Tonight saw some of the best players in the league deliver all star type performances. His airness scored 43 points on 18 for 30 from the floor with 10 rebounds. Becoming the first 40 year old to score 40 points or more. The previous high was by Kareem Abdul Jabbar, when he scored 27, at the age of 40. Tracy McGrady aiming to keep his scoring title in hand, scored a career high 52 points in only 3 quarters of play. He came one point shy of tying the most points scored in a game in franchise history. Which was 53 by Shaquille O'Neal back in the 1990's. Allen Iverson tied a season high with 41 points on 12-23 shooting which by his standards is amazing. Jamal Mashburn tied a career high with 50 points on 17-33 shooting. Going 12 for 12 from the foul line.
Well the trading deadline is here and gone so let's look at the trades that took place. In an attempt to add an interior presence down low, the Orlando Magic traded Mike Miller, there second leading scorer, to the Memphis Grizzlies for promising rookies Drew Gooden and Gorden Giracek. In my opinion, this was a great trade for the Orlando Magic because it gives them an interior presence down low that they had been lacking since the Shaq days. They also received Gorden Giracek who can shoot the 3 and score, and also adds a strong unit off the bench that they also had been lacking. The Memphis Grizzlies must have received a fair end of the bargain as well, since Jerry West is the General Manager at the helm. Mike Miller gives the Grizzlies a 2 guard with they had been lacking, who can shoot the 3 and also score. In the players first games with their respective teams they played very well. Gorden Giracek scored 15 points and Drew Gooden had an outstanding night with 22 points and 11 rebounds on 11-16 from the floor. Mike Miller also had an outstanding night with 23 points on 11-17 from the floor. The blockbuster trade that went through right before the trade deadline included Gary Payton and Desmond Mason to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, and Ronald Murray, and a 2003 first round or second round pick. When I first learned of this trade I was nothing less than shocked. I convinced myself that the reports were false because a trade of this magnitude could never occur. Gary Payton, "The Glove", the most popular player in the Seattle Supersonics franchise, and franchise leader in games played, assists, steals, points, etc. couldn't of been traded. He wanted to end his career in Seattle but management couldn't fufill that wish. Instead they traded him along with former slam dunk champion Desmond Mason who was going to be part of the franchise's future for a sub-par Ray Allen. The trade also makes no sense because while Seattle now has no point guard, (Seattle traded Kenny Anderson to the Hornets for Elden Campbell) Milwaukee has 2 with Sam Cassel and Gary Payton. A trade of this kind makes me think of all the professional players that have recently switched teams after being on a team for virtually their whole career. The list includes Jim Thome, Tom Glavine, and now Gary Payton and Ray Allen. Off the top of my head only Edgar Martinez, Karl Malone, John Stockton, and David Robinson have played there whole careers on one team. Management's inability to resign a player or not trade a player has happened way to often in recent memory. This angers fans and more importantly down plays the game as a whole.