Shareef Really Doesn't Like It...The New Jersey Nets' plan to bolster their frontcourt by signing Shareef Abdur-Rahim has collapsed. Every player is subject to a routine physical before signing with a new team and something on Abdur-Rahim's exam caused the Nets enough concerns to rescind the proposed sign and trade deal with Portland; Abdur-Rahim now becomes a free agent. Oregonlive.com (http://www.oregonlive.com/weblogs/blazersblog/) reports that an arthritic condition was detected in one of Abdur-Rahim's knees but Abdur-Rahim says, "It's something that has shown up since I was drafted. Every place I've been has known about it and asked questions about it. I never had any knee injuries (in the NBA) or missed any games. It doesn't bother me." If this is really the case, it is very odd that the Nets would know of his condition, sign him and then back out literally at the last moment. Right now both sides are losers in this "non-deal"--the Nets have signed Marc Jackson, a solid player, but hardly a worthy replacement for Abdur-Rahim; meanwhile, Abdur-Rahim has lost the opportunity to sign with potential suitors who made spent their money on other players. However, in the long run, even if he has to settle for less money, Abdur-Rahim will find a new NBA home--guys who put up 20 and 8 in their careers are not easy to find--and if he is as healthy and productive as he has been during his career, the Nets will really look foolish.
posted by David Friedman @ 1:37 AM