Antoine Walker: Okay, seriously, when was the last time you remember hearing any GOOD news regarding Unemployee Number 8? No, really. Since he -- okay, must not throw up in own mouth now -- won a championship with the Heat in the summer of 2006, he's been robbed at gunpoint in his own home, blasted by Pat Riley for showing up to training camp too fat, traded to Suburb A of Basketball Hell (otherwise known as the Minnesota Timberwolves), benched permenantly despite playing on a team that would end the season tied for the third-worst record in the league, traded to Suburb B of Basketball Hell (otherwise known as the Memphis Grizzlies), had a shooting death linked to his birthday party, and once again benched permenantly despite playing for a team that finished the previous season tied (with Minnesota) for the third-worst record in the league. Then, when the Grizzlies finally bought out his contract so that he could join a championship contender...nobody wanted him. And now this:

Former NBA player Antoine Walker was charged with suspicion of drunk driving in Miami Beach early Monday morning, further hurting his chances of playing again this season.

Walker was driving a black Mercedes without the lights on when he was pulled over at 5:39 a.m., according to the arrest report. Officers detected a strong odor of alcohol and wrote in the report that Walker had a sleepy look on his face. He refused a breathalyzer test.
Forget the fact that the "sleepy look on his face" jokes practically write themselves. Actually, don't forget it. The very first thing I thought after reading that line was: "What, did the officers ask Antoine to play defense?" Okay. I'm done. Honestly. The best part about the AP writeup of Walker's arrest was that it "further hurts his chances of playing again this season." Suuuuure. I think that Glenn Robinson's "run" with the Spurs in 2005 proved that one-dimensional, shoot-first small forwards don't really have a place on a championship team. Unless that place is rooted firmly to the end of the bench. I mean, by the playoffs, Gregg Popovich wasn't even letting the Big Dog pass out Gatorade during timeouts. So it's pretty unfathomable that a team like the Cavs, Celtics, Lakers or Magic would put 'Toine on the payroll. And he's not exactly a building block for the up-and-coming teams, is he?

Jason Richardson: Like Antoine Walker, he was cited for drunk driving. Like Walker, he was also driving a Mercedes. Unlike Walker, he did it in an American Indian tribal community in metropolitan Phoenix and was also cited for failure to drive in one lane. (But in all fairness, they were teeny, tiny lanes.) I'm looking forward to getting more details on this one.

The Sacramento Kings: The best remedy for a team that struggles to win games at home (like the Nets) is a visit from a really, really bad team (like the Kings). And the Sactowners made the New Jersey-ites feel very good last night. Francisco Garcia was the only member of the Kings' starting lineup to score in double figures...and he finished with 10. Believe it or not, Sacramento actually led by 12 at halftime and entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead. The final period was close all the way, but a series of bad plays -- a missed layup, a bad foul, giving up an offensive board -- doomed the Kings. Just ask interim coach Kenny Natt: "That wasn't New Jersey, it was the Kings. We're our own worst enemy. Somewhere along the line we're going to have to grow up and grow out of that losing mentality." Way to inspire the troops, coach. I have a feeling Kenny's going to have trouble growing out of that "interim coach" tag.

Dwyane Wade: I know the D-Wade fans aren't going to appreciate this, since Pookie led the Heat with game-highs in points (24) and assists (12). BUT...he also had game-highs in turnovers (5) and shots missed (16). In fact, he missed more shots than anyone on the Spurs even ATTEMPTED. I'm just sayin'. And then there was The Swat. The Heat were trailing 84-81 with about a minute and a half to play when Wade was streaking downcourt for what appeared to be an easy layup. Until Manu Giniboli soared through the air and rejected the living hell out of it. That was a pretty critical ego-ectomy. Watch for yourself:

Tony Parker: Go back and watch TP's defense on that play and you'll know why Ginobili had to make that nearly impossibly block. Way to live up to your national heritage, Tony.

The Toronto Raptors: Just when you thought the Craptors were getting their act togetehr. The Bucks were playing without Andrew Bogut (back spasms) -- and they hadn't won a game without him in 21 months, a streak of nine straight losses when he doesn't play -- but the dinos failed to take advantage of his excused absense...despite shooting over 54 percent for the game. The game was actually tied at 97 with 1:20 to go. Then the Raps missed their final five shots and lost by 10. The loss dropped Toronto to seven games below .500, which makes them a lottery team, even in the East.

The Indiana Pacers: You know, a lot of people don't realize this, but Pacers coach Jim O'Brien was Mike D'Antoni before Mike D'Antoni was Mike D'Antoni. So I guess you could call him Mike D'Antoni Beta. It was O'Brien, remember, that coached an astonishingly flawed Celtics team to 49 wins and a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals by encouraging Antoine Walker to shoot MORE often. (Indeed, 'Toine led the league in field goal attempts that season with 1689...20 more than Allen Iverson. The previous season, also under O'Brien, Walker set a career-high with 1720 FGAs.) So, you know, O'Brien's teams have been gunning threes and treating defense as waiting to get back on offense well before D'Antoni's teams were doing it. O'Brien's teams just don't do it quite as well.

To that end, the Pacers scored 115 points last night and yet still lost by 20, mostly because they let the Nuggets shoot 58 percent from the field. Hell, Carmelo might have broken his hand and he still shot 8-for-12. Said Danny Granger: "It was one of those nights where our defense wasn't that great and they were executing really well. It's something that's so frustrating. There's no excuse for the type of defense we played." No, there isn't. Not short of some grevious injury or maybe a stroke. But don't worry, Pacers fans. Mike Dunleavy could return as soon as Wednesday! That should be a real shot in the arm of the team's defense. Oh, wait, I meant a shot in the FOOT.

The Utah Jazz: Yes, they won, but they also got suckered into playing the Warriors' game, surrendering 115 points on 50 percent shooting at home to a 10-win team. And it took some clutch play by Ronnie Brewer to secure the win. That sentence sort of illustrates that something was seriously amiss in Utah.

Utah Jazz fans: Right before halftime, some Jazz fan blew a whistle, which tricked the Warriors into not playing. That, in turn, led to an uncontested breakaway dunk for Kyle Korver. Shouldn't that have led to a technical foul or something?

Corey Maggette, quote machine: Regarding last night's loss, Bad Porn said: "I think our team really played extremely hard tonight. I think our team did a lot of good things." Too bad they didn't do that one really good thing called "winning." But other than that...

Carlos Boozer: He's scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery on Friday. Mind you, he's already missed 23 straight games, and this procedure will keep him out several more weeks at the very least. This announcement comes a few weeks after he said he was going to opt out of his contract after the season so he can get a pay raise. Meanwhile, in his absense, Paul Millsap has notched 18 consecutive double-doubles, including last night's 19-point, 14-rebound game. And suddenly Carlos is looking a little expendable in Utah, isn't he?

Lactivity report: From Chris: "Only one game racked up any statistics of pure fail -- but it was a beauty, with three gems from San Antonio's tilt with the Heat. Fabricio Oberto's expensive-16 second Mario meshed nicely with Spurs teammate Anthony Tolliver (who turned in a non-performance worth 3.66 trillion). For Miami, Joel Anthony offered a truly bawful starting performance, racking a +5 suck differential (two giveaways and three fouls) in an excruciating 10:36."


Blogger Scott B. said...
You put the bit about Jazz fans and Kyle Korver in the wrong category. Instead of "Worst of the Night", it is properly placed either under "Awesome Strategy for Helping Your Team Win" "Awesome Strategy for Helping Ashton Kutcher Dunk in an NBA Game"

Anonymous Anonymous said...
RE: 'Toine.

I love how the article refers to him as "Former NBA player".


Blogger CRC said...
antoine walker and glenn big dog robinson, 2 of my favorite hawks of the past 10 years

Blogger D. Klein said...
I live in the Metropolitan Phoenix area. First off, I've never seen a "Res" cop pulling anyone over on the highway (J Rich was pulled over on the 101), but they probably did so because he was driving with his headlights off (granted, at dusk). For the record, that highway for the most part represents the boundary between Scottsdale and the Indian reservation. Second, anyone I've ever known pulled over by a Res cop got their butts nailed to the wall with zero hesitation. Lastly, the speed limit on that highway was 65 for years until they did construction on it, at which point it was changed to 55. Although the construction is complete, they left the limit at 55 (which is horseshit). Who knows, maybe the cop was a Suns fan.

The speed limit on the 101 freeway is still at 55mph because further construction is going on north of Indian Bend. They probably don't want people to go 65 (read: 100) and then have to slow down again after a few city blocks.

Living near Thomas and the 101, it's weird to think that people are having a legit conversation about it, other than to, you know, make fun of it. Because that's what I do.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
thank you so much for putting wade on. Its not just the block but the past few games the cutesy midrange jumper is all but gone. I dont know what the hell stan van gundy did to him but the voodoo is working. I kept yelling at the TV "stop shooting" It was like watching rookie D-wade.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Parker nearly drew the charge on that play, I for one was convinced

Blogger DDC said...
It's probably just me, but doesn't Antoine Walker's head look like a Hershey's Kiss?

Blogger Clifton said...
(Tried to post this and got an error, so I rewrote it. If it double-posts, my apologies.)

Suns notes other than Richardson's DUI:

On Lopez losing his playing time to Amundson: In Friday's game, Lopez did not make an appearance for the fifth time this season, and he has lost out on playing time to Louis Amundson.

"Overall, I'm still pleased with what he's done," coach Terry Porter said of Lopez. "He just has to be more ready at times.

"When he got into the game the last couple times, it didn't seem like he was ready and as sharp as he needs to be. He just didn't seem to have the focus. Missed two or three balls. Missed some assignments on the defensive end. Missed box-outs, things you have to focus on when you step on the floor."

... "Robin's had some good moments for us. Lou's played really well, so it's hard for us to find any minutes for (Lopez), and that's OK as long as he works hard in practice. It's part of the natural progression rookies have to go through."

Then, after the article in the Notes section, this gem: • Amundson needed seven stitches on his chin after an inadvertent elbow from Lopez during practice Monday.

Yeah, like how Elizabeth Berkeley inadvertently spilled those marbles on the stage in "Showgirls."

Also, Dragic was apparently slated to go to the D-League before his "virus and rash" flared up. Kerr said it's "still an option." The Suns cut Dee Brown today, and rumor has it that they're interested in Shaun Livingston, who was also cut by the Heat today. So, if you're keeping score at home, a one-legged Shaun Livingston is still a better option at backup PG than Blotchy Dragic. Eesh.

"D.", above, is right about it being odd that a rez cop pulled over Richardson if he was really on the freeway. All state routes are patrolled by the DPS, our version of the State Police, and the 101 is like an interstate with on- and off-ramps, not like a regular road going through the reservation. The cop would have had to have followed him on to the freeway.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Carlos Boozer is looking expendable in Utah, Richard Hamilton is looking expendable in Detroit. Hamilton and Maxiell for Boozer! :D

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Parker could have been a recipient of a potential "dunk de la mort" with that charge had Wade taken his steps at a closer distance. It'll be Sydney Olympics all over again!