Nightmare Ant
Nightmare Ant may eat your brains and rape your soul, but at least he'll look good doing it
(h/t JE Skeets)

Go read Bruce Arthur's fantastic look back at The Decision for some perspective acquired over time.

Speaking of time, this isn't basketball related, but it is sports related at least. Today's the 10th anniversary of Mario Lemieux's comeback after retiring from the NHL in 1997 to battle Hodgkin's lymphoma. Watch this clip from his comeback game and be ready to get hit with a sonic wave of applause when he first skates onto the ice:

Bad. Ass.

Lemieux notched an assist just 33 seconds into the game, then scored the brilliant goal you see at 3:10 in this clip en route to a 1 goal, 3 assist outing. Not bad for a guy who hadn't played competitive hockey in three years and was just coming back from friggin' cancer. If you aren't terribly familiar with hockey, Lemieux is easily the second greatest player in history, and if he didn't have such a string of health issues (spinal disc herniation, Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic tendinitis of a hip-flexor muscle, chronic back pain, and atrial fibrillation), he perhaps would have matched or beaten many of Wayne Gretzky's records despite playing quite a bit of his career in the "dead puck" era when scoring paces were much lower than the mid 1980s or today. Oh, and fun fact: Lemieux is the only person ever to win the Stanley Cup as both a player and an owner. Woo.

Worst of Christmas Weekend in Pictures:

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"Hey Pau, whaddya think of my new sneakers?"

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Shaq Sneak Attack!


76ers Nuggets Basketball
Uh, hey Birdman, I think you missed a spot. I can still see an inch of skin on your left pec...


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The Bosh unhinges its jaw to devour its pray whole. It is a dangerous predator from a medium range, but is highly allergic to paint


Trail Blazers Warriors Basketball
"Really? We lost to the Warriors on Christmas? Really?"


Playing on Christmas Van Gundy
Stan Van Gundy throws a temper tantrum upon learning all he got for Christmas from David Stern was a bunch of neckties


Nationally Televised Games:
Craptors at Grizzlies, NBA TV, 8pm: Zach Randolph has more double-doubles this season than the entire Craptors team. I just died a little inside.

All The Other Games:
Magic at Nyets, 7pm: Now that the Magic have taken down the mighty Celtics in a super ugly game, do they actually show up for this one, or do we have a hilarious letdown game? Even Stan Van Gundy said "Hopefully we don't get full of ourselves."

Pistons at Bobcraps, 7pm: The Charlotte Bobcraps may suck, but at least they'll be entertaingly sucky from now on. New coach Paul Silas had this to say: "I want to bring some energy to this ball club. I want us to get up and down and let it all hang out. If they don't want to get up and down, they can come sit down by me."

Hawks at Bucks, 8pm: Are you ready for more Earl Boykins playing time? Enjoy it while it lasts, because the time he gets to play seriously meaningful minutes may be (wait for it...) short.

Yeah, I'm sorry.

Hornets at Timberwolves, 8pm: The 863rd sign your team sucks: STATS LLC adds the qualifier "only" in this sentence from the game preview: "Minnesota has lost six straight to New Orleans by an average of only 7.5 points since a 116-108 home victory on Jan. 23, 2009."

Mavericks at Thunder, 8pm: Did you know Dirk Nowitzki has passed Larry Bird for 25th on the NBA's all-time scoring list? Unreal.

Wizards Generals at Rockets, 8:30pm: Good news/bad news for Rockets fans. Bad news? They're considering trading Yao. What will Houston ever do without a 7'6" dude riding a stationary bike giving spectators fistbumps? But moving on... the good news? Kevin Martin is on fire. Marc Stein noted in his power rankings that the Elias stats guys discovered Discount Store "is on pace to become the first player to lead the league in total FTs and 3s made in a season."

Frail Blazers at Jazz, 9pm: The Blazers are a crappy road team, and their two wins in the entire past decade in Salt Lake City don't bode well for tonight's game.

Clippers at Kings, 10pm: Chris passed along this great link: Tom Ziller compares age versus success, considering only meaningful players to avoid artifically skewing the numbers. In general (with Oklahoma being a major exception), young teams suck. And yep, the Purple Paupers are young. And they definitely suck. And yet, as Chris also noted, front row tickets to this game will set you back just over $1000 apiece. Mind... reeling...

76ers at Warriors, 10:30pm: The Warriors haven't won three games in a row since April 1-5, 2009. Hey Philly, this would be a nice late Christmas gift for the Warriors organization, just FYI.

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24 Comments:
Anonymous kazam92 said...
No recap? Ehh you guys have lives, I wanna apologize to Yams for my outburst but at the same time mock him for the thrashing some more

Blogger Wild Yams said...
You can mock me here just as easily as you could in a Worst Of comment thread. Commence mocking :)

Blogger Will said...
I bet Dan B was smilin' like a butcher's dog when he saw the sweet line-up in the Association tonight.

Blogger lordhenry said...
"You can mock me here just as easily as you could in a Worst Of comment thread. Commence mocking :)"

Eh, what the hell. I haven't been around in awhile, and my team just had their annual Christmas Day Home loss to Lebron's team, so I will help shoulder some of the a$$holery.

BTW, Yams, how long before anonymous commentor shows up with the Kobe "Rape of The Day" joke?

Anyway, as a Laker fan I will hold out hope that we will decide to actually try now. Or at least, somebody besides Kobe will actually try.

Could be worse, L.A. could be the vikings.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why would a butcher's dog smile? I mean, if there's a famine and all the cattle dies and the butcher can't keep chopping up lambs and pigs, won't the dog be the first one to die?

Blogger stephanie g said...
LeBron is backpedaling like crazy from his contraction comments. I guess the player's association got on his ass?

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball_dont_lie/post/LeBron-didn-t-mean-contraction-when-talking-ab?urn=nba-300875

Check out the quotes. They're pretty funny.

LeBron says now:

"That's crazy, because I had no idea what the word 'contraction' meant before I saw it on the Internet," James said after the Miami Heat's practice Monday. "I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the '80s and how it could be good again. I never said, 'Let's take some of the teams out.'"

LeBron said then:

"Imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the [league]. Looking at some of the teams that aren't that great, you take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off these teams that aren't that good right now and you add him to a team that could be really good. Not saying let's take New Jersey and let's take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid, I'm not stupid, it would be great for the league."

Anonymous kazam92 said...
*Ahem*

THE FAKERS WON'T WIN WITH THE RAPIST HOBE CRYANT AND PAU GASOFT. THE 3 KINGS BITCHES!!!!!1111 LEBRON IS THE BEST HJADSHKLSDKLSDJFLAS


but yeah honestly, I just wanna see if the Lakers DO wake up or end up like the 06-07 heat (unlikely but this is worth a read) http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_basketball_heat/2010/12/lakers-offering-vibe-of-2006-07-heat.html#more-5417

Blogger lordhenry said...
"That's crazy, because I had no idea what the word 'contraction' meant before I saw it on the Internet,"

Ladies and Gentlemen, your face of the NBA.

Today "Hooked on Phonics" and Lebron James team up to create "The King's Reader" to help kids who are fans (and only kids who are fans) of Lebron James learn to read.
This book will feature many simple yet helpful phrases such as:

"See Lebron Run"
"See Lebron lead with shoulder"
"See Lebron hit with shoulder"
"See Lebron rinse, repeat,"
"See Lebron throw up shot"
"See Lebron shoot free-throw"

Due to contractual obligations this book will not be sold in ohio or any state containing an NBA Team with a winning record.

Blogger chris said...
King Crab seriously think Mr. 55-130 or whatever since he predicted "PLAYOFFS" for the Nyets is going to help save some other team in this here Association?

Wow.

Blogger chris said...
Could be worse, L.A. could be the vikings.


And if certain politicians and businessmen have their way, the Vikings could always leave collapsed-roof Minneapolis for A Yet To Be Built Overpriced Stadium In The City of Industry!!!!!!!!

:facepalm:

Blogger Leland said...
funny video of kobe and Ron Artest trash talking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyeekvRkcRs&feature=related

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Must admit even I facepalmed when Lebron said he didn't know what contraction meant

Blogger lordhenry said...
"And if certain politicians and businessmen have their way, the Vikings could always leave collapsed-roof Minneapolis for A Yet To Be Built Overpriced Stadium In The City of Industry!!!!!!!!"

Yeah, I assume this is referring to the rumored move to L.A. for the Vikings? I can't believe the roof didn't collapse sooner, given it snows a lot in Minnesota and they only had a roof made up of teflon and prayers trying to hold all the snow up. Would think it is cool to have Kobe and Brett Favre in the same city, but then again, Brett would probably just get blamed for that too....

Blogger Bing said...
LeBron may not have said the word but it is exactly what he meant. That was clear as day. Trying on the "I was misquoted" line won't work for him anymore.

Blogger lordhenry said...
"LeBron may not have said the word but it is exactly what he meant. That was clear as day. Trying on the "I was misquoted" line won't work for him anymore."

"So when Andy Petite was on the stand and claimed you had used steriods in the past, he was lying?"

"I don't think Andy was lying per se, I believe he 'misremembered'"

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Blogger chris said...
Epic choke job tonight by Tyreke the Freak Evans in Sactown.

Clippers stupidly foul him behind the three point line with 2 seconds left in the game, and a three-point lead.

'Reke makes free throw #1. And #2.

AND BRICKS THE THIRD ONE, with the followup shot also being bricked.

Clippers now have a WINNING STREAK against the Purple Paupers. It's official, the PP are the biggest embarassment in basketball history, now and forever. You do NOT lose three straight games to the Clippers, a franchise whose only purpose is to exist to give the Lakers two extra home games (and make Seattle fans cringe that such a joke of a team exists, while they couldn't even hang on to Kevin Durant thanks to the machinations of Stern/Bennett/et al.).

Yeah, this game can be pretty cruel.

Yeah, I assume this is referring to the rumored move to L.A. for the Vikings? I can't believe the roof didn't collapse sooner, given it snows a lot in Minnesota and they only had a roof made up of teflon and prayers trying to hold all the snow up. Would think it is cool to have Kobe and Brett Favre in the same city, but then again, Brett would probably just get blamed for that too....

LOL, talk about increasing the hateability factor for one city. which in a strange way is exciting.

CAPTCHA: "mouse," i.e. "Earl Boykins could probably be guarded by a mouse."

Blogger chris said...
Since the Purple Paupers started 3-1, they've gone 2-23 or so.

I don't even know where to begin with that stat.

I'm sure deep down King Crab fantasizes about having the Kings auctioned off and dismantled in his dream of a no-mid-market-Association though. ugh

Blogger Wild Yams said...
For the record, as someone who lives in LA I don't want any football team to move here. I'm not a football fan, so a team moving here would just mean more traffic.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As someone who lives in LA, I should just point out that the two proposed areas for the new stadium would both be train wrecks.

1) The downtown/AEG plan is in an area that shuts down traffic wise before every major event at Staples Center. A football game will require roughly 3x-4x as many cars as a concert or basketball/hockey game, combined with the fact that Monday night games would push up against LA rush hour. This area is one of the worst areas for traffic in LA, this is a bad idea.

2) The City of Industry plan is a worse idea. Traffic is almost as bad as downtown is here, with the added benefit being surrounded by areas that are completely unfit to handle pro football. The entire immediate area would have to be equipped for a stadium + surrounding infrastructure and I guarantee you that we can't do it.


On behalf of LA when we get the Jaguars or Vikings or Chargers I can 100% guarantee you a train wreck.

Blogger matt said...
I'd like to nominate nba.com writer Fran Blinebury for a WOTN for this column: http://www.nba.com/2010/news/features/fran_blinebury/12/27/24-second-thoughts/index.html

He said a few things I thought were crazy (short incomplete list: suggesting the Lakers would have problems in the 2nd round of the playoffs, suggesting Orlando's new additions have already "figure[d] it all out," taking a shot at Ron Artest pretty much mocking him for raffling his championship ring to raise money to support mental health charities), but my favorite part was how Blinebury's seemed to actually buy into the Doug Collins coach of the year campaign.

He writes, "This is exactly what Doug Collins does: Goes into a downtrodden situation, gets the players to buy into his system, puts a premium on defense and, after a slow start, gets them going in the right direction. He's done it in Chicago, Detroit, Washington and now Philly. Even though the Nuggets were without Carmelo Anthony, winning in Denver is another step in the process."

Um, ok. The 76ers then go out and let GSW drain 15 of 23 three pointers (65.2%) on their way to 110 points. Doesn't exactly sound like a "premium on defense" to me.

Blogger Scott said...
LeBron's comments can clearly be read as "will someone please concoct a plan that will get Kevin Love or Brook Lopez on the Heat".

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
tbqh, Pau Gasoft is a great nickname and should be used more.

Anonymous Aaron said...
I just love how Lebron said "I'm not stupid" in his first comment.

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Dan B:

Great hockey memory. Lemieux and Jagr were one hell of a combo for a while there. I couldn't help but notice that Jagr drew the entire defense (including the goalie) and set up a streaking Lemieux for a quality shot opportunity on that play. It's always nice to have one of the all-time best individual goal scorers on your line.

And yeah- Lemieux's scoring was ultra-impressive considering all the neutral-zone trapping that teams like NJ and PHI were doing in the mid-90's, as well as that stupid (and thankfully gone) 2-line passing rule. So many turnovers near the redline, so many 1-0 or 0-0 games... ugh.

As for Mario: the man had a nose for the net and was just so crafty in getting shots off around, under, over, and through people. Plus: he LOOKED like Mario from the SMB games with his gigantic nose :-)

Good stuff man.

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