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[nydailynews]Cassell: "The league is very soft now"

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by tinman, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/b...-05_sam_cassell_a_good_point_for_celtics.html
    [​IMG]
    Sam Cassell: A good point for Celtics?

    Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 4:00 AM

    In the interest of keeping everything around here upbeat and on the sunny side of 33rd St., we will purposely avoid mentioning the local NBA team by name in this space today.

    You know who we're talking about, the guys who will never see a trip up the Canyon of Heroes unless they choose to drive their luxury SUVs on their own up lower Broadway.

    Why ruin a Giants feel-good story with your Garden-variety feel-bad story that can never go away?

    Instead, we present a story of hope and dreams - and quite frankly, when you're assigned to do the You-Know-Whos vs. the L.A. Clippers, the worst team in the Atlantic against the bottom-feeders in the Pacific, you run to talk to a guy like Sam Cassell, who could render Plaxico Burress a footnote if he ever made it to Super Bowl media day.

    Sam I Am has been mentioned as a candidate to land in Boston, where the Celtics now try to do what the Patriots could not. For all their wins so far, the Celtics don't have a first-rate point who knows how to win in the playoffs.

    That's where Cassell, who won a ring a long time ago in Houston as a precocious rookie, at the expense of the You-Know-Whos, comes in. They say Kevin Garnett is working to bring his former Minnesota teammate in, and that possibility is bound to be discussed over dinner tonight when Cassell enjoys a night off in Boston with his old friend before they play tomorrow.

    Tell Cassell that Boston coach Doc Rivers sometimes has resorted to having Ray Allen or Tony Allen run the most important position on the floor in fourth quarters, and he just snickers.

    "I could still play a little bit," he said. "I can get it done."

    He got it done Monday night to the tune of 11 points and seven assists in helping send the You-Know-Whos to another bad home defeat, 103-94. He's been getting it done since Game 3 at the Garden in the 1994 Finals, when he scored the game's final seven points, helping the Rockets regain the series lead.

    Even with Cassell's track record, Boston's Danny Ainge still has to be convinced that he's got an Achilles heel, bound to be exploited in the playoffs by Detroit, and maybe even Cleveland if the Cavs make a move for Mike Bibby.

    Cassell is on the last season of his contract and he's approaching his 39th birthday. He's got his two rings from his Houston days and his millions. So this isn't Jason Kidd trying to force his way to a contender.

    Still, it's a natural fit. So would Cassell like to get a buyout from the Clippers, then move on to Boston as a free agent? Put it this way: With the Lakers getting Pau Gasol, he'd be crazy to want to stay in L.A.

    "That's the only way anything can transpire," said Cassell, before icing the win with a 16-foot jumper in the final 30 seconds. "I don't want to get into all the details. I just play the game of basketball. But that's what (agent) David Falk is for. And he's working. He's working."

    Cassell now works in a league that has changed drastically since he first broke in.

    "I won a long time ago, when there was the real NBA," he said. "When the league was all about men."

    What's it about now?

    "The league is very soft now," he said. "I know a lot of guys, like Charles Oakley, LaSalle Thompson and Buck Williams, they couldn't play in the game like it is right now. The enforcer on the team, he'd be cut right now. The game was tougher. It ain't that tough right now. It's like they're protecting the quarterback."


    Not that Cassell really minds. He admits that David Stern had to clean up play, even if the commissioner did go a tad overboard.

    "I just wish they made it like it is now when I first came into the league," Cassell said. "Then I wouldn't have had elbow surgery in '95 from falling on the floor. But it is what it is. It's a great job to have."

    It'll be even better if he lands in Boston, which is far from the home of the You-Know-Whos.
     
  2. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Contributing Member

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    You could've bolded the next part, where he says he prefers it now as to before...
     
  3. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Who won MVP last year? Dirk?

    Who won MVP when Sam came in the league? HAKEEM?

    Yeah, the league has gone soft.
     
  4. ReD_1

    ReD_1 Rookie

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    Since league put that hand checking away, defense got softer, but Cassel must understand that with tougher and harder defense, ppg are droping, NBA will care more about attractive moves rather than playing defense.
    It makes you wonder what Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson etc. could do in today's NBA since if you touch one player that's a foul.
     
  5. Jelle

    Jelle Rookie

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    Misleading a bit how they put it, it's like Cassell doesn't like it's soft now and then they say he doesn't mind. Hopefully the Rockets will make a move and get this guy because he's still better than Rafer, MJ & Francis all together. They can't drop 30 a night anymore, Cassell can.

    Please Morey, get Sam I Am home where he belongs.... in Houston because if the Celtics get him they're even more dangerous. I think with Cassell they have all the oldtimers they need to win the championship this year and maybe even back to back. That's how big i think Cassell can be for them and for the Rockets. If the Rockets get him, there's no way they won't make it to the playoffs. Cassell will get us some experience and steps up even more when we make the playoffs. Why don't these assholes, money greedy sons of b****es from the Houston Rockets get that ?? We need some1 to carry us deep into the playoffs, if we even get there and Rafer, MJ nor Francis can do that !!! :mad:

    For the last time: GET Cassell home !! :(
     
  6. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    Yeah I wish there were no stupid hand-checking fouls so guys like Paul and Nash wouldn't have such free rein to go into the lane untouched. But it is what it is, the league's now meant for smaller players the way the rules are constructed with zone D and three-seconds and the hand-checking aka MJ rule in place. So we have to join the party, get our Euro-flopper (Scola) and our fast and flimsy guard (Brooks) and just play it the way they force us to.
     
  7. Achilleus

    Achilleus Member

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    But then they awarded it to David Robinson the following year. The downfall began... :(
     
  8. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    I don't know. I just think it's funny for a player who whines about being fouled as much as Sam to say that the league has gotten soft.
     
  9. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!
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    The league is soft?

    Tell that to Yao.....


    It is not soft, it is actually closer to getting called by the rules.

    DD
     
  10. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

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    That's a faulty argument with the Hakeem statement. I love Dream and he'd be MVP in today's game too because he had skills.

    Yes, the league is "softer", but that's not all bad. In the past "enforcers" who couldn't play ball were abundant, but nowadays, if you don't have real basketball skills, then it's much harder to make the L.

    Look, I wouldn't mind having more physical defenses out there, but when it was so bad that people could hand check, grab, hold...when that was so commonplace that it allowed scrubs to be in the L, well that was too far towards the physical end.
     
  11. Zboy

    Zboy Contributing Member

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    Flopping is one factor that has added to the "softness". I cant think of many obvious floppers back in the early to mid 90s. Now we have a whole bunch of em I can name right on top of my head.

    I think one of the rules that has helped growth of flopping is the new ability to take charges outside of the circle. Back then, you had to be on the spot much earlier than the offensive player AND your feet and body had to be set and squared. Nowadays, i see people barely make it to the spot, and they are still turned sideways maybe, hardly set but they still get that charge call going for them just because both feet are outside the circle. No wonder guys are flying left and right.

    Another factor is the no hand check rule. When Sam came into the league, guys at perimeter were hand checked and mugged. Derek Harper just hand checked Kenny Smith to death in the Finals. Nowadays, referees are looking for it.

    A possible third factor might be that there were just more players back then who were perceived as tough. You had Charles Oakley, Anthony mason, Dale Davis, Antonio Davis, Rodman, Kevin Willis, Antoine Carr, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Mutumbo, Shaq, Alonzo, Buck Williams, Bill Cartwright...... These players guarded the paint back then and they were not hesitant to smack you when you went in the lane against them.

    I just don't see as many enforcer type big men in today's games. There are less than a handful back to the basket big men left. Most of them are now face the basket type of player.

    In light of all this, I do agree that the league has gone soft when you compare it to the one in early to mid 90s
     
    #11 Zboy, Feb 5, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2008
  12. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    [​IMG]
     
  13. tested911

    tested911 Member

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    Well I for one believe it is more soft today than it was before.. I liked it when you could actually guard a player driving to the basket. (Put your hand on them)
     
  14. Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat Member

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    Same here. You lay a finger nail on a player thinking about going towards the goal and its a foul. Yet, guys like Shaq and Yao get hacked on every play. It doesn't make any sense.
     
  15. Bigmarky

    Bigmarky Member

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    dream wouldnt avg 40pts a game where you double the C before he even sees an inbounds pass

    its very hard for C's now adays, zone defense and non stop double teams

    but dream would still drop 30 in yo grille cuz he's effing DREAM.

    same for shaq, drob, and alot of old skewl centers how would they adjust?
     
  16. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    Those softy rules they implemented is whats extended his career
     
  17. JBIIRockets

    JBIIRockets Contributing Member

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    Just to add it this...I have about 30 old nba games from the 80s era on tape, and in those games, nobody ever flopped, ever. In fact, charges were rarely called in those games.
     
  18. Sextuple Double

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    I wish Yao studied tapes of Oakley and Anthony Mason from the early to mid 90s. Next time Josh Howard decides to run into Yao he would get his grill pushed sideways like Bobby Brown.
     
  19. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    that put a tear to my eye!
    ..we'll never see an artist like Bobby Brown again :(
     
  20. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

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    Why fret over lack of Bobby Brown
    when we have this Brown instead...
    [​IMG]


    (I think from Bobby Brown transitioning over to this guy is the R & B correlation to what Sam-I-Am is saying about the league...)
     

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