Posted Dec 14 2009 11:18AM
You and old man Claus can make your lists and check them twice. Me? I'm done. Here's a list 30 deep for teams that have more needs than they might realize. And please, no ho-ho-ho jokes:
Atlanta Hawks: The complete filmography, on Blu-ray, of Pee Wee Herman. As a cautionary tale against growing old without growing up, in the event the Hawks sense a little slippage.
Boston Celtics: A bunch of new numerals -- Roman, Arabic, binary, you name it -- to replace all the jersey numbers already hanging (or soon to be) from the Garden rafters.
Charlotte Bobcats: A half dozen "thank you" notes on Crane & Co.'s finest stationery to be delivered to the Nets, the Spurs, the Hawks, the Pacers and the Warriors in appreciation for making Stephen Jackson available at this point in time. The sixth note is the one Charlotte will send at some future point to the team that takes Jackson off their hands once he's worn out his welcome there too.
Cleveland Cavaliers: A simple gift card good for one (1) franchise player's maximum salary, along with the costs of sprucing up their city until it becomes the media, cultural, financial and commercial center of the free world, at which point no one would ever think of leaving.
Chicago Bulls: A low-post scorer, something the Bulls have pestered Santa about for more years running than Ralphie asked for the Red Ryder BB gun.
Dallas Mavericks: A big ol' jar of Grade A, finely ground Looming Free Agency, to be sprinkled over center Erick Dampier, to taste, from now till June.
Denver Nuggets: A Carmelo Anthony puppet to appear in commercials with the LeBron and Kobe puppets, assuming 'Melo's soft-sculpt self can get the other Nuggets puppets to a Finals some day, too.
Detroit Pistons: A nine-month 2010 calendar that begins with April. Former Piston Chauncey Billups predicts this team will be dangerous in the playoffs' first round. It's getting from here to there that's the tricky part.
Golden State Warriors: Sixteen or 17 more victories as soon as possible, so Don Nelson can catch and pass Lenny Wilkens' all-time NBA regular-season record (1,332) and then put his health and happiness ahead of any more four-games-in-five-nights stretches.
Houston Rockets: For the other Rockets, Tracy McGrady. For McGrady, more spunk and fire and hustle than he's ever played with before. Can't play in Dallas on Feb. 14 if you can't play in Houston the right way.
Indiana Pacers: A comeback by Reggie Miller, no matter how ill-advised or creaky. He's still got more go-to in his game than Danny Granger does right now.
Los Angeles Clippers: A Stephen King production of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, to be performed one time only, in the theatre of owner Donald Sterling's mind.
Los Angeles Lakers: Furry steering-wheel covers. Look, what else can you get for the guys who have everything? It's about time they hit the road anyway.
Memphis Grizzlies: Aunt Martha's 1977 fruitcake, in the best tradition of holiday re-gifting (sign Allen Iverson, waive Allen Iverson).
Miami Heat: A Montblanc Boheme Doue Ligne. Dwyane Wade's next contract must be signed with a fine writing instrument.
Milwaukee Bucks: An unprecedented reconfiguring of the Wisconsin-Illinois state border so a spiffy new marketing campaign designed to snag NBA free agents won't be lying when it touts the charms of the "North Chicago Bucks." Maybe that would do it.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Audio course (Spanish for Dummies) for players' and coaches' iPods. Then a reason in 2011 or 2012 to listen to it.
New Jersey Nets: One of those sweet, smiling persons we see at this time of year with a red pot and a bell, seeking charity and kindness from all who enter here ... stationed at the door visiting teams use at the IZOD Center.
New Orleans Hornets: A Nintendo Wii for each player, because no team needs more to put some more "Wee!" back into its game.
New York Knicks: A DVD copy of the great Preston Struges film, Christmas in July, in an unmarked enveloped and smuggled under cover of darkness out of Cleveland.
Oklahoma City Thunder: A spice rack. From the bargain bin is OK, because these guys don't need the parsley, the sage or the rosemary. All they need is thyme to get where they're going.
Orlando Magic: An industrial-strength Breeze Ionic Air Purifier, set up in the hallway between the locker room and coach Stan Van Gundy's office.
Philadelphia 76ers: A bottle of vintage Elton Brand, circa 2005-06. This whole team could use a re-Branding.
Phoenix Suns: This fine Napoleon III period giltwood antique, perfect for the royal bottoms of the Suns' new and improved bench.
Portland Trail Blazers: A lifetime supply of bubble wrap and a ream of "Fragile/Handle With Care" stickers.
Sacramento Kings: A Magellan Roadmate 4700 GPS system for a team that loses its way on the road.
San Antonio Spurs: Socks and underwear. Again. What's with these guys? Gave them a snazzy red convertible last Christmas and they exchanged it for socks and underwear.
Toronto Raptors: Détente and, as a stocking stuff, an MP3 download of Peter, Paul and Mary's rendition of Kumbaya to be played during player introductions.
Utah Jazz: A case of 2006 La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, because coach Jerry Sloan's team always is short on whine.
Washington Wizards: Three roundtrip tickets on the Acela Express, Washington to Boston and back, so the Wizards' alleged go-to guys (Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler) can take "Big Three" lessons from Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA for 25 years. You can e-mail him here.
The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting.
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