Monday, March 29, 2010

The List of All NBA Teams' Punchline Names

This is a just for fun post

But maybe you remember a time when you got into a flame war on a message board or a youtube video and couldn't come up with a punchline name for a team you hated on. Well here's a list of every team and their current (and just now made up by me- if you have a better one, let me hear it!) nick names to make fun of said team. Have fun and stay safe out there.

Los Angeles Lakers - Los Angeles Fakers
Boston Celtics - Boston ticks or Celdicks
Milwaukee Bucks - Milwaukee Sucks
New JerseyNets - New Jersey Nyets - as of 2009 and new Russian owner
Toronto Raptors - Toronto Craptors
Chicago Bulls - Chicago Bullshits
Indiana Pacers - Indiana Pacemakers
Orlando Magic - Orlando Tragic
Washington Wizards - Washington Whizzers, Washington Generals
Sacramento Kings - Sacramento Queens (I believe Shaq came up with this)
New York Knicks - New York Bricks, the Knickerfockers
Philadelphia 76ers - Philadelphia Seventy Sucksers
Cleveland Cavaliers - Cleveland Crabaliers/Traveliers (Lebron's crab walk)
Detroit Pistons - Detroit Pissed-ons
Atlanta Hawks - Atlanta Chicken Pox
Miami Heat - Miami Shit (stretch that I to and E)
Houston Rockets - Houston Rockshits
Memphis Grizzlies - Memphis Sissies
San Antonio Spurs - San Antonio Turds
Denver Nuggets - Denver Thuggets (via Mark Cuban)
Oklahoma Thunder - Oklahoma Blunder, Super Stolens (Via KneeJerkNba)
Portland TrailBlazers - Portland JailBlazers, Treeblazers
Utah Jazz - Utah Spazz
Los Angeles Clippers - Los Angeles Paperclips
Dallas Mavericks - Dallas Mavpricks, Mavwrecks (Via DDC much more clever)
Phoenix Suns - Phoenix Run n Guns
Charlotte Bobcats - Charlotte BobCraps
New Orleans Hornets - New Orleans Whorenets
Minnesota Timberwolves - Minnesota Timberblows
Golden State Warriors - Golden State Whore-eors

P.S. Regarding the Lakers nickname of the Fakers, what does that even mean? Did they win fake championships 2000-2002 and 2009. Did they make it to 30 fake finals? Or is it just me?

The best ones are the Sacramento Queens, Cleveland Crabaliers, and the Portland Treeblazers

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who says the Lakers can't play in this summer's free agency!?

(Photo from LA Times)
The Lakers have 3 point guards: Derek Fisher, Jordan Farmar, and Shannon Brown. Derek fisher is a free agent this summer. Jordan Farmar will be a restricted free agent, and Shannon Brown can opt out of his contract and look for work elsewhere, or sign a bigger contract. The rest of the team is pretty much set in stone barring any trade, injury, or Kobe not singing an extension (and playing in Italy!? No). But the Lakers have some questions about their PG future.

Question 1 Do they bring Fisher back at a fraction of his current $5 million a year for a couple more years?
Pros: He's a Laker veteran who knows what to do in Phil Jackson's triangle offense. He can hit clutch 3 pointers.
Cons: He's a liability on defense and his offense isn't that great this season either.
If I'm the Lakers: I don't think so. At least not as a starter. Fisher's been exposed his whole career on the defensive end but this season in particular, he's been getting beat very easily by other PGs. Plus, his offensive number have taken a hit as well.

Question 2: If he doesn't opt out of his contract (which he probably will, can't really bank on $2 million for one year and that's it... for an NBA player), Do the Lakers give the reigns to Shannon Brown?
Pros: He's a high flying dunk act but has been working on his jump shot and can hit a 3 pointer if given enough space. He's a good defender and is big (6'4" 210 lbs) and won't get posted up easily.
Cons: He still seems like a raw talent guy even though he's been in the league since 2006 (drafted 1 pick before Farmar, in fact).
If I'm the Lakers: Not the reigns. I'd keep him on the bench if I can't find a better starting PG. He's a scorer, not a distributor and in the triangle offense, he makes some bad decisions by taking off balance shots without first passing to Pau or Bynum in the post. First thing that comes to mind in comparisons is JR Smith-ish in that he's gonna shoot the ball.

Question 3: Do they give the reigns to the team to 2006 draft pick Jordan Farmar?
Pros: he's a push the ball up the court kinda guard, can create his own shot, and makes nice passes. He's been with the team for 4 years and knows the offense. He can keep up with the league's better PGs (compared to Fisher).
Cons: He's only started 2 games his entire career, both at the end of his rookie season. He's pretty small (6'2" 180 lbs).
If I'm the Lakers: This might be the best scenario. Jordan's got a good combination of speed and basketball IQ and looks to pass first as opposed to Shannon Brown who's more of a scorer/slasher. He's got a good shot including the 3 pointer.

Things to keep in mind:
  • The Lakers pay roll drops from $91 million to around $77 million next year, which is still over the salary cap.
  • The Lakers don't need an amazing PG who can drive and kick. This is a triangle offense team that needs their PGs to run a motion after the ball goes into the post. This is why Kobe and Lamar sometimes initiate the offense and the Lakers usually get the same result on their possession.
  • Fisher would still be a viable option if his defense wasn't getting worse each season. What they need is a PG who can keep up with Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Rajon Rondo.
  • When the Lakers DO do a drive and kick kind of play, they have Kobe and Lamar (and Farmar) who can do that. Also, they run a mean pick n roll with Kobe and Pau as seen in last year's finals against the magic. You know, when they won the championship?
  • Somewhat related: The Lakers have to make a not so dire decision on DJ Mbenga and Josh Powell (both getting less than $1 million this year).
  • If those two don't return, they'll need to sign some bench players as Adam Morrison is for sure not coming back. Los Angeles may have to replace DJ, Powell, Morrison, the 3 PGs discussed above. But anyway...
Ideally, the Lakers would've gotten Kirk Hinrich in a another rip off type trade before the all star break (a deal was out there where the Lakers could have gotten him for Sasha and Morrison, wow.) So free agency moves aside, if the Lakers had to make a decision, there best move would be to start Farmar and have Shannon come off the bench.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Warriors are getting a new owner, what they really need is a new identity

(Photo from
Long story short, the Warriors are for sale. There is speculation that head coach, Don Nelson may be coaching his last few games this season and may not return next year. Unfortunately, I will not be purchasing the team just because of time constraints and the long commute.

But if I was the billionaire buying this team, number 1 on my to-do list is get rid of Don Nelson. Number 2 is hire some kind of psychic mind bending therapist to erase the run-n-gun, no defense, 3 pt shoot till you cant shoot no mo mindset instilled in the players' heads. Let's take a closer look.

Don Nelson started this gig at the start of the 06-07 season. The Warriors had just come off back to back 34-48 seasons under head coach Mike Montgomery. The Baron Davis trade was not getting the Warriors any closer to the playoffs, or so it seemed. Then Don Nelson played Monta Ellis, played to the teams strength which was shooting 3's and running fast breaks any chance they got, which got the Warriors to a 42-40 records and the 8th seed of the playoffs and knocked out the MVP Dirk Nowitzki lead number 1 seed Mavericks. Then they lost to the Jazz in the next round, but there was hope in the bay area.

Montgomery's 05-06 Warriors scored 98.5 points on 43.3% shooting and gave up 99.8 to opponents on 45.7. 625/1832 3pointers.
Nelson's 06-07 Warriors scored 106.5 points on 46.3% shooting and gave up 106.9 to opponents on 46.2%. 700/1966 3pointers.

He got more points on the board at a better percentage, but didn't do much on the defensive end. More possessions for both sides of the ball when you run fast breaks so that explains the boost in points on the board, but the FG% bump shows they didn't do much focusing on defense.

But hey, they go to the 2nd round of the playoffs! So let's try again in 07-08... Success! Only not so. Nelson kept the run n gun style and the Warriors record was a nice 48-34, only that year, you needed 50 wins to make the playoffs in the West as the Warriors were 2 games behind the 50 win Denver Nuggets for the 8th seed. :(

Nelson's 07-08 Warriors scored 111 points on 45.9% shooting and gave up 108.8 to opponents on 46.8%. 761/2185 3pointers.

Better luck next year - 08-09 season. They lost Baron Davis and Al Harrington and gained Jamal Crawford and Corey Maggette. They went 29-53 and did not make the playoffs.
Nelson's 08-09 Warriors scored 108.6 points on 45.8% shooting and gave up 112.3 to opponents on 46.8%. 550/1475 3pointers.

Which brings us to this season. With rookie Stephen Curry, one of their few non bust draft pick in awhile (along with Anthony Randolph-jury still out, and Monta Ellis-2nd round pot of gold, compared to Ike Diogu, Marco Belinelli, and Patrick O'Bryant), paired up with Monta Ellis in the backcourt, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson with ol reliable Andris Biedrins at Center. Except Stephen Jackson pouted and got a trade to the Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladamir Radmanovic (both injured). The Warriors stand at 19-51.

Now they're looking for a new owner. I only hope the new owner sees this as a grand opportunity to make some changes. For the past few years they've signed and drafted guards and SG/SFs just to fit into their style of play. This has not worked. It's time for a change. Get rid of Nelson and get some half court offensive plays and focus on defensive stances and rotations. This team is not a championship contender. Gosh, it's barely a playoff contender or even a regular season contender!
  • Centers torch this team and it doesn't seem like Biedrins or Turiaf are going to be the big men to stop the league's top centers and power forwards. That's not to say they should draft or sign another Adonal Foyle type player. More like a Carlos Boozer type.
  • Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis are both 6-3 having to guard SGs who have 3-4 inches on both of them. I hate to say it but they might have to get rid of one of these guys via trade and get a true SG or a big man.
  • They need to draft another talented player like they did with Curry and not pull another Patrick O'Bryant type. This year they're gonna be guaranteed picks 1-6 (so far) and this year's lotto, based on what I've seen in March Madness, is gonna be pretty good and have some decent big men (Favors, Cousins, Monroe, Patterson). I'll laugh though if they get the #1 pick, draft John Wall and somehow start him with Curry and Monta-- No! new owner, new coach, let's not repeat this small ball lineup.
Honestly, they need to take a page out of the Clippers' playbook and fire their coach, start fresh next season, cuz it just ain't working the way it is now. #1 on the to do list, get rid of Nelson.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I feel sorry for these NBA players

Going through my old Slam Magazines just to see how far off their predictions are (any article they ever write are about how great a player is going to be and how they are always working to improve their game etc. They went as far to call Qyntel Woods the 2003 rookie of the year before the 2002 draft, I know... WHO?!) and came across a couple players whom I just can't help but feel sorry for (salaries aside) now that I know how their careers have ended up/are playing out right now. I once heard Ray Lewis say in a radio interview, "If hindsight were truly 20/20, we'd all be millionaires." Doesn't make 100% sense but you get what he's trying to say.

So I bring to you these four players who I just can't help but feel sorry for from the era of 2000 to the present.

Mike Miller

(Photo from
Drafted 5th overall by the Orlando Magic in 2000. The year before, the Magic were 41-41 and didn't make the playoffs. This is the year the Magic brought TMac and Grant Hill in to redefine the franchise. But you already know that Grant Hill gets hurt and is never the same. But that doesn't stop Mike Miller from playing all 82 games his first year and winning rookie of the year averaging 12/4/2 shooting almost two 3 pointers a game at 40%. Here's a sweet vid of Miller hitting his three's.

And that's what he's best known for; his 3 point shooting. Career average of 1.8 3's a game at 40.4%, was a candidate for the redeem team in the 2008 Olympics to help spread the floor (they went with Michael Redd), made 202 three pointers in the 2006-07 season (rank 3rd)... But he's so much more than a 3 point shooter. He can run point guard, he can run the floor, he can start, he can come off the bench (2006 sixth man of the year). But the teams he was on, simply put, sucked. In Orlando for his first three years and they made the playoffs all three years but didn't get out of the first round. Just couldn't get over the loss of Grant Hill.

In the middle of the 02-03 season, he was traded to Memphis. Another up and coming team with a young Pau Gasol, Shane Battier, Lorenzen Wright, and Jason Williams. Don't give Miller ALL the credit, but after he came, they made the playoffs the next three years... only they never got out of the first round. In FACT, they got swept all three years. To this day the Grizzlies have never won a playoff game since their inception in 1995.

After a dismal 2007-08 season with the Grizz (the year Pau went to the Lakers), he was traded to another bad team, the Minnesota Timberwolves. This team had Al Jefferson in his 2nd year as a Wolf and a rookie Kevin Love along with Rashad McCants, Randy Foye, and Craig Smith. This team won 24 games.

During the summer of 2009 (last summer), he was traded with Randy Foye to the Washington Wizards who were finally going to get Gilbert Arenas for a whole season, along with Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler. Everyone thought this was the dark horse team in the East. You know the rest: they still sucked, Gilbert brought the guns out, the Wizards decided to tank and Caron got traded for Josh Howard (now injured), Jamison got traded for nothing, and again, Mike Miller is left alone on a team of scrubs.

Where is the justice?! Well, there is some beauty in this breakdown. He's a Free Agent this summer. Hopefully a team picks him up and utilizes his abilities to better the team because this guy can PLAY.
Shaun Livingston

(Photo from ESPN)
Drafted 4th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2004, straight outta high school. One of the few to briefly hold the title of Clippers Savior. This guy is one of the tallest point guards out there at 6'7" (to put that in perspective, Kobe Bryant, the SG is 6'6"). But he is pretty darn skinny too at 185 lbs (again, in perspective, Kobe is 205 lbs and 2 inches shorter, and I'm 5'11" and 175 lbs, all muscle I swear!).

He didn't play much his rookie year. He had Marco Jaric playing in front of him. To make a short Clipper career short, he started 15 games out of 30 played his rookie year, 14 of 61 his second year, and 31 of 54 his third. Livingston was a good point guard who had a chance to be something special. He always looked to pass first, saw the court well (at 6'7" he could see over any other PG guarding him) and delivered crisp passes. But that third year was the year of the horrific knee injury (warning: horrific content). Right when he was being given the reigns to the Clipper offense, his career was possibly over as his ACL tore clear off and was out for the rest of the season after surgery. And he didn't quite recover fully and lost his explosiveness.
He missed the rest of the 06-07 season and all of the 07-08 season after the Clippers waived him. Miami gave him a chance but traded him after 4 games to the Thunder, where he got 8 games in 08/09 and 10 games this year. He was waived and signed later on by the Wizards where he's started the last 2 games. His best game since the injury was 3 games ago, a loss vs. Orlando where he scored 18 points and dished 8 assists in 30 minutes.

He's got a chance, but if it weren't for that knee injury, he'd probably be starting for a team that was going somewhere (not necessarily the Clippers) having a nice stat line on a nightly basis. Instead, I'm watching his box scores, hoping he's getting playing time and puts up decent numbers. He's on a 2nd 10 day contract so if things don't work out, he'll just have to try again for another team.

Tim Duncan

(Photo from YouGotDunkedOn)
I know, how can you feel sorry for a 4 time champion, 3 time finals MVP (and stats aside, he was MVP of the 2007 Finals, not Tony Parker), 2 times regular season MVP, and perennial all star? Because even with those accomplishments, people outside of San Antonio just don't care. Those accomplishments are better than Shaq's and Kobe's. But the gripe against Duncan is that he's boring. Mr. Fundamental is too fundamental and doesn't have the personality that hits headlines outside of the Sports Page. I'll admit, I was snoozing during the Detroit-Spurs finals in 2005.

Going back to my Slam Magazines, Adidas had an ad on the back cover of each magazine for about a year featuring their Adidas team of TMac, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan. The website was (21 for KG, 1 for TMac, 21 for Duncan). And of course no one ever bought the Duncans. But TMac was always selling shoes despite never making it out of the first round of the playoffs, no MVPs, but hey, he did flashy dunks and could cross people over, and that's what sells.

So in short, Tim Duncan, one of the greatest players of all time and best power forward of all time doesn't quite get the recognition that a "of all time" player should.

Kevin Garnett

(Photo from Derok)
Again, how can I feel sorry for one of the highest paid players ever, who won a championship two years ago? Well I don't really, mainly because Kevin Garnett is one of the players I hate the most, even before he helped beat the crap out of the Lakers two years ago, but I do feel sorry for him. Why? Because it could have been so much more for Garnett, except his years in Minnesota had gone to waste. His management screwed him over.

Most recently? Trading Brandon Roy for Randy Foye, but before that, around the year 2000, they were involved in a salary cap scandal, promising Joe Smith a multi million dollar deal in the future if he signed for less at that moment. Well the league found out and punished the Wolves by taking away their next FIVE FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS (2001, 2002, 2004) (2 picks were later returned). Granted, they made the playoffs before each of those drafts so they wouldn't have been lottery picks, but you build your team with a draft and can trade for players with draft picks, and yet KG still played his heart out and even won MVP in 2004. But it could have been more.

But hey, he still won a championship with the Celtics as a main ingredient in their big three, but it's something more special when you turn a whole franchise around to a championship, something that could have happened had management not tried to be so sketch.

Coming soon: My "I don't feel sorry for these NBA players" post.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I Understand Allen Iverson's Choices

Iverson's family life
[Photo from Dead Spin]
Over the past couple of weeks (not so much recently, though), there's been a lot of talk about Allen Iverson, his daughter being sick, his divorce, his gambling debts, etc. His latest twitter tweets from March 8th:
To my fans: You all know that my life isn't perfect. I am going through some very tough times right now, like I am sure that we all do
from time to time. However, I will stand tall like always with "rhino" thick skin. Even though I have become used to hearing people say
things about me that aren't true, it still hurts. I encourage you to continue your ongoing support and I want you to trust that this is
another obstacle in my life that, with God's help I will overcome. God Bless You All.
Writers and fans have predicted that this could be the end of Iverson's basketball career since he
took a leave of absence a little before the All Star break from the 76ers to be with his sick daughter. Ish hit the fan with all his other problems coming to light. He's been in the news more than he's been in the box scores for games these past few weeks. But bringing this back to basketball, people talk about how he'll be a guy who never won a ring and should have come off the bench for a championship contending team. Not just people; sports analysts, general managers, owners, commentators, coaches, fans; everyone.

Put yourself in Iverson's position. Put yourself in his kind of position with something you can relate to. Let's say you're in college and you're working part time at an office job. You're going through your classes and you're struggling with your major. Your coworkers start discussing amongst themselves what YOU should be doing in school. What classes you should be taking, whether or not you should switch your major, how you should be reworking your hours at work. How annoyed would you be? Your coworkers don't know what's best for you. They don't know your what's going on in your life, what's going on in school, circumstances beyond your and their control. And whether or not they're right or wrong, you don't want to have someone else making decisions for you.

Back to Iverson. Sports writers, bloggers, fans... they don't know Iverson's whole story. Sports writers write what they think about Iverson. But Iverson knows Iverson and whether or not the sports writers are correct, do you really think Iverson would concede and say, "You know what, you're right. I'll come off the bench for a championship contending team and win a ring before my career is over. Thanks Sports Illustrated, LA Times, NY Times, and every blogger and twitterer, you've guided me to the right path"? Yeah, me neither.

So while everyone hates on Iverson's decisions and pride and think that they know what's best for him, I understand Iverson's stance. He was the #1 draft pick and has been considered a top player during the earlier part of the decade. He doesn't wanna go out like other 1996 draft class dropouts. Stephon Marbury tried to go along for the ride for a ring in Boston. Antoine Walker went along for a ride for a ring in Miami. Iverson is a lot better than those guys, plain and simple. Even with Walker's ring, Iverson's career is more impressive. [Side note: 1996 draft is my favorite draft class of all time and I wish Marcus Camby had been an all star at least once in his career but alas...]

So while Iverson deals with his personal problems and family issues and maybe later on, his basketball future, no one's opinion is going to matter except his own. While people may think they know better, right or wrong, Iverson's going to do what Iverson wants to do. And that's something I can understand and respect.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tweets From The Past Two Weeks

Just in case you're interested in what our NBA players are up to but don't want to be a twitterer. Here you go!

Dnt y'all hate when people close to u lie? I knw I do #wordaapp but it's life so forgive them #wordaapp (Nate Robinson) [Nate's fortune cookie tweet]

Night people!!! Watching the old school Family Matters...I love Steve's pants! i may do that one day to the game!? (DeAndre Jordan) [I hope I'm at that game]

SHUTTER ISLAND. Womp womp enough said... (Dwyane Wade) [I don't care, I'm still going to see it]

Im off this twitter thing for a while..some of yall say sum of the most ignorant, hateful ill holla (Kevin Durant) [cyber bullying?]

going into surgery today on my thumb, will be out for a min but when I return it is on, win da ring for da king! Luv my team, Cavs baby! (Shaq) [let's hope he's right]

This aint the same Jerry Springer show I used to watch with my Grandpa! Smh its crazy now (Rudy Gay) [Ah family memories]

Man we had that game! We played well tho. Despite the loss it was a gr8 way to start the roadtrip. On the way to Orlando now. Back to back! (Stephen Curry) [well I guess that's how the Golden State Warriors measure success]

My baby pic Goodnight folks Ps My son asked my wife was that him:) (Ron Artest) - [Really funny young pic of Ron]

Man I'm soo bored tha mall was weak I'm chillin in my room watch celeb rehab sheeesh I feel bad for these people (Austin Daye) - [hahahhaha]

Just saw like 50 cop cars!!! On the 405, what's going on?! (DeAndre Jordan) [DEANDRE! GET OFF TWITTER WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING]

Friday, March 5, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Inside the convo between Clippers season ticket holders and head coach Kim Hughes and Team President Andy Roeser

Crap, I gotta talk to the season ticket holders after this loss?
(Photo from LA Times)
As you may or may not know, I am lucky enough to have season tickets to the Clippers this season and March is known as MVP month where season ticket holders get all kinds of cool offers such as autograph sessions with the team, free jerseys, and what I went to on Friday night after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Coach's Chalk Talk, a Q n A with head coach Kim Hughes and team president Andy Roeser. TV color analyst Ralph Lawler was asking both of them PRE SELECTED questions from me and my fellow season ticket holders.

Now I know what you're thinking.

Pre selected questions?! I thought the same thing. I was expecting questions such as: who is your favorite Clipper? What was it like becoming a head coach? What do you work on in practice? And all the other BS you hear TV interviewers ask. But alas, this wasn't TV. The cameras were gone. President and head coach were faced with nothing but pissed off Clipper fans who have little to no reason to renew their season tickets. Here's a rundown of what happened.

A spokesman welcomes us with, "Hey, how's everyone doing?!" which was followed with moans and groans and sputtered applause. Spokesman responds to that by saying, "Yes, I know, it was a tough loss but better times are ahead, I promise." He proceeds to thank all of us for our support and introduces Ralph Lawler who also thanks us for all of our continued support but also shared with us in our frustration. He said something along the lines of, [paraphrase quote] "We have to wait for results and if you're not sick of hearing that, well then you're probably not a Clipper fan" [end paraphrase quote].

He proceeds to ask Kim Hughes those pre selected questions, here are those highlights:

Question: People see you as a defensive coach, what exactly does that mean?
Answer paraphrased: Yes I'm a defensive coach. I believe that defensive rebounds are key to winning games. The offense will come. These guys know how to score. But defense is key. [My thoughts - well get at least some offensive game! Current offense = if we don't score a fast break, feed Kaman in the post and everyone stand at the 3 point line in case they double team him.]

Question: What are three goals for this summer?
Answer paraphrased: To find a leader. Kaman is a good player but he's not a leader, he's too quiet. [My thoughts - excellent point. Plus no one seems to respond to Davis, and Eric Gordon is a little too young to be a leader.] He also said he wants Eric Gordon to work on his dribbling, specifically dribbling with his left hand.

Question: How do you motivate your players?
Answer paraphrased: You can't. You can only control playing time. [My thoughts - another excellent point. He elaborated more on this answer in a very well thought out response, but the main point of it was that these guys get paid millions of dollars, you can't really motivate them beyond that. All you can do is control their playing time. If they don't do what he (Hughes) asks (get defensive boards), they get benched].

Question: Is the team opposed to trading Baron Davis? (Followed by a surprising amount of clapping and cheer in favor of trading Baron)
Answer paraphrased: We're building this team around Blake Griffin and Eric Gordon. Anyone can be traded, this is a business. [Read between those baselines].

These next questions were for team president, Andy Roeser.

Question: What are your plans with Travis Outlaw?
Answer: The team's left for the plane right? Look, we made moves before the deadline and it all depends on what we do over the summer. If we get a big name, we'll have less money to spend on role players. If we don't get a big name, we'll have more money to retain some of our FAs that we want to keep. [My thoughts - hey, he's keepin it real. I hope they do get a big name and don't go out of their way to overpay guys like Outlaw and Craig Smith].

Question: Why should we renew our season tickets?
Answer paraphrased: Building memories are important and that a lot of memories will come from Staples Center. This team is going to turn it around. We're in a good position with regards to cap space and draft position. This team will be good etc. [My thoughts - I think I might get a portion season tickets next season].

Question: What's more important, operating income or winning?
Answer: Winning. [My thoughts, as well as many people around me - HA!]

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why Send Thabeet to the D-League? So we don't have a blog called FreeHasheem

(Photo from Yahoo)
Here's an update about Hasheem in the D-League by Marc J. Spears. From the article:

People in the NBA are “definitely looking at it negatively,” Thabeet said. “ ‘He’s the No. 2 pick. He’s not supposed to be there. I can’t believe that guy is over there and he’s the second pick.’ But you got to go and work your way up there. I’m working my way up here, working on my confidence. “When the time comes, I’ll be able to answer the call.”

Take that however you want it, but I believe it. He's not getting playing time in Memphis and the Grizzlies are fighting for a playoff spot, so putting Hasheem in game action in the NBA to learn on the fly isn't quite an option at this point in the season.

I'll repeat that.

Putting Hasheem in game action in the NBA to learn on the fly isn't quite an option... at this point in the season.

People seem to think this automatically means that Hasheem Thabeet is a BUST and that the Memphis Grizzlies are dummies who should have picked Tyreke Evans or James Harden or ANYONE ELSE not named Blake Griffin. But for reasons already stated, hey it's just not happening AT THIS POINT IN THE SEASON. I keep saying that. Because people think that going to the D-League means you are in the D-League forever. False. Your team can call you up whenever they want you back, which for the Grizzlies is if they fall out of contention for the playoffs!

Let's look at some other players who after being drafted, were assigned to the D-League:

Jose Barea, January 17, 2007 (Wiki) - After appearing in only 12 games getting less than 5 minutes, the Dallas Mavericks sent their undrafted rookie to the D-League, called him back two weeks later. He still didn't get a lot of playing time, but he did get more, appearing in 21 games for the second half of the season. He now averages 20 minutes a game for a playoff bound Mavericks team. Again, undrafted. D-League success.

Aaron Brooks, December 6, 2007 ( - After appearing in 2 games, getting 3 minutes in one and 30 seconds in the other, the Houston Rockets sent their 1st round 26th draft pick to the D-League, called him back a week later, and proceeded to play in every game for the next two and a half months. He had a bell curve going from 5 minutes to 10 to 20 at the top in the middle of January, and then back to around 5 minutes at the start of March. He now averages 36 minutes and 20 points as a starting PG for the Rockets. D-League success.

Jordan Farmar, March 31st, 2007 ( - After getting sporadic play behind... Smush Parker, the Lakers sent Farmar to the D-League to get some game action. After his first D-League game, the Lakers called him back to the team, that day to play against the Kings. His second season, he played in all 82 games and averaged 9 points and 3 assists playing behind Derek Fisher. Now he's struggling on the bench not getting the bulk of back up PG minutes with Shannon Brown but he's still averaging 18 minutes. He also won a championship! I'd call this a D-League success. He's probably going to be the next starting PG for the Lakers.

Marcin Gortat, November 20, 2007 ( - The 2nd round draft pick hadn't played in a single game. The Magic sent him to the D-League and didn't call him back until March. He still hardly played. The next season, he doubled his minutes to 12 per and was made famous in the playoffs and Finals against the Lakers. So much so that Dallas offered him the mid level exception to play significant minutes for the Mavericks who needed a big man behind (or even to start in place of) Erick Dampier! The Magic matched which was so idiotic (but I won't go into that again, see my previous posts: Orlando Offseason, Gortat Update). He can play, it's just the Magic only play him 12 minutes. I label this a D-League success.

I could delve into more draftees/rookies being sent from their team to the D-League and getting better (Brandon Bass, Ramon Sessions, Martell Webster). I could delve into D-League success stories where players started out in the D-League and got signed to NBA teams (Rafer ALston, Chris Andersen, Matt Barnes, Jamario Moon, Mikki Moore, Von Wafer). But my main point is that the D in D-League stand for development, not dog house, not dunce, not dumbass draft choice, but development. Of course we'd like to see Memphis play Thabeet but they have a chance at making the playoffs and he's not there yet. Sending him to the D-League gets him solid game action and playing time. He will NOT be another infamous #2 draft pick, such as Darko Milicic.

My tangent - Darko Milicic

(Photo from NY Times)
Why didn't Detroit send Darko to the D-League? Granted there were no D-League teams near Michigan at the time (Wiki), he seriously could have used the playing time. His rookie season he averaged 1.4/1.3/.2, 4:40 minutes in 34 games for the playoff bound (eventual champions) Detroit Pistons. Doesn't this sound familiar? Why would Larry Brown give him decent minutes to a young PF/C for a team trying to get into the playoffs and win a championship? Why would Marc Lavaroni Lionel Hollins give decent minutes to young C Thabeet, for a team trying to make the playoffs. Compare the numbers: Thabeet this season - 2.5/2.9/.1, 10 minutes in 50 games. Better than what Darko was putting up.

The D-League would have kept Darko in game shape and he would have gained valuable in game experience, which is exactly what Hasheem will get. Hasheem shouldn't be ashamed of going to the D-League. He should be thanking the Grizzlies for a chance at some real playing time. If he didn't go to the D-League, he'd still be laughing stock of sports writers and in 3 years, he'd be the next Darko. There is no blog called FreeHasheem and if Hasheem takes the D-League seriously, which it sounds like he is, there won't be need for one. He said “When the time comes, I’ll be able to answer the call." I believe him.

Read Between the Baselines, come on now.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Why NBA Superstars Change Numbers Without Changing Teams

(Photo from Zimbio)
Well, isn't this already old news! I started writing this last night and got tired hoping to finish it today only to be outdone by Yahoo Sports, drats! But maybe I can provide some more insight with a little history thrown in. Anyway...

LeBron James is changing his number from Le23 to Le6 to honor Michael Jordan (who never played for the Cavs and had one of his many famous shots AGAINST the Cavs that sent the Cavs home out of the playoffs).


LeBron James's 23 was because of Jordan in the first place ( Changing his number isn't honoring Jordan. Picking his number was. And as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo mentioned, LeBron calling out the league to change their 23 jerseys is so... (insert vocab word for "are you fucking kidding me?") Mr. Holier Than Thou wants to "honor" the greatest ever and wants everyone to change their 23's so it masks what he's really doing; getting paid.

Let's look at some jersey sales:

This year (through Jan 2010):
1) Kobe Bryant
2) LeBron James
3) Dwight Howard
4) Derrick Rose
5) Dwyane Wade
6) Kevin Garnett
7) Chris Paul
8) Paul Pierce
9) Shaquille O'Neal
10) Pau Gasol
11) Carmelo Anthony
12) Steve Nash
13) David Lee
14) Allen Iverson
15) Kevin Durant
Inside Hoops

1. Kobe Bryant (Lakers)
2. LeBron James (Cavaliers)
3. Chris Paul (Hornets)
4. Kevin Garnett (Celtics)
5. Allen Iverson (Pistons)
6. Dwyane Wade (Heat)
7. Paul Pierce (Celtics)
8. Nate Robinson (Knicks)
9. Pau Gasol (Lakers)
10. Dwight Howard (Magic)
11. Derrick Rose (Bulls)
12. Ray Allen (Celtics)
13. Steve Nash (Suns)
14. Shaquille O'Neal (Suns)
15. Carmelo Anthony (Nuggets)

1. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics
2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
3. LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Allen Iverson, Denver Nuggets
5. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets
6. Steve Nash, Phoenix Suns
7. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat
8. Shaquille O’Neal, Phoenix Suns
9. Carmelo Anthony, Denver Nuggets
10. Gilbert Arenas, Washington Wizards
11. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks
12. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic
13. Tracy McGrady, Houston Rockets
14. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics
15. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers
Denver Post

1. Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers
2. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
3. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers
4. Allen Iverson – Denver Nuggets
5. Steve Nash – Phoenix Suns
6. Carmelo Anthony – Denver Nuggets
7. Stephon Marbury – New York Knicks
8. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
9. Gilbert Arenas – Washington Wizards
10. Vince Carter – New Jersey Nets
11. Tracy McGrady – Houston Rockets
12. Shaquille O’Neal – Miami Heat
13. Paul Pierce – Boston Celtics
14. Ben Wallace – Chicago Bulls
15. Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs

1. Dwyane Wade
2. LeBron James
3. Allen Iverson
4. Kobe Bryant
5. Stephon Marbury
6. Shaquille O'Neal
7. Tracy McGrady
8. Carmelo Anthony
9. Vince Carter
10. Ben Wallace

1) Dwyane Wade (Miami Heat)
2) Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers)
3) LeBron James (Cleveland Cavaliers)
4) Stephon Marbury (New York Knicks)
5) Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers)
6) Shaquille O'Neal (Miami Heat)
7) Tracy McGrady (Houston Rockets)
8) Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets)
9) Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
10) Vince Carter (New Jersey Nets)
11) Ben Wallace (Detroit Pistons)
12) Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns)
13) Jermaine O'Neal (Indiana Pacers)
14) Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)
15) Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks)
16) Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns)
17) Manu Ginobili (San Antonio Spurs)
18) Kevin Garnett (Minnesota Timberwolves)

Inside Hoops

1. LeBron James
2. Carmelo Anthony
3. Tracy McGrady
4. Allen Iverson
5. Kobe Bryant
6. Jason Kidd
7. Shaquille O’Neal
8. Paul Pierce
9. Allan Houston
10. Tim Duncan
11. Vince Carter
12. Kevin Garnett

Inside Hoops

Let's look at the other superstar that changed his number without changing teams:

Kobe Bryant
His per year sales rank:
2003-2004 - 7th
2004-2005 - 5th
2005-2006 - 4th
(Summer of 06, changed from 8 to 24)
2006-2007 - 1st
2007-2008 - 2nd
2008-2009 - 1st
2009-2010 - 1st (so far)

Changed numbers, went from 4-7 range to 1-2 range. And it's not like the Lakers did anything significant after 05-06. They got bounced in the first round by the Suns. And you know what? The same thing happened the very next year and he still had the most jersey sales. Why would he stay at the top of the jersey sales if people already have his number 8 jersey? Change the jersey number, double your jersey sales. But what if you don't change your jersey number? How else can you get jersey sales? Well you could change teams ala

Kevin Garnett

His per year sales rank:
2003-2004 - 12th
2004-2005 -18th
2005-2006 - not in the top 10
2006-2007 - not in the top 15
2007-2008 - 1st (Went to Boston - also went from #21 to #5)
2008-2009 - 4th
2009-2010 - 6th

Well there you go. Even after his MVP 2004 season, his sales took a hit. People already had KG jerseys. All they have to do is keep wearing it to show their support. But changing jerseys? Hey, fans have to update their wardobe, regardless of whether he kept #21 or not (KG changed numbers by default as his Minnesota #21 could not transfer because the Celtics have retired #21 for Bill Sharman.) The best example of the power of changing team jerseys is

Shaquille O'Neal

Per Year:
2003-2004 - 7th (Lakers)
Traded to Heat
2004-2005 -6th
2005-2006 - 6th
2006-2007 -12th
Traded to Suns
2007-2008 - 8th
2008-2009 - 14th
Traded to Cavs
2009-2010 - 9th

His rank always jumped when he changed teams, then filtered down. Went from 7th to 6th when he went to Miami, dropped to 12th. Went to the suns and 12 turned into 8th, but that dropped to 14th. Went to the Cavs and 14 jumped to 9th. Why... it's like one of those annoying roller coasters that never does a huge drop, just a bunch of hilly kinda drops. Like Colossus at Magic Mountain. So what does this look like for LeBron?

LeBron James

Per year:
2003-2004 - 1st
2004-2005 -3rd
2005-2006 -2nd
2006-2007 - 3rd
2007-2008 - 3rd
2008-2009 - 2nd
2009-2010 - 2nd

Even LeBron got to taste what it's like when something's new. As soon as he got an NBA jersey, he went to #1 and has hovered around the top since he entered the league. Now what we don't know is how much money these sales are generating, we just know the ranks. But I'm going to go ahead and guarantee that LeBron goes to the number 1 spot, and that everyone who bought his 23 Cleveland jersey goes out and buys his New York #6 jersey.

--UPDATE 3/3/10 3:21 --It turns out that in the NBA, a players TEAM gets all the jersey sales money and splits it among that team. So LeBron will see an increase in money, but not 100% of it will go to him. Varajao, Shaq, Jamison and the rest of the Cavs will see a piece of his jersey sales. I apologize for jumping to that conclusion. --

And that's honestly it. To LeBron, enjoy your many more millions (not even being sarcastic) but don't penalize Marcus Camby, Jason Richardson, and the other players who wear 23. You wore 23 and they have every right to wear it just like you have the right to wear #6. Superstars jerseys don't sell because they flame out, or people already have them. More jerseys = more jersey sales. It's simple. It's between the baselines.