May 30, 2007

Shaq Part II...Well, Minus 10....

So Kobe wants out of Los Angeles, huh? Gee, I wish the Timberwolves front office had the ability to do anything about the availablity of one of the best players in the world. I would be willing to put aside my dislike of #24 if it meant KG could win a championship. I also wish that there was a chance that Kobe would want to play next to KG in Minnesota. You can wish in one hand and-I know. I just shit in my hand.

The fact that I'm a fan of one of the worst run organizations in sports means I probably won't get to watch Kobe in blue and black but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy watching teams try to acquire him while owner Jerry Buss - that's Dr. Buss to you drunky - rides GM Mitch Kupchak like a three legged pony in a mustard eating contest. Yeah, I don't know what that means either.

Anyways, on with the show...

So who has a shot at winning this seasons version of Who Wants A Laker? Let's find out!

Our contestants come to us from varying levels of interest and ability. Sure, there are some long shots but just because they have less than 1 in 1 million chances of happening, we didn't keep them out!

Sacramento Kings

Give: Ron Artest, Mike Bibby, #10 pick(Yi Jianlian / Acie Law IV)
Get: Kobe Bryant

Bibby and Artest are big enough names to be known in Hollywood and have been, in the recent past, very good players. Bibby would definitely benefit from a change of scenery and would be a good fit for the PG in the triangle offense. Two things stand in the way of this deal. One, the Maloofs refusal to trade with the Lakers based on principle would, in theory, make them reject this deal. But Kobe may be big enough for them to soften their stance a bit. The Lakers wouldn’t want Kobe to be in the same division because they’d have to face him 4 times a year, not to mention staying in the same state may take some of the Lakers fan base further North. But - hey, don't they have a coaching vacancy too? Hmmm...

New Jersey Nets

Give: Richard Jefferson, Marcus Williams, Antoine Wright, #17 pick(Josh McRoberts / Thaddeus Young)
Get: Kobe Bryant

Richard Jefferson is a fairly good name, but not huge. Both Williams and Wright are solid youngsters who could grow into solid pros. This would be a salary cap move for the most part and, looking at Mr. Buss’ past, could be a likely move if he’s going to have to move his gold coin. Plus he would only have to face an angry Kobe twice a year. New Jersey would want to do this deal because they they’d get to have Kobe and Kidd together. They would then only hope that Vince opts out and leaves. They’d win huge. Kobe in Brooklyn? I think Jay-Z just peed his pants a little bit.

Phoenix Suns

Give: Amare Stoudemire, Raja Bell, Marcus Banks, #24 pick, #29 pick
Get: Kobe Bryant

The Lakers end up with a marketable star in Stoudemire and two extra first round picks in a deep draft. But maybe most importantly they get Kobe’s nemesis in Raja Bell. That way, when they play four times a year, Buss can be on the other side of the Bryant-Bell Bitchfest. The Suns fix their supposed chemistry problem (while possibly giving themselves a new one) and give themselves an amazing piece to add to the D’Antoni puzzle. How many do you think Kobe could average with 20 extra possessions?

Indiana Pacers

Give: Jermaine O’neal, Danny Granger, and Marquis Daniels
Get: Kobe Bryant, Kwame Brown

Jermaine is a big name star who could use a change of scenery and is apparently being shopped by Indiana. Granger is a young up and comer who can play the 2-3 and even a little 4. Most importantly though the Lakers would rid themselves of Kwame Brown and could then begin to forget the mistake of trading for him. The only problem is that the Pacers have no picks this year with which to sweeten the pot and, because of the new CBA, cannot trade next years first rounder because they traded this years - that is if I interpreted that correctly which I may not have. Of course that might be a price Buss would be willing to pay to move Kobe to the Eastern Conference.

Memphis Grizzlies

Give: Pau Gasol, Rudy Gay, Hakim Warrick, #4 pick (Al Horford / Joakim Noah)
Get: Kobe Bryant, #19

This is a long shot although if I were Memphis I’d try to work something out and try to convince Jerry West to stay on in some capacity just to entice Kobe. Memphis would be fairly dumb to do the deal. Then again, you did already get screwed in the Draft Lottery so what do you have to lose? You would immediately sell out every game not to mention all the #24 jerseys you would sell right out of the gate. The Lakers get a solid star, and all-rookie performer, and a solid bench player to ease the rebuilding process. Mostly this deal comes up because it involves The Logo.

Philadelphia 76ers

Give: Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Kyle Korver, and #12 pick (Jeff Green / Al Thornton)
Get: Kobe Bryant, Jordan Farmar

I know, I know, the Philly fans love to boo Kobe every time he shows up but seriously, who in Philly wouldn’t want to have their hometown star back home? I don’t like Kobe but I’d be happy to have a player of his caliber on my team. After Iverson was traded to Denver last year Iguodala began to show his true abilities. He does a little bit of everything ala Shawn Marion, but at the SG spot. Sure you give up your point guard of the future but don’t forget that Andre Miller led the league in assists 5 seasons ago and has yet to get comfortable since leaving Cleveland. Korver is one of the league’s premier three-point specialists who would keep the lane open for Bynum and A.I..

Milwaukee Bucks

Give: Michael Redd, Charlie Villenueva, Mo Williams, #6 pick (Mike Conley, Jr. / Corey Brewer)
Get: Kobe Bryant

Sure this deal would be terrible, but how fitting would it be that Kobe and Kareem would have one more link between them? It’d never happen, but I couldn’t resist the history.

Miami Heat

Give: Jason Williams, Udonis Haslem, Dorell Wright, #20 pick
Get: Kobe Bryant

Oh c’mon, how can you not look at reuniting Shaq and Kobe? Then add Dwayne Wade? Sure, there might not be enough balls to go around but don’t tell me you wouldn’t watch. Not to mention that if there’s a front office executive crazy enough to try it, it’s Pat Riley. He’d probably even be able to lure Kareem out of retirement to back up Shaq instead of Zo. Clearly for the Lakers this would just be some cap work not to mention a terrible deal, but wouldn’t it be something? Just imagine: “Kobe picks Dirk’s pocket, outlet pass to Wade, lob to Shaq, OH BABY! The Diesel brings down the house!” It's like an all-star game. Every night. In Miami instead of L.A.

May 22, 2007

Uncompleted Missions, Throwin Your Best-Known Compositions, Couldn't Add It Up If You Mastered Addition

Christ, it's not going to happen tonight, so let's not even talk about that. We're looking at the 7 or 8, and the only thing that comes up good in the 7 or 8 spot is when you have 7 or 8 pancakes and a whole mess o' boysenberry.


Brandan Wright

He's a freshman forward from UNC. You know what that means? He plays "Forward", definitely not to be confused with "Power Forward". He's going to be lanky, and scared. KG will make him cry. He won't possess a killer attitude, he won't have any sort of discernable personality, and above all, he'll be another little wiry fucker without power.

God I hate UNC.

Corey Brewer

Obviously, I spent the entire college basketball season in a country only a few thousand miles from Antarctica, so I didn't see anything from Florida (or anyone else, for that matter). But, luckily, I WAS around to see last year's team, and as I am to understand, this year's team was very similar. Anyway, I probably could've gave a shit about Corey Brewer... that is until I just saw him on OH DEAR LORD THIS MAN HAS A MENTAL DEFICIENCY. I hope to god that he smoked at least a bowl before the camera went on, because he made Corky sound like a Rhodes Scholar. There's no reason to ever employ someone who talks that slowly, in any profession.

Yi Jianlian

1. His name is pronounced "Yee". As in "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

2. He only recently came to America, which means nobody knows anything about him. Oh, and he's working out by himself, naturally. Translation: he is WAY too slow to go up against NBA talent. I mean, when he faked out his trainer and took him to the rack??!?! Sweet as, bro! But against a proper defender? NO THANKS.

Joakim Noah

(no reason need be given)

Spencer Hawes

Please god almighty don't take the Bogut/Montross/Bowie/McCullough/Reeves clone in this year's draft. 7 foot tall white guys not from Europe DON'T. PLAY. OUT.


So who should the Wolves take?

Greg Oden. And if he's not available, how about Kevin Durant?

May 11, 2007

From Oakland to Sac-Town, The Bay Area And Back Down, Cali Is With It Put They Mack Down, Gimme Love

There is something happening east of the Big Bridge, and it has nothing to do with Nick Fucking Swisher.

Ghetto Ball has returned to the NBA playoffs. And not a moment too soon.

Ok, I have been absolutely remiss on posting lately, due mostly to cramming my synapse gaps with fermented grape in the Santa Ynez Valley. But nothing lasts forever, and how long is forever anyway? I'm roaring back across the Grand Expanse to deliver a message of hope:

Golden State plays the kind of basketball that would make Hot Sauce happy.

I think it's important, after such a monumental upset in the first round, to define what I mean by "Ghetto Ball". I'll attempt to use numbers, charts and pictures, but essentially, the words will make the most sense.

Ghetto Ball is, in its purest form, a style of basketball played by 5 individuals who never pass and never run a single coherent play. It is run by a coach who, for practice, throws a few racks of balls out onto the court and says "go". It lacks a defensive system completely. It teaches and preaches offensive skills and freakish athleticism. In a nutshell, it's Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Jason Richardson and Matt Barnes.

There is no passing. There is no offensive mindset. When the opposing team shoots, all 5 are scrambling for the rebound. Whoever gets it immediately sprints up-court for a fast break. No, it does not matter what the numbers are. I've seen Davis go one on four, and get his bucket.

Speaking of buckets, that's really all Ghetto Ball is, at the very core. Buckets. You gotta git your buckets. Why? Because if you don't, somebody else will, either on your team or whatever. When the ball is in your hand, the goal is to get it in the bucket, end of story. Passing just delays this.

Why am I so excited about Ghetto Ball? Because I love playground shit. I love shit talking for no reason other than to run your mouth (Sammy C, get at me dog!). I love Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason just going absolutely trash ball and punching people in the face. I love Ricky Davis shooting on his own basket to get a triple double. Anyone who has played the game knows that although those pickup games start out structured, eventually they devolve into gutter mouth and trying to one-up one another.

Think about this for a minute. What are some of the defining moments of your NBA fan career? I'll tell you a few of mine:

- Reggie Miller turning towards Spike Lee and just clowning him, right to his face, by throwing up the "choke" sign.

- Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen teaming up on Darrick Martin and not allowing him to cross half-court after he talked shit to them.

- Jordan against the Blazers in the Finals, when he couldn't physically miss a shot.

- Robert Horry, too many times, daggering a team at the end of a big game.

- Sam Cassell, running down the floor holding enormous imaginary testicles. And bobbing them up and down like we used to do on the playground.

- John Starks, raising hell with Jordan, then getting dunked on so much that it hurt me in Wisconsin.

- The Pistons, despite hearing non-stop that the Lakers were destined for the championship, coming out and completely destroying them in every way. Chauncey Billups hitting shots against whatever the Lakers were trying to stop him with, and dropping that cool smirk of his. Also Rasheed getting revenge on anyone who ever said a word about him.


At its core, basketball yearns to be ghetto ball. Some of the greatest performances have come because one player is just willing to get more ghetto than another one. Individuality is demonized in professional sports, when it's done for the wrong reason. That's bullshit. The NBA is completely individualized.... look at their marketing machine. It's not about the Rockets or the Wolves, it's all about McGrady, Yao, KG. Most of their success relies on their ability to get theirs when it counts. Think of this statement: "He can create his own shot". YOu know who can create their own shot? Anyone willing to stop passing to teammates for an entire game. Kobe "creates his own shot" every single time down the floor. So does Baron Davis. And Stephen Jackson. And Gary Trent.

Simmons maintains that this is a form of basketball not built for the playoffs, which I agree with, but I don't care. This is my favorite kind of basketball. The Warriors put up a hundred and goddamned twenty five points tonight. That's not "running". That's "putting the G back in Gangster" ball. You don't get 125 with an offensive plan. You get it because you can't get your guys to slow down.


And so, in pictures:


Not Ghetto:

Ghetto (both of them):

Not Ghetto:


And, the King: