I just wanted to wish all you boys and ghouls out there a very happy Halloween. I promise I'll respond to any questions and comments left in today's Worst of the Night post. However, my replies might be slightly delayed due to extreme Halloweening. But here's a treat for one and all: A picture of yours truly in this year's Captain Jack Sparrow costume. Many thanks to Tim for providing the photo...and for loaning me his girlfriend's lap for the duration of the picture-taking. I'm not sure I could stand under my own power at that point. (I guess I should probably thank Milica too. And I promise, dear girl, that was my flintlock poking you. And "flintlock" isn't some naughty euphemism. It's just a fancy term for "pirate gun." Which, itself, isn't a naughty euphemism either.) In related news: Why is the rum always gone? I just don't get it.

"Uhm, why's the room crooked? Oh. That's why the rum's always gone."

Oh, and here's a shot of Timmy (dressed as an...Evil Space Cowboy?) with our very own Evil Ted. ET is a little, ahem, obsessed with the Joker (The Dark Knight version) right now. Can you tell?

Hey, Evil Ted. WHY...SO...SERIOUS?!

Labels: , , , , , ,

"Forever's gonna start tonight, baby."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Emeka Okafor: See above. Get a room, ladies.

The Associated Press: From last night's game recap: "Branded a one-man team in the past, the Cavaliers showed they can survive without their superstar." Uhm, yeah...against the Bobcats. The Charlotte Bobcats.

In all fairness, it wasn't just the AP. Zydrunas Ilgauskas was also really excited the Cavs could handle the Bobcats while LeBron was getting a long breather in the fourth quarter. "It was kind of weird seeing LeBron on the bench. We got away with it, and if we can do that it will only help us and help his career." Wait. Did I fall into a coma and wake up at a time when the Bobcats are actually good? That didn't happen, did it?

More from LeBron. "We had a lot of guys contribute and I got a lot of rest. Coach believes in our roster and I believe in our roster. I don’t have to average 42 minutes like I have in the past because of our depth." IT WAS THE BOBCATS, PEOPLE! They didn't even win a game during the exhibition season. Calm down. Seriously.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Ugh. Just...ugh.

Raymond Felton: Going 1-for-10 will always earn you a place in WotN. Congratulations!

Sean May: His long awaited return was...kinda sad, actually: 2 points on 0-for-6 shooting in 15 minutes. Three of his shots were blocked. Speaking of which...

Thanks to Basketbawful reader Garron for the video.

Linton Johnson: Brett from Queen City Hoops brought Johnson's line to my attention: 10 minutes, 1 foul, and zero-for-everything-else. Regarding this, Brett said: " I know he is not supposed to be scoring much, he was signed to bring some defensive intensity to a Bobcats squad lacking in it. Yeah, when he was on the court the Cavs scored 166.7 points per 100 possessions, as compared to 110.3 overall. Tough defense. I love supporting the Bobcats." If this keeps up, Basketbawful might have a new mascot.


Mike Fratello: Near the beginning of last night's Rockets-Mavericks game, the Czar of the Telestrator chuckled smugly and assured us that Josh Howard was probably in for a rough night, what with Ron Artest guarding him and all. Well, Josh struggled so badly that he scored 28 points (on 11-for-19 shooting), grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists without committing a single turnover. So, you know, good call, Mike.

(By the way, I remember thinking last season: "When was the last time Ron Artest really shut out an uber-talented offensive player?" I mean, he still plays aggressive defense, but is he still a lock-down defender? I'd have to go back and check the box scores, but it always seemed like the scorers usually got their numbers against him, and Kobe flat-out lit him up a couple times. I'm going to keep my eye on this as the season goes on...)

Yao Ming: He was great last night -- 30 points (11-for-15), 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocked shots -- but two things bothered me. First, he didn't win the opening tip. I was like, "Whaaaaa...?!" How in the name of Lincoln's wart does a nine-foot man lose the tip to Erick Dampier? I mean, Damp was never one of the great leapers, and I'm not sure I've seen him actually leave the ground since '06. Shouldn't Yao be able to just stand there with his arms raised and win the tip against pretty much anybody? Then...there was this...

Stuffed by the rim, Yao? Really?! That would be like me getting my shot sent back by the Jordan Jammer. Again, a man who is nine feet tall should not have these problems. It makes no sense.

DeSagana Diop: I openly scoffed at all the people who said that Dallas had made a critical error by including Diop in the Jason Kidd trade. He was too valuable, they said, for defense and rebounding. Some even said he was the Mavs' Center of the Futures (TM). Am I the only person who sees Diop for the awkward stiff he is? Well, me and the Nets, because they sure didn't want anything to do with him when his contract expired over the summer. But the Mavericks tried to redress their "mistake" by re-signing Diop in the offseason. There reward for such amazing forward thinking will be many nights like last night, when he contributed zero points and one foul committed for each rebound grabbed (3 of each) in 11 lackluster minutes. Oh, and his defense was so great that Yao was shooting over him like he wasn't even there. And, really, he might as well not have been.

Jerry Stackhouse: Stack (2 points, 1-for-6, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover, 1 foul in almost 18 minutes) is D-U-N.

Reputation calls: In the fourth quarter, Josh Howard elbowed Yao Ming. Naturally, they got in each others' faces and Ron Artest rushed in to play peacemaker. Of couse, Ron-Ron got T'd up. Not cool. But on the upside, that proved to be a relationship building moment for Yao and Artest. The big guy defended Artest to the officials, and after the game he said: "Ron's a very good teammate. That happened once in the preseason and he did the same thing. He's trying to help a teammate, sacrificing himself." Has Artest finally grown up? I'll be keeping my eye on that this season as well...


The Phoenix Suns' handles: I once participated in a basketball drill where we had to work on ball handling and precision passing while wearing big, thick mittens. As you can probably guess, it's nearly impossible. Anyway, I'd like to pretend that's what the Suns were doing last night. They committed 24 turnovers that were converted into 21 points for the Hornets. Steve Nash was the primary culprit with 7 turnovers.

The Suns in the first seven minutes of the second quarter: Let's see...1-of-7 shooting and seven turnovers. No wonder they fell so far behind. Did somebody spike their Gatorade during the first quarter break or something?

Leandro Barbosa: The line: 2 points, 1-for-6 from the field, 0-for-5 from downtown, 2 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers and 3 fouls in 21 minutes. It makes me sad that somebody so young, quick and talented can be so ineffective. It's the same kind of disappoint I feel when my pet monkey just sits there eating bananas instead of picking his nose or comically scratching his butt.

Robin Lopez: It was a rough night for Bozo the Rookie. He played one minute and 35 seconds, contributing zero points, zero rebounds, 1 turnover and 3 fouls. That's impact! The way accidentally setting your own pants on fire is "impact." By the way, that happened to my friend Dave D. once. He was goofing around with a pack of wooden matches when one he had just lit popped out of his hand and dropped under the table. We all just assumed it went out, but maybe half a minute later we smelled smoke: The match had lit the frayed edges of his pant cuffs. Fortunately, the fire was quickly extinguished and nobody was hurt. That kind of stuff always happens to Double D. Once, I swear, a wasp flew down the the neck of his shirt, then, when he yanked it open so the wasp could fly out the bottom, it went down his pants. Some people just have bad luck. He's one of them.

Mike James: The Hornets are good, there's no question about that. But they are not deep. That's their "Walton's foot." (By the way, I've decided that "Walton's foot" is going to replace "Achilles’ heel" in all future posts.) Yeah, they beat the Suns last night. But Terry Porter is clearly working hard on establishing a 10-man rotation. Trust me, that's going to make Phoenix better in the long run. The Hornets? They could very well run out of gas by the time the playoffs roll around. Chris Paul played 38 minutes last night while his backup, Mike James, put in about nine and a half minutes of -- you guessed it! -- lack-tion: Zero points, 0-for-2, 2 rebounds, and zero assists. Yeah. You'll might also notice that while CP3 had 10 assists, the rest of the buzzing bugs produced only 6...and 4 of those belonged to David West.

The New Orleans defense: Before you get all excited about those 24 forced turnovers -- most of which were the result of poor and misguided "passes" by the Suns -- keep in mind that Phoenix shot 54 percent from the field.

Update! Kobe Bryant: Oops. Almost forgot. Thanks for the reminder, Yams. Last night, Kobe spent the night collecting a huge pile of rocks to hand out to Trick-Or-Treaters tonight. He also took a few hours to complete his costume, which is make of real, living human flesh.

Update! Rec League losers: From Basketbawful reader Trev: "I got a Worst for the Night for you, even though it doesn't involve the NBA. Last night in our Rec League game, 3 of our 4 top guys for whatever reasons decided not to show up, leaving us with 4 guys. Me (29 and about 65 pounds over my high school, read prime, playing weight) 2 guys in their mid-30's and our 2nd best player overall, an actual real-life baller. Up against a team with not only the 5 starters that are usually a given but also 2 bench players (all of which where younger than me by the way). Anyway it's decided by the powers that be that we will play 4 on 5 and all was going as you would expect with team cinco going up by 15 at one point, but the old guys cut it to 8 by the half and then open the second half on something like a 16 to 2 run to not only improbably catch team cinco but actually take a 6 point lead. We held onto win by 4. How humiliated would you be to let a team with only 4 players hang around let alone beat you? Pretty bad right? Wrong!! Team cinco was talking trash THE ENTIRE GAME even though they had one extra guy on the court and where losing!! They even complained about an injury time out when one of our four got a bloody nose taking a charge. If that doesn't get a Worst of the Night I don't know what does."

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting...

Note: Thanks to Matt E. for the pic.

The Sixers' defense: Ruh roh, Raggy. As a team, Philly must have suffered damage to the part of the brain that tells the hand to get in the face of open shooters. (I think it's the parietal lobe, right?) The Raptors nearly started a wildfire with their three-point sniping (almost 63 percent from downtown) and they also got a number of uncontested buckets at the rim. Said Elton Brand: "It's disappointing. There's (game) tape in the background and I see these layups they got. It hurts." It might hurt a little less, Elton, if you contributed some blocked shots, Elton. Speaking of which...

Elton Brand: He had 14 points and 13 rebounds, but it took him 14 shots and six free throw attempts to get those points. He also turned the ball over 4 times without registering an assist. He suffered more blocked shots (1) than he doled out (0), and he committed 4 fouls. Quite the debut.

Theo Ratliff: Damn you, Theo. You just had to block a shot and ruin your four trillion, didn't you?

Philly fans: They were excited about the World Series. I get that. But I'm guessing the Sixers weren't exactly inspired by the fact that half of their arena was empty and the half that wasn't was rooting loudly for a baseball team. It would be like if the midget I pay to cheer me on during sex was raving about his favorite NASCAR driver or something.

Andrea Bargnani: Mr. Former Number One Draft Pick scored zero points (0-for-4) in almost 20 minutes. But at least he didn't commit any turnovers!

Update! Toronto's first quarter rebounding: From Basketbawful reader Colin: "Although I'm a Raptors fan, they have to be on there for WotN. From Doug Smith's Toronto Raptors in-game blog: 'We're just told by Media Relations czar Jim LaBumbard that the 22 rebounds that Toronto gave up in the first quarter equal the most given up in any quarter ever. So, we've seen history! Lucky us.' 22 rebounds? In the first quarter? Double-you-tee-eff?" Good thing they dealt for "big man" Jermaine O'Neal, huh?

Royal Ivey: He's on Philly's active roster, but he was ineligible to play last night (and Friday against the Knicks). Why, you ask? Because dude is still serving the three game suspension he received for punching Aaron Gray in the groin last season. Maybe you remember it...

Foul shooting in the Hawks-Magic game: Ugh. Atlanta missed 13 and Orlando missed 10. But, in all fairness to the Magic, Dwight Howard accounted for 7 of their misses. Speaking of which...

Dwight Howard: I could easily rag on Hedo (5-for-17) or Rashard (5-for-12, 6 fouls), but Superman not only missed all those 'throws, he also committed 4 turnovers and had his junk stuffed four times. Oh, and he almost fouled out. Kinda takes the shine off that 22 and 15, doesn't it?

J.J. Redick: Last week, I read an exited article about how J.J. was finally ready to break into Stan Van's rotation and actually contribute. Well, uhm, didn't happen last night: 2 points, 0-for-4 shooting, 1 rebound, zero assists, and 1 turnover in nearly 19 minutes of lack-tion. Don't worry, J.J. They saved your spot on the bench for you.

Mario West: He finally got some significant PT! For him, anyway. A whole two minutes and 48 seconds. Sadly, the only thing he managed to do was block a shot. He did have a +/- score of +8, though, which means he was more productive than Al Horford. Yay for Mario!

Mike Woodson, quote machine: "When you're on the road you have to come out and try to establish yourself and not get hit in the mouth."

Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison: Caron shto 3-for-11 and committed 4 turnovers, while Jamison shot 6-for-18 and grabbed only 3 rebounds...two fewer than the Nets' Devin Harris. I should also mention that Antawn was 1-for-8 from downtown. Dude, at some point you've gotta stop shooting them, feel me?

The Miami Heat: Oooooo. They got seduced into playing Mike D'Antoni's style, and they paid for it. Six Knicks dropped double-figures on them, and Chris Duhon was 1 point short of making it seven. The two teams combined to attempt almost 200 shots and nearly 50 freethrows. It's like D'Antoni's mere presence creates a giant No-Defense bubble that can only be punctured by the Spurs.

The Associated Press: Basketbawful reader barry drew my attention to this gem from the Heat-Knicks writeup: "And [the Knicks] did it without former coach Isiah Thomas' two prized acquisitions, Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry. D'Antoni kept both former starters on the bench, ignoring rather loud chants of 'We want Steph! We want Steph!' late in the third quarter." I might frame that paragraph and put it up in my bathroom.

Stephon Marbury, quote machine: "He should do whatever he feels he should do. I can't control what he does. He's the coach. If this is what it is, I mean there's always next year." Yeah, because what exactly is going to change between now and then? I seriously doubt somebody's going to hire Isiah to GM again.

Eddy Curry: It seems Baby Shaq was a little upset about his benching. Seems Curry spent the fourth quarter in the training room icing a sore right knee. How do you hurt your knee on the bench? I guess he must have been sitting in an uncomfortable position. "I want to stay here. I'm happy in New York. I just think it'll take some work, but I'm happy staying," said Eddy through what I'm assuming were gritted teeth. (Also, apparently Eddy hurt his knee in a "collision during practice." Which might become my new catch-all euphemism for when a player gets benched for arguing with his coach.

Kwame Brown: Mr. I Was Also Picked Number One Overall In The Draft played just a shade over three minutes in his Pistons debut, scoring zero points on 0-for-2 shooting and grabbing no rebounds. I think we should tattoo FAIL on his left butt cheek. We should also do that to Michael Jordan for drafting this stiff.

Kevin Love: Huhn...12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, 2 blocked shots, and by far the hightest +/- score on the team (+20). All in only 18 minutes! Not bad, rook. So why is he in Worst of the Night? Because if Love keeps playing like this, he's going to win Rookie of the Year and cost us a season's worth of Kevin McHale jokes.

Randy Wittman, quote machine: "Kevin Love played great for his first game as a rookie." Thanks, coach. Couldn't have figured that out without you.

Shaq: Remember how The Big Grumpy got all persnickety a couple weeks ago about Gregg Popovich's decision to Hack-A-Shaq him during last year's first round Suns-Spurs series? Well, Pops gave Diesel a little dose of it only seconds into last night's game. Note the look of complete and utter confusion on Shaq's face. It's like somebody asked him to spell thromboembolism or something. As for Popovich? Best thumbs up ever.

I should point out, though, that Pops did use the Hack-A-Shaq for real later in the game. But when Ime Udoka went to foul the Daddy, Shaq used his left arm to send Ime to the floor...just like swatting a fly.

Update! Shaq, quote machine: As noted, San Antonio went to the Hack-A-Shaq, for the final 97 seconds of the first half. But Shaq somewhat defied the strategy by going 5-for-8, after which he said: "You may win a game or two using a mathematical strategy, but in the long run it will never work." Right. And "a game or two" would never effect the outcome of a playoff series, would it, Shaq? Thanks to andrei for supplying the quotage.

O.J. Mayo: He helped make Kevin McHale look like a genius by scoring 10 points on 20 shots and notching more TOs (3) than assists (2). He was also 0-for-7 from Threeland and had the second-worst +/- score on his team (-15).

Quinton Ross: From Basketbawful reader Zimmerman: "Just wanted to ensure that Quintin Ross gets due credit for registering an 8 trillion and thereby matching the rest of the Grizzlies squad for 3 pointers made." Consider the credit given. Amusingly enough, Ross still had a butter +/- score (+2) than any of the Memphis starters. As for that three-point marksmanship...

The Grizzlies' three-point shooting: A gak-inducing 0-for-13. Where's Antoine Walker when you need him?!

People getting too excited about the Rockets: Look, people. They scored an 11-point home win over a truly dreadful Memphis squad. Yet I swear somebody on ESPN declared the "Ron Artest experiment" a "total success" last night. Oooookay, if you say so...

The whole Grizzlies-Rockets game: Zimmerman correctly dubbed this game a "festival of fail" and even Artest said "It was ugly." Both teams shot in the 30s: Memphis hit 38 percent (31-for-81) of their shots while Houston hit only 36 percent (28-for-76) of theirs. Both teams also registered more turnovers than assists: The Griz were 11/16 and the Rockets were 10/12. It was one of those slow-it-down, slog-it-out affairs that made me wonder if Houston had reinstated Jeff Van Gundy as the coach.

The Denver Nuggets: The Jazz were forced to start Ronnie Price in place of the injured Deron Williams, and Price spit in Jerry Sloan's face by shooting 1-for-9. Note also that the Jazz had only 4 assists in the first quarter, and none of them were dished out by a guard. Thanks, Ronnie. But the Nuggets couldn't take advantage of Utah's vulnerability. Most likely because of...

Carmelo Anthony: 'Melo couldn't play because he was serving the first of a two-game suspension from a DUI arrest over the summer. Wag of the finger, Carmelo. Wag of the finger.

Juwan Howard: Yes! He's still alive and playing for the Nuggets! Technically speaking, anyway. He spent seven minutes on the court last night and managed 1 lonely rebound and was zero-for-everything-else. But, you know, there's no way to measure what he gave the team in Veteran Leadership (TM).

Los Angeles Clippers: GOD. They were spanked so badly by the Lakers last night -- 117-79 -- that I think we should seriously consider moving them out of L.A. How does "The Gerber-Las Flores Clippers" sound to you? I think it has quite the nice ring to it. And I know what you're thinking, Baron, and the answer is: Nope, you cannot go back to the Warriors. Sorry, no takebacks.

Ricky Davis: He had more assists (6) than shot attempts (5). So I guess it's time to go check his basement for Body Snatcher pods...who's with me? Anyone? Bueller?

Update! Baron Davis, team leader: From Basketbawful reader Wild Yams: "This is probably WOTN-worthy as well: After the 38-point loss to the Lakers last night, the LA Times is reporting that Baron Davis held a closed door players only meeting with the rest of the Clippers. Has that ever happened following a team's home opener before? It's a bit early in the year to go to that isn't it?" Indeed it is. Even Baron seemed a little embarrassed about it afterward. From the same article: "I mean, no, it was kind of a get-together," Davis said, fumbling out the words. "It wasn't really like no team meeting, nothing special like that. It was just an understanding that that's a winning team over there." Uh huh.

Update! Baron Davis, quote machine: "All of the credit goes to them for smacking us upside the head that first game,. In the end, we're going to be able to look back at this game and thank the Lakers for this." YES SIR! MAY I HAVE ANOTHER, SIR!

Kobe Bryant: My sources tell me that the Dark Lord has completed construction of his very own Imperial Death Star. After successfully testing it last night against the hapless Clippers, Kobe was quoted as saying: "Fear will keep the other divisions in line. Fear of this battle station. And of my new nickname: The Doberman! Rarf! Rrrrrrarf!!"

Scot Pollard: This is a day late, but hey, Scot. You're a real class act. I hope Kevin Garnett kicked your ass for this.

Yes, Scot. We all know you're number one at sucking.

Update! Scot Pollard, interviewee: More from Wild Yams: "Does anyone have the video of the Scott Pollard 'interview' from the Celtics-Cavs game the other day? I say 'interview' because it was essentially a TNT sideline reporter sitting next to him and talking about his championship ring for maybe 30 seconds or so, and then right as Pollard started to say something they cut the interview off and went back to the game. You could practically feel the sideline reporter shooting him a 'shut up and just show off the ring, dummy' look." You're absolutely right. And here's the video. (What the hell is up with Craig's finger nail?!)

Adam Morrison: Ugh. More horrifying pictures of Adam Morrison have surfaced. Here he is in the middle of his Britney Spears moment. More on this cut-tastrophe at Bobcats Baseline.


Labels: , , , ,

He's so gangsta, I feel like I just got shot in the face.

Note: Thanks to Basketbawful reader Anfernee for the picture. Pure awesome.

LeBron James: In his own words, LeBron has "improved five times than I was in Game 7 of the Boston series." We already knew his grasp of the English language was a little shaky. Now we know his math skills are off as well. Bron-Bron's numbers were decent -- 22 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists -- but he shot only 9-for-21, went 0-for-4 from downtown, missed four free throws, had three turnovers and committed four personal fouls. He was also repeatedly burned on defense by Paul Pierce (27 points, 10-for-19), who kept walking around James like he'd been turned to stone.

Mo Williams: Instant offense? Yes. Any defense? No. Unless his five fouls count as "defense."

J.J. Hickson: The rook lost his spot in the rotation to Lorenzen Wright and registered a DNP-CD. Saaaaad trombone.

The Cavs-Celts' three-point shooting: Build da' house! These teams combined to shoot 6-for-29. And the peeps not named Williams (3-for-5) and Pierce (2-for-4) were 1-for-20. Gak.

Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett: Ray-Ray shot 2-for-9 from the field, 1-for-4 from Threeland, and had 4 turnovers to only 1 assist. KG shot 5-for-15 for his 11 points (which was equaled by Big Baby) and grabbed only 6 rebounds (only one more than Rajon Rondo). Good thing Leon Ka-Powe and Tony Allen bailed them out.

Glen Davis: Dude actually looks fatter than last year. How is that even possible? Glen, I have two words for you: Jenny Craig.

Boston's first-half defense: They gave up 50 points, mostly because their rotations were confused and sloppy, and they couldn't stay in front of anybody. They did clamp down in the second half, though, limiting the Cavs to only 35 points.

Update! Boston's freethrow shooting: Oops. Almost forgot about this, but Basketbawful reader Garron reminded me. "You HAVE to mention the Celtics' free throw shooting. I got floor tickets to the game, and man was it a crap show. Stats will show the celtics offense was lame in the first half. It kind of was with Ray Allen and KG clanging everything. But the reason they were behind? Free throws. It got so bad that even Ray Allen missed his first one." In all, the C's missed 3 'throws last night, with Rondo (four misses), KG (three) and Pierce (also three) being the main culprits.

Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Reggie Miller: They got all giddy and stuff about how deep Cleveland is because several of their bench players -- Varejao, Gibson, Szczerbiak and Pavlovic -- used to start. But, uh, guys...there are reasons they aren't starting now, you know? Kudos, though, to Fratello for calling out Reggie's insightful report on how the Celtic and Cavalier coaching staffs want their teams to run more this season. As Fratello noted, every team talks about running more during the preseason. It just rarely happens.

Brian Scalabrine: Wow. Reminds me of the time I got a free t-shirt because one of my buddies managed to finish off an eight-pound steak without throwing up.

Chicago television stations: Imagine my surprise last night when I flipped over to WGN to watch the Bulls game and was greeted by an airing of the new Beverly Hills 90120. A quick scan through the Comcast guide showed that the game wasn't on any of the other local stations either. So Derrick Rose's first regular season game doesn't rate a local broadcast? Really? Thank Zeus for League Pass. Update! At least one reader was able to watch the game on WGN. What happened to me, then? God, I hate Comcast...

The Milwaukee Bucks' defense: Let's see...the Bulls shot almost 51 percent from the field and nearly 42 percent from downtown. They also grabbed 40 rebounds (14 on the offensive end) and dished out 27 assists. Oh, and they shot 44 [!!] free throws. Scott Skiles, not surprisingly, was vexed. "We were a step slow and we were slapping at people. Pretty much, every category they owned." No kidding. A stern and disapproving look would have been more effective at stopping Chicago than the "defense" Milwaukee played.

Andrew Bogut: The line: 9 points, 7 rebounds, zero assists, 3 turnovers, 1 block, and 4 fouls in 25 minutes. Not exactly what the Bucks had in mind when they decided to pay him a bajillion dollars over the summer. Basketbawful's "Bogut Watch" has officially begun.

Andres Nocioni: Ugh. Only 7 points, 1-for-3 shooting and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes. On a night when everbody else on the team was en fuego. Not a good sign. What happened to this guy? It's like he signed that 5-year, $38 million dollar contract extension last year and then forgot how to...oh, right.

Greg Oden: First pro game: 12 minutes, zero points, 0-for-4, 5 rebounds, zero assists, 2 turnovers, 1 block, 2 fouls. Oh, and one injury. SAD FACE.


According to Oden, the injury -- currently listed as a "sprained foot" -- occurred when he landed on Derek Fisher's foot while going after a rebound. Only Fisher said: "I don't remember a 7-footer on my foot." So what happened? According to ESPN's J.A. Adande: "Replays indicate that Oden landed with the weight on the front of his foot, then perhaps his heel hit the top of Fisher's foot, then Oden's foot twisted to the right, after Fisher had moved away."

Uh oh. X-rays taken during the third quarter were inconclusive, and Oden is scheduled to have an MRI exam today in Portland. But, as Bill Walton might tell you, the description of the injury could be...well, one of several things. Let's hope for the best.

Channing Frye: He put together a stellar box score horror of zero points on 0-for-7 shooting (0-for-3 on threes) and 4 fouls in 17 minutes. Then, he made it sound like the potential of losing Oden (again) was no big deal. Said Frye: "If [Oden's] hurt, that's part of basketball. We just moved on. Joel's not chopped liver." No offense to Joel Przybilla -- we know he's a Vanilla Godzilla and all that -- but he does NOT equal Greg Oden. (Although, to be fair, he's been a much better pro so far than Greg. So what I should have said is "He does not equal Oden's potential.)

The Portland Trail Blazers: How badly did they get spanked by the Lakers? Let me put it this way: Chris Mihm was revived and sent into the game. LaMarcus Aldridge described Oden as "unsure...scared" and that was before the injury. Aldridge continued by saying: "I don't think he was really scared, but everyone was passive. I can say for myself I think my whole mentality was to play off Greg, which is a different mentality I possessed from last year, so I felt like I was playing passive, as well." Channing Frye, who's on the verge of becoming a quote machine, said: "They disrupted our offense and threw a wrench in our whole system." Which is a slightly nicer way of saying "We sucked."

Lamar Odom: His, ahem, creative passing has been well-documented on this site. And last night, he struck again. As Basketbawful reader Freeman put it: "Hope you were watching the Lakers-Blazers game in order to catch Lamar Odom make a whirling move into the paint only to throw it to Sasha Vujacic who was standing there with his warmups on." Seriously, Lamar. Get off the ganj, okay? Here's the clip.

And Phil Jackson called Vladimir Radmanovic a space cadet...

Luke Walton: He was relegated to garbage time...only two minutes and 43 seconds of a blowout. He missed his only shot and finished with zero points and 1 assist. But don't worry, Laker fans. Only five more years and $25 million and this guys is totally off the books!

Kobe Bryant: This has nothing to do with what happened on the court and everything to do with something he did off the court. My sources tell me he sent a Terminator back in time to prevent Michael Jordan from being born. The plan failed thanks to the fact that Jordan caught wind of the plan and sent Charles Oakley to intercept and kick the Terminator's robot ass -- and he did. But still, it just goes to show that Kobe will do literally anything to usurp MJ's legacy.

Badass? Yes. But no match for The Oak.


Morrison 2

From Basketbawful reader Dunpizzle, via Ball Don't Lie, via Bobcats.com. Some investigative journalism uncovered the following fact: Nobody knows why Adam went all buzzcut. All I know is that I feel like a friend died.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Well...Boston was a nice place...

I was a little, shall we say, confused by a statement LeBron made in the preview for tonight's Cavs-Celtics game: "I know I've improved five times than I was in Game 7 of the Boston series."

Forget the clumsy sentence structure -- the kid didn't go to college, after all -- and let's concentrate on the math instead. Five times better than this game, LeBron? Really?! Well I, for one, cannot wait to watch King James drop a 225-point, 25-rebound, 30-assist bomb on the greater Boston area. (I do mean a metaphorical bomb, by the way.) Still, I can't help but wonder how LeBron could have possibly gotten so much better during the offseason. Especially since he couldn't even win a game of HORSE against a 26-year-old warehouse worker during that time.

Tomorrow: Worst of the Night returns!

Labels: , , ,

Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer are often referred to as the second coming of John Stockton and Karl Malone. This, however, is an intellectually irresponsible claim for a couple reasons. The first being that Boozer, unlike Malone, has not yet killed a man with his elbows. (So far as we know.) And while Stockton was brilliant in the field of point guardology, he was rather humorless and robotic. (And I just know somewhere a robot is saying, "Oh, come on. BZZZT! I'm not that boring. ZZZZZT! NOW DIE FLESHBAG!") Deron Williams, though? Pretty funny. For instance, do you think Johnny Short-shorts would have made a commercial like this?

Here's the follow up, with a surprise cameo by Jerry Sloan.

Okay, so he's a little sensitive about how he smells.

Plus he's particular about his personal space.

And it seems that he only clowns on his own terms.

Labels: , , , , ,


Over the years, several readers have requested an easier way to navigate Basketbawful's growing collection of Words of the Day. So, starting today, I'm collecting all 200-some of them into a series of dictionary-style posts. Once that's finished, I'll put a link to each post into the sidebar. And, because I'm just oh-so-giving, I'll update the posts every time I create a new Word of the Day. Now, without further ado, let's begin...

1994 Knicks/Rockets Finals
7-11 defense

letter a
"Almost" Team
And one!
"And whoever else you want to name..."
atom smasher

Letter b
bailout call
Black Hole
boo birds
butcher shop
butt slap

Letter c
calorie cap
Calvin Murphy
Camera of Shame
cap killer
Catch-and-Shoot 22
championship piggyback
cheater's proof
chronological snobbery
circus shot
Clark Kent job
Contract Year Phenomenon

Labels: ,


My epic NBA season preview spectacular on Deadspin is still silently stalking the upcoming basketball season the way Jason Voorhees hunts down large-breasted camp counselors. Only my previews offer a sightly better surival rate. But don't run up the stairs or hide in the basement! Your very life -- and my page view bonus -- may very well depend on it.

Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers
Portland Trailblazers
Sacramento Kings
Toronto Raptors

Also, in continuing coordinated conjunction with CelticsBlog, here are the previews for the Southeast Division. And hey, it looks like I wasn't the only sucker brave soul willing to preview the Hawks...

atl.gif cha.gif mia.gif orl_medium.gifwas.gif

Atlanta Hawks
Matt McHale: Basketbawful
Hoopinion: Peachtree Hoops

Charlotte Bobcats
BrettL: Queen City Hoops
Ziggy: BobcatsPlanet

Miami Heat
Darren Heitner: SportsAgentBlog.com
Gregory Broome: The Peninsula is Mightier

Orlando Magic
Ben: Third Quarter Collapse

Washington Wizards
Rashad: Hoops Addict
HoopsAvenue: HoopsAvenue
Mike Prada: Bullets Forever
Truth: Truth About It Dot Net

Labels: , ,

Mister Softee
Now serving Luol Deng on a stick!

Ever hear of Mister Softee? According to Wikipedia, it is "a United States-based ice cream truck franchisor popular in the Northeast. It is the largest franchisor of soft ice cream in the United States." And they have such a delightful jingle: "The creamiest, dreamiest soft ice cream, you get from Mister Softee. For a refreshing delight supreme, look for Mister Softee. Milkshakes and my sundaes and cones are such a treat, listen for my store on wheels, ding-a-ling down the street. For a refreshing delight supreme, Look for Mister Softee. S-O-F-T Double 'E', Mister Softee!" And if that doesn't make you scream for ice cream, then you live in a cold and empty world.

Anyway, as you probably know, many Wiki entries have an "In Popular Culture" section, and Mister Softee's page is no different. (For instance, A Mister Softee truck driven by Gail (Catherine O'Hara) was a key device in the Martin Scorsese film After Hours. Fascinating.) The basketball connection -- and I know that's is important to many of you -- was this item: "Mister Softee is also a reference for the Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng, who is one of the softest players in the NBA." Ouch. Sorry, Luol. It is kinda true, though...

Thanks to Detroit Murder Dog (real name folks) for the tip.

Labels: , , ,

Despite the fact that some people think he's a [derogatory term for penis], Boston's Bill Walker is a brush fire fightin' hero! Or...is he? From Basketbawful reader Mark L.: "I saw your post about Bill Walker and thought it was pretty funny. I went to his Web site and found that he had one of those Google news things that look for keywords and he had his own name in. Needless to say the news box was loaded with his exploits. I kept getting a mental image of Ron Artest getting between that firefighter and the brushfire out of habit."


The only thing missing is a link to the story about how he helped an old lady across a busy street while simultaneously rescuing a kitten from a tree, holding off an alien invasion and avoiding a banana peel that had been comically dropped in his path.

Labels: , ,

Generally speaking, I try to avoid political discussions on this site. But John Stewart is freaking brilliant, and this vignette cracked me up.

Labels: , , ,

karma call
Got one? Seriously?! Buddha does not approve, my friend.

karma call (kahr'-muh kahl) noun. Describes those occasions during a pickup basketball game in which someone makes an iffy call simply because they feel it is owed to them due to one or more "bad" calls made previously by a player (or players) on the opposing team. This is the pickup equivalent of the makeup call.

Usage example: I know I didn't travel, but that guy was making a karma call.

Word trivia: Most veteran pickup ballers are intimately familiar with indignant rants like this: "Aw, come on, man. That call was bullsh*t. Well, fine. We get the next one, then." And make no mistake, when somebody makes a statement like that, they mean it, and a cheesy call will usually follow within the next five minutes.

Take last night, for instance. Someone on my team seemingly knocked the ball out of bounds. However, he called a foul, claiming his defender had whacked his hand. Now, that's where things should have ended, because -- in a perfect pickup world -- people are supposed to respect the call that was made. But the other team didn't respect it, not one bit, and the guy I was matched up against said, "Oh yeah? We got next call." About three or four possessions later, somebody partially deflected a pass to me and I had to battle for possession with a couple opposing players before finally gaining control of the ball. My guy immediately called traveling on me and made a determined beeline to the other end of the court. It was obviously a bogus call, but he wouldn't back down. I walked up to him and said, "You know that was a crap call, right?" He just said, "You guys got your call. That's ours."

What made the situation even more pathetic than it already would have been was that this guy's team was already up by double-digits -- yeah, it was just one of those nights -- and he was still getting all pissy about a call he didn't agree with...which wasn't even made against him and had no impact whatsoever on the game, by the way. And he used to play NCAA Division I ball for a major university. I figured he'd have a little more class than that.

Anyway, it's your standard "two wrongs make a right" logical fallacy. And I just don't get it. If you're against bad calls, then making a bad call in your own defense isn't going to change anything. It only perpetuates the "bad call" system by actually encouraging calls that are made out of spite and a sense of entitlement. Here's a lesson everybody should take to heart, no matter what level they play at: You earn a call. They aren't owed to you.

Further reading: Embarrassment call.

Labels: , , ,

Magic 2

My NBA season preview extravaganza on Deadspin keeps rolling on, like a giant boulder tumbling down a long hill and, like, smashing people and houses and stuff. Don't defy its power. Click the links.

New York Knicks
Oklahoma City Thunder
Orlando Magic
Phoenix Suns

And, in association with CelticsBlog, here are the Northwest Division previews.

den.gif min.gif por.gif uth.gif

Denver Nuggets
Jeremy: Pickaxe and Roll
Nick Sclafani: The Nugg Doctor

Minnesota Timberwolves
Derek Hanson & Staff: TWolves Blog
Andrew Thell: Empty the Bench
wyn: Canis Hoopus

Oklahoma City
xphoenix87: BallerBlogger
Zorgon: Blue Blitz
Royce: The Thunderworld

Portland Trail Blazers
Mookie: ...a stern warning
Benjamin Golliver: Blazers Edge
Coup and SJ: Rip City Project

Utah Jazz
UtesFan89: The Utah Jazz
Basketball John: SLC Dunk

Labels: , , ,

You know how ESPN.com provides current headlines and links on their NBA player pages? Well, take a peek at what recently popped up on Bill Walker's player profile...

Bill Walker
Somebody better adjust that automated headline retrieval application...

This wasn't some amazing feat of computer hackery, either: It was a link to a real article:

"Former Kansas State Wildcat Bill Walker is making a name for himself in the NBA as a dick. The Boston Celtics rookie acts like a punk throughout this three-minute video. He tangles with all-stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets, and McGrady knocks Walker on his ass. Walker apparently didn't learn his lesson. Later in the video, he starts pushing Ming, and riot-starter Ron Artest actually plays peacemaker. Nice, Walker. You actually made Artest appear angelic."
And in case you haven't seen the video being referenced, here it is:

Thanks to Basketbawful reader Mark for the head's up and the screen shot.

Labels: , , ,

By now, most (if not all) of you are probably familiar with how London street ball legend Stuart Tanner recently "hustled" Devin Harris in an abbreviated game of one-on-one. But here's the video anyway. I may never get tired of watching it.

This now-famous smack down has been explained in detail on Basketball 24/7 by Stu's brother Greg, who insists that they weren't hustling anybody. They were there to cover a court dedication ceremony for their site. That's why Stuart was wearing a sweater and jeans. What a dirty trickster, huh?

What should Tanner have done differently? Introduce himself? "Hello, Mr. Harris. I am London street ball legend Stuart Tanner. I once beat Tony Delk in one-on-one!" The fact is, Harris hustled himself. He saw a nondescript white dude dressed like he was on his way to a bar called something like The Yacht Club or The Uppity Scotsman and immediately assumed he could beat the guy. Easily. And he probably would have thought the same thing even if Tanner had been decked out in AND 1 gear and gold chains. (Maybe even more so.)

It's hard to fault Harris, because he probably had a 99.9 percent chance of being right. Still, this kind of thing isn't limited to showdowns between NBA players and street ballers. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me, usually when I'm just shooting around or running drills at my gym. (Yes, I run drills.) The scenario is almost always the same: A young black man challenges me to one-on-one. He plays rather casually in the first game and loses badly. He ups the intensity in the second game, but still loses. This cycle continues until he becomes angry and/or disgusted and leaves. And I would estimate that I have been accused of a hustle in 60 to 70 percent of these situations.

So...white guys aren't supposed to be able to play? That fact that I'm pretty good (for an amateur baller) constitutes a hustle?

Here's an example. A few years ago, a guy challenged me to one-on-one and I won in a route (something like 11-3). He then announced rather loudly -- so that the other people in the gym could hear -- that he only played "serious" if money was involved. It wasn't the first time somebody had wanted to play me for money. Normally, I turn these challenges down, but on that day, I accepted because his attitude really got to me. (You know how it is when somebody's looking at you like you're some kind of lower life form.) "Fine," I said. "Ten bucks." He tried to get me up the bet, but I refused. Finally, he smiled reeeeeally wide and said, " You're on."

I beat him 11-5, and two of his points came off one of those garbage banked threes from the top of the key (if you've played a lot of pickup ball, you know what I'm talking about). He was pissed. He stomped off the court to go to the drinking fountain, then stomped back onto the court and paced around for a few minutes with his hands on his hips. Finally, he turned to me and said, "Let's go again. Double or nothing." I not only agreed, I said that, for me to win, I would have to hold him scoreless.

"You're gonna beat me 11-0? Seriously?" He laughed and called me a sucker. But I beat him 11-zip in what turned out to be an incredibly physical game. Bruises were given and received. He did not request a rematch, so I followed him to the locker room to collect my $20. And, to his credit, he paid up. Grudgingly, but he did it. However, as I was walking away, he said (to no one in particular), "Damn! I just got hustled by a white dude!"

You'd think I was the one who challenged him.

Mind you, I'm not trying to make this a black versus white thing. I've received similar challenges from white guys, including this one dude I like to call "Fat Shaq." One night we played over and over because he insisted he was not leaving until he won a game. He even kept modifying the rules to his advantage -- one game had to be played exclusively in the paint -- and couldn't win. And after all that he called me a "hustler."

But that's life in pickup ball. I've talked about it before. People make immediate assumptions about how good or bad someone is based on physical appearance. There's definitely a Hierarchy of Presumed Ability, with black men at the top, white men in the middle, and various other ethnicities (Asian, Indian, etc.) at the bottom. Although, admittedly, there are adjustments based on size. (It is widely assumed that tall guys and muscular guys will be really good. But, in my experience, the really muscular guys are almost never any good...although they seem to believe they're better than everybody because they look like the Hulk.)

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on about these things, but this is what I think we should take from Tanner versus Harris: Tall, short, black, white, young, old, basketball is all about playing the game. Never make assumptions.

Labels: , ,

It's baaaaaaack! Hotter, harder and more unintentionally gay than ever! Thanks to faithful reader Sun Devil for this money shot of Nicolas Batum - whom I understand is French - saying a groinal hello to Anthony Randolph.

more man love

Randolph was, apparently, so traumatized that he had to do the same thing to poor Earl Watson. Man, Nike should create a marketing campaign out of pictures like these. Oh, wait a minute...

more more man love

Labels: , , , ,


This is my entry for the 2008-2009 blogger preview series organized by CelticsBlog. You can get the full list and schedule of previews here. Note that I offered to preview whichever team no one else wanted to preview. This is that team...

Team Name: The Atlanta Hawks (a.k.a. Atlanta's Air Force!)

Last Year's Record: Finished 37-45, third in the Southeast Division and eighth in the East.

Key Loss: Josh "The Greek Benedict Arnold" Childress (only he's not really Greek)

(Sort of) Key Additions: Maurice Evans, Flip "4 Ur Luv" Murray, Randolph Morris, Othello Hunter

1. What significant moves were made during the offseason? Josh Smith -- the team's second-leading scorer (17.2) and rebounder (8.2) -- re-signed for $58 million over the summer. (But only after signing an offer sheet to play with the Memphis Grizzlies.) Maurice Evans was brought in to replace Josh Childress. (Good luck with that, guys.) The Hawks also tried to add some front court depth with the acquisitions of Randolph Morris and Othello Hunter. (The key word here being "tried.")

2. What are the team's biggest strengths? Their starting five of Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, Marvin Williams, Smith and Al Horford is solid (particularly in the East). And Bibby -- whose "sore thumb" is fully healed -- has now been through training camp with his 'mates and should be fully integrated into Mike Woodson's offensive and defensive schemes. This should lead to improved chemistry, especially with backcourt buddy Joe Johnson, and hopefully a general improvement in team defense (which definitely de-improved after Bibs was acquired last February). They're an "energy" team that can push the tempo and crash the offensive boards. They play really tough at home, where some actual fans were sighted last season, along with at least one Bigfoot. (However, one or both sightings might have been a hoax.) Their confidence is sky high after the way they "pushed" the Celtics in the first round of last year's playoffs.

3. What are the team's biggest weaknesses? Losing Josh Childress will affect the Hawks both on the basketball court and [insert Bill Walton voice here] on the court of the mind. Smith might still be a little bitter over how his contract negotiations were handled. (He had to sign an offer sheet with the Grizzlies for God's sake.) Their bench is about as deep as a puddle on a 98-degree day. Offensively, they're very inconsistent due to their "on again, off again" running game and streaky jump shooting. (Johnson, the team's leading scorer, hit only 43 percent of his field goals in 2007-08.) Their three-point marksmanship is herbal tea weak (35 percent as a team last season). In fact, their best shooter is Mark Price. Assistant coach Mark Price, that is. They don't always go all-out, especially on the road, where they were 12-29 last season. They seem to be thinking a little too highly of themselves right now, due mostly to that first-round slugfest with Boston (more on this below).

4. What are the goals for this team? They need to avoid complacency and build on the momentum they sparked at the end of last season when they were fighting tooth and nail to make the playoffs. They also need to reestablish the defensive mindset they started the 2007-08 campaign with. And, most importantly, they need to stay focused and go full-tilt every game. Their starting five is solid but not great, they lack depth, and -- no offense to Joe Johnson -- they don't have a superstar in tow. This means that anything less than 100 percent effort can and will doom them on any given night.

5. Are they simply a one-season tease? We've all seen it before. A team gets hot at the end of the regular season, sneaks into the playoffs, makes some noise, and so everybody expects them to take The Next Big Step next season. But when said team is flawed -- as the Hawks are -- this often leads to overconfidence and failed expectations. The most recent example of this is the Golden State Warriors. The 2007-08 Warriors may have won a few more games than the 2006-07 Warriors, but they failed to recapture the magic of that '07 playoff run. I think we're going to see the same thing happen to the Hawks this season. Especially since that seven-game series with the Celtics wasn't as close as everybody seems to think: The champs absolutely crushed them in Boston whereas the Hawks pulled out three could-have-gone-either-way victories at home.

Predicted Record: 40-42

Labels: ,

I just read (via TrueHoop) that the Celtics have waived Darius Miles. Thus ends one of those strange paradoxes of the NBA offseason: Contradictory expectations. To wit: It was generally conceded that Miles was, at best, a longshot to make the team. However, it was also believed (by more than a few people) that -- if his services actually were retained -- that Miles could help fill the gaping hole in the team left by the departure of James Posey.

So he was either going to get cut or replace a guy who, during the club's championship run last season, was utterly irreplaceable? Really?

No, not really. Miles never had a chance. But the Celtics have faced those kinds of false hopes before. Like when they thought Bill Walton would be ready for the 1987 NBA playoffs or, at worst, the next season. Or when they thought Derek Smith could be the elusive missing piece in 1990-91. Or when they thought Xavier McDaniel and then later a washed-up Dominique Wilkins could cover for the retired Larry Bird. So on and so forth.

Anyway, the following picture ran with the article I linked to above. It was accompanied by the caption "Darius Miles' return to the NBA will not be with the Celtics." For some reason the picture/caption combination cracked me up.

I don't remember him looking like such a spaz. Do you?

Labels: , , ,

Now, I already knew Lamar Odom was a little bit loopy, but I had no idea he was so darn funny. Some of these YouTube videos made me laugh out loud...and I was watching them in church. Oh, but hey, it's not as bad as it sounds. I don't actually attend that church. I was just there for the free WiFi.

Anyway, here's one where Lamar dribbles the ball inbounds. He must have been having a pickup basketball flashback or something...

Next, watch Lamar deliver a fundamentally sound chest pass...right to a referee.

Okay, now this is the one that made me spit up that fruit punch they gave me during Eucharist. What the hell was Lamar trying to say?!

Ego-ectomy extra: Just for the heck of it, here's a video of Lamar's teammate punching the ball, which bounces right back up and hits him in the face.

Labels: , ,


Here are the links to my latest batch of NBA season previews on Deadspin, brought to you in that irreverent, hard-hitting style that only Basketbawful can deliver! I'm not saying that clicking on these links will save lives, but it will. It so totally will.

Memphis Grizzlies
Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks
Minnesota Timberwolves
New Jersey Nets
New Orleans Hornets

And let's not forget the Central Division previews organized by CelticsBlog. I'll be posting my Atlanta Hawks preview for this series tomorrow.

chi.gif cle.gif det.gif ind.gif mil.gif

Chicago Bulls
Nels: Give Me The Rock
Matt: Blog-a-Bull

Cleveland Cavaliers
Rock: Waiting For Next Year
FTS: Fear The Sword
David Friedman: 20 Second Timeout
Amar Panchmatia: Cavalier Attitude

Detroit Pistons
Brian Spencer: Empty the Bench
Natalie Sitto: Need4Sheed.com
Matt Watson: Detroit Bad Boys

Indiana Pacers
Tom: Indy Cornrows

Milwaukee Bucks
Jeramey Jannene: The Bratwurst
Frank Madden: BrewHoop

Labels: , ,

This has been around for a while, but it's still worth another look: Steve Nash comically overreacting to a call. Tim Duncan would be proud.

And here's a special bonus video titled "Overweight Gay Guy Checking Out Steve Nash." Ever seen a fan undress an NBA player with his eyes? It's pretty creepy.

Labels: , , , ,

Ah, classic Sir Charles: The secret of his NBA success was "...my big ass against their little skinny legs." Is it possible to make love to a quote? Someday, I'm going to find out. In the meantime, based on the comments left on this week's Word of the Day: The Dantley post, I present the Big Butt Prodigious Posterior All-Stars!

Starting Five:
Baron Davis
Adrian Dantly
Charles Barkley
Shawn Kemp (the Cleveland Cavalier version)

Sixth Man
Oliver Miller

The Extra-wide Bench
Magic Johnson (during his 1996 return)
Mark Jackson
Corey Maggette
Rick Mahorn
Robert "Ass-Tractor" Traylor
Glen "Big Baby" Davis
Clarence Weatherspoon (IR)
Mike Sweetney (IR)

Labels: ,

joker 2
Pickup ball really puts a smile on my face...

An anonymous reader left the following comment on yesterday's The NBA versus Male Genitals post:

"I got a hit in the nuts horror story for the ages. When I was around 15 years old, I was at the park playing basketball when I did a no look bullet pass into the post. My teammate wasn't ready for it so it went out of bound with a crazy amount of velocity right into the crotch of some poor sap who was sitting on a bench hanging out with what I'm guessing was his girlfriend. He immediately falls to the ground shrieking and crying. I walked over to apologize and see if he was alright, when I suddenly see blood stains on his jeans around his crotch. I started freaking out asking what happened when his girlfriend yelled at me, "He just got circumcised a couple of days ago!" The guy's probably alright now but I still feel guilty that I might have inadvertently ruined some young man's genitalia."
If you were able to read that gruesome story without at least wincing, then I'm pretty sure you don't have a penis. Which, for the time-being, makes you one of the lucky ones. [shudders] Anyway, it got me to thinking about weird basketball injury stories. I'm not talking about the standard sprains, strains, pulls, bruises, cuts, etc. I'm talking strange stuff. Here's the story of my oddest basketball-related boo-boo.

Several years ago, I was playing pickup ball with a few friends at Lifetime Fitness late on a Sunday evening. Now, I had received two early warnings that strange things were afoot that night. First, a buddy of mine who cannot hit from the outside beat me in a game of 21 -- for the first and only time ever -- by shooting all threes. (I continued to give him the green light, of course, because I refused to believe he'd keep knocking them down.) Second, some very eccentric characters showed up and asked us to go full court, including one guy who was playing without shoes or socks. (Who plays basketball while barefoot? Seriously?) I ignored Fate's warnings, though, and paid for it dearly. On the first possession of the first full court game, I collapsed into the paint to help out on a guard who had beaten his man off the dribble, but the guy flailed his off arm and whacked me in the face. It was a stinging blow, and I was momentarily stunned. I grabbed my mouth, where he'd hit me, and bowed my head slightly...and blood started gushing onto the court.

My buddies, who know me a little too well, assumed I'd just keep playing. (I have a history of playing through some rather grievous injuries.) But the blood was freaking me out -- I mean, there was a lot of it -- so I stumbled out of the gym and toward the locker room to check things out. I bumped into another one of my friends on the way, and when he asked what was wrong I removed my hand to show him the wound. I asked how bad it was, and he said, "Uh...was it hanging down like that before?" It? Hanging?! As cryptic and somewhat alarming comments go, that one was right up there. So I started freaking out a little.

In the locker room, I wiped some of the blood off my face with a paper towel -- I know, really sterile of me -- and inspected the damage. It was worse than I'd imagined. The corner of my mouth where my upper and lower lips meet had split and was just gaping open. It wasn't the force of the blow that had done it; the hit had driven the flesh into my incisor, which had done the job that nature created it for: To cut and slice. My very first thought was: "Oh shit! I'm...I'm deformed!" It looked that grisly.

Pressing a huge wad of paper towels against the wound, I shuffled to my car and drove myself to the nearest emergency room I could think of. It was empty when I got there, but they made me wait for over an hour anyway. I guess people were dying in the back or something. While waiting, I asked the nurse on duty for a butterfly bandage or maybe some gauze, but she said they didn't have any. How a hospital doesn't have these things is beyond me. (My suspicion is that she simply didn't know where they were or didn't want to have to stand up and, you know, do actual work.)

The good news was that, once I got to see the doctor, he assured me that he could stitch everything back together and that the scarring would occur inside my mouth, so no one would ever see it. Whew. There were some downsides, though. For one, it took him so long to return after shooting me up with anesthetic -- about an hour and a half -- that the anesthetic had actually worn off a little bit by the time he started working on me. Let me tell you, that did not feel good, but it was almost 3 a.m. by this point and I was sick of waiting. The other crappy part of the whole deal was that he had to sew half of my mouth shut...and it had to stay that way for no less than a week and a half.

Having half of my mouth sewn shut really sucked. I know that sounds rather obvious, but allow me to expound. First, I was only able to eat things I could suck through a straw. That meant I was on a liquid diet for about two weeks. Liquid diets get a little boring after about, oh, half of one meal. They also leave you weak and constantly hungry. Second, I couldn't talk. Well, I could, but everything I said sounded like, "Errr, errr, errrgh." But the real bummer was that the very next Saturday was my dating anniversary with my then-girlfriend. We had reserved a fancy hotel room and pre-ordered some really nice room service food, complete with hors d'oeuvres and cake. But I couldn't eat. And I couldn't kiss. And the area of my mouth that was stitched shut was rubbing against my teeth, which caused several canker sores to form on the wound...so let's just say I wasn't exactly filled with passion and romance. Worst date ever? Pretty close, yeah.

Okay. I've spilled my guts. Now you, dear readers, must post some of your freaky basketball injury stories. I'll add the good ones to this post.

Labels: , ,

I once posted a list of the basic staples of American comedy, the gimmicks that are always used for (and seem to always get) a cheap laugh. These include (but are not limited to):

1. Monkeys
2. Midgets
3. Fat people
4. Farts and/or poop
5. The Amish
6. Men dressed as women
7. A man getting punched/kicked/shot/etc. in the nuts
8. White people attempting to act like black people
9. Old people trying to behave all young and hip
10. Some random combination of the elements listed above

Now, you get to see one or more (usually more) of these comedic devices during the typical NBA halftime show. However, one of them actually occurs -- with alarming frequency -- during the course of the game itself. Here's a hint: It's number seven. I don't know what the sport of basketball has against the man region, but ballers sure do suffer an extraordinary number of nutshots. (Or worse. Just ask Mo Williams).

In this video, for instance, Danny Granger forgets that he's not playing soccer, and that Antawn Jamison's family jewels are not, in fact, the game ball.

From the YouTube description: "Chandler gets a feel in the 'Smoky Robinson.'"

Hey, remember when Royal Ivey got suspended for an attack on Aaron Gray's meat 'n taters? Of course you don't. You probably don't even know who those guys are. But here's what happened.

Then there's that whole bizarre Reggie Evans/Chris Kaman incident...

Not even the crotches of our team mascots are safe, as Utah's Bear proves here.

And, of course, no rundown of junk assault would be complete without Bruce "The Master of Groin Disaster" Bowen. Watch BTMoGDB give Steve Nash a little [Canadian euphemism for knee in the groin].

Update! How could I forget about the time Avery Johnson cup-checked Josh Howard? Thanks for the reminder, Mr. Anonymous.

Update! Thanks to Reginald from Wasilla and the second Mr. Anonymous for reminding me of that time Chris Paul gave Julius Hodge the five-knuckeled junkblaster.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,