September 13, 2010
This offseason, which honestly feels like it started during the Carter administration, started with those ridiculous attempts from several teams to woo LeBron James(notes). The cartoons and Donnie Walsh's neck brace and no actual Clipper GM and all that. Everyone went to Akron to act a fool, to the face of a dork who wears sunglasses indoors (at night, no less). That's how things started.
And, be honest with yourself, doesn't that turn feel like distant history? Even the "taking my talents to South Beach" thing? Feels like something Michael Ian Black would poke fun at on "I Love the 80s." Which was a show mainly produced in the early part of this decade. I think I've strained myself, trying to make this point.
The offseason is over, I'm trying to point out, because it started with Miami's triptych, and it just ended with Louis Amundson signing with the Golden State Warriors. And, because it's the NBA, he had to sign under complicated circumstances. Here's ESPN's Marc Stein:
The Hornets had been pursuing Amundson hard to join the recently acquired Trevor Ariza(notes) as a key newcomer, with new general manager Dell Demps flying to Los Angeles in August to lobby the former Phoenix banger face-to-face and present him with a Hornets jersey.
But with the Hornets still possessing roster spots left to fill with only 11 players under contract and thanks to a $1.25 million performance bonus Hornets center Emeka Okafor(notes) is expected to trigger in his contract by season's end, New Orleans couldn't start Amundson's contract at higher than roughly $1.9 million without straying into luxury-tax territory.
That enabled the Warriors, still possessing their $2.1 million bi-annual exception and with $2.4 million left from their mid-level exception, to make an offer starting at higher than $2 million and outbid the Hornets.
In the NBA, you even need behind the scenes machinations just to sign Louis Amundson. Cap creativity isn't just resigned to pulling in LeBron James, son. Crazy.
Big Lou followed the money, which makes sense, but I don't know how much he's going to play in Golden State. Don Nelson doesn't really like bangers. He likes mash, but he hates him some bangers. He likes guys that dribble a lot and shoot a lot, and Amundson doesn't really fit that description. Thankfully for Lou, he signed a contract that is very tradeable, so the forward/center will probably be on a couple of teams by the time this deal runs out in 2012.
This is why I'm calling it. It's the end of the offseason. Summer vacation, in the second week of September, just started. NBA followers -- both paid, and otherwise -- can finally take a break. Answer those emails. Read that book. Work on that tan. Grow that beard. Jump that turnstile. Impress that girl.
Thank you, Lou, for closure.