Editor's note: Due to various turkey-related mishaps, I didn't make it through my email for this post. Sorry if I missed any nominations. I will try to update the post if I get the chance.
LeBron James: On Thursday, Charles Barkley said some things about King James that, frankly, a lot of people across the country (including yours truly) were already thinking. Said Sir Charles: "If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up. I'm a big LeBron fan. He's a stud. You gotta give him his props. I'm getting so annoyed he's talking about what he's going to do in two years. I think it's disrespectful to the game. I think it's disrespectful to the Cavaliers." Here, here, Chuck! I couldn't agree more.
LeBron, however, couldn't agree less. Said James: "He's stupid. That's all I've got to say about that." Well, SNAP, girlfriend! But although it was immature, don't think for a minute that LeBron's response wasn't coldly calculated. The "He's stupid" comeback just barely trumped a few other potential responses, which included but were not limited to "He's a big poopy head," "I'm rubber, Chuck's glue..." and "I agree with Charles. NOT!!"
The New York Knicks, Donnie Walsh, Starbury, etc.: The big news out of New York on Friday was Stephon Marbury's suspension for "refusing" to play against the Pistons on Wednesday. Jesus salsa-dancing Christ, Donnie, will you just cut him already and let this saga end. It's beyond ridiculous. I would have expected this dysfunction from Isiah, but not you.
The elevator in Chris Bosh's condominium: Bosh made it to Air Canada Centre with less than an hour before the Raptors' game against the Hawks, but at least he had a good excuse: He spent 50 minutes stuck in an elevator at his downtown condo. Bosh said the car stopped, trapping him and two strangers, just after he got on at the 28th floor. Of his brief time in captivity, Bosh said: "I sat and reflected on life and just chilled." How very Zen-like. Note that Bosh said he tried to force the door open, but totally failed. "I tried my superhuman strength but it wasn't opening."
Jermaine O'Neal: The Drain missed his second straight game with a left ankle injury. However, he said he expected to play Sunday against Lakers. As a Pacers fan with loads of experience with O'Neal, I officially listed him as "doubtful"...
The Philadelphia 76ers: If they're going to challenge Boston in the East, they might need to be able to finish within 20 points of the Celtics. On Friday night, they did not, losing 102-78. Said Andre Iguodala: "We've been in this situation before, having bad losses. When you have a loss like that, you can't pinpoint one person or one thing. You have to look at yourself as one whole group effort." Iggy, if you're trying to say that you guys sucked as a team...well, I guess you're right.
Ray Allen, unintentionally dirty quote machine: "I told [Rajon Rondo], 'I feed off you.'" Mmmm. Tastes like chicken.
The Golden State Warriors: Shooting less than 40 percent as a team is going to earn you a spot in Worst of the Weekend. And the Warriors did just that by shooting 39 percent against the Cavaliers. Special honors go to Stephen Jackson (2-for-11, 3 turnovers), Corey Maggette (3-for-11) and Jamal Crawford (6-for-14 and a game-high 5 turnovers). This has officially become the Bizarro World version of the Golden State team that made the playoffs and upset the Dallas Mavericks a couple seasons ago.
The Klahma City Thunder: Mike Miller hit the game-winner with 0.1 seconds left as the Timberwolves sent the Thunder to a franchise record-tying 14th straight loss. That's some historic suck, right there. Said Kevin Durant: "It's definitely frustrating when you lose at the buzzer. It doesn't matter if you're not on a win streak. Any team would hate to lose like this." Yeah. But especially when the phrase "franchise-worst losing streak" is appended to the loss, right Kevin?
The Phoenix Suns: The Suns faced the Heat without Steve Nash, who missed the game with a right thigh contusion. The result: 19 turnovers and a 15-point home loss. At times, the Phoenix players looked lost and confused. And when I say "at times" I really mean "for the full 48 minutes." Said Shaq: "We never really could get in the flow. In the first eight possessions, we had six turnovers. Once we get rid of our turnover problems on a consistent basis, we'll be all right. We've been very careless with the ball."
Goran Dragic: Even with Nash out, Dragic barely saw the light of day. He played only six minutes, finishing with zero points (0-for-2) and an assist. Somewhere Sarunas Jasikevicius is nodding his head and saying, "Yep, yep, I feel your pain, my Eastern European brother.
Shawn Marion: I'm not saying 10/9/6 is a horrible game, but it wasn't exactly a "See?! The Suns should have been willing to pay me $20 million a year and make me the number one guy in their offense!" performance, was it?
Allen Iverson: He skipped the team's Thanksgiving Day practice. Color me surprised. But on the bright side, he didn't call a press conference to complain about it. He actually apologized and managed to sound convincingly contrite. "I have no excuses. I apologize to my teammates, first and foremost, the coaching staff, the organization and definitely, our fans. It's something that shouldn't happen and it won't happen again."
Michael Curry: As punishment, he didn't put AI into the Pistons' Friday night game against the Bucks until the end of the first quarter. Oooooo. Way to get tough on him, Mike. Why not do something really extreme, like make him drink water instead of Gatorade during timeouts.
Andrew Bogut and Michael Redd: That's a lot of money sitting on the Milwaukee bench. I'm just sayin'.
The Indiana Pacers: Memo to the Pacers: If you want to make your fans love you again, falling behind by 14 points and then losing in overtime to the Charlotte Bobcats isn't going to make it happen. It was Indiana's third home loss by 7 points or less. Said Marquis Daniels: "We must put this behind us and string some (victories) together. This is no fun." Uh oh. Marquis isn't having fun. Somebody do something!
The Memphis Grizzles: It's always a bad day when your team shoots 55 percent and still loses by double-figures. Letting the Spurs shoot 56 percent might have had something to do with it.
Kevin McHale: Hey, Kev? Did you see O.J. Mayo's 32-point game against the Spurs? Just checking.
The Sacramento Kings' third quarter: Outscored 44-17 by the Carlos Boozer-less Jazz. Ouchies. Said Kings coach Reggie Theus: "Losing like that, you should be angry at somebody. That's just being a competitor. We've got to get our attitude right." That's a great idea, Reggie, but maybe you should start by having your guys get a hand in somebody's face and go from there.
The New Orleans Hornets: One Team of the Future met another in Portland, and it didn't end well for the Hornets...who lost by 15 and dropped to a disappointing 9-6. Said Chris Paul: "We are nowhere near where we need to be. We have a lot of work to do, mentally, physically...as a team. It's a long season but the only way that we're going to get in the playoffs is if we start winning games." I'm just going to assume Paul said this while giving the stink eye to Byron Scott.
Greg Oden: He scored 1 point (0-for-2 from the field and 1-for-4 from the line) in 24 minutes against the Hornets. It just feels strange watching such a mighty man struggle so mightily to score. It would be like watching the Incredible Hulk struggle to pick up a medium-sized piece of luggage.
Home cookin': During the Lakers 114-107 win over the Mavericks, L.A. recorded a mere eight fouls, the fewest by the franchise since it moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles for the 1960-61 season. The previous low was nine (which happened on March 28, 1973, at Golden State). The Mavericks became the second straight Lakers opponent that didn't attempt a free throw in the first quarter. I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
Erick Dampier: The line: 3 rebounds, a steal, a block and a foul in 23 minutes. The Amazing Disappearing Seven-footer!
Dirk Nowitzki, quote machine: "We need Josh Howard back. It's not rocket science." For Dirk, it's all about the simple answers.
Kobe Bryant: He asked to borrow a Kleenex from Jordan Farmar. But he wasn't "borrowing" anything. He used it and never gave it back.
The Washington Wizards: They followed up Tuesday's hope-lifting win over the Warriors by losing by 15 to the Magic on Thursday (at home) and then falling behind by 17 before rallying to lose by only four to the Hawks on Saturday (also at home). Huh. Maybe Eddie Jordan wasn't the problem after all.
But it gets better. Interim head coach Ed Tapscott had this to say about the almost-comeback: "So much energy trying to get back from (17 points down) that you're just fatigued at the end." That rationalization did not sit well with Antawn Jamison: "That's an excuse. We (were) in the game. We had the opportunity to win the game. We've been through this before." That was one seriously short honeymoon.
DeShawn Stevenson: From Alex D: "He missed two important free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining in the game trailing by 3 points. That is not the way to go if you want to win your third game if the season." Nope. Maybe he couldn't feel his face.
Dwight Howard, domination machine: He had a MAN-type double-double against the Pacers (32 points, 21 rebounds) and then gave us all some insight into his interior decorating decisions. "I have the word dominating written all over my house and I talk about it a lot before every game. I think about dominating the whole game." That's...great, Dwight. A little OCD, but great. I wonder if his need to "dominate the whole game" extends to timeout huddles. Does he drink more Gatorade than his teammates? Does he stare at Stan Van Gundy's clipboard twice as hard?
Rick Kamla: Via Dr. Hank Pym: "From Saturday's NBATV GameTime broadcast, Rick Kamla said before a commercial break 'Dwight Howard drops a load on Indiana, next!' Thanks for the wonderful mental image, Rick. Although, when I think of the Pacers' horrid defense in that game, a big smelly turd does come to mind."
Doc Rivers and the power of lowered-expectations: After his team pulled out a close win on Saturday, Doc said: "I loved what we did tonight. You could see we were on empty. There were a lot of jump shots hitting the front of the rim, but they just found a way so I'm really proud of them." I have no idea how Rivers could be THAT enthused about an 89-84 win over the Charlotte Bobcats, but if the victory was a living, breathing thing, Doc would probably still be humping it right now.
Paul Pierce: The Truth "starred" in the C's win over the 'Cats. But his final line was pretty dull: 19 points on 6-for-14 shooting, 2 rebounds, 1 assist. And for the record, Mr. Best Player In The World is shooting a career-worst 40 percent from the field right now.
Raymond Felton: Rough, rough game against the Celtics: 2-for-15 shooting and a weekend-high 6 turnovers. What, was he trying to throw the game or something?
Knicks versus Warriors (a.k.a. "The Night Defense Died"): The 138-125 shootout was everything I could have expected from two utterly defenseless teams. The Knicks set a Madison Square Garden records for most first-half points (82), Chris Duhon had a franchise-record for assists (22), and David Lee had career highs in points (37) and rebounds (21). It was the first 30-20 game in regulation for a member of the Knicks since Patrick Ewing had 36 points and 21 rebounds against Philadelphia on January 23, 1994. How bad was it? Well, at one point, Lee alley-ooped to himself on the fast break.
Jamal Crawford, quote machine: "They had 82 points at half, so that's a lot." Thanks for the newsflash, Jamal. Why, I bet you can't even fit a baseball cap over that huge, throbbing brain of yours.
Don Nelson, quote machine: "I think Duhon is the story tonight. Wow, what a player. Been watching him on film and seeing him on videos, but seeing him in person is another story. Guy's got the whole package. He looked like Steve Nash out there. Unbelievable performance." Wow. Nellie will say anything to detract attention from his team's woeful defensive performance, huh?
Memphis Grizzlies: The Griz let the Thunder, losers of 14 of the last 14 games, come into their house, shoot 57 percent from the field, and break the streak. I'm sorry, but the Thunder should never, under any conceivable circumstances, shoot 57 percent. Not alone in an empty gym full of Jordan Jammers should that happen. Never. No way. No how. Said Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni: "Obviously, it was a tough loss." Oh, well OBVIOUSLY.
Antoine Walker: From the AP recap game notes: "Veteran F Antoine Walker was in uniform for Memphis for the first game of the season. He did not play."
Kevin McHale: Hey, Kev. Did you see O.J. Mayo's 30-point, 7-rebound game? Just checking.
The San Antonio Spurs: They had held their last 11 opponents under 100 points. Then the Tracy McGrady-less Houston Rockets -- led by Luther "Wait, who's this guy again?" Head's 21 points (on 7-for-11 shooting) -- dropped 103 on them. Not sure what the Spurs' excuse is for the 19-point blowout. I mean, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are both back. Huh. Anyway, it's usually a pretty bad sign when Matt Bonner is your team's top performer.
Brent Barry: He received the only DNP-CD on the team. Ouch.
Yao Ming: As Brendan P. pointed out to me in an email, Yao had 1 rebound against the Spurs. Holy Buddha, Yao! You're 10 feet tall! You should be able to grab 3 or 4 rebounds by accident!
The Utah Jazz: A 17-point home loss...TO THE NETS?! New Jersey was up 59-51 at the half after going 22-for-39 in the first half. Said Jerry Sloan: "That's a cocktail for failure right away."
Mark Cuban: Hey, Mark. Did you see Devin Harris' 34-point game? Just checking.
The Cavs-Bucks brickfest: Mo Williams was 6-for-20. Boobie Gibson was 1-for-9. Wally Szczerbiak was 1-for-7. Ramon Sessions was 6-for-17. Michael Redd was 5-for-16. Charlie Villanueva was 2-for-8. Said LeBron: "The outside shot? It wasn't flowing tonight." Yeah. No kidding.
Mavericks versus Kings: If you watched this game, well, I'm sorry.
The Miami Heat: They lost to the Clippers. Wow. That's pretty sad. Although, to be fair, that might have had something to do with the...
Home cookin': The Clippers enjoyed a 35-11 advantage in freethrow attempts. Dwyane Wade went to the line once. And Udonis Haslem was befuddled by it all. "We were breaking to the basket. I don't even know why the whistle was blown."
Kobe Bryant: He flicked a booger into Luke Walton's locker.
The Detroit Pistons: The Allen Iverson trade continues to be a mixed bag for the Pistons, who lost by double digits at home for the second time in the past four games (the other loss being a 26-pointer against Minnesota). The previously defensive-minded Pistons let the Trail Blazers shoot 52 percent. Detroit, on the other hand, shot 43 percent. Allen Iverson finished with 9 points (2-for-9), 1 rebound and 3 assists.
The Philadelphia 76ers: The Bulls were finishing up a seven-game, 12-day road trip. Most teams in those circumstances get crushed. Only, last night, the Bullies did the crushing...holding the Sixers to 92 points on 43 percent shooting. The Sixers, losers of four in a row, are now 7-10 and haven't reached the century mark in eight games. Think the lack of success is hurting the home attendance? From the game notes: "The announced crowd was 13,561, but there were pockets of empty seats throughout the 20,000-plus seat arena."
Update! Andre Miller: Received an ego-ectomy courtesy of Dr. Derrick Rose. (Via Ball Don't Lie.)
Carmelo Anthony: 'Melo scored only 2 points (1-for-4) in 14 minutes. It was the first time he failed to score at least 10 points since November 28, 2005, ending his NBA-best streak of consecutive games in double figures at 222. But there were circumstances: A sore right elbow that's been bothering him since training camp. Said Anthony: "I couldn't even dribble the basketball. I tried to lift my son up after the game and I couldn't even do that." Uh oh.
Ron Artest: It wasn't just the 5-for-18 shooting. We've seen that before. (Ron's hitting 34 percent of his field goals this season, after all.) However, six of his shots were stuffed. SIX!! It's like he was trying to get his shot blocked. It's the highest "blocks against" number I've seen since Yahoo! started tracking it.
Yao Ming: Hmm. The Great Wall had two of his shots blocked, giving him three "blocks against" on the weekend. Maybe the Yao Watch isn't as dead as I thought...
Allen Iverson: The Nuggets are 11-3 since he was sent to Detroit. Uh huh.
The Phoenix Suns: Well, let's see. They scored 109 points on 55 percent shooting. Steve Nash returned from injury to give them 26 points (11-for-20) and 9 assists. Amare Stoudemire had a big double-double (25 points, 12 rebounds). But giving up 117 points -- including a career-high 47 for Devin Harris -- was a very bad thing. Particularly since they were leading by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter (during which they were outscored 43-24). A special note of thanks for the latest home collapse goes to...
Amare Stoudemire: Sun Tzu went and got himself tossed (with his second technical foul) for arguing with an official with 3:24 left. Phoenix was leading 100-98 at the time of the ejection, then got outscored 19-9 the rest of the way. Said Devin Harris: "He lost his cool. That was the key for us when he went out. He was killing us." Added Vince Carter: "Amare was playing off the charts. We tried to take advantage when he went out, and we did." Congrats, Amare. You were New Jersey's MVP last night.
Of course, even after the game, Stoudemire couldn't stop arguing. "The rule states that I'm allowed to react as long as I don't continue the verbal (assault) towards the official. It was a simple reaction and I got ejected for something like that. I've seen players do a lot worse and not even get a technical foul. It's tough to deal with." Wah.
Goran Dragic: He earned his fourth DNP-CD in five games. I guess it's time to start calling him "Goran Tragic," huh? Steve Nash played 38 minutes.
Lawrence Frank, quote machine: Think he was excited about watching his team end their 14-game losing streak in Phoenix? From the AP recap: "Fourteen years! Fourteen years!" he exclaimed. "That's it, this conversation is over. We haven't won here in 14 years!"
Mark Cuban: Hey, Mark. Did you see Devin...oh, never mind. Of course you did.
NBA.com: From Basketbawful reader Lintmunro: "Del Harris? He managed to score 47 in Phoenix while on the bench in Philly." What do you...oh, wait...
Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, quote machines: Mamba entered the game 38 points short of reaching the 22,000-point mark faster than any other player. Had he done it, he would have beaten Chamberlain to that total by one day, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It didn't happen, though. Kobe was content to score only 23 in yet another Laker victory.
"To be honest, I don't follow anything of that sort. I just go out there and do what I do. I don't care about that stuff. You guys got me all wrong. I just play. I play hard, and I play the same way all the time. I never concern myself with milestones or anything like that."
Hm. Phil Jackson doesn't quite agree. Before the game, he said: "Somebody put in the paper that Kobe needed 38 points tonight to be the youngest player to ever reach that particular thing. I mean, that was like putting a carrot in front of a donkey. That could really mess up the game for us tonight." And after the game, he reiterated his point: "Kobe does have agendas at times that will come out. A couple of years ago when things didn't go well, he went on that tear. So he could get into that. It's a long season, but I hope he stays focused on what the overall plan is." Ah, trust.
Mario Brothers: Austin Croshere (Bucks) had a 25-second Mario against the Pistoins; Shannon Brown (Bobcats) had a 20-second Mario against the Pacers; Ryan Hollins (Bobcats) had a two-second Super Mario against the Pacers (which makes him and Brown "Mario Brothers"); Jerryd Bayless and Ike Diogu (Blazers) both had 39-second Marios against the Hornets (making them "Mario Brothers"); Joe Alexander (Bucks) had a 20-second Mario against the Cavaliers; Renaldo Blackman (Nuggets) had a 16-second Mario against the Rockets.
Trillionaire Club: Will Bynum (Pistons) had a two trillion against the Bucks; Jared Dudley (Bobcats) had a three trillion against the Celtics; Brian Cardinal (Timberwolves) had a two trillion against the Nuggets; Steve Novak (Clippers) had a four trillion against the Heat.
Suck Differentialists: Kareem Rush (Sixers) +1 against the Celtics; Tarence Kinsey (Cavs) +1 against the Warriors; Walter Sharpe (Pistons) +2 against the Bucks; Stephen Graham (Pacers) +2 against the Magic; Brian Scalabrine (Celtics) +2 against the Bobcats; Rodney Carney (Timberwolves) +1 against the Nuggets; Von Wafer (Rockets) +5 against the Spurs; Maurice Ager (Nets) +1 against the Jazz; Kareem Rush (Sixers) +2 against the Bulls; Reggie Evans (Sixers) +4 against the Bulls; Stromile Swift (Nets) +3 against the Suns.