Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don't Blame KP For Oden Over Durant

Since Tom Penn got axed last week, there have been all kinds of rumors going around that seem to indicate that Kevin Pritchard's days in Portland are numbered.

Now, I don't know what goes on behind closed doors so I'm not going to speculate on whether or not these rumors might be true. What I AM going to say is that if the hatchet does fall, it won't be because KP picked Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. Let's be clear on this. Management wanted Oden. The city of Portland wanted Oden. Kevin Pritchard? Dude wasn't so sure. He described Durant's workout for the team as the best he'd ever seen. And while every major sports outlet crowned Oden the next Bill Russell, KP was wringing his hands because he saw then in Durant what we're all seeing now- a perennial All-Star with limitless potential.

So to all you revisionist historians out there, blame Pritchard for his part in the underhanded Darius Miles bullshit. Blame KP for not knowing when to keep his mouth shut about his salary. But don't you dare blame him for pulling the trigger on Oden over Durant. He had an entire city helping him make that decision.

Pictured: trust me, you didn't hear many double honks in Portland

Friday, March 19, 2010

Limping Or Pimping?

An 82 game season is no joke. Even the best conditioned, most well trained athletes in the world can't run for two hours on a hard surface every day of their lives without their bodies breaking down. And that doesn't even factor in all the times they get knocked to the floor or land wrong on an ankle. Or catch a Ron Artest elbow in the neck.

And injuries play a huge part in who wins the title every year, no doubt.

So with the playoffs just around the corner, I looked at the current contenders and asked "Are they limping or pimping?"

CLE Even though Diesel's out for a minute, the rest of their squad's in pretty good shape. Pimping.

LA Kobe's hand probably looks like a catcher's mitt these days but I'd be willing to bet he could play in the postseason even if they had to chop off a finger, Ronnie Lott-style. Still pimping.

ORL Remember when Vince Carter was a guy you could count on to miss at least 20 games? This is his fifth year straight with exemplary attendance. Wait, did I just jinx him? They're pimping.

I don't think they'd win a title even if K-Mart was currently healthy enough to play. And Coach Karl has cancer. Limping. Hard.

BOS Collective Arthritic Reconstructed Rehabilitated Surgically Repaired Limping. The worst kind of limping 'cause it never goes away. Like herpes. Or Jay Leno.

I'm gonna stop there because nobody other than the teams above have a realistic shot at winner winner chicken dinner, right? I'm tempted to include the old-ass Spurs or the never-been-there Hawks or the jump-shooting Mavs but it's 2:30 AM and I'm tired. And this post is pretty fucking lame. G'night, John Boy.

Pictured: Kobe would play with nine fingers, right? No question.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Kind Of Tripping Out On Ahmad Rashad

Ahmad Rashad has been around FOREVER. When I was a kid, I had his NFL cards. Nice 'stache, man. Then...

...when I was a pimply teen, he got hitched to Mrs. Cosby. Now...

...he's a boy toy for this socialite/zombie/vampire/succubus. Whoa.

Keep me guessing, Ahmad. Maintain your air of mystery. And don't stop flashing that million watt smile.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rafer's Career- Success Or Failure?

Rafer "Skip To My Banishment" Alston is probably done in the NBA.

After being demoted to third string PG behind Carlos Arroyo and Mario Chalmers, Skip blew a fuse and suddenly decided to bail and put Heat coaches and officials on his 'pay no mind' list. Bad move. Maybe a career-ending one, too.

The irony is that, all things considered, Skip is somewhat of a success story. Despite playing for a low-profile college (Fresno State), Alston was drafted in '98 by the Bucks.

He played sparingly for a couple years in Milwaukee and Toronto, being shuffled up and down between the pros and their D League affiliates. He was this close to being out of the league entirely.

Then he got a chance to start for Miami in 2004 and proved he belonged, averaging 12/4 for a playoff team.

Houston traded for him and he was pretty good for them in 2006- 13/5, playoffs, among the league leaders in steals and 3s.

A couple years later, he was dealt again, this time to Orlando. With Jameer Nelson injured, he started at PG for a team that went all the way to the Finals. Many experts still believe Orlando would have won that series by playing Alston and Anthony Johnson against LA instead of rushing the hobbled Nelson back out there. Van Panic even admitted his mistake after the fact.

Then Alston was traded by Orlando to the Nets as part of the Vince Carter deal. They released him per his request so he could sign with a contender. He signed with Miami instead.

And now, here he is, lost in limbo. With lots of bridges burned. But if this is the last we see of Skip, let the record show that he played over a decade in the NBA and led three different teams to playoff berths. People are shitting on him right now but he fought against long odds and carved out a nice career for himself, even if it seems to be ending badly.

Pictured: playground legend, 2nd round pick, 11 year vet

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Haiku For Every Team

When I'm not busy playing basketball or strumming my guitar, I like to achieve zen by sitting completely still and composing dreadful haikus about the NBA.

Here's a haiku for each team (in the traditional 5-7-5 syllabic format) summarizing their current state and what their future might look like.

Goodbye, Joe Johnson
Enjoy your time in New York
We'll miss you next year

These old creaky bones
Breaking down from all the miles
One last chance to shine

"Play the right way, guys"
Bow down before your savior
Still miss the playoffs

Yay for Derrick Rose!
Why's Del Negro still our coach?
Did I mention Rose?

How to keep a King
Surround him with role players
Win the ring or else...

So many jump shots
Another first round upset
Haywood Jablowme!

Memo to George Karl
You need a center to win
Nene's a forward

Dumars the genius
Signed Gordon and Charlie V
Blame it on Kuester

Golden State
Poor Donny Boozeface
Going out with a whimper
Take Cohan with you

Winning without Yao
Daryl Morey knows his stats
Tough matchup next year

Some dorky white guys
Plus 'overrated' Granger
Equals lottery

LA Clippers
Donald the slumlord
Why do you still have a team?
Run, Blake Griffin, run!

LA Lakers
So bored with it all
Saving it for the playoffs
Just like in '05


There's no future here
Z-Bo's in a contract year
Gay's as good as gone

D Wade needs some help!
Carlos Boozer, come on down
It still won't matter

Wow, Bogut can play!
But he's no Williams or Paul
Yep, had to go there

Hey, yo, David Kahn
Rubio ain't coming, dude
What's your backup plan?

New Jersey
Bro-Pez, the real deal
Jianlian, not so much
Chinese Keith Van Horn

New Orleans
Meka in the post
Not a good way to win games
Should Paul go elsewhere?

New York
"Come to us, Lebron!
Rebuild another loser"
Yeah, right. Keep dreaming.

Oklahoma City
Go, SuperStolens!
Erase the word, 'Seattle'
But still sell their swag

We trust in you, Vince
To play D and take good shots
What were we thinking?

Oh, sure, fire the coach
'Cause that's the problem here, right?
Blow it up, rebuild

Amar'e opts in
Even though they don't want him
Get that money, kid

The future is now
Big deals for Roy and Aldridge
Sooooo, about Greg's knee...

Who's Tyreke's big man?
Ol' tea baggin' Spencer Hawes?
Back to the draft, boys

San Antonio
Can Popozitz win
Without Tim Duncan around?
Do they sign Manu?


Enjoying your shops
And Turkish community,
Mrs. Turkoglu?

No title for Sloan
Why? There's no jazz in Utah
And God hates Mormons

"We've still got Gilbert"
The sound of crickets chirping
And one hand clapping

Pictured: what you get by Googling 'zen basketball.' Yeeeaaaah.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rug Barnes In Commanding Lead For America's Next Bruce Bowen

With this amazing display of unbridled douchebaggery, Matt (Rug) Barnes has established a seemingly insurmountable lead in the race to become America's Next Bruce Bowen.

What the judges (me, basically) are looking for in this competition: dirty play, shit talking, ability to pester and distract, originality, flair, starters minutes AND (this is key) the occasional three point dagger to win a game but otherwise complete offensive ineptitude.

The loathsome Bowen, as any hoops fan can attest, set the bar pretty high. For over a decade, he kicked, tripped, headbutted, fondled and molested anyone Coach Popozitz assigned him to guard/rape. And sadly, the Spurs won a few titles that way. The prison strategy worked. So now every coach wants a 'Bowen-type' on their roster. But here's the catch: the Next Bruce needs to channel his douchebaggery in a way that actually helps win games. It's more than being a thug; it's being a productive thug. You can't win Next Bruce if your team isn't a contender. If you're out there douching it up and your team loses anyway, you're better suited for America's Next Danny Fortson (I see you, Reggie Evans).

It's going to take an impossibly disgusting effort from Floppy Varejao and Dirty Dahntay to close the gap this late in the season. But as they say, it ain't over until the fat lady punches you in the junk on a baseline screen. So get to grabbing, jerks! Make Uncle Bruce proud.

Pictured: Rug giving little Devin Harris the business

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Loose Balls (Boules L�ches)

*As you probably know, hip-hop legend Guru had a heart attack and fell into a coma last week. Sucks. I went back and listened to a few of my favorite Gang Starr/Guru songs, including Mass Appeal and this duet with Frenchman MC Solaar, Le Bien Le Mal. So good. Solaar kills that track. Just crushes it.

*Speaking of the French, Nic Batum, Ronny Turiaf (AKA Chocolate Moose), Roddy Beaubois and Boris Diaw are all currently starting and doing work for their respective squads. And Tony Parker would be too if he wasn't injured. Even Johan Petro got a start tonight. France is balling. C'mon, Mickael Pietrus! You let Matt Barnes take your spot, man? Sacre bleu!

*When I see Andray Blatche going ballistic for the moribund Wiz, it reminds me of that memorable run that Charlie Villanueva had for the Bucks in 2009. Or Anthony Randolph's brilliant close to last season that had GS fans openly discussing his Hall Of Fame credentials. It's a cliche but it's true: almost anyone in the NBA can put up numbers for a losing team when the games don't matter.

*I've been posting recently on Celtics 17 as well, although they probably hate me already for ripping the Nate and Finley signings. If anyone else is interested, they're still looking for writers/bloggers/contributors here.

Pictured: Guru's classic, Jazzmatazz

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Batum's Weird Interview With French Gossip Rag

Here's what Batum had to say to the French gossip rag, Maitre Fromager, after his recent strong play:

"Je suis le meilleur! Martell Webster pas pu retenir mes jockstrap. Et si Coach McMillan me tire de la programmation de plus, je vais avoir des relations sexuelles rugueux avec sa grand-m�re."

Google translation tool here (requires a copy/paste on your part).

All About The Weapons

When I was a kid, Converse Weapons were the shit. I rocked the black Celtics high tops; all my friends had the Lakers purple and gold. On the school playground where I played pickup ball, it wasn't uncommon to see an entire court full of Weapons with the occasional Adidas Ewings thrown in there, and maybe a Puma, Pony or New Balance. You didn't see a lot of Nikes back in the day.

Then this whole Nike/Jordan thing happened (check out the broken backboard at 2:32).

Converse never really got their momentum back once MJ stepped on the scene. And now Nike owns Converse so there you have it.

But at least Converse is back to making the Weapons again. Here's a limited edition model they put out for the SuperStolens recently. Goes nicely with the tortilla chip logo, don't ya think?

Pictured: "We dare you to follow our steps"