Today is transfer-deadline day in English soccer. It's basically like the NBA trade deadline, or the start of free agency, except INSANE. Misinformation and rumors everywhere. Huge sums of money being thrown around. Deals thought to be sure things fall through at the last moment. Fans scour Twitter in multiple languages. It's chaos.
I bring it up because the English soccer team I follow is Arsenal (I'll wait for your derisive laughter to die down) and Arsenal is famous for not doing anything, or not doing enough, to strengthen the team in the offseason. In the past couple of years they've bucked that trend a little, but this year seems to be a regression.
During the bulk of this summer's NBA free-agency period, the Jazz were criticized a bit for seemingly not doing much to improve the team. The reasoning made sense: Utah can afford to take its time and improve from within (as opposed to Arsenal, who need to keep pace with their spendy fellows near the top of the English Premier League).
But the Jazz's strategy backfired a little when Dante Exum tore his ACL. Of course, there's no way they could have seen that coming. But it did leave the Jazz suddenly light at the point-guard position. They've been able to mitigate that with the internal-ish addition of Raul Neto and the possible retention of Bryce Cotton. But I still can't help but think: should they have done more? Maybe traded Trey Burke and made room for a veteran?
I don't know, and I'm not recommending anything. Pickings were slim this summer at point guard anyway. I was just thinking about the similarities as I sit here agonizing over Arsenal's inaction and the staggering lack of Jazz news this week, new free-agent centers not-withey-standing.
(I'm sorry. I'm a monster.)
The rest of this Downbeat is going to be brief, because, well, it's September.
Here's a good read on the downward spiral of Puerto Rican hoops since Jazzman Carlos Arroyo led his nation to an upset win over the United States:
The Puerto Rican national basketball team's resounding victory over the United States at the Athens Olympic Games on Aug. 15, 2004, still resonates in every corner of the Caribbean island.
That first defeat of the so-called "Dream Team" in the opening game of the Olympic basketball tournament perhaps represents the most celebrated victory in Puerto Rican sports and the peak of the island's love and passion for the sport. On each anniversary since, the iconic photo of the former Utah Jazz point guard, Carlos Arroyo, displaying his shirt in triumph appears online and Puerto Ricans recall where they were and what they were doing on that summer Sunday afternoon.
This is where FanPosts would go, but there still aren't any new ones. Come on, guys! We can do it together!
So many babies in Jazzland right now:
Jazz fans have been accused of belittling Enes Kanter since his acrimonious exit from Salt Lake City last winter. We've got nothing on this guy:
That's all I got. Come back soon, basketball.