Thursday, December 31, 2009

Loose Balls

*Check out this database from 2007 of every player in NBA history. What immediately jumps out is how short most of the careers are. For every Dikembe Mutombo, there are a thousand Jerome Allens who only played a season or two, just long enough to finish up their rookie contracts. According to this Time article from 1999, the average NBA career is/was 4.82 seasons.

*Kevin (Color Me) Love almost got a triple double in a losing effort last night. Dude's better than I thought he was, at least offensively. I mean, you've got to be pretty solid to put up a triple double from the frontcourt. Not many big men have done it. Browse the triple double Wiki page and you'll notice it's mostly guards. However, if you scroll down a bit, you'll also find a few monster quadruple doubles put up by Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson (34-10-10-10). Yikes.

*My wife doesn't follow basketball. I was watching this crapfest between Washington and Minnesota recently and she said, "The Wizards are a terrible name for a basketball team." I agreed. She continued. "Does it get weird when the Wizards and Magic play each other?" My response: "No weirder than when the Suns play the Heat."

Pictured: recent Wizards/Magic game

Monday, December 28, 2009

Where Do The Frail Blazers Go From Here?

Oden- done for the year. Prezbo- done for the year. Nic Batum's missed the entire season so far. Rudy Fernandez didn't play in December and probably won't suit up again until February. Travis Outlaw could be out until April. So where does this leave the once-promising Blazers?

Sitting nicely at 20-12, actually. Winners of four straight, including three victories in a row against Western Conference playoff teams.

How in the hell is this happening?

First and foremost, it's been Herculean efforts nightly from Brandon Roy. There's also the emergence (or should I say unleashing?) of Jerryd Bayless. Throw in solid contributions on both ends from graybeard Juwan Howard. And it's certainly no coincidence that the team is 13-3 when Andre Miller starts this season. Yes, you read that right. 13-3 with Miller starting. On the flip side, they've won six of seven since moving Steve Blake to the bench.

Can this improbable success continue? Roy's nursing a shoulder injury. LaMarcus Aldridge just missed some time with a balky knee and now he's being asked to log heavy minutes at center. And they still haven't played the Lakers or Celtics yet this season. We'll see...

Pictured: awesome Roy Etch-A-Sketch

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Loose Balls- Tuesday

*Boston's now 12-1 on the road this year. To me, that's waaaaay more impressive than Phoenix's 8-0 start at home.

*Paul Pierce gave kudos to Memphis after narrowly defeating them yesterday, saying that the Grizz were "up and coming" and "right on our heels." Ummm, really? I don't know, man. I don't see that lineup ever getting above .500, personally.

*How bad is the East? Well, if the playoffs started today, Toronto would qualify for the 8th seed playing .423 basketball. Over 82 games, that projects to a 34-48 record, among the worst in history for any postseason team.

*Speaking of epic failure, the Nyets are spiraling down in pursuit of the infamous 9-73 Sixers for worst record of all time. Currently mired at 2-22, Jersey will have to significantly improve to avoid breaking the futility mark. Good news: with Devin Harris and Courtney Lee back in the lineup, they'll probably squeak by and avoid that dubious distinction.

Pictured: Fred Carter (R), the best player on the worst team in history. Gotta love the laughing teammate in the background.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Things You Might Not Know About Earl Boykins

If you follow the game, then you're probably aware that Earl Boykins is back in the league after a brief stint overseas. You might also have noticed that the 5'5" PG has put up some nice numbers for Washington lately, stealing key fourth quarter minutes from the likes of Gilbert Arenas and Randy Foye. Apparently, his new nickname is The Closer and he even got some MVP chants in Verizon Center recently.

But did you know that he can bench 315 lbs? Or that he does 500 push ups a day?

Or that the Golden State Warriors used to play "It's A Small World" every time he entered a game? Pure class. I mean, Boykins is the second shortest player in NBA history (taller than only the 5'3" Muggsy Bogues) but you don't have to clown him like that.

Here's a nice Boykins mix, which sadly doesn't feature any dunks.

Pictured: little big man meets big big men

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When Greg Oden Went Down...

When Greg Oden went down, all twenty thousand Blazer fans in attendance thought the same thing: "Oh, shit. We're fucked." When the big man crumpled to the floor, the team instantly became a non-factor in this year's playoff race. Brandon Roy morphed back into a volume shooter. Andre Miller's playing time became a non-issue. The Sam Bowie label stuck. And Kevin Pritchard kicked himself again for not choosing Kevin Durant.

Realistically, this could be the last we see of Oden. We're talking about a guy who previously destroyed his other knee getting off his couch. He's like Samuel Jackson's character in Unbreakable. It seems improbable that he'll ever be sturdy enough to play professional sports. If you're Pritchard, do you resign Oden to big money after this season knowing how fragile he is? Hell, no. If Oden does eventually come back, it probably won't be in a Blazer uniform.

It's a sad day for Portland fans any way you look at it. No way this team competes for a title without Oden. No way. In fact, it's entirely possible they drop out of the playoff race altogether. Without Nic Batum, Charles Outlaw AND Oden, they're forced to rely on suspect talent like Juwan Howard, Jerryd Bayless and Dante Cunningham. Get ready for a long winter.

NOTE: meant to say 'Travis Outlaw' (not 'Charles') in paragraph above. Thanks to my legion of aggro fact checkers in the comments below. LOL.

Pictured: Oden and Durant

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Loose Balls- Thursday

*People freaked out when I compared Brandon Jennings to Damon Stoudamire last week, as if Stoudamire was some kind of stumblebum (yeah, I said 'stumblebum'- I'm bringing it back). Check out the first year stats for Young Money here and Mighty Mouse here and you'll notice plenty of similarities (not to mention that they're both tiny lefties born in September).

*Speaking of diminutive volume shooters, Allen Iverson's headed home to Philly for his last hurrah. A one year non-guaranteed contract isn't exactly the red carpet treatment but at this point, AI will take whatever he can get, apparently.

*I find it amusing that Ron Artest is still talking about wanting to fight Big Ben, despite the fact that he laid down on the scorer's table when he actually had the chance. I have no doubt that Ron Ron probably would've won that fight (his dad was a boxer AND he's crazy) but he totally pussed out in that situation. First, he backpedaled like Carmelo Anthony and then he LAID DOWN. The fact that he ran into the stands and punched some fans afterwards doesn't change that.

*Portland's now lost three in a row, including an embarrassing home court ass whupping at the hands of the mighty Memphis Grizzlies. The Blazers biggest problem (other than a spate of injuries) has been perimeter defense. People wonder why Greg Oden's always in foul trouble. Maybe if his wing players stopped dribble penetration every now and then, the big guy could stay on the court for more than 25 minutes a night. To make matters worse, Brandon Roy's been complaining to the press about not getting enough touches, even though he's averaging 20 a game. Play some defense, dude. I heard it wins championships and stuff.

Pictured: discontented max contract franchise player, B Roy

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Curious Case Of Stephen Jackson

Brad Pitt's one of those actors that I used to like who I now find incredibly irritating. Seriously, watching that guy act is like being forced to eat canned beets. What the fuck happened? He used to be pretty good, or at least I remember him being good in Se7en, Twelve Monkeys, Fight Club, Thelma and Louise. Anyway, my point is that I used to like Brad Pitt and now I don't.

I feel the same exact same way about Stephen Jackson.

When Jackson was a young player trying to make it in the league with New Jersey and San Antonio, I rooted for him. He'd already played in the CBA and for several clubs overseas. I admired his heart and determination. His 'former gang member does good' storyline was compelling, as well. When he won a ring with the Spurs, I was happy for him (or at least as happy as I can be seeing the Spurs win titles). Even though he was the team's third leading scorer in the playoffs, San Antonio didn't want him back and let him walk to the Hawks as a free agent.

He blossomed into an excellent player in Atlanta. The team thanked him by trading him to Indiana for Al Harrington.

Why all the movement? Because he was starting to develop a rep for being a headcase.

He played his best ball for the Pacers. The nucleus of Jermaine O'Neal, Ron Artest and Jax was imposing. And if you recall, Indy had the league's best record in 2004 and a sizable lead over defending champ Detroit on the road. Then Artest pushed Big Ben, precipitating The Malice At The Palace. Artest got most of the camera time but Jax was throwing haymakers at those fans, just knocking fools out left and right. Then he got into another melee at a strip club and got punched in the face and run over by a car.

Traded again, this time to Golden State. Again, he plays well, well enough that he winds up as team captain. The Warriors first round upset of Dallas in 2007 is legendary but in reality, that was a .500 team that barely made the post-season. It was a fluke. When they basically swapped Baron Davis for Cory Maggette (duh), the Dubs went from mediocre to lousy in a hurry.

Now a veteran (and a captain), Jax felt entitled for the first time in his entire career. He rebelled against the front office. He demanded a trade. He said he was as good as Kobe Bryant. Yes, he actually said that.

Talk about someone who doesn't handle success well. Geesh.

Traded to Charlotte for Raja Bell and Vlade Radmanovic. From the looks of things, it appears Larry Brown is handing over the reins to Jackson as team leader from the jump. In two games (both losses), he's led the team in minutes and turnovers.

I'd like to think Jax has one more surprise up his sleeve, that he could actually impress me again. Maybe not. Brad Pitt certainly hasn't. I wouldn't mind seeing 'em both retire.

Pictured: Jax explains the Guns For Jesus tat

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure Brandon Jennings Is Not Jesus

I watched Brandon Jennings destroy Golden State's 'defense' with multiple long, uncontested threes and thought to myself, "Are they ever gonna at least try to get a hand in his face?" I mean, the Warriors guards were going under every high pick and roll, even after the kid was on fire. Pathetic D. Really, really bad. Another thing I noticed was that many of his other buckets were off-balance floaters or scoops off of one foot, ordinarily low percentage shots. Even though he put up 55, I didn't see any dominant qualities. I saw a player get red hot while the other team did nothing to slow him down- no hard fouls, no going at him on the other end, NO GOING OVER THE TOP OF GODDAMN SCREENS- nothing good teams do to neutralize a shooter.

Because of the 55, the blogosphere is hyping Jennings like crazy. Every story is either a fluff piece or a condemnation of teams that passed on him on in the draft. Everyone seems to think he's a shoo-in for the ROY Award, despite the fact that this is still November. Whatever.

I'd like to point out some things about Jennings that seem to be getting glossed over. First, he's been feasting on a really soft schedule. The only good teams the Bucks have played so far are Dallas and Denver. Secondly, he's averaging almost 4 TOs a game. Third, he still can't guard anyone. And lastly, he's only doing all this shooting because Mike Redd's injured. He won't have the same green light once the team's leading scorer returns.

To his credit, I will say that Jennings is already one of the quickest players in the game. His handle and court vision are also impressive. But to imply that he's dominant already is pure hype. Let's see what he does against Boston, Orlando or Cleveland's defense before we put a crown on his head.

Pictured: Young Money

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Ten games is enough to judge an NBA team by. And while many injuries, trades and firings are still to come, it's pretty apparent already who's got a realistic chance at the ring this year. And who doesn't.

Boston and LA are head and shoulders above everyone else. Yes, I'm aware that Denver just beat LA by 20. Did Pau play in that game? Nope. In fact, with Gasol in the lineup, LA wins about 80% of the time. That's insane. Boston's killing everyone, too; their average margin of victory is over twelve. Also insane. Orlando, Cleveland, Portland, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix have been impressive. Jury's still out on everyone else but I gotta give props to Skiles and Spoelstra for exceeding expectations so far.

Welcome back, Bobby Simmons! The official harbinger of doom for any franchise, Simmons is seeing plenty of action for the winless Nets. Across the river, D'Antoni's Knicks have already lost six of seven at MSG. With Aussie Shaq (AKA Nathan Jawai) leading the way, Rambis' Wolves are getting clobbered by 14 a night. The Grizz are equally atrocious, predictably. Traditional powerhouses San Antonio and Utah have been underwhelming thus far.

What the fuck's going on in New Orleans? The first half of last night's Blazers/Hornets game was some of the worst basketball I've ever seen. Terrible shooting. No structure. No plays. No timeouts. No coaching. If Byron Scott was watching that game, I guarantee he was laughing his ass off. Meanwhile, the hate continues to simmer in Oakland, where every player on the team probably has money on how long it'll take Jax to go Spree on Donny Boozeface.

Pictured: Bay Area BFFs

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shark Jumpers Of The NBA

The expression 'jumping the shark' usually refers to a defining moment when something/someone/someplace has turned a corner, gone from great to awful, relevant to meaningless, and can never be reconciled or repaired again.

Last year, we saw AI tumble from grace during his disastrous stint with the lying, deceitful Detroit Pistons, who promised him a rose garden and gave him a public reaming instead. This year, the Grizzlies made a big show of introducing him, sold some tickets, then stuck him on the bench. Predictably, he flipped out, made a fool of himself, and is currently no longer with the team. Or the league, for that matter. Funny to think that two years ago, Iverson had a 50 point game with Denver.

Elton Brand's doing some hardcore sharkjumping of his own at the moment. Looking slower than a tree sloth and about as athletic as Chuck Nevitt, Brand's disappearing before our very eyes, eclipsed by the emerging Marreese Speights. I don't understand why Philly brought Brand there in the first place. It's a team full of slashers who want to run and attack the rim. The last thing they need is a lumbering, undersized big clogging up the paint.

Don Nelson has the rare opportunity to become the winningest and most hated coach in history DURING THE SAME SEASON. This year's Warriors are dreadful and he appears to be doing absolutely zero coaching, unless you count stunting the growth of Anthony Randolph and Anthony Morrow as some kind of tough-love psychological ploy.

Gilbert Arenas had a 12 turnover game last night. Yeah. His 2-6 Wizards, despite hiring Flip Saunders and adding Randy Foye, are still garbage. Yes, they're missing Antawn Jamison but it's not like they're losing nail-biters; they're getting their asses kicked by double digits every night. And when that happens, players making 100 million bucks tend to get blamed. And traded.

Not hearing too many people referring to (the corpse formally known as) James Posey as a 'glue guy' anymore. Dude's a mannequin out there. A ghost. I ripped Danny Ainge for letting him go after Boston won the ring two years ago. My bad. It doesn't feel good to admit that Danny Ainge is smarter than I am. It burns, actually. It burns.

Mike Bibby said before the season that he was going to be more of a facilitator this year. Maybe he doesn't know what the word 'facilitate' means because he's averaging less than 4 assists and getting routinely roasted by every opposing player he 'guards.' His minutes are evaporating as shot-happy Jamal Crawford fills in the void. Because the team is 5-2, the Atlanta fans aren't calling for Bibby's head...yet. But there's no question his game and desire have fallen off a freaking cliff.

Speaking of fans (or lack thereof), I'm seeing some pretty large sections of empty seats in almost every arena, even for teams that are doing well. And the season's less than a month old. Not a good sign. Instead of focusing on individual players who've jumped the shark, maybe I should be talking about the entire league outside of Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, Portland, Dallas and LA.

Pictured: OG Shark Jumper, Fonzie (and bitchen action figure)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Miller, McMillan, Media Need To Chill The Fuck Out

Lots of overly dramatic things being said/written this week about The Andre Miller Situation in Portland. He's not happy coming off the bench. He's not buying into the team concept. The team doesn't want to ruin chemistry by moving Steve Blake out of the starting lineup.

Hold up, everyone. Just chill the fuck out.

This entire story comes down to one thing and one thing only: Andre Miller is better than Steve Blake. The sooner Nate McMillan and the Portland media realize this, the better off the team will be.

And it's not like last year's team won the title or anything. They got their collective asses kicked in the first round, for fuck's sake. And Blake was absolutely annihilated by Aaron Brooks. Don't fear change, people. Sometimes, change is needed to grow.

Plus, I'm inclined to think that Miller will play 30 plus minutes whether he starts or not, similar to Lamar Odom's role with LA during the first half of last season. Even if Nate does opt to start Blake for outside shooting, Miller will still be the guy on the floor in the 4th quarter with the clock running down.

Because of all this fake drama brewing daily in the Oregonian, many national writers/bloggers are picking up the story and predicting doom in Portland. Whatever. Miller's an upgrade in their guard rotation any way you look at it. He's better than Blake and he's way fucking better than last year's backup, the hapless Sergio Rodriguez.

And his contract's short (only two years guaranteed with a 3rd year option) so if it doesn't work out, who cares?

Nothing silences critics or ends controversy like winning. And I can say with full confidence that, barring injuries, the Blazers will be just fine in '09/10. Miller might not be Chris Paul but he gives the team the best chance of winning. Let's move on, shall we?

Pictured: the best PG on the Blazers roster

Recipe For A Championship

Every GM should have the same goal: win a championship. Selling tickets is nice and community outreach is commendable but really, if your team isn't winning any rings, you should consider your organization a failure.

So what's the best way to build a championship team? There are lots of cliches out there. "Defense wins championships." "No rebounds, no rings." I studied the DNA of every starter on every champion of my generation and found some interesting tendencies.

PG- So what do Derek Fisher, Rajon Rondo, Jason Williams, Tony Parker, Chauncey Billups, Avery Johnson, Ron Harper, Sam Cassell, Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson and Dennis Johnson have in common? Good asst/TO ratios.

SG- How about Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, Dwyane Wade, Michael Finley, Rip Hamilton, Michael Jordan, Vernon Maxwell, Joe Dumars and Byron Scott? Good outside shots and the ability to defend multiple positions.

SF- Trevor Ariza, Paul Pierce, Bruce Bowen, Tayshaun Prince, Scottie Pippen, Robert Horry, James Worthy and Larry Bird? Shooting range and (except for Bowen) good rebounding skills for a wing.

PF- Lamar Odom, Kevin Garnett, Udonis Haslem, Tim Duncan, Rasheed Wallace, Dennis Rodman, Otis Thorpe, Horace Grant, Kurt Rambis and Kevin McHale? Versatile enough defenders to guard post players or step out onto the perimeter.

C- Pau Gasol, Kendrick Perkins, Shaquille O'Neal, Fabricio Oberto, Ben Wallace, Bill Cartwright, Luc Longley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bill Laimbeer and Robert Parrish? Everyone can rebound. Most have excellent post games, offensively.

So put these elements together for a second. A PG with a pass-first mentality and good handle. A shooting guard with range who can defend PGs or SFs on switches. A SF with an outside shot who also rebounds. A PF who can defend inside or out. A C who cleans the glass and can score on the block.

Based on that criteria, it looks like Lakers/Celtics in the Finals again, folks.

Pictured: The Hick vs Buck

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Places I'd Rather See CP3

Every time Chris Paul dumps the ball into David West for a turnaround J or kicks out to Peja for a spot up 3, I wonder how good CP3 would look in a different offense with more athletic players around him. No disrespect to those two guys (well, some disrespect to busted-ass Peja who should retire NOW), but here are the uniforms I'd prefer to see Chris Paul in:

Duh. LA needs an upgrade with Derek Fisher at or near his expiration date and Farmar/Brown not really getting it yet.

I know. They already play slow. But Mike Bibby? Yawn. Give me CP3 on the break with Josh Smith and Marvin Williams on the wings. Even Micro-Manage Woodson couldn't screw that one up.

I don't like this team. At all. I didn't want to include them in this list. But it would be amazing to watch Paul work with Vince Cancer and Dwight Howard. So many dunks. On second though, screw the Magic.

Pritchard's wet dream. Paul/Roy/Aldridge. Not the most athletic bunch but it would be exciting. And if CP3 can make Tyson Chandler an offensive threat, imagine what he could do for Greg Olden.

This one requires some mental adjusting. Dunleavy and Murphy- out. Brandon Rush and Danny Granger- in. Got it? See how nicely that works?

There are lots of other teams that Paul would make better, obviously. Spurs, Cavs, Celtics- almost any club in the league would rather have Paul than their current PG. But I'm getting really sick of seeing him pound the rock or drive and kick. Plus, he absorbs way too much contact in the Hornets half court sets. After watching Dahntay Jones molest him repeatedly during last season's playoffs, I began to fret over CP3's long-term health. He needs to get out of that offense before someone decides to sweep the leg.

Pictured: Dahntay Jones "getting all Bruce Bowen" on Paul

Friday, October 9, 2009

Russell Westbrook, Meet Steve Francis

Russell Westbrook just completed his rookie season and many experts and pundits are predicting stardom. The explosive 6'3" guard from UCLA put up 15 ppg and over 5 apg while frequently getting on SportsCenter for his highlight dunks and acrobatic forays to the bucket. Few people talk about the fact that he shot under 40% or that his TO/Ast ratio was less than stellar- 5.3/3.3. The team finished 23-59 and was outscored by 6 ppg. Yuck.

When he first came into the league, Steve Francis was hailed as a game-changer- a freakishly athletic 6'3" guard who could dunk on anyone but still needed to learn the nuances of managing an offense and distributing the ball. His rookie season, Francis averaged an impressive 18 ppg to go with 6.6 apg and over 5 rpg. He shot an amazing 45% from the floor, a testament to his ability to finish at the rim. He also turned the ball over 4 times a game, an alarming rate even for a rookie. The team finished 34-48 but nobody in the organization blamed their shining star, who was dubbed Stevie Franchise. You know where the story goes from here. Francis NEVER got the hang of running an offense without turning the ball over. As injuries mounted, his trademark athleticism declined with his shooting percentage. He clashed with Jeff Van Gundy, got traded to Orlando, clashed with Brian Hill, got traded, and finally ended up on that disastrous sinking ship known as Isiah's Knicks. He played 10 games for Houston in 2007/8 before retiring.

I hope I'm off-base with this comparison. Westbrook seems like a much cooler dude than Francis, who acted like a bitch from the second he was drafted (holla back, Vancouver). I was actually happy to see Francis' career crash and burn.

Pictured: Stevie Franchise, riches to rags story

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Drinking The Training Camp Kool-Aid

Every coach is happy. Every player is optimistic. Nobody's been benched or fired yet. NBA training camp is upon us and, as usual, people are running their mouths with some ridiculous bullshit. To wit...

*Stephen Curry is proclaiming himself the early favorite for Rookie Of The Year, despite the fact that he plays the same position as Monta Ellis AND that he just shot 30% against marginal talent in Summer League. Somehow I don't think he'll finish ahead of Blake Griffin. Just a hunch.

*Curry's future tormentor, the blowhard drunkard known as Don Nelson, went on record this week as saying that Stephen Jackson's trade demands "won't be a distraction" for the upcoming season. Yeah, right. When in the history of sports has a public trade demand not been a distraction? Have another mai-tai, boozeface.

Pictured: drunk-ass Don Nelson, destroyer of rookies

*George Karl's ego-tripping again, this time bragging that the Nugs are "the team to beat in the West" and adding that "other teams made moves to match us." Hilarious. Karl must be assuming that losing Linas Kleiza, his most consistent bench scorer, and Dahntay Jones, his best perimeter defender, somehow won't negatively impact the team. He probably also thinks that Nene and KMart will stay healthy again. Idiot. Yeah, the Lakers added Artest 'cause they were afraid of you.

*Jerry Colangelo thinks Toronto will win 50 games. With Andrea Bargnani playing center. Yeah. To recap: last year's team gave up almost 102 ppg and let opponents shoot 46% against them. Their big offseason addition was slow-footed Hedo Turkoglu, who's a fine offensive player but can't stay in front of most small forwards, a flaw that's recently been masked by the presence of Dwight Howard (and Tim Duncan before him). They could give up 110 a night.

*Hornets GM Jeff "Golden" Bowers crows about new acquisition Emeka Okafor, calling him a "threat in the low post." Watch some basketball every now and then, dude. Meka's absolutely clueless on offense. He has no post game whatsoever.

*The Lakers are considering starting a lineup of Kobe, Artest, Odom, Gasol and Bynum (sending incumbent Derek Fisher to the pine). Riiiight. Who from that group is going to guard the other team's PG? And you're telling me Gasol has the footspeed to stay in front of PFs on the perimeter? No way this idea works. Horsepucky.

NOTE: Here's last year's version of Training Camp Kool-Aid, featuring D'Antoni describing Shitbury as "one of the best players in the league."

Monday, September 21, 2009

One Pickup Game For All The Marbles

Hypothetical situation here. Let's just say that you (the well-informed fan) and I were coaches who were picking a starting five for one pickup game that would determine which of us survived. Winning coach lives, loser dies. No salary implications or long-term injury concerns. No drafting by position. Street ball- call your own fouls, no FTs, no flops.

One game for the right to keep breathing air.

I'd choose Kobe Bryant first (it's my blog so I get first pick but you get the second two, alternating after that). You would probably choose LeBron James and Dwight Howard. Am I right? Here's how the rest of the top-10 might shake out:

My five- (1) Kobe, (4) Tim Duncan, (6) Chris Paul, (8) Kevin Durant, (10) Shaq

'Your' five- (2) LeBron, (3) Dwight Howard, (5) Dwyane Wade, (7) Deron Williams, (9) Chris Bosh

Nash and Nowitzki are the obvious omissions here. Both are weak sauce on D so I wouldn't take 'em. But you might. And my team would then beat your team.

Ordinarily KG would be chosen for sure but lingering doubts about his health held him back. Chauncey Billups barely missed the cut. And it's worth noting that I drafted Shaq simply to contend with Howard. And like I said, no FTs. Heh heh.

Who'd win? Would you choose differently?

Pictured: #1 overall

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Loose Balls- Thursday

*So the Heat brass are taking a pay cut, eh? I'd be interested in checking them books. I seriously doubt Riley Coyote is looking at the same kind of financial pimpslap as Eric Spoelstra. How hard must it be to work for Riley? Dude's bananas. In a league of egotistical nutjobs, Riles is right up there with, well...Michael Jordan.

*Speaking of MJ, I don't think he overstepped any boundaries by spitting some venom during his HOF speech/roast (thanks to Adande for an excellent analysis). As a player, Jordan was one of the biggest shit-talkers in history. There's nothing unusual about Mike being an asshole. What made that speech so uncomfortable and awkward was that once he started trashing people, everyone in that entire room's buttholes collectively puckered up, each person terrified that Mean Mike was gonna start in on them next. In fact, it felt a bit like this.

*Larry Legend's getting ripped in Indiana, even as he assembles the Aryan Superteam that racist Pacer fans have been clamoring for since Ron Ron starting punching people in Detroit. Maybe trading Danny Granger for David Lee would satisfy the locals.

Pictured: Bird's profile shot from Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loose Balls- Wednesday

*I went digging around for reactions to AI signing with Memphis. Actually, that's a lie. What I really did was Google 'fuck Allen Iverson' to see who else was peeved that Heisley would sabotage the careers of his promising young players for one season of slightly above-average ticket sales. Weak sauce. First Z-Bo, now this. Does Heisley even watch basketball? Did he see the numbers Conley put up for March and April? Is he aware that Mayo almost won ROY? The folks at Spurstalk express my feelings on the subject perfectly.

UPDATE: I wonder how many fans are gonna fall for this goat rodeo?

*Rubio bailing on Minny for Barcelona doesn't surprise me at all. I've been to both and there's no comparison.

*The league loses Bruce Bowen and Matt Harpring in the same month? Say it ain't so. Who's going to fill that massive void of cheap shots, elbows and flops now that these 'hard nosed' (i.e. dirty) players have called it quits? It's too much to ask of Dahntay Jones. He's just one man.

*And last, but certainly not least, a gigantic FUCK YOU (as usual) to King Douche David Stern for once again overstepping his boundaries by attempting to clamp down on NBA tweeting. First the dress code, now this. The last time I checked, a boss couldn't say shit about what his employees did when they weren't at work.

*Is rehab turning convicted tweeter Michael Beasley into DeShawn Stevenson? Who's gonna be the first to bust out the Urkel Dance?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fooled By The Fantasy

I looooove fantasy basketball. There's something about crunching numbers and poring over stats that scratches an itch somewhere deep inside my brain (gross, sorry). Even before the internets, I'd analyze box scores and see if I could anticipate or predict trends.

That said, fantasy basketball is making it seriously hard for me to have a good conversation with basketball fans about actual basketball.

I end up hearing dumb shit like "Jose Calderon is one of the best PGs in the league" or "David Lee is worth 10 million a season."

Let's consult the roto Big Board of Yahoo's Brandon Motherfunkin' Funston, shall we? Chris Paul is rated above LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Dirk Nowitzki and Amare Stoudemire are more valuable than Tim Duncan, apparently. Dwight Howard trails the mighty Troy Murphy, for fuck's sake.

Any discerning individual with half a brain can distinguish between roto numbers and how good a player really is. Unfortunately, message boards and sports bars are filled to the brim with fucknuts who take this fantasy shit as gospel. There are people out there who still think Zach Randolph is a good basketball player. I'm not fucking kidding.

"Cleveland will win the title if they add Zach Randolph." I've heard this from more than one person.

News flash. Nate Robinson is terrible. So is Jamal Crawford. Yes, I'm aware they score points and make 3 pt shots. But they're dreadful basketball players. They contribute to losing games with every fiber of their beings.

So I'll congratulate anyone who tells me that they won their roto league because of Murphy and Crawford. Fantasy is fantasy. But don't come talking shit about how the Lakers should be looking to acquire these assclowns, or worse yet, trade an actual quality player for them ("Dude, LA should trade Lamar Odom for Troy Murphy"- STFU).


Pictured: Nate and Jose leading their teams to mediocrity

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Big Ifs: Who Could Topple LA?

Now that LA has Ron Ron, it's a widely held belief that Kobe and company will be hoisting another trophy next season. Here's a list of some Big Ifs- what each contender would need to have happen in order to topple the champs.

Boston could win the title if KG reverts to his MVP-form of 2004. Pretty unlikely given his age and the severity of his recent knee injury.

Orlando could win the title if Vince Cancer learns to take good shots and play defense for the first time in his 12 year career. VC's always had the tools so why has his career been pockmarked by fadeaway 3s and total apathy on the defensive end? Dude's got no heart.

San Antonio
could win the title if Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker stay healthy. It goes without saying that Tim Duncan would also have to put up typical Duncan numbers on both ends. That team is nothing without him at full strength.

Cleveland could win the title if Shaq reports to camp in shape and plays at least 75 games. Much of O'Neal's reputation as a lousy P&R defender is a result of showing up fat and lazy, year after year.

Portland could win the title if Greg Oden contends for Defensive Player Of The Year. In order for Oden to accomplish this tall task, he'll have to start and play at least 30 minutes a game. Hear that, Nate? No more starting Prezbo. Throw the kid in there and let him sink or swim. Leave him in the game when he picks up two fouls in the first. Make it a priority to get him as many minutes as possible.

Denver could win the title if Nene leads the league in rebounding. Actually, scratch that. Denver can't win the title. Who am I kidding? No team with a forward playing center ever wins a ring.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The 2004 Pistons had Ben Wallace at C. Depending on your point of view, this may or may not disprove my theory above.

I'm sure some of you are thinking "Where's Utah?" Or "What about Atlanta?" "The Suns have got a shot." This is probably because you live in those cities and have an unreasonable expectation for their success based on pure homerism. I'm sorry. Your team will win nothing next year. As usual. Enjoy your one (or possibly two) playoff series.

Pictured: KG circa 2004 accepting the Podoloff in a fancy lab coat

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Gayest Gayness To Ever Gay Up The NBA

Congratulations to Brendan Haywood, who this week officially joined a long and impressive list of high-profile athletes and celebrities to speak out against the rampant gayness that is ruining the very manly and heterosexual sport of pro basketball.

Reacting to this shocking video of Stephon Marbury doing his best Prince impression, Haywood put his god-fearing foot down.

"He's swinging from both sides of the fence." Indeed.

And while Haywood might have totally bungled the expression (dude, it's "playing for both teams" or "swinging both ways"- there's no "fence"), every good American understands his powerful response to this invasion of virtual manspace.

The liberal media put a different spin on events. Typical.

Since former player John Amaechi chose to be gay to sell his gay book a few years back, there's been a very real threat of the whole league suddenly turning gay for pay. Heroes Tim Hardaway and LeBron James both previously laid down hard line stances on shower etiquette and proper decorum. Now Haywood is the latest warrior to brave criticism and stand up for decency. And the public is behind him because this is America, where proud heterosexuals have the right to live free without anyone "bringing their gayness" into it (unless it's two or more hot chicks- then it's cool). Bravo, Brendan!

As Omar Little from The Wire once famously said, "The game's out there. It's play or get played. That simple."

*cues up We Are The Champions, dances triumphantly around apartment, chants 'USA!' out window.

Pictured: Marbury bringing the gayness

Friday, August 14, 2009

LaMarcus Aldridge, Meet Charles Smith

Charles Smith was a 6'10 forward/center who was taken #3 in the 1988 Draft by Philly and then traded immediately to the Clippers. His sweet shooting stroke and ability to run the floor earned him a starting spot as a rookie and he made the most of it, averaging 16/6 with just over a block a game. His second and third seasons were even better, as he topped the 20-point plateau and established himself as a defensive presence. He injured his knee during his fourth season and played only 49 games. Then he was traded to the Knicks, who already had Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason at PF. He was a solid contributor on a tough Knicks team but was most famous for getting four of his weak-sauce layups blocked by the Bulls in the playoffs. He got traded/injured for five more seasons before retiring.

Smith never won a ring or made the All-Star team. He did, however, appear in this fucking awful Hootie & The Blowfish video (thanks, Low Posts). In his defense, Smith seems like a class act.

LaMarcus Aldridge, as you're well aware, is a 6'10 forward/center who was taken #2 in the 2006 Draft by Chicago and traded immediately to the Blazers. His sweet shooting stroke and ability to run the floor earned him 22 starts in his rookie year but he finished the campaign with modest averages of 9/5. He blossomed in his second and third seasons, pushing those numbers up to 18/7. Now many are wondering whether he'll take the leap to All-Star level.

This is also Aldridge's contract year. Teammate Brandon Roy just signed a max deal and the hot topic of the day is whether or not Aldridge deserves one, too.

Like Charles Smith before him, Aldridge also tends to shy away from contact, preferring the fadeaway J to a power move or dunk attempt. He's a finesse player. At power forward. And nobody's bringing it up right now, but I'm sure the fact that he's been diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition is still in the minds of Blazer brass.

*It's kind of trivial, but Smith's bday is July 16th, Aldridge's is the 19th. According to this Astrology site, Cancer is 'loving and emotional' but also 'moody and oversensitive.' But I digress...

So, how will this whole thing shake out? Aldridge's people are saying publicly that they're not after the same max deal Brandon Roy just signed. And they shouldn't be. Roy's a team leader who can consistently get (and make) his own shot in the clutch. Roy's an All-Star. LA hasn't proven anything yet- he's a good player with the possibility of a bright future. Or not.

Pictured: Smith rocking the high-top fade

Saturday, August 8, 2009

LBJ- Sometimes It's NOT So Good To Be The King

Now is the winter of our discontent
made glorious summer by this son of York

-Richard III, Shakespeare

(Relax, I ain't gonna bore you with too much book learnin'- this is still a blog about basketball. Read on...)

In his opening soliloquy, Richard, the future king, tells the audience how he plans to claw his way to the throne by any means necessary, including manipulation, treachery and murder.

By not showing his allegiance to the Cavs, LeBron James just sent a very similar message to basketball fans everywhere: the only thing that matters to King James is the crown.

The Cleveland media is putting a positive spin on things, naturally, highlighting his quote, "Being home in Akron, Ohio, is big for me."

The alarmist cuntrag known as the NY (Com)Post positions the scenario as LBJ making the Cavs 'sweat...which could be good news for the Knicks.'

In any event, Danny Ferry is now in the unenviable position of having to win a title this year or trade away the biggest star Cleveland's ever had. With a gun to his head. I'd be surprised if Ferry gets a single good night's sleep in the next calendar year. If anyone's headed for a winter of discontent, it's that dude.

(Hey, Clipper fans- consider this karmic payback for the gank move Ferry pulled on you in the 1989 Draft)

(Fuck, I'm using more asides than an actual Shakespeare play)

Obviously the Cavs don't want to lose James for nothing. So now we're into sign and trade territory. And who has the most attractive pieces AND a big enough market to please His Highness? The Lakers, who could offer a package including Bynum, Gasol, Odom or Artest. Nobody else even comes close.

Before I get too carried away, I should maintain that I don't actually think LeBron's going anywhere. This is his way of making sure Ferry and Dan Gilbert continue to spend money and try and get another superstar in Cleveland. Plus the fans love him there. They don't care about Tapegate or the fact that he smoked pot once in high school. They're even charmed by his Chosen One moniker and his apparent belief in the divine right to rule. By all accounts, it's been a pretty lousy summer for James but his minions have stood by him. As Mel Brooks once famously said, "It's good to be The King."

Of course, a healthy dose of losing would change all of that. I guarantee those fans have not forgotten the Dark Days Of Ricky Davis. Stay tuned, it could be a bumpy ride.

Pictured: 'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse'

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

David Lee, Meet Michael Cage

Michael Cage was a rebounding specialist who played for 15 years in the NBA. During his third season with the LA Clippers, he got the opportunity to start and made the most of it, averaging 15.7 points and an eye-popping 11.5 rebounds per game. His fourth season was also impressive as he put up 14.5/13. The Clippers combined record for those two seasons was 29-135. Yes, you're reading that correctly. 29-135.

The Seattle Sonics (remember them?) were intrigued enough by his rebounding prowess to trade for him. Cage played six progressively less productive seasons with Seattle before bouncing around with Cleveland, Philly and Jersey. He never came close to matching his numbers with that dreadful Clipper shipwreck.

David Lee just finished his fourth season with the hapless New York Knicks, who were so desperate for rebounding that they were starting the 6'9 PF at center. In his first three seasons combined, Lee started 55 games. This past year, he started 74. His numbers? 16 and 11.7. On a team that won 32 games and finished in last place.

Lee's agent is trying to get him 12 mil a year. But these ain't Isiah's Knicks anymore. Walsh knows better. The team's offering a one-year deal, which is the equivalent of saying, "Bail us out for another year until we can get somebody better."

Many Knick fans are rushing to Lee's defense, pointing out his league-leading number of double-doubles last season, while ignoring the fact that he got absolutely torched on defense. These rabid fans even go so far as to suggest that he's an All-Star.

Lee's no All-Star. He's a role player- a rebounder- just like Dale Davis, Rick Mahorn, Tyrone Hill, PJ Brown and Michael Cage before him. Except without the defense. And in Cage's case, the awesome Jheri Curl.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Loose Balls- Saturday

*You're meeting friends at a crowded bar. You get there first. A large table opens up so you quickly grab it. Your friends are late. Every two seconds someone's trying to sit down or take one of the chairs. You have to protect your sacred space. "I'm sorry but this seat is taken." "I'm waiting for someone." "Sorry, I'm saving these." Everyone thinks you're an asshole. Your friends text you an hour later saying that they're staying home after all but thanks for the invite. This is what the Knicks/LeBron situation feels like to me right now. You, obviously, are the Knicks, and your friends who never show up are LeBron.

*Speaking of the Knicks, apparently they're the front runners to sign washed up has-been Jason Williams. Start planning the parade, Gotham.

*Hakim Warrick is the latest to experience the Tweener Tumble, an all-too-common occurence for power forwards who weigh less than Jamaal Tinsley. Warrick can ball, though, despite his lack of a true position. He was one of the few Grizzlies to play big minutes and still have a positive plus/minus last year. So of course the Memphis braintrust dumped him, leaving Warrick free to pursue his next disappointing stint. It's being reported that he's signed with Milwaukee, another organization run by total assclowns. And get this: they're planning on experimenting with him at small forward, despite the fact that he has absolutely no outside shot whatsoever. Excelsior!

*So Vince Carter wants to 'fit in' with the Magic, huh? Cool. He'll just have to unlearn 12 years of bad shot selection, matador defense and questionable work habits. Piece of cake. Having a laid back coach like Stan Van Gundy will help ease this seamless transition.

*Everyone knew Odom was going back to LA. Everyone except Miami, who played the role of 'hot chick who makes the wife jealous enough to take back the wandering husband' perfectly. Of course, Odom denies that this was the case and says he was 'very close' to signing with the Heat. Yeah, right.

Pictured: Riles, not really selling my 'hot chick' metaphor

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Out Like Trout?

Travis Outlaw played the fourth most minutes of any player on the 54-win Blazers last year. The team frequently turned to him at the end of games when Brandon Roy was doubled. He's gotten progressively better every season he's been in the league. He works his ass off. Everyone on the team loves him.

Yet the brass still actively pursued Turkoglu and Millsap, throwing more money at those guys than Trout could ever dream of. Pritchard is probably on the phone right now trying to deal him for a mediocre backup PF.


His defense, mostly. Plus, he's been known to take some really bad shots. And with the addition of Andre Miller, one of the deepest teams in the league just got deeper. Dividing up all those minutes is nigh impossible, and people have really tried.

So what's next for Outlaw? Does he continue his upward trend or get buried on the bench behind Portland's glut of wings? Most Blazer fans would prefer the latter. He's become somewhat of a whipping boy, which is a stark contrast from the pre-Brandon era when he was a fan favorite and one of the team's few bright spots (no disrespect to Darius Miles, Zach Randolph and Ruben Patterson- ahem).

In a recent Tweet, Outlaw maintained a positive perspective: "I love all the doubt and negativity...feeding it all to the motivational flames. Keep it coming."

Somehow I don't think that'll be a problem.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

5 Stages Of NBA Relationships

People always say that basketball is a business. True. It's also a relationship between team and player. And with any relationship, there are ups and downs, highs and lows that both parties go through together, learning and adapting. Like marriage, it can be a difficult process but ultimately the bond is strengthened. Or broken.

Using this article as a template, I break down the 5 Stages Of NBA Relationships:

Stage 1- Romance
The GM is drooling over his prized new draft pick. The player is excited about playing professionally and making a name for himself. Both people are convinced that the player will be the Next Jordan and help the team win 2 titles a year for the ensuing decade. Pure fantasy. A honeymoon phase where endorphins are running high.

Stage 2- Disillusionment
GM realizes that player is not the Next Jordan, or even the Next Harpring. Player pouts when fans and media turn on him. Everyone starts pointing fingers. Trade talk comes from both sides. In a healthy relationship, this is where candid and honest communication is required to resolve conflict. In a league resplendent with egomaniacal douchebags, this rarely happens.

*NOTE: Portland and Bayless are absolutely buried in this stage right now.

Stage 3- Power Struggle
If the player hasn't been traded by this point, it probably means he's actually pretty good. Being pretty good means having some leverage. This is where borderline stars ask for outlandish amounts of money at the end of their rookie contracts. GMs hate this stage because fans and media are up their ass on a daily basis, pressuring them to break the bank for a relatively still-unproven talent (David Lee, anyone?). Skeevy agents usually add more fuel to the fire, saying things like "My guy is the Next Jordan." They're never right about this.

Stage 4- Stability
The deal gets done- the player's locked up long term. Player, agent, fans and media are happy. The GM's pissed that he overspent but what the fuck else could he do? Now the real danger sets in. The fat and happy player has nothing left to prove and absolutely no reason to stay in shape, listen to the coach, go to practice, learn plays, etc. However, if the player has good character (hah!) and appreciates everything the team has done for him, this can lead to the most wonderful phase of all.

Stage 5- Commitment
This is true love. Acceptance. They're best friends. In it together. The player will retire with that team because there's just no fucking way anything else could possibly happen. It's extremely rare that any player/team reach this phase. Bird/Celtics, Magic/Lakers, Dumars/Pistons, Reggie/Pacers, Duncan/ get the point. And most of these examples are prior to the Free Agency boom. Still, there's no question that long term commitment greatly enhances the reputation of player and organization alike. It's a win/win.

But, as I said at the top, the priority is always getting paid. To quote Method Man, "Dollar dollar bill, y'all."

Pictured: Laker love connection

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Loose Balls- Wednesday

*Marc Spears reports that Portland's taking a look at Andre Miller. Miller's career won/loss record is 380-440. In his defense, he's been on some dogshit teams, most notably the 99-00 Cavs whose best player was bloating, drunk-ass Shawn Kemp. However, Miller was also a member of the disastrous 02/03 Clips, a team that featured Elton Brand, Cory Maggette, Quentin Richardson (when he was good) AND Lamar Odom yet still only won 27 games. Miller also boasts a career .210 % from 3. Yuck. Still, he's a better starting option than Steve Blake. And he can post up any PG in the league. He gets to the FT line an average of 5 times a game. Pairing him with Brandon Roy means having the other team's backcourt in foul trouble every night (and lots of early bonus situations). Check out this spirited Miller debate going on at Dwight Jaynes' blog.

*Finally Kobe speaks up for Lamar Odom. As any Laker fan call tell you, when Kobe talks, the front office listens. A deal probably gets done any minute now.

*A great performance in Summer League means absolutely nothing. Remember Koko Archibong? Dude dominated last year. Now he's in the EuroLeague. So don't get too excited about Morrow/Randolph/Morrison just yet. Try and remember that they're playing against each other, not top-level NBA talent.

*Adios to romance novel cover-boy, Walter Herrmann. Add him to this esteemed list.

Photo and LOL caption by Blazers Edge

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Basketball Mural FAIL

Nothing fucks up a neighborhood quicker than a really hideous mural. I did some digging around and found a handful of true masterpieces with basketball as the central theme.

This is clearly supposed to be MJ but it looks more like the lovechild of Tyrone 'Horseface' Hill and Bo 'Don't Call Me Tyrone Hill' Outlaw. In an unintended hint at realism, the she-male masquerading as John Starks still can't guard him.

Whoever painted this piece of shit has obviously never picked up a basketball in his/her pathetic life. 'Prometheus, methinks the fiery orb hath magickal properties!'

And wouldn't this be waaaaay more effective if the maniacal disco pimp emerging from the burning meth lab was holding a human head instead of a basketball?

Indiana Pacers team mural 2009. Just kidding (kind of). This catastrophe commemorates the Fighting Green Dragons, famous for proudly rocking highwaisted short shorts and driving their Studebakers to the 'match.'

Got any crappy basketball murals? Send 'em my way.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Aging Gracefully- Ur Doing It Wrong, AI

After watching this amazing dunkfest, I realized just how much explosiveness Allen Iverson's lost in the past few years. He's clearly a player in rapid decline and everyone in the league knows it. Everyone except him.

It's sad, especially considering what might have happened if AI was willing to stay in Philly and accept his new role as a mentor and role player. Check out this tearjerker clip of Reggie Miller's last game in Indy and tell me you can't picture AI going out like this with the Sixers- with class, dignity, admiration, the Philly fans all chanting his name, begging for him to come back for one more year.

That's the way it was supposed to be for Iverson.

Instead he's burned bridges and alienated fans in three cities and counting, all because he's not willing to accept the inevitable- that stars fade. It's not quite a debacle of Ali/Holmes proportions but it's getting there.

AI should dig through his crates of old records and have another listen to the timeless classic, The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. I think he might glean some wisdom from these powerful words:

You got to know when to hold �em
Know when to fold �em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run

And for all you Jim Henson fans, here's a bizarre rendition of the song where a Muppet drinks and smokes himself to death. No, I'm not kidding.

Pictured: Twisted Piston

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Loose Balls- Sunday

*Sheed's signing officially ends the Mikki Moore Era. Huzzah! The Cs just got themselves a good post defender who can space the floor and defend 4s and 5s. Now Ainge needs to remedy the Shitbury Curse and it'll be all good in Boston, providing KG's health isn't an ongoing issue.

*Portland wanted Turkoglu. That didn't happen. Then they missed out on Trevor Ariza while the Turkish Turd was prick-teasing them. So....their new target is Utah backup PF Paul Millsap, a hustle guy who averaged 11/7 as a sub last year. Because of injuries to Carlos Boozeface, Millsap ended up starting 38 games and averaging 16/10 for 30 minutes during those starts. These fluke minutes drastically inflated his value- check out his splits here. Kevin Pritchard apparently didn't notice that Millsap is not, in fact, a starter and offered up 8 mil a season. For a backup PF. Who's generously listed at 6'8. Yeah. I love Millsap but not at that money. You don't pay a guy 8 mil for 20 minutes a game.

*Now that I have absolutely no reason to watch NBATV for three months, it gives me great pleasure to bid adieu to a slew of crappy commercials that drove me batshit crazy this season: that awful Haier electronics ad featuring the worst jingle in history ('We will gooo-ooo haiiii-errrrr'), the Snuggie, ProActiv Zit Cream, Better Basketball featuring the 'best shooter on the planet JJ Redick' (ha!), that slimming shirt/men's girdle from IS Athletics that covers up 'embarrassing body fat,' the Sunsetter Awning, and of course, the Shamwow and its coked up, hooker-smacking spokesdouche. Come to think of it, I won't miss the WNBA, either. Make a fricking layup, ladies!

*Miami GM (and notorious asshole) Pat Riley is playing hardball with DWade, saying the superstar should ink a deal first so that the team has a better chance at signing FAs. Not surprisingly, Wade's stance is that the Heat should get some players not named Jermaine O'Neal on-board before he commits long-term. Ready for the punchline? The team is currently negotiating with Allen Iverson- bwaaahaahaaa! There's NO WAY Wade believes that Iverson is the guy who puts Miami back into elite status. Nice try, Riley. Go read The Art Of War again- maybe it'll give you a tactical solution. Or you could dust off the ol' Ring Of Faith.

Pictured: Riles and Wade discuss who has a bigger ego

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Portland welcomed him with open arms and deep pocketbooks. The front office and fanbase were positively salivating after seeing Hedo Turkoglu make numerous big plays in leading the Orlando Magic to the Finals. It was supposedly a done deal- he was a Blazer.

Then he reneged on his verbal agreement and headed for Toronto.

Why did he do it? "How could he do this TO US?" Money's been mentioned, and it's true that he stands to bank an additional million or two. The Turkish population of Toronto could be a factor.

Personally, I think it's because he wants to be the second option instead of the third. In Portland, he'd get his shots and touches after Roy AND Aldridge. In Toronto, only Chris Bosh trumps him. They might even let him run point-forward duties when Calderon goes to the bench. He'll still get to initiate offense like he did for Orlando. And he'll still get to pad his stats, because he obviously doesn't give a shit about winning basketball games. Toronto? Please. They now have three of the worst defenders in the entire league in their starting lineup (Calderon, Turk, Bargnani). They'll be lucky to win half their games, even in the Leastern Conference.

So I speak for the entire city of Portland when I say 'Fuck you, Turkish Turd. Fuck you and your lame-ass poodle haircut. Enjoy your long offseasons 'cause you won't see the playoffs again for awhile.'

Pictured: bad poodle, no playoffs!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ron Artest, Poet Laureate

Barring some kind of Elton Brand-like bail out, Ron Artest will soon be a Laker. And every player/fan/employee of the Cavs, Celtics, Magic, Spurs, Blazers and Nuggets just had an 'Oops, I Crapped My Pants' moment.

How scary is this dude? You be the judge. Here are the lyrics to Booty Wooty, his collaboration with musical genius and erstwhile rapper, Will Smith:

Yo I�m so high
And that�s no lie
Throw ya blunt up in the sky
Cause these niggas don�t die
Now I might be quick to catch a tech
But I keep my bitches in check
Punch �em in the neck
With the utmost respect

Hell, yes. Artest is such a bad-ass that he can respectfully punch you in the neck. Think about that for a second, bitches. And that's when he's already high. Imagine how nasty he'd be when he was sober. I'll miss Trevor Ariza but nobody strikes fear in the heart of an opponent like Ron Artest. Another miracle acquisition for the Lakers front office.


Pictured: Ron Ron respectfully nibbling Kobe's neck

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Loose Balls- Tuesday

*Yao might be done for next season and possibly his entire career, according to Bucher. Barring a trade, it looks like Houston will have to play Scola at center, not a winning formula in the ultra-competitive West where it'll take 45-50 wins to get into the postseason again.

*Carlos Boozer is supposedly weighing his options, trying to decide whether or not to opt out of his contract with Utah. C'mon. Of course he will. That's what he does. It's in his nature. The scorpion will always sting the frog and Carlos Boozeface will always bail out and break your team's heart.

UPDATE: Boozer just announced he's staying for another year...THEN he'll leave for more money. My bad.

*NY's plan to lure LeBron away from Cleveland next year is not going well. At all. Anyone really think a lineup of Darko, Duhon, Wilson Chandler, Lil' Nate and David Lee is going to turn his head? Me, neither. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the Cavs squad that LBJ inherited as a rook.

*By dumping Vince Cancer, the (Brooklyn) Nets have reduced their 2010 payroll to $38.

*Shaquille O'Neal changes the gameplan for Cleveland. On offense, he'll get a chance to initiate plays from the low post, kicking out to spot up shooters or dumping the ball in to cutters. This likely means less wear and tear on LeBron, which is a good thing. Shaq's propensity for attacking the rim will also draw more fouls on opposing centers (Dwight Howard, specifically) than having Big Z shooting 20-footers. This is also a plus. They'll still have problems defending the P&R but overall, a good move by Ferry (can't believe I just typed that).

*Hedo Turkoglu reportedly turned down a 35/mil extension to stay in Orlando. The club obviously saw this coming or they wouldn't have gone after VC. Most sportwriters seem to think this improves the Magic. I disagree. Turk's ability to initiate the offense and shoot over the top of the high screen/roll is why they beat Cleveland. I don't think that they should have given Hedo 10 mil or anything but now they're spending max money on one of the worst locker room guys in NBA history. FAIL.

*Lots of buzz about Portland's interest in Turk. Seems like a bad fit to me. Turk's best with the rock in his hands. So's Brandon Roy. Why would Pritchard overspend for a spot-up shooter and poor defender who's already 30 years old? I like Turk but not at the money he'll be asking for. KP needs to save that cash for a top-tier point guard. No, I don't mean Andre Miller.

*The Indiana Pacers chose dorky white guy Tyler Hansbrough in the lottery. Psycho T joins Dunleavy, Murphy, Diener, Foster, McRoberts and Nesterovic to form the dorkiest, whitest roster in recent memory (holla back, Minneapolis Lakers). AND they're still looking to move Marquis Daniels and Tinsley. That's two more open spots for slow-footed Caucasians! A name change seems in order. The Indiana Puffy Clouds. Or maybe The Indiana White Knights. Goathair from Blowtorch might suggest The Hans-Bros.

Pictured: Bird's wet dream team

Friday, June 26, 2009

Draftermath '09- Death, Drunks & Disappointment

What a weird fucking day. Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died. Jeff Goldblum supposedly died. Shaq was traded to Cleveland. Vince Carter was shipped to Orlando for Alston/Lee/Battie.

Then the Draft happened.

One of the first things David Stern did onstage was congratulate the Lakers for their championship. Predictably, the rowdy (and most certainly shitfaced) MSG crowd booed lustily.

Stern rolled his eyes and sighed, "It's gonna be a great night."

The drunken douchebaggery didn't stop there. The mob broke into a classless 'USA!' chant when Minny took Rubio at #5. They howled in agony when Golden State snatched dreamy Stephen Curry away from them at #7. And they went positively apeshit when Jordan Hill was announced as the Knicks selection at #8. Poor Hill was visibly shaken when he took the stage for his subsequent handshake and interview. Then he started spouting out bitter, defensive answers like "I don't care" and "I just have to do what I do" and I wondered if any relationship between player and fans had every soured so quickly.

Milwaukee took Brandon Jennings at #10 but the kid wasn't even in the building at the time. Afraid of experiencing a humiliating Rashard Lewis Tumble, Jennings opted to watch the event on TV from a nearby location and then rush to the studio when/if his name was called.

Jrue Holiday should have done the same thing. Two weeks ago, mock drafts had him going as high as 3rd to the Superstolens. With his entire family cringing and weeping, the PG project from UCLA fell all the way to #17. To his credit, he didn't shed any tears, even as he saw millions of dollars evaporating before his eyes.

DeJuan Blair met with a similar fate. Projected as a lottery pick, the beefy PF from Pitt slid all the way to the Spurs at #37, taken behind some dudes named Christian Eyenga and Sergio Llull. Yikes.

Now that's what I call getting dunked on by Patrick Chewing.

Hopefully, these broken-hearted kids can use the snubs as motivation to prove their critics wrong. After all, things seemed to have worked out OK for Rashard Lewis.

As the now-departed King Of Pop famously said, 'No one wants to be defeated.'

Pictured: Jacko checking MJ, or maybe just ogling his junk