Taxman sure got me in 2005... turns out I gotta pay! That sucks. I need more deductions. Like the bottle of Tums I had to go through to stomach last night's walloping by the Charlotte Bobcats. Bob Johnson's boys pulled out a copy of Jet and biaatch-slapped the green and gold, not to put too fine a point on it. Melvin Ely goes off last night? I don't think Melvin's had a game like that since he was a Fresno State Bulldog running wild over the WAC hordes.
Even more troubling were comments from Ray Allen, who said the Sonics have forgotten the basic principles of being a team and went so far as to insinuate that some players are not supportive of others.
"We got to get back to being teammates and being friends," he said. "It's OK to clap for each other. It's OK to encourage each other."
What used to be a tight-knit team that credited its chemistry for last season's success has been replaced by 12 individuals who appear emotionless and impassionate.
"I don't think we have any excitement," Luke Ridnour said. "I don't think there's any joy for the game right now and it's very evident."
Without going into who those players might be I think this is definitely a sign to management that they've simply got to move some guys just to clear the air. Whatever magical "we're all in this together" feel that Nate McMillan managed to create last year has evaporated into an orgy of gotta-get-mine. The effort last night was as pathetic as anything I saw under Bob Weiss. It is now to the point where the defensive lapses cannot be blamed on coaching. This is clearly a problem with the personnel.
Speaking of Tums, I don't know if anyone caught Bob Hill's postgame interview with KC but let me tell ya, nobody uses the word "puke" quite like Coach Hill. I think he used it about six or seven times in a 3 minute span. And well he should have, seeing that what was already a pitiful defensive campaign got even worse last night, with the Sonics allowing the Bobcats to score almost 120 points, about 30 over their season average.
At what point will these players start taking pride in playing both ends of the floor? I'm seriously to the point where I'm not above moving Ray or Rashard if the return brings someone who's committed to defending the perimeter, because game after game, night after night those two aren't bringing leadership on that end of the floor. Period.
Coming up tomorrow, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.