The Grizzlies have been busy over the past month losing games and making deals.
On the court the Grizzlies have continued their mediocre play against a variety of opponents.
Off the court, the Grizzlies have devised a new method of generating revenue. Some teams generate revenue by selling tickets, selling ads, or attracting a large TV audience. The Grizzlies generate revenue by completing personnel trades that net them revenue.
In one such deal the Grizzlies brought in washed up veteran, Steve Francis from Houston. The deal came almost a decade after 'The Franchise' demanded a trade from the his new team when the Grizzlies drafted him while still in Vancouver. It's only fitting that Francis' last hopes of reviving his career die with the team he spurned at the beginning of his career.
My favorite move so far has been the signing of Darius Miles. Like the Grizzlies' recent trades, signing Miles may actually net the Grizzlies a profit. Once Miles appears in two more games, his previous contract with the Portland Trailblazers, which had been removed from Portland's salary cap when Miles' career was said to be over by team doctors, will be back on the Trailblazers' books. That will put Portland over the luxery tax threshold for this season, which means the Blazers will owe all NBA teams under the threshold (like the Grizzlies for example) some percentage of the penalty.
The reason this is my favorite move is because the Blazers' team President Larry Miller, channeling Vito Corleone, sent an email to all NBA teams threatening action against any team that signed Miles for the purpose of "maliciously" hurting the Blazers.
Sending such an email was dumb on many levels.
- When you threaten something outrageous, it is not wise to do so in email form to a wide distribution list.
- There's almost no way for the Blazers to prove a team's intent. Did they expect a press conference where the GM told the press: " We don't really think Miles can contribute, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to screw one of our competitors out of several million dollars."
- Perhaps the Blazers did understand they were unlikely to be able to take legal action against a team. Maybe they were just bluffing and hoping a little intimidation would save their asses. Isn't such behavior worse than 80% of what the JailBlazers got into half a decade ago? (I say 80% because I'm sure Ruben Patterson did a few things worse than this.)
I hope the NBA fines the Trailblazers. It must violate some league rules to threaten other teams for operating within league rules. The NBA fines players for much less.
Even if Miles doesn't contribute, I like to see the Grizzlies embarass another team for once.