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Archive for May, 2009

Wally, you have lost your hugging priveleges.

Wally, you have lost your hugging privileges.

Game 5 started like most of the others: Cleveland went all in, building an insurmountable lead. Quarters 2 & 3 similarly followed series suit as Orlando surmounted the insurmountable lead. The final quarter has been the wild card in this series and last night was no different. Only Lebron, with his season on the line, decided to go it alone rather than leave anything to chance. 12 DIY minutes later, Lebron had his victory. Afterward, his teammates touted his greatness. His fourth quarter play clearly acknowledged their weaknesses.

This was the most Jordanesque game Lebron James has ever played. His stats were ridiculous (37, 14, 12), but that’s not what I mean. This was the game where he stopped seeing his teammates as partners and started seeing them as parts. Cleveland’s first 29 points of the final quarter were either scored or assisted by James. All the little Cavlings had to do was not fuck up. Mo hit a couple set shots. Boobie did too. Bronny took care of the rest. Playmaker, slasher, post-up man, head coach. Mike Brown stood on the sidelines looking like George Karl doing his impersonation of Doc Rivers.

This transformation may have occurred too late, though. Cleveland has yet to win in Orlando this season. Lebron needs to prove he can draw as much inspiration from boos as cheers. His greatest weakness seems to be that he likes being liked too much. Popularity matters to him. Game 6 will be the first test of whether he’s ready to be hated. Because Orlando’s fans will be cheering a trip to the Finals unless Lebron silences them. That starts with quieting his teammates.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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Lamar Odom calling for the Milk Dud entry pass.

Lamar Odom calling for the Milk Dud entry pass.

You only live once. Eat as much candy as you can eat.”

– Lamar Odom on life.

Lamar Odom is living every kid’s dream…

…And proving candy is a drug.

Rumor has it Kobe got Odom pumped for this series by referring to their opponent as the Hershey Nuggets. I repeat, that’s just a rumor. He might’ve called them the Denver Nougats.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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"I think I like Stan now."  "Me too!  Wanna shower together?"

"I think I like Stan now." "Me too! Wanna shower together?"

I was upset at the number of times that they flopped last night. I mean, Ben Wallace and Mo Williams fell down more times than a baby learning to walk.” – Stan Van Gundy

As everyone who reads this site knows, I’ve long been a supporter of Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy.  People are always making fun of him for being fat and ugly, wearing mock turtlenecks, screaming during games like he got his nuts stuck in a bear-trap, and looking like he bought his suits in bulk direct from the asshole of the Men’s Wearhouse guy.  But that’s weak sauce.  Those jokes are too easy.  And making fun of someone’s appearance isn’t cool, it’s just mean.  Stan is an underrated coach, a teacher and a motivator. And dude-bro is a quote machine.

The above quote is great for a couple reasons.  First, Mo Williams’ entire performance in this series could accurately be described as resembling a baby learning to walk.  He has no idea what the fuck he’s doing out there and he keeps falling down and splitting his head open. (You remember being a kid, right?)  Second, this is the first and last time Ben Wallace has ever been described physically as a baby.  Ben Wallace is a great example of a little theory of mine I’ve dubbed The Reverse Benjamin Button theory.  Whereas Benjamin Button is born an old man and ages backwards, eventually becoming a baby, Ben Wallace keeps mysteriously growing older.  To quote a character in the film yet to be made of my theory, “His bones be ossified.”

In the same post-game interview, commenting on how many are pulling for a Lakers-Cavs Finals, Stan added:

This isn’t the BCS… people don’t get to vote for who they want to play.  We’re not in that ridiculous system.  This is real sports here, where you get to decide it on the court.”

As most of you know, Stan’s feud with the BCS dates back to when the BCS called Van Gundy out for… wait, no – that never happened.  Why is Stan taking shots at the BCS?  Who knows.  But it’s awesome.  The lesson to be learned here for all coaches, players and college football ranking selection systems is as follows:  Don’t come after SVG, or he will come after you.  Also, don’t not come after him, because he’ll still come after you.

ATP Rankings Committee… YOU’RE NEXT!

Posted by LA Dubbs

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Mo Williams is reasonably confident his team can do it.

Mo Williams is somewhat confident his team can do it.

Guarantee we’re going to win the series? Yeah, yeah. We are down 2-1. But there is nobody on this team and definitely not myself that says we are not going to win this series. Yeah, it is going to be tough. We know that. We get this game tomorrow, go home, still got home-court advantage. We don’t see ourselves losing two out of three at home.” — Mo Williams, inspiring very little confidence in his team.

Nothing like posing a guarantee as a question. Athlete interviews have become as calculated and uninspired as math tests. These men are trained to say nothing. Just ask Lebron. He won’t tell you, because he has been trained to say nothing. Mo not only says plenty, he says it poorly. Read sentence four: “But there is nobody on this team and definitely not myself that says we are not going to win this series.” Decontextualized, with only a few word omissions and no shift in sequence, this sentence can read, “There is nobody on this team and we are not going to win this series.” Even quoted word-for-word, with context, the sentence reeks of self-doubt. This guarantee should make Orlando more confident than ever.

And how about that last sentence: “We don’t see ourselves losing two out of three at home.” Mo Williams and his positive visualizations don’t see Cleveland losing a total of three out of four home games to the Orlando Magic. We are talking about a team that has lost three out of 47 home games this season. And the best Mo Williams can come up with is that he doesn’t see it happening a couple more times.

Usually guarantees are intended to rally the troops. Clearly, this time, Mo Williams was tricked into making one because he recently had his small brain jarred loose by an Anthony Johnson elbow. Guarantees often come from swelled heads. Apparently swelled faces do the trick, as well.

Screw that tissue! Get me a reporter!

"What happened? Did I make the All-Star team?"

Posted by BA Brokeass

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Lebron’s winning shot from Game 2 of Cleveland-Orlando has been shown more times than Paris Hilton’s hoo-ha. If you’ve been under a rock (or in Paris Hilton’s hoo-ha), check it out:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Huge shot, no question. Was it Jordanesque? It depends which Jordan we are talking about. It was reminiscent of the shot referred to (creatively) as “The Shot.” But that predates Jordan’s first championship by two seasons. In the time between “The Shot” and “The Ring,” MJ went from winning games to playing like a winner. Lebron will learn the difference eventually.

The #23 that won all those ‘ships could’ve hit that 23-footer, but he wouldn’t have had to. Because he would never let a 23-point home-court lead evaporate. And if, miraculously, he did blow that lead, after sinking the game-winner he wouldn’t look shocked by it. Even if he was stunned, he wouldn’t then run around like a crazed puppy/Glen Davis. He would pump the fist, nod to Oakley for setting the screen, and walk off the court. Same as any shot (minus the walking off the court part).

The first two games of this series really call into question the season-long lovefest between Lebron and his Cavlings. Chemistry is an important quality to find in balanced teams. Our recently deceased Pistons were friends and equal partners in success. San Antonio was the best squad of the decade thanks to a proportional attack. Most teams aren’t built that evenly. Jordan’s teammates feared him like the devil. Kobe Bryant, despite all his posturing, hates every person on the planet. KG makes his teammates cry. They are all champions.

Thanks to a decided lack of adversity during the regular season and first two playoffs rounds, Lebron has been allowed to act as benevolent king. Heading to Orlando at the disadvantage, we will now see if he can rule with an iron fist. All signs point to no. Cleveland didn’t defeat the Magic, Lebron did. A killer makes sure everyone recognizes that. He definitely doesn’t celebrate alongside the punks that almost blew it for him. My father never gave me a hug after bailing me out of a pickle. And he is required to love me.

After blowing two massive leads, someone needs to yell at these Cavaliers. At this point the King’s verbal wrath will do more damage than good. Game 3 could end up Cleveland vs. Orlando and a Delonte West pout session. Lebron has coddled these fools for too long and now he’s worried about upsetting his friends. What he doesn’t yet realize is that friendships are for the offseason (and gay poses are for the championship trophy presentation). The season, and especially the playoffs, are a struggle. If it doesn’t feel like all work, you’re probably not trying hard enough.

The Original 23 never had that problem. And he didn’t need to be called King for everyone to know he ruled the game. The Current 23, “King” James, can’t even keep his own house in order. For all his greatness, Lebron still has a few lessons to learn.

Hugs are for the mediocre.

Lesson 1: Hugs are for the mediocre.

Posted by BA Brokeass

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Joe Johnson's shadow, I'm ready to come home.

"Joe Johnson's shadow, I'm ready to come home to you."

The violence we saw today will make me think real hard over my future in Europe.” – Olympiakos’ Josh Childress, following a riot during Game 1 of the Greek League Finals

You know how those Greeks love their basketball. Late in the fourth quarter, with home team Olympiakos down a single basket to archrival Panathinaikos, the game was halted for twenty minutes as riot police prevented irate fans from rushing the court and throwing miscellaneous objects at the visitor’s bench. One of those items was a flare. A FLARE! Someone threw fire at the rival team.

You’re probably wondering what caused the riot. I already told you, silly. Olympiakos was losing by two points. In Game 1. You can’t come back from a two-point deficit in Game 1. Play continued once order was restored, and Olympiakos went on to lose by…two points. See? The fans were right. You can’t come back from a deficit like that.

200 fans fought with police following the game. Meanwhile, during the fracas, Ron Artest signed a lifetime Greek League contract. Queensbridge reppin’ the Parthenon!

Posted by BA Brokeass

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After being punked by Chauncey, Kobe has nowhere to hide.

After being punked by Chauncey, Kobe has nowhere to hide.

From Tom Friend’s great ESPN piece about Chauncey:

Suddenly, he notices the defender guarding the inbounds pass has turned his back to him. So 18-year-old Chauncey throws the ball off the defender’s rear end, catches it, drop-steps and dunks with two hands. Chauncey has himself a bucket and an assist. The crowd snickers … except for his grandmother sitting in the 10th row… she always has told her grandson to tone it down, to respect his opponent, to play the game “the right way.”  So that’s why, after his dunk sends the Metro State College arena into a tizzy, Chauncey looks over to his grandmother and mouths: Sorry.”

Last night:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Chauncey’s got some more apologizing to do.

Posted by LA Dubbs

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