Tag Archives: basketball

No One Man Should Have All That Pasta

I’m not sure if this was a Primo Pasta ad, or showing that Andrea likes pasta a lot, or an All-Star video similar to the ones they made in Minnesota for Love last season. Whatever the case I thought it was pretty funny spoofing the Kayne song. I haven’t seen Bargnani play much this year, but for some reason it’s hard for me to take him seriously as an all-star candidate. Yes, he scores a lot (22.5 ppg), but you almost have to be avoiding rebounds to only average 6.5 a game as a 7 footer playing over 35 minutes a game. Plus, someone has to score up there besides Derozan. I read a couple places that he’s “playing much more physically this year”, but wouldn’t that mean he’d have more than 0.7 blocks a game and said rebounds. I’d much rather see someone like Spencer Hawes, Greg Monroe, or even Roy Hibbert playing behind Howard in the All-Star game.


The Most Entertaining Team in the NBA

At the beginning of the year, I figured a post with this title would be about the Lob City Clips or even perhaps the Miami Heatles, but for some reason that hasn’t been the case. Many of you, including myself, probably lost your free preview of the NBA league pass over the weekend. The first thing that popped into my head was, I can’t believe I watched at least part of every Timberwolves game for the first two weeks of the season, and might not get to see them again this year since I doubt they have very many nationally televised games. I even watched them over the Warriors on a few occasions, that’s how damn entertaining they were. Are they going to be a surprise playoff team? Probably not, but that’s not always why I watch hoops. Being a Warriors fan, I usually just want to be entertained since it’s not always in the cards that my team will win. Anyways, anytime the Wolves are on nationally, you can bet I’ll be watching. The longtime laughing stocks of the league actually have a solid core of players that are fun to watch with lots of story lines to go around.

The Best White Guy in the NBA (Kevin Love). What’s not to like about Love and his energy for the game. Even his All-Star pitch last season was funny. Last year for some ungodly reason he didn’t even crack the starting lineup while posting double doubles nightly for the first part of the season. Luckily that was quickly corrected, and we got to see this beast do his 110% effort thing from the opening tip.

The Highly Entertaining First Year Euro Player (Ricky Rubio). I remember ripping him pretty good a few times in our e-mail chains dating back through the last couple of years he stayed over in Spain. We’ve probably had at least 100 e-mails back and forth arguing about whether he’d play here or not. It seemed unfathomable how his game would translate to the NBA when he was sitting at something like 6 PPG and 4 APG last season and only coming off the bench in SPAIN, but after seeing him play these two NBA league pass filled weeks, I’m fully sold on his prospects to be the next Steve Nash. It’s been funny to watch him bounce passes off teammates faces when they weren’t ready to catch one of his fancy passes. He is truly a wizard with the ball in his hands.

My College Player Mancrush from Last Season (Derrick Williams). I still don’t see how this guy doesn’t end up being a stud in the league for a long time. He’s shown a few flashes here and there already, but hasn’t really played a ton of minutes to showcase all his talents. Maybe now that Beasley’s hurt he’ll earn a spot in the starting rotation. I pretty much fell for him during the Pac-10 tournament last year, and will stick by him until he turns into a bigtime player.

Super Talented Headcases (Anthony Randolph and Michael Beasley). Anyone out there that’s played fantasy hoops or been a Warriors fan knows how frustrating it is to watch or have Anthony Randolph on your team. He makes a great block and rebound then dribbles down the court faster than everyone only to throw it out of bounds. You see the good stuff and think this guy could be great, but then he inexplicably does stupid things that he should’ve learned during High School. Beasley’s idiocy has been well chronic(led). You never know what you’re going to get from either guy from a production standpoint, but when they seem to care their potential seems limitless.

Major Draft Bust (Darko Milicic). The man infamously picked in front of Melo, Wade, and Bosh. The funny part about him though, is he might actually have a better career than 2007 #1 pick, Greg Oden! After landing on his fifth team in nine seasons, he actually played decent in Minnesota last season, and parlayed that into a 4 year $20M contract that I thought was atrocious at the time, but if there’s one thing you can’t teach it’s 7 feet, and as much as I hated the Warriors signing Kwame, a 7-footer does make a difference in the paint.

Even More White Guys (JJ Barea, Brian Cardinal, Luke Ridnour, and Brad Miller). Honestly, I can’t remember a team with seven of it’s twelve roster spots going to five white guys and two white Euro guys. Well, at least in my existence I’m sure there were plenty in the peach picker basket days. In fact, I’m struggling to think of a roster with more than three white guys on the team…


The Few Things I Remember From This New Year’s Weekend

My body came back yesterday, but I think my head just finally returned from Tahoe this evening. It was a blurry three days up at the cabin, but I managed to sprinkle in some sports here and there. The majority of it came on Saturday morning/afternoon, as it was do or die for not only the Oakland Raiders, but also the West Sac Narwhals (you guessed it, my fantasy team). Here’s the recap of my weekend in sports…

Boring Morning Games – The scores may look close, but the 49ers-Rams and Jets-Dolphins definitely didn’t feel as close as your average 34-27 or 19-17 games. Neither had much meaning, other than the Jets being able to make a small claim toward a playoff berth. The Niners were also able to sew up a bye in the first round. The fantasy relevance was limited, with only Steven Jackson struggling to muster up 9 points. The Rams did a good job of wiping points away from my opponent though, putting up 17 against his 49ers Defense. I’d have much rather been watching the Lions-Packers. I opted to start Matthew Stafford for just the second time this season. The only other time was during Tom Brady’s bye week, and he turned in a dismal 12 point performance. Who would’ve thought, though, that it’d be the other Matt throwing for 6 TDs. But, when you’re in Northern California, you can’t expect to see any other NFC games while the 49ers are playing. Maybe I was just bored waiting for the game of the year….

Oakland Raiders Can End 9 Year Playoff Drought – The scenarios were many, but one was simple. Beat the Chargers, and get a Denver loss at the hands of Kyle Orton and the Kansas City Chiefs, and they’re in. Beating the Chargers isn’t usually a doable task, but Oakland beat them in pretty convincing fashion in front of a national Thursday night NFL Network stage IN San Diego. Throw in Orton’s return to Denver (he HAS to light it up against his old team, right?), and I was feeling like the chances were good. The Chiefs took care of business, even if Orton didn’t light it up. A 7-3 ballgame seemed like the perfect setup for the Raiders to get in. Ultimately, though, a porous defense and untimely turnovers – both Raiders staples this season – squandered away a golden opportunity. Oakland will miss the playoffs yet again, and Denver backs into the playoffs, riding a 6-22, 60 yard, 1 interception, and a fumble lost game by Tim Tebow. Sounds to me like a perfect script for a Denver upset against Pittsburgh next weekend. Too bad I wasn’t still 10 minutes from Nevada anymore!

Demarcus Cousins Demanded Trade From Sacramento Kings – This one caught me way off guard. I read the news on my phone, and quite frankly, I was many sheets to the wind at this point. The headlines, though, were crystal clear….

“Demarcus Cousins DEMANDS Trade”

“Demarcus Cousins SENT HOME For Good”

“Demarcus Cousins Has Played His LAST GAME In Sacramento”

By the time I got caught up on all the news, it was over. I just watched the Kings lose to the Grizzlies, but Cousins was back out there as if nothing ever happened. Albeit he came off the bench and played just 22 minutes, it’s amazing enough that he saw the floor at all. He struggled offensively, just 4 points on 1-5 shooting; but he grabbed 8 rebounds, including a game-high 6 offensive boards. I’m hoping it gets more back to normal in the next few games. Here’s a BIG reason why… Tonight, I was officially SOLD on Jimmer Fredette as an effective NBA player. He CAN get his shot off. He CAN create off the dribble. He CAN shoot 3’s from NBA range. OK, I suppose no one ever doubted the last one. Well to make up for that one, I’ll add that he CAN pass. Like Tyreke Evans, no one will ever be sold on him being an NBA point guard, but he can find the open man like one. So maybe two of those guys in the backcourt can equal one point guard. They’ve got another guy who can light it up with the best of them too in Marcus Thornton. If only they had a tall, quick, athletic, passing big man to round it out. Oh wait, they DO. It appears they’re on the brink of trading him though. If they end up shipping Cousins away, we’ll know it had to have been bad, because he’s a once in a decade talent, like a second coming of Chris Webber. Unfortunately, it took Webber a trade or two to really find his groove. Cousins has lasted longer in Sac than C-Webb did in Golden State, but it feels eerily similar. Who knows, maybe Demarcus gets reunited with John Wall in Washington for a few years, then he spends his prime in Oakland for the Warriors.

One Last Thought – Were there ANY College Football Bowl Games on New Year’s Day? I thought New Year’s Day was supposed to be about Bowl Games…? I swear, when I was a kid, roughly 6 of the best 7 of all 15 bowl games were on New Year’s Day. If I remember my weekend correctly (which I certainly don’t), NONE of the 35 Bowls were played on Sunday. What the HELL?! Oh well, Sunday was for BBQing. I broke out my new smoker and probably served up the best trio of Tri-Tip, Pork Loin, and Smoked Salmon this side of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, I said smoked Tri-Tip… It’s California. I can’t find a brisket to save my life out here. One day, smoked Tri-Tip is gonna be a nationwide phenomenon though. It’s gonna be the Tim Tebow of barbeque… no one thinks it can be that good, but all it does it WIN.

Doin Eastern Conference Predictions

Well, we’re a week into the season, and like I said during our Western Conference predictions, we probably wouldn’t get these ones up until a few games in. None of us follow the Eastern Conference like we follow the Pacific Division, but it’s still fun to shed some of our expertise on the OTHER conference.


1) Miami Heat – Much has been made of Lebron’s newly found post game. Sure, that might help, but what is really going to help is having a better cast around the big 3 and a full season under their belt together. Battier might not be what he was a few years ago, but he’s going to be a great glue guy and help get everyone get on the same page. Udonis Haslem wasn’t an addition, but having him healthy will be a HUGE help. I actually think not having Dampier and Big Z slowing them down on the fast break is an advantage even if they are very thin up front with only Curry’s carcass and Joel Anthony.

2) Chicago Bulls – The Bulls pretty much stood pat during the offseason, and rightfully so. The reigning MVP should get even better than he was, because he seems to do that every year. I see Boozer playing better now that he knows the team philosophies and is more comfortable with his teammates.

3) New York Knicks – I’m not sure why I believe in the Knicks after going through a crap west coast run losing to the Lakers and Warriors, but they have a possibly great player in Baron if he’s in shape. When you can get him excited about basketball in front of a good crowd, he plays well. He sucked it up on the Clippers, and when he realized how good Blake Griffin was, he started getting in shape and playing hard (which pissed Sterling off to the point he exiled him to Cleveland when Baron was playing his best ball as a Clipper). Playing with Melo and Amare in MSG will motivate Baron to be good again, and he doesn’t even need to be great, just better than Tony Douglas, which shouldn’t be hard…

4) Boston Celtics – I’m not sure I believe they’ll be the 4th best team, so that’s two picks in a row I’m not sure I should’ve made, but at the same time this team is too talented to not be in the mix in one way or another with four all-stars on the team. I really liked the addition of Brandon Bass to the roster, dude’s going to be great at keeping KG’s minutes down this year. Their biggest question always seems to be Rondo. The emotional guy who is an amazing point guard, but has no offensive game. I hope all that negative energy towards him made him work on his jumper this off-season. I don’t think the 0-3 start is anything to worry too much about.

5) Atlanta Hawks – Feels about right for the Hawks. They didn’t improve the roster with the additions of McGrady and Pargo over re-signing Crawford, but they didn’t really regress that much either. Joe Johnson’s ridiculous contract is in year two. Josh Smith is a beast, but will they move him for some idiotic reason?!?

6) Orlando Magic – Remember last year how the whole Melo trade swirling around Denver hurt them? I see something like that happening this year, but they’re still a good enough team to make the playoffs with or without Dwight for half the season.

7) Indiana Pacers – There’s a lot of people on the Pacers bandwagon. I guess I can see why since they seem to fit well together. Collison left a lot to be desired at the point last year, but with West, Granger, and Paul George breaking onto the scene they should be a stout defensive team that can also score with the best of them.

8) Philadelphia 76ers – Not completely confident in why I’m picking them, but I feel like their pieces fit pretty well like Indiana’s. They have a solid mix of veterans and youngsters, that should mesh well as the season goes along. Everyone seems high on Jrue Holiday (rightfully so), but what I like most about this team is their team defense. They have scrappy guys all over the court, and on a given night it’s a good offensive game to score 90+ on them.


1) Miami Heat – They sure look pissed. I have no reason to believe they’ll go further in this year’s playoffs than they did last, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go 61-5 in the regular season. They’re out the gates at 3-0.

2) Chicago Bulls – They pretty much return the same team that went 62-20 last year. Derrick Rose is one year deeper into his prime. The guy’s still 23. If he follows his career season trends, he ought to average 30 and 8 this year.

3) Boston Celtics – I guess I have to go Atlantic Division team if we’re predicting playoff seeds. If these are just power rankings, move them down. The Celtics clearly need Paul Pierce back, but I think they’ll be more consistent than the Knicks and beat them out by a few games.

4) Indiana Pacers – David West’s addition makes them a playoff team. I’m going out on a limb putting them at 4th, but I may as well go all the way out on that limb. They really need to improve their backcourt, but maybe this is the year Darren Collison breaks out.

5) New York Knicks – Carmelo and Amare will be playing some motivated ball this year, but their success will depend on if they can get anyone to play with them. They don’t leave a whole lot of shots for other guys. They’re pretty thin as you go down the roster. They just added Jeremy Lin, for what that’s worth.

6) Atlanta Hawks – The Hawks can’t seem to get over the hump. They’re not old, but it feels like the window is closing for some reason.

7) Milwaukee Bucks – I’m pretty much just rolling the dice on everyone staying healthy. It won’t happen, but Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, with a dialed-in Stephen Jackson would be a playoff team.

8) Orlando Magic – They’ll float around .500 for the first 2/3 of the year, then they’ll trade Dwight Howard and starting piling up the losses. They’ll back into the playoffs and get destroyed in the first round of the playoffs against Miami.

Kobe’s Divorce Meltdown

This wasn’t quite as funny as the first one this guy did on Kobe’s post game interview after being swept by the Mavs last year, but it was still pretty entertaining. You have to love that Stern steps in at the end and vetoes the divorce for basketball reasons! With the Lakers on the brink of pissing Kobe off to 2007 levels, we could have a great year of soundbites from him. I can’t wait to keep up with fake funnyordie Kobe all season long!

Doin Western Conference Predictions

As always we love to predict the top 8 seeds in each conference, and today we picked the West’s top eight. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be predicting the Eastern Conference top 8 until after the season starts because of Christmas gatherings getting in the way, but sometimes holiday obligations trump the blog!


1. Dallas Mavericks – It may be cliche, but the Mavs are the defending champs, so they’re the team to beat. They’ve always been strong in the regular season, so I see them cruising to the #1 seed. They lost Tyson Chandler and the league’s whitest Latino, Jose Juan Barea, but they also added Delonte West and the second best rebounding Kardashian, Lamar Odom. They got Vince Carter too, but I’m not too sure he’s an “addition.”

2. Los Angeles Lakers – Everyone expects them to regress a bit after losing Odom, and missing out on Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, presumably. But they still have Kobe Bryant. I’m not sure why they never address the point guard position, but I guess it’s not hard to pass the ball to Bean. I have my doubts about new head coach Mike Brown, but I think they’ll still be dominant in the regular season.

3. Seattle Supersonics – The team formerly known as the Sonics has got to be the best example of a team building through the draft ever. Durant, Westbrook, Harden, and co made tremendous strides last year, and there’s no signs of them slowing down. I expect to see Cole Aldrich in particular emerge this year.

4. Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizz were a surprise in the playoffs last year, all without top scorer Rudy Gay. They’ve lost Darrell Arthur for the year, but this team is deep. I expect breakout seasons from many of the Grizzlies’ players, including Xavier Henry, Josh Selby, Sam Young, and MCeezy lookalike, Greivis Vasquez.

5. San Antonio Spurs – The Spurs’ window is closing in many people’s eyes, due to the aging of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. But I believe that will be offset by the improvement of Dejuan Blair and Gary Neal. Gani Lawal and Kawhi Leonard are the wild cards here. If they perform, this team will be right back in the thick of things.

6. Utah Jazz – I’m going out on a limb here, but no matter who’s on the roster, the Jazz always seem to come correct. Al Jefferson and Devin Harris are an underrated duo, and Paul Millsap is a solid third option. We’re most likely going to see a breakout season from either Derrick Favors, Gordon Heyward, or Enes Kanter (if a breakout season for a rookie is even possible). I also expect a resurgence from Mehmet Okur.

7. Los Angeles Clippers – How can you not expect a successful season from the Clips, who’ve added former MVP, Chris Paul. The term “Lob City” is gaining popularity, because Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan are high flyers around the rim. They have three starting PGs in Paul, Chauncey Billups, and Eric Bledsoe. Caron Butler is the wild card here. If he can come back and regain his old form, this team could be even more successful.

8. Sacramento Kings – Call it a homer pick, but I think the Kings have a higher ceiling than the Warriors. Tyreke Evans, Demarcus Cousins, and Jimmer Fredette are a potentially lethal trio. They may take a while to gel together, but the last time there was a lockout shortened season, the Kings came out of it a playoff team, and the sky’s the limit for this young team. I’m not sure that there are enough basketballs to go around for guys like John Salmons and Marcus Thornton though. The failed physical and subsequent voided contract of Chuck Hayes hurts a bit, but they have more cap room than any other team, so I expect them to bring in another quality big man, perhaps re-signing center Samuel Dalembert.


1.  OKC Thunder – Perhaps this team isn’t quite ready to finish the season with their conference’s best record, but when I saw that clip of KD playing flag football with some local frat boys during the lockout, it catapulted my love for him to the top.  Basically, I’m really rooting for this guy and the team he plays for.  But it’s not like the Thunder finishing as the West’s top seed is very far-fetched.  This is a team that’s improved on a yearly basis, and was one Dirk Nowitzki away from a trip to the Finals.  With an explosive, athletic array of talent, and a lean, toned Kendrick Perkins, it seems to me the Thunder have all the ingredients to make a serious run at it this year.

2.  Dallas Mavericks – Losing Tyson Chandler was big, there’s no denying that.  He was the one piece missing from the Mavs during all their previous failed attempts at winning a title.  When they got him, they won.  But, picking up Lamar Odom is definitely going to take some sting off the loss of TC.  While not as long as Chandler, Odom is long enough, and everyone knows he’s a character guy who excels on the defensive end.  Basically, he’s their new Tyson Chandler.  Plus, imagine how good Dirk, Kidd and “The Jet” are going to be when they go out there with the monkey off their backs?  Dallas is playing with house money which makes them dangerous.

3.  LA Clippers – Next year, this team might be #1.  In just two pre-season games, this team showed a glimpse of how difficult it will be to defend them, and score on them.  Their starting back court might be the best defensive back court in the NBA already, and if DeAndre Jordan improves defensively, watch out!  He’s already a great shot blocker.  Chauncey might fit the 2 perfectly on this squad, and his efficiency will skyrocket with CP3 diming to him.  Speaking of CP3, he now has TWO guys who he can throw 14 feet high lobs to, and he’s already the best passer in the game.  Not fair!  Let’s just hope Blake Griffin is still suspect defensively, or else we can make it official now, we’ll see this team come late June.  I think I drooled a little just writing about the Clips.

4.  LA Lakers – I know Lakers fans are saying they’re still the toast of the town, but when you’re star seems to be entering this season at age 45 (in basketball years), your starting Power Forward has been deemed soft (again), and your young future star Center can’t stay on the floor for a season, putting them at #4 might even be a stretch.  Plus do we really believe Mike Brown can coach this team?  I haven’t even mentioned Kobe’s divorce.  Well maybe the divorce helps Kobe, as he ends up being really mad and goes ape shit on the league.  But the way he got turned back by DeAndre Jordan on an attempted dunk in the pre-season, I doubt that scenario is on the horizon.

5.  Memphis Grizzlies – Don’t know how this team will survive long term as it seems everyone was handed out huge contracts, but for the time being, the nucleus of this squad was kept intact with the re-signing of the better Gasol, Marc.  Memphis made their great playoff run last season without Rudy Gay, so naturally I would assume they’d be a better team with him, plus the gained confidence and experience from crashing last year’s post season.  With all that said, I don’t think the Grizzlies have that “guy” who can take them to the next level.  Finishing 5th in this conference is a great accomplishment for this team.

6.  San Antonio Spurs – I admire a franchise that displays loyalty to the studs that gave them glory.  So keeping perhaps the original “Big 3” of the 2000’s TD, TP & Ginobili together is a class move by them.  Too bad class does not reverse the effects of Father Time and Mother Nature.  This team is old and their glory days are long behind them.  This team is the Lakers of two years from now.

7.  Golden State Warriors – Pending the severity of Steph Curry’s injury, I (again) really like our team this season.  The Warriors have a ton of talent on the offensive end, our Achilles’ Heel has always been defending and rebounding.  But there’s something in Mark Jackson that has me believing that will finally change this season.  Hell, Andris Biedrins had 4 blocks against Sac in their final pre-season tune-up, but more importantly, he looked active and confident on both ends.  He’s been quick to a lot of offensive rebounds this pre-season.  What sets the Warriors apart this year from teams of the past, is our bench looks solid all around, and this is prior to the addition of Brandon Rush.  Once again though, this is all pending the status of Steph.

8.  Portland Trailblazers – The retiring of Brandon Roy puts a dampen feeling to not only Blazer fans, but NBA fans in general.  He is a class guy off the court, and a silky, smooth assassin on.  Luckily for the Blazers, in instances where they’ve drafted bad, or unlucky, they also drafted good and made solid off season acquisitions.  LaMarcus Aldridge has blossomed in Roy’s absence and is an All-Star in my opinion.  Who would of thunk Wes Matthews was worth every cent he got of that huge contract (thus far)?  With young studs like Nicolas Batum and the addition of veteran Point Guard Raymond Felton, the Blazers have enough fire power to finish in the Top 8 this season.  Where they go from there, is anyone’s guess.


1. Seattle Supersonics – There’s no such thing as sneaking up on anyone this year. KD, Westbrook, and Harden will continue to grow offensively, but I think the real tipping point will be the way Ibaka and Perkins can protect the rim. Ibaka showed tons of promise, and Perk was too injured to make a difference last year but will this season. I think the biggest question for these youngsters is can they handle being the target and whether their two superstars can co-exist.

2. Los Angeles Clippers – Remember when CP3 led the Hornets to the #2 seed a few years ago? Well, he won the MVP that season, and his team wasn’t nearly as talented as the Clippers team he’s currently on. I actually think with this cast, he will win the MVP this year if he can stay healthy, and will be one of the most entertaining teams in recent memory. They might need another big man to give Blake and Deandre a blow, but at every other position they’re deep, which is great in a shortened season. I just hope there’s no blown ACL for CP3 like nearly every Clippers PG goes down with.

3. Dallas Mavericks – It was interesting to watch them let Chandler walk. I’m sure they knew he wasn’t worth $60M, which is why I was kinda happy the Warriors didn’t end up with him. Odom going to Dallas was a pretty solid move for them. They also picked up Delonte West to help cope with the loss of Barea. I don’t understand why they only have one so-so center on the roster in Haywood, but this team always seems to be in the top 4 teams out west with or without a competent center.

4. Los Angeles Lakers – Another team that looks in flux. Can Andrew Bynum finally live up to his hype and stay healthy for a full season making him the second best center in the game? Doubt it, because he hasn’t ever done it. The worrysome part for the Lakers is their bench. They lost Odom in one of the worst trades ever, and didn’t find anyone that is worthy of replacing what he does. This team has almost declined enough to bump them out of the top 4, but not quite yet.

5. San Antonio Spurs – This might be a bad pick putting them this low since they were the #1 seed in the West last year. That being said, they didn’t really inject much youth into this aging roster. Tim Duncan might be healthier than he was last year, but we’ve seen him on the decline for quite some time. Will Tony Parker ever get traded? Seems strange they got rid of George Hill, and kept the older, more expensive declining Parker.

6. Memphis Grizzlies – There seems to be an uproar on Rudy Gay coming back and actually hurting this team. How can getting an All-Star back in the lineup hurt your team?!? Do Grizzly fans actually think Tony Allen is better option than Gay? There’s noway I understand that logic. I see Conley and Gasol taking steps forward, and this team is pretty young so that will help in those triple headers during the season.

7. Denver Nuggets – There’s only one reason I’m taking the Nuggets to make the playoffs and that’s because they are so deep even with some guys still hanging out in China. They played really good down the stretch last year after they sent Melo packing, and also dealt with Coach Karl’s medical conditions. That shows me there really is a team feeling going on in the locker room. Nobody really plays a lot more than 20-25 minutes on a given night, which is going to be a good thing with the upcoming compacted schedule.

8. Portland Trailblazers – There’s tons of bad news out of Blazers camp with Brandon Roy retiring, Oden missing nearly all their games (shocking), and Lamarcus Aldridge suffering some strange heart problem. That being said, this team always seems to overcome and sqeak their way into the playoffs. Felton and Crawford seem like solid additions to Wallace, Aldridge, and Matthews trio.

Best Plays of 2011

I’m sure there’s going to be a bunch of these types of videos as New Year’s approaches, but this one was the first that I deemed post worthy. Sure, they missed some highlights here and there, but overall it showed us a lot of our favorite moments from this past year of sports. The one’s I would’ve like to see added to it you ask? At least one Jimmer from another area code shot, and something from that final day of the MLB regular season, Dan Johnson’s homer perhaps!?!

RFP Of The Day: Lawrence Moten

Who remembers this guy? Unless you’re a Syracuse, or perhaps a Big East fan, you probably don’t. He certainly didn’t have a very spectacular pro career, though I suppose he wasn’t really expected to. Despite leaving Syracuse as the Big East’s all-time leading scorer, Moten didn’t exactly have an NBA frame. Then again, that’s probably why I liked him so much. I can’t help but root for the lanky, skinny guys, and Moten was one of them. He’s listed at a gangly 6’5″, 185 lbs. Add to that, he rocked the long socks that I was always so fond of. He ended up getting drafted in the second round by the Vancouver Grizzlies. He spent two unimpressive years north of the border, and then played his third and final NBA season in Washington. He scored 9 points in 8 games that year. Moten was one of those guys who had game like nobody else, but just didn’t have the size to continue his success on the NBA hardwood. Looking back, his career actually reminds me a lot of Quincy Douby, who caught my eye at Rutgers when I saw him torch Moten’s alma mater. He lit up the Orange for 40+ points, but he too, played only three years in the NBA, before fizzling out with Toronto. Last I saw Douby, he had broken his wrist playing over in China. Last I saw Douby in REAL LIFE, he was walking down Market Street in San Francisco wearing his OWN jersey circa 2006. Oddly enough, no one recognized him except me. Though, the same could be said for John Wall yesterday. The lockout must be hitting the players hard, because Wall was flying Southwest with me from Las Vegas to Sacramento, but managed to fly, literally, under the radar.

David Stern “Locked Out” Rap

The radio station 95.7 in the Bay Area is a station I’ve listened to quite a bit since they were created. Plus, they are the only station that actually incorporates the A’s into their discussions, and they actually talk about the Raiders quite a bit too. The afternoon hosts were talking about this video they made with Stern rapping. I had to check it out, and have to think you’ll enjoy it too!

Stern’s Tarnished Legacy

I’ve never been a big fan of David Stern, and the recent lockout just gave me more reasons to dislike the man who fixes games, covers up referee scandals, and fines/suspends players for dumb reasons. Did he expand the game globally? Yes, in a ton of ways he did, but if there’s a good prospect somewhere, teams will find said player one way or another in the ever shrinking youtube filled world. Why should I care if a bunch of people in Europe or Asia are watching NBA games? Truth is, I don’t give a rats ass! What has Stern done for me as an American NBA fan? Looking back, not a whole lot. Did he give us Jordan, Bird, or Magic? Nope, those guys would’ve been around whether he held his position or not. Did he ever fix the referee problem? No, he still has the same 90-year-old dudes out there calling a game that is faster than a video game. Did he over-expand the league? Yes. Did he allow crappy human beings to buy the teams when other possible owners would have been better for the league? Yes. Has he had two work stoppages during the past 15 years? Yes, and for the record even baseball hasn’t seen that happen. I guess we’ll see if the NBA has a finals or not, but this could be more damaging than the MLB’s 94-95 missed WS…

Over 10 years in the league and Kahn still looks confused.

Stern became the commish in 1984, then four short years later expanded the league by adding the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat. A year later he added the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic. Then in a stroke of genius, six years later (95′) he added the Vancouver Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors in a meager attempt to get Canadians to like hoops like they love hockey. That’s like getting Europeans to watch the NFL over soccer, just won’t ever happen. Then last but not least, he added the Bobcats in 2004. Two teams in Charlotte sin’t a typo, it’s a reality that he doesn’t know where a worthy place to start a franchise is. What do all these teams have in common? Two distinct things. One, they nearly all are run by the “hardline” owners we keep hearing about in our current stalemate of a CBA negotiation. Two, all these teams were put in cities that have little means of supporting a team when that said team sucks. Lets be real, if any of these teams are run like the Clippers or Knicks were over the last decade there’s noway they would turn a profit in the cities they’re currently in. Which is the point, don’t we want owners to be motivated to make their teams better? I suffered through years of Chris Cohan leading the Warriors to losing seasons, and because we were in a big market that still filled the building, nothing dramatically changed within the organization, because Cohan was still making money. Wouldn’t it be better for the league if owners like Kahn and Jordan actually had to try and build a good team to get fans in their arena? They talk about competitive balance all the time, but why don’t they ever talk about teams that don’t even attempt to be competitive? I feel like there should be some kind of push for contraction of teams that have a losing record for more than a decade. How much more excitement would that season bring having a team on the brink of contraction? Remember the save our Sonics season? That sure got a lot of fans in the building, for different reasons, but still. Bringing in these teams has done nothing to help the league “grow”. Miami isn’t even a “true” big market, yet they are one of the only teams that has done well financially. Maybe it was having two of the best players in the league playing half their games there. Even with that, they can’t even fill the building regularly, and sell out more of their road games than their home games.

Which brings us to the lockouts on Sterns’ watch.  The good ol’ asterisk season of 98-99. We got 50 games due to a lockout shortened season, and saw a lot of fat out of shape players. Maybe if they got a deal done before January, those guys wouldn’t have been so out of shape after getting their holiday grub on. Either way, I see it as a major failure that Stern couldn’t find a way to get the owners and players on the same page. They saw the popularity of the NBA dramatically decline in ticket sales, and viewers, how is that a good thing for owners? Sure, this last season was stronger than any season in recent memory with a plethora of young stars on the rise, but that all means nothing if they lose a season. Even my grandpa was into it last year, and he hated basketball for the longest time! I have a hard time seeing him coming back to basketball if the lockout makes for a missed full season.

What are you the commissioner of if you don’t actually have a league? Now, were in our second lockout under Sterns watch as a commissioner, and I’ve yet to see how he’s helped out with getting the games going again in any fashion. Instead Stern is passing the time by throwing out threats, and trying to pull one over on the players while he treats them like kids. Am I on the players side? Not so much, but I’m not into what Stern did with his ultimatums and consistently undercutting the players, which may have pushed them to not accept a deal when they were really close to agreeing to it. It’s no secret the players don’t like Stern, but he isn’t helping the players desire to accept a deal. I get it, he’s there for the owners, but at some point you have to try to show the owners that the players have some rights too, and instead of giving ultimatums and threats give them a sense of what is in the deal, and why it’s good for them. In any negotiation, nobody wants to get told what to do. Maybe we need Rodger Goodell to be the NFL and NBA commissioner. At least he can make it so both sides feel like they get a win. All along Stern knew they were going to miss games, all along he never really tried to get a decent deal for the players. All along I’ve despised every move Stern he’s made, and yesterday was just another sad example of a guy who doesn’t seem to have the agenda of the best interests of the league. Stern isn’t the only one to blame in all of this, but I feel if they (Stern and owners) showed the urgency they had over the last month by sending numerous proposals to the players during the summer we wouldn’t be in the “nuclear winter” state. Stern and the owners played the waiting game, and now he is paying for it with another HUGE black mark on his record as commissioner. When we got to see how swift and competent the NFL was in their lockout this summer, you can’t help but wonder, what the hell was the commish thinking!?!

Jeremy Lin Teaches You How to Get in Harvard

The Warriors Jeremy Lin is a fan favorite in the Bay Area to no surprise somewhat because of his ethnicity. I think the part that got me the most excited during this video was the Latrell Sprewell poster hanging in his room, but overall it was entertaing.

Coming Soon: “Unguarded” Chris Herren Documentary On ESPN 30 For 30

Not many people outside of Massachusetts know the story of Chris Herren. I never knew who he was until he came out to California. After things failed to work out for him at Boston College, Herren transferred to Fresno State. At the time, I was fully enthralled with Jerry Tarkanian’s ability to recruit NBA talent to little Fresno State. Now, what many people don’t know is that Fresno is a fairly large city. At 400,000+ residents, it’s about the same size as Oakland or Sacramento, just without suburbs. So, as one of the largest cities in the nation without a major league sports team, it’s a pretty rabid fanbase to have such a popular figure like Tark running the basketball program. He was bringing in guys like Rafer Alston, Tremaine Fowlkes, Terrence Roberson, and Herren, followed by guys like Melvin Ely, Courtney Alexander, and Chris Jefferies. Some went on to succeed in the NBA, some didn’t. But few suffered as far a fall from grace and promise as Chris Herren did. Most people don’t even know who the guy was. I can’t wait to see the full story tomorrow night

NBA Fundraising Video

No posts on the lockout for two months, then BAM, two in a row! Pretty solid video showing how most people feel about the lockout. As in, who cares what the deal is in the end just get out of our face with the media BS, and make the damn deal. I don’t want to pay to see charity games, I want to see the Warriors take on the best of the Western Conference.

The NBA: Where Amazing Lockout Info-graphs Happen

I haven’t written a word about the NBA lockout. This poster was a good timeline of the events that have gone down so far. I keep hoping they come to an agreement, yet deep down don’t really believe they will. If only the NBA owners could’ve done something as stupid as the NFL owners did with signing TV deals that got them paid whether the games were played or not, but no such luck. They seem to be in a strong position, and the players seem to just have to take the deal their offered if they want to play ball this year. Anyways, I find it ridiculous that the players think they’ll be happy overseas. I’ve done my fair share of travelling, and think it’s funny they would consider overseas a legitamate option. First off, if you go to a game in China, there’s smoking allowed in the arena. That factor alone would make it harder to play. Second, they won’t get paid as much even if they are stars, and donning the Shanghai Sharks jersey won’t exactly give the players as much pride as wearing their NBA teams jersey. Honestly, I have no idea when or if this season will ever start/happen, but I know the players and owners are retarded for waiting so long to step up the urgency of these meetings. It’s like they didn’t really even start caring and meeting eachother until October started, which is pathetic. When they did meet they were only there for 6 hours!?! Yeah, they must be trying hard if they can’t even put in an 8 hour workday… If you haven’t read Bill Simmons two articles on the lockout, I recommend them if you have some time to kill and want to understand it better, because he’s quite long winded, but very on point… Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2. Oh and this was a great piece by Whitlock as well.

Blake’s Internship

First and foremost I'd like to apologize to BG for saying he'd never be my mancrush because he was way to robotic in interviews. I guess he was figuring out the whole being in the NBA thing so much that he probably wasn't too worried about what people like me thought of his interviews. He turned me when he was on the Norm McDonald show, and I couldn't stop laughing at the skit. Shortly after the lockout he said he was going to do an internship with funny or die, so naturally I expected the type of gold we were given on the Norm McDonald show, but since his announcement of his internship he hasn't appeared on one sketch in over a month, until today. It's not my favorite video, but the ending gave me a smile, and had a mild spoof of HBO's 24/7 boxing series.

For some reason this video is impossible to embed into the post today, so here's the link...