5.31.2006

sports quick hits

1) interesting column by phil taylor on cnnsi.com about why the pistons are falling apart. maybe taylor is just the first person to jump on an inevitable journalistic dogpile if the pistons lose (i should really amend that to "when" the pistons lose) to miami. everyone is going to have a field day with this, so expect to see more of these columns in the near future. what i do like is taylor calling out the pistons for being a bunch of crybabies who have whined openly in the media to the detriment of the team. remember everyone, this was the team that everyone said revived team basketball. he's so right when he says that none of these guys were complaining during the regular season when they were winning. what i don't like is his idea that the pistons are losing for any other reason than talent. dwayne wade is individually better than any piston. and with the way shaq has been playing, you might make the same argument. if the pistons lose, it's because they got their asses handed to them, not because of internal strife. please note the similarity of my argument with the argument i made when the lakers lost to these same pistons. it wasn't the internal bickering between shaq and kobe, it was that detroit had better players. i'm just happy that i get to use this argument against a team that i don't like. anyways, i'm sure that erik will have something stupid to say in defense of his heroes, but i think phil taylor put it best when he writes,
The way they're acting, they might as well be the Knicks.
ouch.

2) this happened a few days ago, but ricky williams is playing with a canadian team next year. well, former CFL player joe theismann had some hot sports opinions on a talk radio show the other day:
I don't ever want to be mentioned in the same breath as Ricky Williams as a football player. He's a disgrace to the game. The man doesn't deserve to play football. He should go on with his life and treat his drug addictions or go do whatever he wants to do. He's been suspended from the National Football League on multiple occasions. Doesn't anybody have any class anywhere? For gosh sakes, let the kid go do what he wants to do. He doesn't want to play football.
what a completely assinine quote. is ricky williams a saint who just happens to like reefer? of course not, sure ricky isn't the best role model, but to say that he shouldn't be allowed to ever play reeks of suck blow-hardedness. not that any of us think that theismann wasn't a blowhard to begin with, but seriously, ricky is just trying to make his child support payments. eff joe thiesmann.

5.25.2006

i'm happy to announce...

...that the britney spears playboy watch is BACK ON! for a while i thought that she was going to get comfortable with the whole motherhood thing and never shed her clothes for softcore smut like she is destined too. but then i found out that she posted a ridiculous poem on her website (it's a flash site, so i can't directly link to the poem, but as of today, it's still front page stuff, just click on the "more" link on the right side of the page. anyways, for a funny explication of poem, see here.

anyways, here's how it breaks down. she's completely lost it, but there are too many people who can still make money off of her and they will make her realize what a joke her life has become. the meltdown between her and k-fed is now more inevitable than ever. this of course is complicated by the fact that she's got another bun in the oven. here's what i predict. she will try to one up denise richards and file divorce 1 hour before she's due to have a c-section. with baby stuff getting settled and the slow nature of the divorce process, i figure it will be about a year before she's officially single again. of course geniusly, she will be working on her new album the whole time. this time however, she's gonna pull out all of the stops and make sure that the album is good. i'm talking this is gonna be her "live through this". and then, just to show that 1) she's still a viable artist and 2) to celebrate her survival through all of this and 3) it's the last time she can do it before sean preston is old enough to realize what is happening, off come the clothes for hef and the with that prophecy fulfilled, we can finally finally get on with life. write it down kids....christmas 2008. i guarantee it, britney naked and with one of the 10 greatest albums of all time.

5.22.2006

some observations on the mavs-spurs series

please indulge me as i delve into some amateur sports analysis.

i wanted to write more during the series, but it was just too close the whole time and i didn't want to jinx it. but i think several things have made themselves very clear this series. the two most important things being the mavs rule and the spurs drool! but seriously, let's break it down.

1) the mavs were clearly the superior team. credit san antonio for toughness or whatever intangibles kept them in it for seven games, but i don't anyone watching with a semi-objective eye can say that the better team didn't win. and since i'm such a big fan of talent over intangibles, this makes me happy. the mavs were younger, they were faster, they had more endurance (seriously, the spurs need to take a long look in the mirror and wonder why they couldn't keep up with the mavs...they simply weren't in as good physical shape), they were better shooters, they were more aggresive on the boards...all the things that you have to do to win. here's the deal, conventional wisdom says that for the spurs to win, all three of their big guns have to come up big. well, they did. duncan had 41, parker had 23, and ginobli has 21. and still the mavericks came out on top. let's not forget that game 7 featured four mavericks fouling out, so there was a little home cookin' working for the spurs as well. the spurs had homecourt, had the calls go their way, and played about as good as they could play, and it still wasn't enough

2) it is unfortunate for san antonio that they chose this time to become run down. i think that the spurs could easily, easily beat any other team in the league except for detroit. tim duncan may be the third greatest post player i've ever seen (hakeem and mchale being #1 and #2). he was pretty freakin' unstoppable. and now despite three wins, they won't go down as a dynasty. not that they should. the first championship was during a strike shortened year. they probably should have another one were it not for derek fisher's miracle three years ago, and now, they couldn't win it back to back. and as good as they are, they don't belong with the great lakers (80s or 90s version), rockets, or celtics teams.

3) eff san antonio. as good as these guys may be, let me point out that i think that tim duncan has been exposed as one of the biggest whiners of all time. people say he's quiet and that makes him classy. but if you watch all of his press conferences, he's very condescending and the spur's losing is never the spurs fault, it's always the ref's fault. the worst is his super short answers after a loss. he is sulking people, and as kobe has shown us, that's a little bit sorry. ginobli is the biggest flopper since vlade divac. and tony parker may have a hot girlfriend, but i think it's time to attach the tag of "inconsistent" to his sorry french ass.

4) this was basketball for the ages. of the seven games, three overtime games, 6 of the seven games coming down to the last minute of play. i wrote about this earlier, but there hasn't been basketball of this high quality played for a good six or seven years. two sixty win teams duking it out. how great was that?

5) luck is always involved. three 3-pointers from keith van horn? where the hell did that come from?

6) before we start writing off the spurs, let's not forget two things. first, as long as duncan can play at a high level, then they're a threat. he's one of three players in the league that i think can carry a team to the championship all by himself. second, let's not forget one little fact about the spurs before we decide that they're a great team. does anyone else remember how the spurs tanked an entire season on purpose just so that they could get the first pick in duncan. seriously, before that year, the spurs were perennial playoff contenders with david robinson leading the way. and then all of a sudden one year, after losing robinson to injury, they just completely sucked for the rest of the year. yes, i'm accusing them of losing games on purpose, made all the more plausible by the fact that popovich is both head coach and gm of those teams. in one sense, he should be praised, since it resulted in three championships. but that doesn't change the fact, the spurs sold their soul for their championships.

7) this team reminds me a little bit of the 90s cowboys. for any team to break through, you have to take away the title of best team from the team who has that title. usually, it is a team that has your number, as the niners did with the cowboys and the spurs did with the mavericks. to take the next step, you have to go to the enemy's place and take away that mystique to announce your arrival. the cowboys did it in their first super bowl year when they beat the niners in the championship game in san francisco. we can only hope that the next few years go as well for the mavs as it did for the cowboys.


8) for those of you who are wondering, i've been to san antonio. yes, the riverwalk is disgusting. it's basically an open-air sewer, but damn if i haven't had some of the best damn mexican food in my life in san antonio.

MFFL

i heart germans!



i know all of you hate this picture, but i effing love it. there's a lot to say about this game, that i'll get to later, but right now, just know that my basketball weinie is vibrating at full speed right now. MFFL!

5.21.2006

i heart the internets

for those of you who can appreciate a good carlton clip. you're welcome.

5.18.2006

the round mound of sucking up to star athletes

last night, at halftime of a tough mav's loss, kobe bryant appeared as an in-studio guest of TNT's studio show. i was at a restuarant that didn't have the sound turned up so i couldn't hear what was said, but i found out this morning that kobe confronted charles barkley about chuck calling kobe selfish after the debaucle that was kobe's second half of game 7 against the lakers, where he took 3 shots.

i was also terriby disappointed to find out that charles apologized for taking the comment public. kobe said that he was doing what his coaches told him to do, and although charles didn't take it back, he did say he shouldn't have said it on the air. ummmm....last i checked, sports commentators are supposed to say their opinion in public. and this is coming from sir charles who is known for saying what is exactly on his mind. this is completely perplexing to me because it's so out of character for the chuckster to back off like that. this is the same guy who appeared on SI with chains around his neck and accused the NBA of being racist. the reason the TNT show works so well is exactly because charles and kenny smith tell us exactly how it is. and even more specifically, their willingness to call out individual players. kobe was selfish that last night, and the lakers had no chance to win with him only taking three shots. as bob dole once said, "i know it, you know it, and the american people know it." and this is coming from me, a known kobe defender. why on god's green earth would be inappropriate for someone who is paid to analyze professional basketball to say that?

i know that charles is not exactly a journalist in the strictest sense, but to pander to an athlete really deals a blow to his credibility as a commentator. it reduces him to the likes of an ahmad rashad or stuart scott, two notorious asskissers.

my big question is what is charles' motivation for doing this. it's not like kobe is michael jordan or anything. surely he couldn't be scared of the pro-kobe backlash? was he scared of kobe? i know he's older than kobe, but he's got at least 200 pounds on kobe. not to repeat myself, but it just doesn't make any kind of sense. and i hope the printed press takes sir charles to task for such a weak move like that.

on hazing

a set of pictures is making the rounds on the internet. these pictures are of the northwestern womens' soccer team and their hazing rituals. for those of you of the pervert persuasion, i think you'll be mostly disappointed in the pictures as they are rather tame. however, word has gotten out and it turns out that you can find all sorts of pictures of hazing on the internets on sites such as flickr, webshots, and photobucket. anyways, the college oriented site, bad jocks, compiled a list of the most salacious hazing photos (links provided below). anyways, word has gotten out to the colleges and catholic u and quinnipiac university, who were included in badjocks top 12 are launching investigations. forthermore, northwestern has suspended the entire women's soccer team until it figures out what to do.

there are a couple of things that i want to point out about hazing at the college level. first, as someone who used to work in the world of student life administration, i actually have some experience with the world of hazing. although my experience was with greek organization hazing, it seemed clear to me back then and now that like alcohol, when it comes to hazing, colleges have their heads stuck up their collective ass. whenever parents or whoever express concerns about hazing, schools will conveniently point to their non-hazing policy, and say that they are very vigilant to make sure that hazing goes on. and in my experience, colleges don't really do anything about it. in every case where i told someone that hazing was going on, i got the same response, not a goddammed thing. think about it, how easy was it for this badjocks website to find examples of hazing for sports teams. like out of control drinking, cheating by major sports schools in recruiting, it's clear to anyone that even though we hear about seven or eight students dying and lord knows how many students getting hospitalized for alcohol poisoning, college administrations don't do anything about it. why do colleges look the other way for these things? it's highly illogical, but it's one of those examples where formal administration has not caught up with culture. my point is, that collectively, colleges and universities either know there's nothing that they can do to stop it, or they have no interest in stopping it. my guess is the latter. if they really wanted to, it would be very easy to find evidence and then suspend organizations. i suppose the problem with that, is virtually every sports team and greek organization would be suspended, and since large amounts of money are invested in both of these institutions, colleges are helpless.

the other thing that i thought was interesting was the top 12 cases of bad hazing that badjocks found.
Here's the Dirty Dozen.
1) Catholic University Women's Lacrosse Team Initiation 2006
2) Quinnipiac University Men's Baseball Initiation 2006
3) University of California, Santa Barbara Lacrosse Initiation 2004
4) Wake Forest Women's Volleyball
5) Fordham University Women's Softball Team Initiation
6) Elon University Men's Baseball Initiation 2005-2006
7) Fairleigh Dickinson Women's Softball Initiation 2004
8) James Madison University Women's Club Soccer -
Double Play of the Day: Two different years from same team
9) Kenyon College Men's Baseball Initiation 2005
10) Princeton University Cheerleading Initiation 2005
11) Union College Women's Soccer Rookie Night 2004
12) University of Michigan Men's Lacrosse Initiation Pictures for both 2003 and 2004
- Another two-fer!
if you notice, none of these sports include football, basketball, or track and field, the sports dominated by african-americans (also notice that my current institution, UCSB, made the list!). i'm not saying that african-americans don't haze. some of the most intense hazing that i learned about involved the african-american greek organizations. but it was different, which i chalk up to as a function of the real motivations of greek organizations. all greek organizations purport to state as one of their principle causes as philanthropy, in addition to all of the other nice sounding principals (the reason for this of course, is that no one's parents would pay for membership in an organization whose formal chief principle was "ragin' keggers"). however, my experience leads me to believe that the african-american greek organizations, philanthropy is actually the guiding principle. don't get me wrong, they partied just as hard as the traditional greek organizations, but their motivations were actually guided in brotherhood or sisterhood, and service to the community. for example, while most greek organizations do one philanthropy event per semester, the african-american greek organizations did one per month.

don't get me wrong, i'm sure that the football team and the basketball team have hazing rituals as well, and i'm sure that the african-american greek organizations haze as well (the sigmas are well known for branding their members...as in branding with a hot iron). the point is, the toxic kind of hazing that results in phychological and often physiological damage, is much less prevalent in the african american college students than white ones, and although completely unscientific, i think the list above is evidence of this. i know that pro-sports team have rookie hazing rituals, but they are on the level of having to carry luggage for the veterans or occasionally having to sing for their teammates. pro sports organizations know that if hazing gets out of hand, it could result in one of their assets (players) getting hurt, so i'm pretty sure that if it ever got out of hand, they would deal with it in an appropriate and severe manner. i mean, look at how they deal with public comments about officiating.

my broader point is that college is seen as a liberal bastion where people are supposedly supposed to improve their character in preparation for a career and a member of civil society. in many cases, this results in the learning and adoption of liberal principles, but as much sociology would point out, the education system is actually just another cog in the socialization machine, so to counteract any liberal or emancipatory effects of college, other peripheral structures are set up to maintain the power heirarchy and status quo, such as greek organizations and the young republicans (i know that's a cheap shot, but we can discuss this in the comments section if you want).

the other point i want to make is that hazing although similar in form serves different functions in greek organizations than it does in african american greek organizations. likewise, it serves different functions in sports with lots of african-americans and sports with not a lot of african-americans. one, i doubt that any of the brothers or sisters would ever take that kind of crap from the type of student who would end up being the captain of the lacrosse team. second, for whitey, hazing is an exercise of power - letting you know who's boss and has little to nothing with bonding or character building. you might call it training for future oppresion. this seems clear since most of the activities deal with shaming or embarrasing the hazee. for non-whitey, it is an exercise in solidarity and discipline, and actually does end up having a positive effect on the hazee.

ok, disclaimer time: i've never been on a NCAA division I sports team or traditional greek organization, so i've never had to go through the hazing myself. furthermore, i'm obviously not a member of an african-american greek organization, so all experience i have is second hand, through association with my african-american students. lastly, my experience with the traditional organizations is also second hand, as i have often had to deal with the fallout from hazing, which as a hall director at the university of arizona, usually meant that i only dealt with incidents where hazing went wrong or negatively affected the community. so it could be that i am drawing conclusions on incomplete information.

sooooooo....for those of you who have gone through the hazing experience in any setting, i'd love to hear about your experiences and whether or not you thought hazing was a good experience. i'd especially like to hear from former division I athletes (particularly, the one that is in the sociology progam here at UCSB) and hear about your experiences with hazing and if they reflect the things that the above mentioned teams are getting in trouble for. i'd also like to hear from any college administrators who happen to stumble across this blog and hear their side of the story in their attempts to stop hazing.

p.s. one last observation - i really don't know what to make of the fact that 8 of the 12 on the list are women's teams. please feel free to comment on this as well.

p.p.s. hello soc 4 kids. i'm guessing some of you have some experience with hazing. let me hear from you!

5.16.2006

white men ruin something else

a LA psychologist is suing the angels for gender and age discrimination because he didn't get a free tote bag at an angels game. the catch is that it was a mother's day promo and the bags were for the first 25,000 women over the age of 18. ever notice that it's always white dudes who file completely frivilous discrimination suits like this one? i mean the law gets passed to so that people can get jobs or buy houses without fear of discrimination and this douchebag uses it cuz he wants a effing 3 dollar bag. i hope the angels fight him on this. this is one principle that needs to be reinforced. i mean, it's freakin' mother's day for crissakes! if anyone knows this michael cohn guy, please kick him in the nuts for me.

5.15.2006

adios shrimpo, adios.


umm...yes way.

doug flutie retires.

i'd never debate how great flutie was as a college player. his attachment to the hail mary that beat miami, is something that deserves recognition, but it always amazed me how he managed to retain the label of winner in the pros. a quick look at his stats will show that as a pro, he was completely mediocre. not once, did he ever finish in the top 5 of any passing category and only twice did he ever actually start in a playoff game, and he lost both of those games.

but people loved flutie. i mean, people loved him. does anyone remember flutie flakes? sure he lit it up in the canadian league, but to celebrate that is like celebrating someone who was a great minor league player but hit .230 in the bigs.

in any case, the point is, that it is often said that how you are perceived by fans is almost always dictated by what you do on the field. this argument is often used when a player with a bad rap off the field is given second chance after second chance by fans and teams alike (i.e. terrell owens, bonzi wells, etc.). however, in the case of flutie, i think that it is clear that many americans have a pre-conceived idea of what their sports heroes should be, and if they fit the mold, no matter how average to below average they are on the field, people will still hold him up as a hero anyways. and no one fit that mold better than little tiny doug flutie. take this paragraph from the article:
He then joined the NFL, but his freewheeling style and short stature were a poor fit for its conservative schemes. He played five games for Chicago the next two seasons and 17 for New England from 1987-89.

Only in the CFL, with its wide-open game, did he truly find success, throwing for 41,355 yards and 270 touchdowns in eight seasons with British Columbia, Calgary and Toronto.

i think the quote should read, "he was too short to be any good in the NFL and he sucked when given starting jobs, so he went to an inferior CFL and did very well."

i'm not saying he didn't accomplish anything, after all, you can't completely suck and stay in the league for 12 years. but you can kinda suck and people will keep giving you chances because of things completely unrelated to how good you are.

UPDATE 6:07PM
this is just the kind of crap that i'm talking about. mark kreidler of espn.com writes that doug flutie should get some consideration for the pro football hall of fame. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? first he says that we shouldn't hold the fact that flutie had his greatest years in the CFL against flutie. if he was so freakin' good, then why didn't any NFL team snap him up during that time? are you going to tell me that raghib ismail should be in the pro football hall of fame as well? but it gets worse. really bad actually. he then says that there is already a precedent of CFL players getting in the hall of fame in warren moon, which is a horrible horrible comparison. he even displays this chart to show the similarities:

Moon Flutie

USFL DNP 2,109 yds
13 TDs
CFL 21,228 yds
144 TDs
41,355 yds
270 TDs
NFL 49,325 yds
291 TDs
14,715 yds
86 TDs
Total 70,553 yds
435 TDs
58,179 yds
369 TDs


let's see, sure flutie has better numbers in the CFL league, but the NFL numbers are not even in the same league. 30,000 more yards, and over 200 more touchdowns. and then when you add up all the career numbers, it's still a landslide for moon, 12,000 yards, and 60 more TDs! for even more reasons why warren moon is a gazillion times better than doug flutie, check out the breakdown of moon's career statistics, especially the part about where moon ranks all time in completions (4), yards (4) , and touchdowns (5), compared to the number of categories where flutie ranks in the top 50 (big fat ZERO). flutie doesn't even sniff moon's jock let alone the hall of fame. this kind of crap just really chaps my ass! if doug flutie gets into the hall of fame, i'm going to go to canton myself and burn the place down. especially if flutie gets in before some other worthy candidates who have been snubbed thus far.

by the way, i'm won't say that this is the causal factor in flutie's consideration, but please note one other significant difference between these two quarterbacks, and i'm not talking about warren moon's well manicured mustache.

5.14.2006

happy mother's day!

i'm pretty sure that even if my mom knew what a blog was, she'd still refuse to learn how to use the internets at her house, let alone take the time to read this. which is all the funnier when you consider that she fixes computers and cellphones for a living. i know, i don't get it either, but i still love her more than any of you a-holes. anyways, everyone tell their mom that i said happy mother's day.

5.12.2006

your #1 bear news source

holy cow! they found some kind of hybrid grizzly-polar superbear! according to the story, the mama bear is a polar bear and the papa bear was a grizzly. i, for one, applaud the bears for being able to see past fur tone and set an example of racial harmony for all of mother nature's creatures to follow.


i don't think timothy treadwell or chocolate would be happy about this picture.

5.09.2006

hey america, david blaine sucks!

here is installment 2 of the hey america this sucks series. i present to you one david blaine. for those of you who have no pop culture IQ, david blaine is a magician who likes to pull stunts like burying himself alive for a week or sitting on a flagpole for a week or freezing himself for a week...i think you get the picture. anyways, he just finished his latest stunt where he spent a week underwater with nothing but a airmask thingee. his grand finale was last night where he was supposed to hold his breath for eight minutes before coming out of the tank, but he was only able to hold his breath for seven minutes. mission not accomplished.

anyways, my complaint to david blaine is this: why don't you do magic anymore? no one gives a rat's ass about your kooky stunts. i mean i guess it's somewhat impressive that you've been able to discipline your body to the point where you can withstand the elements, but really what's the point. at least when we watch athletes do it, our team might win. when you do it, nobody wins. especially the television viewing public. but more seriously, why don't you do magic anymore? it was cool when you were able to make cards appear from people's a-holes and what not. david copperfield is the biggest douchebag around, but i'll still tune in to see him make the statue of liberty disappear. that's cool. you standing in a water tank isn't cool. the point is, if david blaine has stopped doing magic, i don't really understand the appeal. this is like his fourth stunt. if he tries another one, i will have no choice but to destroy my karma and actively wish death upon him. so there you have it america, david blaine sucks.


david blaine's next stunt, ten days with a catherer stuck up his peehole.

jersey talk

with all the talk about reggie bush trying to wear number 5 in the NFL, the LA times ran an interesting piece on how sports teams now include women when designing wearable merchandise. if you're interested in this kind of thing, it is definitely a worthwhile read as it explores how the market realizes that the masculinist culture of sport traditionally excludes women, and how smart marketers upset the masculine apple cart by catering towards women. but there was something else that caught my eye. it has a top 10 list of NFL jerseys sold, broken down by men and women.

the top 10 men's jerseys
1. randy moss
2. ben roethlisberger
3. peyton manning
4. michael vick
5. troy polamalu
6. donavan mcnabb
7. terrell owens
8. tom brady
9. hines ward
10 brett favre

the top 10 women's jerseys
1. donavan mcnabb
2. ben roethlisberger
3. tom brady
4. brett favre
5. peyton manning
6. terrell owens
7. hines ward
8. eli manning
9. chad pennington
10. brian westbrook

plenty of knee-jerk sociologist conclusions to draw, and i'll get the ball rolling with a few:

1. 3 of the top 5 men's jersey's are qb's, vs. 5 of 5 for the ladies. ladies still seem to be infatuated with dating the high school qb, perhaps?

2. 2 of the top 5 men's jersey's belong to whitey, while 4 of the top 5 for the ladies are whitey. i'm not going so far as to say that women are racist, but they definitely are less interested in getting herpes from michael vick than dudes. also, eli manning and chad pennington both come from the #1 media market, so it makes a little sense that they're in the top 10 for women, but why not males? my general guess is that those women who can afford jerseys tend to prefer cute white guys like tom brady and brett favre over badass black guys like t.o. and ron mexico.

3. women in philly sure do love their eagles...brian westbrook?

4. it floors me to see peyton in the top 10 for guys. i can't think of a single dude who likes peyton.

5. hines ward is truly enjoying the aura effect of winning a superbowl. i do think it's interesting however that troy polamalu isn't enjoying them as much for the ladies. both are half asian, but troy is surely the better player at his position. i have no idea why guys like that and women don't.

6. defense may win championships, but they sure don't sell jerseys as polamalu is the only defensive player that gets on either list.

anyways, feel free to respond to my opinions or add your own observations.

5.04.2006

nba playoffs fun

i hope you indulge me as i engage in some plain sports analysis, and not the social commentary that i usually try to do. there's plenty to talk about, including hearing about charles barkley playing $20,000 hands of blackjack, but i have to say, i haven't enjoyed the first round of an NBA playoffs in a long time. lots of interesting subplots and all of the NBA premier stars are really putting on a good show. so good basketball and good personalities = good times. anyways, here are a few thoughts and observations.

1) kobe
i'm like everyone else in that i'm amazed at the new, "there is no I in Kobe" kobe. earlier in the year, i said it looked like the lakers thought that instead of having a higher score, kobe scoring 45 is what counted as wins. well, kobe hasn't been the ball hog he has been during the first 2/3 of the regular season. and the lakers, particularly lamar odom and luke walton have been playing like their pants are on fire...all the while, kobe is still dominating, just without taking 40 shots a game. it will be interesting to see how kobe reacts after the whole raja bell thing. for those of you who didn't catch it, raja bell (career avg - 8.8 points a game) had these intelligent words to say about kobe, "I have no respect for him. I think he's a pompous, arrogant individual." the mightymjd put it best,
Kobe? Arrogant and pompous? Ya don't say. What are you going to call him next, black?
anyways, add that to the fact that bell used a great wrestling move on kobe in the last game. knowing kobe, he goes crazy and scores 50 points in a game. lakers still win it. but then does he regress back into selfish immature kobe, and more importantly, can phil jackson keep the worker bees playing their ass off, if kobe reverts back to selfish kobe. phil jackson has a good reputation for being able to do this, so all of a sudden, the lakers become a legitimate threat. and then the possible clippers/lakers battle...good stuff.

one more thing on kobe that i'm going to put in this post to inflame the haters into their entertaining comments - there is no question...none whatsoever...as to who the best player in the game is today. even with lebron playing great...not to say that he won't be greater one day...but the best player in the game, by a mile, i might add: kobe. end of story.

2) lebron
i'd say that lebron has done quite well for his first time in the playoffs. similar to kobe, that cav team doesn't even win 20 games without him. and let's see what he's done so far in the first round, a triple double, and two game winners. of course, i don't see the cavs getting past the pistons, but i think we should really appreciate how lucky we might be. i was lucky enough to live in chicago when jordan won those titles, and we got to see him on television in all the time. but i always wondered what it would have been like to see wilt, bill russell, earl monroe and all those kickass guys play. unlike football, you can make a comparison between ages. anyways, the point is, i really wonder if people understand the magnitude of lebron's potential. no one, and i mean not even mj was as good as lebron is at his age. does anyone remember when lebron came out in the draft and people pretended that carmelo anthony might end up being better than lebron? not that carmelo is not any good, cuz he is good, real good, but their career trajectories aren't even in the same ball park. to sum up, let me put it this way
. if lebron's career progresses the way we think it is going to, then we will have been lucky enough to see the two greatest basketball players of all time in their primes in jordan and lebron.

another thing...on last night's buzzer beater....man antawn jamison has got to be about the worse defensive player in the league.

3) the pistons
notice how no one is talking about the pistons other than saying that they're the favorite? their dispatching of the bucks was so routine and so effortless that it surprises me that they didn't sweep. when i see the pistons play ball this year, i see a really entertaining brand of basketball. i've bitched and moaned about how super defensive teams ruin basketball, but i'm going to take this opportunity to recant....partially. the first pistons dynasty (the isaiah thomas and bill lambier pistons) absolutely destroyed basketball. it turned basketball into a wrestling match that bordered on unwatchable. i've complained about the lack of quality in the NBA for about the last 6-7 years. this year, i have to admit, the quality is getting better, and as much as it kills me to admit this, it is because of the pistons. everyone (except the lakers) are simply playing much better team basketball. i see less isolations, i see much better passing, better shooting, and most importantly, i see defensive schemes that rely on athleticism rather than brute strength. and of course, the proof is in the pudding...scoring is up, partly due to the rule changes about defense, but watching the games, i can see a marked difference in the overall style of the league. and it's good stuff. it might have been that for a few years, everyone in the league except for shaq and a.i. sucked. but people saw that what the pistons did was different and it was working. i'm not saying it's all due to the pistons, i give a lot of credit to the kings of three years ago, and to lebron, but i can't deny that watching a pistons game is highly entertaining, even though they usually end up blowing out teams. and i can't deny that the NBA is better this year than last, and all the top teams are playing like the pistons do. erik, you can still kiss my black ass.

4) the mavericks
as a MFFL, i could go on and on about this team, but in the interest of not sounding like a complete sniveling jock-sniffer, let me just say this. i like this team as much as any mavericks team since 1987, when mark aguirre and ro blackman were running the show. every team has one or two guys that you can't stand, but the only guy that i even remotely dislike on this team is keith van horn, and luckily, he's been hurt. for the past few years, i've found myself having to defend the no-defense style of the mavs, when deep in my heart, i knew that it wasn't going to work. those days are gone and i can say without any hesitation, that this team is going to make it to the NBA finals. everything seems to be going their way, in that dirk is peaking, they have the NBA coach of the year, and everyone is healthy. that last one can't be overlooked, as it is a major reason why detroit has been so good the past few years (no major injuries! i mean, you can't bitch about it really, but how can any team not have at least one major player hurt in three effin years!). anyways, i hate to sound whimsical, but this team just feels right to me....dare i say it?......team of........destiny? who knows how they will do against the pistons, but i'm locked in as mavs superfan #1 right now.

anyways, sorry to bore you with all of this, but it's been a long time since i've been this excited about basketball. anyways, i'm sure that some of you will want to comment on some of these things, so by all means, let's start the flame war.

5.01.2006

sports quick hits

sorry it's been awhile. i was out of town this weekend with HK hanging out with hammer. anyways, there's a few things worth mentioning.

1) steve nash is probably going to win the MVP. again, how these kinds of things happen, i just don't know. here's the dirty secret. steve nash is not any better than he was with the mavericks. i love him to death, and he's probably a top 2 point guard in the league, but when you compare what he did to what kobe, lebron, and even dirk did this year, he really shouldn't be in this conversation. last year, i chalked it up to a turnaround job. this year, i'm at a loss. so i'll just resort to my default, racism. sports writers love whitey!

2) holy cow! john daly has a really bad gambling problem. sometimes, i think that it's actually a good thing that i don't have a lot of money, cuz there's a greater than zero chance that i'd end up blowing it in vegas. the weird thing about the daly story is that he suffered a lot of his losses at the slot machines. did i mention that he said he's racked up over 50 million dollars in losses? i mean losing a ton of cash on black jack, i can at least kinda understand...but once my twenty runs out on the nickel machine, i'm out.

3) that last sentence isn't true. i've got serious gambling problems.

4) those of you who are jonesing for your duke lacrosse fix will be relieved to know that a duke committee has recommended that the team be reinstated next year, after this year's cancellation of the season. as usual, college administrators have their heads up their ass. i've got no problem with resuming the program, but the committee calls for close monitoring of the program due to a history of problems related to alcohol....if that's the case, then every single NCAA division I team, male and female needs to be closely monitored.

i thought i had more, but apparently i got nothing. sorry.