Kobe why

Chris Webber's retirement: Watching him shuffle up and down the court for only nine games and then disappear indefinitely when his troublesome left knee started acting up again sure made it seem like this was The End, but now it's officially official: Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III has retired from the NBA. I'm not going to say that Webber was one of the greatest power forwards of all time -- in my book, he's way down the list behind guys like Karl Malone, Tim Duncan, Kevin McHale, Charles Barkley, and Bob Pettit, just to name a few -- nor am I going to discuss his stats (20.7 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.2 APG in 15 seasons) or his accomplishments (Rookie of the Year, five All-Star appearances, four inclusions on the All-NBA First or Second Team). But he was, without question, a fantastic player who enjoyed a long and dramatic career.

More than that, though, he was special to me in a very real and personal sense. I got to watch him play twice during his final year at Michigan, and the beginning of his professional career just so happened to coincide with the halcyon days during which my NBA fanaticism and naiveté was probably at its peak. Basketball players were still like superheroes to me, and even plain old regular season games seemed to carry heavy meaning, not just in the standings but in the game of life (thanks in part to those theatrical intros Bob Costas did for The NBA on NBC). Some of my most treasured college memories involve sitting around my dorm room and watching games on a 13-inch TV with my roommate and best friend, and Chris Webber is part of those memories. We saw Webber throw down his behind-the-back dunk on Sir Charles as it happened, and we also watched it live when Barkley got his 56-point, 14-rebound revenge in the playoffs. The NBA was never more fun for me, either before or since.

So while I'm glad it's over -- because it was pretty obvious that Webber was finished -- I'm sad, too. I'm going to miss him: The hook shots, the passes, the drama. It kind of feels like another part of my youth just disappered forever.

Chris Webber's reason for retirement: In Webber's own words: "Rehab is so hard. So monotonous, so boring. I really didn't want to try to rehab and come back this season because I don't think that's possible." And doesn't that statement just sort of epitomize the most frustrating aspect of Webber's career? The idea that there was more there and he simply didn't have the heart and/or strength of will to make it happen. Maybe rehabbing the absolute living hell out of his knee wouldn't have changed anything, but mabye it would have...? But we'll never know. Just like we'll never know whether the 2001-02 Sacramento Kings might have won the title if only Webber wouldn't have gotten a case of the yips during all the close games. Sometimes playing The What If Game can be fun. But as it pertains to Webber and his career, it's just painful. And kind of depressing.

Phoenix Suns: How do you shoot 56 percent as a team and lose by 20? Well, you must 1. let your opponent shoot 52 percent, 2. get outrebounded 41-27 (including 17-4 on the offensive glass), and 3. commit 21 turnovers. Unfortunately for the Phoenix Suns, they did all three of those things, and they did it against the best team in the league. And the Celtics really don't give up that kind of margin of error.

Shaq versus Pat Riley: Ever notice how often Shaq always gets in these little Quote Feuds with former coaches and teammates? The latest War of the Words came after Shaq made the following statement about his new home in the Valley of the Sun: "I love playing for this coach and I love playing with these guys. We have professionals who know what to do. No one is asking me to play with Chris Quinn or Ricky Davis. I'm actually on a team again." Of course, these comments only served to depress old Sad Sack Riley. "It's sad that he says those things. We shared so much here, together, for three years, good and bad, 3 1/2 years. I just think it's sad that he's got to do that." Sadder than making Shaq spend his golden years playing alongside Ricky Davis and Mark Blount? I don't think so, Riles. When told of Riley's response, The Big Expletive-slinger said, "I don't give a shit how he interpreted it." After being reminded that the reporters couldn't use that quote because he cussed, Shaq said, "Sure you can. You can quote me, brother. You can put an 's,' then the tic-tac-toe, the 'at' sign and then the other symbols." He may no longer be the MDE, but he is and will always be the MQE (Most Quotable Ever).

Sam Cassell: He worked like hell all season to make it to Boston, and now...he's not playing so well. Sam-I-Am scored only 2 points on 1-for-4 shooting in only six minutes of PT last night. His field goal percentage has dropped from 45 percent to 33 percent since joining the Celtics, and his PER has plummetted from 16.9 to 4.8. Boston signed him to be a backup, and he says he's fine with it, but Cassell has always and will always work best as a big-minute player. So right now, his impact on the team is negligible at best.

Chicago Bulls: Ouch. I bet their prostate is pretty sore today.

Larry Hughes: The line: 3 points on 1-for-9 shooting. I guess he's jealous of how poorly Wally Szczerbiak has been playing for the Cavs. After all, wrecking Cleveland's season has been his job the last couple years, and that has to be like watching somebody else not satisfy your ex-wife in bed, only he had really cool hair. Or something.

Drew Gooden: Remember all that smack Gooden was talking after Tuesday night's 31-point, 16-rebound performance against the Hawks? Well, here's a sample: "I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I possess everything. I feel like I can pass, block shots, play great defense, play help defense, shoot threes. I believe that I can do it all.'' He also hinted that LeBron James had been holding him back in Cleveland. Well, one night later, Mr. "I can do it all" didn't do much of anything, scoring 2 points (0-for-5), grabbing 8 rebounds, and committing 3 turnovers against the 76ers. And that thud you just heard was Gooden crashing back down to earth.

Chris Paul's nicknaming skills: Last night, after David West hit a long jumper to bury the Cavaliers, Paul dubbed West "The 17-foot assassin." That nickname is both awesome and terrifying, for reasons I choose not to put into words. But if West is forced to retire early due to some catastrophic injury, it sounds like he has a pretty promising future in the porn industry.

John Hollinger: I can't let this go for some reason. As I keep repeating like an annoying broken record, Hollinger used his PER numbers to "prove" that the trade that brought Ben Wallace, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, and Joe Smith to Cleveland was a "big-time win" for the Cavaliers. Last night, the big timers combined for 12 points (6-for-18), 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 turnovers, and 1 DNP-CD (for Wallace). And those numbers are pretty consistent with what we've seen out of that bunch since the trade. Not exactly big-time, is it?

Chauncey Billups, quote machine: After losing to the Toronto Raptors, Billups had these things to say: "We're coming down the home stretch now, 11 games left. You want to start playing with some consistency. Our thing is not the division or the East. Our thing is the whole thing. That's the way we think." First off, it's usually a bad idea to wait until the last 11 games to start working on your consistency. Second, I'm all for thinking big, but looking past opponents has been one of the Pistons' biggest problems over the last couple seasons. You'd think their leader would want to address that, you know?

Toronto Raptors: Yes, they beat the Pistons (who were without Rip Hamilton), but what's up with putting T.J. Ford back into the starting lineup? The guy's been pouting and sulking for weeks. When did we start rewarding players for bad behavior? Uh, last night, I guess. Supposedly, Jose Calderon volunteered to return to the bench for the good of the team and coach Sam Mitchell allowed it. Frankly, I don't care that they won. This is a bad idea. Calderon is the best PG for this team, and Mitchell should have insisted he remain in the starting lineup. I don't see this ending well. But hey, maybe I'm wrong.

Miami versus New York: This was maybe the second-best game of the night, behind the Hornets/Cavs game. But on the other hand, seeing the Knicks struggle to end their seven-game home losing streak against a team that had to sign a mind-boggling eight D-Leaguers just to fill out their roster is kind of sad.

Tim Thomas: He went scoreless (0-for-4) in over 35 minutes of lack-tion. He is almost seven feet tall, right? Just checking.

Tracy McGrady, quote machine: After leading his team to victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, T-Mac let us in on the clutchtastic inner workings of his superstar mind: "The fourth quarter, usually the best player has got to step up and lead the team. I just couldn't afford for us to lose this game, so I had to impose my will on it." Okay, okay. Good stuff. But I'd save a little of that brain juice for the playoffs if I were you.

San Antonio Spurs: After seeing how Luis Scola has been playing lately -- he had 18 points and 18 rebounds last night -- do you think they ever feel a slight pang of regret? Because they should. They really should.

Sacramento Kings: They barely escaped with a 107-106 overtime victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. At home. I know they suffered a lot of injuries earlier this season, but everybody looks healthy to me. So what's the excuse now? [Insert "Any NBA team can beat any other NBA team" quote here.]

Los Angeles Lakers: This game looked like such a gimme on paper that I didn't think twice about it before I saw the final score: Bobcats 108, Lakers 95. And the game was played in L.A.? Holy Schnikies. Bad loss. It dropps the Lakers into a tie (with the Rockets and Spurs) for the second-best record in the Western Conference, one full game behind the New Orleans Hornets. And if you thought the Hornets would be leading the West this late in the season, you're a damn, dirty liar. Tell me Chris Paul doesn't deserve some serious MVP consideration.

Kobe Bryant: He got burned by Jason Richardson (34 points, 10 rebounds) and then got ejected late in the fourth quarter for bitching about a foul call. His league-leading technical foul total is now at 15...just one away from an automatic one-game suspension. Mind you, Mamba's two technicals came in a 29-second span of the fourth quarter after the game has been pretty much decided (the 'Cats were leading 100-86 with 3:40 to play). Kind of a pointless and careless thing to do, all things considered. Especially if he ends up with another technical and a suspension. The Lakers can't afford that right now. There's too much at stake.

Phil Jackson, quote machine: You can almost always count on Phil to spout a little gibberish after a game, especially when his team loses. Last night was no exception. "Well, I may look like I'm here to explain something, but I have nothing to explain. I can't explain it, so don't ask me any questions. It just looked like we were out of character, tremendously out of character, in more ways than one --irrational play at times, inconsistent at best, but just some poor judgments, poor decisions." When a reporter asked him about Kobe's ejection, he just smiled and left the interview room.

Update! Funny yet inexplicable headline: In a comment on my NBA Closer column, Brazil Thrill noted the following amusing headline ESPN ran for the Pacers/Nets game:

ESPN headline

I mean, "Harris, Nets pour it on Pacers from several angles"? That sounds more than just vaguely suggestive, don't you think?

Update! Indiana Pacers: Basketbawful reader Carlo called me out on this omission, and he was right. "You forgot to mention how the Pacers let Josh Boone score 26 points against them. or how they let Vince grab 14 boards! Hell, you should mention how they let the NETS score 124 on them! And these guys are fighting for a playoff spot? Pathetic." Don't forget Devin Harris and his career-high 15 assists. Yeah. You're right. Pathetic. [Basketbawful sheds a tear for his home-state Pacers]

Update! Charlott's technical foul shooting: Basketbawful reader Wild Yams pointed the following out: "Speaking of technicals, the Bobcats technical FT shooting should probably get some mention, since they missed all three of them last night. I can't remember ever before seeing a team get three tech FTs only to miss them all." Jeez. I can't either. I mean, your best freethrower gets to shoot them, right? They didn't sign Chris Dudley to a 10-day contract did they?

Update! Andrew Bogut's "hive-five" party: I've seen some sad things in my life, many of which involved toxic amounts of alcohol and wizard costumes. Don't ask. But this may indeed be the saddest of them all -- Andrew Bogut high-fiving himself after a freethrow. Thanks to loyal reader Farfa for the double-eyeball. Warning: Your funny bone might not be ready for this.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
You forgot to mention how the Pacers let Josh Boone score 26 points against them. or how they let Vince grab 14 boards! Hell, you should mention how they let the NETS score 124 on them!

and these guys are fighting for a playoff spot? pathetic.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hollinger also still believes the Rockets will win the SW division over both the Hornets AND the Spurs.

:rolls eyes:

Blogger Tonewise said...
C P M V P... i have been saying this for weeeeeeeeks (even months really) man! Everyone i talk to looks at me funny, mostly im sure because I live on the east coast. I'm lucky enough to be able to stay up laters and catch the west coast games more often.

I don't know how Paul can get passed the Kobe Media Love fest (or the fact Kobe is having a great season, I just think CP is the MVP), but higher quality versions of videos like this would help...

(side note, CP can hit more half court shots in a row, than some players will hit FT's...)

Blogger Wild Yams said...
Why does Shaq have to throw every former coach under the bus like that? He should know just how bad things are in Miami right now, why the need to pile on? Riles sacrificed the future to get that guy one more ring, so why rip him like that? Just be thankful you're no longer the albatross contract that's weighing down the worst team in the league and are instead suddenly a key piece on a title contender and be quiet about it. Is that so hard?

IMO Kobe's MVP bid took a huge hit last night. If CP3's 20 assists in a road win over MVP candidate LeBron James and the Cavs didn't do it, Kobe's stinkbomb of a performance against one of the worst teams in the league definitely did. Way to lead your team out there to an 18 point deficit at home before throwing a tantrum and getting tossed after it was already decided, Kobe. It should probably also be pointed out that Kobe picked up his 2nd T after fouling Matt Carrol on a 3-pt shot that he hit, setting up the potential 5 point play. The Lakers were down 10 prior to this play with 4 minutes to go and technically still in it, so Kobe's poor defensive play and tantrum were really the nail in the Lakers' coffin.

Speaking of technicals, the Bobcats technical FT shooting should probably get some mention, since they missed all three of them last night. I can't remember ever before seeing a team get three tech FTs only to miss them all.

Blogger XForce23 said...
I honestly don't know why we are still keeping T.J. Ford. His shot selection is horrible, and he doesn't know how to create shots for his teammates. His only up on Calderon is that he can (somewhat) create shots for himself, and even then Calderon can learn to develop that. Calderon is just a better decision maker, coordinator and his shooting is just so much more consistent than Ford's.

Blogger Tonewise said...
TJ has been struggling, I cant deny... however TO fans have been down on TJ since almost day one which is a shame cuz I think TJ is a lot better than most ppl give him credit... also if/when TJ can get the lil'engine going at full speed again he is SO important to the Raps...

-George Garbahosah.

(also, a friend sent me a link... maybe the entire Euro League should be up for WOT mention as they have allowed Milt "fellatio" Palacio to be their MVP?????)

Anonymous Anonymous said...
TJ made it pretty clear that if he isn't starting he's gonna suck the life out of the lineup when he's playing
seriously his shot selection took a nose dive when he was coming off the bench
all of a sudden he's passing more (9 assists) so the only option is trading him in the off-season
very bad personality for a team

To end this rant:
SUCK IT UP AND PLAY off the bench you getting 8 mill a year!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Kobe's defense last night was horrific. It is like he is stuck in cement. I wonder if his ankle is bothering him or if he is running out of gas/finally starting to feel the effects of aging? I can understand if he isn't the best defender every night, but last night he was one of the worst, which is unusual.

It really is a shame the Lakers haven't had Gasol and Bynum, because having those dudes healthy would only make the West playoffs more entertaining.

I am a Lakers fan, but if the Hornets end up with the best record in the West I'd lean towards giving Paul the MVP.

Lebron James has no chance to win the MVP considering his team basically sucks and can't even get 50 wins in the East.

Blogger Ryne Nelson said...
Drew Gooden has to be one of the most inconsistent players in the L. Good talent, but only effective against certain opponents.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
You know, I agree with you anon, with evertyhing except the MVP. Lakers fan or not, consider this:

The Hornets without CP become the Grizzlies.

The Lakers without Blackeyed Mamba become Portland.

Big difference. However, we all know that the MVP race isn't about valuable. It's about the game - the game of media, coaches, players, and thetans that decide Basketball legendry. As I like to say, mostly because it pisses off Bawful, "It is what it is."

Blogger Wild Yams said...
While Kobe does appear to be limited by his ankle (not just last night, but in the GS games as well), and he probably is tired due to averaging over 49 minutes in those back to back Warriors games, that doesn't excuse the real obvious lack of effort by Kobe, especially in the first half last night. There's always a real easy way to tell how hard Kobe is playing when the Lakers are behind: if he comes down and takes a lot of three point shots from a foot or two behind the arc when it's still early in the shot-clock, it's because his attitude is "I don't need to bring my A-game to beat this team, I'll just get us back into it with some amazing outside shooting." Unfortunately for Kobe, those shots were just clanging off the rim and leading to easy layups on the other end for Charlotte. One minute into the game Kobe fired up a 27 foot brick with almost 20 seconds left on the shot clock, and then twice in the 2nd quarter with 15 seconds on the shot clock Kobe threw up 26 foot bricks. Too lazy to run the offense.

Kobe did finally turn up the intensity in the 2nd half once the Lakers were down by 19, but at that point it was basically too late. The Lakers made a run and eventually cut it to 3, but the Bobcats hit a couple shots and pushed it back to a double digit deficit for the rest of the way. That was when Kobe got all pouty and got the gate.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
BadDave said...
"The Hornets without CP become the Grizzlies.
The Lakers without Blackeyed Mamba become Portland."

I disagree a bit here. The Hornets w/o Paul still have:

1. A 3-time All Star in Peja (he's only overlooked because he was hurt so much the last few years, but he's healthy now)
2. A current All Star in West (due in large part to NO's record, I'll give you that, but he's All Star caliber anyway)
3. A DPOY/rebounding champ contender in Tyson Chandler (he won't win either, but he's in that discussion probably)
4. Some decent role players in Bonzi/James/Pargo

W/O Paul the Hornets would be out of the playoffs, no doubt, but would they be Memphis bad? I don't think so. Maybe Sacramento bad.

Let's look at the Lakers w/o Kobe. Sure, on paper they probably would be around where Portland is if everyone was healthy, but keep in mind that this year that has definitely not been the case. How would a Laker team missing Kobe do when they've also missed:

- Bynum & Ariza for about 40 games each (when all's said and done)
- Gasol for 10 or so (out of the ~30 he's been a Laker)
- Chris Mihm for over 50
- Radmanovic for 17
- Luke Walton for 6
- Turiaf for 4
- Odom for 5.

They even missed Kwame Brown for 15-20 games with injuries when he was there, although that might be addition by subtraction.

I don't know if the Lakers, as banged up as they've been all year, would be anywhere near Portland's 40-45 wins this year w/o Kobe. I honestly don't know if they'd be better than the Hornets w/o Paul, since NO's been healthy all year.

Paul's probably ahead in the MVP race right now, but let's not say he hasn't had much help from his team this year, and let's not say Kobe's had this incredible lineup around him the whole time when they haven't yet had their real starting 5 on the court together even once. Both players have had pretty good support around them all year, and neither team has featured just a one-man show this season.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The reason Caulderon asked to come off the bench is very sly.
For some reason, Sam Mitchell would play his point guards for quarters at a time, so the starter would play the 1st and 3rd, with the bench pg playing the 2nd and 4th quarters, unless one of them i seriously strugging or doing too well (I hate sam mitchell). I believe because of this move, TJ will feel superior, while Caulderon gets more crunch time minutes.

Don't ask me how sam mitchell's head works. I don't think it does.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Phil Jackson's comment is reminiscent of Michael Redd's use of the word "speechless".

Also: The man love feature seems to have upset the blogspot Gods. Check out my word verification


Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wild Yams -- A few comments.

1. Peja is still a good shooter, but he's limited in most other aspects of the game. He's no longer an All-Star-caliber player and wouldn't get nearly as many open threes without Paul, who creates most of Peja's opportunities off of penetration and ball movement.

2. David West is very good. But no better than, say, Lamar Odom. In fact, he's less versatile than Odom...even if he did make it onto the All-Star team (which, as you point out, was mostly record-based).

3. I'm not sure Bonzi Wells and Mike James are good examples. I mean, they've played 11 games for the Hornets. James barely gets off the bench (9 MPG) and Bonzi's had one really good game. And Bonzi didn't do much for Houston the last couple years, and don't get me started on Mike James.

4. The Lakers have the deepest and (by the numbers) most productive bench in the league. That's a fact. And a meaningful one at that.

5. The team got Gasol shortly after losing Bynum, so, in a sense, he effectively replaced Bynum until his recent absence. Which made Bynum's loss far less catastrophic.

6. Chris Mihm doesn't count as a loss. I'm sorry. He's barely played in three years. He's hasn't been a part of the Lakers game plan in quite a while.

7. The guys at the end of your list are negligible. Players miss four or five games here and there. I mean, West missed four games, and I think Peja did too. Tyson missed a game, Mo Pete missedfour games.

Blogger Tonewise said...
hahah Sundevil, well played.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
First off, fugayz FTW!

Mr. Bawful, do you really think the Hornets w/o Paul would be Memphis bad? I'm trying to figure out which guard rotation would be better/worse to fill in for Paul/Kobe: Pargo & James or Vujacic & I guess Ira Newble?

Mihm's absence is only of note because Bynum and Gasol are injured and Kwame's in Memphis, leaving the Lakers with Turiaf (a 4) and Mbenga to man the center spot. Turiaf and Walton's missed games are probably not important, but even though Odom only missed 5 games, he was coming off offseason surgery that caused him to miss those games at the start of the year, and as such it's taken him quite a while to really get into the form he's been in recently.

I dunno, I think w/o Kobe & Paul the Lakers & Hornets would both be hovering somewhere around .500, probably a little south of it. It's an interesting debate though, but either way as of today Paul's got my MVP vote.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- You may have a point.

Sun Devil -- Oh, man, I laughed so hard I almost cried. Thank you.

wild yams -- That's not what I'm saying, because I think it's an overstatement. I just disagreed with some of your reasoning.

My brain tells me that the Hornets would be worse off without Paul than the Lakers would be without Kobe. I'm not sure how much. Of course, it's hard to say what kind of moves the Lakers would have made sans Kobe. Would they have gone after Gasol, for instance? He was a big part of that 18-5 run they made. So very, very hard to say.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful, somewhere you just NEED to include this:


I feel so sad for this poor kangaroo.

Blogger Wild Yams said...
I re-read what I wrote and realized my question about whether NO would be Memphis bad sounded accusatory when I really just meant it to be a genuine question. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out exactly how bad either team would be w/o their MVP candidate.

The Laker FO is another matter, especially in regards to whether they'd have gone after Gasol or not. They've said alternately that the Gasol deal was too good to pass up no matter what, and yet they also said they only made that deal so the season didn't slip away once Bynum got hurt. If Kobe was injured all year then the Lakers might have just sucked it up and been crappy this season and just accepted it, or if they were going to target people to trade for they might have gone after a guard earlier in the year. Who can say.

The only real lingering thing that makes me doubt my Paul for MVP stance is that he's never been to the playoffs before. I know, the award is for regular season play, but what if he's one of those players who just vanishes come playoff time? Odds are that's not going to happen, of course, but I can't help but feel like we really have no idea how the guy will hold up when he's really in the spotlight. Has anyone ever won the MVP award before having never been to the playoffs? Should that even matter? I can't decide.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
your tribute to Chris Webber made me so sentimental. I remember, he was my favourite player when I was 12 years old and drawing #4 on my books. Half of Lithuania was supporting Warriors (the other half was either female or too busy on trying to survive) because Marciulionis was playing for them (he was first from Lithuania to make it into NBA). But then he hooked up with Tyra Banks and I never couldn't forgive him.

Raising awareness on different cultures. Fun fact: Shaq, even being the MQE, is widely despised in Lithuania for dunking so many times on Sabonis' head and shoving him. Usually Shaq is being refered to as the Big Cupboard.

Fun fact #2: The young and talented Enver Nugget Linas Kleiza, when still in high school, was racketing (is this the word?) younger schoolchildren for money.

Fun fact #3: Last summer NBA and Lithuanian national team players Darius Songaila and Linas Kleiza were spotted by paparazzi drunk and pissing on some billboards in public. Their conomitant colleague Jazzy Cabbages a.k.a. Sarunas Jasikevicius was too drunk to piss.

Fun fact #4: I'm going to be executed if anyone finds out I'm talking disrespectful about our basketball players. I need a visa really quick. Can you help me get it?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
that bogut dance is so sick im gonna do it next time im at a club.

does chris webber make it into the hall of fame?

Blogger Wild Yams said...
David Friedman tackles the Kobe v. Paul for MVP debate in a way that's close to what we were doing above.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
wild yams -- I didn't take your tone to be at all accusatory. It was a legit question. To me, possible playoff success, or playoff success from prior seasons, doesn't count for MVP voting. I think Kareem won the MVP in his rookie year, i.e., before ever having been in the playoffs, so it's not unprecedented.

bears in the cathedral -- Are those fun facts for real?! Just up front, I can't help you get a Visa, so factor that into your answer...

james -- Dude, I'm doing to Bogut dance RIGHT NOW. I'm really not sure whether Webber makes the HoF. My heart says no. He definitely shouldn't even be CONSIDERED until the great Dennis Johnson makes it in, I can tell you that.

It somehow seems fitting that a team from New Jersey was the one being, er, poured on. I hear they have very low self-esteem.

PS. The closers are phenomenal.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Yes, all the facts are real. Shaq is really hated, my friend's cousin was the victim of Kleiza's racketeering and here's the link for Kleiza pissing on the billboard (check two pictures at the bottom. You also can see Songaila commiting adultery. Its not his wife Jackie he's holding, but some local bimbo) - http://www.lrytas.lt/-11881887181187657626-p1-Sportas-Art%C4%97jantis-%C4%8Dempionatas-nesustabd%C4%97-krep%C5%A1inink%C5%B3-%C5%AB%C5%BEavim%C5%B3-nuotraukos.htm

And yes, its true, Lithuanians really dont like when people talk about our basketball players' fallacies. They usually would type something as "Songaila is the best!!!!!!!!! Lithuania will crush testicles of USA in the olympics!!!!". They will indeed but please mind the exclamation marks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
More awareness on different cultures. The twin brothers Lavrinovic who play for Lithuanian national team, both seven footers, shooting threes and dunking, have both served sentences (~three years) for gang rape. There were three of them with the girl, but their cousin isnt a basketball player. My father's friend was their lawyer. He came up with the idea that one of the brothers should marry the victim. And they did marry but media sniffed out that the victim was paid money. Like 2000 dollars. She was a poor girl and she didnt really feel contempt for them, she gave lots of interviews telling journos she loves him and showing his name written on the wall.

And one more infamous moment of LT basketball - an episode from last years local All Star game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yy3eUYlUU8

Blogger David said...
NBA MVPs who hadn’t played in playoffs prior to MVP:

Bob Pettitt 1955-6
Wilt Chamberlain 1959-60 (Rookie)
Wes Unseld 1968-9 (Rookie)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won his first MVP during his second season (1970-1). In 1970, the Bucks made the playoffs and Willis Reed won the MVP.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I wonder what type of pickup basketball player Greg Oden is...