Wednesday, July 11

Chauncey Billups: A Conflict of Interests

What's on your mind, Chauncey?

Everybody and anybody keeping track of the free agency pool this year has got to be already heads up with Chauncey Billups resigning with the Detroit Pistons. Now, it seems that Chauncey Billups will indeed be the face of the Pistons franchise of 2000; will he be one of the most beloved players the franchise has ever had, enough to have his jersey recognized and lifted up into the rafters a decade from now? Only time can spell that answer.

However, it is definitely mind-bending to try and understand the hidden agendas that the general managers and the players themselves try to impose on, no matter how unhidden they are. The resigning of Chauncey Billups follows two brilliant theories, which are also two theories that very well contradict each other. One theory is the 'Make More Money Theory', which was brought to light by none other than Agent Zero (Gilbert Arenas) himself; while the other theory, 'Joe Dumars is a Mad Genius', is generated by both Chris McCosky of The Detroit News and Tom Ziller of The Fanhouse. Both of which seem very brilliant, realistic, and feasible; which is the problem because if that is so: then Chauncey Billups will become a very unhappy fellow.

Dwelling on Gilbert Arenas' contractual lingering, here are some of the highlights of his rant:
What is hard for anybody else to understand besides people in the NBA industry to understand that, on my contract, it’s basically the same thing that Ben Wallace did but without the trade and the same thing that Chauncey is doing.

Now, if you don’t make the max money but you become a max player during the time frame of your original contract, you have to opt out to get the max money.

This has nothing to do with me leaving or trying to look for other teams. I have to do it:

1. To get more years and
2. To increase my pay.

It’s the same thing Chauncey was doing. Chauncey was getting paid four to five million dollars in his contract, and if he extends he’s only going to make 12.5 percent on that amount, which will put him at six million or so. But, if he opts out of that contract, he could possibly start at 10.

In simpler terms: Gilbert Arenas wants to opt out of the last year of his contract to make more money. If he gets a contract extension, he will only receive a 12.5% increase on his salary; on the flip note, if he opts out of his contract and then gets resigned instead, he could start with a much higher increase on his salary. Brilliant? Could be. Arenas claims that Chauncey Billups is doing the same thing this year, as Chauncey suggested "testing the market" regarding his contract option, but that's not where the story ends.

Coming over to the side of Joe Dumars' tactics, here's what the Fanhouse, with the help of McCosky, had to say about the situation of Billups:
Just two weeks ago, people were using Amir's name and the full midlevel in the same sentence. But no one has made Johnson an offer (as far as the known world knows, at least). Why? McCosky explains:
Joe Dumars has made it clear across the league that he was matching any offer for Johnson, so teams have pretty much stayed away.
Sound familiar? This is exactly what happened with Chauncey Billups, and Dumars locked him up with the most reasonable contract imaginable. So Dumars -- by using the media to insist he won't let his free agents get away at any cost -- gets his free agents at reduced costs.
Amir Johnson is close to being locked up by the Detroit Pistons. Despite his tremendous play in the summer leagues and undying potential for the future, no team has yet to offer Johnson a contract save for Joe Dumars. McCoscy explains that it's because Dumars has scared away all suitors by putting his foot down on the signing issue. Tom Ziller of The Fanhouse claims that this is the same strategy that Dumars used on resigning Chauncey Billups. Joe Dumars is going to match any offer that opposing teams make on Chauncey, so why bother right? Thus, the Pistons resign Chauncey at a much cheaper cost as opposed to trying to match offers with other suitors.

Here's where the story twists: If what Gilbert Arenas said is true and Chauncey DOES want more money by opting out, and if the strategy of Joe Dumars in reacquiring free agents is also true; then where does that leave Chauncey Billups? Chauncey Billups wants more money, but Joe Dumars blueprinted a way to lock up multi-million star Chauncey Billups for a price much lower than what Billups could have gotten from other teams given his intangibles and skills as a player. Do we have an unhappy Chauncey Billups?

Love and passion for the game and the team should always come first over money and contracts in moral terms, and maybe that's the real reason why Billups resigned with the Pistons; but why did he have to test the market other than the reason for acquiring a large contract? A possible reason would be the search for a championship contender better than the wailing Detroit Pistons; but with Dumars' antics, didn't that also stifle possible offers from championship contenders such as the Dallas Mavericks? Do we have an unhappier Chauncey Billups?

A major conflict of interests? Indeed, a big one. Once Billups inks the deal, it all becomes official. Only then will the world be certain regarding the outcome of the decision of Chauncey Billups as his years begin to unfold.

Thursday, July 5

Defibrillating The Career of Steve Francis

Poor guy...

Balloons were popped and champaign was poured. It was a night when dreams were made and hearts were broken. It was a day which saw a handful of youngsters hoping to be given the opportunity to embark on a journey towards basketball supremacy, and some for even more. As the doors closed and the telephones fell silent, one man felt a sudden resurgence in his basketball career that he had not felt in a very long time. Through all the draft picks and draft day trades, this man was given a second chance; a second shot to revive his career out of the slums of mediocrity. This man is "Steve-O". No, not the dude from Jackass, but he can be considered one as well. It is a shame to see careers that lift off and go the distance in a vertical horizon only to suddenly plummet to the ground in one swift instance. Welcome to the career of Steve Francis.

Steve Francis was a walking condition-bomb; wherein he had to be kept under a certain condition to prevent him from going off. Everyone knew it, but there was little to be done and so many willing to take the risk and hone this potential superstar. He was selected as the 2nd overall pick in the 1999 draft by the Vancouver Grizzlies, and blatantly detested playing in Canada. Seriously, why does everyone hate Canada? He then swore to make the Chicago Bulls regret selecting Elton Brand ahead of him in the 1st overall pick. Without a choice, the Grizzlies traded Francis to the Houston Rockets where Francis made an ass, err.. a career out of himself and earned the name Steve Franchise. The catalyst to containing the potentially-mercurial point guard? Cuttino Mobley. Francis and Mobley not only created an explosive back court, but a lasting friendship as well; even as they were traded together to the Orlando Magic.

A strand of hair was holding the composure of Steve Francis, and that strand of hair was suddenly blown by a gust of wind; and before anyone knew it, Steve Francis broke down. The Orlando Magic traded away the best friend of Steve Francis, and he slowly deteriorated until he was never the same again. Francis fell into a deep slump in the following season which had everyone scratching their heads wondering what went wrong with the league's best point guard. He had lost the love and passion for the game. When it finally came down to it, Steve Francis got himself thrown off the team. He was shipped off to the New York Knicks in hopes of creating one of the most feared back courts in the league at the side of Stephon Marbury; which never materialized as his entire tenure with the New York Knicks was hobbled by recurring injuries. Now, nobody really knows of Steve Francis anymore and he'll only be referred to as "Oh yeah! Him!" when his name is mentioned. One of the best point guards of his time has become an unknown shadow with a single Wink (pun intended). The Chicago Bulls won't be regretting selecting Elton Brand over Steve Francis anymore, so it seems.

The resurrection: On June 28, draft day, The New York Knicks sent Steve Francis packing to the Portland Trailblazers. This is where the resurrection of Steve Francis' career begins. After his sudden plummet from the sky, Steve Francis has finally received the ultimate opportunity to start anew. His career is on the orange zone leaving him with only a few years left if he does indeed remain healthy, but it's a new start nonetheless to try and salvage a few remaining squeezes out of his supposed-superstar career. He has a great opportunity to start and lead his new team with the draft-of-the-decade's ultimate prize at his disposal at the post, and a new back court partner to try and rekindle the burned out flames in his heart after it was broken by the Orlando Magic separation. The only question remaining, other than the health of Steve Francis, is if he still believes that he has an opportunity: Does the man that possesses the killer crossovers and the lethal ankle breakers along with the thunderous slam dunks still exist, or is he now a dead log sitting alone beside the swamp without even the company of the frogs or the flies? He has the support of the world behind his back, especially the ones who used to idolize and look up to the great point guard that he was, but when it all comes down to it, it will be his decision and his will to revive his career. It takes a lifetime to build a career but a few wrong turns can send it tumbling down quickly with much regards to Steve Francis, but that's not the hard part; is he going to have the confidence to climb back up or waste away like Isaiah Rider did?

Pull yourself together Steve, you're not out of it yet.

Wednesday, July 4

Off-Season Review Part 2/30: The Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics: 24-58

Key player performance

Paul Pierce: Last season, Paul Pierce became one of the greatest examples of futility and a burn-out by a basketball player in a season. Pierce is playing in the prime of his career, and displayed one of the best regular seasons of his days last season; unfortunately, his team was going the opposite direction. Pierce sat out half the season, with majority of the games coming as the season was coming to an end. Either Pierce was really hampered by injuries, or he gave up on the season completely. Pierce is an overall great guy: basketball player, business man, and family man, and people can attest to that; but Paul Pierce looks TIRED. Tired of playing? Maybe. Tired of losing? Probably. His eye bags have grown and he slouches on the bench in his designer clothes looking on as the score runs up against his team. What an incredible waste of talent, especially with the outcome of last season. It is an amazement that Pierce has yet to cry foul and demand a trade. Somebody get this guy some wins, please!

Al Jefferson: Al is one of the few bright spots in a plane of dark apathy of failure that is the Boston Celtics of the present; and he carries one major goal for himself and for all the other million Celtics-fans across the globe: spread the brightness and carry Boston back up to the peak. Al Jefferson, coming out of his 3rd season, showed tremendous improvements in his game during the past season. The season was an overall failure for the Celtics, including the off-season, but Al Jefferson gave hope for the franchise after surprising everyone with his dominance in the low-post. From an underachieving sophomore, to one of the most powerful post presences in the league, defensively and offensively. It's a surprise Jefferson did not win the Most Improved Player Award; only because a number of other players vastly improved as well. He has a streak of Zach Randolph on him, so look for him to break out next season the same way Randolph did a few years ago.

Delonte West: A decent guard that has flourished in some clutch situations. The most notable moment would be a game-winning shot against the Charlotte Bobcats early on in the season from a kick-out pass by Paul Pierce. Delonte is a young player, and has already shown toughness in his career through a number of breakout games last season; although his minutes were moved back late in the season. It was a valiant effort by Delonte to try and lead the Celtics to a respectable regular season showing, but never really got to that point. Expect him to further improve his game... Seattle.

Team review:

The Boston Celtics continued their dismal display of basketball yet again this season winning only 24 games out of a possible 82. Their awful campaign came to its climax with a lengthy 18-game losing streak stemming from January 7 all the way to February 14; with the streak-breaking win coming at the expense of the Milwaukee Bucks. The 6th longest losing streak in the history of the NBA tarnished the reputation of what was once the proudest franchise in all of basketball. After the fallout, everyone knew that the Celtics were done for the season. The best thing left to do was to skip futile efforts, sit Paul Pierce, and let the young guns play the garbage games and try to develop their games. It is still questionable as of the moment whether Pierce really did decide to sit it out and disguise it with a "season-ending injury", but the weariness in his face was evident. After the incident, the media along with a bucketful of fans, watchers, and such, accused the Boston Celtics of tanking to try and get the worst record in the league for the best chance to acquire one of the top 2 picks in the draft. Nobody really knows for sure whether it was a purposeful disgrace of the game or the Celtics just couldn't win, but Doc Rivers still got his contract extension nonetheless for his efforts in coaching the team to the 2nd worst record in the league. Unfortunately, luck was never on the Celtics' side as the draft that was 19-years in the making fell towards the favor of Portland and Seattle. The disappointed Celtics, which acquired a "low" pick at #5, decided to trade their pick for Ray Allen. An act of desperation? Or a subtly genius trade? Although all signs point to the former, check it out next season.

Player transactions:

An obviously disgruntled Celtics front-office drafted G-Town forward Jeff Green with the 5th overall pick and shortly after traded the rights to Green, along with Wally Sczerbiak and Delonte West, to the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen. It seems like an act of desperation, and the world is asking how the hell will Ray Allen fit in with the Boston Celtics? Ray Allen did fine with the Sonics considering Rashard Lewis dwells more on the post area and Ray Allen controls the perimeter, but can the same combination work with the Celtics? Well, why not? It looks good on paper, but it can turn out to be bad on the court itself if the two can't find a way to coexist; much like Steve Francis and Stephon Marbury. On the flip note, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen are both good citizens and good people who have developed their service and humility; in other words, they're old and don't belong to the new generation of luxury and thuganomix. They will indeed find a way to coexist without hogging the ball from each other; given the fact that Paul Pierce is versatile enough to play through anywhere on the floor. It's an exciting wait for the outcome, unfortunately it will be short-lived as both Allen and Pierce are approaching wear and tear within the next give-or-take 5 years. Shame.

Let's expect:

The total productivity of the Boston Celtics will rely heavily on the coexistence of Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. However, it is already quite a guarantee that the Celtics will improve next season as compared to the last one. Unfortunately, there's an eerie foreboding from out of nowhere that's whispering that both Allen and Pierce will be out for long periods of time during the season due to injuries. If the two stay healthy though, along with Al Jefferson, the playoffs is not an impossibility.

Potential starting line-up:

C - Kendrick Perkins
PF - Al Jefferson
SF - Paul Pierce
SG - Ray Allen
PG - Rajon Rondo

Injury-riddled? or surprisingly blended? Watch out for the Boston Celtics next season..

Full Court NBA Blog will be reviewing the teams of the NBA, how they fared last season, and what is expected of them next season with the current off-season moves that have taken place. Feel free to e-mail your thoughts and suggestions regarding any team at any time.

Tuesday, July 3

Off-Season Review Part 1/30: The Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks: 30-52

Key player performance

Joe Johnson: Joe played the best regular season performance in his career as of the moment, and history points to him only getting better next year; much like he has each year in an increasing rate. He averaged over 30 points in the first few games of the season leading the Hawks to a 9-4 start. Supposedly one of the elite scorers as of the present, Joe was sidelined midway through the season and played in only 57 games.

Josh Smith: "Growing up before our very eyes" was the phrase most commonly used to describe the young Josh Smith last season, and why wouldn't it be? Smith showed flashes of dominance by scoring over 20 points and grabbing over 15 rebounds and swatting some 5 shots in some games late in the season. Although he is erratic in game concentration (fumbling inbound passes) and good decision making (shot selection), and he can't hit long-range shots to save his life; it was nonetheless an overall improvement for Josh. Although he is referred to by some as a "jerk".

Marvin Williams: Although Marvin Williams is a "bust", considering the fact of how high he was selected in the draft and as compared to the others who were selected after him (namely Deron Williams and Chris Paul), Marvin Williams is OK. Come on, that draft class was weak as hell save for picks #3 and #4. As a consolation for selecting a "bust", the Hawks found themselves a solid forward like any other solid forward in the league. Score some, rebound some, and puts up a decent 1-on-1 defense, and nothing more; although his turnovers were a killer.

Team review:

The Hawks started out pretty fast going 9-4 in their first 13 games, highlighted by a 4-game winning streak that had everybody jumping out of their seats in surprise of the young Atlanta Hawks. However, it was a landslide from there and the Hawks found themselves way down low once again. The Hawks were too young, and they lacked a few pieces. Of course, a season-ending injury in the middle of the season to their rising-star Joe Johnson didn't help at all, although they were pretty much deep in the hole anyway by that time. The Hawks found it difficult to actually get anything done, relying heavily on plays that began at the perimeter; mainly because they worked with a "point guard" in Speedy Claxton and a much referred to as a "poor-man's Brad Miller" in Zaza Pachulia. Tyronn Lue is available, but he's only as much as a kick-in-the-nuts from the bench. The Hawks have had a void in the PG and C positions for quite some time now, and it's about time that it has been addressed after a continuous roll of poor player transactions (Pau Gasol for Shareef Abdur-Rahim, nice going). Overall, the core of the Atlanta Hawks team is very young but don't count them out as they showed vast improvement this year compared to the preceding seasons.

Player transactions:

The Atlanta Hawks are FINALLY draft winners. The higher gamble would have been to take Conley with the 3rd pick and a second-rate center with the 11th, but the Atlanta Hawks decided to take the safe route: Taking the "dominant big man" route by selecting Al Horford at 3rd, and selecting the second best point guard in the draft, Acie Law, at 11th (mainly because there aren't really many good point guards in the draft). However, the "best point guard" in the draft is still debatable between Law and Conley, with Conley receiving the edge for going further in the NCAA Tournament and playing with nuts of steel. The Atlanta Hawks have finally addressed the two main voids in their roster: A center and a point guard. Although time may be the only one that can tell if Al Horford can indeed bang bodies with the biggest of them, Acie Law could be a shoo-in for boosting the Atlanta Hawks. Acie Law is often compared to the "awesome" Sam Cassell, and his play in the NCAA Tournament shows he is a proven scorer.

Let's expect:

Atlanta is entering a new era of Hawks basketball, symbolized by the new Atlanta Hawks jerseys. With the Atlanta Hawks' lineup finally intact, look for them to boost their regular season performance. Making the playoffs is still questionable with two of their potential-starters still rookies, but improvement nonetheless is an expectation. The Atlanta Hawks are a very very young team, being led by 26-year old Joe Johnson, so look for them to make their mark as one of the East's elite within the next 2 or 3 years. The future of the Hawks franchise is bright.

Potential starting line-up:

C - Al Horford
PF - Marvin Williams
SF - Josh Smith
SG - Joe Johnson
PG - Acie Law

Next season will be like testing the waters, but the playoffs is not an impossibility.

Full Court NBA Blog will be reviewing the teams of the NBA, how they fared last season, and what is expected of them next season with the current off-season moves that have taken place. Feel free to e-mail your thoughts and suggestions regarding any team at any time.

Saturday, June 30

NBA Draft Rewind

The NBA Draft had its share of winners and losers, and the zillion citizens of Earth are debating about it day in and day out without paying heed to their breath. The truth is, no one will really know until the season rolls on and we see Greg Oden breaking backboards or when (not if) we see Kevin Durant shockingly shooting 45% from half-court shots.

True enough we can only be so sure as to who the winners and losers are in this present moment, and the players aren't it. How about Dick Vitale, Ric Bucher, Chris Mullin, and a handful of other freakazoids roaming the worldwide sports network? Open your fly, and get ready to pee your pants, despite your fly already being open.

The ugly NBA Draft Rewind [The Sports Hernia]

Dick Vitale should shave his arms.

The "Infamous" Kobe Video

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Full Court NBA Blog proudly brings to you the infamous 24-second video that I would never pay $2 for and just wait for the world wide web to pirate a copy for me to watch (prolong pronunciation of "a"): the Areyoukiddingme Bynum, the MostashamedGMintheworld Buss; the Kobe Bryant video and audio! (Source:

Let's be honest here. Is this 24-second clip really worth your $2? Self-centered reflections reveal "No"; but if your $2 contribution was the only way for the public to have their eyes opened as to what Kobe Bryant truly felt and meant when his estrogen levels erupted without all the sugar-coated news article and analysis: it could have been the donation of a lifetime. Kobe Bryant is taking out the trash; much like what he is holding in the video.

Until everyone learns to forget and live with the fact that Kobe curses, much like 6 billion other people in the world, and is frustrated with having to watch his teammates play like crap and there is not a damn thing he can do about it, much like 6 billion other people in the world would.

Think with me for a second here, could this video have been orchestrated by Kobe Bryant himself? Is he actually looking into the camera when he was running his mouth off? Thanks to the inventor of opaque glasses (shades), we can't say for sure if the hidden camera wasn't so hidden after all.

Keep your $2; go enjoy a burger and a coke, and enjoy this video instead:

That's what I'm talking about.

Technical Knock Out

With the NBA off-season's most exciting and awaited event, the NBA Draft, over with; the time has been slugging and crawling along one microsecond at a time. In other words, it has been SLoOoooOOooOoW. No vicious dunks nor nifty behind-the-back full court passes for some wicked alley-oops. So here's a video to help the NBA fans roll along the off-season.

I'd like to know what happened to the referee after the event, more so with the player. That was a really solid hit to the jaw, and in emphasis of that wicked smash to the face: just like in the movies, he went down really slow. Poor guy. Shaq should get his ass over there and make that dude run up his own ass.


Friday, June 29

Breezing Through School

A blog entry by Greg Oden prior to the NBA Draft:

People of YardBarker Nation im going to tell you all first. The number im going to where is 52. Its a mix of my high school and college number. So wherever i go i hope to get 52. I know its a ugly number but to me its just a number and if i do good i think one person may where it. I know the number 20 wasnt that attractive but as the year went on it grew on me, this one will too. One last thing thanks LZ, ESPN, and Racheal for putting me one the cover of the magazine, making me look good, and giving me a lifetime memory of me being able to say that i was cool at one point in my life. Thank You
Do you enjoy the agony of reading the articulatory skills of a high school basketball phenomenon? Like most athletes who relied solely on sports most of their lives, there is a 98% chance that points to Greg Oden having the grammatical literacy of a 2nd grader; especially given the fact that English is supposed to be his first language. Although that claim may stand corrected for Greg Oden's built and athletic skills are that of a baboon, so his primary language then would be chimp-anese. Greg Oden is 19 years old, and he does not know the difference between spelling 'where' from 'wear'. It seems like he spent all his years in school hanging out in the basketball courts and not in the classroom. It's a wonder how his so-called educators gave him the green light to even make it as far as college. An honest mistake? Highly unlikely, especially after he committed the mistake twice. A very dumb and shallow issue that not even a rat's ass should give a care about? Indeed, absolutely a very moronic thing to be brought up by any mature individual. A foreboding to an even deeper issue that needs to be tackled? Most definitely.

Will Greg Oden stand as an example for the new generation of youth worldwide, making it look like it's fine to neglect even the basic skills that education is trying to levy on the kids nowadays and cling to the hope of making it big one day, like Oden did, without considering the fact that there are only around 400 NBA players in total, with only a handful of new faces each season, and over a billion other hopefuls desiring to walk the same path? Houston, we have a problem: the 'Read to Achieve' program has just plummeted into the soil and died. Letting Oden host a 'Read to Achieve' program anywhere in the world is a spit to its grave. Greg Oden is an image of Junior Battle, although credit must be given to Greg Oden for being a million times more intellectually superior than Battle. It makes one appreciate the movie 'Coach Carter' and what Samuel L. Jackson was trying to do for the kids in the movie a whole lot more; and the same goes for true student-athletes such as Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon. Think of the kids.

I come from a culture where college-hoops obsession spells disaster for one's future in the long run. Players usually decide to exchange decent education for cheap-ass courses to devote their time and energy in the college team; some go on to play in the pro-league while most of which get stuck in the developmental leagues. Here's the thing: the salary of a pro-player here is relatively high, but not enough to set one for life the same way NBA does for its players, much less for the players stuck in the developmental leagues. Without a half-ass of education, most of the retired players have already proven my point by spending the millions of their life's earnings away without a damn clue about financial management, nor a damn clue about making a living after their aging bodies started to give up on them and basketball. It's a sad fact awaiting many more that are currently following their footsteps, all of which don't seem to realize it yet. It's a phenomenon happening around the world. Is this the message we want to send to our kids?

Semi-kidding aside, Greg Oden is one extremely-gifted human being. I just wanted to point this issue out, nothing more. I am by no means insulting his essence of humanity, for he is one hell of a basketball player. I'll support him on the court, and I'll laugh at him off it when the opportunity leers its ugly head. I think it's what they call entertainment. One more thing, judging from reading his blog posts, Greg Oden seems like a beautiful and humble human being, and that is definitely one thing I can commend him on aside from his basketball skills. No, Greg Oden is not dumb; and it could have been an honest mistake, but it served as an opportunity to tackle an issue regarding the neglect of education even though Oden is only a semi-perfect example for the argument. Besides, he's the one in of national television dunking basketballs with a billion fans while I'm just "a kid in the basement" writing about him. One thing is for sure though, Joakim Noah is a prick; ...and a moron ...and a prick. Once again, congratulations to Greg Oden for being selected as the first overall pick of this year's draft, no matter how expected the outcome was.

Go Blazers!

Today in NBA History: June 29

Welcome to 'Today in NBA History'; which will feature all and every highlight news that had happened on this same day in history. Birthdays, drafts, brawls, scandals, the Simpsons, trades, and any other happenings. 'Today in NBA History' will appear every single day from today save for weekends or lazy days unless history is too good to pass up for that day. Feel free to point out erroneous or additional information.

June 29 in NBA History:

1982: The Boston Celtics honored paralyzed Indiana University star Landon Turner by drafting him in the 10th round of the NBA Draft. Turner, who was a starter in the 1981 Indiana team that won the NCAA Championship, was paralyzed chest-down on July 5, 1981 in a car accident prior to his senior year in college. Truly a class act by the Boston Celtics, and Turner must have felt very proud of himself. Despite being dispensable, the draft pick was used to its fullest potential and more than anyone could have ever deemed it possible. Turner has written a book, Landon Turner's Tales from the 1980-81 Indiana Hoosiers.

1994: The Milwaukee Bucks selected Glenn Robinson as the first overall pick. Many remember Glenn Robinson as the 'Big Dog', and many remember him catapulting the Milwaukee Bucks into the East's elite alongside Ray Allen and Sam Cassell. Robinson would always shut up and play the game of basketball, even after he was being ricocheted by teams back and forth when his body was starting to wear and tear. Big Dog got his big break after he was picked up by the 2005 San Antonio Spurs Championship Team, a reward for all the hard work and dedication he has devoted into the NBA.

1994: The Dallas Mavericks selected Jason Kidd with the second overall pick after Glenn Robinson. Now regarded to as one of the best point guards to ever play the game, Jason Kidd will always be remembered for the blooper of a guarantee he gave upon being drafted by the lowly-Mavericks of that time. Jason Kidd said, "We're going to turn his team around 360 degrees". For everyone's consideration, Kidd stated that he would turn the losing-Mavericks 360 degrees around, meaning they would still be facing in the same direction: losing. In contrast to Kidd's guarantee of a 360 degree turn, he helped the Mavericks turn 180 degrees into the winning side; along with every other franchise he has become a part of in his illustrious career, namely the Phoenix Suns and the New Jersey Nets.

1994: The Detroit Pistons selected Grant Hill with the third overall pick after Jason Kidd; what a deep draft class. Grant Hill had a very bright career ahead of him, especially entering the prime of his career when he was sent to the Orlando Magic to side with Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately from then on, Hill's career was derailed by nagging injuries. He played 67 games with the Magic in the 2004-05 season, after missing almost the entire first four years of his stint with the team; he would then go on to be a wild card because of recurring injuries in the following years up to the present, although not enough to sideline him like the first four no-show years with the team. Hill is married with R&B singer Tamia. Nice.

Enjoy your piece of history.

Thursday, June 28

Today in NBA History: June 28

Welcome to 'Today in NBA History'; which will feature all and every highlight news that had happened on this same day in history. Birthdays, drafts, brawls, scandals, the Simpsons, trades, and any other happenings. 'Today in NBA History' will appear every single day from today save for weekends or lazy days unless history is too good to pass up for that day. Feel free to point out erroneous or additional information.

June 28 in NBA History:

1988: The Los Angeles Clippers select Danny Manning as the first overall pick. It wasn't such a bad idea back then, as Manning led Kansas to the NCAA title along with being the College Player of the Year. Manning tore his ACL in his rookie season, and continued to be hampered by injuries all throughout his career which bumped his career off the road, despite a few flashes of greatness including one nifty self-inbound play, which leaves one thinking on "what could have been" had Manning stayed healthy. He went on to win the Sixth Man Award in '98, an achievement but from the bench nonetheless, uncharacteristic of a 1st overall pick.

2000: The New Jersey Nets select Kenyon Martin as the 1st overall pick for the draft. Kenyon Martin also made history by being one of the wettest eyes in the history of the draft, unfortunately there seems to be no video nor pictures out in the net. A truly emotional guy, which is also shown through his play on the court. With the addition of Jason Kidd to the Nets, Martin and company would go on to two straight NBA Finals appearances. Martin, despite being forgotten last season due to a season-long injury, can be known as the angriest player in the NBA since Latrell Sprewell with vicious and powerful dunks and blocks while screaming like a humanoid gorilla. At least everyone can rest assure that he has a passion for winning.

2002: The Houston Rockets select Yao Ming as the 1st overall pick for the draft. Yao went off to a rocky start to the season, prompting critics to believe he was another huge bust, but finally rose to expectations once given ample time to adjust and improve. He is regarded to as one of the best, if not the best, centers in the league today. Standing 7'5 feet tall, Yao has been included in the All-Star team each and every year since he was a rookie, and will remain there until his retirement as the billion Yao-fans from China will continue to support the country's face in the world's most popular basketball league. In addition, for being a world icon in the basketball realms, Yao can also be one of the most commercialized player in the league. LeBron James might have Nike, but Yao Ming has Visa, Jackie Chan, the Olympics, and over a billion members of the Chinese community.

2006: The NBA decided to introduce a new game ball. It was manufactured by Spalding, and along with the new design and material, it was made for better grip, feel, and consistency as compared to the leather ball. In the following season, NBA players and coaches complained about the new ball and started petitions and unions asking for the old leather ball back. The league had no choice but to withdraw all the new balls; and the old leather ball was re-introduced on January 1, 2007.

Enjoy your piece of history.

Wednesday, June 27

Today in NBA History: June 27

Welcome to 'Today in NBA History'; which will feature all and every highlight news that had happened on this same day in history. Birthdays, drafts, brawls, scandals, the Simpsons, trades, and any other happenings. 'Today in NBA History' will appear every single day from today save for weekends or lazy days unless history is too good to pass up for that day. Feel free to point out erroneous or additional information.

June 27 in NBA History:

1989: The usual 3-round NBA Draft was reduced to 2 rounds. There was one moment in the NBA when the players were so abundant and the draft reached up to 7 rounds that each draft pick became dispensable. Dispensable enough that a team actually decided to draft a woman into their team, Ann Meyers of the Indiana Pacers. Today, the NBA Draft has been reduced to 2 rounds, making sure that almost each and every player that enters the world's most popular league is top-notch world-class quality in skill, although world-class behavior has never really come into question just yet.

2001: The Michael Jordan led Washington Wizards selected Kwame Brown with the 1st overall pick. It seems that being arguable the best player to ever play the game doesn't necessarily mean decent managerial decisions. Michael Jordan orchestrated one of the worst 1st overall picks in NBA history by selecting a huge bust in Kwame Brown. Although somewhat decent, Kwame Brown never fulfilled expectations and found himself changing teams soon enough. If it was not for the shift of attention to Michael Jordan's comeback, Kwame Brown would have received the same, if not worse, treatment that Darko Milicic received from Detroit after not proving his worth as the 2nd overall pick.

2001: A very busy day for the Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies, which in turn sparked the franchise's first playoff appearances after a few years, although never won a single game in all the playoff years. The Grizzlies traded Mike Bibby for Jason Williams; although Mike Bibby can be argued to be the ultimately better player, Williams fit in quite well with the Grizzlies. This was also the day when the Hawks, making another roster management boo-boo, traded their #3 pick (Pau Gasol) for Shareef Abdur-Raheem. Pau Gasol is now the face of the Grizzlies' franchise, and the leader of the World Champion Spain as well. Williams has been known to give former-Kings coach Rick Adelman heart-attacks with his cold-blooded dishes and shots, but mellowed down a bit with the Grizzlies. There was one time when he stood 30-feet from the basket waiting for the shot clock to expire, and shot the three-pointer from there anyway with the clock running down. He made it. Rick Adelman must have peed his pants. For everything he has done, the world appreciates Jason Williams.

2003: Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Sam Cassell from the Milwaukee Bucks. Everyone might know Cassell as one of the best point guards of his time, helping the Houston Rockets win the NBA Championship in '94 an '95, his rookie and sophomore years. In his stint with Kevin Garnett, he helped lead them to the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Lakers. He might be best known not only for possibly being the ugliest NBA player of all time but for using and abusing the pick and roll with Kevin Garnett, and he was lethal from the mid-range area, VERY lethal. He is now helping the young Clippers team with his experience as a veteran; such a waste of good talent.

Enjoy your piece of history.

Tuesday, June 26

2007 NBA Mock Draft

With only 2 days remaining before one of the most speculated NBA Draft in recent memory, Full Court would like to create its very own mock draft projecting who would, could, and should be drafted by the first 8 teams on the June 28 draft and why. Unorthodox as it may seem, it will try to predict the draft picks coming from an Average Joe's perspective with the privilege of not having the pressure of the media, fans, hype, and the entire world on its back; only common sense, if any one would actually like to consider it as common sense.

Good evening ladies, gentlemen, and others. Welcome to the 2007 Full Court NBA Draft. Each team will be given 2 seconds before each of their picks to finalize their draft pick; after which will submit their final choice to Full Court mop boy Stu Jackson, who will then relay the information to Full Court's official ass kisser David Stern for the official and final announcement on stage. Drafted players will be presented with their $1.50 team balls as they properly smile and raise their fingers indicating their position in the draft in front of the lovely cameras. Draft picks above the 10th pick will have to find their own way to indicate their position; it's their problem for not being good enough to be selected in the top 10. After the hour-long photo shoot, the player is to be interviewed by Full Court's official spokesperson Elisha Cuthbert for thoughts and emotions. To all fans, non-fans, and other NBA watchers, enjoy the show.

With the 1st overall pick, The Portland Trailblazers select: Kevin Durant

Yes, obviously this sounds stupid especially with the fact that it goes against the other million mock drafts; but with a very speculative and close-called top 2 draft picks, space must be made for consideration. Full Court has already stated reasons as to why Kevin Durant is a better fit for the Portland Trailblazers overall, and added to that is the possible evolution of the game for years to come. Think of the future.

Who the Portland Trailblazers will REALLY pick: Greg Oden

With the 2nd overall pick, The Seattle Supersonics select: Greg Oden

With his other half gone, Scarface is only left with the other part of his face to be selected. Greg Oden will be a good fit for the Sonics in many ways. One of which is the fact that Oden will provide an inside presence on both the offensive and defensive side of the floor for the Sonics. Sure they have Chris Wilcox, but all he has to do now is channel all his energy on rebounding and harassing the hell out of his man. In a major possible turn of events, the arrival of "the next Bill Russell" might prompt Rashard Lewis to march his way back into the Sonics. That should make things quite interesting.

Who the Seattle Supersonics will REALLY pick: Kevin Durant

With the 3rd overall pick, The Atlanta Hawks select: the ghost of Albert Einstein, so he can tell the Hawks to select Mike Conley Jr.

This pick should be a no-brainer. The Atlanta Hawks have been in dire need of a point guard for the past 200 years, and year after year they pass up on great choices; there's Deron Williams and Chris Paul to name a few. This year, they have a chance to pick a young and talented guard with nuts of steel and the makings of Chris Paul or Tony Parker. Then again, knowing the Hawks: they'd probably pass gas on this once more. Marvin Williams is fine, but the same can't be said regarding Josh Childress, Shelden Williams, or trading Pau Gasol for Shareef Abdur-Raheem. Forward overload here we come.

Who the Atlanta Hawks will REALLY pick: Al Horford

With the 4th overall pick, The Memphis Grizzlies select: Joakim Noah's hair

It is definitely hard to decide as to what the Grizzlies need right now. Their team seems to still be feeling the effects of blowing up their playoff-caliber lineup for aging veterans. Tossing Jason Williams and James Posey and acquiring Eddie Jones and Damon Stoudemire to name a few senior players. What is given however, is what the Grizzlies don't need. The Grizzlies don't need another bust of a player that will push they superstar, Gasol, into either insanity or to playing for another state. In another perspective, the Grizzlies also don't need another low-post player clogging up the offensive end for Gasol. Joakim Noah's hair, which comes in a package with Joakim Noah himself (what a deal!), will provide defense and defense and defense. In addition to the distraction and harassment that the hair will commit against opposing players, like poking them in the eye, Joakim Noah himself will be a formidable one-on-one defender. Hey, if you don't know which way to go, just go defense.

Who the Memphis Grizzlies will REALLY pick: Mike Conley Jr.

With the 5th overall pick, The Boston Celtics select: Yi Jianlian

The 'ol green Irish luck never really was on the Celtics' side this season. They poured in all the gasoline and aggravated the solution, but it never really came out as they expected. Once the Boston Celtics were denounced as the 5th picker, all the hard work of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge were flushed down the drain. So much for getting the contract extension's worth, at least Doc Rivers is happy. The Celtics look fine, which holds the extremely pathetic season questionable: Al Jefferson is a monster in the paint, and Paul Pierce is still Paul Pierce. Yi Jianlian can be the man in the middle for the Celtics. Steer clear when Al Jefferson pilots the post, then rebound, block, and play from the triple-threat when possible. A soft young man with plenty of potential.

Who the Boston Celtics will REALLY pick: Yi Jianlian

With the 6th overall pick, The Milwaukee Bucks select: Spencer Hawes

With the gang of Eric Foreman being one of the only few things Wisconsin had to be proud of in the recent year, it is a shame to see such great potential go down in flames in the form of the Milwaukee Bucks. What fan-base would not be proud to see Mo Williams, Michael Redd, Bobby Simmons, Charlie Villanueva, and some dude named Andrew, play together? Actually, that was the main issue in the past season. They never really played altogether. Their season was derailed by injuries. "Derailed", meaning dismantled, destroyed, disintegrate, and beat into a pulp of uselessness. The Bucks weren't really so lucky getting the top pick in the draft a few years ago: they settled for Andrew Bogut, while this year's top picker will have a guaranteed 180 degree turn in the next few years. With most of the Bucks starting five being well-known work horses, the best idea is to add another person to bump and grind down low along with some low-post firepower. They say never to trust a white-boy playing the big-man's role but with the scarcity of centers, Spencer Hawes is the man.

Who the Milwaukee Bucks will REALLY pick: Jeff Green

With the 7th overall pick, The Minnesota Timberwolves select: Corey Brewer

Is Kevin Garnett moving? Nobody knows. Questions and rumors have been circulating ever since KG and the Wolves started tripping over themselves, but no action seems to have taken place just yet. Assuming Kevin Garnett will remain with the Wolves, and assuming that Kevin McHale will still refuse to take any action in getting KG any help at all, Corey Brewer is the man. The Wolves seem to lack everything. Their center lives off perimeter shots, and their shooting guard, even though efficient at times, is just awful in an unexplainable way. The shipping of their half-decent point guard forebodes the coming of new blood, unless the Wolves would like to stick with Marko Jaric running the team; I think not. Corey Brewer will provide the Wolves with skill, gut, and ethic, the same way Josh Howard does the Mavericks. The least they can do is to put at least one winner around KG.

Who the Minnesota Timberwolves will REALLY pick: Joakim Noah

With the 8th overall pick, the Charlotte Bobcats select: Jeff Green

Jeff Green decided not to go back to G-Town with his buddy Roy Hibbert, and he might regret it. Then again, the high prospect for this year's draft might not as well. Admit it, no matter how lowly they seem now, the Charlotte Bobcats are emerging youngsters trying to take their space in the NBA elite. The expected-injuries that hampered Emeka Okafor didn't help them one bit last season, but the up-coming season is a different story. Gerald Wallace could possibly be gone, but the departure of the human-rocket-ship shouldn't dampen Bobcat fans' hopes. Brevin Knight is a great, but usually forgotten point guard, and Walter Herrmann was just spectacular towards last season's end. Adam Morrison should also be in the scope after being regarded to as one huge bust, will it be the comeback of the year or an even deeper sophomore slump? Jeff Green might not be able to replace what Gerald Wallace provide for the Bobcats, but he can add a whole new dimension as well as help Okafor down low.

Who the Charlotte Bobcats will REALLY pick: Corey Brewer

There you have it. It was long, it was tiring, and it wasn't the complete 14. Why? I'm sure most of everyone would already have their eyes half-closed by the time they reach the 6th pick. Anyway, if I get all my 8 picks right come June 28, I am sending $1 to each and every one of my loyal readers. Thank you all for your time.

Today in NBA History

I would like to introduce everyone to a new segment of my show: 'Today in NBA History'; which will feature all and every highlight news that had happened on this same day in history. Birthdays, drafts, brawls, scandals, the Simpsons, trades, and any other happenings. 'Today in NBA History' will appear every single day from today save for weekends or lazy days unless history is too good to pass up for that day. Feel free to point out erroneous or additional information.

June 26 in NBA History:

1991: Charlotte Hornets select Larry Johnson as the 1991 NBA Draft 1st overall pick.

Being a Pacers fan for over a decade, only one team and one name pops out in the air when the 90s Pacers-playoffs campaign hits the waves: Larry Johnson. Larry Johnson had torched the Pacers for quite a number of times, with the highlight coming in the form of the infamous four-point-play game-winner in the 1999 NBA Playoffs. Curses.

1962: The birth of forward Jerome Kersey.

Jerome Kersey may be best known for his long years of service for the Portland Trailblazers. After being drafted late in the second-round, he became one of the few second-round bust-outers although never really reached the peak as high as Carlos Boozer or Gilbert Arenas has in the present age. He also came up 2nd behind Michael "Kiss the Rim" Jordan in the 1988 Slam Dunk Competition.

Enjoy your piece of history.

Monday, June 25

Throw Down: Reel #4

Throw Down: Reel #4

One of the potential top draft-picks, Yi Jianlian, in a milk commercial [100% Injury Rate]

23 years of Jeopardy means at least some pro-athletes entertaining us with their intellectual abilities [100% Injury Rate]

Some off-season news regarding the once-most-exiting now-forgotten-because-of-injuries Washington Wizards [DC Sports Report]

A question that hasn't been thrown around too much: "Who is the ugliest man in professional sports?" [411Mania]

Troy Hudson would like to "move on" to a different state [Yahoo! Sports]

New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees goes to jail []

The Liberal World despises censorship [Black Flag Blog]

Jason Richardson could possibly on the move []

First Professional Baseball Game Kicks Off in Israel [MyFox]

Obi Muonelo arrested on a misdemeanor complaint [Sports Illustrated]

Show credits.

Alonzo Mourning Almost Decided On Retirement

Alonzo Mourning is just about done playing 'Very Important Person', as he is reported to decide soon whether he will indeed return next season to play or finally sit back, relax, and sip off a coconut in the beaches of Florida in his pending consideration for retirement. Sportsline writes:

"On April 30, after the 2006 NBA champions were swept from this year's playoffs by the Chicago Bulls, Mourning said he planned to quickly decide about next season. He has a player option worth $2.75 million. Mourning has said his family would be supportive if he chose to play. Now, nearly two months have passed, and his plans are still undetermined."I really haven't decided," Mourning said to one man while taking a quick break from carefully signing basketballs, shirts, hats and photos. "I'm going to make a decision soon. Very soon."The uncertainty over Mourning's future may complicate matters for the Heat, who are preparing for Thursday's draft and the July 1 start of free agency."
When Alonzo Mourning is finished being fussed over and worried about, he will finally announce to the media what he has decided upon ever since day one: He will play again. Mourning seems to love the crowd, the intensity, the competition, and the game itself; which is the reason why he came back despite kidney transplant and the wear-and-tear from old age. Of course, there is also a possibility that he may retire given the fact that he already has his coveted-championship ring. The issue at hand however, is that he loves soaking in the rays of speculation and attention from the Miami Heat fans, especially those who love and cherish their marinated veterans. Mourning is to make a decision soon, and it could not have come at a later time as Mourning's contract serves as a hindrance as long as he has yet to decide his return with free agency opening up on July 1. Either way, Mourning will be hanging his jersey with his head held high feeling the love from all Miami fans with a championship ring worn deep within his ring finger. And He could not ask for more.

Cleveland Cavaliers Looking For the King's Sidekick

Weeks removed from one of the most lopsided and painful thrashings in NBA Finals history, the Cavaliers GM Danny Ferry is now looking for a formidable sidekick to stand aside LeBron James and push the Cavaliers a little further up the peak of the mountain. With the Cavaliers already feeling the critical free-agency mistake they committed by signing an underachieving Larry Hughes to a maximum contract, the front office is now looking to make up for it by adding or moving some pieces in the line-up. Yahoo! Rumors write:

"There are earnest whispers that Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry is going to make a big pitch to deal for a legitimate sidekick for LeBron James.

The Golden State Warriors' Jason Richardson, Seattle SuperSonics' Rashard Lewis, Portland Trailblazers' Zach Randolph and Shawn Marion of the Phoenix Suns have been mentioned."

For starters, Larry Hughes should and will be on the trading block once the Cavaliers pull something off. He has been decent, but he has yet to earn his money's worth especially through his dismal display of basketball in this year's playoffs. With the emergence of Daniel Gibson, it is hard to picture Hughes' place in the line-up. Out of all the mentioned projected names however, only Zach Randolph or Shawn Marion strikes a nerve. Jason Richardson and Rashard Lewis will just clog the line-up. Jason Richardson will be an offensive asset, but he is not the Cavaliers' thing. Rashard Lewis and LeBorn James will just compete for ball possession, so he is better off in the Orlando Magic. On the other hand, Zach Randolph will put another scorer, an easy-one at that down at the post, at LeBron James' army. It is also a pain to see how un-athletic the Cavaliers' big men look. Randolph is a perfect wrap. The only question right now is the Portland Trailblazers' interest in any of the Cleveland Cavaliers not named LeBron.

Thursday, June 21

The Rise of The New Era or The Rise of a Degeneration

For over 15 years, the 'big man' has dominated the NBA Championships and is regarded to as the one and only catalyst that any elite team lacks for that final push in the NBA Finals. For the past 15 years, four dominant big men from four different teams have led their team to the NBA's most coveted prize, namely: Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, and Hakeem Olajuwon; and if not for a generation overload named 'Michael Jordan', we would also have names such as: Charles Barkley, Shawn Kemp, and Karl Malone. It truly is a spectacle, and a blatant post to the forehead that dominant big men spell championships; which may play as the largest factor when deciding over the top pick in this year's up-coming NBA Draft. But little by little, slowly but surely, is the game evolving? Can the 'big man' still be considered as the priceless asset for any championship team? History says yes, but tiny speckles of history also whisper that it may not be the case sooner than everyone may expect.

In the case of the 'big man': A huge majority of the basketball world may already be believers that big men are the ladders to championships, which was emphasized by any commentating NBA analyst throughout the whole series of the Suns-Spurs playoff match-up. The suggestion that teams need a big man to make it through the post-season, with special regards to Tim Duncan, was mentioned over and over as the Spurs dispatched the Phoenix Suns. Miami Heat for instance, traded away 3 of their core players in exchange for Big Daddy Shaq and went on to win the NBA championship the season after. It was a one-hit-wonder, but a championship nonetheless. The Lakers may vouch for that, as they experienced 3 championships with Shaq; so can Hakeem Olajuwon and his back-to-back titles. Ben Wallace and the Pistons of 2004 may also jump in the mix for although Ben Wallace was not a force offensively, he was the center-link for the much-feared Detroit Pistons defense; something the Pistons team of this year obviously misses very much. Two teams that may act the biggest examples of the elite teams of this generation that can't catch that final breath to make it to the peak were eliminated fairly early in this year's playoffs: the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks, so could there be any other possible proof that the 'big man' is not growing out of style and will continue to dominate championships for the next decade?

Entering the 'New Generation': The game may be evolving right before the very eyes of every basketball fan, and it is possible that no one may even notice it at all. Small ball, run-and-gun, and fast-paced offense have grown popular over the past six years dating back to the rise of the Dallas Mavericks; and many teams have started to buy-in on the rise of this stock. Some of these teams include the Toronto Raptors, the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors, and the Denver Nuggets; none of which made it further than the second round of this year's playoffs. So how can there be an argument against how the 'big man' will always and forever be on top as the small guys and runners will always be one step behind (figuratively and almost-literally with regards to how the Warriors could have easily swept the Jazz but were dismantled 4-1 instead)? The fraction of occurence. Slowly but surely, the new era of basketball has permeated closer and closer into the promised land. With regards to this year's NBA Champions, the San Antonio Spurs, credit must be given to their elite guard combo of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Tim Duncan has been his usual unstoppable self, something which is expected, but it can be put into question whether he would have won 2 of his 4 titles (without David Robinson) had it not been for his backcourt in Parker and Ginobili. This backcourt duo can not and should not be overlooked as the catalysts for this year's championship, and it is to a great delight to witness Tony Parker receive the Finals MVP Trophy, something he truly deserves given his outstanding play. Has it ever occured to anyone that maybe, just maybe, the only reason the San Antonio Spurs could have kept up with the Phoenix Suns' running-game was because of Tony Parker's speed himself? One may believe that if the Spurs had any other guard, given the same value Tony Parker is worth (maybe Chris Paul), they would have been beaten by the Phoenix Suns as the Spurs would have a hard time to keep up with them. However, that is just an opinion. So it is possible that credit may not go to the dominant big man, although Duncan has been a huge asset, but to the lightning-quick guard that is Tony Parker. Another case would be last year's champions: the Miami Heat. The Mavericks could have taken it last year, being led by a perimeter dwelling forward, but were beaten instead by Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat. However, the fact of the matter is that Dwayne Wade led the comeback and the win for the Heat; Shaq is an undying asset, but Dwayne Wade made it happen. For now, all signs point to the 'big man' as king; but slowly, new seeds are born. All that remains is to wait for time.

The glimpse of a new era? Or only a tease? Will the new era fall flat on their face time and time again in the post-season? Or will they finally rise above all speculations and claim their throne? The argument still remains with whether the 'big man' can keep up with the running game or not, as the Spurs are not only led by a 'big man' but by one of the deepest and most well-rounded set of players the NBA has witnessed in generations. The question could have been answered had Steve Nash, a possible pioneer of the new era, and the Phoenix Suns could have went against the Boozer-led Utah Jazz in a series; sadly, it is not the case. The world will get to know the answer once the questions regarding drafting Oden or Durant is settled once and for all in the NBA's biggest stages on the basketball court; but for now, all anyone can do is speculate.

The New Era? Or a Degeneration? What is your case?

Wednesday, June 20

Throw Down: Reel #3

It looks like the experiment is still reeling. The Sacramento Kings continue to immensely search for the perfect coach to replace the long-gone Rick Adelman by appointing former-King Reggie Theus to replace the bust-of-a-coach Eric Musselman. Well, it shouldn't be too hard to find a coach to manage a how-the-hell center in the sloppy Brad Miller, or "the" Ron Artest who just might knock out a fan and announce retirement the next day only to take it back two hours later and ask for a trade instead but take it back again and punch a fan again and announce retirement once again the following day to promote his own version of the backstreet boyzone. Not feeling any pity for Mike Bibby becomes an impossible task for any Kings-fan right now, but life is life. It truly is hard, but once the right coach comes along and is able to control this bunch of oddities plus a few more missing pieces in the line-up, the Kings will be fine. It would have been nice to hear Larry Brown's name right beside Ron Artest, but it was too good to be true. Nevertheless, Reggie Theus did such a good job coaching a mixed-gender high school basketball team (Hang Time) that he probably swooned the Maloofs into hiring him over everybody else.

Throw Down: Reel #3

Maloofs hire the world's greatest coach (only on TV) to coach the Sacramento Kings. [Yahoo! Sports]

Camel-racing. Who could have known? Plus, they're getting techy with robot jockeys. [100% Injury Rate]

Who do the players in the 2007 Draft Class compare to with the NBA's current players. [Complete Sports]

Eva Longoria's nosy friends do not want to mind their own business and diss Tony. [NBA Fanhouse]

A huge 'F.U.' to pro-athletes who point up. God does have bigger fish to fry than watching egocentric pro-athletes hoist up three-pointers. [The Sports Hernia]

R.I.P. Coach Terry Hoeppner 1947-2007. [ESPN]

Joey Porter/Levi Jones Fight: The Transcript. [The Mighty MJD]

Former Georgia Quarterback sets trend for skipping high school to jump to college, weird. [Sportsline]

Kyle Perry joins the dark side and engages in a duel with a pedestrian, using mops. [Lion in Oil]

Thailand's first female boxing world champion released from prison as reward, if only it were this easy for everyone. [Yahoo! Sports]

Show credits.

I Change My Mind: Draft Kevin Durant

Durant or Oden? Oden or Durant?

Dreams will come true, and hopes will turn into lies. Eyes will be damp, for joy will permeate the soul as sorrow curses under its own breath. Welcome to the annual NBA-Draft. Ever since the LeBron James lottery of 2003, the NBA-Draft has never really hyped up as it should; the draft of the decade did not literally mean a decade, but a long time nonetheless. Four years later, in what is supposed to be another draft of the decade, or rather the Greg Oden lottery, the basketball world faces yet one of the strongest classes of the NBA Draft ever; one which might be talented and skillful enough to be put under the same line as the draft class of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and many more from the 2003 class. The draft which was once known as the Greg Oden lottery, has now turned into an unpredictable contest for the top overall pick; with much regards to the rising Kevin Durant whose value as player sky-rocketed beyond limits during the recently concluded NCAA Tournament. The Greg Oden lottery has evolved into the 'Greg Oden and Kevin Durant lottery'. Once the draft lottery concluded with the last syllables of the number one pick on June 28, Port-land Trail-blazers; millions of suggestions and theories started flooding in all around the world as to whether who was going to be the pick of the decade for the Portland Trailblazers. So who was it going to be, Kevin Durant or Greg Oden?

I'm going to pull a Kobe Bryant here. I for one, suddenly jumped into the conclusion that Greg Oden was a no-brainer. Minutes after the conclusion of the draft lottery, I was notified of the Irish luck that seemingly slipped from the Boston Celtics' fingertips and into the hands of the Trailblazers. Five seconds later, I knew it was Greg Oden. Why not Oden? About 60% of the world also shared the same sentiments as I do. It was only a few days later that I realized of the huge faulting in that certain decision. Henry Abbott of TrueHoop and I had an exchange of e-mails (a message or two) regarding Portland's pick; and with Henry presumably having a part of his heart set in Oregon, he was the perfect person to ask. It was then that I came into a surging revelation: Kevin Durant is the better pick.

What's wrong with getting Greg Oden?

Think about it. If the Portland Trailblazers went with the building momentum of drafting Greg Oden stemming for as long as half a decade of hype, he would just hamper the current line-up too much. With Zach Randolph and LaMarcus Aldridge already thriving from their post game, adding Greg Oden into the mix will only clog up the post area. Too many cooks spoil the broth. If all three took the floor at the same time and ran a post-up through one of them, the other two big men will be rendered almost useless aside from the chance that they might grab an offensive board if a shot is missed or score an easy basket if the defense falls asleep on the cut. If they decide not to play all three at the same time, it would just be such a terrible waste of talent. The situation may be deemed similar to the Marbury-Francis dilemma in the Knicks; and it is quite evident as to how well that duo turned out. The three would-be-should-be all-star caliber players will be hampering each other and decrease the team's overall efficiency on the basketball court. There is a big possibility that Zach Randolph might finally be shipped out, but it might be better to keep him until mid-season to see how the team gels together before tossing him off the boat before the trade deadline. Sure, big men rule in the post-season and are almost mandated for winning championships, with regards to the past 9 years of NBA basketball; but Kevin Durant is just the better fit and player for the Trailblazers.

What's so good about Kevin Durant?

What is really good about Kevin Durant is that he is extremely versatile. He can spot himself on top of the key or dwell anywhere around the perimeter. That way, Aldridge (or Randolph if he is not shipped out) can happily post up with the knowledge that his exit strategy, named Durant, is standing somewhere around the perimeter waiting for a kick-out for a wide-open jump-shot or making a powerful cut to the basket for the easy lay-up; as Kevin Durant can definitely hit the long-range shots and is quick and long enough to be a terror on the cut once he gains momentum. Given the case, Kevin Durant, joining the deadly perimeter clique of Roy and Jack, will definitely open the lanes up for Aldridge (or Randolph) which means flourish in their post game. The only problem this poses for the team is the lack of a big and powerful center to contend with the West's juggernauts, namely Tim Duncan and Carlos Boozer. Kevin Durant is a toothpick and will probably match-up with small forwards for this moment; he can still rebound like he used to in college but will have to rely solely on his length and quickness. The most probably solution for this predicament would be to ship out "Mr. Un-coachable" Zach Randolph for a legitimate center. A legitimate center who can not score as much as Randolph does, but rebounds, blocks shots, defends the post well, and score some easy baskets on cuts, put-backs, and wide-open 15-footers; a solid almost-double-double player. Given the scenario: LaMarcus Aldridge can be the team's main post player; Brandon Roy will still be the perennial point guard slash shooting guard; Kevin Durant can thrive from all over the floor given his versatility and skill; Jarrett Jack or someone else for that matter who can be a solid defender, whether 1-on-1 or team defense, as well as hit wide-open three-pointers; and a the solid almost-double-double big man to secure the center position, somebody like a lesser (but harder) Nenad Kristic.

Agree, or disagree? Kevin Pritchard, who still remains secretive says he is still uncertain about his pick for June 28 and refuses to give all but subtle hints about the outcome of draft day, will hold the fruits to one of the biggest decisions of the Portland Trailblazers in over 20 years. Draft day will answer all questions; but for now, my mind is changed: draft Kevin Durant.

Monday, June 18

In The Middle of Kobe Bryant's Life and Death

In one of the greatest achievements of my young life as a tadpole; I am proud to say that I have single-handedly turned Robert Horry, one of the world's most hated man three weeks ago, into the world's most beloved man overnight with much appreciation to all the basketball junkies and gods. In an attempt to overcome my past hurdle, I have decided to take upon yet a more supreme individual wreaking of hatred and despair: drama-personified that is Kobe Bryant.

For once, he will not be undermined; for the fact is inevitable to catch up on everyone that every little thing Kobe Bryant has done on the basketball court has been nothing short of amazing. True enough, Bryant is the most beloved basketball player of the regular season; however, come off-season with Bryant and the Lakers facing one loss to elimination, everyone braces themselves for one of the rockiest moments of their lives as Laker-fans or Laker-watchers alike. From the most beloved player in the regular season, to a living and breathing lawn-mower once the final buzzer signaling Laker-post-season disappointment lights up. This year's off-season in particular has been extremely busy for Kobe Bryant as it seems that he has reached the extremely swollen satiation point for patience and composure that a superstar like Kobe Bryant tries to maintain after seeing his extremely-underachieving team trip on a rock and hit its face on the concrete year after year. As if the season has not been turbulent enough for him, Kobe Bryant's past seems to be catching up to him and will definitely add more tension to the string-thick patience of Bryant. The world only hopes that he will not spontaneously com bust in little tiny bits of what could have been the most unstoppable scorer in the history of the game.

It all started when as expected, the final buzzer signaling another disappointing post-season for Kobe Bryant went off, and the Lakers walked off the court getting ready for one big indoor hurricane. Kobe Bryant was calm and collected for the moment, stating that changes need to be made; a traditional phrase by Kobe Bryant in the summer of every year, a tradition that means nothing to the Lakers front-office, just a repetitive habit committed by any normal person like drinking directly from the milk box or a woman forgetting to put the toilet seat up after urinating. Kobe Bryant's words fell on deaf ears once more; this year however, was finally going to be different. Bryant's rapidly diminishing patience finally found its perfect complement, the catalyst to make him go over the edge and burst in outrage: the knowledge of the rebuilding plan. Kobe Bryant stormed through the media and blasted the Lakers front-office. Giving in to his rage and losing the ability to think prompted him to demand a trade; and after a few given days to re-capture his lost composure, he withdrew his demand and once again requested for changes to be done. Trade rumors and prospects circulated for some time around the Laker-team that was desperate to give in to the request of its leading man. No one not named "Kobe" was safe. After a few days, the issue had died down and became forgotten once more. A tradition, a repetitive habit, forgotten by the Lakers front-office. Everything was quiet and serene once more, until this week.

Three major controversies arose, too much even for any Hollywood-buff to stomach if one were to try and keep up with Kobe Bryant. Once more, Kobe Bryant has revealed that he indeed has interests to be moved. He laid quiet for a few weeks, but the desire and the anger was still present, living quietly beneath his heart. What prompted him to finally come out once more? It can not be said for sure, but these two other issues have risen side-by-side with Kobe Bryant on his palladium. On his left side, Patrick Graber, the ex-bodyguard of Kobe Bryant, has announced a few days ago of an up-coming book telling all about Kobe Bryant and his past rape case. The small hints of organized crime suddenly seeped its way out, as frame-jobs and assassination suddenly came into context with Kobe Bryant's name along with his possibly-revived long-lost identity as a 'rapist'. What this holds for Bryant's legal future is still in limbo, but one thing is for sure and that is it is not going to be any pretty. On his right side, is the infamous 'Kobe Video'. The video has yet to be released to public, but the most popular teaser of all lies in Kobe's words regarding teammate Andrew Bynum: "F**king ship his ass out!" Harsh words by a team leader about his teenage teammate that will definitely, in all certainty, cause backstage chaos in the locker rooms.

The only things certain in the past were death, taxes, and coke. On this very moment, Kobe Bryant campaigns to catapult his championship-desires into that wagon. What these things lead to for Kobe Bryant in the future is unknown, but the turmoil is just getting warmed up. Once the Lakers' front-office once again suddenly disappears in the middle of any course of action, and both the lethal-injection and the guillotine to Kobe Bryant's popularity as a player and role-model are finally released; blood will spill.

Sunday, June 17

Throw Down: Reel #2

10 days and counting until the greatest, on the positive note, thing to happen for the Portland Trailblazers in over a decade, and Kevin Pritchard says that he still doesn't know; and the world probably has its share of cheers and tips for Blazer's General Manager. The fact of the matter is, Kevin Pritchard has already made up his mind. They say patience is a virtue; but in truth, silence is the greatest virtue of all if ever a single soul even considers it as one. In the LeBron James lottery, there wasn't a single Cavalier front-office personnel that actually announced a month beforehand that it was a hundred percent LeBron James all the way. They just smiled with devilish grins as they held the #1 draft pick in their hands, knowing that they had indeed won the lottery of the decade. They tried to be subtle by throwing the words "we'll see," every too often, but the world knew it was James right then and there with no regards to the emergence of Carmelo Anthony in the NCAA tournament. The situation presents itself once again this year, but to a new black, red, and white team; and although the world isn't so sure this time as to who the Blazers will draft, it is evident that Kevin Pritchard was assured of himself one-month beforehand.

Throw Down: Reel #2

Who's #1? The dude "still doesn't know", we'll have to wait until draft day for that [OregonLive]

What a waste of a good year, for Sharapova; not the case for Jelena Jankovic! [Yahoo! Sports]

99.9% of the world's population must remember one of these classic video games [100% Injury Rate]

Drag racing charity-even goes horribly wrong, with at least 7 casualties [PR-Inside]

An F.U. to sports-commentator and 'analyst', Doug Collins [The Sports Hernia]

Jeff Burton and Tony Strewart serves as fatherly examples, happy Father's Day [The Black Flag]

Hamilton Predators sell 7,200 season tickets; that many people still watch hockey? [Blind Sight is 20/20]

Shamrock v. Baroni conference call quotes. It's either hilarious or offending; bring back Ken Shamrock! [East Side Boxing]

Chris Cooley has to cover himself up before men start dressing like that [AOL Journals]

Like Schumacher's era, Tiger Woods' is in a dire strait right now. [Yahoo! Sports]

Show credits.

Greg Oden: Hormones of a Monkey

I know it. You know it. The nation knows it. The whole world damn well knows it.

Greg Oden recently came from an Indiana Fever game when the Fever girls went up against Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury, and lost, sadly; but as luck seems faint for all basketball fanatics, Greg Oden bounces in and rewards avid-readers with a blog post that may send Gilbert Arenas a run for his money as Greg Oden may be the new force in the NBA Blogging world once he steps his gigantic feet into the league next season. To save everyone from the agony of reading the articulatory skills of a high school basketball phenomenon who had a sure short in the world's most professional (and high-paying) league ever since he was in his 5-feet-wide diapers, here are all the highlights from his recent blog post:

"The game was exciting but it got 10 x's better when Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi got very aggressive with each other. I got really into the game then. Those two are very good."

"I got the chance to meet the Seattle Storm and couple of the Fever girls a couple of nights ago. They were all cool as heck, it was my pleasure to be in the same room and just converse with those ladies"

"Ron Artest was also there with his wife and i got to say hi to him, he is a nice guy."

Really Greg, the world loves you. It's no shocker that Greg Oden loves the ladies and he's not shy of screaming it out to the rest of the world, but the whole bit about Ron Artest is kind of a bit off. Oh fine, maybe he really is a nice guy, once his estrogen levels stabilizes and everyone forgets of the term 'domestic violence' and completely accepts the culture related to it. Aside from single-handedly sabotaging a championship-contending franchise a decade in the making; well, I guess Ron Artest is a nice guy, I think. Putting that aside, Greg Oden is a barrel of laughs. Expect more of this once he finally lives in the fast-lane this coming NBA season, heads up everybody. Like I said, Greg Oden has the hormones of a monkey.

If anyone decides to bear with Greg Oden, his short yet official blog post may be seen here.

Saturday, June 16

Throw Down: Reel #1

With the off-season officially starting today, all eyes shift to one of the biggest events in any NBA season's year: The NBA Draft. One team in particular stood out in draft-lottery day other than the Portland Trailblazers, and that was the Boston Celtics. It was a turn-of-history 19-years in the making with the ultimate chance to get either one of the prospected superstars of the next decade. The world feast their eyes as the countdown went lower and lower in number. The Celtic-fans were getting ready to rejoice, as was Danny Ainge as he was sitting at the edge of his seat. Tenth pick.. Ninth pick.. Eighth pick.. Seventh pick.. Sixth pick.. Fifth pick goes to.. the Boston Celtics. And everyone who had once held their breath released all hopes for the near future. All their hopes and dreams for either Durant or Oden were flushed down the toilet. It looks like the Celtic-franchise is going to need to wait for another decade to try and pick up a miracle. The same miracles they held in Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish only to name a very few highlight names. Whatever happened to the Good 'Ol Days? Well, they got old. The only question that remains is when will the Boston Celtics ever regain basketball supremacy. Not anytime soon I guess.

Throw Down: Reel #1.

The Good Old Days, before the Celtic-glory wore out. [LOY's Place]

Why No One Cares About Sammy Sosa, and here's why. [Home Run Derby]

Bryant Wants Out, it looks like we're going to go through this again. [LA Times]

Reseeding Isn't Going To Fix the Playoffs, because boring teams exist. [Fantasy Basketball Guy]

Kobe Bryant's Bodyguard Writes Tell-All Book About Rape, uh oh. [Larry Brown Sports]

Mike Conley Jr.'s Trip to Memphis, and I'd hate to see him go there in draft-day. [Yardbarker]

Larry Brown Interested In the Kings, Artest and Brown: talk about friction. [SacBee]

The Spurs Are Not a Dynasty, they're boring but they're good anyway. [WtTB]

Selig Hoping To Save Face, last sport in the world I expected for steroid-use. [AOL Sports]

Morton Is Done, first sport in the world I expected for steroid-use. [LA Times]

Show credits.