To all those thinking it is unfair for the NBA to require a minimum of one year of college before becoming eligible for employment (it is a business, after all), I have this short section from Jack McCallum’s wonderful book, Seven Seconds or Less: My Season on the Bench with the Runnin’ and Gunnin’ Phoenix Suns:
One day [Amare] Stoudemire came in wearing that Rolling Stones T-shirt bearing the image of a cartoon figure sticking out his tongue, the cover of Sticky Fingers.
“Now, STAT [Stand Tall and Talented, one of Stoudemire’s nicknames], tell me,” says [assistant coach Alvin] Gentry, “can you name one single Rolling Stones song?”
“Can’t help you, Chief,” said Stoudemire immediately.
On another day, he was wearing a T-shirt bearing the likeness of a 1930s Time cover on which Al Copone appeared.
“What’s with you and Capone?” I ask him.
“Don’t know anything about him,” Stoudemire answers, “except that he was a bad guy.”
I gave him a one-minute primer on Capone, Chicago, and Prohibition.
“Damn,” he said. “There was a time drinking was illegal?”
I rest my case.
The Blazers played the Rockets last night and tried really hard to lose the game, but Brandon Roy wouldn’t let them. Although, it should be noted that the Rockets were up one at this point because Roy fouled Yao Ming on a made basket. If it weren’t for that, this amazing shot wouldn’t be necessary:
Kevin Pelton, writing for Basketball Prospectus, posted a great article today breaking down the men’s basketball gold medal game from last night. He really nails everything on the head, especially this part:
Those who did not watch this game might take a look at the score and think the United States let down on the verge of completing its pursuit of a gold medal. Alas, most of the night, that was the way NBC broadcasters Mike Breen and Doug Collins presented the game, nitpicking the Americans’ performance. While the criticism wasn’t entirely unwarranted, it missed the point: This is a great Spanish team that won the FIBA World Championships two years ago for a reason, and it rose to the occasion to give the USA a legitimate test for the first time in these Olympics.
Yes, we may have beat them by 37 in pool play, but everyone knew this game would not be easy. Spain is a good team, and most definitely deserves their silver medal. They gave it their all, and aside from the lack of composure (I’m sorry, but FIBA refs need to be a little more stern; you do not get multiple warnings for any sort of unsportsmanlike conduct, on the second offense it should be a technical, no exceptions), they played an incredible game of basketball. I could tell USA wasn’t as sharp as they had been, but even when they were playing the great ball we had seen this Olympics, I was still never certain the game was in the bag.
Kudos to Spain, but more importantly, congratulations Team USA. It’s nice to have the gold again after a dismal eight years.
I’m sitting here eating a frozen pizza and drinking some Smithwick’s, watching the NCAA Tournament. As I’m able to switch between games (big ups to KIRO for putting two to three different games on their three channels), I’m struck with an obvious thought: Bill Raftery is awesome to listen to, and Billy Packer should be taken out back and shot like the old worthless mule he is (maybe by these women).
I don’t mean to reference the brutal art of farmland retirement to get the animal lovers up in arms, I simply mean that Billy Packer SUCKS at announcing. He does two things: he states the obvious (you should attack someone with two fouls early in the first half? I had no idea!!!), or he berates players for no reason (yo, Billy Willy, these are college kids, not 10 year NBA veterans. They’re going to make mistakes, and a good-hearted individual will not condemn them for one or two in the biggest game of their lives thus far).
I know I haven’t posted in a while, and I know this sports-related post will only be happily read by a few, but I just wanted you to know my feelings.
This just crossed the good ol’ ESPN wire a few minutes ago:
Indiana and Kelvin Sampson reached a $750,000 settlement Friday, enabling the coach and the school to part ways immediately, the university said in a statement released Friday night.
Under the agreement, Sampson could not sue the university. An announcement was expected later Friday night.
Good riddance. You get too many chances as a college head coach to fuck up twice. I’ll be drinking to this tonight, with the hopes he is relegated to a community college where he belongs.
Thanks for the disgrace, and so long, sucker.
I don’t often like J.A. Adande’s writing (he never seems to have an opinion of his own, either writing about the popular opinion or the most controversial), but he has a point this time (from ESPN):
The disappointment isn’t because Phoenix failed to win a championship with small ball. It’s because the Suns stopped trying.
Trading Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks for Shaquille O’Neal might be a full-scale (albeit bizarre) attempt to grab a ring, but it also is an admission of failure for their way of basketball. They just sided with the skeptics and said, “You’re right, we can’t run our way to the Finals.”
I’d rather see them go out like Tom Hanks in “Saving Private Ryan,” pulling out his pistol and firing away at the German tank in a last desperate effort to save the bridge. Or show some of that same defiance as Denzel Washington in “American Gangster,” making one last trip to Asia to import more heroin even though everybody’s telling him the game is over.
Instead the Suns conformed.
I’m currently watching the Blazers/Heat game on ESPN, and Ric Bucher just showed us the iRoy; a specialized iPod being distributed to media members and Western Conference coaches, filled with highlights from Brandon Roy. The idea is to get Roy some publicity so that he will get more votes for the All Star team, which I think is a fantastic idea.
You can vote for him over at NBA.com; and if anyone has an iRoy that they no longer want and wouldn’t mind donating to the cause, I’d love one!
Now if only the Blazers could get back to what they were doing in the first half…
Stephon Marbury was fined $195,000 by the Knicks for missing last night’s game (from ESPN):
The Knicks sent the guard a letter informing him of the fine, according to a person with knowledge of the penalty who spoke to The Associated Press. He requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss it.
Marbury lost approximately $195,000 — at least $174,503 (1/110th of his salary) and $20,000 in a team fine, sources told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan. According to the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement, players are docked 1/110th of their salaries for a missed game.
So $195,000 is only 1/110th of his salary? He’s making $19,195,330 this year? Really? He gives them 18.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. That’s worth $20 million? The minimum is $1,219,590. He’s making a $17.8 million premium for being an average point guard. That’s ridiculous.
I knew Isaiah Thomas was a bad GM, but I didn’t realize it was this bad. That whole organization should be fired. Heck, bring them to Seattle next year. There’s no way Paul Allen would screw things up that bad.
Lame post today, but I just wanted to share with you that I’m currently watching The Incredibles and loving every second of it. Such a fabulous movie! It has been quite some time since I’ve seen it.
In other news, I played the first game of a basketball league today that I have joined. It was fun, but man oh man am I out of shape and out of my game. You know that feeling, when you want your body to do something but you feel a step slow? Well, that’s how I felt. I’m going to get back into running and whatnot so that I’m not so out of it for the next game.
The team I’m on is pretty good, and once we start meshing I think we’ll have a worthwhile season.
Brook Lopez, a 7-foot sophomore who was already academically ineligible for the start of Stanford’s season, has been suspended indefinitely from the team for missing classes.
In a story Friday in the San Francisco Chronicle, coach Trent Johnson said Lopez missed two days of classes and one practice this week, prompting the suspension.
Come on. How do you screw up after already being disciplined? Some people…