Mickael Pietrus' comments to L'Equipe are much ado about nothing


Mickael Pietrus is quite the character.

He loves the camera and enjoys being in the spotlight, so it’s through those glasses that we must analyze the news that Pietrus told the French paper L’Equipe that many teams — as well as Kobe Bryant – want him.

This shouldn’t be taken as a diss on Pietrus. I personally find him hilarious and enjoy the good-natured vibe he brings to the locker room. I just don’t think we should take him at face value on this one.

According to a HoopsHype translation, Pietrus said:

“A lot of teams are interested in me, like the Lakers or the Celtics. This came from the best player in the world: Kobe Bryant. He told me two months ago that he would like to see me with the Lakers.”

“Phoenix didn’t use me, but that’s their problem. I’m going to continue working. The only thing I care about is winning a title.”

Two months ago the Dallas Mavericks were finishing off their sweep of the Lakers, and for some reason I don’t think Kobe’s first thought was: “If only we had Mickael Pietrus…”

That’s not to say I think Pietrus is necessarily lying. Kobe may have said something in passing expressing this sentiment, but I don’t think it was anything to be taken too seriously with this whole lockout thing going on and the Lakers likely needing to lop off salary, not add it.

Furthermore, I don’t think Pietrus truly believed this to be serious himself. He would not have picked up his $5.3 million option if he really thought he could be the missing piece on a title contender. The move was a no-brainer financially, but now Pietrus isn’t exactly free to name his team.

As for his accusation that the Suns didn’t use him correctly, Pietrus was a rotation player from Dec. 26 until Jan. 11 and then again from Jan. 28 until March 23 when he strained his quadriceps and missed the rest of the season. He stayed home for a five-game road trip soon after the injury and then, according to Paul Coro, said he could barely walk as he missed the final two games for an injury that at first did not seem so serious.

It’s difficult to see where the Suns misused him. If any wing should be griping about that subject, it would be Josh Childress.

Since he owns a $5.3 million expiring contract that could fetch an asset, the Suns were likely to put Pietrus on the block anyway, something his agent intimated when Pietrus picked up his option. Pietrus’ comments do nothing to change that.

If they don’t trade him I expect Pietrus to report to camp and be his same jovial self, especially if he gets more time and touches and is able to make a bigger impact next season, a decent possibility now that he’s more comfortable in a system that — on paper at least — suits him.

Having been around Pietrus the final four months of the season, this certainly seems to be much ado about nothing and just a frustrated player saying more than he probably should for the purpose of making the splash it ended up making.

If Pietrus were that unhappy he would have opted out, so while I’m sure he would rather be playing next season with Kobe than Nash I think we can chalk this one up to Pietrus being Pietrus.

Suns announce D-League affiliation with Bakersfield Jam

The Phoenix Suns’ D-League affiliate will play its games a bit closer to home next season.

The D-League announced Thursday that the Bakersfield Jam will be Phoenix’s new affiliate next year after the Suns had previously been with the Iowa Energy. They will join the Clippers and Raptors in a three-team affiliation with Bakersfield.

The Suns had previously looked into buying a team in Prescott Valley. They would have controlled the basketball operations portion of the franchise, but the deal didn’t work out.

Although it’s too bad having to share Bakersfield with two other teams rather than the one other organization they shared the Energy with, playing in California rather than Iowa should be a real boon to Phoenix. It will be more convenient for executives to travel there to watch a quick game and it will also be easier to get players there.

The ideal situation of course would be having the Suns own their own D-League team so they could institute their own schemes as San Antonio does with the Austin Toros, and perhaps one day a deal in Prescott Valley or wherever else will come to fruition.

But an affiliation all the way in Iowa never made a ton of sense, so on that front the Bakersfield affiliation is a positive deal.

Tags: Mickael Pietrus

  • Matt Manske

    I really wish that Prescott valley deal would have happened. I used to live there and I still visit once a week.

  • Steve

    Phoenix didn’t use him? In my opinion, we used him far too much. How many errant threes did he jack up this year at worst time possible in the game? I was hoping he wouldn’t pick up his player option, but I knew that he would because he knows as well as I do, Mickael Pietrus-type players at $5.3M per (or less) are a dime a dozen in the NBA. He’s not in high demand.

  • Tony

    Peitrus is too much of a headcase to fit in the Suns unselfish system. He often took poor shots with the Suns last season and I doubt even with a training camp, that he will all of a sudden become a smarter and unselfish player. It’s not like he’s a young player anymore. The Suns system requires a high degree of selflessness and with Peitrus, the Suns are not going to get it from him.

    Now, if Peitrus was making a more reasonable salary for what he provides to the Suns, I would still be in favor of bringing him back because he’s still an overally pretty good ball-player. However, at $5.3 million next season, and with one of the cheapest owners in the league in Sarver, Babby and Blanks have to make every effort to trade him and at the very least, shed salary cap to go after a more legitimate sg.

  • B. Cray Z.

    Steve Nash -

    What became of my challenge?

    Able to beat 3/4 of NBA players in a horse?

    Then bring your best horse game to me, what day, what place, what time?

  • Steve

    Haha, no offense to you, as I’m sure you’re a stand up guy, but I don’t make a habit of meeting up with my internet buddies (there’s gotta be a phobia for that, right?). I think we’ll just have to leave this one to mystery, although I don’t doubt your claims. I know a bunch of old-timers who can shoot the lights out. ;)

  • B. Cray Z.

    Need not fear.

    Nash may not know my name.

    But he most certainly knows my face.

    I’m that crazy old white dude. I’m the one who, like the Knicks’ Spike & the Lakers Jack, goes to US A

  • B. Cray Z.

    That was supposed to read “US Airways Center” to sit (& stand & yell on every defensive posession to show support for the team) court side.

    Find me across from the visitors’ bench, near Maxi (the Rasta photographer) & that old lady who gives you hugs. That same old crazy white dude whom you met on that mid-season Southwest Airlines flight from Orange County who sat behind you with my kids.

    Nash, just being yourself, you turned me into one of the biggest & most vocal Suns’ fans. Want to thank you for that. This is that same old crazy white dude who brought my son Jacob & girl friend Janie to meet all of you guys & show support for LB at his “Brazilian Bash”.)

    The first time we met was when you just were drafted by the Suns & I beat you (at the YMCA) in a horse game. Does it all come back? Why should I not give you a rematch game? Unless you’re an imposter & not the real Nash. With no games currently on the schedule, don’t you think that we owe it to each other to have that rematch game?

  • Steve

    I have a confession… I am not the real Steve Nash. I’m actually Steve Francis, trying to pretend I can still ball.

    Courtside, eh? Maybe we should meet up and become friends so I can mooch some games off you, haha. I usually can’t get closer than row 20 or so.

  • Steve

    Oh, and by the way, if you really beat Steve Nash in horse, then it shouldn’t be too hard for you to believe that there are average joes out there who can beat most NBA players in a game of horse (that doesn’t involve dunks).