Kings-Lakers: [Editor's note: The following recap was submitted by our very own Sactown lacktion reporter.] I'm an astute student of history, so I understand the checkered past of the Kings franchise. When the last championship not only occurred 59 years ago (before my parents were born!), but occurred FOUR cities and one team name change ago, it's easy to remember the more painful moments this team has endured, whether it's the ignominy of being the only major league sports team ever located in Omaha, Nebraska for a time...or a roof collapse in Kansas City in the late 70s, forcing them to play in a 6000 seat barn instead...or using the same painfully average-looking logo in four mid-market cities over 24 years...or going 1-40 on the road one season.

And that's all BEFORE bringing up Tim Donaghy and 2002!

I haven't been a Sacramento-area resident as long as I had been a Bay Area resident, but in the Kings I see a team much more tied to local identity than their counterpart down the road in East Oakland. This is what has put the state capital on the map, a presence in the Association that the River City embraced much more than any of the traveling mid-market circus's previous stops.

Sadly, Friday night served as a great way to sum up the life of a mid-market fan.

Sure, there's the built-in excuse of both K-Mart and Tyreke the Freak being in the infirmary. There's also the present reality that since the 35-point comeback at the United Center, the paupers have gone 1-4 and have lost four winnable games in that span, as well as Mr. Evans's services for a temporary period.

Tom Ziller's recap at SactownRoyalty does a pretty good job of covering the minutiae, and I'll also mention that the purple paupers led 64-49 at the half, and at one point earlier led by TWENTY points. Hawes exploded for 30 points and Casspi backed that up with 23 markers of his own.

But after taking a second here to mention Shannon Brown drawing a foulout on Jason Thompson (he of the 8:6 Voskuhl, bricking six times) by stepping on Thompson's sneakers, let me quote myself from Bawful After Dark comments as to that excruciating final 15 seconds of the game:

- Westphal blows the inbound with a timeout when he had a man [Spencer Hawes!] breaking open.

- Udoka misses the two foul shots with four ticks left on the clock.


I mean. Seriously. You could not come up with a more painful way to lose the game than what just happened, not when you led by 15 at halftime and 20 at various points, not when you had a chance to ice it with free throws with 4 seconds to go.

The Association: Where Choking Happens. :(

Yeah, go look at the shot and tell me how much space you see. What's that, 20-30 feet between Kobe and anyone in purple? Even Don Nelson would be shocked at the lack of defensive presence all the way from the arc through the key. Mamba was so wide open, if Frank Selvy were in that spot, he would have made that shot too!!!

Somehow I don't think Paul Westphal was pleased with the zero-teaming his squad chose to employ on the reigning Finals MVP. (Especially when just a week ago, they witnessed the Crabs successfully triple-team Tyreke Evans out of any chance at a game-winner in Natomas!) His post-game presser contained his usual amiable, glib manner (as he tried to sidestep the potential officiating discussion that has been inevitable, what with a possible Kobe push-off and all) but hey, at what point do these losses "we can take positives from" suddenly become merely losses?


(Westphal at least appears to be the master of subtle digs - the coach's post-game statement, "We've seen it for years now...the Lakers have their late-game magic, and I hope we can have that someday" has to rank as much more incisive than yet another of Grant "Peaches" Napear's rants against officiating.)

Mike D'Antoni: The Bricks eked out an overtime win over the Hawks in Atlanta, mostly because Nate Robinson scored 41 points off the bench, including 11 of New York's 13 points in the OT session. In fact, he scored 19 of the Bricks' final 21 points overall. And yes, that's the same Nate Robinson that D'Antoni benched for 14 straight games, even when his team was struggling mightily to score. Mind you, Krypto-Nate has the third-most 30-point games off the bench (10) since 2005-06, behind only Ben Gordon (12) and Manu Ginobili (13).

Atlanta's Jamal Crawford, who grew up near Robinson in Seattle, said: "I've seen it since high school. When he's scoring, he's as good as the best of them. ... He did whatever he wants." Added Bricks teammate David Lee: "Against a great team, Nate single-handedly carried us. It was unreal to watch him play tonight."

Again: 14 straight DNP-CDs.

Said D'Antoni: "We've just been trying to get him focused on winning, and he obviously was focused on that tonight."

As Basketbawful reader Davros said: "Mike D'Antoni just made Nate Robinson."

LeBron James: So...his new shoes are Knicks-colored and say "I Heart New York." That sound you just heard was a tidal wave of vomit spilling out of the greater Cleveland area. Update! Apparently, this was a hoax. Consider my face covered in egg.

Gilbert Arenas: Worst $111 million investment ever. But at least he has led directly to stuff like this.

Friday lacktion report: Through his red haze of pain, Chris still managed to report the night's lacktion:

Magic-Wolves: Brandon Bass laid an expensive, celebratory note tonight by garnering a 1.85 trillion (1:51) for Stan Van Gundy.

Kings-Lakers: With six bricks, starter Jason Thompson earned himself an 8:6 Voskuhl by fouling out and accruing two turnovers against six boards in 24:36, while Josh Powell saw his 4.35 trillion (4:21) turn into a harbinger for victory after Kobe Bryant was given a free three with a second left by the purple paupers' efense.

The New Jersey Nyets: While they did play the Crabs reasonably close, the 94-86 loss still dropped the Nyets to 3-30 and in close contention for "Worst NBA Team Ever" status.

The Miami Heat: Just when it looked like the Heat were, er, heating up, Miami hit the skids once again. After losing by 30 points in San Antonio on New Year's Eve, the Heat returned home only to lose 107-97 to the Charlotte Bobcats. Miami's defense disappeared in crunch time, as the 'Cats shot 85 percent (11-for-13) in the final eight and a half minutes, including 6-for-7 from downtown.

Uhm...hand in the face anybody?

Mind you, the Bobcats were 0-14 this season in road games where they had trailed.

As for the Heat, things could get worse before they get better. They host Atlanta and Boston before playing 20 of their next 27 games on the road.

Uh oh...

The Minnesota Timberwolves: This letter just arrived c/o the T-Wolves:

To everyone involved in the Timberwolves organization,

Thanks for letting us snap that damn eight-game losing streak. It means a lot. Really.


Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers
T.J. Ford: Pacers coach Jim O'Brien benched Ford and replaced him with a combination of Earl Watson and A.J. Price...and just like that the Pacers won for the first time in weeks. I'm just sayin'.

The Toronto Craptors: Losing to the Boston Celtics? No shame there. Losing to the "Boston Celtics," who were missing Kevin Garnett (knee), Paul Pierce (knee) and Rajon Rondo (hamstring)? Mucho shamo. I mean, Ray Allen started at point guard and Lester freaking Hudson got significant PT in the fourth quarter and the Celtics STILL shot nearly 52 percent from the field. Toronto: still one of the worst defensive teams of all time.

Orlando's "Big Three": Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter combined to score only 24 points on 8-for-31 shooting against the Chicago Bulls. That's only one point more than Matt Barnes scored for the Magic by himself. Matt Barnes! Not surprisingly, Orlando lost. Sure, Vinsanity left early with a sprained ankle, but he was 3-for-15 at the time, so it's not like he was lighting it up before he hobbled away.

An extra-wet raspberry goes to "Superman," who finished with only 9 points on 3-for-7 shooting against the All-Star defense of...Brad Miller. Yup. Once Joakim Noah got into foul trouble, Vinny Del Negro sicced Miller on Howard in single coverage and it totally worked. That's right. Brad Miller shut down Dwight Howard, basically by putting a big body on him and forcing him to score using a little thing called skill. Only Dwight doesn't really have a whole lot of that going for him. It has become painfully, even shamefully apparent that Howard's offense can be negated by big centers who play him physically (Miller, Kendrick Perkins, etc.).

If Dwight really wants to be the best center in the league, he can't afford to get shut down by guys like Brad Miller. I mean seriously.

The Phoenix Suns: Okay, so after back-to-back wins over the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the Suns get blown the hell out at home by...the Memphis Grizzlies? And the Griz reached .500 (16-16) in the process? Wait, what?! Memphis shot 53 percent both from the field and beyond the arc, outscored Phoenix 58-42 in the paint and 25-18 on the break, outrebounded them 48-38 and won by a whopping 128-103.

Whoa. [/Keanu Reeves voice] I know the Suns are a joke defensively and all that, but man oh man...are these the same Grizzlies that started the year 1-8? Actually, it's funny that I pretended you asked...because, in fact, they are not.

Allen Iverson: From the AP recap:

Memphis' resurgence started after they disposed of Allen Iverson on Nov. 17. Since then, they are 14-8, including a team-record 9-4 in December. During that month, they beat three division leaders -- Dallas, Cleveland and Denver.

"It's hasn't been easy," Gasol said of the Grizzlies' comeback from the depths of the NBA to a respectable record. "We never gave up. We continue to improve. When we were 1-8, we wanted to play good basketball and be winners. It hasn't been good for us the last few years. Now, we want more. This is just the beginning."

Coach Lionel Hollins credits his team's resurgence to camaraderie.

"We've come together as a team," he said. "We believe in each other. We've developed great chemistry. This was an awesome game ... from wire to wire. We took control right from the start. I preached yesterday [Friday] and today at practice that we can't give up easy layups to this team -- and we didn't give up many. That gives you a chance to win.

"Nobody would have thought we could come back from 1-8."
That's right. "Disposing" of Allen Iverson -- the man Bill Simmons believes is the 29th best player of all time -- transformed the Memphis Grizzlies, Zach Randolph and all, into winners. As always, I'm just sayin'.

The Utah Jazz: They lost at 10 the Nuggets...who were without Chauncey Billups (groin strain) and Carmelo Anthony (right knee contusion).


No wonder the home crown booed them. Those boos were richly deserved. And, frankly, they should have been accompanied by flaming bags of poo.

The Sacramento Kings: (Cue up Lacktion Chris with another tale of fail...)

So, Tyreke the Freak is back, and they're at the old barn in Natomas again. Good signs there.

They were facing Dirk and the Mavs. Not so good.

Since the 35-point comeback in Chicago, the Kings have gone 1-5 (including a loss to the Sixers), while Notorious VDN has hypnotized his heifers into a 4 game winning streak.


Saturday Lacktion Report: More 8-bit lacktion from Chris:

Crabs-Nyets: While Darnell "Lacktion" Jackson went to the poorhouse by turning a 1.1 trillion into nothing with a board, Jawad Williams heaved a brick for a +1 suck differential in the same 1:08!!

Bobcats-Heat: Stephen Graham cracked The Lost Levels by throwing one piece of masonry at his Game Genie cartridge for a 51 second Mario and a +1!

Spurs-Bullets: Malik Hairston used the NES Light Gun to fire off a 26 second Mario, while Washington's Dominic McGuire ran into a Piranha Plant and fouled once in a dueling 55 second Mario of his own that earned a +1 too. Fellow projectile DeShawn Stevenson however settled for an Association-leading 6.9 trillion (6:54) payday!!!!!

Raptors-Celtics: Rasho Nesterovic fouled once in 1:56 for a +1 and a 1:0 Madsen-level Voskuhl, while fellow dinosaur Antoine Wright penciled in two fouls and a giveaway for a +3 in 4:38. Brian Scalabrine continues to rack up the Voskuhls with a 2:0 in 14:42 after negating two assists with fouls and two bricks - his fourth Voskuhl since December 27th!!!

Rockets-Hornets: Darren Collison crashed into the ledger tonight with a wreck of a scoreline: two fouls and three bricks for +5 in 9:50!

Thunder-Bucks: Milwaukee's Jodie Meeks tiptoed his way Goomba-style into a brick for a 10 second Mario and a +1!

Grizzlies-Suns: Hamed Haddadi took a rejection and dropped a bit of masonry in 2:42 for a +2.

Nuggets-Jazz: Kyrylo Fesenko hummed Korobeniki in just 15 seconds for a Mario!

Mavs-Kings: Kris Humphries lost the rock once to give Dallas a +1 in 2:27. In addition to being the 121st suck differentialist so far this season, Humphries represents the 150th different baller in the Association to lack it up in 2009-2010!!!!!!!

Warriors-Blazers: Shavlik Randolph missed one field goal attempt for the Frail Blazers in 1:46 to end up with a +1.

The Cleveland Cavaliers: Just when the Crabs were starting to look unstoppable -- what with 11 straight wins at home and seven consecutive victories overall -- they lose at home to...the Charlotte Bobcats? Yes, the same Bobcats who started the season 1-14 on the road (second worst in the NBA to the Nets) before winning back-to-back road games on back-to-back days. Dogs and cats living together, right? If you want to find a culprit, look no further than the Crabs' bench, who as a group scored only 12 points on a 4-for-23 shooting.

The Dallas Mavericks: Just when it was starting to look like the Lakers' Walton's foot was good teams, they beat the ever loving shit out of the Dallas Mavericks. I mean, L.A. beat the Mavs so badly I think it took seven years off Dirk Nowitzki's life. The Lakers set season highs in points scored (131), field goal percentage (63), three-point percentage (81) and margin of victory (35). What's more, it was the biggest margin of victory in the series between the two teams, surpassing the Lakers' 33-point win on December 1, 1993. Of course, the 1993-94 Mavs won a league-worst 13 games...whereas the 2009-10 Mavs fancy themselves championship contenders.

Said Nowitzki: "Some nights you don't have it offensively, but you at least have to get some stops to stay in the game. They had whatever they wanted. Bynum was on the inside, Kobe was making shots everywhere. On offense, we just couldn't do anything right." Yep. About the only positive the Mavs could take away from this was is that they didn't slip on a banana peel and fall face first into a cream pie.

The Indiana Pacers: Just when you thought maybe T.J. Ford had been the problem all along, the Pacers fell to the Bricks in near-record-setting fashion, losing by 43 points. According to ESPN Stats and Information, the last time the Knicks won by 43 points or more was April 15, 1996 against the Raptors, which was the Raptors first year as a franchise. New York led by 48 with 3:15 remaining, which (according to STATS LLC) was the largest lead in the NBA this season, surpassing the 45-point bulge Golden State had over Minnesota on November 9.

Al Harrington had a one-word description of this game: "Domination." He wasn't wrong.

The San Antonio Spurs: Just when it was starting to look like the Spurs were getting their swerve back, they drop a 91-86 decision to the Craptors in Toronto. Although the location was sort of meaningless. I would expect the Spurs to beat the Craptors if they played on Uranus. (I said "Your Anus." Heh.)

What made this particular loss especially bizarre was the presence of Tim Duncan...sixth man?! From the AP recap:

Duncan, San Antonio's leading scorer, came off the bench for just the second time in his career and the first time since 2004. He scored 23 points in 36 minutes in Saturday's win at Washington.

"He's played a lot of minutes," coach Gregg Popovich said. "He played more than we wanted last night so we just wanted to have him in the fourth quarter rather than the first. Not too much happens in the first quarter of NBA games."

Duncan acknowledged not starting was "tough to swallow," but didn't argue with the plan, even though he shot just 8 for 22.

"Pop asked me about it and it sounded like a decent idea, just to make sure I had my legs down the stretch," Duncan said. "It worked, I felt good in the fourth quarter, I just couldn't get anything to go in the hole."
Regarding Pop's "not too much happens in the first quarter of NBA games" theory, Toronto outscored his team 27-19 and went on to win by six points. The way things started maybe might have kinda-sorta made a difference in the end result.

The Denver Nuggets: Just when it looked like...okay, the Nuggets haven't looked good for a while. In fact, they've lost six of their last eight games after starting 19-7. Yes, Mr. Big Shot and 'Melo missed were both out, but home losses to bad teams don't get stricken from the record just because you're missing your two best players.

Eddie Jordan, quote machine: Regarding his team's win in Denver, the Sixers coach said: "My heart is still beating like a rabbit running across a field. We are just beginning to go uptown. You never know what this can take us. We hope it gets us going."

Sunday Lacktion Report: Sunday lacked in lacktion, but what it did not lack, Chris did not lack for in reporting. Wait, did that make any sense?

Spurs-Raptors: Theo Ratliff made one assist as starting big man in 8:28 for San Antonio (a night in which Duncan DID NOT start as "not a center" for only the SECOND time ever), but could not avoid a Voskuhl of 2:0 after expiring from complete productivity with a brick, rejection, giveaway and foul!

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Blogger Preveen said...
That link you posted on LeBron's shoes has an update saying its a hoax.

Blogger Silva said...
Are the knicks a good team for lebron to be on for the next year after all?

I mean you put lebron on any team and they are a contender. Some big underdogs but contenders. Right?

I mean even if he wins a championship this year he should go there.
Knicks add lebron, a solid defensive big man and a good trade or two they're right in there.

Who's with me? By the way I'm not a NY fan I don't even live in the US.

(Sorry for commenting twice but I want to know what you think about this)

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
I hope the coalition occurs, which are the crazy rumors Lebron Wade and Paul are aiming to be on the same team. Something polaizing needs to be done to keep the news off the bad refs and gunfights.

Blogger stephanie g said...
Not all hope is lost. The Pacers are tied for first in minutes played per game. If they can just build on this...

Blogger chris said...
AnacondaHL: So if CP3, Dwyane, and King Crab all end up on the same squad...does this mean that due to salary cap concerns, Mario West will be able to get a job as this generation's Jud Buechler!??!

Blogger chris said...
While Vinnie Smallz has helmed the Bulls to a zombie-coach bounce of 4-1 since the choke to the Kings...

I'm still not sure anything from his recent quote here is accurate:

"I've had my career. My job now is to help those guys have successful careers. That's the responsibility, to be the leader, have a vision and help them get better. When I see the development of some of them and what they're doing this year, that probably makes me feels as good as anything."

Development? Um, the fish you took from the American River seems to be struggling right now in Lake Michigan...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was quoted in WOTN! I can die happy (and naked, hopefully)!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
loads of typos in this post

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Another post by Basketbawful, another unnecessary dig at Bill Simmons. You're not creating a rivalry, you just put out a petty jealousy.

Blogger Andrei said...
Bawful, you totally skipped over the fact that the Frail Blazers beat the Warriors essentially playing 6 people since one of their starters only played 9 minutes.

Furthermore, right before Kobe's game winner I saw a much more rare sight occur. The Kings threw out a white-wash after Brown missed a three pointer. I saw five white players from the same team on the floor at the same time. I'm pretty sure that's more rare than Kobe hitting game winners. I haven't seen many Kings' games this season, but how often does that happen? Perhaps chris has the answer? Can any other team even do that?

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Preveen -- Whoops. Post updated.

Vasco -- LeBron has spent several years having a championship-level team built around him. Why go to New York and go through several more years of waiting? Because that's what will happen if he goes there. But I'm sure his endorsements would go from the billions to the it would be a smart money move even if it's a bad basketball move.

That's assuming, of course, 'Bron hasn't made a secret pact with Wade and Bosh in which they all take less money to play together in New York (as AnacondaHL noted). Seems pretty unlikely, tho'.

stephanie g -- *sob*

chris -- Yeah, I saw that quote. It made me giggle a little. In all seriousness, though, Vinny has made two good decisions recently: using John Salmons as an off-the-bench scoring threat while using Kirk Hinrich as a co-playmaker with Rose in the starting lineup, and also leaving Taj Gibson in a starter's role while easing Tyrus back into action. He must have gotten a call from Jerry Sloan or something...

Davros -- I sincerely hope you can indeed die happy and naked.

Anonymous #1 -- Most of 'em should be fixed. Feel free to let me know about specific typos, if there are any left, and I'll fix those too.

Anonymous #2 -- You seriously think I'm trying to start a rivalry with Simmons? Really? What are you new to this site or something?

As for the "dig," well, I admittedly continue to be mystified that a man with a keen basketball mind who greatly values team-over-stats guys would be so infatuated with a stats-over-team guy. I mean, everybody in the world except Simmons seems to have figured Iverson out at this point.

And, trust me, I'm not the only person who thinks this is strange...

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Bawful, you totally skipped over the fact that the Frail Blazers beat the Warriors essentially playing 6 people since one of their starters only played 9 minutes.

Well, Andrei, considering the competition (Gol_en State), the outcome didn't strike me as particularly shocking or, well, any more bawful than what we can usually expect from the Warriors. It's like how after walking the streets of Chicago for so long my mind automatically filters out the homeless people asking me for the last two dollars they need to take a cab across town for a job interview...

And I totally missed the White Wash! I was so tense about the Kings potententially beating L.A. that I must have blanked.

By the way, when Dookie missed those two free throws, I immediately thought, "Fuck! Kobe's gonna win this game with a buzzer beating three!" And it happened. I hate Kobe, but man, that dude is one bitch of a player.

Blogger chris said...
Andrei: Trust me, I think that may be the first time that has occurred this season.

Not that I was paying attention, because I was watching my heart sink as that first-half lead turned into a second-half collapse.

Amd yep, Bawful, Udoka tossing that masonry from the line almost guaranteed Lord Mamba's takeover. That came mere seconds too after Westphal's poorly-timed timeout...

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Reading that link of yours, it kills me that I THINK I have read a book from that Sherman Alexie guy...from my days in high school. (Yes, I've blotted out any other recollection of that tome from my mind)

Oh yeah, Bethlehem Shoals's first piece here is pure money.

Reading this part now:

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Bawful - Thank you for your kind wishes, and helping me check off one more thing on my Bigass List Of Things to Achieve on This Mortal Coil.

And when did Bill Simmons become a viable subject for literary criticism? Is this outcome of a reality TV culture? The shame, the shame.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
I was at the Heat Bobcats game. I swear the place is so quiet that in the 3rd Q I yelled at Wade to "drive in!!!!!" and he listened! I swear. He drew a foul and his first trip to the line

Blogger Basketbawful said...
And when did Bill Simmons become a viable subject for literary criticism? Is this outcome of a reality TV culture? The shame, the shame.

Well...I guess it's better than another book review justifying the existence of Jane Eyre.

I was at the Heat Bobcats game. I swear the place is so quiet that in the 3rd Q I yelled at Wade to "drive in!!!!!" and he listened! I swear. He drew a foul and his first trip to the line

And that, my friends, is why pro basketball is in big trouble. Too many giant, bloated arenas with ticket prices that keep people out of the stands.

I'll fully admit that I'd rather watch the Bulls on TV than pay $100 or more for good tickets, not to mention the money spent for snacks and drinks. Going to a basketball game shouldn't run somebody $150-200 dollars.

Anonymous Wormboy said...
Re: Simmons' ranking. I can't argue about his pantheon, though I'm not convinced that Shaq belongs there. I'm happy where Kobe is.

And yeah, the Iverson placement might be the single biggest question mark of the entire list. 4th tier if you ask me.

Oh, and Nash was too low. At the same level as Patrick Ewing? Well, at least that argues that Ewing was too high. :)

And, um, Bawful, is that a Kurt Russell fashion shot as your avatar? I can't tell.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...

I wouldn't have put D'Antoni in the worst of the weekend. If anything, I'd say Mike had his cake and got to eat it too. He sat Nate, made an example out of him and the team won a few games (9-6 in December, without Nate). This lit a fire on Nate's self important arse so when he got minutes he produced big time, helping secure another two wins.

Good coaching, in my opinion, and not something I ever thought I'd see D'Antoni do. Then again, he's also been starting a defensive roleplayer with absolutely no offense for the past 10 or so games. Looks like someone else got a call from Jerry Sloan.


If LeBron goes to the Knicks, he would essentially be on the same team as the Cavs his rookie year except only one or two players over there even bother playing defense. They'd be a playoff team, sure, but nothing else. Then there's also the problem of the crappy overpaid players the Knicks have which would make trades difficult-to-impossible, and the fact that solid defensive big men are so difficult to come by that 75% of the teams in the league are still looking for one.

LeBron is gonna go where the money flows most freely, methinks, but the Knicks will definitely not be "right there" if they sign him for at least 2 seasons.

Blogger stephanie g said...
RE: the whitewash, the Jazz can almost do this but they lack another wing. LA could do this back when they had Mihm. And the Pacers can do it with Deiner, Dunleavy, Hansbrough (not a true SF but...), McRoberts, and Murphy. And we have Foster too!

I recall over the last 3-4 years games between LA-Utah-IN where there were 7-8 pale skins on the floor at once. You need shades to watch those games.

Anonymous kazam92 said...
Bawful: I agree its getting outrageous. I bought 2 crummy slices of pizza and a soda for 12 bucks. 12 bucks! I have to say Beasley teabagging Diaw made it worth the money though

Wormboy: Simmons said that in his paperback of the book he moves shaq down 4 spots and moves kobe up since he won the title

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wormboy -- The only real beef I have with Simmons' Pantheon is the Iverson ranking. I don't necessarily agree with all his rankings, but the A.I. pick is the only one I think is bogus. I mean, Iverson is, what, 14 spots higher than Clyde Drexler? He's ahead of guys like Nash, Nowitzki, J-Kidd, Paul Pierce...

Think about it. If you were building a basketball team and you could take any of those players in their prime, knowing what you know right now, would you take Iverson before any of them? I wouldn't. I want my teams to win basketball games.

Simmons quite correctly placed Pete Maravich as a Level 1 guy. Pistol was a revolutionary player and a sensation to watch on an individual level...but winning, real winning, always eluded him.

Supposedly, Iverson should get a pass because he made it to the Finals. But his road to the Big Game was littered with garbage: a rebuilding Pacers team, a Craptors team starring Vince Carter (who famously opted to attend his college graduation rather than prepare for Game 7) and a Milwaukee Bucks team that might have beaten the Sixers if not for some very dubious officiating (particularly in Game 5).

Nash's Suns couldn't get by Duncan's Spurs, winners of four NBA titles. Do you think those Phoenix squads would have run roughshod over those lousy, early 2000s Eastern Conference teams? You bet your sweet ass they would have.

Iverson's one Finals appearance was an abberation. That's nothing against A.I. He's a fighter, and he certainly gave everything he had during games. But as admirable as it was that he played hurt, his shot-happy offense, ball-hawking defense and refusal to subjugate his ego for the good of the team should count against him in any pantheon of great players.

Personally, I think Nash was too low too, and I definitely would put him ahead of Dirk. But I can't argue with his general placement beecause he has only been great over the second half of his career. And while I believe that was because he was poorly coached and under-utilized in Dallas, that doesn't alter the fact that he only gave us 50 percent-ish of what he could have.

Oh, the Russell pic is from a post I wrote as Jack Burton.

Blogger Cortez said...
"...the homeless people asking me for the last two dollars they need to take a cab across town for a job interview."

Here's a thought(if this wasn't really a outright lie, which it is)...


Blogger Basketbawful said...
Hellshocked -- I see what you're saying, and part of me agrees. But D'Antoni's starting to become one of those "jerk the players around" coaches. Sure, he's doing it with unlikeable guys like Starbury, Larry Hughes and Nate Robinson, but in the long run, that kind of coaching tends to turn players off. Just ask Scott Skiles.

Only D'Antoni isn't even as honest as Skiles. When he benches a player, at least he goes straight to that players and says, "You're playing like shit, and I'm sitting you down." D'Antoni just stops talking to guys and then won't play them with nary an explanation as to why.

He was like that in Phoenix too, by the way. He didni't have the balls to confront Marion or Stoudemire. It just bugs me...his behavior seems kind of gutless.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me.

kazam92 -- Wait. You got TWO slices of pizza AND a soda for $12? Did you have a coupon? Did you blow somebody? That's some cheap eats!

Blogger Wormboy said...
PS Maybe Simmons is just gushing about Iverson at his peak? He was pretty damned incredible at one point, and when you put a Larry brown-coached defense behind him, where the other players were playing team ball, he looked great.

When I think of The Question, it actually makes me kind of sad. The guy was an astonishing baller, especially given his size. Cut the ego, and he could have been in the pantheon. Iverson before the whole posturing self-promotion era would have been a very different guy. It's really too bad.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Jane Eyre= the 19th century Twilight.

I wonder how chris can tolerate the Ginger Douche for more than 2 minutes at a stretch. His paranoid rants and pointless prattle tales always obscure whatever excitement the actual players might be generating. He's kind of a cross between Bill Walton and Bill O'Reilly.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Cortez -- You can't use logic on people begging for change.

Two somewhat amusing stories involving beggars. A couple years ago, a female homeless person asked me to buy a StreetWise. For those of you not familiar with Chicago, StreetWise is a little newspaper thingie that homeless people can sell to help semi-support themselves. Anyway, I was struck by a rare moment of compassion, because the woman said she was hungry...and she looked hungry. I handed her my $5 "donation" for the paper, and she said, "Sir, this is my last one. Do you mind if I keep it?"

So basically she was selling the same paper over and over. Like an idiot, I said that was fine, then watched as she went into the convenience store in my office building and used the money I had just given her for a pack of smokes. So much for being hungry.

A few weeks ago, Evil Ted was struck by a similar moment of compassion. See, there's a homeless man that hangs around outside a nearby Chinese place we frequent. The guy asked ET to buy him an egg roll and a soda. At first, ET ignored him. Then, halfway through the line, he thought, "Why not?" and bought the dude an egg roll.

When ET got back outside and handed him the egg roll -- free food, mind you -- the guy bitched ET out for not getting him a soda too.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Also for the paperback, Simmons is bumping Iverson down to 32 or more, and Nash up.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Wormboy -- Maybe...but that defeats the whole point of creating a mammoth all-time ranking of players. And anyway, Simmons supposedly factored in peak versus longevity, which is why he ranked Magic over Bird...because, at his peak, Bird was better, but Magic was great for a longer period. And that, I totally agree with, despite being a crazed Bird fan.

Davros -- Jane Eyre= the 19th century Twilight.

Brilliantly put.

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Also for the paperback, Simmons is bumping Iverson down to 32 or more, and Nash up.

That's a start, but really, Iverson belongs in the lower echelong of great players, alongside the Pistol and Dominique Wilkins...guys who were unquestionably great, but not always great from a team standpoint.

I love 'Nique, love him, but people forget that his teammates were sick as hell of him before he got exiled to the Clippers -- the Clippers! -- for a five-month rental of Danny Manning...during one of the Hawks' best-ever seasons no less.

Blogger Will said...
Are there any guest posters in the near future?

Blogger chris said...
kazam92: And the Kings offer "combo meals" at $13-14. No, seriously. They do.

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: Would Knee-Mac clearly be in that category, or is he not even "great" enough?

Blogger chris said...
Will: I so hope we get a guest post from "Gilbert's twitter" or "Starbury on Ustream." :D

Blogger Basketbawful said...
Will -- Yes. This week, hopefully.

Chris -- I would definitely put Knee-Mac in that category. In fact, my full list of the Stats-First All-Timers would be:

Half Man, Half A Season
The Cancer
Bob McAdoo
Bernard King
David Thompson
George Gervin

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: So who's Half Man, Half A Season?

Does Alex English fit in this category, or was he simply unlucky enough to be on a Nuggets team that was so-so for the most part? (His career can be likened to the hockey career of one Marcel Dionne, as an analogy...)

Blogger chris said...
A Celtics blog actually suggests that Steve Novak is BETTER than Scal.


Blogger chris said...
Meanwhile, Agent Zero seems to be hamming it up still about the incident that honored the Generals' 1960s-1990s moniker...

Blogger Silva said...
Sad vinsanity made me laugh at work. I'm in trouble now because of sad vinsanity.

When I said solid defensive big I wasn't thinking of chris bosh but with bosh and lebron in NY it's not a worse team than this year's cleveland.

With a couple of good trades lebron can make a run for the championship in the knicks in the next of following year. We all know it doesn't take several years to build a championship team.

And of course there would be hyper excitement around the team especially if they started winning and momementum plays a part.

So I wasn't talking about the big bucks I was making a case for lebron to the kicks being a good basketball decision.

As for wade and lebron in the same team I bet my life that's not going to happen.

Blogger chris said...
Wojnarowski puts up a decent piece on the Arenas situation on Yahoo Sports.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...

D'Antoni's entire coaching career can be summed up as gutless. You say he never confronted Marion or Stoudemire, but I'd go further. The guy would make excuses, to the media, for Amare's putrid rebounding and phantom defense every single time the subject came up. It was nauseating.

That's exactly why I was surprised by and entirely approve of his Nate Robinson DNP-CD streak. This isn't some unimportant end of the bench scrub we're talking about but one of the team's top scorers and key players. I think it is a step in the right direction. Was it purely team motivated? Hell no. He's feeling the heat in New York, the team had endured a major losing streak and he made a scapegoat out of the guy. Something had to be done, however, before the Knicks turned into a circus akin to the Warriors.

I agree with what he did, but if he starts placating his players again and not holding them accountable for stuff now that they are winning a few games then disarray will follow and it won't be calmed by a simple benching. I guess we'll find out in the upcoming weeks if he grew a backbone or just borrowed one.

Assuming we bother with the Knicks, that is.

Blogger chris said...
LOL at the Cancer talking 'bout 'tirement:

Iverson, 34, lacks an NBA title in his career, but even if one of the league’s top contenders had called and offered him a contract, he says he’d have probably passed. He instead got what he wanted: a chance to return to the franchise that drafted him.

“I don’t chase no championship,” Iverson said. “I’ve said that from Day One. I have of lot of respect for the talent [God] gave me and I respect my game and what I do on the basketball court, and I wouldn’t do something like that. A championship like that wouldn’t mean much to me. I’d have to be an intricate part in what we are trying to do in winning a championship.”


So in other words, you want the 2001 Sixers back, in which everyone is excessively devoted to the cause to giving you the rock in every single game situation? And that you can't handle winning a title without being the focal point of it?

Blogger chris said...
Bawful: So I see you and others are discussing trade rumors with K-Mart being in the mix somehow...

I really do want to see how Mr. Blue Light Special plays with Tyreke the Freak first before making any judgements, though I hope Martin understands that the shed in Natomas is 100% Evans's house right now, and probably into the far future.

Blogger chris said...
Hellshocked: Certainly Mike 'antoni doesn't believe any defensive backbone long do you think this sudden assertion of authority will last? Until the next time the folks at MSG offer another jillion-dollar contract for him to consume?

Blogger Dan B. said...
Vasco -- Sad Vinsanity still makes me giggle whenever I scroll by and see that picture. Sorry if he got you in trouble at work. That's just what Vince Carter does.

Blogger Will said...
chris- in case you haven't found out on your own, half-man half-a-season is vince carter

Blogger lordhenry said...
In the mountains of L.A.....

"Really, I should be back soon, no worries."
The Dark Lord Kobe "Bean" Bryant, the Black Mamba, the Golden CHild, and he of the Gimpy Finger listens skeptically as his second in command and fellow Sith Lord Vega (Pau Gasol) explains how long he might be out.
"That's what they said at the beginning of the season, and it took 11 games." Says the Mamba with a Rock-like raised eyebrow.
"Well, my Lord, we are here to play for June are we not? It's more important for me to be there in the playoffs, yes?"

".......I guess."

"Besides, it's not like you really need me anyway, you have Lord Shotkiller still, and Darth Crazy is back from injury. Ah, look here they come now."

Up saunters Bynum and Artest, ready to begin practice in Pau's absence.

"Yo, Kobe, now that Pau's out I get to play shooting guard right?"

Blogger chris said...
Davros: I'm not sure that Gary Gerould is an improvement on the radio end...sadly, I recognize him MUCH more for his former schtick as CART/Champcar pit reporter for ESPN (and his infamous, overused "What's the emotion?" line of questioning) than for any work he has done for the paupers.

I will say that Peaches coming up with the soon-to-be-painfully-cliche "Thank heavens for Tyreke Evans" line IS awesome. But that's about it.

Blogger starang said...

I was at that Memphis v Phx game. TUUUUUURRRRIBBBLLEEE! The Suns are killing me this season.

Anyways, I'm putting an early poke in to get the BAWFUL crew to start a Pick One league next year. It would be fun to play against all the clowns I read with each day, as well as have a Pick One section in your posts...just a thought.

Peace from the PHX. GO SUNS!

Blogger chris said...
starang: Since this is Bawful, I think this will be a lot funnier if you pick "Team who will lose by the biggest margin" on a given night. :D

Anonymous Geert said...
Lebron, CP3, Wade & Bosh teaming up would be like highschool. All the cool kids getting together, with the not-so-cool kids desperately wanting to join and doing everything for it.

Blogger chris said...
Geert: Well, lacktion/human victory cigar cap realities will dictate that some not-so-cool kids will get to ride shotgun.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Half man, half a season: Carolina's shame, Vince Carter.

I'm with you on the Question, Bawful. You don't need to convince me that he wasn't worth the accolades. But I think people tend to get enamored with his skills. They were for years and years, while making excuses for his poor defense by pointing to a good defensive rating inflated by risky steals. Iverson even padded defensive stats!

But I'm guessing that for some reason Simmons overlooks this stuff. Heck, before the Detroit trade MOST people were still overlooking that stuff.

I'm going to go a step further--I don't think Kobe is worth the accolades he gets (though not as egregious as The Question.) Kobe can hoist up contested fadeaways with the best of them, and his conversion rate is not great.

Don't get me wrong. Kobe is an unparalleled scoring machine, and a good defender to boot. But he looks out for #1, and becomes a selfish lunatic the second things don't go his way. Fact is, Gasol should have been Finals MVP last year. Gasol's efficiency was much higher, and I think he had a much greater impact on the games.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
the raps would be able to pull off a white wash if everyone was healthy. I wouldn't be surprised to see a line up of calderon, belinelli, turkoglu, nesterovic and bargnani on the floor.

Anonymous BW in Cleveland said...
35 year old Steve Nash w/makeshift lower back >>>>> 25 Year old A.I.

@Wormboy: So you're saying he's Larry Hughes? with a scorer's touch? :)

Also, regarding Kobe, it took a complete pilfering of Memphis in the Gasol deal and a caring Lamar Odom to get himself a ring. The guy is a stud, no doubt, but to think the Lakers get to the WCF without Gasol is just crazy talk.

I don't care if Lebron, Wade, CP3, and the corpse of Wilt the Stilt go to New York: An 'Antoni team with NEVER win a championship. A smart defensive minded coach who knows how to fit a rotation will take Mike to task every single time.

Blogger Wormboy said...
@BW in Cleveland: Ha! Nash is not THAT much better than The Question, but I totally agree. A guy like Nash makes everybody around him MUCH better (the clincher: Yawn Marion). And IMO Nash is also MUCH better than Jason Kidd.

Larry Hughes! Naw, that's just not fair.

But re: Gasol: Pau is who held that team together, balanced their offense, and played unselfishly. The fact that he ended up in LA for virtually nothing in return is just a sign that the basketball gods hate as all.

Blogger starang said...
chris: You are right. That would be a more meaningful game for this blog, however, it would get boring picking from the same 4 or 5 completely terrible teams every night.

But I like how you are thinking...maybe...we pick a player each night that we think will be the most UNDER his average PRA for the season? That nights PRA - Season AVG = Pick Bawful score for the night. Lowest Pick Bawful summation at the end of the season wins!

...or does the loser win? Now I'm confused.