Mikki Come Home!

Mikki Come Home!

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

New Jersey fan favorite, the wiry 7-footer Mikki Moore, makes his first trip back to the Meadowlands Tuesday night since bolting to the Sacramento Delta River Valley last July. It was there that he joined up with the Western Conference Sacramento Kings for a little more guaranteed moolah, in the form of an MLE, in order to ply his trade, as a starting Center, so that he could better provide for his family of reptiles.

Right about now, the Nets\’ faithful are probably wishing that he\’d have stuck around the swamps a little longer … thinking about how good he\’d look alongside rookie Sean Wiliams. It seems that the \’flock\’s\’ fallen hero, Serbian Center Nenad Krstic, is not quite yet ready for prime time after coming back from knee surgery; and Mikki\’s replacement, former all-Star C Jamaal Magloire, hasn\’t returned to all-Star form.*

It is probably the anticipation of Nenad\’s readiness at the beginning of this season that had played a big part in Mikki winding up elsewhere. Sacramento offered Mikki the chance at a regular starting role with a higher per year salary. Over the life of the contract, it was guaranteed for about $1.4 million more than New Jersey was offering at the time.

While New Jersey tried hard to keep him with a competitive offer, the Sacramento offer ultimately won at the end of the day because it was more along the lines of what Mikki wanted and it was more welcoming. The Malouf family showed more love to Mikki than the Ratner family.

Maybe New Jersey should have accorded Mikki the reception they did Vince Carter and launched a We Love Mikki ticker tape parade in take your pick: Brooklyn or the Meadowlands? They could even have reserved a special corner of the Bronx Zoo for a Mikki Moore Reptile Cage!

After casting about the league like a drifter, it seemed that the loveable \’Snake-Man,\’ a soft-spoken giant from South Carolina, had finally found a home in the swamp. Appealing to his family … of snakes … would\’ve probably made it that much easier for him to say \”No\” to other suitors!

Unfortunately, swamps are known for \”bad air\” or malaria – also known as \’sleeping sickness.\’ Perhaps a few mosquitoes wriggled loose from under the floorboards during his contract negotiations and left their marks on most of the Nets\’ management trying to cut a deal?

To be fair, the Nets were running up against serious luxury tax issues and while it would have been nice to sign both Moore and Magloire, that didn\’t seem to be possible. Sacramento had more space under the cap to lure him away.

Whatever the case, the Nets came up short and now may need to find another serviceable big with reservoirs of hidden, untapped talent to replace his contribution. Let\’s hope Santa comes soon!

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2007 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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