Category Archives: NBA

This is Not a Goodbye

Goodbye Good Sir

Today, it was revealed that Primoz Brezec will not be continuing his NBA career*. Roma has poached the 7-foot Slovenian from the Raptors. Damn you Brian Colangelo. Despite your all-league style, all-league offseason deals, and phenomenal tie-knots, your lack of appreciation for the Primoz is truly disappointing. He was the best 12th man our great country has ever seen.

In spite of the immense sense of loss coursing through my veins, Primoz’s departure has provided me an opportunity to reveal the reasoning behind the pseudonym. Considering the small window Raps’ fans had to appreciate the Primoz**, it is a true testament to the man’s awesomeness that I chose to name this blog after the Eastern European Prince. His gregarious charm was immediately apparent to players and fans alike after joining the Raps in a deadline deal. Although I initially knew nothing about the schizophrenic giant, I immediately developed great expectations for the Primoz era. These expectations were surpassed in ways impossible to foresee.

Mr. Brezec, because of the fantastic, and impossibly short-lived Resign Primoz Brezec, tales of your admirable lack of self-awareness were easily available. This is what I learned: although you are a 7-foot white man from Eastern Europe, you did not allow physical or cultural restraints to hinder the pursuit of your ideal lifestyle: Ol’ G. Because of this amazing clash of origins and current life, you will forever be remembered as a beacon of personal choice throughout this great land***.

Mr. Brezec, although your influence was primarily drawn from your breathing example of self-recreation, it does not mean your on-court presence wasn’t appreciated. In fact, for a player with next to no playing time, you made an incredible impression. From your unbelievable rotation of accessories to your inexplicable hatred of opposing mascots, your month of bench duty was the greatest stretch a neglected Raptor ever put forth. Though it was tragically, and amazingly, cut short by a pre-game stretching fiasco, your time in Red will not be forgotten.

Mr. Brezec, despite receiving scant playing time, your presence within our nation not only provided constant entertainment, it also provided a vital message for Canadian youth: Do not allow nationality, race, creed, appearance, or stature dictate the person you wish to become. And because of that I know, This is Not a Goodbye. I eagerly await the inevitable news’ reports regarding the spread of Onyx worship and Long Sleeve Tall Tees in Rome. We will be watching, cheering, and dropping jaws like you were still in the GTA. Best of Luck Mr. Brezec.

Your Indebted Namesake,

Primoz Forever

*This season

**Just 13 Games

***Most likely my property, but possibly elsewhere


Filed under Basketball, NBA, Primoz Brezec, Toronto Raptors

The Ambiguously Diverse Duo

Air Canada Centre, the year 2008.

Chris: JO, welcome to the TO, boy!!! Psyched to have you with us man. Big things this year, big things!! 

Jermaine: Ahh (runs hand through third hairstyle of day), certainly cBO. Me, yous, Jose, AP, Kapones*…I’m looking forward to it.

Chris: Ye, ye, not having Teej around’ll be tough (plays with 2nd hairstyle of afternoon), but you’re sure a welcome return. So what you wanna do on the court? What kind of things should we let you handle come October?

Jermaine: Well, cBO, I’ve always thought of myself as a defensive man first. Put me in the post and I’ll wreak havoc on opposing penetrators. Believe it.

Chris: Oh, for sure!! For sure, JO. I like to work the opposition too, my man. Nothing like swatting, is what I’ve always said. Yeah. Yeah I’ve said that.

Jermaine: Alrite cBO. Together we’ll be averaging 2 a piece. On the offensive end, I like keeping my man on his toes by establishing my mid-range J. Nothing like shocking the opposition with the big man jumper. Devestating.

(BC looks up from conference call with tailor. Injects tie knot. Continues editing FireSamMitchell) 

Chris: Ya JO. Thats what I’m talking bout man. I love working the mid-ranger. In fact, the mid-range is all I’ve got, my man. Give me an opening though, watch out!! I’ll be getting mad free throws!! Well, at least two. KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!

Jermaine: I got ya cBO, i got ya. I love getting the attempts too, man. Love it. So, cBO, what hand you shooting?

Chris: OHHHH, you know I’m shooting with the left hand, JO!!! Left handers a special breed!!

Jermaine: A special breed cBO!!

Chris: Ya, thats what I’ve always said. Ya, I’ve said that.

Jermaine: (Suspicous agreement) Ya, me too.

Chris: Ya. So JO, I noticed you’re working the cBO into the vernacular, how bout the JO7.

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Oh, ok. No JO7, thats cool man. What about the ON7?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Seventh Son?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Bashing Rap?

Jermaine: No.

Chris: Violent Dinosaur?

Jermaine: Enough, cBO, enough. You’re cBO, I’m JO. That’s how we do in the TO. Working for BC with some AP, we be OK. Sam Mitchell.

Chris: Alrite man, alrite. So what you doing your first nite in the dot?

Jermaine: Well, I’m thinking bout finishing Khaled Hosseini’s latest.

Chris: (Shocked discomfort) What?

Jermaine: You know, the Kite Runner guy? There was a movie (smug aura of rebellion)

Chris: (Mixture of awe and excitement. Not once in his NBA career has CB4 fallen victim to intellectual condescension) Ya, I know who Khaled Hosseini is man. The Kite Runner changed my life. It’s beautiful depiction of Afghani life helped alleviate the fabricated stereotypes created by 9/11. His portrayal of the lifelong guilt created by childhood events humanized the Afghan people and created a unbending bond between me and the inhabitants of that haunted land.

Jermaine: (Uncanny identification of inner-self in another) Yes.

Chris: Yes

Jose: (Stumbles in locker room, donned in black. Pulls two Gatorades from belt holster) Hey guy. Have gatorade.

Jermaine and Chris: (Thirsty from personally unparalleled level of bonding, welcome Gatorades without deviating from each other’s identical eyes. Their mutual favorite Fruit Punch Gatorade cleanses the goosebumps from their throats)

Jose: (Attempts to hide lower lip) You guy see Jarbo?

Jermaine and Chris, Chris and Jermaine: No

Jose: (With head down, leaves locker room, but not before delivering Gatorade to all)

Voiceover: As one questionable male relationship ends in the city of Toronto, another takes it place. When a man as stylish as BC runs your team, there will never be a shortage. Go Raps.


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Filed under Bryan Colangelo, Chris Bosh, Jermaine O'Neal, NBA, Toronto Raptors

JO to TO? Please BC

The Key to the Treasure Chest of ‘010

Too many acronyms? Who cares, the Raps may soon have the best frontcourt in the Eastern Conference. According to the Indianapolis Star (via the Arsenalist), Jermaine O’Neal could become a member of the Toronto Raptors. And we’d get rid of TJ Ford? Outtttttstanding.

The Star is reporting that a TJ-Rasho-17 package could net the Raps the veteran lefty. Though I am a little tentative to include the 17, if the Pacers demand it, BC should pull the trigger. JO is a defensive force who could instantly improve one of the Raptors’ key weaknesses. Throw in the rebounding help, the guys averaged 8.8 or more 6 of the past 7 seasons*, and this deal is money for the Raps. Although Rasho is an effective, intelligent baller, his exit, like TJ’s, was inevitable considering the attractive combo of his play and expiring contract. Speaking of expiring contracts…

Unlike the many pundits who feel JO’s exorbitant contract is a negative, to me, it’s the most enticing aspect of the deal. I’m shocked more teams aren’t chasing JO. Why? Primarily because JO’s deal ends in 2010, or the year of the greatest free agent class of all time. Here’s the mind-boggling list of 010′ FAs (lifted from Stop Mike Lupica):

Joe Johnson
Ray Allen
Ben Wallace
LeBron James (player option, likely)
Dirk Nowitzki (player option, unlikely)
Josh Howard (player option, likely)
Marcus Camby
Rip Hamilton
Stephen Jackson
Tracy McGrady
Shaquille O’Neal
Dwyane Wade (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Michael Redd (player option for 10/11, likely)
Tyson Chandler (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Eddy Curry (player option for 10/11 – 50/50)
Amare Stoudemire (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
Brad Miller
Manu Ginobili
Chris Bosh (player option for 10/11, unlikely)
How disgusting is that?

Basically, this deal is an experiment that cannot fail. For the next two years, rolling the dice with an injury-plagued JO is much more appealing than extending Teej’s pouting. Best-case scenario, the two lefties dominate the post, allowing countless doublers to be burnt off wide-open threes from AP, Kapones, and Calderon. Worst-case scenario, and it’s pretty bad, JO goes down to injuries and we’re stuck with regular Humph time.  Whatever, the possible reward is worth the risk.

Making the worst-case scenario much more manageable is what would follow. After 2 years, if JO falters, which I admit seems pretty likely, there’ll always be the light at the end of the tunnel that is Manu. Or Rip. Or Lebron. Or Melo. Or D-Wade. Or Redd. Or Captain Jack. Or Dirk. Or Josh Howard.

Honestly, this contract, considering the timing and value of the deal, is the most valuable expiring contract in the Association. Having JO in 2010 guarantees a premier player that summer. Plus, if the Raps’ realize the premier FAs of ‘010 won’t sign with Toronto, they could move JO to a team with a hardon for one of those dudes. What could we get for that contract? Think of the possibilities. If my scenario plays out, as I hope and pray it does, then TJ-Rasho-17 now could, and this is an enormous could, turn into LeBron later. Insane hypothetical, I know, but still within the realm of possibility.  A possibility that makes the 17 an afterthought. Make it happen BC.

*Some nice cherry-pickin’



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Filed under Chris Bosh, Indiana Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal, Lebron James, Manu Ginobili, NBA, TJ Ford, Toronto Raptors, Uncategorized

Ray-Ray and the Cs one Win Away

Wow, what a game. After being down 24 in the first half, the Celtics came back to defeat the Lakers 97-91. Although they lost the services of two starters in the 2nd half (Perkins to a shoulder, Rondo to incompetence), the steady “understudies” James Posey and Eddie House subbed in to the tune of 18 and 11. Paul Pierce awoke from his slumber to engage in a chest-thumping duel with Kobe, which he narrowly won as they both finished with 14 during their 2nd half matchup. The Lakers once again had no answer for KG’s post game, as he scored when he pleased on the maniacal Spainard, who once again did little to justify the Kwame Brown trade (please, I beg of someone to write a column denouncing “early judgments” on that deal) But the real star of the game in was Ray Allen, who has been the most consistent Boston Celtic and making him my choice for Finals MVP.

Ray-Ray played all 48 minutes and was a steady contributer throughout the game, notching 5 in the 1st, 4 in the 2nd, 6 in the 3rd, and 4 in the 4th, including the daggah on an open drive with less than :20 to go. The guy is unfazable these days. It doesn’t matter if the Cs are down 20 in the 1st or up 3 in the 4th, Allen plays with the same intensity and focus regardless of pressure, quarter, defender, or defensive responsibility. Though Pierce’s overdramatic embraces and looks to the heavens will be grabbing headlines tomorrow, Jesus may have had the most covertly impressive defensive performance of the NBA playoffs. During the first half, Allen was covering Kobe, who scored only 3 points, all on FTs. In the 2nd half, after Pierce “heroically” demanded to guard Kobe, Allen drew Sasha Vujacic, who was then held scoreless for the remainder of the game. While holding the greatest player in the world to only 14 2nd half points on his home court is surely discussable, shutting out the Lakers’ X-Factor was even more crucial to the Celtics’ victory. The only difference between Tuesday nite’s result and tonite was Vujacic’s shooting and the man responsible for his regression was Ray Allen. M-V-P, M-V-P.

More Finals

What the hell happened to Lamar Odom tonite? Guy came out like Gang-Busters (thank you Mike Breen for the impossibly dated reference. Coming Sunday, Flappers!!), netting 13 in the first quarter but then got complacent. He only dropped 6 after that. What an infuriating player. I pray to god that my absurdly unrealistic situation does not unfold in the future.

Some stats for ya: the Lakers went 10-17 in the first quarter and shot 14 FTs while jumping out to an NBA FInals record 21 point lead. The rest of the game went a little something like this: 21-60 FGs and 11-15 FTs.

I don’t know how much Kobe’s play contributed to the massive breakdown. In the first half, he netted 3 points but dished out 6 assists. In the second half, he scored 14 and dished 4. What happened? Well the Bench Mob disappeared. They scored approximately 0 points in the second half after pitching in with 15 in the first. Throwing them under the bus, however, may be unfair considering no one did anything in the 2nd half. Kobe was the only Laker to score more than 5 points in the final 24, with Gasol getting 5 and Radmonovich, Fisher, and Odom each scoring 4. Kobe must wish he still had access to the skills of Javaris Crittenton.

Pau Gasol is beyond lucky that KG chooses not to expose his shitty D on every possession. I can’t remember one time this series that KG hasn’t scored after working Gasol down in the post.

Though Pierce has played well in the Finals and his loyalty to the Celtics franchise is appluadable, he sure is one alienating dude. First their was the play in the third quarter where he fell to the floor, mid-play mind you, in mock-agony to watch his man Kobe drive untouched for an easy dunk. Doc saw his suppoesedly fragile franchise player writhing in pain and felt it necessary to call a TO to investigate. Well turns out there was nothing wrong with Pierce, who popped right up without a hand from any one. So what did that accomplish Pierce? You cost your team 2 points and a timeout. What the fuck were you thinking man? Did you forget that your late-game “heroics” might not be as celebrated in LA. Shit. 

Another interesting incident involving Pierce occured after Allen had knocked down the layup with :16 to go that put the Cs up 5. First, Pierce was shown celebrating with some goofy ass victory grin despite the fact he had to guard the most gifted scorer in the NBA on the next possession. Victory was not clinched. After Pierce’s frolicking, ABC cameras showed the inside of the Celtics huddle. Ray Allen was in the foreground of the shot with Pierce in the back. As the rest of the team listened to Rivers’ instructions, the camera revealed Allen barking at Pierce to pay attention, who was probably too busy preparing his post-game interview rotation (over-dramatic look to the heavens-check, reminder of clutchness-check, heroicism mention-check. Man, what a fucking douchebag) After about 2 seconds, KG’s face was overcame with a look of disbelief before he too barked at the self-involved cock to listen up. It was a nice dose of reality for all those jokers who believe Pierce is the captain of this team. Anyone who is too immature or self-involved to pay attention to their coaches’ instruction before a possibly series-changing possession is clearly someone who should not be followed.

And finally more statistical evidence for the Ray-Ray MVP.

Game 1 – 19 points 5-13 FG, 8 Rebounds, 5 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 BS

Game 2 – 17 points 6-11 FG, 2 Rebounds, 2 Assists

Game 3 – 25 points 8-13 FG, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 1 BS

Game 4 – 19 pts 6-11 FG, 9 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 3 Steals

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Filed under Basketball, Boston Celtics, Eddie House, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen

The NBA Finals and Deja Vu

Game 1’s Signature Moment

First of all, no, the Deja Vu in the title does not refer to any nostalgic pandering. I have no idea what the rivalry was like in the past and comparing one game in 2008 to anything in the 1980s would be ridiculous (except Top Gun. Posey and KG). The Deja Vu I’m talking bout is the Denzel shitfest of 2006. Well, what does another mailed-in Denzel film have to do with the NBA Finals you ask? Well, absolutely nothing but I just finished watching the “truth” (wait a tick) and I needed a venue to vent about the absurdity of the sci-fi thriller. So here goes.

The Unfathomable Trio

Adam Goldberg and Denzel Washington Award for Most Inexcusable Duo – Since I’m basically making shit up as I look at last nite’s boxscore, lets go with Pau Gasol and Kevin Garnett. On the one hand you have Gasol, the greasy maniacal Spaniard whose patchy neck beard would draw laughter in Appalachia, let alone downtown LA. On the other, we got KG, or the most charismatic presence to lace up the hightops this decade (20,000 notches secures the all-time post) Their Deja Vu counterparts, which kills me to do since I fucking hate Denzel, are pretty obvious. I mean Denzel Washington may well be the most charismatic person on earth. Seriously, name another public figure who can repeat the same performance dozens of times and yet receive critical acclaim and public love. It’s infuriating, he plays himself every movie. Come to think of it, so does Adam Goldberg. Damn, this list is fucked already. Whatever, its not about whether they play themselves in every movie, which they do, but the absurdity of their pairing. You got Goldberg, the insecure, sarcastic, smug hipster and Denzel, the uber-confident, smooth everyman. Counterparts, counterparts…How bout Sam Cassell and courttime?

Mr. Zen meditating on ways to escape the Finals unscathed

Unaccountability Ribbon – To the coach that, like the film, may be the only piece of cinema immune from plot inconsistency criticism, Phil Jackson. This man is the most unaccountable for Lakers’ losses yet his genius is constantly used as reasoning for their success. If the Lakers lose, you know Kobe will take the brunt of the blame, yet Jackson will point to the Celtics’ superior team play to justify the loss, simultaneously covering his own ass and throwing his players under the bus.

Where have you been Paula? You made the shitpile of Deja Vu mildly watchable

Paula Patton Award for Infuriating Absence – Pretty easy award here, Mr. Eddie House. Sam Cassell may be truly fucked. Who does he think he is? How the hell has he ever gotten starters’ minutes in the NBA. The guy chucks like mad. I have no earthly idea why he gets so frustrated with his teammates either. He doesn’t pass. He doesn’t look to pass. He only shoots. Its shocking he even recognizes his fellow Celtics, let alone speaks to them. House then was the Paula Patton of last nite’s match. Like Patton, I too wonder when I will see him again (for completely different reasons however. I mean, look at her. Where the fucks she been?) Every 5-man unit House was a part of during the regular season was successful. The crowd loves him. His son watches every game from the bench. Give this man some minutes. Like Paula Patton, I miss the House.

Jim Caviezel Award for Biggest Turnaround – Very easy here, if only for the whole savior symmetry, Ray Allen. Unlike Caviezel, who went from playing JESUS to playing a bigoted terrorist whose motives for destruction are never quite revealed, Ray-Ray has had a positive turnaround during this postseason. I mean, guy put up a crazy game last nite. 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists. Nice line, Jesus Shuttlesworth.

Val Kilmer Award for Most Subdued Performance by a Known Lunatic – Where the hell was the Turiaf last nite? Like with Kilmer in Deja Vu, who I was waiting for to drunkenly reveal his appendix was turning back time, Turiaf’s intensity was never unleashed. He was a non-factor in the game and the Lakers are going to need something from him if they wish to win the series. In fact, the whole Lakers front-court was absolutely dominated on Thursday. KG and Perks worked the post at will. I’ve never seen KG’s post game look so dominant.

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Filed under Basketball, Boston Celtics, Denzel Washington, Eddie House, Glen Davis, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, NBA, Ronny Turiaf, Sam Cassell, Uncategorized, Val Kilmer

Chris Bosh on Jay Leno?!?!

Just finished watching Game 1 of the Finals, cruising the airwaves for some pre-sleep entertainment and I fell upon Jay Leno. Couldn’t believe who was on. Non other than the Toronto Raptors Chris Bosh. What the fuck you say? I felt the same way. But you know what? Bosh was fucking great. Actually legitmately, truly funny. I was shocked. Sure the guy had produced some low budget pseudo-comical skits in the past but tonite Bosh was showing off the chops. I guess Leno hired the Raptors franchise to provide some comedic Q & A from the Finals participants and Bosh killed it. He was throwing out some hilarious original questions, busting guys about short shorts, Sex and the City, and random skullets. Few of my favorites: Bosh asking Big Baby what Sex and the City character best represents him and getting a sincere answer that bordered on creepy. Getting ruined by the Mamba with a mean neck slap but getting back at him later in the piece with some Old Spice chirping. Another sweet bit featured some questioning of the Machine, Sasha Vujacic and whether or not Paris Hilton gave him the nickname. Some good ol’ wholesome entertainment. 

Though this is undoubtedly great for the present Raptors’ situation, this kind of exposure has me concerned. It was probably the first time millions of Americans were introduced to Bosh and he killed it. Would a budding national figure spend his prime in Canada, removed from mainstream American media? Who knows but like LBJ’s relationship with Jay-Z, Chris Bosh’s relationship with Jay Leno has me worried. My advice to Colangelo, lock this man up immediately. I don’t care if his extension just kicked in, I want to be in the Chris Bosh business. If tonite’s performance is any indication of what he is capable of in off-court promotion, the next decade could be the Raptors golden era.

Another thing, when Bosh was interviewing Kobe, the Leno crowd went crazy. It’s incredible how much they love him out there. Considering his “hobbies” and all.

I don’t have a link to the video since it just aired but it will probably be available on the NBC website or Red Lasso tomorrow. I implore ya to check it out. Bosh does not disappoint. Above is some classic Bosh comedy to whet the appetite.

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Filed under Basketball, canada, Chris Bosh, Glen Davis, Jay Leno, Kobe Bryant, NBA, Toronto Raptors

Nice Call Pop

While the truthers of the world are screaming foul today, the real culprits ain’t last nite’s crew but Mr. Pop and his band of Foreigners. Your drawing up a play for the Barry? Come on. While going with the hot hand is kosher in the regular season, doing so in the Playoffs seems kind of counterproductive. Mr. Pop, didn’t you benefit greatly from Pargo’s lunacy in last round’s Game 7? How’d that work out for Byron Scott? Plus, the last important playoff game decided by last-second free throws occured in 2006 (it was either D-Wade or Dirk who knocked em down)

I thought all anti-social coaching heroes were history buffs? I guess Pop doesn’t have any time to spare between his coaching responsibilities and covertly pimping the benefits of ProActiv Solution.

Even more unexplainable was Manu’s complete indifference to the non-call. While Barry was in the midst of the classic Spurs’ protest, Manu seemed more interested in post-game plans (possibly a viewing of Baby Mama? A lil’ Alamo desecration? Who knows?) Wheres the support Manu? I guess the WASP gets no love in the Spurs’ locker room.

Whatever. Who gives a shit. Gimme some Cs-Lakers.

Video via Deadspin

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Filed under Brent Barry, Los Angeles Lakers, Manu Ginobili, NBA, San Antonio Spurs