephen Curry and Ekpe Udoh in Golden State all had their options picked up … And just in case you were wondering, Nazr Mohammed will not be testing the free agent waters, signing an extension with OKC. Mohammed played some solid minutes behind Kendrick Perkins‘ bum knee after being traded midseason from the Bobcats. He’s a part of that Nazr-Kurt ThomasAntonio McDyess School of Big Men, who hit jumpers, play forever and beat people up. Do it to it, Nazr … As both players head into free agency, who do you think helped their stock more in the playoffs: Mario Chalmers or J.J. Barea? … Here’s a funny tweet from the potential 2012 No. 1 pick, Austin Rivers: My dad just said he was having dinner with Larry David! Jealous…. And the Lakers are going to bring in former Piston castaway John Kuester as an assistant. This shouldn’t be a surprise; Kuester was a former assistant in Cleveland under Mike Brown and was once a teammate of GM Mitch Kupchak. Kuester has always been considered one of the better assistant coaches in the game. Just don’t ask any of the Detroit players about “Sean Penn” … We’re out like the CBA.

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