Archive for February, 2010

Step back, Flip it and Reverse it

February 19, 2010

As I write today’s blog, Charles Barkley and his new Taco Bell commercial just flashed on the screen.  Very funny no doubt.  Who doesn’t love Chuck?  However, it made me hop in my wayyyyy back machine for this classic.

Once again fellas, thanks again for your comments.  To chime in on the bass ackwards comments, you are absolutely right about NCAA making money off of guys like OJ Mayo, Michael Beasley even Kevin Durant.  Those guys were gold mines for what many would consider “underachieving” basketball programs.

Moving along.

We have had a ton of excitement this week in the league, and rather than blowing up this spot with info you already know, I want to throw in my two cents on some things.

1. It is truly unfortunate that Amare didn’t get any love this week.  Sitting around all week being told you are rocking the purple and orange for the last time, only to find out you are posting up a while longer.  One might compare it to playing Little League baseball.  Remember being hyped all week for that summer game?  Being gassed up all day with that beautiful summer weather, only to have your little baseball chubby left for nothing when the thunder-storm rolls in around the evening hour.  Okay…maybe it isn’t quite the same.

2. Ty Thom and Salmons leaving= good riddance.  Let’s be honest folks.  Those two were given Alfonso Soriano on the Cubs love, and to no avail.  Tyrus broke his official Bulls balls the moment he guaranteed Dunk Contest victory and was the lowest score.

Tyrus Thomas dunks for money.

Salmons has been as consistent from the floor as a drunk guy pissing in a toilet seat at the bar.

3. How does it feel watching some of our favorite NBA stars shopping around like it is going out of style?  Not only does it make me feel old to think that T-Mac and Jamison are considered seasoned vets and “roll players” but we are witnessing an era in the NBA now that will see nobody holding down a city for their entire career.  I could name two guys right now that I predict will forever wear the same uniform. A. Tim Ducan. B. Dirk Nowitzki.  That is it.

4. After many arguments with friends, I am still flying high on my “The Cavs really missed out on Troy Murphy” sweepstakes.  Say what you will, but the guy is a force and one of the most consistent players in the league.  He is 6’11, can knock down the three, rebounds like a beast and shoots an outstanding percentage from the floor.  If you make other centers guard him in the playoffs, good luck.

5. Kevin Martin to Houston.  I’ve said to before and I’ll say it again.  I cannot support any shooter in the league that I can’t shoot with on NBA Live or 2K.  Case closed K-Mart and Ben Gordon.

6. For those of you that tuned into Dallas and Phoenix the other night, you caught a classic scuffle with Dirk and Grant Hill.  Mark Jackson said it best, as I paraphrase, “This isn’t exactly the Klitschko’s going at each other”.  Two sleeper fighters.  Dirk uses his wooden dentures to bite Grant.  Hill uses his piano fingers to poke Nowitzki in the eye.  If you don’t see it playing out like that…well picture something MORE realistic.

7. Lebron cries and doesn’t shake hands after a classic battle with Melo.  Get a life LBJ.  You are an ambassador to the game.  We all watched.  We get it.  No one tries harder than you game in and game out, so man up.  Take the loss in the chin and get back at it.  In case you forgot, you just rattled of 13 wins in a row and now have Antawn Jamison.  Deal with it.

8. Speaking of Jamison, I recently shared a comment with Casey.  If players choose to spell their names awkwardly, then I am going to pronounce them that way.  So, Antawn and Dwyane Wade…get it together and swap some letters for us.

9.  The Dunk Contest was horrendous.  I don’t necessarily feel that I need LBJ or Dwight in the contest for it to be successful, but if you are going to take some of these young, low-key ballers, then you have to explain to them that this is their moment to shine.  Show some personality.  Get hyped.  Even Nate Rob bored me.  Maybe he is still trying to recover from the kryptonite…regardless, I am going to need some more flair.

10. Food for thought.  I posed this question to a few friends recently, but I’ll drop it out there for others.  Off the top of your head, can you name me one cut up WHITE euro baller?  It’s harder than you think.

Casey and JonJon

Makin’ That Paper

February 10, 2010

Ok, now that I have your attention.  I had to get at least one Mbenga shot into this blog at some point.

I simply cannot help myself.  To the sports world, talking about whether or not a kid should have to go to college or not is along the lines of Christians discussing abortion, Creationism, The Big Bang Theory, the chicken or the egg, even the ever popular question of who framed Roger Rabbit?

Fine.  Sure.  It might not be on that level.  However, it is always a conversation that leaves the college purist scrambling around the bar looking for supporters, sweating like a kid whose parents just caught him watching porn and trying to justify that he was watching a movie on Skinemax before the soft-core moaning erupted.  Meanwhile,  the usually lone NBA fan stands casual saying, “I am already in the minority with this argument, so hit me with your best shot”.

Regardless of how you feel, I’m not going to pull any punches because I am very emotional about the idea of going to the league.  I am a million percent in favor of these kids going to the league if they want to go to the league.  To fathom that people put so much value on education blows my mind.  You have a kid, probably being pursued early in his high school career by major college programs, so he knows that his education is going to be free.  However, let’s consider the player that is a poor student.  His parents do not value education because regardless of his GPA, he will make big bucks. So, if the student/athlete does not care about bettering his educational life, then why should we?  The league is a BUSINESS.

Honestly, if Lebron James decides to go straight to the NBA, blow out his knee and cannot read a Dr. Seuss book, why do I care?  Does Lebron care if I sleep in a cardboard box or my king size bed?  Not a chance.  My point is that these guys that basically take a dump on their education to pursue hoop dreams have made a choice.  Do I commend all of those athletes out there that finish their degrees or go back and receive them…absolutely.  Good for them.  But, if you mean to tell me that I have to hear another person tell me about how important college is to these young men, then they can go fly a kite.  I graduated from the University of Kansas.  I have shared class with some of the NBA’s young talent.  Trust me.  My out-of-state tuition has no problem funding a baller sitting in the back row with his hood up listening to Jay-Z.  Clearly, they have made a choice.  It is very obnoxious to hear the same old song and dance.  This is the classic line right here:

“Jon, what about all of those guys made the jump and it didn’t work out”?

Well friends, let me tell you.  At the risk of dropping life bombs on you, I’ll leave it at this.  We make choices in our lives that are sometimes good, and sometimes bad.  Say what you want, but if I am a lottery pick and make millions of dollars and blow out my quad tomorrow…sign me up.  We scoff at the idea of making 1.5 million dollars, but that is an amount of money that many of us will never make in our lifetime.  Regardless if I can’t read the Men/Women sign on the bathroom, with millions of dollars, I can find a way to make a living.

Wrap your mind around this process.  For those of you that don’t know, a player with the intentions of joining the draft in the summer can essentially play the entire season without attending one class the spring term.  How does that grab ya?  So if you college lovers out there are so happy that Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant gave you one year of cheap thrills, just know that if B-Easy doesn’t show up for your bowling class anymore, it is because he has decided to stop humoring you with talks of returning.  Even though every draft board and expert says he is a lock as a top 5 pick, you go ahead and say how much you love the idea of him returning next year.  That is as valuable to me as Akron fans saying, “if only the year rule was intact for Lebron”.

Again folks, why do we deprive these young men the opportunity to get paid?  Why waste their time with a semester of college when they truly do not value it?  I’ll be the first to tell you that watching Kevin Durant in Allen Fieldhouse a few years ago was without a doubt the best live performance I have ever witnessed.  He could have made the jump.  Pay these guys their money.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  There is a reason people do not go watch open heart surgeries.  No one watches an accountant do taxes.  People want to be entertained, and if Kobe, Lebron, KG or Shaun Livingston have the opportunity to play against the best athletes in the world, then so be it.  Livingston signed on for 14.5 million before touching the NBA court.  Whether or not he is a superstar or showing you to your seat at the Staples Center, he has enough money to last him a lifetime.

Stop wasting players time. Stop wasting college basketball’s time.  If these guys want to jump to the league, then it is what it is.  Like Lupe Fiasco says, if the opportunity is there, who are we to deprive them the chance to “stack that cheese”.

Casey and JonJon