The Week In Review: Illini in the NBA

Since it is never easy to keep up with the performance and news surrounding former Illinois players in the NBA while you are also watching your favorite NBA and college teams while also keeping up on your fantasy team's performance, thought we would recap the relevant news surrounding the former Illinois players in the NBA over the past week.

After starting three games in a row for the New York Knicks in which he was averaging over ten points per game, Frank Williams went down with a groin injury that he has been resting ever since. Frank is currently listed as Questionable on the Knicks' Injury Report for their game Tuesday night against the Cavaliers.

Once again, the big news of the week in the NBA directly involves the New York Knicks. As Isiah Thomas is getting more and more comfortable in his role as Knicks General Manager, he has started to put his stamp on the team with two different trades that shook up the Knick foundation. The first trade brought another backup point guard to the Knicks in Moochie Norris, and removed a salary cap burden in forward Clarence Weatherspoon. Today's trade shocked the foundation of the Knicks' bringing the star power that has been missing since this summer's Latrell Sprewell trade back to the Knicks in the name of New York native Stephon Marbury.

On Monday afternoon, it was announced that the Knicks acquired Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway, and Cezary Trybanski from the Phoenix Suns in return for Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Antonio McDyess, Maciej Lampe, draft rights to Milos Vujanic, and two future first-round draft choices.

This trade is without doubt, an exciting trade for Knick fans as the team has brought in Stephon Marbury, one of the best point guards in the NBA, while also offloading the salaries of Howard Eisley and Antonio McDyess. For fans of Frank Williams, I do not think this trade is good news at all. Here is what thinks this trade will do to Frank Williams' fantasy production as he will no longer be the Knicks' starting point guard.

Graham Hays: "From Isiah Thomas' golden child to an afterthought with a sore groin, Williams is experiencing a New Year's hangover for the ages. Williams got fantasy owners excited by averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in a three-game stretch, after Thomas pushed coach Don Chaney to play him ahead of Ward and Eisley. But he's not going to see much time at point -- Marbury averaged 41.6 minutes per game in Phoenix -- and Houston and Hardaway block his path to minutes alongside Marbury. For now, he's worthless in fantasy leagues."
Courtesy's Fantasy Spin ...

If I had to guess as to the future of Frank with the Knicks, right now I am not sure of what it will be, but I do see two possible scenarios that could happen in regards to Frank:
  • New York packages Frank with a high salary player (Penny, Van Horn, or Houston) to get the player they want in return (Ron Artest?). The Knicks still have three point guards on their roster right now in Marbury, Moochie Norris, and Frank Williams.
  • New York keeps Frank Williams as the backup guard off the bench who spells both Alan Houston and Stephon Marbury. This is the option that was discussed by the ESPN analysts during NBA Fastbreak that is shown on espn2 every evening.
What will happen to Frank and Knicks over the next few months? No one really knows, but it will be interesting to watch how Isiah Thomas molds this Knick team into his vision, and if that vision contains Frank Williams as an integral piece.

Frank did not play in any games since the last The Week in Review: Illini in the NBA, so there are not any stats to update this week.

With Shaquille O'Neal not playing due to a calf injury, Brian Cook saw the most playing time he has seen in his three games this season with 16 minutes of play on Sunday night. Brian recorded a career-high in points, rebounds, and assists as he scored 6 points, pulled down 3 rebounds, and handed out 3 assists in the Lakers 101-98 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The injuries to both Shaquille O'Neal and Karl Malone should lead to more playing time for Brian as the Lakers' starting center and power forward will be on the sideline for a while. Shaq is listed as Questionable for Tuesday night's game agains the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Karl Malone was placed on the Injured List yesterday. These two injuries leave the Lakers with only three real solid low post threats, Stanislav Medvedenko (started at PF Sunday night), Horace Grant (started at C Sunday night), and Brian. This will be a good chance for Brian to show Phil Jackson what he can do on the court.

Jan. 2 @ Sonics 109-111 L 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0
Jan. 4 @ Clippers 98-101 L 16 2-3 0-0 2-2 3 3 1 0 6

As I was searching for any little piece of news I could give you on Kendall Gill besides a statistical update, I found this story in the Chicago Tribune that talked about, not New Year's Resolutions, but Life Goal Lists. One of the prominant Chicagoans that shared their life list with William Hageman was Kendall Gill.

William Hageman:
Chicago Bulls guard Kendall Gill keeps his life list in a briefcase he carries with him almost all the time. The Matteson native attended Rich Central High School and helped lead the University of Illinois to the Final Four in 1989. His 14th NBA season is his first with his hometown team. He shared 16 of his life goals with us:
  1. Earn college degree.
  2. Play 15 years in the NBA.
  3. Visit Africa, Japan, Europe, Brazil and every island in the Caribbean.
  4. Travel cross-country on a tour bus.
  5. Learn how to salsa.
  6. Learn how to speak fluent Spanish.
  7. Own a condominium in Soho, New York City.
  8. Be able to do a split.
  9. Master Toltec wisdom.
  10. Own a condominium in North Miami Beach.
  11. Learn how to ski.
  12. Go on a safari.
  13. Develop my real estate company.
  14. Attend every major U.S. event--sports, entertainment, politics--once.
  15. Live past 100 years.
  16. Marry a beautiful, talented, smart, physically fit woman (Halle Berry will do).
Courtesy William Hageman of the Chicago Tribune ...

As you can see, Kendall has some very difficult goals to attain, but the one that should be most imteresting to fans of Kendall's basketball career is that he would like to play 15 years in the NBA, and since this is his fourteenth season in the league, will next year be Kendall's last in the NBA? Right now Kendall is starting at the small forward position for the Bulls, and is a very solid veteran leader for the young Bulls, especially guards Kirk Hinrich and Jamal Crawford. It will be interesting to see if Kendall Gill is in Jon Paxson's plans for next season, but right now with the way Kendall is playing, I do not see why he would not be in the Bulls' plans for atleast one more season.

Jan. 3 vs. Celtics 77-88 L 27 3-13 0-0 0-0 6 2 1 0 6
Jan. 2 @ Knicks 104-99 W 24 2-7 0-0 1-1 0 1 1 0 5

The Toronto Raptors announced on Friday, January 2, that they have acquired former Illinois center Robert Archibald in exchange for Mengke Bateer, the rights to Remon Van de Hare, and the option to exchange second-round draft positions in the 2005 NBA Draft.

The Raptors will be Robert's third team this season, and his fourth team since being drafted 32nd overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the Second Round of the 2004 NBA Draft.

"Coach likes him, and he's a tough rebounding big guy that will hopefully get an opportunity to play," Raptors GM Glen Grunwald said of Archibald.
Courtesy ...

Robert did not play in any games since the last The Week in Review: Illini in the NBA, so there are not any stats to update this week.

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