and i remember when my parents met

May 31, 2007 at 11:58 pm | Posted in basketball, brian | 10 Comments

it’s been over a week and still no reply from boozer. and i already have that million spent.

at first, i was confused about the lack of response. obviously this is a great basketball persona with mega-star making potential. pretty soon all the kids would be sporting the baby-blue boozer jersey, we’ll see an increase in slam-dunk finger tattoos as well as many finger tattoo variations, boozer will have finally distanced himself from the cult of coach k and he’ll be raking in at least 100 million dollars a year in slambidunktrous endorsements. the problem, i think, isn’t with the persona, rather it’s a problem of the persona finding boozer. (did that sound like a line from a sturges movie?) after coming up with the nickname, i searched for boozer’s mailing address and/or personal email for 36 hours straight but no luck. i had an easier time finding heath ledger’s email address after writing a surf movie for him (this was before people took him seriously as an actor).

do you think carlos ever saw our letter? no fucking way. he gets so many letters a day sent to him through the jazz organization there’s no way he saw ours. he probably gets 100 basketball drawings a day from little jazz fans. then there are all the older jazz fans asking him for relationship advice:

dear mr boozer,
what’s the most romantic way i could ask my girl to marry me? roses? a hot-air balloon? trip to paris?
love, jazz-fan-for-life-ready-to-take-the-plunge

dear jazz-fan-for-life-ready-to-take-the-plunge,
we’re at war with france. just shoot her a text or something.
love, boozer

so i need a new angle. i found a new angle watching the jazz/spurs game the other day.

jeff van gundy used to by my favorite coach in professional sports. now he’s my favorite announcer in professional sports. as readers of this blog know, he uses fantastic analogies. then there’s the fact that he has repeatedly criticized the refs receiving numerous fines and nearly got banned from the league for whistleblowing on the nba instructing its refs to call more fouls on certain players. one time he got his head gashed open by alonzo mourning in bench-clearing brawl. and his brothers also a coach, which is pretty funny.

but i mostly like him because he looks suicidal. maybe it’s his frowny-facial structure, maybe it’s his expressionless gaze, but whenever i see him to the left of breen holding his microphone and staring straight into the camera, i know we could be friends. this idea is reinforced as the camera slowly zooms in on jackson and breen while van gundy slowly exits the shot still staring straight ahead. then it cuts to a commercial. back from the commercial, van gundy is now in the middle of jackson and breen still staring straight ahead. at this point, it’s best to say van gundy’s inner thoughts outloud: “ok, keep looking at the camera. don’t smile. breen is saying something so look over his way. ok. now nod. good. look back at the camera. it’s almost your turn to talk. keep it together. remember, just be yourself.”

while his basketball commentary is top notch, his jokes are even better. in saturday’s game he produced the two funniest lines from a sports commentator i’ve ever heard, and he did it in a single quarter. the first happened after fisher hit a three and breen said something about how people forget that fisher was the third leading scorer behind kobe and shaq when the lakers won all those championships. van gundy, without any delay, says “what did he average? like five points a game?” some of you might think that’s a burn on fisher, but it’s actually a burn on kobe and shaq, but more importantly, it’s a burn on breen. then later, they showed one of the twin collins watching in the crowd. van gundy chimes in, “i bet those one-on-one games [between the twin collins] in the backyard took forever.” that’s funny.

so jeff van gundy. we obviously have some sort of metaphysical connection. if there’s anybody in the nba i trust, it’s him. well, him and allen iverson. that’s why i’m going to funnel the slambidunktrous idea to boozer through van gundy. it makes perfect sense. now i just gotta find his email adress.

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WTF HD?

May 27, 2007 at 1:21 pm | Posted in basketball, whitney | 4 Comments

While HD-TV might be a great way to catch Ricky Schroeder (everyone’s favorite Mormon and Silver Spooner) on 24, I submit that it might be one of the worst ways to watch basketball. I like those bird’s-eye-view shots of Parker after his 14th flop (we hate him because he’s French and picks his nose), and psuedo-following shots are fine if it’s a free throw or a time out, but I’m not really getting the point of it while the ball’s in play. I guess it’s supposed to make you feel like you’re there, but the thing about being there is that sometimes you don’t see the ball because someone’s blocking your view. That would even be okay if they weren’t moving the camera up and down in addition to side to side and then zooming in and out. It makes you sea sick. All you see is the camera moving and you forget about how much you hate Okur (but especially how it sounds like the announcers call him “Annette” every time). I think they might be going for an exciting, Bourne Identity kind of feel. It’s not working. The boost in picture quality is nice, but is it really necessary for a sporting event when things are moving so quickly? And if you have HD, you have a plasma screen, which is pretty great quality as it is.

Also, God bless TiVo. I’d never watch sports without it.

Orrin Hatch was characteristically sober tonight after the Jazz win (probably thinking about torture). He, of course, wasn’t donning the Zion’s bank t-shirt, and instead had some kind of pin on his lapel. I’m thinking it’s either a promotion for his upcoming album or a “Hatch ’08” pin.

And was it just me, or were those announcers having a love affair with Matt Harping in the first half tonight? Speaking of clean cut jazz players, that guy has nothing interesting going for him.

this never happened to pablo picasso

May 25, 2007 at 12:48 am | Posted in basketball, brian | 2 Comments

i beginning to wonder if the nba off-season is better than the nba season (meaning i started wondering about this ten minutes ago).

this year featured an early-season string of fourth quarter comebacks by the jazz, iverson getting traded to a city closer to me and getting back to the playoffs, the city/mavericks series (which is the best playoff series i’ve ever seen followed closely by last years suns/lakers and the pistons/pacers series from a couple years back when no one scored over 80 and prince recorded the best block ever right in reggie miller’s stupid face) and thomas’ back-to-back blocks followed by finishing the alley-oop in one of the bulls first round games.  by all accounts (or by all my accounts) a great season.

but the off-season; there’s just so much to love in the off-season.  i’m not bothered by seasonal depression.  since i don’t watch any nba games, i watch way more movies.  the basketball games i do watch are from the rocky mountain revue and  the rocky mountain revue is way better than the regular season because it’s this week were all my favorite players that never get any playing time go crazy.  salim stoudamire went for thirty something with six threes in one game.  but most importantly, i get to think about the upcoming season.  i get to imagine next year’s sonics living up to their uniform potential (obviously they’ve got the best jerseys in the league) and the hawks rockin the east with a team of only 6’8″ers.  i get to wonder if sprewell will get signed and if vince carter and keving garnett end up as teammates.

then the nba season starts and it’s sure to be a disappointment since it pails in comparison to my imagined nba season.

Best. PostSecret. Ever.

May 22, 2007 at 9:09 pm | Posted in misc, sherpa | 2 Comments

champ.jpg

http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

duncan vs. euclid

May 22, 2007 at 7:01 am | Posted in aaron d.w., basketball | 5 Comments

golden state was my favorite team.  in fact, i had a lot of favorite teams at the beginning of the playoffs that are no longer in the running.  actually, i got every one of my picks wrong.  this comes as no surprise if you’ve ever played fantasy football, basketball, baseball, or soccer with me.  or if you’ve ever been in the same march madness bracket or the same ncaa football bowl picks game as me.  i’m pretty good at not having a clue as to what will happen.  but i try.  and i keep trying.  the point is, it seems like a lot of people are not as interested in the nba finals anymore now that the “more exciting” teams are out.   and by all accounts i should be one of them.  i rooted for every team that wasn’t one of the final 4.  and i rooted for the jazz.  so only the jazz are left.  but there’s still some sweet basketball to play.  the jazz are awesome.  i’m even coming around to liking derek fisher.  i’ve hated him and made jokes about his fat cheeks for a long time.  but it’s not because his baby has cancer or something that i’m coming around.  it’s because he’s one of the leading members of the players’ union, and i think that’s nice.  the point is, there’s a lot a cool guys on that team.  but they’ve got their work cut out for them.  the spurs are good.  it’s easy to hate the spurs since they have all these old but good players.  they get guys like finley and barry to sign small contracts and come off the bench.  true, they’re both winding down, but still.  then there’s the fact that robert horry is stupid and bruce bowen stupider.  but there’s some stuff to like about the spurs.  tony p, manu g, and timmy d are all pretty great.  mostly tim duncan.

my favorite thing about duncan is that he always insists on banking his shots in.  he’s incredible at it.  i’ve been practicing recently and it’s tough to do.  but not impossible.  it’s just a matter of always thinking.  you have to calculate the angles.  you know, law of cosines stuff.  i mean, i’m fairly decent at math, but i just can’t get the angles down.  so i decided to make a tim duncan cheat sheet.  i hope this helps everyone improve their banked jump shots.  the diagram below is exactly what is happening in tim duncan’s head when he gets the ball in scoring position.  every time.  non-stop.  all angles, all the time.duncan.jpg

if you’re in one of the slices shown above, the numbers indicate how many inches from the center of the backboard the ball needs to hit in order to “bank it home.”  it’s true that there’s some room for other bank shots, but i didn’t draw them because the sectors were getting quite small.  but that doesn’t mean duncan doesn’t bank his shots from those tighter angles.  first just work on the slices shown.  then you can expand your banking ability to those tougher angles.  and don’t feel embarrassed to take this diagram with you to the court.  if we want to be like duncan, we have to work at it until we get it.  just put it on your wristband.  like a quarterback arm band.  then glance down at your wrist when you’re going to post up to see how many inches away from center you should aim for.  after a few months, it’ll become second nature to you and you can get rid of the wristband.  you’ll bank without thinking about it.  and while i’m on the subject of banking, don’t buy into the idea that you have to always call it.  duncan doesn’t call it.  he just does it every time.  if someone says you have to call it, don’t listen.  just keep banking them in.  let your bank shots do the talking.

i wish tim duncan would let his hair grow out a little bit more.  i like it when it’s a couple inches long.

I’m fine with Dirk-money winning the MVP

May 20, 2007 at 9:54 am | Posted in basketball, lee | 46 Comments

I hate two things about the MVP award:
1) When people say that the MVP should go to the best player on the best team. I don’t get why. Obviously, there are times when the best player is on the best team, but more often, the best team is the best team because of the best compilation of players, not because of one player. Especially these days with “parity” being all the rage. This isn’t just an NBA problem. Every sport has experts that like to use this scientific approach to naming the Most Valuable Player.
2) Problem number two seems to only be an NBA problem. For now. It makes me sick when a star player steps to the the free throw line while on their homecourt, the fans start chanting M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P! They should know that their player isn’t a MVP in most cases.

Anyway, Dirk Nowitski won the MVP and I have no problem with it.

Why?

He might as well win it because he was as qualified as anyone else.

I’m convinced that Tim Duncan is the best player in the NBA and does more to help his team win than anyone.  But, the discussion for MVP consisted only of Dirk and Nash, so I’ll consider them the only two candidates.

The argument that I have heard most is that without Nash the team falls apart.  I agree, but what about the Mavericks without Dirk?  Which of the following list of role players would you rather have?:

Maurice Ager, Greg Buckner, Austin Croshere, Erick Dampier, DeSagana Diop, Devean George, Devin Harris, Josh Howard, Didier Ilunga-Mbenga, Pops Mensah-Bonsu, Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Terry

or

Marcus Banks, Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell, Pat Burke, Boris Diaw, James Jones, Jumaine Jones, Shawn Marion, Sean Marks, Eric Piatkowski, Jalen Rose, Amare Stoudamire, Kurt Thomas

Personally, I’d choose the second group.  Even if you’d prefer the first group, it isn’t by much, meaning that Dirk’s team is as lost without him as Nash’s.

Another reason that people think Nash is more deserving is statistics.  Nash has put up amazing statistics over the last few years in Phoenix, but I’ve become less impressed with them over the last few weeks.  During the Jazz-Warriors series, I noticed that Deron Williams had a few amazing statistic games despite not even playing great.  So did a few other Jazz players (Slambidunktrous, Kirilenko).  Likewise with the entire Golden State team.  Just like the Jazz and Warriors were playing an uptempo style that increases stats, Nash plays for a team whose style is MADE to get amazing stats, especially for a PG.

The third thing people point at for why Dirk shouldn’t be the MVP is his team’s early exit from this year’s playoffs. It is said that the MVP shouldn’t be voted on until after the playoffs are over so that their playoff performance can be factored in. Instead, I think that more emphasis should be placed on winning the Finals MVP. Maybe the name can be changed to the Playoff MVP and a All-Playoff Team can be named too. While I’m on this, a lot more emphasis should be place on being the best team of the regular season. To me, winning the most games over an 82-game period is more impressive than winning a two-month long playoff tournament.

The MVP should go the the player who had the best season. Statistics, team wins, and impact on games should all be part of what is factored into the decision. This year, Dirk’s season was as impressive and Nash’s. If Nash would have won, I’d feel the same as I do about Dirk-money winning.

Conference Finals Predictions

    Jazz/Spurs

– Even if the Jazz don’t win, this series could be huge for them. For the last seven or eight years, the Spurs have owned the Jazz. Utah’s luck has improved over the last few years by winning a few games at home, but they still can’t win in San Antonio (they haven’t won there since before the war), even though the Spurs fans aren’t the most intimidating. A few wins, especially one on the road could lessen the mental edge the Spurs have over the Jazz. What the Jazz have going for them is their youth and rest. This could help them steal Game One or make them more fresh if the series goes six or seven games.
Spurs in 7

    Cavaliers/Pistons

– Sasha Pavlovic is one of my favorite players in the NBA, but I can’t stand to watch the Cavs play because it reminds me that the Jazz gave him away. The Cavs don’t have a chance to win this series.
Pistons in 5 (and don’t be surprised it is 4)

here’s a letter we wrote to carlos boozer

May 19, 2007 at 12:12 am | Posted in basketball, brian, fight | 15 Comments

dear mr boozer,

congratulations on an impressive regular season and your phenomenal performances in this year’s playoffs. truly, this is a breakout year for you. with your range on your jump shot, your finesse in the post, your amazing two-handed ability and your rebounding, you obviously have the talent and the determination to be a superstar in today’s nba; however, talent and determination alone cannot elevate you to the level of superstardom in the post-jordan nba.

today’s super-stars must have a marketable persona. jordan’s mars blackman , lbj’s the lebron’s and larry johnson’s grandmama all serve as great examples of basketball players crafting personas that catpulted them from basketball star to sport’s superstar. we believe you need a similar persona to truly become a superstar.

with that in mind, we have the perfect idea for you:

slambidunktrous

this name obviously grows out of your two-handed ability around the hoop and your power. but it’s not just a name; it’s an identity. first you need to tattoo slam-dunk across your fingers night of the hunter style.

then after every slam-dunk you show your fists to the closest camera, prominently displaying your slam-dunk tattoo, and say “slam-dunk!” after that, the commercial offers come pouring in. and with your new identity, the commercial options are endless. for example, you’re all decked out like radio from do the right thing (complete with a boombox) and you’re like, “this is the story of slam and dunk.”

we could even make the commercials for you. as you can see, we’re full of great ideas. our commercials would be self-conscious, a bit self-deprecating and, of course, funny. if you aren’t comfortable with us doing the commercials, will be happy to give you this nickname for the nominal fee of 1 million dollars. when you think of all the endorsement opportunities such a name will provide for you, 1 million dollars is a steal.

love,

brian and fight

survivor of the wolly mammoth population bottleneck effect

May 18, 2007 at 12:49 am | Posted in basketball, brian | 9 Comments

does anyone else have difficulties posting comments?  i submit my comment and nothing shows up. i try and repost my comment and wordpress tells me that i’ve already left this comment.  what is going on?

but this post is about basketball.

you’ve been abducted

so dirk nowitski was officially named mvp the other day.

but the mvp.  what does it mean to be the mvp?  i guess it means a bunch of sports journalists think you had the bast season in the nba.  of course, all of these sports journalists are actively shaping the nba’s narrative while having a financial and professional interest tied to how this narrative unfolds.  they all have idealizations of how basketball should be played and what should constitute a star player.  none of them have watched even a significant fraction of the entire nba season and many of the games they did watch were determined by which games were televised nationally and those nationally televised games prominently features 8 teams and mostly forgets about the rest of the league.  in short, those sports journalists can only vote for the mvp using vague criteria without any hope of objectivity.

looking at this year’s top three mvp candidates, we see examples of the vague idealizations used to choose the mvp.  is the mvp the best player on the best team (dirk), the player who best makes his teammates better (nash) or the player single-handedly responsible for the success of his team (kobe).  nash also had his previous two mvps working against him; a third straight mvp would put nash in an exclusive group an work against sports writers nostalgia for the so-called golden era of the nba (from whenever bird and magic entered the league until jordan’s first retirement).  kobe is probably the most polarizing athlete in the nba (possibly the third most in major us sports after barry bonds and to) so has way more haters than either dirk or nash.

so dirk wins the mvp.

that’s not to say that he didn’t have a great season, or even the best season.  just saying that the mvp award is not authoritative.  i just think we should all be honest about our subjectivity.

My New Ink

May 15, 2007 at 4:01 am | Posted in baseball, whitney | 2 Comments

After sporting fake tattoos this weekend, I’ve decided that I look really good with ink:
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
(that’s a tiger riding the waves and Dora la Exploradora)

So I think I’m going to get a tattoo of Matsuzaka and Okajima holding hands. Sort of like this:
Dice-K and Okajima Holding Hands
without the dude in the middle.
But I want Okajima to just be smiling normal like that and Dice-K to look like this:
Dice-K loves his Gyroball

I think if I were Hideki (I’m not) I wouldn’t be as good of friends with Dice-K as they are. Here’s a veteran ball player – he’s been playing in the majors in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants since 1993 – who has to carry around the cooler of candy for his teammates, while his fellow countryman is living the high life with hundreds of reporters and thousands of fans tracking his every move. Not to mention the fact that Okajima is less attractive and making way less money (he’s getting $2.5 million for two years while Dice-K signed a $52 million for six year deal). But it seems to me, after these last games against Toronto, that Okajima is the better pitcher. He’s not as fancy, but he’s so consistent and calm.

I really like how the two of them are, like, BFFs now. All the articles I read about either of them usually mention how they are always spotted “giggling together.”

I think my tattoo is going to be really good.

just like sister ray said

May 15, 2007 at 2:57 am | Posted in brian, football (american) | 11 Comments

saturday i watched the naked and the dead, a movie starring a young brian urlacher. the character urlacher plays in the movie is almost exactly like the character he plays during the football season: he’s the unofficial leader of a tough-nosed platoon who are a lot like the bears defense; before the war he was married to a blond stripper who refuses to remain faithful just like the football playing urlacher went out with paris hilton for a week before she moved onto her next sports-star boyfriend (i think it was matt leinart or andy roddick); and he’s a jerk who always pries gold teeth out of the mouths of dead japanese soldiers just like the football playing urlacher is always taking cheap shots at his opponents.

how come sports-themed movies are so bad? except for a couple boxing movies (raging bull and when we were kings and this one i haven’t seen yet but robert osborne says is the best boxing movie around and he would know) and this one movie about little league baseball i saw on tcm (the great american pastime) sports movies are terrible.

p.s. i don’t count sports movies that star animals as part of the sports movie genre. in my opinion, if a movie stars an animal, it’s an animal movie regardless of what the animal is doing. mvp, mxp and air bud are all fantastic movies, but i just don’t consider them sports movies.

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