Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The season's officially underway and already there are a handful of great plotlines developing.

The Good
The Lakers have blown out the Blazers and Clippers and looked dominant in doing so. Their defense has been disruptive, allowing them to get out and run. Also, using Lamar Odom as a sixth man is working out swimmingly so far for Phil Jackson.

Pop's Beard also came out of the gates strong. In addition to covering up his acne, the beard also makes Pop look kind of like Bill Murray (and that's a good thing).

The pic below isn't actually Pop (duh). I couldn't find any shots of his new beard so you'll have to live with this one.

Rudy Fernandez showed he's ready to play right now for Portland. Don't be surprised to see the rook starting soon, moving Roy to point and Blake to the bench.

Paul Pierce and Lebron James continued their burgeoning rivalry with epic performances on opening night.

The Bad
Bruce Bowen in an NBA Cares commercial. Lame. Not cool. If the NBA really cared, they'd suspend Bowen more often for his kicks, punches, trips, pokes and overall douchebaggery.

Speaking of commercials, why is the NBA running their 'where (insert cliche) happens' campaign again? Are they out of money? I want a new campaign, damn it! By the end of last year, that repetitive piano interlude was cringe inducing. Hearing it again on opening night made me want to kill myself.

What's up with Luke Walton only getting four minutes off the bench against Portland? Doghouse?

No Robert Horry to be found. I guess he's retired, officially. Maybe he'll pull a PJ Brown and sign on for a short season with a contender. Be nice to see him back with LA.

The Ugly
Memphis scoring 71 against Houston. OJ Mayo going 5-20. Bet Heisley's glad he traded Kevin Love AND Mike Miller for this kid. When you're getting swindled by Kevin McHale, maybe it's time to quit the business.

Greg Oden's debut was frightening on several levels. For the few minutes he was actually on the court, he looked awkward and skittish, especially on offense. Then, of course, he got injured again. This time he's out 2-4 weeks. Jury's still out on the brittle big man, although my money's on him getting it together in time to win that ROY trophy.

And in closing I'd also like to give a big fuck you to David Stern and his opening night party for the Oklahoma City Super Stolens. Attention, fans of the Milwaukee Bucks (insert laughter here): King Stern has you on his radar. Better build a new arena or the next team stolen might be yours.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

13 Years Of Fines And Suspensions

Check out this awesome site that lists every NBA fine since 1994/5. For whatever reason, the entire page is done in a weird purple font but it's still great reading, especially the early years and all the controversy you might have forgotten about, like Charles Barkley leading the league in technicals. Or Dennis Rodman's rocky stretch with the Spurs.

Stern Screws Americans While Wooing Chinese

If you've read my previous columns about David Stern (like 'David Stern: World's Biggest Piece Of Shit' or 'Fire David Stern'), then you'd know how I feel about this douchebag. Today he announced that the NBA was laying off 90 people due to the economic crisis. Meanwhile, he continues to spearhead an effort to establish a presence in China.

The NBA. Where made in China happens.

I'm not gonna go off on a political rant but it's common knowledge that one of the reasons our economy's fucked is because of greedy corporations farming American jobs out to countries with no labor laws or minimum wage. As you know, frequently these countries employ children. But Stern doesn't give a shit about human rights violations; he just wants to get paid.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Drinking The Training Camp Kool-Aid

Training camp is for dreamers- or salesmen, depending on your perspective. This time of year, the bullshit flies fast and furious as delusional managers and players pretend their teams are much better than they actually are. As Brent Barry so aptly puts it, 'everyone's talking about rose petals and rainbows.'

But the fans recognize hyperbole when they see it.

Like when Mike D'Antoni tells the media that Stephon Marbury is one of the best players in the league. C'mon. Even at his absolute apex, Marbury was barely an All-Star, much less an elite player. And his teams always sucked so that should tell you something.

Hey, Mike- here's your MVP humping what appears to be some kind of flotation device. Guess the interns were busy.

Want some more bullshit? How 'bout Atlanta's Mike Bibby referring to teammate Speedy Claxton as 'one of the best guards in the NBA'? I'm speechless.

Or Jermaine O'Neal predicting Toronto will finish with the league's best record? Yeah, that'll happen.

Or Andrew Bogut singing the praises of Luke Ridnour? Really? The same Luke Ridnour who couldn't beat out Earl Watson for minutes on the Sonics? THAT Luke Ridnour?

Or Yao Ming saying he's 100% healthy? Reaaaalllly? As a fantasy owner of his two years in a row, I'm convinced that Yao was born injured.

Or Smush Parker (yes, Smush Parker!) saying that the Nuggets will be mainly focusing on defense this year? I don't know what's more ridiculous about that assertion- that he'll actually make the team or that Denver will hold teams under 200 without Camby in there.

But nothing rings more false than Baron Davis gushing over his great discussion about team chemistry with...wait for it...Tim Thomas and Ricky Davis.

Team chemistry. With Tim Thomas and Ricky Davis! That's like discussing Charles Darwin with Billy Graham.

But this is Spring. Nobody's lost 10 in a row yet. No fans are booing yet. No players in contract years are stuck in the skipper's doghouse yet. So for the time being, love is in the air and everyone's giddy with unrealistic expectations.

Leave it to hard-ass Greg Popozitz to put things in perspective.