Tag Archives: basketball

Good Night Mark Jackson

Oh the life of a Warriors fan. W’s fans have had plenty of down time over the years to reflect on bad decisions since we’ve seen so many of them. Strangely I’ve found this whole Mark Jackson fiasco entertaining, but mostly because of the reaction it got. It seemed like a lot of people around the bay area wanted heads to roll in the front office for it. I watched about 90% of their games this season, and more than a handful of times they looked unprepared and unmotivated. Especially against some of the weaker teams in the league. I’m not saying that I’m an expert, but for a guy that’s supposed be such a good motivator, you shouldn’t be losing that many of those types of games especially not 10 of them over a year in a conference as good as the West. If they won 5 of those 10 that I thought they should’ve won, they would’ve been ahead of the Rockets and Blazers in the standings. The lack of preparation showed on the offensive end as well with isolation plays taking up way too many possessions. Another thing that really bugged me was the hockey substitution pattern he had, especially when their bench was proven to be terrible. Why would you put in 5 not very good players at once? Can’t you mix and match some starters with the bench? Anyways, the only thing I was really concerned about when I heard the MJ news was, I hope they get someone that Curry likes enough to stay here when his contract is up in 3 years.

I’ve heard a lot of outrage from national media, local media, and fans, but in all honesty I think it stems back to the previous ownership group that didn’t get anything right on just about every level. I’m not the biggest fan of Lacob as a person and how visible of an owner he is, but he sure has helped them come a long way from when he first bought the team in 2010. I might be one of the few out there that truly trusts this ownership group. After someone gets fired you have to look back at the series of smart moves which gave Mark Jackson the tools to actually be a successful coach. After all, your team is only as good as your players, and without the pieces you don’t go from 27 to 48 to 51 wins. The way a lot of media seems to spin it, is that MJ was the only reason they made the improvement.

The first move they made that really got me excited about the new regime wasn’t a player signing, it was hiring The Logo, Jerry West as an adviser to the team. After years of watching the clueless Larry Riley sign bad contracts and trade players away and see them excel elsewhere, we finally had someone we could lean on and trust to make the right moves. He was instrumental in the selection of Klay Thompson and Draymond Green during the 2011 draft who look like damn good players at the moment.

They then promoted Bob Myers to the GM position. I wasn’t overly excited about that one, but the former agent has pulled off some great moves in his time here. The two players that were on that 2011 team that are still here when he was hired are David Lee and Stephen Curry. He pulled off the Bogut for Monta trade, which obviously worked out better for the W’s than it did for the Bucks. That trade also freed up the team to be Curry and Klay’s team and helped them grow into the players they are today. He made the cap sucking corpses of Andris Biendris, Richard Jefferson, and Brandon Rush turn into the swiss army knife Andre Iguodala. He found the valuable assets in Jarret Jack and Carl Landry for the 12-13 season. Oh and he hired Mark Jackson to coach this team. Sure, they’ve had some mis-steps like using the amnesty on Charlie Bell instead of Andris Biendris, but at least that move was to make room to give Deandre Jordan and Tyson Chandler offer sheets.

So why am I not bent out of shape that they let Jackson go? Because there’s starting to be a track record with this ownership group and making SMART decisions. Honestly if you told me three years ago when they took over that they’d be in back to back playoffs and have one of the best starting fives in the league, I would’ve probably thought you were on crack. It has happened though, and contrary to public opinion it seems like this ownership group has a plan, and is being tactical in the way they are making moves. I’ve never been able to say that or thought I’d be able to say that. They stuck out with Keith Smart, and did well with Jackson, but weren’t satisfied, so we’ll see if they find THE guy this time around.

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The Tear Away

On a scale from Melky to King Felix, I’d say this ranks pretty close to Felix as far as commercials go. I know there wasn’t a ton of “acting” involved, but they didn’t look stiff like a lot of athletes look on camera, and it gave me a little laugh.


Summer League Top Plays

Not sure why, but I can’t seem to get into Team USA hoops this time around. I was into the construction of the roster, but when they started playing the games I lost interest. The whole are they as good as the 1992 Dream Team is nuts, so much so I won’t even give it any more words besides saying that’s a joke. I came across this top 10 plays of the summer league today, and figured why not post it for those hoops junkies out there. Plus, to my surprise Jeremy Tyler came in at #6, and for those of you that don’t know he’s been a mancrush of mine since the Warriors drafted him last year.


The Shoes

I’m not sure why, but I love to watch good NBA montages like the Warriors “Live Forever” one I posted awhile back. Maybe it’s because baseball ones aren’t that exciting, and football is too brutal of a sport to make a artistic montage. Anyways, it always makes it better when it’s paired with a quality song to boot. I guess this was made way back in July when the lockout was still going on, but honestly, I’m not sure what this really has to do with the lockout. It also reminded me that I never had the “cool” shoes growing up…


Adios Mississippi Missile

I haven’t written about the Warriors all year, because like the old saying goes, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all. When Mark Jackson and the W’s front office promised the playoffs at the beginning of the year, I thought whoa, easy on the promises, do they know what franchise this is?!? I actually wanted them to stand pat this year and see what they have instead of making a hasty trade for Dwight when he said wasn’t going to stay in the Bay Area. Fortunately they didn’t gut the team for him, because I feel like they have a solid core of young players (4th youngest team in the league). Unsurprisingly, they haven’t looked like a playoff team especially going 5-10 in games that were decided by 3 points or less. Regardless of what they have or haven’t done this year it’s culminated in the biggest trade of the seemingly not so interesting trading deadline this year. Shortly after hearing about the Warriors trading Monta, Udoh, and Kwame for Bogut and Jackson I was admittedly mad. I chewed on it for a little while, digested it, slept on it, now I’m ready to poo out my real thoughts on the trade.

Monta Ellis – I think the only reason I was mad is because Monta was the only one on the team that makes those exciting hold your breathe types of plays on the team. Unless you count every time Curry makes a cut on his seemingly always broken ankles. Every year Ellis has been in the NBA he’s gotten better, and added something to his game. He will be greatly missed in Warriorland, and I want to thank him for all the highlight reels and game winners he made for us. I’ve always felt he should get more calls from the refs than he does, but he’s so quick maybe the refs can’t see the contact. He also should’ve been an All-Star at some point, but now that he’s in the East maybe that will finally happen. The most exciting part about him leaving this year is going to be seeing what rookie Klay Thompson can do. He’s already looked great in the limited minutes he’s been on the floor, but being Monta’s backup doesn’t really get you that many minutes. Now with a full time run, we’ll get to see what kind of shooting guard we drafted, and if he is indeed the all around player we think he can be.

An Actual Bold Move for Basketball Reasons – I think the part that riled me up a lot yesterday was that we put Udoh in the trade, and got back Stephen Jackson instead of someone useful like say Ersan Ilyasova.  Udoh was finally healthy and showing the promise that made the Warriors pick him in the draft two years ago, but if that was the breaking point for the deal then I’m okay with it, because it’s a bold shake up. For first time in a long time, it’s clear the Warriors have a direction. They’re usually stuck in suck mode, but not sucky enough to get a good draft pick or make the playoffs. I’m actually for them sucking the rest of this season, because in this lockout shortened back to back game fest, I didn’t see them coming out of it well. If that meant trading away our biggest trade chip for a true center that the Warriors haven’t had on their roster since before I was born, so be it. This might be one of the first times I’ve been impressed with the new owners. They made a move that wasn’t fan popular (trading away the most popular player doesn’t usually get a good reaction from fans), isn’t a PR move, it’s not payroll/cap driven, and it definitely wasn’t ticket sales driven, because who will really want to watch this team the rest of the way especially if they shut Curry down like they should. They delayed being any good the rest of this year to possibly be a lot better in the future with a much more traditional lineup. I can’t commend them enough after years of head-scratching trades whether it works out well or not. This trade hasn’t been positive yet, but you can tell they’re putting together some kind of plan, which is a first time since Mullin was our GM that it seemed like we have a plan. Plus, the value for Ellis wasn’t as high as Bay Area fans thought. Yes, he’s a great player, but sometimes he was a black hole, couldn’t guard bigger SG’s like Kobe, and being undersized isn’t overly attractive to every team.

Warriors New Frontline – I can confidently say David Lee has been more important than Monta this season, and probably more consistent on a nightly basis. Putting him next to a hopefully healthy Bogut gives them the frontline that can compete with the large frontcourts that every other team has in the west. It will also make Lee that much better not having to do all the scoring down low, and will also prevent him from having to guard centers half the time when Biendris is in his usual foul trouble. Then there’s the fact that we actually have a true center opposed to guys like Foyle, Dampier, and Biendris. Come to think of it, I can’t remember being excited about their center since Manute Bol was on the team. Bogut also gives them that defensive anchor that Mark Jackson really needs to have to make this a strong defensive team. I have to admit I did keep Bogut one year in my fantasy basketball league, so I fully understand his upside, especially being in his prime at 27 years of age, and they will have control over him for three years compared to Monta’s two years (Monta had said he’d probably exercise his players option after next year to become a free agent). Bogut just needs to stop having the freak accidents to make this trade worthwhile for the Warriors. I’m not sure we can truly evaluate the trade until we see him play next year, so the jury is still out. I was pretty happy to see how mad some of the Bucks fans are about losing Bogut in the trade.

They might be bad enough to keep their draft pick – This trade also gives the Warriors some hope of keeping their draft pick this year. If you didn’t know, the Warriors traded their first rounder in this years draft for Marcus Williams to NJ back in 2009, who played a whopping nine games for them. That pick was then traded to Utah in the Deron Williams deal. The only way they keep the draft pick is if they lose their way to the worst seven in the league, since the pick is top seven protected. If they do suck their way into keeping their pick, then it would roll over to the next years draft, where it’s only top 5 protected. Even if they are the 7th worst team, there’s no guarantee they’ll get the 7th pick because it seems like every year at least one team leap frogs them into the lottery, and pushes them back a pick. They’re already better than a lot of the Eastern Confrences bottom feeders, so one can only hope. Despite last nights trade inspired performance from the Dubstitutes, they only beat Sacramento team that is just plain bad this year. I’m sure with one of the toughest schedules left in the league (something like 11 or 12 back to backs left) they will have a prolonged losing streak giving them a shot at keeping their draft pick, and at the same time get a good look at their young players. My hope now is they just let Curry rest so he doesn’t keep re-injuring those ankles, and lose their way to keep their draft pick.

Stephen Jackson is back – I have a hard time seeing where Jackson fits into the Warriors roster at the moment, but Dorrell Wright has been a disappointment this year. He was a cancer towards the end of his Warriors days, but maybe after getting out of Milwaukee with a coach he couldn’t stand will get his head right. Plus, he did give us Warriors fans a lot of good memories in a franchise that produces few. I thought they might try to flip him right away for something more constructive to the future of the team, but it sounds like it takes 48 hours for the trade and physicals to go through, so that will be after the trade deadline passes, unless he reports early, which I don’t see happening. I’ve read they’ll either trade him after the season or buy him out when the season is over. If that doesn’t happen at least Jack will eat up some salary cap so they don’t make a ridiculous offer to some free agent this off-season. I also wouldn’t mind holding onto Jack next year when he’s in a contract year with something to prove, so he can get paid. I’m just glad Rowell isn’t around to negotiate a new contract with him or we’d probably end up with Jack until 2020 at $10M per year hoping for We Believe 2.0.


Minnesota Matters

All I can say is I watched TGIF as a kid quite a bit, and I’m hoping they make a version of Step by Step or Full House in the near future for some other teams…


Clipper Darrell Rejected!

I went to a handful of games at Staples Center to watch the Clippers play when I was living down there, and watched quite a few more on TV. Out of all the games I saw, I didn’t see one where “Clipper Darrell” wasn’t in attendance. He’s like Jack for the Lakers or Spike for the Knicks, except he doesn’t sit in floor seats like Billy Crystal. It’s sad that the first time the Clippers are actually relevant, they decide to turn their back on their biggest die-hard fan especially using him for personal gain first. I actually do remember those pictures on their website a couple years ago, and thinking that I wouldn’t really want to sit next to him, but still… Maybe they weren’t impressed by his Lebron come to LA campaign, but for better or worse, he showed there are true Clippers fans in LA. I know it’s about as believable as saying there’s true A’s fans out there, but it’s the truth. I think the video shows us all how much a franchise can value it’s fans, if you hadn’t already notice from the lockout this year. I think I’m happy not living down there anymore, so I’m not giving Sterling my money twice a year…


Kid Calling Out Lebron

Couldn’t have said it better myself kid. One point he failed to mention is that the dunk contest rules have now changed, so instead of having to think up six dunks for two rounds, they now only have to think up three dunks in a one round winner take all format voted on by fans. With only one round, I have to think one wouldn’t have to expend as much energy and is another reason I don’t understand why Blake Griffin isn’t going to try and defend his title. Blake said he was exhausted after last years all-star break,  but with less to do to defend his title you have to wonder why he wouldn’t give it a go.


Lin on Me

Naturally any song that can combine Jeremy Lin and Sprewell will get my attention, and this wasn’t the exception to the rule. I know I’ve posted a couple times already about the Asian persuasion, but couldn’t resist putting up one more on him, and I’ll stop it now for awhile! Oh and SNL opened their show with a pun on the Lin puns too if you missed it here’s the link.


Bobcats Season Summed Up In One Play

When I first saw this play, I actually didn’t even think it was a turnover, but after rewinding it he obviously threw it to the wrong team. The second thing that jumped out was Corey Maggette passed the ball!?! I guess there’s a first time for everything! I don’t think I’ve seen a pass that bad in a pick up game let alone in an NBA game. To say the Bobcats have had a disappointing season so far is an understatement. This play couldn’t be a more perfect way summing up their season. As of today, they have 3 total wins, and New Orleans at 6 wins on the season may just have an insurmountable lead on them for the right to the highest percentage of ping pong balls. Granted they’ve had a ton of injuries, but this is a disaster in Charlotte.

 


Jeremy Lin Valentine Day’s Cards

I know I know, two posts in a row on Lin, but how can I resist the Asian sensation… Over the past decade I’ve slowly thought that Valentines Day is a kids holiday more so than a Hallmark Holiday, because honestly that’s the only time I can think of when I actually liked it. When I was 5-8 years old, I remember worrying about what cards to give to what girl. Fastforward to the double digit years, and it all felt like more of a hassle than anything. Anyways, the Lin phenomenon continues tonight as the Knicks take on the Raptors with the return of Amare. I honestly don’t see Lin slowing down, and even if he does a little, it doesn’t matter if they keep winning. Today Funny or Die came up with some Valentine’s Day cards dedicated to the Linja himself for people to give to a loved one, since his name is so easy to make into other words I couldn’t resist posting them…

 


Yellow Mamba

If you haven’t heard of Jeremy Lin by now, you’re probably not a basketball fan. The Harvard grad, turned D-leaguer, turned Warriors back-up PG, turned Knicks starting PG has been the talk of the league over the week. Back in early 2010, Jeremy Lin burst onto the scene in the Summer League scorching John Wall over and over. To say Mceezy and I were excited when he joined the Warriors that 2010 summer was an understatement not that we expected him to do much, but just the fact that he made the team was impressive. I’m surprised it took me this long to write about him since I did try buy his jersey for my girlfriend who’s last name happens to be Lin, and her parents are also from Taiwan, but never did because I didn’t think he’d make it. He sure showed me!

I always had my doubts about him, but he is proving to everyone that he does belong in the league. I think the biggest thing is people don’t expect an Asian kid from a Ivy league school to succeed in somewhat of a racial profiling, but he sure is. It’s rare that Asian’s are the big news in the sports world, and for a week I didn’t have to go to Weird Asian News to get my fix. It feels like when Tiger broke into the “white” golfing world. Lin is breaking into the “black” basketball world. Would he get any press if he wasn’t Asian? I doubt it.

Whether he has lasting power or not remains to be seen, but you have to believe he’s going to keep the starting job for awhile based on how bad Douglas and Shumpert have been in the same starting role. It’s not that he’s just starting it’s that he’s lighting up his opponents.  Even though he played the Nets, Jazz, and Wizards, he did face two solid point guards in Wall and Williams, and still put up impressive numbers. Sure, the devils advocate would say he let Wall and Deron go off, but D’antoni never cared about defense anyways, and in the end the Knicks are 3-0 when he plays over 25 minutes.

When I watched him play twice this week he reminded me of someone like Jose Calderon or Andre Miller. Most of Lin’s moves are fairly predictable, but he takes advantage of what you give him. If it’s an open lane, he’ll drive and won’t shy away from the contact. If someone is open, he makes the pass in a not so flashy way, basically making the “smart basketball play”. It’s strange because you shouldn’t be overly scared to face him, but at the same time you can’t sleep on him either or he’ll make you pay. He still needs to work on his jumper, but it’s amazing he’s hitting over 50% of his shots from the field. Should be fun to see the Yellow Mamba take on the Black Mamba tonight to see if he can keep it up!


All-Star Promo Videos Are Disappointing This Year…

I’m usually excited during January to watch all the creative videos that teams’ PR departments/players come out with to get the fringe All-Star players some more votes for the mid season All-Star game, but this year has been pretty disappointing. Maybe with the lockout and shortened season most players are just focused on games or getting back in shape since they have a game seemingly every night, but c’mon guys, you gotta give us something better than DeAndre Jordan singing for votes. Last season there were two great All-Star promos with Kevin Love’s Numbers Fragrance and Rudy Gay’s Most Interesting Man in the NBA promo, but this season I haven’t seen any coming close to touching those two campaigns. Step up your game Houston, Kyle Lowry should be getting more votes than Rubio for christ sake! Or how about you Portland, why not get something going for the most underrated PF in the game, LaMarcus Aldridge! All that being said, I did find a professionally done video for Amar’e that came out a few days ago, but when I watched it, just like the Bargnani one I wrote about a little while back, I wasn’t even sure if the video left me thinking I should vote for him or go to Foot Locker. Andrea is now hurt so he definitely doesn’t deserve a spot if he ever even did, and Amar’e is playing like he’s allergic to the ball.


Golden State Warriors “Live Forever”

Even if your not a Warriors fan, I bet you’ll find this video above pretty cool. It even gave me a few goosebumps along the way. If you didn’t like that one, maybe you’ll like the Kings version. A few days ago I wanted to write a state of the Warriors address, but in the end you can sum up this years team in two words, “very disappointing”. Also, if I put myself through evaluating all the players on the team, I might piss myself off too much, so here’s an abbreviated rant on what baffles me the most about this team. I never thought they’d be a playoff team this year with the second youngest roster in the NBA, which is why I didn’t put them on my list for our Western Conference predictions, but I thought they’d be better than they have been. They’ve had a few good wins here and there, but the bad so far has heavily outweighed the good. It’s becoming more and more apparent that Curry and Ellis aren’t that great of a pairing in the back-court together as neither seem to be all that consistent, and while one is doing damage the other seems to be standing around watching too much. Should we bring one of them in off the bench? Try it, why not for a game or two, because it’s not working as currently constructed.

The more glaring hole in the roster for the past four seasons though is their big men. David Lee can’t be their only inside presence on offense and defense, and every game it becomes more apparent. Kwame actually did look good for the seven games he played, which says a lot about our other options at center, but once he went down we were stuck with nothing at center. Why the owners decided to use the amnesty on Charlie Bell and his expiring contract instead of using it on the ever eroding “I don’t draw contact because I’m scared to shoot free throws” Biedrins will baffle me for years to come, but with Larry Riley as your GM, it’s about all you can expect. Seriously what was the point of bringing in Jerry West as an advisor if you were going to still let Riley make the final decisions with the personnel? The new owners promised change, yet stuck with a used car salesman in Riley who couldn’t sell Monta a moped. Ok Riley, I’ll give you Brandon Rush for Amundsen as a solid trade, but other than that, he’s made one mistake after another giving up assets for poo poo platters, and he IS the reason we might not have a first round draft pick if we are outside the top 7 picks in one of the deepest drafts in recent memory. Don’t be surprised if there’s a fire Larry Riley post highlighting his years of crapping on the Warriors roster before this season is over. I can’t stand anything about this guy anymore, his choices, his face, his voice. We went from “We Believe” under Chris Mullin as GM to “We’re picking between 7th and 10th in the draft every year, but are just good enough to never be in the top 3”. Well played Riley, well played.

Oh, there is a bright side to the big void in the middle. My new mancrush, 20-year-old Jeremy Tyler, has played some more minutes over the last few games, and looked pretty solid when he has been in the games. He’s made some mistakes, but definitely more controlled than let’s say Anthony Randolph’s type of mistakes. At least he showed he can hit a jumper and finish strong with a dunk which is more than Biedrins has done for at least three years. Also, the other rookie, Klay Thompson, after a rough start has looked like what everyone thought he’d be a versatile player that can defend and hit shots from all ranges. Same as Tyler, he makes mistakes, but let these kids grow since we aren’t going anywhere. It’s not much of a consolation considering the owner and coach promised the playoffs over the off-season, but both might have been foolish to make those predictions. Oh, and I do like how Mark Jackson has gotten them to play better defense, but maybe he needs to run some offensive practices too because they turn the ball over way too much. Yes, defense wins you games, but empty possessions where you don’t even get a shot up loses you as many games as not playing good defense.


RFP Of The Day: Chris Mills

It’s been a while since the last RFP of the Day post. Shoot, it’s been a while since my last post at all. But, as Chappy often says, life got in the way. Today he reminded me of an old story that brought back more than just that one memory. Former NBA player Chris Mills will always be a random remembered player as far as I’m concerned, but he’s probably forgotten by many. My first regular season Warriors game was Opening Night in 2000. Golden State was a good 6 years removed from being at all relevant, and I had just moved to San Francisco after 15 years of being a Sacramento Kings fan. But here I was, at the beginning of my career as a Warriors fan. The big theme of the year was a picture of two sets of eyes belonging to Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes with the caption: “Think we’re on to something…” Well, who knows what that something was, but I was pretty excited to be in the O-rena that night. The Warriors were playing the Phoenix Suns, led by Oakland product Jason Kidd. He f*cked around and got a triple double. Danny Fortson made his Warriors debut to the tune of 18 points and 18 rebounds. Unfortunately, he suffered a season ending injury just 6 games into the season. What few people realize is that he was on his way to establishing himself as one of the game’s better big men. Not only did he notch a double double in all six games, he was averaging 16+ pts and 16+ rebounds per game. Anyway, the game naturally went down to the wire. Chris Mills had scored 16 points off the bench, and he proved to be the hero when he hit a buzzer-beating game winning three to lift the Warriors to a 96-94 win over the Suns. That’s the main thing I’ll always remember him for.

The more memorable story is the one Chappy brought up today. I can’t remember the year, but it the Warriors were hosting the Portland Trailblazers. If memory serves me correctly, it was a tie game when Rasheed Wallace hit a 19 foot jumper at the horn to give the Blazers the win. The Blazers of course celebrated like they won the NBA Championship, and I guess some of the fans didn’t appreciate it. On their way into the tunnel, many of the Blazers began exchanging words with the fans. All of a sudden, guys like Wallace and Zach Randolph were charging into the stands to fight some people. Looking at the roster of the Blazers at that time, I’m willing to bet Bonzi Wells and Ruben Patterson were in there too. Unlike a few years later when World Peace wreaked havoc on the Palace at Auburn Hills, Wallace and Randolph and company were restrained before they got too deep into the stands where they were trying to get. But you know who else took exception to the Blazers antics? Chris Mills. Rumor has it Mills went to the locker, grabbed a gun, and stormed outside to greet the Blazers team bus. Supposedly, there he stood, waving the gun around and barking at the players on the bus to get off and meet him. The bus had to sit and wait until Mills was calmed down enough to leave the scene. I’m not sure what ever happened with that, but I think Mills got away with it.