Tag Archives: Jermaine O’Neal

Pogge Up- Down The Stretch They Come

So we are going to see the start of the professional evaluation of one Justin Pogge. It’s a good thing too. At least when he is in net the pundits are going to have lots to write about. One shot, he’s good the next- he’s a bum. Burke and Wilson need to know what they have sooner rather then later and well sooner starts now. If Pogge can’t play in the NHL we had better know now as the planning is well under way. As one scout told me after the last game, Burke isn’t done his evaluations yet, when he is the dominoes will start to fall. One evaluation that is obvious is that of Justin Pogge.

Sorry for the NFL thought, but I am curious, US newspapers are ceasing to cover the NHL in droves, yet our news outlets are all already down in Tampa for the superbowl. Seems odd to me, does it to anyone else?

Doug Gilmour is a favorite. Someone, anyone please explain to me why he told Damien he was paying for his current players to attend the event honoring the former captain this Saturday night while Steve Simmons’s story is that a penguins player is the one who actually paid for the tickets? No really, why would Gilmour lie about something so small, he looks like and would be a liar if this is true.

Suspended not suspended, injured, not injured WHO CARES…enough already. Why was this the only thing being talked about today? There has to be something better to talk about then this.

I will say it again, there is no better player in the game today then Alexander Ovechkin. He is the only player in the league I would pay to see, night in and night out. He is strong, he is tough, he is animated, he is talented, he is the guy the NHL needs to start selling as the face of the league.

Have all the good rumor sources dried up? Garrioch had the Leafs looking at Pronger, Hanky gave the Jay Bo to the buds his highest rating before a deal being done. Where are all the good scoops?

The Avs are coming up this week. Tucker and Red light Raycroft doing battle against their former teammates (or what is left of them). It will be very interesting to hear the interviews with Tucker this week and then to see his sideshow Bob antics take shape against his former club.

Ok sports fans, who pulls the trigger first, Burke or Colangelo? Which player gets dealt first, a Leaf or Jermaine O’Neal?

Maple Leafs, Raptors Era Of Hope, Blue Jays? Not So Much

Once again the original ideas are clearly sparse these days. As one loyal reader wrote me an email “is it me or is Damien on auto-pilot”. In any event, Dave Perkins took Jeff Blair’s Toronto The Bad story and raised it with a feel good spin:

“The Maple Leafs have hit the all-star break losing 11 of 14 games, the Raptors have dived straight into the tank and, with pitchers and catchers on the horizon, the Blue Jays seem to have already surrendered their season, publicly managing expectations downward the way the Maple Leafs did so successfully last fall.”

9 am, who is ready for a drink?

“So, what to do? Not much except wait it all out and believe that this time, pain will bring gain. In the case of the Leafs, most fans expected this kind of situation and many wished for it; blowing it up is the best way to start over again.Raptor people would feel differently. This team began the season with reasonable expectations, but fell apart terribly. A flurry now and a finish from seven through 11 in the conference would put them into that wheel-spinning ground the Leafs inhabited for so many years; if you can’t be good, be really bad and start building again with a nice draft pick.”

No, I swear I didn’t write the piece. Perkins is right on though….

“The good news for the Raps is that it’s a shorter road back in the NBA and Bryan Colangelo still is a smart guy, even though he’s now on an extended hitless steak. If he can trade Jermaine O’Neal for a large expiring contract, they would have money to spend in the off-season. A 2009-10 team with Chris Bosh, a healthy Jose Calderon, Andrea Bargnani, a lottery pick and a decent free agent, along with the usual spare parts, isn’t so bad. Things can change quickly in the NBA – in either direction.The Leafs, in the big picture, are actually having what sensible people would call a successful season. They’re losing with effort, most nights at least playing decent games while dropping points. As new GM Brian Burke undertakes what a friend calls “a de-Communization” of his team, they are inching toward the bottom and the subsequent potential draft bonanza.”

Ding ding ding ding…give the man a prize. As I have said before, this common sense thing, it’s really not that hard. this isn’t rocket science. “They are losing with effort, most nights at least playing decent games while dropping points” yes, I did just repost that. That is what we want them to do. Raise your hand which team you prefer, the Muskoka five effortless group of last year, or this years group???? This is EXACTLY what the doctor ordered.

“The Islanders are in control of the John Tavares Sweepstakes, but the Leafs are only three points out of 29th place and who knows how the ping-pong balls will bounce? If both Tampa Bay and Ottawa make little runs, the Leafs will benefit. They potentially have chips to play with at the trade deadline. If either or both of Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky get rolling, they could depart for a taste of future. Jason Blake, who has been playing with interest lately, has three more years on his contract, but is looking as if he could help somebody else. He doesn’t have a no-trade contract.”

The Obama factor…The most dangerous word in the English language is HOPE…Perkins is using it now. We don’t mind the losing (not loosing) if there is HOPE! “A Taste of the future” EXACTLY!!!

“There are things Burke can do with an eye two or three years down the road, which is, realistically, when they might become competitive. Resurrection begins with good results in the draft, commencing in the lottery, which is why being bad – and .363 is as bad as it gets – doesn’t necessarily need to be the end of the world.”

Stop telling us how bad we are. It isn’t becoming and frankly it pisses us off. It’s interesting that Perkins rightfully leaves the Jays out of the discussion. Maybe he knows what we (with the exception of Eye) believe, that the right guy isn’t at that table. Hope, all we need is a tiny morsel of hope. If the right people are around the draft table there is hope. Guarantees? Nope. No such thing (death, taxes and self serving Berger Blogs excepted). Being so bad should have it’s payoff…Let’s see if the right guys are at the table.

Quotes of the Day

“There is a HUGE difference between Hot and Attractive; a painting may be beautiful but I don’t want to bang a painting!” Kevin Malone- on the Office

“”Not quite,” O’Neal said. “We have some help from some teams in front of us. We’re only four [41/2 games] out of a playoff spot. You have to get a little bit of help, but if we do our job and do it at a better rate and more consistent rate, you won’t have to worry about winning 25 out of 30 games.” Jermaine O’Neal saying the Raptors aren’t out of the playoffs yet 🙂

Raptors Heat Deal Seems Imminent

With the Raps in a 7 game slump, on a slow road to nowhere, all signs seem to pointing to a deal being consummated.:

“Medical papers have been swapped. The long view is being stressed. And Pat Riley’s fetish for height remains unsated. After the Miami Heat president commented for the first time in months about his team’s personnel situation, it is difficult to take any view other than that a trade is in the works. Speaking moments after center Alonzo Mourning announced his retirement, Riley said Thursday while he appreciates his team’s current spot in the playoff race, long-term championship aspirations supersede current considerations.”The point is that the big picture always trumps the present moment,” he said. “While the present moment is important, I am not going to do something to take away from what I think we can see down the road.”

That from my favorite NBA writer, Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel. I used to read Ira and listen to him regularly on the Hank Goldberg show in Miami.

“A move that could satisfy both objectives could be a trade of forward Shawn Marion to the Toronto Raptors for center Jermaine O’Neal, whose contract expires at the end of 2009-10. Asked about the Heat and Raptors having swapped medical information on Marion and O’Neal, Riley said, “It doesn’t make any difference. I could have made the same request to five other teams, also. That’s just the normal process.”

Done deal? Maybe not…coming? Sure sounds like it…

“”I’ve had long conversations with Shawn and with Dan,” Riley said of agent Dan Fegan. “It’s not a very comfortable time for anybody. I value Shawn Marion immensely. He is a tremendous player and I’m sorry that this is going on right now.

“Shawn Marion, right now, he’s our second-best player on the team and I value him as that.”

The Palm Beach Post thinks it will happen soon, maybe not yet, but soon:

“if the trade does happen – and my guess is it will, ’cause Riley loves this stuff and the cart-and-horse thing wasn’t exactly a denial – Miami could use a four-headed center (O’Neal, Joel Anthony, Jamaal Magloire and Udonis Haslem) in mix-and-match style. That wouldn’t scare many teams, but it would only be for a while if the Bosh plan subsequently worked out. The Heat has a dozen games to play before the Feb. 19 deadline, and what’s worth remembering is that Marion-for-O’Neal is about Miami’s long-term future a whole bunch more than it is about the present attempt to remain a viable playoff contender. That, and how much Riley loves this stuff.”

Check out Ira’s article here…
Check out the Palm BeachPost here

Are the Toronto Raptors dealing with the Miami Heat- O’Neal thinks it’s done?

Reports are abound that the Raptors and Miami Heat are talking swap. The story coming from one of my very favorite papers, the Sun-Sentinel has the following trade being discussed:

To Toronto: forward Shawn Marion and point guard Marcus Banks
To Miami Jermaine O’Neal.

Sources tell the Maimi Herald newspaper that “Toronto Raptors center Jermaine O’Neal reportedly believes he will soon be traded to Miami.”

Apparently the Heat have hit the pause button while they monitor Jermaine O’Neal’s health. Bryan Colangelo would like to pull the trigger ASAP.

“With $45 million due over the next two seasons, O’Neal’s contract would allow the Heat to maintain financial flexibility for a deep 2010 free-agent class that could include Heat guard Dwyane Wade.”

“Similarly Marion, whose contract expires after this season, has yet to find a comfortable fit with the Heat since arriving from Phoenix last season in the Shaquille O’Neal trade. He’s been a good defender and rebounder but has not approached the All-Star production he enjoyed in Phoenix. Banks, who came along with Marion from Phoenix, hasn’t been much of a factor for the Heat despite its need for a veteran point guard. His contract, which has two years and more than $9 million remaining, would allow the deal to work under NBA rules. Marion, 30, couldn’t work out a contract extension with the Heat before this season. In Toronto he would be reunited with Colangelo, who was the general manager in Phoenix until leaving for Toronto in 2006.”

The third Florida daily (the palm beach post) has the story as well:

“One Internet web site quoted a source close to O’Neal saying, “if he’s healthy it could very well happen.” O’Neal missed 12 games because of a right knee injury, returning Friday to score two points and grab seven rebounds in 17 minutes during a Raptors loss at Indiana. He is averaging 13.3 points and 7.2 rebounds this season, one that has been a huge disappointment for the Raptors.”

I looked for more on ESPN.com and Foxsports.com but didn’t see anything….

The article in the sun-sentinel is here
The Miami herald is here
The Palm Beach Post is here