Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why Lebron Played Extra Special Tonight

In tonight's game against Uruguay, Lebron scored 26 points, making all 11 of his shots in the process. While some may attribute this to his sterling work ethic - Lebron would never mail in a game - the more likely reason was the presence of two people in the crowd of thousands maybe 2,000. Okay 1,000.

Jay Z and Beyonce watched Team USA beat Uruguay 118-79. As a tribute, Lebron threw up the roc, something he hadn't been doing (thankfully) as much during the tournament.

I just don't get the point of the whole roc thing. First of all, it's a Pilates move. I can never remember the names of all the moves, so I just give them my own names, such as "Jesus H" and "no way in hell." Anyway, there's one exercise on the reformer - I think the original name is shaving or shave to the head or something - where you make a triangle with your hands on your forehead and then extend your arms at a 45 degree angle. When my Pilates instructor first showed me, I just called it the roc to make it easier. Finally, she was like, "Why do you keep calling it that?" So I explained to her that it's an asinine thing Jay Z does that he gets all his followers to do, too. She then asked me why, to which I responded I don't know. So I'll ask this time, why? What's the point of throwing up the roc? And what makes it any different from Doug Christie's hand signals to Jackie? They're both meaningless and insipid and worst of all, unoriginal. It makes the headbop look inspired.

Okay, back to the game. It was close there for a hot second. Carmelo sat out because of his heel. Amare continues to shoot 3's and discovers yet another way to piss Shaun Marion off. Tyson Chandler got some playing time. Despite being down 30, the entire Uruguayan bench stood up and cheered when one of their players pulled down a rebound over 3 USA players. Did I mention the guy was 5'9?

This was the closest game in that it was the longest Team USA had gone without the lead. Tomorrow's game vs Argentina should be even better.

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's Stronger Than Oak?

Not me, not you, and not Charles Barkley.

Charley Oakley was on PTI yesterday looking fit and scaring the crap out of everybody. I will never question his physical ability again. His mental health, maybe, but his physical ability never.

Here are some of the highlights from his interview:
  • "If somebody call me, I'm ready to go at any time."
  • When Mike Wilbon referred to Charles Barkley's quote about old guys thinking about coming back - People forget why these guys retired in the first place is because they weren't good anymore. - the Oak got a gleam in his eye and responded with, "He talk more now, he ain't said nothing when he played the game...He couldn't come back, right now. He's about 450. When he see me, we'll talk about that personally me and him. When he hears this interview, he'll know. When I see him, he gonna go the other way."
  • About what he can bring to a team: "I can bring a lot to a team. Just my presence. I didn't win a championship but I've been to the Finals. I've been around great players who played the game. (Cue video of him with Michael Jordan.) Great coaches. I can bring a lot of influence. And that's what a lot of teams need - detail. You know, like a car wash. Manicure." Then he said something about a flower bed. I think he was still talking about a car wash.
  • "I can at least make 28 of the 30 teams."
  • Then, Tony got to the real possible reason of Oak's sudden desire to come back - he's writing a book. When Tony asked if Oak's return was because of his book, Oak responded, "Mmm, it's gonna be my whole career. I'm missing a couple chapters. I think Barkley just took one. If I don't come back, I'm gonna finish the book soon."
  • Back to Barkley, Oak said he'd give him a car wash, but won't clean out his car because of all the donut boxes in the back.
  • Of Reggie Miller: "He's a pioneer to the game. He's a class act, but he dress like Pee Wee Herman." (Cue photo of Reggie in a skinny gray suit.)
  • Finally, Tony and Mike asked Oak to assess his chances of actually playing in the NBA next season. Oak gave it a "6 or 7. You never know."
If Oak comes back, who do you think he would slap first? More so than Orlando, I think Dallas needs him. Finally, Avery would have a player as tough as he is. And we might finally see Mark Cuban get slapped, especially if he wears his Dancing with the Stars costume to a game. Yeah, we need Oak back in the League.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Close(r) Call for Team USA

Team USA beat Mexico 127-100. It's the closest margin of victory thus far for the Americans. An impressive victory nonetheless, that is, until you see who anchored, literally, Team Mexico. To your right is the starting center for Mexico, Horacio Llamas. According to Wikipedia, he's "the best center Mexico has ever produced." To me, he's more of a (Kings era) Vlade Divac / (any era) Eddy Curry hybrid. At least we can take comfort in knowing that Argentina, the only other undefeated team, only beat Mexico by 21 points.

You gotta give him style points though. Look at him rockin the two-toned sweatband, the black tights, and the white knee socks. Less (we see) is definitely more (to our benefit).

Update: Lang Whitaker describes Horacio as having " the body of John Goodman and the style sense of Turtle from 'Entourage.'" (I don't watch Entourage, but I can only assume a 'Turtle' isn't very attractive.) Also, those aren't Dwyane Wade-style tights, but rather kneepads. Oh Horacio.

I'm just going to copy and paste some of Lang's other observations about Horacio here because they're hilarious, but to read them in full, click HERE.
  • On a lot plays, Llamas just ends up standing still as everyone runs past him in either direction.
  • Lamas takes a dribble to his right, then tries to go behind the back with a dribble. This confuses his own body so much that he ends up falling over onto his butt and turning it over. Nolan Richardson takes him out.
  • USA lobs it inside to Howard and Llamas just grabs him. If a chair had magically appeared on the court at that moment, Llamas would have immediately taken a seat. The man is completely exhausted.
  • Llamas!! I think he just polished off a pizza and large order of nachos while on the bench.
  • Kobe drives and Llamas swats the shot! That’s what a rested Llamas brings to the game.
  • After 90 seconds, Llamas is removed from the game, totally gassed.
Photo Source: FIBA Americas

Manolo Cintron Van Gundy

He's saying Pat Riley tried to push him out, too.

Leandro: Still Lookin' For His Balls

Halftime in the Brazil-Puerto Rico game and the Brazilians are down 28-39. The game's not being televised but you can watch a live feed through NBA.com. Right now, I think Leandro is 1 for 9. C'mon Leandro!!

In an earlier televised game, Canada eked out a win against Uruguay. For some reason, Canada kept prolonging the game by needlessly fouling when they were the team up by 6 with less than a minute remaining. Umm, good job, Canada?

Update:
  • 4:37 left in the 3rd quarter, Brazil down 39-52.
  • Leandro actually has 12 points.
  • Puerto Rico's coach, Manolo Cintron, looks like the Puerto Rican Stan Van Gundy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Aww Leandro!

How can you not love Leandrinho?

Tayshaun's baby-faced Brazilian counterpart, Leandro Barbosa (left), who has been carrying the load for his team, was held to just 4 points tonight. Poor Leandro. Following the loss, he said,
"I knew that [Kobe] was going to come up and defense me and guard me like he did and all I was trying to do was get the ball, but I didn't have many balls in my hand. But that's OK. It's about tomorrow now, let's forget about this."
Hopefully, little Leandro is able to get more balls in his hand tomorrow against Puerto Rico.

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

Game 4: Team USA vs Brazil

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Look who's waiting for you, Leandro!

Tonight at 6pm PST (early!):
Team USA vs Brazil
ESPN2

Update: Actually, it's NOT starting at 6pm because of a WNBA game. Sorry! Seriously, are you kidding me?

Update #2: Okay, the score is 8-0 so we haven't missed much, but just as I hate to miss the previews before movies, I don't like missing the beginnings of games!

Update #3: The crowd is chanting "Kobe." Is it too late to switch back to the WNBA game?

Update #4: :)

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ode to Photoshop Eva

Oh Eva, Eva. Your beauty is as wondrous as the computer it was created on. As flawless as the graphic designer who toiled to make it just so. Some people look at you and see perfection, but Tony looks at you and sees dark circles and malnutrition.
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I recently catalogued my magazine collection and I have over 200 back issues of Vogue, W, and Vanity Fair. (For those of you who don't know me, that's only the tip of the crazy meter. They are all in perfect or near-perfect condition.) I love the pictures, clothes, articles, everything. However, I am well aware of the power of those images to fuck a girl up, especially if she starts thinking those images are real. Well, they're not. Even with the best makeup artists, photographers, lighting, etc, Eva Longoria's never going to look like Eva Longoria without Photoshop. So, girls. Don't feel bad about yourselves when you can make those getting paid a shitload of money to feel bad about themselves. Hello! They can afford the therapy. And guys, always make sure you know what a girl looks like in the morning. And love her all the more.

Addendum: My friend's mom told me that guys also better look at a girl's childhood pictures because you never know who's had what done! LOL. Mama knows best!!

Photo Source: iWANEX Studio (there's more where that came from) via Dlisted

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Gatorade

While we're on the subject of Joakim Noah, I thought I'd finally do a profile on him. However, it's not often that an NBA parent outshines his son in fame or female fans. So rather, this is a post on NBA's Finest father-son tandem: Yannick and Joakim Noah.
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Yannick Noah - the man pictured here in his underwear, as he is throughout billboards in France - is a living legend. After winning the French Open in front of a title-starved home crowd, he married (and divorced) Miss Sweden, and remade himself into a pop idol and cultural icon. At 47, he's filling up concert venues throughout Europe and campaigning with presidential hopefuls during his spare time.

Son, those are some mighty big shoes to fill. But Joakim's not doing too badly himself.

2006 Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four
2006 Most Outstanding Dancer of the Final Four*
2007 9th overall pick by the Chicago Bulls
2007 Most Distinguished Dancer of the Rookie Photo Shoot**

*By outstanding, I mean enthusiastic.
**By distinguished, I mean interesting.

Personally, much like Corey Brewer, I think Joakim's pretty fantastic with a capital F. He's just cool. So cool, that he could wear a bow tied seersucker suit and still look good. He reminds me of Terrence Howard (before he lost his mind) as Spaceman in Sunset Park. He also has that "man in a park without a care or worry" Andy Dufresne stroll - you know, before he was raped by the Sisters. Luckily, I don't think that's something Joakim has to worry about in Chicago, no matter how pretty he is. I find him to be immensely watchable and, after Kevin Durant, the rookie I'm most excited to see. Until then, this will have to tide me over:


Photo Source: Sloggi, NBAE/Getty Images

Friday, August 10, 2007

Kobe Clarifies Questions About Wife

Yes, she can read. At a 5th grade level no less!

Further dispelling rumors that he and Vanessa are headed for divorce, Kobe told Jimmy Kimmel their fights are actually about rape Harry Potter. She reads the books, he watches the movies, she then tries to spoil the movie. Would that I could be a fly on the wall during those discussions.

While Kobe was busy showing that he's a big nerd who names his dog Dumbledore (Mamba my ass! More like Dumbledork), Kimmel showed his complete lack of soccer knowledge. When Kobe said his favorite athlete was Ronaldinho, Kimmel first responded "who?" before asking if he was retired. Seriously, even Posh knows who Ronaldinho is. Then again, it might just have been the way Kobe said it. He tried the whole I-can-speak-a-foreign-language accent. Whatever, Madonna. You can watch it here. Meanwhile, Kimmel-ites can watch the one and only Ronaldinho here.

Mom to Watch: Ann Iverson

An oldie, but a goodie. The clip, not his mom!! I love you, Mrs. Iverson!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

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Photo Source: Deadspin

Basketball Without Borders: France

Ronny Turiaf (Lakers), Boris Diaw (Suns), Yakhouba Diawara (Denver Nuggets), and Mickael Pietrus (Warriors) show their true bleu colors in Paris, minus their compatriot Tony Parker, who bowed out due to injury. Also in attendance were Luol Deng (Bulls), Chris Duhon (Bulls), and Bo Outlaw (Magic).

Did you know Boris's middle name is Babacar? Mrs. Boris Babacar Diaw. Just kidding. I don't want to be had (p110). I'd rather be Mrs. Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi Okafor. Incidentally, Emeka will be at the next BWB camp in South Africa!! I'm so jealous. I've wanted to go to Johannesburg forever. If anyone wants to see a really good documentary about South Africa, watch Amandla. It traces the struggle against apartheid through song. The music is absolutely amazing.

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

The T-Wolves: So Young And Yet Still So Unhip

The Timberwolves held a press conference yesterday to unveil their new young, sexy lineup. One of the attendees was Craig Smith, a 24-year-old out of Boston College who's entering his 2nd year in the NBA.


As if to show that Kevin McHale isn't the only out-of-touch member on the team, Smith wore a Vote for Pedro shirt. A must-have item...3 years ago. It'll look nice sitting next to one of Kevin's sweaters. Gotta love the new look T-wolves!

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

NBA Parent Rank

While I look for my NBA Rookies tape, I thought I'd make a fun little NBA Parent ranking. These are just some people who've impressed, amused, or inspired me. I think they serve as a good counter-model to Hollywood/sports parents who, because of their child's earning potential, forget the role they're supposed to play. The parents listed here are also probably the closest to my Mom, who wasn't afraid to kick a little ass (both literally and figuratively) when need be.
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I may revisit this list for future posts before the season starts. 84 days and counting...

Previous posts: Shirley Garnett, John Nash

Babies!


Awww!

I love seeing athletes play the role of Daddy. Big, strong men with babies, in general, is one of the most endearing sights but it's that much sweeter when they're with their own. Two examples here are Dwyane Wade with son Zaire and Tracy McGrady with son Laymen. How cute is baby T-Mac??? And Z. Wade is growing up fast. Here's the last picture I saw of him. Dwyane brought Zaire with him to an appearance at Cottage Grove Middle School in Ford Heights, Illinois and Tracy brought Laymen to his charity softball tournament in Houston.

Also, I watched The Run: Steve Nash on NBA TV the other day and Steve has the cutest little twin girls, Lola and Bella. They were prancing around the locker room in little fairy outfits while Steve was asking for a "besito." Too cute.

Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

NBA Political Contributions

There's a fun little thing on Huffington Post that allows you to see who's giving what to whom. It lets you track donations by either name or address. I thought I'd try some NBA names and see who popped up. So far, Barack Obama is leading the race in the NBA. Here are the results:

Execs:
David Stern (Ruler): $4600 to Hillary Clinton
Billy King (Sixers): $4600 to Barack Obama
Jerry Colangelo (Suns): $2300 to John McCain
Robert Sarver (Suns): $2100 to McCain
Wyc Grousbeck (Celtics): $4600 to Barack and $2300 to Mitt Romney
Danny Ainge (Celtics): $2300 to Romney
James Dolan (Knicks): $2300 to Hillary
Magic Johnson: $2300 to Barack

Players:
Stephon Marbury: $2300 to Barack
Baron Davis: $2300 to Barack
Grant Hill: $2300 to Barack

Others:
Ahmad Rashad: $2300 to Barack
Arn Tellem (Agent): $2300 to Barack

A lot of the "superstars" - Kobe, Lebron, Dwyane, KG, AI, Tracy - haven't given anything. I wasn't surprised by that, but I thought I'd at least see Adonal "Democracy Matters" Foyle or Charles Barkley on the list. I was surprised to see Steph on there. Perhaps I've underestimated him.

There were 4 listings for Michael Jordan - 3 that couldn't be him and 1 that might. The one that might is retired from Washington DC and gave $2100 to Barack.

Anyway, try it out. It's kind of stalkerish in that it lists the address of the donor, too. So whether you're interested in politics or stalking, here's the tool for you.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Big Earl Smith and Linda Shanklin: The New Sheriffs in Town

Recovered post from July 13, 2005.


Iggy and Mom

I don't care if you're Andre Iguodala or Horace Jenkins. Your parents need to come with your ass to whatever city you end up.

End of original post.

So I thought I'd finish this post, but I have no idea what I was going to say. I vaguely recall that I started writing this after watching an episode of NBA Rookies and thinking that Andre's mom and JR's dad were two of the coolest, most level-headed parents around. I remember taping the show - this is before I went DVR - but I have like 30 tapes from the past 2 years that I'd have to go through in order to find that episode. Hopefully, a few of them are labeled. If I ever manage to find the tape and recover my train of thought, I'll finish this post.

Art Imitating Life

Rick Fox is getting ugly, as in Ugly Betty, a great show I discovered a whole 2 months ago. Next, I'll hear that Pluto is no longer a planet. Can you tell I have my finger on the pulse? I didn't realize that when I moved to France, I'd be moving back in time. Just kidding. Kind of. :)

I actually had one of the best experiences of my life living in France and I'd highly encourage it to anyone with even a modicum of interest. I never understood players who thought playing overseas was a death sentence. Yeah, it's not the NBA and you don't make NBA money, but you can really make a nice life for yourself. Look at Mike D'Antoni, Joe Bryant, and Tony Parker, Sr. I'm loathe to agree with anything Stephon Marbury says, but I totally see his point about moving to Italy after his NBA days are over...except for the whole David Beckham analogy. Who you kidding, Steph?

Anyway, how did I get on this topic? What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Rick Fox. His ex-WAG, Ms. Wilhelmina Slater herself, took pity and got him a role as her bodyguard for the upcoming season. It's nice to know that all pro-athlete marriages don't end with the scorched earth policy preferred by the likes of Joumana Kidd and Jean Strahan.

Source
Photo Source: Wire Image

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The New and Improved Kyle Korver



I'm thoroughly enjoying Kyle Korver's transformation into the Angelina Jolie of the NBA. Not that he's out adopting kids from all over the world or anything, but in his commitment to charity work at home and abroad. When Kyle participated in Basketball Without Borders China in '05 (above, right), I thought he was doing it because he was relatively new to the League and well, David Stern made him. I figured it was a one-shot deal and then we wouldn't hear from him until he turned up in Page Six with Tara Reid. But since then, he's organized a coat drive in Philly and returned to BWB in Brazil (above, left). It's nice to know he's not just a pretty face.

Additionally, his teammate Sam Dalembert deserves major props. Not only in Sam participating in BWB Brazil, he's also going to the European camp in Paris afterward. Sam has also raised tens of thousands of dollars for his native Haiti. One thing we can say about the Sixers - there's a lot of character on that team.

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Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images

Basketball Without Borders: Brazil

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The official "I'm in Brazil" pose.

The NBA's finest Brazilians - Anderson Varejao (Cavs), Nene Hilario (Nuggets), Leandro Barbosa (Suns), and Rafael Araujo (Jazz) - played host to their fellow players at the latest Basketball Without Borders camp. Some of the attendees included Samuel Dalembert (Sixers), Kyle Korver (Sixers), Shaun Marion (Suns), James Jones (Suns), Luke Walton (Lakers), and Sam Perkins (still alive).

I love the idea of BWB, as I've previously written here and here. But then again, I'm predisposed to like anything involving travel. I just think it's good for young, rich players to see parts of the world they may not otherwise have been motivated to go see, and they also get the benefit of seeing it from a native perspective. Plus, it's totally cool for the kids. One of the kids I met in France was telling me how he was totally excited to meet Boris Diaw this year. I told him not to forget the croissants. (I was thinking of the classic Mike D'Antoni quote from SI. When told during training camp that the French forward hadn't picked up a basketball all summer, D'Antoni quipped, "That didn't mean he had to pick up every croissant in France, did it?") Poor Bobo. It must be pretty tempting since he's a spokesman for La Mie Caline, a yuuuummy boulangerie, and for Kinder Bueno chocolate. Okay, maybe he just needs to rethink his endorsements.



Photo Source: NBAE/Getty Images