Big Cactus

Donyell Marshall's wardrobe malfunction: Marshall amused his teammates and horrified fans in attendance when he took off both his warm-up shirt and jersey while subbing into a game. Good times. Now watch Lebron go absolutely bonkers over it. I mean, sweet breakdancing Jesus, he was laughing so hard you'd think that Marshall had just gotten a pie in the face and then slipped comically on a banana peel.

Reggie Miller invents a word: On January 31, 2008, Miller coined a term during the third quarter of the Suns' 84-81 loss to the Spurs. After Manu Ginobili dropped Raja Bell with a cruel nutshot, Miller said: "It looks like it's an inadvertent...inadvertent the man...region." Marv Albert quickly jumped in and tried to amend Reggie's totally sweet new term to the much more boring "groin area." What a wet blanket.

Kobe Bryant has a career lowlight: Mamba scored 39 points (a team high) and grabbed 10 boards (another team high) in a 90-89 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Brilliant game, right? Sure, if you overlook his severe case of fumbleitis. For much of the game, Kobe handled the rock like somebody had replaced his hands with two honeybaked hams. He coughed up the ball a career-high 11 times -- 7 of which came in the first half -- on his way to his first career triple bumble. He also unleashed some of his trademark "subtle" criticism of his teammates: "What are you going to do when guys are open? If I catch the ball, what am I going to do, go one on three? We made the right play, we just didn't complete it." I ran this one through the Kobe-to-English translator in my Batcomputer, and apparently that comment means, "Hey, not my fault. Go talk to Lamar. He airballed the final shot." But this also begs the question: When has Kobe ever shied away from going one-on-three?

Christmas comes early for the Lakers: You know that sinking feeling you get in your stomach the moment you you realize something disastrous just happened? Well, we had that feeling for a full weekend after the Grizzlies traded Pau Gasol to the Lakers for Kwame Brown. Did Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace accidentally click "accept" in his Yahoo Fantasy NBA Trade Manager? The world may never know. Needless to say, the Lakers made off like bandits, but what did Memphis gain from this? An expiring contract, a backup point guard, a slow-footed low-jumping center, and two bench players to be named later. Thank goodness that Kevin McHale saved him by handing over O.J. Mayo (and, er, Antoine Walker...).

The Phoenix Suns trade machine: With the best record in the Western Conference, the Suns become a statistic in the tsunami of 2007-08 panic trades, getting The Big No-Longer-Sherrif-in-Maricopa-County Shaq for Marcus Banks's bloated contract and an inexplicably disgruntled Shawn Marion. Result: limping into the playoffs as a 6th seed and a quick first round exit. [Submitted and written by anacondahl.]

The trade didn't quite work out how Kerr and the Kool-Aid drinking faithful (myself included) had hoped. Instead of finally slipping on that elusive championship ring, the Suns were bounced in the first round by you guessed it, the Spurs, and are now left with the lyrical stylings and massive contract of the one and only Big Cactus. [Submitted and written by Mark of Black Jesus Disciples.]

For knifing fans of the game by trying to become Spurs II. [Submitted and written by jaz.]

And finally, from Brandon of Ballerblogger: "If it works, I'm a genius," Kerr said. "If it doesn't, I'm a moron, I guess." - Steve Kerr

Bonus quote: "In my experience, it takes two or three years to get a group of guys together that could possibly get it done,” O’Neal said. “When I was in Orlando, we had a group of guys who couldn’t get it there, and we added the piece in Horace Grant and it took us over the top. I think I was the piece that they (the Suns) were missing. Next year, we’ll have a full season, and things look pretty good."

"Over the top?" Is he referring to his win over the Birmingham Baron Bulls in 1995? Or the toal humiliation he suffered at the hands of Hakeem Olajuwon in the next round?

Extra info that you might find interesting: Kerr and company brought O'Neal in to be a force defensively. Tim Duncan averaged 25 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and shot 50% from the floor in San Antonio's 4-1 first round victory.

Shaq's First Round Stats: 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 44% from the field, 50% from the free throw line. Marion's #'s against San Antonio in 2006-2007: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 52% from the field, 47% from the 3-point line, 71% from the free throw line.

And let's not forget that O'Neal has two years ($40 million) left on his contract, while Marion's deal expires after the coming season. The Matrix's deal will either come off the books and Miami will have $17 million in cap space. Or they'll trade his expiring contract for young talent.

Update! Shawn Marion's wish is granted: Despite the fact that he was the highest paid player on a team that included both Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire and was a legitimate championship contender, Shawn Marion wanted out, out, out. Despite being the team's biggest money maker and second-leading shot getter, Shawn felt unloved and disrespected by Robert Sarver, Mike D'Antoni, his teammates, the ballboys, fans and the media. Did I miss anybody? Oh yeah, he didn't get the endorsements he deserved, either. The previous season, during an interview for ESPN the Magazine, he was asked if he'd rather be an MVP candidate and a 30-point scorer on a lesser team than hooping it up alongside Nash and Stoudemire. Here's what he said: "Wow, that's interesting. I've never been asked that. That would be an interesting situation to be in, to really show people what I can do. [Pause] But we'd be in the playoffs, right?"

Then, before the next season could even start, apparently angered by hearing his name mentioned in trade rumors, Marion demanded a one-way ticket out of The Valley of the Sun...even suggesting a deal with the hated Lakers. And this is what the drama king had to say: "Sometimes, it's just time, and it's time to go. It's been like a nightmare. It hurts me making this phone call. It's hurting me in my stomach. I'll do what I've got to do. I'm a professional. I'm not bitter. I love the fans but I've got to take care of me."

Nothing happened at the time; Marion shut his mouth and played, and Suns fans watched and waited for the inevitable move. And then it came: Shaq arrived in Phoenix and Marion was shipped to Miami to play for what would end up being a 15-win team. He ended up averaging 14 PPG and 11 RPG in 29 games with Miami before shutting it down for the season due to Pat Riley wanting his team to tank a cryptic back ailment. And now it looks like he'll be on the move again, with the greatest liklihood being that -- if he is moved -- he'll wind up playing for a non-contender and performing well below his ceiling with the Suns. Congratulations, Shawn. I hope the weather is nice in NBA Hell.

Isiah continues to lose his grip on reality, Part 17: With his team squatting on a 14-35 record -- the fourth-worst mark in the league -- and in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the Baby-faced Assassin claims the Knicks are improving. "You can say we're not getting better because we haven't won games, but I think over the last couple of weeks we have gotten better as a basketball team." And that, my friends, is what we like to call denial.

T-Mac's All-Star Game hooky: The man simply did not want to play.

Allen Iverson waxes poetic regarding his ink: In an interview about his tattoos, The Answer said, "I put shit on my body that means something to me." He puts shit on his body?

Brad Miller versus Brian Cardinal: The two former Boilermaker teammates face each other on the court. Hilarity ensues.

Devean George blocks Mark Cuban's cock: This was something nobody could have seen coming. The Mavericks pull off a blockbuster trade for prodigal son Jason Kidd, only to have the deal blocked by one Devean Jamar George. George had a "virtual no-trade clause" that allowed him to reject the trade because he's on a one-year contract and would lose his "Early Bird" rights. That's a stipulation that would allow Dallas -- and only Dallas -- to go over the salary cap to sign him. Basically, it would maximize his money should Mark Cuban decide, after the season, that he wants to go balls out to sign George to another, more lucrative contract. Yeah. Not gonna happen. But he may get signed by the Celtics?! Because, yeah, he's the next best thing to James Posey...

D-Wade has skillz (but not really): The NBA All-Star Skills Challenge turned into a somewhat exciting battle of one-upsmanship between two emerging superstar point guards, with Deron Williams setting a new even record (25.5 seconds) to upset Chris Paul in the finals. However, Jason Kidd and Dwyane Wade just embarrassed themselves. Kidd's woeful lack of shooting touch was on display when he clunked all five three-point attempts and got tossed after round one with a time of 39.7 seconds. Wade, though...Wade had a full-on ego-ectomy. After electing not to even practice the course, the two-time defending Skills Competition champion lost his dribble out of bounds, botched four straight jumpers before just giving up and flinging the fifth at the hoop, and then missed two layups before ending the round with a score of 53.9 seconds...a time even Stephen Hawking could have beaten. [Nominated by dumbgenius.]

Steve Nash doesn't give a @#$%&! about the three-point contest: Nash admitted before the Three-Point Shootout that the only reason he was taking part in the event was because the Collective Bargaining Agreement says he has to. (Said Nash: "They hold me to it every year.") So naturally he went out and performed like a man who didn't care and wanted it to all be over as quickly as possible, hitting only eight of 25 shots and scoring a lowly nine points. Maybe that'll teach David Stern not to force unwilling former MVPs to compete in meaningless contests they couldn't care less about.

Dirk gives a @#$%&! about it, but fails: He was a late addition to the Three-point Shootout because of Kobe's tender mangina sore pinkie finger...but Dirk was shooting 29 percent from three at the time. So why'd they add him? Star power, baby! But not quite enough. He failed early and often.

Reggie Miller says "titty" on national TV: Oh yes he did.

The Knicks redefine "team unity": During a timeout, Zach Randolph threw a cup of water at Nate Robinson. Nate then threw a towel at Zach. In other words, it was just another night at the office for Team Dysfunction. Rather than disciplining his players, coach Isiah Thomas praised their "feistiness" and "nastiness," which is kind of like praising your crazy ex-girlfriend's "passion" after she burns down your apartment building. Amazingly, the Knicks transformed their malaise into a 113-100 overtime win, proving that, at least once in a while, insanity works. Reactions below. [Nominated by karma.]

Danny Ferry's "blockbuster" trade: I'm pretty sure this trade was not what LeBron James had in mind when he asked for more help. Kobe threw a hissy fit and got Pau Gasol, while LeBron played the good soldier and got Ben Wallace, Joe Smith, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West. Doesn't give King James much of an incentive to play nice next time, does it? I've heard that the deal was a "win now" move for Danny Ferry and the Cavs. Win now? In the D-League, maybe.

John Paxson's "blockbuster" trade: Well, he got rid of Ben Wallace...for Larry Hughes. Oh dear God.

Greg Oden's hair adventure: In a turn of events only slightly less devastating than his season-ending knee surgery, Greg Oden now has gets a frohawk. Or maybe the frohawk has him. I'm hoping Steve Blake follows suit and sports a Red Rooster.

Candace Parker's career move: Candace Parker announces that she will leave college early to play in the WNBA! So she should be making six figures for, oh, about five seasons. I hope she invests wisely.

Anthony Parker praises the Knicks: He had some...interesting things to say after his team lost to the Knicks: "I don't think you can look at their record and say, 'Oh, it’s a bad team.' I think they’'e shown they can go into D.C. and get a win. They are capable of going into Philly and getting beaten pretty badly. They've got a lot of talent and a lot of options. I think they played well tonight." I don't know about you, but I can look at a 17-win team and say TThat's a bad team." I can even say, "They're a very bad team." In fact, I can say "They're a crap-coated poopsicle" and not feel as though I've overstated things.

The worst basketball possession of all time: Thank you, Zach Randolph. [Nominated by pretty much everybody, link from sun devil.] Update! It has been suggested that I undersold this entry. So let me recap it for you:

1. Randolph, New York's titular big man, receives the ball outside of the three-point line. This is the point where you would expect ball rotation...from any team not called "The Knicks."

2. He attempts to break down his defender by dribbling the hell out of the ball, sort of like Isiah Thomas circa 1989, only without the mad handles. I promise you that a small piece of Hubie Brown's soul died that night.

3. He totally loses the rock like a retarded child trying to use the freestyle control on NBA Live during a seizure and has to run almost out to halfcourt to retrieve it. For the record, this is what happened to me back when I was using Austin Croshere (then with the Pacers) while playing NBA Live 2004. It's like the programmers thought Croshere was born with rusty coat hangers for hands.

4. Then, instead of passing the ball to a teammate, he shambles to the arc and launches an airball...with seven seconds left on the shot clock!

The best part is when the camera pans to Isiah, who looks about ready to choke a bitch. Can you imagine what would have happened to Scott Hastings if he'd ever pulled something like that when he was on those Bad Boy Pistons teams? I promise you he'd still be digging atomic wedgie out of his butt crack.

More personnel problems for the Pacers, Part I: A woman was allegedly raped at Marquis Daniels' home during a "small gathering." According to the police, Daniels is not a suspect. Said Daniels: "I don't know what happened. I wasn't involved." He wasn't involved in a small gathering held at his own house? What, did a roving band of criminals break in and decide to throw a rape party? I doubt it. Brawls, shootings, more shootings, mascot assault and I the only person who's tired of seeing random Pacers in the Indianapolis police blotter? Or am I the last Pacers fan alive? Anyone out there? Anyone? Bueller?

The Spurs' first quarter explosion: On February 25, 2008, the defending champs scored five points -- five points!! -- in the first quarter, setting new franchise lows in points, field goals made (1-for-17), and field goal percentage (6) in a single 12-minute session. Of course, they were playing the Atlanta Hawks, so they won anyway.

Ron Artest gets quote-tastic: Regarding a proposed trade to the Denver Nuggets that fell through, Ron-Ron said: "They were trying to get government cheese, and I'm Kraft." Awesome.

Pat Riley gets quote-tastic: The Heat end an 11-game losing streak and Riles gives us a classic quote: "I feel like a mosquito in a nudist colony. I know what to do. I just don’t know where to start." And I feel like a dog in a backyard trying to decide whether or not to eat my own poop.

More personnel problems for the Pacers, Part II: According to the AP game recap, "Pacers F Shawne Williams (personal reasons) left at halftime and didn’t return." Well, here are those reasons: "A man wanted for murder in Memphis, Tenn., was arrested Wednesday night after leaving the home of Indiana Pacers forward Shawne Williams on the Northeastside, according to Indianapolis metropolitan police." It doesn't get much more "personal" than harboring a murdering fugitive from justice, does it. For his part, Williams said, "I feel like I let my organization (and) my teammates down, along with the Simon brothers (team owners Mel and Herb) and my family." Williams also said that he "wasn't very close" with Rollins, and would be more careful in the future. Mind you, this incident came only a few days after a woman was allegedly raped at Marquis Daniels' home (though not by Daniels) during a "small gathering." Man, the Pacers really need to start making better friends.

'Toine's "passport problems": Basketbawful reader Jochem de Graas was quick to pick up on the rather laughable pretext for Employee #8's absence from the Timberwolve's matchup against the Raptors: "The reason Antoine Walker didn't play last night: Minnesota forward Antoine Walker didn't travel to Toronto because of what Wittman called 'a passport problem.' On the bottom under game notes. That's more creative then flu-like symptons." True enough, Jochem. If the NBA ever expands to Europe, I predict that "passport problems" will become the new "flu-like symptoms." You heard it here first, folks.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
Speaking of Toine I wonder how his website's doing LOL

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Only a one-word critique of Shawn Marion finally getting his wishes? (word="inexplicably") The Suns have arguably been a game (or Robert Horry dirty play) from getting to the Finals the last couple of years. They have two-time MVP Steve Nash (the best disher in the game) and Amare Freakin Stoudemire. And you whine and get your ass traded to the worst team in the league?

A little shredding of Marion's psyche is called for here. It's one of the more ridiculous trade demands I can remember. He'll likely to be buried in mediocrity for the rest of his career. His numbers might increase because he's on a crappy team with only one talented guy, but then again maybe not, without Nash feeding him.

Blogger Justin Tenuto said...
Basketbawful: You sold yourself short on the Zach Randolph blurb. Originally, you wrote something about his dribbling prowess, equating it to a man "abusing the freestyle control on NBA Live," which, by the way, almost made me cry. That post is like one of those old Simpsons episodes from season 6: when I'm feeling blue, I read it, laugh, then wonder why I'm so simple. So, so simple.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
today's post had me cracking up. Wade alone had me laughing for a good 15mins. Then Marquis "I don't know what happens at my house with people I invite" Daniels, Zach "showtime" Randolph...hilarious. And isiah's look after that shot, just the same blank stare.

Reggie loves titties and Steve Nash just chucking shots. Don't anybody tell me about Nash's(or anyone else's)competitiveness ever again. He may not give a fuck about the three point contest but don't all media outlets talk about how competitive all these athletes are and how they always compete and play to win yada yada yada. They apparently are just human after all and not ubercompetitive cyborgs promgrammed to one-up-manship constantly.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Dirk gives a @#$%&! about it, but fails: He was a late addition to the Three-point Shootout because of Kobe's tender mangina sore pinkie finger...but Dirk was shooting 29 percent from three at the time. So why'd they add him? Star power, baby! But not quite enough. He failed early and often."

Could be true, but isn't. He made the second round, which is not really failing often, and in a two-round contest even not that early.

Check your facts next time, that would be great.

Blogger Rjcc said...
reggie miller didn't invent "man region"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
dirk made the second round because they didn't read the shot clock.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Candace didn't really leave early per say. She redshirted her freshman year after tearing her ACL so she spent four years in college but only three playing college ball.