Tuesday Countdown: So at 50-1, should Hawks just forget about next season?

Once more with feeling: Trading Josh is not the answer.

Once more with feeling: Trading Josh is not the answer.

I always figured if money wasn’t an issue for me, my vice would be sports gambling. There’s no off-season. There’s always something new to interest you. And every Las Vegas sports book is within 10 feet of a $7.99 buffet. You know how cheap those 127 items come to at $7.99?

Only in sports gambling can a season end one night and you already have a chance to “invest” in the next season at breakfast the following morning.

Which leads to this week’s Tuesday Countdown. Did you know somebody’s already not projecting greatness for your Atlanta Hawks — and general manager Rick Sund hasn’t even made a roster move yet?

10. Psst. But what if Shaq goes to Cavs?

Just got word from Bodog.com, which actually isn’t a casino but rather an online sports book. They’ve just put out their odds to win the 2010 NBA championship and — the LeBron James muppet may not want to hear this – the Los Angeles Lakers are a slight favor to repeat as champions at 9-4, followed by Cleveland at 3-1 and Boston at 9-2. Your Hawks? Bodog has them listed at 50-1, which is tied with Miami, Chicago and Phoenix Miami, and ranks 13th in the NBA and fifth among teams in the Eastern Conference (behind Boston, Cleveland, Orlando and Detroit). The complete list:

Odds to win 2010 NBA Championship
Los Angeles Lakers 9/4
Cleveland Cavaliers 3/1
Boston Celtics 9/2
Orlando Magic 15/2
Denver Nuggets 12/1
Houston Rockets 15/1
San Antonio Spurs 16/1
Portland Trailblazers 18/1
Utah Jazz 20/1
New Orleans Hornets 35/1
Dallas Mavericks 40/1
Detroit Pistons 45/1
Atlanta Hawks 50/1
Chicago Bulls 50/1
Miami Heat 50/1
Phoenix Suns 50/1
Philadelphia 76ers 60/1
New Jersey Nets 75/1
New York Knicks 75/1
Washington Wizards 75/1
Charlotte Bobcats 100/1
Golden State Warriors 100/1
Indiana Pacers 100/1
Los Angeles Clippers 100/1
Milwaukee Bucks 100/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 100/1
Sacramento Kings 100/1
Toronto Raptors 100/1
Minnesota Timberwolves 125/1
Memphis Grizzlies 150-1

9. Coming soon: Blogger faceoff!

This is a prime opening to note two things: Beginning Wednesday morning, Mark Bradley and I will have an online point/counterpoint on one issue every week. I have proposed calling it, “I’m right. He’s wrong,” but I’m not sure that’s going to fly. HELP: We need you to suggest names. (This should be good. I feel like I just let go of an underhand pitch with a whiffle ball.) This week’s topic is: If you could make only one major move with the Hawks this season summer, what would it be? I don’t believe either of us is picking, “Trade Josh Smith,” since we’ve both weighed in to the contrary. But on that subject: Why won’t these rumors go away?

8. Oh look, an ESPN exclusive!

ESPN: So many channels; so much fiction.

ESPN: So many channels; so much fiction.

An enterprising reporter (work with me here) from the Entertainment Sports Programming Network reported that the Hawks have been working hard to find a taker for Smith – because, you know, you really have to labor to get somebody interested in a young player who can rebound, sky and run the floor, knucklehead tendencies notwithstanding. Our Sekou Smith summarized the situation fairly well. Even if you believe that the Hawks actually are entertaining this – and I don’t – there’s a poison pill in Smith’s contract that states he gets $6 million if he’s traded. That’s $6 million above his contract. In this economy, do you know how many already discounted seats on all-you-can-eat-Tuesday-hotdog night a team needs to sell to make back that $6 million?

7. Dealing Smith could haunt franchise

OK, once more with feeling. Sund is really considering a MAJOR move, he should look at trading Joe Johnson, not Smith. I’m not suggesting he do either. But Johnson is entering the final year on his contract and he disappeared in the playoffs again. There could be a sense of, “This is as far as he can take us.” He’s a great complimentary piece, not a centerpiece. Smith is aggravating, yes. But there’s an upside to him and the real possibility that if you trade him, he turns into the somewhat stable superstar you always hoped for but somewhere else.

6. And speaking of ESPN: Uh, what?

ESPN reports that Earl Boykins will not try to post-up against Shaq.

ESPN quotes two unnamed sources as saying that Earl Boykins will not try to post-up Shaquille O'Neal..

I am not making this up: ESPN actually quoted two unnamed sources saying that Phoenix is not on the verge of a trade with Cleveland involving Shaquille O’Neal and the clubs have not spoken in the past few days. So let me get this straight: Two sources told a reporter — on background, not for attribution — that two teams haven’t spoken to each other and are not about to make a trade? And this is news?

5. I hear Yankees are not moving to Des Moines

Why not just make this part of a series? What better way to pass the long days of summer? “ESPN has learned today that Joe Lapchick is not on the verge of making a comeback with the Montreal Canadiens and the two sides haven’t spoken in recent weeks, at least in part because Lapchick doesn’t speak French, can’t skate and is also dead. On a related note, Hubie Brown has not been contacted by the Brazilian Olympic women’s soccer’s team about its vacant job, according to well-placed sources and a guy who just knocked on my door trying to sell me new windows. ESPN will bring you updates later today on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNNews and ESPNU but not ESPN-Favre, unless Brett says it’s OK.”

One possible tour destination: the Addis Ababa train station.

One possible tour destination: the Addis Ababa train station.

4. Hey, kids. We’re going to Addis Abba!

Looking for that perfect summer getaway? Here’s an idea: Ethiopia! Got an email advertising a three-night trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for Evander Holyfield’s exhibition fight July 25 against Sammy Retta. The bout is being billed as the biggest event in Africa since Ali-Foreman, which I’m pretty sure was bigger. Anyway, the email did not include prices but it includes airfare on Ethiopian Airlines, accommodations and a tour of downtown Addis Ababa, which I would imagine includes the market, the post office, the train station and the Ace Hardware store. As an alternate vacation choice, two unnamed sources tell me you can always just drive to Destin because it’s closer, cheaper and you don’t have to watch two old guys looking pathetic fighting each other, unless they’re fighting over their place in line at “Big Kahunas.”

3. Twittering with the (former) stars

Got a Twitter from Jamal Anderson. Asked him where he’s been. Response: “Witness Protection Program…working as a roadie for the New Kids On the Block! hahahahaha….” Not sure but I believe he’s not quite ready to open up yet.

2. Heatley wants out, Hossa wants anywhere

This is Marian Hossa and his girlfriend. Her name is Janka. Yeah. I thought you'd like that.

This is Marian Hossa and his girlfriend, Janka. You're welcome.

Four years ago the Thrashers traded Dany Heatley for Marian Hossa after Heatley requested a trade (after the NHL lockout and two years following the car wreck that killed teammate Dan Snyder). Now both players are having their issues. After four seasons in Ottawa, Heatley has requested a trade – and, no, he’s not coming back to Atlanta – even though there are five years and $37.5 million remaining on his contract. Hossa? He has played in the Stanley Cup finals two straight years. But he lost to the Red Wings as a Penguin and then — after leaving Pittsburgh in free agency and taking less money in Detroit — lost to the Penguins as a Red Wing. He also disappeared in the playoffs. Know why? Because he’s the Joe Johnson of hockey – a great complimentary player but not a guy to build around. Now he’s going into free agency coming off a post-season in which he went goal-less with three assists in the finals and failed to score a goal in 14 of the last 15 post-season games. And no, he’s not coming back to the Thrashers, either.

1. All is well at Tech, so far

Gani Lawal announced he is pulling out of the NBA draft pool and will return for another season at Georgia Tech. Paul Hewitt, you’re on the clock.

85 comments Add your comment

Point

June 16th, 2009
8:42 am

I’d rather talk baseball

Counter Point

June 16th, 2009
8:42 am

I’d rather talk baseball, too

Jeff Schultz

June 16th, 2009
8:50 am

Not sure but I’m guessing Point and Counterpoint are the same person. (I’m a reporter.)

Hot Phone Sex Princess

June 16th, 2009
9:05 am

Ugh. The competition.

Ned

June 16th, 2009
9:05 am

Will anyone in the media, especially in this city, every mention Heatley’s name WITHOUT mentioning the wreck!?

Seriously, people. It’s been over five years. We all know what happened. LET IT GO.

Jeff

June 16th, 2009
9:11 am

Hossa better get a good deal. Judging by the looks of his girlfriend, I doubt she is OK with just a movie and dinner at Olive Garden!

Puckhead

June 16th, 2009
9:20 am

Nice leisure suit, Hossa.

MattyB

June 16th, 2009
9:29 am

Good Boy, Bad Boy; Heckyll and Jeckyll; Frick and Frack; Balls and Strikes; Two Wrongs Don’t Make it Right; ahhh, this could go on all day, but I can’t afford to get fired.

TommyP

June 16th, 2009
9:30 am

“Faceoff” would be a appropriate name. Look forward to it.

Jeff Schultz

June 16th, 2009
9:35 am

HPSP: Neither of us have plans to start a phone service.

NED: I was addressing Heatley’s departure from the Thrashers so, yes, I did feel the need to address why he left. Sorry if that offends you. But guess what. Somebody died. So it is kind of a significant moment. And, yes, the vast majority of times Heatley’s name is mentioned in any publication, the accident will be referenced (though not in 82 game stories a year). That’s just the way it is, and I’m sure he knows that.

JEFF (the other one): Got that write. Pretty sure she wouldn’t move on to the columnist from the Slovakian Journal and Constitution.

PUCKHEAD: Think he was wearing that when he met her?

MATTYB: I like the Two Wrongs thing.

The Dreamer 3k

June 16th, 2009
9:39 am

“Our Sekou Smith summarized the situation fairly well.” FAIRLY WELL?! WTF? I’m not Sekou Smith, but is that the best public assessment you can give to a colleague’s work? I presume you choose your words carefully and you chose the word “fair” for a reason.

Paul From Milton

June 16th, 2009
9:40 am

The obvious name: Dumb and Dumber

K-Baby

June 16th, 2009
9:42 am

Ideas for your duel with Bradley:
“Punch/Counterpunch”
“Double Play”
“Pontificating Dueling Diatribes”
“Homer vs. Gomer”

smartguy

June 16th, 2009
9:52 am

We need to forget about the Hawks’ roster. It doesn’t matter which player or players we may or may not have as long as WE HAVE A TOTAL IDIOT FOR A HEAD COACH.

siskel_god

June 16th, 2009
10:00 am

Schultz, you are the most negative guy at the AJC since Terrible Terrence left. Braves stink, Hawks are losers, but good old Vick deserves a second chance. It’s like Mr. Moore never left…

e

June 16th, 2009
10:03 am

Does ANYONE proofread this garbage. Couldn’t even get past the nonsensical BS in #10 ugh.

DP

June 16th, 2009
10:08 am

I think the proper spelling of your description for guys like Joe Johnson and Marian Hossa is “complementary”, not “complimentary”.

By the way, very nice get on the comments Chipper made about Francouer on your other blog. Chipper basically said Francouer isn’t capable of getting any better, not that the last 1500 or so at-bats of Francouer haven’t already shown us that. I wonder if Chipper wasn’t trying to send a message to Braves management.

Paul W

June 16th, 2009
10:12 am

Your column should be named “Jump Ball”.

alsim

June 16th, 2009
10:12 am

Hossa scored as many goals vs. Pittsburgh in the Stanley Cup as he did for the Thrashers vs. the Rangers in the ‘07 playoffs = 0, zip, nil, nada, goose egg, big ol’ donut, nuthin honey.

.

Alex

June 16th, 2009
10:23 am

How about “Wednesday Morning B-S” (Bradley-Schultz)

ICMIII

June 16th, 2009
10:25 am

For your Point/Counter Point consider…”Mark, you ignorant sl#t.”

BugKiller

June 16th, 2009
10:33 am

Schultz & Bradley – you know, like Starsky &Hutch

The A-Team – hahahahaha (I think you’d be B.A. Baracus, Schultzie… I pity the foo’!)

Mark and The Bald Man

Grumpy Old Sportswriters

The Odd Couple

Good Sports

Bad Jokes, Good Sports

Two Wit (a play on words)

Ummm… I’ll think of some more.

mountain_jim

June 16th, 2009
10:36 am

Is it football season yet?
I suggest a topic for your and Mark’s discussion: Firing Woodson for his lack of offense and player development skills and inability to get any traction/influence with the refs when they job the Hawks.

BugKiller

June 16th, 2009
10:41 am

The Two Stooges

Wise Guys

Balls and Pucks

At Least We’re Not Terence Moore

Two Guys, No Girls, and a Failing Industry

When Kittens Meowed: Schultz and Bradley

DogKillas – sorry, had to squeeze in a Vick reference somewhere

Two Mutts, a Bug, and Four Pro Teams No One Supports

Opinions with Two A-Holes

Dr. Evil and Mini-Me

Serge A Storms

June 16th, 2009
10:43 am

Does the fact that the picture of Hossa & friend shows them in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel in Philadelphia mean that he is talking to the Flyers?

BugKiller

June 16th, 2009
10:43 am

Out of all of those, I think I like “Mark and The Bald Man” the most.

If y’all use it, or any of my ideas, send me a poster of the Braves 1995 World Series win. Haha.

Large in the Pants

June 16th, 2009
10:51 am

Call it “Hard-On for Sports”…but only if it’ll be the BEST sports column EVER.

BugKiller

June 16th, 2009
10:56 am

Two Live Stupids

These Opinions Are Not (Performance) Enhanced

We Talk Sports in Atlanta… Yeah, Atlanta

It’s The End of the World as We Know It

Sportsacolypse

Do The Play Sports in Atlanta?

If Two Writers Write, And No One Reads Papers Anymore, Do They Make a Sound?

Schultz, Bradley, Bisher, Barnhart… COSTANZA???

We’d Rather Be in New York

We Still Have Jobs?

We Still Have Jobs! – see the difference?

It’s All Ted’s Fault – The Current State of Pro Sports in Atlanta

The MacNeil – Lehrer Hour

At Least We Don’t Plagerize Like Mitch Albom

Funnier than Fallon!

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
10:57 am

Schultz….Point and Counter Point have a point…ahhh no pun intended.

I didn’t even know hockey played a championship round…and who cares about those two players when you don’t even know hockey played for a championship.

Bubbadawg

June 16th, 2009
10:59 am

Dueling Banters, or B-S Point/Counterpoint (Jeff, you ignorant slut)

Bro's Before Hossa

June 16th, 2009
11:00 am

Name it “Fourth and Long: Atlanta Sports vs. The World.”

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
11:04 am

Bradley is the boss of these blogs these days. Not saying we’ve been given God blessings.

I don’t even read Bisher unless it says football in the headline.

Ledbetter ain’t showing nothing and Barnhart is to irregular with topics that go beyond my limited thinking or interest.

LOL Barnhart I cut myself to make a point.

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
11:06 am

Oh I forgot this is a Schultz blog. Forget hockey unless its about them moving.

HawkKingBibby

June 16th, 2009
11:07 am

Rick Sund is a bad drafter but he is not as dumb as a box of rocks. CHAD FORD HATES THE HAWKS. Since espn cant make the Hawks the punchline of their jokes because they are in the top 1/4 of the league WITH ONE OF THE LEAGUES YOUNGEST TEAMS, they resort to saying we are so cheap we are going to dump Smoove for nothing. Anything to make the team look bad.

Ramblin Wrecker

June 16th, 2009
11:08 am

How about you call it “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Blogs”.

Ed-Covington

June 16th, 2009
11:16 am

How about Mutt & Jeff?

ROFL House

June 16th, 2009
11:16 am

Call it the “Sports Hernia Blog”.

Oops…too late!!

BugKiller

June 16th, 2009
11:35 am

Bark Madley and the Half-Wit Prince

Howlin’ At The Moon

Sour Puss & Boots

And okay… I think I’m running out.

gdg73

June 16th, 2009
11:39 am

You say Joe Johnson disappeared in the playoffs again. Please enlighten me. We have only been to the playoffs twice in the last 12 years. We lost to the NBA champs in 2008. Joe was the main reason we took them to seven. This year we made it to Round 2. I agree Joe didn’t have a stellar series, but who did. So how did Joe disappear in the playoffs AGAIN

Here we go again

June 16th, 2009
11:43 am

Oh the AJC blog world. What would college students and 9-5 office workers do without it? I personally love the daily display of colorful personalities that put their boredom to use so that the rest of us might be entertained as they share how they really think and feel thanks to the lack of accountability that anonymous online message boards afford us.

First and foremost, you’ve got the people that are PISSED (I mean PISSED!) that the ajc sports bloggers/writers aren’t Pulitzer Prize winning journalists. They’re convinced if THEY had decided to take the path of sports journalism, they would be WAY better writers than Schultz, Bradley, Barnhart, Bisher etc.

Then you have the people (really a subset of the first group) that HATE (I mean HATE) Terence Moore (or however you spell his name) and will use every opportunity to say so. That’s how you know that Moore did his job well — he’s been gone for months yet people still take time out of their busy, productive work lives to bemoan his existence on ajc.com.

Then you have the same people who feel the exact same way about Chan Gailey. The only difference is instead of being a huge group of people, the Chan Gailey hater is just like, one guy. Plus, that guy actually kind of has a point.

THEN THERE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT TYPE IN ALL CAPS JUST TO MAKE A POINT AND TICK PEOPLE OFF.

Which seems to be related to the people who will get on any sports blog topic to defend Mike Vick as an angel sent from heaven that was victimized by the racist media and judicial system.

Then there are the PETA fans or people that use the word “thug” a lot who basically confirm the stereotypes/ideas held by the “MV7″ defenders.

You’ve also got the random “45-42!!!!!!!PWND, ROTFLMAOZZZ” posts and the “let me no when yall git to win 7 in a row” responses.

Then there’s the people who, from what I can tell, only post to insult the intelligence of other posters after “grading” them for grammar, spelling etc.

About half of that group usually spells something wrong in their own initial post, so the other half is quick respond with utter euphoria that someone correcting another person’s grammar actually made a mistake themselves.

At which point the correctors’ correctors will probably make a grammatical error and after proofreading the post 9 or 10 times will follow up with another post correcting their own mistake with a asterisk, hoping to somehow save online “face” from the next wave grammar nazis that are hungry to humiliate them.

Other people just want to randomly discuss politics. What’s up with that?

Then there are the southern baptists who must all go to the same church where the pastor has decided that sports blog message boards are the best way to do evangelism.

You also have people who make random posts about what kinds of things people post on ajc sports blogs.

Then there are people who constantly thank the regular bloggers, like Schultz and Bradley for rarely, if ever posting about hockey or NASCAR. Actually, that might just be one guy, who might just be related to the group of posters described above.

And finally, there are some people who actually want to just talk about what the implications of trading Josh Smith or Jeff Francoeur would be. Fortunately, they’re the majority.

JSS

June 16th, 2009
11:47 am

A reporter? I know you’re on some of those designer narcotics down there under the Marietta Street underpass… Ad nauseum (aka AJC’s point-counter-point), stop stealing from 70’s era “60 Minutes.”

Hey Schultz, I heard there’s a red eye to Tehran, then you could (SHOCK) be a REPORTER!!!

BigHittas

June 16th, 2009
11:52 am

the heck with Hossa; more Janka please?

Who all is going to see Holyfield fight? Can we do a charter? :)

niremetal

June 16th, 2009
11:54 am

I agree with gdg73. Someone explain to me how Joe disappeared “again.” I guess scoring averaging 20 ppg and scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter against the best defensive team in the league was “disappearing” against the Celtics. And I guess he also “disappeared” the last time he made the playoffs with Phoenix, where he averaged 21ppg, got his nose broken, then came back with a face mask and helped the Suns almost knock off the eventual champs despite being guarded by Bruce Bowen.

And don’t know if you got the memo, but Joe was playing with a hurt foot during the second half of the season and the playoffs. But unlike Dwyane Wade, he doesn’t whine like a baby to the media whenever he’s hurt. He sucks it up and plays 40 minutes a night anyway. Yeah, that’s the kinda guy you want to trade.

In any case, what do you say, Schultzie? How exactly did Joe disappear “again” in the playoffs? When did disappear before?

StingerSplash

June 16th, 2009
11:54 am

Hi Janka, I’m StingerSplash. I’m a Sagittarius. “Casablanca” is one of my five favorite movies of all time.
And I, uh, won’t come up short in the clutch … if you know what I mean … unlike some people I know (coughnamedMariancough)

And Jeff — danke for Janka!
Judging by yours and MB’s mugs, you need to be in the Hair Club for Zen! (Thanks, and please enjoy the non smoking show at 8. Don’t forget to tip your waitress and for those of you living OTP, your cows!)

JSS

June 16th, 2009
11:57 am

Hair Club!!! ROTFLMAO My goodness, it is just plain AWFUL!!!

jobless1

June 16th, 2009
12:00 pm

Names for the blog? Here ya go:

TOTAL B.S.

Get it. Bradley. Schultz. BS.

I think we have a winner.

Ken Nugent

June 16th, 2009
12:00 pm

I have instructed Jamal to keep his mouth shut – we have a case pending

L-Dawg

June 16th, 2009
12:14 pm

Why the hype about this Lawal nerd staying at the North Ave Trade School?? Didn’t he play last year and they only managed 3 ACC wins, one of those coming in the ACC Tourney?? This Favors dork seems like the most immature socially awkward recruit in the nation, and is about to get a taste of ACC caliber talent as opposed to the weak high school region he played in. The slide rule doesn’t lie you Techie Nerds… GT basketball will continue to suck

StingerSplash

June 16th, 2009
12:19 pm

jobless1,
Unfortunately, the Bristol Evil Empire already has the BS Report with Bill Simmons. And you know they wouldn’t wait to hammer poor Mr. Bradley and Mr. Schultz for copyright infringement. Might make them discuss all Favre all the time on their dialogue as punishment.

Alex

June 16th, 2009
12:22 pm

It’s Not Porn, But You’re At Work Anyway