Tuck: Christmas Comes Too Early For NBA

By Mike Tuck
Host, Tuck & O'Neill

I miss the NBA and can’t wait for it to return.  The players missed playing, but they’d rather have a longer wait.  The NBA players and owners went back and forth and back and forth, and, you get the idea.  Then finally, the pressure of Christmas Day got to them, and they agreed to a deal.  Unfortunately, this isn’t a turn-key league.

“I think what you see, we’re a rushed league right now,” Kevin Garnett said to ESPN Boston.

Free agency, trades, workouts, tryouts, training camp, and preseason on all top of each other.  It’s not the way it’s supposed to be.  It can get done, because it has to and will, but everything feels like it is moving too fast, but not fast at all right now.

“I feel very rushed,” Ray Allen said. “I can’t say that I’ve been particularly happy with the way things have transpired over the last two or three weeks, but I think everybody is in a situation where we just have to do the best with what we have. We have to adjust to the situation at hand, and it’s a challenge for all of us. We’re all going through it, so there’s nothing more you can do about it but prepare yourself physically and mentally.”

I asked several Magic players about the timing.  They seemed to express similar displeasure, but also say you just have to deal with it.

Kevin Garnett was much more angry by the current situation.

“Timing is everything. Chemistry is something that you don’t just throw in the frying pan and mix it up with another something, then throw it on top of something, then fry it up and put it in a tortilla and put in a microwave, heat it up and give it to you and expect it to taste good. You know? For those of you who can cook, y’all know what I’m talking about. If y’all can’t cook, this doesn’t concern you.”

The start of this season will be a mess.  The teams that have been together longer will benefit, but struggles should still persist.  Players will be out of shape and out of sync.  Teams trying add new players and figuring out playing times and rotations are going to have major problems early in the year.  New coaches trying to find their way will be difficult as well.

That is the basketball playing side I worry about, but that isn’t all.  I think we’ve seen a wreck of an “offseason” and it’s only officially been open for 5 days!  There are still a high number of players who are free agents without teams.  There are trade discussions that are being rushed and hurried, causing confusion and headaches.

Paul Pierce: “We talk about it. This is something that could have been avoided, especially when you see all the different trades falling through, the disorganization of rosters at this point. There probably should have been a period where you had a free-agent signing period and then training camp. Christmas Day was something that was really pushed amongst the players as a key day, and that’s why we’ve rushed the way we’ve been rushing.”

I am as excited as anyone to have the NBA coming back, but the present underneath the tree on Christmas Day might be a lump of coal.  Perhaps a New Year’s kiss or a MLK Opening Day celebration would have been in order?

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