A handy guide to the week in European basketball, by Julien Debove of BasketSession.com, expressed in terms of jazz musicians. Maccabi Tel Aviv, for instance, is Chet Baker: "It’s uneasy to guess watching the clip that Chet Baker’s been one of the most handsome men of the 20th century and a fucking good trumpetist. That was before he became another junky and ended up toothless. It’s almost as uneasy to guess watching Maccabi’s games that this team has been reigning on European basketball for the last couple of years..." Lottomatica Roma is Erykah Badu: "An early success which seemed to announce a bright future. But a streak of frustrating losses as a follow-up…"
Who knew? Balding Spalding of Suns on Fire points out a Johnnny Ludden account of some San Antonio Spurs comedy: "Tim Duncan played a Crucian shaman, who, like the old Johnny Carson character, Carnac the Magnificent, could mysteriously guess the answer to a question in a sealed envelope. Parker to Timmy: Hedo Turkoglu, Nowitzki and P.J. Carlesimo. Timmy's reply : A Turk, a Dirk and a jerk?" (Can I call you...) Balding also recalls a great Brent Barry line: "I'd give my right hand to be ambidextrous."
I'm still waiting for Troy Hudson's first album. Ron Artest called him one of the best rappers in the NBA. This is from his website: "Troy has been keenly interested in music since he was a child in Carbondale, Illinois. He formed his NuttyBoyz Group, featuring rap and hip-hop music, in 2002, and has performed in numerous music venues in the Mid-West since that time. In 2003, Troy was invited to tour Kuwait with the USO, including Ervin (“Magic”) Johnson and Mark Madsen. An avid music writer, Troy also has written over two thousand original songs in his music career. In 2004, Troy formed NuttyBoyz Entertainment Group, which has evolved into Troy E. Hudson Enterprises, with Troy at the helm as Chief Executive Officer. Featuring a full range of music labels and production capabilities, Hudson Records and NuttyBoyz Records began actively recording and publishing music in 2005 at his newly built Hudson Studios, a private set of state-of-the-art music studios located in North Minneapolis. Troy expects his first major record release, “Undrafted,” to be distributed in the Summer of 2006."
Interesting e-mail from Kai Figgemeier, who works in TV in Germany: "...as a big NBA fan and basketball player myself am afraid that basketball could go the same way that for example tennis has gone after the retirements of Steffi Graf and Boris Becker - back into obscurity on a national level. And touching on this problem, don't be fooled by the all-positive messages the NBA sends as far as the league spreading out in popularity over here. Kids are going crazy over the NBA players and buying the jerseys and all that, but only the vast minority of people can actually watch NBA games because they are only broadcast on a floundering Pay-TV channel which is quite expensive for German standards... from what I've noticed during the Olympics for example where basketball is competing for viewership with other events, the sport still does poorly in comparison with "classic" events like track and field... Having Nowitzki contending for the title seems like the perfect storm for me to try and change that. That's why it is especially frustrating to see so little progress."
The CarnEvil of the NBA includes a lot of good stuff, most importantly yet another use of Thabo Sefolosha's apparently TrueHoop-inspired little-nickname-that-could "Swiss Mister."
They bring the crazy when they make up the NBA All-Star ballot, so why not bring the crazy when you vote.
Listen to Dick Pound tell you why performance enhancing drugs should be high on the list of things you are against.
I never imagined that the Knicks wouldn't be much better this year than last year. But are you aware that they have yet to win a single game at home?
Basketbawful: "We have this notion that the pre-Jordan era was filled with humble, courtly professionals who would never lower themselves to the indignities associated with product promotion. Take Dr. J, for instance. He's generally regarded as an NBA dignitary and a true class act (despite the fact that he once sucker punched Larry Bird three times in the face while Bird was being held from behind by the good Doctor's teammates). But maybe, just maybe, Dr. J would have been just as much of a media hound as Jordan if he'd had half a chance. Why do I say that? Well, because Erving once appeared in a Chapstick commercial. But he didn't just appear. He renamed himself 'Dr. Chapstick' (at least for the commercial), and even gave a detailed list of Chapstick ingredients to a group of screaming children who only wanted a small part of a man who could touch the sky. As one young girl tugged on his sleeve, a single tear in her eye, he demanded, 'That's Dr. Chapstick to you!' Okay, it wasn't that dramatic. But still."
Fred Jones takes a starting spot from Morris Peterson. I love watching Fred Jones play.
Becky Hammon, WNBA player and sideline reporter, makes a mistake, initially calling Dwyane Wade "LeBron."
Marcus Haislip is in trouble in Turkey (from Donning Craig Sager's Suit): "The whole thing started when former Rockets draft pick Mirsad Türkcan pushed Haislip to get him out of rebounding position, and Haislip pushed back as they both began to jog back down the court after the made shot. We assume Turkish basketball players are taught to fight like girls, because Türkcan responded with a lady-like slap to the face. Haislip, whose lone pet peeve (along with Charlie Murphy) is getting his face slapped, threw a devastating right hook that sent Türkcan back a few steps. We don't condone punching here at DCSS, but come on, you slapped a man, Türkcan."
Good NBA taunts. The best, to me, is Sam Cassell's.
Mike Barrett: "The Timberwolves have gone three-straight games without a lead of any kind." Ouch. Wonder what the record is?
Jason Williams is almost back. Sure, he's a good player, but he's especially valuable in Miami where the team is lacking speed.
Sergio Rodriguez is playing two minutes per game. But check out his scoring per 40 minutes. Imagine if he could play 101 minutes per game. He could beat Wilt's record.
There's plenty of NBA in this MTV Cribs about the Wu-Tang Clan.
George Karl wouldn't bet on Larry Brown returning to the NBA.