Archive for the ‘NBA’ Category

It’s the (3rd) most wonderful time of the year. The fans are all yelling to see a better dunk than last year. It’s the (3rd) most wonderful time of the year. With the exception to Christmas and March Madness, NBA All-Star Weekend is my favorite time of the year and this year’s festivities kick-off tonight in Los Angeles.

The NBA has one of the most prestigious and fun-filled All-Star Weekends of all its competitors. The NFL Pro Bowl is a joke, the NHL All-Star Game is awesome but no one cares about it, and the MLB All-Star Game is over once the Home Run Derby ends. The NBA is a league based off individual personalities of the past and present and they have really been able to hone in on their strengths to maximize the entertainment aspect of the weekend.

While their selection system is flawed, they allow fans to have a say in voting for the starters. The events are integrated with celebrities, bringing in different demographics that may not necessarily be NBA fans. And most of all they pay homage to the legends that made the league what it is today.

The happy-hour of the weekend begins this afternoon with the BBVA NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. This game allows celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jimmy Kimmel, Rob Kardashian, Bill Simmons, and Common to play with NBA legends like Magic Johnson, Bill Walton, and Scottie Pippen. These games are always very exhibitionist but it allows you an insight into the surprising athletic ability that celebrities have, that you never knew.

Tonight’s headliner is the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge. This game tends to have the most competition of all the events in weekends past, and sometimes even has the best dunks. This year should live up to its reputation with rookie sensations like Blake Griffin, Landry Fields, and John Wall coached by Amare Stoudemire taking on the sophomore standouts like Stephen Curry and DeJuan Blair coached by Carmelo Anthony. If Blake Griffin plays I predict that the Rookies win, if not then the Sophomores should stomp on the Rookies.

Speaking of Carmelo Anthony… This may be the last time you see Carmelo wearing blue and yellow, blue and yellow, blue and yellow, blue and yellow. Before All-Star Saturday Night commences, Carmelo will hold meetings with the Knicks and Nets to hopefully close a deal. It is obvious that he wants to play for my Knicks, but with Jimmy Dolan begin stingy with our players (and rightfully so) the Nets and owners Mikhail Prokohrov and Jay-Z have been able to sneak back into the picture to try and swindle Melo at the 11th hour.

Another new event the NBA has implemented is the NBA D-League All-Star Game. The D-League has become a formidable breeding ground for players to step up their game in hopes of making it to the league. They have pro-affiliated teams in small to mid-sized markets, mostly throughout the South, and they will be holding their All-Star Game as a way of showing the level of talent they have and allowing NBA scouts to evaluate that talent, while they are all in town for the other events.

The opener of All-Star Saturday night is the Haier Shooting Stars where NBA players team up with legends and WNBA players in a game not much different from a halftime lay-up, free throw, three-point, and half-court shot contest. It is rarely taken seriously and is usually a time where fans in attendance are in line getting their popcorn for the following events.

The Taco Bell Skills Challenge is my second favorite part of the weekend and this year’s should be a doosy. This year’s participants are Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook, and John Wall. They will compete to complete and basketball obstacle course in the fastest time. I really enjoy this event because it shows you the amount of talent and athletic ability that is prevalent in the NBA and that is in a league of its own, literally. My predicted winner for this event is MVP front-runner, Derrick Rose, he is the fastest player in the league and ultimately is passing that wins, and I feel he has the best chance.

The next event is the tFoot Locker Three-Point Contes with Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson, James Jones, Paul Pierce, and Dorell Wright. This can be somewhat of a tiring event for players who continue on to higher rounds. The bigger players tend to better because they don’t have to try harder to jump higher to reach their apex with each shot. That being said I think Ray Allen, the league’s most pure shooter and best three-point shooter of all time, will fall short to the longer Kevin Durant.

And the coup de grâce of NBA All-Star Weekend, The Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. I consider myself to be a connoisseur of dunks as it is my ultimate aspiration to be a Dunkologist and write a thesis on not only the quality of the dunkage but the mass varietals of dunkage. This event to me, is like archaeologist discovering a real Jurassic Park and having free reign to dust it off as he or she pleases.

This year’s participants are Serge Ibaka, DeMar Derozan, JaValle McGee, and the infamous Blake Griffin. With the entire world (myself included) hopping on the most emphatic strawberry-blonde dunker ever, some of the other contestants have been able to fly under the radar. When he first announced that he would participate he held a contest for fans to submit videos for him to complete in the dunk contest. I have a feeling his one downside might be his lack of creativity, so if he were able to plagiarise this dunk he has an even higher chance of winning.

Serge Ibaka is on my fantasy team, so I have a vested interest in his success but he has done nothing to impress me this year. DeMar Derozan is the smallest of the competitors so his hangtime gives him a slight edge. He also is very athletic and able to do some things others can not with his more quaint stature. He also has a few tricks up his sleeves (even though basketball jerseys don’t have sleeves) and if he can pull off whatever he is trying to accomplish with this, it may be one of the best dunks of all time.

JaValle McGee, however, is the tallest and longest player in the contest which can take more effort to achieve the “wow factor.” You would think that being from UNR he would lack intelligence (I had to throw my Reno dig in) but he must have been one of the few that slipped by. If he can take these few practice dunks to the next level he will give Blake Griffin a serious run for his money. I also want to point out that I have done half of these dunks 10 years ago on 8 foot hoops. I’m not saying I’m better than them but I did think of them a long time ago.

The real winner will be someone who can use their size to their advantage and combine dunks of the past to spawn a new dunk that no one has ever seen. I think it will come down to Blake Griffin and JaValle McGee and being a Blake Griffin fan I win whether he wins or loses because he will still be nasty, so I will taking the underdog, JaValle McGee to win off pure creativity in a dunk contest that has the pieces to be right up there with the 2007, 2001, and 1987 contests. And if it sucks than next year they should just let Team Flight Brothers run the contest.

As if that isn’t enough theatrics for one weekend, there is still a game to be played. The game itself tends to have absolutely no defense, complimented by 30 foot three-point shots and fast break power dunks and is more humorous than competitive. The players are all mic-ed up and that provides more entertainment than the game itself. I feel the East has more talent and veterans, so I think they will be the ones to be able to hunker down at the end to get the “W.”

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I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog but being a “Chooseday Tuesday” I figured I would let my mind flow into my index fingers (because I still look at keyboard and type with two fingers) and whatever comes out, well comes out. It is that time of year where college students around the world (on a semester schedule) fill the lounges of Starbucks and invest in 5 Hour Energy Shots.

It wasn’t until my super senior year  of college that I realized what good studying actually was. It involved going to class, paying attention in class, taking decent notes, reviewing them frequently, and going over them again in-depth prior to the final while upon receipt of the study guide. Another good trick is to only study in 45 minute increments because your brain can only focus at full strength for that amount of time.

So, in this educational week it is my fiduciary duty to pass on this knowledge to all students. Study for 45 minutes and then take a 15 minute break. Then repeat. However, I cannot take credit for this wise information and the credit is due to my good friend and world renown studier, Nick Wesling. Now the only remaining question is how will you utilize your 15 minute breaks to maximize the retention of the information applicable to your finals?

That’s where I come in. I have compiled a short play list of non H1N1 viral videos to keep you on your toes and your heart light in what can be a very stressful week. These videos are intended to give you a quick little smile break from studying. However, they do come with a Surgeon General’s warning that they are contagious, so do not watch in excess. Side effects may include: songs stuck in head, random laughter outbursts, and sneezing.

The “Harlem Shake,” the “Stanky Leg,” and the “Douggie” have nothing on this new dance craze. The “Bernie” is the hottest new form of interpretive dance that is sweeping the across the Bible Belt. It is recommended that this dance is done prior to a final to loosen up all of your muscles in preparation for what could be a tense hour or so. The quality is not up to par quite yet but I’m sure it is only a matter of time before Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B. hop in da boof for a remix.

This next video is almost as ridiculous as the “Bernie.” I recently came across three young gentleman from the prestigious University of Oregon, who go by the name of Supwhitchugirl. These three young men make me wish I would have gone to the U of O, met them playing intramural basketball, and thus transformed the trio into a quad because they remind me a lot of myself anf friends. This video has gone viral and become the official “fight video” for the Ducks’ championship run.

This next video is also off from the rap supergroup, Supwitchugirl. Behind the quick lyrics and jerker outfits there is an unheard amount of talent. From the writing of the songs, to the production of the videos, to the search for early 90s Nike windbreakers, these three kids are the reason I want my sons to grow up in the Pacific Northwest, despite never setting foot outside of an airport there.

This other hit from Supwitchugirl brings me right back to my childhood. Well my teenage years, where we would hop the fence of Selma Bartlett Elementary to play basketball on the eight foot hoops. I still believe in  my heart, that when on eight foot hoops, I am the best dunker in the world, pulling creative dunks out of my ass that would have Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson wishing they showed me around campus on recruiting trips. I also have a special place in my heart for this video because I too still save all of my Champion (brand) NBA jerseys in a kids size 40 from middle school.

This next video comes to you from the best History AP teacher in America, Mr. Jeff Johnson. Mr. Johnson and I hit it off ever since Junior year of high school, when I showed up on the first day of school wearing my Larry Johnson UNLV throwback. From that day forth we had a bond held together by a respect for local basketball excellence. We both held similar positions in UNLV’s student government and he still is UNLV’s #1 fan from the net-cutting days of the early 90s, to the grey days of the Early 2000’s with Mark Dickel, to our current ascending return to greatness.

This last video I will leave you with is something to get you in the holiday mood. It twas the night before Christmas of 2006 and our hearts were open wide and these two comedic and musical geniuses gave us something that was on their mind. They were wise enough to when a gift needs giving and they knew just the one. It’s their dick in a box!

If you haven’t heard, I’m following in Aaron Simms’ footsteps out of Douglas County, who is the youngest person ever to run for county commissioner at 18 years old. I’ve got 5 years on the aspiring politician and 1 speaking point that will set me apart from my fellow candidates. I will successfully bring a professional stadium to the city of Las Vegas!

The pros of bringing a pro stadium to Las Vegas completely outweigh the cons. It would give a little jolt to our economy by creating jobs from design to construction to ushers to front office staff. The more we diversify our economy away from the hospitality industry, the faster our recession will concede and the more stable we will be for the future. Building a stadium isn’t the cure-all but it is a start and we all would love to see it happen.

Mayor Oscar Goodman has been lobbying for a professional team for years and the one thing that always holds us back is our lack of facilities. Cashman Field isn’t exactly in the best neighborhood, confining the 51s fans to people who live in North Las Vegas or people who will drive for dollar beers. The Thomas and Mack is still holding up well. There is a lot of history in the T&M and it would be dumb to wipe away all the tradition and renovations that are in place to improving their facilities. Sam Boyd Stadium is antiquated and far from any central point in Las Vegas and this is actually a live shot from the UNLV football game last night vs. Air Force.

The question now becomes what sport to bring here? Well, we had an audition for the NBA in 2007 but that didn’t exactly go well for the city. Las Vegas has never been so dirty and crime ridden for such a short amount of time and it looks like we better just stick to hosting NBA Summer League and Team USA. The NHL isn’t exactly in an expansion mode right now and the teams in the Southwest don’t do as well financially as the traditional Canadian and East Coast Teams.

We are now left with the NFL and MLB. The NFL would obviously be the most attractive option for Las Vegas but with a melting pot of fans throughout our city it would be hard to attract an NFL team with shifty fan loyalty. Not to mention, the NFL has bigger fish to fry with collective bargaining coming up and the possibility of bringing a team back to Los Angeles way ahead of Las Vegas.

I think the best case scenario for Las Vegas would be to bring a MLB team to the city that never sleeps. The Southwest has been great breeding grounds for baseball with many successful players coming out of Vegas. They also are the league that is most willing to continue with talks as Las Vegas as one of their top cities with Portland, San Antonio, Austin and Mexico City despite the complication we present with gaming.

The next item on the to-do-list becomes where. Where do we build the stadium? I have two potential options with the first being off of Tropicana Ave. and Paradise Rd. A stadium here would be both walking distance from the Strip, McCarran Airport, UNLV, with easy access to the highways just as long as it’s height stays out of fligh patterns. A stadium here would a allow for a minor tourist attraction as long as we don’t count on tourism to be a part of the fan base. It would be a breeding ground for new and young fans within close proximity to the university. And with the I-215 and I-15 both less than a mile away it allows the easy access for locals to go to go to games with ease.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=east+flamingo+las+vegas&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

While, I prefer the Tropicana location there are plenty of viable options throughout the city with the land available for a project of this size. Another potential location would be on Las Vegas Blvd. South just South of Warm Springs Rd. The acreage here is massive, it is near local hot-spots Town Square and the Las Vegas Outlet Center and again both freeways within walking distance.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=east+flamingo+las+vegas&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

The two teams on the chopping block are the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s (my personal preference). If we get the Oakland A’s we could keep the colors and change the name to the Las Vegas Aces. The name  “Aces” plays both of our gaming roots and baseball specifics with pitching Aces. We could bring on Las Vegan residents Greg Maddux and Pete Rose to run the front office and it would be like we never missed a step.

The next issue becomes financing as always. If an Mark Cuban’s investor group doesn’t pony up some cashola then we have some “majuh majuh” problems. The city isnn’t exactly in a position to make it rain a stadium in the desert and it would not be ideal to make the stadium for MLB and UNLV football. While it would add value to our university, MLB doesn’t like to share facilities especially with a collegiate program. However, if we did draw from the High-Ed budget we could be playing baseball in Las Vegas by April 1, 2014.

It is that TIME of the year again (pun intended) to select the person of 2010. The person is voted on from a collection of candidates all bringing their talents to wherever they are from. These people are good, bad, indifferent, brave, and controversial. It is not a Nobel Prize or MVP award, I look it as more of a Prom Queen. You may not like or agree with the Prom Queen but she definitely got the most attention and made herself more known (or cheated) than anyone else on court.

I consider myself a fairly informed and moderately educated individual and am only familiar with a little more than half of the following candidates. So, my vote will be casted upon the previous knowledge I already have on that particular individual. I have attached the following link for you to select your favorite person. Here are the people who I have heard of and why I feel as though they are or are not deserving of this honor.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/completelist/0,29569,2028734,00.html

Glenn Beck: This Fox News political analyst is most recently known for hitting the pavement prior to the midterm election rallying conservatives and Tea Partiers. He did work but it wasn’t nearly as big as Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s concert series, so for that he doesn’t make the cut.

The Chilean Miners: My dudes! I don’t know if there was a better story than this in 2010. 33 “minors stuck down a shaft” lol for 10 weeks. They are my runners-up for 2010 though. While their story is compelling it will forgotten before 2010 is even over.

Lady Gaga: Not a fan. I liked her on MTV’s “Boiling Points” and it has been all downhill from there. I think she is a big hypocrite who craves her newfound attention and will stop at nothing until he gets everything she wants.

Tony Hayward: Probably the biggest screw-up of the year. He was the guy in charge of BP ruining The Gulf of Mexico and then instead of handling it correctly he tried to dance around the media and turned it into a PR nightmare.

Hu Jintao: No he’s not the guy villain from “Rush Hour.” He’s the guy bringing China into the 21st Century and Westernizing his country. I don’t like the guy from an American standpoint but he points out areas in which we need to diversify our economy.

LeBron James: Finally, someone I can write a book about. He is now one of the most hated people in the world, right up there with terrorists and Oprah. He did everything wrong from a PR stance. If he wanted to take his talents to South Beach that’s cool but he should have done it respectfully and he would be selling a lot more shoes. The funny thing is that if he would have stayed in Cleveland people would have loved him. Gone to Chi-town, no one would have cared. NYC would have gave him Derek Jeter’s thrown, but because he still hangs out with his moochers from back in the day, no one outside of Dade County likes the dude.

Steve Jobs: I got several Apple products in 2o1o. Did you?

David and Charles Koch: These Libertarian billionaire brothers are the reason Republicans won The House and completely altered the political climate. They funded the Tea Party to be able to put their people up for election and now in office. Like it or not, these guys made a big splash behind the scenes.

Barack Obama: He’s done a lot, he hasn’t done a lot. I don’t really want to go there right now, so I leave you with this…

Sarah Palin: Definitely the best lookin’ lady in politics. She’s got her own reality TV show now which disappointed me because I thought it would go more into her political life, instead it looks more like she is a sales associate at REI. All she does is fish, climb rocks, and shoot stuff. She’s not bad to look at though…

Nancy Pelosi: Not as cute as Palin. See ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: He is actually the cousin of former Vancouver Grizzlie, Shareef Abdur Rahim. Not really but if you don’t think he is a radical or extremist you need to take a look at this.

http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/explosive-in-faisals-own-words.html

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert: I don’t always agree with these dudes but they both did the damn thing this year. Jon Stewart is way more credible and funny I feel and whether you like Colbert or not he kinda made a mockery out of our government with this…

The Unemployed American: Nuff said. Call Ed.

Mark Zuckerberg: Winner winner chicken parm dinner. We all have learned after seeing “The Social Network” that the youngest billionaire in the world is a huge doucher. But whatever, he’s getting his or was it the Winklevi’s? Either way, I think he has made 2010 his bitch as Facebook takes over the world and he gets my vote for TIME Person of the Year. So, go ahead and log in if you haven;t already.

http://www.facebook.com/

Top Ten NBA Players of All Time

Posted: October 27, 2010 in NBA

With the kick off of the 2010-2011 NBA season last night my basketball jones have been flowing this week as I think it is time to pay homage to the players from the current and past as I rate their place in NBA history. The NBA is an interesting animal, it is fair to say that you could rework this list several times and still have an accurate and sufficient list. My list is a compilation of the combination of standards that I feel a player needs to meet in order to secure his spot in our hearts.

I know some of you aren’t going to like the list but I would have you know that I took all biases out in the making list. I am a huge Laker hater and the list is infested with Lakers, unfortunately. I am a Knick fan, unfortunately and there are no Knicks on the list. So, as you read please understand that this list is emotionless and is based on my working knowledge of the players.

10. Oscar Robertson: “The Big O” is my ode to the old school.  Oscar was a player in a slow era that revolved around big men and was a standout guard being the first player to average triple-double. Which at 6’5 amongst the trees is quite an accomplishment. I would love to be able to see him play today as he did back in the day. He was a point guard who did enough for both back-court positions and rebounded as well as a center and it is his versatility that was his trademark.

9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: What hasn’t Lou Alcindor done? He is the all time leader in points scored, he has 6 rings, and 6 MVP’s. He is the only dude who trademarked a shot in the skyhook because of his perfection of the difficult craft. He is still involved in the game today as a consultant for the Lakers, when he isn’t too busy shooting Skechers commercials. It all goes back to his on the court education taught by John Wooden at UCLA. Coach Wooden laid the basis for a great player and what seems like a great guy.

8. Wilt Chamberlain: Wilt “The Stilt” is on this list for a number of reasons. One year he averaged 50 points, dropped a hundo in one game, he had 4 MVP’s, 13 All-Star selections, 11 rebounding titles, 7 scoring titles, and even 1 assist title. He was such a dominant force in the league and no one had an answer for him which allowed him to play in a league above everyone else. After he retired he played professional volleyball just for shits and giggles.

7. Jerry West: The logo. I always wonder if they will ever change the logo from Jerry West to Jordan or another general logo but it doesn’t seem like it because West gives them no reason to. He made an all NBA team in 12 of his 14 Laker seasons. He won a finals MVP and the thing that sets him apart was his ability to hit big shots in the clutch. It’s amazing that as good as he was on the court he may even better off. He was the GM that put the 80s Laker teams together and represented the league perfectly.

6. Shaquille O’Neal: Where do I start with Shaq? He has countless nicknames, “The Shaqrock,” “Shaq Diesel,” and “The Big Aristotle.” When he isn’t relaxing in the offseason at his estate, “Shaqapulco,” he is shooting his show “Shaq Vs.” He has been in several movies, had several horrible albums, and is a Deputy sheriff in the state of Louisiana. He never succumbed the big shoe companies outside of the Reebook Pump because he wanted to provide affordable footwear for fans. Oh yeah, he plays basketball too. He has a Rookie of the Year, 15 All-Star selections, and 3 Finals MVPs to go with his 4 rings.

5. LeBron James: Insert controversy here. Like most, I used to love “The King” until the “The Decision” but what’s done is done and it is time to move on. I’ll say this once, the second he wins a ring he automatically becomes the best player of all time. The instant “The Lord of No Rings” loses his nickname he is the greatest of all time. He simply does things that normal human beings and NBA players cannot even fathom. His athletic ability, his speed, his strength, his versatility, at 6’8 245 is absolutely unheard of. I don’t want to get into his personal accolades because they are irrelevant. Whether he wins a ring with lesser role players or All-Stars it won’t taint his spot in history because when he is done Jordan won’t even be worthy of holding his arm sock.

4. Kobe Bryant: He’s aight. He’s got 5 rings.

3. Larry Bird: Possibly the greatest competitor on the list. For everything he lacked physically he made up for mentally and with hard work. He was slow and couldn’t jump and for someone with his skill set to even be talked about as being one of the best is unbelievable. He had all the things that were not God-given and obtained with his work ethic in the fields of Indiana. #33 had 3 rings and 3 MVPs but is best recognized for his battles against this man…

2. Magic Johnson: He is a 6’9 Point Forward who played Center when they needed him to. He has a great smile, 5 rings, 3 MVPs, and an NCAA Championship. And just think how many he would have had if he and Larry weren’t going head to head for everything. I think if the logo were ever to change it should be his shadow on jerseys more so than Jordan or James. He battled the HIV, cam back and still balled. He is a great commentator, savvy businessman, and a role model.

1. Michael Jordan: I mean it’s MJ. The best basketball player of all time. His 6 rings and 5 MVPs don’t even compare to the intangibles he brought to the game. He had the ability to single-handedly take over a game. He could pass, rebound, and shoot from the outside. He was clutch, he was an on-court coach, and carried da Bulls. He did have plenty of help which I feel is irrelevant when talking about players’ legacies. He took the shoe industry to heights it never would have gone without him, he had great commercials, and most of all is a fan of the game. Which is why he should leave the front office just like he left baseball because it is something that he simply isn’t the best at. If he would have stuck to being the best at basketball and nothing else, I bet there wouldn’t even be talks of future players taking his title.

2010-2011 NBA Preview

Posted: October 26, 2010 in NBA

Happy New Year! Today marks the first day of the 2010-2011 season which looks to be a great one at that. The story lines that will fill the first 20 minutes of Wednesday-Saturday SportsCenters this year will consist of the talents of “The Big 3” in South Beach, the perennial favorite Lakers, and the wicked ahhsome Celtics. The OKC Thunder, Orlando Magic, and Chicago Bulls will open for the headliners this season.

The LeBrontourage in Miami will get more ratings in their highlights than the entire 2010 season of “Entourage” combined. It is safe to say they have the most star power of any in team in the league, the most athletic ability in the league, and more drive to win a ring then anyone in the league. But that does not mean they are the best team in the league. It is quite obvious the Bron has a newfound gameface that he has worn throughout preseason and there is no question that he will be the leader of the Heat while Wade County willingly takes a backseat and C-Bosh shoots bank jumpers from 15 feet out.

With such attention drawn to themselves in the offseason, it is almost necessary for them to win a ring or they didn’t do something right. I’m not saying they deserve it because I think they have a lot of meshing to do over the course of the 82 game season, in which I think they will win 65 games and take the #1 seed in the playoffs. However, I foresee them losing in 7 games to the boys from Beantown in the Eastern Conference Finals who have more playoff expererience and players who have been in that position throughout their careers.

Which transitions me into the Shaqrocks. With Rajon Rondo as the new found court corporal, leadership in Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, and depth in the lane with KG, Kendrick Perkins, and the Big Aristotle. They have what other Eastern Conference teams don’t have, big men who can score. That coupled with the synergy they’ll gain as everyone tries to take the Eastern Conference Champs down, I project them taking on the Minnesota 10,000 Lakers in June and winning in 6 games.

It is well-known that I am President of The Laker Hater Club, but with that I would like to think that I can take my bias against them out of the equation, and objectively rate them. That being said I think the Lakers have too many cards against them this season to repeat again. An aging Kobe + a tough Western Conference Finals against the Kevin Durants = Just what the Celtics ordered to beat them. Kobe’s knees could also be the epidemic that plagues the Lakers chances at another championship a lot earlier than expected.

The Thunder have the most young talent in the league with Team USA mates KD and Russel Westbrook and upcoming role players James Harden, his sweet beard, and Jeff Green. With another year under their belt and fresh legs they have what it takes to go deep into the playoffs and give the Lake Show a run for their money. I just hope they don’t act like Florida Marlins and instead keep their nucleus together as they could be a powerhouse in the Western Conference after Kobe retires in the next year or so.

Dwight Howard should stop teaching people how to Douggie and shooting 3s from the bench and start taking his game more seriously. He has the genes to be one of the best big men of all time if he takes is offensive game to the next level. He spent the offseason training with The Dream and Patrick Chewing working on his post moves. But untill they get a formidable back-court not headed by Jameer Nelson I don’t see them making it out of the 2nd round of the playoffs. Plus Vinsanity just isn’t tight anymore. I think they got real lucky the last 2 years and with the Heat only a few hundred miles away, there is a lot more pressure.

I want to like the Bulls this year but I am not convinced they are good enough to beat the Heat or the Celtics. They definitely improved with Boozer adding some offense to their front court as D-Rose drops dimes to him all day. Joakim Noah has that fiya and workhorse attitude that they need but I just don’t know that they have that special “something.” They’ll run a slow half-court game that has will have announcers saying “Stockton to Malone” and correcting themselves because of the similarity in pick-n-roll.

Fantasy Basketball

Posted: October 25, 2010 in NBA

With the eve of the 2010-2011 season opener upon us, fantasy basketball coaches are scrambling to research, draft, and set their starting lineups for what has the making to be one of the most dramatic and interesting seasons in a long time. What will make the season s interesting? The players. What makes fantasy basketball interesting? The players.

Fantasy basketball differs much from the mainstream fantasy football where pretty much anyone can play and go .500 if you make sure you don’t start players on their bye week. But basketball has no bye weeks in their 82 games season compared to a meek 16 games. The biggest difference lies in the scoring system. Just about equal and relative points are awarded across the board for points, assists, rebounds, steals, and blocks.

Of course each league can manipulate the rules to their discretion but the points are not heavily reliant upon a running back or quarterback. The wealth is much more spread out throughout the NBA teams. In the NFL, if you have two players like Chris Johnson or Kenny Britt, go off you can dominate both in the game and in fantasy. Whereas, in basketball if you have Tim Duncan drop 20 and 10, he needs a lot more help to win the game.

As you can see, the nature of fantasy basketball requires a lot more attention to be paid to the team as whole in order to be successful. In fantasy basketball, becoming very familiar with waivers will contribute to a successful season. With so many games and so many players putting up similar numbers, watching players over the course of a season and tracking their statistics is key to fantasizing.

Who is going to shock some people and score more fantasy points than they would normally score in actual games? I predict Aussie Andrew Bogut is going to have a breakout year as he and Brandon Jennings really mesh well together as he remains a force t be reckoned with in the small Eastern Conference lanes. He won’t score 20, but he will get plenty of garbage man points cleaning up every rebound and blocking 3 shots a game.

Blake Griffin is the second most athletic player in the league behind the LeBrontourage. The Milano Ginger will have some of the most bone rattling dunks and blocks this year as he and up and comer Eric Gordon put the Clip show in the playoffs. As long as he stays healthy, the Rookie of the Year will average a double double, really helping out in fantasy points.

Kevin Durant will lead the league in scoring this year as he gets double and triple teamed throughout the entire game leaving his Team USA partner in crime, Russel Westbrook open 98% of the time. Not only will Westbrook and his mo-hawk pick up  a fair share of the Thunder’s scoring but he will get plenty of assists as KD goes back door and baseline for ally oops.

So, who will be the fantasy Kwame Browns of this year. I project that a few household names may not live up to their stock quote in fantasy land. Thiefirst is Amare Stoudemireberg of the New York Knickerbockers. While I love the Bar Mitzvah boy he doesn’t play defense will and doesn’t rebound well. Maybe in the smaller Eastern Conference he may pick up some slack but don’t count on it in D’Antoni’s run and gun offense.

Jesus Shuttlesworth may also shock a few this year as Rajon Rondo takes over the Celtic backcourt and the Shaqrock/ the Truth taking up a lot of the leadership and attention. Ray Allen falls into that awkward stage in his career and will most likely stick to shooting 3s late in games where the Irishmen are already up by 20 points.

Derrick Rose is one of the league’s most exciting players but don’t look for him to light up you fantasy score board. He is the John Stockton of our era on a team with newly acquired Carlos Boozer, that will highly resemble the boring half court offense of the 96 Jazz. Joakim Noah will get every rebound and Blue Devils and Deng and Boozer will score most of the points leaving D-Rose to pass, I guess…

Top Ten Dunkers of All Time

Posted: October 18, 2010 in My Life, NBA

There aren’t many forms of entertainment that I prefer in this world more than the art of the slam dunk. Growing up I had a fascination with dunks and dunkers which is the derivation of this blog. I hope I don’t come off as a Mr. Knowitall with this list because I honestly do believe that I know more about dunks and dunkers over the last 15 years than most people. It makes my skin crawl when announcer misname a dunk in a game or give someone a “10” for a dunk that I have done on an 8 ft. hoop since I was 16.

Now that I have vented, let’s get down to business. A lot of you will be shocked at my list and the order in particular. This list was put through a computer software program much more technologically advanced than the BCS software to produce the results. Keep in mind that this is my list and while yours may differ I have many reason as to why the players are rated accordingly. Enjoy.

10. David Lee: It was the McDonald’s All American High School Dunk Contest that first debuted David Lee on the national scene. While people are just now beginning to notice his talents, I have been watching wop on fools for almost 10 years. His best dunk of all time was in that dunk contest where he threw a one bounce self alley oop, took his shirt off revealing his glowing white epidermis (the only white guy on the list mind you), brought the ball down between his legs and finished with the reverse flush. Pure beauty.

9. Nique: Most old school fans would gasp seeing Dominique Wilkins at #9 on the list but in my opinion he wasn’t even the best dunker on his team. I feel as though his biggest flaw was his lack of creativity. But he is on the list for his authoritative dunks. He won contests with power, he was able to get fouled and finish the dunk with his power. He was a big strong dude that I believe perfected the “Tomahawk.” The “tomahawk” is a one handed dunk usually off of both feet and often off of alley oops and rebounds.

8. Andre Iguodala: He is the sleeper of the bunch but please do not underrate him. If you look at his highlights on youtube you will be astonished. He has been able to pull off both game dunks and contest dunks that most people cannot even fathom. My favorite dunk of his was a few years back in the Dunk Contest where he stood behind the basket, threw the ball off the backside of the backboard, jumped and caught the ball on the backside of the backboard, had to duck under the backboard mid-air while switch the ball to his right hand for the jam. This dunk is close to impossible. It requires the right height, the right speed on the toss, and big hands to switch the ball.

7. Dr. J.: Dr. J was the first and I think that is why sometimes classify him as the best. Not taking anything away from the Dr. but people took what he did 30 years ago and are doing it faster, harder, and with more accessories. But he did do it first and I’m going mainstream with my favorite dunk of his with the “rock the cradle.” It was the best game dunk of all time. It was flashy, from outside the lane, over a player, and completed. All dunkers can do it but it took balls to do it in a game and especially over then Laker, Michael Cooper. People still associate Michael Cooper with being the guy Dr. J rocked.

6. Spud Webb: He was the first little dude to ever do sick dunks. Dunks look so much better when done by smaller players because they have to make up for so much more length and it is all done in the air. The best dunk Spud had was in the 1986 Dunk Contest where he did a 360. But this wasn’t your average 360 it was a 360 off one foot. To demonstrate how tough this is, I want everyone step away from the computer, get a running start, jump and spin a complete 360 degrees, and if you land facing exactly where you started facing (which you probably didn’t) imagine doing it with a ball, finding the basket, and then making the dunk. That is difficult on so many levels it’s ridiculous.

5. Jordan: I know I know, booooo! Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, but not the best dunker of all time. He is known for best for his dunk from the free throw line but this dunk is actually fairly easy for most long players and lacks luster because it is more like doing a long jump instead of the high jump. It doesn’t look as cool when you’re only 8 inches off the ground. My favorite Jordan dunk was against my Knicks, where he went baseline on John Starks, faked the spin back, and then posterized both Starks and Patrick Ewing. So dirty.

4. Nate-Rob: There are few people in this world who can do what Nate-Rob can do and it is due to his uncanny athletic ability. Not only did he play basketball at U-Dub but he was also a shutdown corner and possible NFL 3rd round or higher draft pick. My favorite dunk of his he was criticized a lot for because of the multiple attempts. But if he were to complete it on the first try it easily would have been one of the top 3 dunks of all time. He started about 5 feet beyond the 3 point line, jumped, put the ball between the legs once, then twice, all while throwing the ball of the backboard in the same motion. Most people cannot even do the pass. Then he has to race to the basket, he gets there late because of fatigue but then makes up for it in vertical, and then to top it all off, he windmills it. Absolutely ridiculous. Re-diculous.

3. LeBron James: It is nothing but a shame that he hasn’t competed in a NBA Dunk Contest and that is the only reason why he is not #1 because he can simply do dunks that no one else can. He has the perfect formula for creativity, charisma, athletic ability, and power to complete dunks only done in NBA Jam. It is hard for me to even think of a favorite dunk of his but my favorite resembles many of his dunks. It was in the 2003 High School Dunk Contest, he was pretty much the same player then and only about 15 lbs lighter. At first glance it is a typical of the backboard one handed power dunk but he put a little twist on it. Instead of cocking it back like most, upon the catch he stretched his arm out to the side as to show the his air time. His head was a good six inches above the top of the rim. And I will leave it at that because I feel like a pushy Father who had a son with unbelievable skills but gave it up to play the piano.

2. Vinsanity: Please do not let VC’s recent abilities fool you for what he once was. He is reported to have maxed out with a vert of 48 inches, that is 4 feet from the ground to the bottom of his feet for you math majors. Not only is that unheard of but he coupled it with being able to do some of the most jaw-dropping dunks ever. He maybe most known for the his dunk over the Frenchman in the Olympics but mine is from when he took the 360 and the windmill and combined it for dunk that still makes me act like an old black man by jumping up out of my seat, putting my fist to my mouth, and run around yelping in a high pitched voice “oh shit son, oh shit son, oh shit son.” No one had ever thought of the dunks that he did and while they are still done today, Half Man Half Amazing (not the And 1 version) completed changed the landscape for future dunkers.

1. J-Rich: Even though J-Rich is a NBA journeyman and mediocre at best, his first few years in the league were nothing short of electric. He also completed many dunks that are being done today by lesser athletes but the thing about him is that he jumps with both feet. Most flashy dunkers jump off 1 giving them an edge. But he makes the dunks they do so much more by forgetting about running starts and momentum he just elevates. The standout for me is the baseline self-alley oop, between the legs, one handed reverse. Watch it, then watch it again for the intricacies involved. There are so many elements involved in this dunk that are harder than most that make this dunk mind bottling.

The digital age that we live in today allows information technology, data, and gossip to travel at speeds never before reached. Gone is the era of secrets between a celebrity and a comrade. The moochers of life have been able to alter the course of celebrities lives for good with the amount of attention that can be brought to them in a very short amount of time.

This hypothesis resides in the hotels and locker rooms of athletes all over the world. First class athletes are no longer only being featured in sport specific highlights, they are the top stories on Entertainment Tonight, TMZ.com, and in National Enquirer. Why all of sudden are athletes being treated like movie stars? Is it because they have diversified their talents beyond sports? Is it due to prior generations not having a daily interest in an athlete’s daily life? Are athletes worse people than they used to be? Or is it an unexplainable phenomenon that just is what is it is and will continue to grow?

I think it is a 1/4 cup of each. We as a society feel the need to be informed consistently per the ongoings of athlete’s daily pursuits, and that goes for everything outside of what they Tweet as well. We don’t just want to know how they did in the game last night, we want to know what and sometimes who they were doing afterwards. I’m one of these people who want to leave their personal affairs behind closed doors for the involved parties to handle, yet I like most others am curious as to what happens.

Of course it is the initial fault of the perp for committing the act but with more and more scandals getting out into the news in the last year, one has to wonder if this our fault for digging and unearthing these secrets that would have never been revealed if we didn’t pry into someone’s personal life. Or is it the society we live in that makes it possible for people with skin in the game to let the cat out of the bag for personal or financial gain? I think we have created a platform for people to make private matters public without the discernment of the people involved.

I am in no way praising people like Brett Favre, Tiger Woods, and Kobe Bryant (3 of the most iconic sports figures of our era btw) for their careless actions but I am almost taking my opinion out of the matter because as Ludacris once said “stay the f*ck up out my bizniss my biznass.” Yes, they are role models that people look up to but no one is perfect and people make mistakes. And because they are in the public eye, we feel as though we are owed the truth.

This is a lose/lose situation for both the people involved and for us as gossip consumers. Because we buy into the attention that some of these people who air out the dirty laundry crave, we only complicate their situations as to how they should deal with it. If it were left behind closed doors, solutions can be made without the thoughts of society having to be taken into account. And we lose as people because we only depreciate the value of sports and entertainment by creating a form of interest outside of the original. 

In matters of legality, my stance is a little different. If an athlete/celebrity breaks the law that is obviously public knowledge and I have no problem with attention being brought upon them for their acts because the solution to that problem can be brought up in court. Whereas, personal matters should be handled on a case by case basis involving the people in the situation. I understand it is a person’s right to exercise their freedom of speech but it really cheeses me off when they use other peoples’ lives as a way of bettering theirs.

WARNING: Again, I am in now way justifying stupid actions made by athletes but I do sympathize with their lack of privacy. If you were the dude who did some stupid ish, you wouldn’t want your panties hangin on a clothesline, you would want to handle it yourself. So, go out there and don’t treat people as you would want to be treated, treat them better. Boom!

NFL and NBA Tardy Lockouts

Posted: October 8, 2010 in NBA, NFL

This is why I’m not a fan of unions. Unions were started to allow like employees to work together towards common interests. Not so bad right? What about when common interests are completely absurd? Both the NFL and NBA are facing lockouts in the 2011 seasons. Both for different reasons but regardless there will be a lot more MLS and NHL games on television.

The largest and scariest lockout is with the NFL. There are two sides to the story as there always is. The NFL players union is threatening to strike because the owners want to impose two more regular season games upon players. This means two more games late in the season, which presents more physical strain and likely more injuries on players for the same pay as now.

The NFL is a gold mine run by the comish who is in cahootz with the owners. They are looking to increase revenue with the addition of two more regular season games without the expense of relational pay towards players. You can’t blame them for wanting to increase revenue. But you can blame them for wanting to do it for less money.

The funny thing is that, for the most part, the players don’t even want more pay. The just don’t want to play two more games. They feel as though it will decrease quality and increase quantity and they’re probably right. In a sense, the two parties are comparing apples to oranges and it looks like a lockout is imminent 😦

The NBA lockout revolves more around their collective bargaining agreement expiring and a shrinking salary cap for teams. What does this mean? As the NBA consistently has decreasing profits, the salary caps for individual teams are also decreasing. When salary caps shrink, you would think it’s the LeBron’s, Kobe’s, and Melo’s that are the problem children.

But in reality they are more profitable to teams and it is the mid-level players who are over-paid that are ruining my fantasticism. And because these mid-level players make up the majority of the player’s union, a lockout in the 2011-2012 season is definitely looming.

In both instances, the owners and the players have their stances and platforms. And there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. I have my views and they have theirs but I think the one thing everyone can agree on is that all parties win when the players are playing. So, it is in everyone’s best interest to get these issues resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible.