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Your No. 1 blog source for rantings on The Sonics, The NBA, Voodoo, Chicken Bones, and Penis Invertings

Draft thoughts

Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Just so I can look back and see what a dumbass I was I'd like to write down my current thoughts on the players:

Good to close to great players:
Gerald Green
Chris Paul
(slight dropoff)
Marvin Williams
Danny Granger

Starting lineup quality players:
Hakim Warrick (I foresee a Marcus Cambyesque career, hopefully without the inuries. Potentially a good to great player... with tremendous upside)
Sean May
Deron Williams
Martell Webster
Channing Frye (although the potential to become the next loren woods is also there)
Salim Stoudamire
A. Blatche (18rbg & 8bpg... in HS. but still!)

Bogut (maybe a bit too severe, but I doubt he'll justify a top 3 pick. Not quite a Darko, but nowhere near a Dirk/Gasol either.)
Charlie Villanueva (for those of you who don't recall he was the guy that placed second to Lebron at the McDonalds slam dunk contest. I believe that will be the highlight of his career. That and being able to impersonate the bad guys in Double Dragon.)
Luke Schenscher (If the Sonics get him, it'll be density)
Simien & Turiaf (just a hunch, like the rest of this crap. not horrible NBA careers, just not noteworthy either, I'd guess. I'd guess 8th man of the bench 8-10m a game types. they just don't have that IT factor. haha.)

I also don't think Hodge is gonna amount to much. No clue on Ike Diogu and Chris Taft or Bynum. Or anyone else for that matter.

Speculations post Spurs-dynastification

Thursday, June 23, 2005
Here's the appropriate links 1st off:

Where I got word of the Allan Houston Clause: CelticsBlog. The blogging world never rests people.

The Allan Houston Clause article: (Please note this is the Daily News and any story originating from them should be doubted until proven correct- I'm pretty sure this is the Vecsey newspaper):
Under new CBA, Knicks have one-time option to buy out any player. Money still counts against the salary cap, but not luxury tax.

The Trade:
trade that would send Quentin Richardson and a conditional future first-round pick to the Knicks for Kurt Thomas

So, 1st off, that Houston Clause, while it doesn't aid as much as it seems to, sounds full of it to me. It seems like something Isaiah/the GM's pushed for but one that'll likely be of more benefit to the players, allowing the high market teams to continue to lavish $50M contracts even after sporting a crazy bankroll already.

If you're a GM dumb enough or unfortunate enough to get stuck with a Houston-type contract, I say you should pay the punishment. Hell, in my Fantasy Football league last year 7 teams bypassed taking Peyton Manning over running backs in a league that gave 6pts for a TD pass. Was there a redraft done after a couple of games to placate the idiot GM's? Hells no! (A FFL league champeeenship ain't no joke fellas.) The clause is basically the equivalent of giving a GM the right to carry around a backup pair of undies in case he soils himself. This ain't preschool folks, I don't need no stinking badges, and the only way the mentally impaired GM's of the league are gonna get eliminated is through the process of natural selection(?)/evolution darwin style. There's a reason the Dodo bird didn't make it. The damn thing had wings, couldn't fly, and had s**t for brains. Let's just move on.

As for the genius move of landing Q.... hmmm.
Knicks roster:
Backcourt: Marbury, Crawford, Q, Penny, Trevor Ariza, Houston (if move doesn't go down)
Frontcourt: Tim Thomas, Mo Taylor, Sweeney, Jerome Williams, Malik Rose

For comedic purposes you must head over to Hoophype.com's Knicks salary info to complement this. Tim Thomas 14M, Penny 15M, Starbury 16.4, Crawfard 6M, Q 6M... That's funny to me. I believe Knickerblogger or some other Knicks site (i'm paraphrasing, and probably incorrectly too) pointed out the fact at the Malik Rose trade that trying to cut salaries pre 06 for the Knicks wasn't really logical so adding salaries that compounded to the salary cap until then wasn't as terrible a thing as casually observed. The reasoning made a lot of sense but to me this trade, as is/left alone, doesn't. Even with Thomas' obsession for stockpiling SG's disguised as PG's I'd be shocked if the roster stayed as is without him trying to swing another deal to form a more typical 5 man squad of sorts. Shooting Guards and Power forwards and large salaries, oh my! NY certainly ain't Kansas (or seattle for that matter) Toto...

Also in the works:
Danny Ferry to be GM of the Cavaliers, and Rex Chapman likewise to be GM of the T-Wolves. This stuff is also funny to me. Rex Chapman... Geez, he MUST be a good guy to oversee personnel decisions since he helped get Nash, The SuperDuper MVP of the NBA, to the Suns. As much as I disdain the Walkmeister, I feel in much more competent hands knowing that Oliver and Cho are whispering sweet somethings into the ears of The Wizard of Ineptness. Nevermind that Sund GM signing crap. Purely a smokescreen. DeanO, I am trusting you to grab the wheel and steer the SupesShip towards the promised land when Captain Wally turns his head. Don't let me down.

Look, I don't discount the idea that former players may be competent GM's. I'm just highly dubious of the selection process if one of the qualities the hiring was based on was for this fact. Intelligence and rational thought are priorities 1a and 1b, playing experience priority #28,690 when it comes to selecting the head of the org. Ferry stands a decent chance of being a decent GM cause he's been (hopefully) learning some stuff from Buford in the Spurs org. But Chapman? Really? The guy who brought up the whole race card issue for the Nash MVP voting during the playoffs? Ughhh. I feel fairly confident in my ignorant belief: Chapman's gonna be a waste of money as a GM. At the very least.

Oh yeah, regarding the new CBA.
a) I'm fairly certain that this will result in Ray resigning with the Sonics. If not, Allen will head over to another team via a trade with the Sonics to capitalize on that extra year that the Sonics can give him. Allen at 15M+, Mac-10 at 5M+.... Antonio Daniels has officially left the building. I'll miss you little buddy.

And regarding the Spurs title and post celebration:
For the 1st time in a long time I watched a team win a championship... and felt a certain amount of sadness/envy. I haven't really talked to Matt yet about how much he's enjoying it all, but I'm hoping he's properly savoring the moment.

Watching games 5-7, the Horry magic, Billups in the clutch, Manu, Duncan... the celebrations, the Parker rap... watching the Spurs and the Pistons duel it out, 2 teams I hold no emotional/fanatical ties to, all for the opportunity to hoist above their heads a rather lame looking trophy... Sometimes sports moments just creep up on you and make you realize why you care about games and teams in the 1st place. This uninteresting, slow paced, boring finale came out of nowhere and provided that for me. I want that champeenship feeling sometime in my life and dammit I'm gonna enjoy the moment when it comes.

Oh yeah, if anyone is reading this and is noting just how much more crappy my writing has become... you needn't bother, i'm fully aware. I have no idea how matt does this juggling blogging/work thing.

This is one bad ass motha..

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
“A voice, which must have come from God, whispered to me to drop the panga (machete) and thrust my hand in its wide-open mouth. I obeyed,”

M’Mburugu = My New African Idol

-I bet it was a neighbour with a twisted sense of humor who told him to drop the machete.
-73 years old folks... I'll consider it a victory if I can refrain from wetting my bed at night at that age or get an erection on an annual basis.

An instant classic...

Monday, June 20, 2005
This was the first game i've watched of this finals. I've been reading/told this was a boring series.

The final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter:

3:01 79-80 Chauncey Billups made Free Throw 1 of 2.
3:01 79-81 Chauncey Billups made Free Throw 2 of 2.
2:46 Manu Ginobili made 9 ft running jumper. 81-81
2:27 81-83 Richard Hamilton made jumper. Assisted by Chauncey Billups.
2:19 San Antonio Full Timeout.
2:15 81-83 Rasheed Wallace Shooting Foul. His 4th Personal Foul.
2:15 Robert Horry made Free Throw 1 of 2. 82-83
2:15 Robert Horry made Free Throw 2 of 2. 83-83

2:00 83-85 Rasheed Wallace made 8 ft jumper. Assisted by Chauncey Billups.
1:47 Manu Ginobili missed layup. 83-85
1:46 Robert Horry offensive rebound. 83-85
1:46 Robert Horry made tip shot. 85-85
1:29 85-87 Chauncey Billups made 7 ft two point shot.
1:16 Robert Horry made 25 ft three point jumper. Assisted by Tony Parker. 88-87
1:01 88-87 Richard Hamilton missed jumper.
1:00 Tim Duncan defensive rebound. 88-87
1:00 88-87 Richard Hamilton Personal Foul. His 4th Personal Foul.
1:00 Tim Duncan missed Free Throw 1 of 2. 88-87
1:00 San Antonio offensive rebound. 88-87
1:00 Tim Duncan missed Free Throw 2 of 2. 88-87
0:59 88-87 Tayshaun Prince defensive rebound.
0:59 Detroit Full Timeout.
0:51 88-89 Chauncey Billups made driving layup.
0:33 88-89 Rasheed Wallace Shooting Foul. His 5th Personal Foul.
0:33 Tim Duncan missed Free Throw 1 of 2. 88-89
0:33 San Antonio offensive rebound. 88-89
0:36 Manu Ginobili offensive rebound. 88-89
0:33 Tim Duncan made Free Throw 2 of 2. 89-89
0:33 Detroit Full Timeout.
0:17 89-89 Chauncey Billups missed layup.
0:16 Bruce Bowen defensive rebound. 89-89
0:16 San Antonio Full Timeout.
0:01 Manu Ginobili's layup blocked by Ben Wallace. 89-89
0:00 Tim Duncan offensive rebound. 89-89
0:00 Tim Duncan missed tip shot. 89-89
0:00 89-89 Rasheed Wallace defensive rebound.
0:00 End of the 4th Quarter.

Just wanted to find this for my own recollection of a consecutive series of 9 possesions (depending on how you define possessions) where the two teams, challenging the top 2 defenses in the league in crunch time of a pivotal game 5, converted on NINE STRAIGHT possessions, to keep the teams within 2 points of each other THROUGHOUT THE QUARTER. In a finals game. A game 5. Against the top 2 defenses. Wow.

Since I'm not I diehard fan of either team, I'm not really as emotionally involved in the series. Yet I'd have to believe this was one of the 10 greatest finals games I've witnessed. (My personal NBA history only dates back to the last of the Laker-Celtic series in the 80's.)

Among the intriguing subplots:
-The Wallace f**kups (The Weber Timeout and The Botched Double off of Horry.)
-The compelling play throughout, but especially in the 4th & overtime, when a few select players spit in the face of SABRmatic folk everywhere by building on the lore of The Clutch Player (and the Choke Artist) (and yes, I know this ain't baseball and that stuff don't crossover as easily as Billups does.)
-Groundhog Day aka The Cornerstone aka Mr. Fundamental goes for 26 and 19.... yet ends up being saved by the Man In Black- Mr. Will Smith... err.. horry. Let's see: Duncan as the greatest PF of all time, taking the mantle away from The Mailman? Throwing up solid/spectacular numbers in both points and rebounding? Check. Dissappearing/choking at the end of a crucial game? Check. We have liftoff. (Did anyone else think of Jordan's strip of Malone when Duncan lost the ball/missed those free throws?) (stirring up a pot of hatemail i'm sure)
-Billups looking Isaiah Thomas-esque...
-Yet being overshadowed by Horry
-And having the final play taken away from him for option #2,954: a struggling Rip Hamilton on the block, throwing up, along with flailing elbows, junk in the final shot of the game.
-(note to self: Rip 2005 Finals= Lewis 2005 Playoffs vs. Spurs)

And regarding the final 2 plays:
-The Spurs ran the play for Manu to get the ball in the corner and drive. Duncan was not option 1 in the play. Duncan did not pull a Scottie Pippen. Manu was trapped in the corner & Horry reprises Toni Kukoc's role and plays the hero. Should Duncan be applauded for not demanding the ball, as the reverse held that Pippen was bashed for bitching about his noncall? Is the old "true superstars demand the ball in game on the line situations" something we should seriously question from now on?
---Result of play: Game winning 3. Right call/play. Spurs/Pop are smart
-Similarly for Detroit. Billups has the mojo going throughout the game. Looks unstoppable in the 4th and OT, positively clutch and fearless going into the lane. Yet they set the play up for Hamilton. Should Billups be criticised for not demanding the ball? Is the old "true superstars demand the ball in game on the line situations" something we should seriously bring up now?
---Result of play: Game losing shot. Wrong call/play

I guess that's right. I guess.

-Also, regarding the obvious f**kup by Wallace on leaving Horry... The play had the spurs inbound the ball to Manu in the corner. Wallace comes to double. Manu has the ball in the corner, with boundaries on two sides, and the ++ on the ball defense and long wingspans of Tayshaun Prince and Rasheed Wallace converging on him. If Wallace was half a second faster, Manu half a second slower, I think we'd be singing a different song right about now, and it would not end in Wallace bashing/Horry praises.

-Robert Horry, Robert Horry, Robert Horry. On his 1st few shots converted the initial thought that came to mind was that his legendary status may be the largest reasoning for his legendary status... Eveytime he made a shot the thought in everyone's head, the words spoken out of every nba analyst, is Rob's clutch. If Joe schmoe were to make a 3, make it 2 in the same situation, that wouldn't happen. Of course, I'm not really thinking this right now/anymore... My bad Rob.... You know i was just playin!!

-More Horryisms:
Years from now we're gonna be discussing what a great dynasty the Spurs are. We'll be talking about where they rank in comparison to the 70-80's celtics, the 80's lakers, the 90's bulls...
If Rob doesn't make that shot we'd be wondering where these pistons rank among clutch playoffs teams like the early 90's pistons or late 90's rockets.

If Horry misses, we'd also be talking about the inadequacies of Duncan. The non clutch factor. The what coulda been for a team loaded with such talent, such potential.

Likewise in 02, Horry made that shot and sank the Kings. Webber: inaduquate/choke artist overrated. Peja: likewise. Kings: what could have been.

Robert Horry: A monkey wrench thrown into the space time continuum of the NBA World. Somewhere in Bizarroland The dynastic Kings and Pistons are smiling.

road trip musings

Monday, June 06, 2005
Does anyone here know of the arcade classic game Supershot?

more supershot
even more supershot

(BTW, Don't you just love the age of the internet? Anyone even remember netscape? AOL? Momma.com? It would have been an arduous task to obtain the name, much less a picture of one of these games before, I found 4 sites in 5 minutes. Sweet. And has anyone else heard, or used, this internet 2 thing? Apparently you could download an entire movie in like a minute or the entire Jenna Jameson collection in two. That's f**king nuts. Anyone else look back nostalgically on the 96-98 years when you downloaded songs off of ftp sites in 15-20 minutes with total glee at the absurdity of it all? The excitement of the upgrade from an 18.8 to a 33.3 modem? Or when cablespeed and T1 & T3 were still revolutionary stuff? Nuts, i tell you.)

If you don't know of Supershot, shame on you. It's a game that simulates shooting a basketball. To the naked eye, it was essentially the same game, but to the knowledgable the differences were telltale & obvious. First off, the hoop was lower to eye level. That accompanied with the cage on the top prevented you from shooting with a true arc on your shoot. Secondly, the ball was a lot smaller. The whole follow through and rotation are nowhere near as comfortable to do with that small a ball. No follow through. A guy could be a 80-90% shooter on a regulation free throw but would be KILLED by a Supershot pro if he tried using that in this game. My friend would beat me mercilessly in this game and I always busted out my natural male reaction "Let's take this s**t to the courts now buddee!! I'll f**king bust you for real beeyatch!" (It'd be 1:00 in the morn and I'd be dead serious about finding a court to back up my bravado. Inebriation Roooolz!! And so does dictionary.reference.com!)

When you played Supershot you HAD to adjust your game and your mindset. This WASN'T basketball. This was Supershot. Lose the arc. Ditch the rotation. F**k the follow through. Once you adjusted your mind that this was not the same as the free throw could you begin to get good at this game.

So here's my point. You know those Nike Michael Vick Experience commercials where the guy get's on that roller coaster like ride imitating being Mike "You know how I get down" Vick in a real life NFL game? The one with the classic girlish scream at the end?

Supershot(c) = The NBA Shaquille Oneal Free Throw Experience

Shaq is a monster of a beast, and we earthlings often forget this fact. Matt's estimated (or possibly has privvy to the knowledge) that the diesel's dong is 24 inches long, which would make the distance from his thumb to his index fingertip 2 frikkin feet! Alright, maybe that's an overstatement, but even if his hand was just 1 foot long it'd still be significant enough to make holding & shooting a regulation basketball a different experience altogether. Go crumple some paper into a ball earthling, shoot it into a trash can, and compare that experience to a basketball. There IS a difference.

He's also a 7 foot tall guy. I'm 5'-9". When you're looking UP at the 10' rim, it becomes natural to have a higher arc in comparison to a 7' guy. Like I said earlier I don't blame bigs for not having arc on their shot. The rim's straight ahead; hence the missiles launched by the big fellas. Us 5'-6" earthlings easily deride them cause we don't put ourselves in their size 15 shoes. If you'll also notice some of the better FT% 7'ers had the proccess down of bending their knees(lowering starting point of shot) like Olajuwon. (The Dream is of course the exception rather than the norm, everything about his game seemed like that of a PG-SG: the sick ball handling, the shimmy shake, the ridiculous repetoire of moves... I don't think we will EVER see another 7 footer with the basketball grace of Hakeem. EVER.)

(BTW- I would've loved to add some data here showing the ft% average of all 7 footers vs. the average ft% of guys, say, 5'6"-6'0", to 6'-6'6" etc. I feel pretty safe in assuming that the data would've shown a decided advantage in ft shooting to the smaller guys. Maybe I will some time later. Somehow I doubt it though.)

We've all heard that Shaq has hired numerous different FT shooting trainers to teach him how to shoot. I have no doubts that a) these guys know how to shoot free throws and b) they're probably teaching how THEY shoot FTs. The idiots.

BE THE BALL. If I were to teach Shaq how to shoot I'd do either one of two things:

1) Let him shoot underhand, two handed style.
Harhar. Yer stoopid. That'd look sooooo gay! But the method has decided advantages. First it adds a natural arc to the shoot, since it comes from a lower point of trajectory. The only negative to it is the natural rotation is opposite to that desired. But hey it's still a whole lot frikkin' better than a supershot FT. The other advantage would of course be that we, the fans, would have the pleasure to witness a 7' 350lb behemoth HOFer Center shoot girly style. Honestly, how awesome would that be?

2) Train Shaq to aim higher. What I would do is ingrain(?) into his head that it's natural for him to shoot towards the hoop ("it's not your fault Shaq, it's not your fault") till he broke drown and cried on my shoulder and b) stop this madness by putting up some plexigass between he and the rim, about, oh, 12 ft tall or so for FT practice shooting. Maybe put up nudie pics of a great big grizzly bear a couple of feet above the rim to get him thinking/looking up a bit. And I'd taser the som'bitch anytime he clanked one on the glass. Scratch behind his ears when he got the rotation down. Rub his face in doodoo everyime he threw up a few. I might also consider starting him on training wheels like you do any kid learning how to ride a bike, by starting with a larger rim, and giving that man some candeeee!! every time he made one (positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, the basics for the basics kids.)

Act now Shaq and I'll throw in a free Ginsu knife! And if you're not fully satisfied, return my ass in 30 days for a full refund! (Isn't that ahmaaazing Nancee! And how!!)

So the answer to the age old question: What exactly do you think about when you're in a car for 18 hours straight? For me, it was Shaq's hands and Supershot.