Zombieland
Maybe Delonte can be in the sequel: "Zombieland 2: Looking Behind Our Back"

Breaking news: Delonte West has been indicted on six weapons offenses stemming from a September incident in which he was arrested on the Capital Beltway in Washington D.C. with three loaded guns and an 8 1/2-inch bowie knife. (That's not a knife. This is a knife...) Here are the details:

West was traveling north on the Beltway about 10 p.m. in a three-wheeled motorcycle called a Can-Am Spyder when he allegedly cut off a county police officer near Route 214.

The officer pulled West over for making an unsafe lane change, and as the officer approached the motorcycle, West told him he had a handgun in his waistband.

The officer called for backup and searched West and his vehicle.

Three guns were found -- a 9mm Beretta in West's waistband, a Ruger .357 Magnum strapped to his leg, and a 12-gauge shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back, authorities said.

West also had additional shotgun shells in a backpack, authorities said.
It's worth noting that, shortly after the arrest, West's father, Dmitri West, said: "All I can say is Delonte was looking behind his back and protecting himself." From what, exactly, Dmitri? Bigfoot? The Terminator? A dinosaur? Because that was some serious armament for personal protection.

In other news, no word yet on whether West will be a playable character in the upcomign Left 4 Dead 2. But if I could kill zombies as Delonte West, I would probably go ahead and spring for an Xbox 360.

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Bloody Battier
"Send...more...paramedics."

Pretty freaky, huh? That's the kind of scene that's usually preceded by the bloody guy explaining "I got mugged on the way home from work by some crackheads or something, and one of 'em bit me" followed shortly by somebody else saying/screaming, "Shane? Shane, what's wrong? What...what are you...NO! DON'T! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" [fade to black]

Tha man responsible? Sasha Vujacic of course. Shocking.


Note: Bonus bawful points go to the first person who can correctly name the movie I quoted in the caption. AND NO FAIR GOOGLING.

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How bad is the swine flu pandemic? Well, you know it's pretty bad when the world's flu experts start breaking out words that 89 percent of high school seniors probably don't know. (Pandemic means "prevalent over a whole area, country, etc." by the way.) But how's this for perspective: Mexico is shutting down. The whole country. FOR FIVE DAYS. You can now join me in saying, "Holy sh*t!"

But let's not freak out too badly, okay? I mean, unless the world's governments are using this as a cover for a zombie apocalypse -- and I haven't ruled that out just yet -- then the swine flu isn't something we haven't faced before. And beaten. Like back in the 1970s, when the following super-awesome PSA was made. Now, normally I wouldn't give something like this its own post...except for its rather comical juxtaposition of race, which is totally basketball-related.

At the 14-second mark, we are introduced to two young black men, dressed in grubby-looking t-shirts and jeans, playing basketball in what seems to be a schoolyard. One of them takes a quick breather to say, "Swine flu? Man, I'm too fast to let it catch me." (You then see him in bed with a thermometer in his mouth, presumably near death.) Next we see a white man. Or should I say, The White Man. Older, well-spoken, suited up, obviously wealthy and powerful with a huge desk and big comfy office. And he doesn't play some poor man's (i.e., black man's) sport like basketball. He plays GOLF. Every weekend! That's right, GOLF. The rich man's game. The white man's game.

In the big scheme of things, it's not that big a deal. After all, a lot has changed since the 1970s. Disco is dead (except for in certain prominent gay dance clubs), bell-bottoms (dorky!) are now referred to as boot-cuts (cool!), a black man is the best golfer on the planet, and a black basketball player is President of the United States. So, you know, those people in the 70s might as well have been living on Pluto. Which, as it happens, was a planet in 1970 but has since been reclassified as a mere dwarf planet...and only the second-largest one of those in our solar system. But it's still pretty funny to see how laughingly backward our Plutonian forbears were just a few short decades ago.

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Trade deadline
When Rafer Alston is The Face of the NBA's trade deadline,
well, you know not much of anything went down.

The NBA trade deadline: Last year's headline-grabbing before-the-deadline trades -- Shaq to Phoenix, Jason Kidd to Dallas -- changed everything without really changing anything. That is, neither player pushed his team over the championship hump (or even out of the first round) and so neither deal convinced GMs around the league to break their salary cap piggy bank in order to acquire a superstar. Between those blockbuster busts (not to mention the way the early-season Not-Answer trade has crippled the Pistons) and the sagging economy, GMs have become more interested in shedding salary than improving their teams in any meaningful way. (Although if anything can bring Larry Hughes' corpse back to life, it's Dr. D'Antonistein.) So: Snap, fizzle, pop. The trade deadline came and went with the best player moved being...Rafer Alston. Zowie! As Dan L. wrote in to say: "I'm sure you've seen this picture that ESPN is using for their trade deadline story. It sure says a lot about the bawfulness of this trade deadline that Rafear Alston is the centerpiece of their coverage."

I think Johnny Ludden of Yahoo! Sports put it best: "The San Antonio Spurs thought they had a deal all but done for Los Angeles Clippers center Marcus Camby only to see it unravel at the deadline. The Portland Trail Blazers boasted for weeks about how Raef LaFrentz's 'super' expiring contract could land them a top-level player. LaFrentz’s contract was so super, in fact, that Blazers GM Kevin Pritchard decided to put it under his pillow at the deadline. ... Even Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban didn’t pull the trigger on a move. Out East, the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers also stood pat. Among the contenders, only the Orlando Magic made a basketball trade, acquiring Houston Rockets point guard Rafer Alston. Too many teams were too reluctant to take on money. The Mavericks and Spurs both had interest in Sacramento’s John Salmons, but the Kings were unwilling to assume even the partial $2 million guarantees of Jerry Stackhouse and Bruce Bowen."

Why get better when you can save money? Speaking of which...

The Detroit Pistons: Allen Iverson led the Pistons with 31 points and 7 assists, but Detroit lost at home yet again, this time to the Manu Ginobili-less Spurs. They are now 14-15 at the Palace of Auburn Hills this season...and 2-10 at home in the past six weeks. And now they're looking at a road trip that includes games at Boston, Cleveland, New Orleans and Orlando. It's pretty doubtful they'll return from that little excursion on the plus side of the .500 mark. And right now they're clinging to the seventh playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, which means -- gulp -- Detroit could fail to reach the playoffs. I mean, it's a possibility that's becoming more real with each passing game.

And I'm telling you, the Pistons looked flat, lifeless, out of sync. The Not-Answer's good game seemed to suck all the awesome right out of his teammates. Rodney Stuckey finished with 2 points. Tayshaun Prince and Rip Hamilton combined to score 12 points on 5-for-20 shooting. Rasheed Wallace put up 11 on 17 shots. The depth the team boasted last year with their vaunted Zoo Crew was all but forgotten as coach Michael Curry played only seven men.

Yes, I know the Spurs are good and all, but the Pistons are in disarray...and have been for most of the season. Said Stuckey: "We lost again. I don't know. I really can't explain anything anymore. We just keep losing, and now we've got some great teams to play." That's one seriously bummed out player. Joe Dumars apologists insist that this is all part of a bigger plan to keep Detroit competitive in future seasons. But it sure does suck right now.

Update! Reggie Miller, lousy analysis machine: From Wild Yams: "The highlight of last night for me was definitely when Reggie Miller tried to refute the idea that Allen Iverson has hurt the Pistons this year while simultaneously trying to assert that it's just a coincidence that the Nuggets have been so good with Chauncey Billups, only to have Marv Albert verbally bitch slap him into submission for it. Reggie Miller's insane 'reasoning' for why the Nuggets have been better this year than Detroit has is because Chauncey has a better supporting cast in Denver than Iverson does in Detroit. OK, I'm not even sure if that's true or not, but that aside, Marv pointed out that Chauncey had that same supporting cast in Detroit last year and took them to the Conference Finals (for the 6th straight time), while Iverson had arguably a better supporting cast in Denver last year than Chauncey does this year (Camby & Najera were there last year), yet Iverson only helped the Nuggets to an 8th seed and a 1st round sweep. Reggie's response was to then point out (paraphrasing) 'Yeah, but Chauncey plays with Carmello Anthony...' Speaking of Reggie Miller, I was really struck recently by thinking about what I used to think of the guy when he was a player, particularly in the mid-90s, and how shockingly different he seems now. Miller was the guy who killed the Knicks, taunted Spike Lee with a choking gesture, hit game winners over Jordan, and threw Kobe Bryant over a scorer's table in a brawl. Now he sounds like he's doing commercials for Disney or something. Is there a goofier former player out there? I don't think so."

another duncan face

The Duncan Face: You all remember the Duncan Face, right? Well, as you can see in the picture above, Timmy made it again last night against the Pistons. Dan B. sent in the pic and asked: "Why does Tim Duncan look scared/surprised in this picture?" Here's the answer: At this point, the Duncan Face is an unconcious, instinctive reaction. He can't even control it anymore, just like I can't control the damn eye twitch I get every time somebody brings up Kobe Bryant. (And by "eye twitch" I mean "uncontrollable vomiting.")

Injuries: Boston Celtics fans had to deal with a stomach-clencher last night: Kevin "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!!" Garnett strained his right knee going for an alley-oop late in the second quarter and had to hop on his left foot into the locker room. He did not play in the second half. There's been no indication so far how serious the injury may or may not be, but the Celtics are downplaying it. At halftime, Danny Ainge told TNT sideline reporter Cheryl Miller: "He's resting right now. It's been bothering him for a couple of weeks." (A couple of weeks?! That's news.) After the game, Doc Rivers added: "He wanted to run but we have a long season and I'm not taking a risk by putting him on the floor. We would have loved to have him, obviously, it probably would have made a difference. Unless he's close to 100 percent, I'd rather have him healthy for the playoffs. That's how I look at it."

KG didn't stick around to talk to the media, but he did issue the following statement: "As you know, I suffered an injury, a strain to my right knee, during the game and I really don't have any comment about it. I will have the knee re-examined [Friday] and we should have more information at that time. Obviously, I would much rather be playing instead of providing this statement." Obviously. On the bright side, he'll have plenty of time to quest for G. But you know what "No KG" means...

The Boston Celtics: They held up pretty well without KG...for a while. But after building an 11-point third-quarter lead, things fell apart. The C's committed 19 turnovers (off which the Jazz scored 24 points) and missed 10 free throws. Those two things make it pretty hard to win on the road against a reasonably strong team, especially when you're missing your best player (no offense to Paul Pierce). Plus, to be frank, Boston got pushed around a little without KG. Which had to please Jerry Sloan. Speaking of which...

Jerry Sloan, unintentionally dirty quote machine: Sent in by Basketbawful reader SN from Germany: "Utah coach Jerry Sloan was uncharacteristically complimentary of his team after the Jazz beat the Celtics 90-85. Utah did it with the kind of style the coach just loves—nasty. 'They put a body on you. They knock you around,' Sloan said of the defending NBA champion. 'Our guys, sometimes we want to play in a tuxedo. And when you’re playing against those guys, you better get it off and get ready to get nasty.'" Wow. Sounds like Jerry needs a bottle of lotion, a box of tissues and a little time alone. From the sound of it, two, maybe three minutes should do it.

Paul Pierce: Without Garnett, Boston turned to the self-proclaimed best player in the world and he...didn't come through. Sure, Pierce scored 20 points, but he committed a game-high 5 turnovers and got shut down by Matt Harpring down the stretch. No, really. Harpring drew a charge and forced Truth into 2-for-9 shooting in the fourth quarter.

Brian Scalabrine: Veal started the third quarter in place of KG drew four fouls in the first 3:30. Obviously, he was channeling the spirit of Greg Kite. (Yes, I know Kite's still alive. That's what makes it so creepy.) Scal ended up fouling out in just under 12 minutes of PT.

Lacktion report: Have you met Chris? Then here, let me introduce you to him...

Spurs-Pistons: San Antonio's Malik Hairston quietly put up a suck differential of +2 in 4:09 via one foul and one missed shot.

Celtics-Jazz: Brevin Knight may have given the Jazz a sold +3 in a full 8:03 via brick, foul, and misplacing the rock into the hands of a Boston player...but Jerry Sloan's commitment to Nintendo technology has increased, with Ronnie Price's 4-second Super Mario providing an upgrade to the 16-bit era!

And while many point to the non-retention of James Posey as one potential reason for the Celtics being just a little bit less of a sure thing to repeat...the trade that sent Patrick O'Bryant to the stone age of bawful in Toronto proves that Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge don't think that this year's team is worthy of multiple human victory cigars, especially with Scalabrine starting to sop up actual productive minutes against his previous championship-winning lacktivity.

(BTW...O'Bryant, Jawai, and Voskuhl: Will they become Toronto's "Little Three" of the lacktator ranks for months to come? Stay tuned! I guess the next step for them is a cheesy public access sports recap show commercial, followed by a preschool paegant-level ad promoting a lemonade stand. AND YES -- one local piece on the trade has already mentioned the three experts at non-contribution as "competing" for a job! Certainly O'Bryant's previous experience as human victory cigar won't be much of an advantage north of the border.)
Jason Williams: The rotting carcass once known as White Chocolate has reached a bony claw from behind the black veil of death to request immediate reinstatement into the NBA. According to an internal league memo. Apparently some dark necromancer noticed that certain teams (such as the Celtics and Rockets) were scrambling around for point guard help and thought: "Teams are seriously considering Stephon Marbury? A cadaver would be a better option at the point. And I'm gonna prove it..."

Kobe Bryant: Mamba walked up to Adam Morrison during practice, grabbed a large hunk of his mustache and tore it out. After Adam stopped crying -- and it took a while -- he asked: "W-w-w-why?!" Replied Kobe: "Because I can." He then put the 'stache chunk up for sale on eBay.

Bonus: Nothing bawful here, but these items are worth a look anyway: Check out one fan's Twitter-assisted run-in with Shaq and go bask in the glory of dunking cheerleaders.

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Pacers fail

The Milwaukee M.A.S.H. unit: Let me put this mathemologically: [The Milwaukee Bucks - (Michael Redd + Andrew Bogut)] < [The Indiana Pacers - Danny Granger]. Particularly when T.J. Ford is allowed to match his career-high with 34 points by a Bucks defense that even the Associated Press described as "standstill." And Milwaukee's handicapped defense managed only 99 points against a Pacers team that (as noted as recently as yesterday) surrenders more points than anybody other than the defenseless Kings and Warriors. In fact, this game represented only the fifth time since December 15th -- a span of 23 games -- that Indy held a foe below 100 points.

Kelvin Sampson: Bucks assistant Kelvin Sampson used to coach the Indiana University men's basketball team. I say "used to" because he was fired after the NCAA busted him for the heinous and unforgiveable crime of making more than 100 impermissible phone calls. That's what I like to call...justice. Anyway, it was Sampson's first trip to Indiana since his infamous ousting, and the Pacers fans let him have it. Some of the attendees yelled "Kelvin, can you hear me now?" and Boomer, the Pacers mascot, walked behind the Bucks bench with a large, fake cell phone during a first-half timeout. It just goes to show: Hoosiers may forget, but they never forgive.

Sacramento Kings: One night after giving up 119 points and a career-high 43 points to Mo Williams in Cleveland, the Kings surrendered 117 points and a career-high 8 three-pointers to Eddie House in Boston. That's what we call "defensive fail" around these parts. House finished with a season-high 28 points and the Celtics hit 55 percent of their shots (despite the fact that Paul Pierce was 1-for-5 and Kendrick Perkins was zero-for-zero). Boston's bench scored 61 points on 21-for-33 from the field. Said Kings detainee Jason Thompson: "You're not going to win ballgames like that. You know, we can't let guys like Eddie come into the game and have a spark, have a night like that." Ouch. That's kinda rough on Eddie. But true.

Bonus facts: Sacramento has lost seven straight games, are 1-17 in their last 18 road outings, and last night fell to 0-20 against the East...making them the only team in the NBA that has been blanked by an entire conference.

The Boston Celtics: Apparently, the C's got the same "defense optional" memo that the Craboliers received before their game against the Kings. Boston fell into an early 10-point hole as the Sactowners put up 30 first-quarter points. The Celtics did deliver a little bit of a defensive knockout in the second quarter -- during which they outscored the Kings 40-19 -- but there D took it a little easy for the rest of the game (Sacramento scored 29 in the third and 22 during 12 garbage time minutes in the fourth).

Paul Pierce: So...the best player in the world, huh? Pierce finished with 8 points on 1-for-5 shooting. In the first quarter, he committed three personal fouls and got T'd up to boot. He did have 8 assists on the night, but still.

The Washington Generals: Another night, another blowout loss for the worst-in-the-league Generals. Dwyane Wade nearly had a no-sweat triple double (14 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) in only 29 minutes and Miami won by 22 despite shooting only 39 percent from the field. It helped that Washington shot 37 percent themselves in addition to committing 18 turnovers. The Heat Pine Riders outscored the Generals' bench jockeys 50-14, and Miami won the points-off-turnovers battle 26-2. Believe it or not, Washington stayed competitive for 24 minutes, even maintaining a lead for most of the first half. Then the Heat went on a 21-6 third-quarter run and it was all over but the crying. Said Antawn Jamison: "It's the same story for us. We do a pretty good job and we go through one stretch...that takes the air out of us."

The New Jersey Nets: Hey. Look. The Nets lost another game at home. What. A. Surprise. But this game gave me a little extra jolly, since it was against Vinsane's old team, the Raptors. I do likes me a revenge game. New Jersey's defense won't be winning any awards (unless the award has "suck" or "poop" in the title): The Raptors shot nearly 56 percent from the field and 50 percent (11-for-22) from beyond that arcy line. The Nets are now 9-15 at home and, better yet, only 9-18 since December 9th. That's when Devin Harris stat-cursed his squad by saying "We knew we were going to be a playoff team." Speaking of Devin, he clanked a wide-open 16-foot jumper at the buzzer that would have won the game, which led to...

Devin Harris, quote machine: Basketbawful reader Sky Flakes sent in the following Harris blurb: "That's my go-to move, I couldn’t ask for anything more. You get that shot nine times out of 10, and I hit that shot like 98.6 percent of the time." Added Mr. Flakes: "Okay, he must have some problems in his arithmetic." What?! Oh, come on, Flakes. Devin is a master of [thumb snap] numberology! (Okay, does ANYBODY get my Boondock Saints references? And no, BadDave, you don't count.) This quote makes me wish I had a picture of Devin hiding his face...hey! Thanks to Shayan of Mediocre Forever -- A Toronto Raptors Blog I do!

Raptors Nets Basketball
Them's some mad math skillz, Devin.

The Atlanta Hawks: The Dirty Birds had their wings clipped by wee-tiny Nate Robinson's 20-point fourth-quarter thunderbolt. So, uh, yeah.

Hawks sticky

Atlanta's foul shooting, however, was the biggest culprit in the loss. The Hawks -- who entered the game ranked 26th in the league in free throw percentage (74.3) -- missed 15 freebies (17-for-32). Josh Smith, who connects from the charity stripe at a 63 percent clip, blew two in a row early in the fourth quarter (costing his team the chance to pull to within 2 points) and finished 2-for-10 from the line. Hawks coach Mike Woodson griped: "You got to step up and make free throws. You can't play a close game like this and miss 15 free throws. I mean, that puts you behind the eight ball." Bonus fact: The Hawks are now 6-9 since that eight-game homestand that made everybody immediately overrate them. (So, you know, I toldja so.)

The Denver Nuggets: So the Hornets were without David West, lost Mo Pete in the first half (sprained left foot), and Chris Paul was very not good (3-for-12 shooting and a game-high 5 turnovers). And yet the Nuggets STILL lost by 13 in New Orleans? Yup. It might have helped if they'd gotten a few digits in Peja Stojakovic's shot pocket -- Peja scored a game-high 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting -- but they guy who really murderized Denver was Devin Brown: D-Bo stepped in for Peterson and went 6-for-7 en route to 18 huge points. And, oh yeah, there was also the little matter of those 19 turnovers (for 20 points going the other way). Said Kenyon Martin: "We were throwing the ball all over the place. We've got to get it under control." Imagine: Mr. Neck Lips trying to get something under control.

The Memphis Grizzlies: The Bad News Bears seem intent on being part of the three-team potato suck race with the Kings and Generals. And I have evidence. Exhibit A: The 11-34 record (fifth-worst in the league!). Exhibit B: Their current league-high 11-game losing streak. Exhibit C: Last night's overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. (Yes! The Thunder finally earned their O's back!) Apparently, the Men from Memphis believe that "defense" is simply "waiting to get back on offense," since the Thunder connected on 51 percent of their field goals and 61 percent of their threes. Oklahoma City finished the game on a 14-0 run that, in many ways, perfectly symbolized the pitiful futility that is the Grizzlies' season.

And get this, people: The Thunder have a .500+ record since New Year's Eve. They leapfrogged the Generals earlier this week to escape "Worst Record In The NBA" status. Even more amazingly, the Kings' loss at Boston and the Clippers' loss at home to the Bulls (see below) mean that the Thunder no longer have the worst record in the Western Conference!

The Houston Rockets: Wait, wait. Let me get this straight. Tracy McGrady? Check. Ron Artest? Check. Yao Ming? Check. Playing at home? Check. Seems like Houston's stage was set for an important victory. Too bad Philly didn't read the script. The Rockets were held to 41 percent shooting and got beaten on the boards (48-40) as the 76ers bolted back from a 14-point deficit to win 95-93 thanks to Andre Iguodala's baseline jumper with 36 seconds left. Knee-Mac, who shot 8-for-20 and had his last-second three-point attempt partially blocked by Samuel Dalembert, said: "I really don't have an answer. We just got to keep on grinding, keep digging and find an answer for it. We've got to be better, a lot better." The Rockets have now lost three of four.

Yao Ming: There were the game-high 5 turnovers. And the two of his shots that got stuffed. And then, there was this...


No, that's okay, Yao. Don't bother jumping on your team's account. (Thanks to Wira for the video link.)

The Golen State Warriors: Defense. It's not just something Hubie Brown talks about during NBA broadcasts. But don't tell that to the Warriors. It might break their offensive-minded hearts. The Oakland Suck Raiders provided little (read that: no) resistance as the Mavericks gunned their way to 117 points and a 53-38 edge on the boards. Meanwhile, the Warriors were held to 38 percent shooting by the suddenly resurrected Dallas D. Said Nellie (as he was no doubt contemplating a post-game beer): "I was disappointed with our play, but so be it." Now that sounds like a man with some strong feelings. Just not about his team.

Got a funny email from Basketbawful reader Callum regarding this game: "It must be noted that in the horrific rout of Golden State by Dallas, the only player to register a positive +/- was the inspirational Rob Kurz, who during his epic seven minutes on the court saw the team reach heights not seen the entire game. It must have been his three missed shots, his three fouls and his telling defensive rebound that lead to the +1." Memo to Don Nelson: ROB KURZ NEEDS MORE MINUTES.

The Charlotte Bobcats: Considering that, one night earlier, they beat the Lakers in L.A. in double-overtime while also losing Gerald Wallace to a partially collapsed lung, losing to the Trail Blazers in Portland isn't too shaming. But, hey, I'm not about cutting people breaks. The 'Cats fell behind 32-18 after one quarter and never got back to within single digits. Said Raja Bell: "As hard as we tried that first quarter, it just wasn't clicking. Our bodies weren't ready to go. It took us a while to warm up, and they exploited that." Catsploitation. It's just wrong.

Update! Adam Morrison: I got this late-breaking email from Juan P.: "I thought for sure someone would be all over getting this quote to you from last night's Bobcats-Blazers game. The Portland CSN broadcasters are your typical local hucksters, but this drunken/senile/corpse guy Mike Rice uncorked a low-key yet devasting insult late in the first quarter:

Mike Barrett: 'That's Adam Morrison's second foul and he'll be headed to the bench.'

Mike Rice: 'And that's bad news for the Blazers. If you're a Blazer, you want Adam Morrison out there on the court.'
"The NBA ain't Gonzaga. There was a minor uproar in Portland when the Blazers chose LaMarcus Aldridge over Pasty Stache. I think that was during the height of the ironic mustache fad in Cooltown. The consolation prize from a NW college that year was Brandon Roy." Not a bad consolation prize. Kinda sad for Adam, though.

The Los Angeles Clippers: Go to By The Horns for full coverage. No, seriously, go over there and pump up my page counts. Leave comments. Please. I'm begging you. Ha, ha, just kidding. But really, do it. Anyway, the Clips got Baron Davis and Marcus Camby back from injury. Know what that changed? Absolutely nothing. B-Diddy went 1-for-10 and The Camby Man was outscored 9-6 by Aaron Gray. Yeah. And despite the psychological advantage of getting two of their best players back from injury and the fact that they were playing a slumping team -- the Bulls had lost five in a row and are 6-13 in their last 19 games -- they still lost by 20 at home. That'll happen when you consider defense to be something reserved for other sports, like football and backgammon.

The game was actually competitive in the first half, but L.A.'s Other Team got outscored 26-9 in the third. Said Clippers non-coach Mike Dunleavy: "This wasn't one of those good efforts. I was really disappointed. We came out and laid an egg in the third quarter." Uh huh. Look, you might be tired of hearing this, but facts are facts: They are who we thought they were.

Texas Department of Transportation: TDoT became the unwitting victims of what has officially become My Favorite Prank of 2009: Chris Lippincott, director of media relations for the Lone Star State's Department of Transportation, confirmed that one or more enterprising pranksters hacked into a portable traffic sign at Lamar Boulevard and West 15th Street, near the University of Texas at Austin, during the early hours of January 19. The new message? Zombies Ahead. Seriously.

Zombies ahead
Ha, ha! Just kidding! There aren't any
"zombies" ahead. As far as you know...

Hopefully this incident really was a prank and not some sort of government cover up. Because if a World War Z-style zombie apocalypse is going to happen, I'd really like to have some time to fill my basement with shotguns and bottle water. Oh, and I'll need to kidnap Gwen Stefani. (Thanks to longtime buddy Big Bad Carter for the head's up.)

Update! Kobe Bryant: Mamba dumped a bottle of ammonia in Luke Walton's fish tank. Then, at practice the next day, he made sure that Luke overheard him talking about "some dumbass who couldn't even keep his fish alive."

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