Lamar Odom appears to have fallen on hard times

 One of the extras from Dazed and Confused shows Steve Novak the true meaning of "Blurred Lines"

A very drunk Kevin McHale struggles to remember the next play

"Next year we'll get Wiggins and things will be so much better"

Andray Blatche wearing the same number as his made field goals from the night. 

"Maybe we could have won if I could actually see the damn court!"

Little Bigfoot a.k.a. the Artist Formerly Known as Usher teaches Kyrie the ways of the American Indian.

Miami Heat:  I don't know if it's a Championship hangover....or just a hangover period, but the Heat and the Sixers must have switched game plans before tip off because last night we saw one team make a statement while the other grew one step closer to the Wiggins sweep stakes!

Having the vibe of something out of a David Lynch film, the Sixers ran out to a 23-2 lead (not a typo) before showing the Heat a little mercy and letting the quarter end with "only" a 33-14 advantage.  

The arena was buzzing, and you can sense a huge upset was in the air.  I mean you really have to keep in mind that the Sixers are the biggest championship long shots in Vegas history going up against one of the safest title picks in recent memory.

But just when the going got tough for the Heat, the Heat got going.  Pouring it on with 35 points in the 2nd quarter, followed by a blistering 45 point performance in the 3rd (matching what feels like the Grizzlies total scoring output for the season) all momentum swung in the Heat's favor.  Instead of the local Philly fans partying like it's 1999...they merely looked like they hadn't partied since 1999.

And then the local heads at Disney got together and thought "Wouldn't this make for a great story to have one of the biggest regular season upsets in NBA history?" and with the wave of a wand the Sixers got a second wind and held Miami to just 16 points in the fourth while scoring 29 themselves leading to a 114-110 victory.  (Because as you all know, Disney controls everything.)

The thing is, it wasn't even like the Heat played terrible. They shot 50% from the field, managed 25 and 13 (assists) from LeBron, had 6 players hit double figures, yada yada yada....but when you've got Michael Carter-Williams on the other end, you know you're going to have your hands full.

Wait, who?

Yes folks, Michael Carter-Williams, a rookie who had 22 points, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, and 9 steals in his NBA debut.  We're talking a near quadruple double.

So how many of you chose him for your fantasy team? Yeah, me either.

The Heat blew a 94-85 lead heading into the fourth as Wade's knee injuries continue to pile up.

"We're a comfortable team, we always feel like we can win a game," James said.

Except for tonight.

Stunt Doubles for the Actual Los Angeles Lakers:  It felt like only yesterday the Lakers were the talk of the league with a shocking win over the remodeled Clippers team.  Gutsy performances from all kinds of players whose parents probably weren't even aware that they were in the NBA let alone the average fan.

But that other pesky team from California brushed aside a crappy preseason to show who's boss.  Klay Thompson was in Stephen Curry 2K14 mode ripping off 38 points on 15-19 shooting.  I mean if I was playing someone in 2K14 and they had a player shoot 15-19 I would just turn off the game, no questions asked.

The Lakers only managed 39% shooting which wasn't helped by poor shooting from their savvy veterans (Steve Blake 4-13) and savvy fools (Nick Young 2-9....I want Kobe to come back soon so he can long for the days of Smush Parker when he sees Young willing to takes shots at his own basket just get his field goal attempts up). 

Memphis Grizzlies:  New coach, the return of one of the goofiest looking players in the league who loves to give away money and the sweet dish of revenge from a brutal sweep at the hands of the Spurs this past spring.

But what started off  the "grit and grind" mantra for the Grizzlies quickly turned into "we suck and we don't mind" as Memphis managed just 7 points in the 2nd quarter.  Have I mentioned that was the lowest second quarter output in franchise history and 3rd worst quarter output of all time?

On the flipside, Kawhi kept doing Kawhi like things, who should be in for another strong season.

Pop was even happy with Boris Diaw's aggressiveness (and not just at the drive through lane) of all people.

"He went and talked to a guru in India or something," Popovich said. "I don't know what he did, but he catches and shoots now. I got nothing to do with it. I've been begging him since he got here. His previous coaches have begged him. All of a sudden he's a catch-and-shoot guy. It's continued and we're happy about it."

 A guru in India, eh?  Can't wait to see what his White Album sounds like. 

Zach Randolph's kryptonite completely shut him down again (all hail Lord Bonner) as he was held to just 1-6 shooting, probably thinking the WCF was still going on.

"They had a good playoff series against us last season, they swept us and did a good job," Randolph said. "But tonight was one of those nights; just one of those nights."

Something tells me he might be saying that 81 more times this year.

A very forgettable performance for Memphis who looked completely discombobulated out there facing the Spurs B team most of the night. 

As if things weren't bad enough, check out the Grizzlies opening night win-loss record since moving to the Elvis state in 2001:

2001, Detroit 90 @ Memphis 80
2002, Dallas 119 @ Memphis 108
2003, Boston 93 @ Memphis 91
2004, Washington 103 @ Memphis 91
2005, Miami 97 @ Memphis 78
2006, New York 118 @ Memphis 117 (3OT)
2007, San Antonio 104 @ Memphis 101
2008, Memphis 71 @ Houston 82
2009, Detroit 96 @ Memphis 74
2010, Atlanta 119 @ Memphis 104
2011, Memphis 82 @ San Antonio 95
2012, Memphis 92 @ LA Clippers 101
2013, Memphis 94 @ San Antonio 101

Ladies and Gentlemen, 0-13 the longest opening night losing streak in professional sports history.

Can't wait till next year!

Brooklyn Njets: Oh man oh man oh man.  Where to even begin.  It seems like every time we anoint a team as the next Heat stoppers they proceed to crap the bed when no one is looking.

After all the hoopla of combining forces with the Celtics to form a..uh..superteam of their own, the Nets looked slow, old, and outmatched in crunch time.  A lot like the Celtics of last year!

Pierce and Garnett weren't too bad at all, combining for 9-16's just you know, those other guys like Alan Anderson (4-11, inexplicably taking more shots than both Garnett and Pierce) Deron Williams (2-6, I guess he's already handed the keys over to the new guys?) and Joe Johnson (3-10, inexplicably one of the highest paid players of our time) that really make you wonder what the hell is going on with this team.

It wasn't even like they were playing an NBA power house, they were playing the Cadavers for pete's sake! 

Hell, Cleveland felt so bad for beating up on this team of nursing home residents that they trotted out the world's most expensive human victory cigar - Andrew Bynum!

Yes folks, 3 weeks sober from doing any form of Wii bowling, Bynumite made a cameo scoring more points in 8 minutes (3) than Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston in 36 minutes combined (0!).

"Obviously it hurts but we have to go back and look at the reason why we lost this game," Pierce said. "Throughout the course of the season we have to understand it's always going to be about the little things. To be a championship team, you have to clean those things up."

At this rate the only little things the Nets could be cleaning up are the plastic cups from their arena preparation for next season. 

"Shania Twain hates mayonaise all right, and she can't eat chicken salad, that's no joke. We gave it to her once, she threw up in the limo! listening man?" 

 No Caption Required

 "But but but...I thought Orlando were supposed to be the ones tanking!"

Orlando Magic: A stellar rookie in Victor Oladipo, a solid young core, and a new beginning.  All was well with the Magic in the first half as they overcame a slow start to take a 4 point lead at halftime quieting an anxious Pacers crowd.

And then Magic coach Jacque Vaughn gave a rousing halftime speech reminding Orlando that they needed to continue to build where they left off last season.

And did they ever.

Allowing Indiana to come one block shy with a franchise tying 18 blocks and giving up 32 free throw attempts in the process reminded us that the Magic were exactly who we thought they were.  

"We were making bets at the half at who could peg the Pacers hands the most when going for a shot" said Affalo. 

Indiana used a 21-4 run to blow the game wide open which was made easier by the fact that the veterans of the young Magic team in Aaron Affalo and Jameer "How Am I Still in the League" Nelson combined for 7-27 from the floor...way to set an example fellas.

No Orlando player logged more than 33 minutes.

Coach Vaughn stated "I'm trying to use the Pop rotation of keeping the players fresh through out the season.   If they can't be fresh for the playoffs, then at least they can be fresh for the summer."

Ah, I love the sweet sound of ping pong balls in the morning.

Chicago Bulls: I'm not going to name names but there were a handful of analysts who had chosen this team to put a roadblock on the Heat's quest for a three peat.  Derrick Rose came back (even if NBA Live managed to return before he did), the team had some new pieces (Mike Dunleavy Jr) and looked prime to knock the wind out of Miami's sails.

And they looked good too....for a quarter anyway.  Rose was getting to the rim at will, Bosh was being Bosh (missed his first 5 shots, didn't get his first bucket since Game 6 until the end of the 1st quarter) and Wade looked like he should be joining the cast of Grumpy Old Men III.

Rose thought he should take a breather and that's when all hell broke loose. Without a first option on offense, the Bulls managed 6 turnovers in the 2nd quarter (kept passing to a non existent Marco Bellinelli I'm guessing?) and the Heat exploded for a 37 point quarter which was more points than the Bulls managed in the entire half. 

Smell the glove

Now the Bulls did manage to return the favor with a 37 point 4th quarter to make the score respectable so they would be allowed to return to Chicago.  This was helped by a 31 point performance from Carlos Boozer (amnesty that)  and some of that tenacious defense we are normally acustomed to seeing from the Bulls.  But it was all for nothing.  It's going to be a long season, but maybe just a little longer for the Bulls.

 Bosh waves goodbye to his first five jumpshots

The Clippers:  A new coach (Doc Rivers), a revitalized bench with newcomers JJ Reddick and Chris Dudley, and several new sheets of linen to cover up all those Laker championship banners (shout out to Bed Bath and Beyond!) made for high expectations for the 2013/14 season.

Now, if I told you that there would be no Kobe Bryant, that Pau Gasol and the ghost of Steve Nash would be watching from the bench in the fourth quarter you would assume the Lakers would be in for a rough night. I will even raise you a Nick Young performance that would borrow Dick Cheney's shot selection and go off for 3-10 shooting, only to be outdone by the Daniel Day Lewis of the NBA (Wesley Johnson, continuing to fool people into believing he's an NBA player) who went for a blistering 1-11, you would be getting flashbacks of the 2006 Lakers all over again.

Instead, we got flashbacks of the '87 Clippers, who got shell shocked in the fourth quarter that had them recapturing the magic of the Vinny D era by getting outscored in the fourth quarter 41-24.

"Mike [D'Antoni] did a great thing: He didn't bring his starters back in," Rivers said. "There was a point where I was thinking: 'Please bring them back in.'"

But alas, Pringles had one upped the Doc on this night. The Clippers got destroyed on the glass, and had no answer for Professor Xavier Henry (22 points) and allowed 7 players from the Lakers D League to score in double digits.

I mean we had Xavier Henry, Wesley Johnson, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, and Jordan Hill completely destroy the likes of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan, JJ Reddick, and Jamal Crawford.  Deandre Jordan makes more money in half a quarter than the entire Lakers 4th quarter lineup for the season combined.

Oh, and the Lakers are now 5-0 when Kobe misses the season opener.  Let that sink in for a second. 


"Oh, man, it seemed like it just happened so fast," Paul said. "Those guys executed their game plan, and when you're missing somebody like Kobe, you feed off that energy."   

Speaking of Kobe, did anyone else notice how annoyed he looked at the end of the game when the Lakers won handily without him?

"All I know is that their starting five still haven't beaten our starting five" said Rivers to his team after the game.

Looks like the Doc may need to see one himself.  

Training camps are underway, and the NBA preseason has now begun. It's been a very active offseason. With so many trades, signings, and front office moves, it's been hard to keep up with them all. However, there were a few things that jumped out to me this summer. Today I want to countdown the five most bizarre or unusual happenings from around the Association.

 1. Greg Oden is back in the NBA.

After three microfracture surgeries, battling alcohol addiction, and a long rehab process, Greg Oden is now back on an NBA roster. Believe it or not, there was a mini bidding war for his services. Oden had offers to play for several teams but opted to join the defending champion Miami Heat. After being waived by the Trailblazers, many thought that he would never play professional basketball ever again. It's a pretty ideal situation as he'll walk into training camp with zero expectations. The Heat have won back to back titles with center rotation that consist of crap, shit, and trash. All Oden has to do is lumber up the floor, flail his arms at opposing shooters, and dunk once or twice a game. THAT'S IT. As long as he's healthy he should have the starting spot on lockdown. As long as he's healthy... He doesn't even need to reach his original potential. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 points and 8 rebounds and the Miami Heat have the title in the bag. This is isn't Portland, where the fans are almost rabid about their basketball team. He's isn't seen as the number 1 pick who was taken ahead of Kevin Durant. He enters the Heat training camp as just another center in a city that only sometimes cares about professional basketball.

Not 12...Not 13...Not 14...

2. Lionel Hollins and George Karl are no longer employed as coaches.

In today's budget conscious NBA, teams like the Nuggets and the Grizzlies had to cut back on the spending. As a result, two of the best coaches from last season would not return to their respective teams. They were basically shown the door because they were too good. Seriously, George Karl won the goddamn NBA Coach of the Year award. The Denver Nuggets finished third in the conference even though not a single player made the All Star team last year. Hollins got the Grizzlies to the Conference Finals, a first in the franchise's history. An amazing feat considering that snake, John Hollinger traded away Rudy Gay, the team's leading scorer for Tayshaun "Bad Back and Even Worse Contract" Prince. I don't have a freaking clue who the new Grizzlies coach is. (After Googling the answer, I still don't know this guy.) I hope head coaches of small market teams were paying attention. If you value your job, just make sure you have a very mediocre season, and don't expect pay increase on your next contract.

They could have at least offered to have his gargoyle hand fixed.
3. Jason Kidd and Rasheed Wallace are employed as coaches.

When Jason Kidd was playing everyone always said how he was like a coach on the floor. Directing traffic, calling out the plays himself, finding weak points in the defense. But I didn't expect him to retire, and then immediately jump straight into the head coaches office. Normally guys have to pay their dues as an assistant or a player development coach. After that begins a series of interviews each offseason in which they get their dreams shattered over and over and over again by potential teams....It’s a process. But Ol' J Kidd here somehow convinced Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov to give him a shot despite having the same amount of coaching experience Patrick Ewing hates Jason Kidd. He's already off to a rocky start. Kidd has to sit out the first two games of the season because he got shitfaced in the Hamptons last year and wrecked his SUV. Speaking of wrecks, Rasheed Wallace ladies and gentlemen. Who the hell thought it'd be a good idea to let him hang around impressionable youths? Does Greg Monroe really need to be taking advise from Rasheed? What is he gonna teach him? How to trot of the floor and launch three's? How to get tossed out of games? How to be a millionaire, but still manage to look like a total bum? Where he can get the best weed in Detroit? How to have an unstoppable turn around baseline jumper but only pull it out twice a game? The only good thing that will come out of this...and I mean the ONLY good thing, is that we might get to hear him scream, "BALL DON'T LIE!!!"

Coming to a sideline near you.

4. Shaquille O'Neal is an owner.

 My Initial reaction to the news of Shaq becoming part owner of the Sacramento Kings? "Please, Please, PLEASE let this be the end of Shaq as a television analyst". He's just not funny. Shaq's style of humor works best during courtside interviews or after the game in the locker room. He's sports funny. That's the guy who's funny amongst a group of people who are kinda dull. In terms of real world funny he's horrible. Laughing at his own jokes...repeating them over and over when they don't go over well...GET HIM OFF MY TV. Where was I? Ah yes, Shaq the owner. I feel bad for Kings fans. This guy kept your team from getting to the Finals, and playfully referred to them as the Sacramento "Queens" for many years. (Another joke that only works if you're an athlete.) Now you have to drive around town looking up at billboards that have his big dumbass grin on it. With the word "Shaqramento" underneath. That's like Batman capturing the Joker and then becoming warden at Arkham Asylum.

 Majority owner Vivek Ranandive explaining how the Kings plan on helping the Sacramento community while Shaq eyeballs a meat and cheese tray in the corner.
5. Lamar Odom.

 This one is most bizarre because I'm not sure if anyone knows they entire story. I've been scouring the net, and it’s hard to tell which parts of the Odom offseason saga are bullshit, and which parts are true. It doesn't help that TMZ, who are known for making things up, has been all over this since day one. They reported that Odom was missing, and not even his wife knew where he was. TMZ had us thinking Lam Lam could have been laying face down in a ditch somewhere. Then they claimed he was off somewhere smoking crack with a couple of whores. Well, it seems that Odom's friends and family did know where he was, however all that stuff about him being on drugs was true. And it was also true that he got arrested for a DUI. Annnnd it was true that he had to check himself in to rehab. Annnnnnnnd it was true that he promptly check himself out of rehab claiming that he could stop using drugs on his own. If I had to guess, I'd say he's done as a professional athlete. The Lakers trying to trade him to New Orleans a few years ago was the worst thing that could have happened to his career. Ever since that day, Odom has been on a downward spiral. It looked like he had an opportunity to redeem himself with the Clippers last season, but I wasn't expecting him to totally blow it. Most nights he looked like someone's grandpa who just wondered onto the floor during a game. I'm going to miss seeing him mail it in night in and night out.

"Did someone say blow?"