Carlos Boozer prepares to consume the world's largest invisible cheezburger.
Update! I totally forgot to mention the Bryon Russell versus Michael Jordan one-on-one hoax
. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity. Well, this sort of proves that wrong, doesn't it? According to the AP writeup
: "More than 7,500 fans showed up hoping to see Jordan play 1-on-1 against former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell at halftime.
... Fans caught on when the impostor trotted on to the court at halftime and started booing, then leaving."
Utah Flash owner Brandt Andersen -- who acknowledged sending a Jordan lookalike around town Monday, when supposed "Jordan" sightings and an Internet video of the impostor eating at a local restaurant created buzz that Jordan really was in town -- tried to cover his butt by saying: "This was done in fun. If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top I am sorry. ... We wanted to test the strength and effectiveness of viral media by putting him out in Provo with bodyguards, and some hype. I always assumed it would be uncovered very quickly that it was a hoax."
I'm pretty sure he must have realized otherwise when all those extra fans showed up for the game. That would have been a good time to mention to the crowd that the whole event was faked. Waiting until halftime to surprise them? Bad move. It's enough to make me consider changing the term "bush league" to "D-league."The Philadelphia 76ers:
It was almost like Allen Iverson never left the City of Brotherly Love. He got a sold-out stadium, a video tribute, a standing ovation, big minutes (38) and, of course, another loss.A forced jumper under intense defensive pressure?! It's like he never left!!
Said the Not Answer: "I just felt like I was back home. It was deja vu. Just a real good feeling."
That's probably a sign of how things have gone in Iverson's life as of late: a double-digit loss at home -- his old/new team's 10th straight defeat -- left him with a real good feeling.
Iverson's return led to some inspired defense -- the Sixers held the Nuggets to 39 percent shooting and Carmelo Anthony scored a season-low 14 points on 5-for-21 shooting -- and some inspired offense from Andre "The Other A.I." Iguodala (31 points on 11-for-21 shooting). But neither those things nor Iverson's reasonably decent contributions (11 points on 11 shots and 6 assists) could prevent the Sixers from losing for the 14th time in their last 16 games.
So...what's wrong this team? Said Iverson: "I haven't been here long enough to put a finger on one or two things [wrong]. Tonight, with the way the guys competed, I don't know how they lost nine games in a row. I couldn't see it, not from the team I was playing with tonight. We’ll get it together, believe me." In related news, I have real estate in the Smurf Village for sale. It's cheap! It's Smurfy! E-mail me...
Take note that Chauncey Billups -- the man who got trades away from the Pistons for Iverson -- scored 31 points (8-for-15 from the field, 4-for-6 from downtown, 11-for-11 from the line) to go along with 8 rebounds and 8 assists. Billups probably would never admit it, and he really is in a better place now considering Detroit's problems, but I'd be willing to bet this was a semi-revenge game
Fun fact! The last time Philly had a 10-game losing streak was from November 24th, 2006 to December 20th, 2006
. It was during that fail fest that Iverson demanded -- and received -- a trade
. At the time, Iverson said: "I'm very happy about the trade. Denver's style of play fits my strengths. I'm looking forward to playing with Carmelo, the rest of the Denver Nuggets, and for George Karl, who is a proven winner." Added Nuggets vice president of player personal Rex Chapman: "I talked to Allen and he's ecstatic. We hope to have him here tomorrow. Allen has proven that he's a winner. We think they're going to be a dynamic duo [Iverson and Anthony] together and take this franchise to new heights."
Nuggets coach George Karl went on to say: "I think we need better chemistry on my basketball team. I think we need more leadership. I think we need more emotional maturity, I think we need some mental toughness, some intensity, an every game, every possession mentality." Turns out Karl was exactly right. Only it was Billups, and not Iverson, who eventually provided all that. And after Iverson was traded, Karl said
: "There are less bad plays, more solid plays. I think the wasteful, cheap possessions that we used to have 10 to 15 a game, they don't exist very much anymore. Sometimes I saw something, but I couldn't get it done on the court because I didn't have a playmaker out there." Mind you...Iverson had been his point guard during that era of wasteful, cheap possessions.The San Antonio Spurs:
Okay, seriously, what's going on here? I see Timmy Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili all in uniform. I see the restocked shelves (Richard Jefferson, Antonio McDyess, DeJuan Blair, Theo Ratliff). Last night, I even saw a career-best 28-point explosion off the bench from...Matt Bonner?! Yes, Matt Bonner, who went 10-for-14 from the field and 4-for-7 from downtown. (It is uncertain, even now, whether the Jazz are aware that Bonner actually plays for the Spurs or was in fact on the court last night.) Of course, what I haven't seen is the classic Spurs defense. We certainly didn't see it in Utah against the Jazz, who canned 53 percent of their shots and 63 percent of their treys while outscoring San Antonio 52-32 in the paint. Mind you, this is the same Jazz squad that lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
Utah has won three straight against the Spurs this season, which makes it the first time the Jazz have won the season series versus San Antonio since the 1997-98 season. The Spurs are now 9-9, including only 1-5 on the road. They aren't allt aht bad on offense (currently 9th in Offensive Rating), but their strictly middle of the pack on defense (14th in Defensive Rating). These aren't your big brother's Spurs.
The Spurs also ran an, er, questionable crunchtime play...Update! The Spurs' local broadcasters:
From NarSARSsist: "By the way. Speaking of the Spurs game. I don't know if anyone else here gets local broadcasts of the Spurs, but my god is Sean Elliott biased. Every time the whistle is blown, it has to be against the other team, or it's a bad call. When Timmy drove at the basket near the end of the game and drew a foul on Okur, the color commentators exclaimed "FINALLY!" At that point the Spurs had taken 29 free throws to the Jazz's 11. In addition, yoikes is this man beyond Waltonian in his praise of the Spurs. On the Spurs' final possession, in which Bonner had the ball, dribbed, then drove off a Duncan pick and lobbed a wild, contested 13 foot (underhand?) floater, he said: "Oh man, that was so close! You just can't ask for more than that. This was Matt Bonner at his best, taking it to the rim
." Really Sean? I bet every team quakes in fear when they see the Red Rocket with boosters on full. I can appreciate a little bias, wanting your team to win and do well, especially when you're doing local coverage, but come on...this is getting ridiculous."The Golden State Warriors:
So, uh, how's that Stephen Jackson trade working out for you guys? The Warriors may have dumped their disgruntled forward on the Charlotte Bobcats, but their fortunes have not improved. They've lost four straight and six of seven. And against the Thunder in Oklahoma City, they scored a season-low 88 points. Run-and-fun has given way to shuffle-and-suffer. Monta Ellis got all the shots his heart could desire (28 plus eight free throw attempts) but also had trouble holding onto the ball when he wasn't shooting it (a game-high 9 turnovers). Vladimir Radmanovic went 1-for-9. Corey "Bad Porn" Maggette inspired a 16-5 Thunder run by earning a double-tech ejection in the third quarter. And the Warrior _efense let rookie James Harden leap up off the Oklahoma City bench to score a career-high 26 points (thank to a 13-for-14 performance at the free throw line). Oh, and the Thunder beat the Warriors up on the boards (57-37).
Maybe if Andris Biedrins didn't have that, ahem, "strained groin," the Warriors could have pulled down a few extra rebounds. And maybe if they didn't suck, they wouldn't suck.
Good news for the Golden Staters: They may be headed out East for a four-game road trip, but their facing The Sub-.500s: New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. It almost doesn't get more cup-cakey than that. Of course, the Warriors will probably let every one of those teams score 100+ points...The Portland Trail Blazers:
Ugh. Ugh, I say. Apparently, the loss (again) of Greg Oden was a bigger blow to the Blazers than we could have imagined. Portland scored only 84 points against one of the league's great defenseless teams. Eek. It was only the fifth time in 22 games that the Bricks have held a team below 100 points. Double eek. Despite the absence of their big man, the Blazers had an edge in shooting (47 percent to 41 percent), rebounding (41-37) and points in the paint (34-24). It was actually all the non-Oden areas that killed Portland. They went only 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. Their playmaking below average (only 13 assists on 31 field goals). Their ball control was turrible (19 turnovers for 26 points going the other way). And they let "Big Shot" Larry Hughes score 21 points off the Bricks bench, thanks in part to 4-for-8 shooting. I understand not getting a hand in Larry's face -- I mean, you want Larry Hughes shooting the ball, right? -- but still.
Of course, the Blazers were missing more than just Oden's ancient, shambling body. Also missing were Rudy Fernandez (sciatic pain), Travis Outlaw (broken left foot) and Nicolas Batum (right shoulder surgery). Hell, even coach Nate McMillan was absent after having surgery on an Achilles tendon he ruptured during practice last Friday. (Must have been a rough practice!) What's going on with these guys? Maybe it's the Curse of Walton.Eddy Curry:
from the AP game notes: "Knicks center Eddy Curry was back in uniform but didn't play after he was inactive for the last seven games because of a sore left knee. He wasn't expected to suit up again until the Knicks visit New Orleans on Friday so he could get some practice time first." Remember when Isiah Thomas "stole" Curry from the Bulls? That's like handing a mugger a ticking time bomb."Funny" domestic violence against men:
Yeah, I know. This has nothing to do with basketball, per se. But it does kinda-sorta involve Bill Simmons, and he recently wrote a book about basketball
. So there. There's your tie-in.
I'm sure you've already heard or read about the sad tale
of Tiger Woods and his "transgressions." Well, in his latest column
, Bill Simmons let his wife, the Sports Gal, weigh in on the subject. Here's what she had to say:
"Everyone is talking about Tiger the spineless cheater. I would like to talk about his wife, Mrs. Tiger, the former nanny from Sweden. Bill and I were at dinner when news broke about the 'incident.' Bill shrewdly predicted that she attacked the car and that's why Tiger crashed. I told Bill that if he ever cheated on me, I would do the same thing she did, only I would attack the car with his League of Dorks trophy and keep hitting him with it until he stopped breathing. I then tweeted this so he knew I was serious.
"Now Mrs. Tiger is being portrayed as a crazy loon. Isn't she a hero? Did you see the parade of skanks that Tiger cheated on her with? Each one looked like she came with her own pole and lip plumper. Mrs. Tiger could have looked the other way and said, 'I am just lucky to live in America in this big mansion with my wealthy and famous husband who wins many golf tournaments. I will get back at him by having sex with cabana boys and masseurs.' Instead she stood up on behalf of women everywhere. Just because you are rich, famous and successful doesn't mean you get to humiliate your wife and kids.
"I wish Mrs. Tiger would admit what she did, if she did anything. She won't because Florida has strong domestic violence laws. California does not. If Bill ever follows Tiger's skank-chasing footsteps, I am going to beat him to death with his 2.8-pound book, while also having sex with cabana boys and masseurs. There will be no mystery about what happened. That's my Great Call of the Week."
Now, just for fun, let's spin things around:
"Everyone is talking about Mrs. Tiger the spineless cheater. I would like to talk about her husband, Tiger, the former golf champ. The Sports Gal and I were at dinner when news broke about the 'incident.' The Sports Gal shrewdly predicted that he attacked the car and that's why Mrs. Tiger crashed. I told the Sports Gal that if she ever cheated on me, I would do the same thing she did, only I would attack the car with her favorite pair of high heel shoes and keep hitting her with them until she stopped breathing. I then tweeted this so she knew I was serious.
"Now Tiger is being portrayed as a crazy loon. Isn't he a hero? Did you see the parade of beefcakes that Mrs. Tiger cheated on her with? Each one looked like he came with his own tear-away shirt and a bottle of baby oil for his rock-hard abs. Tiger could have looked the other way and said, 'I am just lucky to be a wealthy and famous husband who wins many golf tournaments. I will get back at her by having sex with nameless skanks everywhere I go.' Instead he stood up on behalf of men everywhere. Just because you are a foreign trophy wife doesn't mean you get to humiliate your husband and kids.
"I wish Tiger would admit what he did, if he did anything. He won't because Florida has strong domestic violence laws. California does not. If the Sports Gal ever follows Mrs. Tiger's beefcake-chasing footsteps, I am going to beat her to death with her 50-pound makeup table, while also having sex with nameless skanks. There will be no mystery about what happened. That's my Great Call of the Week."
Tell me Bill Simmons wouldn't get fined, suspended or maybe even fired for that.
Mind you, this is nothing against Simmons and his wife. (Although I don't remember the Sports Gal writing anything witty when Ron Artest
or Delonte West
were accused of domestic violence.) They provide just one of many examples. I heard about a dozen variations of that same speech in my office last week. Almost every woman there -- even the single ones -- described in vivid, bloody detail the horrors they would visit upon their husbands or would-be husbands if they ever caught them cheating. Usually while laughing and high-fiving each other.
I don't think it would go over so well if, for instance, me or Evil Ted suggested we'd murder an unfaithful wife.
This isn't a new phenomenon. People laughed their asses off when Tonya Harding was arrested for throwing a hubcap at her former boyfriend
. A few years ago, there was a Miller Lite commercial in which a group of women were discussing potential punishments for a cheating boyfriend. One of them (somewhat ironically) fantasized about hitting a golf ball into the dude's man region. Another imagined him getting struck by lightning. The final woman daydreamed about a piano falling out of the sky and crushing him into a gooey paste. Why? Because violence committed against men -- those lying, cheating men -- is funny!
Just this past weekend, Saturday Night Live aired a rather humorless skit
about Woods suffering progressively worse beatings at the hands (and golf clubs) of his wife. But here's the best part
: that skit is "drawing some criticism, not for ripping on Tiger, but for being insensitive about domestic abuse on the same show that Rihanna was the musical guest." Yeah. That Rihanna
. So it's okay to play Tiger getting his ass kicked by his wife for lols...but we shouldn't under any circumstances take the chance of reminding a woman that she was once the victim of domestic violence.
Unlike Iverson, Chris doesn't need lots of minutes and shots to provide his daily lacktion report:
Nuggets-Sixers: Jason Kapono bricked four times in 8:51 (twice from the Comcast Center) and added two fouls as well for a +6 suck differential, capping a bawful night for the Philly bench which saw all five reserves score a combined 2 points!!!
Spurs-Jazz: Malik Hairston played a round of Donkey Kong Jr. Math and found that yes, indeed, 44 seconds is still short enough for a Mario!
Labels: Allen Iverson, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz