I got a call from my dad earlier today. He wanted to talk about the Brand situation.
My parents were on vacation for the last three weeks: back-to-back cruises in the Norwegian fjords and the Baltics. Not a lot of NBA news.
As a result, the big guy (that's what I call him) hadn't been on this roller coaster with the rest of us. Not that he's a huge Clippers fan, but he's an NBA fan, and he has more than a passing interest in the Clips, partly because of me no doubt. But he wasn't around for the draft, he wasn't around for the free agency frenzy, he wasn't here when we all thought we were sure to have Brand and Baron. He left when the team had Brand and Maggette. He came back, they had the draft picks and Baron Davis.
Funny thing is, he's OK with it.
Maybe he's trying to make me feel better. I don't think that's it. Certainly it's not about convincing himself it's OK, because he's not really emotionally invested in the Clippers. But he points out (and rightly so) that Brand was always problematic as a big money player. He's incredibly solid, he works hard, it is (was) hard not to like the guy. But he's pretty limited offensively. Bear in mind the way his numbers dipped from 05-06 to 06-07 has defenses began to gear up for him. He's never going to carry a team, and he's not a great option for getting a big basket late in a game. I've actually said this before: it's hard to imagine Elton Brand as the best player on a championship team. So the big guy thinks it's really not that big a deal. It's too bad, and the team may not be as good next season as the could have been. But they may be better off in the long run.
On the other hand, the big guy LOVES Baron Davis. And he loves Kaman and Thornton too. So he thinks the Clippers have three great pieces already. And he's always loved Shaun Livingston, so he's hoping some day he'll be able to contribute again.
I'm still pretty psyched about Gordon and Jordan (who will play their first summer league games tonight). And of course there's all that lovely cap space.
So, maybe we should all pretend we weren't here for the last three weeks. We had a team before. Now we have this team. It's a very different team. It's a pretty good team. It's potentially a very exciting team.
The big guy thinks it's not so bad.