Where Damon Stoudamire gets his pot.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Live Blogging the Raps/Warriors

I won't lie. I stumbled onto this game five minutes before the tip.

This will be my first look at the Bosh/O'Neal/Calderon-era Raptors. And I'm just as excited about the Golden State Warriors. They've got a much different look this season. For instance, DeMarcus Nelson at starting point guard. Yikes. The following is a running commentary of the game.

-Nathan Jawai could be 45 years of age. Now that I've looked it up, he's a year younger than I am. That defies all explanation.

-Is there anything stopping Corey Maggette from jacking up twenty shots per night? Maggette is perfect for a run-and-gun system. He's one of those guys with such a preternatural ability at the offensive end.

-Andris Biedrins is killing them at 7:20 mark in the first quarter. Must be the aerodynamic gel application.

-Nelson knocked down an ill-advised mid-range jumper. Label Nelson a Warriors conformist.

-Gilbert Areans explained the term 'hibachi' in an Adidas commercial. Thank goodness we cleared that up.

-Bargnani has come into the game. Still has that classic look of lethargy.

-After one quarter the game hasn't taken shape. Nothing seems too methodical. Pretty loose affair thus far.

-Jermaine O'Neal stuffed Brendan Wright, followed by a two-handed slam from Bargnani. For Raptors fans this is basically a wet dream.

-Bargnani crams on Turiaf. Doing much better than that scoreless game a couple nights ago. I tried to make some sort of pizza versus croissants joke here, but nothing materialized.

-The Warriors have found their swagger and, subsequently, the lead. And by swagger I mean the ridiculous shots are falling. JO's cold post moves aren't helping the Raps much.

-Jason Kapono looks like those frat boy douchebags you encounter at the bar.

-We're at the half, which means an NBA commercial telling us how charitable its players are. Something tells me Randy Foye stuck out like a sore thumb in Turkey.

-Is that Paul Romanuk commentating the game? I didn't know it was World Junior Hockey season yet.

-Seriously, someone needs to guard Biedrins.

-It's always awkward when white commentators say Hotlanta.

-Jamario Moon has finally made an impact on this game, half-way through the third quarter. I really doubt last year's Jamario Moon craze will sustain itself. In fact, I think all Jamario Moon crazes will cease to exist for all of eternity.

-Apparently the commentator's name is Matt. I have no idea who this Matt is but he sucks compared to Chuck Swirsky.

-Looks like shitty Bargnani is back in the game.

-Tied at 71 apiece. How was Maggette never a part of those Warriors team from the past couple seasons? His move to Golden State was perhaps the most obvious/logical move amongst this summer's transations.

-Raps with a two-point lead after three.

-The current line-up of Kapono, Ukic, Bargnani, O'Neal, and Moon could seriously lose us the game. But oh wait, here comes Joey Graham. That'll stave off defeat.

-You know who's a decent NBA player? That Azubuike guy. I'm not being sarcastic either.
-Maggette has only taken five shots. He must have mono.

-"Four-point game with six forty-five to go." I stole that from the commentator.


-Azubuike has the most under-rated first step in the game. Golden State by five.

-Maggette with the fall-away. Golden State by five with 4:40 to play.

-Bargnani brings the Warriors lead to two. He's got 17 on the night.

-Stephen Jackson: "I make love to pressure."

-The Raps are down one with forty-some-odd seconds to play. You need to go to Bosh right now.

-Bosh goes baseline and dunks over a couple guys. Seriously, that stuff about going to Bosh came before it actually happened. Of course I don't have any proof...

-The Air Canada Centre already has playoff intensity.

-Jermaine O'Neal with a huge block. Unfortunately the block goes directly to Al Harrington, who promptly nails a three-pointer. Warriors by two with 22.1 to play.

-Tie game with 14.5 to play off two Bosh free throw. The last two minutes, characteristically of the NBA, are taking a half-hour to play.

-Maggette doesn't get the call on a last-second drive. The Raps have 0.7 remaining. Run a play for Kapono.

-Parker narrowly misses a three-point try. Over-time. Tied at 96.

-Without Parker's defensive abilities the Raptors would have lost this game already.

-Bagnani, Bosh, and Calderon have pushed the Raps lead to six with under two minutes remaining.

-The Raptors win 112-108. Two games, two wins. Two completely different versions of Andrea Bargnani.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NBA Preview: Condensed & Tangential

The NBA season is upon us. Last season the league went from fledgling arena for die-hards of pituitary cases to professional sports' most vibrant young league. This season, the fans will actually care about the Larry O'Brien champions' quest for a title defense. The upstart youth will track down and possibly surpass their elders. And Isiah Thomas will throw each of his children under the bus for each subsequent overdose. Good times indeed.

Three games tipped off this evening. Aside from Greg Oden continuing his quest to become his generation's Bill Walton, there wasn't much to report. The favourites won their games and big names were slow out the gates. That said, I've compiled some notes about each team in the NBA. My preseason picks have been lacking. Thus, they'll become early season picks. Tonight is the Eastern Conference.

Atlantic Division

Boston Celtics
I love Jesus Shuttlesworth (ie. Ray Allen). He has one of the great all-time shots and he was one of the only good players post-Jordan for the Jordan Brand (I'm looking directly at Darius Miles and Q-Rich right now). But he's the stick in the spokes for the Celtics. Did you see those stinkers he threw up in the playoffs last season? His legs are gone and he's become one-dimensional. If the shots not falling, he becomes useless on the floor. Look for Leon Powe to break out.

Philadelphia 76ers
I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid on these guys. Individually I like their players. As a team, they even have some swagger after last year's finish and performance against the Pistons. But aren't they a bit too much of a rag-tag group of kids? They're like the Little Rascals of the NBA. Their guys are all pretty good. But no one player is going to bowl you over. Look out, however, for Thaddeus Young. I sense an MIP season from him.

Toronto Raptors
Colangelo swung his balls on that O'Neal deal. It was great to get rid of Ford. He had to go somewhere. The Raptors faithful would prefer he take his neck sprains south of the border. But depth, which hadn't been a problem the past couple seasons, is a weak spot. Who steps up between Ukic/Solomon? That makes me queasy. And losing Delfino, who could've functioned as a point forward behind Calderon, is a bigger loss than most realize.

New Jersey Nets
The elder statesman to your 08-09 New Jersey Nets? Vince Carter. Mentor to Yi. A former all-star without the hops to carry him in his senescence. Their roster list made me pop a Xanax. It's that bad. Outside of Chris Douglas-Roberts and Sean Williams, I see no reason why anyone would watch this team. I think they're headed for the Eastern Conference basement.

New York Knicks
It won't get better for basketball's version of the Jackson family. But I like that d'Antoni is kicking the fat guys (ie. Curry) to the curb in favour of speed. The thought of Nate Robinson throwing up eight 3-pointers per game is salivating. And David Lee will get some burn. There are so many bad teams in the NBA worth watching and the Knicks are one of them.

Central Division

Detroit Pistons
I'm one of the few people who thinks the Pistons have a legitimate shot at going deep. Their older players are on the down slopes of their careers, but still have some good basketball in them. And with the system Joe Dumars has created, a number of key role players can step in and lighten the regular season load for guys like Rasheed, Chauncey, and Rip. Both Amir Johnson and Rodney Stuckey will garner votes for the MIP.

Chicago Bulls
Let's forget about last season. Let's call a mulligan. This season is a do-over. They're young and deep. Tyrus Thomas is going to be a homeless man's Shawn Marion, albeit without crippling insecurity. I love Joakim Noah, unlike 90% of the basketball-loving population. They need to shed some weight in the guard category, but otherwise, I can't see how they miss the playoffs on consecutive years.

Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have finally completed their white-out in the post-Auburn Hills era! This is another team, like New Jersey, that is without personality. Why would I watch them? How could Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Troy Murphy interest me? Unless Marquis Daniels takes them to Jamal Tinsley's favourite hang-outs I'll never show an interest in this team.

Cleveland Cavaliers
The Mo Williams acquisition is bigger than people realize. For the moment, he provides the Cavs with a second scorer. And when they unload Szczerbiak's (the spell check is going bonkers of that one) expiring contract for a player of Michael Redd's calibre, the Cavs will be poised for a deep run in the playoffs. You can pencil them into the Eastern Conference Finals.

Milwaukee Bucks
Welcome to the land of small forwards! Apparently the state of Wisconsin has a penchant for dudes in the 6-foot-7, 6-foot-8 range. How long will it take before the Joe Alexander pick looks like a joke? Wow, he can put it through his legs and dunk! He's like a white Gerald Green! (By the way, being a white Gerald Green is not good.) Once again, we have a team of capable players and some borderline all-stars, but cohesion is the main problem here. Another season of missing the playoffs.

Southeast Division

Orlando Magic
Here's something I haven't written on: the acquisition of Mickael Pietrus. I've always liked this guy, only he got buried in that deep run-and-gun Warriors team. I think Pietrus will surprise people. And J.J. Redick could make his way into the line-up. What's the over/under on his point average? a 6.5? I might take the over on this one. Look out ladies of Orlando!

Atlanta Hawks
I really don't like the Hawks to make any noise this season. Al Horford is a beast in training, but Atlanta's upswing kind of reminds me of the Clippers when they had that one-off season when they lost to the Suns in the second round. The only thing keeping them on the cusp of an eighth spot is Horford's improvement from first to second seasons.

Miami Heat
I like this Miami team, mostly because of how dysfunctional they look on paper. On one hand you have bona fide stars, on the other you have Chris Quinn. But with a healthy D-Wade they should contend for a playoff spot.

Washington Wizards
Gilbert Arenas keeps this team in the news. But to be frank, I haven't done much thinking about them this off-season. Arenas got his money. Jamison got his too. I like Tough Juice and Nick Young, but there's something missing. In the end, I think it'll be that financial motivation from last season.

Charlotte Bobcats
Christ. The Bobcats. They might be the most poorly run franchise in the NBA. How can Charlotte even support these guys? Individually there's a lot to like on this roster (and their rosters from the past couple seasons), but in true Bobcats fashion, they'll disappoint. And Larry Brown will find a scapegoat. Raymond Felton, I have a feeling it could be you. And Adam Morrison cut his hair. Dammit! I was holding out for an awkward five-game road trip when Morrison rocked corn rows courtesy of Gerald Wallace's sister.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chocolate Thunder

Today I can't find the time for a full post, so I'll leave you with some videos.

This isn't the exact video I wanted to find, but here you'll find some highlights of a celebrity dunk competition featuring Deion Sanders, Ken Griffey Jr., and Mike Conley Sr., Olympic Champion long jumper and father to Conley Jr. Conley is far and away the strongest dunker in the competition. Still nice to see Neon Deion and Griffey throwing down with their flat top hairdo's.

Scottie Pippen from the foul line? I had never heard of Pippen participating in a dunk contest. Someone of his calibre and skill-set just wouldn't do it in today's game. Does this dunk go down as one of the most underrated in dunk competition history? It's certainly not in the canon.

Pre-Amare Stoudamire and part-Blaxploitation film. Darryl Dawkins said he was from the Planet Lovetron. And people think Gilbert Arenas is weird? Dawkins was like an overgrown Kool Keith.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Links & Thoughts

To start, some links:

Larry David's thoughts on the upcoming US election. I think most of us are in a similar state of anxiety.

This is a great interview in the New York Times with Josh Childress regarding his European experience thus far. (via TrueHoop)
What I found particularly interesting about this article was how the camaraderie of a European team (ie. team meals) was similar to that of a collegiate basketball program. For intellectual guys like Childress (those who value certain things more than basketball) this aspect of European basketball sounds appealing. And the money. Childress likes the money.
Overall the team experience in Europe isn't quite like Kobe Bryant being flanked by body guards on team outings. Though maybe Bryant will bring that to Europe some day.

Lastly, a profile I wrote about Ryan Cochrane for the Martlet. Since the article is more formal (aka standards of journalism this site doesn't aspire to) I wasn't able to mention that Cochrane is a cool, down-to-earth guy. Definitely an athlete worth cheering for. Cochrane recently won a bronze medal in swimming in the 1500-metre event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I hope to see him at the top of the podium in London in 2012 and at next year's World Championships in Rome.

I caught my first televised basketball of the season this evening. Well, sort of.

To start I watched only twenty minutes or so. Secondly, this was over the internet. Cavs-Pistons & TWolves- Bulls pre-season may sound appealing to a basketball junkie, but it ain't. And when the resolution of the live feed actually allows a viewer to count the pixels on the screen, that is also not good.

The clincher? To the side of the action, and taking up half the screen, was a live chat during the game. As a society, I think it's safe to say that we are much more racially tolerant and tolerant of homosexuality than in past decades. So where has all the homophobia and racism gone? The internet, of course!

This live chat in particular featured a string of gay-bashing, some of which was directed towards Kirk Hinrich or other players of potential mediocrity. Not a lot of racist stuff, however. (Go to a YouTube comments section for that.) Anyway, the homophobia is so rampant that gay is edited on the website as such: ***. Example: Kirk Hinrich is so ***. So, in an ultimate moment of creativity, users such as PISTONSFORLIFE and KOBEBRYANT have started saying 'ghey'. Well done, gentleman.

What did I glean from twenty minutes and for teams? Not much. Tayshaun Prince looked nice. The Cavs were lost without Lebron on the floor. McCants & Foye are chuckers, only Foye's shots go in. Of course I haven't yet checked the box scores. And now that I have I am pleased to announce the T-Wolves both started and ended the game with nine-point quarters! Welcome to post-KG era!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Sam Cassell. Easily amused.

This is a short post. This is a way for me to sacrifice a major portion of the upcoming seven or eight months of regular season play.

Most journalists, and sports writers, myself included, make claims about teams and other players without fully examining them. By examining them I mean watching them play. It's easy for me to talk up David Lee or Amir Johnson (especially in an age where highlights are easily found on the internet/YouTube) but nothing compares to watching the actual game. Stats are great, but sometimes I rely on them more than in-game analysis.

That is why I will watch every NBA player this upcoming season.

Here's how it breaks down: I will watch every NBA player who is on the opening day roster lists. Inevitably I'll catch some in-season signings on the court, but I'd be a sadist to keep up with every 10-day contract the Clippers or Thunder sign this year.

Another catch is that it'll be tough to watch 11th and 12th men. But I'll do my best.

An even greater catch is that I don't have League Pass. And so it begins...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sweet and Lovely

Please excuse the lack of updates lately. I'll resume with some scattered thoughts about the Raptors, and one of my favourite non-players, Adam Morrison.

Joey Graham or Jamario Moon?

I'd be lying if I said this conundrum was chock full of potential success for the Toronto Raptors. It's nothing like the Ford/Calderon debates. It's a debate between two marginal NBA players, neither of whom will average over 10 points per contest this season.

And yet the Raptors are faced with a dire situation at Small Forward, even Shooting Guard for that matter. Jamario Moon came out of left-field last season. Between his shot blocking capabilities and dunks he became a fan favourite. No other player contested for that starting spot, and Moon hustled his way into the rotation.

So what would any professional athlete in a contract year do after surprising fans and management in his rookie campaign? Come into camp out of shape, of course!

For all the great things Moon did last season, he seems to be a poor man's Keon Clark. And Keon Clark could be a homeless crack addict right now. Moon's game is just too limited. He tends to fall in love with the outside shot (otherwise known as Vince Carter Syndrome) when his strengths lie in length and athleticism. The guy drives Sam Mitchell nuts.

Joey Graham, on the other hand, hasn't had any opportunity to showcase his abilities. In fact, I've rarely seen him play on television. The trouble with Graham, from what I've gleaned from those games and some commentary, is that you get one or the other: Good Joey or Bad Joey.

But I can't help but feel Graham needs a fair shake, whether it's 20 minutes per game or a starting position and slightly more burn. A lack of consistency often comes down to confidence, and it's difficult to gain any when you're planted on the bench. There must be a reason the Raptors have held onto him as long as they have. Graham is not a step down from Moon. As athletes, both are great, but Graham brings a definite physicality which the Raptors could use on perimeter defense, possibly their weakest area last season.

Yet as much as I think Graham should get his chance to play, Colangelo needs to make a definite move towards strengthening a weak backcourt and front-line.

Shortly after a post I made about Adam Morrison and JJ Redick between a week and two weeks ago, the online hoops world had a few things to say about Morrison. Most of the news revolved around his future, or lack thereof, with the Charlotte Bobcats. I mentioned his terrible efficiency, yet another writer went a step further in announcing that Morrison, during his rookie season, was the least efficient player in the NBA who received considerable playing time (over 25 minutes per game or thereabouts).

The Bobcats recently extended his and Sean May's contracts, yet talks have swirled around Morrison being shopped around. A DNP-Coach's Decision certainly doesn't help his cause for a future in Charlotte.

Would Morrison be a decent pick-up, or even a steal? Like I mentioned before, I can't help but think his career is over. The NBA is too athletic. His forty-year-old man legs only got slower with knee surgery. Outside of picking him up off waivers I can't see any reason why a sane NBA GM would take a chance on him. Then again, most of them are idiots.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Self Portrait w/ Electric Brain

Due to time constraints, here is another edition of things to be excited about in the coming NBA season, in typical loose fashion.

-The play of Monta Ellis. Imagine signing a huge contract (enough money to support yourself, a large extended family, and two ex-wives) and then promptly losing the faith of your organization at the hands of a Mo-ped accident. Athletes and motorcycles don't mix. Ask Jay Williams. A Mo-ped seems like a logical move towards less danger and excitement, but alas Ellis couldn't handle to feminine curves of Bay Area roads. Will the injuries sustained to Ellis's ankle impede one of the NBA's quickest guards? Between Jay Williams and Ellis I could have a nervous breakdown if another promising guard goes down on a two-wheeler.

-The Raps starting small forward spot. Kapono? Moon? God forbid it goes to Joey Graham. Easily the weakest area of the Raptors attack.

-David Lee! In a move which indicates that the Knicks organization has a serious lack of mentally retarded individuals this season, David Lee will get some more burn in New York. Which must excite the Knicks faithful as Lee is about the only player they liked in the Isiah-era. Here is the prediction: Lee will be voted into the All-Star Game by the Eastern Conference coaches. You heard it here first.

-The Artest experiment. There's no way Yao and McGrady will let Ron-Ron get out of line. In fact, I expect some workman-like production from Artest and great returns. Only Yao and McGrady (who is 30 going on 37) will never hold up for an entire season for the Rockets to make serious noise.

-Celtics Boot Camp. I love what they're doing in Boston, which is essentially running a regular season six-month boot camp for NBA delinquents, with KG as the principal. Would Darius Miles have the audacity to tell off someone in the Blazers organization, let's say Brandon Roy? Sure would. How about Kevin Garnett, the scariest man in the league? Nope. Whether Miles actually puts together some semblance of a career is another matter, but I love this approach. After winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy the Celtics feel they can mesh anyone into their system. Same reason why they drafted J.R. Giddens.

-Anything Trailblazers-related. Between Roy, Aldridge, Oden, and the insurgency of Rudy Fernandez and (fingers-crossed) Sergio Rodriguez they'll easily be the most dangerous, and fan-favourite, young team in the NBA. Let's all pray they keep their health together. Or else the Blazers will be like a more tragic, fun version of the Rockets.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Year of Judgment

History very well could peg Adam Morrison as another mis-step in the post-basketball management career of Michael Jordan and little else. Only three years ago Morrison and Redick slugged it out for the nation's scoring title and captivated a national audience. It seems like that happened more than ten years ago.

Since being drafted I've had few opportunities to watch them on television. To start, the Bobcats aren't exactly in high demand for those outside of North Carolina. (Or in North Carolina from the looks of it.) But more importantly, the play of both guys was mediocre. Redick rode the bench when I believed he had a legitimate shot at competing for a starting position in a weak Magic backcourt. Morrison's season was less mediocre than Redick's though fraught with inconsistency and absolute stinkers with respect to field-goal percentage and overall efficiency. Watching Morrison, on the couple occasions I managed to, revealed a one-dimensional player: Morrison could only jack up shots. And they missed.

Which brings us to Year Three for JJ and Morrison. Early reports out of Orlando indicate that Redick should see a little more action this season. Morrison looks destined for worse. On a highly athletic (though terrible) Bobcats team, I simply can not find a spot for a one-dimensional player coming off a down season after tearing his ACL.

(And apparently Morrison's hair is longer. Like waist-length ponytail. And more facial hair. What's with these wholesome-looking white dudes in the League who go nuts overnight? Case example: Robert Swift. His career has been packed with injuries, so what did he do with all that free, rehabbing time? Got a bunch of tattoos and grew a huge ponytail. What possesses these white NBA players to go all Cherokee Parks? CP is the white man's trailblazer for freedom of expression.)

How much of the Redick/Morrison thing was a fabrication of the white sports media (which is really, really white)? As a collective entity did they project their want of white sports heroes in collegiate basketball in the form of JJ and Adam? Granted, both players put up big numbers in big programs, but the media certainly elevated them to levels of Bird-esque grandeur. NBA scouting services went so far as to call Morrison the next Bird.

Isiah Thomas famously remarked that Larry Bird was a fabrication of the white media. I'm not sure how the media fabricates three Championships, but hey.

Were Isiah Thomas to ask the same of Redick and Morrison, you'd have a difficult time arguing against him considering the perspective we now have, their professional output in tow. Their respective games just don't translate to the NBA-level. A part of me wishes for both of them to find some modicum of success, which, realistically speaking, means earning 'role player' status. Redick in particular has something to offer. His shot is still textbook. During the two or three times I've seen him make late entries into a game, he never failed to work hard for his shot and nail a couple threes.

With Morrison coming off surgery I don't see a bright future for him. At least not in Charlotte. The Second Coming of Larry Bird he is not. Ultimately, his legend was the greater of fabrications. And I think that's what history will ascertain from his career.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Banana Question

A quote from Amir Johnson's Wikipedia page:

"Amir has a brother that he dont know about and his brother plays basketball at Penn State and his name is David Jackson."

(Quick Amir, check your Wikipedia page! Your brother has been revealed! Ungrammatically!)

The Wiki editors let an abominable opening paragraph reach the interweb. Regardless, one of the NBA's most efficient, albeit unused, players will begin the pre-season as a starting power forward.

The Pistons, despite multiple years of uninspiring play in crunch-time, look like a dangerous team.

The biggest issue with the Pistons has always been motivation, namely that they believe they can turn it on whenever it counts (ie. the playoffs). But they can't turn it on whenever they want. If first-year coach Michael Curry can get through to them - and new coaches can always light a fire under their player's asses - they'll be fantastic.

Amir Johnson will finally get some burn. I believe him and Stuckey will tally up many MIP votes. Maxiell is still a fantastic piece off the bench. The only drawback is age. It won't be a major issue this season, but the window is quickly closing for one of the most successful core groups of players of the 2000s. When you look up and down that Pistons roster, they're still menacing. And they have more talent to unleash.

Just don't let Kwame Brown see the court.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Down with James White

James White's athleticism has been on my radar for a while.

During my adolescence, I went to a school where all kids were required to own laptops. When developing this program, the school mistakenly thought the technology-infused academic environment would enhance our academic abilities. Most students ended up playing Quake III or Mario World on a SNES emulator during class. When a teacher walked by someone playing a game, a flurry of hand movement would occur and the game exited safely from the student's screen. Eventually the teachers were wise to these spasmodic actions when their entering our vicinity. My thing was basketball videos. Scouring shitty websites looking for anything basketball related.

(My buddy Tumelo and I used to watch Rucker Park highlights during Canadian History class. Our teacher often showed up to class twenty minutes late. Some girl in the class thought our oohing and ahhing came from watching porn.)

For the first half of high school, I went really big into University of North Carolina basketball. I think a UNC basketball website was my home page. I was up on all their recruits and everything, one of whom was Jawad Williams. Williams participated in a McDonald's All-American dunk contest. David Lee edge out James White in the finals. Lee was pretty creative, but White was an all-out athletic freak. Some videos were posted on the internet and White became a teenage hardcourt myth. Here was a high school kid converting free throw line dunks with more flair than any man who converted the same dunk in the League's version of the contest (Jordan, Dr. J, Brent Barry [obviously]).

Things didn't work out with the University of Florida (where Lee played his ball) and he ended up with the Cincinnati Bobcats for the remainder of his collegiate career. He hasn't held down a permanent NBA gig. Which doesn't matter because his potential move to China spells certain fame for one of basketball's greatest athletes (link via HoopsHype).

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, basketball is built on the spectacular. The greatest moments from most NBA games are when a player defies the conventions and framework of typical NBA basketball and complete a play which challenges the viewers notions of basketball's limits. And this is why James White will succeed in a global market.

White possesses athletic abilities few NBA players, if any, can replicate in the most competitive professional sports league in the world. Against professional competition in China White will dominate and find an ideal venue for his dunking abilitity.

Basketball is rapidly expanding. China's enthusiasm for American players during the 08 Olympics is all the evidence you need. Kobe Bryant's popularity compares favourably with Yao Ming's. And in a sport built on the spectacular, James White could enter a fruitful career in a flourishing global economy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Oakley Cafe

When you speak of unrealized potential in the NBA, former player Keon Clark has to come to mind. As a player he defied any sort of categorical classification with regard to position. He weighed next to nothing. He liked drugs. He left us with too few highlights from a heavily blemished career.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


"Move, trick. Get out the way."

Some things which excite me before the coming 2008-09 NBA season:

-Nathan Jawai's health. Did Colangelo pick up a Mike Sweetney character here? Is his blood-type Dr. Pepper? This guy is a year younger than I am, is a professional athlete, and has cardiac problems. Jawai might have Eddy Curry-syndrome.

-Jose Calderon getting full burn in Toronto. Is Calderon more effective as a spark plug off the bench? Can he progress from last year's breakout season?

-Greg Oden. Part of me feels like he'll be his generation's Bill Walton. Which could bury a promising TrailBlazers franchise.

-Darius Miles, namely how long it'll take before he starts sweating red wine in practice.

-Clippers fans. Expect some big names to fill up the courtside seats at atrocious Clippers home guys while they support their new best friend, Baron.

-Like any year, the shitty teams. I can't wait for the Jefferson-Love-Miller era in Minnesota or the Gay-Mayo era in Memphis. Wow, Gay-Mayo. That's great.

-Denver Nuggets. I fully don't expect them to make the Western Conference playoffs, but with Camby out of town, an already dismal defense gets even worse. What's the over/under on how many times they give up 135+ points? I think a 9.5 makes things interesting.