"The Stack" 6-29-17

By ndstacken
Jun. 29, 2017

The Stack is back on this Thursday and since our post on Monday, Russell Westbrook rightfully won MVP at the NBA Awards, Patrick McEnroe’s words about Serena Williams caused quite a stir and Tim Tebow got promoted to high triple A St. Lucie. He homered Wednesday night. Basketball steals the blog today so let’s get right to it and see what’s in “the stack” for today, Thursday, June 29th:

Clippers trade Paul to Rockets

The NBA just saw a shift in who the second best team in the western conference is. Chris Paul signed his option with the Los Angeles Clippers who to the Houston Rockets for an abundance of players. Seven players in all are headed back to the Clippers including Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverly and Montrezl Harrell in addition to a top three protected 2018 first round draft pick and $661K in cash. The Clippers didn’t want to lose Paul and get nothing in return. This was about as good as they could hope for one would guess. James Harden and Paul may not seem like the perfect fit, but being in head coach Mike D’Antoni’s system may alleviate those fears. Plus, in order to beat the Golden State Warriors you have to outscore them. The Rockets may be closer to doing that now. We’ll see what other moves they have in store. Paul George perhaps? One thing is certain though. The Rockets just rocketed (see what I did there?) up the ladder in the western conference past the San Antonio Spurs to be the second best team and the most legitimate threat to the Warriors in the conference.

Phil Jackson out in New York

The New York Knicks are done with Phil Jackson. Knicks owner James Dolan on his deal. Knicks fans are rejoicing regarding this news though it does not help the fact that the Knicks are still stuck in a rut and don’t have a bright future outside of Kristaps Porzingis. If anything, perhaps now that Jackson is out it means that Porzingis is for sure coming back. Knicks fans rejoiced when the Knicks hired Jackson a few years ago. Look how that turned out for them. With Dolan still calling the shots as of now, Knicks fans shouldn’t be completely breathing a sigh of relief. Dolan still has to find someone to help lead the Knicks back to relevancy and out of dysfunction. Jackson’s run in New York certainly will have an impact on his legacy. To what extent though is up for debate. Jackson’s three years in New York was a complete debacle. He tried to implement the “Triangle” offense, but that just isn’t going to cut it in today’s NBA. No one will deny what kind of coach he was with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan and later the Los Angeles Lakers and Shaq and Kobe, but this will have an impact on him. It is a huge stain and is likely the last time we see him do anything for an NBA team. His legacy at least to me has taken a fairly big hit. It still doesn’t make us forget the great things he did as a head coach and even a player, but it should make us all pause and remember just how bad he was at this job with the Knicks and how much at times it seemed like he didn’t care. Now that will make a Knicks fan unhappy.

Cubs cut ties with Montero

Less than 24 hours after he called out his pitcher, Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero is looking for work. The Cubs Wednesday after his little tirade in Tuesday’s loss to the Washington Nationals. The Nationals stole seven bases against him. Montero is 0-for-31 in throwing baserunners out this season. He blamed Arrieta for his slow delivery and not keeping baserunners honest. The Cubs were honest in their assessment of Montero saying he was a “bad teammate”. This wasn’t the first time Montero bemoaned his situation. After winning the World Series last year, Montero complained that he wasn’t used as much as he should have. You don’t call out the ace of your staff though and Montero’s stats throwing batters out or lack thereof speaks for itself. The Cubs made a good decision to cut ties with this guy and Montero would be wise to look himself in the mirror and realize it isn’t the pitchers and other guys on the team who caused this. It’s him.

Coming up either Friday or next week: Reaction to top stories in sports