Friday, July 07, 2006

Golden Nuggets

Dont get me wrong, violence is not our forte
I just like to rhyme, kick the lyric skills like Pele...

Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke went on his own “Brewster Million’s” spree this past week when he inked Carmelo Anthony and Nene to about $140 million of cake for the next few years. SG Summer has been a bit critical of Carmelo’s summer regimen, but this signing was a no-brainer. Melo is the face of the franchise now, he gives this team the best pure scorer since the Alex English days.

Nene, or Nenealdinho, Pele-Nene, or whatever he wants to be called this season, is a different story. Eyebrows across the league were collectively raised with this signing, given Nene’s penchant for folding chairs rather than the hardwood.

Nene’s agent answered some of those concerns in a great exchange with the site truehoop.com. Yes, his agent is paid to give the standard Pravda style dictum, but he sure makes Nene sound more like Karl Malone rather than Derrick Coleman.

To the kid, Nene is like the NBA equivalent of the Broncos' Ashlie Lelie, the “next big thing” but still hasn’t even approached the level that the experts have heaped on him. Similar to the Nug’s Rodney Rogers was in the mid-90s. Rogers had a nice 10-plus year NBA career, but never reached the All-Star status some said he would attain after coming out of Wake Forest in 1994. Never mind Rogers was undersized, couldn’t create his shot, was average on the defensive end, and never started consistently in Denver, a fact many ignored. Nene, on the other hand, is stacked like a linebacker, is marginal on the offensive end, but pretty stout on the defensive end.
The Nene signing might not be the big problem down at the Big Soda Fountain in the Platte Valley. It could be the complete flat-line in the Free Agent and trade realms.

Wal-Mart Stan has opened the checkbook, but the GM-less Nugs haven’t made a peep in the trade or free-agent game. The teams right behind the Nugs have been flipping and cooking the trade rock. The Trailblazers bring in Brandon Roy on draft day; Houston brings in the gritty Shane Battier; Utah trades for proven vet Derek Fisher; and the Hornets have hit it big, inking Peja, Tyson Chandler, and Bobby Jackson.

All the while, the Nuggets sit pat and have the massive proverbial elephant in the room in Kenyon Martin. He’s sitting in customer service waiting to be put back on the shelf by the pimply clerk, in this case the rudder-less Nuggets management. The only new names we’ve heard this summer have been a wild goose chase for Bonzi Wells, Casey Jacobsen (he’ll play for the summer league team!), and Shawn Kemp. Yes, that Shawn Kemp.

Keep and ear to the street in the coming months, that Brazilian samba tune you hear is Nene and his World Cup cronies. The leaderless Nugs might need Ronaldo and the boys to play the shooting guard this year.

Brewster's Millions (imbd)
Career stats for Nene (nba.com)

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