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MSR’s Good Idea/Bad Idea?: July 19, 2012

Here is another edition of “Good Idea / Bad Idea.” I present four issues, I make the case whether it is a good or bad idea. Do I really need to go through this? Let’s go:


Issue: The New York Knicks allowing PG Jeremy Lin to leave for the Houston Rockets for nothing

Despite reports to the contrary, as of yesterday, Linsanity will no longer be residing in the Big Apple.

“Houston! I’m BAAACK!!”

The New York Knicks and owner James Dolan had their chance, after the Houston Rockets signed the restricted free-agent PG to an offer sheet last Friday. The organization even said, according to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein, that they were willing to pay upwards of $1 billion to keep him. Apparently, “1 billion dollars” translated to “under $25 million” in Dolan-speak. The writing was on the wall when the Knicks signed PGs Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton. After that, Lin’s return to Houston, where he started his professional career, was imminent.

It looked like the refusal to retain Lin came down to an issue of fiscal responsibility – the Knicks were simply unwilling to shell out a whopping $14.7 million in the third year of said contract – a stipulation that would have cost the Knicks almost $30 million, including luxury taxes – for an unproven, turnover-prone youngster who had only played in 26 professional games.

Despite all that, Lin was still an offensive spark plug that showed great potential as a future franchise player. His shortcomings left much to be desired, yet his offensive prowess was undeniable – his career-high 38 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on February 10 was only a glimpse of his basketball potential. His season was cut short after a torn meniscus in March sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Perhaps another two or three full seasons working with Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire could have given the trio a better rapport, and the playing time could have honed his skills – gaining knowledge in decision-making, lowering his turnovers, etc. Furthermore, that experience could have propelled them to an Eastern Conference title, even with reports that Anthony could not get along with a PG who shot 20-25 times a night.

“Uh-oh…”

Even if the decision to let go of Lin was completely justified, the Knicks let him walk away, getting nothing in return. An asset like Lin – both on and off the court – was valuable for a fledgling yet up-and-coming franchise like New York. He could have easily been trade bait for another team looking for a scoring PG. While James Dolan felt ‘betrayed’ over the offer sheet situation, he could have put those feelings aside and did what was best for the Knickerbockers.

Oops.

Verdict:


Issue: The prospect of Orlando Magic C Dwight Howard being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers

No, I’m not a Lakers fan. And, no, this doesn’t affect how I feel about this potential move. In any case, Dwight Howard’s year-long “Indecision” saga may allow him the same fate as his big-man predecessor, Shaquille O’Neal: landing in Hollywood.

I hate to admit it, but that actually looks good on him…

The Los Angeles Lakers have been in talks with the Orlando Magic – with the Cleveland Cavaliers, of all teams, recently entering the picture – in order to acquire the three-time defensive player of the year. Preliminaries have put Howard in La La Land, while current Lakers C Andrew Bynum would be sent to Cleveland. In return for their trouble, Orlando would receive a bevy of draft picks to begin the rebuilding process. The move would no doubt propel the Lakers, who also recently acquired two-time MVP PG Steve Nash from Phoenix, to championship favorites. As one in an army of self-proclaimed “Laker Haters”, why would I think this is actually a good thing?

Well, for starters, it makes the Lakers – who seemed to have fallen off O’Brien relevancy, coupled with Kobe’s recent comments of impending retirement – instant favorites to win the Western Conference, despite the San Antonio Spurs’ resurgence and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s boundless potential for championship runs. Second, the idea of Dwight Howard in Los Angeles would make perfect sense for both sides – Howard’s personality has always been compatible with the bright lights of the Staples Center.

Third, his defensive prowess is just what the Lakers need to get over the humps that are the Spurs and Thunder. And finally, it would give Laker haters all the more reason to root against the potential juggernaut that would reside in South Figueroa. Who knows? It might give people another reason to actually root for LeBron James and the hated Miami Heat. How could that be so terrible?

Verdict:


Issue: Considering Tiger Woods as a favorite to win the British Open

Let’s be clear: Tiger Woods is still one of the best golfers in the world. However, it is safe to say he is not all the way back, yet – and may not ever reach the level of play he had when he was blowing fields of players away in major championships.

His recent victories at the Arnold Palmer Classic in March, the Memorial Tournament in late May and the AT&T National last month – his most successful stretch since 2008 – may beg to differ. And, with another shot to win his 15th career major championship, he shot a 3-under first round, three strokes back of the leader, Adam Scott. No doubt that he should be in the hunt for the Claret Jug come this weekend. However, pundits and experts were asking earlier this week whether they would bank on Tiger or the Field – the same questions the media asked back in Tiger’s prime.

Did he really turn back to THIS after three non-major wins?

This is where the realistic expectations end. While he seems to have gotten his bearings, with his three tournament victories in four months, major championships are a different story, with an entirely different level of pressure – pressure that has crippled him in the recent past. Until he can prove that he can handle it and make the big putts down the stretch he did four and five years ago, “Tiger or the Field” questions should be put in the back-burner.

Verdict:


Issue: Taking Pole Dancing into consideration as a future Olympic sport

To the theoretical joy of the majority of the male population, this is not a made-up story.

What was once considered a mere activity to entice men in strip clubs all across the country, has only recently been seen not only as a healthy form of aerobic exercise, but also as a recognized, legitimate sport.

Yes, I’m talking about this. (Seriously, stop snickering.)

The International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF), founded by Timothy Trautman in 2010, was established to further cement its legitimacy, breaking away from its current stigma as a purely exotic sideshow. With official tournaments and events, the IPSF has now set its sights on something that could make the world take notice: The Olympics.

It isn’t far-fetched to consider pole dancing as an Olympic sport – after all, as this ESPN article further comments on, with things like synchronized swimming, fencing and curling considered Olympic-worthy, pole dancing, as it is, cannot be all that different. Furthermore, broken down, pole sport is a gymnastic activity. Case in point:

Ignore the connotations and seductiveness of the activity, itself. It’s no different than a floor exercise or uneven bar routine. So, with that in mind, I wouldn’t mind seeing it on the Olympic docket in 2020. And I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one.

Verdict:


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