Run for your lives
The recent hot play of the Grizzlies [!] and Clippers [!!]
caused a state of emergency at venerable FedEx Forum.

FedEx Forum: The Clippers-Grizzlies game featured two of the hottest team in the NBA. I bet you never expected to read that sentence on Basketbawful unless is was dripping with mockery and sarcasm. Seriously, I keep hoping I'll wake up from a coma and find out this is all a dream. But, alas, it's true. (Unless that coma thing works out for me. Go coma!) Memphis had won five straight at home, and The Other L.A. Team had taken four games overall.

So what happens when a suddenly irresistible force meets an inexplicably immovable object? The very forces of nature try to restore balance to the universe. Which is exactly what happened when FedEx Forum itself tried to bring this abomination to a halt. From the AP recap: "A broken water line in the fire sprinkler system triggered the arena's alarm system, forcing players, fans and officials outside for approximately 20 minutes."

According to Ball Don't Lie: "The building was completely evacuated. The Clippers hung out in the team bus. The media and others were shipped across the frozen street. Eventually, the teams were ordered back, and the game resumed -- with about 90 percent of what was already a pretty slim crowd. " BDL also posted video of the evacuation:


This event prompted the following comment from Basketbawful reader Hobbs:

"We are committed to providing our fans a world-class championship experience each night at FedExForum. With this in mind, we are inviting all fans who came to tonight's game to exchange their ticket for select locations based on availability for this Friday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves starting tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the FedExForum Box Office."

This was part of the statement released by the Griz after they had to evacuate fans during the Clippers game (why anyone was even there is still a mystery to me) after something went wrong with the sprinkler system.

I fail to see how exactly the Grizzlies' management expect to provide fans a "world-class championship experience" by giving them free tickets to Grizzlies vs Timberwolves...
Seriously. I mean, at one time, those two squads would have been duking it out for the title of Worst Team in the Western Confernece. But the Griz are too good for that now. Which, again, is what I think led to this whole fiasco. The universe demands a balance. This won't be the last "incident."

O.J. Mayo, quote machine: "It was a little bit of adversity, something a little different. I just wanted to get back and start hoopin.' I didn't want them to call the game or postpone it. For some reason, it just seemed like it gave us a second chance. We were down 12 at the time. But this team has been through a lot of adversity so it was nothing new for us. We just had to stick together, go out there and play hard."

The Los Angeles Clippers: The evacuation must have rattled them. The Other L.A. Team led 89-77 with 47 seconds left in the third quarter when the building was cleared...and ended up losing 104-102 after play resumed.

Of course, Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy Sr. thinks that's a bunch of bullpoopy: "[The delay] had nothing to do with us losing. We came back in the fourth quarter. We got beat to loose balls and offensive rebounds." That last part might have something to do with...

Chris Kaman: The reigning Western Conference Player of the Week finished with zero points, zero rebounds, zero assists in zero minutes after he aggravated a sore back...during pregame warmups. That might partly explain why Marc Gasol -- who wasn't even supposed to play last night -- ended up with a co-team-high 24 points (10-for-14) and a game-high 15 rebounds.

Crazy-ass Stat of the Night: Memphis is 9-2 in games following a defeat since opening the season with a 1-8 record. Seriously.

The Washington Wizards Generals Bullets: The Detroit Pistons entered last night's game losers of 13 straight. They were without Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon and Will Bynum. Plus, they were playing their second road games on back-to-back nights, having lost by 33 points in Chicago the previous night. And the Washington players actually made it their mission to win this game. Said Nick Young: "We talked about it. We didn't want to be the team they beat."

How could the Bullets not pull this one out? Simple: 'cause they're the Bullets.

I mean, I guess there were a few tangible reasons. Three players missed the morning shootaround because they were being questioned in Agent Zero's gun investigation. Javaris "locked and loaded" Crittenton -- the teammate whose fight with Arenas led to the whole gun mess -- has been excused from attending practices or games until the legal issues are resolved. Andray Blatch was suspended from last night's game for being a dumbass. Mike Miller has been doing his best Greg Oden impression all season. Oh, and of course Gilbert Arenas didn't play. In fact, Washington management has fired up the Ultimate Nullifier in an attempt to wipe Gilbert's very memory out of existence.

What a mess.

"It's been a little chaotic around here for the most part the last couple days," said Caron Butler in what may be an early candidate for Understatement of the Year. "That's something that you don't want to have to keep revisiting. As a player, you want to focus on basketball and basketball only."

Translation: Please, God, let it end.

Added coach Flip Saunders: "We just weren't mentally alert." You know, as opposed to the other kinds of alert you can be.

Speaking of Flipper, he provided a little more info about the exchange that led to the Blatch suspension: "He said, 'Well, I didn't get a shot in a game.' If you're 6-10, 6-11, you can get a shot by getting an offensive rebound and getting shots. Anybody, whether it's him or anybody, that thinks a coach has to run plays to get you shots -- that's the sign of a team that's not going to be a very good team."

Well, that's one sign, anyway. One among a great many.

The Houston Rockets: The Pluckiest Underdogs in the West had their pluck plucked away by Stephen Jackson and his Charlotte Bobcats. Although, to be honest, it was mostly just Jackson, who shot 15-for-22 and scored 16 of his career-high 46 points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Said Trevor Ariza: "He hurt us. He's a really good player that can get hot at any time. Once he got going, we couldn't find a way to slow him down." Really? A hand in his face might have helped. Or maybe even a double team or two. I mean, we're still talking about Captain Jack, right? Did he drink a bottle of Kobe Bryant juice before the game or something?

Beyond their inability to defend the unstoppable-against-them Stephen Jackson, the Rockets committed five turnovers (including two shot clock violations) and missed nine three-pointers in the fourth quarter...which should tell you a few things about Houston's shot selection down the stretch. You don't win road games against good defensive teams by playing bombs away from deep.


The Los Angeles Lakers: Well...Mamba didn't play the fourth quarter because of back spasms, and Pau Gasol missed his fifth game because of a strained hamstring. I'm sure you see where this is going.

The Spurs rolled to a 105-85 victory -- their eighth win in the last 10 games -- while Lakers dropped their fourth straight road game, their longest road losing streak since they failed in five straight during March of 2007.

See?! The Spurs are contenders! Or...something.

Said Timmy D: "Obviously they're dealing with some injuries, and Kobe doesn't play in the fourth quarter or whatever it may be, but it's a great win for us. We'll take it where we can get it." Added Tony Parker: "Obviously Kobe didn't play the fourth, but a win is a win. We'll take it." You'll have to, guys. Your team is only 4-11 this season against teams that aren't sub-.500.

As for Lakers fans, they must be feeling a little twitchy after watching Kobe "I don't get injured, I get better" Bryant voluntarily left a game due to injury. Said Kobe: "I could barely move. I tried to orchestrate some things for my team, couldn't walk. I literally couldn't walk. It's the only way I don't play."

And that's the only way he'd ever attempt a season-low 10 field goals. But I digress. Mamba said he's "pretty sure" he'll play tonight in Dallas, then added "and I'll probably drop 50 on their asses" under his breath.

At any rate, the Lakers' real problem wasn't Kobe (who, after all, had 16 points on 7-for-10 shooting through three quarters), it was their defense, which allowed San Antonio to shoot nearly 57 percent. Oh, then there was the 27 points they gave up off 15 turnovers. You know, as I look at the circumstance and the stats, shouldn't the Spurs be a little worried they didn't win by 30 or more?

The Sacramento Kings: How does a team go from being up two points entering the final quarter to losing 109-88 at home? Well, by getting outscored 33-10 in the final 12 minutes for starters. But that's just simple mathematology, and math can't do justice to the 4-for-22 brick party the Kings held in the fourth quarter. Never have the words "It's like watching a bunch of retards try to hump a doorknob" been more appropriate.

Kings wft

Of course, Dwight Howard (30 points, 16 boards, 5 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocked shots) formed an unbreakable wall between the Kings and the hoop, which probably explains why the Sactowners got outscored 52-26 in the paint.

Said Beno Udrih: "They took advantage of everything we did wrong. We shot bad shots, missed good shots and they took advantage of that. They went on some fast breaks and got some buckets. We just cannot win like that."

Matt Painter, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Basketbawful reader Clifton submitted this quote by the coach of the Team That Shall Not Be Named: "Evan Turner had his way with all of our guys." Wow. Turner must be truly insatiable.

The NBA: Two teams were fined $10,000 each for standing in front of the bench. No, I'm not kidding.

Brandon Jennings: The rook made himself look silly by getting into a slap fight via Twitter with a fake Jordan Farmar. No, I'm still not kidding.

Best quote by the fake Farmar: "You started with the smack talking, and I ended it with the 2 threes. We even? Cool." Best response by the real Jennings: "but I'm not going to beef with you. See you should be worried about your spot. Shannon Brown(notes)??? That's all imma say."

You can expect "that's all imma say" to become a new tagline here.

Lacktion report: And now a brief lacktion report from Chris, who is no doubt still mourning the miserable loss by his Purple Paupers.

Lakers-Spurs: Sasha Vujacic machined himself a slab of gold worth 3.1 trillion (3:06) while Josh Powell baked a brick for a +1 suck differential in 4:21. Meanwhile, San Antonio's Theo Ratliff negated a block and two assists in 3:54 with a foul for a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl.

Clippers-Grizzlies: In a game bawful enough to be delayed by a loading bay getting flooded, former Boston lacktator Lester Hudson immediately proved his worth in his Grizzlies debut by providing a celebratory +3 in 2:49 via foul and two bricks (one from Beale Street)!!!

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32 Comments:
Blogger chris said...
When will someone notify the purple paupers that, contrary to expectations, Games Against Teams Not Based In Denver ALSO require a full 48 minutes of successful effort!??!

Maybe it's the noticeable lack of Kings lacktion that has something to do with their recent dry spell. I mean, that early run over .500? Lacktion here and there. The Comeback? Lacktion there. But very, very little of it since then.

Blogger Beez Kneezy said...
Jennings shut down his twitter account last night. That's all imma say.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Meta discussion: you got called out on your strength jumping performance shoes, and I wanna know too. How did that turn out/end/still going?

I really hope they're bringing back Marv Albert for voice commentary in NBA Jam. Anyways, I hope everyone voted for NBA Jam players, which I'm assuming each week will feature a new set of teams to vote for. The OKC vote is straightforward, but the Kings and Clippers votes can be taken to hilarious levels. Let's get Chris Kaman up in this bitch. link for the lazy.

Blogger Dan B. said...
AnacondaHL -- Do we want Marv Albert, or the original guy that did the voice in the first NBA Jam arcade game? I vote for that other guy. Marv Albert is awesome (YES!), but That Other Guy is legendary. Oh, and I haven't voted for my player choices yet (I keep forgetting to do it when I get home from work since I can't get to that site while at work).

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
(clarification: The original voice was Tim Kitzrow, modelled after Marv Albert etc.) I want the real Marv Albert. An acceptable substitue: Gus Johnson.

Blogger Dan B. said...
The one downfall to NBA Jam using Marv Albert? You won't ever get to hear him say "AND the foul!"

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
(more clarification: Marv Albert was used in a later version of NBA Jam, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Jam_Extreme, which obviously sucked compared to NBA Hangtime, which obviously sucked compared to the original Jam.) The plus side would be (hopefully) keeping "IS IT THE SHOES?!"

And of course new phrase ideas, such as "A Heat Check!" (particularily when playing the Arenas-Butler-Jamison Wizards team) and "Oh! A FACIAL!" (when playing as the Bryant-Gasol-Artest Lakers team)

Anyways, since Albert has been doing NBA Live for a long time, I'm sure it's no biggie for EA Sports to get him into the new NBA Jam.

Blogger Dan B. said...
AnacondaHL -- Now that part is an excellent point. EA Sports already has Marv Albert locked up. Might as well reuse him.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
AnacondaHL -- First, regarding your question about Captain Kirk: expect about 9 PPG and 3-4 APG, low FGP (40-ish) but hopefully (going forward) a decent 3P% (35-39-ish). Maybe a steal per.

Okay, the jump shoes. I was enjoying modest gains (as reported) when I ran into a couple stumbling blocks. First, some of the drills had to be done outside, and the weather turned to shit in the Chicagoland area. So I had to, by necessity, drop a couple of my exercises.

Then, and here's where things turn bawful on me, I got injured. How? Well, I have a bike trainer I use during the winter months. It's basically a device you put your bike on so you can ride it in the house at whatever resistance you want (you can sim hill rides or whatever). I usually set it up in front of the TV so I can watch the NBA while I work out.

Anyway, after a particularly grueling ride, I hopped off the bike and started to walk around it to the kitchen for a drink of water. My damn shoelace got caught on this little part of the bike trainer...and, for some reason, I was walking really fast. So fast I couldn't react. I did a knee plant, followed by a face plant, right on my own floor.

My knee was screwed up for a couple months. I could still play basketball, in a Chris Webber-y "I can't use one knee" kind of way. But advanced training was out. I figured I'd pick it up again when summer came.

However, I was really beaten up by the end of my pickup season last June. My ankles and knees felt shot, and I had a right shoulder injury that wouldn't go away. I opted to shut it down for a while. Then I went to Pisa, then I went on vacation, and the next thing you know, it was the fall. It seemed silly to start my training when the weather would be getting bad soon.

So here I am.

I actually picked up the Vertical Jump Bible, and I have intended to use it. But...well...yeah.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
The Shaq lawsuit story heats up. Seems Ms. Lopez -- who was apparently The Big Mistress -- played the "I'm late" card, and Shaq supposedly accused her of general sluthood, after which his sisters made verbal and physical threats against her.

Here are some bawsome quotes:

"Lopez claims she was especially fearful of Shaq because 'O'Neal is a large, powerful, wealthy man and a professional athlete' who has law enforcement connections and the right to bear arms."

So Shaq might shoot her? Why, when he could simply crush her with his amazing computer knowledge:

"And, Lopez claims, Shaq hacked into her voice mail and text messages, using sophisticated software."

Based on his tweets, I'm pretty sure Shaq can barely type, unless he tweets blindfoled...or with his elbows. So I can't imagine him hacking anything.

Shaq also supposedly texted a friend: "dis is da numba shut dat bitch up!"

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: I'm glad at least your exercise bike mishap doesn't quite match that of Bill Walton.

Blogger Will said...
Shaq should've called Mat so he (Mat) could tell dat ho what up.

Blogger chris said...
Ron-Ron: Only mostly crazy in Marion County, according to this.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
I'm glad at least your exercise bike mishap doesn't quite match that of Bill Walton.

True. Although it marked the second time I nearly blew out a knee in a non-basketball-related way...the first time being my faceplant-in-the-trash at Mardi Gras in 2006.

Anonymous Balu said...
the link in the tmz story is even better!

According to several police reports, Vanessa Lopez has had serious legal run-ins with Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Delonte West -- during the same time period she claims she was secretly hooking up with Shaq.

Back in 2006, Delonte West -- then with the Boston Celtics -- called security on Lopez, claiming she refused to leave his Orlando hotel room.

Police were called to the room -- where Lopez, according to the police report, then accused West of making unwanted sexual advances toward her.

West acknowledged that he had slept with Lopez in the past -- but claimed he never hit on her that night. West said Lopez tried to seduce him -- but he rejected her because he had another woman coming over.

Police ultimately removed Lopez from the premises.

Lopez's run-in with Kenyon Martin went down in 2007 -- when the NBA star's business manager called police, claiming Lopez somehow got hold of Martin's credit card. According to the police report, the manager claimed Lopez blew hundreds of dollars -- minimum -- without Martin's permission




Mat would be really proud of Delonte.

Blogger chris said...
I just feel like Tyreke going like 0 for 7 in the first half or so against the Magic needs to be noted as well, he was missing easy layups everywhere. Grrr.

Blogger Davros said...
I prefer the phrase "like a monkey trying to fuck a football" but either description of the Paupers' 4th quarter offense is painfully accurate. They just don't seem to have any idea what to do.

Bawful - Was the trip to Pisa and its famous tower a tribute to your one-leggedness?

Blogger chris said...
Davros: they tossed so many bricks then that they could have built a small fireplace.

Blogger Adrian said...
When I read the Jennings-Fake Farmar Twitter handbag-fight section, I laughed out loud when I saw the "Shannon Brown(notes)???" because I thought it was a reference to the "brown note" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_note).

Then I clicked on the Yahoo! Sports link and saw it was actually a link to notes about Shannon Brown. Here I was thinking Jennings was proving how mature a year in Italy right out of high school made him by throwing poop jokes around on Twitter.

Blogger Davros said...
chris - Maybe they're getting some that federal stimulus money for infrastructure.

Blogger Clifton said...
From the Washington Post article linked in the post:

"Me and him got a real close relationship. He's like a brother to me," Stevenson said. "My thing is to see him back. If he doesn't, I hope to see him in an NBA uniform. When a person gets kicked down so much -- I've been there before -- I just want to be as positive as I can. Mentally, it's just trying."

Stevenson does in fact know what it's like to be kicked down so much, after he hooked up with a 14-year-old girl as a 20-year-old (he eventually pleaded No Contest and earned a 3-game suspension).

Captcha: "ineez". ineez (combo n./v.): as in, "ineez someone to tell me when im arguing with a fake person on twitter... that's all imma say."

Anonymous the Oden Apologist said...
my condolences to Blake Superior. Welcome to the NBA, where number 1 picks sit out the season. Its Fantastic.

Blogger CRJoe said...
I'm gonna do the protocol and say long time reader first time poster out of sheer respect... But I really wanted to chip in with this:

http://nba.fanhouse.com/2010/01/13/hawks-call-up-mario-west-from-d-league/

WE GOT MARIO BACK!!!

With that out of the way I'm surprised no one has commented on the season ending surgery on Blake Griffin's knee... Is it just me or do we have a Greg Oden re-run on the way????

OpenID phelan said...
http://sports.espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/news/story?id=4823032

Thanks Clippers for ruining Blake Griffin's career.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
http://www.nba.com/2010/news/01/13/griffin.surgery.ap/index.html

Blake Griffin out for the rest of the season.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Bill Simmons warned us this would happen...and he was right.

The Clippers: I don't care how "hot" they've been lately. They are and always will be who we thought they were.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
WE GOT MARIO BACK!!!

Indeed we did. The Hawks need to blow somebody out, like, immediately, so Mario can squeeze in a Mario or two before his 10-day expires.

With that out of the way I'm surprised no one has commented on the season ending surgery on Blake Griffin's knee... Is it just me or do we have a Greg Oden re-run on the way????

Technically, it's not a Greg Oden re-run because Oden falls under Portland's "Curse of Walton" (for further details, see The Breaks of teh Game), whereas Blake Superior got swallowed up by the "Doom of the Clippers."

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Balu -- I totally knew a chick like that in college. Total hottie, body like a model. Also, totally insane.

I met her my first year as an R.A. She invited me out to play tennis, and she wore this teeny little tennis skirt, and she kept bending over accidentally-on-purpose and flirting with me. Yeah, I was getting into her. Then she proceeded to tell me this story about how she was stalked in high school. As the story went on, first the guy stalked her, then he broke into her car, then he broke into her house and masturbated on her bed. Through it all, I kept nodding and felt genuinely sympathetic.

THEN...she told me about how they eventually discovered her stalker had been living in her attic for six months, and how the only entrance into the attic was in her closet.

DUM DUM DUUUUUUUUUUUM.

Once I realized she was nuts, I tried to avoid her, but that was difficult since she lived in my building and my door had to be open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. four days a week. She'd always corner me and use some crazy story to get me to sleep with her. Once, she said she wanted me to take her virginity (even though it was an open secret she was banging lots of guys in our dorm). Another time, she tole me she was dying of cervical cancer and wanted to "make love" to me before she had to start chemo. There was even a night I was out on a semi-date and she showed up at the bar, jammed her hand in my crotch, and told my date, "I'm pretty sure I'm the one he wants to be with." (I swear, a cat fight very nearly broke out.) It was always some crazy shit with her.

The next year I was the Staff Resident, which is the boss of the R.A.s. She came by my room one night when a bunch of people were hanging out with me, and she says, "I have an emergency and I need to talk to you resident to staff resident. Stupidly, I ushered everybody out. As soon as everybody was out of the room, she took off her shirt and threw herself at me. It took quite a bit of effort to get her dressed and out of my room...but I managed it. Although, as she left, she warned, "I'm not giving up."

A few days later, her R.A., Jessica, showed up in my room looking all worried. "We need to talk about Psycho."

"Oh," I said, assuming she had complained about her hurt feelings to Jessica. "She told you about the other night?"

Jessica squeaked. "Oh my God! It's true!"

!!

"Wait," I said, "What's 'true'?"

Apparently, Psycho told Jessica that I had "lured" her into my room, then started tearing at her clothes and whispering that I wanted to "ravage her like an animal." Not fuck her like an animal. Ravage her like an animal. I would never say that, by the way, ever, no matter how many drugs and different kinds of alcohol I had consumed.

"Basically," Jessica said, "she thinks you were trying to rape her."

All this after I had consciously chosen NOT to take advantage of a half-naked hot chick who was begging me for sex. I was freaked she was going to tell her crazy story to our dorm manager, which would have cost me my job and my full-ride. See, at that time, because of a dorm murder at our school -- an R.A. was killed by one of his residents after he caught the kid with drugs -- the dorm system had instituted a "fire first, ask questions later" policy for R.A.s. For instance, one of the R.A.s at my dorm was accused of threating to "bitch slap" a resident, and he was fired immediately without any kind of proceedings.

Fortunately, she never lied to my manager, and she avoided me until the last day of the year, when she offered to give me everything she owned because "she wanted to start over fresh." I actually took her ab roller for some bizarre reason.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Bawful - I vaguely recall this story from a LL Epilogue or something, but it didn't have the brilliant ab roller ending. This has made my day, good sir.

Blogger Dan B. said...
The random ab roller ending to that story could not have been more perfect. My day has also been made.

Blogger Ash B said...
You could probably sell that ab roller on eBay. I'm sure it's had some fun, fun times.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: IT WOULD still be the Curse of Walton because...guess which team Mr. Verbose spent time on between his two titles!!!!!

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