Daily Archives: January 10, 2012

Mark Davis Puts His Plan In Motion

So far, Mark Davis’s tenure as the Raiders owner has been a quite one. Many, including myself wondered how he’d run the Raiders once his father passed away. Today was really the first time he’d spoken publicly about the teams plans for the interim and the future. All in all I was impressed how he handled himself while answering questions about their future as well as the reasons he hired Reggie Mackenzie as the Raiders first ever GM even if he’s the only guy he interviewed for the job. Here’s the whole interview of the two new top dogs in the Raiders organization if you care.

One thing they left on the table which was never actually answering during the interview was why the decision was made to fire Hue Jackson. Yes they said it was Reggie Mackenzie’s choice and he wanted to start from stratch, but that wasn’t nearly as firm as when Al Davis would do his semi-annual firing (just ask Lane Kiffin or any ex-Raiders coach for that matter). Raiders fans may never know why he was fired for sure, but you have to bet that some of it had to do with the empty promises he consistently made throughout the season in a Rex Ryan like fashion including the whole building a bully angle, we’ll make the playoffs, less penalties, stopping the run, and the best trade of all-time quotes come to mind as well. The most troubling part about the firing was that he did seem to be liked by the players, and that’s something that’s hard to replace, but at the same time if you have the ears of the players why did they completely forget to show up in a few games!?! I always wondered why he didn’t request more help while handling personnel choices as the head coach/GM this year. I’m sure they would’ve gotten him someone to help out if he asked for it. Hue’s demise was for more than a few reasons. He never put Jason Campbell on the IR opening a spot for perhaps another linebacker or corner back not named Lito Sheppard that we desperately needed. Then there was the whole finishing the season losing four out of five, which could’ve easily been five of five since they played like crap in KC, but one team had to win that game.

Another thing I think that Mark Davis must’ve seen that I even noticed is that they changed a lot of their defensive and offensive philosophies once Al passed away. Would that piss his son off in a season supposedly dedicated to his father? Possibly, and the glaring change in philosophy was letting the defense play zone a lot for the last 12 games, and ultimately killed them in the Lions game when they have always been a man to man type team in the secondary. Should Jackson have been fired? There’s reasons for keeping him and letting him go. Keeping him would basically blame this past season of failures on injuries (justifiable), the defense, and spreading himself too thin playing GM and coach. The firing however shows that they are re-setting the franchise in Mark Davis’ vision of the franchise opposed to his fathers, which is something all Raiders fans might like to see after nearly a decade of losing somewhat like the Warriors tenure change. Although I don’t know a Raiders fan who honestly hated Al even in his bad years.

I think the most impressive part about all this movement in the front office is that Mark Davis consulted people he was close with, and came out with a clear vision that he would get his team into a better place to succeed not so much next year but in the future. No, he’s not a talent evaluator like Al Davis was, but he does clearly have a plan for the future. It all started with getting Reggie Mackenzie on board, and putting a staff together with that talent evaluating ability. Whether or not Reggie knows what he’s doing remains to be seen, but watching the Packers work their way to winning two Super Bowls while he was working for them, isn’t going to hurt. I thought Mackenzie was well spoken, and seemed to have a clear vision of how the organization should be run, so in the end I’m not that sad Hue is gone. If we could keep him on as the OC, I would love to see that happen, but I wouldn’t blame him for turning that job down. Should be interesting to see what’s next for them, but at the same time it’s kinda sad that the A’s, Raiders, and Warriors are all in constant re-build mode, because sadly the Raiders were pretty much the only successful team I’ve had the chance to root for lately…

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The Most Entertaining Team in the NBA

At the beginning of the year, I figured a post with this title would be about the Lob City Clips or even perhaps the Miami Heatles, but for some reason that hasn’t been the case. Many of you, including myself, probably lost your free preview of the NBA league pass over the weekend. The first thing that popped into my head was, I can’t believe I watched at least part of every Timberwolves game for the first two weeks of the season, and might not get to see them again this year since I doubt they have very many nationally televised games. I even watched them over the Warriors on a few occasions, that’s how damn entertaining they were. Are they going to be a surprise playoff team? Probably not, but that’s not always why I watch hoops. Being a Warriors fan, I usually just want to be entertained since it’s not always in the cards that my team will win. Anyways, anytime the Wolves are on nationally, you can bet I’ll be watching. The longtime laughing stocks of the league actually have a solid core of players that are fun to watch with lots of story lines to go around.

The Best White Guy in the NBA (Kevin Love). What’s not to like about Love and his energy for the game. Even his All-Star pitch last season was funny. Last year for some ungodly reason he didn’t even crack the starting lineup while posting double doubles nightly for the first part of the season. Luckily that was quickly corrected, and we got to see this beast do his 110% effort thing from the opening tip.

The Highly Entertaining First Year Euro Player (Ricky Rubio). I remember ripping him pretty good a few times in our e-mail chains dating back through the last couple of years he stayed over in Spain. We’ve probably had at least 100 e-mails back and forth arguing about whether he’d play here or not. It seemed unfathomable how his game would translate to the NBA when he was sitting at something like 6 PPG and 4 APG last season and only coming off the bench in SPAIN, but after seeing him play these two NBA league pass filled weeks, I’m fully sold on his prospects to be the next Steve Nash. It’s been funny to watch him bounce passes off teammates faces when they weren’t ready to catch one of his fancy passes. He is truly a wizard with the ball in his hands.

My College Player Mancrush from Last Season (Derrick Williams). I still don’t see how this guy doesn’t end up being a stud in the league for a long time. He’s shown a few flashes here and there already, but hasn’t really played a ton of minutes to showcase all his talents. Maybe now that Beasley’s hurt he’ll earn a spot in the starting rotation. I pretty much fell for him during the Pac-10 tournament last year, and will stick by him until he turns into a bigtime player.

Super Talented Headcases (Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley). Anyone out there that’s played fantasy hoops or been a Warriors fan knows how frustrating it is to watch or have Anthony Randolph on your team. He makes a great block and rebound then dribbles down the court faster than everyone only to throw it out of bounds. You see the good stuff and think this guy could be great, but then he inexplicably does stupid things that he should’ve learned during High School. Beasley’s idiocy has been well chronic(led). You never know what you’re going to get from either guy from a production standpoint, but when they seem to care their potential seems limitless.

Major Draft Bust (Darko Milicic). The man infamously picked in front of Melo, Wade, and Bosh. The funny part about him though, is he might actually have a better career than 2007 #1 pick, Greg Oden! After landing on his fifth team in nine seasons, he actually played decent in Minnesota last season, and parlayed that into a 4 year $20M contract that I thought was atrocious at the time, but if there’s one thing you can’t teach it’s 7 feet, and as much as I hated the Warriors signing Kwame, a 7-footer does make a difference in the paint.

Even More White Guys (JJ Barea, Brian Cardinal, Luke Ridnour, and Brad Miller). Honestly, I can’t remember a team with seven of it’s twelve roster spots going to five white guys and two white Euro guys. Well, at least in my existence I’m sure there were plenty in the peach picker basket days. In fact, I’m struggling to think of a roster with more than three white guys on the team…