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Doin Work Mailbag

Welcome to the first installment of the Doin Work Mailbag. Some of these go pretty far back, since we haven’t published any e-mail feedback to this point. You’ll be surprised at some of the letters we got….

Dear Doin Work,

I don’t caer for yor coments about me. I never listen to crittics. Oviusly you didn’t wach any of owr games. I’m the onley one out there playin good. You try throwin ta guys named Chaz, Louis, and Jonnie Lee. Shoot, I can’t even see past my center’s hair. Plus, the ofensiv line is teribel. As soon as I can get out of Oakland, you’ll see. I’ll be wining. A lot. You probbably see me holding a mvp trophey one day.

-Jamarcus Russell

First off, allow me to apologize. We didn’t want to make it look like you didn’t bring value to the team. You give fans something to cheer for – like, when you get hurt or yanked out of the game. You also keep things interesting. We love going into a game against a team like the Chiefs or Browns knowing that we could very well get shut out. We also love the fact that you could be replaced by a backup QB and we could beat any team in the league.

Dear Doin Work,

I really don’t appreciate your use of my likeness as the Joker in your Doin Lines feature. Was this supposed to be a subtle reference to my overdose? I don’t remember doing any cocaine that night, if that’s what you’re getting at. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but I swear, mate, if you put up a picture of Jake Gyllenhal and I the next time a pro athlete comes out of the closet, that’ll be the 10th thing I hate about you. You don’t wanna see that!

-Heath Ledger

Don’t worry, Heath. I’m sure that wasn’t the reason Chappy put your picture up. I think it had something to do with New Year’s, and how the Joker gassed up the Gotham City NYE celebration. Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

Dear Doin Work,

Thanks for posting Brass Bonanza on Christmas Eve! It’s still the greatest sports song of all time. We may not have the Whalers anymore, but there’ll always be NHL 94 on Sega!

-Greg R. Hartford, CT

Greg, you don’t have to tell us twice! Brass Bonanza will live on for eternity with such classics as NBA on NBC and Rock and Roll Part 2.

Dear Doin Work,

Don’t blame me for “spoiling” USC basketball. I didn’t do anything wrong. Money was on the table, I took it. No one would do anything different – ask Stephen Jackson. Whatever, SC got what they deserved. I don’t care if they have to forfeit wins or postseason appearances. I was never a Trojan. I just wanted to play my one year of college ball in LA and move on.

-OJ Mayo

You’re right, and let’s face it, anything to keep eyes off the football team is a good thing.

Dear Doin Work,

What’s up with all the Tyreke Evans hype? Everybody knows Brandon Jennings will be the rookie of the year. He scored 55 points in a game! What’s Tyreke’s season high? It definitely wasn’t 55. He also has a lot more help on his team with great players like Sean May and Andres Nocioni. Brandon Jennings has no one, yet he scored 55 points in a game! It’s called the rookie of the year award, not rookie on the most surprising team of the year. Did I mention Jennings scored 55 in a game?!

-Jake R. Waukesha, WI

Perhaps we’re biased living on the West Coast, but Tyreke Evans has been having a more consistent, more impressive year. If Evans fails to notch a 55 point game, though, the award is all Jennings’.

Dear Doin Work,

I heard you wrote about me “having fun in Charlotte.” I tried to read the article, but when I picked up my laptop, I fumbled it off my foot and it went out of bounds.

-Stephen Jackson

Understandable. If you get it back though, just shoot it. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way.

Dear Doin Work,

Please take down the video of me blocking Kobe’s dunk attempt. True, it was a most beautiful block, but Kobe is the best player in the game. By posting this video, you are devaluing the game of basketball. I hope you will reconsider this practice in the future. Until then, go Lakers Warriors!

-Ronny Turiaf

First off, let me just say I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of ‘Movie Time with Ronny’ on Warriors Weekly. Your analysis of The Hangover was fantastic. If I hadn’t seen it already, I surely would’ve rushed to Blockbuster to pick it up. I never would’ve guessed it was “very funny.” As for the video we posted, some of us are Warriors fans. We know you’re still a Laker at heart, but I’ve spent the last few years cheering against you, first at Gonzaga, then in Los Angeles. You wear a Warriors jersey and you blocked Kobe Bryant. We’re going to show that no matter what.

Dear MCeezy,

I’m sorry to hear about your frustration with Xbox. I can’t say that I’m sorry, because I really have nothing to do with that. However, you may be happy to know you can still play great games on your PC. It looks like you are running Windows 7, a fine choice. If you have any other questions, feel free to respond to this email via Microsoft Word, the best word processor available. How come there are no posts about the Seattle Sonics on your page?

-Bill Gates

Don’t worry about it Bill. I crafted a beautiful chart of my experience with Xbox on Microsoft Excel, then exported it to Microsoft Access for review. I’m just putting some finishing touches on it in Microsoft Publisher and I’ll show it to you once I set up my Microsoft Outlook. As for Sonics news, just search Kevin Durant and you’ll find plenty of mention of the Sonics.

Dear Doin Work,

Hey Brah, I really hope you weren’t making fun of us with the cross country snowboarding vid. Skootching a serious sport man.

-Tyler F. Kings Beach, CA

Not at all….. Not at all.


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NBA Early Season MVP Rankings

1. Lebron James (66 pts)

This race is nowhere near decided. In fact, it’s barely getting started. Lebron only got one first place vote from our panel, but coming in at the top based on our points system just shows that we all agreed he’s one of the frontrunners. As is the case with all superstars, the Cavs have been trying to surround Lebron with quality talent to compete for a championship. Nonetheless, it’s still a one-man show, as James is accounting for about 30% of his team’s scoring. After starting 0-2, the Cavs have rung up 13 of their last 16, placing them at the top of the Central, and Lebron at the top of our list.

2. Steve Nash (65 pts)

Nash is back to his form that he won his back to back MVP awards with! Even more impressive, is how well his team is playing! They look like contenders again with Nash leading them to a 14-4 record! He’s averaging nearly 12 assists per game, and is the best on-court offensive general of this era.

3. Kobe Bryant (64 pts)

Interesting that Kobe fell behind Nash in our voting, alas at such an early stage of the season I might not begrudge it. Nash has the underrated Suns playing at a high level, while Kobe is doing what he has done for years, on a team that is suppose to win every game they play. Having said that, it’s hard to argue with the numbers Kobe is putting up. Through December 2nd his 28 pts, 5 brds, and 4 assists are extremely impressive. And his early November stretch of three 41 point games in four games was an early warning shot to the rest of the league he intends to grab his second MVP award.

4. Carmelo Anthony (62 pts)

Melo, seems to have kicked his habit of showing up two out of every three games. Maybe he finally realized that they NEED him every game and he is the main key to their success. If he can keep from having those down games and continues to play D, he should be in the MVP conversation at the end of the season.

5. Paul Pierce (54 pts)

Pierce has been Mr. Everything for the Celtics, and has been the superstar of the team. He’s shown that he can single handedly win games for them, and he knows when to take a back seat to let the others make plays. The question for him is, will his age catch up to him later in the season?

6. Dwyane Wade (48 pts)

Miami has cooled off since their hot start, and they’ll struggle to keep up with Atlanta and Orlando in the Southeast, but it’s no secret who’s running the show. They still have a respectable 10-7 record at the moment, and it’s no wonder where they’d be without D-Wade dropping 27, 5, and 5 each night.

7. Dirk Nowitzki (46 pts)

I’ve got to say Dirk is being screwed here at the 7th spot. Boiling it straight down to numbers, Dirk is averaging 27 points, 9 boards, and 3 assists a night. Factor in his 88% FT and 47% FG and he is making a massive impact on a surging 13-5 Mavericks team. I’m pissed… forget the rest of what I was going to write.

8. Joe Johnson (45 pts)

Atlanta has been taking steps forward each season, and this year looks like they might finally be on the brink of contention. They aren’t quite mentioned with the likes of the Lakers, Celtics, and Cavs, but they’re nipping at their heels. The Hawks are one of the more balanced teams, with huge contributions from Josh Smith, Al Horford, and Jamal Crawford, but this is still Joe Johnson’s team. He could probably afford to cut down his 3 point attempts, but the sky is the limit for this team. If they’re in the thick of things come April, Joe could very well find himself getting a handful of second and third place votes.

9. Kevin Durant (39 pts)

KD made his leap into the fantasy elite last season, and now is poised to make MVP runs regularly as he continues to improve his game. He’s a better version of Dirk in my mind, and has a lot more room to grow. I don’t see him winning the award this year, but as the Sonics, I mean Thunder get better he will surely be a candidate!

10. Deron Williams (22 pts)

Trailing only Steve Nash DWill is having himself a special season out in Utah. He’s very close to averaging 20 and 10, and if you round up, that’s exactly what he is. He’s helped make Boozer turn back into a superstar, and looks to make the Jazz a force come playoff time!

11. Brandon Roy (15 pts)

Has Portland keeping pace (2 games back) with division leader Denver. Plays 37 minutes/night while carrying Greg Oden around so he doesn’t hurt himself.

12. Josh Smith (11 pts)

Finally stopped jacking up threes and is blocking more shots instead.

13. Chris Bosh (9 pts)

He’ll get more love if Toronto’s record improves – or he makes more Youtube videos.

14. Dwight Howard (9 pts)

Probably should be a little higher, but collective effort in Orlando has taken away from his shine.

15. Tyreke Evans (8 pts)

A lot more likely to win the ROY than MVP, but he’s the primary reason for the NBA’s biggest surprise team in Sacramento (9-8)

16. Trevor Ariza (5 pts)

Like the Kings, the Rockets were supposed to struggle. Instead, Ariza is dropping 18 per game and leading the Rockets to an impressive start.

17. Brandon Jennings (4 pts)

Had the world in his hands after his 55 point outing, but his scoring, and the Bucks record, has been sliding of late.

18. Carlos Boozer (3 pts)

Back to his old form, averaging 20 and 10, just in time for a contract year.

19. Vince Carter  (1 pt)

Averaging 20 ppg, but jacking up wayyyyyy too many shots. Pass it to Rashard, Vince.

20. Rajon Rondo (0.5 pts)

Easily the most debated spot on our list. Rondo gets the nod over Kidd for being a better PG on a great team.


Two Man Race for NBA Rookie of the Year

Perhaps many would disagree with the headline. After his 55 point performance against the Warriors, Brandon Jennings had some signing, sealing, and delivering their ballots for Rookie of the Year. Combine his ridiculous 25.3 ppg and 5.5 apg – which apparently is Michael Jordan / Oscar Robertson territory for rookies – with Milwaukee’s 8-3 record, and Jennings does, in fact, look like the easy favorite. However, we can’t reasonably expect Jennings to keep up the pace he’s started off on. At the time of writing, he’s just 6-21 for 12 points against the Spurs, in what, barring a miracle, will be Milwaukee’s fourth loss.

Lost in all this, though, is the other candidate. While Jennings grabs all the headlines, Tyreke Evans is putting his own team on his back. His averages of 18 pts and 5 ast obviously are inferior to Jennings, but keep in mind Evans scored single digits in two of his first four games, which given the smaller amount of games played in the early going, are sure to go up. That was with Kevin Martin in the lineup though. Once Martin opted for surgery that would keep him out of action for two months, Evans realized the Kings’ were HIS team. He’s responded with SEVEN consecutive 20+ point games, including a high of 32 against the Jazz en route to a big road victory in Salt Lake. While Jennings has hit the ground running, Evans took a few games to find his footing, but has clearly established himself as the second candidate for the award. I’m not saying he’ll win it, but he’ll be right in the mix when all’s said and done.


Doin Work 2009 NBA Mock Draft

Maybe it’s no coincidence that the NBA Draft falls on June 25th this year, which happens to be my birthday. Since I’ll be getting crushed at a bar Thursday with my iPhone out, watching each pick unfold, and then going home and watching it again on DVR I figured I might as well come up with a mock draft. So, let’s get started………

blake-griffinLos Angeles (Clippers) #1 Blake Griffin: What can we say about this pick? Nothing really, it’s the brain dead easy choice in a parity driven draft. What we’ll be writing about it in a few years is anybody’s guess, especially with the Clippers landing the golden ticket. My hunch, Griffin is a three or four time all-star by the time his career is over. If he can achieve that in a Clippers uniform, then this is the best thing to happen to the organization since Don Sterling died….wait……never mind.

NCAA San Diego Connecticut BasketballMemphis #2 Hasheem Thabeet: Speaking of the Clippers, I think the Grizzlies are the “New Clippers” of the NBA if that makes any sense. After GIVING away Paul Gasol last year, you have to wonder what motives this team has to field a quality product. Anyhow, the front line is the worst in the NBA, and the Grizz haven’t had any success with their other Spanish players (Gasol & Navarro), touching another doesn’t seem plausible. Thabeet and his 153lbs shot blocking force seems like the easy pick here.

rickyrubioOklahoma City #3 Ricky Rubio: Who knows what happens here. Sam Presti is a genius, and will take in every scenario before pulling the trigger on anything. The back court is young, dynamic, and flexible. Rubio seems to fit the mold of an upside-rich player who will have time to grow as the team continues to build over the next few years. Side Note: a trade here is very possible for a team that may have an offer which includes a veteran and salary cap relief.

33817685_Nike_Hoop_SummitSacramento #4 Tyreke Evans: “It was a man beating up boys.” Strong words coming out of Sacramento…especially with the likes of Flynn and Curry he was apparently dropping whoop ass on. Evans strikes me as the type of player who gets drafted with little hype and immediately kills it in the NBA, leaving everybody saying “why the hell didn’t we see this coming.” I love this pick much more for the Kings, who don’t seem to have a situation that allows Rubio to mold his game into NBA form in the near term. Kings fans should be happy if this pick pans out.

harden3Washington #5 James Harden: First things first, Washington trades this pick. But for simplicity (and because I’m not a wordsmith like Bill Simmons) we’ll just select Harden. I don’t have much to say about Harden….I’m totally at a loss after his NCAA Tournament showing, and I can’t shake his final game from my mind. I’m guessing the Wizards can’t either to be honest. His overall skills and ability can’t be argued however, and he makes a nice addition to the Wizards back court. Nick Young may not be the long term answer at SG anyhow.

*Nov 21 - 00:05*Minnesota #6 Jonny Flynn: Flynn has been making waves in pre-draft work outs, and I can’t see him slipping very far. He may not be the best fit for Minnesota, but I think he has convinced enough GM’s that letting him slide would be at their own risk.  He’s a ballsy East Coast point guard, who has the skills and moxy to step right in and be a leader. No other PG is on the table with so few questions (ie. holiday, Jennings).

amd_stephencurryGolden State #7 Stephan Curry: Cloudy times in Golden State, with Larry Riley taking over the helm for Chris Mullen in the front office, and Monta Ellis apparently speaking out that he wants to be the lone ranger at point guard or risk demanding a trade. If the Warriors were to take the easy way out, Jordan Hill from Arizona slides in here. But this is Golden State we’re talking about!! Despite Curry refusing to schedule work outs with the Warriors, his leverage to avoid getting drafted here is nil. Tons of buzz, deadly outside shooting, and an identical player to Ellis makes drafting him impossible to pass up for the always entertaining Golden State Warriors (oh and his gun slinging tendencies make Nelly want to break out another twelver of bud light).

jrueholidayNew York #8 Jrue Holiday: I’m not sure who is more distraught here: Stephan Curry or the Knicks! Having said that, New York must immediately shift there focus to the remaining young point guards left on the board. Despite Holiday’s struggles at UCLA, he showed flashes of amazing skill, and it became obvious later in the season that Ben Howland’s system was reining in Holiday far too much. The fast pace, open floor offense of D’Antoni’s makes Holiday a better choice then Brandon Jennings, who lacks some of the physical attributes of Jrue. Not an ideal situation for the Knicks, but still a solid upside pick nonetheless.

demar-derozan-deuxToronto #9 DeMar DeRozan: With Anthony Parker and Shawn Marion approaching free agency in July, addressing the wing position seems like the most realistic direction. Let’s assume Parker re-signs, and Marion walks shall we? Bringing in an offensive scorer at the two guard spot seems ideal, and DeRozan looks like a pretty good fit. His overall game is still extremely raw, but no other pick really jumps out here. An outside chance exists that the Raptors take Jordan Hill instead based on just the value of his slide, but not likely.

brandon-jennings-u-of-aMilwaukee #10 Brandon Jennings: Ramon Sessions is a free agent this summer, and Luke Ridnour is not the answer in a full time role. Brandon Jennings is a great fit here, especially if Sessions bolts for more money elsewhere. Milwaukee would also be a low key franchise for Jennings to play as he adapts to the NBA. Although his struggles overseas were well documented, he may posses some of the greatest upside and flash in the draft. Picking him on the back end of the lottery is a low risk situation for the Bucks, and a great fit for Jennings.

jordanhill2_mediumNew Jersey #11 Jordan Hill: Rod Thorn, the Net’s GM has been very public in his desire to draft a forward and get a bruiser in the process. I’m not sure Hill qualifies as any sort of enforcer at the NBA level, but his skills and size certainly outweigh  the other limitations of say Tyler Hansbourgh. Hill and Lopez would actually be a solid young core at center and power forward, on both sides of the ball. This could be back to back draft coups for New Jersey if Hill in facts slips this far.

terrence_williams_80236187Charlotte #12 Terence Williams: I have to site my sources on this one. After reading Chad Ford’s intel on his buzz page over at ESPN I’ve gone ahead and taken this pick from him (hell the man get’s paid to know his shit right?). I’ve had Gerald Henderson slotted here from the day he announced he was entering the draft. In fact I’ve had any player from Duke or North Carolina in this year’s draft here as well for back up. Apparently much has changed in the last week, and Williams has impressed everybody in Charlotte with his workouts and interviews. With rumors flying that Gerald Wallace is on the trading block, Williams maybe an ideal replacement, and makes more sense over Henderson who comes with questions marks.

TP_262134_CASS_acc11_12Indiana #13 Ty Lawson: Unless somebody out of the blue falls to Indiana, the Pacers have said there looking to draft a point guard. Although Jeff Teague and Eric Maynor may have some more desirable upside, you can’t match the hard nosed, winning background of Lawson. He brings solid ability and ball handling, and an impressive resume of winning at the college level. He may not have some of the athletic flash NBA scouts covet, but you’re also not drafting a bust here either. Long term stability, and a productive NBA player isn’t a bad get at 13.

gerald-hendersonPhoenix #14 Gerald Henderson: Ugh, I’m not sure what Phoenix does here to be honest. There are a million different places that they can go, including the chance they move up the draft board or trade out of the first round entirely in a deal that includes Shaq getting shipped out town at the same time. If Phoenix is set on drafting completely on upside, Austin Daye from Gonzaga seems logical in the Sun’s system. In the end I think Henderson gets the nod, but nothing surprises me at this point if the Suns go a different direction.