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."