<
>
Insider

Some holiday advice for below-.500 teams

Ho, ho, ho, everyone. 'Tis the season again -- time to crawl through traffic snarls en route to the mall, stalk anyone walking out of the building in hopes of getting a coveted parking space, and then battle the throngs inside to get those last few items on your loved ones' Christmas lists.

Since even my blackened soul is filled with holiday spirit at this time, I get into the gift-giving thing as well. This year, I thought I'd be extra generous and hand out presents to all those suffering NBA teams that find themselves below .500 this morning. This is not an exclusive list either -- by some odd quirk, 17 of the league's 30 teams woke up this morning below the break-even line.

But there's a catch. I'm not giving these teams anything they can truly use -- like players, cap space, or even one of those cool little gadgets from The Sharper Image. No, that would be too easy.

And no, I'm not giving them a lump of coal either -- not only is that passé, but coal pollutes, which hardly seems in the Christmas spirit. (You'll notice, for instance, that Mr. Claus relies on low-impact flying reindeer for his propulsion needs, and goes so far as to use an antiquated red-nose system for lighting).

Instead, I'm giving these teams a gift that I'm sure they'll be grateful for years down the road: the gift of unsolicited advice! Don't be afraid to steal my idea and try this with your friends and loved ones next time the holidays roll around -- after all, who doesn't love being told what to do? It is not only guaranteed to be a hit, but also doesn't require any expensive wrapping paper.

So come over here, all you Knicks and Grizzlies of the world -- it's time to gather 'round the tree and see what I've got for you. As I think you'll see, it's quite a bounty: