In a carefully scripted statement to his adoring public, Kobe Bryant has admitted to feeling embarrassed about scoring 81 points last week. Said Bryant:

"The concept is not about going out there and putting on a show or going out there and scoring points, it's to win games. I'd much rather go out and score 25 points and get 10 assists and see everybody in a rhythm, everybody in a groove."
Forgive me if my giant brain is showing, but I'm pretty sure I already said that as recently as yesterday. I wonder what Mr. Anonymous will have to say now that Kobe's basically agreeing with our fair and balanced assessment of his historic scoring feat? Well, don't worry, Mr. Anonymous. We at Basketbawful don't hold grudges. After all, if you were as quick-witted and suave as we are, then we wouldn't have anything to make fun of. I'm not saying that we actually appreciate idiots like you, but we understand your worth to this page.

Anyway, I find it interesting that it took Kobe so long to come out in favor of team play. I mean, he's only answered, like, two hundred million questions about his non-
Wilt scoring record. If this was truly a sincere statement, then he would have been all "team first" from the initial post-game interview. Instead, it took his agent and the Lakers' public relations staff a few extra days to figure out that there are still some people in the world who don't love Kobe Bryant. And that really hurts Kobe's feelings.

I don't know. Maybe Mr. Anonymous was right. Maybe I'm being unfair. Maybe -- just maybe -- I'm unreasonably biased against one of the game's most exciting players. From this day forward, I will take the optimist's point of view and assume that the Kobe Glass is not half empty, but rather half full. Of shit.

Okay. Yeah. We hate Kobe.
The 1990-91 Denver Nuggets were a truly prolific offensive team. They averaged 119.9 points a game and had an astounding eight players average in double-figures, led by Michael Adams (26.5 points and 10.5 assists) and Orlando Woolridge (25.1 points and 6.8 rebounds). For a statistical comparison, the Phoenix Suns are the highest scoring team in the league this year, and they're averaging 106.3 points per game and have six players in double-digits, although Shawn Marion is their only 20-point scorer (21.5).

So why did Nuggets finish with a pathetic 20-62 record and waaaaaaay out of the playoffs? Because they were the worst defensive team of all time. Strong words? Yep. But we have the numbers to back them up.

Just how bad were they? The following statement pretty much says it all: they gave up 130.8 points per game. That's right: per game. Just think about that for a minute. Can you imagine scoring almost 120 points and still losing by at least 11 points every night? By the way, that 130.8 points a game is, indeed, the most points per game allowed by any team in
NBA history.

But wait! There's more. As a team, they shot a pathetic 44.0 percent from the field -- worst in the league that year -- while allowing their opponents to shoot 51.2 percent, another league-worst. What's even more absurd is that they never, not once, held an opponent under 100 points. In fact, they only held an opponent under 110 points four times. By comparison, they allowed nine teams to score more than 150 points against them. Here's a breakdown of the number of points allowed by the Nuggets over the course of the 1990-91 season:

Denver Nuggets Chart
1990-91 Denver Nuggets Points Allowed

The coach of the team was Paul Westhead, best known for getting run out of Los Angeles by Magic Johnson. He decided before the season to implement an up-tempo offense that emphasized pushing the ball at every opportunity. Unfortunately, the "First Team To 100 Points Wins" philosophy only works when you can stop the other team once or twice.

Runner Up: Strangely enough, the second-worst defensive team of all time was the
1981-82 Denver Nuggets, who surrendered 126 points per game while allowing opponents to shoot 52.4 percent. Coach Doug Moe used a motion offense he called "playground ball with a little supervision." Apparently there there was even less supervision on the defensive end. On the up side, they were the highest scoring team in league history at 126.5 points per game. Which got them into the playoffs where they were promptly knocked off in the first round by Phoenix.

Bonus Trivia: The
1982-83 Denver Nuggets have the dubious distinction of being the only team to ever score 184 points...and lose the game. On December 13, 1983, the Nuggets lost to the Detroit Pistons by the score of 186-184 in triple overtime. And for the record, that Nuggets team gave up 122.6 points per game, which is good for 5th worst of all time. Of course, the 1983-84 Denver Nuggets were the 4th worst defensive team ever, allowing 124.8 points per game. In fact, the Ultimate Stat Search at reveals that five of the top ten worst defensive teams of all time are former Nuggets squads, making them, historically speaking, the worst defensive franchise ever.
Has anyone actually seen David Stern lately? Can we get independent confirmation that he's still alive and running the NBA? Because I just found this image on the front page of the Miami Heat's official team Website:

Carlito Cool
Wrestling idiot Carlito Cool talks trash
to Shaq on the Heat's own Website.

If you're not familiar with professional wrestling -- and I hope for the sake of your sex life that you aren't -- the damn fool in the picture is Carlito Cool, an "athlete" from the WWE. As I mentioned yesterday, Carlito recently attended a Heat game and got clobbered by Shaq. Not only did they post a picture of the wrestling lunatic, they also provide a link to the clip of Shaq attacking him with a steel chair.

Mark my words,
Vince McMahon is running the NBA right now. The evidence is right in front of us. Exhibit A: Kobe Bryant nicknamed himself "Black Mamba," then used an 81-point outburst to turn from heel to babyface. Exhibit B: Teams like the Raptors and Hawks are the basketball equivalent of jobbers. Exhibit C: A whole series of fights, suspensions, comebacks, bizarre crimes, and Ron Artest just being Ron Artest. These events are not coincidences, I'm telling you. Am I the only one who's catching on?
Today is a day I will remember for a very long time, maybe even until I go to bed tonight. Because today, my friends, is the day that Amare friggin' Stoudemire called me!!

From the heart of a blazing sun, Amare Stoudemire
takes time to jump, dunk, and freaking call me.

Before I relate what he had to say, you need to understand a few things. Amare is a busy man, what with team meetings, rehab, and the daily redefinition of the words "kick" and "ass." He barely has a minute to spare to cover himself in cooking oil and jump into his bed full of naked supermodels. So, no, I wasn't allowed to actually speak to him directly. Instead, I got a wake-up call courtesy of stock message that was pre-taped but lovingly delivered:

"This is Amare Stoudemire. Stop being a lazy bum. Lose the PJs, get dressed, and hit the court. And do something about the hair. You look a mess."

Even though I didn't particularly care for the "lazy bum" comment, I appreciated his frank and brutal honesty. I mean, my hair really does look a mess. Of course, by the time he called, I had been up for two hours and was already at work, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

I know I probably shouldn't reveal this, but Amare's phone number is 1-999-999-9999, which is pretty easy to remember...even for a professional athlete. Just please don't flood him with phone calls right away, because I don't want him to know I gave out his number. I don't like to piss of anyone tough enough to live and work in the heart of a fiery sun.
Human Victory Cigar (hyoo'-muhn vik'-tuh-ree si'-gahr) noun. The 12th man on a basketball team, usually exiled to the end of the bench until the team is involved in a major blowout and there are only a few minutes left in the game.

Usage example: If your team is up by 40 with two mintues to go, the Human Victory Cigar will probably enter the game. Probably. Well, maybe.

Word Trivia: The
NBA has been blessed with a numerous and varied array of Human Victory Cigars over the years: Greg Kite, Uwe Blab, Mike Smrek, Scott Hastings, Joe Kleine, Ed Nealy, Jack Haley...and many, many, many more. But Darko Milicic is today's preeminent HVC, and a living symbol that if you can't learn to do something well, you should probably learn to enjoy watching other people do it instead. Darko was (infamously) selected by the Pistons in the first round of the 2003 NBA Draft ahead of other All-Star caliber players such as Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade, making him the worst second overall draft pick since Sam Bowie.

Unless the Pistons are up 30, the
warmups never even come off.
I'm not sure what's more ridiculous: the fact that Nate McMillan tried to arrange a field trip to the Super Bowl for his Portland Trailblazers, or that the request was denied by NBA officials for supposedly "circumventing the salary cap."

The league's assertion is that the trip -- even if the players paid their own way -- would be considered an added inducement above-and-beyond what is guaranteed in their contracts. And we all know that basketball players never receive perks that haven't been contractually agreed upon beforehand.

It's shame, too, because the Blazers could have
won a chance to tailgait with this guy:

Skull Hawk
"Raaaaarrgh!! Seattle rocks!!!"

The maniac in the picture is called Skull Hawk, and supposedly he's "one of the Seattle Seahawks most famous fans." Which wouldn't be too hard when you think about it, because before they made the Super Bowl the Seahawks didn't have any fans. I'm happy to know that Skull Hawk is a "hard working and loving husband and father of three children," but I still don't think I'd pay a hundred bucks to hang out with a constumed monster for thirty minutes of delicious beer and cocktail weenies.

As hard as it is to believe, the auction ended with zero bids, despite proclaiming that "kids LOVE THIS GUY." Because nothing says "child friendly" like a grotesquely grinning skull in a football uniform.
Nike is best known for paying sweaty Malaysian children fifty cents a year to make athletic shoes, and then paying Michael Jordan ten million dollars a commercial to hold those shoes up to his face and smile. But in a bold new move, the slave-trading shoe merchant is now pimping out their professional athletes as well.

For absolutely no cost, you can request a special
wake-up call from various sports stars, from hottie Maria Sharapova to not-so-hottie Alex Rodriguez. I'm eagerly anticipating a call from Amare Stoudemire tomorrow morning, but I'm a little bummed that Shaq doesn't endorse Nike, because I'd love to get a call from the Diesel's totally sweet shoe phone:

Shaq phone
"Good morning. It's Shaq. Now wake the hell up!"
As we've mentioned, the NBA is starting to look more like professional wrestling than basketball. Fights, locker room chases, evil nicknames, drug abuse, kidnappings...we're not saying for sure that Vince McMahon is scripting the 2005-06 season, but we wouldn't be surprised to find out that Shaq and Kobe were going to face off at the upcoming Royal Rumble.

In fact, just last week
Shaq got into a fight with WWE wrestling goon Carlito Cool, which ended rather quickly after Shaq hit Cool in the back with a steel chair. Cool apparently attended a Heat game for the sole purpose of taunting the injured Jason Williams, which, while completely warranted, probably isn't advisable since Jason has a giant teammate who can kill you with one clubbing blow.

The sneak attack must have inspired Shaq, because The Big
Maravich hit ten freethrows in a row in a Sunday night win over the Rockets. Said teammate Dwayne Wade:
"He wasn't missing and he was looking good. He had that confident look. His eyes were real big and when that happens, you know he's confident."
And here we just thought it meant he was scanning the crowd for something large and chocolatey to eat. This is good information to have, though. Now front row spectators will know they don't have to duck away in fear when Shaq shoots freethrows as long as his eyes are "real big."

Shaq FT
Just call him "The Big Freethrow."
We at Basketbawful enjoy getting feadback from our readers, because it justifies our existence and validates everything we believe in. And what we believe in, of course, is that there are a lot of morons out there who have access to the Internet. In that spirit, reader Anonymous had this to say about our Random Kobe Facts post:
"damn.. You oughta be ashamed to be basketball fans..."
This comment is as disappointing as slipping your hand into that hot cheerleader's bra and instead of being greeted by a firm, erect nipple ready to chant out the letters in your name, you yank out a wad of sweaty Kleenex. We put a lot of work into this page. After all the hours of cutting and pasting text, downloading naked women, breaking to take a cold shower, downloading more naked women, and responding to Greg Ostertag's angry e-mails, the only response we get is this stupid thing typed by an illiterate's elbows? Couldn't you have at least pasted one of our head's onto a little devil body and tattooed it to your ass? I guess what I'm trying to say is: shut up, you idiot.

Mr. Anonymous didn't stop there. He also took offense to our
Kobe Bryant DID NOT score 81 post:
Wow...Why can't you guys just grow up and enjoy the amazing show of talent that it was. If people would only open their eyes and let him have a chance again, without always trying to shoot down great things, you guys might have a new enjoyment for the league and its best player.
Here's a newsflash for you, Anonymous: when we write here, we get to say whatever we want about anything we want. If we were writing Wolverine, then Marvel Comics could force us to follow the Comics Code Authority rules, tell us to have him fight Speedball, make us start a believable romance between him and She-Hulk, and have us to tie it all in to this month's X-Men "Time Travel Fall of the Mutant Massacre Caper" mega-crossover. But we're not writing a comic book, and you aren't our publisher. If either of these things change anytime soon, then we'll be happy to embrace the Kobe-love. Until then, we reserve the right to call it as we see it.

And this is how we see it: Kobe is not the league's best player. Is he the league's most unstoppable scorer? Absolutely. But then, so was
Dominque Wilkins once upon a time. And you'll notice that Dominique was conspicuosly omitted from the Basketball Hall of Fame last year. While no explicit reason was given, we think it's because 'Nique, for all this highlight-reel-above-the-rim-put-the-damn-ball-in-the-hole talent, never made his teammates better. And neither does Kobe. What's more, he doesn't even seem to care about getting his teammates involved. That's what separates the league's best players from its best scorers.

There's a reason why certain players have had the best seasons of their career while playing alongside guys like
Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, and Tim Duncan, only to fade into statistical oblivion after they jumped ship to become "The Man" somewhere else. Basketball isn't a one-on-everybody-else sport. There are four other guys out there on the court with Kobe, but you'd almost never know it, unless he's triple-teamed or falling out of bounds...situations where he's physically incapable of shooting the ball.

The common assumption is that Kobe has to shoot so much because he teammates don't back him up, that they don't hit shots when they have the opportunity. But I'm here to tell you, the other
Lakers are in a no-win situation. You can't be frozen out for most of the game and then be expected to hit shots when you're ice-cold. Everybody needs to be involved, included, working together toward a common goal. When your only directives are to pass Kobe the ball and watch him dribble around until he can shoot, how can you possibly be expected to succeed? By rebounding the ball when he misses? That's ridiculous.

That's why we weren't in complete and total awe of Kobe's historic scoring feat. Yes, we watched it. It was incredible that he could do it. But we love the sport of basketball in it's purest form. As a group who enjoy watching well-executed plays, crisp passes to the open man, players moving without the basketball, everyone sharing in the experience of the game, watching Kobe run-'n-gun for 81 made us sick. There were times he drove straight into double and triple-teaming defenses while other Lakers were twiddling their thumbs under the basket. Once he had the
Raptors on their heels, he could have shifted gears at any time and started passing the ball. But he finished the game with two assists. Two. Possession after possession with three or four Lakers wide open, and he dished it twice. I'm supposed to be impressed by that?

Look, the last two seasons have been one long dress-rehersal for this hot streak Kobe's on. If you take a truly great scorer -- which Kobe is, no question about it -- and let him jack up 30 to 40 shots a game, every game, then an unbelievable scoring explosion is bound to happen eventually. Go back, for example, and watch Larry Bird's 60-point game. There were possessions where he didn't even touch the ball, and long stretches during which he wasn't even involved in the offense...despite the fact that he was red-hot. The
Celtics didn't play that way; they ran a set offensive scheme and hit the open man, period. Are you telling me Larry couldn't have scored 70 or 80 if he'd been gunning it for the whole game, or even for a full half? If so, you're probably reading this from the padded comfort of your cell.

Okay, I'm done. I'll reopen this conversation once Kobe starts passing the rock and inspiring his teammates.
dunleavy (dun'-leev-ee) verb. dunleavied, dunleavying, dunleavies. To seemingly force a far superior player into a subpar performance for the duration of a single game. Typically, this is simply the result of an "off night" for the superstar in question, but the lesser player is sometimes incorrectly credited with being a "stopper."

Usage example: Did you hear that Lebron shot 5 for 22 last night? He got dunleavied.

Word History: Coined by the Basketbawful Staff after
Mike Dunleavy supposedly harassed Lebron James into a poor performance. Note that Lebron scored 51 points the very next night.

Even Shaq gets dunleavied from time to time.
Reporting the best of the worst of professional basketball can be a major undertaking, and this past week has been no exception. Here are just a few quick hits on this week's worst.

Greg Ostertag was suspended indefinitely by the Jazz for arguing with the coaching staff and then skipping a practice in what was apparently a protest over playing time. Because, you know, 3 points and 4 rebounds a game justifies some serious minutes. This is, of course, just the latest in a long history of clashes between Ostertag and coach Jerry Sloan. What makes this tale truly sad was that Greg's sister, Amy Hall said that these disputes were a thing of the past: "Greg got a second chance to redeem himself [with the team]. I, in my heart, think he'll come back and take it by storm." Good call, Amy.

Tag and Sloan
"Please don't leave me!"

Isiah Thomas is being sued for sexual harassment. This lawsuit is a great follow-up to his being named a 2004 "National Father of the Year". You go, Isiah!

sexual harassment
Isiah commits and act of sexual
harassment (a dramatization)

Isaiah Rider freaking kidnapped somebody! What a fall from grace. Basically, Isaiah's personal timeline reads: lottery pick, 20-point scorer, out of the league, kidnapper. I think he and Maurice Clarett should form a support group.

Isaiah Rider kidnaps a woman
(visual approximation)

Chris Andersen was banned from the league for violating the NBA's drug abuse policy. The league won't comment on what drug Andersen tested postive for, so it's hard to make an accurate judgement. But I find it interesting that Carmelo Anthony got caught with marijuana on a team flight and didn't even get a slap on the wrist. In fact, almost every single member of the 2003 Portland Trailblazers was caught with or using drugs at one time or another, and most of them are still in the league. But the goofy white guy who's only averaging 5 points a game is gone, no questions asked. Maybe he should have tried the "It was my friend's urine" defense.

When you're white and talentless, there are no second chances.

Danny Ainge finally hit the panic button. With the Celtics sinking like a stone in the standings, he knew something had to be done. And since this is Boston we're talking about, he decided that if the team couldn't get better, at least it could get whiter. Mission accomplished.

Last and probably least, the
manhunt continues for the man who attacked Lebron James with a laser pointer. Personally, I think it was just a simple matter of fan protest against James wearing those damn tights.

James tights
I kind of want to shoot him with a laser too.
I hate to say I told them so -- oh, who am I kidding? I love saying I told them so -- but I warned the Jazz that the Mehmet Okur chat was going to fail. The Utah organization continues to ignore me, no matter how many fruit baskets and Hello Kitty stickers I send them. Why won't Jerry Sloan just forgive me for sleeping with his daughter? We shared a forever love. I just don't understand.

Memo transcript

Anyway, I read the transcript. Mehmet was asked a total of 17 questions, almost 33 percent of which came from Istanbul, Turkey. (And you're not fooling anyone Ehmet, Emir, Enis, and Ecg...we know you're all the same person. Probably Mehmet's little brother.) A quick demographic study showed that only seven of the questions came from within the United States, and only one came from Utah (thanks for your support, Jazz fans). I appreciate the fact that Mehmet's from somewhere that's not the United States, and he probably has slightly less of an American following than Tab soda, but I still think it's pretty shameful that he probably had to pay his overseas family members to ask him questions over the Internet. Still, it wasn't a complete waste of tme. I discovered several fun-filled Mehmet facts, including:
  • Instanbul is his favorite place in the world.

  • Hedo Turkoglu and also Andrei Kirilenko are his best friends.

  • He wears number 13 to "prove to people that No. 13 is NOT an unlucky number."

  • His favorite food is McDonalds.

  • He listens to Turkish music and hip-hop.

  • Toni Kukoc is his idol.
Okay, I've changed my mind. It was a complete and utter waste of my time. But at least no one asked him to comment on Kobe's 81 points, so I guess I was wrong about that one. However, he was asked the awkward question about whether he was going to make the All-Star Team, which naturally received the standard "All I'm worried about is helping the team win games, not personal accolades" response that we all know is total crap. Thanks for all the fun, Mehmet!
ball-hoggery (bahl hog'-uh-ree) noun. An excessive desire to handle and/or shoot the basketball more than one needs or deserves, even when it significantly inhibits the involvement of their teammates and undermines the team's ability to compete.

Usage example: He could score 80, 90, or even 100 points, but Kobe Bryant's ball-hoggery will still make me want to spend the rest of my life scraping out my eyeballs with a rusty ice pick.

Word Usage: Most professional athletes are egotistical, to either a greater or lesser extent. But some players (we're not naming any names *cough*KobeBryant*cough*) take selfishness to a new level where you honestly start to wonder whether they're even playing the sport you thought you were watching. The term "ball-hoggery" is reserved for such players; i.e., if there's only one set of prints on the basketball, chances are you're witnessing an example of ball-hoggery.

Only Kobe could defy all known laws of time and
space to take three shots at the same damn time.
Lindsay is both a member of the Pacemates dance team and proof that, somewhere in the distant heavens, there is an all-powerful, all-loving God. When she's not causing Pacers fans to awkwardly cover their erections with stadium-purchased concessions, she's a full-time student at the A Cut Above Beauty College. Something of a human chameleon, Lindsay's eyes have the power to change color, shoot lasers, and capture your very soul.

Lindsay 2

Choosing Lindsay over hundreds of other hot babes wasn't easy. I spent about 17 hours yesterday pouring over NBA cheerleader pictures, perusing gallery after gallery of erotically-charged sexiness, taking short breaks only to use the bathroom and masturbate furiously before continuing bravely on. But I knew that today's cheerleader babe needed something extra special to set her apart from the endless sea of firm breasts and taut, muscular thighs. And then I found a picture of Lindsay dressed as Snow White:

Please, Linsay, take me away with you.

Call me crazy. Call me a pervert. Call me a stalker (but those tapes don't prove anything; the footage is way too grainy and the guy was wearing a ski mask). But after seeing this I almost quit my job and applied for enrollment at her beauty school. Up until I saw this picture, I never really knew for sure whether I had a fairy tale fetish. Now I'm searching for Frog Prince costumes on eBay and googling the hell out of "Lindsay Snow White pictures naked."
I've been a Utah Jazz fan since the early 90s, and I've never really understood why no one wanted to play for them. I mean, they had genetically-enhanced All-Stars and future Hall of Famers in John Stockton and Karl Malone. They had daily doses of free comedy in the form of assclown Greg Ostertag. They play basketball in a state where 98 percent of the population supports polygamy. What more could a wealthy athlete ask for? But after visiting their official Website, I think I finally figured it what the problem is. The Jazz management are assholes. Why else would they just be giving away shooting guard C.J. Miles paycheck?

Miles paycheck
When the Jazz steal a player's money, they don't go halfway.

I know Jerry Sloan is something of a disciplinarian, so maybe this is the team's standard punishment when you're only averaging 3 points a game on 27 percent shooting. I don't know. But it still seems pretty harsh, considering the poor kid's just a rookie and only playing about nine minutes a game. If they were going to punish somebody, shouldn't it be Carlos Boozer? He came to the Jazz last year after stabbing a blind guy in the back, and now he's not even playing. If anyone deserves to lose a paycheck or 82, it's him.

The poor treatment even extends to the team's mascot,
Bear. The Jazz aren't content to merely force Bear to jump off of a trampoline and splatter himself on the backboard like any other respectable mascot. They make him do it through a goddamn flaming hoop.

Bear fire
Hey kids, Bear says: "AIIIIYYYYEEEEEE!!!"

I hope PETA doesn't hear about this. You may have heard of them; they're the club that's all about making animals more comfortable before we throw away the parts that aren't food and cover the rest in cheese. In other news, you can chat online with Mehmet Okur today at 1 p.m.

Memo chat
I'll be Right there. After I clean out my pocket lint.

This could end up being one of the shortest, most boring online chats in history. I mean, honestly, can you think of a single thing to ask Mehmet, other than "Don't you wish you were still on the Pistons?" Although I'd be willing to bet cash money that some schmuck asks him about Kobe's 81 point game, to which Mehmet will probably say something totally innane like, "It was an amazing/unbelievable/incredible performance. He's a great/phenomenal/amazing talent." And if that happens, I'll post about it right before I spend the rest of the day punching myself in the stomach.
hathos (hay'thos) noun. Feelings of intense pleasure derived from the act of hating a particular basketball player, team, etc.

Usage example: Players like Kobe Bryant and Ron Artest fill me with a deep sense of hathos; I just love to hate them.

Word History: The word "hathos" is a combination of
hate and pathos, as coined by journalist Alex Heard in his Washingtom Post article, "Beyond Hate: The Giddy Thrill of Hathos," on May 17, 1987. There is no better word to describe how fans often feel during this Artestean age of ball-hoggery, egotism, and selfishness run amok.

Artest CD
It just feels so good to hate this guy.
The Pacers had a legitimate chance to be one of the NBA's elite teams this year, maybe even a championship contender. That was the goal, the dream. But as we all know, there's nothing Ron Artest loves more than the taste of a really sweet dream. He ate it, crapped it back out, and now the Pacers are left poking through his fecal matter with a stick, trying to find anything that's still worth holding on to.

I guess that's just life in professional sports. When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial things can become deadly projectiles. So we just have to accept the fact that the Pacers' season is already over. But how, then, do we get through the team's next 41 exhibition games before the next rebuilding process can begin? Well, it looks like the Pacers have decided that if they can't be the best team in the league, then they can certainly be the sexiest. Because as
Jessica Simpson has repeatedly proven, if you're attractive enough on the outside, people will forgive you for being irritating to the core.

To that end, the team has released new
desktop wallpaper. Some of them are unintentionally laughable, like the picture of Scott Pollard kicking back on a recliner. Others look like a misguided attempt at creating glamour shots for certain players. For instance:

Foster glamour shot
Jeff Foster wants you. He wants you, baby!

If that didn't make your nipples hard, you probably don't even remember what sex is. But even if you don't, this picture of Sarunas However-The-Hell-You-Say-It will remind you, and fast! In fact, I propose that we replace every illustration in the Kama Sutra with cute little pictures of Sarunas. That would be pretty hot.

Sarunas glamour shot
How do women scream his name in bed? Seriously.

This last pictures is of Stephen Jackson. I think it's pretty clear from his no-nonsense look that he isn't playing any games. He knows you want him. It's obvious. Please wipe up that drool and get a hold of yourself, because you aren't worthy of a man like Jax. This dude has a Master's Degree in Vulva Science. I can say with absolute certainty that he knows more about vaginas than anyone else in the entire world. Honestly, if he were to meet a vagina right now, he could not only kick the hell out of its most intimate fantasy, he could probably blindfold himself and perform surgery on it.

Jax glamour shot
I know you want some of this. But you can't have it. You can't.
Ron Artest has once again taken a baseball bat to the nuts of the Pacers organization.

Trade rumors suck. Over the course of six weeks, Ron Artest was on the verge of being/rumored to be/overheard being/almost considered to be/possibly traded for any combination of
Devean George, Corey Maggette, Chris Wilcox, Al Harrington, Ben Gordon, Drew Gooden, the ABA (!), Jerome James, Nene, Troy Murphy, Chris Mihm, Wally Szczerbiak...

The rumors come full circle and the original, and probably best,
trade to the Kings for Peja Stojakovic almost happened today. "Almost" meaning Peja missed tonight's game to pack his bags. Perfect scenario, until Ron Ron supposedly declared himself too good for that team too.

Apparently Ron wants more shots and to be on a winning team. But no
self-respecting GM would risk their winning record by bringing in this nutbag and making him the 1st option on offense. That's just not realistic, but that's never stopped him before.

A sad state of affairs: a bipolar fan-puncher
with his nickname written on his head and LA Gear on his feet has carte blanche over his destiny, but Dominique Wilkins was deported to the Clippers and left to die in the middle of his best season, no questions asked.

Now I hear the Warriors are dangling
Calbert Cheaney and Mike Dunleavy, despite the fact the Pacers have been using Stephen Jackson at the 3, who is a better option than either of those guys. I'd be satisfied with a Troy Murphy/Mickael Pietrus/Andris Biedrins package of some sort, mainly because I just want this to end. If I have to witness another Anthony Johnson pick-and-roll, I may punch someone myself.

Tru Freshness.
I was just scanning the GQ article "The Ten Most Hated Athletes" (in which Kobe ranks number 5), and I wasn't the least bit surprised to read that Terrell Owens continues to wield the Skeletor Power Scepter of Supreme Superdickery. What did surprise me, however, was the sudden onset of dawning realization when I saw this picture:

Owens dance

To the casual observer, this simply appears to be another generic example of a professional athlete making a complete assclown of himself. But take a closer look, my friends, and you'll see something much darker and more suspect. Owens' jersey number is, indeed, 81.

Can this be mere coincidence? I don't think so. This isn't like a
Bigfoot sighting, where the only evidence is grainy footage of some schmuck in a zippered monkey suit. We know Kobe scored 81. We know Terrell wears 81. These are indisputable facts.

Do I have to spell out "conspiracy" for you people? Okay, I guess I just did. But come on. Think about it. We already know the government covered up how the
Nazis killed Elvis because he was the U.S. military's first supersoldier. The Everlasting Gobstopper? In a secret warehouse somewhere, probably next to the Lost Ark. And the oil companies are never going to let us get our hands on Mr. Fusion. We live in an intricate web of intrigue every day, and we barely even notice. We've been desensitized by reality TV and Paris Hilton's luscious, luscious thighs.... Now, uhm, what was I talking about?

Oh, that's right. I'm telling you: this should not be dismissed as coincidence. Two of the world's most hated athletes are now bound together by fate and
numerology. I guess this could just be Kobe's silent homage to selfishness and egotism gone wild. After all, Terrell didn't seem to mind that his actions single-handedly destroyed a season of hope for the Philidelphia Eagles, and Kobe obviously doesn't care how much his ball-hoggery is strangling the life out of his Laker teammates. (Seriously, have you seen Lamar Odom lately? I've seen quadraplegic deaf-mutes who looked like they had a greater will to live.)

But still, I can't help but think that there's something more ominous at work here. I mean, Kobe scores 81 and suddenly the very fabric of reality has shifted. All the sports writers and basketball fans who previously hated him are now dropping to their knees to service his throbbing
Black Mamba. And, even worse, those very same people are taking cheap shots at many other "Great Scoring Feats in NBA History," even impugning the manner in which Wilt scored 100 (apparently, your points don't count if you're taller and physically superior to your opponents). Don't even try to tell me this isn't the work of Satan's dark power.

I know some of you are skeptical. I understand. But there's more proof, from no less a source than the
Bible. Take a closer look at this passage from Psalm 81:
"So I gave them up to the desires of their hearts; that they might go after their evil purposes."
I know you'll join me in saying: "Holy freaking shit!" Two thousand years ago, some dirty monk copying books by hand predicted that the number 81 would somehow be connected with selfish dicks who, when left unchecked, would go on to pursue evil. But believe it or not, there's more! Thanks to Bill Simmons, I now know Kobe's record was achieved on the 666th game of his career. I am completely, 100 percent serious about this. That sound you just heard was checkmate, folks.

Owens arises
And on the eight day, he arose from the
sea and then did lay waste to his team.
I knew it! I knew Kobe's "historic" 81 points weren't all that special. Hell, you can buy them on eBay right now. The current bid is only 20 cents, which seems pretty low considering half the free world has been wetting its collective pants over these points. There are only nine days left in the auction, so don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime chance at buying canned ball-hoggery!

Kobe points
If you haven't placed a bid yet, what the hell are you doing?

On January 22nd 2006, Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers socred an amazing 81 points in one game vs the Toronto Raptors.

You are probably wondering where all thoes points go after they are scored. Well they are added up on the score boards, people write about them in news papers, kids talk about them in school the next day.

But the actual points scored in all of the NBA games played through the entire season build up in a hole in my basement. They flow in through tubes in liquid form. And to be honest, it's a pain in the ass pumping that hole out every day. So when I heard Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in one game, I was kinda pissed. I never liked Kobe Bryant, but now I had to pump his 81 points out of my basement.

In a game, 81 points are quite impressive, but when you see them in person they don't look like much. They are kinda disgusting to be honest. They are a little dirty, kinda like Kobe.

So you are bidding on Kobe Bryant's 81 points. They are in a jar, in liquid form, as you can see from the pictures. I also scooped up the rest of the Lakers 41 points for comparison. The winner will get them too.

I'm sure someone in Canada is selling the Raptors' defense and pride, because they left that at home.
So there you have it. Not only can you own Kobe's points in the form of an oily jar of water from some psycho's basement, the seller is going to throw in the rest of the Lakers' 41 points for no extra charge! I should probably take this chance to mention that there are only 15 more shopping days until my birthday (hint, hint). Man, I'd love to uncork these babies in my pickup league.

Kobe-Laker points
The other Lakers' points are, of course, free of charge.
atom smasher (at'-uhm smash-uhr) noun. An espacular blocked shot in which the ball is knocked out of bounds with incredible speed and force (sometimes nearing or surpassing escape velocity). Usually accompanied by a loud crashing or smacking sound, followed by frenzied screaming, flexing, and/or finger-wagging by the blocker. Often results in an ego-ectomy of the blockee.

Usage example: Alonzo Mourning doles out a pretty wicked atom smasher.

Word Usage: The atom smasher should not be confused with the
smother chicken. In the case of the smother chicken, the defending team usually gains control of the ball and can therefore initiate a fastbreak scenario. While the atom smasher is a showy and often intimidating maneuver, the offensive team typically retains possession of the ball in all but a very few cases. If the offensive team is able to score after enduring an atom smasher, it can induce a reverse ego-ectomy on the blocker/defending team.

Atom smasher
Hey Chris, let me know how that ball tastes.
KBA (kay-bee-ay) abbreviation. Kobe Bryant Assist. Imaginary statistical unit awarded each time a player's missed shot results in an offensive rebound for a teammate.

Usage example: Kobe Bryant had a double-double last night: 35 points and 17 KBAs.

Word History: Another original creation of the Basketbawful Staff. The KBA is based on Kobe's
assertion that his many missed shots are actually "rebounding opportunities" for the other Lakers, which is, in reality, just a justification for his prolific ball-hoggery.

"Another KBA on the way, guys..."
As you may know by now, there was a huge error in last night's Raptors-Lakers box score last night. Apparently some cross-eyed, stat-crunching jackass in the league office thinks Kobe scored 81 points, which is, of course, impossible. This flub somehow made it through the league's flimsy checks and balances, and has now garnered all sorts of attention from the unknowing public.

I'm all about accountability, so I made a call to the league office this morning to get to the bottom of this, and to hopefully get some people fired...

Monkey on Phone
NBA League Representative
(visual approximation)

Basketbawful (BB): Good morning. This is Mike from Basketbawful. I was calling to inquire about a statistical error in last night's Toronto Raptors boxscore.

Administrative Statistical Supervisor (ASS): Are you referring to Kobe Bryant's 81 points?

BB: Yes. I was wondering how soon that can be corrected.

ASS: (pause) How soon what can be corrected?

BB: The error.

ASS: What error?

BB: Mr. Bryant's point performance. It's obvious the 81 was caused by a key entry mistake or a bad punch-card or something. I mean, be real. Kobe isn't 7 feet tall, and this isn't 1961. Kobe probably shot 8 for 46 and had 2 assists. That's just a guess, but I'm probably right. Go with those numbers.

ASS: Sir, this is the 23rd call we've received today from people wanting to change Kobe's point total on the night.

BB: Oh, okay then. I can assume the correction will be made later today. Excellent.

ASS: Sir, the statistics were compiled by league representatives, the numbers are confirmed and validated.

BB: (pause) But the game wasn't televised. You have no proof.

ASS: Sir,
NBA games are LIVE. It was a LIVE GAME.

BB: (awkward pause) Well then. I want the NBA to apologize for this.

ASS: For what?

BB: What do you mean "for what"? On behalf of every basketball fan outside of the greater
Los Angeles area, I demand the league make a public apology for the mental anguish this numerical snafu has caused.

ASS: Sir, the numbers are correct. It's NOT AN ERROR.

BB: I knew it!
Jerry Buss and the Lakers organization have you guys in their back pocket as well. I can see right through this miscarriage of justice.

ASS: ...I'm going to hang up.

BB: Why do you hate basketball?

ASS: I don't hate basketball! I...

BB: It's common knowledge that Kobe Bryant is the living embodiment of everything that is soulless and wrong in the league today. And by letting this statistical anomaly go uncorrected, well, you're encouraging him. That's just un-

ASS: Sir, you are entitled to your opinion, but the totals for Sunday...

BB: Why do you hate America?

ASS: I DON'T hate America!

BB: Apology accepted.

ASS: I didn't apologize! What are you...

BB: Very good! Have a nice day. (click)
Mission accomplished.
What a wild weekend. Lebron James scored a season-low 14 points on 5-for-22 shooting in Cleveland's 99-79 loss to Golden State. So Mike Dunleavy, a man who can't even stop dryer lint from collecting in his pocket, has been officially credited with shutting down the league's third leading scorer. Teammate Jason Richardson, who himself hasn't played defense since sometime in the fall of 2002, wondered out loud what Dunleavy had eaten before the game. I think we all know the answer to that question:

You too can shut down Lebron. Actually, no you can't.

How many times has this happened? There's a battle of "The Superstar versus The Schmuck," the superstar has an off night, and suddenly the schmuck is a stopper. I'm sure we all remember how LaBradford Smith supposedly stuck it to Michael Jordan, only to suffer a public castration when Jordan dropped 36 on Smith -- in the first half -- the next time they played. Robert Reid got labeled a Bird-stopper in 1981, and Larry went on to have seven 40-point games against him. So it didn't surprise me when Lebron went out the next night and got 51, bad knee and all.

Look people, scoring averages are just that: averages. If
Allen Iverson scores 50 on a given night, that means he's probably going to score less than 33 points on several other nights. Basketball players, even the superstars, are human. They aren't always at their best, even against crappy players.

Anyway...Lebron's scoring explosion meant that the sports writers stopped talking about
Kobe Bryant for nearly five minutes, and Kobe Bryant didn't like that. He didn't like that at all. History has shown that Kobe is an attention whore. He doesn't just need a lot of attention, he needs all of it, from everybody. I'm sure that if there's a Buddhist monk living on a mountain somewhere, and that monk never has any contact with another living being, Kobe's going to get his agent to send that guy some Lakers game tapes. And probably a 60-inch TV with surround sound, so the monk can get the full "Kobe Bryant Experience."

So yeah, Kobe
took 46 shots last night and probably scored some ungodly amount of points. Whatever.

In a few unrelated notes:
Tyson Chandler woke up from his season-long coma to have a 15/14 night, and, not coincidentally, the Pacers coughed up a home game to the Bulls. And I fell from first to fourth in my fantasy league, all thanks to Jermaine O'Neal and Emeka Okafor. Man, I hate you guys.
The Raptors were handed a 122-104 loss at the hands of the Lakers, almost entirely due to former lottery pick Rafael Araujo's sore shoulder.

The Raps enjoyed a comfortable 63-49 lead at the half. But the Raptors failed to find an adequate replacement for the injured Araujo, allowing
Kwame Brown and the Lakers backcourt to score a combined 97 points and coast to the easy win, despite defensive specialist Jalen Rose forcing Kobe Bryant into 18 missed shots and 3 turnovers. Bryant received a technical in the the 4th, frustrated by the fact that he missed 18 shots and wasn't doing anything newsworthy.

Lamar Odom hit a crucial 3-pointer in the 4th to give the Lakers a 100-93 lead. Chris Mihm had a clutch 12 points and 8 boards.

The real story here is Araujo's future. A legit injury is frightening news for the Raptors, who are 12-13 after starting the season with 15 consecutive losses. It will be a struggle to replace Araujo's 2.1 ppg, which was sorely missed tonight.

The other big story tonight is
Chris Bosh scoring 18 points, moving him into 8th place among the Raptor's all time leading scorers. You go boy!

Bosh dunk
The only significant news tonight. Trust us.