June 5, 2012

Ten basketball and bathroom terms

Filed under: Sports, Strange — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 8:01 pm

Top 10 basketball/bathroom terms

10.  behind the back dribble
9.   give and go
8.   bounced between the legs
7.   3-footer
6.   finger roll
5.   putback
4.   back court violation
3.   air ball
2.   flagrant foul
1.   floater

May 7, 2012

Dallas Mavericks players vote ‘no playoff share’ for Lamar Odom

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 11:22 am

The Dallas Mavericks players, who were swept out of the NBA first round playoffs, decided not to give any of the money they received to Lamar Odom.  But exactly how much credit should Lamar receive for the Mavs barely making the playoffs?

Dallas Mavs’ record this season:

with Lamar Odom 31-19

without Odom 5-15


The players are being petty by not voting a share of the money to Lamar Odom.


no, I’m not really sure which Kardashian I married


February 22, 2011

Masai Ujiri, up and coming NBA star you never heard of

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , — skeptisys @ 3:39 pm
Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri

Masai Ujiri has only been General Manager of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets for half a year, but he has already pulled off one of the biggest basketball steals in years.  Denver’s best player, Carmelo Anthony, had indicated he would sign with the Knicks as a free agent and the end of the year, leaving Denver with nothing.  With this inevitable loss looming, Masai Ujiri convinced the Knicks that giving up nothing was not their best option, instead they should give up 3 of their top young starters plus draft picks and other good players.  Surely Knicks GM Donnie Walsh and Coach Mike D’Antoni were not fooled, but at the end of negotiations, Knicks Owner and village idiot took control and insisted on overpaying.  New rumors are that Masai Ujiri will turn 1 or 2 of the players they receive over to the Nets for future draft picks, taking advantage of the Nets obsession with a ‘marketable’ player for their Brooklyn beginnings.

I believe the Knicks will win in the short term, only because they have one of the best coaches in the NBA, Mike D’Antoni, but I strongly advise Dolan to leave the decision making to the smarter people in the room.

James Dolan thinking about candy

Dolan pic from the mighty mjd.  Masai pic from Denver Westword.

November 10, 2010

Monty Williams wins first 7 games as NBA head coach: what can we expect from now on?

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , — skeptisys @ 2:21 pm

Monty Williams, the talented young head coach of the New Orleans Hornets, has won his first 7 games in the NBA – 4th all time in NBA history (per Elias).  What can we expect from him, from now on?  If history is an indication, it turns out ‘not much to expect’.

Here are the top 3 along with ‘rest of career’ records (to date).

Lawrence Frank

started 13-0, after 212-241 .468.

Kurt Rambis

started 9-0, after 31-87 .263 (including 1-7 this season)

Buddy Jeannette (BAA)

started 9-0, ended 142-203 .412

Both Frank and Jeannette were considerably younger than Monty, and Rambis was about the same age.  I will be rooting for Monty Williams… then again, I am still rooting for Lawrence Frank.

Buddy Jeannette drive basketball hoop

this is either Buddy Jeannette or a still from 'The Hoosiers'

Lawrence Frank

Lawrence Frank loves the giant basketballs the NBA tested

Kurt Rambis Danny Ainge Lakers Celtics

Danny Ainge girlie slapping Clark Kent

Buddy (hoopschina), Frank (dueling couches), and Rambis (the visual mixtape of Mark Malazarte) pics.

March 16, 2009

Portland’s Soft & Gooey Center: Greg Oden, Bill Walton, Mychal Thompson, Sam Bowie, and LaRue Martin

Greg Oden getting some much needed therapy for his injuries

Greg Oden getting some much needed therapy for his injuries

Only 16 games remain in the 2nd NBA regular season of Greg Oden’s career – a good time for an evaluation of the talented player drafted #1 by the Portland Trailblazers in June 2007.  Let’s begin with the 2 unluckiest phrases you can possibly hear in connection with your name on NBA draft night:

1. “With the 1st pick, the Portland Trailblazers select…”


2. “With the next pick, out of Duke…”

Runner-up: “Don’t worry, either Jay Williams or Bobby Hurley can give you a ride home.”

I’ll leave the Duke post for another time, but as a quick partial summary of Duke high draft picks: Trajan Langdon at #11; JJ Redick also at #11; Sheldon Williams at #5; Cherokee Parks at #12; Jay Williams at #2; Bobby Hurley at #7; Grant ‘accident prone’ Hill at #3; Mike Dunleavey at #3; William Avery at #14; and Danny Ferry at #2. If you want to make a couple Sweet 16’s and have Dick Vitale fall in Chihuahua love with you – go to Duke; if you want a good NBA career – go elsewhere (like the European Pro Leagues or Wake Forest).

Portland has selected 4 centers with the NBA overall #1 pick; and 1 with the #2 pick (Sam Bowie).  How has that worked out for them?  Not too well, actually.

name games missed (1st 2 seasons) games played (1st 2 seasons) points (1st 2 seasons) rebounds (1st 2 seasons) PER* (highest for 1st 2 seasons) games, career total PER high, career
Sam Bowie 50 114 1206 983 15.7 511 16.40
Greg Oden 102 46 412 333 17.8 0 17.80
Mychal Thompson 91 73 1074 604 17.0 935 19.20
Bill Walton 78 86 1271 1122 20.0 468 24.80
LaRue Martin 37 127 584 539 14.0 271 14.00
*PER (Player Efficiency Rating) created by John Hollinger, is the best available (though far from perfect) single number evaluation of a NBA player’s value.  PER is computed using most commonly available data weighted by value to the creation of points, and adjusted for pace and season.   High is used here for 3 reasons: 1) blocks and steals were not counted in the NBA during LaRue’s 1st season (they stole the idea from the ABA in 1973; 2) the computation would take many hours to perform; and 3) the results would basically be unaffected by the additional computation.

From this table we see that injuries are the major issue with these high draft picks.  The healthiest(? or ! or : P) here are LaRue Martin (22.5% missed games) and Sam Bowie (over 30% games missed).  If Sam Bowie is at the top of your healthy list jus ahead of Bill Walton, you may have trainer problems.  In this respect, Greg Oden is even worse than his predecessors, missing 102 games so far (a staggering 69%).

Quality of play for Oden is a little more promising than his health – he has performed significantly better than LaRue Martin.  On the other hand, Bill Walton appears to be the outlier here – a far better player than anyone else on this list including Oden.

The best comp to Oden here is Mychal Thompson.  Mychal missed the most games in the 1st 2 seasons, other than Oden, and his PER is very similar to Oden’s (17.8 to 17.0).  Mychal was seen as a soft scorer, rather than a banging defensive presence like the others here (notice the points/rebound ratios above) and lack of defensive data defense is the main weakness of PER.  Mychal’s missed games were due to one singular injury, unlike Bowie, Walton, and Oden, whose injuries have been multiple, chronic, and recurring.  Mychal had a one time injury, similar to Michael Jordan in his 2nd season. I have not seen Oden’s medical records, but his injury pattern does not appear similar to those who recover from an injury to have a long healthy NBA career.  Oden reminds me injury-wise more of Pervis Ellison and not Jordan.

Conclusion.   Greg Oden’s game appears to be similar to Mychal Thompson’s efficiency combined with Sam Bowie’s defensive ability.  Although not at the superstar level of Bill Walton, that combination is very impressive.  If Greg Oden can stay healthy just for a couple seasons, I could easily see him join Brandon Roy and Nate McMillen in the NBA finals soon enough.

Bill Walton Sports Illustrated cover

Bill Walton Sports Illustrated cover

I want to end with a few quotes from Bill Walton.  We all know that Bill was a tremendous basketball player, one of the best of all-time when he was healthy.  What is mostly forgotten is that Bill Walton was also a superior patriot, who gave his all to make his country and the world a better place. At a time now when American  freedom of speech is strongly muffled and contained, it is surprising to see these quotes that were commonplace and punished neither by fines nor anything by the NBA nor the government.  In fact, Bill Walton said he had a clause in his Portland Trailblazer contract that “prohibits the club from interfering with my religious and political beliefs, as long as I don’t practice them on the court.  I don’t think they (the club) felt all I was going to do was come up here and bounce a basketball.”

Nowadays, most American sports players are too afraid of fines and their image to pursue higher social goals and amplify the voice of the quiet and oppressed.  Derek Jeter is the epitome of today’s athlete, where every statement sounds like a corporate press release or Miss America speech.  Notable exceptions to this are: Carlos Delgado and Steve Nash.

In Bill Walton’s own words:

On why he did not consider Gerald Ford to be President of the U.S.: “Government is supposed to represent the will of the people.  When it no longer does that, it becomes illegitimate and no longer serves it’s function.”

“It’s my belief that this government has done nothing to warrant the cooperation of the people it is supposed to represent.  I can’t emphasize enough that it’s not the American people that I dislike.  I just don’t think the present government represents these people.”

“My friends and I are nonviolent people.  But I think we have a responsibility to fight back –  not with guns, but with love, truth, compassion and education.”

“Our values are to learn that health, our bodies, and our lives are more important than the value of money.”

Bill Walton quotes from The Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball, 1976 edition: edited by Zander Hollander – article Bill Walton Faces the Future by Ken Wheeler, Oregon Journal.

Bill Walton doesn't eat animals

Bill Walton doesn't eat animals

via: SI; Kyle Macaulay’s page; and LeBron please save NY. Pervis Ellison reference via Satan!

puppies of purgatory

puppies of purgatory

May 14, 2008

O.J. withhold the Mayo

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 9:31 am

OJ Mayo USC slam basketball nba

The NBA has a monopoly on the industry of professional basketball in the United States.  Attempted rival leagues (ABA, woman’s leagues, CBA) have been crushed by the NBA and no longer exist.  There is one very large American ‘amateur’ league, NCAA collegiate basketball.

Despite many billions of dollars in revenue from TV contracts, this college league is considered amateur because their main workers (players) do not get paid.  In fact, their revenue is higher because they will not allow the players to make money elsewhere, like selling clothes with their own name or sponsorships.  The players still do that work, but they cannot profit of it – their employers can.  These financial restrictions are illegal and immoral, by my understanding.

The NBA has always tried to keep the NCAA happy, and did so again last year by banning all players in their 1st year out of high school.  I need to repeat that fact because it is so astonishing how brazen they are about lawbreaking.  The NBA, using their monopoly, bans players who are of legal age from making any money in their chosen profession, solely based on age discrimination.  If this rule were around when many top players came out of high school to the NBA (Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, etc) it would have cost them millions of dollars, and would have risked much more for them.

This week, there have been allegations that OJ Mayo, one of the top High School basketball players prior to playing 1 season with USC (NCAA), may have only received $30,000 plus gifts while being a star ‘amateur’ basketball player – even though he would have made millions of dollars on the open market.

The NCAA and mainstream media are very angry that this young talented player, who made so much money for his employer, should make a little money.  Strangely missing from these arguments is that the NBA forced him illegally into this position, or that his pay was illegally restricted by a multi billion dollar enterprise, NCAA Basketball.   Insulting OJ only rubs it in.

I hope OJ Mayo sues the NBA and NCAA for the money they prevented him from earning.  Perhaps a class action lawsuit by all the top high school basketball players would be the trick to getting the players paid.  Then, after we hopefully win that, maybe we can work on all the grad students who make money for their schools through patents and research without appropriate payments.  It may not work, being right is unfortunately only a small part of the battle, but we won’t know until we try.

Demar DeRozan, BJ Mullens, Brandon Jennings, Al-Farouq Aminu, and the rest who have another year of high risk because of the NBA and NCAA -you may have to work now to recoup those potential losses.

April 23, 2008

New York Knicks have opportunity to fill their need for a new head basketball coach, and restore image

Filed under: News, Sports — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — skeptisys @ 10:20 am

Knicks team Phil Jackson Clyde Glide Frazier

The New York Knicks finally removed Isiah Thomas as their head coach and President after 4.5 years of dreadfully embarrassing performance.  They now have an excellent opportunity to recover the good image they once owned, and that opportunity is to hire a woman head basketball coach, like Tennessee’s Pat Summitt, to coach their team.

Knicks fan first amendment constitution ejected fire isiah sign

For those of us that recall the prestige of the Knicks from the 1970’s, Isiah’s reign was the most destructive.  It is no accident that intellectual artists like Woody Allen and Spike Lee are Knickerbocker fans, as the old image encompassed dignity, intellectualism, togetherness, and spiritualism.  The Knicks of that time won with high level intellectual discussions from the likes of Bill Bradley and Phil Jackson about politics, philosophy, and deep books.  Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier had an air of smooth yet flashy dignity in the way he dressed and spoke.  The team’s coach, Red Holzman, was a quiet dignified man, who rode the train home after games, and drank a glass of tea with his wife before he went to bed.  Those Knicks teams won because they played together selflessly, for the good of the team, without losing their love of each other and individualism.

Those days are gone, and the Isiah reign gave the Knicks an image of shame, sexism, and racism.  Not only did Isiah’s teams lose, but they also sacrificed the future to do so – by adding large long-term contracts.  Isiah was sued and found guilty of sexual discrimination, in a trial that revealed apparent rampant sexist corruption in MSG.   Isiah, in deposition, claimed that it is less offensive when a Black man calls a woman a ‘bitch’.

Stephon Marbury sex scandel limo Knicks

The Knicks fans, obviously bitter about the state of the team, demanded Isiah be removed from his position.  Instead, Isiah was given a new long term contract and the fans were attacked by Knicks representatives.  Fans were abused by the team for posting signs of ‘Fire Isiah’.  Right now, the Knicks have a horrible image that they need to address with more than just an attempt to improve the team’s won/loss record. It will take tremendous effort to bring back their image, but I think it can be done.

The best and only way for the Knicks to retrieve their image would be to hire a top female head coach, like Pat Summitt from Tennessee.  Here are the benefits to such a move:

  1. The Knicks will go from appearing as the most sexist team, to the team working hardest and most honestly for woman’s rights
  2. All women, and men like me, who are intolerant of sexism will be able to root for the Knicks.
  3. Woman will finally be able to get their reasonable chance to move into the NBA
  4. Even the most sexist Knicks fans will stay Knicks fans, if they were stubborn enough to remain through Isiah’s reign.
  5. If the players do not want to play for a woman (not an issue IMO), these current ones are expendable.
  6. David Stern claims to want to expand the NBA market.  Let’s see how serious he is.
  7. The NBA and MSG’s market and profit will increase tremendously.  This decision will make money and dollars, to put it in crude business terms.
  8. No doubt the press of hiring the first female basketball coach will make people forget Isiah’s horrible actions very quickly.
  9. There is absolutely NO reason why a female cannot coach as well as a man.  If one of the best female coaches is chosen, the Knicks could have a real find.
  10. Pat Summitt and any other top level female coach would presumably jump at the chance to help their sport and gender in such a way

I see no downside to such an action for the Knicks or the NBA.  If the Knicks do not move in this direction, but instead hire someone like Mark Jackson or some old coach, they are not serious about winning back the fans – and they deserve to continue to be boo’d, boycotted and criticized.  In fact, it would underscore their blatant sexist behavior.

Jim Dolan and Donnie Walsh – do the right thing for your company, shareholders, the people, and for the fans, hire Pat Summitt to be your next head coach.  It is the only way.

Pat Summitt women head coach University of Tennessee

Walt clyde glide frazier style

Update: The Knicks GM Donnie Walsh was asked about Pat Summitt as new head coach, if she contacted him: “would she stand a realistic chance of actually getting the job?

“No,” he said without elaborating”

Edited to correct spelling of Red Holzman.  Also note: Although there are references to Walt Frazier’s nickname ‘Clyde the Glide’, he was commonly referred to as simply ‘Clyde’ during his playing career.  Text has been updated to reflect the more commonly used nickname.  (thanks to anonymous reader who pointed these out in a different forum)

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