Archive for the ‘Basketball’ Category

To keep me from burning anything this year, my bracket is online.

Good God, that’s Jordy’s Blogging music!!!!

Not a plausible excuse: I forgot my password.
Plausible excuse: I haven’t felt like writing.

Just to run through a few things that have been going on lately:
1. Meggen and I are expecting!
2. Number 1.
3. I moved back to Columbia. Time to start a family, you guys!
4. I’ve been running a lot! Even lost 20 or so pounds in the process.
5. I’m bald!!!

Anyway, what better way to bring myself back to the blogosphere than with a live blog about college basketball. My fortunes have seemingly worked out for me quite well, and by that, I mean that I’m off today (among other things). So. The beer is here. The sandwich is made. The laptop is charging, and the TV is fired up. PARTY TIME, YOU GUYS!!!

12:11 pm: Beer status: Sweetwater 15. It’s a giant bottle with 10% alcohol. I might be lucky to make it to 12:45.

12:12 pm: Interesting subplot: My cable box is garbage. Completely useless. The TV goes blank at about :58 on the hour, every hour. If I change the channel, it’s fine. THAT’S NOT GOING TO WORK TODAY!! Since I work in technical support, maybe this is my chance to feel like everyone else when their stuff isn’t working.

12:14 pm: Random, yet relevant Facebook post: “Greg Anthony is dressed like The Joker on CBS right now” That’s not an inaccurate statement.

12:15 pm: I hope someone at South Carolina is hearing them play Sandstorm right now and looking for a new song to play during games. It’s not original anymore. Of course, it stopped being original in about 2004. Whatever.

12:17 pm: Because the NCAA is fair and balanced and your record matters, Murray State (barely lost to Butler in the tourney last year) is 30-1. And is a 6 seed.

12:18 pm: Of course, Colorado State couldn’t care less about Murray State’s record, and is out to an early 4-0 lead. Make that 4-3. The loser should be required to drop “State” from its school name.

12:19 pm: Two straight traveling violations by the Rams. That reminds me, here’s the greatest Sportscenter commercial ever.

12:23 pm: Random, yet relevant tweet: @ZachLowe_SI: Actual title of press release I just got “Why March Madness is Important to Nude Recreation.”

12:23 pm: Not sure why cable companies haven’t combated the DirecTV commercials with “When it rains and you have satellite, well, you’re just screwed.”

12:25 pm: Checks bracket…wait. C’MON, Murray State!!

12:26 pm: Nice offensive rebound and kickout for a three. 10-8 Colorado State. I should warn you now that I’m not going to be updating scores all day.

12:31 pm: I’ve accepted the fact that the AT&T commercial where the guy is watching the game on the date makes me so upset because…that guy is me. But really, here’s what kills me about this commercial:
-Why do you even have your phone on the table?
-What kind of response is “Do you think I’m some kind of summoner who can just summon stuff to his phone? OF COURSE YOU CAN, IT’S 2011!!!
-Why did the girl fall for that explanation?
No woman with any sense is going to allow that.

12:38 pm: The problem with having games on TruTV is that you have to watch the ads for their horrendous commercials. Anyway, Kevin Harlan’s on the call! Yay! But so is Reggie Miller. Boooo.

12:44 pm: I interrupted my own live blog to dive headfirst into a discussion about a photo of an anti-Obama car sticker. Sad part is that stuff like that is pretty typical of yours truly.

12:46 pm: 31 minutes in, and we have our first DERP of the day! A missed oop on the alley oop by Kansas State.

12:51 pm: I forgot that Larry Eustachy is the coach at Southern Miss! He likes the coeds.

12:52 pm: 52 minutes in, and my cable box finally decided to get cute! I’m feeling this beer a little too much to care.

12:55 pm: Reggie Miller is throwing out these percentages like anyone gives a damn. We already know that 1-12 shooting is bad, bro.

12:56 pm: “Horrendous shooting thus far,” says Kevin Harlan. Then Southern Miss drains a three. See, you have to talk crap about something in order for it to work out!

1:04 pm: I guess it’s good that it takes less booze to get me wonky. But not if I’m trying to run a live blog until 5 pm!

1:04 pm: Colorado State is up 24-23 at the half against Murray State. Somehow, Leslie Visser still has a job. It’s like CBS takes her out of the cryogenic chamber every March.

1:06 pm: Breaking NFL news. Mario Williams signs a 6 year deal with the Bills. Do you know who he is? No? Okay.

1:07 pm: I know it’s only McGruder, but that name still makes me laugh. Maybe because there are people out there who refer to me as McCooter.

1:09 pm: I hate offensive fouls. They’re all flops.

1:10 pm: Not sure what network came with the idea of showing which team was in the bonus on the scoreline, but it was a great idea.

1:11 pm: Baby news: Meggen felt the baby move! It’s kinda been that way since Sunday, but whatever. YOU didn’t know that until just now.

1:13 pm: More non-basketball stuff. I’m not really a FAN of St. Patrick’s Day. I will wear green, and I’ll probably have a beer. But all these people who have to tell you the percentage of Irish that’s in their blood just annoys me. Seriously, no one asked you, nor does anyone care. You don’t have to be Irish to celebrate. And no one will remember what you said the next day. With that being said, I think my last name is Irish.

1:15 pm: I swear these commercials are running long. When did Southern Miss get within 1?

1:17 pm: Angelo Johnson is in the building! Ugly form, but the three ties the game at 23. In a related story, he looks like he’s about 33.

1:18 pm: For those of you who care, Dwight Howard has a press conference going on. Or something. He’s a punk.

1:19 pm: Random, yet relevant tweet: @awfulannouncing: “@KSJ49: @awfulannouncing “Cannon has a stronger lower body. You can relate Verne.”-Raft”

1:19 pm: Reggie Miller mentions how one of the Southern Miss players could be suffering from an ankle injury. As said player clutches his ankle and writhes in pain on the floor. They’re paying him the big bucks!

1:22 pm: The music people at KFC Yum! Center (that’s a real place, oh by the way) are showing out today. Twilight Zone?!!?

1:27 pm: Jacob Pullen plays overseas now? And Jeremy Lin has a job? What?

1:29 pm: Murray State is now ahead by six against Colorado State. That’s probably going to be my last score update.

1:33 pm: Who in the HELL dressed Greg Anthony? WHAT IS THAT HE HAS ON?

1:34 pm: Random, yet relevant Facebook post: “Southern Miss fans chanting “Where’s your green card?” at a Kansas State player named Angel Rodriquez. Ah, Mississippi… that great beacon of tolerance and hospitality”

1:35 pm: Jay Wright (with Turner) and Seth Greenberg (with ESPN) are great additions by each network on their tourney coverage.

1:38 pm: Here I am thinking that I’m watching TBS. But I was watching TruTV. I can’t keep up, and we’re only an hour and a half in.

1:40 pm: The dreaded “there’s a commercial on every channel!” moment. Because, you know, that’s frustrating!

1:41 pm: Louisville and Davidson tipping off in Oregon. It’s not even 11 am there! That ain’t fair!

1:43 pm: Word that needs to be removed from…everything: Deadly. Brian Anderson mentioned how Davidson was “deadly” from 3 point range. Nobody’s dying BECAUSE those shots go in. Just sayin.

1:45 pm: Now we have three games on. Let’s see if my remote is up to task.

1:48 pm: Nice block by the really dark guy (Racist!). But let’s try to keep that ball in play, okay?

1:52 pm: Peyton Siva did some kind of Houdini stuff to get to the basket. I’m sure he’ll be playing overseas next year too. Or back in Louisville for his 54th year. Whatever.

1:53 pm: The real challenge of this tournament? Me getting through that woeful AT&T commercial.

1:57 pm: This McGruder guy is making me get over his name. Quickly!

2:01 pm: I know I picked Southern Miss to win this game, but I’m not sure that I should be rooting for a Larry Eustachy coached team. People in Ames still hate this guy!

2:08 pm: Still here! Just noticed the horrendous shorts that the Cardinals are rocking.

2:12 pm: Oh, TNT has shows that look dumb too. Great!

2:15 pm: Now the TV is tuned into Albuquerque for Montana-Wisconsin. If I were my cable box, I’d quit too.

2:17 pm: Wisconsin has already scored 11 points. That should last them for about 8 games.

2:21 pm: And, we have our first final of this Thursday! Murray State 58, Colorado State 41. And my bracket is PERFECT!

2:30 pm: Here’s Reggie Miller again, talking percentages. And still, no one gives a damn.

2:33 pm: Kansas State 53, Southern Miss 51. 6:13 left in the half. Will this be the “mad” element of March Madness today?

2:34 pm: McGruder has about 4000 points thus far. And Southern Miss is missing free throws. I think we know how this one is going to end.

2:36 pm: Rodney McGruder is all over the place! This is what happens when I don’t give a crap about college basketball. I miss things!

2:39 pm: BREAKING: Southern Miss made a free throw. Two, even.

2:42 pm: Nice steal by Watson, even better finish! K State 62, Southern Miss 59. It’s real out here, or, there, you guys.

2:44 pm: Angel Rodriguez with the beautiful move! to put the Wildcats up by five.

2:46 pm: I’m sorry, but there’s nothing pleasurable about driving a Buick. Unless you’re ONLY talking about the legroom.

2:51 pm: Southern Miss misses the step-back three attempt. K State up four, 31.4 seconds left. Time to burn the bracket, folks!

2:54 pm: Yeah, K State got away with one there. That was off the Wildcat player.

2:55 pm: K State 70, Southern Miss 64. Where’s a lighter when you need one???

2:56 pm: Okay, folks. Time for a break. It’s hard to find meaningful stuff to type for three hours straight!!!
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3:06 pm: If I’m a kid on the Davidson or Louisville pep band, do I really want to take a trip to Portland

3:07 pm: That’s probably a nice recruiting ploy. “Come to Louisville and play basketball—you’ll become Homecoming King! No, really!” I’m totally kidding. That’s an awful idea.

3:14 pm: What’s the over/under on “number of ‘Gold On The Ceiling’ plays” for this tournament—200?

3:15 pm: Also, because you asked, here are my top Black Keys Albums:
1. Thickfreakness
2. The Rubber Factory
3. The rest just don’t matter. Sorry.

3:18 pm: Gee, I didn’t know that such a large segment of the March Madness viewing audience was women who wanted to lose weight! (There was a Weight Watchers commercial with Jennifer Hudson on)

3:19 pm: If you are a fan of this blog, you know that I’m an advocate for Weight Watchers. But I didn’t (and still don’t) need Jennifer Hudson to tell me that it works.

3:22 pm: Quick score rundown. Marquette 31, The Romneys 17. Wisconsin 41, Montana 29. Louisville 51, Davidson 39. MADNESS, I tell you.

3:24 pm: There’s not a better way to waste your day than playing Draw Something. Don’t do it, by the way. Then you’ll never read this post.

3:32 pm: Taco Bell wants me to believe that some dude drove cross country to get a Doritos taco that he could have made at home. Nice try, folks.

3:33 pm: Back to Pittsburgh! I’ve been to Asheville four times, and I’ve never seen the UNC-Asheville campus. That means something…to me.

3:43 pm: I like Buzz Williams that much more knowing that he danced on West Virginia’s court.

3:49 pm: Syracuse and UNC-Asheville tied at 15. Weren’t they the last 1 seed to almost lose their first round game?

3:53 pm: Tight game thus far, Cuse 22, UNCA 21. Not like you know UNC Asheville anyway.

3:56 pm: Random, yet relevant tweet: @CRM_Stephen: Northwestern Mutual on their Game of Thrones game.

3:59 pm: I got an alert on my phone stating that the Louisville-Davidson game was close. I turn to the game, and it’s over. Oops?

4:02 pm: Okay, folks. Tapping out for now. I may be back later this evening with updates. Hope you’ve enjoyed it thus far!!

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I’m going to assume that my post lamenting the NBA lockout was the sole reason that said lockout ended. Anyway, the sudden change of heart by players and owners (the latter of which getting pretty much what they wanted all along) has me scrambling to do an NBA preview. So, with the help of my NBA guru Mike Baker, we’re going to run a little Two Man Game to answer the questions you should be asking for the upcoming NBA season.

(Two Man Game is a term often used during a basketball telecast. It’s usually a guard working with a “big man” (center, forward) to make a play on offense. This phrase is so popular, commentators use it for women’s basketball too! (Really, they do.) Anyway, I figured that I should give you some background for where the title came from. Anyway, let’s talk some basketball!!!)

1. Did the lockout cause you to lose or gain interest in the NBA?
Mike: I love the NBA. Admittedly I was bitter (mostly at the owners) but it helped me to realize just how much life would suck had there not been a season. If anything, I gained more interest as to how the business of the NBA works.

Jordy: I think it’s a little bit of both. I was fascinated at the level of disrespect that each side seemed to have for each other, and I lamented the fact that I would be stuck with watching college basketball all season (That’s not a fair trade). But this lockout confirmed my belief that no sports league is really out to please fans. There’s no way. Case in point: NBA League Pass allows you to see nearly every game that does not come on national television. The league is playing a shortened season, and coming off a bitter lockout. Guess what? You’ll be paying the same amount for League Pass! The NBA spits in the face and LOLs at your positive press. Sure, I’m still riveted. But it’s definitely with a raised eyebrow this time around.

2. The Clippers have been terrible for 30 years. Does adding Chris Paul really make them relevant (As in, “They’re a contender!”) now?
Mike: On paper, the Clippers look GREAT! But, so did D-Wade, LeBron and Posh Spice, er, Chris Bosh. Yes, they have talent but they have yet to play ball together. Contenders? Not quite yet, I say 2nd round playoffs at best.

Yes, now the Clippers are relevant because of this guy. Really?


Jordy: (Wow, Posh Spice was a low blow!) I hate this question. Of course, I asked it…so whatever. As much as I want to dismiss this question altogether, it was fascinating to see the Clippers on the court (albeit in a preseason game). There are many different ways that they can use Chauncey Billups and Chris Paul together. However, this doesn’t change the fact that…Vinny Del Negro is the coach! So, my answer is still an emphatic “no” until there’s a coaching change.

3. Which teams will benefit the most from the shortened, frenetic season?
Mike: I’d have to say the almighty Celtics (I’m trying not to be biased even though it may seem like it because that’s my team). In all honesty, the team is not old, it’s just the main parts of the engine are a little dated. The lockout helped to get Pierce, KG and Ray a significant amount of rest and time to ready their bodies for another season, albeit a 66 game season. The team already has chemistry but the problem last season was the postseason push after a long, grueling season and losing major components to the team chemistry because of injury. The time away from the court should help them have the required energy to make a final postseason run while these 3 future HOF’ers utilize the last in their drawn out tanks.

Jordy: If I use the NFL lockout as a premise, I would think a team with an established (and proven) system in place. Also, I tend to believe that said team would have something to prove. I present to you…the Miami Heat! I’ll remind you that the Heat had the second best record in the East last season, and were two wins away from winning an NBA championship. With all the LeBron slander that took place during the off-season, I’m almost certain that he’s looking to deliver this year. That entire team has something to prove. Watch out, folks.

4. Which team(s) will suffer the most from the shortened, frenetic season?
Mike: I have to say L.A.’s team…the Clippers (go figure!!). Easy explanation: CP3 signed less than a month before season tip-off, the tremendous amount of attention and pressure brought forth by the media and fans, and absolutely zero time to mesh as a cohesive unit. Thus far, they seem pretty good in the pre-season, but how will it all work out when the games matter?

But wait, L.A.’s other team (yes, I said other), the Lakers, are in a jam because of the shortened season as well. Why? Two words: Mike Brown. He has had zero time to implement his coaching style to format the Lakers. And let’s be honest here, Mike Brown is not the guy L.A. needs. However, he’s the coach and how will he substitute The Zen’s triangle offense and disciplined defensive strategies? All I know is the Lakers will be quite frustrated this season without lack of direction from the coaching staff.

Jordy: I think I’m stealing this from someone, but I’d say…the Rockets. Remember that first Chris Paul trade? Part of it involved the Rockets getting Pau Gasol. Daryl Morey (the GM) had been lining up assets to make a move like that for the past two or three seasons. Now what? I would imagine that they’re a fringe playoff team still, but it never helps when there are three guys on your team that you couldn’t trade…and are still on the team. Another team that might suffer is Orlando. This Dwight Howard mess is going to ruin that team. And it’s not like they had a lot of mental toughness to begin with.

5. What will it take for LeBron to “bounce back” this season?
Mike: Rogaine. Oops, thought I thought I read something about his hairline in that question. Truthfully, LeBron is still someone I would not like to face down the 4th quarter stretch. Yes, he’s had his late game woes as of late, especially in games that are critical, but let’s not forget the tremendous amount of talent this young man possesses. Two-time MVP (back-to-back at that…we could also list a Biblical scroll length of other accomplishments) with a major chip on his shoulder. He’s also a two-time Finals loser…sounds like more than enough motivation to me to finally complete his championship mission.

Jordy: I was about to make a joke about his hairline, but then I looked in the mirror at my own thinning hair and thought better of it. I’m tempted to say things like “a post up game” or “a killer instinct”. But I think the main thing that would help is a defined role. Is he a decoy for Wade? Should he try to play inside and late Wade take the perimeter? Should everyone defer to him since his passing skills are top-notch? One thing that I didn’t take into consideration last year is that all of what the Heat did pretty much happened on the fly. If LeBron knows and accepts his role, then the things we’ve seen him do well can happen at the right time (specifically at the end of the game).

6. Should the Knicks be taken seriously this year?
Mike: Yes. The Knicks have two of the best young players in the league in Carmelo and Amare’ and they have put in work as a unit. The addition of Tyson Chandler helps the Knicks to establish a low post presence and help on the boards for when Melo jacks up shot after shot. Look for the Knicks to be a 2 or 3 seed this season coming out of the East. I believe they are a solid point guard away from Finals talk.

These guys are legit. The rest of the team? Uh...


Jordy: I’d say kind of. Chris Webber mentioned the Knicks as a “sleeper” team in the East. Perhaps he was asleep when the Knicks made the playoffs last year. Sure, Tyson Chandler is a nice addition. But have you seen him ever create his own shot? Also, how many times has the “player who played great in a contract year, then got a large contract” scenario worked out? I think Amare’ and Carmelo are obviously elite players, but I’m not sure if this is the most cohesive unit around. We’ll see how they play with the heightened expectations. I think they’ll finish better than they did last year, but that was probably going to happen anyway.

7. What team are people not talking about, but should be?
Mike: OKC. Look, this is arguably the best young team with the most upside in the league. Durant is a bona fide star fresh off a worldwide tour of basketball destruction during the summer (also my pick for MVP). Westbrook is one of the most athletic guards in the league, he has faults with shot selection and decision-making, but he’s young. Perkins is healthy and a defensive low post presence, and Harden is emerging as a legitimate threat. They’ve got size and athleticism in Ibaka and the Thunder bench is capable of sustaining the game when the starters are resting. They had a great playoff run last season. This team is dangerous. Since no one is talking about them now, then later in the season I will have the last laugh when everyone is.

Jordy: The Chicago Bulls! I think they have the reigning MVP, right? Also, Carlos Boozer hasn’t hurt himself shaving (yet). And they didn’t lose anyone from their rotation. I also remember that they lost in the conference finals. Surely they’re better than the Clippers/Knicks/Celtics/any other team you’ve been hearing about this offseason. I’m not saying that they’re going to win the title, but I do think that they should be taken a lot more seriously than they’re being taken at this point.

8. Finish the sentence: Because of his impending divorce, Kobe Bryant will ___________
Mike: Holler at Kim Kardashian so he can double date with Lamar and Khloe. Kobe will be with Kim for more than 72 days. Kris Humphries is no Kobe Bryant.

Jordy: Win MVP. And probably average 35 points per game.

9. Dallas Mavericks: Flash in the pan, or favorites?
Mike: I was thinking that they were favorites, but with Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea gone, the Mavs are missing a few sparks. Not to mention, they are a bit aged in comparison to other teams and Father Time just added another year onto their lives. Also with the lockout, I believe it does hinder some momentum from last year’s championship run. Defending their title won’t be easy, in fact it will be even more difficult for them, but I believe they won’t repeat. But they still will fight tooth & nail in playoff series.

That's unity, y'all.


Jordy: By default, I say that they’re the favorites until they lose in the playoffs (or don’t make it). The Game has a line in his song “Game” (so cleverly titled) where he touts the value of Lamar Odom. And he has a point. When Lamar gives a crap, he provides value with scoring, rebounding and passing. Since Barea didn’t play THAT much anyway, and since Tyson Chandler provided an inside presence only, I really think that the Mavericks having Odom balances those losses. Also, this looks like a group that really enjoyed winning it all. I tend to believe that a desire to do it all again is there. So, yes, I think they’re still a favorite.

10. Predictions!
Mike: (And his self-titled “Especially Suspect Predictions”)
MVP-Kevin Durant
ROY-Kyrie Irving
Western Conference champs-Oklahoma City over Dallas in 7 games
Eastern Conference champs-Miami over Chicago in 6 games
NBA champion-Miami over Oklahoma City in 5 games

Ladies and gentlemen, your Rookie of the Year. I think.


Jordy: (Predictions sure to go wrong)
MVP-Kobe Bryant
ROY-Jimmer Fredette
Western champs-Denver over Dallas in 6 games (Tebow magic is everywhere, guys)
Eastern champs-Miami over Boston in 7 games
NBA champion-Miami over Denver in 4 games
(Really, Jordy? Denver?!!!?)

Somebody give Baron Davis (green plaid shirt) a hug. And a job.

You may have noticed that there are no NBA games being played tonight. Or last night. Or the night before. Or tomorrow. Or all weekend. Like many people, you may be completely apathetic toward the lockout. It’s time to snap out of that feeling.

I’ll admit it. I miss the NBA. A lot. Last season was absolutely amazing. From Derrick Rose making the big leap, to the Lakers being wiped out of the NBA like Paris Hilton out of the limelight, to LeBron taking two steps forward then three steps back in the playoffs, to the Mavericks(??!!!!??) winning it all…last year had a little of everything. Good thing holding on to memories is kind of my thing.

I’m not the only one who misses the NBA. I asked my buddy Mike for how he feels about a lack of NBA in his life: “The sound of squeaking sneakers against hardwood courts echoes throughout the arena. No, you’re favorite NBA player isn’t the chopping down the ankles of some hotshot rookie fresh of a mutli-milion dollar endorsement deal for his signature line of shoes ( “For $150 a pair, you can look cool even when getting schooled!”). Rather, those are the sounds of the broken in Chuck Taylor’s that the arena janitor wears while cleaning the floor. IF you haven’t heard, the NBA is about as non-existent right now as Melo’s distribution game. Or better yet, LeBron’s late game heroics. Or even…wait, I’m getting a little emotional at the mere mentioning of these guys. With the lockout steadfast, we won’t know if the Mavericks are one hit wonders or repeat bound (we’ll miss Dirk’s un-guardable jumper along with Mark Cuban’s antics). We don’t get to see how the Miami Heat fare in it’s hopes of claiming not 1, not 2, not 3 (you get the point) championship banners. Can the Bulls pull it together in the playoffs? We aren’t given the opportunity to see if Mike D’Antoni’s run & gun coaching approach works with Melo, Amare’ and the rest of the Knicks (besides Billups, name someone else….I’m waiting). The Celtics aren’t given another (I stress that word) season to recapture the glory of their new Big 3 days. Are the Lakers too old to contend? Will this be the year Kevin Durant wins an MVP and lead the Thunder to the Promised Land? If you ask the NBA’s owners and players, these statements and questions really don’t matter. What matters is money. What matters is greed. Ask David Stern and 53/47 odds he agrees about not caring or holds a meeting about changing those odds to 55/45. The arena workers & small businesses located within arena proximity, league & team employees, and fans have no regard as far as the NBA is concerned. NBA Cares? Hardly. No Christmas games, All-Star Weekend, late playoff pushes or dramatic 7 game series. Basketball went from a game to a business, and we all managed to lose (embrace the irony; makes perfect sense). But all these questions, our complaining and sense of loss can vanish in the blink of a last second, half court heave. If the ball falls in the basket when the buzzer sounds and an agreement between owners and players is reached, we celebrate with champagne. A salvaged season is better than no season. But if that shot misses, then we’ll be left like every other team who has ever lost: there’s always next year………..hopefully. Until then, your simulated season on NBA 2K12 will have to suffice.”

There’s probably not going to be a season. Not only did the players reject the most recent offer by the owners, there are no plans to meet anytime soon. I’m going to throw out the thought that neither side WANTS to meet. So, here we are in what David Stern calls the “nuclear winter” of the NBA season. That’s…lame.

Of course, you wouldn’t know that there was an ongoing labor dispute with one of the major sporting leagues (Thanks a lot, Penn State!) thanks to an up and running football season (Hey, have you heard of that Tim Tebow guy? Man, he sucks!). I asked on Facebook to rate how much you cared about the lockout on a scale of one to ten. I think the average score as a 2.5—and that’s being nice. What’s been most appalling to me is that people are happy to talk about how they don’t care about the lockout. Sure, you don’t have to be a fan of the NBA. You could be one of the delusional types that actually believes that college basketball is better (It’s okay, I’ll just pray for you). But that doesn’t mean that this lockout won’t have long reaching effects.

Mild digression, hang on: (I think the thing that upsets me the most about the lukewarm reaction is how much people DON’T know. I was browsing a Facebook post from a local television station based in Columbia, SC. They asked if people cared about the lockout. As expected, most of the response was “I don’t care!” Now, it’s debatable whether I should expect people from South Carolina to be smart. But the “based on no proof” responses got my blood boiling. Someone said, “I think it’s so selfish when players strike”. But…it’s not a strike. The players are being locked out by the owners. This means that the OWNERS DON’T WANT THE PLAYERS TO PLAY UNTIL THEY [players] AGREE TO THEIR DEMANDS [owners]. THAT. IS. NOT. A STRIKE. Another person noted how the players should get over it since they’re getting million dollar checks. Well, that would be nice—if it were true. Of course, my favorite comment mentioned how these were all overpaid thugs. Lines like that make me wish that they did censor the Internet. No, really.)

I’m going to try to explain the dispute in a nutshell: The collective bargaining agreement that was in place was quite favorable to the players. (Of course, that’s kind of a moot point, since we like the NBA because of…um, the players in it) The owners wanted to have more of the BRI (basketball related income—raise your hand if you knew that before I just said it) in order to create more “competitive balance.” The owners (and David Stern, who represents them as commissioner) have offered a 50-50 split of the BRI, with reductions in guaranteed contracts, among other concessions. The players have rejected every offer put forth by the owners, which doesn’t really…help. At all.

I think that both sides are full of themselves. The owners are already rich, no one on that side is going to miss a meal. It’s no one’s fault that they put idiots in charge of their teams…idiots who think it’s okay to give Joe Johnson and Rashard Lewis 100+ million dollar contracts. (Don’t know who those guys are? THAT’S THE POINT) Also, the idea of competitive balance is silly. The Bulls were good because they drafted well and made smart choices in adding talent through trades and free agency. But it took a while. The Bobcats are bad because they drafted college players who were popular in the state of North Carolina, and trade away anyone who actually contributed in multiple areas. Changing the way the money is distributed won’t change the way that the Bulls and Bobcats are run as respective franchises.

However, the players are full of themselves too. I’m not going to throw out the word “greedy”, because these are the best basketball players on the planet. Professional athletes as a whole make lots of money, yes. But…once again, they’re the best in the world at what they do. Anyway, the American public as a whole has had to make concessions over the past few years. Many companies are cutting pensions, no longer matching 401(k), (in some places) going to higher insurance premiums, (or no insurance at all) and laying off employers left and right. We’ve had to give back more and get less. Why can’t these guys do the same? Do they not realize that the offers will only get worse? Do they want to play at all this year? Some players were running a #letusplay campaign on Twitter. Hey guys, here’s a way to play: ACCEPT THE OFFER FROM THE OWNERS. Wait, too late.

Look, there are legitimate reasons to care about the lockout. The players have decided to de-certify the union, and try to take the owners to court. This happened during the NFL lockout (which could have ended with the players being forced to play without pads or helmets, yet no one would care because WE GOT FOOTBALL BACK EVEN THOUGH IT DIDN’T GO AWAY). Taking it to the courts actually made things worse in the NFL lockout. When unions don’t get their way, I’m sure they’ll think to de-certify (Maybe they won’t, BUT JUST LET ME FEAR MONGER YOU). Of course, that won’t help things. Also, there are plenty of other people (people working in the concession stands, cheerleaders, um…other people behind the scenes!) who don’t have jobs because of this lockout. More unemployment is EXACTLY WHAT THIS ECONOMY NEEDS. Oh, wait, that’s not true?

Of course, I’m an outlier. I will absolutely be there to watch when the NBA comes back. Of course, I watched when the MLB came back from the strike. In a related story, I once woke up at 4 in the morning to catch a live tennis match. Set my alarm, even. So, there’s no doubt that I’m going to be back. But what the NBA doesn’t realize is that Mike and I are in the minority. Those comments I saw on Facebook seem to be the norm. The NBA really blew it by not figuring this thing out before it was too late. If David Stern thinks that this is a nuclear winter now, just wait until things get “resolved”. The toxic nature is going to be coming from the fans that were left by the wayside.

Toolbag Thursday!!

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Basketball, Music, NBA

These guys won’t let me rest ONE DAY!!

Obviously, I have better things to do than let Stephen A. Smith and Lupe Fiasco get my blood pressure up. But, whatever, that’s what Cozaar is for. But today was a prime instance of two guys running their mouths, then hiding behind the “People just be hatin!” cloak. Here’s the problem: It’s not hating when you’re being called out for running your mouth, guys!! If you’re asking, “Now Jordy, what could Lupe Fiasco and Stephen A. Smith say to get you so worked up?” then you’ve come to the right place.

Oh, my favorite Lupe song ever! He should have toned it down about Obama.


Lupe Fiasco
Before we begin, a disclaimer: I think that Lupe Fiasco is an incredible rapper. I saw him live (at the Koger Center—for five dollars!!). I have all three of his studio albums (I even paid for two of them.). So, there’s no ill will toward Lupe. (Although, I do chuckle every time I see the name of a guy all over The Cool–Gemstones, since Gemini was apparently not manly enough..) But. That does not mean that I do not find many a fault with his straight out of the Tea Party claim that Obama is a terrorist. That’s right, our own President is a terrorist, in Lupe’s eyes. Apparently, the policies created by Mr. Obama have inspired others to become terrorists. OK then! Of course, Lupe Fiasco doesn’t vote, so it’s uncertain whether he actually understands what a foreign policy may even be. Also, he didn’t feel the need to elaborate on what actual policies might inspire other terrorists, but then again, who needs to be specific about outlandish claims, right?

Now, Lupe may not be familiar with the Dixie Chicks, but let’s just say that things didn’t work out so well for them when one of their band mates decided to call out George Bush during a concert. I’m not sure how wise it is to directly call out a president that many of your fans voted for (I’m not making that up, am I?). I don’t think that this will happen to Lupe Fiasco, but there are things that you can say, and there are other things that you should just write in a notepad. I did find someone else rightfully taking Lupe to task, but they did it in a nice way! Calling the President a terrorist is one of them. So, instead of trying to turn the tables on people rightfully criticizing you, how about just own up to the fact that you made a crazy and rather untrue statement about the President of the country that you make a living in. Now that would be refreshing.

My mom always mentions how attractive he is. Talk about a nightmare--SAS as my stepdad!!


Stephen A. Smith
SAS is a byproduct of our “loud and proud” society. Seriously, this guy does not have a job in 1985 (I’d advocate turning the clock back to 1985, but not even two-year old Jordy was probably not that much of a writer in 1985). Anyway, many a sports fan LOLed when he made the claim that LeBron James was headed to Miami, well before that thing on TV called The Decision. Well, turns out that SAS was right on the money. Dammit! Anyway, SAS made the rounds on the ESPN shows (Jim Rome is Burning, Mike and Mike, The Herd) this morning, and made the claim that he’s heard about why LeBron James might be struggling in the NBA Finals. And, apparently it’s something personal, beyond basketball. Of course, that had everyone going bonkers. You may have heard about LeBron going adrift last year because his mother may or may not have been getting intimate with one of his teammates. As a result, nothing gets people more fired up than possible LeBron drama.

So, instead of elaborating on this thing that’s “beyond basketball”, SAS gets offended that people are actually listening to his words, seemingly. He spent the first ten minutes of his radio show (My ears began to bleed, he probably kept going) getting all hot and bothered over the fact that people were wondering “Why would SAS pick the day of Game 5 to say that LeBron has some serious off the court ish going on?” I mean, that’s a legitimate question to have, considering the circumstances, correct? Well, not to SAS. Somehow, he painted himself as the victim. (I’d look for a transcript to give you actual quotes, but my eyes would bleed.) But, SAS…you’re the guy who started the firestorm!!! No one would be trying to come up with possible explanations for your comments…if you had just kept your mouth shut!!!! So, let’s lay off the “But why are you guys BLAMING ME?” this time, SAS.

So, there we have it. Two guys who couldn’t keep their mouths shut. Which forced me to run my mouth. But, hey, at least I’m not making any of this stuff up!!!


Author’s note: This post is best if read while watching this video. Over and over again, obviously.

And you thought that things couldn’t get any crazier than Plaxico Burress warranting attention, right? Normally, Tuesday is reserved for women who feel the need to share their breasts to everyone on Twitter. (Well, if you’re on Twitter, that is.) But, today was reserved for a bunch of sports stories that could all be the lead! Obviously, I felt compelled to write about it all! Don’t worry, this is not ranked in order of importance:

Terelle Pryor is leaving Ohio State:If you’re actually surprised by this, put your hand (either one, I don’t care which) about ten inches from your cheek. Move the hand away from you slowly, then strike yourself as hard as you can on your cheek. That’s right, you deserve to be slapped! Here are a few red flags about the announcement itself:
1. This was announced by his lawyer. How many college students have a lawyer?
2. I’m not saying that this smells fishy or anything, but, uh, isn’t he being investigated by the NCAA?
3. Pryor was going to miss five games this coming season. Did you really think he was going to stay?
Now, ESPN devoted time to this story on Sportscenter. I find this interesting because at the end of the Sugar Bowl, Pryor purposely avoided the question of whether he was returning or not next season. You may know the story: the only reason he was able to play the bowl game is because the Big Ten didn’t want to lose to the SEC again in a high profile bowl game he promised Jim Tressel that he would serve his suspension and play next season. Well, when your coach resigns, no need to hold your word, right?

But, what will Pryor do? Seriously, I can think of…three games where he actually made a difference. I’m sure you will see highlights of deep passes to wide open receivers, which is totally what he will see in the NFL (no, he won’t). He’s mediocre AT BEST. But hey, that makes him perfect for the UFL, I suppose.

Dirk Nowitzki says that Jason Terry has not been clutch: This actually “happened” yesterday evening. Here’s my problem with this entire situation: When, in fact, has Jason Terry EVER been “clutch”? And, if we could get rid of that word for the rest of the NBA’s existence, I’d be OK with that too. Anyway, if you’re dreaming of Terry’s three point barrage vs. the Lakers…please keep in mind that he was wide open on 975 percent of those shots (yes, I put that number there on purpose). So Dirk, I hope you realize that your team winning this title is going to be up to you. And maybe a few timely shots from Jason Terry. But that ain’t clutch, that’s playing your role.

Tiger Woods withdraws from the U.S. Open: Does no one have a problem with the fact that we’re taking Tiger’s word for this…even though all he’s done is announce this via a tweet? Has Anthony Weiner taught us nothing? PEOPLE RETRACT THEIR TWEETS ALL THE TIME!!! Also, can I go ahead and write Tiger Woods off? He went through a nasty divorce that was of his own doing. Let’s keep that in mind. He can chalk up his struggles to injury, but is a guy who was the epitome of fitness really suddenly breaking down so easily? I don’t think he has it anymore. I’m being serious. Talk to me when he starts winning tournaments. Because, in my mind, it’s not like he’s really been in any tournaments this year anyway.

NBC gets the Olympics through 2020: Perhaps they believe that the Mayan calendar is just a myth? In a related story, Comcast has put the Philadelphia 76ers up for sale. If you’re following along here still, NBC is owned by Comcast. I suppose that they’ll have to come up with the money for these Games somehow, right?

Colt McCoy’s wife runs her mouth: Colt McCoy is a (maybe the?) quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. He had a storied run at the University of Texas. I liked his wife since the story of their engagement was actually somewhat romantic. But then! Mrs. McCoy decided to run her mouth about the perks that players received while Colt was in Austin. I have to believe that Colt at least sighed once he heard this. Hell, I know I did. Rachel, you don’t have to share everything just because you’re asked, OK?

Bryce Harper is already a douchebag: Well, that didn’t take long! Bryce Harper is a hotshot prospect working his way through the minors as a member of the Washington Nationals. He felt the need to thank the pitcher during his home run trot last night. I…don’t think that’s very manly. Guys, when’s the last time you blew another guy a kiss? Anyway, apparently this is a “teachable moment.” Yeah, I’m sure it is. Next time these teams play, Harper’s getting beaned. As well he should. Probably not the best thing to already be a tool before you’ve seen a live Major League pitch. You’re good right now. There is no law stating that you always have to be good.

LeBron & Wade’s relationship: Excuse me while I go throw up. I know that most people with sense are not very fond of Jason Whitlock, but it’s hard to not agree with at least some of his views on this sudden possible trouble brewing between LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. It’s pretty comical. Can’t we just enjoy the game that happens on the court? Can’t Wade scold James, and vice versa, whenever they see fit (since, you know, they’re teammates and all)? If the Heat are winning games, does it really matter how?

I’m sure there were other moments worth mentioning about this silly Tuesday. But that’s for someone else to write! Let’s hope that things calm down a little tomorrow. I don’t have consecutive 1000 word posts in me!

Leave it to Sam Adams to get me in the mood to write!

So, you may have read and LOLed at my attempt to document Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Of course, had I done a live blog for the Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, things would have gone the same way. Whatever, I’m not supposed to know what happens, right?

The title of this post is actually from a song by Jack White, Danger Mouse, Dick Bavetta, Miley Cryus and John Boehner (well, not the Miami Heat part, but I hope you got that already). In the song, Jack says “lonely” about 5629 times. And honestly, that’s what it feels like to be a “supporter” of the Heat. Hell, it’s probably what it feels like to play for the Heat. They’re the little bad bullies who decided to play together, and that’s just not right! Even yours truly felt obligated to write a few words on the subject back when the Heatles came together.

But what if we’re all wrong? After all, winning is the only thing, right? Yes, I understand that the Mavericks are the other team playing in the NBA Finals. I also understand that Dirk Nowitzki (pronounce the w like a v or I will punch your lights out) is playing so well, ESPN feels the need to bring out the obligatory comparison to Larry Bird (although, calling that obligatory is a bit racist, no?). But this entire season has been about the Miami Heat? Ask yourself this question: Do the Milwaukee Bucks have an ESPN website dedicated to them? Jesuslord, (courtesy MMM) Brian Windhorst left the Cleveland Plain Dealer to write for that site!! Even though people took delight in every Heat slip up, laughed when they cried, they may turn out to be exactly who THEY thought they were. LeBron foolishly talked about winning 5011 championships (which would, in fact, be a record) during that wacky/overdone/pretty stupid pep rally. But hey, should they win this year, that only gives them 5010 to achieve their lofty goal!!

Now, for those of you that are rooting against the Heat, I’d like to know a few things:
1. Why you mad?
2. No, really. Why you mad?
3. Are you rooting against the Heat because you’re mad about the way the team was put together?
4. If your answer to #3 is yes, um…why you mad?
5. If LeBron > Dirk and Wade > Dirk…uh, well, I don’t have to finish this question, do I?
6. Doesn’t Rick Carlisle just look sick? (Bonus question that is completely irrelevant)
7. So, if someone was rooting against you to succeed in life, how would you feel? Because, that’s what you’re doing. You know that, right?
While I am happy for the Mavericks, (I love their arena, you really are on top of the action, it seems) this series is all about Miami. Should they lose (and, no, they won’t, so don’t worry about it) to Dallas, the story will be Miami’s failure, not Dallas’s triumph. Should they win, the story will somehow be made into how players will just join together for a title. And, well, that’s the easy way out. If you took the time to maybe, I dunno, watch the playoffs this year, you will see the Heat coming back like a wave in Game 5 of the Conference Finals. They’ve lost three games all postseason. Guess what? That’s the best record so far. LeBron James was so badass in the Conference Finals that Joe Posnanski felt the need to compare it to Jordan’s fifth title (Jesuslord, ain’t that picture just scary?). The Mavericks have Dirk, yes. But, beyond that? Well, there is a guy with an Abe Lincoln tattoo on his neck…

So, just get with the program, y’all. This series, and season in general, is all about the Miami Heat. I’d love to say that they’ll sweep Dallas. Whatever, I’ll say that. I’ll say that they’ll definitely win it. So, maybe they can have the celebration on South Beach, so LeBron’s declaration (where he was taking his talents there) won’t look….too stupid. This season has to end this way. If you’re not OK with that, don’t worry! There’s going to be an ugly lockout soon afterward, so you probably won’t see a repeat!

So, in other news, I officially moved to Wilmington! I may or may not be living out of a suitcase right now, so that means one thing: IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER SPORTS LIVE BLOG! I have yet to do one for an NBA game, so here goes nothing. Thanks for daring to read the Welcome to Wilmington Western Conference Finals Game Four Blog EN VIVO!!

Awww, two superstars going toe to toe!

A whole hell of a lot of storylines here in Oklahoma City tonight. Are the Mavericks really about to put the foot on the gas tonight? How many times will ESPN bring up Russell Westbrook’s decision-making? How many times will someone utter the words “penetration” or “penetrate”? Will more than five people read this post? Gonna be a long night, kids…so STRAP IN AND WATCH ME BRING IT!

9:02 pm: And we are LIVE in a hotel room! This post is going to be about as sleazy as I get, I think. I wonder if John Hollinger has a stat for Hair Gel Usage Rate. Scotty Brooks has to be a league leader, no?

9:04 pm: “These crazed fans…” says Mike Breen. I mean, this is Oklahoma. Are there normal people in that state, even?

9:06 pm: Sadly, I feel obligated to talk about Russell Westbrook: I wish people would shut the hell up about Russell Westbrook. Even Magic Johnson talked about how he should pass first, then praised him for driving to the basket repeatedly only one minute later. I’d rather peel my skin off my body than hear about this Westbrook crap.

9:08 pm: The Thunder have an early 6-2 lead, the Mavericks promptly turn the ball over. Mike Breen felt obligated to say that he shouldn’t say that this is a perfect start for OKC. Um, what?

9:11 pm: Somebody in the truck forgot that the game had started again, forcing Breen to stop mid-promo to get excited about a Westbrook fast break dunk. It’s OK, this game is happening too fast for me, too!

9:12 pm: Random, yet relevant tweet: “so, thunder looks great…but the mavs have missed three shots within one foot. this’ll even up soon, i reckon.” (via @bomani_jones)

9:14 pm: This fast start by OKC might mean that Rick Carlisle burns all his timeouts early. Which will make the end of the game shorter. I’m very OK with this.

9:17 pm: In an unrelated story, I am completely obliterating the bandwidth available for the wireless at this hotel. Live blogging + TweetDeck + downloading three albums. I’m busting a data cap in somebody’s ass. I think.

9:18 pm: Yes, Kevin Durant should have to say complete sentences while on the basketball court, in the middle of a possession. That makes complete sense!

9:19 pm: The Kendrick Perkins Stank Face is really taken to another level with the sweat dripping down his chin. It’s a level of ugly not many could achieve. Congrats, Perk!

9:22 pm: I know Peja Stojakavic did not just drive to the hoop for a layup. That’s penetration, homes. And, as I type this…he drove for a floater in the lane. What?!!?

9:24 pm: Rick Carlisle seems to be invoking his inner Andy Reid with these timeouts. Whatever.

9:27 pm: OK, so those commercials with the players reminiscing with the basketball are pretty good. Even though they are talking to a damn basketball.

9:30 pm: James Harden must have heard the announcers waxing poetic about him, since he just had two silly plays.

9:33 pm: Just as I was about to mention that the Mavs were still lurking…Nick Collison just overpowered two of them for a putback of his own miss. Le sigh.

9:34 pm: I don’t wish to change the subject, but you do know that Dirk thinks of David Hasselhoff when he shoots free throws, right?

9:37 pm: So, after the first quarter, the Thunder are up nine. Even though it feels like they should be up by 48. Yeah, I’m just saying that. Sort of.

9:40 pm: “…dribble penetration occurs,” says Mark Jackson. Drink! Also, is there a reason why Jackson has to say the word “basketball” each time? Just seems odd.

9:44 pm: OK, that was a pretty sweet move by James Harden. And a silky smooth three by Dirk. NOW WE’RE PLAYING SOME DAMN BASKETBALL.

9:47 pm: Obviously, Denny’s wants us all dead. But, bacon meatloaf? That seems worth the artery clog + cholesterol jump!

9:49 pm: So, Joakim Noah says a gay slur, then says “People who know me know that I’m not like that.” As in, not a person who says that stuff, or that he’s not gay? And am I the only person who asked this question?

9:56 pm: Now we’re about 15 minutes into this conversation about appropriate language. I GET IT, Y’ALL. IT WAS BAD.

9:58 pm: Quick question: How old is Jason Terry? Yes, I am about to answer my own question…he’s 33. He only looks…39. Not that bad!

10 pm: Dirk with some silky, herky jerky moves to bring the Mavs within five. Hold on, crazed OKC fans!!!

10:06 pm: Doesn’t it feel like Dallas has this game in hand? I know, it sounds crazy. But still.

10:07 pm: Apparently, a requirement for being a “crazed fan” is to not know the definition of a foul. C’mon, Thunder fans!

10:08 pm: Let’s go ahead and add “Whenever there’s a close up of the Kendrick Perkins Stank Face” to the Sports Drinking Game.

10:10 pm: Another random thought…when you think of actual thunder, do you imagine the color scheme that OKC is wearing? If you answer yes, then maybe you are an alien.

10:13 pm: So, we’re at halftime. The Thunder are playing well, but the Mavs are lurking….59-54. Let’s hope I don’t fall asleep during halftime.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10:30 pm: Forgot this game was in 3D. I say that because it took me two hours to realize that James Harden’s beard would be spectacular in 3D…

10:32 pm: Is there a reason that Mark Jackson has to throw out so many cliches?

10:34 pm: Whatever Shawn Marion just did during that post up, he should never, ever do again. They should even jail him for thinking about it, actually.

10:36 pm: I need to stop watching Mavs games before Dirk Nowitzki becomes my favorite player in the NBA.

10:40 pm: So, who hit DeShawn Stevenson in the man area? Seemed like he embellished that one a little.

10:43 pm: In a related story, this game is getting a little out of hand. OKC is suddenly up by nine out of nowhere.

10:49 pm: Sweet Jesus, that was a sensational pass by Russell Westbrook. Not to be outdone, J Kidd does the same for Dallas on the following possession. Dallas bringing it back to a six point deficit.

10:55 pm: True story: I kinda stopped paying attention to the game. But I’m back on it now!

11:01 pm: Well, well well. Guess who’s only down by four now? No, it’s not the Lakers (too soon?). Maybe this fourth quarter would be juicy.

11:06 pm: Do you really think that the Thunder will hold their composure in this pressure cooker that is the fourth quarter? I’m going with a Whitney Houston “hell to the nah!”

11:09 pm: Of course, just as I type that…OKC goes up by nine. I’m not supposed to know the outcome anyway, right?

11:15 pm: I’m not sure that Eric Maynor is supposed to pull a Russell Westbrook…ever.

11:17 pm: OKC officially up by more points than minutes left in the game. So, essentially this game is over.

11:19 pm: Seven dimes for Westbrook. They haven’t mentioned his turnover count. Thank the Lord.

11:21 pm: OK, with a 12 point lead and six minutes left in the game, I am waving the white towel. Nice response by the Thunder. Curious virtual no show by Dirk in the second half. Oh well, I suppose there will be about 300 mentions on how Game 5 will be pivotal. Then again, every playoff game is pivotal, no? Thanks for reading!