Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

Mike Luckovich, Genius.

Happy Holidays, everyone.* Keeping with the spirit of the NBA (Shaq vs. Kobe! Kobe vs. Shaq! Kobe said this! Shaq said that!), I plan on feuding with as many people as possible without any actual direct verbal or physical interchange. Translation: I'm gonna scratch and claw on paper like a reject from Mean Girls. 'Tis the season.

As to my prolonged absence from blogging, I'll explain that in more detail later. But thanks for continuing to check up on the site. Actually, I had
more visitors when I wasn't writing a thing. I'll choose to ignore that implicit message...bastards. Anyway, it makes me feel a bit like Judi Dench circa 1999 so all is forgiven.

Merry Christmas!!
Love, Courtside

*Note to reader: I can't in good conscience ever ever use the colloquialism "y'all." Too many painful memories of my first - and last - visit to the state of Texas. Except of course if someone wants to gift me with tickets to the All Star game. Floor seats only please. :)

Monday, September 12, 2005


Sir Charles got last night's Hurricane Relief Game rolling by declaring, "We can go a day without 10 episodes of Law and Order." Major props to the NBA, TNT, Kenny Smith and everyone involved for doing a hell of a lot more than the people already profiting from Katrina. In addition to the game last night, players and teams have been helping out all week long.

Avery worked the reporters...

while Jeff van Gundy worked the crowd with his bright red hat.

You gotta love Amare's shirt.

Notice the kid's nervous smile. It's nice seeing Ron Ron back in action, but I'd be a little anxious too with his hands that close to my neck.

Charles's best line of the night, on why the Hornets should play in Atlanta: "If they combine the Hornets' fans with the Atlanta fans, maybe they'll get a full crowd one night." Doesn't matter what the situation is, you can always count on the Chuckster to be the Chuckster.

Grant Hill just being Grant Hill.

Good job, boys.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And the Winner Is...

...Not Mark Cuban.

In a move than can only be classified under the "Let's see who laughs last, bitch" category, Michael Finley decided to sign not only with another Western Conference team, but another team in Texas - the Spurs. In the end, Fin rejected the email advances of and resisted the lure of Shaq on South Beach and decided to go with the team that sent a one-man contingent -- Pop.

But really, who can say no to this face?

Fin will be reunited with another spurned Mav in Nick Van Exel. Ain't vengeance grand?

Speaking of vengeance, I just saw Oldboy and all I can say is Damn! I guess I didn't fully realize what to expect from a movie promising to be a revenge thriller with live octopi and a Korean Gary Oldman, but it was all that and then some. Definitely recommended.

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Mouse that Roared

Damon Stoudamire has temporarily, but officially, dethroned his ol' buddy Rasheed of his Best Mouth crown.

When asked what he thought of Pau Gasol during the Grizzlies' press conference, Mighty Mouse said,

"His initials are PG, but I want him to be rated R."

Finally, a reason to watch the Grizzlies - no offense, Shane. Aside from the potential of Pau morphing into the tongue-wagging, towel-throwing Dirk that emerged during this year's playoffs, the Grizz also got one of the most likable players in the league - Mr. Bobby Jackson.

Can't wait for the season to start!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Best Show on TV

Have you been watching NBA Rookies?

It is laugh out loud, fall off the chair, and pee in your pants hilarious.*

In last week's episode, "All Star Weekend," we got to ride along with the rooks (Andre Iguodala, Emeka Okafor, JR Smith, and Devin Harris) to the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge, but more importantly, we were privy to their pre-game conversation. Here are some of my favorite nuggets:
  • The boys were talking about their seasons up to the All Star break. Andre says, "We [Sixers] are shooting for first in our division." JR Smith looks at him and says, "We're shooting for 20 games." Guess what team JR is talking about. Yup, the Hornets.
  • Speaking of the Hornets, Devin Harris started the conversation about guys getting 50, referring to the Dirk Nowitzki-Tracy McGrady shootout. Then someone asked, "Who'd Stoudemire have 50 on?"
    JR says, "Us," and then for good measure adds "I never guarded him."
    Andre asks him, "Who'd you guard?"
    "Van Exel."
    Pause. Andre's thinking and then remembers, "Van Exel had 36 that game, too!"
    Everyone starts cracking up and JR looks away and mumbles, "Yeah."
  • They also talked about dunks - who they dunked on and who dunked on them (there's also a little montage to Chris Andersen's anti-performance in the Dunk Contest the night before). Emeka was the first to answer the question of whether he got dunked on. In this little voice, he says, "Turkoglu." (I'd whisper that shit, too! Freakin' Hedo!) He was like, "They put him on Sportscenter. Number four."
  • The subject of books comes up. Emeka says he's reading Digital Fortress, a Dan Brown book, and asks if anyone read The Da Vinci Code. Andre and Devin pipe up and say they've read it and Andre says he's reading Angels and Demons now. JR, who's been uncharacteristically quiet up to this point, finally jumps in with, "Anybody read Spongebob yet?" (I'm not even going to italicize that. That ain't a book!) Then after Devin asks if they've read the "Laker book," JR says, "I read Harold and the Purple Crayon, dawg." I love JR Smith, but thank God he can ball because otherwise he'd be a very very poor man.
  • And as promised, an Avery reference. The boys talk about coaches and assistants, and Devin, not realizing the Little General would soon become his permanent head coach, does a spot on Avery imitation saying, "I used to play so hard it was illegal." Poor poor Devin. At least Erick Dampier now has a permanent roommate in Avery's doghouse.
The show has made me absolutely fall in love with Andre Iguodala and JR Smith -- and not because of their basketball prowess either, but because they have the two coolest parents on the planet: Linda (Iguodala) Shanklin and Big Earl Smith. And that leads me to my next post...

* By the way, if you're under the impression that "laughing out loud, falling off a chair, and peeing in your pants" is just another of my many clever expressions, you are mistaken (this time, at least). It actually refers to my roommate sophomore year who did all of the above when racked with laughter...or booze. Why would any baller want to miss priceless memories like that to make millions of dollars?

The Human Highlight Film

It's here! It's here! I feel like a little girl on Christmas morning. Some benevolent, wonderful (and anonymous) soul found me the link to the Shawn Bradley bodyslam.

And now for your viewing pleasure: The Human Highlight Film.

Saturday, July 9, 2005


I'm not someone really prone to public outbursts of emotion. I don't cry during movies except, inexplicably, Cool Runnings and Pocahontas. I think the lowest depth of depravity is people and/or organizations, whether they be terrorist or political, who use senseless tragedies for their personal advancement. That being said, I wanted to acknowledge the situation in London because I felt it would be completely disingenuous not to considering my last 4 or 5 posts have directly or indirectly referenced London in some way. It makes me sick that a day that should have been so jubilant and festive for Londoners instead turned into a bloodbath. It makes me sad that the headline underneath the one announcing the bombings was "British Muslims advised to stay home." In supporting London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, Nelson Mandela said, "There is no city like London. It is a wonderfully diverse and open city providing a home to hundreds of different nationalities from all over the world. I can't think of a better place than London to hold an event that unites the world." I agree. But why wait until 2012? Now seems like a good a time as any to get that event started.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Meanwhile, On the Other Side of the World...

Manu was doing some schmoozing of his own. Here he is presenting a basketball to Argentine President NĂ©stor Carlos Kirchner.

Manu along with compatriots Carlos Delfino and Andres Nocioni and the omnipresent Dikembe Mutombo were down in Buenos Aires to promote Basketball Without Borders. Manu even got Pop to show up and yell at the kids.

But seriously, between hobnobbing with presidents and kissing babies and housewives, would you be surprised if Manu and/or Tony ended up being the mayor of San Antonio, Paris, or Bahia Blanca?

They both have an aptitude for gladhandling and diplomacy unheard of in Texas. And with Robert Horry signing a new 3-year deal with the Spurs, their team may have just gotten started. If they keep winning, who knows what else the future will hold for these two.

And if that's not enough for you, they've also managed to bring back the flag as national symbol and clothing accessory, all wrapped up in one sacrilegious package.

MJ, eat your heart out.

French: Benched For a Third Time

Tony Parker, on the right, didn't mince words after London was awarded the 2012 games. He said, "We did everything we had to do...It proves that the committee is Anglo-Saxon. They prefer the English." BBC Sport quoted him as saying he felt "extremely gutted."

The vote was 54-50. That's gotta hurt. And though it's meaningless now, as someone who's worked on enough losing political campaigns, I can appreciate the artistry of the Paris 2012 campaign.

I hope London steps up now that they've won. Because a sign in the yard just ain't gonna cut it.

Crikey: London 2012

Wow. Jacques Chirac is literally going to have to eat his words...and in front of a gloating Tony Blair, no less. Behold the power of Goldenballs.

The funniest reaction, though, came from HRH Princess Anne who flew down to Singapore in lieu of the Queen.

You can just hear her gasping "Heavens!" and that's about it. There's nothing quite like English, royal reticence. (Can you tell I've been reading Snobs? It's Bergdorf Blondes with a brain...times 10.)

Anyway, congratulations to London. Monsieur Chirac, good're going to need it.

Adios, Madrid

Madrid has officially been eliminated from the running - the 3rd city eliminated after Moscow and New York. Here's the reaction according to a BBC reporter Matt Williams, live in Madrid:
Disappointment, shock and surprise - those are the feelings here. They were chanting 'A Madrid' before the announcement but that has now changed and I can't repeat what they're saying now.

Don't you just love the Brits' sense of humour?

And, as I just found out, Madrid even sent someone other than Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario. Look who else decided to join the party in Singapore:

Pow-Pau Gasol. Alas, neither he nor the Spanish delegation's choice of Harry Potter ties did any good. Oh well, there's always 2016. For New York, too. Maybe by then we'll actually manage to put a decent delegation together...perhaps even have a president who can not only talk out of his ass, but can kiss some as well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2005

I See London, I See France

But why isn't there a Bush in the IOC's pants?

I'm shocked. No, seriously. Dubya missed a chance to use 9/11 yet again?! Truly shocking. And where was Laura? C'mon Dubya. You telling me you couldn't take Laura out of her cryogenic chamber for one day to show some love to NYC? Then again, considering our esteemed executive's preternatural ability to obfuscate and offend, his not showing up was probably the smarter choice. Actually, Dubya probably saw all the foreign names on the IOC and thought it was just another one of those pesky UN meetings he's always avoiding. Moving on...

London and Paris, the two frontrunners for the 2012 games, brought out the big guns. In addition to both their leaders showing up in Singapore, they also trotted out the two most current, internationally renown athletes in their arsenal:

David "Goldenballs" Beckham and Tony "Goldenballs" Parker.

The French delegation even presented a video directed by Luc Besson and starring Catherine Deneuve. The American delegation on the other hand...

We showed up with Bloomberg, a $5 t-shirt, and a candy bar. Actually, we didn't even bring the candy bar.

No, we sent more than just a shirt off the street. We sent Senator Hillary Clinton and an athletic contingent including Nadia Comaneci (Romanian) and Oksana Baiul (Ukrainian). What a wonderful message to send to the IOC:
Give us the Olympics. New York's such a great city that all the world's athletes will want to turn their backs on their home countries and live here instead!

Still as bad as we did, at least we got Muhammad Ali there, too. Madrid and Moscow, on the other hand... Madrid sent Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, a tennis player whose name no one can pronounce, and Moscow sent these fine specimens of physical achievement:

Should we just start practicing how to say "Let the games begin" in French now? I believe the correct translation is "Haha tout le monde."

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Kraft-y Russian

By far the funniest headline of the day was "Putin pockets Kraft's Superbowl ring!" Apparently, upon meeting the Patriots' owner, Vlad became so dazzled by his 2005 Superbowl ring that he decided to lighten Bob's finger by 124 carats.

Now you see it...

...Now you don't!

The best part - After he straight up jacked him, Vlad got Kraft to say he "gave" the ring to him. Talk about the ultimate politician. Mind you, though, Vlad's a man who's used to taking what he wants, whether it be diamond rings or people's freedom. Poor Bob didn't stand a chance.

On the bright side though, I now know how to get my hands on a PSP. I plan on puttin' a Putin on my friend Dave tomorrow. I've been eyeing his PSP for awhile. I'll let you know if I have what it takes to be a megalomaniacal Russian president.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Jackass of the Month: Freddie Ljungberg

In lieu of a Commissioner's Pet of the Week, I'm doing a special Jackass of the Month.

The NBA and its players are routinely castigated and villified for being too "hip hop." After the brawl, Rush Limbaugh took time out from insulting Donovan McNabb to declare the NBA was "hip-hop culture on parade...gang behavior on parade minus the guns." Not realizing the Palace
of Auburn Hills isn't actually in Detroit, he also renamed Detroit "New Fallujah, Michigan." What a dumbass. Anyway, getting back to the point, one of the things critics point to when decrying the NBA's hip hop influence is the preponderance of tattoos. Too unprofessional, they sniff. Well, last time I checked, no player missed any games because of tattoos.

Now to Freddie Ljungberg, Swedish soccer player for Nick Hornby's beloved Arsenal, Calvin Klein model, wannabe fashion designer, and more impressively, not gay.

Freddie here missed four weeks of the season because of an allergic reaction to the ink in his panther tattoos. Yup, white boy was attacked by his black panther tattoos. If that doesn't qualify for jackass honors, I don't know what does.

Beyond that though, neither Arsenal nor the FA Premier League should really care that I think Freddie Ljungberg is a jackass. I've never attended a Premiership match nor have I ever bought any Premiership merchandise (except that David Beckham Man U poster in '99 ). At best, I've caught a few games on FSN, but it was purely coincidental. Likewise, why should the NBA care if Rush Limbaugh and his neo-Nazi followers think the league is too hip hop? Has Rush Limbaugh ever attended an NBA game in his life? Has he ever bought a jersey, a poster, anything? Why is the league so concerned about losing his support, his money when it never had either in the first place? Who cares if people in Kansas and Oklahoma are offended by tattoos and cornrows! There's a reason why teams aren't there in the first place or why they packed up and said "peace out!" Besides, people in Middle America should be more concerned that their daughters are turning tricks for shopping money, or as Bill Maher would say, "They're selling coochie for Gucci." Leave the NBA to the people who actually care about it, all 9 of us.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Actually, THIS is the Real Reason

Who gets more women than rappers or athletes? How about a French rapper/athlete. Move over, TI. TP9 showed off his skills at the Spurs' Championship Rally Saturday night, one of those things you have to see to believe. I don't know what was funnier - Tony rapping or Brent Barry dancing. Brent wasn't quite the ghost of Mark Madsen, but you get the idea. If you missed it, or like me you only caught the highlights because NBA TV decided to show a WNBA game instead of airing the rally live, you can check out the video here.

Seriously, how are they not going to show the Champion NBA rally live?? I'm mad, mad as hell because I set my VCR to tape it at its designated time, but they didn't show it until 3 hours later so I missed the whole thing. For real, how can they honestly expect people to be home on Saturday night AND wait through a WNBA game??
Bloody bastards. Anyway, back to the rap superstar.

He even had Beno dancing! If Rasho and Sean Marks got up, this video needs to be immediately immortalized in the White Boy Hall of Fame.

The REAL Reason Eva's with Tony

"Ball don't lie."

Hardest Job in the NBA

While we're on the subject of the Pistons...

Meet Kevin Griggs, media relations spokesman for the Detroit Pistons. Think of the media shitstorms this guy has had to deal with this year alone - the brawl, Larry Brown's wanderlust, Rasheed. Whatever they're paying him, it's not nearly enough.

Here he is trying to convince Sheed to talk to the media during team media availability before Game 2. Needless to say, he failed.

The brawl alone would have been enough to make a seasoned pro like Lizzie Grubman drive her SUV through another crowd just to avoid having to deal with the PR nightmare that followed. Add to that the self-perpetuating maelstroms that are LB and Sheed...Well, I imagine it was difficult for Kevin to get up some mornings. Don't get me wrong; as you know, I love Sheed and respect the hell out of the Pistons, but I definitely don't envy Kevin's position. However, I wouldn't mind buddying up to him and getting some courtside seats, baby!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

End of an Era

The year of the belt has officially ended. I just wanted to pay tribute to the brains behind the belt and the team that wore them.

Before Game 4 or even 5 last year, no one thought the Pistons would beat the Lakers. Big Ben was too small, Tayshaun too young, Chauncey too unproven, Rasheed too crazy, and Rip just not Kobe. But they came out together and fought for every last shot, rebound, loose ball, etc. They ultimately ended up overshadowing themselves because they not only beat the Dynasty, they dismantled it.

Rasheed Wallace proved himself as a player and a teammate. Instead of the "cancer" on a losing team, he became the final piece to a championship one. He may not have silenced all his critics - and part of the Sheed appeal is that he never will nor cares to - but he endeared himself to a whole new city of fans who will gladly deafen any haters with chants of "Sheeeeeeed."

It's only fitting that they be beaten by another team effort. They may have adopted the "we don't get any respect" mentality, but anyone who knows basketball - basically, anyone outside of LA - respected the hell out of them and we're going to miss the belts. Who knows - we may be seeing them again very soon.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Eva Longoria and Tony Parker: Trophy Love

She won her man.

He won his trophy...

Both of them.